Review: Thor 2

"How's space?" "Space is fine."

Sunshine on Leith - A musical review

A review of The Proclaimers' musical to the tune of (500) Miles. (Warning: Contains bad singing.)

Review: The Selfish Giant

A heart-rending British drama starring two astonishing young actors.

World War H – or hate’s not all that

What do Shyamalan, World War Z and Man of Steel have in common? Hype - and hate.


iFlicks on Twitter


The biggest highlights of the 2012 BAFTAs:


1. Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks BAFTAs

(via BBC iPlayer)


2. Jean Dujardin's eyebrows 

Jean Dujardin BAFTAs 

(via BBC iPlayer)


3. Martin Scorsese's eyebrows 

Martin Scorsese and Adam Deacon, BAFTAs

(via Rising Star award-winner Adam Deacon/Twitpic)


It was also great to see Tyrannosaur/Paddy Considine pick up a much-deserved BAFTA for Outstanding British Debut, as well as John Hurt accepting his BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema - making up for his unfairly overlooked supporting role in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Otherwise, the evening was a predictable mix of Meryl Streep winning awards, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy not winning enough awards and Christopher Plummer pipping Kenneth Branagh to the Supporting Actor post. Oh, and Senna took home both Best Documentary and Editing.


Read on for the full list of winners - or head this way for a rant about the BAFTA nominations and the Academy's inability to celebrate our own country's cinema. (But let's be honest: you all stopped reading at Christina Hendricks.)

Read more...  

Gnomeo and Juliet stole the UK box office crown this week, keeping The King's Speech in a solid second place with £1.98m following its BAFTA victory.

It's a convincing win for Gnomeo and Juliet, which sits pretty at the top with a £2.95m debut. Not bad, given The King's Speech is still holding the most screens in the UK (543), but impressive with two other 3D animated kids movies out in force.

Yogi Bear put £1.82m into its pic-a-nic basket of soul-destroying naffness - again, a strong start given the competition, placing it in fifth place, £120k below Tangled. Disney’s fairytale has the fewest screens out of the three CGI contenders, but has now amassed a three-week total of just over £13m.

Fourth place went to True Grit, the Coens' remake, which performed astonishingly well in the US. It managed £1.82m from 372182000 screens, putting it shoulder to shoulder with Yogi Bear but without the 3D uplift. An average of over £4,000 per screen is pretty good for Paramount's Western, especially given the awards love going round to everyone else at the moment.

Black Swan and The Fighter also both posted takings of over £1m, lining up at number seven and eight respectively. That’s eight out of the UK Top Ten all taking over £1m at the box office. Eight. This never happens. Literally - it's never happened before. The BAFTAs are to blame for this box office silliness. As people flock to see the major nominees, money is flying into cinema cash registers.

It's sad to see The Fighter drop 50% to take £1.2m - compared to Black Swan's more typical 38% dip - but with so many movies out this week and the existing releases performing so well, there are only so many screens to go round. Black Swan's been out twice as long as The Fighter, but its £12m total gross is triple that of the boxing drama, which says a lot for its wider appeal. It's also showing in 100 more screens.

Perhaps the week’s most intriguing release was Never Let Me Go - demonstrating what happens during awards season if you don't get the nominations you wanted. It took just £625k from 265 screens.

A good comparison is last month's Conviction, which also had no BAFTA nominations. That took £279k from a similar spread of cinema screens, so it's not a terrible result given the heavyweight box office rivals. But a lack of nominations (and a low marketing push compared to Fox Searchlight's other movie, Black Swan) has left Mark Romanek's brilliant romance at the wrong end of the release schedule. Here's hoping Keira Knightley staring at people on the London Underground will help it stay afloat for one more week.

Just like the BAFTAs, the box office spotlight is still shining firmly on Colin Firth. £1.98m is less than we're used to seeing for Tom Hooper's drama, but it's been out for six weeks now. Six. By rights, it shouldn't be anywhere near the £2m mark. It's running total is now up to £33.7m, which makes it the 44th highest grossing movie in the UK of all time. And that's before it gets a kick from its Best Film triumph on Sunday - we're way past Slumdog Millionaire now, but that increased by £300k immediately following its BAFTA for Best Film, reversing a 32% drop from the previous week.

Paul tries to jump the royal shark by hopping into cinemas on Monday this week, so it should secure a top spot at the box office next week after 4 days of previews. But expect The King's Speech to stick around - just below Justin Bieber and Big Momma, who are both bringing their booty into play. And as half-term approaches, prepare for Yogi, Gnomeo and Rapunzel to squabble among themselves to see who can attract the most children. 



The King's Speech swept the BAFTAs last night, in a largely predictable run of results that saw Tom Hooper's drama take home seven awards - surprise, surprise.

The British movie's haul began as Alexandre Desplat bumped Hans Zimmer off the favourite spot to nab Best Original Music. The deluge continued from there, with Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush all picking up gongs, the latter upsetting predicted contender Christian Bale - proof once and for all that Bow Ties are better than Crack Addicts.

