The Brand New Testament (DVD Review)

15 – 110mins – 2015 – French with English Subtitles


 

GETTING EVEN WITH DAD

“God exists. He lives in Brussels.”

Accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack which aptly oscillates between grandiose ecclesiastic classical suites and absurdist circus music, this Golden Globe-nominated French language satire is as brilliantly brave and barmy as it is scathingly blasphemous.

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Maggie’s Plan (DVD Review)

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15 – 95mins – 2015


QUAKER OATS

Indie queen Greta Gerwig is perfectly cast as vibrantly independent but controlling thirty-something Maggie in director Rachel Miller’s adaptation of Karen Rinaldi’s short story. An emboldened intellect determined to have a child despite having never managed to hold down a relationship that lasted beyond half a year, Maggie strikes up a complicated friendship with married anthropology professor and father-of-two John (Ethan Regression Hawke). Complicated because it soon blossoms into more than just a friendship at the same time Maggie is attempting artificial insemination…

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The Colony (DVD Review)

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15 – 110mins – 2015


 

INSIDE OUT

“Law and order will be reintroduced in Chile.”

When German photographer and grassroots revolutionary Daniel (Daniel Captain America: Civil War Brühl) is abducted by General Pinochet’s secret police during a military coup in Southern Chile, his air stewardess girlfriend, Lena (Emma Regression Watson), courageously joins a cult masquerading as a charity organisation in order to infiltrate the sealed-off complex and break him out. But will Colonia Dignidad’s shady leader and “lay preacher” Paul Shäfer (Michael The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nyqvist) allow them to leave his sadistic “Heaven on Earth”?

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Equals (DVD Review)

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12 – 98mins – 2015


 

THE LOVE BUG

“We cured cancer, we cured the common cold, we can cure S.O.S.”

In a starkly clinical ‘utopian’ potentiality where to be “Switched On” to your emotions is to be labelled “defective” and sent to the doctor for inhibitors, tantamount to a disease which is on the verge of being cured, two members of the Collective struggle to keep their love for one another under wraps.

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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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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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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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Cooties (DVD Review)

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15 – 84mins – 2015


 

NIGHT OF THE CHICKEN DEAD

“Circle, circle, dot, dot: now you have a cooties shot.”

After graduating from The Faculty in 1998, Elijah Wood now finds himself battling another supernatural threat on American academia, albeit from the opposite side of the staff room door. A batch of contaminated chicken nuggets turn the prepubescent summer schoolers attending Illinois’ Fort Chicken Elementary into flesh-craving ghouls. Seems Jamie Oliver was right to crack down on school dinners all along!

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Eye In The Sky (DVD Review)

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15 – 98mins – 2016


 

THE KILL CHAIN

“All done from the safety of your chair.”

London, Kenya, Hawaii, Singapore… usually when you think of globe-hopping movies, you generally think of large scale, highly-kinetic adventures with many a diverse vista and exotic landscape. Despite being spread across four continents, Eye in the Sky is perhaps the most static think-piece thriller I have seen for many a year – with the starry cast largely sat in one room apiece, with all eyes on one key safe house on a dusty Nairobi street.

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Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company (Book Review)

Written by: Alexander Freed

Published in the UK by: Century, 2015

397pages


 

WARS OF THE WORLDS

Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in a post-Death Star, Vader-aware universe, Dragon Age comic author Alexander Freed does an admirable job of encapsulating the galaxy-wide scale of the fight against the Imperial Empire in this dense and often introspective companion story to last November’s hotly-anticipated Electronic Arts multi-player action shooter reboot, Star Wars Battlefront.

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