30 Days of Night Movie Review

30 Days of NightA modern day vampire movie

Most of us have seen Underworld, Dawn of the Dead and the numerous TV series about Vampires. 30 Days of Night was the second “scary” movie of the Haloween time that i’ve seen, Saw 4 being the first. Saw 4 had a different type of scary which wasn’t so much scary but more gross. Throw in some nutters with way to many teeth and a lust for blood and you get to my type of jumpy scary.

The movie is set in a small isolated town called Barrow in Alaska, which for 30 days every winter is thrown into complete darkness. Most of the towns people go elsewhere and some stay. Un-beknown to them, a group of people arrive (the ones with lots of teeth – vampires) and wreak havoc on the towns people who have stayed around. Taking advantage of the 30 days of night to feed upon the people left around town and helped out by the occasional half-turned person it is left to the Sheriff (Josh Hartnett) and his wife Stella (Melissa George) to help save the people who are left. They try everything to stay alive until the daylight arrives after the 30 days of night.

Very jumpy and violent

I wasn’t sure what to expect of the movie to be honest, I had watched the trailer before seeing 30 days of night but it doesn’t give much away at all. Plenty of viewers were jumping and squirming throughout the movie, and it definitely caught me out on a few occasion’s, not helped by Jen who jumps at the drop of a hat.

30 days of night brings a modern twist to the vampire movie collection where it is actually jumpy because it is set now in a normal north-american town, not in the future or in the past with made up facts. The movie throws superstition out of the window, no silver bullets or wooden stakes just axes and light (where it can be found).

So how was 30 Days of Night?

Josh Hartnett’s wisdom to last out the 30 days in the town and avoiding the vampires was obviously going to make the film what it was, due to them not being able to stay in one place because the vampires were going from one home to the next ran-sacking them and killing anyone they found, from one moment he was saying they had to ration the food and the next it was popping up with 7th day you did wonder what happened the rest of the days…

The gore was good, the sound and music were also good and did have a great effect on the movie to make it a little more jumpy, I would say though that it was a newer town version of Dawn of the Day but made slightly better with better effects and acting. There were no wooden stakes or silver bullets to be seen anywhere and instead of the old fangs the vampires had a plentifull amount of teeth which they certainly put to good use.

Overall Rating

I did enjoy the movie, like I said the effects were good and the movie itself was better than I thought it was going to be. It was nice to see the changes in the Vampires genre.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Saw 4 (IV) Review

Saw 4Saw 4 – Blood, Gore and More!

No it hasn’t finished, it is that time of year again where Saw has once again ‘graced’ our cinemas. Initially I thought Saw 4 was dragging it out a bit and it should have ended after the third. I even said that I wouldn’t go to see the fourth because I did not think I would enjoy it.

So why did I end up going to see it? Well I nearly didn’t. Jen certainly did not want to go and see it because Saw 3 was spent hiding behind me, but with nothing else on at the cinema at the moment worth watching or that I hadn’t seen I thought I should take myself along.

Can you randomly see Saw 4?

I would say no you can’t, the Saw movies are so intricately built around each other, and even with this one not being written by the same guy they are still following stories which are all blended together. Saw 4 might just be for the Saw fans, and from the quick searches I threw into google there are quite a few fan sites. I have now seen all of the Saw movies, would I call myself a fan? No, yes I like them but I am not into them in that way.

So how was the movie?

From the trailers I had seen before going I knew we were either up for another treat of a gore-fest OR in for a boring re-run of Saw 3. I was pleasantly surprised! From the outset the “oh my gods”, the shuffling in the seats from everyone trying to look away gripped the cinema. Two guys one with his eyes sewn up and one with his mouth sewn up connected by neck chains to a winch machine, there was only one way this was going to go down…

The main story is held together by the police again, but in Saw 4 it is different they become a lot more involved with what is going on and with some new characters involved the story does get more intriguing. I wouldn’t have bet on that happening but it did and I felt like I wanted to know what was going to happen well before it did again.

