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He will also be among the mentors in new Sky1 talent show Launching People.
British actor plays Mrs Lovett alongside Bryn Terfel for just five performances at the Avery Fisher Hall
Emma Thompson has made her New York stage debut to critical acclaim but it will be over in a flash – there will be only five performances of her playing London's worst piemaker .
She plays Mrs Lovett and when she began the run on Wednesday she was following in some impressive footsteps. Angela Lansbury won a Tony after originating the role in 1979 and the character has been played in the West End by Sheila Hancock, Julia McKenzie and in 2012, Imelda Staunton.
So how did she do? Writing for the Guardian, Kayla Epstein said Thompson "not only held her own against more experienced vocalists, »
- Mark Brown
Captain America, Thor and Iron Man may be the names you see in the titles, but the real hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- including the upcoming "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" -- is Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige. I was among a group of journalists who sat down with Feige on the set of the super-sequel last year, where he discussed how it fits into Marvel's big picture, and how it differs from 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger" and 2012's "The Avengers." Chris Evans plays the hero in all three films, with Marvel vets Sanuel L. Jackson (as Nicky Fury) and Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow) being joined by newcomers Robert Redford (as a top S.H.I.E.L.D. exec) and Anthony Mackie (as Falcon) joining them in "Winter Soldier." "First Avenger" took place mostly in WWII, when the titular super soldier (Chris Evans) was frozen, »
- Dave Lewis
When you want to know what's going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you talk to Marvel Studios President of Production, Kevin Feige. Luckily, I got to sit down with Feige when a small group of journalists visited the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Feige told us everything that's going to happen in Phase Two, Phase Three, and beyond (yeah right). He did, in actuality, tell us how the film came about, and how its events will have big ramifications for the McU at large. While on set, Feige commented on hiring directors Joe and Anthony Russo, choosing to go with the style of a 70s conspiracy thriller, introducing the Winter Soldier, Hit the jump for the interview. Question: So I guess to start, Joe and Anthony Russo, their careers have been – they’ve done nothing even close to like this. What was it about them that you »
- Dave Trumbore
There's an opportunity for British film to flourish, writes ex Hammer Films chief Terry Ilott, but all will be lost if we don't sharpen our business skills
The successes of 12 Years a Slave and Gravity at this year's Oscars have given rise to self-satisfied crowing in sections of the British media. One could be forgiven for thinking that British film was in good health. But while the UK remains awash with astonishing talent both in front of and behind the camera, and while we continue to enjoy a patrimony that comprises a treasure chest of stories we can plunder, the fact remains that over the past thirty years it has become almost impossible to make even a decent living – never mind build a business or a career – in the British film industry.
The industry sucks the creative life out of our best creative talents, then throws them over the side, »
Thor: The Dark World Blu-Ray Review
The second installment of the Thor saga has plenty of action, but misses the mark to a certain extent when it comes to the wide array of facets it hopes to infuse into the story. The dedication to, and belief in, the depth and breadth of the various arcs in the story are solidified in the bonus features of the home release, and while the exposition makes for elaborate and detailed featurettes, they probably serve as too clear a sign of what went wrong with the production.
Thor: The Dark World kicks off with a rather clunky piece of development that leaves Thor explaining the events of The Avengers, his time back on Earth, and subsequent lack of phone call to Jane. Of course, the film also needs a villain to come and destroy a good chunk of the map and/or threaten to do same, »
- Marc Eastman
For Shakespeare lovers who prefer their film adaptations to be more straightforward like Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing and less showy like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Carlo Carlei’s recent re-adaptation of the latter should fit squarely within their comfort zone, though perhaps a bit too squarely. Taking very few risks and aspiring to be nothing more than a beautifully filmed but plain rendition, Romeo and Juliet delivers great performances but in a way that feels quite bland when compared to the long list of films that have taken us down this road many, many, many times before. Baz Luhrmann had the right idea: if you’re going to take the time to commit yet another version of Romeo and Juliet to the screen, you need to do something to make it stand out from the tens of times it’s been done before. Carlei’s take »
- Lex Walker
Like just about everything else that Marvel Studios has been doing for the last six years, from features to television, the series of short films known as Marvel One Shots have really been growing. The first one, titled The Consultant and released with Kenneth Branagh.s Thor on Blu-ray, was simply a conversation between S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) cut together with footage from Louis Leterrier.s The Incredible Hulk, but now the studio is making nearly 15-minute pieces complete with action sequences and known actors. And the latest, All Hail The King, is the biggest Marvel One Shot yet. Both written and directed by Drew Pearce, who co-wrote Iron Man 3 with Shane Back, the new short film catches up with Trevor Slattery (Sir Ben Kingsley), the drug addicted British actor who pretended to be the terrorist leader known as »
No one expected much from this weekend's new thriller "3 Days to Kill." With "The Lego Movie" still unstoppable and last week's "About Last Night" and "RoboCop" still going strong, "3 Days" was expected to battle fellow newcomer "Pompeii" for fifth place -- and lose. For the spy tale, starring the 59-year-old Kevin Costner in the sort of role that he'd have had a much easier time selling 15 or 20 years ago, pundits predicted a debut as low as $8 million.
