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  • Review: Girl on the Third Floor builds a solid foundation, oozes potential

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 2nd March 2020

    I'm glad this film came to Netflix because it's given me a chance to talk about one of my obsessions: house sizes in American horror movies. They're so huge! Are all houses over there that big? They all seem to have a basement that goes on forever, and a loft you can stand up in with floorboards and windows. I mean they're perfect for horror - lots of spooky corners for ghosts to jump out of. Here in the UK our houses are tiny and the walls are thin; if you so much as put your cup of tea down too loudly you can hear the people next door tut. So why are American houses so big? Is this what happens when you get to choose between having a larger house or living with a debilitating illness?

  • Review: Parasite delves into the darkest recesses of humanity

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 27th February 2020

    Donald Trump gets mentioned way too much on these pages considering his contribution to cinema consists of a handful of production credits and cameos, including the one in Home Alone 2 where he checks out Kevin's bum. But for once the Incurious Orange may have done some good with his big racist gob. By launching a scree against South Korean-set Parasite for having the audacity to win a Best Picture Oscar in a language he can't understand - no doubt due to his brain shrinking down his neck in fright at the thought of reading subtitles - Trump has accidentally made Bong Joon-ho's class examination a talking point outside of Film Twitter. I bet he feels really silly now.

  • Review: Bait is tighter than a duck's arse

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 24th February 2020

    My partner made me turn Bait off after two minutes because she said it was "pretentious," so we watched Ru Paul's Drag Race instead. My idiot friends spent an hour trying to come up with wanking jokes in our WhatsApp group because Mark Kermode said the film was a "masterpiece" (master + bait + combined mental age of 12), with predictably disappointing results. But like my mum said when I came home from riding my bike one day and she told me the Under 9s coach had rung to say the rules had changed and teams only fielded ten players now so I shouldn't show up for practice anymore: "It's their loss, Luke, you're brilliant at football."

  • Review: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a verbally challenged nostalgia trip

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 18th February 2020

    "So you're the target audience for that," a wag tweeted when I expressed an interest in Kevin Smith's first return to the Askewniverse proper since Clerks II in 2006. It's true, I am. And I'm not even that ashamed of it. In fact, Kevin Smith's films have aligned with several formative periods of my life, becoming dashed in parts of my brain like a ship on rocks, so for better or worse I'll always give the guy a chance. Although as much as I'm fond of the silly goof and his sweary adventures, you'll still never catch me in a pair of jorts.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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: Marriage Story battles for the high ground but risks sanctimony

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 31st December 2019

    Relationships are weird. You come to them as a pair of individuals, both trying to find common threads while maintaining individuality. Then you move in together and over time adjust to each other's idiosyncrasies, forming new habits based on a shared life, until one day you realise you're a completely different person. Later if you decide to wave goodbye to sleep for about fifteen years by having children it adds an adorable layer of walking on eggshells to proceedings. The only way to really make it work is to be totally open about your thoughts and feelings - keeping secrets is just asking for trouble - so if/when things fall apart and you're held to account for your part in the failure you get to gloat over that deceitful snake (just kidding, honey - L for Love!).