DVD Times Contributors

Colin Polonowski (Editor) colin@dvdtimes.co.uk | 32994457 | ColinP_2002

In between stopping fights on The DVD Forums and doing his regular day job, Colin somehow manages to find time to run the mess that is DVD Times. On occasion he may even post a news item or even a review. He's one of those people that likes pretty much anything as far as films are concerned but still can't see what all the fuss was about with Pulp Fiction or Traffic. However, since getting 'into DVD' his exposure to weird foreign films has increased a ten-fold. He's now picked up an expensive taste in Japanese animation which isn't helping in his quest to save money.

One day, Colin would like to be able to retire to a hot sunny place on the money he makes from DVD Times, but that doesn't look like a very realistic option seeing as the site costs as much to run as it makes. Still he's deluded enough to hold out hope.

View Colin Polonowski's DVD Reviews

Dave Foster (Assistant Editor/Reviewer) davefoster@dvdtimes.co.uk

Once a budding journalist working on videogame magazines in senior school Dave soon traded in those ambitions to embrace the world of IT whole-heartedly. Whether or not that was a good move is yet to be proven, but in the mean time thanks to his love of Japanese anime and a DVDForums review of Kiki's Delivery Service back in June 2001 he was given the opportunity to head back to his roots and actually get published via DVDTimes.

Dave's passion for Asian Cinema has taken a ferocious hold since the advent of DVD and as such his review list reflects that fact. From the tender tales of Miyazaki to the exquisite martial arts choreography of Hong Kong's most famous Dave loves it all and feels privileged to be given the opportunity to write about those movies, and from time to time even gives the occasional western production a go.

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Bex (Reviewer)

Bex is a female sci-fi geek who watches way too much TV for her own good. Additionally, she is rarely seen in the cold light of day, instead choosing to communicate with the world via the internet. Because of this she is often mistaken for a construct and only a small circle of people know the truth about her.

On DVD she likes TV series and a diverse range of often fairly mainstream films, alongside her first love and refuge of sci-fi/fantasy. She's equally likely to watch a stupid teen flick as she is to go to arthouse, displaying a worrying level of schizoid tendencies.

View Bex's DVD Reviews

Iain Boulton (Reviewer)

Actor (small bit player for his school)

Writer (well fan fic writer)

School Film Club Director (not a major film company

Philosopher (learning which came first, the chicken or the egg)

and DVD Reviewer (Amatuer envolving into professional)

Iain Boulton is obviously a little too much fond of films, animation, and anime.


Before becoming apart of DVD Times. Iain began writing fan fictions up on the internet from the tiny fragments of insane imagations. Most of these stories have been inspired from some of his favourite animated/anime shows or his favourite films. Some have already been nominated for some awards at one site.

Iain has also got a keen interest in films as well as he is directing and starring in a film he is filming at Reading Blue Coat School while in the midsts of A-Level. Iain has done dvd reviews before coming to DVD Times. DVD Toons holds a small collection of his anime dvd reviews.

As already mentioned. Iain's main interests are in the film gene. He has a strong passion for films of all varities and has a stronger passion for anime. His dream in life is to direct animation that adults will enjoy....instead of falling asleep. That or big loud noisy films that are very strange to understand. Until something happens, he'll be here to review dvds while writing some silly stories on another site. His mind is turning/thinking/dreaming and it can be said that what might be considered insane to others will be considered genius to this man.

View Iain Boulton's DVD Reviews

Mark Boydell (Reviewer)

Due to France's lax rating system, Mark spent his childhood being dragged along to art-house films by his beloved parents. Since then he has been oft termed a cultural snob by his UK friends, but has been trying very hard to shake off that incongruent label.

Although he has seen a great deal of Hollywood films and even enjoyed some of then, his true interest does remain with European cinema and the US independent scene. It has been claimed that he will enjoy anything with subtitles and/or in the correct aspect ratio - maybe an oversimplification but a good rule of thumb. He can bore you senseless about the likes of Wim Wenders, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Woody Allen, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Bertrand Tavernier and will watch anything that features his favourite actors/actresses in it - he even stooped so low as to watch US Marshalls just to see Irène Jacob in it. Doesn't the man have any self-respect?

