Bafta's 2015

Bafta Winners 2015

And the winners are:

Boyhood – Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland – WINNER
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game – Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
The Theory of Everything – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten
The Theory of Everything – James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten – WINNER
’71 – Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
The Imitation Game – Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
Paddington – Paul King, David Heyman
Pride – Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
Under the Skin – Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell
Boyhood – Richard Linklater – WINNER
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
The Theory of Everything – James Marsh
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson – WINNER
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten – WINNER
American Sniper – Jason Hall
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Paddington – Paul King

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything – WINNER
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Julianne Moore Still Alice – WINNER
Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Felicity Jones T- he Theory of Everything
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash – WINNER
Edward Norton – Birdman
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood – WINNER
Emma Stone – Birdman
Imelda Staunton – Pride
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Rene Russo – Nightcrawler

The LEGO Movie – Phil Lord, Christopher Miller – WINNER :)
Big Hero 6 – Don Hall, Chris Williams
The Boxtrolls – Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat – WINNER
Birdman – Antonio Sanchez
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Theory of Everything – Johann Johannsson
Under the Skin – Mica Levi

Citizenfour – Laura Poitras – WINNER
20 Feet From Stardom – Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 Days on Earth – Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon – WINNER
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into the Woods – Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner – Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory of Everything – Jan Sewell

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock – WINNER
Big Eyes – Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Boogaloo and Graham – Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney – WINNER
Emotional Fusebox – Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Karman Line – Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap – Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers – Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

The Bigger Picture – Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka – WINNER
Monkey Love Experiments – Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad – Marcus Armitage

Whiplash – Tom Cross – WINNER
Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler – John Gilroy
The Theory of Everything – Jinx Godfrey

Whiplash – Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann – WINNER
American Sniper – Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman – Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game – John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen

Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley – WINNER
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
X-Man: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Birdman -Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
Interstellar – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer) – Pride – WINNER
Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director) – Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director) – ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director) – Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew de Lotbiniere (Producer) – Kajaki: The True Story

Ida – Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska – WINNER
Leviathan – Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
The Lunchbox – Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
Trash – Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
Two Days, One Night – Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero – WINNER
The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon Differ
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran
The Theory of Everything – Steven Noble

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Jack O’Connell – WINNER
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

Featured Image -- 1141

Top 5 Films of 2014 by Picturehouse Staff



Originally posted on Picturehouse Blog:


With Christmas now a distant and doubtless hazy memory, here’s a chance to take stock of last year’s cinematic landscape with our annual Picturehouse Top Five Films of the Year.

As usual the rules of our survey dictated that voting would be based on individual taste rather than Box Office achievement, and only films theatrically released in 2014 could be polled.

This ruled out films screened at festivals and as yet unreleased, as well as films only launched on Home Ent platforms, and Artists’ Film and Video. These were necessary parameters to enforce if we were to avoid overcomplicating the countdown.

What for instance might happen if a film screened at Cannes in 2013 but only saw theatrical release in 2014? Could it be voted for across two consecutive years? Madness.

The survey was thrown open to cinema staff, with over 60 people participating and a total of 58 films…

View original 595 more words

Oscars statuettes

Oscar Nominations 2015

Wow, I don’t think anyone is surprised by these nominations. However I am a lil’ bit pissed off that Selma was snubbed of any Oscar glory, because it’s not gong to win Best Picture! I hope it wins Best Original Song for “Glory”.
I guess they’re tired of film based on the Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King.

Anyways my money is on Benedict Cumberbatch winning Best Actor for The Imitation Game. I think Bradley Cooper might be the new Leo DiCaprio as this is his 3rd Oscar nominee.

So here’s the list..

Oscar Nominations 2015

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, by Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, by Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything,by Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, by Damien Chazelle

Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood, by Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, by Dan Gilroy

Best Cinematography
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert Yeoman
Ida, Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner, Dick Pope
Unbroken, Roger Deakins

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Documentary Feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary Short Subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

Best Film Editing
American Sniper, Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood, Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game, William Goldenberg
Whiplash, Tom Cross

Best Original Song
“Everything Is Awesome,” from The Lego Movie, by Shawn Patterson
“Glory,” from Selma, by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
“Grateful,” from Beyond the Lights, by Diane Warren
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
“Lost Stars,” from Begin Again, by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game, Maria Djurkovic and Tatiana Macdonald
Interstellar, Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis
Into the Woods, Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock
Mr. Turner, Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts

Best Live Action Short Film
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
The Phone Call

Best Animated Short Film
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and my Moulton
A Single Life

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper, Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman, Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar, Richard King
Unbroken, Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
“Birdman,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
“Interstellar,” Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
“Unbroken,” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
“Whiplash,” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice, Mark Bridges
Into the Woods, Colleen Atwood
Maleficent, Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
Mr. Turner, Jacqueline Durran

Best Foreign Language Film
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Foxcatcher, Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy, Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game, Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner, Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything, Jóhann Jóhannsson

The 87th Academy Awards will air on February 22.

Unveiling Of The New 2009 Golden Globe Statuettes

Golden Globe Winners 2015

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Winner: Boyhood
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Lead Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Winner: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo – Selma

Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama
Winner: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
St. Vincent

Lead Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Winner: Michael Keaton – Birdman
Ralph Fiennes – Grand Budapest Hotel
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes

Lead Actress – TV Drama
Winner: Ruth Wilson – The Affair
Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Winner: Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Wes Anderson – Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Ava DuVernay – Selma
Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman

Lead Actor – TV Drama
Winner: Kevin Spacey – House of Cards
Clive Owen – The Knick
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
James Spader – The Blacklist
Dominic West – The Affair

Best TV Drama
Winner: The Affair
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
House of Cards

Actress – TV Miniseries or Movie
Winner: Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand – Olive Kitteridge
Frances O’Connor – The Missing
Alison Tolman – Fargo

Foreign Film
Winner: Leviathan, Russia
Force Majeure (Turist), Sweden
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem Gett, Israel
Ida, Poland/Denmark
Tangerines (Mandariinid), Estonia

Lead Actor – TV Comedy
Winner: Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Ricky Gervais – Derek
Louis C.K. – Louie
William H. Macy – Shameless

Winner: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Winner: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Animated Feature
Winner: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Lego Movie

Lead Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical
Winner: Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
Helen Mirren – The Hundred-Foot Journey
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhané Wallis – Annie

Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
Winner: Matt Bomer – The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Colin Hanks – Fargo
Bill Murray – Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight – Ray Donovan

Original Song – Motion Picture
Winner: Glory – Selma (John Legend, Common)
Big Eyes – Big Eyes (Lana Del Rey)
Mercy Is – Noah (Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye)
Opportunity – Annie (Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck)
Yellow Flicker Beat – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 (Lorde)

Original Score – Motion Picture
Winner: Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Best TV Comedy or Musical
Winner: Transparent
Jane the Virgin
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley

Lead Actress – TV Comedy or Musical
Winner: Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin
Lena Dunham – Girls
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep
Taylor Schilling – Orange Is the New Black

Actor – TV Miniseries or Movie
Winner: Billy Bob Thornton – Fargo
Martin Freeman – Fargo
Woody Harrelson – True Detective
Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart

TV Miniseries or Movie
Winner: Fargo
The Missing
True Detective
The Normal Heart
Olive Kitteridge

Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or TV movie
Winner: Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Uzo Aduba – Orange Is the New Black
Kathy Bates – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Allison Janney – Mom
Michelle Monaghan – True Detective

Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Winner: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

Bafta Nominations

Bafta Nominations 2015

It’s that time of year where award season is in full swing! Here are the nominees for The Baftas 2015 :)

Best Film

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything

Outstanding British Film

The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything
Under The Skin

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer

Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director) ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director) Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew de Lotbiniere (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story
Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer) Pride
Best Film Not In The English Language

The Lunchbox
Two Days, One Night

Best Documentary

20 Feet From Stardom
20,000 Days On Earth
Finding Vivian Maier

Best Animated Film

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
The Lego Movie

Best Director

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
James Marsh, The Theory Of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – Jason Hall
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Paddington – Paul King
The Theory Of Everything – Anthony McCarten

Best Leading Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Leading Actress

Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Best Supporting Actor

Edward Norton – Birdman
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Best Supporting Actress

Emma Stone – Birdman
Imelda Staunton – Pride
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Rene Russo – Nightcrawler

Best Original Music

Birdman – Antonio Sanchez
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Theory Of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Under The Skin – Mica Levi

Best Cinematography

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Interstellar – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Best Editing

Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler – John Gilroy
The Theory Of Everything – Jinx Godfrey
Whiplash – Tom Cross

Best Production Design

Big Eyes – Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon Differ
Into The Woods – Colleen Atwood
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran
The Theory Of Everything – Steven Noble

Best Make-Up And Hair

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon
Guardians Of The Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into The Woods – Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner – Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory Of Everything – Jan Sewell

Best Sound

American Sniper – Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman – Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game – John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
Whiplash – Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

Best Special Visual Effects

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians Of The Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Best British Short Animation

The Bigger Picture – Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
Monkey Love Experiments – Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad – Marcus Armitage

Best British Short Film

Boogaloo And Graham – Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Emotional Fusebox – Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Karman Line – Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap – Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers – Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

The EE Rising Star Award

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jack O’Connell
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie (2014)

I remember queuing up to watch this in the early quarter of last year. I also remembered thinking where are all the kids? Why is this queue full of adults some even senior citizens? Then it quickly made sense..
Growing up, admittedly, I was never much of a Lego fan, I was more of a ruin the house with play-doh kinda child! But one look at the theatrical trailer  for The Lego Movie and I was completely sold – I had to go and watch it.

Lego has been bringing joy into people’s lives since the Danish toy giant invented them in 1949 and it’s been passed from generation to generation and I just knew that the film wouldn’t disappoint. It’s the first big-budget Lego movie since the company was formed, and it was made over a gruelling five years from the “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” dynamic duo  writers–directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The film spoils us with an A-list cast and it unashamedly uses this as a platform to make sure people remember when Lego was at the forefront of world domination.

The movie follows Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), an everyday guy, who’s nothing “special” but is happy  with his life which seems to be one whole Groundhog Day. Each day he wakes, he reads his instruction manual and his day is set strict from there. Eat breakfast by himself.  Buy a ridiculously expensive coffee. Smile and wave to neighbours. Parallel parking at work.  Sing the annoyingly catchy “Everything is Awesome” song with his fellow work minions who repeatedly ignore his existence. Then he clocks off at six sharp, goes home and watches everybody’s favourite show, Where Are My Pants? on TV and laughs at the same jokes. Life is structured and no one appears to have any individuality – but Emmet is content and never questions his position in such an organised world.

Life as he knows it becomes hazy when he accidentally meets the witty and rebellious Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who mistakes him for ‘The Special’ – the prophesied saviour of the Master Builders, who is predicted to find the ‘piece of resistance’ and save their world from being obliterated by President Business’s fearsome weapon, ‘The Kragle’. However to become their worlds saviour he needs to ditch the instruction manual by which he religiously lives his life.

Not only is the plot beautifully constructed for all Lego geeks around the world but the script is also carefully assembled to include plenty of gags and references for older audience members. Children will love this film everywhere but dare I say the film will be appreciated much more through adult eyes.

