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Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence costarred in a movie shot between Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle which is finally hitting screens after a couple of years on the shelf and a stint on pay-per-view. Serena, a gothic tale of greed and ambition run amok, is set amongst the timber industry in the mountains of North Carolina during the Depression. The movie has not received much love from critics and indeed it’s kind of a mess – an overripe melodrama that’s all over the map in terms of tone. It’s full of gorgeous moments alternating with many more that feel literate to the point of boredom, and others where the characters motivations make little sense. But I liked it and think it deserves a better reception then it’s received. If you’re looking for an old fashioned sumptuous costume drama starring two always-watchable leads with proven chemistry »
- Tom Stockman
Editor’s note: Our review of Serena originally ran during last year’s London Film Festival, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited release. Serena is one of two films from director Susanne Bier screening at the 2014 London Film Festival, and the other is a Danish-language film titled A Second Chance. While both of these have a lot to say about babies only one of them is completely enthralling from its opening scene to its end while the other bores for at least an hour before shifting into a high-tension ending. Sadly, despite the well-established chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, Serena is the latter film. Cooper plays George, a lumber baron whose finances are starting to wear thin right around the time the sheriff (Toby Jones) decides that George’s land would be best utilized as a national park. George also has some untouched land in Brazil, but »
- Emily Estep
Place Beyond the Pines: Bier’s Ungainly Period Piece Revels in Unintentional Gaffs
Danish director Susanna Bier’s second English language film, Serena, has gained a bit of notoriety after an unexpected delayed theatrical release in the Us. A melodramatically inclined period piece based on a novel by Ron Rash (author of The World Made Straight, of which an adaptation was released earlier this year), the lush production design and starry cast creates a misleading veneer, which slowly gives way to a rather kooky portrait of its eponymous lead character. Presented with soberingly grim determination, the film lapses into unintentionally laughable territory, though not to a degree worthy of camp aesthetic or cult following.
Filming shortly after their award winning collaboration on 2012’s The Silver Linings Playbook, the first onscreen reunion of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper finally saw a premiere at the 2014 London Film Festival and reactions have been »
- Nicholas Bell
Fox’s Wayward Pines stars Matt Dillon as rugged secret service agent Ethan Burke. Investigating the disappearance of two fellow agents, Burke finds himself marooned in a middle-of-nowhere town after a car wreck kills his partner and leaves him dashingly banged up. Early comparisons to Lost and Twin Peaks don’t look far off the mark, with promotional material mostly focused on cultivating the mystery of the titular backwoods Idaho town and its population of grinning suburban drones.
M. Night Shyamalan has been given the helm, which seems kind of like handing the guy who sank the Titanic the keys to the Lusitania and saying “go nuts.” But hey, Fox probably knows what it’s doing. Stuck in grim Idaho purgatory alongside Dillon’s Burke are Carla Gugino as his old flame and Piney convert Kate Hewson and Terrence Howard as a thick slice of ham who really loves rum raisin ice cream. »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
You probably aren’t aware of this, but a third Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence collaboration is opening in theaters this weekend. In fact, it has been available On Demand for weeks already. Yes, a film that stars arguably the two biggest stars in Hollywood had a VOD start before the impending limited release on Friday. What movie is this, you ask? Well, it’s Serena, a once incredibly high profile adaptation that had the likes of Darren Aronfosky and Angelina Jolie circling it. Initially slated to come out even before American Hustle, hoping to capitalize on the Cooper/Lawrence success in Silver Linings Playbook, this seemed like a strong Academy Awards player. So…what happened? For those of you not in the know about Serena, here’s a brief overview. It’s adapted from the novel of the same name by Ron Rash, directed by Oscar winning foreign filmmaker Susanne Bier, »
- Joey Magidson
“Do not try to leave,” “Do not discuss the past” and “Always answer the phone if it rings” are a few of the other bizarre instructions he’s given after his character — a Secret Service agent — stumbles into, and is later trapped in, a small, spooky town in Idaho.
