18 December 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 3D D-BOX Movie Review

Avoided the onslaught of usual spoilers, teasers and TV spots that end up usually ruining films nowadays and went into this blind. All I knew was that it was about stealing the Death Star plans just before New Hope. Boy was this a gritty brilliant film. Set in the Star Wars universe but darker toned. An abandoned child, an orphaned rebel, a traitor imperial pilot and a blind jedi(?) and his friend, not to mention the brilliant K2-SO, go on a mission to find Jyn's father, who just so happens to be the man who designs and builds the Death Star, then go on an even more daring mission to steal the plans from right under the nose of a certain Lord of the Sith. Loads of action, battles, classic vehicles, sights and sounds link the old trilogy with this continuing story. There are loads of surprises including a couple of slightly dodgy CGI characters and the climatic battle at the end leading to the immediate start of New Hope. Superb on every level.

The 3D really didn't do anything noticeable. The D-BOX added to the rumbles, fights and explosions. More an enhancement this time rather than a necessity.

Ben 9 out of 10
Barry 9 out of 10

Sleep Rating: No pillows (excellent film)

http://www.starwars.com/films/rogue-one

20 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3D D-BOX Movie Review

Harry Potter World continues in Fantastic Beasts, but set way before Harry in 1920's New York. Newt is visiting America with a suitcase of beasts that he is trying to rescue from extinction as many wizards don't understand them, and of course some of them escape. The American wizards are set on keep the Nomaj (Muggles) and magic word separate, so having mystical creatures on the loose does not go down well. Meanwhile the New Salem group of anti-wizards are attacked which adds a good twist to the story. Who it attacking New York, is it Newts' beasts or something else more evil? The cast is great and gel together well. The story keeps moving if a little slow in places.

The D-BOX actually snoozed quite a bit, but the 3D really popped. Literally popped right out the screen with a few of the tiny creatures coming right out into the cinema with a few shreaks from audience members as they hover in front of your eyes!

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 6 out of 10

http://www.fantasticbeasts.co.uk

Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (Semi conscious, mediocre film)

30 October 2016

5K Zombie Run

Well we must be mad, but finally did a 5K run today with Full Throttle, but no ordinary run, a Zombie run! Inflatable obstacles and infected zones full of zombies to dodge. Three tags on your belt and if the zombies get you, then you're infected. Lost my last tag in the last zone, gutted!



25 October 2016

Dr. Strange Movie Review

Saw Dr. Strange today on opening day in the UK. Went into this film completely blind, no idea of the character, don't think I even saw a trailer for it! This is a nicely explained origin story of how a brilliant neurosurgeon goes on a spiritual quest to try and repair his hands after a particularly nasty accident. It then starts to smell slightly of Last Airbender crossed with Inception. Lots of spiritual mumbo-jumbo about multiverses and mirror plains, with hand waving and folding buildings. The effects and time twists in this film are brilliant, with great fight sequences, but it all seemed to drag on a bit too long. Cumberbatch is a brilliant Dr. Strange, playing equal parts serious and the odd comedy quip. Maybe it needs a rewatch as this was good, but didn't really grab me.

Ben 6 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10


http://marvel.com/doctorstrange

Sleep Rating: 1 pillow (dozing lightly, good film)

22 October 2016

Week in Gran Canaria

Had a wonderful week in Gran Canaria doing absolutely nothing. Sleeping, eating and generally relaxing in the Spa.





9 October 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Quick Review

Suitably weird and perfectly cast. Some of the children's skills are a little weak and underused and film drags slightly towards the end.

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-children

Sleep Rating: 1 pillow (dozing lightly, good film)

8 October 2016

Aladdin London Theatre Review

Saw the matinee performance of Disney's Aladdin today at the Prince Edward Theatre in Soho, London. Following the plot of the animation closely (minus Abu and Rajar) it goes through all the great musical numbers plus a few extra fillers. "You Never Had a Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" are the show stoppers they deserve, with the Genie's song being the highlight of the show. "A Whole New World" is also magical with the flying carpet sequence done perfectly. The only minor points that let it down are Aladdin himself (slightly weak voice) and the ending not quiet as good as the animation. On the whole though a superb performance all round.