The cast is absolutely superb, in fact I think one of the main reasons why it was such a box-office success is down to the voices behind the characters. Alongside the main characters you have the voices of Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, who of course is type-casted into a Godlike figure and Liam Neeson who plays the wickedly wonderful good cop/bad cop. After having huge success with Megamind Will Ferrell reminds us why he’s to be respected by everyone by providing such platinum comedy. 
Jonah Hill, Will Arnett and Channing Tatum also lend their voices too. 

It’s no surprise that their are multiple D.C. superheroes in The Lego movie. Producing studio Warner Bros have been waving the Justice League wand in our face for a while now and there is a Man of Steel sequel not far off. Hence, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman all contributing to Emmet’s Kragle defeating quest.
Alongside the DC superheroes, Lord and Miller definitely remembered to poke fun at some recent film franchises mixing randoms with randoms. Like NBA All-Star (Shaquille O’Neal who lends his voice) and Dumbledore bickering with Gandalf. Brilliant!!

The film just taps into your inner creativity as absolutely everything on screen is made out of Lego from wacky cities, clouds in the sky to water sinking a submarine ship. It reinvents Lego as something you can let your mind run wild with. You can make your Lego world as dull as Emmet’s previous boring life or you can break free and become a master builder of everything your imagination can think up.

The Lego movie is one of my favourite animation films of the last few years, alongside Wreck-It Ralph. If you know me well then you know I usually loathe sequels but I hope they actually make this again because “Everything Is Awesoooooooooooome”

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light

A x

Director: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Screenplay: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller

Stars: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Nick Offerman, Will Arnett, Alison Brie
Runtime: 100mins
Cert: U

2015 New Year celebration

Happy New Year :)

Happy New Year to everyone single one of my readers both here in the U.K and around the world. Thank you all for your support and thank you all for the love you’ve shown me over the last few years.

Admittedly I didn’t do much last year and for that I apologise. I can only promise that it’s ALL going to change this year. I’m going to remind everyone (and myself) of my passion for film and I hope you all get more involved this year.

Here’s to a wonderful year of great films reviews and many more.

Hope you all have a healthy and happy year.

Abi Xx

Robin Williams

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

I’m so sad, deeply deeply sad. Like most of the people on this side of the Atlantic I woke up to the heartbreaking news that Robin Williams has died.
The media speculation surrounding his death makes my heart hurt even more. 
I did read some time last year like many Hollywood greats he was battling demons he thought he repressed early on his career. But unlike other Hollywood actors whose light permanently dimmed before their time, he hid it so very well.

To think that he brought so many people both young and old so much joy whilst for years he harboured all that emotional pain makes me wonder. He didn’t leave any happiness for himself ;(
An actor indeed to make people laugh as this brilliant, witty and intelligent comedy figure when his life ended in such a tragedy.
Well I will honour his widow’s wishes and rather than mourning his death I will celebrate the joy he rained on myself and my family through his films.

When I was doing my dissertation I remembered reading that The Genie was only supposed to have a few sentences in the 1992 Disney film Aladdin. Robin, however persuaded the director to let him play around in the sound both and 22 hours later The Genie became the most memorable character in that film. 
HE was the bloody GENIE-US!

Mr Williams, from my generation to ones who are yet to know of your wonders, sleep well and wherever your star is shining know that you have made a lot of people very happy, sometimes even in their darkest hour.

One of my fav R.W quotes: “Never pick a fight with an ugly person – they have nothing to lose” 

So Nanu-Nanu, Mork calling Heaven, come in Heaven.

Be bangarang Peter, and thanks for teaching me how to fly.

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station (2013)

This is the true life tragic story of a young Californian man, living in the Bay City area of San Francisco. His name is Oscar Julius Grant III and this film focuses around the final 24 hours before his life was shockingly cut short. I already knew this film would be difficult to watch because I actually remember when this event happened in early 2009.
There was a massive uprising when this occurred but it was all swept under the carpet and I think I only managed to hear about it because I was browsing the internet. Unfortunately it’s not the first of it’s kind and fast forward a few years to the racist killing of Trayvon Martin there’s not much justice happening for black people in the American judicial system (which lets be honest is a shambles).

The opening scene for this film is fantastic as it is heartbreaking when we see actual footage of the the events that took place in the early hours of  New years Day 2009 on the Bay Area Fruitvale Station train station platform.  White police officers stand over a group of black men who are handcuffed and sitting on the floor and we can see one who is actually laying face down on the floor.
There’s plenty of cursing and shouting between the two groups and then the footage comes to an abrupt halt when the cinema rings out the chilling sound of a gunshot and then the opening credits roll.

Coogler shows us what Oscar (Michael B. Jordan) does in a full day before he is murdered. We build a picture of an out-of-work small-time drug dealer and a cheating boyfriend, sometimes wired up and angry and sometimes gentle and sensitive. He is struggling to straighten himself out since being let out of jail for marijuana possession and be a good dad to his young daughter Tatiana and partner to his girlfriend (Melonie Diaz).  We see the phenomenal love he has for his daughter and the warm love he has for his mother (Octavia Spencer).
Although the scene with the dying Pitbull never happened in real life, the scene with his mother visiting him in prison did. You see him square up a fellow inmate and then fall to pieces when his mother walks away from him without giving him a hug. 
Even the scene where the white woman was at the deli counter trying to buy fish, he looks at her like he wants to rob her but then offers her friendly food advice. To think within 24 hours they will meet again under very different circumstances is mindblowing.

Michael B. Jordan’s central performance is incredibly naturalistic, big when it needs to be big and not at all exaggerated in the meantime. Jordan is great at showing how Oscar’s attempts to turn his life around are more of a gradual process than a dramatic reversal of fortunes. The scenes where he reflects whilst overlooking the river are humbling and after seeing the beginning credits I think this is where my heart starts to cry for him.

Yes it can be argued that this film is completely biased and that he wasn’t a saint and so this film is not really being truthful. The fact of the matter is whatever Oscar Grant had done in his lifetime..does it really warrant him being shot to death whilst unarmed and handcuffed face down to the floor?!
Right wingers annoy me, instead of giving Coogler props for a great debut film which is centered on something very sensitive, they’re complaining that certain scenes were added to make Oscar seem more human? “Make him seem more human” – The last time I checked he was human, someone who was trying to change his life around, and no one can say whether he would of fully made it out of crime or not, but then we will never get the chance to. He had dreams and hope. He loved and was loved and his death will forever leave a hole in many peoples hearts.

This is not your Boyz N The Hood ghetto violence or your New Jack City of corruption and slums. This is a simple film that depicts a man who was sometimes naughty but always a loving father, son, lover and friend. Of course it was slow during the day and the action only came to light at night but that’s because it’s New Years Eve and almost every single one of us use that day to make plans and be reflective over the year past and the year that’s impending.

It’s easy to see why Fruitvale Station has made such an impact, winning top prizes at Sundance in 2013 and then going on to box office success in the US. Those final scenes leave the audience distraught, upset and downright angry! 

The film is, perhaps, a little schematic in its characterisation but film buff who’s seen this will agree that Ryan Coogler still has a long way to go before he gets to that film making finesse, but not a bad first attempt from him at all.

R.I.P Oscar Julius Grant III


Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light
A x

Director: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer

Runtime: 85mins
Cert: 15

From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

Ahh I can’t believe how life has been getting in the way of my love for writing about films. It’s so difficult to stay on top of your passion when you’re working so many hours and the only time off you get you want to spend it sleeping.
As always my trusted friends at Film4 gave me a lovely treat the other day because as I was drifting to sleep on comes this Ghibli movie! (Needless to say my eyes were suddenly wide open).

I remember watching Studio Ghibli’s 2006 “Tales From Earthsea” directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki and thinking dear God please don’t pass this wonderful animation studio onto your son because he clearly doesn’t share or understand your vision for a beautiful story. I mean I thought the apple fell far from the tree – it was a travesty! So when Miyazaki snr gave the green light for Miyazaki jnr to direct this film, I didn’t hold my breath.

Immediately any Ghibli fan can see this film is more serious than some of it’s predecessors. Although there’s no shortage of magic in this animation it doesn’t harbour the fantasy world that people usually associate with the work of master animator Hayao Miyazaki.  There are no talking cats or fish, no flying pig-pilots, no wise cracking fires and no mythical dragons that can morph into humans (so if thats what you’re looking for – this is not for you!)

Adapted from the manga by Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsuro Sayama, 
From Up On Poppy Hill is a nostalgic romantic drama set in a quiet, pensive suburb of Yokohama, Tokyo in the early 1960s. 

In the days creeping up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the film focuses on young Umi , who lives, cooks and cleans at her grandmother’s home which doubles up as a guest boarding house. Each morning she raises signal flags in honour of her father, who never returned from his seafaring voyages and consequently passes away during the Korean War. Her mother is in the U.S studying so she is left to look after her younger siblings as well as attend school. Whilst at school she gets involved in a student protest against the demolition of a beloved school clubhouse as officials want to use the space to reflect the impending Olympic games.

Her perfectly structured and meticulously routined life is turned upside down when she meets a boy at school named Shun, who also happens to be one of the leaders of the school clubhouse rebellion. The clubhouse is called The Latin Quarter which is a very old rundown place, filled with nothing but the past. Shun casually invites Umi to join them in their efforts, and slowly a special bond starts to happen between them.

Like many coming-of-age stories, isn’t just about saving the clubhouse or even about finding love for the first time, but it uses those plots as a catalyst for the audience to be introduced to more private details regarding the characters’ pasts they begin to share with one another. We even dive into the past of their parents and see thats things are not all black and white while exploring the possibilities of incest and infidelity.

Satoshi Takebes music is the film’s biggest asset as it absolutely establishes the animated film’s intimate yet melancholic atmosphere. 
The film solely focuses in the after effects that war has on people and the memories they keep. Also it reflects on how change is inevitable but people are unwilling to let the past go . It shows that we need  a balance of old and new to make sense of things and it introduces a melancholic note that lingers behind the youthful optimism. However when thats all said and done the film is ridiculously boring and forgettable. It does have drama, romance, and focuses on the importance of family, but it does so in a really monotone way that fails to be absorbing or trigger any sort of emotions whatsoever. It doesn’t quite break your heart like “Grave of The Fireflies” which makes you walk away and actually feel blue, and it doesn’t leave you excited you the way a Ghibli film should. 

It’s definitely better than Tales from Earthsea but Goro Miyazaki still has a long way to go for me, as he just hasn’t nailed it yet!


Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light
A x

From Up On Poppy Hill

Director: Goro Miyazaki
Screenplay: Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa
Runtime: 92mins
Cert: PG

Peaches Geldof

Peaches Geldof Cohen (1989-2014)

My goodness, I really didn’t see this one coming.

My deepest condolences to the Geldof/Cohen family for their loss. It’s such a shame as she appeared to come leaps and bounds from her wild ways and marriage/motherhood was really suiting her.

