Aug 25 2013

“Party Like You’re Jeff Chang!” New Releases Monday 26 August 2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:44 pm

21 and Over (Early Digital Release)
It’s Jeff Chang’s 21st birthday, which in America means he is finally of a legal drinking age. His best pals want to take him out to celebrate but he’s got an important interview of medical school the next day. Of course he relents and agrees to go out just one and of course things eventually get way out of hand! We’re talking about sorority girls! Buffalo stampedes! Nudity!

Created by writers of The Hangover, 21 & Over looks and feel an awful lot like The Hangover – which is no terrible thing when you’re making a debauched party comedy!

Olympus Has Fallen

Master of dialects Gerard Butler stars this week in a straight-forward, no nonsense action film. He plays a disgraced American Secret Service agent who comes to the rescue when North Korean terrorists lay siege to the White House, taking President Aaron Eckhart hostage. There’s next to no subtlety in this film, but Butler’s always best when he’s motion and kicking butt. This film is not to be confused with the upcoming White House Down, in which Channing Tatum plays a government employee who saves the president when the White House is taken in a siege. I know: confusing, right?

(Olympus Has Fallen is now available to rent)

I’m So Excited!

Pedro Almodóvar returns to his early career form with a light comedy set aboard a beleaguered Spanish airline. When an intercontinental flight runs into technical trouble mid-flight, the crew begin to panic and drug the entirety of Economy Class leaving the bizarre characters in First Class to speculate wildly about their fate. There is a psychic woman aboard who spooks the pilots with her premonitions, a miserably and bossy middle-aged woman annoyed with the poor service on this potentially terminal fight and a trio of gay air stewards who deal with situation in very different ways. Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz pop-up for an early cameo, but don’t expect them to stick around for very long. An enjoyable souffle of a film, I’m So Excited! will be a genuine surprise for fans of Almodovar only used his recent serious works.

Get Lucky
Up and coming star of the stage and screen, Luke Treadaway is a petty criminal named Lucky (irony alert!) who gets into a whole world of trouble when he destroys a load of counterfeit money to avoid trouble with the police. His only problem: when money goes missing, the owners always come looking. Needless to say, Lucky’s luck gets even worse as he desperately tries to put together £150,000.

From Matthieu Kassovitz, the director of La Haine and The Crimson Rivers, comes this true-life story about a French cop (Kassovitz in the leading role) dropped into New Caledonia in 1988. Tasked with brokering a peaceful solution with separatists who have taken over an island, he faces both political pressure and the tangible threat of violence. Even if you’re not a fan of reading subtitles, you might be won over by this violent and morally complicated film

Eye of the Storm
When an aging Australian matriarch (Charlotte Rampling) suffers a stroke, her two somewhat-estranged children (Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis) fly across to world to be with her, sparking up old family tensions. Based on the acclaimed novel by Patrick White, it’s a funny film with moments of poignancy highlighted by performances by top-tier actors. Check it out!

For more of the latest movies, head over to our New Releases section!

Aug 20 2013

Novelist Elmore Leonard, 1925-2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:38 pm

Novelist Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87. The Detroit News reported that he passed away in his Michigan home earlier today, where he had been resting after a stroke in early August. He was surrounded by his family.

One of the most respected crime novelists in America, he channeled his distinctive voice through indelible characters in over 40 novels and numerous short stories: the legacy of a writing career that spanned seven decades. Many of these stories made their way to the big screen in the form of hit movies the likes of Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty and Jackie Brown (from his novel Rum Punch).

More recently, his short story Fire in the Hole was adapted into the critically-acclaimed series Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant. Leonard publicly adored the show, so much so that he chose to revisit the lead character of Raylan Givens for what would turn out to be his final novel.

An inspiration to a whole generation of writers and film-makers, he could be seen as the missing link between the sparse, evocative prose of Hammett and Chandler and the films of Quentin Tarantino, finding wit and beauty in the exploits of low-lifes, criminals and cowboys. He was an American original, one whose body of work stands alone in that most crowded of literary genres.

