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Back on March 13, BBC aired a six hour telethon to raise money for Comic Relief. The telethon raisied over 78 million pounds and after thirty years, celebrities celebrated raising over 1 billion pounds. Along with documentary shorts highlighting the charities supported, humorous sketches and musical numbers were shown. Comic Relief was started by writer Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill) and comedian Lenny Henry to raise support for families starving in Ethiopia.
To the surprise of everyone, Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean) made an appearance to kiss David Walliams (Little Britain) to help break a world record in “Most Kisses Received in 30 Seconds.” Popular sketches brought back Mr. Bean, the Vicar of Dibley, and Little Britain (featuring Stephen Hawking). Parodies of The Four Yorkshiremen, James Bond (featuring Daniel Craig and Roger Moore), and One Direction were featured. Liam Gallagher of the original Shameless was also named a national treasure. »
- Michelle Leibowitz
This review was originally published during Fantastic Fest 2014.
Since festival audiences have already exhausted the “Spring is like…” comments over every form of social media (Spring is like Before Sunrise meets H.P. Lovecraft, for example), I’ll just plainly say that Spring is romantically horrific bliss, achieving perfection through tragedy and soul. Is there a subgenre of horror equatable to the “Mumblecore” scene yet? If not, filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have pioneered it, throwing together a loving tale that’s aided by a creature-feature subplot akin to a Troma production on super-steroids.
There’s something so primal and affectionate about Spring. It strikes an honesty that’s notably reminiscent to Richard Linklater’s or Joe Swanberg’s crowning work. It’s the most regal of Shakespearean epics meets the most sinister Joe Dante feverdream, striking a wealth of emotional riches while also utilizing beastly effects reminiscent of Landis »
- Matt Donato
Red Nose Day is coming to the U.S. NBC will introduce Americans to the long-time U.K. charity tradition with a three-hour live telethon on May 21.
Variety reports Christina Aguilera, Jon Hamm, and Sienna Miller have already begun promoting the New York-based event, which will feature comedy sketches, standup sets, musical performances and celebrity appearances.
Launched 30 years ago by Love Actually and Bridget Jones’ Diary director Richard Curtis, the drive raises money for various charities and attempts to raise public awareness about the plight of underprivileged people living throughout the world. The U.S. effort will donate proceeds to 12 charities that help young people in the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin American, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Vaccine Alliance, Children’s Health Fund, and United Way.
As in the U.K., people will be encouraged to buy red clown noses to don on May 21 to show solidarity with the cause. »
- A.R. Wilson
NBC will close out the 2014-15 regular season on May 21 with a three-hour live telethon that marks the arrival in the U.S. of the Red Nose Day charity drive that has become a U.K. institution.
The Peacock is planning a star-packed telecast featuring standup and sketch comedy segments, musical performances and various celebrity appearances. The special will originate from New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
Red Nose Day was launched in 1985 by director Richard Curtis, of “Love Actually” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary” fame. The goal was to raise money for a range of worthy causes and also generate awareness among the public of the struggles of underprivileged people around the world.
As in the U.K., Red Nose Day will include a retail push to encourage people to buy plastic red clown noses to wear on May 21 as a means of acknowledging the greater need in the world. »
- Cynthia Littleton
Comic Relief has officially raised over £1 billion for charity since the project started 30 years ago, with £78,082,988m already achieved for this year's fundraiser.
The Red Nose Day event, which launched in 1985, broadcast live from the London Palladium for the first time on Friday night (March 13).
More Than - One Billion Pounds over the past 30 years. Britain you are great. #ComicRelief pic.twitter.com/vltoquePDl
— Red Nose Day (@rednoseday) March 14, 2015
Richard Curtis, founder and vice chair of Comic Relief, said: "This is a very strange moment for me. When a bunch of comedians got together all those years ago we dreamed of raising a million or two, and never imagined the generosity that would be shown by the British public for so many years.
"Figures tell us that the billion pounds have helped around 50 million people in the UK and overseas, 50 million people whose lives have been changed or saved by »
When one thinks of British films, what immediately springs to mind are the gentle comedies of Richard Curtis such as Four Weddings And A Funeral or Notting Hill or the image of Harry Potter. But British cinema is not all light romance or whizz kid wizards. In fact, since the early days of the medium British film output always been incredibly diverse, producing horror (through the legendary Hammer and Amicus studios), war, comedy, kitchen sink social realism and good old exploitation movies of every flavour. It also produced Michael Winner, but the least said about that, the better.
