Oct 21 2013

Celebrity Gymnastics: Reality television primed to hit another all-time low

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 6:14 pm

Just when we though prime time television couldn’t get any worse, the BBC has issued its latest damning indictment of our national culture by commissioning a celebrity gymnastics programme. Tentatively titled ‘Let’s Get Ready to Tumble’, it will likely feature B to D-List celebrities competing against each other in a series of physical challenges so pitiful that even a 63 year-old Su Pollard (or whomever) will be able to score well.

The fact that this show even exists likely stems from the popularity public curiosity for Splash!, ITV’s reality competition that featured celebrities ineptly learning how to dive. If there’s anything to be learned from the success of that programme, its that the British public will accept any excuse for gawping at famous folk in tight-fitting clothing

Slated to air on BBC One, it has been rumoured that competitors will receive coaching from Team GB Olympians the likes of Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith before performing before a panel of judged that will likely include a famed gymnast from yesteryear.

The show is scheduled for a 2014 premiere.

[via Mirror]

Oct 21 2013

Watch the trailer for Mike Tyson’s awkward one man show

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 11:54 am

In case you didn’t know, former world heavyweight boxing champion and celebrity cameo-doer Mike Tyson is in the midst of touring his one man show. A high-production monologue featuring one of the world’s least capable actors, the show sees Iron Mike drop his guard and come clean about his glorious successes and dismal personal failures. Ticketmaster’s website suggests that he’ll be bringing the show to the UK in the spring of next year.

But for those of you too scared to enter an enclosed space with a recovering rage-aholic, there will also be the option of watching it on the small screen:

The stage show has been filmed by director Spike Lee, though by the looks of it, this is a pretty straightforward concert film. Just by watching the trailer, it’s tough to imagine Tyson landing any of his scripted jokes even though the reaction shots of the audience show a crowd of well-to-do New Yorkers having a good time.

The one-off programme will air on HBO in America, so you can probably expect to see it here on blinkbox at some point in the future.

Oct 21 2013

‘Doctor Who’ tees up its 50th Anniversary show with a teaser trailer

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:28 am

Much has already been made about Doctor Who this year, and with good reason. This being the 50th anniversary of the world’s longest surviving television show, it’s only appropriate that the BBC are pulling out all the stops.

On top of its traditional Christmas Special that will see Peter Capaldi take over the lead role from outgoing doctor Matt Smith, there’s also this very special special that will air on the very special date of 23 November.

How big will this episode be?

Well, considering how this year’s season finale was basically a teaser trailer to  introduce John Hurt as a hitherto unseen incarnation of The Doctor, this one-off episode better be bloody big.

As everyone has already found out, David Tennant will also return in this episode as Doctor #10 (thanks to, you know, time travel): an confluence of nerd heartthrobs which will likely inspire a critical mass of slash fiction.

This is such a big event that in order to deter spoilers, the BBC has arranged for the episode to be simultaneously telecast in over 75 countries, a first for the storied public broadcasters.

Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor will premiere on Saturday 23 November 2013. Catch up on all other episodes right here at blinkbox!


Oct 21 2013

“Dear God, it’s me: Jonah Hill… from Moneyball”: New Releases 21 Oct 2013

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:00 am

This Is the End (Early Digital Release)
Putting a meta-textual spin on the recent spate of apocalyptic movies, Seth Rogen makes his directorial debut with this star-studded comedy. During a wild party at actor James Franco’s house, Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride (all playing exaggerated versions of themselves) find themselves trapped indoors after The Rapture. Hoarding supplies and fending off attacks from Emma Watson, cracks begin to form in their celebrity friendships. All you need to know is this: the film is laugh-out-loud funny and provides one of the few opportunities you’ll ever have to see Michael Cera impaled through the chest. This is our pick of the week.

The Stath will always be the Stath, but there’s no reason why all Statham movies have to be mindless action-fests. Returning to London after a string of Hollywood pictures, Jason Statham plays Joey, a shell-shocked former Royal Marine now living on the streets. After breaking into a flat, he assumes another man’s identity, a move that arouses the attention of the criminal underworld. Hummingbird marks the directorial debut of Steven Knight, the writer responsible for Eastern Promises and BBC’s Peaky Blinders. It’s a little bit more serious-minded than your average mockney thriller but Statham is never anything short of fun.

The Purge (New to Rent)
Set in the near future, this tense thriller speculates an America that has legalised all criminal activity for just one night every year. Working on the idea that society needs a way to vent their baser instincts, regular citizens can run amok on the streets, looting and killing while regular folks lock themselves in to protect their families. Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey and their two kids are one such family, who find themselves in mortal danger when their home is targeted by mysterious vigilantes.

