Jul 31 2013

‘Game of Thrones’ Q&A with Maisie Williams and Joe Dempsie

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:16 pm

GoTQATo celebrate the arrival of Game of Thrones Season 3 at blinkbox, we recently held an exclusive red carpet event at the Tower of London!

Besides getting the opportunity to see our giant dragon skull up close, celebrities, journalists and fans in attendance were treated to an appearance by GoT stars Maisie Williams and Joe Dempsie who play Arya Stark and Gendry in this hit show from HBO.

During the lively Q&A, they both answered questions about the filming process and told us what it was like working with such an esteemed cast of veteran actors. They even imparted a couple of embarrassing stories about Joe’s international stalker!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

Thanks again to Maisie and Joe — both great actors and incredibly good sports as well!

Game of Thrones Season 3 is now available on blinkbox priced at £17.99 (SD) and £23.99 (HD).


Jul 31 2013

Fire up the DeLorean, We’re Going Back to the 80s!

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:56 pm

Get ready for a blast of nostalgia as we look back at some of the great films of the 1980s! We have the good, the bad and the cheesiest trailers from a decade known for its big concepts and even bigger hair!

Flashdance (1983)

“What a feeling!”

Wow. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this film so we’ve forgotten how good the cinematography and production design is. From what we recall, the movie’s about a young steelworker with legwarmers who dreams of becoming a dancer. We might have to re-watch it this weekend…


The Breakfast Club (1985)
Of all the films John Hughes made about anxious teens in the 80s, none had as much heart and soul as this film set over one uneventful Saturday in a high school library.

As the trailer tells us, the characters each represent a teenage stereotype: the athlete, the brain, the bully, the princess and the ‘basket case’. But unfortunately, the trailer also goes on to reveal all of their character transformations — which I imagine might detract from the experience slightly. It’s so strange and heartwarming to remember a time when people used to make great films for teenagers that was essentially just a load of people talking. No fighting robots or anything!


Back to the Future (1985)
“He was never in time for his classes… then one day he wasn’t in his time at all!”

Perhaps the greatest science fiction comedy of all time, people forget exactly how funny this movie is… but not the trailer! It quick cuts between loads of sight gags, ruining most of the jokes but doing a decent job of letting people know that this is supposed to be a funny flick. Another case of a classic movie with a bad trailer.


Dirty Dancing (1987)
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner…”

If there’s one thing that makes this trailer work, it’s the killer soundtrack. Between The Ronettes, The Hollies and the now-classic track “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, there’s absolutely no way you wouldn’t want to watch this touching story of a young girl finding her passion in the arms of an older man.


Who’s That Girl? (1987)
She’s a free-spirited girl who’s fresh out of the slammer. He’s a buttoned-up lawyer who has to make sure she gets to the bus station. What are the odds that they fall in love?

Coming a few years after Madonna’s big screen hit Desperately Seeking Susan, Who’s That Girl? came and went without setting the box-office alight. But on the upside, the film’s soundtrack ended up selling quite well at Tower Records outlets. Remember when those used to exist?


The Princess Bride (1987)
“As you wish…”

What more could you want from a film: it has pirates, giants, fighting, witches and even a little kissing! But oh my word: what’s going on with the sax muzak on the trailer? Thankfully, however, that Kenny G stuff didn’t make it into the final cut.


Cocktail (1988)
It’s like Top Gun, but with more grenadine.

There’s one thing this trailer does much better than the film: it makes Tom Cruise‘s fancy bottle throwing and flair bartending look a lot better by cutting quickly between shots. In the film, the big performance scene is not nearly as impressive.


Beaches (1988)
Having spent the 70s creating successful sitcoms like Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy, the 80s saw Garry Marshall turning his talents to directing films — and his biggest hit of the decade was this sentimental comedy starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey:

The trailer gives a real taste of Midler’s larger than life performance while selling the chemistry between the leads. And the best part about it: it contains no spoilers!

Within a few years, Marshall would score an even bigger hit with a little film called Pretty Woman.


