17 items from 2015
Universal’s The Huntsman, a spinoff of 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman, has secured a brand new roster of dwarves to accompany returning dwarf Nick Frost. Much like Disney’s Beauty And The Beast remake is crowded with Brits, it seems that Universal are chasing down a similar idea as Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach and Sheridan Smith have all signed on to appear.
Their involvement on The Huntsman makes for interesting news in light of previous reports suggesting there would be a distinct lack of dwarves in the movie. Nevertheless, the trio are enlisted and ought to be in for a cracking time. Two of the newest cast, Brydon and Smith, will be reunited after they both starred in the BBC comedy series Gavin & Stacey. Brydon can be also seen in Disney’s live-action Cinderella which opened last weekend. Roach’s biggest role to date was in Margaret Thatcher »
- Gem Seddon
Videogame tie-in Frankie Goes To Hollywood was one of the most bizarre games of the 1980s. Ryan takes a look back...
Imagine this scenario: it’s the mid 1980s, and your massive, chunky BT telephone suddenly rings. It’s the boss of Ocean Software, and he has a project for you: design a game based on the pop band Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
What sort of game would you come up with? A platform game, perhaps? A Space Invaders shooter with a bleepy, 8-bit rendition of Relax playing in the background? Most game designers, I reckon, would have knocked out something quick and unimaginative - after all, it’s only being sold on the licence, isn’t it?
Instead, Denton Designs made one of the most unusual and innovative games of the 8-bit era.
Forming in the early 80s, Liverpool’s Frankie Goes To Hollywood played the northern club circuit »
Not everything about the Alexandria Safe Zone is exactly "safe", but under the leadership of former U.S. congresswoman Deanna Monroe, residents like the charming Jessie have been able to live out a reasonably normal existence in the zombie apocalypse on AMC's The Walking Dead. Two intriguing additions to the show, the characters of Deanna and Jessie have roots in the comic books and should affect events of future episodes in major ways. In recent interviews, Tovah Feldshuh and Alexandra Breckenridge discussed their respective characters' backstories, current states, and what could be in store for their walled-off community in the near future. *Spoiler warning for those who haven't yet seen the latest episode of The Walking Dead.*
"I did a role like this »
- Derek Anderson
For many actors, Downton Abbey was their first big break in television.
But not everyone can be a Lord Grantham or a Carson. For many - whether they chose to leave or were written out - their fortunes changed after exiting the ITV drama.
1. Ed Speleers
We most recently saw him in the part of Edward Seymour in Wolf Hall, and he will also star in upcoming films Remainder and Howl. Most prominently, he's been cast alongside Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.
2. Amy Nuttall »
I have a terrible confession to make. It’s really bad — the kind of thing that will forever tarnish me in your eyes. Are you ready? Oh God, oh God, here I go … I love biopics. Love them. I love the way they marry escapist gloss with Hollywoodized history, combining atmosphere with ennoblement. I love the sanitized, simplified, often fictionalized life lessons. I love the star turns — Leonardo DiCaprio Is Howard Hughes! Denzel Washington Is Malcolm X! Helen Mirren Is Queen Elizabeth! Daniel Day-Lewis Is Abraham Lincoln! Robert Downey Jr. Is Charlie Chaplin! Meryl Streep Is Margaret Thatcher! Morgan Freeman Is Nelson Mandela! Anthony Hopkins Is Richard Nixon! Gary Oldman Is Ludwig Van Beethoven! Will Smith Is Muhammad Ali! I love the gorgeous cinematography and rousing scores. (Biopics almost always have gorgeous cinematography and rousing scores.) I love the fluff pieces on how this or that actor or »
- Bilge Ebiri
The story of the BBC in the 70s and 80s is that of Life on Earth, Grange Hill and EastEnders. But, as newly opened archives reveal, it is also a tale of bitter rows and repeated government assaults – not least from the hostile new prime minister, Margaret Thatcher. Jean Seaton shares her discoveries
The 1970s and 1980s were a tumultuous time that tested the BBC severely. The 70s were characterised first by an apprehension of national decline and inertia, and then a panicked disorder. Yet by the mid-80s Britain was being remade at a furious pace on a new model, as an ebullient, get-rich-quick culture emerged. The Conservative government attacked, and yet in the last instance also protected, the Corporation.
The BBC had for decades helped to define Britain, yet by the late 80s, the Corporation was all too often the story, vulnerable to new commercial and political models, »
- Jean Seaton
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
The Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: Owns and operates the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts where he has a summer home.
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role 2013- as Richie Dimaso in American Hustle
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role 2012 - as Pat in Silver Linings Playbook
Interesting Fact: Had to miss his graduation commencement at Georgetown University because he was filming Wet Hot American Summer.
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
It’s more difficult for a satire show to shock today than in the 80s. Maybe it should claim politicians are honest and hardworking
A show being plugged as “the new Spitting Image” has just been announced for ITV. Twenty years after the show finished its Sunday night broadcasts, Newzoids promises a “biting look at the world of politics and celebrity”. It will feature latex puppet versions of David Cameron, Russell Brand and Jeremy Kyle where the original had Margaret Thatcher, Arthur Scargill and Pope John Paul II.
Can I be the first to say that Newzoids is not as funny as it used to be? During the many years that I spent writing for Spitting Image, pompous critics would regularly bemoan the decline in TV satire and declare: “They should bring back That Was the Week That Was; now that really was hard-hitting!”
