Reviews

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Cinderella

23 Mar 20154 stars

Kenneth Branagh helms a lavish rendition of the fairytale, starring Cate Blanchett

After delivering the likes of Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, commercial cinema has finally woken up to the idea that audiences don’t always want their fairytales spiced-up and rejigged. Kenneth Branagh’s…

Download: new Singles and EPs out now and incoming – April

26 Mar 2015

Featuring Happy Meals, Rose McDowall, Froth, Vashti Bunyan & Animal Collective and Sacred Paws

Sunday, Monday: Happy Meals. Tuesday, Wednesday: Happy Meals. Thursday, Friday: Happy Meals. There isn't a day in the week that cannot be hugely improved by a blast of astral disco-chanson from Glasgow duo Happy Meals. ‘Altered Images’ is the latest…

Get Hard

25 Mar 20153 stars

Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart pair up for a rollercoaster of a race relations comedy

Race relations are placed under a comic spotlight, but Blazing Saddles this ain't. When innocent hedge fund exec James King (Will Ferrell) finds out that he is being sent to prison for fraud, he assumes car-wash owner Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) can…

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

23 Mar 20153 stars

Fun cinematic return for the animated TV star, featuring Antonio Banderas

Life in Bikini Bottom is chugging along as usual for our animated hero SpongeBob (voiced by Tom Kenny). Plankton (Mr Lawrence) is still determined to steal the secret recipe for the delicious Krabby Patties, launching a major attack on the Krusty Krab.

Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too

27 Mar 20154 stars

Mercury Prize-winning trio come back in style

In an era when designed-in, risk-averse formulism is the only style which is allowed into the mainstream, it’s pleasing to hear Edinburgh trio Young Fathers unashamedly describe themselves as pop music. From that out-of-the-blue but utterly deserved…

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Seventh Son

23 Mar 20153 stars

Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges enliven a thoroughly daft fantasy

'Help yourself to the blood-cakes, little one,' coolly enjoins Julianne Moore as witch Mother Malkin in Sergei Bodrov’s demented fantasy. Such ripe dialogue abounds as Moore and Jeff Bridges struggle valiantly to make sense of an effects-heavy…

Theatre review: And the Beat Goes On

26 Mar 20153 stars

Complicity and tragedy in Random Accomplice's new show

Set in the late 1980s – long after Sonny and Cher had divorced, and Cher was on the cusp of making her spectacular comeback – Stef Smith's new play unfolds the aftermath of a personal tragedy. The central idea – a married couple caught up in private…

Dior and I

23 Mar 20153 stars

Low-key, engaging documentary focusing on the iconic fashion house

There has been a small glut of fashion documentaries over recent years, and director Frédéric Tcheng has been involved with some of the best of them: he co-directed, wrote and edited the wonderful Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, and co-edited…

The Prodigy – The Day Is My Enemy

26 Mar 20153 stars

Going backwards to stay angry, and partying like it's 1996

Despite Liam Howlett's talk of The Prodigy's 'angry album', and the aggressive titles ('Nasty', 'Get Your Fight On'), The Day Is My Enemy is a conservative album. Aside from sprinkling occasional samples of Arabic music, and a melody line on 'Wild…

Tim Clare – The Honours

26 Mar 20154 stars

Performance poet’s debut is one of the most exciting fantasy novels of recent years

In his debut novel, poet Tim Clare has succeeded in creating a world that is at once fantastical and absorbingly real. Initially, the story seems to follow a familiar spy thriller trajectory: 13-year-old heroine Delphine is displaced when her family…

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Wild Card

18 Mar 20151 star

Messy, misjudged actioner from Simon West, starring Jason Statham

Jason Statham has gravitated towards certain types of characters to such a degree that his name has become cinematic shorthand for 'thug with a heart of gold'. His latest, Nick Wild, is cast from exactly the same mould, but operates in an environment so…

Stewart Lee: A Room With A Stew

16 Mar 20154 stars

The Comedy Vehicle comedian continues to intrigue, influence and irritate in wonderful measure

A couple of years ago, the Daily Telegraph’s longstanding comedy correspondent reviewed Stewart Lee’s then touring show, Much A-Stew About Nothing. Or rather, he reviewed the first half because, boasting rather too gleefully, he walked out at the…

Theatre review: Hedda Gabler

25 Mar 20154 stars

Nicola Daley shines as Hedda in the Lyceum’s new production of the Ibsen classic

The landscape of female experience portrayed by Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler may have changed in the century and a quarter since it was written, but in this tale of a woman bound by the expectations of men there’s still much that resonates on a broader…

