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Edgy and entertaining. I'll take Mel's summer holiday over Cliff Richard's any day.

Review: All in Good Time

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Review: Avengers Assemble

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Cabin in the Woods: a spoiler-free review

In short, it is more awesome than this picture:

Review: She Monkeys

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Review: Iron Sky

Puts the T and A in swastika.


iFlicks on Twitter


Alien cupcakes

After the successful second year of Oscarnomnomnom and those lovely Avengers cupcakes, I've decided to embrace my inner baking nerd and start blogging movie cupcakes each month. Because let's face it, I'd probably be baking them anyway, so I might as well take pictures and make you lot jealous.

Following the edible Avengers goodness, I therefore turned my doughy fingers to the next big movie on its way to cinemas. An inspirational, stylish, colourful film, well-suited to the cute, family-friendly nature of the innocent cupcake. Yes, I present to you the world's first Prometheus-inspired baked goods. If H.R. Giger makes you hungry or you want your chest to burst with cakey goodness, then these babies will hug your face off.

Ridley Scott-themed Alien cupcakes? It's probably a good thing I don't have children. Read on for the full recipe and stuff - or head this way for a Prometheus review (spoiler: it's quite good).

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Prometheus film review
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green
Certificate: 15

From the opening credits, gliding over the surface of an Earth-like planet, you can tell that Prometheus is a very different kind of Alien.

Ridley Scott’s return to the genre that he mastered – twice – has been trumpeted as the prequel to the series. The one that explains the beginnings of H.R. Giger’s beasties. But when we see our first E.T., it's clear that the director's thinking bigger than that: he doesn’t want to explain where the Space Jockey on LV-246 came from. He wants to explain where EVERYONE came from.

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Prometheus is almost here. In case you hadn't guessed from the millions of teasers and trailers - mostly for other teasers and trailers. So it's probably about time someone did a themed series of blog posts over a week (well, it's Wednesday now, so let's say a couple of days) and gave it a stupid name. Like Promethweekus. Or something.

With Ridley Scott returning to his best genre, the temptation is to write long, ineloquent articles analysing what makes the original Alien such a superb film. A part of me walks to talk almost exclusively (and at length) about Ridley Scott's use of tracking shots and how he shoots empty corridors like no other director. Another part of me wants to then contrast that with James Cameron's Aliens and talk about how the Avatar director tries to imitate Ridley's corridor-based camera movements - and mostly fails.

It's also hard not to debate the character development of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley: the careful juxtaposition of her against Veronica Cartwright's hysterical fellow female crew member in 1979; the unsubtle use of Carrie Henn's "Newt" in the loud, bombastic 80s; the transformation from mother to Queen Bitch at the turn of the decade; the move from Queen Bitch to scientific freak in 1997's muddled finale by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

But I was so busy rewatching the Alien series that I didn't have time for all of that. So instead, here's a quick and easy way to remind yourself what happened in the franchise before going back to the myth's origins.

Here is the Alien Quadrilogy - in Haiku.

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Yes, Prometheus has another viral video. And yes, it's rather interesting.

Titled "Quiet Eye", it teases us with details of the Yutani corp, as well as showing scientist Elizabeth Shaw's determination to join forces with Weyland to discover life, the universe and whatnot.

The freaky part? The software that's constantly analysing her face. No, I don't know either. Still, it's nice to see Noomi Rapace given something more interesting to do than Token Gypsy Woman in Sherlock Holmes 2. Loving the multi-national accent too. 



For more Prometheus stuff, head this way - or just watch that Michael Fassbender David video again. 



The new Prometheus international trailer interrupted my viewing of Homeland last night. Fortunately, it was really, REALLY good so I didn't mind too much. 

Read on to watch the epic three-minute video - but be warned that it contains a lot of plot details. For example, it's now blindingly obvious that Charlize Theron is a terrorist. And that Damien Lewis is a robot.

Still, if you listen really carefully around the two-minute mark, you can hear the arrival of the awesomeness train into the station of cinema-ville. And if you listen even harder, you can hear me on the station platform jumping up and down and shrieking with excitement. Either that, or it's Michael Fassbender making robot sex noises.