Big (1988)
Garry Marshall’s Beaches was a decent-sized success in ’88.  But in the very same year, his little sister Penny made her directorial debut… and it was a blockbuster hit!

Big turned Tom Hanks into a genuine international film star and made Penny Marshall the first female director EVER to gross over $100 million with a film. Plus, the trailer isn’t half bad either!

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Jul 31 2013

TRAILER PARK: Homeland, Breaking Bad and the Best of TV!

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 12:01 pm

While the summer blockbuster season is coming to an end at your local multiplexes, many of the year’s pop culture highlights are still to come! Over the next few months, some of our favourite television shows of all time will be returning to the small screen.

Don’t believe us? Check them out.

Breaking Bad Final Season
Over the thudding bass, we see ominous time-lapse shots of familiar locations: the White household, the super-lab exterior, the law offices of Saul Goodman. Bryan Cranston, in full Heisenberg mode, reads Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’, perfectly tying in with the season’s theme of corrosion.

The end is near for the Albuquerque kingpin.


Homeland Season 3

After Season Two’s explosive finale, many loose ends were left hanging in the murky world of Homeland. Chief among these questions: where in the World will Sergeant Brody go? The audio does the heavy lifting in this trailer, playing with the show’s electronic surveillance motif and reminding us of the stakes at play. Consider us well teased.


Boardwalk Empire Season 4
Nucky Thompson’s increasingly menacing smile? Al Capone with at Tommy gun? Jeffrey Wright as the mysterious Dr Narcisse? Richard Harrow still being a complete sweetheart and a total badass?

Yes, please.


Walking Dead Season 4
If there’s one thing The Walking Dead does better than most shows, it sure listens to its fans. Did you find Rick getting way too mopey and dull last season? Well don’t worry, fan-favourite Daryl looks like he’s large and in charge now.

Everyone’s favourite redneck has now enlisting help from new series regulars Chad Coleman and Larry Gilliard Jr – better known as boxing teacher Dennis “Cutty” Wise and D’Angelo Barksdale from HBO’s The Wire!  The popular zombie series has been going from strength-to-strength over the last 2 years by the look of this trailer from Comic-Con, Season 4 should be an action-packed affair.

Jul 31 2013

TEASER: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Hype Machine Now at Full Speed

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:15 am

We know that The Wolverine came out in cinemas only days ago but apparently 20th Century Fox want you to forget all about that noise and concentrate on NEXT Summer’s mutant-related blockbuster. Which of course is Bryan Singer‘s X-Men:
Days of Future Past
, an epic mash-up that will unite both the original 2000 X-Men and the cast of 2010′s X-Men: First Class.

Taking the lead from a classic Marvel comics arc of the same name, it will see X-Men in multiple timelines fight against Bolivar Trask, industrialist and inventor of government-funded mutant-killing robots known as Sentinals.

But don’t worry — these robots are here to help all loyal citizens.

This clip comes from the newly-published official website for Trask Industries, a fictional defense contractor that will play a big role in the upcoming film. Along with a company history and some creepy corporate videos, the site gives us a first look at Peter Dinklage‘s character:



You want propaganda-style posters? They got them!

You want to see Sentinals photoshopped into historical events like some massive metal Forrest Gump? Well, you’re also in luck:

So what are you still doing here? Go on and check out the site!

X-Men: First Class is now available at blinkbox.

Jul 30 2013

Ben Foster Will Play The Lead in a Film About That Cheater Lance Armstrong

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 5:41 pm

With there being three Lance Armstrong films currently in development, it would was only a matter of time before we got some news on who would be playing the most vilified man in professional cycling!

In the version of Armstrong’s story that’s to be directed by Stephen Frears and written by frequent Danny Boyle collaborator John Hodge, the narrative arc will follow the years between when the 7-time Tour de France ‘winner’ contracted testicular cancer and last year, when he was finally busted for being a total cheating man.

While there was speculation flying around the internet suggesting big stars like Bradley Cooper and Matthew McConaughey, many pundits neglected to mention one name that seems like a perfect choice now: Ben Foster.

