Monday 24 June 2013

Blu-ray prizes to be won

Win Movie 43 on Blu-ray

To celebrate the arrival of the star-studded comedy of the year ‘Movie 43’ - out on DVD and Blu-ray 24th June through eOne - we have a Blu-ray copy to give away to two lucky winners!

'Movie 43' showcases a plethora of Hollywood starlets including Chloe Grace Moretz, Emma Stone, Kate Winslet and Halle Berry to name but a few. Other Hollywood A-listers include Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler and even Richard Gere!

'Movie 43' also proudly sponsors this year's #InnuendoDay set to unleash it's naughtiness on Friday 28th June! #InnuendoDay celebrates the most coveted aspects of British comedy; Innuendo, the tongue in cheek naughtiness that harks back to the days of Carry On, Are You Being Served, Monty Python and Little Britain!

So, join us on Friday 28th June for some fun shenanigans! Find out more information at:

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email with your name and postal address to by Monday July 1st.

Terms and Conditions

Only one entry will be accepted per person.
Entrants must be UK residents and aged 18 or over.
The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Hummingbird review

Hummingbird (15/R, 100 mins)
Director: Steven Knight
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Jason Statham is Joey, a former special forces soldier now living rough on the streets of London. On the run from some heavies, Joey takes refuge in a rich guy’s apartment and when he discovers he’ll be out of town for several months, he takes on his identity and stays in the flat. Haunted by his experiences in Afghanistan, we learn about his past and why he’s hiding, as he strikes up a friendship with a Polish nun and gets mixed up with some gangsters along the way. The enigmatically titled Hummingbird (aka the rather more prosaic Redemption in the States) isn’t the usual Statham kick-fest, although he still gets to show some skills in the odd bit of action. He gets to emote too, something he’s proves perfectly capable of, but this is an odd concoction, part bleak drama about the underprivileged, part tale of an avenging angel. It’s a curious melange of plot threads, with no real surprise about how they fit together, but still kind of interesting and with enough action to keep Statham’s core fanbase amused.

Despicable Me 2 review

Despicable Me 2 (U, 98 mins)
Directors: Pierre Coffin,Chris Renaud
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Reformed super-villain Gru (Steve Carell) is now a family man in this sequel to an animated comedy that was built almost exclusively around the perceived charms of Gru’s little yellow Minions. This second go-round decides to take their presence up several notches, and if tots find their reaction shots, slapstick and farting funny then so be it. The plot involves Gru getting recruited by the Anti-Villain League, who get him out of retirement to track down a bad guy with a serum that turns people (and Minions, lots and lots of Minions) into monsters. It’s the most perfunctory of storylines, with a subplot that sees Gru’s daughters trying to find him a girlfriend, and grasps for laughs are desperate. There’s lots of physical hijinks and the animation is expertly timed, but there’s no soul, and it quickly becomes evident this is every bit as pointless and forgettable as the first film. It’s candy-bright and Carell gives an energetic and committed vocal performance, but it’s not enough to raise Despicable Me 2 from the ordinary.

Monday 17 June 2013

World War Z review

World War Z (15/PG-13, 116 mins)
Director: Marc Forster
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

It was almost two years ago now that the centre of Glasgow was taken over by Hollywood, as George Square and the surrounding streets were transformed into Philadelphia for Brad Pitt’s zombie-apocalypse epic World War Z.

Since then rewrites and reshoots have tarnished its reputation somewhat, to the extent that serious questions are being asked about the wisdom of spending $170m on a zombie movie, a genre that flourished in low budget, almost underground circles.

As it turns out it’s neither disaster nor total triumph, but a solidly put together thriller with plenty of entertaining scenes. And while Glasgow isn’t exactly blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, if you miss the first ten minutes, you’ll miss Glasgow.

It’s where we meet Pitt, his wife and two young daughters, stuck in Philly traffic. We’ve been hearing news reports of trouble around the world and disease outbreaks, when suddenly all hell breaks loose around them. There’s panic in the streets and people attacking each other, attacks that are close up and frantically edited to the point of confusion, compensated for by their intensity, with the sense of fear and danger real enough.

Barely escaping with their lives, the family makes it to an aircraft carrier, where it’s soon revealed that they're in the middle of a worldwide zombie infestation. Zombification is almost instantaneous, the walking dead are fast, savage and abundant, and the sustained threat in the early stages is palpable.

As a former United Nations investigator, Pitt is needed to go back into the mix with a scientist to try to find a cure or a way to stop the outbreak. This takes us to Korea for a gloomy and hard to follow sequence that’s just a stepping stone to get us to Israel.

This is where the movie really starts to gain traction. For a start everything there happens in daylight, and gives us a proper sense of the scale of the devastation. But the eye-catcher is the sheer number of zombies attacking a walled Jerusalem, and they're working together, forming undead pyramids to great effect, in those spectacular shots from the trailer.

Based on a novel by Max Brooks, World War Z is a reasonably original take on the zombie movie, focussing on the people actively fighting against the hordes, rather than just trying to survive or avoid them. There are some thrills, some tension, and a lot of impressive sights, though Pitt's family become something of an afterthought once they're separated, so emotional investment is limited.

He makes very interesting films, but this is only time outwith Troy that Pitt has been the solo anchor of a summer blockbuster. He’s fine in the lead, neither out of his depth nor particularly dynamic. His character is not a man of action, instead using his smarts to pick up clues, and this is a refreshing change.

Things grinds to a halt at the beginning of a third act that brings us back to the UK, before picking up significantly for a well-realised climax, then turning lazy again for an uninspired final outcome. It’s a pedestrian end to a patchy action horror that more or less delivers on what it set out to do.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Man of Steel review

Man of Steel (12A/PG-13, 143 mins)
Director: Zack Snyder
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Continuing what’s been a fairly decent summer season so far, the year’s most anticipated movie arrives with high hopes of successfully furthering the adventures of the most iconic of all superheroes, Superman. Henry Cavill dons the cape as Kal-El, the only survivor of the doomed planet Krypton, sent to earth as a baby by his father Jor-El (Russell Crowe).

Part origin story and part continuation of the mythology, it’s a smartly structured blend of Superman and Superman II that flashes to Kal’s childhood, filling us in on adoptive parents, the Kents (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) who bring him up as Clark. It’s this that gives the film a real emotional depth, as Clark struggles with who he is, coming to terms with his powers in a film about choices and decisions on a massive scale.

Steeped in the classic Superman iconography and acknowledging but not overplaying Kal-El’s status as a god among men, Man of Steel is respectful to its cinematic predecessors without the need for the suffocating reverence that blighted Superman Returns.

The serious threat that forms the comic-book conflict of the second half comes from General Zod (Michael Shannon), who was banished from Krypton and has made it to earth with plans of resurrecting his planet at the expense of ours. A properly menacing Shannon facing off against the perfectly cast Cavill is the backbone of a rousing adventure, while Amy Adams adds layers of strength and intelligence as Lois Lane.

The action is truly cataclysmic, fully recognising the fact that these are near indestructible super-beings fighting, so when they hit each other, they stay hit, and entire cities crumble in their wake. It’s stunning stuff, with director Zack Snyder gleefully taking advantage of the $200m worth of resources available to him as all memories of the disappointing Returns are wiped clean, and the best Superman movie since the first one in 1978 reaches the stratosphere.