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If human life is defined by art, what does that make these undead collectors of culture?

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Review: The LEGO Movie

An anti-capitalist corporate-sponsored advert? Everything about this really is awesome.

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Sundance London line-up includes free events for first time Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 06:37

This weekend, Sundance London returns to The O2 in London - a venue that, in its third year, still feels like both a jarring mismatch and a perfect fit.

A giant branded context within which to celebrate the tiny success of indie film? Sundance London has always seemed like a festival defined by juxtaposition: a showcase to introduce small movies to a wider audience, with ticket prices that can potentially exclude many.

This year, that dichotomy seems to have gotten worse: Sundance London will include a fantastic total of 40 films (22 features and 18 shorts), but ticket prices are more expensive, with a booking fee of £1.25 and a whopping £3.50 charge for box office collection taking the overall ticket price to £17.25 per film. The result is an event that can sometimes feel more populated by press and industry people than regular cinemagoers. The selling of merchandise only makes it appear more like a commercial exercise. Mugs? £10. T-shirts? £15. Hoodies? £35. Booking fees not included.

But after two years of rising entry costs, Sundance London is taking a different turn: 2014's line-up will include, for the first time, a string of free events from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April.

The events will take place in the Festival Hub in The O2's Brooklyn Bowl, which is open to the public all weekend. Events include a panel on indie comedy with Arrested Development's David Cross (whose film Hits plays at the festival) and filmmaker David Wain (They Came Together, Role Models, Wanderlust) and another debate, Truly Independent Visions, which will tackle what is takes to create an independent film today and include unconfirmed festival guests and programmer David Courier.

Sundance London continues to focus on both music and film, so the Brooklyn Bowl's free programme will also feature live music performances from Brit singer-songwriter Scott Matthews, The Soho Hobo (aka. Tim Arnold) and pop group Goldheart Assembly. Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra will also perform following the film screening of Finding Fela.

There will be another free event for students interested in a career in film: The Film Appreciation Event, which will take place on Friday 25th April from 3.30pm to 5pm. There's a free quiz on Sunday too.

On top of all that, there will be a screening on Sunday afternoon of 5 Projects from the Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge, which invited entries from filmmakers around the world to compete for five $10,000 prizes - and a trip to 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the US, where the winners' work will be screened.

It's a big step for the festival, which will hopefully make it more accessible to a more varied crowd. Hell, with all the money saved from attending a free panel or performance, you could probably afford a film ticket. Or a mug.

5 films to see at Sundance London

Frank (UK premiere)

More info

The Trip to Italy (European premiere)

More info

Hits (International premiere)

More info

The Voices (International premiere)

More info

The One I Love (International premiere)

More info

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List of upcoming film adaptations of young adult novels that are not being split into two parts Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Sunday, 13 April 2014 12:04

The Maze Runner

There. That's much simpler.

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An extended look at Godzilla is exactly what I don't want Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 07 April 2014 16:35

Warner Bros. released an extended look at Godzilla over the weekend, which is now racing around film websites keen to share the latest trailer. I'm not going to be joining them.

It's not because I'm not interested in Godzilla - far from it. I love Godzilla and look forward to seeing what Gareth Edwards does with the iconic monster. But you know what? I can wait.

I've written about this before, but this banner on The Verge summed it up best when I saw it this morning:

"The best look at the monster yet"? That's exactly what I don't want. I want to see Godzilla fully for the first time in the cinema, where his colossal height will work best. The last trailer included a glimpse of a beast, which already spoiled another potential surprise, so now I'm ducking all videos and pictures as best as I can. But it does beg the question once more: why not save giving us the best look at Godzilla yet until the actual film? Size matters - sometimes, less is more.

Godzilla is out in UK cinemas on 15th May. The latest trailer is easy to find on YouTube.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past poster - so bad Professor X is hovering away from it Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 24 March 2014 17:39

X-Men: Days of Future Past continued the franchise's fine form in terrible posters today when 20th Century Fox unveiled one of the worst one-sheets in recent memory - even more crowded than Thor 2's poster.

Ever since First Class (NEVER FORGET), the X-Men franchise has had a knack for naff poster design, like some kind of mutant whose special power is to be really, really rubbish at Photoshop. In the grand scheme of things, that's even more useless than that kid who can blink to change the TV channel, which basically makes him a glorified human-shaped remote control.

Now, with their latest effort - a cluster-fuck of bad cut-outs, orange and blue tones, weird poses, exploding buildings and lots of flying things for no reason - the Iron Man 3 Thor 2 X-Men marketing department have produced something so unoriginal and lazy that even its own characters are trying to escape it.

Look closer amid the chaos - just below Wolverine scratching his ear - and you'll spot the most ridiculous part of the whole thing: Sir Patrick Stewart's Professor X frantically racing to get out of the picture. In his magic hovering chair. His magic hovering chair that mostly seems to be invisible.

Amazingly, his magic hovering chair actually got quite far...

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Godzilla international trailer - a monster of a spoiler? Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:29

"It was not a natural disaster… THEY'RE LYING," declares Bryan Cranston at the start of the Godzilla international trailer. "Whatever they're guarding so carefully," he says, "I need to be able to prove that it's real."

That's the problem facing Warner Bros. as they try to drum up interest in an ancient terror. The biggest surprise they have is arguably what Godzilla looks like - but to make modern audiences interested, they have to prove that Godzilla is real.

The result is a halfway house that's gradually spoiling more and more of the film. (Warning: If you want to avoid them, stop reading now.) The first trailer revealed Gareth Edwards' approach to the monster's back-story (next to his appearance, the movie's other creature-defining decision) - the Japanese nuclear tests that traditionally created the beast were actually "trying to kill it", admitted Ken Watanabe.

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Clip from Under the Skin is creepy as hell Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 08:18

When was the last time someone said you have a nice smile? Did that person look like Scarlett Johansson? And were they driving a big white van through Glasgow? And did they lure you into a dark, empty house?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then something probably very bad happened to you - at least, that's the impression you get from this creepy clip from Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin. It's intriguing, it's dark and it's freaky as hell - and it's in cinemas on Friday 14th March.

Read on for the full clip - and, if that doesn't convince this is something rather special, scroll down for the stunning poster too. We'll have a review for you shortly.

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New The Raid 2 trailer guaranteed to wake you up on Monday morning Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 10 March 2014 07:42

If you haven't seen it yet, the new trailer for The Raid 2 is guaranteed to wake you up on a Monday morning. And yes, that is a man jumping through a glass window.

The Raid 2 is in UK cinemas on Friday 11th April.

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FADE TO BLACK, or Transformers: Age of Extinction's Trailer: A Drinking Game Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 06 March 2014 18:26

trailers fade to black - Transformers Age of Extinction

The Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer has arrived online - and, shockingly, it looks quite good. The thing is, so did Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Why? Partly because Mark Wahlberg is a reassuring lead presence and the plot looks like it might actually have some potential: it's not as intriguing as the lunar-based T3 premise, but it suggests there might actually be character-driven elements to the story thanks to the inclusion of Marky Mark's inventor's daughter.

The real secret, though, is that Transformers: Age of Extinction knows how to press all the right trailer buttons. BWOOMMMM noises, exciting music, robots, guns, Stanley Tucci shouting. All the elements Michael Bay fans want from his movies are there. If you played a Transformers trailer drinking game, you'd give yourself an aneurysm within 40 seconds. So let's just do that:

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