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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

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 Driver

The Driver
(8/10) review by Steven Hampton

With nameless roles in an escalating conflict, The Driver explores an extremely dangerous set of circumstances in the Los Angeles underworld. The entire cast are excellent. Ryan O'Neal is the quietly spoken getaway driver following his own unwritten code. Bruce Dern is the garrulous police detective in a mood for breaking all the rules. Isabelle Adjani is the 'player' who is drawn into their developing feud.


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