Her poor husband and what’s even more sad is her poor young boys! Wow, after losing her own mother (Paula Yates) at such a young age, she made no secret of making sure she was the best mother possible to her children.  To have posted a photo of her and her beloved mother less than 36 hours before she died is really something.

Life can be so cruel. Sir Bob Geldof having to go through this with his wife and now his daughter, I can not imagine his pain.

While she may not have been everyones favourite person, we all can agree loosing your life at 25 is something that nobody deserves.

I’ve bumped into her around Chelsea a few times and she always seems very pleasant, and completely besotted with her children.

I’m in genuine shock! 

Nothing more to be said but R.I.P Peaches Geldof

A x

The Oscars 2014

The Oscars (2014)

Well in all honesty, other than predicting that Gravity will dominate  most of the awards, 12 Years A Slave will win Best Picture, and my darling Cate Blanchett will win Best Actress ♥, I predicted everything else WRONG!

I am very surprised that Lupita Nyong’o won best supporting actress and Chewwy boy didn’t win Best Actor, but I am extremely happy for her. Her speech was absolutely beautiful ♥
Again congrats to Barkhad Abdi for his Oscar winning performance in Captain Phillips. I’m not hearing much noise about this man, he seems to keep getting over looked.

Well I suppose after years of people cutting Matthew McConaughey down over his questionable acting skills, the man has put every critic in their place. Ever since I watched him in The Lincoln Lawyer, I knew he was working his way up towards as Oscar.
Don’t worry Leo, your time is coming – just think about Martin Scorsese and how long he had to wait for his Best Director Academy Award with all of his amazing films before he finally won it in 2006 for The Departed. So hang in there son!

I’m very pleased that American Hustle was overlooked, I genuinely would have had a long rant if they had cleaned up. David O Russell can now go and eat some humble pie!

The Winners Are…

Best supporting actor

Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
WINNER: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best costume design

Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
Winner: Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby

Best makeup and hairstyling

WINNERS: Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger

Best short film (animated)

Get a Horse!
WINNER: Mr Hublot
Room on the Broom

Best animation

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
WINNER: Frozen
The Wind Rises

Best visual effects

WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best short

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)
WINNER: Helium
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
The Voorman Problem

Best documentary short

Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
WINNER: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best documentary

The Act of Killing
Cutie and The Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
WINNER: 20 Feet from Stardom

Best foreign film

Broken Circle Breakdown(Belgium)
WINNER: The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

Best sound mixing

Captain Phillips
WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Best sound editing

All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
WINNER: Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Best supporting actress

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
WINNER: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best cinematography

Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
WINNER: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger A Deakins, Prisoners

Best editing

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
WINNER: Gravity
12 Years a Slave

Best production design

American Hustle
WINNER: Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn, The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave

Best original score

John Williams, The Book Theif
WINNER: Steven Price, Gravity
William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr Banks

Best original song

Alone Yet Not Alone, Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy, Despicable Me 2
WINNER: Let It Go, Frozen
The Moon Song, Her
Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Best adapted screenplay

Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
WINNER: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best original screenplay

Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
WINNER: Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best director

David O Russell, American Hustle
WINNER: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle
WINNER: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine ♥
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best actor

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
WINNER: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best picture

WINNER: 12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

BAFTA awards on show

BAFTAs 2014

So let’s get straight into it. These are the nominees and the winners of this years BAFTA awards.

It’s a shame that 12 Years A Slave didn’t manage to do as well as most people would have liked. At least Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor, otherwise I would have been pissed. Shout out to Leo DiCaprio for being such a humble guy and leading the way in standing ovations for Chewwy. Your time is coming Leo, I promise :)
I’m so chuffed I predicted the Best Actress award correctly. If you have yet to see Blue Jasmine, I suggest you find a way, because Cate Blanchett is just perfection. This film just might be Woody Allen’s masterpiece! A very well done to Barkhad Abdi for winning Best Supporting Actor, I certainly wasn’t expecting that, I was expecting Fassbender to grab it.

Read on ahead for the winners…do you agree or do you think certain people were robbed? The BAFTAs are known to be a crystal ball in foreseeing which way the Oscar wind will blow..

I’m going to say this, if American Hustle won Best Picture, I’d have been going absolutely crazy! It probably will win Best Picture at The Oscars because we all know the Americans love to glorify their beloved country.

Chewwy boy and Steve McQueen better just be happy with their BAFTAs because with the people sitting on the Academy panel consisting mostly of overzealous power snorting industry officials…they are not going to give 12 Years A Slave the time of day. I’m not sorry to say this but America hates being reminded of it’s dark past. So its obvious Gravity or American Hustle will clean up..especially the latter with this “all american perfect cast”…psssh. Anyways..


BAFTAS 2014!

Best picture

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

American Hustle
Captain Phillips

Best British film

Winner: Gravity

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr Banks
The Selfish Giant

Best director

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best actor

Winner: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips

Best actress

Winner: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks

Best supporting actor

Winner: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Best supporting actress

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler

Best original screenplay

Winner: American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer, David O Russell

Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

Best adapted screenplay

Winner: Philomena, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
Behind the Candelabra, Richard LaGravenese
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter

Best foreign

Winner: The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima

The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
Metro Manila, Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Pau

Best documentary

Winner: The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer

The Armstrong Lie, Alex Gibney
Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Tim’s Vermeer, Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Alex Gibney

Best animation

Winner: Frozen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Despicable Me 2, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Monsters University, Dan Scanlon

Best cinematography

Winner: Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

12 Years a Slave, Sean Bobbitt
Captain Phillips, Barry Ackroyd
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael

Best editing

Winner: Rush, Dan Hanley, Mike Hill

12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
The Wolf of Wall Street, Thelma Schoonmaker

Best production design

Winner: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle, Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Behind the Candelabra, Howard Cummings
Gravity, Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard

Best costume design

Winner: The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
Behind the Candelabra, Ellen Mirojnick
The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
Saving Mr Banks, Daniel Orlandi

Best make up and hair

Winner: American Hustle, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell

Behind the Candelabra, Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
The Butler, Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
The Great Gatsby, Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

Best sound

Winner: Gravity, Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro

All Is Lost, Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
Inside Llewyn Davis, Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
Rush, Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse

Best original music

Winner: Gravity, Steven Price

12 Years a Slave, Hans Zimmer
The Book Thief, John Williams
Captain Phillips, Henry Jackman
Saving Mr Banks, Thomas Newman

Best special visual effects

Winner: Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
Pacific Rim, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy DeQuattro, Nigel Sumner
Star Trek Into Darkness, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett

Best British short animation

Winner: Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

Everything I can see from Here, Bjørn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I Am Tom Moody, Ainslie Henderson

Best British short film

Winner: Room 8, James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner

Island Queen, Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
Keeping up with Joneses, Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
Orbit Ever After, Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
Sea View, Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

Winner: Keiran Evans (Director/Writer), Kelly + Victor

Colin Carberry, (Writer), Glenn Patterson (Writer), Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel, (Writer), Saving Mr Banks
Paul Wright (Director/Writer), Polly Stokes (Producer), For Those in Peril
Scott Graham, (Director/Writer), Shell

The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)

Winner: Will Poulter

Dane DeHaan
George MacKay
Lupita Nyong’o
Léa Seydoux

And that concludes this evening’s post! 
Love and light
A xx




Robot & Frank (2012)

I really wanted to catch this little gem on the big screen last year but missed it. So big props to my homies at Netflix for adding it to their ever impressive movie line up.

Set in Cold Spring, New York sometime in the near future, Frank (played by Frank Langella) is a retired cat burglar who detests the modern way of life. Seventy-year-old Frank (Frank Langella) lives alone and he is long – divorced and though he has two adult children, he isn’t very close to them, partly because when they needed him most he was in prison having done long stretches for burglary.  The other part is because his son Hunter (James Marsden) lives  far away with his own family and is daughter (Liv Tyler) is a humanitarian who is working abroad. Through problems of his blatant memory loss, they are become increasingly concerned about their father’s health and are worried that he can no longer live independently.

Frank leads a simple life old school life, walking into town most days to visit the soon to be reconstructed and modernised library, flirting with the beautiful head librarian (Susan Sarandon) and casually shoplifting from the local cosmetics store which used to be his favourite eatery. His evenings are spent with him trying to relive and/or recreate the glory days of of his robberies.

Hunter becoming increasingly guilty that he can’t keep up his weekly commute to see his father  and initially wants to place Frank into a care home, as he constantly finds his dad living in squalor with his memory sadly rapidly deteriorating.  As Frank continues to stubbornly refuse he then instead opts to buy him a robot butler slash BFF, much to his dismay. 

The first few days with the robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), Frank detests him. The robot is strict with Frank’s daily programme of exercise and health and constantly tries to motivate him for the better.  However when Frank realises that the robot isn’t programmed with to abide by the law, he proves that he still has a few screws in place and sees its potential as a robotic felon and the two try their luck as a human and machine heist team.

This is a hugely impressive  directorial debut  for Jake Schreier  working alongside writer Christopher D. Ford. They’ve crafted a straight forward  but light plot  and they didn’t shy away from heavier issues of inevitable digital change, dementia and loneliness. The script indulges it’s cutesy oddities, but holds on to some powerful truths, particularly with regard to how we aim to weather the effects of ageing and with the help of the robot, it suggests that being active will keep you going.
There’s a poignant scene where Ford briefly examines robot politics, the notion that a machine does not appreciate its own “existence” because its so-called “memories” are merely lines of code and nothing else. Frank having become attached to the robot, struggles to come to terms with understanding this theory, and clearly rattled, terminates the conversation. 

Peter Sarsgaard’s voice has never been more moving, and Robot becomes more than a necessary accomplice to Frank, he becomes a dear and reliable friend, to a frail mind, in a world that becomes ever more confusing. It’s the strong underlying message about the changing times we live in that is the most piteous and thought-provoking. 

See one of the things that I knew I would immediately like about this film from what I remembered of the of the trailers is that director Jake Schreier adhered to the KISS rule. (Keep It Simple Stupid). This film is a prime example of how keeping a plot simple with no crazy gimmicks or over acting but just powerful comedic and dramatic performances mean you have a recipe for an independent masterpiece. From mental health issues to friendships and parenthood Robot and Frank manages to be touching and honest without sacrificing it’s wealth of heart, humour and quick-wittedness. Lastly, I love how the robots name is just Robot. Even without a personal name, the affection however foreign just fits like hand to a glove.

Enjoy the trailer

Love and light
A x

Director: Jake Schreier

Stars: Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard

Screenplay: Christopher D Ford
Runtime: 89mins
Cert: 12A

Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor (2014)

So the clue is in the title, if you have yet so see the film then I don’t really need to tell you how it ends. It’s not an analogy or a metaphor to bedazzle the audience, it throws the spoiler out there, so the audience is not anticipating a plot twist or narrative bending revelation.

Based on the bestselling book by survivor Marcus Luttrell, the film tells the remarkable true story of Operation Red Wings, a failed 2005 U.S. mission to capture or kill Taliban commander Ahmad Shahd and his western world hating right hand man.
The story starts at the end where we see our lone survivor US Navy SEAL,Marcus Luttrell played by Mark Wahlberg on a helicopter fighting for his life, through his flashback, it then takes us to how events unfolded 3 days prior to his nothing short of a miracle rescue.

