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  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 9 recap: "Urban Lucozade"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 5th December 2019

    We're into the home straight and all of a sudden here's a task with an aspect that's quite interesting. It is of course juxtaposed by the task's other constituent parts, which are absurd and deliberately beyond the skillset of anyone involved, but you can't have everything.

  • Review: Knives Out is a modern-age murder mystery that absolutely kills it

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 4th December 2019

    Traditional murder mysteries must be the hardest stories to write, because audiences are always second-guessing everything, desperate to work out the twist before the genius detective. Writers have to seed important details among their pool of suspects without giving the game away, whilst also offering red herrings that have to feel like they could still be relevant. Meanwhile their audience is constantly reading too much into everything, determined not to be outsmarted. So a film like this one is already at make-or-break point for each viewer. If they don’t guess the killer and the motive, and the reveal still makes sense, then they can be satisfied with the thrill of being outplayed. But if they solve the mystery before the end, it’s "Nah, that’s rubbish, mate. I saw it coming a mile off". And audiences are actively rooting for the latter. They’re the ones with the knives out.

  • Review: The Knight Before Christmas in excuse for rambling film article

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 1st December 2019

    Ahh Christmas; the season of feelgood movies, peace and love to all, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, dressing gowns and comfy slippers, aisles of biscuit tins in Wilko, the excitement of the first snowflake, glitter, novelty plastic tat destined for a landfill, forcing yourself to like disgusting M&S sandwiches, family arguing about Brexit, splinters going up in the loft, more glitter, Boris Johnson what a character eh, tears as your wife's antique bauble gets smashed, fighting back consumerist guilt, the bulbs don't work, splinters coming down from the loft, kids screaming, lies upon lies about Santa, THE BULBS DON'T WORK AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO GO TO THE SHOP AND THERE'S GLITTER EVERYWHERE. It's December 1st.

  • The crushingly inevitable Star Wars group chat email thing: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray, Matthew Looker, Rebecca Suter, Luke Whiston | 28th November 2019

    It’s a year with a 2 in it so you know what that means: it’s time to talk about Star Wars again! With Episode IX of the Skywalker Saga on the horizon, we thought it was the perfect time to engage in the ‘group chat’ style communal analysis that has served us so well in the past (that one guy on Twitter seems to like it, and heck, it’s easier than actually writing a proper feature). Over ten movies we will engage in the kind of witty banter and strict discipline that saw us complete 65% of our Marvel rewatch. Now, let’s... ‘Make it so!’.

  • Review: Earthquake Bird: who is he, what is his net worth, who is his wife?

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 25th November 2019

    If making lots of one thing is an objective measure of goodness, then Netflix are really good at these thrillers where the protagonist is having a tough time clinging on to reality. Yes I know sometimes they just buy the distribution rights. This year alone we've had Fractured, The Perfection, In The Tall Grass, and several more; it's as if their recommendation engine is stuck in a feedback loop. The 'unreliable narrator' I believe the gimmick is called, and it's a solid framework for building mysteries - just add a setting, a creepy secret, a few dead women, et voila: cinema. Well, the Netflix equivalent.

  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 8 recap: "Going Off The Rails"

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 23rd November 2019

    Nothing quite strikes fear into the heart like the words, “Team-building Away Day.” I’ve been on a fair few, including my previously-mentioned visit to Thorpe Park, one where we had an It’s A Knock-Out style day in the park and two people ended up in hospital, and one with a Heroes and Villains theme where one of the sales managers blacked up as Samuel L. Jackson to deliver a presentation on streamlining processes. And none of those were as bad as being imprisoned for four hours on a train with Lottie, no matter how much booze is laid on.

  • Review: The King is a noble effort, if not majestic, rings Hollow, etc.

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 20th November 2019

    To my shame as an Englishman I am not well-versed in the works of William Shakespeare. I know the gist of Romeo & Juliet, and that there's a character called Bottom in another one. But if you put me on the spot and told me to write an analysis of The Taming of the Shrew, you'd probably walk in on me on the toilet half an hour later watching YouTube tutorials on how to hypnotise small mammals. Not that I don't appreciate the plays - their effect on the world's culture is undeniable - just beyond my school years I've struggled to find the enthusiasm and time to really get into them. Don't ask me why I can recite Congo word-for-word, though.

  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 7 recap: "Finn Tonne o' Tools"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 20th November 2019

    When doing the just-about-iconic point, Lord Sugar's hand doesn't do what the Twitter emoji does, I've noticed. The latter extends the index finger in the same way but turns the back of its hand to face you, while the back of his hand faces skywards. Even the basics of The Apprentice's flimsy premise go uninterrogated, and yet still my demands for a DCMS select committee hearing go ignored.

  • Review: Le Mans '66 is great Oscar fuel. It has real drive. It's wheelie- ok I'll stop

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 15th November 2019

    I’ve come to realise recently that I don’t like car chases. Sure, some are ok, like when they’re used to actually tell a story, as in, say The Italian Job, or when they involve big stunts, like when a fast and/or furious launches Vin Diesel at a Godzilla or whatever. On the whole though, they just seem like endless pedal-pushing and an ever-increasing number of gear shifts designed, I imagine, to provide lusty material for those that just really get cars. I am not one of these people, so you can forgive me for going into Le Mans ‘66 having previously prepared to pretend that the whole film is just about Bruce Wayne test-driving a new Batmobile.

  • Review: Last Christmas has everything she wants if you watch without prejudice

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 12th November 2019

    What's it going to be for George Michael, then? The Bohemian Rhapsody-style rock biopic? The Rocketman stylised musical? The Yesterday excuse to bump the songs up the list on Spotify a bit? Well, none of the above, really. Last Christmas is something a bit different: a festive romcom where his songs are there but largely non-diegetic, even though he himself is present in the form of posters on walls and in characters' conversation, so more of a tribute that informs a story. It's an affectionate and funny one too, and the kind that you recognise a fair bit is wrong with, but gosh-darn it, everyone's singing and having a lovely time, and it's Christmas, so just pour yourself a nice tall glass of mulled shut-the-hell up juice and go with it.