Science Fiction and Fantasy Film and TV Reviews by Title: M.

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M.R. James: Casting The Runes
01/09/2007. Region 2 DVD. pub: Network 7952765. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). 1 DVD 50 minute episode plus a 50 minute documentary and 25 minute play) stars: Iain Cuthbertson, Jan Francis, Bernard Gallagher and Joann Durham.

Madagascar: Frank's Take
01/07/2005. In the DreamWorks family flick Madagascar, we're treated to an innocuously animal-oriented fable that will no doubt entertain the kiddie masses with its infectious silliness. However, the slight knock on Madagascar may be its surprisingly plain and punchless presentation that doesn't necessarily make anyone forget about the thriving vibes of a Toy Story or understated sweetness of the uneven Ice Age.

Man on Fire: Mark's Take
01/05/2005. A guilt-ridden but very deadly assassin drops his defenses to love the little girl he has been hired to guard. When she is kidnapped he returns to the violence that he knows best. Denzel Washington brings to the screen one more portrait of a bloodthirsty, unstoppable avenger with no bounds. And isn't that an accomplishment, says Mark!

Martian Child (Frank's take)
01/12/2007. Droopy-faced, puppy-dog eyed John Cusack has been charming movie audiences for many years with his ability to convey a dripping sentimentality in feel-good cinema. Cusack has grown up before our very presence as a different kind of tortured teen in cinema-amiably unsure, sensitive, romantic, gently flawed, understanding and introspective. Thankfully, finds Frank, forty-something Cusack hasn't shied away from this on-screen trademark persona in adult life, either.

Masters Of Science Fiction
01/02/2010. region 2 DVD. pub: Anchor Bay Entertainment ABD4651. 2DVDs 255 minutes 6 * 43 minute stories. Price: these days I pulled it for about £ 3.00 (UK)) cast across the six stories: Judy Davis, John Hurt, Terry O'Quinn, Sam Waterston, Elisabeth Röhm, James Denton, Brian Dennehy, Ann Heche, James Cronwell, Malcolm McDowell, Clifton Collins Jr and Sean Aston.

Matrix: Reloaded: Geoff's Take
01/11/2003. pub: Warner Bros: S028648. Price: varies from £13.99 to £ 9.99 (UK) so shop around for the best deal). Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishbourne, Carrie-Ann Moss and Hugo Weaving.

May: Mark's Take
01/05/2005. May is a very nasty and disturbing little horror film that the viewer will probably either love or hate, says Mark. Like a road accident it is at once very unpleasant see and at the same time mesmerizing. It manages to be original while giving nods to many of the classics of horror. This is the story of a very disturbed woman with fixations on sewing and body parts and a doll.

Meet the Robinsons (Frank's take)
01/05/2007. Walt Disney Pictures' computer-animated Meet the Robinsons is an actively spunky futuristic sci-fi showcase that doesn't necessarily break the mode when it comes to serving up digital ditties that are wildly imaginative, says Frank. In fact, one would have to question the endless contributors (among them is writer-director-voiceover actor Stephen J. Anderson) that offered their diverse input into a pithy pet project that wouldn't be considered breathtakingly unique. Routinely, Meet the Robinsons has that three-dimensional, old-fashioned Disney Chicken Little/Jimmy Neutron vibe to it that screams instant familiarity.

Meet The Robinsons (Mark's take)
01/05/2007. A foundling and aspiring young inventor travels by time machine several decades into the future and finds a world that has been transformed by a true genius inventor. Now, discovers Mark, he has to deal with the inventor's weird family. The pacing of this 3-D animation film is uneven, from slow and sad to madcap, but eventually all is explained and it turns out to be a decent time travel story.

Men In Black Collector's Edition
01/08/2006. DVD. pub: Columbia CDR 24510. 94 minutes plus loads of extras. Price: £ 4.99 (UK) when I bought it which has to be a bargain). Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino, Vincent D'Onofrio and Rip Torn.

