Six Nations 2019 – Conclusions on the Road to the World Cup

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Another Six Nations ends, with the 2019 edition having packed in more drama than most. Normally that would be it for international competition rugby for the year. But with the World Cup kicking off in Japan in September, instead this tournament gives us a view of how the teams are shaping up six months out. And while past performance is no guarantee of future success, some teams seem to be peaking at just the right time. Others however, face serious questions. Continue reading “Six Nations 2019 – Conclusions on the Road to the World Cup”

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Team of the Six Nations 2019

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What can you say about the Six Nations – it always delivers. After a wild final day, consisting of thrilling comebacks, torrential rain and the small matter of a Grand Slam, here’s my team of the tournament. Continue reading “Team of the Six Nations 2019”

Six Nations 2019 – predictions

Coaches and captains come together for 2019 Guinness Six Nations launch

A new year rolls round and with it the latest edition of Rugby’s Greatest Championship™. The last Six Nations before the World Cup is always an intriguing one – coaches get one last chance to blood their players in championship rugby, and we start to get a sense of how teams are shaping up. Here are my predictions for how the 2019 Six Nations will pan out, starting with: Continue reading “Six Nations 2019 – predictions”

The Best Films of 2018

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We were blessed with a lot of great films in 2018, so many that picking a top ten wasn’t easy – there was no room, for example, for the entrancing animated tale The Breadwinner, or the thrilling Mission: Impossible – Fallout, both of which may well have featured in other years. Here’s my list of the films that did make it in to my top ten. Continue reading “The Best Films of 2018”

The Best Albums of 2018

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Another year, another year-end Best Albums list! And if 2017 proved a monumental year for hip-hop and grime, then 2018 saw the heavier genres take their turn at the top table, with a number of powerful and punchy metal and punk releases. Here’s my favourite albums of the year. Continue reading “The Best Albums of 2018”

Halloween (2018) – review

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The eleventh movie in a horror franchise that now includes seven increasingly shoddy direct sequels, a remake, a sequel to a remake, and one entry that has nothing to do with the other films at all, 2018’s Halloween takes the bold step of ignoring all the previous instalments except for John Carpenter’s  legendary 1978 original. It’s a rare bit of audaciousness that’s otherwise largely missing from director David Allen Green and co-writer Danny McBride’s workmanlike follow-up. Continue reading “Halloween (2018) – review”

Team of the 2018 World Cup

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It’s been a fantastic tournament, full of twists and surprises, and enlivened by some stunning performances, including a few from some unlikely candidates. Here’s my team of the tournament, playing in an attack-minded 4-2-1-3 set-up.

Continue reading “Team of the 2018 World Cup”

Hereditary – review

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‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad,’ runs Philip Larkin’s famous poem. It’s a concept that runs central to Hereditary, the debut feature from writer-director Ari Aster, which has been racking up an unusual level of plaudits for a horror film over the past few weeks. Critics have been lining up to breathlessly declare it the scariest film of the year. But despite an intriguing first act and a reliably ominous atmosphere, this creepy but ultimately derivative film doesn’t quite stick the landing. Continue reading “Hereditary – review”