Vote for ‘The Popcorn Muncher’ in the UK Blog Awards 2015

16 Nov

The Popcorn Muncher is entered into the UK Blog Awards 2015

Over the past couple of years, my team of guest writers and I have been working hard to make The Popcorn Muncher as good a film blog as it can possibly be.

This year, The Popcorn Muncher is entered in the UK Blog Awards, in two categories – ‘Young Persons’ and ‘Arts & Culture’. We need you to give us a hand as part of the public vote stage of the competition.

By clicking the links below, you can vote for The Popcorn Muncher in each of the two categories using any valid email address.

Arts & Culture     –     Young Persons

Thank you for voting and I would love it if you could share this post on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #UKBA15.

Review – The Book of Life

22 Nov

Poster for 2014 animation The Book of Life

Genre: Animation
Certificate: U
UK Release Date: 24th October 2014
Runtime: 95 minutes
Director: Jorge R Gutierrez
Writer: Jorge R Gutierrez, Douglas Langdale
Starring: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo, Danny Trejo
Synopsis: Two spirits bet on the fortunes of a pair of lovesick men and the woman they both want to marry.


This year has been a bit of a bust for animated films. With the exception of sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the pleasantly surprising Mr Peabody & Sherman, there hasn’t been much to shout about in the world od children’s cinema. This all looked set to change with the psychedelic Guillermo del Toro-backed animation The Book of Life. Unfortunately, it’s all razzle and no dazzle.

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Blu-ray Review – Withnail & I (1987)

19 Nov

Cover art for the 2014 Arrow Films Blu-ray release of Withnail & I

Genre: Comedy
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 10th November 2014
Runtime: 107 minutes
Director: Bruce Robinson
Writer: Bruce Robinson 
Starring: Richard E Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, Ralph Brown
Synopsis: Two struggling actors decide to take a break in a secluded country cottage.


Few films define the term “cult classic” as much as Bruce Robinson’s 80s comedy Withnail & I. Quotable, well-acted and delightfully low budget, the film is as British as they come and as dark as it is hilarious.

Withnail & I was Robinson’s first film as a director after he previously wrote the script for Oscar-winning drama The Killing Fields. The original print has been remastered in 2k – under the supervision of DoP Peter Hannan – for a new release from Arrow Films.

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Review – The Babadook

18 Nov

Poster for 2014 horror film The Babadook

Genre: Horror
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 24th October 2014
Runtime: 94 minutes
Director: Jennifer Kent
Writer: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney
Synopsis: A grief-stricken mother and son find their home invaded by a malevolent spirit housed within a mysterious children’s book that appears on their shelf.



This year’s Halloween period was packed with usual collection of bland horror movies. However, there was a gem lurking amongst them all from Australia in the form of The Babadook. By focusing on psychology over shock, it stands out as the best horror film of the last few years.

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Review – Serena

18 Nov

Poster for 2014 drama film Serena

Genre: Drama
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 24th October 2014
Runtime: 107 minutes
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Christopher Kyle
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Ifans, Sean Harris, Toby Jones, Sam Reid
Synopsis: A renowned timber business owner finds his personal and professional life affected by the influence of his striking new wife.



The phrase “developmental hell” is probably overused by film journalists. Any film that experiences a production delay of any time is referred to using the phrase. Many used the term to refer to Susanne Bier’s Depression-era drama Serena, starring pairing of the moment Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who were fresh off Silver Linings Playbook at the time.

Eighteen months after the film wrapped filming, it hits cinemas. Much like the proverbial tree that falls in the forest, there’s no one around to hear it.

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Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

13 Nov

Poster for 2014 action reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Genre: Action
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 17th October 2014
Runtime: 101 minutes
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Evan Daugherty
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Noel Fisher, Whoopi Goldberg
Synopsis: A team of vigilante turtles battles an evil group of criminals by teaming with an idealistic journalist.



The latest reboot for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise set alarm bells ringing almost from the moment it was announced. Michael Bay was a prominent figure in the early stages of the project – he’s one of the producers – and Megan Fox had been cast as the iconic, kickass journalist April O’Neil. Now that the film has seen the light of day, pretty much all of those fears have proven completely and utterly justified.

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Review – The Best of Me

10 Nov

Poster for 2014 romantic drama The Best of Me

Genre: Romance
Certificate: 12
UK Release Date: 15th October 2014
Runtime: 118 minutes
Director: Michael Hoffman
Writer: J Mills Goodloe, Will Fetters
Starring: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato, Gerald McRaney, Sean Bridgers
Synopsis: After 20 years apart, two former lovers meet to commemorate a mutual friend and find old feelings coming to the surface.



At this point, you’ve decided whether you like film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels – either The Notebook reduces you to tears every time, or it’s an overlong chore of a movie. Every Sparks story is the same collection of clichés and tropes, but The Best of Me brings them together to produce something genuinely charming.

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