Monthly Archives: February 2016

Oscars 2016

The 2016 Oscars were a mixed bag, because once again they got it wrong in a number of key categories. To be fair, they got it right a few times too. In fact, this year’s Oscars reminds me of the … Continue reading

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Flashbacks

Novelists are often advised not to write flashbacks. Or at least, if we do, we are told we’d better be a seasoned genius, not a wet-behind-the-ears first time novelist. Like all other advice of this kind, I take it with … Continue reading

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Film Review – Bone Tomahawk

“Not for the faint of heart” and “strong stomach required” seem slightly inadequate as warnings for Bone Tomahawk, an unsettling and effective western/horror hybrid from writer/director S Craig Zahler. So yes, let’s get the warnings out of the way upfront: … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Assassin

Loosely based on a seventh-century Chinese folk tale, The Assassin concerns royal executioner Yinniang, who has a crisis of conscience during the dying embers of the Tang Dynasty, when the Emperor tried to regain control over increasingly defiant provinces. The … Continue reading

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Get Children of the Folded Valley FREE – for five days only!

Get my most successful novel Children of the Folded Valley absolutely FREE on Kindle from Amazon – for five days only! Here is the blurb from the back of the book: During a journey to visit his estranged sister, James … Continue reading

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Film Review – Deadpool

To quote Vyvyan from The Young Ones: “Even mindless violence seems boring today.” I am not familiar with the Deadpool source material, but given the sheer level of foaming at the mouth from those I know that devour comics, I … Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day Special: Ten great gory scenes

Today, because it is Valentine’s Day, I am offering a little counter-programming: an article about gore in movies. Blood and gore in film can be used a variety of ways – to repulse, to add authenticity, dramatic punch, or sometimes … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Iron Giant (Signature Edition)

First things first: if you have not seen The Iron Giant, Brad Bird’s criminally underrated animation masterpiece from 1999, find a screening of this incredibly welcome re-release near you and check it out immediately. The film inexplicably bombed at the … Continue reading

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Film Review – Goosebumps

Goosebumps, based on the popular children’s novels by RL Stine, could have so easily been terrible. As it happens it is a good notch above average, thanks to a witty screenplay by Darren Lemke, who plays the risky “meta” card … Continue reading

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Adverbs: The Work of the Devil?

One frequently reads writing advice to the effect that adverbs are the source of all evil. Some of these articles are so vehement I actually checked the Bible to see if adverbs were a result of Adam and Eve eating … Continue reading

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