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Another Round / Druk LFF Film Review

Another Round / Druk London Film Festival 2020 Movie Review

Druk (“Another Round”) is the latest feature from Danish director and Dogme 95 co-founder Thomas Vinterberg, reuniting him and actor Mads Mikkelsen some eight years after the Oscar-nominated Jagten (“The Hunt”). This dark comedy follows four disillusioned high school teachers who decide to rejuvenate their lives by embarking on an elaborate drinking game.

Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Peter (Lars Ranthe) and Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) are all in a mid-life limbo, with the lead, Martin, increasingly isolated from his wife and children, mocked by his students, and reconsidering his life choices. Following an enjoyably boozy birthday meal, all four agree to engage in an experiment based on the work of a Norwegian psychologist, who claims humans are born with a deficit of 0.05% blood alcohol.

Faced with the four characters’ pathetic plights, the audience easily begins to root for them as they unleash their new selves upon the world. The early scenes are brilliantly funny, with the four adjusting to their new inebriated states during their school lessons, and are uplifting for the characters as they take their new-found confidence to help engage better with their students and lives outside of class. The physical humour is uncannily inspired, with the actors perfectly embodying the swaying bodies, alcohol-fuelled swagger and the odd bumping into walls and collapsing that occurs. Mads Mikkelsen in particular, effortlessly captures the progression of Martin, from lifeless to boisterously playful, along with more subtle levels of anguish, despair and catharsis.

Despite the comedy, a sense of dread builds as their plans become perilously close to being uncovered. The film slowly cranks up the tension as they progress from Hemingway rules (no drinking after 8 pm or at weekends) to Tchaikovsky approach (adjusting alcohol levels for optimal social and mental ability) to last but definitely not least, the Total Oblivion – maximum blood alcohol level. While they attest to their drinking being a scientific experiment, they begin to fool themselves into the logic of it, with increasingly farcical reasoning to go further and further.

As the film has been hinting, this ship they’ve embarked upon can only come crashing down on the rocks, with the first incident after the Total Oblivion, leading to the study ending “due to immense, negative social effects and the danger of alcoholism”. The event that leads to this, results in Martin’s separating from his wife, Nikolaj crawling into bed with his wife and wetting himself, while it leads Tommy down an even more dangerous route. In the face of a horrifically bleak ending, the film comes full circle with the friends in the harsh daylight, celebrating the successes of their students and culminating with an cathartic, impromptu jazz ballet dance piece from Mads Mikkelsen.

While mostly adhering to a realistic style, with hand-held camerawork, natural lighting and a simple setting, warm colours and flare are subtly added to the drinking scenes to emphasise their enticing nature. On top of that, the rising pressure and descent of the quartet is incredibly well matched by the cinematography of each of the seasons. The documentary-style is further heightened by the silent movie style black dialogue cards that flash up, alerting the audience to the various characters’ blood alcohol levels, as well as the short clips of various politicians famous for their drinking, such as Yeltsin, Sarkozy and even Boris Johnson.

This bittersweet tragicomedy is a meditation on attitudes to alcohol, ageing and masculinity in a nation that “drinks like maniacs”. While we see the bright positives and the grim negatives of intoxication, Druk instead wants to focus on why people turn to such destructive behaviour – is it boredom, stress or the desire to re-engage with their lives? In one sense, the alcohol is merely the springboard from which to take a deep look into the male psyche through these four very different characters.

While the quartet’s humorous, yet brutal trials and tribulations with alcohol set the scene, Druk is a bold examination of the thirst for life, love and friendship.

Siberia LFF Film Review

Siberia is a spiritual journey filled with metaphors and symbolism that even the most observant viewer may have trouble keeping pace with. The sixth collaboration between director Abel Ferrara and a for Willem Defoe, this dive into the abyss of the soul is a cold, harsh and biting ride.

There’s some fantastic landscape cinematography, with Defoe’s Clint sledding through bleak snow filled valleys, lit in a surreal green light that adds to the mystery. This, coupled with a minimal piano based score help craft an atmosphere you’ll not be able to shake.

In terms of narrative, the protagonist is seemingly thrown across several scenes in a non-linear fashion, with both him and the audience attempting to piece together the meaning of the strange, weird and often disturbing things he’s confronted with.

Definitely one for fans of the surreal, this is a journey not for the light hearted.

