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  • Review: Elizabeth Harvest brings a touch of class to the male wank fantasy

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 16th July 2019

    A few months ago I forced myself to watch Eli Roth's Knock Knock. It was a truly pathetic faux-apologetic excuse to show two young actresses naked, under the pretence it was all okay because they were getting revenge on shitty men. That's not to say I'm above looking at pointless nudity - I am a shitty man myself - but it has made me wary of how films are presented and my own sense of dismay when something turns out to be as grubby as you'd hoped it wouldn't be, even if a part of you secretly hoped it would be.

  • Review: Shaft (2019) is... what the hell did I just watch?

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 9th July 2019

    The danger with judging films based on what you want rather than what you get is you'll forever be on the lookout for things that don't agree with your blinkered view of the world. It's a slippery slope; one minute you'll be tapping furiously into Twitter trying to get Piers Morgan's attention, the next setting up a change.org petition with the vitriolic entitlement of a superhero movie manbaby. That said, they've somehow made a new Shaft film with the exact same comic inclination as an Adam Sandler movie, and while I'm happy the baddest badass motherfucker in town is back, I've never forced myself to sit through something so much in my entire life.

  • Men In Black: International was released and every critic made the same joke

    Movie Feature | Matt Looker | 8th July 2019

    Attention filmmakers! If your movie franchise contains a unique narrative device that also serves as easy ammunition for critics to use in the event of a bad review, don't kid yourselves that they'll rise above it. They'll latch on to that reference like it's a personal gift from you to them. Thank you, they'll say. Thank you for making our jobs and deadlines easy. Because that's what good film reviews should be. Easy.

  • My trip to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition by Luke Whiston age 38 and a half

    Movie Feature | Luke Whiston | 3rd July 2019

    The late Stanley Kubrick is often considered to be a visionary genius filmmaker, who by all accounts was also an obsessive pain in the arse. But that didn't stop Hollywood's biggest names wanting to work with him, because he was a visionary genius filmmaker. And thank God he was such an obsessive, hoarding decades of research and correspondence, otherwise the new exhibition celebrating his films at The Design Museum in London would have been pretty barren and that would have been well embarrassing.

  • Review: I Am Mother wears its influences on whatever robots have instead of sleeves

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 1st July 2019

    Once again I find myself pondering the meaning of life in a Greggs. I like the way the servers don't indulge in the folly that producing coffee is a lengthy, complex task. They turn around, press a button, and 15-20 seconds later a cup is plonked on the counter. That's not to badmouth the baristas of other chains - I'm sure there's a skill to what they do - but the process is needlessly prolonged with steam bursts and putting bendy tubes in milk cartons. The staff of Greggs understand the purpose of my visit and their role in it as facilitators of quick hot brown slop. To extrapolate that to its only logical conclusion, we can ascertain that they value above all the one thing that binds human existence and has led to this exact moment we are all experiencing in unison: time. It's 8am and already it has been a big day.

  • Review: Yesterday: I saw a film today, oh boy

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 30th June 2019

    A common pub argument I have with a friend of mine is that the Beatles weren't as influential as everyone makes out. I tell him there weren't bands before the Beatles; just solo singers and backing groups. I tell him that artists didn't write their own songs before the Beatles. I tell him that the album wasn't an artistic endeavour before the Beatles; just a commercial ruse to package up a hit single or two with some filler and sell them again. He still won't have it. Obviously he is an idiot, but I hope to Christ he never sees Yesterday, because it'll only strengthen his wildly incorrect view. While it does have at its heart the idea that this was the most special collection of songs ever written, it overlooks that what the boys gave us all wasn't just the songs: it was far more than that.

  • Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home but back to brilliant basics

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 28th June 2019

    The epic, end-of-times extravaganza of Endgame left us with many questions: Has the timeline now been irreparably changed? Who are the Avengers now? Where the fuck did Valkyrie suddenly get a flying horse? And also, how does the world adjust to half of its population now having a five-year age gap? What about all the parents that missed out on seeing their children grow up? All the spouses that remarried in that time? All those people that were snapped out of existence while on their way to return something to a shop, only to be brought back and find out that their receipt is now five years out of date? If those questions are going to be addressed at all, it isn’t happening with this first film out of the gate since the 'snapback'. No, this is just very much Spider-Man back to doing whatever a spider can.

  • Review: In Fabric is dressed to kill but won't suit everyone

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 27th June 2019

    Sometimes a surreal arthouse film comes along that contains just enough logic to give you a sense of what it’s all about. Even it’s just one interpretation. Even if it’s just a guess. Other surreal arthouse films aren’t so obliging and, in those instances, it’s always useful when you can be given a clue to work on, maybe from, say, a director Q&A that immediately follows the screening. I’m not saying that’s what happened for me, of course, but I can say that In Fabric is definitely about mankind’s intimate relationship with our own clothes and how extremely powerful that personal closeness becomes. I can also confidently say that the shoot mostly took place in Croydon and there were several planned scenes that didn’t get filmed because of budget and time restraints. But that might just be my interpretation.

  • Review: Murder Mystery commits the crime of not being very mysterious

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 25th June 2019

    Shhh the kids are asleep. It's mummy and daddy time now, a chance to do all the things you can't do during the day. Let's make a cup of tea and put on a film. Two hours gone and now it's bedtime. The film was fine. Not good, not bad. Just fine, but more importantly we survived today. Lamp off. Start again tomorrow. One day closer to death. Everything is just fine, and it's not for me to judge that your life has become a static series of achievement-void days spent clockwatching and sometimes not even seeing the sun.

  • Secret Cinema Presents Casino Royale is 00-heaven, has a license to thrill, etc

    Movie Feature | Matt Looker | 20th June 2019

    Spies! Guns! Booze! Cars! Booze! If you have ever wondered what the point is of Secret Cinema’s immersive film screenings, or have ever asked yourself why anyone would ever be interested in inhabiting the world of, say, Dr Strangelove, then surely that cynicism ends for this latest 007-themed production. Because who hasn’t imagined themselves as the sharpest, sexiest superspy on the big screen? Who hasn’t wanted to indulge in the frisson of international espionage? Who hasn’t wanted to pretend-win a game of make-believe cards while sipping a themed cocktail named after an obscure Bond reference? This is exactly the kind of cinema that Secret Cinema was made to be secret about!