Apr 23 2014

Buy for 99p: blinkbox Bargain Bin Movie Recommendations

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 3:27 pm

You read that right: we have a collection of movies here at blinkbox to buy for just 99p each!

As you’d suspect, this collection isn’t packed full of recent blockbusters like The Avengers but rather a more eccentric selection of titles. But like any second-hand video shop, our Buy for 99p collection has a number of excellent curios waiting to be discovered by discerning film fans such as yourselves.

To help you along, allow us to direct your attention to the best of the bunch…
Budget Sci-FiAlien Intruder (1993)
There’s certainly no shortage of sci-fi action movies in this collection. Firstly, there’s Cyber Tracker, starring blinkbox favourite Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson. He plays the bodyguard of a Senator who discovers that his boss’ Computerized Justice initiative is actually a conspiracy hatched by evil robots. It’s effectively a Terminator knock-off that’s predictably goofy and a lot of fun

But if we were to choose our favourite, it would have to be Alien Intruder. Starring British actor Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2, Emmerdale), it revolves around a group of convicts sent by Billy Dee Williams (Lando from Star Wars) to perform a dangerous mission in space. Once there, however, they find that their biggest threat is one of sexy nature!

We think you’ll agree that Alien Intruder looks a straight-faced episode of Red Dwarf in more ways than one.

Watch Alien Intruder

R-Rated Action FilmsSkyscraper (1996)
If you’re a lad, these are the sorts of videos you and your mates used to pass around and watch while your parents were out of town. Starring people you’ve never heard of, the main attractions are (in order of importance): the gratuitous nudity, the awful dialogue delivered by terrible actors, and their shoddy sets.

There are a few R-Rated Actioners in this collection, but none of them are stranger than Skyscraper.

Imagine Die Hard, where instead of Bruce Willis there’s an implausibly-proportioned Anna Nicole Smith. She’s a helicopter pilot who ends up on a mission to save an office tower from Shakespeare-quoting terrorists.

Warning: there are a number poorly-shot ‘love scenes’ contained herein. This 18 Certificate movie is definitely not for the prudish.

Watch Skyscraper

Regular Action FilmsBlackjack
If you love action but are not so keen on retrograde-levels of nudity, you also have plenty of options here.

John Woo completists and Expendables fans will definitely want to check out Blackjack. Made by the Hong Kong action maestro between directing Face/Off and Mission Impossible 2, this was intended as a full length television pilot: one that never made it to series.

It stars Lundgren as a former US Marshal-turned-security expert. An expert in the martial arts and gunplay, his only weakness is a crippling fear of the colour white. That is not a joke.

The concept is completely daft but the action scenes are as good as you’d hope expect from a John Woo joint. Also, keep an eye out for the number of times Lundgren flies through the air, firing dual pistols. ‘Tis a silly film, but a fun one nonetheless.

Watch Blackjack

Good Movies’ – Talk Radio (1988) and Owning Mahowny (2003)
In amongst all this strange pap, there are also a number of movies that have actually been on the receiving side of critical praise.

One such film is Talk Radio. Directed by Oliver Stone, it’s set exclusively inside a radio station over the course of a single night. Writer/star Eric Bogosian plays a popular shock jock on the verge of hitting the big time. But with the death threats he receives from callers over the phone, it’s uncertain whether he’ll even make it to the end of his broadcast.

Full of bravura directorial touches and great casting (Alec Baldwin, John C McGinley), this is one of Oliver Stone’s films that has been unjustly forgotten by time.

Watch Talk Radio

Another favourite of the critics is the indie drama Owning Mahowny, starring the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. He plays an assistant bank manager who skims money from his employers in order to feed his crippling addiction to gambling. As the walls begin to close in on Mahowny, Hoffman’s performance become a sublime study of a man falling apart at the seams.

For fans of Hoffman’s acting, this is a must-see film. And one that’s a bargain at 99p!