Ben 4 out of 5
Barry 5 out of 5

http://www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk


14 August 2016

Suicide Squad Film Review

Quick Review

A misfit band of badies are thrown together to go after an even badder badies! The film very annoyingly focuses on Smith's character, because of some past star power, as a result some of the other characters don't get much of a look in. Was expecting more from this film after all the carry on in press of the Joker, who is barely in it! Pretty average story with pretty average film.

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 6 out of 10

http://www.suicidesquad.com

Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)

23 July 2016

Conjuring 2 Movie Review

Quick Review

Waiting for the airport to get back to UK and this was only film left to see. Your average horror, odd jumpy bit, well made. OK, but would be a DVD job.

Ben 6 out of 10
Barry 6 out of 10

http://www.theconjuring2.com

Sleep Rating: No pillows (too scary to sleep!)

22 July 2016

Star Trek Beyond IMAX Laser 3D Movie Review

Quick Review

You can tell the change of director and my opinion not as good as JJ. Its full on in your face, sometimes too in your face. Lots of completely ridiculous moments, this is sci-fi, but not crazy made up stuff just 'cos it fits the story stuff! Good, but not as good as the first two movies.

The laser projected IMAX in Toronto is eye searingly sharp and the sound booms!

Ben 8 out of 10
Barry 8 out of 10

http://www.startrekmovie.com

Sleep Rating: 1 pillow (dozing lightly, good film)

Breakfast on the Island



On our final day we head to the island for a spot of breakfast, which we've been meaning to do for ages. Unfortunately our order took ages and Barry didn't like his! Oh well, at least the view was great.

21 July 2016

Finding Dory 3D Movie Review

Quick Review

A long overdue sequel to the 13 year old original. Great story, great characters, lots of chuckles and pulls on the heart strings. For the 3D though they need to look at Ghostbusters! There were so many times when fish could have been floating right in front of u, but instead remain stuck to the screen.

Ben 9 out of 10
Barry 10 out of 10

http://movies.disney.co.uk/finding-dory

Sleep Rating: No pillows (wide awake, great film)

Toronto Island

Today we caught the ferry over to the peaceful Toronto Islands. Just a short trip over and you are removed from the busy city to a peaceful island with zero traffic, parks and beaches.



20 July 2016

Ghostbusters 3D Movie Review

Quick Review

Well all the haters were wrong, this is a great reboot, funny and superb 3D that actually leaps out of the screen! Does lose some steam in the 2nd half.

Ben 8 out of 10
Barry 8 out of 10

http://www.ghostbusters.com/ghostbusters-2016/

Sleep Rating:  No pillows (wide awake, great film)

Niagara Falls

A rather boiling hot day between 85-90 degrees, so we rent a car and head to Niagara Falls for a very large shower on Maid of the Mist. I think we were the only ones on the hole boat not to put on our raincoats!

18 July 2016

Tarzan 3D Movie Review

Quick Review

Average movie fodder, padded with CGI monkeys and a hunky SkarsgÄrd. Tarzan returns to the jungle under false pretences and ends up seeking revenge.

Ben 6 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

https://www.warnerbros.co.uk/movies/the-legend-of-tarzan

Sleep Rating: No pillows (wide awake, great film)

10 July 2016

Absolutely Fabulous Movie Review

Quick Review

Ab Fab worked best in 30 minute bites, when they could have random subjects and ranging comedy moments. When you are limited by a film, you have one theme and there story does start dragging. Patsy and Eddy are on top form though and bring lots of laughs, and there are too many star cameos to count!

Ben 6 out of 10
Barry 5 out of 10

http://www.absolutelyfabulousthemovie.co.uk

Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)

3 July 2016

Wine Tasting

Today Barry, Keith, Dawn and I headed for their Christmas present, a meal in Whiteley followed by a trip to Three Choirs Vineyard in Shedfield. We tried a nice glass of not-Champagne, made in Hampshire using the exact same process at Champagne, but they're not allowed to call it Champagne! Followed by three more samples with matched cheeses. Finally a visit to the shop allowed us to taste even more wines!




26 June 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence 3D D-BOX Movie Review

I had high hopes for this film, after rewatching the 1996 original, but it seems to fail on most levels. Yes the alien ship is bigger and meaner, but it doesn't seem to quite have the same impact. The original had the build up, and the effects of the monuments being destroyed was jaw dropping back then. However fast forward to 2016 and the CGI ships sucking up cities and big cheesy aliens just don't seem right. The movie jumps around all over the shop too, from Earth to the Moon to outer space and back to Area 51, all strung together by C-list actors who you don't really care about spewing up loads of cheesy one liners. So while it has all the elements of a great sci-fi follow up, it just doesn't hang together very well.