How to Watch 2020 London Film Festival Movies At Home

As we get into autumn, it’s movie festival time in London! However, things have changed up a bit at the 2020 London Film Festival (LFF) this time around. From October 7 – 18, you can enjoy a selection of the 2020 LFF programme all direct from the comfort of your own home.

How to Watch 2020 London Film Festival Movies Online Via BFI Player

The general public can now buy tickets to stream via BFI Play. Virtual premieres are £12 per movie or £10 for BFI Members. To stream, you must have internet access and a BFI Player compatible device. Remember that BFI Player screenings are available to view in the UK only and the movies are not available with Smart TVs and BFI Player’s Amazon Prime and Apple TV channels and you cannot download films.

Most films will require you to start watching within 30 minutes of the advertised start time. So you will need to hit play within this time frame or miss out on seeing the film – and throwing away your money. Once you click play, you have 3 or 72 hours to watch the movie – all depending on the film, so if you can’t watch immediately, click play and then pause til you’re ready to enjoy.

Given the restrictions, we definitely recommend you to schedule your viewing. You can find a full overview of the movies available here.

Now, that’s all out of the way, here’s the important part – the movies we’re most looking forward to!

The Best Movies to Stream From the London Film Festival

Another Round
Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.

Supernova
Sam and Tusker partners of 20 years, who are traveling across England in their old RV visiting friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with early-onset dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.

Stray
The world of Zeytin, a stray dog living life on the streets of Istanbul.

Wolfwalkers
Follows a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

Mogul Mowgli
A British Pakistani rapper is on the cusp of his first world tour, but is struck down by an illness that threatens to derail his big break.

N.B. Festival favourites including Mangrove, Nomadland and Ammonite are not available to watch online

Tips to Prep Your Phone for Your Next Trip

To ensure stress-free travel on the road,  Ting Mobile, shares savvy smartphone tips to take before you hit the road.

  • Secure data and personal info: Enable your phone’s screen lock feature and use a strong password to protect your information on the go.
  • Plan your TV & movie binge: Not everyone wants to watch the same program, so be sure to download all your favorites movies and shows ahead of time. Platforms like Disney+, Netflix and Amazon Prime let you download movies and shows to your device.
  • Take your maps offline: Sometimes you’ll end up in an area without cell phone reception. Using Google Maps, download your maps in advance over Wi-Fi you don’t need to use your cellular network to navigate.
  • Monitor and limit app usage to avoid huge data charges: Apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook all see upticks through extensive usage. Control your data in the app’s setting. You can set how much data the app can use, and you can prevent photos from loading in your feed until you’re on Wi-Fi.
  • Charge your phone faster on Airplane Mode: Although you’re not going to be on a plane, this hack can come in handy. If you’re low on battery life and in a crunch for time, put your smartphone on Airplane Mode to cut down the time needed to charge your phone.
  • Use your phone as a GPS tracker (for friends or children traveling with you): Google Maps lets you share locations in real-time, so you can see where your travel companions or kids are. This is an awesome safety tip for parents of slightly older kids who might want to do their own exploring.
  • Be more mindful: Put down your phone and unplug every once in a while. Take a mini digital detox during the drive and get some much-needed rest or enjoy the scenery. Your phone will thank you too.

Best retro trainers you can still buy in 2020

From the Cortez to the Gazelle, this is our ultimate throwback to the best retro trainers you can get your hands on. Some trainers just never go out of style. And, apparently, neither do some cliches.

These classic designs are just as popular now as when they were first released, undoubtedly becoming some of the most iconic trainers of all-time. Since there are so many awesome vintage kicks to choose from, we’re running through the best retro trainers you can still add to your collection today. Let’s get nostalgic. 

10 best retro trainers you can still buy

10. Vans Old Skool

Release Date: 1977

First launched as a skate shoe way back in 1977, the Vans Old Skool is instantly recognised all over the world. It was the brand’s founder, Paul Van Doren, who had the real lightbulb moment all those years ago, doodling on a sketchpad until he came up with the famous “jazz stripe” we all know and love today. Not bad for a day’s work. 

This is the quintessential Vans look. An invincible trainer. 

9. Nike Air Jordan IV

Release Date: 1989

You just can’t go wrong with a pair of Jordans. Inspired by the greatest basketball player to grace the court (apart from Bugs Bunny), the Nike Air Jordan has continued to evolve over the past few decades, but the fourth generation is arguably the pick of the bunch. And people will argue about it. 

