Aug 08 2013

WATCH: Brand New Trailer for ‘Thor: The Dark World’

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:41 pm

Summer might be reaching its end soon but judging by all the big-effects movies that are coming out in the run up to Christmas, Autumn might as well be the new blockbuster season. One of those movies, of course, will be Marvel’s sequel to 2010′s Thor.

Judging from the footage in the new trailer, this follow-up will involve some sort of unseen mystical threat to Asgard — one that requires the surly God of Thunder to team up with his brother Loki who, last we saw, was smashing up New York City. There’s also the return of Natalie Portman as Thor’s exposition-spouting love interest and Kat Dennings as her friend/under qualified assistant who gets an expanded role this time because they needed someone who was funny and looked good in a tight jumper.

According to reports, most of the action will be taking place in the realm of Asgard and not on Earth, although we did notice that Thor pops by the Greenwich Maritime Museum and Royal Naval College, completely wrecking them in a fight.

Shame, though — I quite liked the museum.

Thor: The Dark World comes out in cinemas 30th October

Aug 07 2013

Which 80s Stars Have Not Been Cast in ‘The Expendables’ Yet?

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 4:21 pm

In a lot of ways, the movie business is governed by mathematical formulas: The amount of money that goes into a marketing campaign is determined by a number of factors including focus groups and the stars’ previous box-office takings. Sequels are green-lit depending on overseas sales viability and international product placement opportunities.

But if there’s one equation that holds the most truth in films, it’s this:

As time approaches infinity, all aging action stars will join the cast of The Expendables franchise.

Writer/star Sylvester Stallone yesterday announced via Twitter that Harrison Ford was to join the upcoming Expendables 3 cast, joining fellow newbies Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal. At the same time, Sly also took the opportunity to stick the boot into departing star Bruce Willis, (jokingly?) calling him out:



I guess after Willis’ lacklustre efforts in promoting Red 2, Stallone felt he needed to cast another grumpy veteran actor who can barely hide his disdain.

But this lead us to think: where does this go next? Seeing as there’s potentially no end in sight for the franchise, we can only assume that Stallone will be drafting in even more gun-toting geriatrics in the years to come. So let’s take a look at all of the aging stars that have yet to be cast:

The Sure Things
Michael Biehn: The star of Terminator, Aliens and Major League really deserves a comeback

Christian Slater: Having been one of the central teen icons of the late 80s and early 90s, Slater has been reduced to appearing in straight-to-video garbage recently. An appearance in a blockbuster film could be exactly what he needs.

Kurt Russell: With iconic roles in The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China: Kurt Russell was singularly the most charismatic film star of the 80s. It boggles the mind why his name is so rarely mentioned when it comes to casting The Expendables. But maybe he just doesn’t want to sully his legacy.

Carl WeathersBearing in mind that Rocky was a nobody until Apollo Creed plucked him from obscurity, you’d think that Stallone would repay the favour by throwing Carl Weathers a bone. A bone with which he’d get a stew going, baby!

Cynthia Rothrock: In a decade where muscle-men and sweaty dudes in singlets ruled the roost, she was the First Lady of Action. A former world karate champion, she kicked total butt in films like the China O’Brien series. See her in action here!

Christopher LambertThere can be only one… choice when it comes to casting the next Expendables movie. If The Highlander doesn’t get his due the next time they’re looking for classic action heroes, I’m calling shenanigans!

Bill PaxtonIn the upcoming 2 Guns starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, Paxton plays a dirty government operative: a role that sees him return to his roots as a scenery-chewing supporting actor! If you remember him from Aliens, Weird Science or Predator 2, then you know why they need Bill Paxton to play a bad guy!


Possible Candidates
Danny Glover: Even though he hasn’t appeared in a blockbuster since Lethal Weapon 4, he could surely be coaxed by the siren call of the Expendables, if only to proclaim that he was ‘too old’ for whatever.

Pierce Brosnan: They still haven’t roped in any 007 actors yet, so there’s every chance we could be seeing Brosnan in the mix soon. Don’t be surprised if his character ends up using a Walther PPK, the tiniest gun in the Expendables arsenal.

Keanu Reeves: He knows Kung Fu, don’t you know?

Vernon WellsThis burly Australian was the go-to bad guy for films in the 80s. The S&M biker from Mad Max 2? The moustachioed villain who wore chain-mail in Commando? The creepy dude with the motorised fist in Inner Space? Those were all him!

Gary Busey: In the first film, Stallone cast Mickey Rourke, a crazy actor with a crazy face. For upcoming films, he should consider hiring the CRAZIEST actor with the KER-RAZIEST face!