The Signal

23 Mar 20153 stars

Promising indie sci-fi with Laurence Fishburne and Brenton Thwaites

US indie sci-fi has been booming since Colin Trevorrow went from directing Safety Not Guaranteed to being handed the reins of Jurassic World. William Eubank’s The Signal might seem like just another entry for the ongoing pile of lo-fi, stargazing fare…

Jane Alexander – The Last Treasure Hunt

17 Mar 20153 stars

This debut novel is a pleasant look at a Scottish barman’s journey to celebrity status

Scottish author Jane Alexander's debut novel follows Cam, a blokey Gen-X barman who, after reconnecting with childhood friend-turned-Hollywood star Eve, finds himself at the centre of celebrity. Early on, The Last Treasure Hunt is more Hello! than…

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The Face of an Angel

23 Mar 20153 stars

Michael Winterbottom uses a real-life murder case as a springboard for drama

After sending funny men Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon munching their way around Italy for TV series / film The Trip to Italy, prolific British director Michael Winterbottom stays in the region for his latest movie. This, however, is anything but comedy…

Dance review: Scottish Ballet – A Streetcar Named Desire

20 Mar 20155 stars

Theatrical ballet captures intensity of Tennessee Williams’ classic play

They say two heads are better than one, and in the case of this passionate re-working of Tennessee Williams, it’s most definitely true. In a rare, bold and presumably expensive move, Scottish Ballet brought in not just a choreographer to create their…

Jlin – Dark Energy

19 Mar 20152 stars

The producer pushes footwork into darker nooks as her new record weighs heavy with a sobering tone

Jlin’s earnest, tempestuous footwork – that frenetic Chicago sound – does not originate from a happy place. The Gary, Indiana producer admits herself: ‘My musical sense of expression comes from sadness and anger.’ So if you like your footwork to be fun…

Possibilities of the Object: Experiments in Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art

17 Mar 20154 stars

Fruitmarket show captures the revolutionary spirit of artists in Brazil since the 1950s

Revolutionary spirit pervades in abundance throughout this compendium of 18 contemporary Brazilian artists. Many exhibitors have been rarely seen outside their volatile homeland since the 1950s, from when some of the earliest works on show date. It's…

Robot Overlords

23 Mar 20152 stars

Derivative British sci-fi adventure featuring Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson

The worldwide popularity of young adult franchises The Hunger Games and Divergent certainly hasn't escaped the attention of UK filmmakers. After Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now mined the dystopian sci-fi seam, Robot Overlords – from Northern Irish…

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Artist Rooms: Robert Mapplethorpe

20 Mar 20154 stars

Artist Rooms On Tour brings work of once controversial photographer to Clydebank

This is the latest of the Artist Rooms exhibitions to reach Glasgow, and it’s heartening that it should take place a little off the beaten track at Clydebank Museum, inside Clydebank’s town hall. The exhibition of black-and-white photographs gives a…

Theatre review: Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha explores the process of loss

25 Mar 20153 stars

The Ukranian theatre piece is more bitter than bitter-sweet

Ukranian playwright Natalia Vorozhbyt's play for the Play, Pie and a Pint season, translated by Sasha Dugdale, is more bitter than bitter-sweet, dealing as it does with the emotional complexities of the grieving process. Stepdaughter Oksana (an…

Paul Vickers and The Leg – The Greengrocer

19 Mar 20154 stars

This food-stuff-based quasi concept album is easy to digest

Don't be fooled by the troubadourish mediaevalisms of the jaunty guitar flourish that opens the third and much belated opus by the wildest junkyard auteurs to ever embark on a galloping collision course of surrealist lyrical fantasms and stumblebum…

Theatre review: Spamalot

17 Mar 20154 stars

Slick and highly effective musical comedy inspired by Monty Python

Spamalot likes to have it both ways – both mercilessly mocking the conventions of stage musicals, and also relying on them for its success. It’s the same with the show’s connections with its parent movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail; on the one hand…

Theatre review: The King's Speech

17 Mar 20153 stars

Jason Donovan and Raymond Coulthard impress in the play-turned-film-turned-play

Thanks to its Oscar-winning 2010 film adaptation, The King’s Speech – originally written by David Seidler as a play – finally gets to hit the stage. Set in the late 1930s, Seidler's script lends a political resonance to the story of George VI – then…