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19 items from 2017


‘Downton Abbey’ Movie: 8 Possible Storylines to Pursue Even After Everybody’s Had Their Happy Ending

22 June 2017 5:52 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Downton Abbey” ended on the best possible note possible when it wrapped up after six seasons in 2016. Every character that fans cared about had a happy ending. People paired off — even the ones downstairs — and some had babies or babies on the way, a new business venture was started – and better yet, nobody was accused of murder.

Now comes word, according to a recent report, that a “Downton Abbey” movie will likely start cranking into production in 2018. Creator Julian Fellowes has been diligently working and reworking the script, and the cast has publicly stated that they’re game to return to Downton.

But where can it go from here? Short of resurrecting Matthew (Dan Stevens) from the grave for some creepy zombie triad love story, this was as tidy and pleasant an outcome as a fan could hope for. It will be intriguing to see what conflict the movie brings as a matter of course while storytelling but not tarnish the happiness that was granted the characters after so many hard times.

Read More: ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He’s Working on a Film Version

With very few clues to go on though, it’s not clear what will be in store for the Crawleys and friends when they return. The series’ timeline ended around 1925, and Fellowes had stated that he didn’t want to bring the story into the 1930s, so that leaves a window of five years for a time jump. Based on our knowledge of the characters and of general history, here are some of the things we’d want to see in the “Downton Abbey” movie:

The Crawleys in the Workforce

This was already in the works with Tom (Allen Leech) and Henry (Matthew Goode) teaming up to be used cars salesmen. Hopefully that business is flourishing, and maybe even Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) will get involved because of course she’s not going to be a very involved mother even though she’ll have two (or more?) kids by the time the movie rolls around. We could see her taking charge of some innovative business ideas like driving around town to draw in female customers or arranging motor tours to Downton.

Mary Softens

Mary has been and can be a really garbage person at times, but Matthew brought out the best in her. It’s no accident that Mary only after she’s with Henry, that she commits a completely selfless act by not stealing Edith’s wedding-day thunder to reveal she’s pregnant.

A Really Good, Modern Nanny Arc

With the exception of the horrid Nanny West, who had called poor little Sybbie a “wicked little cross-breed,” the nannies haven’t been part of the fold either upstairs or downstairs much. Although it’s accepted that the nobility don’t really have a hand rearing their children, this could all change. Edith is far more involved with her daughter Marigold anyway, and who knows how Tom’s experiences in America may have changed his views. Mary is probably the most traditional, but with the lines blurring between classes, the nanny or nannies could become an indispensable family friend. Or it could be a friend they have already.

Stop Before the Great Depression

Given that this is probably going to be the last time we’ll see the “Downton” cast together since they’re no longer under contract and have been scattered to the winds on different projects, let’s not end on a really depressing (heh) note or cliffhanger. Besides, 1929 is also when frozen food was invented, and we really don’t want the knowledge of that to send the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) into an early grave. That said, the age of innovation can’t stop, won’t stop, and we’d love to see someone talking about the wonders of TV or talkies.

Ripped From the Headlines

While we don’t want to see the Great Depression happen, it’s always intriguing to see events of the day pierce the Crawley bubble. We can’t imagine that Edith (Laura Carmichael), the new Marchioness of Hexham, will fully give up journalism, especially since she’ll want to be a good role model to Marigold, and so we could see her getting involved with the biggest news items in some form. The British occupation of Shanghai and the resulting protests could create some new dramatic situations in which lines are drawn about imperialism. And we could see someone, maybe Daisy (Sophie McShera) or Edith getting pulled along the tide of women’s suffrage when women over 21 finally get the vote. Oh, and since Princess Elizabeth is born in 1926, there must be some diehard royalists who will be obsessed with her every move and appearance.

Read More: The ‘Downton Abbey’ Series Finale Brings All the Ships Into Port

Thomas Barrow Tries to Find Love

Sadly, this wishlist item is probably one of the most difficult storylines to make happen given the time period. As with Rose’s interracial romance that “Downton” tried and failed to make happen, a straightforward romance for Thomas (Robert James-Collier) would be improbable or at least incredibly difficult, and we do not wish Thomas any more pain. Homosexuality at that time was seen as indecent and criminal, consent not even part of the discussion, and it’s no wonder Thomas had issues. That said, despite society’s condemnation, queer people still existed and yes, even loved. We’ll leave the logistics to Fellowes.

