5 items from 2011
In our writers' favourite films series, Jonathan Haynes is enchanted by a swashbuckling tale of silly names, sillier dialogue and true love
Fittingly enough, the first time I saw The Princess Bride I was languishing in bed with flu. Bizarrely, that's an ideal state for a tale which begins with a grandfather determined to read a proper story to a similarly sickly boy.
At first glance an opening scene of a child playing a computer game and the entrance of Peter Falk, looking inescapably like Columbo, even without the cigar and overcoat, does not bode well. One's own scepticism at what is to come is mirrored by the boy's uncertainty over the prospect of his grandfather reading from a book. "Has it got any sports in it?" he asks warily. »
- Jonathan Haynes
The Thick of It star hasn't worked since he was arrested on child pornography charges in 2005. Now he's back with a terrific performance in a new low-budget British film, and he says he just wants to get past the lies that have been told about him and do more acting
To be perfectly honest, Chris Langham's new film was the last thing on my mind when this interview was first arranged. The drama of his private life has eclipsed his identity as an actor so entirely that I barely gave the film a thought – except to wonder whether it would ever be possible to watch him again without being distracted by memories of the scandal that banished him from our screens. What cinematic tale could ever hope to compete with the true story of Langham's crime and punishment? If an actor can't persuade his audience to suspend disbelief, then »
- Decca Aitkenhead
Good evening, and welcome to the Celebrity Big Brother launch night liveblog! Barely a year ago we tearfully waved Big Brother goodbye in an drawn-out fanfare of trumpets and nose-blowing, but now it's Back. On Channel 5. Presented by a very excitable Brian Dowling. And allegedly featuring both halves of Jedward. For Three Weeks.
Lord have mercy on our tortured, reality TV-diminished souls.
I'll be here from 9pm to give you all the lowdown on the new housemates – mainly this will involve me going "Um, Who?", then quickly chucking in a few random facts blagged from the internet. If I'm lucky, the lovely Ladyribenaberet might email me some useful insight from you guys in the comment box, thus making it a universal, crowd-sourced cry of "Who? Really? For The Love Of Davina, »
- Heidi Stephens
Having spent the week celebrating some of our favourite enchanted eighties kids' movies, we hope none of the others will be offended when we say we've saved the best for last.
Rob Reiner's 1987 The Princess Bride is one of the funniest, warmest and most enjoyable kids' fantasy pictures out there. Unlike some of the others of its era, it doesn't require an ounce of nostalgia-fuelled goodwill from its audience to get over the bumpy moments, because there just aren't any. Start to finish, it's sweet and smart and everything that can make you fall in love with storytelling on screen.
(By the way, if this opening has got anyone's 'fawning gush-fest' senses tingling, I'm afraid it only gets worse from here on in. If it's derision and bile you're after, »
A Us business has bought up Monroe's brand rights in the hope of reviving her via Tron: Legacy-style technology. Will it work?
"Death," purred Gandalf, back in The Lord of the Rings, "is not the end. Death is just another path – one that we must all take." The wizard may have said these words trying to console a scared hobbit, but he could have easily been describing a tentatively emerging Hollywood philosophy.
Toronto businessman Jamie Salter recently announced his intention to cast Marilyn Monroe in a movie. This, you may think, causes something of problem: the Hollywood icon's last completed film, The Misfits, was a flop; its star has been dead some 49 years. Yet if Slater's intentions are true, it's perhaps the first issue that matters much more than the latter.
- James McMahon
5 items from 2011
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