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: Ironclad 2: Battle for Blood Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 14 March 2014 18:32

Director: Jonathan English
Cast: Tom Rhys Harries, Tom Austen
Certificate: 15

Several years ago, a hacking, slashing epic with a camp sense of humour and a playful approach to history won over audiences with its graphic violence and over-the-top acting. No, not 300 - Ironclad. Now, that period silliness returns in a sequel nobody asked for. No, not 300: Rise of an Empire - Ironclad: Battle for Blood.


From the opening clash, director Jonathan English makes it clear that he has no intention of scaling down the violence. The trouble is that in trying so hard to top the brutality of the first film, things like characters or fun are swiftly forgotten.


The cast do try. Tom Rhys Harries (who impressed so much in Hunky Dory) gives good vulnerability as Hubert, whose dad is fatally wounded by the Scottish clan from over the hill, while Tom Austen is manly and male as Guy, the butch estranged-cousin-turned-mercenary the family need to defend their keep.


Revenge? A siege? People with not many clothes on? So far, so epic. The problem? You don't care about any of it.


A thankless damsel in distress and a highly dubious female character (who tries on every stereotype from man-eating rapist to love interest and violent warrior) only remind you how shallow the script is. The Scottish tribe, meanwhile, are laughable, from the angry hairy one to the bald staring one.


There is some satisfaction to be had in seeing people decapitated and their bowels forcibly ejected from their body, but English's increasing reliance on shaky cameras only makes the conflict feel more confusing - and look far cheaper.


With the head of the Scots' son also downed in the fray, the straight-faced band of cardboard cut-outs find themselves in a blood feud that threatens to go on and on and on. In the original, the entertaining, hammy trio of James Purefoy, Brian Cox and Paul Giamatti kept you laughing as you sympathised with the soldiers stuck in a stalemate. In this grim sequel, the prospect of endless, cheerless combat feels believably painful.


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Film review: The Zero Theorem Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 16:35

Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Mélanie Thierry, Lucas Hedges
Certificate: 15

What is The Zero Theorem? That's the task assigned to Qohen Leth (Waltz), a reclusive programmer at ManCom. Surrounded by bright lights, giant adverts and wireless connections, Lohen lives in a switched-on dystopian future not far from our own (and, scarily, not that far from Blade Runner either). He can't wait to disconnect himself from it all - but only so he can go home and wait by the phone for a call that will tell him the meaning of life.


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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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Film review: The Grand Budapest Hotel Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 07 March 2014 17:46

The Grand Budapest Hotel film review

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham
Certificate: 15


"There is still a glimmer of civilization in the barbaric slaughterhouse we know as humanity."


That's Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) to his young bellboy protege Zero (Tony Revolori) at The Grand Budapest Hotel. Located halfway up a mountain in the tiny, war-torn Eastern European Republic of Zubrowka, it's a frontier for wealth, sophistication, old women with large suitcases and fluffy pink pastries. And M. Gustave lives for it.


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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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Film review: Non-Stop Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 28 February 2014 17:13

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Corey Stoll
Certificate: 15

"I'm not hijacking this plane; I'm trying to save it!"


That's Liam Neeson as Bill, an alcoholic, daughter-less, world-weary Air Marshall. Boarding a flight to London, he's halfway through falling out with his bosses and co-agents because he's an alcoholic, daughter-less, world-weary Air Marshall.


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Film review: The Book Thief Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 27 February 2014 17:51

Director: Brian Percival
Cast: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
Certficate: 12A


You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a movie. You wouldn't steal a book either, I presume. Thieving books is a crime. Do not accept it. All that doesn't bother Liesel Meminger (Nélisse). Taken away from her family in pre-WWII Germany, she would steal a book. In fact, she would steal several. She'd probably steal a car too. And a handbag. But does anybody punish The Book Thief? Do they heck.


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Film review: Stranger by the Lake Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 21 February 2014 17:50

Director: Alain Guiraudie
Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps (Franck), Christophe Paou (Michel), Patrick d'Assumçao (Henn)
Certificate: 18
Ever since Basic Instinct, two words have been closely linked in cinematic dictionaries: "sexy" and "dangerous", and "erotic" and "thriller". Today, the latter only conjure up images of a sweaty Michael Douglas and cheesy 80s music. Thanks to Stranger by the Lake, though, the former have lost none of their edge.


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Spot The Invisible Woman Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 21 February 2014 08:18


The Invisible Woman expands across more UK cinemas today. The film stars Felicity Jones as the titular Invisible Woman, but sadly isn't the sci-fi thriller you were hoping for. Instead, it's a moving romantic drama about Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), mistresses and society's restrictive attitudes towards the female sex during the Victorian era.


At the heart of it all, Felicity Jones is so good that she basically steals every scene in the film - even the ones she's not in... or is she? Here's a quick game of Spot The Invisible Woman to prove it:


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Film review: Only Lovers Left Alive Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 20 February 2014 17:44
Only Lovers Left Alive film review
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin

It's not easy being a vampire. Avoiding daylight, not eating garlic, asking permission before you go into someone else's home. These things can really mess up your guitar practice. That's the kind of undead life Adam and Eve lead in Jim Jarmusch's take on the genre. If Twilight gave us vampires for teenagers, Only Lovers Left Alive seems to give us the next step up: vampires for hipster students.


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