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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

Leverage - season 5

Leverage - season five
(8/10) review by Christopher Geary

Smarter than The A-Team, slicker than Mission: Impossible, and more fun than Burn Notice, this excellent action TV series combines drama, comedy, thrills, and character pathos, in a consistently witty, entertaining blend of heroic adventure, with extralegal schemes against criminals that got away with it. Leverage bridges the grey areas of a cross-genre gap between altruistic vigilante shows (such as The Equalizer) and plain-clothes super-heroics with comicbook style.


VIDEOVISTA FOCUS

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
(3/10) review by Jonathan McCalmont

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is all about the moment in which its teenaged protagonist is dragged out of childhood and into grown-up conversation. Based on a series of eye-wateringly successful novels by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games films take place in a post-apocalyptic North America where the leadership of a corrupt and decadent Capitol city supports itself by systematically brutalising the inhabitants of 12 outlying districts.


RETRO VIEW

The Professionals

The Professionals - season 1
(6/10) review by Christopher Geary

Criminal Intelligence 5, a British government security department of dirty tricks and paramilitary brutality, is led by an M.I.5 agent, scowly George 'the Cow' Cowley (Gordon Jackson), whose champions are the chalk 'n' cheese duo of former SAS soldier Bodie (Lewis Collins), and ex-cop Doyle (Martin Shaw), as the elite unit's premier agents. Bodie, and Ray Doyle, became iconic as the best-of-British TV action heroes of their decade.


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