CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Hard Evidence (2007, Point-and-Click Mystery Game, 360) – 4/10 review

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Hard Evidence (2007)


This should be a fascinating, informative, wonderfully polished game but a clunky interface (for example, you cannot select menu items using the left stick), genre limitations (you are sometimes expected to see something you need a flashlight to see before you are allowed to use a flashlight) and ugly presentation (no CSI theme, either) make playing this without a walkthrough a chore. Oddly, character’s eyes are surprisingly well animated (as nothing else is), the stories are pretty nifty with some agreeably salacious motives and twists and there is definite potential for this licence in this genre.

This CSI: Crime Scene Investigation game contains adult dialogue and themes, mild swear words and strong violence, extremely unpleasant scenes and sex scene.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987, Super-Hero Movie) – 4/10 review

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Christopher Reeve: Superman / Clark Kent
Gene Hackman: Lex Luthor
Movie Series Instigator: Alexander Salkind
Jackie Cooper: Perry White
Marc McClure: Jimmy Olsen
Jon Cryer: Lenny
Sam Wanamaker: David Warfield
Mark Pillow: Nuclear Man
Mariel Hemingway: Lacy Warfield
Margot Kidder: Lois Lane
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Jerry Siegel
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Superman: Joe Shuster
Writer (Story): Lawrence Konner
Writer (Story): Mark Rosenthal
Writer (Screenplay): Lawrence Konner
Writer (Screenplay): Mark Rosenthal
Producer: Menahem Golan
Producer: Yoram Globus
Susannah York:

Superman IV: Quest for Peace, The (1987)

Superman volunteers to remove all the nuclear armaments in the world and guarantee world peace. Lex Luthor spots an opportunity to use Superman’s preferred disposal site, the Sun, to create a Nuclear Man.


If Richard Lester took the series to the point of death and placed it in a coffin, the incredibly untalented Sidney J. Furie (a man who has never made a good film and, yes, I have seen The Ipcress File) hammered the final nail in, placed the coffin six feet under and buried it. On the moon. In slow-motion. While Christopher Reeve as Superman and Clark Kent remains definitive, this movie is rescued by the unfettered awesomely immodest genius of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. Whenever he’s on-screen spouting about his staggering amazingness, the film is fun. There is also a kernel of an interesting idea here as Superman exercises his godship and wades into human affairs but what ended up on screen doesn’t make an apeth of sense. Elsewhere, this is so rubbish that you rather feel sorry for it.

This movie contains fantasy violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

The A-Team 1.01,02 Mexican Slayride (1983, TV) – 4/10 review

George Peppard: John "Hannibal" Smith
Melinda Culea: Amy Amanda Allen
Tim Dunigan: Templeton "Face" Peck
Dwight Schultz: "Howling Mad" Murdock
Mr. T: Bosco "B.A." Baracus
Executive Producer: Stephen J. Cannell
Co-Executive Producer: Frank Lupo
Writer (Series’ Creator): Frank Lupo
Writer (Series’ Creator): Stephen J. Cannell
Writer: Frank Lupo
Writer: Stephen J. Cannell
Director: Rod Holcomb
William Lucking: Colonel Lynch
Philip Sterling: Grant Eldridge
Sergio Calderon: Valdez
Ron Palillo:
Melody Anderson: Avon – Airplane Salesgirl
William Windom: Al Massey
Stunt Coordinator: Craig R. Baxley
Second Unit Director: Craig R. Baxley

A-Team, The 1.01,02 Mexican Slayride (1983)

Reporter Al Massey gets himself kidnapped in Mexico but friend and fellow reporter Amy Allen can’t get anyone to help or take her seriously when he doesn’t report in. She hears about a team of mercenaries called the A-Team and sets out to find if they really exist and if she can hire them.


It’s rather difficult to see what made the A-Team such a successful show from this pilot. It doesn’t have an interesting or even convincing story and the script is regularly so awful, it is as if the makers presume audiences don’t watch their show with the sound on. George Peppard doesn’t even play himself all the way through enlisting a back-of-wig double even for some dialogue scenes. The two things that do stand out about this pilot episode are a number of terrific vehicle stunts and, unforgettably, Mr T. He delivers the gruff exterior / sweet interior character with considerable charm and charisma and would be rewarded by becoming an international icon.

This A-Team, The episode contains bad language and violence.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007, Game, 360) – 4/10 review

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)


This is a real shame. For a good while, this game works well. It’s simple to play (though, typically for movie games, the controls feel more complicated than they are), looks quite nice and progress is tangible and smooth. As we reach the At World’s End portion of the game, though, the developers decide to drag out the game by making the combat sequences and duels go on for far too long. As both elements are extremely simple or uninvolving, the earlier, shorter bursts (defeating half-a-dozen dudes, for example) are okay while later battles drag on wearily. Oh, and, bizarrely, Jack can’t swim. In the end, the game is tiresome but it was nearly a very decent movie tie-in.