As it turns out, however, the movie opened in second place, above "Pompeii," with an estimated $12.3 million. Considering the movie's low-by-Hollywood-standards budget (a reported $28 million), "3 Days" is well on its way toward becoming a modest hit. (No doubt it will do even better overseas.)
Between "3 Days" and the six-week-old "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (which has earned $123.9 million worldwide), Costner has two movies in the current top 20. And that's just the beginning of what »
- Gary Susman
The Bafta awards have been and gone, and with them the eyebrow-raising announcement that Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón's marvellous Hollywood space spectacle, was the best British film of the year, a classification made possible by its UK-produced effects work. Make of that what you will, but the list of great British (or even part-British) films ignored entirely by awards voters this year is rather a long one, with the under-seen Irish co-production Mister John (Artificial Eye, 15) somewhere near the top.
Husband-and-wife duo Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy made a startling 2009 debut with Helen, and that film's thematic preoccupation with identities lost and assumed is extended in this even more accomplished follow-up. The superb Aidan Gillen (recently seen leering to delicious »
- Guy Lodge
Cate Blanchett never fails to exude grace and class on the big screen (Even her character’s epic meltdown in Blue Jasmine manages to maintain some shred of dignity.) Off screen though, the 44-year old actress is funny and loose. An epic photo shoot for this week’s cover of Entertainment Weekly with fellow nominee, newcomer Lupita Nyong’o only seems to energize her as she heads into the final few weeks of campaigning for the Best Actress prize, which she has pretty much locked up.
The actress, who has been down this path before with five previous nominations and »
- Nicole Sperling
Take another look @ "Thor: The Dark World" actress Jaimie Alexander, aka 'Asgardian' warrior goddess 'Lady Sif', soon to guest-star on "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", in a revealing pictorial for "Maxim" magazine:
Click the images to enlarge »
- Michael Stevens
Ryan Maloney offers a counterpoint to the argument that the serialization of franchise films is killing the blockbuster...
With the global success of both Iron Man 3 and Thor: the Dark World, last year Marvel Studios proved that not only could their properties exist together in a shared universe, but they could be just as profitable in solo adventures as well. Thus, it comes as no surprise that other major Hollywood studios are following suit with whatever characters and franchises they’ve got stored away in-house, from Paramount’s Jack Ryan to Fox’s two remaining Marvel licensees, Fantastic Four and X-Men.
But recently IndieWire, in discussing Sony’s recent move to expand the Spider-Man franchise to spin-off into Venom and The Sinister Six films, have put forth the argument that this “serialized” mentality is turning movies into TV enterprises, and killing blockbuster films as a result. Their arguments are valid, »
- Gary Collinson
We’re less than two weeks away from the Oscars, and that means it’s once again time for my favorite activity: griping about the past!
One of my biggest Oscar pet peeves is when actors who portray real-life roles garner more attention — for no good reason — than actors who portray fictional characters. The Academy has long been too pleased with big-named thespians who prove they can imitate recognizable figures. Sometimes the attention is justified (Sean Penn in Milk and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose come to mind), but often real-life roles become filler nominees in the supporting categories. Here are nine examples of Oscar-nominated performances that caught fire with the academy simply for being based on a known personality.
