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  • 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.

  • Review: Doctor Sleep feels like a lot of work for very little play

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 11th November 2019

    There’s a lot to be said about the context surrounding Doctor Sleep. About the impossibly high benchmark set by The Shining, about the challenge of reconciling Stephen King’s vision and Stanley Kubrick’s execution, and about choosing which source material to honour most. But honestly, ignoring all of that for now, my biggest takeaway from this film is... fuck, it spends a lot of time driving in a car. Every pre-set-piece scene is spent hauling across road for hours and every post-sequence respite is spent hauling back again, usually at night-time, usually while someone is asleep in the passenger seat. I have spent more time in cars while watching this film than I have on actual road trips. It seems Danny Torrance simply swapped one purgatory for another. Come drive with him. Forever... and ever... and ever...

  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 6 recap: "The Vomit Comet"

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 7th November 2019

    Nothing good ever happens at theme parks. The last time I went to Thorpe Park was on a corporate away day, when instead of going on any rides, we were forced into groups and do a painful team-building exercise around the park. In a rather unsettling act of fate, it was the same day that there was the horrific accident at Alton Towers on the Smiler ride. During the debriefing session, the head of HR stood on the stage and made a pretty off-colour joke, as we were trying to present how the treasure hunt aligned with the company’s business principles, which was trying not to acknowledge the fact that two of the (married) managers were clearly trying to get off with each other. This has nothing to do with this week’s recap, much in the same way that The Apprentice has very little to do with business.

  • Review: Dolemite Is My Name is a rose-tinted celebration of flawed ambition

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 5th November 2019

    Is Eddie Murphy back? Judging by the last few months he's made a great deal of effort to distance himself from his 1980s sexism-laced standup routines, so he's definitely trying to come back. You can be cynical about it and say this is housekeeping in an attempt to reinvent his image for the new age of woke comedy, or you can accept he's genuinely trying to make amends and move onwards and upwards together into Liberal PC Heaven, where there are no guns and all the Pokemon you can catch. Whatever it is I'm not sure the best way to do it is via a celebration of blaxploitation; a genre laced with sexism.

  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 5 recap: "Ryan, Lion, Zion"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 3rd November 2019

    This week I had a breakthrough: I realised that the one person I thought was called Riyonn-Mark is in fact two people, one called Riyonn and one called Ryan-Mark. Stay tuned to find out whether there's another one called Mark.

  • Review: Terminator: Dark Fate can't bear to suffer an Arnie-less future

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 2nd November 2019

    It's hard out there for the Terminators. You hate to see it. For three whole sequels - Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys - the all-powerful killer robots from the future have suffered embarrassing losses in increasingly shitty movies, to the point where you wonder why they keep trying to enslave us at all. The Terminators, bless their hearts, must have done some serious soul searching, because they're back for more punishment, perhaps inspired by their motto (I am imagining "Absolutely do not stop ever until they are dead" written in "live laugh love" style wall-print cursive) and with a brand new plucky underdog status that it only earned through repeated failure. In a victory of sorts, Dark Fate manages to scrape an above average grade by clinging closely to the Terminator tropes with the kind of white-knuckled death grip that only three failed sequels can inspire.

  • Review: Fractured won't exactly change your world, but has a good try

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 29th October 2019

    One of my favourite subgenres of horror is the one where there's a huge build up to something tragic, and then you tag the 'sad trombone' sound effect on the end, rendering it hilarious. Like at the end of The Mist when Tom Jane euthanises a car full of survivors because they think the monsters are coming and there's no escape, but when he steps outside it's the army rumbling down the road to rescue them. Sad trombone dot mp3! Fractured is like that but every scene.

  • The Apprentice: season 15, episode 4 recap: "Vicious Cycle"

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 28th October 2019

    I don't own a bike, mainly because I'm not a massive wanker, but also because I believe that the rules of the road apply to everyone, unlike overweight marketing managers who think they're Bradley Wiggins and look like un-pricked sausages in the latest Team Sky kit, who scream at me when I dare to use a pedestrian crossing in the correct manner and slow down buses because they can't stay in one lane. But yeah, great, let's get more bikes on the road.

  • Review: El Camino is a familiar dose that goes down easy (drugs)

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 27th October 2019

    It would make absolutely no difference to anything whether Breaking Bad spin-off movie El Camino existed or not. If in a few years' time show creator Vince Gilligan responded to a fan question at a Comic Con panel with his plan for Jesse instead, the cultural impact would be much the same. That said, Gilligan can direct the hell out of the world he created and this re-visit is a reminder of the show's absorbing style, and of one of the central tenets of Bad: how much chaos can one person cause?