Elmore Leonard, 1925-2013

Aug 20 2013

Thrilling New Trailer for Wong Kar-Wai’s Martial Arts Epic ‘The Grandmaster’

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:42 pm

Having spent literally years in the making, Wong Kar-Wai‘s latest masterpiece is now getting all the bells and whistles put on for it’s US release! Since being picked in America by The Weinstein Company, The Grandmaster has received a new, tighter cut (supervised by Wong), an ‘Presented by’ imprimatur from Martin Scorsese and now… this explosive new trailer with a pumping track from the RZA!

Known among cinéastes as a leading light in World Cinema, Wong’s exposure has been limited in the West, where he’s best known for 2000′s gorgeous In the Mood for Love, a tale of unrequited love set in the 60s. Now, with this lovingly (and pain-painstakingly) made martial arts film, he may be looking to explode in America much the same way that Ang Lee did with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

In telling the (partially fictionalised) story of famed Wing Chun master Ip Man, Wong put his all-star cast through months –and in some cases, years– of martial arts training under the supervision of legendary choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping. The result: perhaps the most dazzling martial arts footage we’ve ever seen. Knowing Wong’s fascination with melancholy and nostalgia, it seems unlikely that the final picture will be has high octane as this trailer suggests.

But if it takes a little subterfuge to expose the mainstream to this most venerated of modern auteurs, then so be it!

The Grandmaster does not currently have a UK release date. Boo.

Aug 20 2013

8 Brilliant British Movie Villains for Hire

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:48 pm

It’s not new to say that a lot of Hollywood screen villains are played by British actors (or at least they were before all films baddies turned into Middle Eastern Terrorists) but there is something wonderful about seeing classically trained actors hamming it up on the big screen.

In this week’s Iron Man 3, Sir Ben Kingsley plays the shady and charismatic Mandarin — a powerful terrorist with a mysterious past. In honor of his performance, we’re looking back at some of our favourite British Bad Guys for Hire

Alan Rickman
Rogue’s Gallery: East German terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard (left) and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.

Gary Oldman
Rogue’s Gallery: Russian Terrorist Egor Korshunov in Air Force One (left), bent DEA agent Norman Stansfield in Leon (aka The Professional) and future industrialist Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element.

Anthony Hopkins
Rogue’s Gallery: Cannibalistic Serial Killer Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (left), millionaire body snatcher Ian McCandless in Freejack and Richard Nixon in Nixon.

Joss Ackland
Rogue’s Gallery:  Evil property developer Franklin Hale in Nowhere to Run (left), future music hater Chuck De Nomolos in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and South African diplomatic immunity abuser Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon 2.

Mark Strong
Rogue’s Gallery: The aptly named Sinestro in Green Lantern (left), mobster Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass, and the enigmatic Thern leader Matai Shang in John Carter.

Jason Isaacs
Rogue’s Gallery: Ruthless British colonialist Col. William Tavington in The Patriot (left), the evil king’s right hand man in Dragonheart and Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Malcolm McDowell
Rogue’s Gallery: Sinister water baron Kesslee in Tank Girl (left), arms dealer Arnold Gundars in I Spy and the Kirk-killing Dr Tolian Soran in Star Trek Generations

and of course…

Sir Ben Kingsley
Rogue’s Gallery: Sociopathic East End thug Don Logan in Sexy Beast (left), General Aladeen’s treacherous Uncle Tamir in The Dictator and wacky spiritual leader Guru Tugginmypudha from The Love Guru (in which he doesn’t play a baddie, but the film is practically a war crime).

Iron Man 3 is now available to buy at blinkbox.