Unlikely Recruits
Tom Cruise: Not trying to put down the Expendables franchise or anything… but unless something goes truly wrong for Tom Cruise in the next few years, there’s no way he’s ever going to join up.

Clint Eastwood: If he were to join (which he wouldn’t), Eastwood would be the oldest member of the team — after all, he’s already 83 years old! But if he did join The Expendables (and again, he wouldn’t), his character would probably be packing a powerful 44. Magnum handgun, the recoil of which would likely snap his wrist clean off, thanks to osteoporosis.

The Expendables and Expendables 2 are both available at blinkbox

Aug 07 2013

‘Evil Dead’ Exclusive Video: Behind The Book of the Dead

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:44 pm

In anticipation for next week’s release of Evil Dead, we suggest you feast your eyes on this short featurette about the film’s demonic central figure: the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.

Explaining the significance of the creepy tome, producers Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell (‘Ash’ from the original film) explain the into the book’s significance and genesis:

Bound in human flesh and filled with notes from the poor souls who previously fell foul of it, we get a pretty neat look into the insanely detailed prop-book  used in the latest movie.

Think about it: it would look pretty cool on your coffee table…

Prepare a fresh set of underwear: the super-scary Evil Dead drops on blinkbox Monday 12th August

Aug 07 2013

‘Enough Said’ Trailer: The final lead performance of James Gandolfini

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:32 am

In the days that followed James Gandolfini‘s suddenly passing this June, everyone from critics to fans and collaborators spoke out in sadness and regret at the loss of a phenomenally talented actor. Most of them cited his seminal work as Tony Soprano in a show that changed the landscape of television drama more than anything else that had come before it. Playing the emotionally troubled New Jersey mobster, Gandolfini was complex, powerful and very often terrifying.  In fact, he made a career out of playing gangsters and other assorted heavies.

But if there’s one part of his acting range that was too commonly overlooked, it was his gentler, more sensitive side — which is what makes his role in Nicole Holofcener‘s Enough Said such a bittersweet prospect. He stars opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, massage therapist and sngle mother who begins going out with another divorcee (Gandolfini). As it would turn out, her new beau is the ex-husband of her new client (Catherine Keener), who unwittingly begins to undermine her relationship.

As a writer and director, Holofcener has a pretty impeccable track record for funny dramas about the upper-middle classes. Her previous films Friends with Money and Please Give didn’t exactly become mega-hits but they were the kind of funny and humane, Woody Allen-esque movies most indie film-makers aspire to make.

Enough Said will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September

Aug 06 2013

Spring Breakers: 12 More Stars in Unrecognisable Roles

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 4:39 pm

James Franco stars as a cornrowed, gold-grilled gangster wannabe in this week’s subversive new comedy Spring Breakers. Taking his lead, we’re looking back at twelve more film stars who made us double-take with their remarkable on-screen transformations!

1. Hilary Swank as the transgendered Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry

2. Nick Stahl as the deviant ‘Yellow Bastard’ in Sin City

3. Al Pacino as mobster Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice in Dick Tracy

4. Gary Oldman as millionaire Mason Verger in Hannibal

5. Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster

6. Christopher Lloyd as weird Uncle Fester in The Addams Family

7. Jared Leto as John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman in Chapter 27

8. Tom Hardy as convict Charles Bronson in Bronson

9. Robert De Niro as the older Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull

10. Tom Cruise as studio executive Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder

11. Glenn Close as the secretive Albert Nobbs in Albert Nobbs

12. Eric Bana as psychopath criminal Mark “Chopper” Read in Chopper

Spring Breakers is now available on early digital release. Watch it first with blinkbox!

Aug 06 2013

Naomi Watts is The Queen of Hearts in the First Full ‘Diana’ Trailer

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:38 pm

After months of eager speculation and Oscar buzz, the first full trailer for the upcoming Princess of Wales biopic has arrived. Like many recent films about real-life figures, writer Stephen Jeffreys has decided to tell the story of a specific point in his subject’s life: namely, Diana’s whirlwind romance with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews from Lost).

As Lady Di, Naomi Watts looks to be amazing as always and working with director Oliver Hirschbiegel (Downfall), they may have created a love story that will appeal to a large section of British and international audiences. With news of the baby Prince George still echoing in the media, this could turn out to be the ideal year to release a Diana movie. Too soon? Maybe not.

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Aug 06 2013

Dark Knight News: Will Josh Brolin Be Batman for Zack Snyder?

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 11:37 am

We have been spoiled over the last few years by the fanatical secrecy with which Christopher Nolan surrounds his films. For his The Dark Knight, there were inklings that he would introduce Two-Face as a secondary antagonist, but no definite proof until opening day. The twist in Batman Begins remained hidden; pretty much the entirety of Inception was a mystery until people went to see it; and nobody knew that Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow makes an appearance late in The Dark Knight Rises

However, it seems that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder isn’t one for keeping secrets. Like some over-eager teenager before prom night, he’s totally willing to give everything away at the drop of a hat.

