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Dawn French to step back into character to offer alternative broadcast as part of series of special programmes on Radio 4
Dawn French will step back into character as the Vicar of Dibley to offer an alternative Thought for the Day as part of a series of special programmes on BBC Radio 4.
Her slot on the Today programme on 29 March is part of the station's study of fictional characters which includes Springwatch's Chris Packham going to New York on the trail of Big Bird from Sesame Street – and a reunion of the original cast of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for a special performance.
French played Reverend Geraldine Granger in Richard Curtis's popular BBC One sitcom from 1994 to 2007.
- Conal Urquhart
Time travel stories are one of the most polarizing things for film fans. They either love them, or they turn their noses up at them. Still, that doesn’t stop writers from coming up with them, and it’s not even for the science fiction fields. Time travel stories have an unexpectedly strong placement in romance fiction as well, such as The Time Traveler’s Wife or the upcoming Starz series Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling historical romance series. While many of these romance-driven stories – like Somewhere in Time and more recently Richard Curtis’s About Time – are not concerned with the greater implications of meddling with the space-time continuum, the science fiction movies are. Traveling through time has been a central figure in stories for years, often presenting the viewer with a crash course in theoretical physics and opening themselves up to plot holes almost impossible to close. As »
- Kevin Carr
Feature Mark Harrison 3 Mar 2014 - 07:02
Roald Dahl has often been referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children in the 20th century. His books have delighted children for generations, with their dark and inventive sense of humour and their eccentric, dastardly adult characters.
Likewise, his written work for adults has just as much wit and creativity, and over the years, he also worked as a screenwriter on a number of projects, including TV work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and his own anthology series, Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.
Given how it doesn't even take the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer five years to have their popular works adapted by Hollywood, there has inevitably been an extensive crossover between Dahl's written work and the big screen. »
Comedies lead the pack at the Irish Film and Television Awards; father and son Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson compete for best actor.Scroll down for full list of nominations
Both films have secured six nominations each, including Best Film where they are up against Neil Jordan’s vampire feature Byzantium, drama Run & Jump, starring Nebraska’s Will Forte; and drama The Sea.
The best actor category will see Brendan Gleeson, who played a good-natured priest under threat in Calvary, compete against his son Domhnall Gleeson, nominated for his role in Richard Curtis romantic drama About Time.
McDonagh, Butler and Jordan will compete in the film director »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
It's been a whopping 30 years since Spitting Image first hit our screens on ITV in 1984. The satirical puppet show quickly became one of the most-watched shows of the 1980s and early 1990s.
I wasn't able to fully appreciate the series when it was first on TV. When I watched it in the early '90s as a child, I found it funny mainly because of the silly puppets, even if I didn't quite understand what was going on. But in retrospective viewings, it still holds up as a genuinely hilarious satire of politics, entertainment, sport and general UK culture of the era.
It's quite incredible to think that Spitting Image hasn't been on air since 1996. To put that into perspective, the Spice Girls had only just been unleashed, Tony Blair hadn't been elected yet, and Lorde had only just been born.
As a show that is heavily reliant on topical »
Hong Kong – China’s most successful film director Feng Xiaogang and “Four Weddings And A Funeral” producer Duncan Kenworthy from the U.K. are eyeing an English-language remake of Feng’s comedy drama “A World Without Thieves.”
Originally made in 2004 and set largely on a train, “Thieves” pits a pair of plucky professional thieves against a rougher bunch of gangsters, with both groups targeting a naïve village lad travelling home with his life savings in cash.
“In 2012 I spent a week with Feng Xiaogang in Chongqing while he shot ‘Back To 1942,’ and I said the concept of his movie ‘A World Without Thieves’ (which I’d seen in 2006) had really stayed with me and I thought it would be a great movie to adapt in English. And ideally he would direct it,” said Kenworthy, who heads Toledo Productions.
“So I did a deal with the Huayi Brothers [China's leading private sector film studio] to develop a new screenplay in English, »
- Patrick Frater
Welcome, gorgeous people, to the biggest night in British Film. We’re here at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and we’ll be liveblogging as the night rolls on.
12 Years a Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, Captain Phillips and Philomena have the majority of nominations and are all competing for Best Picture. It is an undeniably strong year for British Film and we’re grateful for a spotlight as wide and as bright as this one to be shone this evening.
