Thursday, 29 December 2011

Upcoming Releases - January '12

Here is a selection of films due out in UK cinemas next month.

Shame - 13th January

101 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Director: Steve McQueen

'In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life - which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction - is disrupted when his sister Cissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.'

Official site:

Margin Call - 13th January
Drama | Thriller
107 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons
Director: J.C. Chandor

'A thriller that revolves around the key people at an investment bank over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the financial crisis.'

Official site:

The Darkest Hour - 13th January

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
89 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella
Director: Chris Gorak

'In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply.'

Official site:

War Horse - 13th January
Drama | War
146 mins
12A certificate
Main cast: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis
Director: Steven Spielberg

'Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.'

Official site:

Haywire - 18th January

Action | Thriller
93 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton
Director: Steven Soderbergh

'A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission.'

Official site:

Coriolanus - 20th January
Drama | Thriller
123 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain
Director: Ralph Fiennes

'A banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city.'

Official site:

J. Edgar - 20th January

Biography | Drama
137 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench
Director: Clint Eastwood

'As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.'

Official site:

Underworld Awakening - 20th January
Action | Fantasy | Horror
88 mins
18 certificate
Main cast: Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley, Stephen Rea
Directors: Måns Mårlind, Björn Stein

'When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.'

Official site:

The Sitter - 20th January

81 mins
15 certificate
Main cast: Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor, Sam Rockwell
Director: David Gordon Green

'A comedy about a college student on suspension who is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him.'

Official site:

The Grey - 27th JanuaryAction | Drama
Running time and certificate: TBC
Main cast: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale
Director: Joe Carnahan

'In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders.'

Information obtained from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes,, and the films' official websites.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas! Hope everyone has a lovely time. To celebrate, here's a festive sing-along from The Nightmare Before Christmas:


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Alt movie poster #9

Alternative movie posters pay homage to film as well as showcase artistic talent and creativity. Some are minimalist, some complex, some include in-jokes for those who have seen the movie. This feature celebrates the work of fans, artists and designers whose love of film is clear to see.

Die Hard
Created by: Tim Doyle

Have you seen any alternative movie posters you'd like to share, or created your own and would like it featured? Get in touch!


Visit LOVEFiLM, where you can choose from over 70,000 titles to rent and now, movies to watch online.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

In focus: Alan Rickman

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was born on February 21st 1946 in Acton, West London to a Welsh mother called Margaret and an Irish father called Bernard. He had an older brother (David), then a younger brother (Michael) and sister (Sheila). He enrolled at the Chelsea College of Art and Design where he met his partner Rima Horton and later spent a year at the Royal College of Art. He founded an amateur acting group with Horton called the Brook Green Players.

He formed a graphic design company with friends and continued working in this field until the age of 26, when he wrote to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and received a scholarship. After RADA, he took a number of acting jobs around the UK in a variety of comedies, dramas and musicals.

He then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) for a year, appearing in The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Antony and Cleopatra, before returning to rep. He made his TV debut in 1978 as Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet. This was followed by roles in Thérèse Raquin, Smiley’s People and an adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s The Barchester Chronicles, as the Reverend Obadiah Slope.

Between 1985 and 1987, Rickman played the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses in London and then on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Tony award. When a film version was made, he was denied the same role, which instead went to John Malkovich. However, producer Joel Silver had seen his performance and asked him to star in Die Hard opposite Bruce Willis. This was Rickman’s first movie appearance and his role as the villainous Hans Gruber, thwarted by Willis’ cop John McClane, set the standard for British actors playing the bad guys in Hollywood films.

In 1990, Alan starred in Anthony Minghella’s Truly, Madly, Deeply opposite Juliet Stevenson. Then he played the flamboyant and devilish Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for which he won a BAFTA. He appeared in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, with Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, adapted from Jane Austen’s novel. Then Rickman took up directing duties for The Winter Guest starring Emma Thompson.

He was on fine comedic form playing Metatron, the voice of God, in Kevin Smith’s Dogma and Alexander Dane in the spoof sci-fi film Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. In 2001, Rickman starred in the first film in the hugely successful British fantasy series adapted from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. He took on the role of Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and would star in the subsequent seven movies as well.

Alan stayed true to his roots, remaining committed to the British stage, and in 2003 he was named Vice Chairman of RADA. He joined an all-star cast for Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, which included Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson and Bill Nighy. He then voiced Marvin the paranoid android in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and reunited with Sigourney Weaver for the touching drama Snow Cake.

Rickman worked with Tim Burton for the movie adaptation of the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which saw him singing with Johnny Depp, and Alice in Wonderland, where he provided the voice for the Blue Caterpillar.

Rickman recently starred in both parts of the final Harry Potter film, and will next be appearing in Gambit, written by the Coen brothers. The film, which is due in September 2012, follows an art curator who cons a wealthy collector into buying a fake Monet painting, and also stars Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth.

5 Recommended Films: 
  • Die Hard 
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 
  • Galaxy Quest 
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 
  • Sense and Sensibility

Other films to watch: Harry Potter film series, Dogma, Snow Cake, Michael Collins, Love Actually, Truly Madly Deeply, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Mesmer, An Awfully Big Adventure.

5 Movie Quotes:
  • “I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life. We can go any way you want it. You can walk out of here or be carried out. But have no illusions. We are in charge. So, decide now, each of you. And please remember: we have left nothing to chance.” – Hans Gruber in Die Hard 
  • “Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of God's true voice. Were you to hear it, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest. We went through five Adams before we figured that one out.” – Metatron in Dogma 
  • “There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However, for those select few who possess the predisposition... I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death. Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention!” – Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 
  • “Wait a minute. Robin Hood steals money from my pocket, forcing me to hurt the public, and they love him for it? That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas!” – Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 
  • “You just... know? Once again, you astonish me with your gifts Potter. Gifts mere mortals could only dream of possessing. How grand it must be, to be the chosen one.” – Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

5 Pieces of Trivia: 
  • While filming Die Hard (1988), he was found to be proficient at mimicking American accents, and a scene in which Hans Gruber and John McClane finally meet was then added to the script. 
  • Auditioned for the character of Rimmer in the sci-fi TV series Red Dwarf, which went to Chris Barrie. 
  • Featured twice in the Times Online's "The 50 Best Movie Villains" chart: he had the 41st position for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and the 10th as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988). 
  • Was Richard Curtis's first choice to play Charles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Curtis was very hesitant in casting Hugh Grant as he had so wanted Rickman. 
  • For the shot where Hans Gruber falls from the top of the building in Die Hard (1988), he was actually dropped by a stuntman from a 20-foot high model onto an air bag. To get a genuine surprised look, the stunt man dropped him on the count of two instead of three.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Trailer: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a comedy that follows a group of British retirees who travel to India to spend their retirement in a hotel, which turns out to be less luxurious than advertised. Directed by John Madden, the film stars Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton and Dev Patel, and is due for release in UK cinemas on February 24th 2012.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Interview: Martin Scorsese (Hugo) have released an exclusive interview with Martin Scorsese, who directed Hugo, starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz & Ben Kingsley:

Monday, 5 December 2011

Review: Serenity

Serenity is a science fiction film written and directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), who created the much-missed TV series Firefly, which features the same characters and takes place in the same universe. Unfortunately it lasted only 14 episodes but its strong DVD sales and large fan-base led to the team reuniting for a cinema release. The film stars Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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