Aug 19 2013

Oblivion: Riding Shotgun in The Bubbleship

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:45 pm

Tom Cruise‘s latest science-fiction blockbuster Oblivion is such a aesthetic treat on so many levels. From its vision of a post-apocalyptic Earth to the Apple-inspired architecture, it’s really a remarkable piece of design. But one of the most spectacular things in the film must be the jet-powered helicoptor-thing that Cruise tools about in. Dubbed The Bubbleship,  a full-scale model was created for director Joseph Kosinski, who was keen to avoid using CG wherever possible.

Cruise, a licensed pilot and self-confessed motorcycle junkie, looks positively boyish climbing into the rig while co-star Olga Kurylenko looks genuinely terrified by the experience.

It also came as a surprise how much of the sky tower’s sets are real as well: instead of shooting it all on a green screen, they seem to have set up back-projected screens to give the illusion of an endless horizon. Pretty cool stuff.

Oblivion is now available at blinkbox in standard definition as well as HD

Aug 19 2013

The Home-Made Iron Man and Other Less Successful Superhero Costumes

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:30 pm

If you’re anything like us, at some point in your youth you will have put your underwear on the outside of your pyjama bottoms and tied a red towel around your neck. Running around the streets with your friends, this was the closest you would ever get to being Superman.

Now with technology being a lot more advanced and the internet now being a thing, dressing up as your favourite superhero has the potential to be a lot more sophisticated.

Just this year, 17 year-old amateur propmaker Archie Whitehead made the papers when he introduced this home-made Iron Man suit from his home in Welwyn Garden City.
Photos from Archie Whitehead

Costing him £400 and four months of his life, Archie built this suit out of foam and spray paint!

Impressive as it is, not just anyone can sit down and make a costume with this kind of scope and attention to detail.

Here are just a couple of home-made superheroes who are –shall we say- less than spectacular:

1. We don’t know where to start with this costume… but we reckon the little tote bag is just the sad cherry on this terrible sundae.

2. Think about it: you were invincible, you would definitely drink and smoke as much as you like, right?

3. I don’t know about you, but this ‘sexy Spider-man’ costume is not having the desired effect.

4. Can you have a thyroid condition when you’re just an animated skeleton?

5. Nice thinking, bro!

6. Heeeey! Smooth moves, Fonzie!

7. We’re giving this guy an A for effort but an F for his Flip Flops. 
In case you haven’t put it together, he’s supposed to be the Incredible Hulk.

Okay, that’s enough of ragging on people for one day.

Just to end on a nice note, here are some picture of pugs in superhero outfits!

Puggly-Mermaid Puggerwoman

Iron Man 3 is now available to buy at blinkbox!

Aug 19 2013

Amanda Seyfried’s Career in Pictures

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:55 am

Amanda Seyfried has gone from up-and-comer to household name in just a few short years. Her ever evolving career has seen her constantly choosing roles that show off her diversity and talent. This summer she takes on one of her most challenging roles yet: infamous porn star Linda Lovelace. To mark the theatrical release of Lovelace, we’re taking a look back at some of Amanda’s most notable roles.

Veronica Mars (2004-2005)
One of Amanda’s first recognizable roles was as Lily Kane, Veronica’s dead best friend in the cult TV hit Veronica Mars. Seyfried was liked so much by the show’s producers that she was brought back frequently in flashbacks more so than originally planned.

Mean Girls (2004)
In the wildly popular Mean Girls, Seyfried played Karen Smith, the dumb blonde lackey in the popular clique ‘The Plastics’. The film made Seyfried a recognizable face and even earned her an MTV Movie award for ’Best On-Screen Team’ with her fellow cast mates.

Mamma Mia! (2008)
In her first leading role, Seyfried showed off her singing talents opposite Meryl Streep in the musical Mamma Mia! Seyfried, who has been trained in classical opera, had five songs on the film’s soundtrack.

Dear John (2010)
In what proved the best debut for a film based on a Nicolas Sparks novel, Seyfried played Savannah, a college student who unexpectedly falls in love with a soldier over spring break. Seyfried was praised for her on screen chemistry with co-star Channing Tatum and the film went on to gross over $114 million.

