Wednesday 25 September 2013

Blu-ray prizes to be won

Win No One Lives on Blu-ray

No One Lives comes to DVD and Blu-ray on 23rd September and to celebrate, courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment, we have a Blu-ray copy to give away to one lucky winner!

The acclaimed director of “Versus” and “The Midnight Meat Train” concocts a bloody cocktail of the horror, thriller and action genres, and introduces audiences to a brand new horror icon in this smart and totally unpredictable shocker.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email with your name and postal address to by Monday September 30th.

Terms and Conditions

Only one entry will be accepted per person.
Entrants must be UK residents and aged 18 or over.
The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Monday 9 September 2013

Insidious Chapter 2 review

Insidious Chapter 2 (15/PG-13, 105 mins)
Director: James Wan
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The first Insidious a couple of years ago wasn’t the most sophisticated piece of horror cinema ever made, but it was a relentless scare machine. This sequel deepens the mythology with an awful lot of backstory, but dilutes the scares, beginning with the teenage version of Patrick Wilson’s Josh back in 1986 when his family first encountered the evil forces that still haunt them. We then pick up immediately after the events of the first film, with Lin Shaye’s medium murdered and Rose Byrne wondering whether she can trust her husband or if he’s possessed. Slow and creepy is the order of the day, and director James Wan’s skill with the frame and woozy angles still generates a handful of chilling moments, though not as many as you might think amidst a surfeit of spooky toys. This second chapter is clumsily structured, which would be less bothersome if the scares were more forthcoming, and there’s a stretch in the middle spent wandering round an old hospital that’s really sort of dull. But it’s rescued by a clever final third in which past events are neatly integrated, and there’s every indication it’s a series with the potential to run and run.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Sir Billi review

Sir Billi (U, 76 mins)
Director: Sascha Hartmann 
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

What have audiences done to deserve animated movies of the standard of this and Justin and the Knights of Valour in the same week? The first full length computer animation made entirely in Scotland, and with a voice cast lead by Sean Connery, Sir Billi has been in production for several years and finally makes it to a tiny handful of cinemas. What’s surprising is that it will be seeing the inside of a cinema at all, because this is stunningly misguided and woefully executed in every conceivable way. Even leaving aside the ugly, actually rather freaky animation that wouldn’t pass muster on CBeebies, there’s not a moment of storytelling competence, with what plot there is involving Connery’s highland hero Sir Billi trying to rescue Scotland’s last beaver. Characters appear at random to take part in jaw-droppingly daft and arbitrary events, and an embarrassing script consists largely of Bond references and inappropriate innuendo. It would be great if Scotland could produce decent animated movies, but Sir Billi is an insult to animation, and it’s an insult to Scottish film.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Riddick review

Riddick (15/R, 119 mins)
Director: David Twohy
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

An under the radar near-classic was born when Vin Diesel’s hard-hitting convict antihero Riddick first appeared over a decade ago in the lean and effective Pitch Black, before an attempt to turn it into a big budget franchise saga stalled with the bloated and incomprehensible Chronicles of Riddick. This third in the series attempts to take him back to basics to an extent, and begins with Riddick left for dead on a baking and near uninhabitable planet, where no end of computer generated beasties are out to kill him. This unexpectedly extended sequence showcases some imaginative creature design and Riddick’s survival instincts before we get to the meat of the plot in which a bunch of the universe’s most ineffectual mercenaries arrive on the planet intent on collecting his head. This is more hunt and bait than straight action, and proves to be rather interesting, at least giving some relief from Diesel’s rather portentous noir voiceover. Disappointingly this can’t be sustained into a final third that runs out of ideas and relapses into uninspired evade-the-monsters shenanigans that try to recall Aliens but come up short. But Riddick remains a hulking and iconic presence throughout, and further adventures in his company wouldn’t be entirely unwelcome.