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At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
The Blu-ray edition of Christopher Nolan's sprawling space pic is packed with featurettes about the making of "Interstellar," including a 50-minute special narrated by Matthew McConaughey about the scientific research behind the story.
Benedict Cumberbatch's star turn as Alan Turing doesn't quite elevate this pic above Oscar bait, but it's big and glossy and worth a look.
Reese Witherspoon stars in the big-screen adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Witherspoon was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, as was Laura Dern, who has an extra-special role as Cheryl's late mom.
TV Worth Watching
"The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber" (Monday on Comedy Central at 10 p.m. »
- Jenni Miller
As the Robotech film moves ahead, we look at the anime's history, knotty rights issues, cultural impact, and earlier failed film attempts.
"In the year 1999, high above Macross island in the South Pacific, a phenomenal event occurred in the skies which altered the cause of human history..."
With a blaze of animated light, a huge alien space craft bursts through Earth's atmosphere and collides with a city, reducing its buildings to atoms in an instant.
That dramatic opening heralded the arrival of Robotech - and American television had never seen anything quite like it. Here was animated show which told a sprawling saga set across multiple epochs, full of alien invaders and exotic transforming robots. Its characters seemed low-key and somehow real; there were brave pilots, nervy new-recruits, romances and love triangles. There was action, but also comedy, tragedy and pathos. It even provided a generous helping of bubblegum pop music. »
“The Prophet” will debut in Los Angeles and New York on its opening weekend and then expand.
The story portrays the unlikely friendship between a young mischievous girl and an imprisoned poet. The film has distilled the 26 poems in Gibran’s 1923 classic into a collection of eight animated films from eight directors.
The film includes the voices of Hayek-Pinault, Liam Neeson, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina and Quvenzhane Wallis. Directors include Tomm Moore (“Song of the Sea”), Joan Gratz (“Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase”), Joann Sfar (“The Rabbi’s Cat”), Bill Plympton (“In Your Face”), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”), Michal Socha (“Chick”) and Mohammed Harib (“Freej”).
- Dave McNary
One evening in 1994, the BBC screened a documentary simply called Manga. Presented by Jonathan Ross, it showcased the rising popularity of Japanese animation, largely focusing on the output of Manga Entertainment, whose dubbed VHS releases had made a huge impact on anime fans and caused a certain amount of consternation among the mainstream press.
For British viewers, the anime boom took a long time to arrive. In America, Japanese shows like Kimba The White Lion, Gigantor and Astro Boy were a common sight on television in the 1960s, yet it took until the late 70s and 80s, and a string of European-Japanese co-productions, before anime finally began to find a hold on UK television.
As a youngster at the time, I didn't necessarily know »
Now that lead animator Hayao Miyazaki has apparently retired, his co-founder of the Studio Ghibli animation house, Isao Takahata, might begin to get the international recognition he deserves. The animations Takahata has directed, which include the Second World War drama Grave of the Fireflies and the wistful contemporary urban tale Only Yesterday, have tended to be less fantastical than Miyazaki's – but The Tale of the Princess Kaguya takes the viewer on some wonderful flights of fancy. »
The latest from Studio Ghibli and it's legendary co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), The Tale of The Princess Kaguya already delivered one breathtaking clip of it's beautiful hand drawn animation, and now we have another one which shows just how visually stunning this Oscar nominated animation is. Based on the classic Japanese folk tale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and featuring the vocal talents of Chloe Grace Moretz and Lucy Liu, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya opens in U.k. cinemas tomorrow, Marhc 20th, and in Irish cinemas on March 27th. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the latest release from Japan’s best-loved animation studio, Studio Ghibli, has already won critical acclaim on the film festival circuit and was nominated for an Academy Award this year. It’s unlikely to excite kids, however, and I seriously doubt the matinee screenings will be populated by fidgety throngs of birthday-party groups. This is because Studio Ghibli is an odd quantity for much of its audience outside of Japan, where it has a niche but devoted following of mainly adult foreign-film enthusiasts. The film previewed this week at the only independent cinema in London’s West End, the Prince Charles, that caters primarily for obsessive film lovers. Quentin Tarantino loves the place, once saying: “The Prince Charles »
- Josh Strauss
To celebrate the cinema release of Studio Ghibli’s Academy Award nominated new film, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya on 20th March, we are giving you the chance to win exclusive Studio Ghibli merchandise and DVDs!
From Oscar-winning animation house Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, The Wind Rises) and directed by Ghibli co-founder the legendary Isao Takahata (Grave of The Fireflies), comes the spellbinding and visionary tour de force The Tale of The Princess Kaguya. Nominated for an Academy Award (Best Animated Feature), this exquisitely drawn and spellbinding story is based on the classic folk tale ‘The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter’. Studiocanal are releasing both English language and Japanese versions, the dubbed release features an all-star cast with Darren Criss, Lucy Liu and Chloë Grace Moretz (as Princess Kaguya).
For your chance to win, just answer the question below:
Who voices Princess Kaguya in The Tale of Princess Kaguya? »
- Dan Bullock
★★★☆☆ There was much discussion over the past year about the winding down of beloved Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli with its two founding fathers, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, hanging up their pencils. Both found fitting if unspectacular ways to bow out; first Miyazaki with the soaring The Wind Rises (2013) and now Takahata with the evocative fable The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari, 2013). A melancholic swansong, it blends the director's prior occupations and provides a perfect canvas for a final visual flourish. Taking watercolours as inspiration, the aesthetic is impressionistic and painterly with a fluidity that imbues the piece with an intrinsic magic.