British cinema was, for decades, subject to the strictest censorship laws in the Western world (widely known as The Limp D**k Laws) which prohibited the flourishing of really interesting films for adults. Instead the intrepid cinema customer was treated to supremely unerotic ‘nudist’ films, followed by British sex films, »
- Clare Simpson
USA Network’s “Dig,” a 10-part mystery thriller created by “Homeland’s” Gideon Raff and “Heroes'” Tim Kring, premieres at 10 p.m. on March 5. The event series stars Jason Isaacs as Peter Connelly, an FBI agent recently stationed in Jerusalem who begins investigating the murder of a young American and inadvertently uncovers an ancient international conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history. The cast also includes Anne Heche, Alison Sudol, Ori Pfeffer, David Costabile, Lauren Ambrose, Angela Bettis, Richard E. Grant, Regina Taylor and Omar Metwally.
Variety spoke to Isaacs ahead of the show’s premiere to discover the pros and cons of shooting in Jerusalem versus New Mexico, Peter’s “dark and murky” journey down the rabbit hole, and those pesky comparisons to “The Da Vinci Code.”
What most appealed to you about playing Peter?
Isaacs: Well, the fact is, if somebody says to you »
- Laura Prudom
Written and directed by Josh Lawson
The Little Death is an Australian comedy concerning five hetero couples (or potential couple in one case), whose relationships become defined by their fetishes. Though the lives of some of these characters intertwine through the setup of them living in the same neighbourhood, the film is more anthology feature than network narrative in that the stories basically act as shorts that we jump in and out of for 95 minutes – and one of them runs uninterrupted for the final 20. Writer-director Josh Lawson even introduces each plot thread with a title card akin to what you might find in a more traditional anthology feature. This isn’t so much The ABCs of Sex, but the title of recent Argentinean anthology Wild Tales wouldn’t be out of place if re-applied to The Little Death.
Lawson definitely tries to be wild, anyway. His »
- Josh Slater-Williams
The actor - who played Patrick O'Shea on the sitcom and reprised the role for the recent arena gigs in Manchester - revealed that the live shows have raised around £5 million for Comic Relief.
On working once again with Peter Kay and the cast of the show, he said: "We all got in a room the day we rehearsed - and it was one day's rehearsal. We picked up where we left off, and it was amazing!"
McGuinness also spoke about Ted Robbins's health scare, which saw the actor collapse on stage during the opening night of the tour.
"The first night of the tour, Ted Robbins - who plays Den Perry - collapsed »
It has not been an easy week. At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin. But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it. After all, I was with my wife for 14 years. »
- Drew McWeeny
Romantic comedies: They make us laugh, they make us cry, then they make us laugh at how much we cried. We've rounded up all our favorites currently streaming on Netflix, from screwball classics in the public domain through the high periods of the late '80s, mid-'90s, and early 2000s to the current renaissance of microbudget rom-coms. You may remember some of them from our lists of the 25 best romantic comedies since When Harry Mery Sally, 27 best indie rom-coms, and 8 mumblecore rom-coms, but hey — if a movie's good, why recommend it only once?Four Weddings and Funeral (1994)In just his second feature script, writer Richard Curtis sketched out the formula for what would become a lucrative subgenre: the Brit rom-com. Take a handsomely nebbishy protagonist, pair him off with a bold and bright love interest, and fill the scenes with a collection of quirky supporting characters who all get »
- Nate Jones
Hugh Grant has launched an impassioned defense of Love Actually, while at the same time also revealing that the romantic-comedy.s writer and director, Richard Curtis, is a woeful romantic. According to Vulture, Hugh Grant made his comments after being informed of The Atlantic.s recent tenth-anniversary review of Love Actually. Rather than celebrating the intertwining tales of London.s lovelorn, the publication heavily lambasted the film. In fact The Atlantic called it anti-romantic. (!!!) After a screening of his latest rom-com, The Rewrite, on Tuesday, Hugh Grant decided that he wouldn.t take this abuse lying down, and valiantly fought back. And in the process revealed just how chequered Richard Curtis. history in the love department is. Well, interesting theory. I don.t think [Love Actually] is fake, because Richard Curtis, who wrote I, is a man [who] has suffered more in love than any human being I.ve ever »
As Ultravox sang: Oooooh, Vienna! The second series of Vienna from Big Finish is out now. Star Trek‘s Chase Masterson is back as glamourous bounty hunter, Vienna Salvatori, across three new stories in one weighty boxset. Co-starring Samantha Béart as Lieutenant Jexie Reagan, Harry Ditson as Chief Doran Curtis, and Dalek‘s John Schwab as Anders, here’s the official synopsis: Tabula Rasa by...