Men in Black III (Frank's take)
01/07/2012. It has been a decade since the last instalment of Men in Black invaded our cinematic sensibilities in 2002. Now ten years later Agents J and K are on the loose yet again to save the world from creepy creatures in the giddy-minded sci-fi chucklefest Men in Black III. No doubt that MIB fans will rejoice in the hyperactive third edition of the frivolous film franchise.

MIIB: Men In Black II (Geoff's take)
01/03/2003. Video: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment/Amblin Entertainment. CVR 32718. 84 minutes. Price: varies upto £11.99 (UK) so shop around.

Millennium (Geoff's take)
01/05/2004. pub: DVD pub: Carlton Visual Entertainment 37115 05873. Price: varies but I got mine for £8.99 (UK). Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Cherryh Ladd and Daniel J. Travanti).

Mirror, Mirror (Frank's take)
01/05/2012. Reinventing a familiar and favourite fairy tale that has been told over and over in many various generational television and movie adaptations is taking on a tall order of high expectations. After all, the gamble is a fifty/fifty proposition—either your latest version is considered ambitious and challenging or foolishly recycled and futile. Well, the latter option is probably the more apt selection in this case.

Misfits DVD
1/01/2010. Region 2 DVD. pub:4DVD B002GV4ORQ. 4 DVDs 6 * 45 minute episodes. Price: £19.99 (UK)). stars: Robert Sheehan, Iwan Rheon, Lauren Socha, Nathan Stewart Jarrett, Antonia Thomas.

Miss Minoes (Mark's take)
01/01/2012. A cat is accidentally turned into a beautiful woman by a toxic waste accident. Minoes, now Miss Minoes, befriends a failing newspaper reporter and uses her network of cat friends to help get the reporter the news stories he needs. Dutch author Annie M. G. Schmidt's 1970 children's book Minoes is adapted for the screen by director Vincent Bal who also co-authored the screenplay. The result is a rather slight but pleasant family fantasy film.

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (Mark's take)
01/02/2012. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol still does not have the hang of what made the TV show so good. Instead of an intelligent puzzle for the viewer, it offers mindless excitement in one action stunt from Tom Cruise after another. But given that it is a Tom Cruise vanity piece and a mindless action film, it is one of the best mindless action films of 2011. Considerably better than the previous entries of the "Mission Impossible" series formerly animation director Brad Bird gives us quite a ride in his first live-action film. The film is a mixed bag of elements, but some are very good.

Mission: Impossible III (Frank's take)
01/06/2006. In the exhilarating and explosive action-packed flick Mission: Impossible III, our Frank sees Cruise takes another roller-coaster ride as IMF agent Ethan Hunt for the third time around. The verdict is swift and crafty: the adrenaline rush that is M:I:3 is convincingly enjoyable-MISSION accomplished.

Monster House (Mark's Take)
01/08/2006. A house possessed by an angry spirit turns into a monster and is ready swallow all the kids in the neighbourhood when they come trick-or-treating one Halloween, says Mark. Three brave kids have to prevent the disaster. Most of the characters are clichés, but the horror shows some imagination.

Monsters (Mark's take)
01/12/2010. As a sort of a road film, the movie 'Monsters' tells the story of two young Americans making their way across a war-ravaged Mexico - where the war is against giant creatures of alien origin. The story is told with a naturalistic style and with the actors improvising with non-actor locals. In the end the film is really about people and not special effects.

Monsters vs. Aliens (Frank's Take)
16/04/2009. Monsters versus Aliens may not be DreamWorks' very best work, says our Frank, but compared with the animated science fiction and fantasy flicks coming out from everyone else, it's still good enough. There are plenty of kicks for us adults, and you can expect your tots to be tickled too.

Monsters vs. Aliens: Mark's take
05/04/2009. This film has a little something for the kids in the audience and a little something for the adults, says Mark, but not so much both can enjoy. The film builds a story of cute monsters defending Earth from ugly aliens. A disenchanted young woman finds herself first turned into a monster and then called upon to save the Earth. The story is largely built from pieces taken from old science fiction films as if they were Lego blocks. For me they were more fun where they got them.

Monsters, Inc (Mark's Take)
01/12/2001. Monsters, Inc, won't get many top ten-film nominations, but it won't get many thumbs down votes either. Monsters, Inc, is cute, likable, and a lot of fun.

