Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

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

The Oscar Nomnomnom Challenge

Predict the winners of the Oscars. The one with the most right wins cupcakes. Simple.

Review: The LEGO Movie

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

Not Famous Anymore

Helping to make Shia LaBeouf not famous any more by Photoshopping paper bags on his posters

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Film review: We Are the Best! Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 19 April 2014 11:50

Director: Lukas Moodysson
Cast: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne
Certificate: 15

I have never been in a punk band. Neither have Bobo (Barkhammar) or Klara (Grosin). But that doesn't stop them. Heading to their local Stockholm rec centre, the young teenagers grab a bass guitar and a drum set and immediately start rebelling.


What are they rebelling against? Anything they can find. They start with P.E. classes, where the pair resent being told to join in with a game of basketball. "Children in Africa are dying / All you care about is balls flying", they declare, then giggle excitedly at their rhymes. These lyrics (including a couplet made up of "morgue" and "Björn Borg") form the basis of their signature anthem: Hate the Sport.


"Hate the sport!" they yell over and over, banging the instruments loudly. The fact that they can't play them simply doesn't matter. They sound dreadful, adorable - and 100% real.


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Film review: Locke Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 18 April 2014 13:55

Locke film review

Director: Steven Knight
Cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
Certificate: 12A


The name Ivan Locke is said 53 times in Locke. That's almost once a minute. But while an hour and a half of Tom Hardy saying the name "Ivan" may not sound like your idea of a perfect night out, trust me (as someone called Ivan): it is. Because that's exactly what Steven Knight's film is about: one man's name.


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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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Film review: The Raid 2 Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 06:35
Director: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais
Certificate: 15

The Raid 2 is not the greatest action movie of all time. It's not even as good as The Raid.


Gareth Evans blew people away in 2011 with his stripped-down action masterpiece. His sequel is bigger, bolder and longer - by a whole 50 minutes. As a result, it loses some of its punch.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 17:20
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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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Film review: The Double Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 04 April 2014 06:24

Director: Richard Ayoade
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn
Certificate: 15

Richard Ayoade captured hearts when Submarine surfaced a few years ago with a warm, funny tale of young romance. A word of warning: this is not that. Based on a Dostoevsky story of the same name, The Double sinks to much darker depths, a cooler, stylised place where things are detached and faintly surreal.


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Film review: Noah Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 08:07

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone
Certificate: 12A


Everyone knows Noah. The tale of an ancient cataclysmic flood is embedded in civilisations the world over, regardless of creed or culture - it's a story that resonates with humanity, one that bears retelling.


Does that mean it's true? Is it a literal tale from the heavens? An account of historical fact? A metaphorical illustration produced by the church? Whose story is it? Ours? God's?


The latest interpretation from Darren Aronofsky is both, or neither. It is at once secular yet religious; faithful yet liberal.


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Film review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 28 March 2014 07:46

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Redford, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
Certificate: 12A

"Realism" isn't a word you really use when talking about comic book movies. This is a world where people shoot each other on a giant helicarrier in the sky - while other people fly around wearing robot wings. But Captain America 2 is just that.


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Last Updated on Friday, 28 March 2014 07:52
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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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Film review: Starred Up Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 21 March 2014 07:24

Director: David Mackenzie
Cast: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
Certificate: 15

"Starred Up means you're a leader," says prison veteran Spencer (A Field in England's Peter Ferdinando) to Eric (O'Connell), the new kid on the block. He's been transferred from juvenile into adult jail two years early. For the system, that means he's too dangerous. For the people inside it, that means he's all set to rise to the top.


The problem? That would mean going past Neville (Mendelsohn), a senior con. Who also happens to be his dad.


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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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