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QuickView: Foe (2023)

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“In the beginning, everything feels so alive and exciting. But time makes it predictable.” Hen Predictability is not necessarily a flaw unless a film is so focused on impressing its audience with a twist that its fumbled attempts at misdirection serve only to weaken its narrative. Foe is a perfect example of prizing surprise over […]

QuickView: The Fall Guy (2024)

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“I’m not the hero of this story; I’m just the stunt guy.” Colt Seavers I have a soft spot for David Leitch, the stuntman-turned-director, who has produced some of the most creative and reliably entertaining action films of the last decade, particularly as the once-staple action comedy has fallen out of favour. Loosely based on […]

Space Hulk

by: |[P]|

I still have a battered copy of the second edition of Space Hulk, a £40 big box boardgame from the 1990s that now sells on ebay for around £200. Set in the grimdark sci-fi universe of Warhammer 40,000, the game is unfolds aboard huge spacecraft adrift in the depths of space as hulking power-armoured Space […]

Rule #32: Enjoy the miniature things

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Few current readers are likely to know of Palace of the Phoenix King, one of the first websites I created at the age of around 12, dedicated to my recently discovered hobby of fantasy tabletop gaming, specifically Warhammer Fantasy Battles and its dungeon-crawling sibling, Warhammer Quest. The site took its name from the monarch of […]

QuickView: All of Us Strangers (2023)

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“They say it’s a very lonely kind of life.” Mum Adapted by writer-director Andrew Haigh from a novel by Taichi Yamada, All of Us Strangers is a haunting exploration of love and traumatic grief in the mind of a struggling author. Andrew Scott is mesmerising as the unravelling Adam visiting his childhood home and conversing […]

Unplayer One: Prince of Persia (2008)

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Unplayer One is a recurring feature exploring games in way that should appeal to those who enjoy art irrespective of the medium.  Unlike other review posts, these are likely to contain major spoilers so, if you have any intention of playing the game in question, please do so before reading. In 2008 the storied action-platformer series Prince of Persia […]

QuickView: Perfect Days (2023)

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“The world is made up many worlds; some are connected, and some are not.” Hirayama Although Perfect Days is overtly influenced by Ozu (40 years after Wim Wenders made a documentary about the acclaimed Japanese director’s vision of Tokyo), it called to mind Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson in its quiet slice-of-life drama about a manual worker […]

QuickView: Dune: Part Two (2024)

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“He’s not like the other strangers. He is sincere.” Chani My only real complaint with the introductory Dune: Part One was structural, its truncated story resulting in an unsatisfying ending, yet it provides Part Two with a perfect in-built arc as Paul Atreides learns the Fremen’s desert ways and rises as a rebel leader. At […]

QuickView: The Warrior (2001)

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“There’s blood written on your face.” Blind woman British-born director Asif Kapadia is now best known for his award-winning documentaries Amy and Senna but he ambitiously opted to shoot his first feature in the deserts of Rajasthan and the Himalayas. Kapadia’s influences are immediately evident — the warriors in service of a a tyrannical lord […]

QuickView: The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

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“After he murdered me, Tony gave my wife and baby his pocket change. But that was much later.” Christopher Moltisanti There are considerable similarities between The Many Saints of Newark and El Camino: both provide an extension to a beloved prestige TV drama, both expertly recreated the tone and visual identity of the series, and […]