World War Z (New to Rent)
In one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, Brad Pitt plays a regular family man who must protect his wife and kids from the zombie apocalypse. Thankfully, he’s also a highly-trained former United Nations operative! Although the film’s lengthy production was marred with rumours of disputes between the studios, Pitt and director Marc Foster, World War Z went on to make over half a billion dollars at box offices around the world. Scottish viewers will want to keep their eyes peeled for shots of Glasgow, which doubles for Philadelphia at the start of the film!

A Haunted House
Comic actor Marlon Wayans stakes his claim as more than just ‘the Scary Movie Guy’ this week with a spoof horror film that’s largely indistinguishable from Scary Movie. Ostensibly a parody of Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism and Insidious, the plot (if you can call it that) loosely involves a young couple moving into a home that’s possessed by a disparate array of supernatural entities. If you can’t get enough of fart jokes and are one of the millions of people who liked Scary Movie, you’ll definitely want to see this.

Curse of Chucky
When a mysterious package arrives at her house containing a toy doll, paraplegic Lena doesn’t give it a second thought and throws it in the bin. Little does she know that the doll’s name is Chucky, a murderous plaything possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. Fans of the Child’s Play franchise will see this as a familiar set-up but his latest entry goes back to its roots. Dispensing with the goofy comedy of Seed of Chucky, this claustrophobic, bare bones horror film has enough terror and gore to justify an 18 Certificate from the BBFC. Trivia: the female lead is played by Fiona Dourif, whose father Brad has been providing the voice of Chucky for over 25 years!

K9 Christmas
Though the title suggests this is direct-to-video sequel to the 1989 buddy film starring James Belushi, there’s no evidence we can find on the internet to support this. Judging from the trailer however, K9 Christmas bears a lot of Home Alone DNA. When young Kassie rescues an injured police dog, she nurses it back to help and the pair of them become inseparable. A pair of burglars rock up to town with the plan of stealing from a local charity, the pooch recognises them as crooks. Naturally, it’s up to the children of the community to make like Macaulay Culkin and drop bowling balls on to their heads! Luke Perry from Beverley Hills 90210 stars as Kassie’s father.

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

Oct 18 2013

5 Interesting Movie Numbers for World Statistics Day!

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 5:30 pm

In case you missed the memo that’s been going around, Sunday 20th October marks National Statistics Day: the one day a year in which we give thanks to our beloved number-wranglers!

While we’re sure your family has already made plans to decorate your statistics tree with scatter plots and error bars, there’s always space for more data in your life. As we all know, larger samples always yield more accurate results!

To mark this most factually transparent of holidays, we’ve collected some film data that you might find interesting:






If you can’t get enough of numbers, why not check out the following films:

Happy World Statistics Day!

Oct 17 2013

Wes Anderson’s cracking trailer for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:51 pm

In our opinion, last year’s Moonrise Kingdom was Wes Anderson‘s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums. A gentle coming of age romance, it had the same free-wheeling spirit and production aesthetic as his masterpiece but without much the willful wackiness of The Life Aquatic or cod sentimentality of The Darjeeling Limited. In fact, it was one of our favourite movies of 2012. But if this new trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel is anything to go by, Anderson’s next film might be even better.

Starring Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, the legendary concierge of the titular hotel, the plot concerns his relationship with the young lobby boy he takes under his wing in the period between the first and second World Wars. This being an Anderson film, it’s no shock to see his appearances from his regular troupe of actors. Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and Adrien Brody are just a few of the names that grace the cast list. Considering how jaded we normally are with comedy trailers, it was pleasant surprise to find a number of laugh-out-loud moments in this two-and-a-half minute trailer.

 There is no set date for its UK release yet, but The Grand Budapest Hotel opens in the US in March 2014

Oct 17 2013

Check out our brand new TV Advert!

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 1:13 pm

Here at blinkbox, we’re very excited to to present our all-new television advertisement this week. Making its debut on ITV, the 30 second spot centres around a sassy pet fish with a discerning eye for the latest films and TV shows. We think you’ll agree that its our finest advert to date and it’s certainly one we’re very proud of indeed.

**NOTE: The competition is now closed. Thank you for all you entries: we’ll be contacting the winner at some point this week. Good luck!**

Oct 17 2013

The Rock live-tweets his descent into madness

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 12:18 pm

With over 5 million followers on Twitter, it’s safe to say that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has taken quite well to social media. Providing fans with messages of inspiration as well as behind-the-scenes pictures of his upcoming films, the former WWE champion is turning into one of the most re-tweeted actors in the world.