8. Adidas Stan Smith

Release Date: 1971

Timeless. It’s actually quite easy to forget that the Adidas Stan Smith was originally named after a different famous tennis player and that the design of the 60s was instead called the “Haillet”. Yeah, I know, it definitely doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

7. New Balance 990

Release Date: 1982

Possibly the most underrated trainer on this list, the New Balance 990 is arguably one of the best sneakers the American brand have ever produced. Launching back in 1982 with one hell of a price tag, the 990 was a high-tech running shoe which truly pushed the boundaries of innovation on the track. Hence the eye-watering price. 

6. Reebok Club C

Release Date: 1985

Ah, the Reebok Club C. Yet another classic tennis shoe which makes us all grin a little with nostalgia. Once you’ve stopped grinning, though, you might even feel inclined to open up your wallet and bag a pair, because this is honestly a trainer that goes with just about anything. You could wear some to your mate’s wedding if you really wanted to. 

5. Nike Air Max 90

Release Date: 1990

Following up from the hugely-popular Air Max 1, it’s fair to say that these trainers had pretty big, um, shoes to fill. The Nike Air Max 90 introduced us to a much larger Air unit, featuring a colourway which drew attention to the increased size, while also throwing up all kinds of fresh new materials. 

4. Puma Suede

Release Date: 1968

The Puma Suede isn’t just a giant. It’s a giant that’s sat at the heart of modern culture for over 50 years, wrapped in tough suede materials and refusing to move from its seat. New trainers might come and go, fashion trends might change like the tides, but this is a trainer which will outlive absolutely all of it. 

3. Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star

Release Date: 1917

It’s crazy to think how few changes these trainers have had over the past 100 years. Okay, so huge improvements were made back in 1970, but the Converse Chuck Taylor is still very much the same shoe as it’s always been. With its black upper, white toe box and classic “All-Star” logo, this is just about as vintage as trainers come these days. 

2. Adidas Gazelle

Release Date: 1966

Dating back to the mid-’60s, this is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic trainers. The first Adidas shoe to be made from suede, the Gazelle burst onto the scene absolutely packed with colour and invention. All these years later, the colours and stripes are still there, but it’s now very much seen as the classic Adidas look – rather than anything spectacular. 

1. Nike Cortez

Release Date: 1972

You don’t have to be a Forrest Gump fan to know how iconic this trainer is. Launched during the 1972 Olympic Games, the Nike Cortez didn’t just introduce us to a legendary sneaker collection but also became the main building block for a global brand. Make no mistake, Nike would not be where they are today without the impact of the Cortez. 
To shop the retro look, head over to Footy.com

8 Things To Do in Amsterdam

You can’t go to Amsterdam and miss these things

Van Gogh Museum is houses the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings. It is a museum in Amsterdam. It is the second most popular attraction in the city. So you shouldn’t miss the chance to travel the amazing works in this collection.

Rijksmuseum is located at the Muesumplein in Amsterdam. It is the national museum of Netherlands. Garden areas on each side of the Rijksmuseum and on sunny days are pleasant places to take a break and watch the world.

Anne Frank Huis is the most popular visiting attraction in Amsterdam. You can experience about Anne Frank’s Death Form typhoid shortly before her concentration camp was liberated near the end of World War II. As well as you will enjoy here natural sight around Anne frank Huis.

The Stedelijk Museum is located at museum Square. It is museum for modern art in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It have large collection of Dutch painters as well as it is important temporary exhibitions of modern art, design and photography.

NEMO is one the best attractions in Amsterdam. It is the largest science center in the Netherlands. It is architect by Renzo piano. It is located right next to the Amsterdam central station and the Maritime museum.

The Westerkerk is right next to Amsterdam’s Jordaan district at the bank of the Prinsengracht canal. It is as a Protiestant church in Amsterdam designed by Hendrick de Keyser. Near the Westerkerk is the Homomonument, a memorial for men and women persecuted for their homosexuality. You will charmful to see the canal here. Don’t miss it.

The Magere Brug is one the main attraction in Amsterdam. It is bridge over the river Amstel in the city centre of Amsterdam. The Megere Brug is a bascule bridge made of white-painted wood. It was built in 1934.

The Sint Nicolaaskerk is officially was called St. NicholasFind Article, the oldest part of the Amsterdam defence works. It is a Roman Catholic church in the centre of Amsterdam. So you spend your some time to enjoy it.

