Culture

This category contains 631 posts

Review: A Town Called Eureka Season one (2006)

I missed Syfy Channel’s quirky TV sci-fi comedy drama the first time out, only to discover in the re-runs that is is more fi- than sci-, more wan-smile than comic and too predictable for drama. Which leaves it trading on quirky, and that just ain’t enough. Billed as a sort of X-Files-lite (even liter than … Continue reading

Review: Outlander Season 1 (2014)

Remember that 80’s boy’s own warrior fantasy Highlander, with immortal Scot-tosh swordsman Christopher Lambert fighting down the ages to the mordern day? Now imagine that flipped around, and role-reversed so a fish-out-of-water British nurse from WWII lands in Stevenson’s Kidnapped as told from Katriona’s point of view. Producer Ronald D. Moore brings twin-period Brigadoon Galactica … Continue reading

Review: Predestination (2014)

A man walks into a bar and tells the daftest life story imaginable. The resulting contrivance of twisty plot devices, unlike 2013’s Looper, is disappointingly loopy. Writer/producer/directors the Spierig Brothers deliver an understated new take on Heinlein’s classic sci-fi tale of causal loops in time travel, but which can’t escape the Twilight Zone tropes to … Continue reading

Review: Taken 3 (2015)

I’ve seen it so you don’t have to: Liam Neeson’s latest addition to his modern day The Searchers franchise proves to be the cynical, money-making, watered-down, lowest-common denominator pop-corn fodder everyone said it would be. While the first Taken had a certain brutal post-Bourne, post-Ronin style glossing it’s very xenophobic, hunter-killer, mechanical, plot, and relying … Continue reading

Captain America: The First Avenger / The Winter Soldier (2011/2014)

Re-inventing, then re-re-inventing the comic-book hero from WWII saviour to man-out-of-time in the present day, the two Captain Americas are as different from each other in tone and style as chalk and cheese. But while Captain America pulls off the all-American, White Hat hero with spotless morals, there’s an oddly asexual, homo-erotic theme in both … Continue reading

How-to: The Elevator Pitch – ten top tips

Article originally appeared as The elevator pitch – ten top tips  at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public The elevator pitch: Your fascinating, graceful and – above all – short answer to ‘and what do you do?’ My top ten tips for creating and using an effective elevator pitch for business and social introductions:

How-to: Survive a fashion show

Article originally appeared as How-to: Survive a fashion show at Philippa’s site Speaking well in Public Appearing in a fashion show may not involve speaking – but it’s still a performance for an audience who want to be intrigued. Here’s how to make the most of a great opportunity to shine, often in a good … Continue reading

Movie Catch-up: Chloe (2009)

Gynaecologist Catherine (Julianne Moore – Magnolia, Mockingjay) believes college professor husband David (Liam Neeson – Taken, The Grey) is having affairs with his students. So she hires up-market call-girl (aren’t they all) Chloe (Amanda Seyfried – In Time, Red Riding Hood) to see if he falls to temptation. Like you do. But Chloe develops an … Continue reading

Review: Lucy (2014)

Favourite bonkers French bloke Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Lockout) steps straight from Nikita into Transcendence via 2001: A Space Odessey and with his latest sci-fi thriller of big guns, big brains and big ideas. The science may be specious, but the action is frenetic and stylised. In typical Besson style of throwing everything at the … Continue reading

Review: Alexandra Stan – Unlocked (2014)

The second album from Romanian dance-music queen Alexandra Stan (Mr Saxobeat from 2010) is either your ideal bubblegum pop album or your idea of manufactured musical hell, where every track reminds you of three or four others. Clearly influenced by – or slavishly imitating – the likes of Britney, Rihanna and Sia, the production sound … Continue reading

Review: Nightcrawler (2014)

Jake Ghyllenhaal (Source Code, Prince of Persia) stars in and produces this queasy thriller of a nocturnal LA news reporter chasing the ambulances in search of ratings. Opening with Ghyllenhaal’s Louise Bloom trying to fence metals stolen with violence and trying to talk himself into a job, we already know that his immensely polite and … Continue reading

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