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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Atomic Blonde (Cinema Review)

15 – 115mins – 2017


 

DECEIVE THE DECEIVER

Michael Jackson’s golden era, the Star Wars sequels, Red Dwarf‘s early years, Tetris… and me. The 1980s produced some of my all-time favourite things. Yet new spy thriller Atomic Blonde is proof that even the most nostalgic can have too much of a good thing.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.7 – “The Other Side” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 9th July 2017

Teleplay by: Lynn Renee Maxcy

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi


 

COLLECTING STRAYS

Last week we deviated from June/Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) tale by flashing back to her new mistress’s life pre-Gilead. In episode 7 of this ten-part Hulu/MGM adaptation, our eponymous handmaid is even more of a bit-part player as the fate of her estranged husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), is presented to us.

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Cinema Review)

12A – 137mins – 2017 – 3D


 

TEMPORAL SPACE AGENT

Based on Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières’ pulp comic book series Valérian and Laureline which lasted a monumental 44 years from 1966-2010, it is clear that acclaimed director Luc Besson sees this epic science fiction adaptation as his grandiose Avatar moment. Intricately designed and packed full of more CGI than all three Star Wars prequels combined, sadly this is less a return to his The Fifth Element success and more a John Carter-sized flop.

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CASTLEVANIA – Season One (Netflix Review)

All 4 episodes streaming from: Friday 7th July 2017

Written by: Warren Ellis

Based on the videogame franchise produced by: Konami

Directed by: Sam Deats


 

SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT

In 15th century Wallachia, an aggrieved Vlad Dracula Tepes (Graham The Hobbit McTavish) sets his night hordes loose on the provinces of Romania after the Church burns his scientist wife, Lisa (Emily Swallow), at the stake for witchcraft. Giving the civilians one year to leave, Dracula unleashes his demonic creatures on a defiant and sceptical people. The hell-beasts tear through the land city-by-city, night-by-night, and the Wallachian’s only chance of redemption comes in the form of a disgraced drunkard.

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE, 1.5 – “Faithful” (TV Review)

Channel 4 – 9pm – Sunday 25th June 2017

Teleplay by: Dorothy Fortenberry

Series created by: Bruce Miller – Based on the novel by: Margaret Atwood

Directed by: Mike Barker


 

FISH HOOK, OPEN EYE

“Every love story is a tragedy, if you wait long enough.”

Now 34 games of Scrabble into her clandestine encounters with her potentially-sterile Commander (Joseph Fiennes), handmaid Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is gifted an old-times fashion magazine. Long thought destroyed, the nostalgic memento awakens in her memories of her first encounters with her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), at a street-side hot dog stand while best friend Moira (Samira Wiley) interrogates Luke about Offred/Kate’s Tinder profile.

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The Circle (Netflix Review)

12 – 110mins – 2017


 

FULLY TRANSPARENT

In light of a paltry US box office haul and surfeit negative reviews, this speculative techo-thriller was ignobly dumped onto UK Netflix on Sunday, little over two months after it crashed out of Stateside cinemas. It’s a shame, really, as The Circle’s tackling of human rights issues in our ever-more digitized, online age is resonantly timely, while the stellar cast (including John The Force Awakens Boyega and recently departed Bill Paxton) are all exuberant.

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