Now in his early 30s, Foster is in the correct age range and possesses Armstrong’s fair-haired All-American look. On top of that, he’s proven himself to be a very capable actor with a discerning eye: over the past decade, he’s passed on most blockbuster offers, choosing instead to pursue  roles in smaller films like Rampart, 360 and the upcoming Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays William S Burroughs opposite.

But if there’s one thing for which big-screen biopics are notorious, it’s for being total Oscar bait. Assuming that the script is any good and with a heavyweight director like Frears calling the shots, we wouldn’t be surprised if Foster ends up with Oscar buzz come the 2015 award season.


Jul 30 2013

British Comedy Heroes: Armando Iannucci

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:22 pm

The most important figure in British television comedy doesn’t have a face or a voice everyone would immediately recognise. Even though he’s hosted countless radio programmes and starred in a TV show with his own name in the title, Armando Iannucci isn’t exactly a household name. Not in the way that ‘Steve Coogan’ is. Yet, as the co-creator of I’m Alan Partridge, The Thick of It and now Veep, the Glasgow-born writer, performer and director has completely redefined the landscape of TV comedy. Over his two decades in show business, he has worked tirelessly to make British comedy smarter, more ambitious and (most importantly) funnier.

If you want to know what we’re talking about, you can now watch the first episodes of I’m Alan Partridge and Veep with blinkbox’s Try TV on Us offer.

But now, in anticipation of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and in honour of Veep‘s multiple nominations at this year’s Emmy Awards, we’re taking a look back this week at the storied television career of The Talented Mr Iannucci.

**Warning: These clips do contain profanity**

The Day Today (1994) – Writer, Producer
A television adaptation of the radio news spook On The Hour, The Day Today introduced many now-important comedy figures to the British Public –or at least the small segment of the public who actually watched it on BBC2 back in the day. Satirising an increasingly sensational British news media, host Chris Morris would speak almost exclusively in hyperbole, berating his guests and contributors like some sort of turbo-Paxman.

The fake news programme also marked Steve Coogan’s first TV appearance as Alan Partridge, although at this point in his fictional career, he was just a sport reporter who knew next to nothing about sport. The programme also served as an obvious forerunner to Morris’ iconoclastic tabloid pastiche Brass Eye, best known for its notorious Paedogeddon special. The Day Today was short-lived on the Beeb, but it eventually became one of the most influential shows of the 90s with the DVD now a regular fixture on the shelves of all British comedy devotees.

The Friday Night Armistice (1995-1999) – Writer, Producer, Host
Iannucci’s first stint as an on-camera personality came in the form of this topical sketch-and-panel show featured his regular pundits David Schneider and Peter Baynham as well as ‘Mr. Tony Blair’, a puppet who behaved like Sooty and was modeled after the then-leader of the Opposition. (Yes, this really was ages ago). Running sporadically over four years, the programme was best known for bizarre stunts like when Armando got OJ Simpson to ‘confess’:

Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge (1994-1995)Writer, Producer
In adapting the their 1992 radio show of the same name, Iannucci, Steve Coogan and co-writer Patrick Marber pretty much transplanted the format wholesale. The Norwich chat maestro would interview a number of guests each week (played by Marber and Iannucci regulars David Schneider and Rebecca Front) only for things to get uncomfortably un-PC.

Featuring incompetent chat and awkward interactions with his bandleader Glenn Ponder, the show was ‘cancelled’  after Alan inadvertently killed a man on live TV and assaulted BBC Commissioning Editor with roasted poultry. This downward turn in Partridge’s life would lead directly into the most successful stage of both Iannucci and Coogan’s careers.

I’m Alan Partridge (1997, 2002)Producer, Writer
Following on from Alan’s Television exile, this single camera sitcom found Partridge working the graveyard shift at a small local radio station and shacking up at a travel tavern. Iannucci, Coogan and Marber returned for writing duties, taking their first stab at a conventional sitcom and in the process, they created what is considered to be the BBC’s finest comedy of the 90s. Over its two seasons, there were simply too may hilarious bits to even begin to list. But for us, this ranks right up there as one of the funniest moments on British telly:

The Armando Iannucci Shows (2001) – Writer, Producer, Director, Actor
Perhaps the most distilled version of his comedic voice, The Armando Iannucci Shows may have suffered for having aired on Channel 4 throughout September 2001. An irreverent series of  sketches, recurring character and wonderfully abstract ideas, the show was incredibly well made, but probably not what the country wanted to watch in the wake of 9/11.