Les Misérables (2012)
The Broadway show turned theatrical smash Les Miserables gave Seyfried another chance to show off her musical talents as Cosette, the adopted daughter of fugitive Jean Valjean. The entire cast sang live during shooting instead of lip-syncing with voiceovers as is usual the process.

Lovelace (2013)
In one of her most daring roles to date, Seyfried plays famed ‘70s porn star Linda Lovelace. The film follows Linda’s life during the height of her fame as a porn star as well as her marriage to Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). Seyfried prepared for the role by reading Linda’s books and watching her biggest hit ‘Deep Throat’. She also took vocal lessons to master Linda’s New York accent.

Lovelace is in cinemas this Friday 23 August

Aug 19 2013

“The Man in the Iron Man”: New Releases Monday 19 August 2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 9:34 am

Iron Man 3 (Early digital release)
Genius playboy billionaire Tony Stark returns faces his second biggest challenge ever (after the massive Alien invasion from The Avengers). This time, America is facing a terrorist threat from a mysterious figure known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who may have something to do with Tony’s past. Writer/director Shane Black of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Lethal Weapon takes the reins on this sequel and places his stamp all over it, peppering it with great details like self-aware henchmen, a meta-textual narrative and even more of Robert Downey Jr’s signature quips. Building up to an enormous finale, Iron Man 3 is a notable improvement from the disappointing second film. Watch it first here!

Olympus Has Fallen (Early digital release)

Master of dialects Gerard Butler stars this week in a straight-forward, no nonsense action film. He plays a disgraced American Secret Service agent who comes to the rescue when North Korean terrorists lay siege to the White House, taking President Aaron Eckhart hostage. There’s next to no subtlety in this film, but Butler’s always best when he’s motion and kicking butt. This film is not to be confused with the upcoming White House Down, in which Channing Tatum plays a government employee who saves the president when the White House is taken in a siege. I know: confusing, right?

The Look of Love
Paul Raymond, for those unfamiliar with the name, was once the wealthiest man in Britain. His property holdings encompassed much of Soho from the 70s onwards and he was worth something like £650 million pounds at the time of his death in 2008. It was an empire that he built on the selling of sex. As played by Steve Coogan, he’s a tragic figure who had everything he wanted but was slowly losing the only thing he truly care about: his daughter. The cast is made up of a Who’s who of comic actors, but don’t expect an Alan Partridge-type comedy. The film is good, but it’s definitely not intended to be a laugh riot.

Oblivion (New to Rent)
Tom Cruise is the last man left. Along with his lover/colleague Andrea Riseborough, he has been left on our ruined planet with the task of maintaining the machines that are tending the ruins of Earth. He is basically the human Wall-E, if you will. Directed by the man who brought you the 2010’s Tron: Legacy, this sci-fi thriller has a wonderful production design that’s very pleasing on the eyes and ears. It also boasts a solid lead performance from Cruise, who still remains the most reliable of movie stars, even in the fourth decade of his career. This is now available to rent.

A group of tourists are in an underground club in Chile when a massive earthquake hits the city. Crippling the city, the quake quickly sends the locals into a Mad Max state of mind. Looting and violence ensues, plunging the community into chaos while the threat of an oncoming tsunami looms large. Starring Eli Roth in a rare acting role, it’s the kind of interesting disaster movie where the destructive force of a nature plays second fiddle to the monstrous potential of everyday human beings.

Based on a shocking true story, Compliance is a film that takes a long hard look at what terrible things human beings are capable of when they think they’re just following orders. When the manageress of a small-town fast food chain receives a call from a man claiming to be a police officer, she traps a young female employee in the back room where she’s subjected to all sorts of abuse. On the orders of this alleged detective, she is accused on theft and forced to strip down and refused the right to defend herself. It’s a seriously tough film to watch, but a powerful piece of work that’s as engrossing as it is upsetting. This could very well be out movie of the week.

