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They are smug, stomach-churning and delighted by their own existence
'Yep, it's that time of year again – and the Christmas adverts are already on the telly," remarks a man at the start of this year's B&Q Christmas advert, proving that the grand tradition of moaning about premature Yuletide ads has itself been absorbed by the Matrix and turned into a stick to beat us with. Let's hope this kind of jokey fourth-wall-breaking doesn't become a trend, or before long we'll all be moaning about the number of early Christmas ads that moan about the number of early Christmas ads, and then our moans about their moans will in turn form the basis of the next wave of ads, and so on and so on ad nauseam, until they're producing intricately constructed navel-gazing meta-commercials that are actually more self-aware than we are: fully sentient beings with thoughts and feelings of their own. »
- Charlie Brooker
The final episode of Alan Carr: Chatty Man pulled in 1.26m (6.5%) during the 10pm hour for Channel 4 last night, according to the latest ratings figures. Previously, the 10-part series opened to 1.92m (11.5%) on Sunday, June 14, while last week's episode managed 1.69m (9.2%). Earlier on Channel 4, Celebrity Wife Swap had 1.91m (8.8%) at 8pm, then 1.88m (8%) stayed with the channel for the Big Brother highlights show. The second episode of BBC One's Jam & Jerusalem, which stars Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, logged 3.45m (15.8%) during the 8pm hour. The audience then rose to 5.29m (22.5%) for Rivers With Griff Rhys Jones at 9pm. BBC Two's (more) »
- By Dan French
Chicago – Great films refuse to go away. Since I saw Henry Selick’s excellent “Coraline” months ago it has lingered in my memory like a dream and watching it again on the recently-released Blu-Ray (“Coraline” is also available on DVD), I’m reminded of how clever, creative, and captivating this piece of film was in theaters and will be every time I watch it with a perfect home release.
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0 Nothing gets old about “Coraline”. Actually, it gets richer with each viewing. That’s the mark of a great movie and exactly what most buyers willing to pay the still-too-steep purchase price of most Blu-Ray releases are looking for - something to watch again and again. You’ll watch “Coraline” again and again.
Coraline was released on Blu-Ray on July 21st, 2009.
Photo credit: Universal
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Here’s a list of some of the new DVD and Blu-ray releases this week we’re particularly interested in. Plus, some old favorites (and not so favorites) coming out this week for the first time on Blu-Ray.
• Wolverine and the X-Men: Deadly Enemies ~ (DVD)
- Chris Ullrich
Coraline will be released on DVD and a DVD/Blu-ray combo set on July 21 and we are certainly celebrating this new release. We have a new contest running and not only are we giving away copies of the DVD to our readers, but we're even throwing in the DVD/Blu-ray combo sets as well! You know these discs will go fast, so enter this new contest today.
- Coraline DVD
- Coraline DVD/Blu-ray
to enter this big giveaway today.
Based on Neil Gaiman's international best-selling book, Coraline is the story of a young girl (voiced by Fanning) who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home, and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. On the surface, this other world eerily mimics her own life - though much more fantastical. In it, Coraline encounters such off-kilter inhabitants as the morbidly funny Miss Forcible and Miss Spink (French and Ms. »
Ah, we do so enjoy tearing down that which we love. With the Harry Potter series of books and movies being perhaps the most successful franchises of their kind in this or any other lifetime, it's only natural that it would be the most spoofed bunch of stories as well. From The Simpsons and MadTV to stage musicals and RiffTrax commentaries, there have been hundreds of parodies since the Pottermania first swept the world. Here's just a tiny handful:
1) The jokes began in earnest with the huge popularity of 2001's film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That year, David Letterman offered up the Top Ten Signs That Your Kid is a Wizard. Among them: "You say, 'Do you think that lawn is gonna mow itself?' But then it does," "His homework ate the dog," and "You catch him in the bathroom polishing his wand."
2) Also from 2001, the Mad magazine parody, »
- Dawn Taylor
DVD Playhouse—July 2009
Do The Right Thing: 20th Anniversary Edition (Universal) Spike Lee’s groundbreaking fable about race relations in an ethnically mixed Brooklyn neighborhood during a sweltering New York summer remains as potent, timely and prescient as it was in 1989. Lee is among the cast, which also includes John Turturro, Danny Aiello, Samuel L. Jackson, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, and Rosie Perez (to name a few), that provide the tableaux-like framework for this stunning work. Criminally ignored by Oscar (it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture, but did garner nods for Supporting Actor Danny Aiello and Lee’s screenplay), it endures as a timeless classic. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Lee, Ernest Dickerson, Wynn Thomas, Joie Lee; Documentary; Deleted and extended scenes; Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround.
