16th Oct2017

‘Ninja Shodown’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Not to be confused with the legendarily terrible Flash game Ninja Showdown, Ninja Shodown is an appealing, super-fast-paced hack ‘n’ slash party game from UK-based developer Bitmap Bureau. The controls are simple: jump, sword-swipe, shuriken and special. The shoulder buttons also give you access to a virtually useless block move, as well as an amusingly […]

13th Oct2017

‘Tumblestone’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Originally released on consoles and PC in 2016, Tumblestone is an ostensibly simple match-3 puzzle game, which becomes devilishly challenging very quickly. Each level is made up of a selection of differently-coloured tiles. You must move your character from side to side, shooting three tiles of the same colour to make them disappear. However, you […]

06th Oct2017

‘Blade Runner 2049′ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Robin Wright | Written by Hampton Fancher, Michael Green | Directed by Denis Villenueve Films like this make me glad I don’t need to give a star rating. Because films like Blade Runner 2049 – and there aren’t many of them – take time to […]

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29th Sep2017

‘Flatliners’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Kiefer Sutherland | Written by Ben Ripley | Directed by Niels Arden Oplev Danish director Niels Arden Oplev is still best known for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (what, you mean you don’t remember Dead Man Down?), and he brings the same flat, […]

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19th Sep2017

Digital Shorts: ’36 Fragments of Midnight’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at 36 Fragments of Midnight, a brand-new platform/puzzler on the Nintendo Switch. From Ratalaika Games, known most recently for the highly playable […]

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14th Sep2017

‘American Assassin’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, Sanaa Lathan | Written by Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz | Directed by Michael Cuesta Based on the novel by the late Vince Flynn, and vainly hoping to bridge the gap between the spy thriller and the cold assassin sub-genres, Michael Cuesta’s film has none […]

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12th Sep2017

‘Sleepless’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Scoot McNairy, David Harbour, Dermot Mulroney | Written by Andrea Berloff | Directed by Baran bo Odar   The English-language debut of Swiss director Baran bo Odar delivers nothing of what we want, namely: half-decent action, interesting characters, witty writing, or surprising plot deviations. Jamie Foxx plays Vegas cop Vincent Downs, […]

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09th Sep2017

‘It’ Review #2

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Bill Skarsgard, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Nicholas Hamilton, Jake Sim, Logan Thompson, Owen Teague, Jackson Robert Scott, Stephen Bogaert, Stuart Hughes | Written by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman | Directed by Andy Muschetti Stephen King’s bumper 1986 novel gets the fully-fledged cinematic treatment […]

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08th Sep2017

‘The Vault’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Francesca Eastwood, Taryn Manning, Scott Haze, James Franco, Clifton Collins Jr. | Written by Dan Bush, Conal Byrne | Directed by Dan Bush “The Town meets Sixth Sense,” they claim in the press blurb. Even if that were a good idea on paper, the result is a useless genre train crash with very little […]

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01st Sep2017

‘Patti Cake$’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Danielle Macdonald, Bridgett Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty | Written and Directed by Geremy Jasper Written, directed and largely composed by Geremy Jasper, a New Jersey music video director making his first feature, Patti Cake$ is an exceptionally well made film, displaying the sort of rawness and authenticity only possible in street-level […]

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29th Aug2017

‘Lord of the Flies’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards, Tom Gaman | Written and Directed by Peter Brook Peter Brook is best known for his work in theatre, but his 1963 screen adaptation of William Golding’s English Lit classic is no quaint repertory effort. Made relatively cheaply (the opening plane crash is literally a photograph of a […]

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28th Aug2017

‘C.H.U.D. II: Bud the CHUD’ Blu-ray Review (Vestron Video)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Brian Robbins, Bill Calvert, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Gerrit Graham, Robert Vaughn | Written by M. Kane Jeeves | Directed by David K. Irving A wave of pure VHS-era nostalgia – with all the associated benefits and drawbacks – awaits in this 1989 sequel to the 1984 B-movie, which was itself a solidly silly monster […]