Sure… he regularly squanders all 140 characters with empty motivational rhetoric but there’s something deeply compelling about his endless stream of muscled selfies and misused hashtags (#Reflect #Focus #Strategize #Pancakes). For the longest time, we couldn’t figure out what made his feed so special. It was only when we stepped back and analysed his timeline as a whole, the truth finally revealed itself.

It’s so glaringly obvious now: The Rock is going insane and he’s capturing the entire experience on Twitter.

You don’t believe us? Direct your attention to Exhibit A:

1. The production medic assures The Rock that there are no spiders under his skin.

2. The fan sees a chance for a selfie with The Rock. The Rock sees ghosts everywhere.

2.Despite his nutritionist’s warnings, The Rock regurgitates every meal and re-eats it for ‘double nutrition’.

3. The Pain & Gain script called for his character’s toe to be severed in a gunfight. A self-professed ‘method actor’, The Rock took a hatchet to his stunt double.

4. The protruding tongue is an early symptom of Miley Cyrus Syndrome.
If The Rock had attended the VMAs this year, Robin Thicke would have been torn apart by his muscular glutes in a twerking calamity.

5. “The secret police are after me!”

6. Dressing up as The Incredible Hulk is fine for Halloween, but some felt this tweet wasn’t appropriate for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

7. “Goodbye cruel world! Hello pool-cleaning robot!”

8. This picture of food is the only one where The Rock’s mouth is closed.
He’s forgotten how to eat! Amnesia!

 9. On the set of Hercules, The Rock formed a meaningful working relationship with these horses.
Not the one on the left, though: working with her was a total ‘mare.

Snitch is now available at blinkbox!

Follow Dwayne Johnson @TheRock on Twitter.

Oct 16 2013

The Wonderful World of Zombies

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 2:46 pm

With the release of World War Z and The Walking Dead Season Three at blinkbox this week, we’ve decided to dig into our archives and pick out the best films (and TV shows) in which zombies rule the world. So lock the door, stay away from the windows and prepare yourself for the coming of the dead!

Traditional Zombies

The films of George A Romero (1968 – 2009*)
The term ‘zombie’ originates from a Haitian Creole word zonbi, used to describe reanimated corpses from voodoo mythology.

The idea of humans coming back from the dead is common in a number of cultures ranging from African oral tradition to Eastern European fables but the zombies we know in popular culture pretty much all stem from one source: George A Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Its success spawned countless imitations, homages and sequels including Romero’s own Dawn of the Dead, which featured the indelible image of zombies shambling through a mall like mindless shoppers.

That film marked a significant moment in the history of the horror genre: when something as goofy as a zombie movie was used as social commentary on something as far-removed as American commercialism.

[*The films, not the man. Romero is still alive at the time of publishing.]

The Walking Dead (2010- Present)
Based on the comic written by Robert Kirkman, this hit TV show is set in a post-apocalyptic world that’s not dissimilar similar to the one Romero created. In fact, the show’s zombie effects were crafted by executive producer Greg Nicotero, a protégée of FX maestro and Romero collaborator Tom Savini.

Every week, the show goes to great lengths to produce new and inventive zombie sequences. Even if they’re only on-screen for less than a few seconds, the level of detail that goes into each zombie’s decomposing body tells a story of its own.


Fast Zombies

28 Days Later (2002) & 28 Weeks Later (2007)
Zombie purist will tell you that the creatures in 28 Days Later are not zombies. While the creatures in Danny Boyle’s survival horror are technically victims of a viral epidemic known as RAGE, there’s no getting around the fact that they’re obviously zombies.

Sure, they’re not the shambling, decomposing wrecks we’ve come to know and love but who’s to say that zombies can’t run? It’s the new millennium, granddad. Get over it.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Written by James Gunn (soon to make Guardians of the Galaxy) and directed by Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder, this update of Romero’s all-time classic also happens to feature those blasphemous running zombies. However, with its cast of interesting characters (including Ving Rhames and Modern Family’s Ty Burrell) and some pitch black humour, this is a remake that honours the original while improving on it in some respects. Zombie Burt Reynolds, anyone?

