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By midlandsmovies, Aug 26 2016 04:07PM

In August 2016 we ran a competition to win a copy of 6 classic DVDs courtesy of Simply Home Entertainment who are the UK's largest DVD and CD mail order business.

You can follow them at @Simply_HE or order from their website www.simplyhe.co.uk

With over 400 entrants who followed us on Twitter and Retweeted the competition tweet Midlands Movies posted, we pulled one winner out at random on August 26th and the person who has won the lucky prize is....

Twitter user @TonyEarnshaw

Congratulations Tony and get in touch with your address and details to claim you prize

You join other lucky Midlands Movies winners here: www.midlandsmovies.com/blog/4558436876/Competition-Winners/7531484

Thanks to everyone who entered and we have more competitions coming very very soon

Midlands Movies

By midlandsmovies, Oct 13 2013 12:17PM

Jobs (2013) Dir. Joshua Michael Stern

Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect, That 70s Show) stars as Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers in this biopic about the hippy who wanted to change the world. We follow Jobs from his early days bucking the system (firstly against James Woods representing the educational establishment) before finding himself in India then planting the first seeds of his plans linking technology with the mass public. Kutcher is very watchable as he plays all of Jobs’ core traits from his early days at Atari through to his founding of Apple. Director Stern doesn’t stray too far away from a clichéd formula as we get moody piano refrains and stirring strings in this cheese fest that could be served with crackers.

The film has an amusing scene when Jobs and Wozniak discuss the use of the name Apple (predicting later court cases with The Beatles’ label of the same name) but what tries to be profound has more in common with the large conglomerate Pepsi, a company whose marketing manager switches to Apple, in that these objects (fizzy “soda” and PCs) are essentially a life luxury that they convince populations they need. The film’s closest comparison is with Fincher's Social Network but the inter-boardroom battles between the bare-feet dreamer and the money-men are more akin to a TV movie. Rather than the modern edge of that film, the director goes for the “soft” tone of an Almost Famous with 70s rock soundtracking the soldering of circuit boards and geeks imagined as easy-riders and revolutionists. In an attempt to make it cool, it subsequently fails to be anything but. Dressing up the 70s as a golden and delicious era, the film is as superficial as Apple products – so a pretty accurate representation of their inventions which are often all smooth gloss and no soul.

The tale continues with Jobs germinating his ideas and his girlfriend as he launches the Apple II computer at the West Coast Computer Faire and does his first crowd-pleasing speech which many a passerby would know him from in his later life. Long tracking shots of Jobs from behind suggest we are all literally walking in his footsteps whilst his house is decorated with a portrait of Einstein, who changed our views on science but to me (and in this film) Jobs convinced us he created “new” technology but in fact was more focused on convincing the public we all need more “stuff”. Kutcher explains to his company that Apple should represent “social status/currency” which is the fundamental issue I have with the company. It’s the haves and haves not.

As he continues to argue with his team about fonts (again, image over substance), his metaphorical “baby” goes public on the stock market and the fluctuation of share prices maps Jobs’ own obsessions with the new MacIntosh and his increasing rivalry with everyone around him. Matthew Modine (as the ex-Pepsi marketer) becomes CEO and Jobs gets kicked off the Board of Directors like Norman Osborne in an orchard of tried and tested plot points.

Once fallen from his own tree, Jobs at this point returns home and the film becomes overly cloying and Hallmark-y as he literally plants a new seed in his garden (surely to represent his burgeoning family life and the nurturing of a new company before being asked to rejoin Apple 2.0) whilst all I could think of was how the public went mad for similar plastic rubbish the Cabbage Patch Kids around the same time. Jobs ends with him recording a commercial for Apple which funnily enough the movie ends up feeling like, as the core of the film is really about investors and business yet wants to convince the audience it’s about creativity and breaking the mould. The film ultimately is as bland as the characters that inhabit the world and I’m convinced now at least we won’t get the Bill Gates story as we get no juicy insights or depth in a script that feels like it’s cribbed from Jobs’ Wikipedia entry. Some may see this as a paean to their geeky hero but for me it was confirmation of Apple’s worst excesses of superficiality.


Midlands Movies Mike

By midlandsmovies, Jul 31 2013 03:21PM

Guest feature reviewer Marek takes a look at a new Brit-flick in his review of this Zombie-Comedy film from Napoleon Jones. Terrifyingly good or dead from the waist down? Read on...

Stag Night of the Dead (2012)

Director: Napoleon Jones

A British zom-com which came out in the first quarter of 2012, following a group of men (and one stripper) out for some stag night fun with a difference as they embark on a new outdoor experience called Zomball, essentially paintball with zombies, although we cannot forget to mention the almost mandatory group tensions rising to the foreground that these types of movies push as a sub-plot.

The film itself is generally well paced although this drops for a bit in the beginning of the third act, it possess an enjoyable and fun soundtrack and manages to get the tone exactly right, which is paramount to any horror comedy working and thankfully these Brits manage that without losing focus. Meanwhile, a lot of horror fans might be interested in the Fx, and you will be pleased to learn that this film is competent in both respects, although in order to fully appreciate the zombie make up, I would advise that you watch the behind the scenes extras which really give you time to see the creations. However, that is not to say that this was at the detriment to the acting with all characters putting in a great performance, with a particular nod to the female lead coming across like a mixture of Emily Booth and Liz Hurley

Billed as a mix of Shaun of the Dead and American Pie, you know what to expect as it leans more towards humour than hardcore zombie action but this doesn’t detract from the horror action but rather complements it. Essentially this is a perfect choice for a late night beer fuelled watch and if you enjoyed movies such as the NZ zomcom Last of the Living and have a soft spot for a bit of action then this wont disappoint and should be in any self-respecting zombiefiles collection.

Overall, this is an enjoyable movie with a few cheeky nods to its influences, and while I doubt it will win many awards, it will entertain on more than one occasion and also to non-horror fans. Additionally, the extras are what push this over the edge as a great value dvd, leading me to give this a Fundead 8/10.

Midlands Movies Marek

Further information on the movie can be found at http://www.stagnightofthedead.com

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