Melvin and Howard is a movie that teaches you to appreciate its examination of a Utah man’s humdrum lower-middle-class existence, »
- Louis Virtel
When “Thor” hit a few years back, fans were extremely excited to see the first full on superhero flick from Marvel. I mean, sure, Iron Man and Cap are superheroes in their own right, but they were both just men, made better by science. Thor was a God, above mere mortals, with ridiculous powers and an awesome hammer. Though Kenneth Branagh’s film was decent, it lacked the epic scope people wanted, but it set up the world and relationships very well and we were all waiting for another trip to Asgard. With Alan Taylor taking over directing duties, we pretty much got what we wanted the first time around in “Thor: The Dark World.” “The Dark World,” or Tdw as I will abbreviate it, was a solid action comic book movie. Many have put it right up there with “Man of Steel” as one of the best of the year. »
An exploration of the sexualisation of pre-adolescent girls, St Vincent winds up her tour, and Lars von Trier is back
Opening this week
■ Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model
Bryony Kimmings on fine kick-ass form as she explores the sexualised female role models pushed upon pre-adolescent girls and, with the help of her 10-year-old niece, considers whether there might be alternatives. Bristol Old Vic Studio (0117-987 7877), Thursday to Saturday. Then touring.
Everyone is in love with Orlando, a young boy in the court of Queen Elizabeth, including the old queen herself. But when Orlando wakes up one day as a woman, it is the start of an odyssey across countries and centuries. Virginia Woolf's novel is adapted by Sarah Ruhl. Royal Exchange, Manchester (0161-833 9833), Thursday to 22 March.
■ Birmingham Royal Ballet: Three of a Kind
The arthouse director says it is 'a pleasure and a delight' to be honoured for his years of effort and experiment
• Peter Greenaway: 'I plan to kill myself when I'm 80'
Peter Greenaway is to receive the outstanding British contribution to cinema award at this Sunday's Bafta film awards.
The director of The Draughtsman's Contract, Drowning by Numbers and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover will be honoured for more than three decades of film-making. He made his debut in 1980 with The Falls, a post-apocalyptic mock-documentary in 92 short sections.
Greenaway, who is known for his collaborations with the composer Michael Nyman, said: "Given the always complex effort involved, to be permitted in the first place to make films with so many collaborators always astonishes me, and to be permitted the licence to do so with such freedom to continually experiment even more so. Everyone agrees that »
- Ben Child
BAFTA has revealed that award-winning writer-director Peter Greenaway will receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the upcoming British Academy Film Awards on February 16.Greenaway (“The Pillow Book,” “Drowning By Numbers,” "The Draughtsman's Contract"), who originally trained as a painter, is known for his exploration in film of eroticism and death, and for his ability to integrate Renaissance art into his work. His latest film, “Eisenstein in Guanajuato,” is slated for release later this year.Previous recipients of the award include Mike Leigh, Kenneth Branagh, Derek Jarman, Mary Selway, Ridley and Tony Scott, Working Title Films, Lewis Gilbert, John Hurt and the "Harry Potter" franchise. Meanwhile, Helen Mirren will be the recipient of the Fellowship at the February 16 ceremony. »
- Beth Hanna
London — British helmer Peter Greenaway is to receive the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the British Academy Film Awards at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday.
Nik Powell, chairman of BAFTA’s film committee, said: “Peter Greenaway is an iconic British filmmaker who has worked with many of our most accomplished actors, including Michael Gambon, Tim Roth, Ewan McGregor and the recipient of this year’s BAFTA Fellowship, Dame Helen Mirren. I’d delighted that Peter is being recognized with this award for his distinctive and innovative filmmaking career.”
Peter Greenaway said: “Given the always complex effort involved, to be permitted in the first place to make films with so many collaborators always astonishes me, and to be permitted the license to »
- Leo Barraclough
Peter Greenaway will be honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema prize at this weekend's BAFTAs.
"Given the always complex effort involved, to be permitted in the first place to make films with so many collaborators always astonishes me, and to be permitted the licence to do so with such freedom to continually experiment even more so," Greenaway said of his BAFTA honour.
"Everyone agrees that cinema is changing its characteristics very fast and to be awarded a BAFTA for »
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