World War Z (2013)
Considering how successful this film is, it must be said that World War Z breaks a number of zombie movies’ cardinal rules. First, you have the fast zombies: not only do these zombies run faster than human beings, they’re also much stronger. But this blockbuster hit really ground the gears of horror devotees by committing the biggest no-no of all: all the characters actually use the word zombie to describe the zombies. It suggests that in this particular film universe, they’ve seen Dawn of the Dead and then had the displeasure of seeing that movie become reality.


Zombie Comedies

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
In the original and best rom-zom-com, Simon Pegg is a 30 year-old adolescent who begins to see that there’s more to life than just heading down the pub with his best mate (Nick Frost). The only stopping him from growing up and winning back his girlfriend is the thousand or so zombies wandering the streets of Crouch End.

Zombieland (2009)
A post-apocalyptic buddy movie, this hit film finfs Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson as mismatched travellers in a world almost exclusively populated by zoms. By the time this film came out, fast zombies had been a thing for over 7 years so nobody cried foul. Plus, without their prodigious foot speed, we wouldn’t have this gem of a title sequence:

Warm Bodies (2013)
It’s another rom-zom-com… but this time, the emphasis is on the ‘rom-zom’ side of the equation! Nicholas Hoult plays our trusty narrator: a hopeless romantic who also happens to be a total zombie. When he meets the girl of his dreams, he doesn’t let the fact that she’s still sentient get in the way of true love!

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
East End mainstay Alan Ford pops up in this London-based comic actioner. The undead are popping up everywhere in earshot of Bow Bells and it’s up to a group of youngsters to protect their gaff… but not without the help of some seasoned cockney geriatrics. If you like geezers with shooters, shots of Michelle Ryan in a tight tank top and tenuous rhyming slang jokes, you’ll going to bloody love this.

Doghouse (2009)
Speaking of geezers, how did Danny Dyer not make the cast of Cockneys vs Zombies?

Well, that doesn’t really matter, seeing how he has his own zombie movie here. He plays a Jack-the-Lad who heads out on a boys’ weekend to cheer up Vince (Stephen Graham), his best mate who’s dealing with a bad divorce. They head off to a remote town where the women outnumber the men by a factor of 4 to 1. It seems like an ideal destination to go on the pull until they discover that the town’ female population have been transformed into an army of undead harpies.

If Dawn of the Dead is a film about the mindless consumerism in modern America, then Doghouse is surely a parable about violence against women, right?

World War Z is now available to own at blinkbox, as is the 3rd season box set of The Walking Dead!

Oct 15 2013

London Film Festival 2013: Nebraska

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 11:41 am

After the glossy success of The Descendants, director Alexander Payne has returned to his roots with a simple, melancholic road movie set in his home state.

77 year-old Bruce Dern plays Woody Grant, a quiet and ragged man in the definite twilight of his life. As his sister-in-law points out, the Grant men were never big talkers anyhow.

But when Woody receives a letter from a magazine company telling him that he’s won a million dollars, he becomes determined to get to Nebraska and pick up his winnings, even if it means he has to walk all the way.

His wife and two adult sons are perfectly aware that the letter is a scam designed to sell magazine but Woody refuses to listen to them and badgers his youngest, David (Will Forte) into driving him 900 miles and across 2 state borders. Along the way they stop for a few days in their hometown, the one they left decades ago. Meeting up with long-lost cousins and neighbours, David starts learning things about his distant father and the reasons they left so many years ago.

Dern gives an enigmatic performance here and as an audience, we’re never sure if Woody behaves the way he does because of his stubborn nature or whether it’s a sign of dementia. As his son David, Forte is a revelation as dramatic actor – his performance is only a few small steps away from some of his more subdued comic characters. He joins an ever-growing club of comics who are showing deftness with serious material.

Bob Odenkirk could very well join him in that club as well. The Mr Show and Breaking Bad star has ditched his cocky douchebag persona as Woody’s older son, a local news anchor. A lesser film would have made him an antagonist-of-sorts to Woody and David but the few scenes of the family coming together for lunch and a visit to their old house proves the film’s emotional high point.

But the thing we really appreciated about Nebraska is the fact that it isn’t a sugar-coated look at old age. It’s not Calendar Girls or Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: they aren’t labouring under the cloying premise that all old people should learn to feel young again. In the real world, aging can be a terrifying prospect and any victories that Woody gains along the way are small but that doesn’t make it any less poignant.

Though it marks the first time he has directed a film for which he’s not received a writing credit, Nebraska has all of Alexander Payne’s tonal hallmarks. It’s a funny, soulful road movie with a melancholic edge and it fits perfectly into his unblemished body of work.

Nebraska is in cinemas 6 December