15 items from 2014
Starz’s Black Sails has now arrived for UK audiences on Amazon Instant and it has proved a largely enjoyable romp. The show combines the high seas adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean with the political backstabbing and gratuitous violence and nudity of Game of Thrones (albeit with a much lower budget than either) and, if it has thus far failed to quite hit the lofty heights suggested by that combination, there are certainly enough elements in play that could be built on and improved in future. Sure enough a second season has recently been commissioned.
A large part of the selling point of Black Sails lies in its mixing of existent fact and fiction. The main narrative arc interweaves a prequel story for characters from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island – Captain Flint, Long John Silver, Billy Bones – with stories involving real, historical pirates – Charles Vane, Jack Rackham, »
- Jack Gann
We’re living in a new golden age of television. With stuff like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Dexter and The Wire all hitting our screens within the past ten years, the small screen is now just as big an attraction as the big one.
Penny Dreadful has continued that trend, with its first season having just wrapped. The second has been announced for 2015, so we can start to speculate the public domain characters who might appear next year.
For the uninitiated, the core of the show is Victorian horror. Our ragtag band of protagonists are both original in nature like Vanessa Ives and Ethan Chandler and drawn from famous literary works such as Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula and Dorian Gray.
With a warning for a few minor spoilers here for those who haven’t watched the entire first season yet, let’s put on our speculation caps and guesstimate who could pop up next season. »
- Mark Bradley
Feature Alex Westthorp 9 Apr 2014 - 07:00
Like their fellow Time Lord actors, William Hartnell and Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker also shared certain genres of film. Both appeared, before and after their time as the Doctor, in horror movies and both worked on Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films.
Patrick George Troughton was born in Mill Hill, London on March 25th 1920. He made his film debut aged 28 in the 1948 B-Movie The Escape. Troughton's was a very minor role. Among the better known cast was William Hartnell, though even Hartnell's role was small and the two didn't share any scenes together. From the late Forties, Troughton found more success on the small screen, »
Bobby Driscoll played young Jim Hawkins, a cabin boy who finds himself up against Long John Silver (Robert Newton) in the hunt for a cache of treasure. With the help of Squire Trelawney (Walter Fitzgerald), Dr Livesey (Dennis O'Dea) and Captain Smollett (Basil Sydney) plucky Jim sets sail on the creaky tub Hispaniola. The movie marked Disney's first completely live-action film and the first screen version of Treasure Island made in colour. »
Treasure Planet should have been one of Disney’s heavy hitters. The modern-day twist on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island had a lot going for it. Pirate adventure in space filled with interstellar ships and mutinies? Check. Stunning visuals that combine traditional 2D and modern 3D animation? Check. A great cast of characters? Well, that depends on who you ask. Treasure Planet clearly wanted to teach its audience that there is greater value in self-discovery than a ship filled with treasure from a thousand worlds. However, when it came time to test the cut of its sails, Treasure Planet left audiences standing on the docks dreaming of what could have been, if only Jim had found a way to save the treasure.
Mind you, this Disney adventure did not fail because those watching are greedy. »
- Elizabeth Rico
The Starz drama series Black Sails is set in 1715, when the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean is at its height and the former British colony of New Providence Island is now lawless territory controlled by the most notorious pirate captains in history. As the British Navy returns to these waters and the threat of extinction looms, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) finds an ally in Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), the daughter of the local smuggling kingpin who is looking to make a name for herself, and together they devise a plan to hunt the ultimate treasure and save their home. From Platinum Dunes, the show also stars Luke Arnold, Zach McGowan, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Tom Hopper, Toby Schmitz, Clara Paget, Mark Ryan and Hakeem Kae-Kazim. During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Luke Arnold (who plays John Silver) talked about how he came to be a part of Black Sails, »
- Christina Radish
Miscasting in films has always been a problem. A producer hires an actor thinking that he or she is perfect for a movie role only to find the opposite is true. Other times a star is hired for his box office draw but ruins an otherwise good movie because he looks completely out of place.