Anna and Bates Will Continue to Live Happily Ever After

Nothing bad can or will happen to them ever again. They get as many babies at they want and are very, very happy. We don’t care if that makes for boring storytelling. With rape, accusations of murder, jail time – and hey did we mention rape? – they’ve been through enough already. Ok, maybe some new medical treatment can give Bates (Brendan Coyle) some false hope about losing his limp, but it doesn’t, and Anna (Joanne Froggatt) can tell him how much she loves him because of his bum leg anyway. But that’s it.

The Requisite Giant Celebration

It’s not “Downton Abbey” without a really big set piece gathering everyone together. While we wouldn’t say no to a ball, a picnic or outdoors village activity might be the best because that would mean the servants wouldn’t be required to work too much, even though so many of them have their own separate lives now. A picnic is more egalitarian. But for old times’ sakes, maybe Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Daisy could bake something up again. And we’re not exactly sure what a happy and married Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) would look like, but we imagine them dancing and maybe partaking in some drinks. Who else? Lord and Lady Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) doting on their grandchildren, and Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) finally enjoying a life of her own with Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) would be essential, with wry commentary by the Dowager Countess of course.

What would you want to see in a “Downton Abbey” movie?

Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

Related storiesThandie Newton: Period Dramas Have Made It Harder for Black Actors to Find Work in England'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He's Working on a Film VersionMichelle Dockery Finds Joy in the Rawness of 'Good Behavior,' But She Hasn't Left 'Downton Abbey' Behind »

- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Downton Abbey’ Movie: 8 Possible Storylines to Pursue Even After Everybody’s Had Their Happy Ending

22 June 2017 5:52 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Downton Abbey” ended on the best possible note possible when it wrapped up after six seasons in 2016. Every character that fans cared about had a happy ending. People paired off — even the ones downstairs — and some had babies or babies on the way, a new business venture was started – and better yet, nobody was accused of murder.

Now comes word, according to a recent report, that a “Downton Abbey” movie will likely start cranking into production in 2018. Creator Julian Fellowes has been diligently working and reworking the script, and the cast has publicly stated that they’re game to return to Downton.

But where can it go from here? Short of resurrecting Matthew (Dan Stevens) from the grave for some creepy zombie triad love story, this was as tidy and pleasant an outcome as a fan could hope for. It will be intriguing to see what conflict the movie brings as a matter of course while storytelling but not tarnish the happiness that was granted the characters after so many hard times.

Read More: ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He’s Working on a Film Version

With very few clues to go on though, it’s not clear what will be in store for the Crawleys and friends when they return. The series’ timeline ended around 1925, and Fellowes had stated that he didn’t want to bring the story into the 1930s, so that leaves a window of five years for a time jump. Based on our knowledge of the characters and of general history, here are some of the things we’d want to see in the “Downton Abbey” movie:

The Crawleys in the Workforce

This was already in the works with Tom (Allen Leech) and Henry (Matthew Goode) teaming up to be used cars salesmen. Hopefully that business is flourishing, and maybe even Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) will get involved because of course she’s not going to be a very involved mother even though she’ll have two (or more?) kids by the time the movie rolls around. We could see her taking charge of some innovative business ideas like driving around town to draw in female customers or arranging motor tours to Downton.

Mary Softens

Mary has been and can be a really garbage person at times, but Matthew brought out the best in her. It’s no accident that Mary only after she’s with Henry, that she commits a completely selfless act by not stealing Edith’s wedding-day thunder to reveal she’s pregnant.

A Really Good, Modern Nanny Arc

With the exception of the horrid Nanny West, who had called poor little Sybbie a “wicked little cross-breed,” the nannies haven’t been part of the fold either upstairs or downstairs much. Although it’s accepted that the nobility don’t really have a hand rearing their children, this could all change. Edith is far more involved with her daughter Marigold anyway, and who knows how Tom’s experiences in America may have changed his views. Mary is probably the most traditional, but with the lines blurring between classes, the nanny or nannies could become an indispensable family friend. Or it could be a friend they have already.

Stop Before the Great Depression

Given that this is probably going to be the last time we’ll see the “Downton” cast together since they’re no longer under contract and have been scattered to the winds on different projects, let’s not end on a really depressing (heh) note or cliffhanger. Besides, 1929 is also when frozen food was invented, and we really don’t want the knowledge of that to send the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) into an early grave. That said, the age of innovation can’t stop, won’t stop, and we’d love to see someone talking about the wonders of TV or talkies.