At Bagram Air Base, Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) await their assignment which is to scope out Ahmad Shahd. Whilst fooling about entertaining one another, they welcome Shane Patton (Alexander Ludwig) into the ranks via an initiation ceremony, which involves dancing and reciting a Navy SEALs mantra.

They get the all clear and are transported to a mountain where they can scout the local village for their intended tagerts. Problems arises when the four SEALs, despite having carefully concealed themselves along the slopes of the mountain, are discovered accidentally by a trio of Afghan goatherds. One of them an elderly man, a teenager and a young child. With their communications down they have no way of contacting base to inform Lt Erik Kristensen that the operation has been compromised.
While these unarmed civilians do not appear connected with the Taliban, their hostility is readily apparent and the SEALs must decide whether kill them which means breaking the Geneva convention and sparking an international outcry or to release them an hope for the best. 
After some heated discussions they decide to release them and retreat. Here we, the audience are faced a morality question, what would we do in such a situation?
When they let them go, the speed and the fury that the teenager descends from the mountain, immediately spells trouble for our boys.

They barely make it to the top to conceal themselves when we see Taliban shadows lurking in the tress, and the ambush commences. Not since Saving Private Ryan have we been subjected to such a sustained, up-close-and-personal combat sequence and there are times when the violence is so brutal. It’s apparent that what’s important to Berg is not to make a cinematic masterpiece but to make an accurate masterpiece.

Wahlberg actually said he didn’t read the book so that he wouldn’t clash with Berg’s vision for the film and that he wanted it to be solely from Berg’s perception, which in hindsight was a very good move on his part.

Luttrell, and his fellow SEALs may be the U.S. military version of supermen, but we also see them as regular fellows with real hopes and dreams. They have wives and girlfriends to go back home to, houses to paint, impending nuptials and expensive Arabian horses to buy. We are not sold the American dream through them but simply see brave men doing a job to support their loved ones whilst defending their beloved country. The opening half-hour is filled with small moments and brief glimpses at the material cost of war which is the lives that these men who made the ultimate sacrifice left behind. 

Berg is no stranger to the portrayal of American masculinity (Friday Night Lights) or drama in Middle East (The Kingdom). We wee in an earlier scene Dietz and Murphy race one another at dawn around the airbase perimeter and they are neatly poised as perfect American specimens infused with the desire to win at all costs. Perhaps a metaphor for the country they fight for? Another memorable scene involves the group leader Lieutenant Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) clambering, horribly maimed, up to an exposed rock and certain death in order to transmit a call for help.

The sheer brilliance of the cinematography has to be commended. The way we gasp as their almost lifeless bodies are thrown over mountain tops continuously as well as they try to avoid the ricochet of bullets left and right is sometimes too tense to watch. For all of its intensity and visceral imagery the film deserves its Oscar nomination in the sound and editing departments, if nothing else. 

The four men are well cast and authentically portrayed by Wahlberg, Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emilie Hirsch, all near unrecognisable beneath the wholesome facial hair. There’s something understated about their performances and characters that makes you root for them. The bottom line is  Berg wants you to exit the cinema with a sense of appreciation for military sacrifice and to remember that these men are your father, my brother and her husband. 

I want to thank Berg for not making this to be about the savagery of The Afghan people who have nothing but contempt for the west. He shows the  defiance of one Afghan family man who went on to save Luttrell’s life by defending a 2000 year old honour to protect with no questions asked.

Lone Survivor isn’t just another glorified war movie it’s much better than that!


Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana
Screenplay: Peter Berg
Runtime: 121 mins
Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)


Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

Hello readers, it certainly has been a while and for that I am truly sorry. I am back with a vengeance and I will be working as hard as ever to keep you in the loop. I wasn’t a very good film buff last year admittedly but that’s all going to change.

I hate to start my first post of the year on a sad note, but I simply couldn’t overlook this.

A few hours ago, the world was informed that Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York apartment, in an apparent drug overdose. Not many people knew that he did have a drug problem in his youth (46 is a young age to pass) and before his untimely death he did make it known to a few people that his demons were back and he was trying to fight them.

Of course it’s always sad to lose anyone and though I obviously didn’t know him personally his death still stung all the same. A light has been blown out in Hollywood and his presence will surely be missed.

The last film I saw him in was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, where he played games maker Plutarch Heavensbee to perfection (if you’ve read the books, then you’ll know what I mean by that). I suppose he will have to be re-casted for the final instalments. *sigh*

Watching him play the titular character in “Capote” and Jacob Elinsky in Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” is where he really shone on screen in MY opinion. 

He will be greatly missed.

RIP Sir! *salutes*

Love and Light
A x


Ariana Grande

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shown some love on here. You know how it is, life gets in the way, love skips your front door and psychotic employers sh!t on you. *cue violins*

Alas I’m back now and what better way to show I’m back in the game than with a celebrity snap?!

So my superstar sister only went and met the ridiculously beautiful and talented Ariana Grande.

I don’t care what anyone says, how many of you have met your idol before? My sister is a don, and there’s no more to it.

Shame about the crying face though Alyzah -_-

Enjoy the snaps




Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2 (2013)

The minions are back, and wackier than ever! When Universal set the cat amongst the pigeons by talking about releasing it the same month as Disney Pixar’s Monsters University, I moaned to all that would listen that it would be animation suicide for them to do so. Not necessarily because Gru would be up against Sully and Mike Wazowski, but because many people have been waiting over 10 years for the second instalment of Monsters Inc, whereas the first Despicable Me is still fresh in many of our minds. Anyways they came to their senses which meant that we didn’t feel like we had to choose one over the other.
Films for children are a varied bunch, especially sequels. There are those that are intelligent, great for the kids and adults alike that tap into your head and stay there, like the Shrek films. Then there are other vacuous efforts which pretty much leave you the moment you finish watching them, like the Ice Age films. Then there are of course exceptions to this rule, notably The Toy Story franchise, which managed to enlighten us with three wonderful films.

So with Despicable Me 2 there was a danger that Universal would take what was actually a brilliant children’s plot-line and makes a rams bottom of it (you’d get this joke if you have seen the film). They definitely surprised me by changing it up and advancing the original story to something better. In the first film, the Minions were used as filler (like Ice Age’s Scrat) to keep children laughing in between plot points, but this time DM 2 cleverly weaves them into the plot, sweet tooth and all.

In this film, we see that Gru (Steve Carell) has turned his back on his evil ways and has devoted himself to be a loving, jam producing dad to his three adopted daughters and investing whatever energy he has left on technology that doesn’t harbour anything sinister. We seem him playing both mother and father to the girls especially the youngest Agnes who has grown up a little but is still besotted with unicorns and is longing for a mother figure.
Friends and neighbours love the new and inviting Gru, with a particularly annoying neighbour constantly trying to set Gru up on dates that will inevitably end disastrously. While fighting off the unwanted advances, Gru meets Lucy (Kristen Wiig), an agent with the Anti-Villain League who is hoping to recruit him to their agency to help conquer a new criminal.

We spend a lot of time dealing with Gru and his issues with dating. His own issues with women and the prospects of love and anxieties regarding dating are coupled with eldest daughter Margo’s newfound interest in boys. We enjoy watching the ex-villain battle a new emotional enemy that all fathers dread: the prospect of his little girl falling in love. 
Agnes the baby of the bunch helps to roll the narrative forward too.  To adults, she’s irresistible; to kids, she’s relatable. Between her pretend mummy, love of fluffy things and innocent kindness, she’s one of the most realistic on-screen children we’ve seen in a while. She gets a lot of moments here, as she did in the first one, which are heartwarming and help give the film an emotional center.
Unfortunately  Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio seem to have left out developing Edith the middle sister’s character. From what we know of her, she’s a tomboy, cynical, sarcastic and they could have had some fun playing around with her character. She just seemed to fade into the background, which is a shame.

With the character of Lucy I felt like she was going to be very annoying in the beginning but as the film progressed her character became more identifiable and in the end you find yourself rather charmed by her and her zany ways. I loved the character of Floyd Eagle-san (Ken Jeong), they made his part short, sweet and wacky. Something tells me that’s not the last we have seen of that character. 

The voice acting is spot-on for the most part with Carrell and Wiig both doing an excellent, and Benjamin Bratt  as Eduardo Perez/El Macho, theowner of a Mexican restaurant (replacing original choice Al Pacino) was good but I don’t think he will be a memorable character. The film  is visually fantastic and the adorable soundtrack from Pharrell Williams again is simply delightful – especially his clap-along song Happy. Having said that I actually think the Despicable Me theme song is one of the most memorable in animation.

I think where “Despicable Me 2″ gets things most right is in its commitment to having fun. It sets up a very simple, very typical story, and doesn’t make it over bearing.

As for the minions, one of my favorite scenes is towards the ends when the Minions sing “I Swear” a 1994 love song by the group All-4-One. After that hilarious rendition, I’m surprised they haven’t gotten a spin-off TV series yet….

Director: Pierre Coffin
Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, Ken Jeong
Screenplay: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
Runtime: 98 mins
Cert: PG

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)

A Good Day To Die Hard

A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

I am really disappointed in myself for not listening to my instincts and perching my butt on the seat, in the cinema to watch this film. I now have over an hour of my life wasted and  John Moore needs to find a way to make it up to me. I knew it was going to a thumbs down but given the name, I was expecting some effort from all involved.

The wacky story goes: After being dropped off by his daughter to the airport, John McClane (Bruce Willis) heads to Mother Russia to try to help out his son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who seems to be  in trouble with the law. It’s revealed that Jack is a CIA agent who’s helping rescue and keep safe a Russian political prisoner Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch). Komarov  has knowledge of a hidden key and secure a secret file that a dirty defence minister wants to get ahold of. Naturally, John gets in the way of the plan, and, before we can say “Yippie Kai Yay”, father, son, and prisoner are on the run all over Moscow from Russian mercenaries. After a double-cross and a death defying escape, our heroes decide to infiltrate Chernobyl to prevent the bad guys from getting their hands on a load of weapons-grade uranium.

I’ll cut straight to the chase. The John McClane in this film in boring, tired and exhausted. The character that we all fell in love with 25 years ago, just isn’t there any more. I’m not sure who to blame. Skip the Screenwriter for falling asleep on the job or Brucie who is in his late 50s and isn’t as sturdy as he used to be. He obviously isn’t having as much fun with the role any more, and quips and funny lines that come out of his mouth now sound like written dialogue instead of the natural defence wit his character would utter.
Jai Courtney, playing McClane’s hero son, Jack, doesn’t give us much, but to be fair to him, he’s not given much, either. They try to mirror his attitude to that of his fathers but their on screen relationship is as painful for me to watch as I’m sure it was for them to play. Their relationship is the film’s centrepiece, but Moore doesn’t give it any time or attention and the film suffers terribly for it. Maybe they all did try but as we all know without a good script you may as well call it a day.

