Mockingjay: Part 1

Turns a political struggle into something thrillingly personal.

The Beat Beneath My Feet

A toe-tapping indie that is, quite simply lovely.


An extraordinary true tale made disappointingly ordinary.

The Battle of the Five Armies

"Why does it hurt so much?" Because the rest of it felt so real.



If you hadn't already guessed from the drunken male whooping and loud, sadistic cheering, The Raid is out in UK cinemas tomorrow. And by heck, is it good, if only for learning all the really cool ways to kill people - Welsh director Gareth Evans knows loads.

The endless spree of gleeful gore is so spectacular that the first question I asked when I walked out of the blood-splattered cinema was: how many people died in The Raid: Redemption? And, more importantly, HOW did they die?

And so, when I saw the film for a second time at the Picturehouse Podcast's special birthday screening, I went prepared. I took a pen and paper and noted down every single kill in The Raid and attempted to categorise them by method of dispatch. Afterwards, I took my incomprehensible pile of scribbles and added The Raid's body count up - then spent the rest of the evening trying to think of a way to kill someone using a piece of A4 paper.

The result was this handy infographic, published in conjunction with our sister site, Read on to see The Raid: Redemption - an unofficial body count, with an emphasis on the unofficial. Because it's hard to count when you're distracted by awesome, non-stop violence.


(Warning: Spoilers - well, for those who don't want to know how to kill a man with a fridge.)

How many people are killed in The Raid 2? Here's the infographic.

Read more...  
Avengers Assemble - film review

Marvel's Avengers Assemble smashed box office records in America yesterday, taking $200 million in one weekend. That's the highest opening of any film ever ever ever.

With high ticket prices and 3D uplifts, it's no surprise that blockbusters are breaking records every year (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 threw down the Quidditch gauntlet last year with a $169m opening). So far, The Avengers has taken 440 odd million dollars worldwide, putting it well on course for breaching the $1 billion barrier broken by Avatar back in 2010 - and that's still nowhere near the all-time adjusted gross takings for Gone with the Wind: a Hulk-smashing $1,582,009,400.

As one of my favourite blokes off the internet put it last night:


Avengers box office tweet 

A billion here. A few million there. A couple of Andy Carrolls on top. Let's put this into perspective. As I'm writing this, I have a little over £3,000 in my bank account. That's a lot of money. 

So before you start typing the words "Avengers" and "box office records", read on to see what exactly $200m is worth. (Any numerical errors are a direct result of my brain melting after trying to grasp the concept of $200 million.)

Read more...  

With Aardman's The Pirates! setting sail on the stop-motion seas this week (here's our review), all the cool kids want to cover themselves in plasticine and hop on a boat.

But what do you do once you're smeared in silly putty and stranded at sea? If only there were some kind of guidelines, or code, for pirate etiquette.

Well, now there is. Here's our movie guide to being a pirate:



How to Be a Pirate






Forget Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Bumhole, there's another re-release in UK cinemas that is way more important. I speak, of course, of Casablanca, Michael Curtiz's 1942 masterpiece that pretty much defines the phrase "classic movie". The wonderful Park Circus are distributing it in selected venues this month to celebrate its 70th anniversary - you can see the original Casablanca press notes send out by Warner Bros on the Park Circus blog here.

But in case you're not sure what you want to watch at the cinema this week, here's proof that no matter what mood you're in, you should go and see Casablanca:


Casablanca Flow-chart: The greatest movie ever made



Casablanca, one of the greatest movies ever made*, is on at the BFI until Thursday. Go see it. Or I'll make another flow-chart to prove how foolish you are.


* (although it's no Season of the Witch)




It's Valentine's Day yet again and while all the sensible people are ignoring the commercialised excuse for a novelty card sale, thousands of people will be getting out their Kate Hudson/Hugh Grant/Tom Hanks/Judd Apatow DVDs and dreaming of finding the right person for them.

It's all harmless fun, if you ignore that survey from 2010 that showed that 50 per cent of people said that romantic comedies "ruined their view of an ideal relationship". So in keeping with that spirit, rather than show you the end credits of Blue Valentine, here's a handy rom-com-inspired guide to locating Mr and/or Mrs Right (aka. Hugh Grant).

Covering everything from realistic dating tips to taking the moral high ground, here's How to Find Your Perfect Partner:


Infographic - How to Find Your Perfect Partner 


For more infographic goodness, see our other How to Guides, including How to Get MarriedHow to Stop the End of the World and How to Survive an Alien Invasion.



