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.


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Tag:judi dench
Daniel Craig, Skyfall review
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes
Certificate: 12A

Skyfall has already been described by several excitable people as the best Bond movie of all time. It’s not. But that’s partly because it’s not a Bond movie – it’s a movie about Bond. And that’s something very special indeed.

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Javier Bardem, Skyfall International trailer

"The two survivors... this is what she made us."


After a week of pointless teasers for trailers, the full Skyfall international trailer is finally here – and by Ben Whishaw’s specs, it’s spectacular.

It builds on the teaser trailer with some surprising details: the opening few shots alone are enough to make you rewind and start again. But then it settles down into a confident rhythm, introducing Javier Bardem’s blonde villain (he’s a better brunette), Ralph Fiennes’ MI6 official and, perhaps most importantly, a hint of what Skyfall might be.

Missing hard drives, encoded lists, murdered secret agents, chases on trains. Think 1995’s Mission: Impossible, but with YouTube instead of floppy disks. (Judging by the hit count on the leaked vide, floppy disks are far less secure.) Then add in Ben Whishaw as an anorak-wearing Q (don't worry: he gets lots of sarcastic laughs in the not-yet-online Skyfall IMAX trailer), a liberal splash of Judi Dench and Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography (check out those silhouettes again), and you have a cracking bit of espionage that looks as low-key as Spooks and as ridiculous as The World Is Not Enough. *straightens cuffs*

Read on for the Skyfall international trailer. And keep an ear out for Thomas Newman’s late reworking of Monty Norman’s Bond riff, a machine gunning rhythm that takes the signature notes offbeat – very different to the drum arrangement from the first Skyfall trailer, which is a promising sign for the composer’s first Bond score.

He’s also got a taste for the choral, by the sounds of it, which feels very similar to the music for Casino Royale’s trailer. Colour my eardrums - and the rest of me - interested.

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The Skyfall teaser trailer arrived this morning - and it was just a little bit ruddy fantastic. But because Roger Deakins' visuals were so stunning and the whole thing was so short, I found myself replaying the video in slow-motion just to get a closer look at it all.

So here's a full breakdown of the Skyfall teaser trailer in HD screencaps. Because sometimes a two-second picture of giant blue jellyfish just isn't enough.

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Licence to Kill BlogalongaBond. One Bond film a month until Bond 23 turns up.

There's nothing like a secret agent going rogue. Actually, there's nothing like a secret who doesn't: they literally don't exist.

Moles, insiders, traitors, saboteurs, mavericks, heroes, wrongly-accused people - from Harry Palmer and Jason Bourne to Veronica Salt and Ethan Hunt, going rogue is in every secret agent's job description. It's actually expected by your employers. If you don't go rogue at least once in your career, you get bumped off. Probably by another rogue agent.

And that's why I, like many others, love Licence to Kill. It's the nasty Bond film. The one where 007 shows just how much of a bastard he really is (well, that and Benicio Del Toro saying the word "honeymoon").

Dalton, already the steely-eyed murderer of Fleming's novels, is even more cold and ruthless than normal. Going on the rampage to avenge Felix Leiter (brother from Langley)'s death, he practically puts up a sign saying "Roger Moore's eyebrows are not welcome here". Then kills anyone who doesn't bother to read it.

But while John Glen delights in the everyday ambitions of Robert Davi's drug dealing villain Sanchez, and we enjoy the 15-rated blood splattering of THAT pressure chamber death scene (cf. the industrial microwave in Kick-Ass), this is hardly the first time 007 has gone rogue. Pursuing Blofeld, getting Goldfinger, he spends a lot of time disobeying M and chasing his own agenda - he's MI6's Quincy, the government's McNulty, Her Majesty's House. The Columbo of the secret service.

By the time the 1989 outing comes along, he's already a bit of an expert.

So, if you're a patriotic spy and you're concerned about your career progression, take a few tips from the best with this informative pamphlet that came free with my DVD...

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Skyfall set pictures see Bond keeping the British end up

I am, of course, referring to the nodding British bulldog M has got on her desk, not 007 getting a husband's bulge while stalking Bérénice Marlohe.

I don't normally bother with sharing new images that appear on every other site in the world, but these are too gorgeous not to mention. Plus I can use them as an excuse for not doing my BlogalongaBond for this month yet.

Read on for the full Skyfall set pictures (with thanks to Empire). Note: They're still not as good as my exclusive Skyfall on-set photos from the beginning of the year.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel review
Director: John Madden
Cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel
Certificate: 12A

Out of all the words in John Madden’s quaintly-titled movie, one is true. It’s about a hotel. The rest is just fluff.

A feel-good comedy-drama about people in their twilight years journeying to India, it’s the kind of ensemble piece where you expect to see Judi Dench swapping life lessons with Maggie Smith. Or Bill Nighy. Depressingly, that’s exactly what happens.

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Trailer: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Director: John Madden
Cast: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel
Certificate: 12A
Release Date: Friday 24th March

For a disparate group of English pensioners (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie and Ronald Pickup), retirement takes an unconventional turn when they abandon their homeland, enticed by advertisements for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, a seemingly luxurious sanctuary for “the elderly and beautiful” in Jaipur, India. On arrival, they discover that the hotel falls somewhat short of the romantic idyll promised in the brochure, but they are gradually won over by the ever-optimistic young manager Sonny (Dev Patel), and tentatively embark on a new adventure, finding that life can begin again when you let go of the past. 

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Skyfall on-set photos, London

You may recall last summer, when we took film journalism to new lows heights with some exclusive on-set photos for The Dark Knight Rises. Or the beginning of 2011, when our never-before-seen Sherlock Holmes 2 on-location photos from Hampton Court Palace shocked literally tens of internet users. Now, we've managed it again with some amazing, and very revealing, pictures from the Bond 23 shoot in London - taken during a walk home from work last Friday, when I stumbled across the secretive Skyfall crew in Trinity Square. 

If you're a movie fanatic, you've no doubt seen on-location images from upcoming blockbusters before, with blurry unofficial snaps of actors and props prompting wild speculation over plot details. None of that here. Oh yes, these Skyfall photos are so spoilerific and brilliant that I've even had to break out the SUPER MEGA EXCLUSIVE headline again. Here we go, folks. We're about to attempt re-entry. 

Read on for the Skyfall on-set photos...

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Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn - review
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond, Judi Dench 
Certificate: 12A

It's one thing going into a film knowing that Michelle Williams will get nominated for an Oscar. It's another thing coming out thinking that you just saw Marilyn Monroe alive and well for two hours.

Williams manages the transformation entirely, drawing in everything around her, including Laurence Olivier (Branagh). "When she gets it right, you can't take your eyes off her," Olivier sighs, struggling to directing her on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. He's right. And My Week with Marilyn is all the better for it.

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Following in the footsteps of the politically charged Mrs. Doubtfire, this new short film examines gender inequality for International Women's Day - and reminds us that Robin Williams made a far better woman than Daniel Craig.



"We're equals, aren't we 007?" Judi Dench's imposing M addresses her male secret agent while Daniel Craig stays silent.

Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Wood was commissioned to shoot this short for International Women's Day. It lists figures that will be quoted a lot today, but whether you agree with the need to have International Women's Day or not, this is technically the first film featuring 007 directed by a woman. Given that Kathryn Bigelow was only recently the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, the choice of production team (including Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman) is almost as significant as the statistics that Judi Dench reads out.

"Are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking."  

That's what Mrs. Doubtfire was trying to tell us all along, right? 

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