Paddington 2 (Cinema Review)

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PG – 103mins – 2017


 

PADDINGTON DOES PORRIDGE

With so many childhood favourites from yesteryear being made (and remade in the case of The BFG and Pete’s Dragon) for the big screen, it is easy to look on these twenty-first century interpretations with caution. Be they originally books, films or TV shows, to fans of the beloved originals, a glitzy, modern angle could be deemed… improper. However, 2014’s Paddington – which saw Michael Bond’s marmalade-loving bear cub move from the jungles of Peru into the Brown family’s London residence – proved that new doesn’t always equal inferior.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Cinema Review)

12A – 114mins – 2017


 

NO BEACH-SIDE HOLIDAY

Kenneth Romeo & Juliet LIVE Branagh has dual duties as both headliner and director of this fourth adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic 1934 mystery novel, featuring “probably the greatest detective in the world” (self-professed), Hercule Poirot, the Dickens-loving gentleman with the distractingly-iconic moustache which successfully upstages a train-full of Hollywood A-listers.

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The Ritual (Cinema Review)

15 – 94mins – 2017


 

FEAR THE FOREST

While big money genre tentpoles like Blade Runner 2049 and It will always garner the most fanfare, sometimes the real cinematic gems are the smaller features released with only minimum fuss and which, sadly, often leave theatres before word of mouth has had a chance to take full effect. Say hello to The Ritual, which at time of typing is clinging on at my local Cineworld with just one late screening in only its second week. However, if you read this in time I cannot recommend this creepy chiller enough, so please hot-foot it down to your local picture house and take a walk in these woods…

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It (Cinema Review)

15 – 135mins – 2017


 

IT FOLLOWS

Tweaking the timeline of Stephen King’s thousand-word tome slightly, the filmmakers behind this box office-record breaking horror hit have, very shrewdly, hit upon a meta jackpot. While Derry is still the US town plagued by the eponymous clown-faced being, the decade has been shifted to the late 1980s and the frequency of its child-napping attacks reduced from 30 to every 27 years. Not only does this mean that the newly-greenlit sequel will take place in the modern day, its also a nice little nod to the fact that It first haunted audiences 27 years ago in ABC’s 1990 mini-series (reviewed HERE).

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It (TV Mini-Series Review)

15 – 192mins (combined duration) – 1990

Teleplay by: Tommy Lee Wallace (2 episodes) & Lawrence D. Cohen (1 episode)

Based on the novel by: Stephen King

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace


 

CLOWNIN’ AROUND

Every 30 years, the sleepy US town of Derry is befallen by an apparent natural disaster which sees many of the community’s children killed. Only 12 year-old Michael (Marlon Taylor) and his gang of young outcasts are willing to face the truth: these ‘natural disasters’ are, in fact, the handiwork of a malevolent entity which takes the form of sinister Pennywise the Clown (Tim Curry). When the killings start again, adult Michael (Tim Reid) rounds up the long-parted pals to conquer ‘It’ once and for all.

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Death Note (Netflix Review)

15 – 100mins – 2017


 

LIGHT-MARE SCENARIO

“I have a Death God.”

Following his Hollywood breakthrough with 2011’s superb horror hit You’re Next, young auteur Adam Wingard established himself as a compelling new voice of the grisly genre. His credentials were further strengthened as a proponent of anthology pieces such as V/H/S (although he had no hand in the god-awful threequel, reviewed HERE) and The ABCs of Death, while 2014’s The Guest showed there was more to his talent than merely scarlet sauce, shrieks and scares.

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Aladdin The Musical (Live Review)

Prince Edward Theatre, London – A Delfont Mackintosh Theatre

Official Website – Box Office (Booking until February 2018)


 

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

As a much-watched and much-adored film in my youth, the recently-opened West End production of Disney’s animated classic Aladdin has been on my “must see” list since it made the move from Broadway to UK shores in June of last year. After far fewer than “One Thousand and One Nights,” I was fortunate enough to take a magic carpet ride to London’s Prince Edward Theatre last week for a weekday evening performance of this magical musical extravaganza.

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