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All the Truth That's In Me

 

Reviewed by SEB 

It is 1837. Roswell Station, a small Puritan settlement is again under attack from the marauding Homelanders and the colony prepares to defend itself. But while the attack adds to the drama of this book the real story belongs to eighteen year old Judith who, two years previously was abducted together with her best friend Lottie. Lottie is killed and Judith is eventually released, but not before her captor cuts out her tongue, an act that Judith believes forbids her from telling her story. All the truth that's in me is Judith’s story.

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The Thoughtbook of F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

Reviewed by Hazel Menehira

It is a rare opportunity to enter the authentic diary and the young headspace of a teen destined to be recognised as one of the great writers of the 20th Century. Thanks to sleuth and Editor Dave Page the full secret boyhood diary entitled The Thoughtbook of F. Scott Fitzgerald has been revealed for the reading public.

 

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Cinema: Lucy

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

Luc Besson and Scarlett Johansson make a great team, a dynamic one in fact, for as insane and off-the-wall as their collaboration Lucy is, their dedication to making its outrageous premise work is to be commended. We only use 10% of our brain scientific sage Professor Norman tells us in the lead-up to Lucy herself surpassing that declaration beyond all imagining. Through the accidental ingestion of a dynamic new drug, Lucy will ensure that karmic debts are paid, that guns will fly, and that vengeance will be all hers. You can file it under action but it deserves its own folder, as most Besson films do. Lucy is fresh and alive and gives new meaning to the term hyperkinetic.

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Cinema: Still Life

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

In the remarkable new film Still Life, a woman comments to its hero John May about how strange his job is. He’s not offended by her remark. She doesn’t mean it cruelly, it’s simply an observation. Mr. May does have a strange occupation, one few of us would even think exists. It is his job to deal with the deceased when their lives have been forgotten or longer hold any regard for anyone. He does it with dignity and grace, and gently and thoroughly. In this quiet, nuanced film, sensitively written and directed by Uberto Pasolini you will meet a hero yet Still Life is never mawkish or phony and its champion isn't a martyr. It is quiet, sad, superbly acted, and deeply, deeply moving.

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DVD: Alfred Hitchcock Directs

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

Fans of Alfred Hitchcock will want to salute Madman Entertainment for their exclusive release Alfred Hitchcock Directs, a superb compilation of all the instalments personally directed by the master from both of his television series in one volume. Here you will find all 17 episodes from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, one episode from The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and an exclusive episode from the Ford Startime anthology series, Incident at A Corner, that appeared in 1959 (it ran for only one year) and was one of the first to be broadcast in colour.

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Cinema: Deliver Us from Evil

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

Should we pray for the day that a filmmaker catches Beelzebub in a good mood? He’s always angry, always out to invade bodies, always out to use our weaknesses against us. In the deafening Deliver Us from Evil, the new feels-like-an-epic shocker starring Eric Bana, reborn with a thick “Noo Joisey” accent, and directed by Scott Derrickson, the man criminally responsible for The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the Devil himself is after, well, I’m not even sure he knows what he wants this time. He’s visited so many cities in so many continents his bonus points must be through the roof. Inspired by actual events (which of course means it didn’t happen this way) and set in a wet, sweaty New York City where Jim Morrison’s voice signals doom, there’s going to be hell to pay as mothers throw babies around, an abusive duo stalk the heroes, and lights flicker.

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History's Worst Battles - and the People Who Fought Them

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Reviewed by Donald Lawie

History’s Worst Battles  introduces the reader to fifty battles chosen by author Joel Levy to represent those described as “the worst in history”. He has used five criteria for qualification as “worst”: High Casualty Rate, Catastrophic Defeat, Pyrrhic Victory, Tactical Blunder and Appalling Conditions. Battles range in chronological order from Thermopylae in 480 BC to Basra in 1982, and include many classic battles such as the original Pyrrhic Victory at Asculum in 279BC, Borodino in 1812 and Stalingrad, 1942/3. Warfare in the ancient and modern world, oriental and occidental, provides battles rich in the chosen five criteria though none meets them all. Levy gives a succinct summary of each battle, highlighting the categories in which it qualifies, the opposing armies and their leaders and an estimate of casualties incurred in the battle. He refrains from dictating the victorious side – in most of these battles the victor suffers grievously from his success.

 

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Blu Ray/DVD: Enemy

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

The Denis Villeneuve that directed Enemy is not the same resolution-friendly director that gave us last year's epic thriller Prisoners. His latest film, a deliciously eerie psychological piece of work, is more complex, stranger, and more unnerving so if you’re looking for easy access, keep on walking. But, if you like your thrillers thick with atmosphere, aligned with nightmarish imagery, and open ended, Enemy should be at the top of your list. It’s the second doppelganger film this year, the first being Jesse Eisenberg’s dank little adventure The Double. It must’ve been announced first since Villeneuve’s film is adapted, by Javier Gullon, from Jose Saramago’s celebrated novel of the same name. Never mind. Enemy is a better title. 

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Cinema: Venus in Fur

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

From the smooth tracking shot that moves along a Parisienne avenue drenched by rain and belted by thunder to the clumsy entrance of the heroine, its clear that Venus in Fur won’t be about couture. Grounded and neatly constructed, Roman Polanski’s latest film, an adaptation of the two-hander Broadway hit by David Ives, works well enough, for what it is. With Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric in the key roles, it tells the story of a director trying to cast the female role for the titular play. Inspired by the almost identical 1870 novel Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who essentially inspired the term masochism, Polanski and Ives have more on their mind than whips and chains. This will be a duel of words, a power play beyond anything the director could’ve imagined.

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Cinema: Sex Tape

Reviewed by Michael Dalton

I’m not sure if Sex Tape, the latest knockoff comedy to star Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel, even deserves to be reviewed. The yocks here are like totally low-grade with Rob Lowe scoring the lion’s share, and its all like, so intent on breaking down every last boundary regarding that most intimate of acts that like, the air runs out of this celluloid trifle real fast. Clumsily steered into a brick wall by Jake Kasdan, who was also responsible for the, by comparison, infinitely superior Bad Teacher, the story follows a married couple that find their sex lives have stalled since they had children so they make a private porn movie using that delightful old tome The Joy of Sex as a guide. Was this even rehearsed? Every scene looks like the first take.

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