Flying in under the radar this week is this pitch-black comedy from director Richard Linklater. Jack Black plays Bernie, a mild-mannered and well-liked mortician who strikes up a relationship with a rich and curmudgeonly old woman played by Shirley MacLaine. Bernie is so beloved by the community that no-one around seems to notice when Bernie murders the old crone and hides away her body.  As a part of his continuing career resurgence, Matthew McConaughey turns up as a district attorney intent on putting Bernie away.

Released in the States last year, the film was met with critical accolades, earning a whopping 90% rating on rottentomatoes. Check it out now!

For more of the latest films, head over to our New Releases section.

Aug 16 2013

Is ’2 Guns’ Actually a Romantic Comedy?

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:52 pm

In the new film 2 Guns, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington play partners-in-crime who both don’t know that the other one is a government agent. Betrayed by their respective organisations, they find themselves thrown back together in an effort to clear their names.

Now, from the outside this looks and sounds like an action blockbuster. And sure, there are enough explosions and chases to justify this assumption.

But when you start to dig deeper, you might come to realise that this movie is actually a romantic comedy with two males leads.

Here are the facts:

One of them is a fun-loving, free spirit who doesn’t hold much stock with making plans. The other one is uptight, methodical and strictly business.

But we’ve seen this before in…

When Harry Met Sally

 The African Queen

Barefoot in the Park


In the middle section of 2 Guns, Wahlberg and Washington become bitter rivals!Guns-2

…which also happens in:

You’ve Got Mail

10 Things I Hate About You

Pride and Prejudice


But really, the most compelling piece of evidence that 2 Guns is actually a rom-com can be found in the poster:

Now, where have we seen this back-to-back pose before…?




Oh, right…

2 Guns is now in cinemas nationwide

Aug 15 2013

Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Blood Money’

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:38 pm

**SPOILER ALERT**: This post is about Episode 9 of Breaking Bad’s final season, entitled ‘Blood Money’ (aka the one that just came out this week). We’ll be going into quite some detail so if you haven’t caught up to this point, DON’T READ ANY FURTHER. We won’t be treading lightly.

At the beginning of Season Five, we saw a very different Walter White. Taking place almost a year into his future, Walt was filthy, bearded and driving in a car with a loaded machine gun in the boot. This is a far cry from the towering man at the end of Episode 8, the drug kingpin who walked away from his business with a mountain of cash and his family back on his side.

The opening teaser of Blood Money finds us returning to future Walt, who goes back to his family’s home on his 52nd birthday. The house we have seen in every episode over the past 5 years has been ransacked and boarded up. The name ‘Heisenberg’ is writ large in graffiti over the living room wall. He catches the eye of his neighbour Carol, who becomes paralysed by fear. If he ever wanted people to remember his name, it seems that Walt’s wish has come true in the worst way possible.

On the flip-side, in the most exciting way possible, this season will be all about Walt’s rapid downfall. To use his own metaphor, Heisenberg’s Empire is about to crumble.

Anyway… at the end of last year’s season, a defecating Hank discovered a copy of Leaves of Grass in Walt’s toilet, complete with an incriminating inscription from Gale. Naturally, it doesn’t take much for Agent Schrader to join the dots and realise that the W.W. from Gale’s lab notes is actually his brother-in-law.

Sent reeling by this realisation, Hank excuses himself from the family barbecue and goes straight into another one of his PTSD attacks, crashing his car into some poor guy’s front garden and sending poor Marie into a fit of worry.


He has all the Heisenberg evidence sent over to his house while he’s on sick leave and he combs through everything he knows about the Albuquerque kingpin. He knows that Walt is the man he’s looking for but he doesn’t have enough evidence to prove it. Knowing what he knows, Hank must realise that his options are really poor at this point.

