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Bob Hoskins became an actor by accident when he accompanied a friend to an audition at London’s leftwing Unity theatre in 1969, and achieved TV stardom as the doomed travelling salesman in Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven. In 1980, he became an international star in Scottish director John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday, his first major screen role, as the East End gangster Harold Shand who dreams of transforming his minor criminal empire into a legitimate enterprise by rejuvenating London’s decaying docklands and playing host to the 1988 Olympics. Hoskins’s Shand was compared favourably with Edward G Robinson’s seminal Little Caesar of 1931.
Related: Bob Hoskins: a career in pictures
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- Philip French
Not every movie is perfect, but Super Mario Bros. is the movie that tainted the video game movie genre, ended the careers of its directors, and is infamous for being all-around mediocre. At least, according to the latest installment of Honest Trailers. Watch it below. The Screen Junkies series has tackled many sub-par films, so it’s kind of a shocker that it took the producers this long to feature Super Mario Bros. The film starred the late Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as brotherly plumbers, Mario and Luigi. To save a princess (Samantha Matthis) they have to travel to another dimension and release her from the clutches of an evil dictator, King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). Other nods to the video game source material lie in the presence of Toad, Bertha, the fungus growing all over the place, the Goombas, and Yoshi. But overall it was an epic »
Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the quirky, nerdy news that you crave in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this terrific Tuesday? Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's new trailer gets mashed up with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Iron Man takes to the streets of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V and Real Fake History examines Little Mac's legend in Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Not enough for you? Then check out Game of Thrones' 8-bit death scenes and the most beautiful movies in cinematic history. Oh, and we have the Super Mario Bros. honest trailer you've been waiting for since 1993! So, sit back, relax and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Batman v Superman and It's Always Sunny Mashup
Just a few weeks ago at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. unveiled the »
Throughout the supplements on Arrow’s new (rather impressive) Blu-ray edition of this landmark gangster film, nearly everyone involved speaks of their collective desire to simply make the best film they possibly could, and in many ways, The Long Good Friday is just about the most natural result of that pursuit. Nothing goes unaccounted for, the characters are all richly drawn, the narrative drive is forceful without overwhelming a chance for reflection, and there’s just enough of a mystery to the whole thing to keep the audience hooked. The satisfaction that can come from such a well-rounded, expertly-delivered film can sometimes, however, be diminished by the sheer contentedness of the thing. Life is unwieldy, unpredictable, and sometimes incomprehensible, and films that ignore those qualities in the pursuit of “perfection” can feel closed-off.
- Scott Nye
★★★★★ Mona Lisa, released in 1986 and written/directed by Irish poet and novelist Neil Jordan, shines out as a rough diamond, a masterpiece of British cinema undeniably worthy of its classical title. In one of the most powerful roles of his career, the late great Bob Hoskins stars as George, a low-level criminal who returns from a long stretch in prison and starts trying to put his life together. He has a teenage daughter, who he tries to visit, as soon as he can, only for the scene to degenerate into a violent slanging match between George and his ex-wife. This opening holds in microcosm the complex conflicting elements of George's character.
- CineVue UK
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Caine, Clarke Peters, Kate Hardie, Zoë Nathenson, Sammi Davis, Rod Bedall, Joe Brown, Pauline Melville | Written by Neil Jordan, David Leland | Directed by Neil Jordan
The second of Arrow Video’s recent Bob Hoskins releases, Mona Lisa may be the better movie of the two. When you look at the quality of The Long Good Friday and how good the movie is, this should be taken as a hint about how good this release from Arrow Video is. Not heavy in special features, it is the movie that speaks for itself both in the quality of the restoration and how relevant the film still feels to this day.
- Paul Metcalf
Mona Lisa, 1986.
Directed by Neil Jordan.
An ex-con just released from prison lands a job driving a call girl from job to job.
