Willow (1988) – Ron Howard

I remember the first time I saw Willow. I know where I was, and I remember how it swept me up in its narrative. I knew I had to see it the moment it told me it was from the imagination of George Lucas. I knew who Ron Howard was, but I was a teenager…

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) – Mike Newell

The fourth entry in the Harry Potter franchise is the first to get itself a PG-13 rating, reflecting the fact tht the stories themselves are getting darker, and dealing with heavier subjects. It also sees a new director behind the camera, Mike Newell, who continues the world-building of the series, embracing the visual aesthetic that…

Broken Homes (2013) – Ben Aaronovitch

The fourth book in Ben Aaronovitch’s River of London series opens up the world again, even further than the previous novel, as we join Peter Grant, Lesley, Nightingale as they continue their hunt for the Faceless Man, dealing with the Gods and Godesses of the rivers, and the mysteries that begin to spring up with…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) – Alfonso Cuaron

Despite the box office success of the previous two Harry Potter films, the franchise really comes into its own with a change of directors, the masteful Alfonso Cuaron settles into the chair taking over from Chris Columbus who moved into a producer’s role for this entry. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint return for…

A Gathering of Shadows (2016) – V.E. Schwab

The second installment in V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy transports me easily, and enjoyably back to Red London, as well as fiving us glimpses of White and Grey Londons, but before you pick it up, a little warning… this is book two of a trilogy, you have to know that this one is going…

TIFF 2021: Dune dir. Denis Villeneuve

Magnificent. Triumphant. THIS is the movie I saw in my mind’s eye when I first read Dune in 1984 when I was anticipating the Lynch film (which I love for its own reasons). The visual aesthetic, the sound and production design, the score (I swear Hans Zimmer isn’t the only one throwing a few nods…

Nightbreed: Director’s Cut (1990) – Clive Barker

I’ve always enjoyed Clive Barker’s stories, and I remember being so excited, during my freshman year at university, I was reading anything I could get my hands on by him from my local library. So I was very excited to see that he had directed his own adaptation of his novel Cabal in the form…

Whispers Under Ground (2012) – Ben Aaronovitch

The third book in what has become known as the Rivers of London series takes Peter Grant beneath London in the next volume of the urban fantasy series. Working a murder case, while still hunting down the Faceless Man and his students, Grant, alongside Lesley, who has now joined the Folly (where they work from)…

Moon Over Soho (2011) – Ben Aaronovitch

Constable Peter Grant returns to investigate the supernatural in the second novel in the Rivers of London series written by Ben Aaronovitch. Picking up about six months after the first book, the novel sees Grant still dealing with the fallout from the events of the first novel, particularly the attack that left his friend, and…

A Darker Shade of Magic (2015) – V.E. Schwab

I dug excitedly into V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Side of Magic, I’d heard good things about it, and I like the idea of connected worlds, all sharing a city called London, one filled with magic, one destroyed by it, one fading, and one without any idea of magic (the closest to our own), and those…

Rivers of London (2011) – Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London, originally released as Midnight Riot before it was retitled to launch the continuing series of novels it spawned, was a wonderful surprise and a complete joy to read, and a fantastic introduction into the genre of urban fantasy. PC Peter Grant is afraid he’s going to end up doing administrative duty once…

Excalibur (1981) – John Boorman

Like a series of pre-Raphaelite paintings brought to life, director John Boorman infuses the screen with magic and beauty as he delves into the myth of King Arthur and delivers what would become the gold standard for cinematic interpretations of the English legend. Each frame is a work of art as the story follows the…