A mere month after Comic-con where he announced his upcoming Superman/Batman crossover, Snyder has apparently been chatting casting options to just about any Tom, Dick and Nikki Finke who will listen to him. For the project, he’ll bringing together two titanic comic icons, drawing largely upon the 80s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which saw the pair go head-to-head on the streets of Gotham.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, several Snyder insiders (or ‘inSnyders‘ as he probably doesn’t call them) have suggested that the director is beginning the casting process in earnest. The article also goes on to list the current top candidates as determined by scuttlebutt, rumour, speculation and complete fantasy. And here they are:

Josh Brolin: The ‘No Country for Old Men‘ star is on a bit of a roll this year, having scored the lead in Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake as well as Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City 2. Strangely enough, that upcoming film is co-directed and adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller, who (as it would happen) also created The Dark Knight Returns.

Ryan GoslingThere is almost no major project being bandied about these days without a Gosling casting rumour. Last we heard, he was being considered from J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which may also turn out not to be true.

Joe Manganiello: Some of the rumours suggested that Snyder was looking for a Batman aged around 40 years old. For someone who can play that age while remaining super-duper handsome, they can’t go far wrong with the True Blood star. With his crazy muscular torso, however, Snyder may have to consider making him the first topless Batman in history. I mean, seriously: have you seen this guy?

Richard ArmitageIf DC wants to continue their recent tradition of casting British actors as their superheroes, then the Hobbit star is really an option. As the stoic Dwarven leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s latest Middle-Earth trilogy, he’s looking to explode onto the international scene in the next few years à la Viggo Mortensen. And as Batman, he could become the next British blockbuster star.

But enough about these rumours, who do you think should be the next Batman? Remember, there are no wrong answers.

Aug 05 2013

‘Who’ News: ‘Thick of It’ Star Peter Capaldi Named as the 12th Doctor

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:17 am

Probably for the first time in its history, the BBC last night allotted a half hour during one of its most popular time slots to announce the casting of the new lead in Doctor Who. After twenty minutes or so of chatting with Liza Tarbuck, Bernard Cribbins, Peter Davison and a child, presenter Zoe Ball threw to a number of pre-recorded interviews with writer Steven Moffat and outgoing Doctor Matt Smith.

It was at that point that Ball pulled back the curtain… and out Thick of It star and bookie’s favourite Peter Capaldi to a shower of falling confetti. To see a character actor best known for playing a angry, swearing Scotsman greeted on stage as though he was a heroic astronaut was a strange sight but the consensus amongst the majority of Whovians was that Moffat and Co. made a strong decision by not casting another young attractive man as the Doctor.

Capaldi sat down briefly with Zoe Ball, relating the story of how he was cast on the set of a BBC Three Musketeers adaptation and having to keep the news to himself ever since. Ball also brought out a letter a 15 year-old Capaldi wrote to the Radio Times, expressing his gratitude and fandom. Little could he have guessed that 40 years later, the show would still be thriving and that he would get the chance to pilot the TARDIS.


Outside the studio, fans around the world took the opportunity to voice their approval on Twitter. One of the oddest sets of tweets came from William Shatner, who either knows a lot about Doctor Who and Capaldi’s career or has someone else running his social media accounts:

One more interesting fact: at its peak, last night’s announcement broadcast was watched by 6.89m people in Britain, which is higher than the 6.27m rating Doctor Who receives on on average. If I were a number-cruncher at the Beeb, I would seriously consider scrapping the show in favour of weekly studio announcements. Just putting it out there.

Seasons 1 through 7 of the revived Doctor Who is now all available at blinkbox.

Aug 05 2013

Danny Boyle’s hypnotic new film & many more!: New Releases 5 August 2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 6:42 am

Danny Boyle follows his 2012 Olympic triumph with another project set in London. This time, it’s a mind-bending thriller set in the intersecting world of crime, hypnosis and art auctioning. James McAvoy plays a junior auctioneer whose worries are only getting started when a dangerous group of armed burglars take him to a hypnotherapist in order to find out where he hid a priceless painting. The plot takes more turns than a game of Monopoly but with Boyle’s talent for amazing visuals, discomforting editing and an ace soundtrack from Underworld’s Rick Smith, Trance becomes one of the most experimental thrillers we’ve seen in years.

