Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

By Kirstie Dyke

Film: Alice in Wonderland

Starring: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham- Carter

Director: Tim Burton

Rating: *** 1/2

Fans of Lewis Carroll’s The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland will be disappointed; Tim Burton’s Alice is hardly recognisable from the ones who have gone before. Sure, there is a cake that makes Alice taller, a drink that makes Alice smaller and most of the much-loved characters remain (although I did notice the absence of my favourites, the Mock Turtle and the Duchess with her pig baby.) Read the rest of this entry »


Review by Jo Isaac

Film: Nowhere Boy

Starring: Aaron Johnson, Anne-Marie Duff, Kristin Scott Thomas.

Director: Sam Taylor-Wood

Rating: *****

As a major Beatles and John Lennon fan I was excited but a little apprehensive about the new film ‘Nowhere Boy’. The film documents around two of Lennon’s teenage years, and anyone who knows his story will be aware that it is a sad and sensitive tale that must be treated with great care by a film maker.

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By Catharine Baldwin

Review: Simon Amstell

Venue: Oxford Playhouse

Rating: ****

Simon Amstell, the hilariously witty former host of Popworld and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, delved deep into his own insecurities and angst during his new stand-up routine to deliver a very touching and personal performance. Coupled with his own memories and philosophical contemplations the performance was not only incredibly funny but intelligent at that – a ‘genius recluse’, as he revealed he prefers to be seen as. Read the rest of this entry »

By Michael Goode

Title: Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England

Author: Amanda Vickery

Pages: 368

Price: £11-15 (Amazon UK)

Rating: ***

Behind Closed Doors pulls you into a different world looking at the everyday worries and aspirations of Georgian people, from the landed gentry to the hopelessly poor, it lets you step into someone else’s shoes and walk about in the nosiest way.   Read the rest of this entry »

By Sam Hilton

The English Department ran a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see two Shakespeare plays ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Winter’s Tale’ in  September, and a drama workshop run by the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company).

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By Michael Goode

Book: Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World

Author:  Niall Ferguson

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 464

Price: Around £5 (Amazon UK)

Rating: ****

I have recently discovered a book that tries to explain the modern world, and what part Britain played in its creation. The book by Niall Ferguson looks at the British Empire and what it created, this conjures up either pride or humiliation in the empire’s legacy. But what was it? What role did it play? How did it start? How did it end? Ferguson answers all this and more, but goes further to look at whether this role was negative or positive and how it had been continued. The book is controversial, thanks to Ferguson’s sometimes blunt and dismissive opinion, but is brilliantly written and very interesting.   Read the rest of this entry »

By Oli Gokgol

Game : Halo  ODST
Manufacturer : Bungie
RRP £39.99 (you can get it for £28.75 at Amazon)
Rating: *

“Halo ODST” is all I hear as I enter a chat room on Xbox live, and to be honest, it makes me quite sick. I admit the first three Halo games were pretty good, but I didn’t lock myself in my room with a picture of Master Chief and some hand cream because of them. Yet, something about this new game made me think otherwise. So, sad as I am I finally went to find out why so many American kids replace Keira Knightly for Master Chief. Read the rest of this entry »

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