Rory Ford picks the best reasons to stay in this month
The Walking Dead Season 2 could have been designed for the box-set format. Watched weekly, some mid-season episodes lack momentum and you begin to wish our plucky band of survivors would move on from that bloody farm.
However, devoured in chunks, like a novel (which is what this series originated as) these 13 episodes make for unusually compelling, intelligent and emotionally resonant storytelling. With zombies – and some inordinately gruesome gore. Roll on Season 3. DVD, £25.99, Blu-ray £28.99, 27 August
Become Death – ie, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – in this third-person, open-world romp as you try and rescue your Brother, War. The game’s events run parallel to the first one but, as is the case with these things, it features a bigger world, bigger dungeon and bigger bosses, with more side quests and upgrades.
PS3, Xbox 360, £34.97, PC £29.99, 21 August.
Ian McEwan continues his exploration of the blurred boundary between life and fiction with this novel set in 1972. Britain faces economic disaster and, at a lull in the Cold War, Serena – a voracious reader – is groomed by the intelligence services and sent on an undercover mission which brings her into contact with a promising young writer who she begins to fall in love with. But who is the real fictioneer here? £12.09,(Amazon) 23 August
A POSSIBLE LIFE
Faulks may have delivered his most ambitious novel yet. Split into five separate sections about five different people living in different countries and time periods, his theme is “whether individuals are satisfactorily distinguished or whether we are all taking part in the same cosmic story”. The whole thing adds up to more than the sum of its parts. £18.99 (Hutchinson), 13 September
Zadie Smith’s tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – as they try to make adult lives outside of the council estate in the North-West corner of the city where they grew up (much like Smith herself). It’s described as “a novel of encounters” – some significant and vital, some merely leading to dead ends. Smith, the author of White Teeth, was shortlisted for the Man Booker award for On Beauty and may well repeat that accomplishment with this. £13.29, 6 September
THE OFFICE – AN AMERICAN WORKPLACE SEASON 7
This is the last series of the brilliant sitcom that will feature Steve Carell’s fantastic comic creation, the barely adequate but somehow lovable boss, Michael Scott. In some ways the US version has eclipsed the British original (Ricky Gervais even turns up in a cameo to honour Carell’s departure, as does Jim Carrey) Although the series has continued Stateside after these 26 episodes of pure pleasure it is, predictably, just not the same. Cherish this. DVD, £19.99, September 3
An internet film streaming service with a difference: most of the films are actually good and some are very hard to find elsewhere. Formerly The Auteurs it’s basically an arthouse cinema on your PC (or PS3) and offers everything from silent classics (Chaplin, Keaton) to foreign-language treasures (from Fellini to Von Trier) and rare documentaries such as Martin Scorsese’s My Voyage to Italy. However, the library is remarkably unaffected by snobbery – Italian gore masters Mario Bava and Dario Argento are well represented too. Membership starts from only £2.99 a month and if you login with your Facebook account you can try a seven-day trial free and “share” the fact that you’re watching Max Ophuls’ La Ronde (1950) or whatever with your virtual chums. • uk.mubi.com
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West