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  • Review: Wine Country is a waste of a great ensemble cast

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 17th June 2019

    One thing that fascinates me about film-making is not the how of how movies are made, but the when. We see stars grow in real time these days and very often, once their careers have developed enough, they become producers - meaning the shows and films we watch follow their whims. That explains why we get a glut of movies about having babies, followed by a wave of thirties singleton rom-coms, and these subjects mould the wider zeitgeist. And now we're entering what should be the most interesting phase, where all your favourite stars are burnt out and holding grudges: the mid-life crisis. Fight! Fight! Fight!

  • Review: Always Be My Maybe is almost definitely an okay film

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 11th June 2019

    I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Keanu Reeves' turn in Always Be My Maybe is as funny as you'd hoped, not just living up to his much-memed slow motion entrance in the trailer, but hanging around for a few more scenes and becoming part of the plot like he's some sort of jobbing actor or something. The bad news is most of everything else.

  • Review: X-Men: Dark Phoenix is an unevolved end to a once super franchise

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 10th June 2019

    So now the X-Men franchise comes to an end. Since that first ensemble movie was released 19 years ago, the property has launched 12 films (13, if you count the still-to-be-unshelved The New Mutants) and has not only become a staple of the superhero genre in the process, but helped set the template for how to do this kind of movie well. And here we have the last instalment; the final chapter that, surely, the entire saga has been working towards for nearly two decades: a fourth-film reboot set in an alternate timeline remaking the same story from the third film of the original movies. It’s the only conclusion we’ve ever really wanted!

  • Review: See You Yesterday is a deft causality caper with a message

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 7th June 2019

    Confession: once at an old job I accidentally sent a test email campaign to a contact list of 40,000 people, with the subject 'Test XXX' and body content consisting of a single centrally aligned picture of a cartoon dog. The point I'm illustrating is that some mistakes can't be undone, leaving you with no choice but to live with the consequences. But hang on, you ask, why not simply travel back in time to stop yourself clicking 'Send' in the first place? Yeah sure I could take the easy route, but that small tinkering could change the man I am today. And besides, I've just seen See You Yesterday, which makes a strong case for leaving the past well alone.

  • Review: The Perfection dares to be shocking but doesn't have the chops

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 4th June 2019

    Part of the trouble with being extremely online is you see the entire gamut of opinions all at the same time. Take poor Godzilla for example - as soon as the embargo lifted on King of the Monsters every star rating possible flooded my timeline, which did nothing to help decide whether to see it or not. But for better or worse at least those reviewers arrived at an opinion about the big G's latest romp. Recent Netflix release The Perfection left me so unsure I committed the cardinal sin of reading other site's reviews before sitting down to write my own, so I take a lot of solace that nobody seemed to know what to make of it, because I'll be fucked if I do.

  • Review: The Wandering Earth seeks to save the planet but rings hollow

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 31st May 2019

    Think of the most outlandish thing you can think of. Now imagine it bigger. No, bigger than that. Think the Wright Brothers diving into the Trench Run. Bigger. Think Nikola Tesla wielding Mjolnir in a duel with Edison. Bigger! Elon Musk smoking weed on Mars in a mech. Bigger still, dammit! Ok, now take whatever mental image you've arrived at and multiply it by ten, then run into a wall to give yourself a concussion. Congratulations you are now somewhere close to the wild, inspirational, childish ambition of The Wandering Earth.

  • Review: Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is a dreary mess of titanic proportions

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 29th May 2019

    To all those that said Gareth Edwards' Godzilla was a bore, or that it was slow, or that it took too long to reveal the beast himself, this one's on you, because this new monster mêlée follow-up is a megatomic nuke to the senses. It's a relentless shit-storm of mayhem and bullshit that attempts spectacle but delivers shaky-cam confusion and exhausted clichés for optimum headaches and head-shakes. It's a slog, an onslaught of expensive oblivion and a brain-fouling juggernaut of chaos. Although, I realise some of you may actively want all of this from your giant monster stories.

  • Review: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is an unabashed joy

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 27th May 2019

    The Lonely Island brings out the worst in me. I've loved their music and videos since their pre-mainstream days, so therefore if something new comes out I'm right there pushing it on my timeline and telling all my friends, proving my vastly superior knowledge of how it ties into their back catalogue, extolling the brilliance of the references and riffs. But more insufferable than that, if my friends get there first I find myself attempting to double their enthusiasm to prove it is I who knows the most - laughing twice as hard, posting twice as much, both in order to drown out their pathetic voices. Nobody can know more than me about The Lonely Island. Nobody can appreciate them more. We cannot share in this together. It's the sort of obsessive behaviour that can only end in a murder-suicide.

  • Review: The Haunting of Sharon Tate is ghoulish in all the wrong ways

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 24th May 2019

    Netflix have done it again! No, they haven't offered to fund any unfinished works by long-dead directors, and that wasn't meant in any kind of congratulatory tone. I wrote about the streaming service's apparent strategy of 'Poundlanding' bigger releases to lure in curious clickers recently, and while snapping up clones of creature features is cute and keeps Stanley Tucci in work, pushing a supernatural horror based on a notoriously grisly murder that has attracted lurid sensationalism over the years - purely because it's in the news again - is a whole new level of tastelessness.

  • Review: Rocketman is a Bo Rhap glow-up... but then again, no

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 22nd May 2019

    Put Bohemian Rhapsody out of your head: this jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher is nothing like that jukebox musical about a flamboyant rock singer directed by Dexter Fletcher. In principle at least, Bo Rhap made sense as a tribute to the mercurial nature of the Queen frontman, a celebration of his musical genius and his tragic legacy. Rocketman, however, is quite different. For starters, Elton John (Tantrums & Tiaras, Kingsman 2, every other fucking episode of the The Graham Norton Show, apparently) is alive and well and executively producing his own vanity biopic. As a celebration of Elton's music, Rocketman delivers a satisfying and foot-stomping soundtrack of wall-to-wall bangers, but as an exploration of the man himself, it lacks any notable dramatic impetus outside of the generic rise, fall and rise template. It's less a movie, more a West End stage musical in search of a worthy hero.