Friday, 1 March 2013

Monthly Mini-Reviews: February

Here's the second instalment of my new monthly feature in which I very concisely rate some films, television or books that I've enjoyed over the month. For starters, let's take a look at the future...

Black Mirror (Series Two)

If you like your television dark and thought-provoking then Black Mirror is the show for you. While the first series was still blackly comic, this second series of Charlie Brooker's sci-fiesque satirical anthology series is definitely somewhat straighter and more disturbing - in a good way if that's possible. Like Series One, the third episode is again the weakest although all three episodes offer an intriguing skewered look at our technology-obsessed world. The scary thing is most of the seemingly-outlandish events in the series aren't actually a million miles away.


And now for something completely different. I recently had the pleasure of watching Martin Scorcesee's Hugo, a rather charming family film that acts as a love letter to the early days of cinema. Ben Kingsley steals the show as downhearted film-maker George Melies but Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz do good jobs as the two young leads. I imagine, sadly, that at some parts kids might lose interest but, if you have an interest in film or just like a simple story engagingly told,  I recommend you give it a go whatever you're age.

Mister Creecher

Chris Priestley is a young adults author I'm quite fond of thanks to the gothic, spooky shape his writing often takes. Here he doesn't disappoint; in 1800s London, streetwise Billy encounters a great hulk of a man intent on finding someone who's wronged him, one Victor Frankenstein. A novel that acts as a counterpart to Mary Shelley's classic, it's an entertaining, fast-paced read that, although it perhaps doesn't shine a whole new light on the well-known story, will hopefully entice its teenage readership to search out the original novel. I hope they like it.

Ashes to Ashes (Series One)

I'm a massive fan of Life on Mars and watched its series through several times, however not until now have I given its follow-up series Ashes to Ashes a re-viewing. Just as I remember, it's not as good as its forebear, as its basically the same idea being done again it lacks the freshness - and most of the surrealism - that Mars had. That said, it's still an enjoyable police procedural series with a twist and Phillip Glenister is still great as a slightly watered-down but still rough-and-ready cop, Gene Hunt.

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