Ripped From the Headlines

While we don’t want to see the Great Depression happen, it’s always intriguing to see events of the day pierce the Crawley bubble. We can’t imagine that Edith (Laura Carmichael), the new Marchioness of Hexham, will fully give up journalism, especially since she’ll want to be a good role model to Marigold, and so we could see her getting involved with the biggest news items in some form. The British occupation of Shanghai and the resulting protests could create some new dramatic situations in which lines are drawn about imperialism. And we could see someone, maybe Daisy (Sophie McShera) or Edith getting pulled along the tide of women’s suffrage when women over 21 finally get the vote. Oh, and since Princess Elizabeth is born in 1926, there must be some diehard royalists who will be obsessed with her every move and appearance.

Read More: The ‘Downton Abbey’ Series Finale Brings All the Ships Into Port

Thomas Barrow Tries to Find Love

Sadly, this wishlist item is probably one of the most difficult storylines to make happen given the time period. As with Rose’s interracial romance that “Downton” tried and failed to make happen, a straightforward romance for Thomas (Robert James-Collier) would be improbable or at least incredibly difficult, and we do not wish Thomas any more pain. Homosexuality at that time was seen as indecent and criminal, consent not even part of the discussion, and it’s no wonder Thomas had issues. That said, despite society’s condemnation, queer people still existed and yes, even loved. We’ll leave the logistics to Fellowes.

Anna and Bates Will Continue to Live Happily Ever After

Nothing bad can or will happen to them ever again. They get as many babies at they want and are very, very happy. We don’t care if that makes for boring storytelling. With rape, accusations of murder, jail time – and hey did we mention rape? – they’ve been through enough already. Ok, maybe some new medical treatment can give Bates (Brendan Coyle) some false hope about losing his limp, but it doesn’t, and Anna (Joanne Froggatt) can tell him how much she loves him because of his bum leg anyway. But that’s it.

The Requisite Giant Celebration

It’s not “Downton Abbey” without a really big set piece gathering everyone together. While we wouldn’t say no to a ball, a picnic or outdoors village activity might be the best because that would mean the servants wouldn’t be required to work too much, even though so many of them have their own separate lives now. A picnic is more egalitarian. But for old times’ sakes, maybe Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and Daisy could bake something up again. And we’re not exactly sure what a happy and married Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) would look like, but we imagine them dancing and maybe partaking in some drinks. Who else? Lord and Lady Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) doting on their grandchildren, and Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) finally enjoying a life of her own with Lord Merton (Douglas Reith) would be essential, with wry commentary by the Dowager Countess of course.

What would you want to see in a “Downton Abbey” movie?

Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

Related storiesThandie Newton: Period Dramas Have Made It Harder for Black Actors to Find Work in England'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He's Working on a Film VersionMichelle Dockery Finds Joy in the Rawness of 'Good Behavior,' But She Hasn't Left 'Downton Abbey' Behind »

- Hanh Nguyen

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Downton Abbey: Follow-Up Movie Officially Happening

22 June 2017 10:06 AM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

It's official. A follow up movie to the Downton Abbey TV show is happening! NBCUniversal International Studios President Michael Edelstein told the Associated Press, “There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time," at a red carpet event in Singapore, for “Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.” The display showcases costumes, locations and previously unreleased footage. According to the report, Edelstein said they're hoping to gather 20 cast members from the original Downton Abbey TV series. “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.” Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Second Opinion – Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

21 June 2017 2:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Transformers: The Last Knight, 2017.

Directed by Michael Bay.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Peter Cullen, Ken Watanabe, John Goodman, Tony Hale, Santiago Cabrera, Frank Welker, Erik Aadahl, Jim Carter, Steve Buscemi, Omar Sy, Reno Wilson, Jerrod Carmichael, Stanley Tucci, Gemma Chan, John Dimaggio, Tom Kenny, Jess Harnell, and John Turturro.

Synopsis:

This movie has no plot.

“Move bitch, get out the way” – Sir Anthony Hopkins as an English historian during a high-speed vehicle chase in Transformers: The Last Knight.

If that right there doesn’t tell you just how unbearably awful the latest relentless onslaught of nonsensical epic scale action from director Michael Bay is, then:

“Move your fat ass” – Sir Anthony Hopkins in a rush trying to do something on a submarine (God only knows what anyone is trying to accomplish in this movie besides chasing after deus ex machina objects from thousands of years ago that can save worlds) talking to a citizen in Transformers: The Last Knight.

Need more evidence? Okay, how about the scene where Cade (Mark Wahlberg returning from the previous installment titled Age of Extinction) and Vivian (another highly educated British historian, played by Laura Haddock) are upstairs in Vivian’s bedroom looking for the super secret clue to an ancient staff that somehow can save the world. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but this is a Michael Bay film, which means that downstairs is a bunch of old women hearing noises and gleefully assuming the two are banging. One of them also accidentally inquires if Cade has a sex dungeon.