As for Skip Woods – what kind of screenplay do you call this? Was you concussed when you wrote many of the scenes? Was you drunk? Was you high? Seriously dude you must have been something because I refuse to believe you was competent and wide awake while writing this schpiel. “I love you son”, “I love you dad”, “Let’s go kill some bad guys” I mean what in the blue jeans is that? – Admittedly I can’t remember the exact words in this particular scene but I promise you it was along those lines.
Even after a silly car chase the older McClane mutters something to the confused baddies like “Remember me” – erm how in God’s name do they know who you are John McClane, let alone remember you? Your in friggin’ Russia and no one knows you here! Utter madness

The scene where the femme fatale Irina (Yuliya Snigir) gets off a motorbike and “seductively” unzips herself out of her suit was about as sexy as watching paint dry. She wasn’t pretty to look at, and you all already know I can appreciate a beautiful woman but she was a bland one. Her acting skills could give Kristen Stewart a run for her money. A downright was hot mess and so was her screen time.
I don’t even have anything constructive to say about the bad guys with guns, and for all you loyal Die Hard fans expecting something exciting a la Alan Rickman in “Die Hard” or Jeremy Irons “Die Hard With a Vengeance”? Forget about it.

The action was okay I suppose. It’s safe to say that the constant sounds of gunfire and explosives kept me awake. Our heroes falling through masses of bricks and rubble from a tall building to the ground with a few scratches wasn’t very believable but I was way past caring about the action at that point and I just wanted it to end.

Should I mention Chernobyl? Using Chernobyl as a setting for a finale showdown is in questionable taste, and the movie idiotically shrugs off the possibility of radiation poisoning for our heroes. The baddies swarm into Chernobyl with gas masks and jumpsuits to keep them safe but our “die hardees” just skip merrily into a zone where their bare skin is obviously thick enough to take whatever poison may come their way. I mean it was laughable! In fact this was the scene where a few people got up and walked out the cinema. Really, I should have followed them but alas, my legs betrayed me.

It’s very likely that this crap will be the death of Die Hard  films. This embarrassment is far from the spirit of the original bad ass, cheeky, entertaining, quick and well penned Die Hard as you can possibly get. Being the good person I am, I’ve decided to rename this film ” A Good Time To Never Resurrect This Franchise”! Y’all can thank me later :)

Director: John Moore
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Cole Hauser, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir
Screenplay: Skip Woods
Runtime: 97 mins
Cert: 12A

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)

85th Academy Awards

The Oscar Winners 2013


Okay so my no social media for lent has gone right out the window. I have to’s in my blood! I re-blogged from my friends at Anti-Film School as they always do it so well, nothing more for me to add.

Here are the winners of The 85th Academy Awards

AA x

Originally posted on Anti-Film School:


Hey readers,

The 85th Annual Academy Awards are tonight at 8:30! If you’re a film buff, you are more than ready to get the show on the road. For those who can’t watch or don’t really care to sit through the ceremony, Anti-Film School will have you covered with live updates of the winners. Watch the post throughout the show and I will indicate who takes the Oscar in every category. On with the show!

-Theater Management (Steve)

Best Picture:



“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

“Django Unchained”

“Silver Linings Playbook”

“Zero Dark Thirty”


“Les Miserables”

“Life of Pi”

Best Director:

David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Ang Lee, “Life of Pi” WINNER

Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

Michael Haneke, “Amour”

Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Best Supporting Actor:

Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained” WINNER

Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Alan Arkin…

View original 369 more words


Happy Lent

Hi guys and dolls

So for lent I have decided to give up all forms of social media and this includes my blog.

Whatever decide to give up or not give up, it doesn’t have to be all about religion and faith

I use it as a time to be reflective, clear my mind and soak up positivity.

I’ll be back on March 30th!


AA xx


Flight (2012)

From the opening scenes it was apparent that Flight was not going to be like Robert Zemeckis’ other films. It is his way of coming back into live action cinema. Full frontal nudity, drugs and alcohol are always the right ingredients for a some kind of character crash (no pun intended) and what I like about the first few scenes is that we didn’t have to wait long for our anti hero to show us his demons.

The story follows an arrogant, confident, drug using alcoholic veteran pilot William “Whip” Whittaker who doesn’t seem to think he has anything to lose with his reckless behaviour. His life seem to be one big groundhog day of alcohol, sex, drugs, airport hotel rooms and with the company  of a similarly addicted stewardess, he just doesn’t give a damn. He uses alcohol to get him down and when he is ready to fly or look the part, he uses cocaine to make him high. Whip is a man with serious problem and his ex-wife, cabin crew and friends all know it but the only person that needs convincing is Whip. When he gets into the cockpit on that fateful day, his co pilot Ken Evans (Brian Geraghty) is instantly on edge as he can see that Whip is clearly not someone who should be trusted with the lives of “102 souls”.
Even when tired and falling asleep next to an already nervous co-pilot he manages to demand control and trust but you know it’s downhill when he starts pouring vodka into his orange juice while addressing the very people are entrusting him with their lives. The plane begins to have problems and  Whip, drunk but mentally sharp, lands his bird as it’s literally coming apart. He shows himself to be a quick thinking genius for calculating ways to slow the plane’s plunge and recover control, even turning the plane 180 degrees to level before guiding it to a crash landing saving all but 6 lives. The intensity of the visuals, the frightened screams of the passengers/crew and the screeching of the plane alike balanced with the final impact, creates one of the most impressively scary crash scenes ever created on film. Zemeckis’s use of slow motion and lilting stedicam shots throughout the crash and its immediate aftermath captures every moment of horror.

The rest of the film deals with the aftermath of the crash and the remarkable way Whip took on the crash landing that did not resolve in the deaths of the entire 102 people on board. As the NTS (National Transportation Safety Board) begins to investigate, blood samples confirm that Whip had high levels of alcohol and cocaine in his blood. The lawyers and the union assure Whip that they can smooth this over, that he’s a hero, but that he has to stop drinking as the investigation means every move is being scrutinised  This proves easier said than done, and that’s when you realize that this is not a movie about flying or pilots, but about alcoholism, drugs, relapses, and redemptions.

The shift in tone and style between the film’s frenzied opening and the slow burning of Whitaker’s awakening provides a solid frisson which, it quickly and disappointingly becomes apparent, Zemeckis cannot maintain and the same can be said about DW’s character.

Many of the characters are flat — almost archetypes. The drug addict, the Bible bashers, the slick lawyer and the back-slapping borderline redneck southern airline owner. There’s very little character development in the film, including that of Whip, despite the performance Denzel puts on. Don Cheadle as Whitaker’s union defence attorney Hugh Lang comes in and does his job with no gimmicks. He is knowledgeable, fiesty and steadfast.  John Goodman’s cameo performance as Whip’s drug buddy/dealer was one of the most idiotic castings I have witnessed in a long time. His loud attire and persona didn’t bring anything to the story other than highlighting Whips crazy past and present. Goodman just didn’t need to be there and his character looked liked he came right out of another film like “The Hangover In The Jungle”. As for Kelly Reilly’s drug addicted Nicole her onscreen struggles with Whip was flat and dull. Both their journeys towards sobriety and redemption seemed spaced out. Him with a busted and bruised body, trying to beat up her landlord? She telling him he needs help with his drinking? No Shit! Zemeckis seemed like he was trying to fill in some running time. However I am grateful that once she vanished off our screens she didn’t come back. Okay so that was bit mean – on her own I think her story would have been great but with Denzel rarely being off scene it was hard for the Brit to make her mark in this.
James Badge Gale makes an outstanding cameo as a cancer patient. He completely steals the scene from DW and KR altogether. His semi religious monologue about the specter of God and of how much control we have over our own lives was so enticing and powerful that when he went off screen I wanted to follow HIS story.

Was this DW’s best film? If Training Day is anything to go by then I’d say no, not by a long shot. Denzel being paralytic on the floor surrounded by empty beer bottles while mumbling to himself, no, not right. DW is missing something in “Flight”..and I feel like I can’t connect or feel any empathy for DW’s character.

I think Zemeckis missed the mark with this live action and I guess I just miss his thirst for technological innovations which he boastfully showed off in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Forrest Gump”. The title of the film can be interpreted as a metaphor as the story really is about a man who’s life goes down like that plane. It is a good film, it’s just not a great film and dare I say Denzel Washington only received an oscar nomination because he is Denzel Washington.


Director: Rober Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood,
Screenplay: John Gatins
Runtime: 139 mins
Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

As the saying goes “Every cloud has a silver lining” and in this case bipolar Patrick “Pat” Solitano is having some serious problems in finding his.  The film is written and directed by David O. Russell and based off the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. After beating his cheating wife’s lover mercilessly  Pat gets sent to a mental institution for 8 months. Apparently reformed (but secretly not taking his meds), he returns to live with his parents in suburban Philadelphia. His father Patrizio “Pat Sr.” Solitano[ (Robert De Niro), a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fans who harbours serious OCD/anger issues  and his mother Dolores Solitano (Jacki Weaver) who only wants to see him get better and for them to be a sane happy family again. But Pats primary  goals is to over come his mental demons, beat a song which acts as a trigger to his bad behaviour and get his marriage with his estranged wife back on track. He soon befriends an equally depressed young lady Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s coping with the recent death of her husband by engaging in compulsive sex with almost every guy and gal she encounters. Tiffany, through her sister Veronica Maxwell (Julia Stiles), also has frequent run ins with Pat’s wife Nikki (Brea Bree) and offers to deliver a letter of his to her if he agrees to be her partner for an upcoming dance competition.

It is a film that, between the laughs, offers a moving and sensitive portrayal of mental illness and due to the impeccable cast David O.Russell is able to pull it off. Complete with inappropriate conversations, uncontrollable outbursts and unpredictable behaviour, Pat and Tiffany bond over sporadic encounters  that can be considered dates in the most conventional sense of the word, but far from romantic to any rational person. There are so many magical scenes in this but a brilliant scene involving almost the entire cast really ignites the narrative as each actor has a chance to throw their performance against each other,. The best thing is that the scene isn’t about the actors trying to out do each other competitively but each of them showing how they can all be set loose in a room and stand their ground.

 As Pat, Cooper really embraces the leading man role with conviction and is almost unrecognisable. His believable portrayal of the casual swings of bi-polar disorder is deeply affecting. Jennifer Lawrence again makes the most of the opportunity to step outside of the strong, stoic type established for her by Hunger Games and Winter Bones  characters. As the latter earned her an oscar nomination, it’s only right her role in this film emulates that. Also a special shout out goes to Chris Tucker who plays Danny, Pat’s best friend from the institute. Tucker has not been in a film other than the Rush Hour ones, so it’s good to have him back on our screens..acting rather than shouting.

