Review: The LEGO Movie

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

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From Godard to Björk in 12 days: The London Film Festival 2014 line-up revealed Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 10:35

16 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres, 38 European Premieres and 19 Archive films. That's the London Film Festival 2014 line-up in a nutshell.


Running from Wednesday 8th to Sunday 19th October 2014, it's a typically diverse round-up of global cinema, from an old restoration of a Chinese silent to new films from debut British directors. The process of selection from the best of the rest of the year's festivals feels as enjoyably idiosyncratic as ever. Hoped for Christopher Nolan's Intersteller at the BFI IMAX? You won't get that. You will get Jean-Luc Godard's 3D Goodbye to Language. Hoped for Birdman? You won't get that. You will get the European premiere of The Duke of Burgundy, the new film from Berberian Sound Studio's Peter Strickland.


This is a celebraton of creativity in all its forms, whether it's an old master experimenting with new technology or Reese Witherspoon delivering what could be the performance of her career in biopic-drama Wild.


It's telling that there's an entire competition strand at the LFF devoted to first-timers, from Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's The Tribe - a Ukrainian film entirely in sign language with no subtitles - to Daniel Wolfe and Matthe Wolf's Catch Me Daddy - a Yorkshire-moors thriller with cinematography from Robbie Ryan.


As for the more established names, the LFF gala selection is both what you'd expect and what you wouldn't. There's Bennett Miller's wrestling film Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, drumming thriller Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, the return of festival favourite Jason Reitman with Men, Women and Children, the second directorial feature from Alan Rickman (A Little Chaos - heading up the Love strand), Jon Stewart's debut flick Rosewater (starring Gael Garcia Bernal - heading up the Debate strand), Xavier Daolan's Mommy (heading up the Dare strand), Western The Salvation (the Cult strand), but there's also, let's not forget, the concert film Björk: Biophilia Live.


Live music is becoming an increasingly important part of the London festival calender, as is its love of old cinema: both world premiere restorations (yes, there's still the Treasures strand too) will have live scores. The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Island will screen at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as the Archive Gala with a new soundtrack from award-winning composer Simon Dobson and will be performed by 24 members of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, while The Goddess, a Chinese Golden Age silent film, will have a new score by Chinese composer Zou Ye performed live by the English Chamber Orchestra.


Where else can you find an event that adores familiar faces (Michael Winterbottom's The Face of an Angel will screen) and also profiles new filmmakers? A schedule that includes audiences (the Opening Gala of Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game and the Closing Gala of Brad Pitt in Fury will both have simultaneous screenings at cinemas across the UK) while still retaining that exclusive, unique voice? A film festival that gives the stage to Chinese silent film and shines a sequinned spotlight on a singer who once attended the Oscars dressed as a swan?


The BFI press release (which spans a whopping 4,610 words) presents the LFF as an festival that positions London as the world’s leading creative city. The London Film Festival 2014 line-up in a nutshell? From Godard to Björk in 12 days. That'll do it.


For more information - and the countless films I haven't been able to mention here - visit the official website: bfi.org.uk/lff.

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In Order of Disappearance trailer: Taken to Norway Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 22 August 2014 12:03

Stellan Skarsgard. A dead son. Guns.


Taken to Norway? I'm in.


It's out on Friday 12th September.

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Competition: Win tickets to the Gala Screening of Million Dollar Arm Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 16 August 2014 18:38

Jon Hamm stars in Million Dollar Arm, out in UK cinemas on Friday 29th August - and we're giving away two tickets to the Gala Screening of the film on Thursday 21st August in a London hotel, attended by celebrity guests including Jon Hamm himself.


Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm follows failing, struggling US sports agent JB Bernstein (Hamm), who travels to India in a last ditch effort to save his career by finding a young cricketer to turn into a major sports star. With the help of a cantankerous retired talent scout (Alan Arkin), JB sets up a national contest called "The Million Dollar Arm" and discovers Rinku (played by Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Slumdog Millionaire’s Madhur Mittal), two 18-year-old boys who have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to make a quick buck he brings them to LA to train, but the boys, who have never left their rural villages before, struggle with their new life and cope and the pressure heaped on them.


His livelihood on the line and relationship with the boys at stake, with the help of his friend Brenda (Lake Bell) JB realises that family and friendships are more important than sealing the deal.


But enough of that - how can you see the film early while making eyes at Don Draper at London's Mayfair Hotel? All you have to do to win two tickets to the screening is answer the following question:


Who does Jon Hamm play in Mad Men?
A) Don Draper
B) Roger Sterling
C) Dan Dopper


Email your answer to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it along with your name and - if you're on Twitter - your Twitter username by 23:59 Monday 18th August. The winner will be informed on Tuesday.


Note: You must be free on Thursday 21st August and available to attend the screening at the Mayfair Hotel (Stratton Street, W1J 8LT). Doors open at 6.30pm (the film starts at 7pm).

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Teaser trailer for Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game, which will open 2014 London Film Festival Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 21 July 2014 17:01

The director of Headhunters has made a film about Alan Turing starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Mark Strong and Charles Dance and it will open this year's London Film Festival and here is a teaser trailer of that film. If you are not excited by this sentence, we cannot be friends.

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Competition: Win the soundtrack from Jon Favreau's Chef Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 26 June 2014 16:28

To celebrate the release of Chef in cinemas now, we are giving away 2 copies of the movie's soundtrack, stuffed with Latin and New Orleans jazz rhythms.


Chef features an all-star cast including Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr. and young actor Emjay Anthony. It follows Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), who suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman). Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son (Emjay Anthony) to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen - and zest for life and love.


To be in with a chance of winning a copy of the soundtrack, either RT this tweet, or answer the question below:


Jon Favreau is the director of which of the following action films?

a) Spider-Man
b) Batman
c) Iron Man


Send your answers to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it along with your UK postal address and - if you're on Twitter - your Twitter username. The deadline for all entries is 23:59 on Monday 30th June.


Chef is out in UK cinemas now. Follow the foodie fun on Facebook at facebook.com/ChefTheMovie and Twitter at twitter.com/LionsgateUK with the hashtag #ChefMovie.


Terms and Conditions


• The winner will be drawn at random from all the correct entries, and only they will be contacted personally. Prize must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. There will be no cash alternatives.

• The competition is only open to people in the UK.

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Happy Birthday, Dracula: Listen to Chrisopher Lee's new heavy metal album Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 16:46

What do you do when you're a 92 year old actor who's had roles in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, defined a generation of horror movies, won a BAFTA Academy Fellowship award and been knighted by Prince Charles?


Release another heavy metal album, including a cover of the most famous Frank Sinatra song of all. Obvs.


"I DID IT MYYYYYYY WAY," booms Dracula with all the oratory authority of Saruman shouting at the Misty Mountains.


You bet he flipping did. Listen to Metal Knight here.


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Breaking: Man falls into Angelina Jolie's head, gets stuck there during Maleficent poster shoot Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 08 May 2014 06:43

Hover over the image to witness the unfortunate true story of a man who fell into the top of Angelina Jolie's head and got stuck there during the Maleficent poster shoot.


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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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