The 3D is very forgettable and the D-BOX did very little for this movie.

Ben 6 out of 10 (6 with D-BOX)
Barry 8 out of 10 (8 with D-BOX)

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

19 June 2016

Secret Life of Pets 3D Movie Review

We'd been loving all the trailers for this film and decided to go see the early previews, we weren't disappointed. Even though the poster says from creators of Despicable Me, this is actually the superior film. Max the dog is happy and content with his owner, patiently waiting every day by the door, until one day she turns the tables and brings home Duke from the dog pound. They then try and get rid of each other and end up stray and int he pound again. Its upto all the other pets to then head off on an adventure and find them. There are loads of pet-isms in this film, and imagination really shines through in what the pets get upto while their owners are away. Its a shame though that many of them were shown in the trailers. Despite all this, it still manages to be an excellent film. The 3D also certainly pops at times. Well worth seeing.

Ben 8 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

http://www.thesecretlifeofpets.co.uk

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

4 June 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows 3D Movie Review

So after Michael Bay ruined Transformers and the first Turtles film, he actually seems to have redeemed himself with Turtles 2! There is more Shredder, Krang makes an appearance, as do Bebop and Rocksteady, there is less whiney reporter sidekick and more kickass Casey Jones. Everything seems to have been corrected. Even the turtle stunt scenes and quips are spot on. This is still a huge kids film at heart, but some great escapism for adults too!

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 6 out of 10

http://www.teenagemutantninjaturtlesmovie.com





Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)


30 May 2016

Warcraft: The Beginning 3D Movie Review

It's Bank Holiday Monday and theres not a lot on at the cinema! The trailers for Warcraft looked LOTRingy, so we decided to chance it. Unfortunately it was story light and CGI heavy. The orcs have teamed up with a double crossing human to bring their army over from their dying planet to ours and basically wipe us out. Thats the entire story for the whole film. Theres then lots of CGI things chopping other CGI things with the odd bumbling bit of dialogue thrown in. I didn't think this would make it to its sequel until the Chinese went mad for it (but they love the game too much too).

Ben 5 out of 10
Barry 5 out of 10

http://www.warcraftmovie.com



Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)


29 May 2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass 3D D-BOX Movie Review

Time for some more weirdness with Alice the Mad Hatter and Co. Weren't entirely convinced to go and see this after the first one, but there wasn't much else on! Alice returns to Wonderland to find the Hatter ill, because he has lost his family and its Alice's job to travel through time to try and find out what happened to them. We actually meet the bizarre Time, played by Baron Cohen and through the time travelling story we learn of Hatter and Queen of Hearts back stories. I actually think this is the better story and movie, but its just too strange for me.

The 3D didn't really pop again. They seriously need to sort 3D out in the cinema, its just something they are tagging onto films to jack the price up without actually delivering anything visual! The D-BOX on the other hand was great in this film, as there were lots time travelling flying sequences and the chairs we moving around all over.

Ben 6 out of 10 (8 out of 10 with D-BOX)
Barry 6 out of 10 (6 out of 10 with D-BOX)

http://movies.disney.co.uk/alice-through-the-looking-glass

Sleep Rating: 1 pillow (light dozing, good film)


21 May 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse 3D D-BOX Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse is the 3rd film in the prequel X-Men trilogy and boy does it deliver. Forget the moans about Apocalypse looking weird, this is a great film! A cult go looking for the remains of an ancient Egyptian God, who is really a mutant who can gather other mutants powers. He's already gathered eternal life power, but now he wants the Professor's mind control so he can wipe out humanity and mutants can rule. He sees humans as imposing too many rules and that mutant powers should ultimately rule. There's a huge cast, which is well juggled. Newcomers to the franchise are well catered for and you find out some back stories for Storm and Cyclops. Even Wolverine manages to pop up again! All three of these prequels have been superb.

3D isn't jaw dropping, but the D-BOX chairs really added to the mutant power scenes, you could literally feel their power coursing through you, even before they were shown on screen.


Ben 9 out of 10 (10 with D-BOX)
Barry 9 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/x-men-apocalypse

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

14 May 2016

Axes and Pigeons

We headed to Southern Pursuits in Crawley today with Keith and Dawn for our Christmas present from Beryl and Ray. Axe Throwing and Clay Pigeon Shooting was on the agenda!

