Mark Costello

By day, Mark is a qualified accountant, who has spent the last twenty years trying to somehow make sense of the finances of the NHS. But by night, his Stereotypical Movie Nerd persona bursts forth and he assumes his self-appointed role as AVF’s ‘Tatmeister General’ at the expense of spending any time at all with his long-suffering family. Having been clogging up the various threads at AVF since 2014 in the misguided notion that watching more films than anyone else makes him ‘cool’, his hope of spreading his love of the most random European genre schlock continues to fall on deaf ears, but that doesn’t stop him from buying and watching far more films than is remotely rational for a middle-aged man. A purveyor of cinematic tat for most of his ever-lengthening life.
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  • Movies & TV Review

    6

    Smile Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Smile Movie Review
    With one of the most effective and quite brilliant viral ad campaigns in recent years raising mainstream awareness of Parker Finn’s unnerving and genuinely creepy premise, can the film surrounding it all actually really deliver?  
    6
  • Movies & TV Review

    20

    Elvis 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Elvis 4K Blu-ray Review
    A ‘Baz Luhrmann’ film in every sense of the word, the Australian master of gaudy excess dives with gusto into the legend of Elvis Aaron Presley and delivers an experience for the senses befitting of them both.  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    40

    The Lost Boys 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Lost Boys 4K Blu-ray Review
    Joel Schumacher’s Bat Pack teen classic shines brighter than it ever has before on this stunning new 4K release from Warner Bros.  
    9
  • Movies & TV Review

    7

    The Meaning of Life 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Meaning of Life 4K Blu-ray Review
    Monty Python’s final messy cinematic masterpiece comes to 4K with songs about sperm, Christmas, all manner of male genitalia and the universe itself, given a new lease of life thanks to its amusingly unnecessary DTS:X soundtrack...  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    8

    Fatal Attraction 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Fatal Attraction 4K Blu-ray Review
    One of the quintessential 80's bonkbusters from one of the 80’s quintessential director-star line-ups gets a very disappointing 4K release from Paramount…  
    6
  • Movies & TV Review

    13

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for September 2022

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for September 2022
    From Antonioni to Chaplin, post war Japanese police procedural to a rain-swept Gotham and a much-lauded crime epic, a Sidney Poitier western to a harrowing gut punch of a classic Vietnam war documentary, this month’s releases will no doubt offer a little bit of everything to everyone. ALSO - Competitions for EIGHT of them!  
  • Movies & TV Review

    The Retaliators Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Retaliators Movie Review
    Horror sub-genre upon sub-genre is shoehorned into a strange mix of Hallmark Christian movie of the month, MTV Headbangers Ball and Hostel-style grue-fest that is very much less than the sum of its parts…  
    4
  • Movies & TV Review

    185

    House of the Dragon (Sky/NowTV) Premiere TV Show Review

    by Mark Costello
    House of the Dragon (Sky/NowTV) Premiere TV Show Review
    The long-awaited return to Westeros delivers exactly what was expected… for better and for worse.  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    4

    Glorious (Shudder) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Glorious (Shudder) Movie Review
    Single location cosmic horror that drunkenly veers between existential treatise on sacrifice and tentacled Lovecraftian demi-god molesting the inhabitants of a public toilet. With a modicum of success…  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    33

    Bad Sisters (Apple TV+) Premiere TV Show Review

    by Mark Costello
    Bad Sisters (Apple TV+) Premiere TV Show Review
    A fascinating intro into a jetly black comedic murder mystery where the mystery doesn’t appear to be who done it, but how done it…  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    10

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for August 2022

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for August 2022
    Hammer, Cannibals and Man-Eating Space Brains sees August's release schedule seemingly warming up for this year’s Halloween. But there’s plenty to offer those non-horror fans out there this month as gritty Italian socio-realism, hard-boiled noir and amusing cowboy fare are also served up for our delicious consumption… UPDATED with competitions for NINE Blu-rays!  
  • Movies & TV Review

    6

    The Feast Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Feast Movie Review
    A full-bore folk horror revenger that isn’t afraid to take its time to ram its grue-soaked message down your unsuspecting throat...  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    37