View Mark Boydell's DVD Reviews

Michael Brooke (Reviewer)

Despite his formidable reputation as a fount of all knowledge filmwise, Michael has to confess that he hasn't actually seen The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Braveheart, Dances with Wolves, Forrest Gump, The Phantom Menace, and indeed roughly half the films on the American Film Institute's Top 100 list, despite a CV that includes six years managing Hampstead's legendary Everyman Cinema (back in the golden era when it showed two or three different films a day) and a current day job at the British Film Institute.

He has, however, seen virtually everything significant by Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, John Waters, Frank Henenlotter, George A Romero, David Cronenberg, Jan Svankmajer, Luis Bunuel, Walerian Borowczyk, Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Peter Jackson and countless Hong Kong film-makers, which is far more useful in pub quizzes (provided the questions are along the lines of "which film features an exploding sheep?")

A specialist in the offbeat and bizarre, whether it's rarefied art movies or sleazy perversion (or indeed both at the same time), he's spending the next two years reviewing 120 Russian films for DVD Times, because someone has to. Probably.

View Michael Brooke's DVD Reviews

Gary Couzens (Reviewer)

Gary Couzens saw a season of SF movies on BBC1 at the age of ten and was never the same again. Other landmarks include watching The Lacemaker on BBC2 in 1981, which introduced him to films in other languages and sparked off a lifelong adoration of Isabelle Huppert. He spent three years at Southampton University getting a degree in English in between spending considerable time helping out at the Film Society, and receiving a cinematic education for which he will be forever grateful. He is prepared to watch anything, regardless of whether it is aimed at him or not, as long as there is likely to be something of interest in it.

Gary is a member of two writers' workshops and currently chairs the British Fantasy Society. He has published over twenty short stories, has edited two anthologies and hopes one day to sell a novel, but at the moment his day job in BT pays for everything else.

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Alan Daly (Reviewer)

Alan Daly guards his privacy with a kind of obsessive zeal that makes the average hermit look like a Big Brother contestant in comparison. As such, he has absolutely no intention of describing himself personally except to say that he has been fanatical about movies ever since his father first sat him down to watch a double bill of John Ford's The Searchers and William Wellman's The Oxbow Incident on T.V. so many years ago. Consequently, he has retained a boyish enthusiasm for oaters along with another two firm favourites of his father's, war movies and Star Trek. The young lad was also allowed access to the many adult films that weren't meant for his innocent and impressionable young mind, such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Taxi Driver, An American Werewolf In London, Once Upon A Time In America and The Wild Bunch to name but a memorable few. (Thanks Mum and Dad!) Al is, therefore, pretty fucked up as a result but regrets none of the time he spent in the illustrious company of Leatherface, Travis Bickle, Noodles, Pike and the rest of the gang. Al wishes to extend his gratitude to DVDTimes for allowing him to write characteristically long, (mostly) enthusiastic and self-indulgent film reviews in his spare time, particularly because at least the writing he does for this estimable website doesn't suffer at the hands of the dreaded commissioning editors and sub-editors that he must normally endure with his other work.

Al maintains an eclectic taste in films and believes that this little profile is as good a place as any to extol the work of directors like Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, John Ford, Dario Argento, Neil Jordan, Brian De Palma, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, Max Ophuls, Jean Renoir, Clint Eastwood, David Cronenberg, Paul Verhoeven, the Coen brothers, and so many others that he will most likely kick himself for omitting. He advises (redundantly, he would hope) that readers should seek out as many of these filmmakers' movies, good or bad, as they can find as he has always held fast to the notion that even the cinematic follies of a great director are often more interesting than the best work of a hack. [He should also confess that he has yet to see a movie starring Barbra Streisand or Jean-Claude Van Damme that he could ever bear to sit through again. He hastens to add that he has not seen all of their movies but he is willing to forego that dubious honour.]

View Alan Daly's DVD Reviews

Andy Hall (Reviewer) andyhall@dvdtimes.co.uk

When not watching and reviewing movies for DVD Times, Andy Hall sometimes works as an IT Consultant. Hailing from West London, he has lived in such far-flung places as Munich and Alaska.

Andy Hall has been contributing to DVD Times since the early days of the site - and indeed region 2 DVD, when an "interactive menu" was an exciting extra. He is happy to watch and give an honest opinion on all types of film genres, from summer blockbusters to low budget comedies. Lately however, he seems to be getting a reputation for being able to sit through some of the worst films ever made, like Battlefield Earth and Glitter, which are starting to push his optimistic "well, they can't be that bad" attitude to the limit.