“Wayward Pines” premieres on May 14.
- Maane Khatchatourian
Fox just unveiled a new trailer for its upcoming "Wayward Pines" TV series, which is a ten-episode thriller starring Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon, Toby Jones and Juliette Lewis. It comes from the mind of M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), who also directed the first episode. Check out the trailer below. In "Wayward Pines," Dillon stars as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID. Every step closer to the truth makes him question if he will ever get out of Wayward Pines alive. The show is based on the best-selling novel "Pines" by Blake Crouch and will premiere on May 14th at 9pm. Trailer: »
Following the first trailer that debuted last month, Fox has released the second trailer for their highly anticipated event series Wayward Pines. We reported in December that the series will be released on May 14 in more than 125 countries around the world, making it the largest global launch ever for a scripted series. The mystery thriller was developed for television by Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club, Runaway) and executive-produced by Donald De Line (Green Lantern, The Italian Job), Ashwin Rajan (Devil), Hodge and M. Night Shyamalan, who directed the premiere episode.
The series stars Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon (Crash) as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID. One of the best Secret Service agents in the Seattle office, he's the man who knew missing agent Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) better than anyone. They were more than »
Rob Brydon ("The Trip"), Alexandra Roach ("Cuban Fury") and Sheridan Smith ("Jonathan Creek") have all signed on to play three new dwarfs in Cedric Nicolas-Troyan's "The Huntsman," the upcoming prequel to 2012's "Snow White and the Huntsman" which is in development at Universal Pictures.
Nick Frost has already signed on to reprise his dwarf role from the original, at the time it was indicated that the film would only feature two dwarfs. Seems that stance has been reconsidered, though Frost is the only actor who played a dwarf in the first film who is coming back for the sequel.
Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone and Brian Gleeson played the other dwarfs in 'Snow White' and aren't expected back - though Jones and Marsan were said to have been contacted about the job.
- Garth Franklin
Less than a month after actor Nick Frost signed on to reprise his Snow White and the Huntsman dwarf role Nion in Universal Pictures' sequel The Huntsman, Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach and Sheridan Smith have signed on to play three new dwarfs. We reported in January that the sequel will only feature two dwarfs, but it seems Universal has reconsidered that stance. No details were given regarding these new characters, but this is the first time female dwarfs are being introduced into the fairy tale storyline.
In Snow White and the Huntsman, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone and Brian Gleeson played the seven dwarfs. Our report from January revealed that Toby Jones could not come to terms with the studio to reprise his role, while Eddie Marsan had scheduling complications with the Showtime series Ray Donovan. It isn't known why the others »
The event - which honours excellence across all genres of television programming - took place at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday (March 17), hosted by John Sergeant.
Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman also took home Entertainment Performance, The Graham Norton Show won for Entertainment Programme and The Island With Bear Grylls triumphed in the Popular, Factual and Features category.
Sky Sports' Gary Neville collected Best Sports Commentator for the second year running, and the Lifetime »
Smith and Jones both won for biopics – Smith for her role as Cilla Black in ITV’s Cilla, Jones for his role as Stoke City kit man Neil Baldwin in BBC2’s Marvellous. Smith also starred in ITV’s The Widower and Jones in BBC4 comedy, Detectorists.
Related: Thanks Lenny Henry – what a difference a year makes to diversity
Continue reading »
- John Plunkett
Benefits Street and Sheridan Smith were among the winners at the 2015 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.
Meanwhile, Lenny Henry was honoured at this year's event with the Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting award.
