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

http://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/946125olla_top.jpg http://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/223746nomnomnomtop.jpg http://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/131693lego_top.jpg http://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/685919wolftop.jpg http://i-flicks.net/components/com_gk2_photoslide/images/thumbm/252494shia_top.jpg

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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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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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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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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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A recipe for Jason Reitman's Labor Day Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 08:58
Labor Day recipe

Jason Reitman returns after Young Adult with Labor Day, a curious, sentimental drama that sees escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) hide out in the home of depressed agoraphobic Marie (Kate Winslet) and her teenage son, Scott (Gattlin Griffith). What does he do with them? He bakes. A peach pie, to be exact. Bonding with the pair over sentimental shortcrust, it's a heartwarming drama that posits Brolin as a father figure for the broken family - because sometimes all you need to cure a mental condition is pie.


How does one go from the scathing cynicism of Young Adult and Thank You for Smoking to The Not-So-Great Brolin Bake Off? I snuck into Jason Reitman's kitchen to find out:


Labor Day recipe (serves one cinema audience)


1. Take one best-selling, mushy novel by Joyce Maynard, which includes an ex-convict's recipe for peach pie. (In your face, apples.)

2. Fold in Josh Brolin and sprinkle menace over the top.

3. Blend emotionally with Kate Winslet to produce a potentially enticing fusion of the two.

4. Knead innuendo into the dough until it's bursting with sexual tension that would make Nigella's tomatoes blush. (You're on the verge of crumbing any moment.)

5. Add sugar.

6. In a different bowl, whisk Clark Gregg up until the dad separates from the family - then squish together with Gattlin Griffith, baseballs and bits of DIY until themes of fatherhood spill over onto the table.

7. Dust with Tobey Maguire's voiceover until the mixture resembles something faintly irritating.

8. Add more sugar.

9. Overheat in an oven for 111 minutes until the sweet smell is unbearable.

10. Take out the pie and serve it up with a big, sincere grin - almost enough to balance out the syrupy aftertaste.


Serving suggestion: Screen in UK cinemas from Friday 21st March. Watch as some of the audience wolf it down - and the rest try not to throw it up.

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Film review: Under the Skin Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 17 March 2014 07:05

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlet Johansson
Certificate: 15


I saw Under the Skin for a second time last week. I still hadn't recovered from my first time, back in October of last year. That's the kind of film Under the Skin is; one that sticks with you, to your insides, for an inhuman amount of time.


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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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