From where we stand, here are all of Hank’s choices:

1) Go to the DEA and tell his colleagues his brother-in-law is the city’s most dangerous criminal. In the absolute best case scenario, Hank loses his job for unwittingly helping a criminal, accepting his money for rehab and letting him into the DEA office (remember how his old boss got fired just for knowing Gus Fring?). On top of that, Skylar would be implicated in the drug trade, destroying Hank’s relationship with Marie, Walter Jr and baby Holly. In effect: this would end his professional and personal lives.

2) Confront Walt and convince him to turn himself in. However, he knows that Walt has killed Gale, Fring and ten men in prison just to cover his ass – what would compel him to give in now?

3) Kill Walt. This is the least likely option. This is Hank we’re talking about, after all.

3) Nothing. While Hank is the most morally upstanding character on this show, this is pretty much the only thing he can do that won’t shatter his life completely. But will he be able to live with this? Plus, what kind of final season will this be if Hank just keeps quiet.

However, before Hank even has the time to fully consider any of these options, Walt strolls into his garage and forces his hand (literally).

In a total master-stroke of plotting, creator Vince Gilligan and his writers have subverted most viewers’ expectations that the next few episodes would find Hank and Walt heading towards a confrontation. Instead, they come to blows in the very same hour.

With a simple flick of a switch, Hank’s garage door slides closed and he finds himself facing the man he’s been chasing for the past 3 seasons. Walt steps in and begins to do what he does best: work the angles.

He first tries to appeal to Hank’s sense of family.

“I don’t care about family,” Hank spits back. Walt switches tactics and tries to reason with him. He tells him the cancer’s back (true) and that he would never survive past a court case (maybe true). “We both know that I’ll never see the inside of a cell,” Walt gently assures him.

When Hank tries to bring Skylar and the kids into it, Heisenberg comes out and finally pushes the right button: intimidation.

Hank can barely speak: “I don’t even know who I’m talking to.”

Walt takes a breath and whispers a chilling threat: “If that’s true… if you don’t know who I am… then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

It’s unbearably exciting.

Walt is always at his most engaged when he has an enemy to fight, be it Tuco, Gus or the DEA. After months of pretending to be a simple local business owner, he’s almost relieved to be drawn back into this world.

Early on in the show’s run, ‘Heisenberg’ was merely a persona Walt created so he would look a bit tougher

But now it seem that “Walter White: Carwash Owner and Family Man” is not a real man any more. It’s merely a mask that Heisenberg finds increasingly hard to wear.

It’s almost impossible to guess what’s going to happen over the next 7 episodes but if there’s thing we know, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

Random notes, observations and theories:

  •  When Walt throws up in his toilet, he kneels down on a folded towel just like Gus Fring did when he was throwing up the poison in Mexico back in Season 4. When Lydia to beg Walt for help at the car wash, he maintains his façade as a local business owner just like Gus did when Mr White first met him at Los Pollos Hermanos. Is Walt becoming Gus? Can we expect a similarly explosive end for him? More on this theory here.
  • Speaking of Lydia: I imagine we haven’t seen the last of her. Who is running her crew now? We’re thinking that Todd and the prison Nazis might be paying Walt a visit pretty soon.
  • With all this Hank action, we haven’t spoken at all about Jesse Pinkman. While Walt’s seems capable of ignoring the dark things he’s done, Jesse can’t shake the thought of Mike, Gale and the kid on the motorbike that Todd shot. He tries to ditch his cut of the ‘blood money’ but once again, Walt won’t even allow him that. From his exchange with Mr White, it’s obvious he’s now immune to the man’s lies: he knows full well that Mike is dead.
  • The characterisation of Hank has come on an awful long way since the boorish cop of the first season. In the final garage scene, Dean Norris more than holds up his own opposite Bryan Cranston. To see his anger turn to fear as he watches Walt transform into Heisenberg is nothing short of chilling.

Every new episode of Breaking Bad will now be available on blinkbox less than 48 hours after the US broadcast. Check in with us every Tuesday to see how one of the greatest TV dramas of all time comes to a close.