I will leave the story talking out because of the people going to see it, but all I will say is that it opens everything up again and there will be a Saw 5. There are some definite un-answered queries which I have but I can only guess that they will be answered in the next movie, ‘I hope’.

My overall view of the movie?

I did actually enjoy it, a lot more than Jen! The story had me hooked, the amount of gore was extreme and no doubt I will see Saw 5 just to answer the questions I have. I do even recommend it for the people who have seen Saw 1-3.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Movies landing on the big screen soon!

We’re looking at some big movies coming up over the next month or so, so here is my little run down of what we will be expecting at the movies soon.

Ratatouille – It’s Out!

Ratatouille arrived in our local cinema on Friday gone and I will be posting my review of it very shortly, probably within the next couple of days so I am not going to go into much detail about it just yet!

Saw IV – 26th October

Saw IV sees the fourth, yes the FOURTH installment of the halloween time horror which we have seen for the past few years coming out at the same time. Previous Saw movies have had people walking out of the cinema, screaming, shouting and hiding behind their seats.

Saw IV promises to be even gorier than the previous movies and if you have managed to catch the trailer you will find two men, one who can’t talk and one who can’t see shackled to some sort of killer machine that threatens to decapitate them both!

No doubt there will be more blood that the last 3 and I hope they have kept the good, stomach churning story lines where you are on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age – 2nd November

Back in 1998 Cate Blanchett shot to stardom in the period epic Elizabeth, nine years later and an Oscar in hand she is back playing Elizabeth. This time she is facing threats from the Spanish Armada, one of the largest naval fleets which has ever headed to the British Isles in anger, and a murder plot from her own Cousin. Nice eh!? I can see this being a great movie to be honest.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Trailer

American Gangster – 16 November

Let’s talk about this one sensibly. Ridley Scott, Denzel Washington, Cuba Gooding Jr and Russell Crowe working together on the same movie. That combination has to open up anyone’s eyes. I am a massive fan of everyone who is involved in the movie so when they all come together to produce a movie about crime and gangsters I am hooked.

The American Gangster movie is about a man called Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who exploits a death in a crime family to go at it himself and become one of the most powerful men in Harlem, dealing in drugs that have been brought back from Vietnam in the coffins of dead soldiers.

Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts, the brave man who sets out to take down Lucas. With a great cast and fantastic director, fireworks will be flying this November I think.

Fred Claus – 30th November

Wahey, a Christmas comedy movie!

Vince Vaughan who plays Fred Claus is the brother of the real Santa Claus. Fred is a bit of a bad man and thief who is sent off to the Claus household to sort his life out. Things don’t go to plan and Fred ends up causing trouble and havoc to the North Pole!

It’s always good to have a Christmas comedy I think, and this looks to be it!

Fred Claus Trailer.

The Heartbreak Kid Movie Review

heartbreak kid movieHeartbreak Kid, Eddie (Ben Stiller) is an un-married 40 year old who has not been with a woman long enough to marry and finds himself being the only one out of the people he grew up with not being paired up with someone.

On the way back from his ex’s wedding he runs in to an apparent mugging. This is the first meeting with Lila (Malin Akerman). They embark on an incredibly fast romantic twist, whereby Lila doesn’t exactly tell the truth or reveal the full facts of her life.

Proposing shortly afterwards and rushing to their honeymoon Eddie soon realises that not everything is normal about Lila in the Heartbreak Kid.

My take on The Heartbreak Kid

A lot more ‘adult’ than I thought it was going to be, with the honeymoon romp involving a fully naked Malin Akerman going at it like a crazed mad woman wanting it hilariously hard! Soon after the first night, Eddie finds that Lila becomes more and more different, and the more different things about her that are revealed the funnier the film actually gets.