The trailer is a disservice the the movie itself. It’s very entertaining, and does something that many rom-coms don’t succeed at: being grounded in reality while dealing with issues that are very much taboo if it’s met with ignorance   All the main characters are either living with a mental disorder or dealing with those around it. SLP is a simple film with a predictable storyline but it’s about real people than some overblown melodrama with a love story in waiting. Many of us know people with various types of mental illnesses from the mild to the  deep, and so in the film we can relate to them in their weakened emotional state. We root for Pat and Tiffany to find happiness and over come their trials and tribulations together as mentally they both come from the same neck of the woods.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher
Screenplay: Edward McCabe
Runtime: 122  mins Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)

Django Unchained

Django Unchained (2013)

(Contains spoilers)
I read this script long before it came to the worlds attention and the first thing I thought was with the word “nigger” being used over a whopping 10o times throughout the script “What is Spike Lee going to think” – true story. QT has had some genius cinematic moments with Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs and then it all went to the dogs with the rubbish Death Proof. Anyone who is a fan of QT will know that with his love for spaghetti westerns it was only a matter of time before he ventured into that genre. So the controversial director  does this by resurrecting the cult hero Django, but in form of a black man. There are plenty of reasons you could come up with to give QT’s latest a wide berth. Like the Kill Bill films and Inglorious Basterds, revenge is the driving force of Django Unchained. It is set in the American deep South during the slave trade era – and something like this was always bound to ruffle up a few feathers in the movie industry. Spike Lee has been very outspoken about boycotting the film reminding the world that the slave trade was  “not a Sergio Leone Western, it was a holocaust”, and that he would not be attending the movie out of respect to his ancestors. As a black west African, I thought Lee should cool down and see it for what it is – a brilliant well scripted film rather than an insult to our heritage. Though my screening of Django was sold out, I looked around and I counted 7 black faces in the cinema, so maybe other black people feel the same way as Lee. *shrugs*

Set in the south 2 years before the civil war, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave shackled to his “brothers” are on a journey to an unknown place. They come face-to-face with German born bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) who is posing as a dentist is really a bounty hunter and is on the trail of the murderous Brittle brothers but he has no idea what they look like. The hilariously unorthodox and abolitionist Schultz acquires Django with a promise to free him of being a slave upon the capture of the Brittle Bros dead or alive. Success leads Schultz to free Django but instead of separating, Schultz continues to seeks out wanted criminals of the south but this time with Django by his side. Django explains to Schultz that he is a married man and after trying to escape a previous slave plantation owner, he was branded and separated from his beloved wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). So together while shooting down the baddies they embark on a journey to find Broomhildas whereabouts and free her too. Schultz enjoys scandalising the locals as he rides from town to town partnered with a black man, and Django, understandably, develops a taste for a line of work that allows him to kill white folks and get paid for it.

Jamie Foxx slips into the role of Django like hand to a glove but at times he feels like a minor character in his own story, and when he is given the chance to explore his romance with Broomhilda there is no real excitement to the finale, the tension having already reached its peak with the penultimate act. As a result, the ending – and Django’s character – falls flat and for a moment I thought he was going to sign and invisible “Z” like Zorro. Django’s accent seems to be off sync in comparison to the other characters and altogether  Jamie Foxx is outdone by the incredible performances of Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson. As for Kerry Washington, she almost seems like a cameo as we barely hear  from her and only really see her as fragments of Django imagination or randomly speaking German (really bad too).

How QT meshes humour with brutality is very clever and in some scenes you almost feel guilty for laughing. There is a fantastic scene in which some of the locals gather together into a KKK posse known as The Regulators. Though instead of setting out to cause mayhem they all end up falling out with one another over the practicality about the many inconveniences of riding in hoods. After  dealing with the comedy posse, Django and Schultz shoot their way to their ultimate destination – Candieland the head residence of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Candie, though spine curdling evil, cruel and slightly too familiar affections with his sister, his character  is overshadowed by his retainer and elderly “house nigger” Stephen (Samuel L Jackson). The bitter servant who has so fully internalised the racism of his day, and his place in the scheme of things, that he enforces it as violently as any slave owner. Stephen watches the other slaves and inhabitants of Candieland mercilessly for anything suspicious in the house, turning against his own people in favour of his ‘Master’. Stephen is perhaps the most cunning and dangerous person on the land as having been a slave himself (and still is), he knows exactly what buttons to push with the other slaves. In fact Stephen actually ends up using the ‘N-word’ more antagonistically than anyone else in the film. He is spiteful and insulted by the thought that someone as young as Django is a free man who seems untouchable and the sight of Django riding on a horse almost sends him to his grave. This is perhaps Jacksons best role to date..

Tarantino doesn’t spare the audience any suffering alongside the slaves. We witness a partially blind, broken and terrified slave being ripped to pieces by dogs and slaves being forced to fight each other to the death in ‘Mandingo’ fights purely for the entertainment of the plantation owners. Though there is no evidence “mandingo” fights too place back then, the trials and tribulations the slaves endured are brought to light and I think QT has to be commended for doing a good directorial job.

The original Django (Franco Nero directed by Sergio Corbucci in 1966) also appears as a cameo which gives nostalgia a nice kick. It’s been a long time since I have applauded a Tarantino film, in fact, for me this is his best film since Jackie Brown. If not for the duration and the over use of blood and guts  this would have been a near-perfect movie. 


Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Jaime Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Dennis Christopher, James Remar, Michael Parks, Don Johnson, Franco Nero
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Runtime: 180 mins
Cert: 18

Enjoy the trailer
AA   :)

Ganster Squad

Gangster Squad (2013)

I always love a movie based on a true story and in this case it’s the downfall of  maniacal criminal kingpin Mickey Cohen. In real life Cohen was sent to Alcatraz for IRS tax evasion but nobody wants to watch that on the big screen.We want drama, seduction, blood, revenge and a whole lotta tommy guns simultaneously going off. So I suppose the story telling is not truthful but it makes an entertaining watch. Fleischer tries hard to tackle a “true” crime drama but I think he falls shorts in the genre of gritty film noir.

Set after the war in 1949, the film follows the ongoing rivalry between Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), who is hellbent on becoming the head honcho of L.A.’s underworld and Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin), a boring one dimensional LA cop with the emotional capacity of a corpse. O’Mara is tasked by Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) with cleansing LA of the problem that is Cohen, his brutes and the illegal racketeering he has going on. Chief Parker gives O’Mara the green light to assemble a discreet, off-the-books posse  and with the help of his no nonsense wife Connie he enlists  Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) and a random but clever group of detectives (Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña and Giovanni Ribisi) in a rather cheery violent romp through a mob-infested Los Angeles.

The usually fantastic cast are all held accountable to this mismatched film, despite having to deliver dialogue that no one could walk away from unscathed. Penn gives a good performance but  he is too over the top compared dulled down actors around him and with his prosthetic face and twangy type accent he might as well be an actual cartoon on the screen.
His love interest Grace Faraday (Emma stone) is a complete failure as a character. Who in God’s name thought she would be convincing as a femme fatale? A mob boss’s lady and a gangster’s moll? Well the casting agents saw something Fleischer could not bring to life on the screen. She looks every bit the modern day 24 year old girl. Jessica Rabbit pulled off a better performance in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”.

Gangster Squad is a movie with a lazy story meshed for audiences just for the sake of making a film. I feel like what could have been a great movie if more energy had been put in and Beall has thought his screenplay though ended up being  a con job as it  lacks any originality or depth.
The blames falls solely at director Ruben Fleischer, a man who clearly has no understanding or appreciation of the 1940-50s period, for if he did he wouldn’t shoot what should have been the most entertaining scenes in slow motion. It worked beautifully in Pete Travis’ 2012 movie Dredd, but here I found myself laughing at Fleischer.

Ultimately, the film is all about instant gratification, almost as much for the characters as for the viewer. On a production note, considerable effort has been expended to reproduce Hollywood Boulevard and other city parts the way they supposedly looked in the transitional days and nights of the late 1940s. The costumes also hit the mark – but then again all of that is easy to come by. It’s a shame the writing and directing partnership between Fleischer and Beall showed us nothing but perhaps they should both steer well clear of trying to re-write history whilst having no motivation to make a decent film.


Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Josh Pence
Screenplay: Will Beall
Runtime: 113  mins Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer Love and Light :)


The Oscar Nominees

And The Nominees Are…


Let’s get award season 2013 underway!

Originally posted on Anti-Film School:

Oscar Nominations

It’s that time of the year again! Below is a full list of all your Oscar nominees. And feel free to leave your opinion!

Best Picture:



“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

“Django Unchained”

“Silver Linings Playbook”

“Zero Dark Thirty”


“Les Miserables”

“Life of Pi”

Best Director:

David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”

Michael Haneke, “Amour”

Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Best Supporting Actor:

Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”

Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Alan Arkin, “Argo”

Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”

Best Supporting Actress:

Sally Field, “Lincoln”

Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”

Jacki Weaver, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”

Amy Adams, “The Master”

Best Actor:

Daniel Day Lewis, “Lincoln”

Denzel Washington, “Flight”

Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”

Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”

Best Actress:

Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”


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The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element (1997)

So I tuned in to one of those random sky film channels and this movie gem happened to just be starting. This film was actually written by Luc Besson when he was a teenage boy, and by the mid 90’s Besson was quickly becoming one of my favourite directors having giving us the masterpieces that are Nikita (1990) and Leon (1994). His visual style combined with an astounding ability to merge action and fantasy is what helps to bring film alive from the game.

The film begins in Egypt in 1914, the alien race The Mondoshawans  have returned to earth to remove the 5th element, with promise to return it as they feel a war is coming. Together with the 4 stone elements (air, water, fire and earth), when put together, the 5th element creates a divine light that defeats evil and keeps life a-buzzin on earth. They explain this all to Father Vito Cornelius (Ian Holm) who vows to upkeep goodwill on earth and fulfill his destiny. As for The Mondoshawans, who they are and how they all got there is not important. Only life is important.  Yes the narrative is patently absurd but it works if you focus on the music, characters and humour.

The film cuts quickly to another extraordinary scene, New York City in the mid-23rd century. A futuristic city metropolis, with apartments in blocks, cars that levitate on air and Chinese restaurants float about (I’m guessing it would be New York). Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) plays and a former space fighter turned deadbeat cab driver, has the titular character The Fifth Element,Supreme Being/Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) fall into the back of his cab and thus their story begins.

Besson gives us one great visual conceit after another and he used his characters to bring these out. Miss Plavalaguna a towering alien diva opera singer whose skin is made from extremely tight leather, has tentacles coming out of her head, sings like an angel and dances like she is on speed. Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) plays an outrageous and zany DJ who prances around in a dress, with crazy makeup and an equally barmy entourage. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) embodies the villainous role of a power maniac aligning with evil. These characters succeed because they both fit into clear archetypes and yet exist with so much individual color and texture that they feel more like the individuals the archetypes are based upon than characters based upon the archetypes. Paul Gaultier’s outlandish costumes fit this film like a hand to a glove.

The weakest part of the film though is the broader story, like we don’t come to know the origin of the elemental stones and why out of all the planets n the solar system the great evil seems hellbent on destroying only earth? Perhaps is because it’s the only one where their is proof of life form (my own observations). With all the narrative flaws I still really love this film but I must point out the ending scene where Dallas professes his love for LeeLoo in order for her to release the Divine Light in the nick of time has to be one of the cringiest moments in my personal cinematic history. Still works though!

Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker
Screenplay: Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson
Runtime: 99  mins Cert: 12A

Enjoy the trailer Love and Light :)

Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year

To all my readers, subscribers, loyalist and downright cynics – I wish you all a very happy new year.

I hope/pray this year is full of happiness, wisdom, success, blessing, good luck, generosity, love, laughter, good health and many other great things to fill your year and beyond.

I love this quote:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” 
― Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year 

Love A.A x

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

Just wanted to wish my readers and subscribers near and far a very Happy Christmas/Happy Holidays.

I hope you are very happy and Santa brings you all the goodies you want. If your like me then its all about giving rather than receiving :)

For those of us lucky to receive lovely things and still complaining or ungrateful – spare a thought for those who don’t have anything!

Whatever your celebrating on this day, I hope it’s filled with laughter, love and good food

A.A x

End Of Watch

End Of Watch (2012)

David Ayer is best known for penning the action films Training Day (where Denzel Washington won his overdue best actor academy award), S.W.A.T, Street Kings The Fast and the Furious. In these films the narratives are chiefly centered upon dysfunctional antiheroes and their questionable morality. Ayer is a fantastic writer for films in this genre and he directed his latest film ‘End of Watch’- a term which police us to log in their end of day reports, Ayer fuses police drama with humour, courage and heart all during moments of extreme and somewhat over exaggerated violence.

Officers Bryan Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) are two upstanding and boisterous policemen, who do good upon their promise to uphold the law in the south central area of Los Angeles.  Much of the film focuses on their daily routine tackling crime and their relationship that’s clearly a lot deeper than most. They talk about everything and mock each others ethnicities and stereotypes without being offensive.  Zavala is the more settled of the two, married to his high school sweetheart, comes from a large caring family and expecting his first child. Whereas Taylor is fast-talking, jumpy but intelligent as he is taking classes for his entry into law school. Both are likeable and their bond, loyalty and trust for one another is believable.

Throughout the film, which switches seamlessly from character study to taut thriller, Taylor and Zavala cross paths several times with psychotic members of the Sinaloa drug cartel. The brutality is intense, dabbling in human and drug  trafficking, cold-blooded massacres/body dismemberment, and the two heroes don’t know they out of their depth until its too late. The final gun scene is exaggerated but in true Hollywood style it shows the violence and uncertainty that the LAPD are up against daily.

It’s a testosterone-dominated film, filled with nervous rookies and jaded veterans and hard faced women cops (played by America Ferrera of Ugly Betty fame, Cody Horn). Above it all, we see a close-knit police community who go out into the means streets everyday facing situations that they are sometimes not equip to deal with such as a burning house and duct taped children.

Ayer’s script and direction cleans out cop clichés and freshens up found footage techniques by disregarding the convention of having characters continuously shooting with cameras. Ayer uses this method inconsistently, throwing in both conventional widescreen establishing shots and, more insidiously, handheld camerawork that simply cannot be diegetic.
My only criticism towards the script is the language was so foul at times that I’d miss certain this characters were saying – I understand that’s the nature of the beast giving the nature of the surroundings, he could have toned it down just a little bit.

The film gives a greater insight into the gang members’ lives and proves the dominant underclass of the Hispanics and the African-Americans – some of the gang members especially the females are so scary that it helps to heighten the performances of Gyllenhaal/Pena and their delivery of Ayer’s witty dialogue is fantastic.

Ayer, who grew up in South Central, chose to film real locations which adds to the authenticity and I think the casting was fantastic. Michael Pena should definitely be getting starring roles rather than supporting ones, as he has proved countless times that he is an actor not to be pushed in the background.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, David Harbour, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo
Screenplay: David Ayer
Runtime: 109  mins
Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light :)

James Arthur

X Factor Winner 2012: James Arthur

A big congratulations to James Arthur on his X-Factor victory tonight. Personally I think both him and the lovely Jahmene were worthy of the crown as they genuinely have raw talent and I hope we don’t hear the last of ‘Mr Shy Giggles’ Jahmene.

I think James if not surrounded by the right people will have fame and fortune overwhelm him and he might quickly find himself right back where he started. With twitter slagging matches involving Frankie Boyle and insulting past male winners such as Matt Cardle, I hope Nicole Scherzinger has saved him enough humble pie should he find himself at the wrath of Simon Cowell’s mercy if his album not do as well as anticipated.

Having said this, time has changed and the creative control the X-factor winners have these days are much better, so I have a feeling that James Arthur will be around for a very long time.
I also which the very best to Jahmene Douglas because I really want him to do well – no talent like that should be wasted stacking shelves in a supermarket.

Though the talent this year was mediocre, a few of the contestants will do well. Lucy Spraggan is a very blessed writer and she should stick to that as her singing gives me pains, perhaps she could even write for James. Ella Henderson will go very far and she is till so young so we already know we will be seeing more of her. Union J? – okay so there is already One Direction but whats greats about the music industry is that there is always room for more. JLS have not received global domination the way One Direction have but still managed to become multimillionaires through their music. Rylan Clark? Well it was always obvious that not habouring any singing abilities but having a wicked personality and a loud character would surely get him places.

Just one more question remains…who’s going to reimburse Christopher Maloney’s nans phone bill? The poor old Biddy!

Well done James Arthur – looking forward to hearing your music in the new year. Below is my favourite performance of his during this competition. Enjoy

Love and Light :)

James Arthur: Hometown Glory

Wrath of The Titans

Wrath Of The Titans (2012)

This has to be one of the most sillest films I have seen in a long time. Admittedly I was being too ambitious expecting it to be better than 2010 Clash of the Titans idiotic remake, but this was utter crap! Its like the director (Libesman) and the writers (Mazeau and Leslie -Johnson) ignored the visual and written creativity needed for a film like this and decided to throw whatever they could together after a drunken night out.

The narrative follows demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) 10 years after he has slayed the Kraken and Persues has since retired to become a fisherman while raising his son Helios (John Bell) among mortals. Called upon his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) to defeat a bunch of crazy gods who seek to release the dreaded titans from the underworld, who would in turn obliterate the world, kill the gods and wipe out any life form! 
Perseus is as reluctant as ever to be the hero and like “Clash” believes the Gods deserve everything they receive. He eventually accepts mankind needs his help after his village comes under attack and he gathers a small pathetic crew for their adventure. Agenor (Toby Kebbell), the half-god son of Poseidon who is nothing than a common thief  and Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) — and sets out on a quest to his now kidnapped father from the dreaded underworld and also reforge the Spear of Triam to defeat Kronos.  

The film lacks passion, emotion and drive – we see characters and random monsters pop into and out of scenes apparently arbitrarily. It’s hard to pin the story down and comprehend whats going on and it boils down to the writers not giving the viewers any reason to care. At some points it gets so boring the only excitement is something being blown up. The dialogue and the on-screen chemistry between the characters is about as tangy as a packet of Rowntrees Sour Fruit Pastelles. The pain my ear drums felt when the mash-up of accents came into play, from French, Aussie to South American – I mean it’s like the actors forgot their were acting and starting using their real accents, which makes me wonder if Liebesman was sleeping on set?

I thought casting Sam-Boring-Worthington was silly in the first film, and this has only proved everything I said before. If I was in a world in need of saving  he would be my last choice – in fact I’d put on the armour, take my sword and go do it myself. He’s the least engaging, believable, reluctant hero I’ve ever seen on film. The only two decent performances were that of zany God Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) and Agenor (Toby Kebbell) who provided some mild humour. The God of War, Ares (Edgar Ramirez) is a complete waste of character and  the “I hate you brother because father fav’d you” attitude was like watching paint dry. I have seen better family feuds on episodes of The Simpsons!

Wrath is an adventure film without any  adventure. I felt like I was watching the film forever and kept looking at the remaining time of the film but refused to stop watching in case by some miracle something would pick the story up. The movie does not quite reach the epic thrills and hype created by the trailers. Personally seeing as it is called “Clash of he Titans” I would have liked to have seen a “clash” – a memorable fight between the Titans from Tartarus and the offspring of other Gods, not just Perseus and Agenor rise up and battle them. As I said in the beginning, my thoughts were too ambitious.

I don’t care if you pray to God, Bhudda, Aphrodite or Hera – lets all collectively pray that we are not subjected to such crappy entertainment again and please stop casting Sam Worthington! The guy is a rubbish actor – even in Avatar, the best bits with him wasn’t his human form is was his Avatar! Jheeez

Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Stars: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Laim Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston
Screenplay: Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson
Runtime: 99  mins
Cert: 12A

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light :)

Think Like A Man

Think Like A Man (2012)

The one thing that grates on me when it comes to a film with a predominantly black cast is when it’s released theatrically in the UK you have about 72 hour to catch it s before all traces of the film disappears  It’s a harsh reality still facing black cinema but let me leave that debate for another time. 
Thanks to my good friends at Blinkbox I got the hook up on the film I’ve been yearning to watch as I was beginning to think I must be the only black woman who is still in the dark (no pun intended). Yes the film I’m talking about is the critically acclaimed US rom-com “Think Like A Man”

Clichéd romantic comedies are a dime a dozen but  recently clichéd rom-coms with  black casts are scarce  which gives this film the booster it deserves. It’s not so much the story that makes this film appealing for me – but it’s the badass cast that bring it together.
Think Like a Man is a film adapted from the book ”Act Like A Lady..Think Like A Man” by comedian Steve Harvey that offers relationship advice to women. The plot  becomes a series of  interlocking stories about a group of 5 close male friends partnered with women that are their potential soul mates however each man is conveniently a personality types Harvey outlines in his book.

The couples: Geeky grown man with a child’s mind Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) real estate agent Kristen (Gabrielle Union), the “mama’s boy” Michael (Terence J) and single but clued up single  mum Candace (Regina Hall) , the dreamer-chef Dominic (Michael Ealy) and Fortune-500 COO Lauren (Taraji P. Henson), the smooth-talking “player” Zeke (Romany Malco) and the lady who wants no man to get her cookies so easily (Meagan Good) and last but not least the recently divorced Cedric (Kevin Hall). Of all the relationships I actually like the twist in Michael Candaces’ story because when we are first introduced to their potential relationship, I thought their problem would be her having a child rather than his over-bearing and meddling mother.

The film reduces the war between the sexes and the infinite mysteries of romance and relationships to a bland, pandering assortment of commercial stereotypes.  Hart is made to carry a large part of the comedic burden, and while makes me laugh at various points, his jokes do quickly turn tiresome to allow the other protagonists light their comedic torches. Chris Brown proves to be an actor the making playing a cheeky lothario and his hilarious ”run for it” scene with Mya manages to be pretty amusing. We see him pop up again in various scenes calling Mya by other names that start with ‘M’ showing why she has her guards up with men when it comes to sex.
Lala Vasquez, Toccara Jones, Kelly Rowland and Keri Hilson are other celebs who make cameo appearances.

While the outcomes of the individual romances portrayed are fairly predictable, the chemistry among the cast members is powerful and they maintain the entertainment value. The story has been done before and is not original or innovative, and I didn’t learn anything new about relationships but Tim Story and Tyler Perry make it work.