    Edge of Tomorrow 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Edge of Tomorrow 4K Blu-ray Review
    Doug Liman and Tom Cruise’s fiercely intelligent and hugely entertaining sci-fi Groundhog Day remains one of the 21st century's most effortlessly entertaining blockbusters. And now it’s on 4K… bet they never saw that coming, did they? Oh… they did, huh!  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    61

    Event Horizon 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Event Horizon 4K Blu-ray Review
    The joint best film made by someone with the names ‘Paul’ and ‘Anderson’ finally gets a disc treatment worthy of its neo-cult classic status. Although there’s always something to be disappointed about... isn’t there?  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    38

    Thirteen Lives (Amazon) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Thirteen Lives (Amazon) Movie Review
    Detailed document of the real-life rescue of thirteen members of a junior football team from the flooded Tham Luang caves in Thailand in 2018 that does a much better job of explaining the story and the heroics of those involved than emotionally engaging the audience with it all…  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    32

    Bullet Train Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Bullet Train Movie Review
    The highest of high action concepts is turned into a gleefully fun romp by Brad Pitt, David Leitch and a delightfully witty MVP turn by Aaron Taylor-Johnson that still manages to work despite an overreliance on its tricksy plotting that’s never quite as clever as it thinks it is.  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    16

    Flatliners (1990) 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Flatliners (1990) 4K Blu-ray Review
    Joel Schumacher’s gothic disco tale of afterlife exploration is brought to 4K by Arrow and looks almost as good as its impossibly beautiful cast...  
    9
  • Movies & TV Review

    20

    The Witch 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Witch 4K Blu-ray Review
    Robert Eggers’ staggeringly brave and atmospheric debut remains an unrelenting and provocative force of purest folk horror. But as one of Second Sight’s new and expensive, and now long delayed, 4K limited Editions, how does it stack up in terms of a value-for-money upgrade?  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    Prizefighter (Amazon) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Prizefighter (Amazon) Movie Review
    Historical pugilistic fare that, even with a host of starry cameos putting in a shift and a half, can’t escape its distinct lack of budget and even worse, its own genre’s most stereotypical tropes…  
    5
  • Movies & TV Review

    6

    Mad God (Shudder) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Mad God (Shudder) Movie Review
    VFX legend Phil Tippett’s thirty-year odyssey to bring this stop motion descent into grotesque beauty is finally unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And we are simply not ready or worthy for its insane glory…  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    12

    Tenebrae 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Tenebrae 4K Blu-ray Review
    Horror legend Dario Argento returned to the giallo after his supernatural dalliances and serves up one of his most celebrated thrillers, one that contains a certain Mr Tarantino’s favourite on-screen death scene of all time. And it’s back in a ubiquitous and gloriously lavish 4K set from Arrow.  
    9
  • Movies & TV Review

    37

    Red Sonja 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Red Sonja 4K Blu-ray Review
    Does Dino De Laurentiis’ infamously terrible Conan-rip off get any better with the benefit of time and a shiny new 4K veneer? Er, nope… - UPDATED with a competition to win Red Sonja on 4K  
    5
  • Movies & TV Review

    129

    Thor: Love and Thunder (IMAX) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Thor: Love and Thunder (IMAX) Movie Review
    The Gods of Thunder return for another light hearted comedy romp that this time manages to also take in midlife crises, terminal illnesses and… jealous tools?  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    2

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for July 2022

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for July 2022
    We take a look at ten of the best titles you can pick up on Blu-ray in July - Plus competitions to win half of them on Blu-ray!  
  • Movies & TV Review

    Martyrs Lane (Shudder) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Martyrs Lane (Shudder) Movie Review
    A tragic look at the impacts of loss in a Shudder Original that plays down its horror roots in favour of a crawling sense of familial dread.  
    6
  • Movies & TV Review

    90

    Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 (Netflix) TV Show Review

    by Mark Costello
    Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 (Netflix) TV Show Review
    The Duffer Brothers glorious ode to nostalgic excess finally wraps up its divisive fourth season with an epic spectacle that arguably works so well precisely because of the failings of Volume 1…  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    4

