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A few reviews
I got the Arrow Hellraiser blu-ray boxset (the first 3) for Christmas. I'd maybe seen the first a long time ago...?

Hellraiser (1987)
The decision to switch the film's setting from London? to New York? in post-production was not a good choice. The bad dubbing of the supporting cast is unintentionally hilarious, the almost total absence of exterior establishing footage (that would've been too blatantly English I guess?) makes the film feel small.  Even then, there is no disguising that the house where 95% of the movie occurs is a characteristically English suburban design (very like my Gran's old house Big Grin ). I found it quite distracting but also fascinating. All that aside, the Cenobite costume designs are totally iconic and brilliantly and darkly imaginative, as are the stomach-churning and realistic makeup jobs.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
The 'Bride of Frankenstein' of this series, with Dr. Channard instead of Dr. Pretorius and Clare Higgins character resurrected in similar bandages. The plot stretches credibility and logic, taking place exactly where the last film finished but then almost instantly going in a slightly different direction. Setting half of the film in an M.C. Esher style hell-scape was ambitious but unwise when they'd only got a limited budget that stretched to a couple of corridors and one matte-painting. The development of the Pinhead character was excellent, even eliciting some sympathy and warmth. Probably a slight improvement on the first.

Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
This looks a lot more high gloss and less confined than the first two films but it's a much more conventional Horror film. Some of the disturbing edginess is lost, even though the gore is dialed up a notch. The characters are initially engaging but never really go anywhere after Pinhead is resurrected. All the Pinhead backstory material was great as was Doug Bradley's performance as his alter-ego Captain Elliott Spencer. The least of the three in my opinion.

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Hellraiser 1 & 2 = Awesome
Hellraiser 4 = Not bad
Hellraiser 3 & 5-10 = Awful
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I watched the first Hellraiser sometime in 2018 or 2017 or 2016, I forget which, for my father's podcast. I absolutely loved it, and I've been meaning to watch the others, especially 2, 3, 4, and Hell World.
Mega Man is best game.
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The Entertainer (1960)
Seamlessly intertwining resonant themes, the painfully slow end to the career of Archie Rice, a British Music-Hall/Vaudeville comedian (Laurence Olivier), the ruin of his finances, his sham marriage and the dissolution of his family, the fading glamour of a seaside resort and the recent 1956 Suez-Crisis (the symbolic end of the British Empire). The ghosts of England's past are cleverly evoked with the casting of the charming and lovely Roger Livesey as Archie's more successful father (who was symbolic of the decline of Empire in the Colonel Blimp movie). Everybody loves him, even if he's a silly old fool because he reminds people of better days, Archie just reeks of failure. Sometimes Olivier can be very good and sometimes a bit hammy but he is on incredible form here playing a crumpled, defeated man who faces the word with a showbiz smile but is "dead behind the eyes" (the character's own words). The soundtrack is full of half heard, half remembered old Music-Hall songs, leaving the viewer in a constant state of nostalgia for something past. A work of quiet genius.



Babylon (1980)
A great snapshot of Working-Class Jamaican 2nd-generation immigrant culture in London's Brixton area. Despite the micro budget and the anti-establishment edge of the subject, multi-Oscar winning Cinematographer Chris Menges makes it all look very classy. Aswad's Brinsley Forde stars as "Blue" a Sound system MC struggling against racism and general deprivation. Amazing soundtrack too.

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(01-05-2019, 04:09 PM)Neglify Wrote: Hellraiser 1 & 2 = Awesome
Hellraiser 4 = Not bad
Hellraiser 3 & 5-10 = Awful

I found Hellraiser III watchable, but then that could just be because of Terry Farrell. Everything becomes 30% more watchable when she's on-screen.
"Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."

Bhagavad Gita 2:12
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(01-06-2019, 03:37 PM)Duragizer Wrote:
(01-05-2019, 04:09 PM)Neglify Wrote: Hellraiser 1 & 2 = Awesome
Hellraiser 4 = Not bad
Hellraiser 3 & 5-10 = Awful

I found Hellraiser III watchable, but then that could just be because of Terry Farrell. Everything becomes 30% more watchable when she's on-screen.

[Image: 45912670034_c4277a6dcf_o.png]

Totally, which did make this scene unintentionally hilarious as her character is giving a speech about not wanting to be successful by dressing in sexy clothes... oh really Big Grin .
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Apostle (2018)
Netflix-financed post 'The Raid' Victorian Horror film from Welsh Writer/Director Gareth Evans. At first you think this going to be like 'The Wicker Man', then it brings in flavours of 'The Crucible', Ken Russell's 'The Devils', Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' and Francis Ford Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now', before finally descending into 'The Evil Dead' and 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' level blood-drenched madness. The Cinematography evokes Sepia daguerreotypes, the expert pacing raises constantly in intensity and some of the grim gore would make Torquemada himself wince. In a year of well reviewed Horror films, this one doesn't seem to have attracted the same attention for some reason.



Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)
Channel 4/HBO TV-movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rory Kinnear as the two men running the official Leave and Remain campaigns during the 2016 referendum. It takes a similar approach to 'The Big Short', playing fast and loose with details in the name of an entertaining narrative. It's satisfying, humerous and depressing to relive the whole thing in 2-hours.



Creed II: Cruise Control (2018)
Everything fans of the first film will be looking for... just not done quite as well somehow. Ryan Coogler's assured Direction was a big factor in why 'Creed' was so good but new Director Steven Caple Jr. doesn't have the same flair. This sequel needed Coogler to take this decent script and excellent cast and give it that final sparkle. The big rumble was an emotional rush, aided by Ludwig Göransson's well judged score and I almost, almost blubbed at the end. Who would've guessed that Dolph Lundgren would give the best performance.

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Dumplin' (2018)
Netflix's 'Dumplin' is like this year's 'Ladybird' but it's more down-to-earth, less hipster-quirky and with a bigger heart. There is no villain, or even a single mean person in the movie. For a story set in the usually painfully cliched and angry genre of coming-of-age/high-school movies, this is clearly a deliberate creative choice. The "antagonist" is just self-doubt and that's enough to cause all the drama. It's about loving yourself and appreciating your friends and family for who they are. The Soundtrack is provided by fantastic Dolly Parton songs, old and new. This left me with a big smile on my face and a little tear in the eye. It might be one of my favourites of 2018.

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The Terminator (1984)
I used to watch a TV taping of this (with Director Alex Cox introducing it) on a loop as a teen but this was the first time I've seen it in years (on blu-ray). A masterpiece of Directing, Writing and Editing from James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd. I noticed that Paul Winfield's police Lieutenant character is fully fleshed out in his first shot, before he evens opens his mouth just by the way he reacts to something in the frame (such efficiency). I wish the sequels had maintained the visceral and violent reality of this first entry... in fact I kinda wish there were no sequels.

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What an informative introduction. Thanks for sharing.
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