My pictures from the 2018 BAFTAs

Timothee Chalamet

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the BAFTAs and I was on both the red carpet and in the winners’ press conference room, and you can see all the pictures I took below.

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Top Films for January

It’s not just the start of a new month this time – it’s also the start of a new year! For this special version of my monthly movie preview, I look at what’s due for release in the UK in January 2018.

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What I learned from Anthony McCarten’s BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture

Anthony McCarten, who wrote the scripts for The Theory of Everything and the upcoming Darkest Hour, recently came to BAFTA’s headquarters in Piccadilly, London to give a lecture about his approach to screenwriting.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard: Film Review 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is one of those films that are so difficult to review because you just don’t know what to make of it. It is so thoroughly inconsistent – great one minute and really bad the next – that is really is a headscratcher.

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Churchill: Film Review

We’ve recently seen Winston Churchill in The Crown, played by the award-winning John Lithgow and will we soon see him again in Darkest Hour, where he is portrayed by Gary Oldman. So do we need another one in the meantime? Well, probably not, but at least in Churchill we are presented with a different moment in time and an impressive performance by Brian Cox.

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The Space Between Us: Film Review

Courtesy of STX Entertainment

I love a sci-fi and I love a teen romance story so The Space Between Us seemed like the perfect combination. I love Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino and think Asa Butterfield is very cute so it’s a shame this movie is a bit too sentimental and a massive cheese fest.

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Criminal: Film Review

Kevin Costner’s latest action thriller is batshit crazy and unintentionally hilarious but so completely entertaining, mostly at its own expense.

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Top Films For July

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BEGIN AGAIN

Keira Knightley stars as an English singer/songwriter who no longer wants to live in New York as she has split from her unfaithful boyfriend (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in his movie debut). The night before she flies home, she is forced to sing at an open mic, where music producer Mark Ruffalo happens to be. I have seen this – It is a wonderful, feel-good film with a great soundtrack. The review will be coming shortly. Released: 11th July

 

Boyhood

BOYHOOD

This looks incredible. Director and writer Richard Linklater shot this over 12 years using the same cast. Beginning in 2002, it follows a boy growing up with divorced parents. It is just a unique way of showing him evolving from a boy into a man. Reviews from its rounds on the Festival circuit have been impressive too. Released: 11th July

 

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DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

I really liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes so I have to see how this continues. This begins 10 years later, after the virus was released and it has wiped out most of civilization, which is at war with the intelligent apes, lead by Caesar (Andy Serkis). It is a shame that neither James Franco or Freida Pinto returned for this but we have the lovely Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke (above) and Keri Russell as leads instead. Released: 17th July

 

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EARTH TO ECHO

This looks like a cute family film in the vein of E.T. A group of four friends find an alien and help it return home. That does not sound particularly original but the reviews have been positive and the found footage style will give it a modern update. Released: 25th July

 

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

The next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unlikely superhero lead Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill, who finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan. To hide from Ronan, he must team up with a group of misfits including a green alien, a humanoid and a talking racoon. Weird, but hey, it’s Marvel and it needs to be seen! Released: 31st July

Watch: David Bowie’s shock vid & Avril’s comeback

David Bowie 

This video is crazy! No wonder YouTube took it down. Now, the site has reinstated The Next Day, I can share it! It is set in a bar slash brothel where Gary Oldman plays a priest who dances with a prostitute, played by Marion Cotillard. Bowie is singing in the corner and is some sort of religious figure as his crooning causes Marion to experience stigmata. It is gory and very surreal.

 

Avril Lavigne


Here is the video to Here’s To Never Growing Up. I feel it is quite apt because Avril doesn’t seem to have grown up musically at all. The video and the song feels like something we’ve seen before, except Avril looks more polished. It is catchy enough but not impressive at all.

Lawless: Review

There really aren’t many negative comments I can make about this film because it is absolute genius. I love the script, the cast, the setting, the era and just the whole damn thing really. I will probably end up gushing, BEWARE.

The film (based on a true story) follows the Bondurant brothers who run a moonshine business in the Prohibition era. Obviously, this practice is illegal but the police also want some of the produce so they turn a blind eye. They are loads of other groups in Franklin County, Virginia, but that soon becomes problematic when Special Detective Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) comes onto the scene from Chicago. Rakes doesn’t intend to stop the bootlegging business-he wants a cut of their profits instead. Forrest, the head Bondurant brother (played by Tom Hardy) refuses and the boys soon fall foul of Rakes’ dirty and evil ways of intimidation and torture. He will do anything in his power to get his cut or to shut them down entirely and he is one nasty bastard.

There is a bit more to it than that but that is the main overarching plot. There is a power struggle between the brothers as Jack (Shia LaBeouf), the youngest and most timid Bondurant, isn’t given any responsibility because he isn’t tough enough to deal with rough customers. The business is very violent and the older boys do not trust him with their liquor. He starts to become frustrated and gets a bit reckless.

The violence plays a big part in the movie as it is the main way the men keep each other in line. It gets much worse once Rakes is on the scene because he is absolutely ruthless and the way he treats people is disgusting. There is a lot of blood and some parts will make you cringe but it isn’t as bad as I was expecting.

Pearce is brilliant in this film and he plays the corrupt cop perfectly. In fact, nobody was bad. I think that’s the main thing that makes this movie excellent- the cast are just so good. Shia was amazing as Jack as his character progresses so much throughout from a timid boy to a strong-willed man. Hardy is awesome as usual as a stoic, man-of-few-words type who rules his business with ease.

The script is great- there are some quality comedic moments too which just lighten the tone. I love the accents, the dress sense, the cars, the guns, the era- the setting is so good! The action was equally balanced by dialogue I felt, the violence was necessary and the characterisation is superb. The only bad thing I can say is that I had trouble catching every sentence due to the accent and the actors’ low mumbled speech.

The supporting cast helped a lot too. I would have loved to see more Gary Oldman as mobster Floyd Banner as he isn’t given as much screen time as you would expect. Jessica Chastian is perfect as always as barmaid Maggie and love interest to Forrest. Mia Wasikowska joins the cast as Jack’s love interest but nothing really happens there as she is from a strict religious family.

This is an amazing film and I would highly recommend it.