Latest

  • The 24 maddest moments from Gerard Butler's Pentagon press conference

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 16th October 2018

    Because global politics isn't weird and backwards and horrifying enough right now, Washington reporters gathered together yesterday afternoon for a Pentagon press conference, not to ask questions of President Trump, or his press secretary Sarah Sanders, or even White House advisor Stephen Miller, the Salacious Crumb to Trump's Jabba. No, today's speaker would be Gerard Butler, actor and star of forthcoming submarine thriller Hunter Killer. Perfectly normal, just another normal day, nothing to see here, so normal it hurts.

  • Widows

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 16th October 2018

    Steve McQueen’s dramatically weighty take on the heist movie genre starts with a blistering opening scene. We see masked robbers fleeing their crime mid-pursuit, but only from inside the back of their getaway van. With a fixed position looking out through the transit’s rear, its broken doors scraping and sparking on the road as police cars and traffic crash and pile-up in the trail of the gang’s escape, we cut to each of the members in moments of domesticity from earlier that day - Liam Neeson passionately kissing Viola Davis in bed, Jon Bernthal prodding at the black eye adorning Elizabeth Debicki’s face, kisses goodbye, arguments in stores - until finally a chaotic shootout leaves the gang and their van exploded in flames. McQueen’s intent is clear: from the physical chaos on the roads to the emotional distress at home, these robbers are leaving a lot of devastation in their wake.

  • I don't know about you but I'm reading that Liam Neeson horse story again

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 15th October 2018

    This is it. This is the content I crave. The world is a horrible place, full of racist demagogues and insidious politicians and hordes of idiots and hurricanes, but the news that Liam Neeson thinks a horse recognised him from a previous movie somehow makes everything okay. Liam Neeson doing horse whispering is the salve on the gaping wound that is 2018. Shhhh. Everything is going to be fine. Let's read it again, together.

  • The nine most embarrassing X-Men marketing fuck-ups

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 12th October 2018

    You can always count on the X-Men for a laugh. While the Marvel marketing machine runs like a well-oiled machine and the DC marketing machine is basically a Xerox of the Marvel machine, the Fox marketing machine is more like a dodgy office printer, old and busted and producing wildly erratic and inconsistent results because no one really knows how to use it properly. The X-Men franchise is arguably the biggest name in superhero cinema - so why can't Fox ever seem to sell the movies without, excuse my language, fucking up like cack-handed twats?

  • Halloween (2018)

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 11th October 2018

    I've always thought of slasher franchises like DIY chemistry sets. Once your hypothesis has been proven - that's your murderer, your motive and your gimmick - subsequent tests should be relatively simple to assemble: all of your elements are still available for use and you're aiming for the same reactions, but you can have a little fun in how you put them all together - experimentation is the name of the game! This Halloween revival, set 40 years after the John Carpenter original and discounting the entire subsequent sequel lore of Michael Myers, had the potential to be an interesting experiment, but it's carried out with all the zeal of someone joylessly following the instructions to build a sturdy IKEA bookcase.

  • Mandy

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 10th October 2018

    Another year, another London Film Festival, another annual peruse of the festival programme choosing films that sound fascinating in theory without really knowing what to expect in practice. Take Mandy, for example, which the programme describes as “a film so singular, perverse and beguiling, it’s almost impossible to define”. Ok... maybe try though? “Think of the most exquisitely nightmarish LSD trip imaginable, then multiply it by ten”. Hmm, I have no idea how to do that, but it sounds interesting. Ok fine, I’ll see it. “Don’t just see Mandy, experience it”. WHAT IS THIS IS IT EVEN A FILM.

  • Venom

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 3rd October 2018

    Let’s get something clear: it’s not grey-faced film snobbery, it’s not misunderstanding why a villainous antihero deserves his own movie, it’s not bad memories of Topher Grace, and it has nothing to do with Lady Gaga fans trying to help A Star Is Born top the box office chart. The reason why critics have felt their shitey sense tingling in advance of Venom’s release is because it has always looked terrible. The trailers showcased a comic-book movie from a bygone decade in which superpowers were fuelled by cheesey dialogue, bad CGI and maddening plot holes. We’ve all been standing downwind of this turd for quite some time, so low expectations are entirely justified. Ok, maybe it’s a little bit because of Topher Grace.

  • A special Shiznit investigation: which food is acceptable to eat on a train?

    Movie Feature | Ali Gray | 1st October 2018

    Earlier this week, an unforeseen event shocked me to my very core. My good friend and colleague Matthew Looker, a professional and a family man, contacted me to inform me of some most distressing news, and he had pictorial evidence: a woman on his packed commuter train home had begun eating a whole melon with a spoon. Not melon chunks, you understand. An entire, spherical melon. No sooner had the perpetrator finished carving the guts out of the melon, satisfying her own perverted craving for flesh, she began carving up a second melon. The carnage was only contained when the carcasses of the large fruits were stored in a Tupperware lunchbox and removed from the theatre of conflict. Regardless, it was clear: the rules had changed, and none of us in the Banter Squad group chat would ever be the same again.

  • First Man

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 28th September 2018

    I am from a generation who never had a Moon landing, and it’s probably just as well. I suspect 9/11 is to be our defining shared collective experience, one that united us in terror instead of awe, huddled as we were around TVs and computer screens to watch the world change forever, just not for the better. My generation would be unable to process a positive event of such magnitude without cynicism: if the Moon landing happened in 2018, the memes would be played out by breakfast, the conspiracy theories would be in effect by lunch and the astronaut who stepped off the spacecraft would be Milkshake Ducked by dinner (reminder: we couldn’t even enjoy the fact that scientists landed a probe on a fucking COMET because one of the engineers was wearing a sexist shirt). We deify Elon Musk, we don’t deserve a Moon landing. Watching First Man is probably as close as my generation is ever going to get to watching the human race extend its reach beyond the stars: it is a refreshingly old-fashioned, unashamedly straightforward account of mankind’s headiest achievement, and even speaking for a generation who are generally numb to this brand of back-patting throwback bio, I found its bald-faced nostalgia quite moving.

  • A Simple Favour

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 22nd September 2018

    Imagine being Paul Feig. You’re a talented director with a charming comedy disposition who consistently dresses like a flamboyant uncle at a wedding. Then you dare to reboot a beloved 80s franchise and cast it with actors who have one more X chromosome than the original actors. Suddenly the Horrible Part Of The Internet hates you. It doesn’t care that you made Bridesmaids, because suddenly it hates that too now, just because. Trolls make your life hell for a couple of years. They no longer find it endearing that you dress like a recently widowed old man celebrating his anniversary one last time before taking his own life to join his beloved. Instead they send you death threats because you reimagined their favourite pretend ghost hunters from 30 years ago as women. What do you do now?