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Non-Review Review: Red Riding – The Year of Our Lord 1974

This is the North. We do what we want.

– Craven explains how things work to Eddie

Red Riding is certainly an ambitious effort. David Peace wrote four books exploring violence and corruption in Yorkshire, centring around the morbid history of brutality in the North. Occupying a strange ethereal realm between fact and fiction, sometimes those crimes are fictionalised, but sometimes real murders and murderers intersect. The child murders of this first instalment, Red Riding: 1974, evoke the infamous Moors murders in Manchester during the sixties, while the arrest of an innocent party calls to mind the case of Stefan Kiszko. Adapting the series of four books into a trilogy of films, Red Ridingmakes for a fascinating – if gloomy – exploration of the darker pages in the region’s cultural history.

He’s gone far (Gar)field…

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Non-Review Review: Please Give

Please Give is an interesting little dramedy, with some very well-observed points and a strong cast. It’s smart, it’s biting and it’s quite funny in places, with its wry commentary on some of the more cynical aspects of the human condition. However, I do find myself wondering why the lead characters, wonderfully superficial and weighted down by various forms of guilt, are really worth caring about at.

No mean Peet...

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Non-Review Review: The Town

It’s interesting to see how well Ben Affleck has redeemed himself as a director. After seeing Gone Baby Gone two years ago, I was willing to forgive the actor his roles in bad films like Jersey Girl, Phantoms and even Daredevil. I know he did Gigli too, but I can never forgive him for that. His second film behind the camera, The Town, demonstrates that he isn’t a one-hit wonder – but I have to admit that perhaps I am a bit disappointed. It isn’t that The Town is a bad or even an average film, it’s just one that I heard so much about that I had almost psyched myself up to watch. It’s a well-made exploration of urban decay which tackles its subjects with what seems (to a guy educated and living in a different country) to be a lot more honesty and neutrality than most films on the same subject matter.

So good it's criminal?

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Non-Review Review: Dorian Gray

I thought that monster remake mania wasn’t kicking off until The Wolfman finally gets released? This Oscar Wilde adaptation is an odd beast: one part slow, stately and almost cumbersome exploration of a boy who can never grow up and another part Universal horror movie for the MTV generation. It’s a very strange mix which works in parts and fails in others. I’m fairly sure I’m satisfied with my viewing experience, if not completely won over.

The portrait of the writer as a young man?

The portrait of the writer as a young man?

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