Monsters, Inc.
01/10/2002. Pub: Disney/Pixar D610688 PALVHS. 88 minutes featuring the voices of John Goodman and Billy Crystal.

Moon (2009): Rod's take
01/12/2009. Region 2 DVD: pub: Sony Picture Classics CDR60350. 93 minute film with extras. Price: £19.99 (UK). Stars: Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey.

Moon Phase - Phase 2 Vol. 1 episodes 1-5
01/03/2008. Region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72801. 1 DVD 130 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK) Also available in starter set which includes vol 2 and collectors box. £21.99 (UK).

Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 2 episodes 6-10
01/02/2009. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72802. 1 DVD 125 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 3 episodes 11-14
01/12/2009. Region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72803. 1 DVD 105 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5
01/03/2011. Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 5 episodes 19-22. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72805. 1 DVD 125 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: GBP 15.99 (UK).

Moon Phase Phase 2 Vol. 6 episodes 23-26
1/04/2011. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72806. 1 DVD 100 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: GBP 15.99 (UK).

Moon: Rod's take
01/09/2009. pub: Liberty Films/Sony Distribution. 93 minute film on general release. cast: Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey.

Mother's Day (Frank's take)
1/06/2012. It is safe to say that the coat hanger-wielding Joan Crawford from Mommy Dearest has nothing on the menacing mama in the horror sideshow Mother’s Day. Veteran vixen Rebecca DeMornay sinks her teeth into another inspired twisted role as a warped woman with an unstable agenda.

Mushi-Shi Vol. 1 episodes 1-5
02/02/2008. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72901. 1 DVD 165 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK). Mushi-Shi Starter Pack 1 - this contains Vol. 1 and a box for all the volumes. (region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72901. 1 DVD 165 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £21.99 (UK).

Mushi-Shi Vol. 2 episodes 6-10
01/03/2008. Region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72902. 1 DVD 150 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Mushi-Shi Vol. 3 episodes 6-10
01/05/2008. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72903. 1 DVD 150 minutes 5 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Mushi-Shi Vol. 4 episodes 11-14
01/09/2008. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72904. 1 DVD 165 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Mushi-Shi Vol. 5 episodes 19-22
01/11/2008. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. FUN72905. 1 DVD 125 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: £15.99 (UK).

Mushishi (live action) film
01/09/2008. Region 2 DVD. pub: Revolver Entertainment B000YDAJMW. 131 minute film. Price: £19.99 (UK) although can be gotten cheaper if you know where to look at £ 6.98 (UK)). . director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo.

Mutants (Mark's take)
01/04/2010. This 2009 zombie film from France does everything it does well but little that is original. Fans of the zombie sub-genre will get very much what they are expecting whether that is what they really want or not. Two lovers fight to survive in a world over-run but microbe-transformed zombies. Most of the photography is shot though a blue-gray filter to give a downbeat sensibility and a great deal of not-quite-believable stage blood gets dripped, sloshed, spattered, and sneezed.

My Name Is Modesty (Geoff's take)
01/10/2004. pub: DVD: TFI Video. EDV 1035. IDV 526. Price: £16.32 (Euro conversion). stars: Alexandra Staden, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Raymond Cruz, Fred Pearson and Eugenia Yuan.

My Name Is Modesty (Geoff's take)
01/01/2006. DVD: Miramax 31520. Price: $20.99 (US). Region One). stars: Alexandra Staden, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Raymond Cruz, Fred Pearson and Eugenia Yuan.

My Spider Sense is Tingling!
01/06/2002. Mark R. Leeper finds that Sam Raimi does a comic superhero story that is more character-driven than fight driven. Toby McGuire plays Peter Parker, the boy bitten by a spider and finds himself with special spider powers. The film is fairly faithful to the comic book and at the same time is fast-moving and fun.

Mystery And Imagination: The Complete Series DVD
1/07/2010. pub: Network B0000D9GPL. 4 DVDs 580 minutes 8 * 80 minutes episodes. Price £29.99 (UK).

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