Coraline (Universal) A young girl moves into an old Victorian house with her parents »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
You can bring home Henry Sellick's new stop-motion masterpiece home on DVD and Blu-ray this July. Coraline will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 21. We have no cover art or pricing details as of yet, but it was said that both the 2-D and 3-D versions of teh film will be on the disc and there will be four pairs of 3-D glasses included. You can take a look at the special features below and we'll be sure to update this story as soon as we have more information. The film stars Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Ian McShane.
Based on Neil Gaiman's international best-selling book, Coraline is the story of a young girl (voiced by Fanning) who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home, and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. On the surface, this other world eerily mimics »
The new Star Trek movie has beamed up to the top of the UK box office with a first weekend total of just under £6million.
Coraline, a critically-praised animated stop-motion fantasy based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novella, is about a girl who discovers an alternative reality with evil doubles of her parents, friends and neighbours.
It features the voices of Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones, Desperate Housewives actress Teri Hatcher as mother Mel and comediennes Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French as retired actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible.
- David Bentley
Coraline author Neil Gailman has revealed that he got Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders their roles in Henry Selick's animated film. Speaking to Digital Spy, Gaiman said that he convinced Selick to cast the Brit comedy duo as the voices of retired stage performers Spink and Forcible. "I got to be involved on some levels," said Gaiman. "I got to cast French and Saunders, for example. Henry didn't know who they were, but I said 'you will be casting Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders as Miss Spink and Miss Forcible'. I seemed very sure about this (more) »
- By Simon Reynolds
Branagh, who also stars as the eponymous police inspector in the TV show, won the coveted award at a star-studded ceremony in London on Sunday night.
He told the crowd, which included Mischa Barton, Ed Westwick and David Tennant: "We're absolutely thrilled. This is bl**dy marvellous. For a series first time out to get this recognition is beyond our wildest dreams."
The Hours star Anna Maxwell Martin was named Best Actress for her role in Poppy Shakespeare and Stephen Dillane beat Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs to take home the Best Actor award for The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall.
The main list of winners is as follows:
Best Comedy Performance - David Mitchell (Peep Show)
Best Drama Series - Wallander
Best Continuing Drama - The Bill
Best Entertainment Programme - The X Factor
Best International Show - Mad Men
Best News Coverage - News at Ten - Chinese Earthquake reporting
Best Sport - F1: Brazilian Grand Prix
Audience Award - Skins
Special Award - Jane Tranter
Bafta Fellowship - French and Saunders »
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are to become the second UK double act to be presented with a BAFTA fellowship. The comedy duo will follow in the footsteps of Morecambe and Wise when they are presented with the honour at the Academy's 2009 television awards later this month, says the BBC. French and Saunders are known for their BBC sketch show as well as Absolutely Fabulous and The Vicar Of Dibley. Joanna Lumley, who starred in Absolutely (more) »
- By Sarah Rollo
Above: Animator Bartek Prusiewicz works outside the Pink Palace house/apartments complex situated on a soundstage.
Stop motion animation fascinates me, marveling at the Dinosaurs of Jim Danforth and Roger Dicken in The Land that time forgot as a child. The maestro Ray Harryhausen work in everything he did and later the surrel imaginings of check master Jan Svankmajer. As well as creations like Morph the animated companion of the late great Tony Hart and top notch kids show The Trap Door. Apart from generally just loving the look of Stop motion the patience of its creators amazes me. Anyway check out the images above from Coraline.
You can view slightly larger versions over at our Virb page (click to enlarge them)
Above: Set construction supervisor Bo Henry makes final »
It’s Red Nose Day today! And I’ve got lots of videos today in support of Comic Relief. So it seems that two of the funniest of Britain’s funny ladies -- Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders -- will be performing their last sketch ever on the Comic Relief show on the BBC tonight (which is now underway as midafternoon rolls around here in New York). They’re sending up Mamma Mia!, the biggest movie in the U.K. in 2008 -- yup, bigger than James Bond and bigger than Batman. Jennifer Saunders as Meryl Streep? Fun-ny. If/when the actual sketch shows up on YouTube, I’ll grab it and post it here. There’s another video peeking behind-the-scenes of this sketch over at the Rose Nose Day site, but you’ll have to click over to see it: it’s not embeddable. (Please give some cash -- you »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The UK's Absolutely Fabulous TV show has been seen throughout the world and remains very popular with adults of all ages. There have been several attempts at recreating the bawdy series in the Us but the projects have all ended up stalling. Now, it looks like the time may actually be right.