This game contains mild abusive language and extended, occasionally strong, sword violence, extended melee violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Alone in the Dark (2008, Game, 360) – 4/10 review

Director: David Nadal
Lead Game Designer: Hervé Sliwa

Alone in the Dark (2008)

A man comes to in an apartment building in New York City but has not idea who he is and why the building appears to be eating people and crumbling to pieces around him.


How come no-one at any point during development pointed out that the game (on 360) was virtually uncontrollable and wilfully ignores what the user does? It’s a gigantic shame as the game, with normal human controls, would be nearly very good. As it is, this is something of a glorious failure that fits in perfectly with Atari’s company policy of releasing broken games. Just to make sure there is absolutely no good will toward the legion of should-be-great moments, brilliant puzzling and super ideas, Eden Games inserted a soul-sucking sequence of horribly elongated gameplay (burning roots) which goes against the pace of the rest of the game. The final√© is largely cool, though, involving terrific simple-but-satisfying light puzzles, a satisfying baddie despatch but then, again, undermines itself with a where-do-I-go driving sequence and a world-ending decision to make without any information to base that decision upon. As it turns out, SPOILER out your decision is meaningless. Great.

This game contains frequent sexual swear words and strong melee violence, strong blade violence, strong gun violence, graphic fire violence, strong horror violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, single instance of extreme and extremely graphic gun violence in cut-scene and sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008, Movie) – 4/10 review

Producer: Mark Johnson
Director: Andrew Adamson
Writer (Original Book): C.S. Lewis
Georgie Henley: Lucy Pevensie
Skandar Keynes: Edmund Pevensie
William Moseley: Peter Pevensie
Anna Popplewell: Susan Pevensie
Ben Barnes: Prince Caspian
Peter Dinklage: Trumpkin
Pierfrancesco Favino: General Glozelle
Sergio Castellitto: Miraz
Producer: Andrew Adamson
Producer: Philip Steuer
Writer (Screenplay): Andrew Adamson
Writer (Screenplay): Christopher Markus
Writer (Screenplay): Stephen McFeely
Tilda Swinton: The White Witch
Liam Neeson: Aslan
Eddie Izzard: Voice of Reepicheep

Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian (2008)

The Pevensie children are called back to Narnia by a magic horn blown by Prince Caspian, on the run from his uncle who wants to rule the world for himself.


It never ceases to amaze me the number of filmmakers who insist on making their lead characters difficult to like. While the children were quite good in the first film, here they are difficult to stomach. Normally, having a bad guy that is more tolerable than your nominated heroes would be a movie’s most significant mistake but writer / director Andrew Adamson manages to make an even bigger mistake: this $200 million movie (where a mouse slits a guys throat) is bor-or-ring. It should also probably be pointed out that this is a film about children killing countless dudes. Now the final battle is pretty strong (nearly makes the movie worth sitting through) and makes an interesting comparison to an earlier castle raid which had been added by the filmmakers. The castle raid is shapeless, unimaginative, uninvolving and uninteresting and none of the characters play to their strengths. The final battle is imaginative, spectacular and features clear and interesting tactics and balance of power. In summary, read the book; it’s good, this isn’t.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


Dollhouse 1.02 The Target (2009, TV) – 4/10 review

Eliza Dushku: Echo
Harry J. Lennix: Boyd Langton
Fran Kranz: Topher Brink
Tahmoh Penikett: Paul Ballard
Enver Gjokaj: Lukov
Dichen Lachman: Sierra
Olivia Williams: Adelle DeWitt
Writer (Series’ Creator): Joss Whedon
Amy Acker: Dr. Claire Saunders
Reed Diamond: Laurence Dominic
Matt Keeslar: Richard Connell
Miracle Laurie: Mellie
Rich McDonald: Park Ranger in Truck
Mark Sheppard: Tanaka
Tim Conlon: Shaw
Producer: Eliza Dushku
Consulting Producer: Steven S. DeKnight
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Writer: Steven S. DeKnight
Director: Steven S. DeKnight

Dollhouse 1.02 Target, The (2009)

Boyd Langton is brought in to be Echo’s handler and bodyguard after a previous doll goes on a murderous rampage. Fortunately, nobody misses any of the dead people so the Dollhouse can continue without effect. Echo is imprinted to be the perfect girlfriend for outdoor type Richard Connell.


Despite the well-misdirected emergence of the SPOILER The Most Dangerous Game / Hard Target plot, this is a woefully unconvincing episode. The problems starts with Eliza Dushku’s slightly inadequate acting; she cannot project the empty innocence of her shell and can’t quite make her imprinted personality completely believable (and she’s not a good enough actress for that to be intentional). The problem for just about all the rest of the principle cast is that their characters are such dull or unpleasant archetypes: the maverick FBI agent whom everyone makes fun of, a girl-next-door in love, a hard-bitten bodyguard trying to remain unattached, a quirky trendy boffin, a hard-as-nails career boss woman, an uppity second-in-command. Creator Joss Whedon clearly likes Alias but this imitation is not flattering, just embarrassing.

This Dollhouse episode contains mild swear words and gory and very unpleasant scenes, graphic gun violence, graphic arrow violence and nudity, sexuality.