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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Blade Runner 2049 (Cinema Review)

15 – 163mins – 2017 – 3D


 

TINPLATE SOLDIER

At the risk of irreparably damaging my geek credentials, I have a confession to make: I don’t really like Blade Runner. I’m sorry. I have tried, trust me, I even own a DVD copy of the 1992 Director’s Cut of Ridley Scott’s cult neo-noir classic set in a futuristic Los Angeles 2019. In recent memory, I have watched it at least three times, but the film draaaags at such an exasperating and dreary pace, and the visuals – for all their atmospheric merit – are marred by dystopian grime. The whole experience feels dirty and dated and it has never engaged me.

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Mindhorn (Cinema Review)

15 – 89mins – 2017


 

YOU CAN’T HANDCUFF THE WIND

“It’s truth time!”

In the late 80s, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Aaaaaaaah! Barratt) had the world at his brogue-wearing feet. As the star of crime-fighting action/adventure series Mindhorn, he had money, fame and the show’s hottest “totty,” Patricia Deville (Essie Davis), on his arm. But a quarter of a century on the actor has fallen on hard times. While his co-star, Peter Eastman (Steve Alan Partridge Coogan) has flourished in his own hit spin-off, Mindhorn is little more than a nostalgic memory, with a balding, out-of-shape Thorncroft reduced to embarrassing himself in scarce auditions and hocking cheap tat in adverts. Hollywood never called.

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Alien: Covenant (Cinema Review)

15 – 123mins – 2017


 

THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP

Five years ago, when movie maestro Ridley Scott returned to the monster franchise he spawned back in 1979, the reaction from fans and critics alike was decidedly… mixed. To me, 2012’s Prometheus was a beautifully filmed sci-fi epic which teased appetisingly at the grander mythos of the Alien saga while introducing deeper and more universally resonant themes about faith, creation and the dangers of answering the unanswerable. I loved it, and have proudly rewatched it many times since, floored every time by its grace and grandeur.

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TABOO, 1.4 (TV Review)

BBC One – Saturday 28th January 2017 – 9.15pm

Created by: Tom Hardy, Edward “Chips” Hardy, Steven Knight

Written by: Steven Knight and Emily Ballou

Directed by: Kristoffer Nyholm


 

THE JOINT IN THE SEE-SAW

“Delaney is turning London into his own private bear pit!”

Just when I didn’t think Taboo could bring any more grit and gore to primetime Saturday night television, the BBC’s decency-touting new mini-series descended to shocking new lows (or highs, depending on your tolerance for the controversial) in its fourth week: there’s rapey jail cell harassment from figures of authority, throat slittings, prostitutes give blow jobs, doctor’s lick cow shit, brothers use voodoo to have intercourse with their half-sisters from afar… and in an eye-poppingly visceral visual, intestines spill from a eviscerated stomach after a long-winded slug-fest turns bloody.

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TABOO, 1.3 (TV Review)

BBC One – Saturday 21st January 2017 – 9:15pm

Created by: Tom Hardy, Edward “Chips” Hardy, Steven Knight

Written by: Steven Knight

Directed by: Kristoffer Nyholm


A PINCER MOVEMENT

After a fortnight of moaning that episodes 1.1 and 1.2 of the BBC’s Ridley Scott-produced historical miniseries were more concerned with entrenching us in grimy atmosphere than propelling the story forward, with Saturday’s third instalment opening with cunning comeback kid James Delaney (Tom Hardy) weak and wobbly after being stitched up from the knife wound he sustained at the hands of a bonneted assassin, I feared we would be in for another hour of slow burn consternation as our enigmatic protagonist recovered from the thrust of a blade.

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Equals (DVD Review)

Related image

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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