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  • Review: Birds Of Prey is the fantabulous desperation of one Harley Quinn

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 17th February 2020

    There’s no denying that the Joker is a truly iconic figure. Whether it’s Joaquin Phoenix’s fragile psychopath, Heath Ledger’s cruel anarchist or Cesar Romero’s painted moustache, the character of the Joker is an indelible legend of pop culture. But you wouldn’t want to hang out with him, would you? Imagine all the whoopee cushions and hand buzzers and all that endless itching powder. He’s just a terrible try-hard, isn’t he? So it’s probably apt that this film, which is primarily focused on his sudden absence from Harley Quinn’s life, tries to fill his void by being just as eager to entertain. It’s packed with colourful chaos, wacky narrative devices and fun, so much fun. But just like the Joker’s constant giggling, it also feels a little bit forced. Why so weary-ous, Harley Quinn?

  • Review: Horse Girl opts for style over substance, but it's a close-run race

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 12th February 2020

    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 righ- ...hang on, this is my intro to Earthquake Bird. Ok, well as broadly similar as Horse Girl is to all those other films, there are a few things setting it apart worth talking about. So let's saddle up pardner and giddy on up to the re-he-view! *yeehaws on chair in Costa, falls off, breaks pensioner's hip*

  • Review: Uncut Gems is an anxiety attack in film form

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 7th February 2020

    What's the worst lie you've ever told? Let me rephrase that: what's the worst lie you've ever told and got away with? Congratulations! From the synapses snapping away to bring your consciousness to life, to the cells in the blood pumped around your veins, to the atoms in your DNA, and all the stardust delivered on a rock from a galaxy far, far away embedded in your primeval history, that deception is now a part of what makes you uniquely you. So was it worth it?

  • Spinning a yarn: the twisted sickness of Phantom Thread

    Movie Feature | Luke Whiston | 4th February 2020

    "Wuaghhhurg" - that's the exact noise I made towards the end of Paul Thomas Anderson's 2017 period romance about a genius dressmaker and his ingenues, which to all external appearances was the simple tale of a sexy rich gentleman misogynist and the women falling prey to his sexy rich charms, set against the backdrop of a Brexiteer's image of 1950s London. I didn't know how wrong I'd be. And it doesn't mean anything that I'd mixed up Phantom Thread with In Fabric and was expecting some spooky ghost action. Although there are hauntings in this, just not of the chain-rattling variety.

  • Review: Messiah asks if a new God is the real deal, or a very naughty boy?

    TV Review | Luke Whiston | 22nd January 2020

    Ooh who is he? Where does he come from? How did he get here? Is he a con artist? How does he have all this insider knowledge? Can he read minds? Was he sent by God? Can he actually perform miracles? Or is he a terrorist? Is he going to start a war? Will he unite religions and heal the world? But more important than all of the above: how does he keep his hair looking so luxurious?

  • Interview: Joss Whedon talks Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Commentary! - The Musical

    TV Feature | Matt Looker | 20th January 2020

    Congratulations to everyone who read that thing I wrote last year about the brilliant, amazing burst of fruit flavour that is Commentary! The Musical - a musical commentary recorded for Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Well done to all of you who went on to not only watch the main feature, but also sought out the commentary, listened to all the songs and dialogue whilst reading the lyrics online, just as I suggested. Seeing it through makes each of you a huge fucking nerd (you’ll no doubt get that reference now). Achievement unlocked. Here’s me interviewing Joss Whedon about the whole thing.

  • Review: The Two Popes entertains, occasionally enlightens

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 15th January 2020

    They're just two normal fellas, these guys. Sure they live in gigantic palaces and take part in rituals affecting the lives of millions of people based on doctrines written hundreds of years ago in the belief a giant bearded ghost man watches everything you do in the bathroom, but they like a pint just like you and I. Who cares if you're expected to bow and kiss their ring to show respect else you'll go to hell if they like to watch the big match? They're just two normal fellas. Two normal fellas in charge of a 2000-year-old nonce festival.

  • If 2020's Oscar-nominated movie posters told the truth

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray, Becky Suter, Matt Looker | 13th January 2020

    It's the tenth annual iteration of what's fast becoming our only feature - that's right, it's time for another round of 'If Movie Posters Told The Truth' with me, your increasingly cynical host! We'll be right back after these messages!

  • Review: Weathering With You is a big warm hug coming in from the east

    Movie Review | Becky Suter | 10th January 2020

    Three years ago, Makoto Shinkai’s wondrous debut Your Name was the 19th reason why 2016 didn’t totally suck. Life’s not really improved much since then, but at least the Japanese director has returned with a meteorological meet-cute that builds on what was so lovely about his first feature, and also crafts its own unique identity. As in Your Name, two teens come together against the backdrop of a natural disaster, and then have to contend with destiny conspiring to pull them apart, come rain or shine.

  • Review: The Witcher is the fantasy bobbins you never knew you needed

    TV Review | Luke Whiston | 8th January 2020

    "Cheap. Fast. Good. Pick two." So goes that old maxim of the creative world. I guess what they didn't mean was "pick two things and bludgeon them into the triangle of choice with the nearest rock while screaming at it to make sense" - the two things in the case of Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher being a hollowed out Game of Thrones where we're parachuted into the lore with no explanation and left to fend for ourselves, and blinkered '90s after-school spellcasting greenscreen of death Knightmare. The result being a foul-mouthed mess that somehow defies all cynical attempts to bring it down.