This following scene combines two of the show’s best characters: Iannucci’s talkative barber and Alan Ford as ‘An East End Thug’:

The Thick of It (2005-2012) – Writer, Producer, Director
First shot in 2005 on a miniscule budget, this chaotic and farcical comedy set in the offices of Whitehall broke free from its original BBC Four shackles to earn a spot on BBC2.  Focusing on the inner workings of a minor government department, The Thick of It gained notoriety amongst Westminster politicos for being a scarily accurate portrayal of government life. Apart from spawning the Oscar-nominated film In The Loop, the show is best known for introducing the most profane character in the history of broadcast television: party enforcer Malcolm Tucker.

Time Trumpet (2007) – Writer, Producer, Director, Narrator
Disappearing almost without a trace, Time Trumpet was perhaps too high concept for general consumption. Set thirty years in the future, it was meant to resemble one of those ‘I Remember The 80s’ type shows where celebrities appear on camera to reminisce about stuff for money. “Looking back” on events that would happen in our near future, Iannucci and his writers had a lot of fun creating an alternate future in which Charlotte Church throws herself up inside outTim Henman murders Andy Murray and Tesco becomes a paramilitary force:

Veep (2012 – now) – Creator, Director, Writer, Producer
Sometime in the late 2000s, The Thick of It had an American adaptation commissioned. A pilot was shot by Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman’s Christopher Guest, who seemed like the perfect candidate for this semi-improvised style fo comedy. However, Iannucci pretty much disowned the final product and the show never made it to air. Soon after, he was approached by HBO, to whom he pitched a show about Vice President of the United States and her staffers. It would become a show that carried over The Thick of It’s love for high level bureaucratic pettiness while allowing it to develop its own distinctly American voice. Written by many of the same writers as its British predecessor, Veep has developed over 2 seasons into one of the most searingly funny shows on American television.

The first episodes of I’m Alan Partridge and Veep are both now available on blinkbox’s Try TV on Us offer. Click the links to add them to your library and they’re yours to own. Do it!


Jul 29 2013

8 Reasons Why Justified’s Raylan Givens is the Coolest Lawman on TV

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 5:16 pm

Probably the best show that no-one in the UK has ever heard of, TV’s Justified stars Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) as Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens. A cowboy hat-wearing, Old West-style Lawman, he’s prone to using lethal force whenever he feels it’s justified: which is pretty much every week. Having been transferred back to his home state of Kentucky in the very first episode, Raylan’s unorthodox manner starts getting him noticed by local drug dealers, white supremacists and the Dixie Mafia.

As created by master crime novelist Elmore Leonard, Raylan’s as quick with a one-liner as he is with a pistol. Add to that an ice-cold demeanour and antiquated sense of morality, and you’ll find there’s a reason why he’s one of the all-time TV Cool Guys. Check out the very first episode of Justified as a part of our Try TV on Us offer. It will be the best decision you make this week. Until then, here are 8 good examples of how Justified became one of our favourite shows.

**Disclaimer: the following content features some light profanity**

1. He has a colourful way of making threats.
Faster 1
Faster 2


2. There’s more than one way to skin a cat… and there’s more than one way to arrest an armed suspect.


3. He just doesn’t give a damn about things like probably cause.
Knock 1 Knock 2
Knock 3 Knock 4


 4. He really hates welfare cheats.


5. He uses similes like Picasso uses paintbrushes.


6. He’s a fan of the classics.

7. He’s always ready with great travel advice for his racist acquaintances.
Mexico 1 Mexico 2
Mexico 3

8. The Hat. You’ve got to love a man who can pull off a hat.

Watch the first episode of Justified on us by clicking this link. You won’t regret it.
If you like it, you can buy Season 1 for £9.99 (while the offer lasts)

