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News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: Dolemite Is My Name is a rose-tinted celebration of flawed ambition

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 5th November 2019

    Is Eddie Murphy back? Judging by the last few months he's made a great deal of effort to distance himself from his 1980s sexism-laced standup routines, so he's definitely trying to come back. You can be cynical about it and say this is housekeeping in an attempt to reinvent his image for the new age of woke comedy, or you can accept he's genuinely trying to make amends and move onwards and upwards together into Liberal PC Heaven, where there are no guns and all the Pokemon you can catch. Whatever it is I'm not sure the best way to do it is via a celebration of blaxploitation; a genre laced with sexism.

  • Review: In the Tall Grass is a creeper but it won't make you soil yourself

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 14th October 2019

    "This is like one of those rubbish Stephen King film adaptations" I blurted out not long after In The Tall Grass had started - which was fine because I was watching it on Netflix at home. A few minutes later while checking out the film's IMDB page on my phone - again, fine - I saw it actually was a Stephen King adaptation, that also happened to be rubbish. Maybe if I'd been paying more attention the film would have seemed less rubbish. Or maybe if it was less rubbish I wouldn't have been tempted by my phone, despite being a near-40-year-old adult who should know better. Maybe cinemas should be cheaper. Maybe Netflix shouldn't exist so I'm forced to go to a cinema and concentrate. Basically whatever makes it someone else's fault except mine.

  • Review: Gemini Man proves a blunt instrument can't have a cutting edge

    Movie Review | Ali Gray | 6th October 2019

    Gemini Man, to its credit, is a film that couldn't feasibly have existed until this precise moment in time. Ang Lee, perennial pusher of envelopes, has created a movie of such terrifying technological oomph, it simply could not have been made before now - it feels so new and box fresh, if you squint, you can still see the price tag on all the pixels. The ultra-high 100fps frame rate - suck it, The Hobbit! - in combination with native 3D and mind-boggling de-ageing CG imagery gives Gemini Man the feel of a cutting edge tech demo on an impossibly expensive John Lewis TV that you could never dream of affording. What's truly baffling, then, is why a movie boasting such impressive visuals would be sold so short by a story that feels like something Steven Seagal would have passed on in 1998.

  • 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.

  • Maybe the real Love Island is the friends we made on the way...

    TV Feature | Becky Suter | 29th July 2019

    Love. Above all things I believe in love. Love is like oxygen. Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love. Every time I say it’s going to be different, I won’t get in too deep. Don’t fall for it, Becky: it’s infatuation, not love. Empires have fallen, glacial caps have melted and I’ve been oblivious to it all. I’ve fallen for the charms of Love Island. I've gone full factor 50.

  • Review: Always Be My Maybe is almost definitely an okay film

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 11th June 2019

    I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Keanu Reeves' turn in Always Be My Maybe is as funny as you'd hoped, not just living up to his much-memed slow motion entrance in the trailer, but hanging around for a few more scenes and becoming part of the plot like he's some sort of jobbing actor or something. The bad news is most of everything else.

  • Review: See You Yesterday is a deft causality caper with a message

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 7th June 2019

    Confession: once at an old job I accidentally sent a test email campaign to a contact list of 40,000 people, with the subject 'Test XXX' and body content consisting of a single centrally aligned picture of a cartoon dog. The point I'm illustrating is that some mistakes can't be undone, leaving you with no choice but to live with the consequences. But hang on, you ask, why not simply travel back in time to stop yourself clicking 'Send' in the first place? Yeah sure I could take the easy route, but that small tinkering could change the man I am today. And besides, I've just seen See You Yesterday, which makes a strong case for leaving the past well alone.

  • Review: Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is a dreary mess of titanic proportions

    Movie Review | Matt Looker | 29th May 2019

    To all those that said Gareth Edwards' Godzilla was a bore, or that it was slow, or that it took too long to reveal the beast himself, this one's on you, because this new monster mêlée follow-up is a megatomic nuke to the senses. It's a relentless shit-storm of mayhem and bullshit that attempts spectacle but delivers shaky-cam confusion and exhausted clichés for optimum headaches and head-shakes. It's a slog, an onslaught of expensive oblivion and a brain-fouling juggernaut of chaos. Although, I realise some of you may actively want all of this from your giant monster stories.

  • Review: Game of Thrones bows out burning bridges, own fingers, everything

    TV Review | Luke Whiston | 21st May 2019

    So now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Game of Thrones are at an end - two of the most popular, costliest and consistently epic franchises to ever exist in film and TV - and we've chewed over when and how to talk about them online, are we at some kind of 'spoiler event horizon' or a 'spoiler singularity'? I don't know either, just wanted to say something that sounded clever. Tits and willies and dragons eh, cor!

  • Review: Knock Down The House captures the highs and lows of hope

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 15th May 2019

    How can it be that every week feels like the series finale of America? The dumpster fire of Donald Trump's presidency that has engulfed our lives and timelines since 2016 can't be good for the collective psyche, and it's strange to think that a mere three years ago this constant gnashing background noise wasn't the norm. But US politics has measures in place to course-correct, namely a series of midterm elections whereby successful candidates can win a Senate seat, thus increasing their party's reach within Congress. At least that's what I understand from Wikipedia. I live in England, where we bow to whoever has the tallest top hat or the fanciest swan. Before today everything I knew about the American political system I learnt from The Simpsons.