Somewhere between some of the least funny humor known to mankind is a story buried deep within multiple writers smashing together multiple forgettable characters and equally forgettable action sequences. Transformers: The Last Knight was doomed from the beginning when a Transformer gave a drunk Merlin magic powers and a dragon to help King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table defeat… an army. To be fair, it’s never clear who the hell is fighting who here; it’s just a cacophony of bulky hunks of metal colliding with each other and bullets being fired off from a distance in the background. Anyway, apparently every few thousand years a group of noble and honorable warriors get together to save humanity, which at this point should be taking extreme legal action to ensure that Michael Bay can never make another one of these movies again. I know he says this is the last one for real this time, but society can’t take any more chances.

At this point, I would like to include a tweet from Michael Bay:

Reports of #transformers The Last Knight being over 3hrs is wrong. It's shorter than the last 3 movies by a lot.

Michael Bay (@michaelbay) June 1, 2017

It’s Still 149 minutes and the longest movie I have seen so far this year out of 100 films. Taking a quick glance at upcoming releases tells me that this length won’t be usurped anytime soon. On another note, if Transformers: The Last Knight actually was over three hours I would have drunk myself into a stupor 20 minutes in. Actually, that’s what watching this movie is like. You hear some chatter from other screenings and critics that the movie is an incoherent mess, so you come into the movie challenged ready to prove the rest wrong and proclaim “I understand it, here’s what happened”!. Things are going decently for the first 30 minutes or so, and then things get rocky, and before you know it you literally have no idea what is going on, as if a movie could physically become shit-faced inebriated.

Even the action blatantly steals concepts from previous films, such as military skydiving sequences, because you know, 449 of those in Dark of the Moon wasn’t enough. The more I continue to write this review, the more I began to ask myself how in the blue hell could a movie with so much spectacle just… go on and on without viewers ever once feeling that something cool just happened. I will admit the ending battle featuring a snazzy wide-angle zero gravity segment was something different and refreshing for the franchise, but at over 2 hours in all investment is long gone. Look, Transformers: The Last Knight has impressive CGI and is pretty a look at; that’s a given. However, at some point, viewers have to begin to ask themselves when all the money in the world to create the best effects possible still isn’t enough to push something beyond garbage tier filmmaking. Transformers: The Last Knight isn’t simply a polished turd, it’s like if Hercules took a God-sized shit on Earth and sprayed it with Fabreze.

Even the robots themselves are still lame, racist caricatures uttering stereotypical slang. And if it’s not that, it’s fat jokes about Autobot Hound (John Goodman). As a backhanded compliment, I suppose there is less objectification of primary female characters, but one of the females is presented as 14, and does the movie really deserve a point for, you know, basic human decency? Probably not.

The best and most exciting part of Transformers: The Last Knight was when my food was delivered or the ‘silence your phone’ advert. It certainly wasn’t watching Cade joke around with the robots for 15 minutes in a junkyard, and telling a Dinobot to drop a car from his mouth as if it were a bone. What a disaster of a blockbuster, but at least this one doesn’t have a gargantuan Decepticon with massive robot testicles.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★

Robert Kojder – Chief Film Critic of Flickering Myth. Check here for new reviews weekly, friend me on Facebook, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com »

- Robert Kojder

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‘Transformers: The Last Knight’: How Michael Bay and Ilm Created Complex New Medieval Bots

21 June 2017 1:53 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

For “The Last Knight,” Michael Bay headed toward classy and medieval, traveling to England and riffing on King Arthur with a bevy of new Transformers. Along the way, Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager enlists the aid of an eccentric historian (Anthony Hopkins), a street-wise teenage orphan (Isabela Moner), and an alluring Oxford professor (Laura Haddock).

For Industrial Light & Magic, the challenge was animating even more complex and detailed metallic creatures for higher-resolution action sequences using IMAX 3D cameras. “It’s about craftsmanship and artistry and it doesn’t get easier on any of these films,” said Ilm’s VFX supervisor, Scott Farrar, who has labored on all five “Transformers” movies. “The number of parts on Optimus Prime, for instance, went up from about 10,000 parts to 22,000 parts. That means more difficult rendering for achieving a photoreal look.”