For more Prometheus goodness that doesn't spoil the plot, see the Michael Fassbender "David" promo. It is also ridonkulously amazing.



Meet David. He can do things that other robots would consider... unethical. He also looks like Michael Fassbender. In short, he is the sexiest robot of all time. Yes, even sexier than Bicentennial Man.

Head this way for the other inspired Prometheus viral video.


The hunt for the prettiest thing you'll see this week is over. Even Brian Cox saying "amazing" on a loop 10 times would fail to sum up the gorgeousness of this star map from Ridley Scott's Alien prequel. Well done, Prometheus. You win at the internet. Again.


Prometheus Star Map 


There's more stuff to be found on the film's neat promo website, Weyland Industries.



This is one of the smartest, effective and generally exciting marketing campaign I've seen in a long time. Also, Guy Pearce is on a serious run of form at the moment. 



For some equally exciting lectures, head to the official TED talks site. For more on Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, watch the Prometheus teaser trailer

Love cinema? Hate piracy - new advert campaign from the NFTS / FDA

It doesn't seem like there's much people can do to stop movie piracy. As someone who used to work in a cinema, on the rare occasion when we did catch someone camming a film (get me all down with the kids' terminology), even when we'd removed them from the screen, we couldn't keep them on the premises.

And so piracy just keeps going. And I keep dissing it to my peeps in the street. Piracy sucks. Yeah. You suck, piracy. And your mum too. Piracy's mum sucks. 

That doesn't seem to be making much of a difference, though. This year, things seems to be getting even more ridiculous, with people now pirating trailers. Actually taking video cameras into cinemas to record two-minute preview clips - a behaviour that's being encouraged by over-excited fans.

Prometheus. The Dark Knight Rises IMAX prologue. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. All trailers pirated in cinemas way before their release dates and then shared around the internet. Not to sell for profit or save on money (almost understandable with a full film when you consider that legal downloads are up to 50% more expensive than DVDs). These are promoted by people just to get more traffic to an internet site, which relies upon the film industry to survive in the first place. 


Daft anti-piracy adverts playing up the criminal charges (in my possibly-incorrect understanding, it's often a civil offence) or making outrageous terrorist claims don't help with the debate much. Not just because they muddy the legal water, but because in most cases they simply make the anti-piracy campaign seem more laughable. Do you remember that one from the 1990s with the poker-wielding overweight demon booming "The pirates are out to get you"? Or the one that starts "You wouldn't steal a handbag"? 

To quote Ed Byrne: 



Other ad campaigns, where movie stars thank the audience personally for supporting the film industry, are more along the right lines. And I include in that this new short film from the National Film and Television School called The Last Cinema.

NFTS graduate Jae-ha Myung and his producer Andrew Start were commissioned by the Film Distributors Association to create this look at a "devastated near-future world in which unchecked piracy has brought about the end of cinema". It's something different, it's a bit creative and stylish and it's exactly the kind of thing the industry should be releasing instead of that demented fat man cackling into a fire. It even has John Hurt doing a voiceover.

Read on to watch it.

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Prometheus teaser trailer - space jockey's ship? 

The full Prometheus trailer has parked its shiny bum on the internet - and as far as teasers go, it's pretty damn teasing.

We still don't know that much about Ridley Scott's prequel-but-not-a-prequel-but-still-connected-to-the-Alien-franchise-but-not-really mystery film. The official synopsis reads something like: "A team of explorers find a clue to the origins of man on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe... There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race."

We seem to be looking at what happened in the lead up to the events on LV-426 in the first Alien film. But Ridley's been pretty adamant that this isn't a directly linking prequel.

Yet everything about this screams Alien. The pods littering the ground around Michael Fassbender's character. The familiar outline of the infamous space jockey's ship. The way the titles appear in the same gradual procession of vertical and horizontal bars. 

So what's it all about? Like all the best teasers, Prometheus' trailer doesn't answer any of our questions - it just asks a load more. When Ridley Scott does answer them in 2012, it should be something very special. As long as you forget that this is the director who also made Robin Hood and A Good Year.

Read on for the full Prometheus trailer. Then get very excited.

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