Other pleasant surprises saw David Fincher claim Best Director for The Social Network (an award that I saw heading Tom Hooper's way), while Fincher's Facebook movie continued to pick up another two awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. And yes, Aaron Sorkin's speech was typically brilliant.

Inception also took home three golden masks, each for technical categories, while Natalie Portman nailed Black Swan's only gong and Roger Deakins deservedly won Best Cinematography for True Grit - a film which will fare far stronger on its home turf at the Oscars. Sadly, The Deaks wasn't there to collect, but that just gave Hailee Steinfeld a chance to pick up a trophy on his behalf. Aww, bless her little gun-toting cotton socks.

Meanwhile, Alice in Wonderland cemented its awards status in Make-Up and Costume departments (that's the BAFTA Award-winning Alice in Wonderland to you), Toy Story 3 inevitably dominated Best Animated Film. The remaining prizes went to Four Lions - Best Debut Director for the absent Chris Morris - and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which deservedly walked home with Best Foreign Film.

And then, just to top things off, The King's Speech grabbed Outstanding British Film to boot. In case we hadn't got the hint already. And yet, for all the complaints of the BAFTAs being too obvious this year, it was hard to whine when Colin Firth took to the stage to and outdid last year's infamous Fridge Man Speech (when he won for A Single Man).

The only highlight that rivalled that was Rosamund Pike failing to read an autocue and opening her awards envelope before she'd even announced the nominees. If she doesn't host the BAFTAs next year, I'll be very disappointed.

Read on for the full list of winners - including Christopher Lee and Harry Potter.

Read more...  

Well, the voting closed yesterday and after a full two minutes of counting your votes, I can confirm that the inaugural i-Flicks Falling Star Award has been decided.

2011's Falling Star is...

After The Last Airbender's paltry £4.2m takings in the UK, it's safe to say that The Sixth Sense director won't be given another franchise to start up any time soon. Ever since Signs, Shyamalan's been a bit pants, but Airbender (*fnarf* BENDER) put the final downward swing on his career. Unless Devil (aka HELLEVATOR) and the rest of the "Night Chronicles" (he used his name!) do ridiculously well on DVD. Spoiler: they won't.

Not happy with the result? Check out the other Falling Star nominees. For everyone else, don't worry: there's always the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award...



With the BAFTAs on tonight, it's the perfect time for a round-up of the key awards contenders. 

But I'm a lazy person and couldn't be bothered after waffling on about them for 41 minutes last weekend, so I got my mum to give me her opinions on all the major nominees. She even scored them out of 5 using Werther's Originals. Suck on that, dad. (Disgusting mental image alert.)

What we said

"We've seen this all before, but never so articulate. Magnificent."

What my mum said 

"I loved the hats and the bow ties and the pretty buildings. It was almost as good as Lark Rise to Candleford! Colin Firth's my favourite. He can suck my Werther's Originals any time. Along with Hugh Grant and Dustin Hoffman."


What we said

"All the depth and scope of Solaris, slotted neatly into some of the best action sequences since the original Matrix."

What my mum said

"If it was all a dream, then all that running around for two hours was completely pointless! And that bit where he tied them up in the lift? Why couldn't he just leave them in the hotel bedroom?"

(He needed gravity, mum.)

"I don't know what that is."


What we said

"A mad, brilliant melodrama. The film that Shutter Island wanted to be."

What my mum said

"Lesbian sex shouldn't go on for that long - speaking as a mother."


What we said

"Young people screwing each other over to achieve their dreams? Hell yes."

What my mum said

"I saw someone use Facebook once... I don't who this Mark Zuckerbird guy is, but he's not as good as Colin Firth. And he doesn't iron his clothes. No Werther's Originals for him."


What we said

"You've not seen hats until you've seen Hailee Steinfeld wear a hat. Amazing. Wonderful. Masterpiece. Hats."

What my mum said

"I didn't know they made Westerns any more. Still, that bloke from K-Pax looks nice in an eye patch. He should probably shave, though. Beards make things scratchy."



What we said

"Better than Buried? As a tense location, coffin beats rock, but as an actor, James Franco beats Ryan Reynolds every time."

What my mum said 

"Another one that was probably all imagined in someone's head. Aron Ralston? That name's almost as made-up as Mark Tuckernerd!"



So there you have it folks. The King's Speech will win everything at the BAFTAs thanks to its incredible haul of 5 Werther's Originals from my mum. Case closed.


Ok, let's face it, you've probably got nothing to do for the next 41 minutes. So you might as well try and listen to me and fellow film-obsessive Alex waffle on about the BAFTAs. There are predictions for the major awards, yes, but there's also a healthy dose of incest, dogs, tentacles and Swedish bum rape. And the odd bit of singing.

You have been warned...

  i-Flicks BAFTA Podcast by iFlicks 


If you want more of this inane pointlessness, do holler below. At least we'll know whether we should ever do it again. Or we'll know to take more drugs next time.



After the slight backlash on t'internet about the BAFTA Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award, some wise person on The Twitter suggested they do the opposite. Instead of people who have "captured the imagination of the British public", why not reward the people who have taken the public's imagination and exchanged it for All About Steve?