Dragonstorm and the Knights of Cybertron

In a prologue, we’re introduced to the origin story of the Transformers on Earth. A thousand years ago, the Knights of the Cybertron helped out King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) and his Knights of the Roundtable in their war with the Saxons. This was the result of a pact with a drunken and inept Merlin (Stanley Tucci), who was granted use of the three-headed, fire breathing Dragonstorm.

“The nearly 100-foot dragon contains large, metallic thorns and has a tarnished look,” said Farrar. “It took thousands of pieces. No matter which way you look, he’s gonna spear you. So he’s fairly deadly,” he added.

Some of the best-looking shots in the movie were based on sunny afternoon cloud plate shots from Lear jets and helicopters over England, Texas, and Detroit. “Once you start with a gorgeous setting such as this, then the dragon becomes similarly backlit,” Farrar said. “And the more backlight or edge light that you can have, the more realistic it looks.”

Quintessa, the Sorceress from Cybertron

We’re also introduced to the creator of Optimus and the other Transformers, Quintessa, a beautiful and powerful sorceress from Cybertron. This deity took months to build and is comprised of thousands of intricate pieces.

Quintessa is very regal-looking with a cowl collar and long, flowing cape. Ilm even goes further with an ethereal vibe. She resembles pearlescent seaweed in a pool. Her face was modeled after actress Gemma Chan, who recorded her voice, though there’s a slight resemblance to Optimus, too. “We matchmoved to her and created our character, for the face at least, and some of the arm motion,” said Farrar.

It’s like she’s made of small louvered pieces that act like veins, always moving and all reflective. “She is lit only by what the reflected light is doing for her, so you have to position lights everywhere around her,” said Farrar.

Cogman the Manservant

Then there’s the witty, snarky, sociopathic Cogman (voiced by “Downton Abbey’s” Jim Carter), butler to Hopkins’ Sir Edmund Burton. Like “Rogue One’s” unfiltered droid, K-2So, he steals the movie.

“I think he’s one of the most beautiful creations that we’ve come up with,” said Farrar. “The original idea was that he was a turn of the century automaton. But he can run around, and you can see all the gears that are running inside his face, neck, sternum, chest, and shoulders. It’s like he’s made from fine pieces from a very expensive French watch.”

The key-framed Cogman is also highly reflective. He’s made of silvery metal armor with copper and brass, and shines with warm colors. “It’s all about the detail in proximity to the camera for important acting moments,” said Farrar. “We do ultra-closeups in camera so it all looks hand-tooled and hand-made.”

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Related stories'Transformers: The Last Knight' Review: Here's the Most Ridiculous Hollywood Movie of the Year'Alien: Covenant': How the VFX Team Engineered Those Terrifying Xenomorph and Neomorph Creatures'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2': Why Making Baby Groot Dance Was a Major VFX Challenge »

- Bill Desowitz

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'Transformers: The Last Knight' Review: Michael Bay's Latest Is 2017's Most Toxic Movie

21 June 2017 7:33 AM, PDT | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Yes, that's zero stars you see up there. Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination (this is the fifth), the movies die a little. Mark Wahlberg has announced that The Last Knight will be his farewell to the Bay franchise. Quoth the actor: "I get my life back."

Ha! Now Wahlberg knows how sentient film critics feel every time they exit another Bay travesty. Transformers: The Last Knight is all kinds of awful. It's also the worst of the series to date, which is saying something. The year is only half over, »

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Transformers: The Last Knight review: Dir. Michael Bay (2017)

21 June 2017 1:27 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Transformers: The Last Knight review: Michael Bay once again delves into the rich mythology of the Autobots for this fifth outing in the billion dollar franchise.

Transformers: The Last Knight review by Luke Ryan Baldock.

Transformers: The Last Knight review

Transformers is a depressing juggernaut of a franchise. Its excessive levels of noise (both sound and visual) apparently confusing minds into a stupor of acceptance. The first film in the 5-in franchise was released a decade ago, and at the time the novelty of the toy line coming to life was fairly enjoyable. Then the sequels happened! Each film getting longer, more nonsensical, and especially in terms of the writers’ strike-hit second installment, just an absolute travesty. None of this deterred Michael Bay however, whose billion dollar franchise is a hit over the world, as he seemed to relish in mocking the critics with the fourth entry’s 2 hour and 48 minute runtime. So, has the formula been changed up? Has Bay taken critiques on board? Well, maybe to some degree.

