Review: The Spitfires – A Thousand Times

This article was originally published to The Edge on  14th August 2016

Here’s how I imagine The Spitfires’ elevator pitch for A Thousand Times going down: “Imagine you’re standing in a lift listening to the tame, boisterous, and uninventive pop sounds of elevator music, timidly conducted through the air. Suddenly, the brakes screech, you judder to a halt, and the music continues; now it’s far louder. The sound of the brakes continues as you’re brought painfully slowly down the shaft in this metal torture box that refuses to give you the rapid and sweet release of death from an aural nightmare of the soul-crushingly boring, and the ear-splittingly horrific. We’re going to make an album out of that experience!” Continue reading

Review: Globelamp – The Orange Glow

This article was originally published to The Edge on 10th August 2016

Perhaps Elizabeth Le Fey, the girl behind the solo act that is Globelamp, should have written a book rather than make an album. Globelamp emerged after her own exit from Foxygen, which later completely split up.The Orange Glow is her second record, reportedly written “as a reflection of the last year and a half and how [she]got out of it alive.” That period included both a breakup and the death of her best friend so it’s hardly like she has nothing to draw on, but this occasionally ethereal fairytale fails to get across the devastating power of those experiences. Continue reading

Film Review: Nerve

This article was originally published to The National Student on 27th July 2016

★★★★☆

You’d be hard pressed to think of a film from the last year that opens with a scene more on-the-nose as Nerve.

NerveEmma Roberts’ Vee is procrastinating on her Macbook, Facebook stalking her high school’s football star, and listening to “sick choons” on Spotify. We see close ups of her cursor as it hovers over various icons; it waits temptingly over the “Like” button for her crush’s photo; we see her biting her lip, her facial movements tentative in extreme close-up; Vee gets a Facetime call from her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade). Continue reading

Music Video Review: Gojira – Low Lands

This article was originally published to The Edge on 26th July 2016

If you wanted to make a music video that did everything that you might expect of it, ‘Low Lands’ by Gojira, would be a very good place to start gathering inspiration. It’s a narrative-less, confusing array of horror-genre establishing images, intercut with images of a (pretty darn rad) metal band rocking around an enormous bonfire sans instruments to their own song. Continue reading

Justice League, Wonder Woman, Blair Witch and all the other best trailers from San Diego Comic-Con

This article was originally published to The National Student on 24th July 2016

Every July, film studios flock to San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest event of its kind in the world, to show off their latest productions to the nerdiest people in the world.

In recent years, to side step the piracy problem, those same studios have been releasing the footage they show there to the general public, within a few hours.

We’ve collected the best (or otherwise) footage revealed in the famed Hall H from the last few days, of the films you should know about over the next year.

Spoiler – there’s a lot of superheroes… Continue reading

Film Review: Star Trek Beyond

It’s difficult to imagine the recent abundance of spacefaring films existing without the success of J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot. Since then, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Martian, and more, have boldly gone where Gene Roddenberry went first. The latter film especially, displayed the same ambitious vision of humanity as the original series: an unfailingly diverse set of people, using their problem solving abilities to save people, inspiring the planet at the same time. As much fun as Abrams’ first film in the franchise was, it’s always been more Star Wars than Star Trek; Into Darkness may as well have been any post-9/11 fear-infused action film, despite its ill-founded homaging of Wrath Of Khan. After that slight misfire, Paramount chose Justin Lin to replace Abrams. As a director known best for his orchestration of the unabashedly silly Fast & Furious films, it would be easy to dismiss him. It would also be wrong. Star Trek Beyond brings the en-vogue Pop fun of Guardians Of The Galaxy and the same hopeful attitude that The Martian wowed audiences with. It’s undeniably a modern blockbuster, yet it’s also the most classically Star Trek thing to wear the label in decades. Continue reading

Film Review: Warcraft: The Beginning

This article was first published to The Edge on 12th June 2016

It’s incredibly easy to spot the difference between a film which makes big strides in the name of a studio’s cynical interests, and one where risks are taken by a truly talented filmmaker straining his every muscle to create something special under the weight of studio expectations. Duncan Jones’ third directorial feature is exactly in line with the latter category – his determination and vision in creating the Orcs in Warcraft: The Beginning alone, is the sort of landmark for CGI and motion capture that would be impossible to find in another director’s stab at this material. Continue reading

Film Review: Race

This article was originally published to The Edge on 9th June 2016

There’s a true, convincing love story at the heart of this biopic; but it isn’t the one between Jesse Owens (Stephan James) and Ruth Solomon (Shanice Banton). It’s the one between Owens and his coach Larry Snyder (Jason Sudeikis). Buoyed by immensely charismatic, emotional and empathetic performances from the two, the relationship grows as many coach-player relationships do in sports movies: from an aloof coach with the optimistic, often outsider player, into mutual respect and then a true friendship. It’s standard stuff, but at its best Race makes it work like gangbusters. By the halfway mark, as coach and runner make the Transatlantic voyage to Berlin for the Olympics, a small gesture by Snyder to stay below deck with Owens cements their bond. In fact, it’s something of a surprise that both men can make it through the events of the film without actually kissing. Continue reading

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