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The Planet of The Apes movies occupy a curious netherworld of critical opinion. With each film, the budget was sawn in half, leading to a successive pattern of diminishing returns that led to a cheapening of its esteem. The spin-off TV show was quickly cancelled, further dulling the lustre and few people even remember the animated series that finally put the Apes to bed until a rude awakening in 2001.
However, for all their child-pleasing capers (the family-friendly G rating was a mandatory stipulation from the studios), the Apes movies deftly juggled important themes and arguments about slavery, free-will, nuclear war, vivisection, racism and oppression, and man’s innate capacity for cruelty. In pure storytelling terms, the circuitous plot links the first five movies (and the prequel Rise of The Planet of The Apes) into a pleasing, if relentlessly pessimistic, self-perpetuating full-circle.
Enormous box office successes in their early stages, they »
- Cai Ross
Sony Pictures announced today that they are heading to San Diego Comic-Con 2014 later this month to present Goosebumps and Pixels to fans. Goosebumps star Jack Black will hit the Hall H stage with director Rob Letterman, while Pixels director Chris Columbus will reveal how fans can win a walk-on role in the movie. Take a look at the official panel description, then read on for more details about a Pixels arcade that will also be set up at the Con.
Thursday, July 24th
Join Columbia Pictures in the Indigo Ballroom for your first look at two of next summer's most anticipated films. First, Scholastic's iconic book series Goosebumps, written by R.L. Stine, has already captured the world's imagination - selling over 400 million books worldwide. Now, it's coming to the big screen, with Jack Black starring as »
Audiences who have been missing their daily dose of Jenna insanity ever since NBC’s 30 Rock wrapped up are in luck – Deadline is reporting that Jane Krakowski has signed on to play another crazy character in the upcoming movie Pixels.
The actress will play the First Lady of the United States (to give you some perspective, the President is being played by Kevin James), who previously had a romantic relationship with the lead character (Adam Sandler). Though Pixels was originally dismissed as an Adam Sandler film, we actually do have reason to be excited for it. The flick, directed by Harry Potter helmer Chris Columbus, focuses on a group of old-school video gamers who become essential to combatting a powerful alien race which attacks after misinterpreting feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of intergalactic war.
So far, the cast that has been announced for Pixels is pretty inpressive. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Sky Movies will premiere Believe on the same day it goes into UK cinemas in a first for the subscription service.
Sky Movies and exhibitor Picturehouse have partnered with the film’s distributor, Trinity Films, on the deal which will see the film screened at 7pm on July 25, the day of its limited theatrical release, and available on demand on the same day.
The service has previously offered a number of titles to rent via Sky Store prior to theatrical release, including Bachelorette and Veronica Mars.
“We’re delighted to have such a great film to kick off (no pun intended) this experiement in breaking the traditional windows,” commented Ian Lewis, director, Sky Movies »
- email@example.com (Ian Sandwell)
Whilst not quite sparse enough to be considered anomalies, British sci-fi thrillers are rare beasts. As such, you have to at least admire the ambition in Noel Clarke’s third directorial feature – titled The Anomaly – if not the execution.
Set in the near future, the Memento-inspired plot is centred on grizzled ex-soldier Ryan (Clarke), who wakes up sans-memory in the back of a van with a kidnapped boy. After 9 minutes and 47 seconds Ryan blacks out, only to reawaken several days later in a new location. This cycle keeps repeating itself, and each ten minute rebirth brings with it a new set of clues as to Ryan’s predicament.
The core idea at the heart of The Anomaly is a good one, and Simon Lewis’ potential laden script sets it up well. In the decidedly strong first act we’re just as bewildered as our protagonist, frantically trying to piece together what’s going on. »
- Amon Warmann
It is indicative of both the vast ambition and limited imagination behind “The Anomaly,” British one-man industry Noel Clarke’s shoestring sci-fi effort, that its marketing has brazenly lifted its tagline from “The Matrix.” “What is the anomaly?” ask the posters for this time-shuffling tale of a Ptsd-afflicted soldier pursuing himself through multiple realities; it’s a question that might defeat even attentive viewers, given the film’s tangled conception and tortuously opaque execution. What “The Anomaly” is, however, is easier to say: a smug, risible and far-from-anomalous attempt to beat Hollywood at its own game, from a talent whose commendable reach continues to exceed his grasp. Released in U.K. theaters on July 4, this commercial non-starter should travel swiftly through time to ancillary outlets.