Watch Owning Mahowny

Canadian Movies - Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (2012)
The Buy for 99p collection is peppered with films produced in Canada. After all, the USA’s neighbour to the North has always been a popular –and cheaper— shooting location. You can always tell when something’s Canadian, on account of how many pine trees and nondescript roads you see in the background.

Our favourite Canadian film of the lot is made even more delightful by its efforts to hide its own Canadian-ness. Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy is, predictably enough, based on a novel by the writer of Trainspotting. Taking major stylistic leads from Danny Boyle’s film, it tells the story of a bored housewife (Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk) who enters the Scottish rave scene and embarks on a tempestuous romance with a drug user.

With most of the production taking place in Canada, the results are outrageously mixed: native Scottish actors like Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings) mix it up with Canadian actors, most of whom either sound Irish or like Scrooge McDuck.

It’s actually an okay film but with the whole accent issue, British audiences will get to experience a different dimension of cringy enjoyment!

To check out all our Buy for 99p movies, click here!

Apr 23 2014

5 Thoroughly English Movies to watch this Saint George’s Day

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 12:02 pm

Unless you reside in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the fact that it’s Saint George’s Day has not gone unnoticed. Apart from flying a flag outside your window and downing a pint after work, does anybody know what people are supposed to do to celebrate England’s patron saint?

Well, allow us to suggest a few top films that will have weeping in pride at the thought of being English. (Again, many apologies to Scottish, Welsh and Irish readers)

The Italian Job (1969)
You can’t have a English film collection without Sir Maurice Micklewhite (Michael Caine to you and me). The prototypical cheeky chappy is at his cheekiest and chappiest playing cockney gangster Charlie Croker in this classic caper. Leading a team of lovable crooks, Caine heads off to Rome in his Mini Cooper and stages the most daring gold heist of all time!

Quotable lines, great characters, and the most iconic car chase of all time has kept The Italian Job a perennial favourite of Saturday afternoon telly.

Brief Encounters (1945)
This stiflingly English romance from David Lean has remained one of the greatest love stories of the 20th Century. On a shopping trip to the nearest town, Celia Johnson’s middle-class housewife has a chance meeting with lonely doctor Trevor Howard. What begins as an innocent relationship soon turns into something deeper. Though they never act on their impulses, the attraction between these two characters is palpable and heart-breaking.

If their straight-laced tryst has taught us anything, it’s that a firm squeeze on the shoulder is pretty much the most English sign of affection imaginable. What a repressed people we are.

Brazil (1985)
It’s strange to think that Terry Gilliam, one of the most English directors of our time, is very much an American. Having graduated from being Monty Python’s resident animator, he turned his attention to feature films.

Perhaps the most singularly English take on the future dystopia genre, Brazil is set in a future Britain where backside-covering, tea-drinking bureaucrats are the biggest threat to our liberty. For anyone who’s ever imagined Hell as a place where you queue up and fill in paperwork all day, Gilliam’s Brazil is a movies that resonates deeply

The Remains of the Day (1993)
When it came to making high-quality period dramas, Merchant Ivory were absolutely peerless. As the ever-loyal butler Stevens, Anthony Hopkins embodies the old-world devotion to the class system. On the eve of the second World War, he continues to serve his employer, choosing to turn a blind eye to the man’s casually fascist leanings. In doing so, he forgoes any modicum of personal happiness: namely, his unspoken attraction to housekeeper Emma Thompson.

Sure, this is a lot like Brief Encounter, but it’s still a great film. If you like Downton Abbey and haven’t seen this, you really owe it to yourself.

Chariots of Fire (1981)
Mostly remembered for it’s slow motion scenes and that Vangelis score, Chariots of Fire is perhaps the most English of all sporting films. Set around the 1924 Olympics, it tells the stories of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, two athletes with very different points to prove. While Abrahams has dreams that Olympic glory will lessen the grip of antisemitism in Britain, Liddell (a devout Christian) made headlines by refusing to race on a Sunday.

