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  • Review: The Red Sea Diving Resort sinks under the weight of its own clichés

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 16th September 2019

    Is it still white saviour complex if the events actually happened? Or is it a different kind of white saviour complex; one for the benefit of white audiences, to make them feel better about conditions in other countries that probably had something to do with them sticking their oar in at some point in history? Are we challenging ourselves by broaching such subjects in the first place: a tacit acceptance of blame by not sugarcoating the human casualties of conflict? Was a film ostensibly about ethnic cleansing the right time to show off Chris Evans' side-ass and the top bit of his pubes? Many questions.

  • Review: Secret Obsession features the world's worst criminal mastermind

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 6th September 2019

    Secret Obsession is on a par with Murder, She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, or any other daytime TV show with 'murder' in the title, which has just struck me how psychopathic that was to expose a generation of elderly people to. The film is so cheap I was convinced an opening chase sequence would lead to a fake-out, ending with the victim waking up in a sweat, or an in-movie director shouting "cut!" as it's revealed we were on a movie set all along. It's another worrying sign of the content Netflix is curating. So was this TV movie-level rubbish dumped on Netflix, or dumped in the bins out back and somehow ended up on their servers? No I don't know how that would work either, but it makes more sense than the killer's plan.

  • Review: The Great Hack will make you want to delete your Facebook account, data, self

    Movie Review | Becky Suter | 4th August 2019

    Facebook went downhill as soon as your mum signed up. The day she arrived with her Farmville requests and then started phoning you in the middle of a work day asking why you hadn't yet taken the "Which Shoe Are You?" personality quiz, it was in decline. And not just because it was irritating when she (or it could have been your dad, I don't know your family) would wish people a happy birthday by commenting on old posts they'd made about broken dishwashers five years ago, or confusing the search bar with their status update ("Ma Suter is tesco opening times christmas thank you"). It went downhill because she, and then the rest of us by default, put weapons into the hands of people who wanted to spark a culture war and now we cannot guarantee fair elections worldwide.

  • Review: Elizabeth Harvest brings a touch of class to the male wank fantasy

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 16th July 2019

    A few months ago I forced myself to watch Eli Roth's Knock Knock. It was a truly pathetic faux-apologetic excuse to show two young actresses naked, under the pretence it was all okay because they were getting revenge on shitty men. That's not to say I'm above looking at pointless nudity - I am a shitty man myself - but it has made me wary of how films are presented and my own sense of dismay when something turns out to be as grubby as you'd hoped it wouldn't be, even if a part of you secretly hoped it would be.

  • Review: I Am Mother wears its influences on whatever robots have instead of sleeves

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 1st July 2019

    Once again I find myself pondering the meaning of life in a Greggs. I like the way the servers don't indulge in the folly that producing coffee is a lengthy, complex task. They turn around, press a button, and 15-20 seconds later a cup is plonked on the counter. That's not to badmouth the baristas of other chains - I'm sure there's a skill to what they do - but the process is needlessly prolonged with steam bursts and putting bendy tubes in milk cartons. The staff of Greggs understand the purpose of my visit and their role in it as facilitators of quick hot brown slop. To extrapolate that to its only logical conclusion, we can ascertain that they value above all the one thing that binds human existence and has led to this exact moment we are all experiencing in unison: time. It's 8am and already it has been a big day.

  • 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: Rim of the World walks a fine line between stupid and clever

    Movie Review | Luke Whiston | 18th June 2019

    McG's (ugh) Netflix Original (UGH) Rim of the World (UGHHHH) is a sexist, misogynistic, inexplicably racist low-hanging-fruit-picking embarrassment that by rights should be shot into the sun and every trace of its existence burnt to ashes, and the people responsible sterilised so they don't accidentally send their kids to Hollywood film school and make another one like it. That would be if the sexism, misogynism and racism wasn't being delivered by 13-year-old children. Which I'm afraid in the arena of bad taste qualifies this for some sort of filmic equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

  • 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: 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.