Midnight Special (DVD Review)

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12 – 111mins – 2016


 

CULT ENCOUNTERS OF THE ABSURD KIND

Sometimes critically commended films can disappoint you on a personal level. Sometimes even films which, on paper, sound exactly like something you typically adore, can leave you cold. Sadly, rising director Jeff Nichol’s sullen sci-fi drama (and his breakout studio hit following the indie success of 2012’s Matthew McConaughey-led Mud) manages the dubious honour of a double-whammy for me.

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The Neon Demon (DVD Review)

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18 – 113mins – 2016


 

CATWALK ON THE WILD SIDE

With youth and beauty on her side, innocent orphan Jesse (Elle Fanning) makes waves on the LA fashion scene, ruffling feathers amongst her old – and less natural – contemporaries. But underneath their flawless skin, stick-thin frames and bitchy attitudes the perfection-hungry models are hiding a more insidious secret which could spell danger for the waif-like “deer in headlights.”

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A Boy Called Christmas (Book Review)

Written by: Matt Haig

Illustrated by: Chris Mould

Published in the UK by: Canongate, 2015

266 pages


 

YOUNG SAINT NICK

While I openly appreciate that I am far beyond the target demographic for this Primary school-skewed prequel detailing how a lonely and underprivileged woodcutter’s son grew up into the magical gift-giving, mince pie-munching Father of the festive season, I was on the lookout for an easy Christmas read to get me in the spirit. This much-applauded “future Classic” (as broadcaster-cum-novelist Simon Mayo hailed it) from the Number One Bestselling author of The Runaway Troll sounded like the perfect pick.

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ELF: Buddy’s Musical Christmas (TV Review)

Under Milk Wood (DVD Review)

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15 – 83mins – 2015


QUITE EARLY ONE MORNING

Dylan Thomas has described his own classic BBC radio play (later a theatrical production and 1972 Richard Burton-starring film) as “strangely simple and simply strange,” and no finer analysis can I make. Director Kevin Allen hoped his new filmic adaption would help bring this bizarre school-taught masterpiece to a new contemporary audience, but going in fresh I struggled greatly with this surreal and unorthodox kaleidoscope of ‘normal’ Welsh life.

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Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries (Book Review)

Written by: Helen Fielding, 2016

Published in the UK by: Jonathan Cape

217 pages


 

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Squished betwixt first sequel The Edge of Reason (1999) and 2013’s hugely successful – and for some, highly contentious – comeback Mad About the Boy in Bridget’s flitting and flighty chronology, this companion novel to Universal Pictures/Working Title’s new hit film (which I reviewed HERE) is a warm, gigglesome and agreeable, if threadbare, read, inspired by Helen Fielding’s newspaper columns published in The Independent.

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Reckless (DVD Review)

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15 – 112mins – 2015


ELITE ENCOUNTERS

Belatedly released straight to region 2 DVD with an unremarkably insipid title replacing the US variant Zipper (oo-er!), The Conjuring 2‘s Patrick Wilson is perfectly cast in this intriguing highly erotic political drama inspired by a real life scandal as a professional man enticed into illicit affairs with a string of high-end escorts while congress remains in his wavering, once-focused sights.

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