See the winners list in full below:
Best Factual Entertainment
Best Single Drama
Best Drama Series
Best Single Documentary
Baby P: The Untold Story
Best Documentary Series
Best Multichannel Programme
Radio Programme of the Year
Germany: Memories of A Nation »
'Still Alice' and 'Maps to the Stars' box office: Julianne Moore Oscar helps only one movie (photo: Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in 'Still Alice') (See previous post: "'The Lazarus Effect' Box Office: Olivia Wilde Horror Movie Arrives Comatose.") The Oscars do matter. As mentioned in the previous post, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman was up an estimated 125 percent this weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, following its four Academy Award wins – including Best Picture. Also up a hefty 24 percent – after adding 553 locations – is Sony Pictures Classics' Still Alice, which earned Julianne Moore the year's Best Actress Oscar for her performance as a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. True, an Oscar win – or key nominations – may not create mammoth blockbusters like Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, or Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. For that, »
- Zac Gille
In this edition of The Week in Spandex, we look at Avengers: Age of Ultron, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Daredevil, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men vs. Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Shazam, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Gotham, Lucifer, Powers and more…
We’ll start this edition of The Week in Spandex off with 2015’s first – and easily most-anticipated – superhero movie of the year Avengers: Age of Ultron, and this week saw Marvel debuting a couple of new theatrical posters for the follow-up to 2012’s The Avengers, which confirmed that Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Stellen Skarsgard (Erik Selvig) will both feature in the credits-bursting cast list, and Danny Elfman will also supply “additional music”. It’s also kicked off a series of new character posters which so far includes Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) [see here], The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo »
- Gary Collinson
Marvel’s eight-part series Agent Carter drew to a close on Tuesday evening with the season finale ‘Valediction’ [read our review here], and now writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (whose credits also include Captain America: The First Avenger and its sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier) have been speaking to EW about a potential second season and where it could lead story-wise.
“When we were figuring out the show and the backstory of the show, we had a really nice story about who Peggy is and where she came from. We just didn’t have any time. I would love to tell that story,” states Markus, with McFeely adding, “That’s one of our strongest ideas for the second season: What makes Peggy, Peggy? We like what Peggy is, but if you ask some hard questions, you might wonder: but why is she that way? We have some thoughts on that.”
The duo »
- Gary Collinson
With Marvel's "Agent Carter" limited series wrapping up its eight episode run last night, questions have turned towards what could be in store for a second season of the show should Marvel decide to proceed with it.
"Agent Carter" Season Finale Spoilers
In a new chat with THR, co-showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas spoke about That ending which ties up events between that of "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and the brief appearance of Toby Jones as Zola.
Does Jones' appearance mean he'll serve as the second season's villain? Fazes says: "He isn't necessarily coming back. That scene wasn't saying that Toby Jones is going to be the big villain of season two or anything. It was just recognizing that this is the start of the Winter Soldier program."
The show has essentially maintained the same audience as "Shield" has in the timeslot, »
- Garth Franklin
Agent Carter concludes a strong series with a satisfying finale. What more could we ask for? Oh yeah, more...
This review contains spoilers.
Well, it's fair to say that was a pretty satisfying conclusion to a strong TV series. From the audience-pleasing return of the Captain America radio play to the fantastic cameo in the final scene, there's very little about the ending to Agent Carter that you can criticise, with the possible exception of there being slightly too much Howard Stark for a show without his name in the title. Because as much as everyone loves Dominic Cooper being the 40s Tony Stark, his presence has the same effect as Robert Downey Jr.'s, sucking the audience's eyes away from every other character.
The Royal Television Society's ceremony will celebrate the best of television and related media from 2013-14.
Norton will »
She’ll play an unspecified role alongside Emily Blunt and original stars Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Hemsworth and Theron return as the title character and Ravenna respectively. Nick Frost was seemingly out of the picture but struck a deal with Universal to reprise his dwarf character Nion – one of two featured in the new film. Toby Jones won’t be returning due to failed negotiations.
Story details have yet to be released but the dark fairy tale adventure follows on from 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman. Rupert Sanders is replaced as director by FX creator Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, and Frank Darabont has written the script. Joe Roth produces.
Chastain is firmly in fantastical territory. Having explored the universe in Interstellar, »
- Steve Palace
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