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Director: Ridley Scott Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride Running Time: 123 minutes


Almost forty years ago now, the minds of Dan O’Bannon and the then up-and-coming director Ridley Scott crossed with the cold and violently Freudian imagery of H.R. Giger and created Alien. A massive hit, Alien took the science-fiction adventure dreams that were launched in viewers two years earlier by Star Wars  and curdled them into a nightmare; not an Expanded Universe that invites exploration, but a cruel one that punished hubristic humans who wander where they’re not wanted. Alien‘s success and its iconic imagery made it a no-brainer for franchise material, and after the interpretations of other directors-some welcome, most not-and some regrettable dust-ups with Predators, Scott returned to the space where no one can hear you scream, first with the yes-but-no-but-yes prequel Prometheus and now with the bridge-gapping Alien: Covenant. These latest films may have their faults, quite a few in fact, but at least Scott is back for reasons other than money or brand building, instead using the old world he helped create to explore new ideas. It’s just unfortunate that having ideas at all puts Scott one up on any of the characters in these films, who almost never have two brain cells to rub together.

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Directed by: David Yates Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Colin Farrell Running Time: 133 mins


For those not in the know Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is the latest installment in J.K. Rowling’s highly successful and ever expanding wizarding world – a spin off of Harry Potter, intended by the good folk at Warner Brothers as a means of providing a whole new lease of life for the series; a franchise grown from a textbook that exists in the novels, and a prequel of sorts. Got it? Ok, so depending on how you feel about all that, and your level of cynicism regarding the nature of movie studio cash-grabs, you may be glad to know the film is actually a rousing success.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an extremely fun and compelling adventure. One that injects a bit more of an exciting blockbuster feel to proceedings, while still maintaining the boundless imagination, heart and magic of its predecessors.Read more…