I did find that at some points Heartbreak Kid did try and become to funny for it’s own good and took away good parts of the movie. Other members of the cast which brought some comedy were Jerry Stiller who I thought was the main comedy genius ahead of Ben Stiller due to him not having a major part in the movie. His comical side was brought in at different times throughout the film which left me laughing.

My Conclusion

I will not be buying it on DVD, however it was not a waste of time either. It did make me laugh at quite a few points throughout the movie, and I did find it a lot more adult orientated than I had thought it was going to be. Depending on your own sense of humour you would either think it was hilarious and you loved it or it simply wasn’t your thing.

It was one of Stiller’s better movies in my opinion however the story could have been a little bit shorter.

Overall Score: 3/5

The Kingdom Movie

the kingdom movieMovie Outline

From the outset the story for The Kingdom was clear, bad guys went into an American civilian compound in “The Kingdom” shot up quite a few of the population, in the panic they start fleeing into the direction of a suicide bomber. A lot of people are either killed or injured and the rescue mission ensues. An hour after it starts another huge explosion takes out 80% of the emergency services and police force who are trying to help, meanwhile this is all being video’d by terrorists on the top floor of a local block of apartments.

The story leads on to the F.B.I group of four people going over to the The Kingdom to find the perpetrators and the trouble they have to go to to find those involved.

What was my take on The Kingdom

I do not want to say too much about the movie so I do not spoil it as it has only just came to the screen in the UK.

I thought it was a decent enough movie, there was a lot of political involvement and immediately when I started watching I thought “here we go again…”. I truly thought it was going to be another gung-ho American might movie. I am not a personal know-it-all on Saudi politics, so not sure if the film was entirely truthful, but was very interesting to go in there with an open mind. It seemed to me like there were 3 types of people on their side, the insurgents, the police who wanted to help and then the other group who didn’t really care what happened who were just happy living with anything. The latter being the individuals who were trying to stop the investigation getting any further than the F.B.I landing on the tarmac.

The generalisation of events that are going on in the world today made the film interesting and although obvious from an American perspective no matter how they tried to twist it had a very deep meaning end to it, it did make you think and most of the audience left very quietly obviously going over their own thoughts.

The Kingdom Trailer


The Cast

Ashraf Barhom, Jamie Foxx and Jason Bateman put in a good performance. Barhom was a constantly good character with a lot of humour going between Bateman and himself.

It was good to see Foxx in a decent role and The Kingdom was a good movie after Miami Vice which I didn’t enjoy.

Overall Rating: 4/5

IE6 and Vista do work together!

IE6Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and 7 (IE7) working on Vista

Yes folks it does actually work. Originally I had thought that once you upgraded to IE7 it was inevitable that you were going to do a full un-install before getting to use IE6 to check your browser compatibility when designing websites. Well I am now putting that rumour to bed, cya, gone and bye-bye.

I run two machines when designing, the desktop with XP and IE7 and Firefox and my laptop with Vista installed (also IE7 as standard). This then started the problem of not being able to check the compatibility with IE6. I found myself trawling the internet trying to find a right way of doing it but always coming to a dead end with Vista forcing you to stop.

How to install IE6 onto Vista

The idea is to not actually install it on your machine, you simply install it on a virtual machine. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 has been made available to download free here. You then need to download the Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image from here and extract the files to a location on your computer.

Launch the Virtual PC and go through the installation procedure, when it comes to ‘use an existing HDD browse for you VPC Image‘ and carry on with the setup. I chose to run IE6 on XP and bumped the amount of RAM up due to the laptop having 2gb worth so I had some to spare.

At the bottom of the Virtual PC window you will find a few icons, if you are having trouble connecting to the internet like I did, right click on the networking icon, then choose Shared Network connection.

This same process can be used to use IE6 on your XP based machine when you have already upgraded to IE7.

Xbox 360: Lie it down or stand it up?