1 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War 3D D-BOX Movie Review

Captain America 3 certainly has loads more characters in it than just Captain America! Its billed as Avengers 2.5 and certainly lives up to this claim. The war between Avengers kicks off in style over a new measure designed to keep them under control. Some agree and sign, others are dead against as its used to cover up something more sinister. There are some epic scenes in this film, and an absolutely classic fight at the airport. Marvel certainly are putting the nails in DCs franchise when they can keep making films this good. A definite cinema treat.

The 3D is a bit of a miss, but the D-BOX chairs certainly pack a punch in all the fight scenes.

Ben 9 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
Barry 8 out of 10 (8 with D-BOX)

http://marvel.com/captainamericapremiere

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

24 April 2016

Sunset from Pacific Park

On our final night we headed to Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and we managed to time a ride on the big wheel with a perfect sunset.





10 Cloverfield Lane Movie Review

Quick Review - Goodman locks a girl in a bunker along with someone who has been helping him build it. There has been an "event" and you're not quite sure if Goodman is telling the truth or deadly creepy. The suspense builds in this slow burner.

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

http://www.10cloverfieldlane.com

Sleep Rating: No pillows (great film, wide awake)

23 April 2016

Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Quick Review - Prequel to Snow White, this film is complete contract filler. Trudging around after the lost mirror, a forced love interest and a dropped in ice queen and some dwarves. You are left with a mixed bag of rubbish.

Ben 4 out of 10
Barry 5 out of 10

http://www.huntsmanmovie.co.uk

Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)

22 April 2016

Parasailing to Santa Monica Pier

Headed down to Marina del Rey today to hitch a ride on a speedboat to parasail all the way back to Santa Monica Pier. It was a perfect clear day and at 800ft in the air we had perfect views.

21 April 2016

The Boss Movie Review

McCarthy plays a billionaire who gets caught insider trading. One minute she has everything and rides in to conferences on a golden eagle, the next she is in prison and penniless. With nowhere to turn she ends up sleeping on her assistants couch, gets involved with family life and sees a brownie rival to Girl Scout cookies as her way back to the top. What follows is a hilarious over the top all out street battle with the Girl Scouts. While its cut throat, there is also a warming message behind why she is doing it. Funny for the most part all the way though, McCarthy nails it yet again, following a string of comedies from Spy, Tammy and Heat.

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

http://www.thebossfilm.com

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

Segway to Muscle Beach

Tried a different form of transport, other than Bike to get around today, so we rented a couple of Segways for 2 hours.

19 April 2016

Observatory Visit

Rented a car and headed up to Griffith Park to the Observatory. Great views up here of LA and the Hollywood sign. Watched "Our Place in the Universe" in the planetarium, their shows are always great, looking up at the projected star dome.



18 April 2016

Universal Studios Hollywood


As Hogwarts opened in Hollywood last week, it would be rude not to visit! Surprised how quiet it was and the longest queue was Harry Potter and a tiny 25 minutes! We hit all the rides like Transformers, Mummy, Back Lot and Minions.


17 April 2016

Jungle Book 3D Movie Review

A live action Jungle Book full of CGI creatures was either gonna work or be entirely ruined by shoddy animals. Luckily Disney seem to have actually pulled it out of the bag. A slightly tweaked story from the animated version, and only a couple of paired back songs survive, but the rest is pretty much the same. There are also some unnecessary scary or tense scenes, which is surprising as this is aimed at kids, which could have been dealt with better. On the whole I really enjoyed it, however Barry had a Marmite moment and completely didn't, the CGI animals just didn't fit with him.

Ben 8 out of 10
Barry 4 out of 10

http://movies.disney.com/the-jungle-book-2016




Sleep Rating: 1 pillow (light dozing, good film)


Bike Ride to Muscle Beach


Sunday morning and we rented bikes from by Santa Monica Pier and cycled all the way to Venice Beach Pier. 



16 April 2016

And We've Arrived


A quick trot down to the beach on Sunday morning and we learn that Google Maps slightly lies about its walking speed, in that it's actually much less walking than it says!

