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Film & Television

Film Review – The Railway Man

The Japanese army’s treatment of prisoners of war has most notably been shown before in the classic film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) but thanks to Eric Lomax’s written account of his experiences and this film adaptation of them, we can have a greater look into the psychological impact of those events. Colin Firth plays an older Lomax, who appears to be a shy ‘railway enthusiast’ on meeting Patti (Kidman) on a train.» >

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Film Review – American Hustle

All art is basically a con, and no movie this year seems to articulate that more than American Hustle. The opening sequence is that of Irving (Christian Bale) carefully placing his toupee and throughout the film the camera movements pay close attention to period detail and very revealing clothing (American Cleavage). This attention to the aesthetic of the actors and the style of the film is ultimately where American Hustle’s ultimate focus lies, to the detriment of other aspects.» >

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Film Review – Nebraska

The arrival of Nebraska in cinemas roughly marks the start of this year’s Oscar season, it having been touted as a contender for major awards – particularly Best Actor following Bruce Dern’s victory at Cannes this summer. It’s a time of year that brings as much trepidation as it does excitement, with every innovative and powerful film being matched by another equally sentimental and manipulative. Whether Nebraska itself is ‘Oscar-bait’ at all is arguable, as any significant haul of awards would come as a surprise, but given director Alexander Payne’s track record at the Academy Awards (Payne having won awards for the screenplays of his last two films) to say the film is a complete outsider, would be unfair.» >

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Film Review – Free Birds

The premise of this movie is amongst the dumbest things I have ever heard. “Time travelling turkeys (I’ll pause until you finish laughing) who go back to the first thanksgiving to take turkey off the menu”.

Walking into the cinema, I was fully prepared to demand a refund on my free ticket. But brace yourself for a shock, it’s not terrible. It is definitely BAD, but it’s not as completely devoid of intelligence or interest as you would think.

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Film Review – Saving Mr Banks

When Walt Disney pursued the rights to Mary Poppins, it was very much a case of the irresistible force clashing with the immoveable object, the latter being, in this case, the creator of the magical nanny, P.L. Travers. It took twenty years for Travers to even visit Los Angeles and pass judgment on the film’s pre-production with Disney, the screenwriter Don DaGradi and the Sherman brothers, which is what this film focuses on.» >

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Film Review – The Selfish Giant

When I went along to watch The Selfish Giant at Reading Film Theatre, I didn’t realise that the film was to be introduced by a University member of staff, Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein from the Department of English Literature, who discussed the implications of it being an ‘adaptation’ of a story by Oscar Wilde. This provided some food for thought during the viewing, regarding whether TSG is purely an adaptation of Wilde or not, given that the Wilde story is in itself a quasi-adaptation of the Gospels.» >

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TV Programme of the Week – Futurama

Futurama started life in 1999, living in the shadow of its far more successful sibling, The Simpsons.

Futurama tells the story of a pizza delivery boy, Fry, who gets frozen in 1999 and wakes up at the turn of the 31st century. His lack of friends in the past means that he meets a fun group of people, such as Bender, the beer drinking robot, and Leela, the cool one-eyed alien lady who help him find his last living relative.» >

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Film Review – Catching Fire

Expectations were extremely high for the franchise and in particular, director Francis Lawrence to produce a spectacular sequel to the immensely popular, thrilling adaptation of the young-adult novels by Suzanne Collins; The Hunger Games trilogy. Needless to say, all preconceptions I had were exceeded and then some. Beautifully produced and executed, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will keep you vigorously entertained and stunned as it perfectly captures the traumatic madness of another bloodthirsty hunger games –overseen by the watchful, ever present eyes of President Snow- within a fictional era of political turmoil and corruption.» >

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