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Respect for Tom Cruise

Matthew Lee on his respect for Tom Cruise

Since 2006, Tom Cruise has been reduced to, for lack of a better phrase, a global joke; a quick source for derision, slander, and mockery among the A-List Hollywood performers for the masses to prod at. There was his Jumping the Couch moment on Oprah, the uncomfortable Scientology interview, his termination with Paramount studios, and M:i:iii underperforming at the box office. In short, 2006 was not a good year for the iconic A-Lister.

Despite such set-backs Cruise still produces and stars in critically and financially successful movies, which proves his presence in Hollywood is unscathed. One needs only to look at 2011’s Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which would become Cruise’s highest grossing film to date, or the last few films that have received critical acclaim i.e. Edge of Tomorrow. Further, when one looks at Cruise’s career, one gets a sense that
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Rich Hall on bringing back Otis Lee Crenshaw and shocking his relatives

As he reaches the end of his UK standup tour, the comic speaks about being a frustrated musician, what his family thinks of his shows and why he’s returning to the Perrier-winning role of the convicted country star

Hi Rich – tell us about the tour.

Well, it’s been the usual stalwart performances that I’m known for. I’ve only got a few weeks left, so I’m on to the last few dregs. Places like Redditch and Runcorn, places that don’t even have a Primark. That’s how devastated these places are.

Related: Rich Hall's Hoedown review – a loosely stitched hour of songs and improv

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr, Jack Dee for Channel 4 Comedy Gala 2015

The first stars have been announced for Channel 4's Comedy Gala Live 2015.

Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr and Jack Dee are among the comedians who will appear at the charity event, which returns to London's O2 arena for a sixth year on Friday, May 15.

Aisling Bea, Jason Byrne, Jon Richardson, Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Kevin Bridges and Michael McIntyre have also been confirmed for this year's show.

Paul Chowdhry, Rich Hall, Rob Beckett, Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe, Sean Lock , Seann Walsh, Shappi Khorsandi and Warwick Davis complete the first line-up announcement, with more acts to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The Comedy Gala will be recorded and aired as a two-hour special on Channel 4 later this year. This year's show is dedicated to the event's founder, talent agent Addison Cresswell, who passed away in December 2013.

The annual event is held to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tim Johnson,
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

What You Can Learn From New Streaming Service Shout! Factory TV

  • Moviefone
Streaming video is a godsend if you want to catch up with recent seasons of TV series. But what's a TV fan to do who wants to stream older shows? Netflix has very little from before the millennium, and Amazon Prime has very little from before 1990.

That's not a knock; the big streaming services know their market. Still, it's worth remembering that Amazon's initial appeal as a bookseller was it's long-tail catalog, the notion that comprehensiveness was worthwhile because somebody somewhere would want that obscure or ancient title, that the markets for all those titles were collectively significant and worth catering to, and that the Internet had at last made it easier to connect those customers with what they wanted.

But until the big streaming services step into the long-tail breach, Shout Factory TV (at shoutfactorytv.com) is ready to make a home there. The boutique streaming service, which is free and requires no subscription,
See full article at Moviefone »

Rich Hall returning to BBC Four with new documentary

Rich Hall is set to return to BBC Four with a new documentary.

Titled Rich Hall's California Stars, the show will head out to the West Coast to continue his cultural critique of American people and places.

The 90-minute documentary is set to air in early July.

Hall takes the viewer on a journey "to the place built on a tectonic fault-line that still deigns to call itself the Land of Dreams".

He will also explore Californians' main concerns, from their looks and spirituality, to the government and cars.

The comedian has previously starred in and written five other critically-acclaimed documentaries for the channel focusing on Us popular culture and the Wild West - Rich Hall's Inventing The Indian, Rich Hall's Continental Drifters, Rich Hall's The Dirty South, How The West Was Lost and Rich Hall's You Can Go to Hell, I'm Going to Texas.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Need For Speed review

  • Den of Geek
Review Ryan Lambie 9 Mar 2014 - 09:28

Aaron Paul stars in the high-octane videogame adaptation, Need For Speed. Here's Ryan's review...

