Review: “The Spirit of 45” directed by Ken Loach

Ed Miliband has just announced revisions in the Labour Party’s relationship with the trade unions. Previously, affiliated unions automatically donated part of their members’ dues into the party’s coffers. The forthcoming changes mean that this will have to be a conscious choice by each individual member. This represents a dramatic shift: there was a time, […]

Review: “Skyfall” starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem

I thought that James Bond had turned a page. Both of Daniel Craig’s initial outings in the role were markedly different from the blend of high-tech silliness and misogyny which characterised the previous episodes: his was a James Bond that could genuinely fall in love, get hurt (indeed nearly die), and was kept in check […]

Review: “Sinister” starring Ethan Hawke and Juliet Rylance

Halloween offers few forms of entertainment for the middle aged. If one has friends who are throwing a party in the vicinity, then it’s probably best to put on a smudge of face paint, don a white smock with an anonymous red stain, and go. The evening can then be spent in good company while […]

Review: “Prometheus” starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender

I’ve long been a devotee of the “Alien” film series: the original 1979 motion picture provided a stark contrast to the optimism which suffused Star Trek and the boyish zeal of Star Wars. Rather, it presented the cosmos as vast, lonely and only the financially strapped or emotionally bereft would dare to venture into its […]

Review: “When the Lights Went Out” starring Natasha Connor and Kate Ashfield

I moved to Yorkshire in late 2011. Since that time, I’ve found much to admire: the area’s diversity, its many examples of beautiful 19th century architecture, the fine local ales and the friendliness of the people all do much to recommend it. In July, I went to Dublin and while there I attended a whiskey […]

Review: “American Pie: Reunion” starring Eugene Levy and Jason Biggs

The first episode of Michael Palin’s “Ripping Yarns” began with a quote from G. K. Chesterton: “The follies of men’s youth are in retrospect glorious compared to the follies of old age.” I didn’t expect to think of this when I bought my tickets to see “American Pie: Reunion”. I thought I’d get a dose […]

Review: “The Iron Lady” starring Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent

Generally speaking, I only write reviews for films and books which I’ve enjoyed. Part of it comes from being a writer: I’m loathe to criticise others’ artistic endeavours given that I work so hard on my own. The other reason is that it’s all too easy to succumb to the pleasures of writing negatively: there […]

Review: “The Stoning of Soraya M” starring Shoreh Agdashloo and Jim Caviezel

Not every film is meant to pull on one’s heart strings in a positive way. Sometimes, a cinematic work can yank hard on conscience and make us question our assumptions about humanity. I recall feeling this way after seeing “A Clockwork Orange” for the first time: I drew unpleasant comparisons between Kubrick’s dystopian vision and […]

Review: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” starring Daniel Radcliffe

I open this review with a bit of a confession. When the last book in the Harry Potter series was released, I was out at midnight in my town, queued around the corner to get into Waterstones. My ex-girlfriend had introduced me to the books; prior to her suggestion, I’d been reluctant to embrace something […]

Review: “Food Inc.”, directed by Robert Kenner

It’s difficult to diet. It’s usually at the point that one decides to cut back that chocolates, cakes and cookies seem to lay in wait in supermarkets and farmers markets, ready to pounce upon one’s tastebuds. The scent of sizzling steak or bacon suddenly wafts through the air, and in the bright early summer sunshine, […]

Me And My Blog

Picture of meI'm a Doctor of Creative Writing, a fiancée, a son, a brother, an uncle, a published novelist, a technologist, a student, and still an amateur in much else.

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