The fifth entry starts with a flashback to England during the dark ages. Here we see King Arthur and his knights relying on wizard Merlin (a returning Stanley Tucci in an enjoyable cameo) to provide them with magic. That magic is of course Cybertronian (sp?) residents and technology. This opening battle is fantastic and almost too good. I wish I had sat down to see an entire medieval set production where a giant mechanical dragon goes to battle. Giant fireballs roar across the screen, and the action is completely accessible and easy to follow; sad I get to use that as a complement, but this is a Michael Bay Transformer movie we’re talking about. It doesn’t last for long though, we are quickly introduced to the world ending MacGuffin the villains will be looking for later,  as Anthony Hopkins’ narration brings us into present day by catching us up on previous events and also what has happened between films.

Transformers: The Last Knight review

Now we follow Izabella (with a ‘Z’ and two ‘L’s) played by Isabela Moner (with an ‘S’ and one ‘L’). Izabella lives in a cordoned off area of Chicago where robots are hunted by the newly formed government body, the Trf, which I forget what it stands for, but they’re basically humans that hunt Transformers. Again we are teased with a better film than we get, with Moner being a charismatic and strong character. For a kid’s film it would have been perfect to follow her through a  dystopian world where giant robots are friends and threats. Unfortunately Mark Wahlberg has other ideas as he swoops in and takes the film for himself. Moner even vanishes from the film for a good 40 minutes as Wahlberg travels to London to meet eccentric Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins) and Oxford professor Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock), due to an artifact he was given by a dying old fashioned Transformer.

There’s also stuff about Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) meeting his maker, Quintessa (Gemma Chan), while John Turturro returns as Simmons for a holiday in Cuba. Seriously, he has no scenes with any other actors and only interacts over the phone. Oh and Josh Duhamel also returns as Lennox to deal with the military aspects. If you hadn’t guessed, this film is a narrative mess. It wants to be serious, it wants to be funny, it wants to have its cake, eat its cake, bake another cake, and buy a cake off you. You start forgetting about certain plotlines until they return, and Bay can’t help but insert needless scenes.We get a flashback of Bumblebee during WWII attacking Nazis. Sure, sounds cool, but adds nothing at all.

Transformers: The Last Knight review

Bay has certainly addressed some criticism. Izabella and Vivian are strong characters, both very smart in different ways, and not seen covered in sweat writhing over automobiles; which is very good considering Izabella is 14, but I wouldn’t have been surprised. Neither plays the damsel in distress more than any of the other human characters and both add emotion and/or plot to the story. Don’t worry though Bay purists, as a lot of racial/ethnic/foreign stereotypes are still present as is the awkward humour and immaturity in the form of swearing (the most ‘shits’ I’ve ever heard in a 12), sexual innuendos, and loud crass voice work in parts.

With all this said, the film is, and it shames me to say…rather fun. The action is big and exciting, and this time I knew which robots were which. Anthony Hopkins is delightful and having so much fun that his humour really shines through. Even awkward bits that verge on parody kind of work, such as when Hopkins’ manservant Cogman (Jim Carter) starts playing an organ to make Burton’s exposition more epic. There’s 90 minutes of a rollicking fun adventure in here somewhere, but there’s also an hour of needless tripe that is far too serious for its own good, and too many characters and storylines that simply don’t go together. Even Optimus Prime is unnecessary to this film. If Bay could decide on a tone then the focus could really help the franchise. And also, it was really quite impressive to see the studio deciding to truncate the runtime by giving us a the quickest end-credits I’ve ever seen for such a huge production, because why condense a bulky film when you can just flash the credits for those that worked so hard?

Transformers: The Last Knight review by Luke Ryan Baldock, June 2017.

Transformers: The Last Knight will be released in cinemas on Thursday 22nd June, 2017.

The post Transformers: The Last Knight review: Dir. Michael Bay (2017) appeared first on The Hollywood News. »

- Luke Ryan Baldock

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Transformers 5 Review: A Bombastic Blast of Confusing Fun

20 June 2017 4:16 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Transformers: The Last Knight is a befuddling film on multiple levels. On one hand, the fifth installment of the franchise is a towering special effects achievement. Director Michael Bay, Hollywood's king of blowing stuff up, truly raises his action game. Shot with IMAX 3D cameras, the technical brilliance of The Last Knight cannot be understated. It is incredible to see. The fault lies in the scattershot plot. Elements from the previous films are mixed into an updated storyline, drumroll please, from the 1986 classic cartoon, The Transformers: The Movie. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but is an intriguing turn in the overall plot direction. Transformers fans are going to have a field day with this one. Minor spoilers are ahead.

Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) has long left Earth on a quest to find his creator. In his absence, Transformers continue to arrive. The U.S. Government has created the »

- MovieWeb

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Transformers: The Last Knight Review

20 June 2017 4:00 PM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Transformers: The Last Knight is a tiresome mix of self-aware silliness and Budweiser-branded apocalypse porn, but compared to Michael Bay’s previous Hasbrosploitations, at least this one is – dare I say – momentarily fun? Not enough to avoid becoming a dizzy mecha-mess of metallic chaos, mind you. Let’s be realistic. Early predictions of a 3:20 length only missed by about 50-or-so minutes, sticking to the franchise’s boorish signatures. First it’s men against bots, then bots against bots, then Medieval bots against newer bots, then Earth against Cybertron (like, the planets themselves) – be still, my swirling head. Focus on the blatant Suicide Squad ripoff and dogpiled sexual humor. Maybe that will distract from from the distractions themselves.

If you’re keeping tabs on Transformers continuity, The Last Knight is where it all ties together (or, kinda tries). Autobots and Decepticons are now outlaws. National governments assemble anti-robot agency branches »

- Matt Donato

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Review: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Doesn’t Break the Mold

20 June 2017 4:00 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

I mean, you know what you’re getting by now, right?

Did you see any of the other Transformers movies? They are all unified in sensibility of craft, story, and tone. The (toy) mold has not been broken for the latest installment, The Last Knight. If you are instinctually repulsed by director Michael Bay’s style or don’t care about giant transforming robots, this film definitely won’t change your mind, and I’ve no idea why you’d expect otherwise. Still, the series is a popular punching bag for critics, who perhaps torque their venom whenever it pops up because of the underlying knowledge that these movies only keep making avalanches of money, and they have no power over that.

That Transformers is treated as the Tiffany Trump to the critics’ Donald among franchises is curious to me. I can’t say I particularly like any of the films, »

- Daniel Schindel

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Downton Abbey: Movie Given the Greenlight (Report)

23 May 2017 7:06 PM, PDT | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

Ever since Downton Abbey finished its final season last year, rumors of a movie sequel have circulated. Now, Hollywood Life reports the UK series is finally coming to the big screen.A historical drama, Downton Abbey follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the early 20th century. The cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Elizabeth McGovern, and Maggie Smith. The final season finished airing on PBS in the U.S. in 2016.Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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First look at Rob Brydon in comedy 'Swimming With Men'

16 May 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Oliver Parker is directing the synchronised swimming comedy.

Screen can reveal the first look at Dad’s Army director Oliver Parker’s comedy Swimming With Men, produced by Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch (The Infidel) of Met Film and Maggie Monteith of Dignity Film Finance (Brotherhood), in association with Amp Film.

Aschlin Ditta wrote the screenplay.

Exec producers include Paul Webster (Atonement) and Guy Heeley (Locke) of Shoebox Films and Al Morrow (Sour Grapes) and Jonny Persey (Little Ashes) of Met Film. Umedia are also on board as co-producers and financiers

The picture depicts (from left) Thomas Turgoose (This is England), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Daniel Mays (Rogue One), Adeel Akhtar (The Night Manager), Rob Brydon (The Trip) and Rupert Graves (Sherlock).

Also starring are Charlotte Riley (Edge Of Tomorrow) and Jane Horrocks (Little Voice).

HanWay handles sales on the movie, currently in production, about a man (Brydon) who finds new meaning in his life »

- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Rob Brydon squeezes into budgie smugglers to start filming on Swimming with Men

3 May 2017 3:55 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Zehra Phelan

Rob Brydon has squeezed into those budgie smugglers he has tucked at the back of his drawers to start filming on the upcoming British comedy Swimming with Men alongside a pretty decent cast which includes Charlotte Riley ad Daniel Mays.

The production which is underway today in pools across London, Hertfordshire and Essex, is said to be a heart-warming comedy about a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis who finds meaning in the most unlikely of places: an all-male, middle-aged, amateur synchronised swimming team.

At the heart of the story is Eric, a 40-something stuck in a rut. With his marriage in tatters and his life generally going to pieces, Eric finds unexpected refuge in the company of a motley crew of middle-aged, slightly saggy men, who meet up once a week at the local municipal pool literally and figuratively to tread water together.

Eric »

- Zehra Phelan

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Oliver Parker’s ‘Swimming With Men,’ Starring Rob Brydon, Adds to Cast (Exclusive)

2 May 2017 5:16 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Oliver Parker’s synchronized-swimming comedy “Swimming With Men,” which stars Rob Brydon (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”), has rounded out its cast, with “Downton Abbey’s” Jim Carter, “Sherlock’s” Rupert Graves and “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’s” Jane Horrocks among those boarding the film. HanWay Films is selling the pic.