Watch movies online – looks great if you have a tablet, loving it on my iPad!

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall, Meagan Good, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, Jay Ferrara
Screenplay: Tyler Perry, David A. Newman
Runtime: 123  mins
Cert: 12A

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light :)


Skyfall (2012)

“Skyfall” – no matter what a James Bond movie is called it’s always guaranteed to be a box-office smash and with Sam Mendes at the helm we could all be assured that it would be a job well done.

The opening scenes which begins in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Bond is fighting fit and he finally seems to be over the whole Vesper Lynd betrayal saga. Suddenly the closing of that scene ends in Bond’s possible demise after being thrown from a moving train into the sea and the scenes showcase a brilliance of  timing and choreography.

After a rude awakening from his self pitying and being lured away from his paradise, he understands that he has a mission both a blessing and a curse that he can not turn from.
This time, James Bond must try and protect M (Judi Dench) from what apparently is a personal attack – what makes it a twist is that M seems to have skeletons in her closet. Behind the walls of  MI6, agents are no longer safe, and the new liaison between M and her new superior Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), Chairman of the ISC, evinces not even a grudging affection for 007.
The fiercely patriotic and dignified Judi Dench gets to explore her character’s hidden fears  which adds some complex heightened layers to her final performance as well.  Q (Ben Wishaw), is a young OxBridge genius whose modern-day specialty is computer hacking rather than inventing exploding pens.

In Skyfall, Bond’s weaknesses makes him a more captivating figure and also more human like. Although muscular and toned, the role of playing a secret agent begins to kick in it’s physical and psychological draining. His eyes are somewhat soul-less which adds what feels like an unprecedented sense of depth to a character we thought we’d known so well for 50 years.

M is being hunted mercilessly by a psychotic super cyber villain named Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) a maniacal, bisexual monster who uses whimsy to express menace, an intelligent man who knows M’s secrets and takes pride in telling a spine curdling story about survivalist rats.  Silva, a  former MI6 agent getting his revenge against this staid, old-fashioned organization in high-tech, ultra-efficient ways that make him seem unstoppable. He wants world domination through orchestrated chaos and he approaches the role with a mix of effeminate flamboyance and cold-blooded ruthlessness. He calmly but terrifying mocks Bond about his life protecting people who at the drop of a hat would betray him.

Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Severine (Bérénice  Marlohe) fulfill the typically boring Bond girl duties though surprisingly to me  Harris does a very good job in her transition from field agent to secretary. At the risk of sounding catty she doesn’t come across very feminine and I think there was plenty of opportunity for her to be alluring as well as a kick-ass female sidekick. When Moneypenny dons a dress she was androgynous and I personally didn’t like that. I wish Marlohe was given more screen time so we can assess not only her beauty but more importantly her acting skills.

Mendes seems adamant on making the best Bond since ”The Spy Who Loved Me” given that he exhumes Bond’s old Aston Martin and to my surprise, during my screening the car actually received an applause when it came onto the screen!

The film is shot wonderfully and has some breath taking scenes, the most memorable being the empty office space in a Shanghai skyscraper: a mesmerizing mix of cool glass surfaces and shadows. Also the moment when Bond pulls up to to the party in Shanghai on a boat – the surroundings show off some off the Chinese culture and desire for bright colours.
The punchy one-liners, slick suits and cinematography should also be recognised for its perfection as well as Adele crooning the movies theme song. Sam Mendes should be appreciated for making James Bond a character that is relevant once again.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Lim Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Wishaw
Screenwriters: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Runtime: 143  mins
Cert: 12A

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light :)

Tulisa (again)

Poor Tulisa – she seems to be having a bad year. Financially and career wise she is sound but personally she just keeps getting ripped to pieces.
First her slimeball ex leaks a sex-tape and next Gary Barlow calls her out about her ”fag ash breath” on national television. While she is not my favourite person,  I do think it was very disrespectful for Gary to embarrass her like that, he could have just pulled her to one side and offered her a tic tac. Every problem has a solution!!

I don’t actually believe it was a stunt, I think Gary got caught up in the moment and only realised what he was saying after it had left his mouth. The thing is, no matter how much he apologises, people will always remember that and I really feel sorry for the girl. Naughty twitter for having ”fag ash breath” as a trending topic.

Anyways – here’s my sister Alyzah posing with Tulisa at her launch of her fashion line in Westfield White City. I don’t know who in their right mind would want to wear Tulisa’s clothes but hey ho, fag breathe and all, shes current

Enjoy the snap
Love and Light x

The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

It’s becoming apparent that Matthew McConaughey plays lawyers better than any other character in his other films. Cast your minds back 16 years ago when he played a lawyer in the 1996 Joel Schumacher film ‘A Time to Kill’, he was brilliant – and he brings that same demeanor to this film too. After watching this i can forgive him for his past errors such as Fools Gold and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

The film is  directed by Brad Furman and based on the Michael Connelly novel of the same name. It centers on a smooth talking criminal defense attorney Mick Haller (McConaughey) who is hired to defend a wealthy Beverly Hills playboy, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), accused of the assult and attempted murder of a prostitute (Margarita Levieva). Mick’s a lawyer who practices out of his Lincoln towncar, generally dealing with cases most other lawyers would find either morally reprehensible or cases where the defendant has no hope of winning. Haller is ruthless, an extremely skilled, slick and harbors no quilt  about who he defends, as long as he gets paid. When faced with defending Roulet, he gets more than he bargains for when he realises he is caught in a moral game regarding an old case that he lost and now his personal and professional life is being threatened.

The court scenes are fascinating not because they show a witty attorney treating the witnesses and jurors like pieces on a chessboard but also because this is a case Mick is desperate to lose. As he struggles behind-the-scenes to find a way out of the trap the Roulets have laid for him, he continues to perform brilliantly on the judge’s stage. The ending get split into half which I found interesting and it satisfies enough on an emotional level that we’re willing to forgive any intellectual and logical shortcomings.

Margret McPherson (Marisa Tomei) fades in the background and has no real significance other than being the ex partner of Haller and they share custody of their daughter. They have a little on-screen romance which falls flat due to one being a prosecutor and the other a defense lawyer so they both looking at justice through different lenses.
William H. Macy is delightful under cover homosexual  and although his screen time is cut short he still manages to stay present through various scenes. Ryan Phillippe is disturbingly good as a handsome sociopath and his onscreen mother Mary Windsor (Frances Fisher) is equally wonderful at playing a woman out to defend her baby boy.

For a guy who supposedly works from his car, Haller spends barely any time actually doing work – other than counting some money and playing about with a gun we see  little of him in the Lincoln. Although when he is in it, he and Earl (Laurence Mason) speak in an affable shorthand that’s great fun to watch — they’re both surfing the same wavelength.

The scenes on the Lincoln  are some of the best in visual terms, maybe because they’re so simply shot. From the camera’s eye view, we get to see both faces at once as these characters communicate with one another. The soundtrack compliments these scenes.
I love the cheekiness of his number plate which is ‘NTGUILTY’ – it alsmot has a double meaning. His clients are not guilty and he should also feel not guilty for defending such criminals.

Furman shoots the film with a cool degree of stylization, using an over-saturated color with controlled zooms. Furman and the cast keep you invested in seeing where Mick Haller ends up, if he can control the situation and maintain his cool. McConaughey definitely shines and allows his acting ability to peak in dark thrillers than rom coms.

Director: Brad Furman
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillipe, Josh Lucas, Michael Pena, William H. Macy, Bryan Cranston, Bob Gunton
Screenwriter: John Romano
Runtime: 119mins
Cert: 15

Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light x


Angel (Musician)

So I promised a 3rd celebrity snap with Alyzah and here it is!!

Absolutely love him – he has done so well for himself and without sounding biased he is only going to get bigger!! I predict world domination for a man with humble beginnings – growing up in Shepherds Bush (W12), the same area as yours truly (well I was in East Acton..), he still has his feet firmly on the ground and he doesn’t seem to have no chip on his shoulder.

With his massively infectious his debut single “Wonderful” solid in the charts, I have nothing but love and support for him. So make sure you all do too!
“When you finally find what’s’s so wonderful” #Tune

Enjoy the snap
Love and Light X


Tyler James
Mohammed George

Gus! (Eastenders)

Lol guys don’t laugh at me but I bumped into Mohammed George who played Gus the streetsweeper in Eastenders (Who remembers him?!)
Well I didn’ first glance I actually thought he was the singer Marques Houston *cough*, but my sister Angel was obviously on point and reminded me who he was before I ran up to him singing.

Ahhh man he was sooooo sweet but seemed a little upset that people only remembered him as ”Gus from Eastenders”. What I don’t understand is what else are we supposed to remember him from?! He hasn’t done anything since!

I won’t take anything away from him thought because he was soooo cute!! *pulls cheeks*. I gave him a wide shoulder hug and showed him its all love even if his character was pretty insignificant. Mwahahahahahaaaaaa

Enjoy the photo
Love and Light x


Ms Dynamite
Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian Divorce

Oh my goodness I almost fell to pieces after learning Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce from Kris Humphries. NOT!! I am however surprised it lasted 72 days, thought it would have been about 30!
Hands up..who out there thought this marriage was the real deal?! I know some of you did…(suckers)

Kim is without doubt one of the most beautiful women out there but the girl is a complete buffoon. She falls in ”love” with anyone in trousers. It was easy to see this whole “let’s fall in love and get married quickly” was a sham. I love watch Keeping Up with The Kardashians simply for the fashion. I mean say what you want about the family but I would happily trade in my sisters for just 25% of their wardrobe (just kidding mum).

While watching the last episode, even a person with the IQ of 10 could evaluate and conclude that all we were subjected to was massively rehearsed displays of phoney love. Then some of the things they argued about on the series made red flags go up. I mean you would think they actually speak about things before expressing their wish to marry. He didnt even know she was married before…or so he says.
There was just a dead way in which they communicated and it just seemed so forced. If you compare it to the way she spoke to her ex Reggie Bush..she used to completely light up and be almost speechless in his presence.

Let’s not wrap Kris in white sheets as that boy is a FOOL. I would like to think he was in on the whole scam too, because he has made A LOT of money from being married to Kim. I think he should count his lucky stars as he is younger than she is and he can quickly find someone more suitable to spend his ill gotten gains with. The guy looks, walks and talks like Frankenstein’s monster! His brain cells are as extincts as dodo’s

One thing I do find insulting is the way they haven’t valued their vows and have made a mockery of marriage. Most people will only be able to dream their perfect weddings, and will most probably have to settle for much less than their dreams. End of the day Kim can do whatever she likes with her ”hard earned” money but she needs to remember that what goes up will almost certainly come down one day. If she has taken unsuspecting Kris for a ride, then karma will be a bitch.

If I was one of their guests I would ask for my bloody gift back! Silly me for thinking finding a man who started with ”K” would make her happy

End of the day they made $250k for each day they was married, now as disgusting as that sounds, Kim won’t be ”heartbroken” for too fact she’s probably listened to 50 cents ”Straight to the Bank” on repeat about 25 times in duration it’s taken me to write this post!

Love and Light x