[all GIFs via Reddit & guyism.com]

Jul 29 2013

TRAILER: The #ForbiddenLove of Romeo & Juliet

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:42 am

Hey, look: this is 2013. There’s no way on Earth we can be expected to engage in any sort of meaningful discussion without the use of hashtags. I mean, if there weren’t hashtags, how would we know whether will.i.am is in possession of #thatPOWER, Mariah Carey is #beautiful or that the Blurred Lines guy is totally #thicke?

Which is naturally why the new trailer for Julian Fellowes’ lush Romeo and Juliet adaptation now comes complete with its own hashtag! Kids: prepare to get all up in this culture!

Based on the classic Shakespeare play and shot on location in Verona and Rome, the film’s PR department probably wracked their brains for a full two hours, finding a way to make this story somehow accessible to modern audiences. Result: #ForbiddenLove.

How tragically appropriate that one of the greatest works in the English Language has intersected with a trend that spells the decline of Western culture. Like two star-cross’d lovers on the verge of taking their lives, the unholy matrimony of hashtags and Shakespeare can only end in tears.

On the other hand, the movie itself does have a stonking cast. 21 year-old Douglas Booth and 16-year old Hailee Stanfield (True Grit) play the title couple (age-appropriate but creepy, I know) and they’re surrounded by ‘proper actors’ the likes of Stellan Skarsgård, Damian Lewis, Natascha McElhone and Paul Giamatti as Friar Lawrence.

Romeo & Juliet has not yet secured a UK release date as of this post.

Jul 29 2013

“Ding-Dong! Film O’Clock!”: New Releases Monday 29 July 2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 7:55 am

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton are a small-town couple who have been unable to conceive a child. Their prayers are answered one day in the form of Timothy, a ten year-old boy who magically sprouts up in their back yard. Innocent to the point of naiveté, Timothy slowly begins to affect the people of the town, touching their hearts one-by-one. It’s an old-fashioned kind of movie, like something Frank Capra might have made: earnest and unashamedly sentimental. From the poster and the premise, it doesn’t seem like a must-see film but if given a chance, there’s a good chance you’ll be won over by its odd charm.

A Late Quartet
A famous string quartet in New York City receive terrible news on the eve of their 25th Anniversary when cellist Christopher Walken reveals that he’s in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. This announcement sets off a chain, revealing tensions with the group that have lain dormant for years. Second violin Philip Seymour Hoffman has the idea to alternate places with the much younger first violin (Mark Ivanir), which is not met with enthusiasm by his wife, the viola player (Catherine Keener). On top of that, something unsettling is going on in their household that they are both them are unaware of…

Much like with the film’s quartet, it is a real joy to see four great actors working at the height of their abilities. Even Walken, who is mostly known for his peculiar mannerism and affectations, is capable of producing some incredibly subtle work in this fine company. You won’t need to know the first thing about classical music to get an awful lot out of this excellent film.

Welcome to the Punch (New to Rent)
Retired criminal Mark Strong returns to London to uncover the truth about his son’s murder only to come against James McAvoy, a police detective who he injured in their last encounter years before. Directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Eran Creevy amidst the gleaming skyscrapers of London’s financial centres, this glossy thriller plays like a British version of Heat, dispensing with the usual grime of East End crime flicks. Strong continues to prove he’s an invaluable screen presence with one of his most charismatic performances to date.

Side Effects (New to Rent)
Having announced his retirement recently, Steven Soderbergh rounds off his final year as a features director with this deceptively entertaining thriller. Rooney Mara plays a young woman whose anxiety goes through the roof when her husband (Channing Tatum) is paroled after serving time for insider trading. With the help of psychiatrist Jude Law, she’s prescribed an experimental new drug that causes her to sleepwalk…. murderously! An absolute corker of a film, it’s our Pick of the Week!