Once upon a time, videogame adaptation Need For Speed could have been a Tom Cruise movie, and not just because its title also happens to be a line from Top Gun. As stand-up comedian Rich Hall once pointed out - brilliantly - in one of his routines, all of Tom Cruise's 80s and 90s movies were broadly the same, and can be summed up thus: “He's a race car driver. A pretty good race car driver, too. Until he has a crisis of confidence and can't race cars anymore. Then he meets a good-looking woman who talks him into being a better race car driver."

Need For Speed’s petrol-head protagonist Tobey Marshall (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul) is a hero in the Tom Cruise mould: he’s a race car driver.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Addison Cresswell obituary

Influential comedy agent who wheeled and dealed to turn his clients into stars

The colourful comedy agent Addison Cresswell, who has died suddenly at the age of 53, changed the face of British entertainment by steering the stand-up "alternative" comedians who emerged on the Edinburgh festival fringe in the 1980s into the heart of the radio and television schedules. Such was his success that he became the subject of some controversy – even notoriety – for negotiating an £18m three-year contract for his client Jonathan Ross with the BBC.

An ebullient "Jack the Lad" with a penchant for shiny satin suits and big cigars, he was the modern equivalent of such showbiz greats as Lew Grade or Bernard Delfont. His first star proteges were Lee Evans and Jack Dee, both remarkable talents in different ways, one physical and explosive, like an angrier Norman Wisdom, the other laconic and so laid back as to be virtually horizontal,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Eddie Izzard, Jack Whitehall headline new 'Live at the Apollo' series

BBC One's hugely popular Live at the Apollo returns for a new series next month, and Eddie Izzard and Jack Whitehall are among the comedians headlining the shows.

The BAFTA-nominated series features different hosts performing for 3,500 fans at the Hammersmith Apollo, alongside two special guests.

Izzard will top the bill in the first episode and will be joined by Josh Widdicombe and Trevor Noah.

Later in the series, Whitehall, Sean Lock, Last Leg presenter Adam Hills and Nina Conti will all perform.

The lineup in full for the new series of Live at the Apollo:

Episode 1 - Host Eddie Izzard with special guests Josh Widdicombe and Trevor Noah

Episode 2 - Host Jack Dee with special guests Seann Walsh and Milton Jones

Episode 3 - Host Sean Lock with special guests Romesh Ranaganathan and Marcus Brigstocke

Episode 4 - Host Adam Hills with special guests Andi Osho and Terry Alderton

Episode 5 -
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Film Review: ‘Muscle Shoals’ Conveys Magic of Musical Hotbed

  • HollywoodChicago.com
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Chicago – Greg Camalier’s “Muscle Shoals” is a robust, entertaining piece of work that captures the power of a place that has produced some of the most remarkable music in the history of the recorded form. It’s a testament to power of the “Muscle Shoals sound” that so many music legends sat down for Camalier to discuss it but the director wisely doesn’t turn this into cavalcade of stars, keeping the focus as much on the man who built this hotbed of creativity and the musicians who played behind the household names.

The tiny little Alabama town of Muscle Shoals seemed an unlikely place to birth so much amazing music from finding the soul of Aretha Franklin to some of The Rolling Stones best recordings to really the whole sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd. There are only 8,000 residents in this tiny burgh but millions have been impacted by
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Peep Show creators came within a week of making Flight of the Conchords

Sam Bain lifts the lid on 'painful' decision to turn down HBO series, Three Men in a Boat stars enter choppy waters – and Britain's smelliest-looking celebrity

This week's comedy news

Laughing Stock this week brings you news, not of something that's happened in the world of comedy, but something that didn't. According to an interview with Peep Show creator Sam Bain on the Stateside podcast A Bit of a Chat, Bain and his writing partner Jesse Armstrong "were about a week away from flying to La to co-create Flight of the Conchords, and then Peep Show got recommissioned and we couldn't go".

Bain and Armstrong had agreed to make the HBO series with Conchords stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement – "[although] we didn't know it was gonna be as good as it was," Bain told interviewer Ken Plume. (It turned out – with the Conchords' eventual co-writer James Bobin – to be very good indeed.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Miranda Hart, Diversity, Warwick Davis join Comedy Gala lineup

Miranda Hart, Diversity, Warwick Davis and Nina Conti have been added to the Channel 4 Comedy Gala lineup.

