Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire (DVD Review)

12 – 94mins – 2017


A LEGENDARY TAIL

For the uninitiated, brace yourself: this is a review of Dragonheart… 4. That’s right, somehow the medieval fantasy movie where Dennis Quaid tracked down a talking dragon with Sean Connery’s voice has quietly hatched three sequels since its theatrical bow in 1996. First follow-up A New Beginning is easily ignored, despite coming 3 years later it is the epitome of a cheap cash-grab, with a largely unknown cast (the older brother from Malcolm in the Middle is the only ‘name’), a ropey CG baby dragon, minimal locations and the distinct feeling it was filmed on all of three cramped sets.

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Wish Upon (Cinema Review)

15 – 90mins – 2017


 

MY SOUL TO TAKE

I don’t know what the hell I’ve been doing for the past twenty summers, but it is now TWO DECADES since Ryan Phillippe played the teenage protagonist in late 90s slasher hit I Know What You Did Last Summer – and now, at 41 years old, he’s playing the father to a teenage daughter in a supernatural horror which very much feels like a purposeful hark back to those now retro genre hits, which spawned many a franchise (Scream, Final Destination, Urban Legend). Boy do I feel old!

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.12 – “The Doctor Falls” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 1st July 2017

Written by: Steven Moffat

Directed by: Rachel Talalay


 

HANGING ON IN A HURRICANE

“We’re not going to get out of this one, are we?”

On the day when fandom is anxiously awaiting the reveal of who will be the new face of the Time Lord’s 13th regeneration, I finally bring my run of reviews of Peter Capaldi’s final series to a close. Episode 10.11, “World Enough and Time” (reviewed HERE), had me impressed and enthralled, if ultimately frustrated that the entire instalment felt like little more than a tease for this hour-long finale. My anticipation, therefore, was high, especially as this concluding part was written and directed by the same duo as last week, exiting showrunner Steven Moffat and director Rachel Talalay. Safe hands, right?

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.11 – “World Enough and Time” (TV Review)

Image result for doctor who world enough and time

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 24th June 2017

Written by: Steven Moffat

Directed by: Rachel Talalay


 

OUR USUAL SATURDAY

“Positive attitude will help with the horror to come.”

After a regeneration tease in a blustery cold open, we return to ‘Earlier’ where Missy (Michelle Gomez), Bill (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) board a 400-mile-long colony ship teetering in the gravity well of a black hole. We learn through extensive, largely banterful, dialogue that this is a “test” of Missy’s progress, to see how far she has moved away from her nefarious past, overseen by the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) from the comfort of the TARDIS.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (Cinema Review)

12A – 133mins – 2017 – 3D


 

TURN OFF THE STARK

After five blockbuster movies taking place over two unrelated movie-verses with two separate casts and crews – all of which were released in the space of just twelve years – Marvel Comic’s friendly neighbourhood web-slinger has finally come home, in his first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure following a triumphant cursory cameo in 2016’s Civil War.

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.10 – “The Eaters of Light” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 17th June 2017

Written by: Rona Munro

Directed by: Charles Palmer


 

DEATH BY SCOTLAND

It strains credulity to belief it has taken this long, but with episode 10.10, screenwriter Rona Munro became the first person to scribe an episode of the original ‘classic’ series (1989’s concluding “Survival” serial) and new Who. The oldest adventure I have seen in its entirity is the 1996 TV Movie (which I reviewed HERE), so I have no context for how “The Eaters of Light” compares to Munro’s earlier in-universe effort, but to the casual fan last Saturday’s romp in time was pretty much business as usual for the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his cohorts.

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.9 – “Empress of Mars” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:35pm – Saturday 10th June 2017

Written by: Mark Gatiss

Directed by: Wayne Yip


 

THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR

“Sod this for a game of soldiers!”

My overdue run of current series Doctor Who reviews rattles on with this historical military altercation – set in the caverns beneath the surface of the Red Planet! “Empress of Mars” is the first episode in a month not to feature the audience-dividing alien Monks (my opinions on which can be read by clicking 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8), and it sees a sharp step backwards in assimilating gormless assistant Nardole (Matt Lucas) into the main body of the story.

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