The Best Brothers on Film

The complexities of relationships between siblings is an endlessly fascinating topic for a film-maker to explore, and over the years cinema has given us countless portrayals of brother and sisters (whether completely fictional or based in fact) to mull over. Today we take a look back at some of the best brothers to grace the big screen… 

Rise of the Krays(2015) / Fall of the Krays (2016)

The early years of the most notorious criminals Britain has ever produced are portrayed in visceral brutality in this crime drama, which charts Ronnie and Reggie Kray’s reign of terror, that would endure and come to define London’s East End for years to come. From protection rackets to members clubs, from brutal street brawls and arson to blackmail extending to the Cabinet Office, the Krays rained red on anyone who crossed them. Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie brilliantly bring the brothers toxic relationship to life, pulling no punches and portraying the complexities of their personalities and motives with aplomb. 

Out of the Furnace (2013)

Scott Cooper’s thriller stars Christian Bale as Russell Baze who must protect his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) when he becomes embroiled in a murky underworld led by ruthless drug dealer, Harlan DeGroat – played by Woody Harrelson. Set in the borough of North Braddock, Baze works in the local steel mill with the mill’s furnace representing his attempts at living a life on the straight and narrow. However, in seeking justice, Baze is forced to embed himself into DeGroat’s murky underworld in such a way that revenge will hit them the hardest.

Lawless (2012)

Nick Cave penned this Depression-era crime drama, which recounts the lives of the three Bondurant brothers- Forrest (Tom Hardy), Jack (Shia LeBeouf) and Howard (Jason Clarke), who are forced to contend with the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell (Tim Tolin) and Special Deputy Charles Rakes (Guy Pearce), after refusing to pay the bribes required to maintain their bootlegging and distillery business. Chastain turns in a wonderful supporting performance as Maggie, a dancer from Chicago with a hidden past, who Forrest hires as a waitress for the distillery, and who he eventually falls in love with.

Thor (2011)

This Marvel superhero-based film was an instant hit in theatres, capturing audiences with its simplicity, non-stop action, and brilliant rapport between hero and villain- who happen to be brothers. The film follows Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who is set to inherit the throne from his aging father, king of the Norse gods, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Things are set to go as planned until Thor’s brutal and thoughtless actions against their enemies force his father to banish him to earth as punishment. Robbed of his powers, Thor falls in love with scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) – but all the while Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) usurps the throne of Asgard for evil gain and begins to plot his revenge…

The Fighter (2010)

After a stint playing John Connor in Terminator Salvation (and the on-set outburst at a crew member which hit the headlines), Bale shed some more pounds yet again to play Dicky Eklund, older brother to boxing champion Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), in David O. Russell’s The Fighter. Stealing scenes with aplomb, this was the role in which Bale won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor- thanks in no small part to his excellent chemistry with his co-star.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

This remake of the 1960’s crime caper won over fans and critics alike, due in no small part to the outstanding chemistry between the cast, which included George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac and Elliot Gould. Focusing on the exploits of a group of rag tag con-men who plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously, this Soderbergh-directed crime comedy pays brilliant homage to old Hollywood, whilst keeping the humour distinctly modern. Providing constant comic relief are Casey Affleck and Scott Caan, who play Virgil and Turk Malloy; the brothers who happen to be brilliant at conning, but utterly hopeless at getting along for more than two minutes. 

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

This cult classic stars George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Ernest Liu, and follows the exploits of the sadistic Gecko brothers, Seth and Richard (Clooney and Tarantino respectively) and the family they’ve taken hostage (Keitel, Liu and Juliette Lewis). After a string of robberies the siblings head to Mexico and kidnap the Fuller family to cross the border. Arriving at a bar, they quickly realize they’ve inadvertently stumbled into a venue teeming with horrific, blood-sucking vampires. Engaged in a fight for their lives, the Fullers and Geckos are forced to band together to take on the supernatural beings.

The Godfather (1972)

Francis Ford Coppola’s unrivalled crime drama focuses on the fallout when ageing crime boss patriarch Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) decides to transfer his authority to one of his subordinates. The decision invariably leads to a series of unfortunate events which ultimately begin a war between the major crime families. Al Pacino and James Caan take the roles of Don’s sons, Michael and Sonny, who couldn’t be more different. Cool, reserved and level-headed Michael would rather put plans into motions behind the scenes, whereas Sonny prefers to settle all matters with his fists and street-wise nature. The polar differences between the brothers, and yet their bizarre dependency on each other, is played off brilliantly by Caan and Al Pacino, with fantastic support from a cast that includes Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Richard S Castellano.