The foursome join a bill which already includes Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, Alan Carr and Rhod Gilbert.

Jack Dee, Adam Hills, Jason Byrne, Jo Brand, Jonathan Ross, Noel Fielding, Rich Hall and Paddy McGuinness are also performing at the event.

Hosted at London's O2 on May 18, the show will air in a two-hour Channel 4 special later in the year.

The event is a fundraiser for the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tickets are currently on sale priced £40-£100.

Watch Nina Conti performing stand-up below:
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Twitter launches 140-character festival as Ofcom probes Comic Relief sketch

Big names will take part in venture with Comedy Central, BBC sketch had over 2,000 complaints, plus Ian McKellen's sitcom

This week's comedy news

Can't get to Edinburgh? Kilkenny just that bit too far away? Never fear. The cable channel Comedy Central is teaming up with Twitter to launch the first 140-character comedy festival. The festival will commence on 29 April and run for five days, featuring a host of comedy names tweeting jokes and posting six second videos using Twitter's new video app Vine. Next Monday, Twitter will stream the only live #ComedyFest event, a panel discussion featuring Mel Brooks and Judd Apatow. The New York Times has more on the story, including the lowdown on a new app Comedy Central is developing to help users discover their favourite new comedians.

Back in the world of real festivals, veteran Anglo-American standup Rich Hall has won the Barry award at the Melbourne comedy festival,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Guide's 1,000th issue - 1994-1999

Revisiting 18 years of pop culture, from Britpop to the Spice Girls, via Father Ted

1994: Mad fer it!

Issue No 1 Previously a broadsheet section in the newspaper, The Guide was expanded into a magazine proper on 27 August 1994. Nobody bothered to archive a copy, though, so the best we can do is show you a Xeroxed reproduction of the cover. At the time we were concerned with the weird state of science shows on TV and had a wander around the Notting Hill Carnival.

Spotted! All Saints From a review of their single Silver Shadow: "Born in the same year and in the same area of London, what else could these girls do but form a swingbeat group? Their debut is a sickly Atlantic Starr cover with an idiotic number of mixes, encompassing every dance style bar Morris. Eternal may rest easy in their Timberlands." Note: swingbeat was a form of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Guide's 1,000th issue - 1994-1999

Revisiting 18 years of pop culture, from Britpop to the Spice Girls, via Father Ted

1994: Mad fer it!

Issue No 1 Previously a broadsheet section in the newspaper, The Guide was expanded into a magazine proper on 27 August 1994. Nobody bothered to archive a copy, though, so the best we can do is show you a Xeroxed reproduction of the cover. At the time we were concerned with the weird state of science shows on TV and had a wander around the Notting Hill Carnival.

Spotted! All Saints From a review of their single Silver Shadow: "Born in the same year and in the same area of London, what else could these girls do but form a swingbeat group? Their debut is a sickly Atlantic Starr cover with an idiotic number of mixes, encompassing every dance style bar Morris. Eternal may rest easy in their Timberlands." Note: swingbeat was a form of
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Rewind TV: Brazil with Michael Palin; Rich Hall's Inventing the Indian; Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars; Exposure: Banaz – An Honour Killing – review

They've got an awful lot of cliches in Michael Palin's Brazil, but there's nothing cosy about Rich Hall's Native American tale

Brazil with Michael Palin (BBC1) | iPlayer

Rich Hall's Inventing the Indian (BBC4) | iPlayer

Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars (BBC2) | iPlayer

Exposure: Banaz – An Honour Killing (ITV1) | ITV Player

Were a contest held for the most genial man on television, only the most vain and foolhardy would dare to go up against Michael Palin. The former Python is so nice that he can make even that saintly knight David Attenborough look like a professional grouch.

No matter where he goes in the world, he unfailingly packs his diffident smile and self-effacing banter. You can understand why members of remote mountain tribes who have never seen the cheese shop sketch still feel an instinctive warmth toward this engaging Englishman with his awkward decency and gentle quips. He
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 16/11/2011: Pan Am | Rich Hall's Continental Drifters | Amish Exiles | Bones | Fresh Meat | Who Do You Think You Are?

  • The Guardian - TV News
Pan Am | Rich Hall's Continental Drifters | Amish Exiles | Bones | Fresh Meat | Who Do You Think You Are?