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26th Aug2017

Frightfest 2017: ‘Nightworld’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jason London, Lorina Kamburova, Robert Englund, Gianni Capaldi, Diana Lyubenova | Written by Loris Curci, Dimitar Hristov, Barry Keating, Milan Konjevic | Directed by Patricio Valadares As the camera swoops over a chilly boreal wilderness, and Luc Suarez’s brooding music evokes an air of intrigue and menace, it seems like we’re onto a winner. And look, […]

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23rd Aug2017

‘Return of the Living Dead 3′ Blu-ray Review (Vestron Video)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Kent McCord, J. Trevor Edmond, Melinda Clarke, Basil Wallace, Sarah Douglas | Written by John Penney | Directed by Brian Yuzna These days he might be making nonsense like Amphibious Creature of the Deep, but Brian Yuzna’s directorial career began on a high with the excellent body horror satire Society, followed up by a […]

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17th Aug2017

‘Batman and Harley Quinn’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Melissa Rauch, Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Paget Brewster, Kevin Michael Richardson | Written by Bruce Timm, Jim Krieg | Directed by Sam Liu AKA Dr Harleen Quinzel, Harley Quinn first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Originally voice by Days of Our Lives’ Arleen Sorkin, she was created by series writers Bruce […]

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11th Aug2017

‘The Handmaiden’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tae-ri Kim, Min-hee Kim, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong | Written by Chung Seo-kyung, Park Chan-wook | Directed by Park Chan-wook Based on Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel, Fingersmith, Park Chan-wook’s first feature since 2013’s Stoker is a ravishing feminist fable, full of fantastically cruel twists. It’s sensual, funny, nasty, brilliantly acted, beautifully shot and exquisitely […]

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07th Aug2017

‘Free Fire’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Michael Smiley, Sam Riley, Jack Reynor | Written by Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump | Directed by Ben Wheatley From A Field in England to a High-Rise in London to a warehouse in a US dockland, you cannot say writer-director Ben Wheatley is predictable. Except Free Fire […]

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07th Aug2017

‘Slime-san’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

This amorphous oddity was released on Steam in April, and now it’s squirmed onto Nintendo Switch. A fairly playable mashup of Super Meat Boy, Downwell and Life of Pixel (with a hint of Shovel Knight), Slime-san is a devilish retro-modern platformer with an old school aesthetic, new school flaws, and a predictably insane difficulty crest. […]

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03rd Aug2017

‘The Music Room (Jalsaghar)’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Chhabi Biswas, Gangapada Bose, Kali Sarkar, Padma Devi | Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray After the commercial failure of the second part of his Apu Trilogy, Bengali auteur Satyajit Ray opted for more commercially viable material for his next project. He turned to writer Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, and a short story about a landlord […]

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01st Aug2017

‘Splatoon 2′ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

It’s only been a couple of years since Splatoon washed up on Wii U and became an instant cult hit. A very, very Nintendo take on the arena shooter, it didn’t involve regular “killing”. Rather, the player controlled an Inkling: a humanoid creature with an arsenal of superpowered paintball weapons. The paint could destroy NPCs […]

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26th Jul2017

‘The Big Sick’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter, Anupam Kher | Written by Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani | Directed by Michael Showalter Michael Showalter, best known as an actor and writer on the Wet Hot American Summer TV series, directs this gentle culture clash comedy, based on the real-life experiences of (screenwriters) Emily […]

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25th Jul2017

‘Stalker’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Alexander Kaidanovsky, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko, Alisa Freindlich | Written by Boris Strugatsky, Arkadi Strugatsky | Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky Based on Boris and Arkadi Strugatsky’s novel Roadside Picnic (not to mention the inspiration behind a famous video game series), this 1979 epic is a typically challenging work from Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky, but […]

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