At the other end of the scale, his most eagerly awaited DVD is the much delayed The Italian Job, after which he will feel that his DVD collection is complete.

View Andy Hall's DVD Reviews

Alexander Larman (Reviewer)

Alexander Larman has decided, given his apparent lack of conventional employability and noticeable social skills, that a career in some sort of journalism beckons, preferably involving watching a large number of films in dark rooms by himself. His tastes have moved on somewhat from when he was a little boy; he is now quite happy to admit that Terminal Velocity is not 'the best film ever', although he will still argue that Face/Off is. He is noticeably less certain of this view than when he was 16.

His interests include, but are not limited to, writing sarcastic reviews of defunct rock bands, and thus antagonising large sections of their fanbase in the process; utterly failing to see what the fuss was about with American Beauty, Apocalypse Now, Alphaville and many other films, some starting with letters other than A; and, of course, reviewing as many DVDs as time, opportunity and his bank balance will permit. He has recently had the ordeal of enduring Freddy Got Fingered; after contemplating psychiatric help, he has instead decided to exorcise his demons by writing yet another cuttingly sarcastic review of it for Times.

Alex Larman would like to thank his friends, family, dog, gerbil, rat, mongoose and pet viper for their support.

View Alexander Larman's DVD Reviews

Noel Megahey (Reviewer)

An IT professional, Noel feels a bit of a fraud among his esteemed colleagues at DVDTimes, as he has no qualifications as a reviewer and no ambitions for a career in journalism.

He believes (perhaps a little optimistically) that everyone must already be aware of the talents of Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, John Huston, Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Akira Kurosawa, so sees reviewing as a opportunity to draw people's attention to lesser known films that are unlikely to be reviewed elsewhere. That and the opportunity to get the odd free DVD to review. His belief that reviewing opera DVDs will have people rushing out to purchase the latest Mozart, Wagner and Gluck releases for their PS2s is, however, probably somewhat misguided.

Noel wishes to dispel any rumours that he could only review Billy Wilder's 'Irma La Douce' by switching to the French dub with English subtitles.

View Noel Megahey's DVD Reviews

Andy Morris (Reviewer)

Hailing all the way from sunny Rugby, petite 25-year-old hack Andy is fond of long brisk walks to the off-licence, strumming tunelessly on a guitar, writing the occasional paragraph, drooling on a sofa in front of his DVDs and GameCube, and writing about himself in the third person.

Andy wants the world to know that he has impeccable taste in classic cinema of all eras, but unfortunately that would be a complete lie. Whilst half-decent films such as Goodfellas or Withnail and I grace his collection, you're more likely to find him grinning like a six-year-old in front of some brainless old tat.

Andy has still failed to deliver his review of Blade 2, over a month after release. His one wish is world peace.

View Andy Morris' DVD Reviews

Kevin O'Reilly (Reviewer)

Born in 1972, Kevin's childhood dream was to follow in the footsteps of his idol Steven Spielberg and become a film-maker. However, on his first day at university, he took one look at the contents of a Film Studies course, contemplated the effect of long-term unemployment on his shopping habits and switched his major to Information Technology. He now works for a news website in a technical capacity, occasionally altering the headlines of important stories for his own amusement.

A regular cinemagoer for nearly 20 years, Kevin sees an average of 3 films a week and consequently sees the Orange mobile phone advert they play at the end of the trailers 12 times a month. He now harbours a pathological hatred of freckle-faced red-heads who want to ban beards. Though an expert on modern Hollywood cinema, whose favourite films include The Fabulous Baker Boys, Jaws and The Big Lebowski, he is shockingly ignorant of films from other countries, including his own, or those made much before 1970. He's enjoyed reading film criticism since he was given one of Pauline Kael's books as a prize at school and was impressed to find a serious reviewer who admitted to loving Star Trek II.

Kevin currently lives in Kent, believed to be the cultural centre of the country by absolutely no one, but offering the more important benefit of affordable house prices. A rare example of a male shopaholic, his DVD collection is one of the few man-made landmarks visible from space. One day soon, he will definitely sit down and watch some of them.