Xbox 360I saw my Birthday come and go and it was the greatest! Jen went and bought me an Xbox 360 Premium with 3 games;

  • Gears of War
  • Crackdown
  • Forza 2

I had played Gears of War before and wasn’t too impressed, it seemed a little repetitive for my liking and I have a lot of love for first person shooters. According to a friend who is a huge fan of GoW, there are more than enough who also think the same as him. Maybe it will just take some getting used too but it certainly doesn’t feel like a full blown shooter in my eyes. Surely there is more to come for the Xbox 360.

Forza 2 is a great game and I’ve been ploughing through it to get every achievement that I can, I’m yet to fill all of the achievements up and wonder if it will ever happen in the life time of owning the Xbox 360.

I havn’t even touched Crackdown yet as I’ve been putting so many hours in to Forza but I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty with it. I went out to buy Bioshock, Tranformers, Spiderman and Call of Duty 3 since and have had a go at all of them but Bioshock.

Xbox 360: Lie it down or stand it up?

Now here is the thing, when the PS2 came out people complained that it used to scratch the discs when being stood up on its end. Then Microsoft go out and make the Xbox 360 which can also be stood on its end.

Rolled up with all of the “red lights of death” and the problems with them over heating, which is better? I think I will keep mine stood up on its end but heavily cooled if I can and out of direct sunlight when it is being used. I havn’t noticed any problems with it so far and hopefully won’t in the future.

Oh yeah, I am on Xbox Live also so if anyone wants to add me my gamertag is “Maugantias”.

What a week!

The Motorbike Accident

Jen and myself went to visit my Dad in the Lake District on the motorbike which is usually no drama and i’ve been over there plenty of times before taking various different routes sometimes in treachorous weather. Last Thursday was different, from the outset something just didn’t feel right. It was as though I wasn’t meant to be on the bike, I felt uncomfortable and in a bit of pain when I was riding. Jen felt the same and when we stopped half way through the journey over there we were both complaining of aches and pains. When we did finally reach my Dads and spent a bit of time with him, we thought about how much of a pain the journey home was going to be and how I longed to have just brought the car over, comfort, music and heat that’s all I really wanted and so did Jen.

We set off, got some petrol and headed upto Carlisle before setting off towards the A19. I was in slow moving traffic on the A6 just going over Warwick Bridge following a truck when all of a sudden there was an almighty screech of brakes and tyres and I had to contemplate a static truck in front of me with no warning. So I attempted to slow the bike down as much as possible but the inevitable was going to happen. My main priority was to keep Jen away from me and the truck so all of my weight went against the handle bars with me pushing my back into Jen.

The next thing I remember is hittng the truck with my head then getting up off the ground and shouting at Jen that I was ok, by now she was in shock and started shaking etc. Got her off the road then got the bike off the road and then felt the pain, knees, groin, shins, neck… everything started to hurt. Ambulance was on the scene pretty quick and they didnt like my neck hurting so off I went to the hospital for a check up. All is well and both Jen and I left with bumps and bruises and a bit of whiplash. The bike however is a bit worse for wear and I won’t be keeping it. My view is once you’ve come off the bike it won’t be the same again when you ride it.

Lancashire Countryside

The day after the crash and we were due to be heading down to Lancashire to spend some time away with Jen’s Mum and Dad at Higher Gills Farm. In the middle of the Pendle Hill area the farm is in the middle of no where and is one of the most peaceful places i’ve ever stayed at. Everything both Jen and I needed after our little incident!

The pictures are now in the flickr feed for anyone wanting to check them out!

My Operation

My long awaiting operation was scheduled for thursday (yesterday). I had polyps and serious blockages of the nose, and have had ever since I was a youngster. I have never been able to smell through my nose and have always had to resort to smell via my mouth which can be pretty disgusting at times with not knowing what smells are going to be waffting around you. So I went into the Freeman Hospital to have them removed yesterday, I am pretty groggy with just getting back a few hours ago so I will leave it there for today’s post.