Since winning a Rising Star BAFTA in 2009, actor-writer-director-producer Clarke has accrued a level of respect in the British industry for his resilience and sheer rate »
- Guy Lodge
Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?
One man who I’d love to see dissected from first film to last is the essential Spike Lee. He has had an undeniably spotty career with films both considered masterpieces and complete failures. But Spike is always working, always trying something new, always willing to challenge himself and the viewer. Did his “Oldboy” remake work? No. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and gets back to it. Spike has been everywhere lately, promoting and discussing the 25th anniversary of his masterpiece, “Do the Right Thing,” and so someone figured it was a good time to release »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
It’s been four years since 4321 but Noel Clarke is back behind the camera once again for The Anomaly. Boasting an impressive cast that includes Brian Cox and The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder, the sci-fi thriller – which Somerhalder describes as The Bourne Identity meets Memento – sees Clarke tackle the the lead role of Ryan, a former soldier who is the subject of a bizarre experiment.
Ahead of its UK release this week, we sat down with the director to talk about why there aren’t many British sci-fi’s, what it was about the script that appealed to him, and the challenges of building a character 9 minutes and 47 seconds at a time.
The Anomaly is out in UK cinemas on Friday.
- Amon Warmann
If something doesn't feel quite right about British sci-fi thriller The Anomaly, it's because the script should have spent longer in development. As a director and producer (this time not a writer), Noel Clarke proves that you don't have to throw a lot of money at the screen to create the right atmosphere, but it takes more than a few nifty camera tricks and digital effects to draw an audience in.
Clarke also has the starring role, as Ryan, an apparent hostage who wakes up in the back of a van where a boy called Alex (Art Parkinson) is begging for his help. Ryan has no memory of how they got there and barely a grasp of his own identity, although judging by his skills in hand-to-hand combat, he's not your average civilian. »
Stars: Noel Clarke, Ian Somerhalder, Luke Hemsworth, Brian Cox, Alexis Knapp, Niall Greig Fulton, Michael Bisping, Ali Cook, Art Parkinson, Reuben Dabrow, Victoria Broom | Written by Simon Lewis | Directed by Noel Clarke
Review by Andrew McArthur
Set in the future, a former-soldier Ryan (Clarke) wakes up holding a young boy captive, with no memory of how he got there. After nine minutes forty-seven seconds, he blacks out waking up several days later in a new location with a mysterious figure (Ian Somerhalder), until blacking out again. In these brief moments of consciousness it is up to Ryan to piece together his surroundings, until he gradually discovers a wider conspiracy featuring bio-technology and mind control.
The Anomaly finds Noel Clarke in an ambitious mood. Taking centre stage, and directing a feature for the third time, this is a science fiction film that demands concentration and works hard within its limits. And it opens really very strongly too. Clarke's character, Ryan, wakes up in the back of a van, with just minutes to work out what's happening. One quick escape later, and the mystery of the film gradually begins to unfold.
For we learn that Clarke's character here - coincidentally in a film not a million miles away from Edge Of Tomorrow in theme - is a man who has a small amount of time, before he drifts into unconsciousness, only to wake up somewhere else in the world, and sometimes much later on. So what's going on? Well, »
The Anomaly focuses around traumatised ex-soldier Ryan (Clarke) who wakes up in the back of a van, alongside a kidnapped boy. Ryan helps him escape but when he finds a mask in his pocket he comes to an appalling realisation…. But there’s no time to act – after 9 minutes and 47 seconds of consciousness it all goes black.
What does this have to do with Ryan’s past as a patient at the experimental Medical Unit? Ryan has a lot of questions, and very little time to find any answers.
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- Dan Bullock
30 years after they last appeared on stage together, Monty Python finally reunited at the O2 last night for the first of a 10-night run.
