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  • Review: Secret Obsession features the world's worst criminal mastermind

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 6th September 2019

    Secret Obsession is on a par with Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, or any other daytime TV show with 'murder' in the title, which has just struck me how psychopathic that was to expose a generation of elderly people to. The film is so cheap I was convinced an opening chase sequence would lead to a fake-out, ending with the victim waking up in a sweat, or an in-movie director shouting "cut!" as it's revealed we were on a movie set all along. It's another worrying sign of the content Netflix is curating. So was this TV movie-level rubbish dumped on Netflix, or dumped in the bins out back and somehow ended up on their servers? No I don't know how that would work either, but it makes more sense than the killer's plan.

  • Review: It Chapter Two is a great bookend, but where's the tl;dr version?

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 3rd September 2019

    2017’s It was such a huge success that it has reignited not only a demand for more Stephen King adaptations, but also a desire for high quality scares again. But there’s a downside to being the highest grossing horror film of all time - and I’m not talking about Pennywise making it harder for real-life clowns like Bongo Bonzo And Catty Watty Boom Boom (both local to me - I searched the directory) to find work. No, the downside is that, for this follow-up, the filmmaking team appear to have been left more unchecked. This sequel is far longer than it needs to be, far funnier than it makes sense to be and filled with so many meme-worthy visuals that it seems to have been made purely for Twitter retorts. In short, it’s an overlong carnival for the senses, and that’s in addition to Pennywise continuing to give clowns like Bongo Bonzo and Catty Watty a bad name.

  • Review: The Great Hack will make you want to delete your Facebook account, data, self

    Movie Review | Becky Suter | 4th August 2019

    Facebook went downhill as soon as your mum signed up. The day she arrived with her Farmville requests and then started phoning you in the middle of a work day asking why you hadn't yet taken the "Which Shoe Are You?" personality quiz, it was in decline. And not just because it was irritating when she (or it could have been your dad, I don't know your family) would wish people a happy birthday by commenting on old posts they'd made about broken dishwashers five years ago, or confusing the search bar with their status update ("Ma Suter is tesco opening times christmas thank you"). It went downhill because she, and then the rest of us by default, put weapons into the hands of people who wanted to spark a culture war and now we cannot guarantee fair elections worldwide.

  • Review: Point Blank isn't... pointless, but draws a... blank in...uh

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 22nd July 2019

    It's finally happened: I've watched a film I can't find an angle to wring several torturous paragraphs out of. That's not to say there's anything offensively bad about Joe Lynch's new action flick Point Blank - there's not - but there's nothing particularly notable to write about either. I'm at a loss for opinions, but even worse than that I'm at a loss for words, and as a film blogger can only exist if there are words to scroll past to the star rating, I can already feel myself fading away...

  • 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.

  • 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.