Rory Ford picks the best reasons to stay in this month
SLEEPING Dogs is an open-world game with a great premise – you play undercover cop Wei Shen, tasked with taking down Hong Kong’s Triads.
Inspired by GTA – there are street races and shootouts – the game’s USP is its concentration on martial arts combat and “environmental takedowns” – the ability to slam someone’s head in a fridge door or punch them through a phone booth. Sounds jolly good fun. Please game responsibly. PS3, Xbox 360, £39.99, PC £24.99, 17 August
Hell On Wheels
Now that comic-book movies have replaced Westerns as a staple cinematic genre it’s up to TV to take up the slack. The ten episodes of this first season combine two classic Western themes; revenge – “steely hunk” Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is searching for the men who killed his wife – and the expansion of the railways. Hell On Wheels is the name of the lawless frontier town that services the building of the first transcontinental railroad and creators AMC have pulled out all the stops to ensure a look and feel of period authenticity. DVD £29.99, 23 July
Sunshine On Scotland Street
If you’ve visited Scotland Street – that corner of Edinburgh’s New Town where the genteel ‘burghers rub shoulders with artists, students and other bohos – then you shouldn’t need much persuading to pick up this, the eighth, in the phenomenally successful series by Alexander McCall Smith. This time round Bertie and his pals get invited to one of Scotland’s premier jazz festivals. Shit just got real. £16.99 2 August.
The Next Best Thing
If only summer was as reliable as Jennifer Weiner – whatever the weather, the US author of In Her Shoes can be relied upon to produce another big beach read with trademark wit and warmth. This follows 23-year-old Ruth who heads out to California (with her 70-year-old grandmother) in pursuit of the dream of selling a sitcom to a major network. Four years later she has her chance but her big break is complicated by studio interference, actors’ fevered egos and grandma’s impending wedding. £12.99, 2 August.
The Sandcastle Girls
Best-selling US author Chris Bohjalian ambitiously sheds light on the Armenian Genocide of 1915-16 in this novel that takes place in Syria in 1915 and present-day New York. An Armenian -American novelist searching for her roots uncovers, through letters and documents, a love story that took place against the backdrop of a scandalously little-known period of tragic history. £16.59 17 July.
The Night Porter
Liliana Cavani’s movie was widely condemned when it was originally released in 1974 and, while it’s still a disturbing work, it’s aged far FAR better than Last Tango In Paris. Set in 1957 Vienna, Charlotte Rampling plays a concentration camp survivor who checks in to a plush hotel where her former tormentor/lover, Max (Dirk Bogarde) works as the night porter. Rather than report him, the pair resume their deeply twisted S&M relationship. DVD £7.99, Blu-ray £11.99, 30 July
The internet streaming service has been popular in the US for years and while it’s yet to make significant inroads here, surely it’s only a matter of time? £5.99 a month buys you unlimited access to a large library of older films (do not expect any recent blockbusters), TV series and what we used to call straight-to-video obscurities but there is some good stuff there (series 1-7 of Dennis Leary’s fire-fighter comedy-drama, Rescue Me, pictured, for example). netflix.com/UK
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east