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Welcome to GEEKchocolate

Exists

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Some call it Bigfoot, some call it the Sasquatch, and in other parts of the world similar legends persist, the Yowie of Australia, the Yeren of Mongolia, the Yeti of the Himalayas, a primitive man-ape which inhabits the few remaining sparsely populated forested wildernesses which hold out against suburban encroachment. Coming to public attention in the Americas through the fifties, it was in the seventies that cinema began to take notice, from The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) to Snowbeast (1977), with a different approach in Harry and the Hendersons (1987) and most recently in Willow Creek (2013).

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The Babadook

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Is this real life or is this just fantasy? For Amelia, her life has been a living nightmare since the rainy day her husband Oskar drove her to the hospital, heavily pregnant with their first child and entering labour. The car skidded and overturned; Amelia and the baby survived, Oskar did not. A widow with a child, she has struggled to cope, existing rather than living, raising Samuel alone and locking all Oskar’s belongings in the basement, his clothes, his photographs, his violin, consigning him to a past which can never be revisited.

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Constantine

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It’s not been an easy life for John Constantine. A cynical chain-smoking working class magician and occult detective decades before Harry Dresden made it trendy, his greatest misfortune may be that for many the world over, despite having guested in other comics before his own title Hellblazer debuted in 1988, he is best known to many as the inspiration behind the 2005 film Constantine where Keanu Reeves was inconceivably placed in the title role contrary to anything which could be regarded as appropriate or good sense.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer - reaction

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Few would deny that the approach has been anything other than Marvellous, a strategy a decade in the planning and execution which has seen ten linked films released already, most recently the barnstorming performance of the only outlier, Guardians of the Galaxy, leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the second most successful movie franchise of all time with an estimated cumulative $7.1 billion, though the release of the eleventh film, direct sequel to the most successful individual film in the sequence with a $1.5 billion global haul, is sure to take that total far past Harry Potter's cumulative $7.7 billion.

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Edge of Tomorrow

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Ostensibly a film with time travel as a central plot device, Edge Of Tomorrow is less influenced by the temporal mechanics of The Time Machine or the paradoxes Looper and is more honestly positioned somewhere between Groundhog Day and Saving Private Ryan. Adapted relatively faithfully by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack the Giant Slayer) and brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth from the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi Abe, the film is directed by Doug Liman, continuing his cinematic evolution which has taken him from Swingers (1996) through The Bourne Identity (2002) to Jumper (2008) and now here.

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Mark of the Devil

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“I didn’t make it as a horror film, I made it as a statement,” says writer/director Michael Armstrong in the interview accompanying Arrow’s Blu-ray release of Mark of the Devil, the 1970 film which was marketed as "Positively the most horrifying film ever made" and "Rated V for Violence" by the American distributor Hallmark. Filmed in West Germany, a country which now has a pragmatic approach to superstition, it was an international collaboration which allowed content which would not have been allowed by the censors of Britain nor the studios of America, always answerable to their shareholders. Specifically, European cinema could question the complicity of the church in the persecution of women in the middle ages where Hollywouldn’t.

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Space Station 76

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Science fiction is most often the medium of the future, looking forward to a tomorrow which may be brighter or may be troubled but will certainly be different, changed through a technology which has opened up a new possibility to humanity be it good or bad. Yet science fiction also has the past to explore and an equally valid subgenre is the alternate history, the world as it might have been had a different route been taken, or in the case of the deep space refuelling point Space Station 76, how the solar system might have been had the reality of economics not curtailed the ambition of the space programme.

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Alastair Reynolds – Revelations from beyond the Aquila Rift

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With twelve major novels published since his 2000 debut Revelation Space, shortlisted for both the BSFA and Arthur C Clarke awards, alongside a plethora of short stories and novellas, former astronomer Alastair Reynolds is not only of the most prolific and significant of modern science fiction writers but also one of the most approachable. Attending the Edinburgh International Science Festival to participate in fellow astronomer and novelist Pippa Goldschmidt's event What Scientists Read on April 17th, he was sat with Geek Chocolate for a long chat over coffee and cake to talk about his career, his novels, his future work, the current frontiers of astronomy and a few teases about the forthcoming concluding volume of the Poseidon’s Children trilogy, due 2015.

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The Woman in Black: Angel of Death trailer - reaction

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Starring former Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe, The Woman in Black, based on the novel by Susan Hill, was a conscious effort to introduce British horror studio Hammer to a new generation, and a vastly successful one at that, grossing almost $128 million on cinema release, a fine return on the $15 million production budget. Of course, a sequel beckoned, moving the story forward a generation from the period prior to the Great War to the days of the London blitz as a schoolteacher and her young charges are evacuated to the supposed safety of isolated Eel Marsh House. Tom Harper directs from a script by Jon Croker, based on a story by Susan Hill, the writer of the original novel.

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I Origins

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“Every person living on this planet has their own unique pair of eyes,” says Ian Gray, father, husband, scientist: he is bound by what he can observe, measure, categorise, but equally true is that every person on the planet has their own set of experiences, their own unique vision and perspective, and so it is possible for two people to look upon the same thing and yet see something quite different. So it is with the latest film from Mike Cahill, a wide eyed gaze at the contrariness of love and the conflict between faith and science.

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The Maze Runner

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Riding on the crest of a wave of box-office success in the USA, The Maze Runner now hurtles into multiplexes nationwide, the latest in an increasingly desperate succession of Hunger Games cash-ins, this Young Adult dystopian drama is adapted from the 2009 novel by James Dashner. Taking place mostly in the Glade, a sylvan clearing which is effectively a prison inhabited by a small community of teenage boys surrounded by impassable walls on all four sides, the story begins in medias res with the arrival of Thomas (Teen Wolf’s Dylan O'Brien), the latest in a long line of monthly arrivals.

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Night of the Comet

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It’s not a typical apocalypse, nor was the inspiration as obvious as the inescapable cold war angst during the escalating tensions between Reagan’s America and the revolving political door of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics at the time, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko and Gorbachev within a matter of months. Instead, writer and director Thom Eberhardt says the muse for his 1984 feature was actually a romantic comedy released eighteen months previously, director Martha Coolidge's Valley Girl, starring Deborah Foreman and a teenage Nicholas Cage.

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