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MOVIE OF THE MONTH

Gravity

Gravity
(8/10) review by Christopher Geary

Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity starts boldly with a single-take in real-time of the fictional space shuttle Explorer drifting into view, while a specialist is working on the Hubble telescope. As the astronauts, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are convincing - but only ciphers if compared to the stronger characterisation of orbital space as a perilous working environment where sudden death lurks in each second of every minute; and this disaster movie runs for an hour and a half.


TOP TELEVISION

Haven - season 4

Haven - season 4
(7/10) review by Christopher Geary

Based upon Stephen King's short novel The Colorado Kid (2005), and produced in Canada, Haven is set in a picture-postcard fishing town in Maine. The TV show is a likeable cross-genre series that mixes offbeat crime drama with fantasy horror, and has melancholy folk theme that's a cut above most music scores. Lots of weird sci-fi and obviously supernatural things occur, and such events are very often caused by, or centred upon, otherwise quite ordinary local people cursed with special abilities they simply cannot control, especially when they are struggling to cope with overwhelming emotions.


VIDEOVISTA FOCUS

The Congress

The Congress
(7/10) review by Jonathan McCalmont

The Congress is one of the most densely-made films that you are ever likely to encounter; every detail... serves a deeper purpose... towards the film's sustained critique of Hollywood filmmaking. The film's mechanical efficiency is evident from the very first scene, a beautifully rendered family portrait in which Robin Wright plays a fictionalised version of herself... Aside from charging the film's emotional batteries by establishing Robin as a devoted mother... this opening scene is also packed with a dense thicket of cinematic references designed to position The Congress in the same mind-bending territory as Being John Malkovich and Synecdoche, New York.


RETRO VIEW

Little Lost Robot

Out Of This World: Little Lost Robot
(8/10) review by Andrew Darlington

Little Lost Robot was originally an Isaac Asimov short story published in the March 1947 issue of Astounding SF. Adapted as an episode for TV's Out Of This World it was first screened on 7th July 1962. To film-critic John Brosnan, Out Of This World was a "short-lived but relatively ambitious SF anthology series." The now 97-year-old TV producer Leonard White insists that the series were televised plays, and this production was done live on video for broadcast.


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