Arrow Films follow-up their excellent release of The Long Good Friday with Mona Lisa, the 1986 crime drama directed by Neil Jordan (The Company of Wolves) and starring the late, great Bob Hoskins. Hoskins plays George, a criminal released from prison and looking for a job. After going to see his ex-wife and daughter and being told where to go, George goes to see his former colleagues and is offered work driving high-class call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson – The Serpent & The Rainbow) from job to job. Sounds easy but George’s rough, wide-boy charm and Simone’s more elegant manner initially causes the two to clash, until »
- Gary Collinson
With Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) now screening in New York, London and other cities, the Independent has posted Martin Scorsese's thoughts on the classic—and on Reed, "a wonderful film artist." At Hyperallergic, John Yau writes about collages by John Ashbery and Guy Maddin. Curator Ed Halter considers the films of William Klein. Calum Marsh previews the Vittorio De Sica retrospective in Toronto. This week, London's Close-Up will re-open with a series of six films by John Cassavetes. And in the London Review of Books, Michael Wood writes about Bob Hoskins in John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday. » - David Hudson »
“Roger, darling. I want you to know I love you. I’ve loved you more than any woman’s ever loved a rabbit. “
Who Framed Roger Rabbit screens midnights this weekend (July 3rd and 4th) at The Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ Midnight Series. It will also screen at 10am Saturday July 4th
Only someone with a heart of stone can’t love Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a classic mix from 1988 of live-action and animation which united Disney’s classic characters with the Looney Toons.
In an alternative version of 1947 humans and cartoon characters (Toons) live together in Hollywood. The Toons have their own home, Toontown, but there star in live-action films and can do almost anything. Hard-boiled, heavy drinking Private Detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), whose brother was murdered by a Toon, is assigned a case by a movie studio to take incriminating »
- Tom Stockman
I interviewed Pierce Brosnan in conjunction with his third outing as James Bond, in Michael Apted's The World Is Not Enough, in 1999. Brosnan was alternately charming, erudite, thoughtful and intense during our two hour chat. His native intelligence shone through it all, as did a sense of decency which many people seem to acquire after enduring and surviving hardship in their formative years.
Bonding With Brosnan
There are several dangers in becoming a cultural icon, not the least of which is the stigma that your public will forever keep you imprisoned in the mold of your iconography, allowing the recipient a privileged, if imprisoned, existence, particularly if that person is an artist. Sean Connery faced just such a dilemma during the height of James Bond-mania in the mid-60's. A serious actor, Connery desperately wanted to break out of the action hero mold that was British Superspy James Bond, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
With Jurassic World now officially the fastest movie to reach the $1 billion mark (in just thirteen days!), it seems as though the world has gone back to 1993 and dino-mania is running wild once again.
To celebrate the success of the movie, we’ve looked back through the history books to bring you five things you may not know about the Jurassic Park franchise.
Harrison Ford has always had a great working relationship with Steven Spielberg and his partner in crime George Lucas. Not only was he the star of Spielberg’s ode to adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its subsequent Indiana Jones sequels, but he was also featured in American Graffiti and the Star Wars trilogy, the products of George Lucas. »
- Luke Owen
“What I’m looking for is someone who can contribute to what England has given to the world: culture, sophistication, genius – a little bit more than an ’ot dog, know what I mean?” John Mackenzie’s classic British thriller, from a rip-roaring script by Barrie Keeffe, nearly went straight to TV and only ended up in cinemas thanks to the intervention of George Harrison’s HandMade Films. Today it stands as a prophetic classic, as groundbreaking as Get Carter, as quotable as Withnail & I (“Shut up you long streak of paralysed piss”).
Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren are magnificent as the lord and lady of their underworld manor, attempting to develop London Docklands in a pre-Canary Wharf world, caught between American investors and Ira bombs. Phil Meheux »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
“This country’s a worse risk than Cuba! It’s a banana republic!” That is how Britain is brusquely described in the classic Brit gangster melodrama from 1980, now on rerelease, written by Barrie Keeffe and directed by John Mackenzie. It features a criminal property developer in trouble with rich Americans and the Ira. (A modern-day remake would turn them into Russians and Islamic State.) The film has dated a bit, but it’s surprising how very cleverly it intuits the property boom of London in 2015, and its yearning to be at the centre of a globalised economy, while at the same time absorbing both 70s drear and 80s aspiration. Bob Hoskins (below) is East End geezer Harold Shand – pop-eyed, nervy and insecure about his imminent big »
- Peter Bradshaw
The classic thriller predicted the rise of Thatcherism and the transformation of London’s Docklands into an area of unbridled commerce. For the re-release of the film, I revisited the streets where mobsters once ran wild
At the start of The Long Good Friday, Harold Shand flew in on Concorde. Shand was old-school: a London ganglord played by Bob Hoskins, back home after a New York business trip to find his empire being gutted.
