Becky Hill: Only Honest on the Weekend review – a conveyor belt of blandness | Pop and rock

[ad_1] In a recent Guardian article that touched on the role of albums in the streaming era, the former head of Virgin EMI described them as an “artist appeasement tool”. It’s a crude way to look at the artform, but in the case of Becky Hill it might be apt. Hill has four Top 10 … Read more

He’s All That review – Netflix’s dull TikTok teen remake lacks charm | Romance films

[ad_1] For the majority of people too young to remember the premiere of She’s All That in 1999, the main draw of He’s All That, Netflix’s gender-swapped remake of the teen classic, is its casting of the TikTok star Addison Rae. In July 2019, an 18-year-old Rae, given name Addison Rae Easterling, went from freshman … Read more

Tunnel 29 by Helena Merriman review – escape to the west | History books

[ad_1] It was a plan that seemed to defy not just caution but geography: to build a tunnel to help East Germans escape to the west – in cold war Berlin, of all places. To this day the preponderance of Berlin street names ending in “damm” reminds locals that the German capital is mainly built … Read more

This Is Paradise review – gender relations tell a mesmeric story of Northern Ireland | Theatre

[ad_1] Kate Regan is a woman defined by the men in her life. There’s her gentle old Belfast dad, disappointed by the company she keeps, there’s Big Joe, the teenage crush she lost in a daredevil accident, and there’s her attentive but unexciting husband, Brendy. Above all, there’s Diver, a charismatic lowlife more than 20 … Read more

Big Red Machine: How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last? review – slightly self-indulgent supergroup | Music

[ad_1] Aaron Dessner cuts a very low-profile figure, even by the standards of both bookish US alt-rockers and blue-chip pop collaborators, neither of whom require otherworldly charisma or an outrageous image. Put it this way: the New York Times recently ran a lengthy profile piece, lauding his achievements – his work on Taylor Swift’s multi-platinum, … Read more

Souad review – shrewd and poignant study of social media identities | Film

[ad_1] As well as being subtle, tender and sad, this feature from Egyptian director Ayten Amin is one of those rare films which really engages with online existence and social media – yet without needing to flash up tweets and texts as onscreen graphics in the way most movies do. Souad meditates on the mysterious … Read more

Boiling Point review – Stephen Graham bubbles in one-shot restaurant drama | Film

[ad_1] Philip Barantini serves up a single-take headlong nightmare in this drama set in a restaurant, starring the formidable Stephen Graham as an up-and-coming chef called Andy who is running on pure adrenaline, and maybe something more in that water bottle of his. Without any cuts to darkness or a camera flash, Barantini follows the … Read more

Mosquito State review – a torrid, original tone poem to late capitalism | Film

[ad_1] This highly original, visually torrid take on Wall Street and last decade’s global financial crisis celebrates the true masters of the universe: mosquitoes. Richard Boca (Beau Knapp), head analyst for investment firm Abbott Werner, is a gauche social misfit tolerated because he developed the algorithms that keep the company ahead. But, in the autumn … Read more

What You Can See from Here by Mariana Leky review – a tonic in troubled times | Fiction in translation

[ad_1] The okapi lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, its glossy brown body sloping up from zebra-striped legs. It’s an unlikely presence in western Germany, but that’s not why Selma is unsettled when she sees one, calmly wandering the woods of the Westerwald in her dreams. Selma is scared because every time she dreams … Read more

Psychonauts 2 review – a surreal adventure that’s unashamedly itself | Games

[ad_1] The unlikely sequel to a 16-year-old game about going inside people’s heads to rummage around in all their mental baggage, Psychonauts 2 is wonderfully anachronistic. It’s a missive from a time when practically every game was about running and jumping and collecting things in some cartoonish otherworld, and every developer was trying to find … Read more