View Kevin O'Reilly's DVD Reviews

Raphael Pour-Hashemi (Reviewer) raph@dvdtimes.co.uk

Despite being born in the 1980's (just...), Raphael Pour-Hashemi's love of film was inspired by such classic sixties and seventies flicks as Planet Of The Apes, A Hard Day's Night, Soylent Greem, The Omega Man, Dirty Harry, Doctor Zhivago and Chinatown. He now obsessively collects (and reviews) DVDs and cinema films despite a dayjob and frequent office booze-ups. Born and raised in the shores of Plymouth, Raph graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Film & TV joint with American Studies degree, and now lives near Southend. Frequently seen cheering on Plymouth Argyle or slating Westlife, Hear'say and other insulting dirge, Raph also likes his music and has almost as many CDs as DVDs. Most importantly, Raph has never seen Pearl Harbor. Currently working as a presentation clerk for Carlton Television, Raph would like it known that if any Wishbone Ash fans (all two of them) are reading this and are after Al Larman's blood, that he never once considered himself Al's friend.

View Raphael Pour-Hashemi's DVD Reviews

Jon Robertson (Reviewer)

Like so many of his tragic kind, Jon Robertson's love of films sprang back to before his birth. After an early desire for a video recorder (from the age of about three), his obsession with cinema and television came about rather quickly.

After so many playground tales of terror and dread about the latest 18-certificate films, he soon developed a particularly bloodthirsty viewing streak, despite being inordinately squeamish (once being paralysed with fear and nausea at Bad Taste, for example).

However, somewhere along the line (at about the age of 13-14), almost certainly due to several years training and guidance he recieved at the wonderful Children's Film Unit, regular attendance at the Prince Charles Cinema (when it was good) and various articles from the sublime, now deleted Neon magazine, his tastes broadened, his love for the experience and ritual of cinema-going became ever more passionate, and cemented the decision that this was what he was cut out for in life.

His sycophantic fixation with Criterion discs marks him out from his contemporaries, as does his pungent smell.

View Jon Robertson's DVD Reviews

Daniel Stephens (Reviewer)

Some how becoming the resident 'film buff' in his A-Level media class, Daniel figured, writing (a thing he'd done from an early age - usually short stories about witches with green faces and long noses, attacking little children in dark woods), about film wasn't a bad idea. He loves James Cameron's Aliens with a passion, and never fails to watch it at least once a month, and thinks Back To The Future is the best trilogy ever made. Admittedly, he knows fellow DVD Times writer Mike Sutton detests Aliens with a deep hatred, and after seeing a photograph of him, Daniel swears, in a face to face discussion, he would be too scared to question Mike's judgement.

His major ambitions are to go into film production, writing/directing/editing – a thing he's dabbled in before with mixed results. However, if he can't make em', he may as well slate them!

Daniel was the very proud winner of a two month subscription to 'Sight and Sound' magazine, after being the 15th member to sign up to the Michael Brooke fan club last month. The fan club is now in its tenth year.

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Mike Sutton (Reviewer) mike@dvdtimes.co.uk

As the grouchiest and most middle-aged of the DVD Times contributors, Mike feels that he should be well enough known by now without an introduction being required. However, some of you may be interested to know that he works in a library, possesses a large number of academic qualifications which are of no practical use and is still hoping that "Exorcist II The Heretic" will be recognised as the masterpiece it undoubtedly is.

Mike feels that the best films ever made are generally American and made before 1981 but is prepared to be persuaded otherwise. He is an enthusiastic admirer of Brian De Palma (although he's conveniently forgotten most of "Mission To Mars"), John Boorman, Howard Hawks and John Ford and believes that Sam Peckinpah was the greatest director to ever draw breath. Aversion therapy involving multiple viewings of "Convoy" has failed to deter him from this view. However, despite the above stipulations, he's also been known to enthuse about Ingmar Bergman, Nicholas Roeg and David Cronenberg.

He's still waiting for the Western to come back in a guise which doesn't involve Kevin Costner and is hoping that a response the proposal of marriage which he sent Julie Christie in 1973 might just have got lost in the post.

View Mike Sutton's DVD Reviews

Karl Wareham (Reviewer)

Karl thinks that western civilisation began to collapse with the decline in popularity of the dashing Fedora hat. Now, in a secret location, just outside London, he awaits the return to fashion of this splendid gentleman's accessory with nothing but his cats and a pile of DVD's for company.