The cast also includes Adeel Akhtar, Daniel Mays, Charlotte Riley, Thomas Turgoose, and Nathaniel Parker. Principal photography started Tuesday in London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

The film tells the story of a man suffering a mid-life crisis (Brydon) who finds new meaning to his life as part of an all-male, middle-aged, amateur synchronized swimming team.

“‘Swimming With Men’ has the DNA of some of our most beloved British comedies, from ‘The Full Monty’ to ‘Calendar Girls,” said HanWay’s managing director Gabrielle Stewart. “If just half of the fun we have seen in practice in the pool these last few weeks translates onto the screen, »

- Robert Mitchell

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Rush Hour 4 Is Still Happening

24 March 2017 1:06 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

It's been almost 10 years since Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) and Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) last joined forces in 2007's Rush Hour 3. Throughout the years, there has been talk of another Rush Hour sequel, but there haven't been any substantial updates in quite some time. During an appearance at the Sun Valley Film Festival, filmmaker Brett Ratner revealed that he thinks this action sequel will happen. Here's what he had to say in a brief statement at the festival, while jokingly revealing a possible title.

"I think it will happen; we're talking to writers. We could call it Grumpy Old Rush Hour."

While the filmmaker wouldn't elaborate more on this sequel to Entertainment Weekly, he may be onto something in regards to the title. While Chris Tucker was still a rising star when the first Rush Hour hit theaters in 1998, the actor is now 44 years of age, while »

- MovieWeb

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‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He’s Working on a Film Version

27 January 2017 3:10 PM, PST | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

British period drama “Downton Abbey” aired its series finale on Christmas Day of 2015 in the UK and on March 6, 2016 in the United States. Throughout its run, it was the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS and won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries in 2011. After the finale aired, series creator Julian Fellowes told IndieWire that he “hopes there will be a a film” and that he thinks “it would be fun.” Now, The Telegraph reports that in a new interview with the Evening Standard, Fellowes confirmed that he’s started to work on the film version.

Read More: Review: The ‘Downton Abbey’ Series Finale Brings All The Ships Into Port

“I’ve done some work on it because I don’t want want to be caught out if [the producers] suddenly say yes and then it’s all go,” said Fellowes, but he admits there »

- Vikram Murthi

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‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals He’s Working on a Film Version

27 January 2017 3:10 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

British period drama “Downton Abbey” aired its series finale on Christmas Day of 2015 in the UK and on March 6, 2016 in the United States. Throughout its run, it was the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS and won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries in 2011. After the finale aired, series creator Julian Fellowes told IndieWire that he “hopes there will be a a film” and that he thinks “it would be fun.” Now, The Telegraph reports that in a new interview with the Evening Standard, Fellowes confirmed that he’s started to work on the film version.

Read More: Review: The ‘Downton Abbey’ Series Finale Brings All The Ships Into Port

“I’ve done some work on it because I don’t want want to be caught out if [the producers] suddenly say yes and then it’s all go,” said Fellowes, but he admits there »

- Vikram Murthi

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Downton Abbey movie likely to film this year

16 January 2017 11:00 PM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Apr 12, 2017

It looks like the Downton Abbey movie will get moving this year, by the sounds of it...

It looks as if those plans for a Downton Abbey movie are coming to fruition. The show finished its televised run on Christmas Day 2015, and a movie revival looks to be coming together at pace.

See related  Broadchurch series 3 episode 7 review Broadchurch series 3 episode 6 review Broadchurch series 3 episode 5 review

Back in January, rumours were fuelled by Jim Carter (Top Secret!), who played Carson in the TV show. He told Good Morning Britain that “we’ve been asked to keep ourselves available for dates in the future, but nobody has seen a script”.

Today, CultBox has shared an update from a PR representative of Jeremy Swift (who played Spratt in the show). "Jeremy has also been asked to keep the end of this year free as the Downton movie will begin »

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‘Downton Abbey’ Star Jim Carter Hints At Movie: ‘We’ve Been Asked To Keep Ourselves Available’

5 January 2017 11:45 AM, PST | ET Canada | See recent ET Canada news »

Hit television drama “Downton Abbey” concluded on Christmas Day 2015, but it looks like the cast may now be headed to the big screen! Jim Carter, who played butler Carson on the show, hinted that a movie could very well be on the way in a new interview with “Good Morning Britain”. “We’ve been asked […] »

- Shakiel Mahjouri

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