These are the nominees for the inaugaral i-Flicks Falling Star Award. Their careers are all on a downward trajectory, as demonstrated by a critical/box office flop in the past year.


No one will ask him to start a franchise again any time soon. 



Not cutting the figure she used to at the box office. 



Even The Hangover 2 was too good for his cameo. 



In sore need of something without CGI animals.



Compared to Johnny Depp, Cruise's star power is starting to fade.


Email your chosen winner to [email protected].

Voting for the Falling Star Award closes midnight Saturday 12th February.



After the slight backlash on t'internet about the BAFTA Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award, some wise person on The Twitter suggested they do the opposite. Instead of people who have "captured the imagination of the British public", why not reward the people who have taken the public's imagination and exchanged it for All About Steve?

So here I give you some suggested nominees for the inaugural i-Flicks Falling Star Award. Their careers are all on a downward trajectory after a rubbish film in the past year and/or a box office flop (each film's total UK gross is listed).

Who else should be up for the prize? Julia Roberts for Eat Pray Love? Robert De Niro for Machete? Johnny Depp for The Tourist? What about a writer? Or even a composer? 


M Night Shyamalan

The Sixth Sense helmer has been cooking up cold crud ever since Signs, but The Last Airbender's naffness has put an end to any studio prepared to risk pinning a franchise on him. Still, he's always got Devil (first of the "Night Chronicles" - Ha! He used his name!) to keep him company.



The Last Airbender



Mel Gibson

An easy target, but I'm lazy. His work rate's slowed since Passion of the Christ and while Edge of Darkness was solid stuff, Mel's credibility went mid-2010 along with his ex-girlfriend and her tape recorder. The Hangover 2 rejected his cameo so his hopes hang on a beaver to stop him falling any further.


Edge of Darkness



Tom Cruise

Knight & Day was more fun than The Tourist, but Cruise's decreasing box office isn't doing him any favours (M:I 3 opened with twice as much money). A quick look ahead shows no roles to rival Magnolia any time soon. Unless you count Les Grossman or Mission: Impossible 4. Most wouldn't. 


Knight & Day



Brendan Fraser

I enjoyed Journey to the Centre of the Earth, but Brendan's career now seems to revolve around Mummy sequels and CGI animals (hello, Furry Vengeance). What happened to the Gods and Monsters star who stole scenes from Michael Caine in The Quiet American? Seconds of Pleasure may give us an answer in 2012. I hope so.

Furry Vengeance



Cameron Diaz

After Shrek Forever After, Knight & Day counted as a good role for Hollywood's formerly highest paid actress. But look at her recent output: What Happens in Vegas? My Sister's Keeper? Even The Green Hornet gave her no character to play with. Bring back the days of Being John Malkovich and Gangs of New York.


The Green Hornet

£3.8m (running total)


From the above shortlist, my money's on Mel. But suggestions, emails and tweets please: who would you nominate for the i-Flicks Falling Star Award? I may even open this up for voting in February, ready for the big BAFTA event. Presuming I can be bothered.



Well, it's pretty much what everyone expected. 14 nominations for The King's Speech - including Best Actor and Best Film - but Black Swan is next with a total of 12 nominations, which is fantastic to see. Inception is up for 9 overall, including Best Director (but not Best Film), so it's largely panned out as predicted.

The few surprises are dotted all over the categories: no Best Score nod for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with The Social Network and no Melissa Leo in the Supporting Actress race (she's replaced by the more British choice of Lesley Manville). It's sad that Inception isn't up for Best Film, but True Grit is a deserving candidate - the big awards are all correctly chosen.

The weirdest omission? The complete lack of Never Let Me Go in any single category. I thought Carey Mulligan and the screenplay would at least get a mention. I've no idea what happened there - unless someone insulted Colin Firth's mum. There's a similar absence of Blue Valentine and Winter's Bone, which is sad because you'd perhaps expect the BAFTAs to include some quieter indie releases.

There are two very happy surprises, though, both in the acting categories. Firstly, Best Actress includes the usuals (Bening, Moore, Portman) but features not just Hailee Steinfeld but Noomi Rapace. Yes, Lisbeth Salander has graduated from potential Rising Star to full-on Swedish-bum-rape contender for a big one. On the other side of the draw, Pete Postlethwaite has got a posthumous nod for his role in The Town - a touching tribute to the late actor, who passed away during the week of nominations.

Otherwise, it's all about The King's Speech. It's up for Best Film, Best Director, Best British Film (it better not beat Four Lions there), Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Score... It's a wonder it isn't competing with Toy Story 3 for Best Animated Film as well. Taking up almost every single category, Tom Hooper's period drama is the film to beat. A real shocker, that.

Perhaps, for once, the interesting battle will be in the costume and make-up category, where Colin Firth's royal outfits are up against Made in Dagenham and Black Swan.

The BAFTAs are awarded on Sunday 13th February and will be presented by Jonathan Ross. Read on for the full list of nominees.

Read more...  
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