While most American sports movies place a premium on winning, Chariots of Fire understood the traditional English value of ‘trying your bloody best’.

Happy St George’s Day!

Apr 23 2014

News: EVERY Disneyland ride is being turned into a movie!

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 9:00 am

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the It’s a Small World attraction at Disneyland. And to mark the momentous occasion, The Walt Disney has hired director Jon Turtletaub (National Treasure) to direct a film based on this ride.

For those of you unfamiliar with It’s a Small World, it’s an indoor boat ride that saunters past singing robotic children of all races and creeds. And then it ends. There isn’t even a flume at the end. It’s a classic part of Disney parks all over the world designed to teach 1960s kids about other cultures.

While it seems strange to base a movie around a series of animatronic dioramas, Disney have already spun four films out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy was another one, though slightly less successful.

Here’s the obvious next step: the film adaptation of EVERY Disneyland ride.

Jungle Cruise: Emma Stone plays a rich heiress who gets lost on a tour of the Amazon river with a wise-cracking tour guide (TJ Miller). At first they’re at odds with each other, but soon enough they find that opposites do indeed attract.

Space Mountain: Three wise-cracking kids sneak aboard a rocket ship headed to the Alpha Centauri system. Along the way, it crash lands on a seemingly deserted planet and they’re forced to rely on the only other survivor of the accident: space marine Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

The Hall of Presidents: A scientist from the future goes back in time to warn Abraham Lincoln (Liam Neeson) of some terrible catastrophe in the year 2110. Determined to save America once more, Honest Abe steals the time machine and goes about recruiting the only people up to the task. Namely, wise-cracking presidents George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Chester A. Arthur, and James Madison.

What other theme park attractions would you like to see become blockbuster films? Let us know on the comments board below.

Apr 23 2014

Jessica Chastain in talks to play Marilyn Monroe

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 8:31 am

Is it possible Jessica Chastain will be ditching her trademark ruby locks?

Well, if the current rumours are anything to go by, she could be hitting the peroxide very soon to play Marilyn Monroe for director Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly, The Assassination of Jesse James…). Based on Blonde, a 2001 novel by Joyce Carol Oates, the film will focus on the tumultuous inner life of the former Norma Jean Baker.

The novel itself doesn’t claim to be impeccably researched or historically, but it does have characters that bear a certain resemblance to the likes of Tony Curtis and The Kennedys. As with a lot of historical fiction, the book has a controversial central premise: one that involves a government conspiracy to silence the blonde bombshell.

Having kept a somewhat low profile in 2013 (after a prolific few years), Jessica Chastain will be hitting the multiplexes again this year with a starring role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Apr 23 2014

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Robert Redford

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 6:00 am

This has been a big month for Robert Redford. Not only does he star in Marvel’s #1 blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he’s also the only actor in this week’s latest blinkbox release All Is Lost.

To commemorate his best years in decades, we thought we’d brush up on our Redford trivia. And while we’re doing that, you can also enjoy some smouldering pictures of the man in his prime.

1. Robert Redford played baseball in high school with future Hall of Famer Don Drysdale.
Redford would later play a baseball phenom in the classic sports movie The Natural.

2. He lost his scholarship to the University of Colorado on account of some personal misconduct.
When asked about this in an interview, he simply said, ‘I was the campus drunk’.

3. He won the Best Director Oscar for 1980’s Ordinary People.
Despite this being his debut film as a director, he beat off stiff competition from the likes of Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull) and David Lynch (The Elephant Man).

