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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22nd Jul2017

‘Dunkirk’ 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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20th Jul2017

‘Frantz’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Paula Beer, Pierre Niney, Ernst Stötzner, Marie Gruber, Anton von Lucke | Written by François Ozon, Philippe Piazzo | Directed by François Ozon A remake of Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 film Broken Lullaby, itself based on a stage play, Frantz is the latest character-based drama from prolific French director François Ozon. Deeply melancholy and very […]

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14th Jul2017

‘Heal the Living’ Blu-ray Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Emmanuelle Seigner, Tahar Rahim, Anne Dorval, Bouli Lanners | Written by Katell Quillévéré, Gilles Taurand | Directed by Katell Quillévéré This French-Belgian drama initially allures with an opening sequence that sees teenager Simon Limbres (Gabin Verdet) climb out of his girlfriend’s window and head to the beach with his buddies for a pre-dawn surf. It’s […]

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13th Jul2017

‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ 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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10th Jul2017

‘It Comes At Night’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo, Kelvin Harrison Jr | 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 don’t usually live up […]

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07th Jul2017

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ 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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22nd Jun2017

‘Baby Driver’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Space, John Hamm, Jamie Foxx | Written and Directed by Edgar Wright Edgar Wright’s return to American moviemaking is a more earnest and coherent foray than 2010’s Scott Pilgrim, and it’s a blast of pure positive energy after the relatively dour The World’s End. It opens with the eponymous […]

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21st Jun2017

‘Arms’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Rupert Harvey

Nearly four months after the launch of Switch, Nintendo’s system gets its first major first-party exclusive (let’s ignore 1-2 Switch) – and it’s a cracker. A cartoon one-on-one (or two-on-two) fighting game with stretchy limbs, bulging eyes, mad music and gibberish voices, it’s as colourful, accessible and unputdownable as anything the Kyoto gaming gods have […]

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16th Jun2017

‘Gifted’ Review

by Rupert Harvey

Stars: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate | Written by Tom Flynn | Directed by Marc Webb Having escaped the web of the Spider-Man franchise, Marc Webb returns to (500) Days of Summer-sized moviemaking with this soft-focus indie, combining the maths genius elements of Good Will Hunting with the child custody […]

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