If you haven’t already checked out our BAFTA competition, do so now - the prizes are worth £700. Blimey.
We’ll be updating this liveblog minute by minute until my fingers fall off with the most recent update being shown at the top of the top so do keep refreshing.
Great to have you with us.
- – - – - -
We’re at the end of another BAFTA »
- Jon Lyus
Another week full of the Winter Olympics means another week spent missing some of your favorite shows. But luckily, this week is not without its moments. For one, The CW’s new series Star-Crossed is premiering, along with The Amazing Race: All-Stars. See, it could be worse.
Check out what this week has going on in the world of pop culture:
Shameless, 9 p.m., Showtime
Post-accident, Liam’s in the hospital, Fiona’s in county jail, and by the end of the hour, Frank is the one getting bad news about his health. Talk about drama.
Star-Crossed, 8 p. »
- Samantha Highfill
Taking a rather blatant page from the Richard Curtis playbook of romantic-comedy roundelays, “Beijing Love Story” serves up a chocolate box of disparate narrative sweets, offered in episodic rather than interwoven form. This first feature for writer-director Chen Sicheng (also a member of the ensemble cast) spins off his 2012 Chinese TV series of the same name, albeit sans any returning characters or story threads. Pleasant results manage a trick rather infrequent for this genre, in that the pic actually gets better as it gradually moves away from comedy toward more sentimental material. Launched on Valentine’s Day (natch) in various markets, including nine North American screens, the film set a single-day record for a 2D film in China with $16.1 million, and is sure to generate sequels and imitations.
Running heedlessly toward the requisite “girl of his dreams” in traffic, young architect Chen Feng (helmer Chen) is promptly creamed by a passing bus. »
- Dennis Harvey
It's February 14, so what better time than now to snuggle up with your significant other for a special Valentine's Day movie weekend.
With The Lego Movie heading into UK cinemas this weekend (a smart bit of Valentine's Day counter-programming but a film you really need to see) we asked its star Elizabeth Banks to recommend us some romantic movies.
Throw this trio into your DVD player this weekend then head out to catch the rather excellent brick flick...
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
There are some great comedies in Elizabeth's back catalogue (40-Year-Old Virgin, Pitch Perfect), but one she'd really like to see get a bit more love is Zack and Miri Make a Porno, the 2008 film she made with Kevin Smith and Seth Rogen.
"It's a really romantic movie, people don't realise," she said. "It also happens to have a lot of boobs in it - never a bad thing. »
Top 10 Simon Brew 14 Feb 2014 - 06:13
Because we are human beings who like things that are good, it goes without saying that we love Alan Rickman. One of the finest British screen actors of his generation - and a few others too - he's had a varied career, taking in memorable Hollywood villains to smaller independent fare. But what amongst his film roles (and we've focused on films that got a cinema release) are our favourites? Glad you asked...
Kevin Smith's fourth film in some ways remains his most ambitious. In casting terms certainly, and the involvement of Alan Rickman led to the writer-director warning long time collaborator Jason Mewes that he "didn't want to piss off that Rickman dude".
Wearing 100-pound wings and »
Time travel is a tricky concept to pull off in any medium, especially film. If the movie is “about” time travel, it can easily get bogged down in trying to explain the mechanics and paradoxes involved in said time traveling. The best time travel films (like Back to the Future and Looper) aren’t really about time travel at all, but instead put the focus on the characters and story so that any specifics regarding how it all works become secondary. This is true of writer/director Richard Curtis’ third directorial effort About Time, which is a surprising turn from the director behind Love Actually and Pirate Radio that manages to balance humor, heart, and time travel in equal measures, resulting in an effectively emotional gut punch. Read my review of About Time on Blu-ray after the jump. The Film As I said, the best time travel movies are the »
- Adam Chitwood
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"In the end though, it's the will of one man to defy his captors that makes this dramatised account so utterly staggering, with every moment of the four-day ordeal brilliantly wrung out by British Bourne director Paul Greengrass and star Tom Hanks."
Read Digital Spy's full review
Captain Phillips is available on
"It's a zippy and good-natured adventure that hones in on its target audience from the get-go."