4. Named after his classic character, Redford’s Sundance Film Festival has been running since 1978.
What was originally a small event intended to bring filmmakers to Utah, it has since become an essential rite of passage for most independent film-makers. Redford’s festival and its associated Sundance Institute have been responsible for introducing the world to Steven Soderbergh, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, The Coen Brothers, and Quentin Tarantino.
5. His role as Defence Secretary Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an indirect riff on his 1975 movie Three Days of the Condor.
In that film, he plays a CIA analyst who returns to his New York office, only to discover everyone’s been murdered. He soon finds himself the target of darker powers within his own agency – which may or may not be similar to a plot point in Captain America 2…
6. Redford was considered for the lead in The Graduate, a part that ultimately went to Dustin Hoffman.
The other parts he either turned down or missed out on: Michael Corleone in The Godfather, James Caan’s role in Misery, and Nick Nolte’s parts in The Prince of Tides and Cape Fear.

7. Despite popular opinion, Redford didn’t clone himself into Brad Pitt
Of course he’s didn’t. Do you think all impossibly-handsome men with straw-coloured hair, lantern jaws and piercing blue eyes all look the same? That’s ignoraaant. However, they did star together in 2001’s Spy Games, finally disproving the theory that they’re one and the same person.

All Is Lost is now available to buy on blinkbox

Apr 22 2014

‘Jersey Boys’ Trailer: Clint Eastwood directs the Frankie Valli Musical

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 11:12 am

Just ten years ago, you couldn’t imagine there’d be a blockbuster biopic about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. After all, falsetto-ridden doo-wop groups haven’t exactly in vogue these past few decades. However, on the back of the smash hit Broadway and West End musical Jersey Boys, it seems the world is just about ready to see that story played out on the big screen.

Speaking of oldies, who better to call the shots on this film than Clint Eastwood: one of the few directors who’s actually older than this subject matter. His cast includes Christopher Walken, Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), and John Lloyd Young, who played Valli in the original Broadway production of Jersey Boys. Judging by the trailer, this looks to be a faithful adaptation of the stage show – even down to the characters narrating the story straight to camera. But most importantly, the toe-tapping musical numbers all look to be intact. We loved the stage show and cannot wait to see what Eastwood does with it.

Jersey Boys will be in cinemas 20 June

Apr 22 2014

Nebraska: Watch an eight-minute clip of Alexander Payne’s Oscar-nominated film

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:23 am

With his latest film Nebraska, director Alexander Payne continues his uninterrupted run of critically-acclaimed work. Not only was it nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, the film also made our ‘prestigious’ Top Ten List of movies from 2013. High praise indeed!

It tells to story of Woody (Bruce Dern), a septuagenarian who heads on a road trip with his sad sack son (Will Forte) to collect a dubious million dollar sweepstakes prize. Along the way, the make a stop at their hometown, where they’re reunited with the life and family Woody left behind.

In this fantastic 8-minute clip, Woody, his son and his wife (Oscar-nominated June Squibb) pay a visit to their old homestead. If you haven’t seen the film already, check this out you’ll get an idea of the fuss is all about.

This is a wonderful film that sits alongside Payne’s previous greats like The Descendants and Sideways.

Nebraska is now available to buy and rent

Apr 22 2014

Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: New Releases Mon 21 April 2014

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 9:11 am

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
James Thurber’s original short story of this name took place almost entirely inside a supermarket, where a mild-mannered man has vivid daydreams in which he performs great, heroic deeds. In the years since, the name ‘Walter Mitty’ has been co-opted by any number of professions to describe delusional fantasists. If a guy turns up at a fresh crime scene and falsely claims to be CID, that man is a Walter Mitty.

With this title, writer-director Ben Stiller takes a different tact, recasting Walter as a mild-mannered employee of the famed photo-journal Life Magazine. Facing its very last print edition, the daydreaming Walter finds himself going on a real adventure to track down a photographer (Sean Penn) and recover picture that’s intended as the magazine’s final cover.

Working with Kiwi cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh, Stiller has created a wonderfully lush film that variously set in Iceland, New York and the Himalayas. With a cast that includes Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott, you’d expect a knockabout comedy like Zoolander, perhaps; instead this is a breezily uplifting piece of magical realism, not entirely unlike Forrest Gump.

