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Luke has written 116 reviews for films during 2016.

  • Love Actually

    Love Actually

    No. 296:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Love Actually marks Richard Curtis’ first directorial feature and production, having left his impression on an entire wave of quintessential British comedy series/films over the previous two decades as writer/producer.

    Its position as a large scale ensemble piece – the first of many this century based around a holiday period – means that it can have its cake and eat it by being a single entity, whilst ticking off as…

  • Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    No. 114:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Taking a comedic route when translating Danny Rubin’s original, observational screenplay draft, Harold Ramis’ finest masterpiece sees him graduate to a more mature and seasoned level of director and writer.

    The time loops explanation is never explored, but instead functions as a perfect allegory for the rut that Phil Connors (Murray) has been stuck in but never realised. Utilising incredible filmmaking techniques – this is as perfect a film for…

  • Battle Royale

    Battle Royale

    No. 289:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    The final completed work of legendary Japanese writer/director Kinji Fukasaku, Battle Royale is one of his most memorable and controversial pictures.

    With a screenplay by Kenta Fukasaku, based on the novel of the same name, the film plays like a warped revenge fantasy satire of the ultra-right delivering swift and savage punishment upon Japanese youth culture; a living metaphor of teenage torment and the elitism of the Japanese employment market.…

  • Gladiator

    Gladiator

    No. 27:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Brought into the world at the start of the 21st century, Ridley Scott’s Gladiator impossibly resurrects the sword and sandals film for a new audience.

    Borrowing story cues from The Fall of the Roman Empire and Ben-Hur, the screenplay is unsubtle in its character development or narrative course, but it's delivered with such verve and brash intention that its really difficult to fault its desire to entertain – which it…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    No. 11:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Inspired by Philip K. Dick’s story, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a monolithic philosophical tale that wraps itself around the roots of Greek tragedy and a neo-noir framework.

    Hampton Fancher and David Peoples’ screenplay paints a bleak canvas of humanity’s arrogance at their ability to create and destroy, and a takedown of the industries that exacerbate these tendencies, both morally and ethically.

    L.A. 2019 is a world of contemporary repute…

  • Grease

    Grease

    No. 192:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Grease is the kind of film that will work as best intended for its original audience, or young adults of a similar disposition.

    The nostalgia bait fashion of its setting and presentation is incredibly pandering to say the least, cutting out nearly all political climate contexts and real world dramas, instead choosing to bask in the sundrenched, boldly saturated nonsense and excesses of the fun times a la Happy Days…

  • Moulin Rouge!

    Moulin Rouge!

    No. 146:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Moulin Rouge! is the great 21st Century jukebox musical, with a screenplay drawing from Greek tragedy in its stressed drama, and keen enthusiasm in its Shakespearian feeling. It’s also a mess.

    Directed and written by Baz Luhrmann, he’s a filmmaker who is very good at translating the atmosphere and import of prior styles and art forms into a contemporary their setting, altering their form in his movies for the sensibilities…

  • Little Miss Sunshine

    Little Miss Sunshine

    No. 202:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    The debut film of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farism, Little Miss Sunshine holds the structure of a traditionalist family road movie narrative, yet couldn’t be further from that convention.

    Michael Arndt’s fabulous screenplay sees the dysfunctional Hoover family – consisting of a magnificent ensemble cast - in their individual pursuits of the American dream, and along the way we see those dreams tarnished in different comedic and devastating ways. But…

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a stunningly confident stride into new territory for the series title, Gareth Edwards best feature film, and one of the biggest and boldest instalments to date.

    Read the full review at WhittyStuff

  • Blue Velvet

    Blue Velvet

    No. 270:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Blue Velvet is classic David Lynch. A conception of many aspects of Lynch’s mind, personal loves and desires. One of the most perfect, surrealist depictions of 1980s America, as envisioned by a man brought up on frosty milkshakes and suburban synthesis in Middle America.

    Blue Velvet takes a scalpel towards Regan-era Americana in the 80s – and the subsequent resurgence in 50s nostalgia – and plunges deep into the dirty…

  • Stand by Me

    Stand by Me

    No. 74:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Stand By Me is Stephen King’s ode to the dark complexities of childhood in outlying communities, as well as a affirming tale of friendships stronger than words or blood ties.

    The four boys are stars of their era, but show an incredible balance as both mature, reasonable talents and adolescent silliness. Wil Wheaton’s Gordie captures all the frustration of one who falls into the shadows of their older siblings –…

  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    No. 232:
    Empire Magazines Greatest Challenge: 301 films, 301 words

    Zodiac is a procedural drama with a few interesting conceits. The chief one being that the case which it is based around – that of the real life “Zodiac” murders – is one that has to this day never been solved.

    The very nature of this predetermined lack of resolution places an challenge on the film’s shoulders; to make the case and its mystery appealing to an audience without the…