Top Games of 2020

 

I know, I know, the start of this new decade has barely begun and we’re already wishing away the months until the release dates of some incredibly sought-after titles finally arrive. Of course, with so many games on offer, which ones are truly worth your excitement as you count down the days? Well, we’ve done the research for you in the form of our certifiable top picks for 2020.

FF7 Remake (PS4)
Yes, it will have been well over two decades since Square’s seminal PlayStation RPG Final Fantasy VII was first released, but that hasn’t quelled the excitement over this remake. Unlike many re-releases, they’ve completely remade the game from the ground up, including the option to ditch the turn-based battle system for a real-time one similar to that found in Final Fantasy XV. Though various trailers have drip-fed information over the past years, we’ll still need to sit down with the real thing to see if they’re managed to recapture the magic of Cloud and co’s story. (April 2020)

Half-Life: Alyx (PC)
Valve don’t do things by half measures, and despite being hounded by gamers to release a sequel to Half Life 2, there was nothing but silence from the creators of Steam for what seems like an eternity. And then, completely out of the blue, they announced a new addition to the Freeman story – in the form of a new Virtual Reality (VR) game called Half-Life: Alyx. VR games are still in their infancy, and despite a few decent attempts, no one has really pulled of great use of VR, great graphics, great gameplay and great story all in one game. This may be Valve’s time to shine (again)! (March 2020)

Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
When CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt became the break-out mega smash of 2015, fans were eagerly salivating over the next release from the Polish studio. And while it isn’t a fantasy adventure, the first person sci-fi game has been the talk of the town with its incredible graphics, expansive open world, and even the addition of Keanu Reeves as a main character. (April 2020)

Last of Us Part II (PS4)
It’s been quite some time since we last journeyed through a post-apocalyptic USA with Joel and Ellie, but the anticipation for this follow up hasn’t died down at all – unlike the monstrous fungal Infected you encounter! But it’s not just the same old story, there’s new mechanics and enemies, as well as finally some clarity on the original game’s ending. (May 2020)

Marvel’s Avengers (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
Ok ok, it may not have the original likeness and voices from the Marvel cinematic universe cast you’ve all grown to love and adore over the years, but don’t let that stop you enjoying getting to throw Mjolnir, zoom around in an Iron Man suit, or wield Captain America’s trademark shield. (September 2020)

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
The cult White Wolf RPG series returns over 15 years later with a sequel that aficionados had long since given up on. One of the geniuses behind the 2004 RPG, Brian Mitsoda, is back and we’re extremely excited to see what tricks he’s got up his sleeves. The original game had an incredibly witty and funny script, with inspired mechanics, but was a bit lacking in the battle/fighting system, so hopefully they’ll remedy that this time around. (Q2/3 2020)

Bayonetta 3 (Switch)
The maestros at PlatinumGames seem to be able to do no wrong recently, with hits like Nier:Automata and Astral Chain under their belt, so their latest entry in the Bayonetta series is definitely going to be one to beat in the slash ’em up genre. With more campy action fun than you can shake a high heeled shoe at, Bayonetta’s return is going to be something special. (TBC 2020)

Hollow Knight: Silksong (PC/Switch)
What was originally conceived as a DLC/add-on to the original Metroidvania gem Hollow Knight has now become a fully-fledged sequel in its own right. With its unique art style returning, the follow up takes Hornet on an expansive adventure with a story you’ll no doubt be hooked on from the start. (TBC 2020)

Ooblets (PC/Xbox One)
This charming indie game collects up all your favourites and chucks them in a digital blender that you won’t be able to put down. Ooblets takes Harvest Moon (yay!), Pokemon (woo!) and Animal Crossing (OMG!) with a sweet adventure that lets you farm, collect adorable creatures and mosey about socialising with your fellow villagers. And it’s all been created by just two people, yes, just two! (TBC 2020)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Switch)
The sequel to undoubtedly one of the greatest ever launch titles for a console, Breath of the Wild 2 has some big shoes to fill, but we’re hopeful it’ll astound us just like the prior game did back in 2017. While information is sparse, it seems the game will re-use the original world, but with addition of lots of new areas, story and mechanics. The trailers suggest a darker tone than the original, with some definite nods to the 2006 Wii Classic of Twilight Princess – an underrated classic in our opinion (TBC late 2020)