Released in the States as Pawn Shop Chronicles, this ensemble comedy centres around one such establishment, mingling three storylines that involve various outlandish characters. A newlywed groom discovers his missing first wife’s wedding ring, which sends him on a mission to find her; a low-rent Elvis impersonator arrives in town to play a county fair; and a pair of neo-Nazis hatch an ill-conceived plan to knock off a drug supplier.

The most remarkable thing about this film is its quality cast, that includes Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead), and the late Paul Walker in one of his final performances.

All is Lost
Plot-wise, there isn’t much to talk about in this film. In fact, it features almost no dialogue whatsoever. We find Robert Redford completely alone, on a crippled yacht in the middle of the Ocean. Pared down to its essential parts, this film is basically Life of Pi without the tiger, or Cast Away without the island and the volleyball. It’s a tense and moving survival story that features an impressively physical performance by the 77 year-old Redford. (Yes, we know there are stuntmen – but still…)

Director JC Chandor, who previously made the Wall Street drama Margin Call, is quickly shaping up to be one of America’s finest young directors. Whatever he’s making next, we’re going to be there on opening weekend.


Child of God
The phrase ‘written, starring and directed by James Franco’ is likely put you ill at ease, especially if you’re one of those vocal Francophobes floating around internet comment boards. However, the phrase ‘based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy’ is more likely to intrigue and delight you. After all, McCarthy’s brand of gritty Western nihilism has already translated into great films like The Road and No Country for Old Men.

The film tells the story of Lester (Scott Haze), a man who attempts to live outside of society and descends into a moral chasm that involves murder and necrophilia. Lovely.

This film earns its hard 18 Certificate, so be aware of this before you make your purchasing decision.

For more of the latest movies and TV shows, head over to blinkbox

Apr 17 2014

Easter Special: Our Top 10 Movie Bunnies

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 10:22 am

1. Bug Bunny (Space Jam)
What’s up, Doc? Apparently, what’s up is an interstellar game of basketball. When an evil alien has the bright idea of enslaving the Looney Tunes characters in order to shore up the finances of his amusement park, Bugs and friends have to win their freedom back with a high stakes game of basketball. Thankfully, Bugs has a special weapon on his team: the icon that is Bill Murray… and some guy called Mike as well.

Special skills: Though never before suggested in the classic Warner Brothers cartoons, Bugs is a skilled point guard in basketball.

2. Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
In their search for the cup of Christ, the Knights of the Round Table learn that they must enter the Cave of Caerbannog and defeat the legendary Black Beast of Aaaarrrrrggggghhhh. But before they can even gain entry to the cave, they must face up against one of the most terrifying creatures ever to roam Albion’s green and pleasant lands.

With its nasty, big, pointy teeth and its mile-wide vicious streak, The Rabbit of Caerbannog has engineered the demise of many a brave knight. If you ever catch a glimpse of his deadly pink eyes, take our advice and run away!

Special Skills: When you’re this deadly, you don’t need any special skills — just your bare teeth. Their only weakness: hand grenades (of the sanctified variety).

3. The White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)
When we first meet the White Rabbit, he’s exceedingly late for what he claims to be an incredibly important date. In fact, he’s so obsessed with punctuality that he carries around a pocket watch that’s half the size of his torso, making him the Flavor Flav of Wonderland. Working as an administrator for the Red Queen, White Rabbit is the worst kind of middle manager: he spends half the day berating and belittling his subordinates while he sycophantically licks the boots of his superiors the rest of the time. He claims to be a rabbit and yet he insists on behaving like a complete toad.

Special Skill: Being an administrator, he’s presumably good with paperwork.


4. Roger Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)
The fun-loving Roger Rabbit is one of the biggest stars in 1940s Hollywood. Under contract with cartoon mogul RK Maroon, he’s best known for his double act with Baby Herman, a cigar-chomping 50 year-old that still looks like an infant. Even when he’s accused of murder and on the run from the law, Roger manages to retain a sense of humour.