You know how it is. You wake up. Your boat's wrecked. There's sun. There's sand. Maybe a pirate or a cannibal or two. Probably a giant bee hiding in the bushes. In short, you're screwed.

But wait. Before you decide to sit around growing a beard, reading Jules Verne and thinking about death all day, get out your phone and load up this handy desert island movie survival guide. You'll be singing, drinking and laughing your way to freedom in no time at all. (Well, in as much time as it takes you to read the guide, follow the instructions and laugh your way to freedom.)



Desert Island movie survival guide



Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is out in cinemas this weekend. Head this way to see the trailer and watch The Rock say the word "emasulating" - or read our Journey 2: The Mysterious Island review.


For more How To... guide goodness, check out our Jurassic Park Survival Guide, How to Stop the End of the World and other infographics.



Film3Sixty infographic - film survey

I love me a good infographic. And this one from Film3Sixty (who run the shiny new quarterly Film3Sixty magazine, about to hits its third issue in March) is definitely one of them - even if it does prove that I'm abnormal.

Based on the largest film consumer survey ever undertaken in the UK (18,00 people over six months), it sheds a fascinating light on film watching culture in this country, from piracy and Facebook to downloads and cinema trips.

For example, people who admit to pirating films regularly go to the cinema over four times more than those who don't each year. Is it a way of trying a film before spending money on it? Would people spend more at their local cinema if they weren't pirating at home? Either way, piracy is clearly popular (37 per cent of people admitted to piracy) but it's not a replacement for the big screen just yet.

Then there's the fact the average person in the UK watches 120.37 films per year - 17.29 of those being in the cinema. I probably see over 120 odd a year in the cinema alone (and pay for a lot of them). As someone who doesn't regularly pirate films, that puts me quite a way from the bell curve.

Thanks, Film3Sixty, for statistically confirming that I'm abnormal. And looking pretty while doing it.

And by the way, if you came to this via Twitter, only 16 per cent of the folks surveyed said they tweeted about film. That puts us both in a minority. Let's be abnormal together. *six-fingered high five*

Read on for the full infographic - you can get a detailed breakdown of the interesting stats by reading this interview over at Screen Daily.

Read more...  

It's dark, your family have gone off to France without you. You're a sitting duck for opportunistic thieves looking to steal some seasonal goodies.

So what do you do? You call in the CCTV people to put up some cameras and alarms and stuff - or you just do a Kevin McCallister and follow these simple, cost-effective steps for cheap house protection.

Here's the Home Alone guide to home security:


(Click here for a larger version.) 



For more Christmas tips and advice, keep opening the i-Flicks Advent Calendar to find other "How to..." infographics, including How to Be Santa.




Everyone knows that Santa doesn't exist. (Spoiler alert.)

But if you're a parent desperately trying to your child's foolish sense of deluded hope alive for another 12 months, how the hell do you trick a kid into thinking that Father Christmas has been and gone on December 24th? 

Don't fret, cruel deceitful parents! We've rounded up everything you could possibly need to learn about being Saint Nick from festive films to create a seasonal movie guide. And who knows? If Santa does actually turn out to be real one day, it might be useful when you're applying for a vacancy up at the North Pole.

Either way, without further ado, here's how to be Santa Claus:


How to Be Santa movie guide


For more infographicky goodness, take a look at some of our other How To guides, including the indispensible Jurassic Park Survival GuideHow to Be a Ghost-BusterHow to Stop the End of the WorldHow to Break Out of Prison - and a diagram of Christian Bale Punching People.



The Awakening blew its chilling blend of Jonathan Creek and pure abject terror into UK cinemas last week. It's an intelligent film, rooted in post-World War loss, with a lead character worthy of her own TV series.

Meet Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), a smart, sceptical and sophisticated paranormal investigator in the 1920s. Busting spirits long before Bill Murray or Scooby Doo came along, Cathcart's old-school methods are a lesson in how to debunk supernatural suspicions using just a handful of shiny steampunk gadgets and some above-average brain cells.

So it's only natural that Nick Murphy's horror (co-starring Dominic West) forms the basis of this handy guide to investigating haunted houses. 

If there's something strange in your neighbourhood... sort it yourself. Here's how to be a ghost-buster:


How to be a ghost-buster, The Awakening


For more infographicky goodness, take a look at some of our other How To guides, including the indispensible Jurassic Park Survival GuideHow to Stop the End of the WorldHow to Break Out of Prison - and a diagram of Christian Bale Punching People.


Alternatively, head this way to read our review of The Awakening - and then go and see it in your nearest cinema.



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