    The First Lady (Paramount+) TV Show Review

    by Mark Costello
    The First Lady (Paramount+) TV Show Review
    A triptych of lives laid bare in this fascinating peek behind the curtain of power, showing who truly wears the trousers in the White House…  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 4K Blu-ray Review
    Luis Bunuel’s Oscar and Bafta winning surrealist comedy on the absurdities of the upper classes is now an even sharper satire in 4K from Studiocanal…  
    5
  • Movies & TV Review

    99

    Lightyear IMAX Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Lightyear IMAX Movie Review
    Pixar gives us a sort-of origin story for one of its most beloved characters and delivers a much more grown up and interesting tale that sadly never pulses with that traditional Pixar magic.  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    8

    Cha Cha Real Smooth (Apple TV+) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Cha Cha Real Smooth (Apple TV+) Movie Review
    This year’s breakout Sundance darling arrives on Apple TV+ and delivers almost entirely on its premise of being a feelgood dramady that wears its heart firmly on its sleeve.  
    8
  • Movies & TV Review

    126

    Jurassic World Dominion Movie IMAX Review

    by Mark Costello
    Jurassic World Dominion Movie IMAX Review
    The finale of the blockbuster dino-franchise, while bringing back some much-welcomed familiar faces, ignores all the interesting set-up of the previous entry and falls back on tired old storytelling tropes, reliant on some admittedly extraordinary set pieces and little else.  
    5
  • Movies & TV Review

    23

    Hustle (Netflix) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Hustle (Netflix) Movie Review
    Charmingly generic but stuffed full of heart, this Sandler/Netflix combo may be seemingly sponsored by the NBA, but that doesn’t stop it being a disarming and glorious warm hug of a sports movie.  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    13

    The Worst Person in the World (Mubi) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Worst Person in the World (Mubi) Movie Review
    Joachim Trier’s wonderfully tender and heartfelt drama pulls off one of the most difficult things in all of cinema… to show what it really feels like to be human…  
    9
  • Movies & TV Review

    5

    The Ledge (Netflix) Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    The Ledge (Netflix) Movie Review
    A solid premise is ruthlessly squandered under a mountain of shoddy CG, inept dialogue and characterisation and a hilariously misguided notion that stupidity = depth…  
    3
  • Movies & TV Review

    12

    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for June 2022

    by Mark Costello
    Top 10 Blu-rays (UK) for June 2022
    Another tremendous batch of Blu-rays lands in June including Criterion's Shaft, Dazzler's The Card Counter, and Studiocanal's Extreme Prejudice - ALSO enter competitions to win half of them on Blu-ray!  
  • Movies & TV Review

    6

    Dashcam Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Dashcam Movie Review
    Director Rob Savage, the genius behind lockdown surprise smash Host, brings another found footage tale to our large and small screens, only this time, prepare yourselves for Annie Hardy, possibly the scariest and the funniest thing to hit our screens in a long time...  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    11

    Stephen King's Cat's Eye 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Stephen King's Cat's Eye 4K Blu-ray Review
    Stephen King’s anthology film bears all the hallmarks of the writer’s cinematic output at the time and remains a baffling set of stories that entertain almost by accident. And perhaps even more baffling, Studiocanal now grace us with a 4K release, which I’m confident to say no-one really was crying out for…  
    6
  • Movies & TV Review

    10

    Beverly Hills Cop II 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Beverly Hills Cop II 4K Blu-ray Review
    Eddie Murphy and Tony Scott in their primes deliver one of the most underrated sequels of the 1980s. And now that two-hour long magic hour looks absolutely stunning in glorious 4K…  
    7
  • Movies & TV Review

    40

    Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review

    by Mark Costello
    Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review
    Dizzying and imaginative absurdism meets profound and heartfelt ode to the family in this utterly charming, joyous and clinically insane crowd pleaser.  
    9
  • Movies & TV Review

    35

    Uncharted 4K Blu-ray Review

    by Mark Costello
    Uncharted 4K Blu-ray Review
    The movie that was adapted from a videogame that stole wholesale from a fistful of movies… the cycle is now complete, and cinema has actually started to eat itself with this damp squib of an actioner from Sony and their new PlayStation Productions.  
    5

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