A selection of reviews, blog posts and other jottings of interest.

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Tender Is the Night – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Book Review)

Posted on November 28, 2012

Compared to the more popular works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, such as, for example: The Great Gatsby (currently undergoing yet another transformation from page to screen), and the short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, it can be argued that Tender Is the Night has been largely ignored. In fact upon release, the follow up to Fitzgerald’s seminal novel The Great Gatsby, was viewed as a failure, and although it can definitely be argued that the popularity of the publication has increased over time, the works most commonly associated with the author remain, to this day, the aforementioned pair. One of the many interesting aspects to Tender Is the Night that also exists in many other works by Fitzgerald is the semi-autobiographical nature of its prose. This is perhaps…

Band of Horses /w/ Goldheart Assembly @ Manchester Academy 19/11/2012

Posted on November 22, 2012

With over a thousand people bundled into Manchester’s Academy 1 the perception of Mondays as being dull and encumbered affairs was surely proven wrong. The support act arriving at all was a relief in itself to the growing crowd, as Goldheart Assembly took to the stage with heaps of energy, and a raucous sound amidst more melodic verses. Earlier in the day the band had worried their fans, via Twitter, with three of the five members confessing that they had missed their ferry from Belfast. However, as they launched into their set the panic was over. The Beatle-esque tunes and frenzied shouts coalescing to stir the crowd into a generous show of appreciation. Amongst the standout tracks of their performance were ‘So Long St.…

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel Review)

Posted on November 20, 2012

Given the overwhelming criticism that has been directed at the film adaptation of Alan Moore’s homage to 19th Century literature you would not be blamed in opting to dismiss ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ as something of little significance or intellectual merit; though to do so would be at your own loss. Whilst the film fails in several aspects of its construction the original source material is both glowing with charm and intelligent in design, making the book a welcome addition to any comic-enthusiast’s collection. One of the main attractions of the text that is distinctly lacking in the film is most definitely the art style and direction; the style and layout of the book deliberately reminiscent of other works from the 19th century, with…

ParaNorman Review

Posted on November 8, 2012

‘ParaNorman’ the latest animation by Laika Inc., the studio behind 2009’s ‘Coraline’, is a magnificent blend of beautiful animation, intelligently scripted dialogue, and carries just enough sophistication to keep it fresh for an adult audience. Co-directed by Sam Fell, whose previous projects include Aardman and DreamWorks’s ‘Flushed Away’, and first time director Chris Butler, the film is an enjoyable homage to the horror genre that manages to transcend its target audience in favour of a broader appeal. One of the many things that the film has in its favour is its maturity, in part due to the intelligence of the writing. An example of this within the film is in the way Norman’s adolescent isolation is portrayed. This portrayal creates moments of genuine pathos…

Skyfall Review

Posted on November 1, 2012

If the release of 2008’s Quantum of Solace left you a little wearied by Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond, the arrival of director Sam Mendes’s take on the MI6 operative is sure to change your mind. ‘Skyfall’ manages to encompass all of the classic Bond tropes; from the fast paced action of the previous two films, again starring Craig, to the gadgetry and globe trotting of the earlier Bond films, it’s all here. Yet the film also succeeds where many others have failed before it, by offering a human face to Bond. ‘Skyfall’ is not simply just the rehash of old ideas that it perhaps might have been – given that the theatrical release date coincides with the 50th anniversary of Bond on film…