Read Digital Spy's full »
'An already notorious scene sees Romney ironing a shirt while still wearing it'
Reading reports from film festivals can be a frustrating experience, and not only because they're invariably overrun with trite buzzwords like "crowd-pleasing" and "star-making". No, the real problem is that most of the Earth-shattering films described within them won't make it across to British shores for months or even years. It's precisely the opposite sensation of reading a home-entertainment column like this one, where most of the content is far too old to have any bearing on the zeitgeist. Thank heavens then, for Netflix, which is determined to solve both problems this week with the launch of its new documentary Mitt.
The film, which follows former governor of Massachusetts, devout Mormon and noted abortion equivocator Mitt Romney's six-year journey to the 2012 presidential election, had its world premiere just last month at the Sundance film festival. Now, »
- Charlie Lyne
About Time - Universal Studios - Blu-ray and DVD Director: Richard Curtis Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Hughes, Rachel McAdams,Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander. Full cast + crew It's certainly easy to talk about About Time as being one of the best romantic comedies of 2013, but I'll go a step further: it's one of the best films of 2013, no matter what easily marketed niche it can fall in. It's the latest film from the director of Love, Actually, which is a film I've actually never fallen in love with despite it seeming like the rest of the modern world has. About Time, however, is just an utterly delightful story that uses a playful time-travel mechanic to tell not only a solid love story between a guy and a gal, but more importantly, it...
- Peter Hall
While there is a likely Oscar-winner, a massive box set from HBO, and some true crowd-pleasers in this week’s What to Watch, it’s a bit of a downer compared to some more recent jam-packed weeks of Blu-ray and streaming greatness. We also couldn’t find an On Demand title this week worth mentioning, although Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, hits DirecTV On Demand this Thursday and you can bet we’ll be there to check it out before a March theatrical release. Until then, rent or buy something below.
Treme: The Complete Series
Photo credit: HBO
“Treme: The Complete Series”
HBO’s “Treme” never became the cultural touchstone that “The Wire” turned into over the year but it does have a loyal, devoted following who will be overwhelmed by the ability to own it all in one box set. One also gets the feeling that “Treme, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Based on a true story, "Dbc" stars Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof, a good old boy diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. He begins importing non-fda approved drugs into the Us to treat himself and begins selling them to other people living with HIV as part of a buyers club. Jared Leto plays his business partner and friend Rayon, a transgender woman who also has HIV.
Why We're In: Although "Dbc" has been criticized for some of its more liberal interpretation of the facts, strong performances have earned this movie six Oscar nominations.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"Jules and Jim" (Criterion)
Why We're In: The movie »
- Jenni Miller
Dallas Buyers Club Pretty solid week of new releases starting with one of the better films of 2013 and one we're sure to be talking about more leading up to the Oscars, Dallas Buyers Club featuring a pair of great performances from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto and a strong performance from Jennifer Garner as well.
About Time Richard Curtis' About Time is one of the year's better romantic comedies along with the likes of Best Man Holiday. I'm sure there was at least one more, but those are the two that come to mind and with the unlikely pairing of Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson the movie comes as a nice little surprise. Oh, and it has The Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie. So, that's a little bonus.
- Brad Brevet
At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson, Anna Karenina) discovers he can travel in time. Tim’s father (Bill Nighy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life. The idea for About Time came from a conversation that director Richard Curtis (Pirate Radio, Love Actually) had with a friend about what they would do if they were told that they had only 24 hours left to live. … Continue reading →
The post About Time: VOD Spotlight appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Meredith Ennis
Actor and director who could imbue the many wretches, prigs and braggarts he played with a wrenching humanity
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has died aged 46 of a suspected drugs overdose, had three names and 3,000 ways of expressing anxiety. He was a prolific and old-fashioned character actor, which is not a euphemism for "odd" – it means he could nail a part in one punch, summoning the richness of an entire life in the smallest gesture. And, yes, he could also look splendidly odd, with his windbeaten thatch of sandy hair, porcine eyes and a freckled face that would glow puce and glossy with rage. His acting style was immune to the temptations of caricature. His rise in the 1990s coincided with the emergence of a new wave of American film-makers, and his versatile, volatile talent became integral to some of the most original Us cinema of the past 20 years.
He was »
- Ryan Gilbey
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