The post Vienna Series 2 Out Now! appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews. »
- Philip Bates
You may recall an online debate, prompted by a scathing tenth-anniversary review in The Atlantic, that posited Love Actually is not only the least romantic movie ever — but actively anti-romantic. Harsh. Hugh Grant responded Tuesday to the criticism of the ultimate holiday indulgence at the screening of his latest quasi-rom-com, The Rewrite, hosted by the Cinema Society and Brooks Brothers. "Well, interesting theory," Grant told Vulture. "I don't think it's fake, because Richard Curtis, who wrote it, is a man [who] has suffered more in love than any other human being I've ever met. So he does care about love; it's the thing that has dictated his whole life. So I think he did write it from the heart."And what about the shallow story line of his character, the British prime minister, who presumably falls in love with his staff member upon first glance? "I don't know," he said. "I »
- Kylie Gilbert
Romantic comedies take more than their fair share of beatings from critics, who typically gripe about saccharine plots, thin characters and potentially hazardous amounts of schmaltz. There’s such a bias toward romcoms that most audiences outside of teenage girls tend to avoid them like the plague – and some films, like last year’s Blended, show that maybe there’s a good reason for that. But then comes along a film like Love, Rosie to prove that not every “chick flick” has to feel like pulling teeth.
You may not have heard of Love, Rosie. It features two sought-after Hollywood stars – Lily Collins of the now-stalled Mortal Instruments franchise, and Sam Claflin of the record-breaking Hunger Games franchise – yet received a tiny February release with little to no publicity, a surefire sign that execs aren’t holding their breath for sizeable returns. One has to wonder why its distributor isn »
- Isaac Feldberg
This isn’t a children’s movie… and yet it kind of is, too, with its odd mishmash of social realism, action thrills, misplaced comedy, and simplistic drama. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The police in Rio de Janeiro “treat poor people like trash.” So says young teen Raphael (Rickson Tevez), in case you hadn’t already grasped the double entendre of the title. When Raphael discovers a really nice, surely accidentally discarded wallet while working as a trash picker in a massive Rio landfill, he shares the cash with his pal Gardo (Eduardo Luis), and then the two are off on a sort of treasure hunt to unravel the meaning of the other mysterious items in the wallet, including a train-station locker key, photos of a little girl, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Director: Stephen Daldry; Screenwriter: Richard Curtis; Starring: Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Wagner Moura, Selton Mello, Rickson Teves, Eduardo Luis, Gabriel Weinstein; Running time: 114 mins; Certificate: 15
Brazil has been thrust into the spotlight of late thanks to last year's World Cup and its forthcoming Olympic Games in 2016, but look past the sunny samba beat and you'll find a country overrun with corruption. It's this Brazil that provides the backdrop for Stephen Daldry's Trash, a fleet-footed adaptation of Andy Mulligan's 2010 novel.
Daldry's film, adapted for the screen by Richard Curtis, follows three Rio street kids - Raphael, Gardo, and Rato - as they stumble across a wallet that leads them on an adventure that could pull them out of poverty. Hot on their heels are bent officials, led by cop Frederico Gonz (Selton Mello), who won't hesitate to turn violent in pursuit of their goal. The decay runs high up into Rio's authorities, »
Director: Stephen Daldry.
Running Time: 114 minutes
Synopsis: After discovering a wallet at the dumpsite where they work, three young boys in a Brazilian favela must work together to outwit corrupt cops and government officials, while risking their own lives.
The poster for Trash gives a positive and Slumdog Millionaire vibe. It looks bright and cheerful, when in actual fact, Daldry’s rather brilliant and surprising family film (despite the 15 rating) is more of a bittersweet look at childlike innocence in a world corrupted by the greed of adults.
The entire feel of the film is one of many mixed emotions and genres, which so easily could have failed miserably. It’s written by British romantic comedy legend Richard Curtis, yet has no romance and is closer to City Of God than Notting Hill. Taking »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Directed by Stephen Daldry.
Set in Brazil, three kids who make a discovery in a garbage dump soon find themselves running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong.
Trash is the new Brazilian/Hollywood hybrid from Billy Elliot (2000) director Stephen Daldry, and famed writer Richard Curtis (with translation by Felipe Braga). It is set in an unnamed country (Brazil), where a young boy called Raphael (Rickson Tevez) finds a wallet that sets off a chain of events that will change his and his friend’s lives forever. It’s a little less cheesy than it sounds.
- Irwan Lowe
Scott Davis on films to look out for at Sundance 2015…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when many of Hollywood’s big hitters gather together to be awarded a variety of different prices on the Awards circuit, culminating with the 87th Academy Awards on February 22nd. But on Thursday weekend in west USA (namely Utah) the Sundance Film Festival kicks off again, and many of the world’s best independent films will get their debuts to the public, and the press, over the next few weeks.
Staff Writer Scott Davis takes a look at some of the films making their debuts, and digs deep to find the next gems that could be coming out way in 2015.
When an aging travel writer sets out to hike the 2,100-mile-long Appalachian Trail with a long-estranged high school buddy, the duo learn that some roads are better left untraveled. »
- Scott J. Davis
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