Pan Am

9pm, BBC2

Double bill to launch the new 1960s drama about a group of pulchritudinous airline stewardesses, starring Christina Ricci, who always seem to be in the right place when major historical moments unfold. Of course, they're not just wiggling clotheshorses: Ricci's character is a part-time beatnik, another is a runaway bride and a third is up to her neck in spying. By episode three it's all cold war this and iron curtain that, but in a way that suggests the writers were told to keep it low-fat. It looks nice though. Julia Raeside

Rich Hall's Continental Drifters

9pm, BBC4

Television's lone master of the documentary essay as a gag-and-rant-filled harrumph returns to cast his eyes over road movies. It's a form that could never have originated in Britain
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 14/11/2011

  • The Guardian - TV News
Moving On | Young Apprentice | Confessions of An Undercover Cop | Art Of America | Ross Kemp Back On the Frontline | American Horror Story

Moving On

2.15pm, BBC1

Bugsy Mullen's a lovely fella, a milkman who lets lippy kids Dylan and Josh ride on the back of his float. Then Dylan falls and bangs his head, a sore temptation to the lad's single mum, Ally, when an ambulance-chasing lawyer gets involved. This Jimmy McGovern-created daytime drama, the first of five new weekday episodes, may not burn with the righteous anger of the writer's post-watershed offerings, but it's a gently pointed piece that turns as much on recent changes in benefit laws as it does on lampooning the idea of the morning pint provider as lothario. Jonathan Wright

Young Apprentice

9pm, BBC1

This week it's a product-based task for the plucky entrepreneurs-in-waiting, as they're made to select items to sell to an older
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 04/11/2011

Unreported World | Nirvana Night | Live at the Apollo | The Walking Dead | Tamara Ecclestone | 30 Rock

Unreported World

7.30pm, Channel 4

Journalist Peter Oborne and director James Jones travel to Russia to examine the Nashi youth movement, who are dedicated to preserving the country's interests while drumming up support for Vladimir Putin. With Putin wangling the constitution to become president for yet another lengthy term after a brief duration as "prime minister", there's an understandable level of cynicism directed at the Nashi agenda. Oborne talks to the movement's critics and supporters. David Stubbs

Nirvana Night

9pm, BBC4

This year marked the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's massive-selling Nevermind, an album that fleetingly made inarticulate torpor the most cathartic power in rock'n'roll. This special night of programming focuses on the band at the height of their fame, with a 1991 Seattle concert (9pm), an episode of the show Seven Ages Of Rock (9.55pm), and finishing
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Catch up TV Guide: from The Dirty South to U2

TV: Rich Hall's The Dirty South

Last chance to watch or download this excellent history of the American south on film. Rich Hall (right) followed up his equally interesting wild west history lesson with this one-off TV essay, picking apart the Southern belles and good ol' boy cliches with clips from A Streetcar Named Desire, Deliverance and, of course, Gone With The Wind.

BBC iPlayer, until Sun 10.29pm

TV: Master Of The Universe

With Prof Stephen Hawking's Brave New World beginning on Monday, here's a chance to bone up on his earlier mind-blowing journey through some of the bigger questions around: is an all-encompassing Theory Of Everything possible? Is there a grand design to the cosmos? Whatever happened to She-Ra? That sort of thing.

4Od

TV: The Walking Dead Webisodes

Six mini-instalments to get you, er, warmed up for the second series, filling in the back-story of "Bicycle
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Jon Richardson replaces Kevin Bridges as 'Stand Up for the Week' host

Jon Richardson replaces Kevin Bridges as 'Stand Up for the Week' host
Jon Richardson has replaced Kevin Bridges as host of Stand Up for the Week. Channel 4's late-night satirical show will return for a third series of six episodes in November. Seann Walsh, Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe and Paul Chowdrhy will join regular Rich Hall and 8 out of 10 Cats star Richardson on the stand-up team. "Stand Up for the Week continues to be a showcase for some of the country's best comedians and we're thrilled that Jon Richardson will step up to host the new series," announced the broadcaster's commissioning editor Madeleine Knight in a statement. Executive producer Andrew Beint of Open Mike (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »
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