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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

The Untold History Of The United States

The Untold History Of The United States
(9/10) review by Christopher Geary

This documentary series of ten chapters on three discs is largely composed of skilfully edited archive material from newsreels, photos, TV interviews, and voice-overs of the official records and private writings of political leaders (and other prominent figures) of the 20th century, all cemented together with Stone's narration. The overall effect is impressive and engrossing and frequently entertaining in its ambitious viewpoints on the neglected or forgotten stories of modern history, from the global horrors of WW2, and Vietnam, to Nixon's comeback, and Obama's defective presidency.


VIDEOVISTA FOCUS

All Neat In Black Stockings

All Neat In Black Stockings
(5/10) review by Andrew Darlington

Susan George was only 12-years-old when she made her TV debut in the BBC series Swallows And Amazons (1962). It was later, with her long blonde hair and sub-Bardot pout that she became the go-to dolly-bird with Boris Karloff in The Sorcerers, with Denholm Elliott in TV's Dracula (1968), and supporting Suzy Kendall in Up The Junction. All Neat In Black Stockings is a very minor entry in the swinging 1960s movie genre that does her no great favours but, it's a light amusing romp with shots at many of the tropes that distinguish the subgenre.


RETRO VIEW

La Poison

La Poison
(5/10) review by J.C. Hartley

La Poison begins in the village of Remonville. Bracconier (Michel Simon) visits the local priest to complain about his overweight drunken wife Blandine (Germaine Reuver). Bracconier is obviously wishing something would happen to free him from his entanglement, and the priest and the parishioner circle each other metaphorically about what can be done in the eyes of God and the law. Next, we see Bracconier's wife buying rat poison at the apothecary and hiding it in her kitchen cupboard; clearly she harbours similar feelings about her marriage as does her spouse.


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