John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones wheeled out all their classic sketches and diehard fans - many in fancy dress - lapped it up. But what did the critics think of their performance? Here's a run-down of the first reviews:
"One Down, Five to Go was never conceived as a bid to win new Python fans. It was always meant to be one last nostalgic hurrah, and in that respect they had a head-start knowing that the audience would be full of die-hard devotees. But you're only ever as good as your last performance, and if this really is goodbye this time, then Monty Python are flying out on a high and in style after all these years."
"As a fan, »
“Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson has joined the cast of Sony's Adam Sandler action-comedy “Pixels,” TheWrap has learned. Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage co-star alongside Michelle Monaghan and Brian Cox. “Pixels” is based on Patrick Jean's buzzed-about short film, which depicted popular 1980s video game characters attacking New York City. The feature follows aliens who misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them and attack Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, '80s video game »
- Jeff Sneider
They are so iconic that seeing them in person is like watching them step out of your television set. Yesterday morning at the London Palladium, the home of variety entertainment in the UK, Monty Python held a last press conference before their series of live shows kicks off and countdown commences toward the end of the line for the most influential group of sketch performers this country ever produced. Sculptures of cherubs and gargoyles look down on the pensionable quintet, contrasting nicely with an angel in high heels, created by Terry Gilliam for the promotional image which looms large behind them. The giant foot rests in a graveyard but there’s nothing quiet about this plot.
Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin are as generous with their time and open to query from the world’s journos as they can be. They’re great company and there is little evidence »
- Steve Palace
Hard though this is to believe, it's been more than four years since Noel Clarke last directed a movie. He had a triple whammy of writer-producer credits in 2012 with Fast Girls, Storage 24 and The Knot. Now he's back behind the camera, parlaying his Storage 24 and Star Trek Into Darkness experience into a low-budget but high-concept science fiction thriller.
Clarke plays the lead role of Ryan, a former soldier who finds himself captive in the back of a van and only able to stay conscious in bursts of precisely 9 minutes and 47 seconds.
Digital Spy sat down with Ian Somerhalder on the film's London set last summer to discuss the joys of shooting sci-fi on a shoestring, the film's Memento-like premise, and his work with the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
What appealed to you about The Anomaly?
Noel is so prolific at what he does, and I was really excited to »
In honour of the Edinburgh International Film Festival up in, um, Edinburgh, the Empire Podcast team made the long and treacherous journey over Hadrian's Wall to record a special live edition of the show in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, complete with two very special guests, Elijah Wood and Brian Cox.As well as the Scottish jokes and worryingly frequent pieces of accidental innuendo you'd expect, we also bring you all the news, reviews and Q&As you could want. Look forward to hearing Elijah Wood feeling absolutely Phenomenal as he is given a bottle of Irn-Bru, and discovering the secret connection that unites Brian Cox to the rest of the cast of The Escapist. P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine for just £18 here »
John Hurt is to star in an upcoming WW1 drama on ITV.
It is part of a series of programmes marking the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.
"This programme gives the stage to the authentic voice of the British people as they endured over four years of the greatest violence in human history," said Richard Klein, »
Noel Clarke is back behind the camera again, after a brief hiatus (doing mostly acting), with the sci-fi actioner titled "The Anomaly," which he also stars in, alongside Luke Hemsworth and Ian Somerhalder. Shot in London and New York, Brian Cox and Alexis Knapp round out the cast of a film that follows a traumatized ex-soldier (played by Clarke) who wakes up in the back of a van, alongside a kidnapped boy. The soldier and the boy escape, but when he finds a mask in his pocket, he comes to an appalling realization…. but there’s no time to act. You see, the problem is, after nine minutes and forty seven seconds of consciousness, it all goes black. What »
- Tambay A. Obenson
We’ve got Five pairs of tickets to giveaway to a very special London screening of The Anomaly on the evening of July 1st.
When traumatised ex-soldier Ryan wakes up in the back of a van, alongside a kidnapped boy. Ryan helps him escape but when he finds a mask in his pocket he comes to an appalling realisation…. But there’s no time to act – after nine minutes and forty seven seconds of consciousness it all goes black. What does this have to do with Ryan’s past as a patient at the experimental Medical Unit? Ryan has a lot of questions, and very little time to find any answers.
The Anomaly opens in UK cinemas on July 4th. »
- Dan Bullock
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