In this partial sequel to the 1939 classic, James Franco is Oscar Diggs, a talented magician who dreams of greatness but is trapped in a travelling circus - until he is caught in a twister and taken to the jolly old land of Oz.
The film, directed by Spider-Man's Sam Raimi, seems to have divided people but I fall into the category of people who enjoyed it. Its flaws - such as pacing issues and dodgy character development - are obvious and it certainly does pale in comparison to Wizard. However, viewed on its own terms, it's an enjoyable enough, visually-gorgeous way to spend a couple of hours.
I've been highly anticipating this one for a while; a radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman's fantastic urban fantasy novel featuring a top-flight cast including James MacAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sophie Okenedo, Bernard Cribbins - and Christopher Lee! Thankfully, the series delivered, being an funny, touching and fast-paced version of the story terrifically played by the cast. Special kudos goes to MacAvoy for playing everyman protagonist Richard Mayhew with such realism and likeability and, of course, Cumberbatch for imbuing the Angel Islington with a chilling edge. If I did such a thing - which I seem to be here - it would be my pick of the month!
Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes
The best Holmes pastiches, I find, are the ones that pitch the highly-rational detective against the forces of darkness - so I obviously found this anthology of supernatural-tinged Holmes stories a treat. Including tales concerning the devil's footprints, an ancient Egyptian curse and an encounter with Count Dracula, the writing styles vary but invariably capture Conan Doyle's timeless creations throughout. Oddly, my favourite of the bunch may be the least 'uncanny'; the anthology's opening story which details a young Holmes loosing his first love. It's a twisting-turning story that packs a real emotional punch as it aims to get at the steely heart of our Holmes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season Six
I've been working my way through Joss Whedon's seminal genre series on-and-off for many months now - and have finally arrived at its sombre, penultimate series. Following on from the climax of Season Five, this series begins as Buffy's friends bring her back from the dead to continue fighting the force of evil in their hometown of Sunnydale. It's a bit of a mixed bag, this one, with several good quality episode alongside some mediocre ones. Downsides include less Anthony Head as his character Giles leaves the main cast but a positive is more of Alyson Hannigan's Willow as her dependence on magic leads to some dire consequences over the course of the series. It's not the best of seasons but it's also not the worst - sorry, Season Four - and has lots to offer. Particularly the musical episode 'Once More with Feeling' which everyone should watch!