Orphan Black Season 1

There are lots of things to like about sci-fi series Orphan Black; they’re all Tatiana Maslany. She plays a range of different characters – a frustrated housewife, a scattered scientist, an English punk, a Russian assassin – for reasons that I probably shouldn’t spoil … but let’s be honest, your first guess (something-something-clones something-something-shadowy-organisation) will…

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe (2013)

Originality is a lauded characteristic of modern music, but there’s something to be said for executing a time-honoured formula with enthusiasm and talent. CHVRCHES’ debut record, The Bones of What You Believe, is hardly original, but if, like me, your ‘80s childhood has left you with soft spot for synth pop, you won’t have any…

Tim Winton’s The Turning (2013)

Last night I went to a preview screening of Tim Winton’s The Turning, presented by director and producer Robert Connolly. The book it’s based on is a collection of seventeen short stories from one of the Australia’s greatest authors, stories set on or around the Western coast of Australia; stories about childhood and parents and…

Side Effects (2013)

Side Effects is cinematic sleight of hand. It’s a beguiling performance from the movie magician; the great Steven Soderbergh. It feints at being a story about the questionable practices of the pharmaceutical industry; it’s not. Early scenes drift elliptically through Emily (Rooney Mara)’s life; she seems depressed, and she seems to be the film’s protagonist.…

Hatchet III (2013)

Hatchet III continues the escalation that Hatchet II began: where the first sequel replaced unarmed tourists with armed hillbillies, the second sequel upgrades to an entire SWAT platoon (and consequently, even fewer female characters). The same intensification is evident in the gore, which is more excessive but less imaginative than the earlier films. Where Hatchet…

Hatchet II (2011)

Story: Hatchet II retells and reconfigures Victor Crowley’s origin story, which seems fitting given the recasting of MaryBeth (the first film’s Final Girl) and the way its chief inspiration, the Friday the 13th series, would reinvent Jason Voorhees with each sequel. The main plotline is a double-edged revenge story (for MaryBeth and Victor) which is…

Hatchet (2006)

Hatchet is generally described as a horror-comedy, but the qualifier doesn’t quite fit. It’s not exactly horror – Hatchet is hardly trying to scare its audience – but its jokes are mostly in-jokes, references or cameos that will put a grin on horror fans’ faces without really being funny. This is a horror film made…