- CineVue UK
Isao Takahata makes his directorial comeback with The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, his first film for Studio Ghibli since 1999's My Neighbours the Yamadas. The man behind the brilliant, emotionally-devastating Grave of the Fireflies may be in his late 70s, but on this evidence he's still able to conjure up a memorable yarn.
Based on an old Japanese folktale, it centres on a kindly wood cutter who stumbles across a tiny girl living in a bamboo shoot. Taken in by the man and his wife, she's named Princess but earns the moniker Little Bamboo from other children in the village due to her ability to magically grow at speed.
When her adopted father finds gold the family uproot to a mansion in the city and a life »
Hitting screen on this side of the pond in just ten short days, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is the latest from the legendary Studio Ghibli, directed by its equally legendary co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). Nominated for Best Animated Feature in this year's Oscars, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is a retelling of the classic Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter with an all star voice cast, including Darren Criss, Lucy Liu, and Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role. As you can tell from the above clip, this hand drawn animation looks absolutely breathtaking, reminiscent of Japanese watercolours, and no doubt continues the proud Ghibli tradition of matching beautiful with a deep and meaningful story. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is released in the U.K. on March 20th, and Ireland on March 27th. »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
To celebrate the cinema release of Studio Ghibl’s Academy Award nominated new film, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya on 20th March, we are giving you the chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to a back-to-back preview screening of Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Grave of the Fireflies! Both films were directed by Ghibli co-founder, the legendary Isao Takahata.
This celebration of all things Studio Ghibli will feature Japanese snacks for attendees, and additional prizes for those who bring along their most prized Ghibli possession or dress up as their favourite Ghibli character! This event will be taking place on the evening Monday 16th March starting at 6.15pm at a London West End location.
- Gary Collinson
We're only three months into 2015 but already it feels like blockbuster season is here. This month sees the next instalment in The Divergent Series, a new offering from Neill Blomkamp and Disney reinventing an old classic in live-action. Add these to an Oscar winning acting showcase and the latest from Studio Ghibli and March is looking golden.
Release diary: What movies are coming out in 2015?
Digital Spy rounds up the five films you have to see this March...
Release date: March 6
Why you should see it: All the talk surrounding Neill Blomkamp at the moment is surrounding his proposed Alien sequel, perhaps overshadowing the fact he actually has a new film coming out. Following on from District 9 and Elysium, the filmmaker's third feature Chappie centres on a police robot who's rebooted and develops a consciousness. Look out for a mulleted Hugh Jackman, Die Antwoord playing themselves and startlingly »
Following on from the UK poster, StudioCanal has now debuted a new trailer for The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the latest film from Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), and we have it for you below after the official synopsis…
Legendary Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) revisits Japan’s most famous folktale in this gorgeous, hand-drawn masterwork, decades in the making. Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter (James Caan) and his wife (Mary Steenburgen), a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady (Chloë Grace Moretz). The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.
- Gary Collinson
The 87th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood last night, with Birdman named Best Picture, as well as taking home a further three awards – Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu), Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel also managed a haul of four Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
In the acting categories, Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Eddie Redymayne (The Theory of Everything) were honoured with Best Actress and Best Actor respectively, while Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) received Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
You can check out a full list of the nominations below, with the winners highlighted in red…
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Achievement in directing
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu »
- Gary Collinson
A memorable 87th annual Academy Awards for Fox Searchlight saw Birdman claim best film, director and two other statuettes to tie with The Grand Budapest Hotel’s four-strong haul.
Boyhood, which entered the evening on six nominations and had been expected to push Birdman in several of the senior categories on Sunday night, won a sole best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.
The film’s time in the Oscar ceremony spotlight will not be forgotten, however, as Arquette paid tribute to her “Boyhood family” and made an impassioned plea for wage equality that spread like wildfire across social media.
Eddie Redmayne from The Theory Of Everything prevailed in a tight best actor contest to deny Michael Keaton another success for Birdman. The popular victory had the British actor jumping with excitement on stage at the Dolby Theatre.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
As Billy Crystal always sang… It’s time for Oscar, Oscar Oscar.
That’s right – it’s Oscar day and Thn will be tweeting and updating you live with the latest Oscar winners at this years Academy Awards.
So don’t worry about not being close to a TV screen, stay with us as we bring you our predictions and the actual winners right here.
Here are the winners as they are announced live.
Best Actor In A Supporting Role
My Prediction: J. K. Simmons, Whiplash
Thn’s Prediction: J. K. Simmons, Whiplash
Winner: J. K. Simmons, Whiplash
Achievement In Costume Design
My Prediction: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Thn’s Prediction: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Winner: Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Achievement In Makeup And Hairstyling
- Sacha Hall
See below a full list of winners from the 87th Academy Awards, announced Sunday at the Dolby Theater. The show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, aired live on ABC. “Birdman,” “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash” came out of the event as big winners.
Best Picture “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers (Winner)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
Keira Knightley in »
- Variety Staff
Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan »
- Steve Montgomery
All the winners from Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards.
Show host Harris signs off with a chirpy, “Buenos noches!”
Sean Penn walks on. It’s time for the big one. Best film. Will it be Birdman or Boyhood? It’s Birdman! The movie ends the night tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel on four Oscars. Inarritu, referring to his pal Alfonso Cuaron who enjoyed success with Gravity at last year’s show, says, “Two Mexicans in a row. That’s suspicious, I guess.” Slightly more seriously, Agi also calls on his fellow Mexicans to help build a strong future for his beloved country. Wow, a good night for Birdman and a surprisingly barren one for Boyhood. Pirates indeed, Ethan Hawke, but glorious pirates.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
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