Now, to revisit Harold’s world, I’m listening to the driverless hum of the Docklands Light Railway (Dlr), gently jolting through east London above the endless juliet balconies of new-build flats. Neither the Dlr nor the flats were here in June 1979, when Hoskins and director John Mackenzie started work on a modestly scaled British crime thriller that would become one of the most darkly momentous films that Britain ever made. So, on another sunlit early summer day, »
- Danny Leigh
The classic gangster thriller is a fitting vision of Thatcher’s Britain, with Bob Hoskins as Harold Shand, the quotable cockney mobster who loses it all
“For 10 years we’ve had peace, and now there’s been an Eruption!”
Oh, Harold Shand and his best-laid plans. The East End gangster kingpin is a true spirit-of-the-blitz Little Englander, “a businessman with a sense of history, and also a Londoner”, seeking to shift his thriving criminal empire into legit – or semi-legit – business concerns. He’s dependent upon the New York mafia to help him corner the redevelopment of his own youthful stamping grounds, east London’s Docklands, with a view toward cashing in on a mooted 1988 London Olympics.
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- John Patterson
Director: John Mackenzie
Running Time: 116 minutes
Last year we lost the brilliant Bob Hoskins to the void. The British actor known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mermaids, Hook and Super Mario Bros was sadly lost to Pneumonia. Whilst better known for these big budget studio movies Hoskins is beloved by many in the UK for his turns in Mona Lisa and The Long Good Friday, and though he may be sorely missed both of these gems are getting the special edition treatment this year. We may still have a little while to wait for Mona Lisa but as of Monday 4th May you can own anniversary edition of The Long Good Friday.
This isn’t just an old film that has been stuffed onto a disc with a couple of trailers, oh no, Arrow Films have painstakingly overseen a fully film restoration and shifted »
- Kat Smith
Want to keep up with all the great new content arriving on Netflix? Then you're in luck, as we'll be bringing you a round-up of the best TV shows, films, documentaries and stand-up arriving on Netflix UK every week.
Here are the latest additions to Netflix over the coming week:
Set in the 1960s, the film follows a flighty mother and her two daughters who relocate to a quiet Massachusetts town but can't outrun their personal issues. Watch Mermaids from May 27.
Hot Girls Wanted
Netflix continues to expand its diverse selection of documentaries with Hot Girls Wanted. Landing on May 29, the film delves into the realities of the porn industry.
It follows the lives of a group of 18- and 19-year-old actresses in a bid to »
The Los Angeles Film Festival is celebrating its 21st year and bringing free screenings, in addition to a great indie film slate, to West Coast cinephiles. Kicking off the freebies is the family-friendly “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the 1988 classic period detective-animated slapstick mashup starring Bob Hoskins, set for June 12 at 8 p.m. at Union Station. Also, celebrating its 15-year anniversary with a June 13 screening at DIGat7th is Gina Prince-Bythewood’s on-court romance “Love & Basketball,” starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan as best friends whose shared love for the titular sport parallels their love for each other. Prince-Bythewood will attend along with her cast, which includes Lathan, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, Alfre Woodard, Debi Morgan, and others. June 13 will also feature Coffee Talks, a popular series where audience members get a first-hand look as filmmakers and other industry vets discuss their crafts. This year’s subjects include Colin Trevorrow, director »
Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg on the Oscars' Red Carpet Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Spielberg has taken home two Best Director Oscars: Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler's List also won Best Picture, but Saving Private Ryan lost to John Madden's Miramax-distributed Shakespeare in Love. There was quite a bit of animosity at the time, as some felt that Miramax, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, overdid its Oscar campaigning – while still managing to sway enough Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members to vote for its film. Somewhat ironically, at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture Award to The King's Speech. Toplining Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom, this British production was »
- D. Zhea
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, P.H. Moriarty, Kevin McNally, Alan Ford, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Derek Thompson, Eddie Constantine, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan, Patti Love, Pierce Brosnan | Written by Barrie Keeffe | Directed by John Mackenzie
The gangster movie is a beast very like the gangs it is based on. Depending on the country of origin the crime organisations tend to have certain looks and style and a certain tradition that they cling to as their laws of how to do business. The modern gangster movies are definitely an example of this, but they also share one thing in common, they lend a lot from The Long Good Friday which gets the Arrow Video treatment with its new release on Blu-ray.
Harold (Bob Hoskins) is a British gangster with an eye to capitalism and being a successful business man. Seeing London as his empire he is taken aback at the incredulous »
- Paul Metcalf
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