In Slaughterhouse Rulez, the private boarding school attended by ‘rough Yorkshire lad’ Donald Wallace, has been taken over by frackers, whose digging inadvertently cause a lot of trouble. The Headmaster, played by Michael Sheen leads a crew of military-esque prefects that will go to extreme lengths to follow his lead.
It’s a fun movie for the most part if not being really predictable and unoriginal in parts. When introducing the different houses within the school, they did the stereotypical Mean Girls esque pan around the room to show them all, but never reaching that level of humour.
There are a few great, funny scenes in the film, with the ensemble cast all working well together especially in the tenser moments with all of the kids putting in believable performances with Asa Butterfield being patricularly great alongside Pegg, Frost and Sheen all being on their usual great form. At some points the humour just doesn’t work and there are a few long stretches where the movie can’t decide what tone it wants to have and it just comes across a bit messy.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is enjoyable despite its flaws and still manages to be charming and funny in spots despite never quite living up to its cast.
Michael Sheen’s dog is good though.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Disney’s latest family movie for the Christmas season.
Mackenzie Foy stars as young Clara, who is given a mysterious egg as a posthumous Christmas present by her late mother. This egg has a keyhole, but no key – the movie centers around Clara’s quest to find it. Following her mother’s clues she ends up in a mystical world made up of the titular four realms, and meets a bizzare, diverse cast of characters.
The supporting cast are solid, with Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger and Jayden Fowora-Knight as Captain Hoffman having standout performances.
Visually stunning, The Nutcracker is really pretty with beautiful, well fleshed out scenes and top quality CGI throughout; with the animal characters (the mice are especially great) all looking amazing. The plot is nothing new or anything that will stick with you for too long once the movie has ended. Two of the realms are really quickly skipped over and are barely featured at all, which is a shame as the land of sweets looked amazing.
There is a big plot twist towards the end of the movie, which does allow it to pick up in actual suspense and drama.
Overall, The Nutcracker is a fun, beautifully produced family movie that is ideal to take the kids to over the Christmas break (it’s November now so I hope it’s still showing then) – but I’m not sure it’s one they’ll want to watch again and again.
Dodie – If I’m Being Honest: A low key, pleasant sounding new single from Dodie, but the brutally honest lyrics and gradually developing (rather lovely) strings and drum beat give the song a soothing, but slightly uneasy feel One of her best songs to date. 85%
Sunflower Bean – Come For Me: Poppier than most tracks off their last album, ‘Come For Me’ is an upbeat, groovy glam rock esque track that weirdly reminds me of I’m Your Man by Wham. 78%
Carly Rae Jepsen – Party For One: This new single from CRJ is unfortunately bland and unforgettable, with the passion and enthusiasm of her recent material seemingly absent on this repetitive cut. 30%
No Fixed Identity – 123 Come Play With Me: An interesting track from No Fixed Identity, with an off kilter beat and loads of different little moments and instruments popping up; reminiscent of M.I.A and Little Simz. 70%
Clean Bandit ft Marina and the Diamonds & Luis Fonsi – Baby: A latin-infused new track from Clean Bandit. Marina’s smooth vocals fit this track perfectly and Despacito man isn’t used in a cringey or over the top way – this could be a big hit. 80%
Skepta – Neighbourhood Watch: Skepta continues his consistent run of great singles with ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ – a really good flow and a great feature from LD make this a real banger. 80%
Morgan Swann – Demons: Morgan’s latest track is based around fighting addiction and mental health. With a chill beat and a nice flow, this is a solid track. 70%
Maland2016 – Inner Demons: A great new EP from Maland – this new project has a consistent, slightly ‘spooky’ tone that gives each track a personality, and the whole project a solid feel without it being too over the top or cheesey. They all really slap too, and sound like a really good videogame soundtrack in the vein of Undertale. 90%
The Hate U Give is a very timely, important film from director George Tillman Jr. and the late Audrey Wells brought to life by a cast who all bring stellar performances.
Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg, is a high-school student who becomes the only witness to the fatal shooting of her best friend Khalil by a white police officer.
The Hate U Give shows how Starr has to balance what are effectively two different lives. Her home and school are in completely different neighbourhoods, and she struggles to hide parts of her she only wants certain people to see.
This only gets more difficult once she has to go before a Grand Jury, in what is quickly becoming a very high profile, public case – with protests aiming for justice for Khalil pretty much surrounding her, both at home and school.
Amandla is consistently brilliant as Starr, emotional and powerful while not overstated or overacting the role. The whole cast are almost perfect in their roles. From Anthony Mackie as the imitable ‘King’ to Common as Uncle Carlos there are so many smaller stories woven throughout the movie, giving a real human depth to the setting, with each character being fully realised, and they are all portrayed with excellence.
If you can, go and see this.
The Hate U Give is out now.
KCTMO is the debut single from new London band Pozi, written during the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fire.
The track itself is a brutally honest, open-hearted encounter of what it was like to be near Grenfell at the time, and the anger Vocalist & Drummer Toby Burroughs felt; with lyrics like ‘Deadly damages are due’ Pozi aren’t holding back. Good.
Sonically, the track comes in somewhere halfway between the Maccabees and The Streets. ‘KCTMO’ has an irresistible bassline and a pounding drumbeat that really grab your attention, and the haunting violin that creeps in throughout keeps you hooked.
Very promising stuff for a debut single.
Pozi have 2 upcoming London shows:
31 Oct – London, The Curtain Hotel (PRAH Halloween Party)
27 Nov – London, Moth Club
‘Point of This is the second single from Glaswegian band Yakima. I very much like it.
With echoes of Teenage Fanclub and Spinning Coin, Yakima have a brilliant, shimmering lo-fi indie single in ‘Point of This’.
The track’s catchy riff and upbeat melodies give you a piece of summer in October, and the fuzzy, layered vocals really take you to another place for about 2 minutes. Lovely stuff.
Very much looking forward to hearing more from Yakima.
The band have 2 upcoming dates in Glasgow:
Thursday 1st November – Yala! Night, McChuills, Glasgow
Saturday 7th December – Hug & Pint, Glasgow
Cover Photo by Neelam Khan Vela.
The Nottingham three piece’s second effort sees them grow in confidence and scale, with ‘Strange Entertainment’ being a confident, varied album. Every track on the album is different in pace and tone, but it still flows really well and feels like one coherent piece.
Opener and album highlight ‘Egg Hunt’ starts off with just vocals and bass before developing into a really groovy track with a great, catchy jangly riff that hasnt left my head in a few days.
‘It’s Not My Day’ is another fave off the album it being one of the heavier moments on Strange Entertainment, with very strong vocals from Lucy over a slow but punky backing, with brilliant creative drum patterns on this track.
Monsieur Automaton is another great track, and another change of pace with this being perhaps the fastest track on the album, and I love the harmonised vocals on the verses a lot here. Closer ‘Strange Was the Time’ is another growing, progressive track that shows off just how good the trio are musically.
With great production, variety and just banging songs throughout this is exactly the album Kagoule needed to make, and they pulled it off.
Kagoule have some upcoming UK tour dates:
Oct 31st – Leeds – Wharf Chambers
Nov 01st – Manchester – The Eagle Inn
Nov 02nd – Liverpool – EBGB’s
Nov 03rd – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
Nov 07th – Margate – Tom Thumb Theatre
Nov 08th – Brighton – Prince Albert
Nov 09th – Portsmouth – The Loft
Nov 10th – Southampton – Heartbreakers
Nov 11th – Bristol – Rough Trade
Nov 19th – London – Moth Club