Art

News, Reviews & Features
  • 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: The Irishman is a slow burn deconstruction of mafioso mythos

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 14th December 2019

    I wonder if I'll live to be old, and if so, what secrets will I have accumulated by then? I don't mean secrets like things I ate that weren't mine; more like the sort of intimate knowledge that could change the course of history, sunk so deep it weighs down the soul of even the hardest immoral criminals. I guess that's why Martin Scorsese chose to make a three-and-a-half hour film about violent mob assassins involved in some of the most shocking conspiracies the world has ever seen, and not the time I took my girlfriend's Toblerone from the fridge and denied it because I was scared.

  • Review: El Camino is a familiar dose that goes down easy (drugs)

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 27th October 2019

    It would make absolutely no difference to anything whether Breaking Bad spin-off movie El Camino existed or not. If in a few years' time show creator Vince Gilligan responded to a fan question at a Comic Con panel with his plan for Jesse instead, the cultural impact would be much the same. That said, Gilligan can direct the hell out of the world he created and this re-visit is a reminder of the show's absorbing style, and of one of the central tenets of Bad: how much chaos can one person cause?

  • Review: Hurricane is cheap as chips but rises above to tell a stirring tale

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 25th September 2019

    "Chaos with Ed Miliband or stability with me" David Cameron declared in 2015, before quitting and plunging the country into a turmoil the two Prime Ministers since have managed to somehow make worse. But despite austerity measures and fox hunting and all the other cartoonishly cruel Tory pursuits, nothing compares to the completely avoidable damage leaving the European Union is going to wreak. Food and medicine supplies interrupted; regions of industry due to be decimated; the Pound Sterling crippled - all because of vain grabs for glory by power-hungry millionaires who got lucky that enough people on Facebook could be convinced the Romanian brickie down the street was the root cause of all their problems, and not the hereditary bankers with secret offshore accounts waiting to stiff their fellow countryfolk. But the harm is done, and we can never go back to a time when Sunday dinner wasn't a simmering saucepan of gritted teeth pleasantries, ready to boil over as you ask your freshly emboldened racist aunt to please pass the bloody swede. Well I wish we could find a way to project Hurricane onto the White Cliffs of Dover and force all the gullible idiots who voted for Brexit to watch it, not least because to do so they'd have to GET IN THE FUCKING SEA.

  • Review: Murder Mystery commits the crime of not being very mysterious

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 25th June 2019

    Shhh the kids are asleep. It's mummy and daddy time now, a chance to do all the things you can't do during the day. Let's make a cup of tea and put on a film. Two hours gone and now it's bedtime. The film was fine. Not good, not bad. Just fine, but more importantly we survived today. Lamp off. Start again tomorrow. One day closer to death. Everything is just fine, and it's not for me to judge that your life has become a static series of achievement-void days spent clockwatching and sometimes not even seeing the sun.

  • 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: 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: Booksmart is all that was good about Superbad and more

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 6th May 2019

    The ten years since Superbad have passed in a heartbeat, that's a long time to leave between checking in with youth culture. I'm sure everything is still exactly as it was in 2009, right? [weakly] Fo' sho. Booksmart, the fantastic debut directorial effort from Olivia Wilde, is proof that while things change, they've very much stayed the same: today's high schoolers might be newly woke and progressive and tolerant, but they're still all about end of term ragers and macking with hotties. Kids still say all of those words, I assume? Am I so out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong.

  • Review: After Life is not deft enough to avoid causing friendly fire

    TV Review | Ed Williamson | 22nd March 2019

    To promote his new Netflix show After Life, Ricky Gervais is out doing the podcast rounds, and telling anyone who'll listen why people who are offended by any of his jokes must have misunderstood them. He's probably right in some cases. But what he never considers, or at least never acknowledges, is that if a lot of people are misunderstanding your jokes, maybe it's because you aren't skilled enough at delivering them.

  • 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.