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News, Reviews & Features
  • 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: 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 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: The Knight Before Christmas in excuse for rambling film article

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 1st December 2019

    Ahh Christmas; the season of feelgood movies, peace and love to all, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, dressing gowns and comfy slippers, aisles of biscuit tins in Wilko, the excitement of the first snowflake, glitter, novelty plastic tat destined for a landfill, forcing yourself to like disgusting M&S sandwiches, family arguing about Brexit, splinters going up in the loft, more glitter, Boris Johnson what a character eh, tears as your wife's antique bauble gets smashed, fighting back consumerist guilt, the bulbs don't work, splinters coming down from the loft, kids screaming, lies upon lies about Santa, THE BULBS DON'T WORK AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO GO TO THE SHOP AND THERE'S GLITTER EVERYWHERE. It's December 1st.

  • 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.