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Film & Television

Round Up of Christmas Television

Christmas may seem like a distant memory now but we thought we would embrace it for just a little while longer! Throughout the period our whole team were glued to the box, watching all those fabulous little treats that are saved for this special time of year. So here is what our writers thought of a few of the most publicised shows of Christmas 2013.

Doctor Who

When the opening scene means reviewers can use the phrase “cooked a turkey”, Stephen Moffat should have known he was going to have to produce an episode worthy enough to not let us take the bait, especially as this was Matt Smith’s final run as the Doctor.» >

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Film Review – Devil’s Due by Sian Carrington

As a supernatural movie enthusiast, I was confident Devil’s Due would be the thriller of the year. This is what the trailer led me to believe. And why wouldn’t it? It was a blatant collection of the most startling scenes, craftily edited in a way that made it look scarier than it was.

Devil’s Due is a predictable and derivative film that lazily encompasses the ideas of a number of other movies.» >

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Film Review – The Wolf of Wall Street


180 Minutes of Crime, corruption and fornicating, Martin Scorsese’s, The Wolf of Wall Street, is an exhilarating, eye-opening portrayal of  society’s hidden, excessive and chaotic lifestyles.

Based on the true, autobiographical memoirs of debauched New Yorker Jordon Belton, – whom incidentally briefly stars within the last scene of the film- depicts the events of his rise to a monumentally wealthy, successful and corrupt stockbroker head of his own firm ; Stratton Oakmont,- to his drug-fuelled demise.» >

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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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