Wednesday 30 July 2014

Film: The House Of Magic

A stray cat finds its way into a large foreboding house and discovers that there are some very strange residents, and not all of them are welcoming.

After 10 minutes or so of this animated tale I was doubting its suitability for my 6 year old daughter. Nothing seems to go the little cat’s way. He is tossed out of a car, chased by an aggressive dog and then meets a pair of very angry animal inhabitants of the house. Luckily things change for the better when old magician Lawrence discovers the stray and names him Thunder.

Unfortunately Lawrence’s sneaky nephew plans to sell his Uncle’s house so the animal and magical creatures set their differences aside to unite in their efforts to thwart his plan.

There aren't too many laughs for the grown ups here but this charming film should keep under 10’s entertained as they root for Thunder and his gang of oddballs.

The House Of Magic is in UK cinemas now.

Ric’s Rating: Good.

Monday 28 July 2014

Film: Homefront

An undercover cop (Jason Statham) retires to the country with his young daughter but the past soon catches up with him in this action thriller scripted by Sylvester Stallone.

A schoolyard dispute escalates into a family dispute and Broker (Statham)  learns that in this town these things are best put to bed as quickly as possible  so he grudgingly apologises to the parents of the other child. Unbeknown to him they have already involved the local drug dealer (James Franco) who finds out that there are some very unsavoury characters on the look out for Broker.

A wonderful supporting cast that includes Clancy Brown, Frank Grillo and Winona Ryder help elevate this above the usual action movie standard. When it all kicks off Statham cements his status as a bona fide action star but he is also competent as the doting Father. Special mention has to go to James Franco who steals the show as the menacing Gator.

With engaging characters, a real sense of dread and some excellent action scenes Homefront is a must-see for any fan of the genre.

Ric’s Rating: Highly Recommended  

Sunday 20 July 2014

Book: The Nightmare Place by Steve Mosby

Detective Inspector Zoe Dolan is experiencing a recurring dream that gives her the strange feeling that something awful is coming. This is happening while she is working on a troubling case. There is a rapist on the loose who stalks women and then attacks them in their own home, he is known as The Creeper.

Steve Mosby’s latest sinister crime story grips from the chilling first chapter until the last. As well as the ongoing investigation we have a dispute between neighbours and a volunteer helpline worker who soon regrets doing the right thing.

Short  chapters make this a quick easy read which is over all too soon. A real pity as Mosby isn’t the most prolific of writers.

For more information on the author and his work visit and click on the Steve Mosby label below for more reviews and an interview.

Ric’s Rating: Highly Recommended.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Film: Elysium

In the near future wealthy people no longer live on Earth. They life a blissful life on a space station known as Elysium. Thanks to the latest technology there is no illness on Elysium as all known diseases and conditions can be repaired.

Back on Earth factory worker Max (Matt Damon) receives a fatal dose of radiation and decides that he must get to Elysium to save himself. Along the way he meets up with old friend Frey (alice Braga) and her leukaemia suffering daughter who also needs the healing technology.

In their way is a ruthless politician (Jodie Foster) and a crazy enforcer (Sharlto Copley) who do not plan on allowing any poor person access to the potentially life saving equipment.

Damon turns in another competent action turn and Foster is fine as the nasty and ambitious politician but it’s District 9’s Sharlto Copley that steals the show as he revels in the brutality of Kruger, a man with his own ideas on how Elysium should be governed.

Ric’s Rating: Good.