22nd Jan2018

‘Downsizing’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Matt Damon, Hong Chau, Christoph Waltz, Rolf Lassgård, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis | Written by Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor | Directed by Alexander Payne One could argue that all of Alexander Payne’s major works – Election, Sideways, The Descendants et al – are about man’s search for meaning. Specifically, a middle-aged man’s search for meaning. […]

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04th Jan2018

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Caleb Landry-Jones, Abbie Cornish | Written and Directed by Martin McDonagh A series of sombre, foggy opening shots seems to denote a different Martin McDonagh, formerly best-known for the foul-mouthed black comedy In Bruges and the Tarantino-like Seven Psychopaths. But once the characters open their mouths – once […]

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27th Dec2017

Rupert’s Top Ten Films of 2017

by Rupert Harvey

It’s been a topsy-turvy year in film. On the plus side, the Shyamannaisance continued with Split; Edgar Wright got to make his magnum opus; and Netflix showed their willingness to produce the sort of mature films that seemed to have vanished amidst the cinematic blur of CGI. On the Dark Side, Ridley Scott continued to […]

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23rd Dec2017

‘Bright’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Fry | Written by Max Landis | Directed by David Ayer Max Landis (Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein) is now as synonymous with writing pop genre mashups as director David Ayer (Harsh Times, End of Watch) is with brutal LA-based cops ‘n’ robbers pictures. Bright offers a […]

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19th Dec2017

‘Nine Parchments’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Borrowing heavily from the likes of the Magicka and Diablo series, Frozenbyte, the Finnish team most famous for Trine, offers Nine Parchments – another game set in a whimsical world of wizardry. But leave your puzzling hat and exploration compass behind, because this is strictly a twin-stick shooter dressed in high fantasy clothing. Instead of […]

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18th Dec2017

‘Dunkirk’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard | Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan On paper, Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to Interstellar couldn’t be more different to the puzzle boxes which have defined his movies to date. Here’s a real historic event portrayed in well under two hours, […]

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18th Dec2017

‘The Sexy Brutale’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Originally released on Steam and the big boy consoles back in April, this bizarre and intriguing puzzle-adventure game now gets its Nintendo release. It’s as beguiling as ever, but the switch to Switch brings major problems. You play Lafcadio Boone, who awakens in the titular casino mansion at noon. Throughout the day, several guests will […]

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08th Dec2017

‘Stronger’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, Clancy Brown, Lenny Clarke | Written by John Pollono, Jeff Bauman | Directed by David Gordon Green David Gordon Green drifts yet further from his Pineapple Express and Your Highness frat comedy legacy with this safe and reverent adaptation of the true-life story of Jeff Bauman, a young […]

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30th Nov2017

‘The Disaster Artist’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson | Written by Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber | Directed by James Franco It doesn’t get much more meta than a movie adaptation of a memoir about the making of a movie. And not just any movie, but supposedly the Worst Movie Ever Made. […]

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29th Nov2017

‘War of the Planet of the Apes’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Amiah Miller, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval | Written by Matt Reeves, Mark Bomback | Directed by Matt Reeves Matt Reeves is telling us something: This is what happens when a blockbuster budget is used well. The third part of the Apes reboot, following Rupert Wyatt’s Rise and Reeves’ Dawn, may […]

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24th Nov2017

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya | Written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers | Directed by Jon Watts Obviously, “Homecoming” has multiple meanings, not least of which is Spider-Man’s switch to the cool side of the Marvel […]

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24th Nov2017

‘The Big Sick’ DVD 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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20th Nov2017

‘Daddy’s Home 2’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson, Linda Cardellini | Written by Sean Anders, John Morris | Directed by Sean Anders There’s a scene at the end of Daddy’s Home 2, Sean Anders’ sequel to his mediocre 2015 hit, which has all the hallmarks of a classic Christmas movie climax: the characters, previously at […]

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17th Nov2017

‘Heroes of the Monkey Tavern’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

What will gradually dawn on you about Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is what it doesn’t contain. No item wear; no exterior environments (in fact, very little variation in environments at all); no ammo counters; no gameplay variation; and no real story to speak of. It opens with a static painting of the titular tavern. […]

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17th Nov2017

‘Suburbicon’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, Oscar Isaac, Gary Basaraba | Written by Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, George Clooney, Grant Heslov | Directed by George Clooney Legend has it that the Coen Brothers penned this dark satire back in the 1980s, around the time of Blood Simple. So it’s interesting the extent to which […]

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06th Nov2017

‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Raffey Cassidy, Barry Keoghan, Sunny Suljic | Written by Efthymis Filippou, Yorgos Lanthimos | Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos Having made a name for himself with weird-yet-accessible black satires like Dogtooth (and its sort-of-sequel Alps) and The Lobster, Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos remains true to form with his sophomore English-language effort, […]

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06th Nov2017

‘The Spiderwebhouse (Im Spinnwebhaus)’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ben Litwinschuh, Lutz Simon Eilert, Helena Pieske, Ludwig Trepte, Sylvie Testud | Written by Johanna Stuttmann | Directed by Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt We first see Sabine (Sylvie Testud) in happier times, frolicking with her three young kids: Jonas (Ben Litwinschuh), Nick (Lutz Simon Eilert) and Miechen (Helena Pieske). But Sabine, suffering with mental health problems, […]

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03rd Nov2017

‘It Comes At Night’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Griffin Robert Faulkner, Riley Keogh | Written and Directed by Trey Edward Shults Ah, the thrill of plunging into a good movie with no prior knowledge. It’s rare, not simply because of the ubiquity of marketing material in the connected world, but also because said films […]

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30th Oct2017

‘Super Mario Odyssey’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Who’d have thought it? Barely eight months since Breath of the Wild brought us the first game of the year contender, Nintendo has gone and done it again. After the supremely taut, linear design of Super Mario 3D World on Wii U, and the semi-linear lines of the Galaxy (Wii) games, Super Mario Odyssey represents […]

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30th Oct2017

‘Zoology’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Natalya Pavlenkova, Dmitriy Groshev, Irina Chipizhenko, Aleksandr Nekhoroshikh | Written and Directed by Ivan I. Tverdovskiy The sophomore directorial feature of Russian youngster Ivan I. Tverdovskiy (he debuted in 2014 with Corrections Class), Zoology is an intriguing and sad slice of magical realism. Natasha (Natalya Pavlenkova) is an asthenic middle-aged middle-manager, working at a […]

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26th Oct2017

‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

The latest in the long line of Traveller’s Tales tie-ins is this cumbersomely-titled effort, and as gaming experience it’s precisely what you would expect – a fact that brings a hint of comfort and a sprig of joy, but also a sense of laziness, and the nagging feeling that the well-worn LEGO game formula is […]

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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 […]

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