Latest Reviews

Sort by: Most Recent | Most Popular
  • Review: Behind the Curve lets us gawp but doesn't offer any insight

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 11th March 2019

    It's so sad to hear about Piers Morgan. Oh, nothing's happened to him. I mean just generally whenever he pops up it makes me feel sad that an adult would cultivate mock outrage in pursuit of attention. We should cut him off so he can disappear forever, but he's harmless really - a fart in the wind - and everyone sees the desperation in his tiny haunted eyes. And he's a coward. To properly grab people's attention nowadays you have to go down the alt-right route like Hopkins and Milo, baring your wretched soul fully in a self-immolating endgame; not have a dig at vegan pastries from the safe space of a colourful sofa. He's a rank amateur. What does this have to do with flat earthers? Well, they're the same thing as Morgan aren't they? Poor deluded fuckers confusing passing glances with validation, convinced they're part of the fabric of reality, when really they're touching cloth.

  • Review: Paddleton is an awkward embrace with fragile masculinity

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 6th March 2019

    SPOILER ALERT: You will die. It's just a matter of finding out when and how - and that's only if you see it coming. Many people will wake up this morning not knowing it's going to be their last day on earth. The lucky ones will have some advance notice of their expiration date, and so get a chance to take stock of their lives before deciding what to do with their remaining time. Traditional Hollywood plotting dictates this to be some kind of quest to undo past misdeeds as part of a redemption arc, before slipping away quietly surrounded by loved ones and that hot girl from college. But not in Alex Lehmann and Mark Duplass' Paddleton, in which a pair of friends go on a road trip to commit clinician-assisted suicide after one of them discovers he has terminal cancer. With a wacky setup like that they should have called this movie DEATH RIDE!

  • Review: Captain Marvel is predictably great fun by numbers

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 5th March 2019

    It seems strange now to consider any new Marvel movie to be a risk. After 20 films, each amassing box office receipts equal to the size of entire national economies, surely a new instalment of the MCU can only ever be a sure thing at this stage? And yet, here we are, with a film that is about risky as Marvel gets now; not because this is its first female-fronted film (Wonder Woman has kapowed that glass ceiling already), but because we are dealing with a character most won’t know, with abilities that are supposed to be more powerful than anything we have ever seen before, played by a still relatively obscure lead actress. Oh and there’s that little thing of presenting her as the Endgame saviour of the Infinity War. Have no doubt, Marvel is rolling the dice here, even if they are safely loaded.

  • Review: Period. End of Sentence. is a so-so doc, necessary conversation starter

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 1st March 2019

    It's sometimes fun to imagine what aliens would make of our planet. What would they think of the huge green mass on the left committing a gross act of spiritual harm by putting a smaller orange mass in charge, for instance? Or the ones wearing bowler hats destroying their economy just because the neighbours are into Eurotrance? Madness. And pogs - what the fuck?! But probably the strangest thing to them would be seeing half the planet's population bleeding from their reproductive organs once a month as part of an essential species-prolonging biological function, and the other half going "ewww!" and repressing them since the beginning of time.

  • Review: Polar is a blizzard of clichéd tedium

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 24th February 2019

    Working yourself to the bone during the prime of your life so you can live comfortably when you're too old to do anything seems really backwards. I'll happily stitch clothes with my gnarled hands in return for soup until I expire at my sewing table when I'm seventy, just let me have some fun now. What if I don't even make it to old age because of some horrible illness or a nuclear war? All those hours toiling away for nothing. Awful thoughts. Everything is terrible. Although I guess things can't be that bad if the worst thing that happened to me this week was watching Netflix's Polar, in which a hitman retires. Which is why I said all that stuff just now.

  • Review: High Flying Bird shoots, hits the rim, bounces in off the backboard

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 20th February 2019

    I am a sucker for a sports movie. Whether it's the technical aspects, a soppy love story or some team melodrama, they are my cinema catnip. I think it's because sport is a wholly silly artificial concept - something we invented after settling down long enough to think about what to do with ourselves next, so we decided to throw rocks into holes then invite the other caves over to see who could do it the best. Jump forward a few millennia and sport has become this hyper-commercialised beast that is embedded deep within the tribal part of our psyches. And even though I know that's a bad thing, I can't deny a primal urge to holler and wave a big foam hand whenever someone sprints up to do a slam dunk. GO SPAWTS!

  • Review: Alita: Battle Angel has one foot in the future, one in the past

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 13th February 2019

    Does James Cameron's name attached to a movie mean anything anymore? With the skidmark of Terminator Genisys refusing to fade from the collective pop culture underpant, and the inevitable Avatar sequel debacle still a few merciful years away, we have a new Cameron project to mull over in the meantime. Alita: Battle Angel, a live-action sci-fi epic based on a popular Japanese anime, has been on JC's to-do list since the early 2000s but he's finally delegated it off his plate, handing over his dusty old screenplay to best pal Robert Rodriguez. I don't like the phrase 'sloppy seconds', but, well, I've said it now, it's out there, and in actual fact, in saying it I've basically answered the question I set out in the first line, so here we are, the review has begun, strap yourselves in everyone.

  • Review: One Cut of the Dead proves there is life in the zombie movie

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 12th February 2019

    How do you watch films? For me it's a late evening treat after a long day busting my hump, slumped on the sofa, remote in hand scrolling Netflix for 5-45 minutes before picking a Nic Cage movie from last year nobody has ever heard of. But sometimes you already know what you want to watch, and thanks to a tip-off I'd heard One Cut of the Dead was suddenly available on Amazon Prime. The hype was intriguing: a tiny horror from Japan that had become a smash hit. The only thing left to do was convince my life/viewing partner, thus introducing the concept of The Sell. And how do you convince someone to willingly watch a quirky high concept Japanese meta farce? Could go either way - I mean we've all seen The Happiness of the Katakuris, right? In the end I told her it was a zombie film, which is kind of true, until it isn't.

  • Review: The Lego Movie 2 plays nicely but has no new surprises

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 10th February 2019

    My nephews were younger when the first Lego Movie came out. I mean, everyone was. But in 2014 they were five years younger; a lifetime when you're under ten. The elder one loved it; the younger probably not quite at the age where he could be relied on to sit through anything for more than ten minutes without chewing his shoes. They'll love this too, because they're still under ten and they're idiots, despite the older one being quite capable of comprehensively schooling me about dinosaurs. Me, I think maybe the magic has faded a bit.

  • Review: Velvet Buzzsaw paints a dark canvas but is worse than the sum of its p-arts

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 8th February 2019

    A few years ago I had a bit of an epiphany regarding my personal relationship with art (such as it is that the purpose and understanding of art as a human endeavour is the result of a complex mish-mash of evolutionary need and life experience resulting in a unique perspective held only to oneself imho). It was around the time of political unrest in a country - not going to say which one but it was one of those problematic countries you see on the news often, don't like the gays much - where a group of artists had collaborated to send a satirical message to their government which was more than likely going to see them turn up in a ditch. It was an act that made me question my complete self: would I, a comically stereotypical white man, ever do anything so profoundly brave with my creative output? I mean besides calling Nigel Farage a cock on Twitter? Probably not. I'll probably just carry on ascending to middle class via osmosis, stopping to tut whenever Netflix raise their prices by 20p so they can continue making mediocre originals.