Dark Skies
Keri Russell (The Americans) and Josh Hamilton are young suburban parents who start noticing strange things happening around the house. Things like moving dishes, strange lights, thousands of birds crashing into their home and a mysterious night visitor. Could it be a ghost? Could it be a stalker? Or perhaps the danger comes from somewhere else… With the help of paranormal investigator JK Simmons, they try to get to the bottom of the matter before it’s too late!

Nicolas Cage is a former bank robber recently released from prison. When his former associate kidnaps his daughter, he’s left with no option but to find $10 million dollars in 12 hours. And to make things even worse, he’s in New Orleans on Mardi Gras! Coming from Con Air director Simon West, Stolen features intense chases and even intenser acting from Cage. Danny Huston and Malin Akerman also appear in supporting roles.

Paranormal Asylum
Over the last 10 years, the majority of horror movies have involved documentary crews getting murdered. I mean, what did these factual film-makers do to deserve getting killed by ghosts, zombies, demons and trolls? Paranormal Asylum is a new movie that sees two such future-corpses-with-cameras go in search for the truth behind Typhoid Mary – a 19th century folklore figure who was committed to a remote asylum for the last 30 years of her life. Are they going to bite off more than they can chew? Will they survive to find a way out of the asylum?

Well, what do you think?

Killing Lincoln
Based on a best-selling book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, this drama recreates the final days of US President Abraham Lincoln. Coming so soon after Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar-winning portrayal, Billy Campbell (The Rocketeer) wisely chooses to keep his performance low-key as he shares leading duties with Don Johnson’s son, who plays the assassin John Wilkes Booth. Lending some gravitas to the proceedings is narrator Tom Hanks, who helps to elevate this simple historical re-enactment with his warm, authoritative vocal tones.

For more of the latest films, check out our New Releases section

Aug 02 2013

Review: From Up on Poppy Hill

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:53 am

From Up on Poppy Hill is the latest film from the Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, comes from a relatively new director, although one with a very familiar name. After all, Goro Miyazaki is the 46 year-old son of Japan’s most illustrious animator: Hayao Miyazaki. With a career as a writer and director that has spanned over three decades, Miyazaki the Elder has been responsible for a slew of classic films that became cult favourites in the West – most famously 2001’s Oscar winner Spirited Away.

The older Miyazaki’s works all tend to have certain things in common: the fingerprints of an auteur, if you please. His films tend to favour young female protagonists; they often involve flying scenes and most of them involve magic to some degree. He has admitted in interviews that he is fascinated by these ideas year after year. To some casual anime viewers who may not have seen any other Japanese animations other than his, these elements could be seen as the defining features of the genre.

But with From Up On Poppy Hill, Miyazaki Jr has made a film grounded in reality than any of his father’s films. But by crafting a lovely, wistful story about love and loss, Goro also captures some of the humanity that has defined the Miyazaki name over the years.

Based on a manga novel from the early 80s, the film tells the story of Umi, an independent young girl in the early 60s. As the oldest daughter of a family who runs a lodging house in Yokohama, she’s responsible for looking after her younger sisters: cooking for the household before heading off to school and doing the shopping before she comes home.

One day she happens upon Shun, a brash and popular boy at school. He’s leading a rowdy group of students trying save the campus clubhouse by staging a dangerous stunt. Although shy at first, Uni sees an opportunity to get closer to him and joins his cause. She helps him to type-set the school newspaper and even encourages him to renovate the dilapidated building, adding to the 16 year-old girl’s ever-growing pile of responsibility.

There’s a warm nostalgia that sweeps through this picture, a breeze that’s mixed with the slightest melancholy note. Umi misses her father, who died while captaining a supply boat during the Korean War. With her mother abroad studying, her home is filled with plenty of women but tellingly, no men.

Living at a time so soon after the Second World War, Umi belongs to a generation whose fathers and uncles were lost to the Pacific. This longing of hers underscores the entire film, though it never dips into oversentimentality.

Adapted by Miyazaki Sr, From Up on Poppy Hill doesn’t do much hide the story’s soap opera roots. One of the central plotlines involve a question of Shun’s paternity, a matter which could potentially ruin a bourgeoning romance. And then there’s the side plot about the clubhouse, which doesn’t tie into the main plot as much as you would expect. But you know what? There’s a real charm to the film’s looseness. It makes the film that much more human. You can tell that it was made my people who really care.

All you have to do is look at the hand-drawn art, which the artists have packed with tiny, beautiful details that make this film come to life, like the loving way in which they animate Umi cooking a simple egg. While Miyazaki has the option to make the story as visually opulent as he wants, he chooses to show how relationships can seemingly blossom in that short walk from the school gates to the end of the road. All those small moments add together to create this vivid, rural suburban fantasy: one that will make you homesick for a place you’ve never been.