New Releases: 20th April


I mean, look, if you’re still here after two interminable outings of CGI-heavy dwarvish shenanigans, then power to you. The Hobbit trilogy has been this generation’s Star Wars prequels – the childish, over-animated money-grab after a profound and moving series of lovingly made films. Or, alternately, time to pay up the dodgy-looking lady of the night who last night you and your drunk friends thought it’d be a fantastic idea to hire and take back to yours (“You’re getting married, Dave, this is your last chance!”). First off, SPOILERS, the poster is unbelievably misleading, and once you see this film you will know why. It basically represents about the first 10 minutes. I’ll leave it there. After a series of 3-plus-hour movies, it’s amazing just how painfully long and bloated this one feels, despite clocking it as the shortest of all six. But hey, if you’re Peter Jackson (and if you are Peter Jackson, you have some damn explaining to do), then these movies achieved exactly what you wanted…which is totally not money. Nope, no money-grabbing here, folks. Having said all of this, Video City have forked out actual money for this one, so we’d really appreciate if you could all rent it from us again and again in a merry fit of Tolkienian whimsy. Ignore everything I’ve just said (sage advice in general, that). Thank you.




Tim Burton takes a welcome break from being Tim Burton with Big Eyes, one of the more mature films he’s made in recent years. Christoph Waltz continues his streak as everyone’s favourite panto villain, playing the real-life swine who passed off his wife’s paintings as his own and sold them as such for years. Amy Adams can do no wrong in my eyes, and here she is at the top of her game, bringing sincerity and soul to a slightly underwritten part. The film functions as marriage drama, fascinating true story and visual feast of the sort Tim Burton has made it his career to deliver. It’s nice to see him dispense with Johnny Depp and cartoonish subjects and deliver a more adult character study, and for that alone this one is definitely worth a watch.




Ah, remember the halcyon days when the good old British owned that lovely little property called India (sea-facing, bit of a fixer-upper, a lot of other tenants, but don’t mind them)? Well, Channel 4 remembers, and from those days of yore comes this story of British socialites in a town nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas during the time of the Raj, and the summers (as you might have guessed) that they spend there. Some fine UK acting talent is on show here, both names we already know and love like Julie Walters, and some that no doubt will come to dominate the period fair that is enjoying such a renaissance on British TV at this moment. There’s plenty of solidly-played costume drama on show here and if you’re a Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs type of person then by all means, dive right in.




Jeremy Piven does Jeremy Piven once more in the third season of this admittedly pretty popular series. It feels somewhat redundant typing this, because the only people I imagine who will be excited by the prospect of a third outing to the world of Mr. Selfridge will be those of you who have enjoyed the first two such outings. And I shall instead conserve my energy and make myself a sandwich. That’s not really relevant to you, dear reader, is it now? But yet you’ve read this far, and I applaud that. In case you’re wondering, and if you’re still reading I can only assume I have your rapt attention, I’m currently debating between smoked salmon and cream cheese or some nice corned beef and mustard. Please send your letters of advice to my offices at 1 Dunghill Mansions, Putney, SW13 1QP.



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