The sheer scale of Spitting Image »
- John O'Farrell
Worried there just won't be enough Tom Hiddleston to go around on the big screen this year, as he most likely won't have much screen time in Avengers: Age of Ultron? You'll be happy to know he takes the lead in High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's popular novel. To help ease the pain of these Tom Hiddleston-free days, the actor himself has posted a first look image at the thriller on his Personal Twitter, introducing his character Dr Laing.
High-Rise takes place in a new residential tower built on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's rise to power, at the site of what will soon become the world's financial hub. Designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, it is a world apart. Enter Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), a young doctor seduced by the High-Rise and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal (Jeremy Irons »
I have still yet to see any of director Ben Wheatley's films. First and foremost this includes Kill List, which I've heard plenty about, as well as A Field in England. Thing is, I better get on it or I'll find myself even further behind once High Rise hits theaters and today star Tom Hiddleston has delivered the first look at the film via his Twitter feed. amz asin="B005LW5KA2" size="small"Just above is Hiddleston, starring as Dr Laing in the big screen adaptation of J.G. Ballard's novel of the same name. The story centers on a new residential tower built on the eve of Margaret Thatcher's rise to power, at the site of what will soon become the world's financial hub. Designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, it is a world apart. Enter Robert Laing (Hiddleston), a young »
- Brad Brevet
Set in a new residential tower built on the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power, Hiddleston plays a young doctor seduced by the building and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal (Irons).
The Doctor discovers a world of complex loyalties and sensing discord amongst the tenants. As the residents break into tribal factions, Laing finds himself in the middle of mounting violence.
- Garth Franklin
By Anjelica Oswald
The 87th Academy Awards acting race is almost evenly divided between veterans and first-time nominees.
Nine of the 20 nominees in the four acting categories are newcomers — four lead actors (Steve Carell, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch), two lead actresses (Rosamund Pike and Felicity Jones), two supporting actresses (Patricia Arquette and Emma Stone) and one supporting actor (J.K. Simmons).
As for the 11 veterans, the number of Oscar nominations between them ranges from 19 to one. Four of them have previously taken Oscars home.
Meryl Streep received her 19th nomination this year for her supporting role as The Witch in Disney’s Into the Woods, the film adaptation of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s musical. She holds the record for most acting nominations ever received and is one of six actors to have won three or more Oscars. Streep was first nominated in 1979 for her »
- Anjelica Oswald
One of Spitting Image's greatest impressions is making a return in a new stage play.
Spitting Image is 30: Looking back at the satirical puppet classic
Maitland was in consultation with Howe and his wife Elspeth while writing the project, and it will be released in time for the 25th anniversary of the speech.
The play will open at London's Park Theatre on April 1.
Watch Nallon as Thatcher in a classic Spitting Image clip below: »
London — For more than three decades, foreign countries lined up to see American-made films with big stars and directors, plenty of noisy spectacle and the latest hi-tech innovations from CGI to 3D. Hollywood became one of the America’s leading exporters and an attractive global investment target. And if its U.S.-centric happy endings came at the expense of Russians, Chinese, or Middle East villains, too bad.
Cut to the New Now. DVD revenues flattened. Swing-for-the-fences movies, the ones that can generate $1 billion in global ticket sales, became astronomically expensive, Every studio is owned by a global conglomerate whose fortunes fluctuate. All of them impose tight fiscal restrictions which work in some industries but strangle a creative business traditionally known for excess. Domestic box office has become a smaller piece of a movie’s P&L each year, as non-u.S. ticket sales today account for 70% of business and climbing. »
- Ali Jaafar
By John M. Whalen
Violence in American football has been a big issue during the last year. After former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was videotaped knocking his girlfriend unconscious in an elevator and other players were reportedly involved in incidents of domestic abuse, the National Football League issued a Code of Conduct for players. Violation of the code can result in a player being suspended or kicked out of the sport altogether. In Great Britain, however, it’s not the players who are guilty of off-the-field violence, it’s the fans. “Football hooliganism” as it is known, is and has been a problem for years. Nick Love’s 2008 film, “The Firm” tells a story set in the midst of this violent world.
For those who don’t know, football hooliganism refers to the organized gangs of young soccer fans, almost all young men, who meet one another when »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Far be it from us to refer to the Golden Globes as "Hollywood's drunkest night," but the awards show has a bit of a reputation. And honestly, it's pretty great. The evening is a refreshing warm-up to the comparative stuffiness of the Oscars, and even the stars who don't admit to having a drink (or seven) in their speeches would probably readily admit there's a special kind of atmosphere to Globes night that lends itself to some truly memorable moments. Since we'd be here until Sunday if we recapped every hilarious or awkward incident from the Globes' history (oh wait, »
- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl
Scoring Best Picture at the British Independent Film Awards along with critical acclaim and box-office success in the UK, the true story comedy "Pride" has hit a patch of controversy over the lack of pride demonstrated by the film's U.S. distributor CBS Films.
Set in 1980s England, the film tells of a group of gay and lesbian activists and mining union groups who came together to battle the policies of Margaret Thatcher in 1980s era England. The central premise and much of the humor of the whole film revolves around the two disparate groups and how they deal with each other.
Opening to little fanfare in the U.S. in limited release back in September, the movie then hit disc just before Christmas. However the U.S. DVD release was missing something - any references to homosexuality.
The short synopsis on CBS' official page for the film was edited »
- Garth Franklin
17 items from 2015
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