Paperboy (New to Rent)
Zac Efron and Matthew McConaughey are idealistic reporters who are investigating the case of John Cusack, a convicted murderer sitting on death row. Helping (or perhaps hindering) them in their quest is Nicole Kidman, a sexy white-trash vamp who believes she is in love with Killer Cusack, despite never having met him. This films is definitely weird, totally over-the-top, and features insane Nicolas Cage-level performances from Kidman and Cusack. Check this out: you’re either going to love this film or leave it feeling icky and confused.

Small Apartments (New to Rent)
Matt Lucas makes his debut as an American leading man in this strange, quirky comedy from music video guru Jonas Åkerlund (Spun). Lucas plays Franklin, an eccentric living in a building full of other eccentrics. Things can only get stranger when Franklin accidentally kills his landlord, setting off a series of weird events. We don’t want to go into too much detail about the plot, but you can be certain that any film with Dolph Lundgren as ‘Dr. Sage Mennox’ must be totally mental. A pitch-black independent comedy, it boasts a supporting cast that includes James Caan, Billy Crystal, Johnny Knoxville and Juno Temple.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (New to Rent)
Funnyman Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi play a pair of ostentatious Las Vegas magicians (in the vein of Siegfried and Roy) who find themselves being pushed out of the limelight when an ‘extreme’ Criss Angel/David Blaine-style illusionist (Jim Carrey) rocks up on the scene. No one plays a super-confident buffoon quite like Carell does and in this film he’s surrounded by a top-drawer supporting cast that includes the late James Gandolfini as a tough-but-fair entertainment promoter.

National Lampoon’s Another Dirty Movie
A pair of college film students decide to make a film packed full of dirty jokes, but they’re really only doing it to impress a girl! Billed a comedy, this straight-to-video affair co-stars Jonathan Silverman as their ‘wacky’ uncle. Back in the 80s, Silverman was the star of Weekend at Bernie’s, where he spent 90 minutes desperately propping up a corpse… so he must’ve felt some major déjà vu making this movie. Observe:

The Comedian
Made on a shoe-string budget under Dogme-style restrictions with dialogue improvised by the actors, this comic drama revolves around a struggling stand-up. Now into his 30s and working days in call centres, he struggles with his feeling for his flatmate, an attractive aspiring musician. With obvious influences from film-makers like Mike Leigh and John Cassavetes, director Tom Shkolnik shapes a collection of well-observed vignettes and encounters.

In medieval Norway, a family travelling in search of a better life gets ambushed by a pack of killers on a mountain pass. Of the family, only a nineteen year-old girl survives. Held hostage, her captors plan for her a fate worse than death. She manages to flee but from that point, the hunt is on. The Norwegian landscape makes an incredibly cinematic backdrop for what is effectively a chase thriller set in the 14th Century! Playing the ruthless leader of the killer posse is actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, who is set to star in next year’s Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson. See her here first:

Jul 25 2013

How to Legally Prevent Your Friends From Watching TV Without You*

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:35 pm

Have you ever started watching a new TV series with a friend/partner/flatmate only to discover they’ve watched ahead while you were out of the house? Not only is this a complete breach of trust, it could potentially result in spoilers coming out in everyday household conversations. This is pretty much the worst crime a fellow box set viewer could ever commit. And to add insult to injury, it’s a crime for which there is no legal recourse.

Until now!

With the help of our patent pending Pre-Box Set Agreement, you and your designated viewing partner can agree upon the terms of your viewership. From bathroom break protocols to non-solo viewing clauses, this air-tight document is designed to ensure maximum mutual TV enjoyment.

By signing on the dotted line, you and your fellow box set watcher can finally relax, safe in the knowledge that any breach of TV show-watching etiquette will be met with the full force of the law.**

(Click to Print PDF)

*You cannot legally prevent your friends from watching TV without you.

**Breaches of TV show-watching etiquette will not be met with any amount of Law-force. blinkbox Entertainment, Ltd is not a company of lawyers. This contract is not legally binding and will not hold up in any court of law.

Watch the first episodes of 28 great Television shows with our remarkable Try TV on Us offer. Available for a limited time only!