Zoolander 2

Really, really, ridiculously disappointing.

The Assassin

There are martial arts movies and there are martial arts movies. The Assassin isn't either.

Batman v Superman

A bold, mature exploration of myths and epics - followed by a two-hour mess.

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Jurassic Park Drinking Game Print E-mail
Written by Jo Bromilow   
Friday, 23 August 2013 09:23
Jurassic Park drinking game

It's been twenty years since that T-Rex lumbered on to our screen, since we developed a mildly inappropriate fetish for denim shorts/black leather trousers (swiftly killed off when, years later, fellow dinosaur nut Ross Geller donned them in Friends) and since we no longer checked our closets for ghosts but for raptors. And since then, the love for everyone's favourite dinosaurs and their hapless human handlers has grown and grown and switched its gender to allow itself to breed in a same-sex environment.

But we have grown and grown too, and where once our repeat viewings of Jurassic Park were accompanied by chocolate milk and/or popcorn (although Ivan probably still does that), they are now rightly accompanied by pizza and/or beer. Even cinemas are upping their game to re-release Spielberg's classic in IMAX 3-D this weekend.

So we thought it might be fun to offer you the chance to add a gamification element to your dino-viewing. Have your friends round, stock up on the beverages, and get ready to yell "YOU DIDN'T SAY THE MAGIC WORD" with a whole lot more slurring. Presenting… Jurassic Park: A Drinking Game of Dinosaur Proportions. (Not to be played in an IMAX theatre.)

Exclusive: Leaked notes from secret film critic meeting Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 10 August 2013 13:24
The Lone Ranger vs critics

Official Minutes - Film critic's secret meeting: August 2013

Hollowed out volcano, Pacific Ocean

Items discussed:

1. Making sure The Lone Ranger flops
2. Fixing the price of popcorn
3. Controlling the weather

[Break for free croissants]

4. Wiping out the UK bee population
5. Deciding which film to hate next
6. Killing Adam Sandler


Congratulations to all attendees for successfully implementing item 1. We regret to announce that Brian has been removed from our circle after leaking this meeting's agenda to Armie Hammer and will not be joining us for the rest of his life. Please continue to deny all knowledge of this meeting.

As you can see from the above document, Armie Hammer was right. I think it's true that many online film reviewers do go Into films with an idea of what to expect from a film - and Twitter's encouragement of insta-verdicts, combined with a profileration of marketing and an obsession with drip-fed news of a film's entire production, has led to a world of unnecessarily extreme reactions that can easily breed an irrationally negative attitude (see World War H, or Hate's Not All That).

But World War Z proved (once again) that critics have no major impact on summer movie box office. Even the power of Twitter (as harnessed by Sharknado) did not spawn high viewing figures for SyFy's silly aquatic flick. For smaller indie releases that do not have huge budgets for publicity, buzz from critics can make a real difference, but bigger movies ride on word of mouth from the public. That comes directly from the quality of the film. Well, that and marketing.

Last year, John Carter lost Disney millions. Not because of the irrationally cruel online buzz - or even the quality of the film - but because they changed the name of the film at the last-minute, barely had any posters on display and, in promotional terms, hung the movie out to dry. Was that distancing a result of a grim critical response? Either way you look at it, flops go back to being a studio's fault. There's a reason why Hollywood is so afraid of risks all the time. The Lone Ranger could be many things (I haven't seen it and will do so with an open mind) but one thing it definitely is is a risk.

So credit must go to the secret film critics circle. Given the tiny amount of influence they have, they did well to make a whole movie flop. I can't wait to see what they do about Adam Sandler.

Size matters - big films, blockbuster fatigue and why I love the little people Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 05 August 2013 05:33
From Up on Poppy Hill - why small films matter, films getting longer

Size matters. That's clearly what some people think, because films seem to be getting longer. Only last week The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey announced an Extended Edition DVD release, featuring an extra 13 minutes of unseen footage - taking its total runtime up to a year and 13 minutes.

It's not just me, either. Take the top grossing films from each year and note their average runtimes. In 1992, that came out as 118.4 minutes, way ahead of the 1930s, when the average length of the top 50 movies was 96 minutes. Fast forward to 2012 and that average has jumped to 141.6 minutes - an increase of 20 per cent compared to 10 years earlier. Even the posters seem to be getting more crowded.

Junket food: what's eating Bruce Willis? Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 21:20

When you think you can't get any extra publicity for a film, bring in Bruce Willis.

Back in February, Brucie earned column inches all over the place after he flunked an interview on The One Show. He apologised the following day after negative comments about professionalism and rudeness, putting it down to being jet-lagged and extremely tired. The incident, it seemed, was forgiven.

Then, last week, it happened again. "This part is not acting what we're doing right now - you might be, but we're just selling the film now. Sales. The fun part was making the movie." he told Magic FM's Jamie Edwards, before derailing the whole thing. "How would you sell me the film?" asked Jamie. "I would slash my hooves," retorted Bruce.

Magic FM, with a video trained on the whole party, had two choices - cut up the OK sound bytes with pretty shots from the trailer to produce a generic video worthy of an EPK, or show the whole thing. Living in the age we do, they chose the latter - it has since, as the cool kids say, gone viral.

It takes us back to that Mila Kunis Radio 1 stunt interview, which I blogged about in March, in which Mila classily took charge of a crashing chat to be amusing and honest - before rattling off the rehearsed answers to the usual boring questions in under a minute.

Harry Jurassic Park Day! Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 16 July 2013 20:00

20 years ago today, Jurassic Park was released in UK cinemas.

Pacific Rim Top Trumps Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Monday, 15 July 2013 11:37

Kaiju feel the love tonight? The love of mass destruction? The thrill of metallic limbs pummeling mutant reptilian flesh? The smell of mechanical fluids and luminescent goo spraying all over a metropolis?

That's the one thing Pacific Rim has got going for it: big battles between big robots and even bigger monsters. But while these new beasts boast names like Gipsy Danger and Knifehead, how do they shape up against the Kaiju of old? Who would win in a fight, Leatherback or Godzilla? And what about the robots? Could Gipsy endanger The Iron Giant? Could the Terminator take down Tokyo's finest reptile?

Now, the answer is (sort of) here, with our very own set of (probably entirely inaccurate) Pacific Rim Top Trumps.

Pacific Rim Top Trumps

Cards have points divided into five categories: Height, Weight, Speed (where available), Age (the year that iteration of the monster/robot was first seen on a cinema screen) and Awesomeness (the coolness of its name, appearance and general bad-assery). Read on for the full rules.

Download the full deck here and enjoy battling monsters in the sunshine - or try one of our other decks, including Woody Allen Top Trumps and The Expendables 2 Top Trumps.

I remade the Oldboy poster better Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   

Earlier this week, the poster for Spike Lee's Oldboy was released. Ironically enough, I really wanted someone to remake it - because it looked pretty naff. Here it is:

Since then, I've discovered that it's apparently an actual still from the movie and not a random Photoshop job, which makes the whole thing a lot more intriguing; that composition isn't some whipped-up digital creation but something much more literal and, stylistically, unexpected from Spike Lee.

But by that point it was too late: I'd already reached for the Photoshop icon on my computer and started to remake it better myself. After all, if the Oldboy poster was going to look that silly, it might as well go all the way and be flat-out ridiculous...

Behind the Candelabra - the sad true story of Matt Damon turning into Matt Damon Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:14
Behind the Candelabra - Matt Damon
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