Special Skills: He can defy pretty much every law of physics – but only if it’s funny.


5. Whitey (Fatal Attraction)
Pretty much the only entry in this list that is a normal rabbit, Whitey meets the grizzliest of all ends. Having discovered he’s been cheating on his wife with a Grade-A nutcase, Michael Douglas immediately calls off the affair and returns to his family. However, he didn’t count on his scorned mistress (Glenn Close) breaking into his home and poaching his daughter’s bunny.

Special Skills: None. He is just a normal rabbit.


6. Fiver (Watership Down)
A rabbit cursed with visions of the future, Fiver (Richard Briers) tries to lead his fellow bunnies to safety after foretelling the destruction of the Sandleford warren. Sadly, the stupid chief bunny will not listen to him. With his brother Hazel and a small band of rabbits, he forges an exodus to the promised land of his dreams: Watership Down. Let us never forget Fiver, the lapine Moses.

Special Skill: The great god Frith gifted him with the power of second sight.


7. Frank (Donnie Darko)
Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a troubled teenager. Awakened in the night and led outside by a strange man in a rabbit costume Frank. The long-eared phantom tells him that the world will end in 28 days — but not before a jet engine falls from the sky and crashes into his bedroom. Over the course of a month Frank continues to drop all sorts of information bombs on Donnie: introducing him to concepts of time travel and throwing him into an existential crisis. You could say that Frank is the one that leads Donnie down the rabbit hole…

Special Skill: Like Fiver, he can see the future.


8. Harvey (Harvey)
Elwood P Dowd (James Stewart) is a really nice guy. He’s polite, he’s witty, he likes a drink and he introduces everyone he meets to his best friend Harvey. The only problem: Harvey is a six-foot rabbit that only he can see. His family and friends try to get him committed to a sanatorium after years of putting up with this unseen bunny.

Elwood could easily put an end to the accusations just by humouring the doctors and just saying that Harvey’s a figment of his imagination but no: real friends don’t deny the existence of friends just because they’re incorporeal.

Special Skills: Can only be seen by alcoholics.


9. Rabbit (Winnie the Pooh)
If Rabbit lived anywhere else but the Hundred Acre Wood, no-one would ever put up with him. He should be thankful that Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Kanga are sufficiently patient to put up with his borderline OCD behaviour. Whether it’s trying to keep his warren tidy or complaining about crows eating his vegetables, Rabbit is always griping about something. He’s the kind of busybody who would call the city council if a neighbour painted his fence a slightly different shade of beige.

Special Skill: He can certainly kick up a fuss like a champion.


10. E.B. (Hop)
Ever since he was young, E.B. (Russell Brand) knew that one day he would have to inherit his father’s job. This would be a pretty stressful situation for anyone but when your dad is the Easter Bunny, the pressure is unbearable. So you really can’t blame lil’ EB for running away to California to pursue his dream of becoming the world’s first rodent drummer in a rock band.

And in a way, wouldn’t that bring more joy to children than the thankless task of hiding painted eggs in gardens once every year? If you ask kids if they would rather meet the Easter Bunny or Niall from 1D, very few would opt for a rabbit with a basket.

Special Skill: Drumming.

If you’re looking for a little holiday treat, go to our Easter Movies collection for some unbridled fun.

Apr 17 2014

Watch: There’s an Anchorman 2 blooper reel and it’s utterly hilarious

Tag: blinkboxblinkbox @ 9:38 am

Blooper featurettes are a dime-a-dozen these days. Usually hidden somewhere on the DVD, they’re normally comprised of footage where actors flub their lines and crack up around each other — which is all very fun.

But when you have a cast that includes top notch improvisors like Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Kristin Wiig and Tina Fey, you know the gag reel is going to be something special. Such is the case with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Check it out:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is available to buy on blinkbox