27 March 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 3D D-BOX Movie Review

This film has been plugged and teased to death over the last few months (and we managed to avoid most of it). Its also had some stinker reviews, but let me reassure you they are wrong. Yes its very dark both in message and tone. Yes its got lots going on, but it just about manages to handle it, with a Batman intro story, a link to Man of Steel, introducing Wonder Woman and flashes to Justice League all worked into the Batman v Superman fight. The overall film is about the people wanting answers from Superman after destroying Metropolis and Batman's revenge for said act. Little do either of them know that Lex Luthor is pulling their strings and pitting them against each other, with the final showdown (spoiled for some reason in the trailer again like Terminator!) actually pulling them together. I really can't figure out why they spoiled the main reveal again in the trailer, the marketing people should be shot. Is there no mystery left in going to see a film, why can't people just wait?!?! Anyway, ignore the critic reviews and go see this now, just don't expect it to be an uplifting bright comic book film!

Ben 9 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)
Barry 9 out of 10 (9 with D-BOX)

http://batmanvsuperman.dccomics.com

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

13 March 2016

Allegiant Movie Review

So Jeanine (Winslet) is dead and replaced by the equally awful mother of Four, Evelyn (Watts). So the gang decide to escape over the wall of the city, which no one has even though about doing in 200 years (yeah right). And when they get out all is not as it seems and they are greeted by another group of people that say they have been observing them, and again decide to segregate their jobs in the grubby Chicago airport, while they live in their shiney sparkly tower, of course they have nothing to be suspicious about (not). This is all getting far to samey (Hunger Games/Maze Runner) and the people are just too naive and stupid and by now I have lost all sympathy for them and the story as a whole. Snoreville. Can you believe there is another one of these to come?!

Ben 4 out of 10
Barry 4 out of 10

http://www.thedivergentseries.movie/#allegiant/

Sleep Rating: 2 pillows (semi conscious, mediocre film)


10 March 2016

Raiders of the Lost Ark LIVE!

Went to the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday night for Barry's Christmas present to see Raiders of the Lost Ark accompanied by the live 21st Century Orchestra. It was excellent, but weird, as the music was given the focus so all the sound effects like bullets and punches were very muted, so made the film look a bit amateurish! Still and excellent experience.

6 March 2016

London Has Fallen Movie Review

More of the same on London Has Fallen in this sequel to Olympus Has Fallen. If you're expecting more than bullets flying, things blowing up and people dying in set piece after set piece of action, then you're missing the point of these films. Turn your brain off and enjoy the carnage. This is your typical "ye-ha" American film, as most world leaders apart from the US president get killed (of course), and the terrorists are trying to nab him to execute him live on the internet. There are a few twists and turns and an undercover mole in the UK forces which add a bit to the story, but somehow this doesn't seem quick as exciting as Olympus. Still worth a watch if you just want to see stuff destroyed.

Ben 7 out of 10
Barry 7 out of 10

http://www.londonhasfallen.com

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

13 February 2016

Deadpool D-BOX Movie Review

Deadpool is not your typical Marvel superhero movie, and definitely earns its 15 certificate. From Deadpool's pretty horrific tortured transformation to the odd decapitated flying head and the bucket load of swearing. The whole film though is done very tongue in cheek with lots of comedy throughout. The story style is well done using flashbacks to his origin story mixed in the middle of action sequences. This is also one of the only Marvel films to bring all franchises under one movie, with a visit to X-Men School and an Avengers Helicarrier, plus pretty much unneeded support by Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead(!). Reynolds is superb as Deadpool, even making cracks at his previous Green Lantern characters expense. Even the english baddy Ajax, played by Transported Refuelled Skrein is actually bad. Definitely worth seeing now!

The D-BOX moving chairs add great thumps to fights and rumbles to chase sequences.

Ben 8 out of 10 (8 with D-BOX)
Barry 8 out of 10 (8 with D-BOX)

http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/deadpool

Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)

31 January 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D IMAX Movie Review

For our 2nd time viewing this film, we saw it at the London IMAX, with its full on 3 story high screen. The screen and sound in IMAX like this is immense and totally immersive and well worth paying the extra money for the experience. I was a little disappointed that it never went full screen, as I thought there were specific IMAX pieces filmed, but it remained letterboxed throughout. The sound was full on rumble-tastic!

Update: We have since seen this for a 3rd time at the Chichester IMAX. I don't think we're going to get tired of this film!

Ben 10 out of 10
Barry 10 out of 10

http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/


Sleep Rating: No pillows! (wide awake, great film)