First airing from 1992 to 1996, Absolutely Fabulous centers around Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), a pair of immature, chain-smoking, substance-abusing, fashion-obsessed ladies of London. Edina's daughter, "Saffy" (Julia Sawalha), doesn't approve of the excesses which provides plenty of conflict. June Whitfield plays Edna's good-natured mother and Jane Horrocks plays Bubble, Edna's inept personal assistant. Others in the cast include Helen Lederer, Harriet Thorpe, Naoko Mori, Christopher Malcolm, Christopher Ryan, and Mo Gaffney. New episodes of Fabulous began running in 2001.
Fox has recently announced plans to create a Us version of Fabulous for the Fall 2009 schedule. »
Sometimes, as bad as it may sound, one is almost thankful that a film bombs out at the box office. Much-beloved classics, especially in a series of films like “The Pink Panther,” should never be remade. I say one would be thankful because perhaps they won’t add another abomination to their lineup. Now, the follow-up to the reincarnation, which stars a buffet of talented actors, has debuted in fourth spot with a paltry $12 million from 3,243 venues, averaging just $3,700 per theatre. The first may have made over $80 million domestically simply from crowd curiosity – you can’t pull that move twice. Sorry fellas. Instead, the more deserved contender in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “He’s Just Not That into You” topped the charts with an estimated $27.4 million. The film starring Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore and Kevin Connolly opened into 3,175 locations and averaged $8,650 per theatre. »
Combining the visionary imaginations of two premier fantasists, director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and author Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Coraline is a wondrous and thrilling, fun and suspenseful adventure that honors and redefines two moviemaking traditions. It’s the first stop-motion animated feature to be conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3-D and it’s unlike anything moviegoers have ever experienced before. The film’s characters are voiced by Dakota Fanning,Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, and Ian McSh »
Chicago – Henry Selick, the visionary director of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “James and the Giant Peach” has masterfully directed a mesmerizing journey into the world of imagination called “Coraline”.
Rating: 4.0/5.0 Based on the beloved book by Neil Gaiman, “Coraline” is a nearly perfect stop-motion animated adventure featuring excellent voice work by Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, John Hodgman, Ian McShane, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, and Keith David.
Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Coraline” in our reviews section. Last year was an incredible one for animation with moving masterpieces like “Wall-e” and “Waltz With Bashir” and crowd-pleasers like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Bolt,” so it’s hard to say that “Coraline” would have been the best animated film of 2008, but it’s also easy to believe that we won’t see one better in 2009. It’s that good.
What immediately distinguishes “Coraline” is the creative team’s understanding that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
“The Pink Panther 2” looks set to top the weekend charts in 3,243 theatres. Sony/MGM’s first reincarnated film in 2006 brought in over $82 million in U.S. sales alone. Internationally, the comedy pulled in $76.6 million. Steve Martin, Emily Mortimer, Jean Reno, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina John Cleese and Aishwarya Rai form the main cast. Warner Bros. Pictures’ comedy “He's Just Not That Into You” has the next biggest opening this weekend with 3,175 venues. The strong cast includes Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly and Bradley Pepper. Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline” finds 2.298 locations via Focus Features. Voice talents include Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Ian McShane. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” director Henry Selick helms and adapts the screenplay for the animated family fantasy. Paul McGuigan’s sci-fi action thriller “Push” will be hoping for a good run from its »
Photo: Focus Features I am on record as not being a fan of Henry Selick's Nightmare Before Christmas. Despite its 76 minute running time I actually can't watch more than 15 minutes of that film without falling asleep or losing interest outright. I haven't seen any of his other work and went into Coraline with limited expectations but high hopes. Visually the film delivers and seeing how it was shot in 3D it is a flawless presentation that doesn't rely on gimmicky "comin' atcha" gags to sell the 3D as much as it just feels part of the film. However, the 100 minute running time proves daunting as the first 80 minutes are of only a mild interest while the final moments are certainly an improvement, but not to an extent the film gains any real points. Based on »
- Brad Brevet
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