Video has been kind to Karl. A misspent youth was spent, slack jawed, open mouthed with wonder and joy, slumped in front of countless video nasties. In addition to ensuring a lifelong fascination with zombies and ghoul's of all description, video also introduced Karl to his other heroes such as Cary Grant, Woody Allen, Dario Argento, Jerry Bruckheimer and Larry Clarke. A list of favourite films would be futile here, but he likes very much romantic comedies from the 1940's and 50's, Italian horror films, Exploitation films from early 70's and cheesy blockbusters.

A firm believer in the unpopular creed that 'Attack Of The Clones' is the best Star Wars film ever, Karl has written features for publications such as diverse as Sight and Sound, DVD Monthly and The Times Law Supplement and one day he hopes they will all be published. Currently working on a sitcom and novel, he has lots of time to waste watching films.

View Karl Wareham's DVD Reviews

Maria Waters (Reviewer)

Maria's desire to show what she thought of film started at a young age when she threw her shoes at the screen at a showing of Disney's Alice in Wonderland. To this day she still contends it was a damming indictment of the commercialisation of classic literarature. Her mother claims it was a result of her not having her dummy, but in Maria's opinion this is just not true.

Her second most vivid film memory is being taken to the Porn Cinema from An American Werewolf in London when she was 5 (Maria was brought up on the mean streets of London's East end and looks like Kat Slater as a reminder of her 'roots') Once people have recovered she tells them that it used to be a cartoon cinema, that was much visited by John Landis. This anecdote makes people shocked, and amused and impressed by how much trivia she knows, all things that please her greatly.

As an adult, Maria's cinematic tastes range from highly commercial tat that she is snobbishly embarrassed by (A Knights Tale, X-Men and Charlie's Angels) to cooler stuff (Fight Club, The Wicker Man, The Crying game) and filled in with films staring people she finds attractive (Interview with the Vampire, Shallow Grave and Moulin Rouge).

Maria's great passion is gothy type films though she is at great pains to not be labelled as such and would like to be known as a nice woolly Liberal. Her biggest hate is reviewers that are pretentious and elitist. Her greatest achievement is that her 9 year old daughter can recite whole chunks of Python, Izzard and League of Gentlemen (her passion for alternative comedy knows no bounds) She is glad to be allowed to review and gets a kick out of the fact that she commands attention for the length of the review, optimistically she even believes someone might listen to her!

View Maria Water's DVD Reviews

Kim Wolstenholme (Reviewer)

After fulfilling her yearlong quest to own a PowerPuff Girls T-Shirt, Kim needed to find something else to fill that empty void in her life. After realising that the only things she knew about were UNIX and films, she decided to try and write informative and interesting reviews for DVDTimes. So far none of her reviews have lived up to her worldly ambitions, but that has not deterred her from writing a review every couple of weeks, in the vain hope that someone out there might be desperate enough to read it.

Kim's taste in films is varied, although she refuses to watch anything that involves excessive amounts of gore and/or stupid teenagers. She has recently been subjected to a never ending round of Hong Kong / Jackie Chan movies and has subsequently grown to actively enjoy anything with a preposterous plot and lots of fighting. The next object of Kim's DVD cultural enlightenment is the highly addictive (and ever increasing) world of Japanese Anime.

Kim also likes Marmite

View Kim Wolstenholme's DVD Reviews

Barry Woodcock (Reviewer)

Barry realised his true calling in life at the tender age of five when he was taken to see Star Wars at his local cinema. Unfortunately, despite months of practise, Barry's force powers failed to develop and his plans to become a Dark Lord of the Sith had to be postponed.

In his teenage years, Barry decided that in order to further his intended career, more study of the Dark Side would be required. To this end, he spent much of his spare time watching a procession of cheesy straight-to-video horror films. This failed to help Barry's force powers to emerge, but did teach him such useful skills as how to use a flymo as a weapon against the living dead.

Barry's failure to break into his chosen career later resulted in a spell of unemployment. A consequent lack of funds forced him to seek cheap means of entertainment, and so Barry watched each and every film broadcast on television during this period. To his surprise, Barry discovered that a lot of those supposedly arty and pretentious films they show late at night on BBC2 and Channel 4 are actually quite good, if sometimes arty and pretentious.

Realising where true evil and the possibility of world domination exists today, Barry is currently developing his career in IT. He still occasionally attempts to move objects across the room using the power of will alone.

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