There have been many humdinger miscastings. You only have to laugh at John Wayne’s Genghis Khan (with Mongol moustache and gun-belt) in The Conqueror (1956), giggle at Marlon Brando’s woeful upper class twang as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and cringe at Dick Van Dyke’s misbegotten cockney accent in Mary Poppins (1964). But as hilarious as these miscastings are, producers at the time didn’t think the same way, until after the event. At least they add a bit of camp value to a mediocre or downright awful movie.
In rare cases, »
Starz is about to launch a new swashbuckling, high-seas adventure in "Black Sails," a sort-of prequel to "Treasure Island" that sees literary characters Long John Silver and Captain Flint plus real-life pirates Captain Charles Vane, Anne Bonny and Calico Jack Rackham living and working (as it were) in and around Nassau, Bahamas, which is overseen by proprietor Eleanor Guthrie.
Zach McGowan, formerly of Showtime's "Shameless," is Vane, one of the captains determined to find the gold by any means necessary and very much at odds with Silver and Captain Flint. But he tells Zap2it that he doesn't see Vane as the villain of the piece.
"He is definitely not a villain in his own mind," says McGowan, "and I do not see him as a villain. I see him no more as a villain than a lion who eats a gazelle is a villain. This is very much a »
Just when you thought the pirate trend had finally sunk with all hands, Michael Bay comes along. The visionary director/producer behind Transformers and The Island is now bringing us Black Sails, a Starz series featuring nasty pirates and buried treasure. Ahoy, mateys!
Black Sails is a prequel of sorts to Robert Louis Stevenson’s seminal pirate novel Treasure Island. It features the adventures of Captain Flint and his merry band on New Providence Island, many years before the events surrounding peg-legged Long John Silver and young Jim Hawkins. Starring Toby Stevens as the dashing Captain Flint, this first episode was directed by The Descent helmer Neil Marshall (Bay is only an executive producer on the show). We can expect all sorts of exciting pirate shenanigans from this crew of ne’er-do-wells, and probably some nice big explosions as well; this is a Michael Bay product, after all.
Although Black Sails »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Michael Bay may be divisive when it comes to his movies, but as he makes his first foray into producing a television series he may have found a winner. Black Sails, a prequel series following characters from Treasure Island like Captain Flint and Long John Silver, will premiere this weekend on Starz, but you can watch the full pilot episode right now on Machinima's YouTube channel. Unlike most Starz series, Black Sails is carrying a TV-14 rating for the pilot. The constant nudity and blood »
- Alex Maidy
"Black Sails," the new Starz pirate drama premiering on Saturday, January 25th at 9pm, is both a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and executive producer Michael Bay's first venture into television. The series was filmed in Cape Town and stars Toby Stephens as Captain Flint and Luke Arnold as Long John Silver. A week before the series' debut, Starz has put the full first episode online for free -- the premiere, below, was directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), who helmed the similarly naval battle-centric "Blackwater" installment of "Game of Thrones." Take a look:
- Alison Willmore
"Black Sails," the new Starz pirate drama premiering on Saturday, January 25th at 9pm, is both a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" and executive producer Michael Bay's first venture into television. The series was filmed in Cape Town and stars Toby Stephens as Captain Flint and Luke Arnold as Long John Silver. A week before the series' debut, Starz has put the full first episode online for free -- the premiere, below, was directed by Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), who helmed the similarly naval battle-centric "Blackwater" installment of "Game of Thrones." Take a look: »
- Alison Willmore
Starz is bringing a new drama to life when "Black Sails" premieres next weekend. But if you don't want to wait that long, the channel has released the first episode early. The video above is the premiere episode in its entirety.
The swashbuckling show chronicles the adventures of pirates in the early 1700s, or what is referred to as the "golden age" of piracy. A prequel, of sorts, to the events of literary classic "Treasure Island," the show has real-life pirates like Charles Vane (Zach McGowan), John Rackham (Toby Schmitz) and Anne Bonny (Clara Paget) joining fictional characters like Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New) and Long John Silver (Luke Arnold) in the Caribbean in a race for an enormous treasure, and it sounds as though the actors loved making first season as much as we've enjoyed watching it so far.
"This is the project you hope comes along your whole career, »
Starz has hit the ground running with two of its new flagship series, releasing new trailers for both the sophomore season of Da Vinci's Demons and the series debut of Black Sails. The former finds the title character, played by Tom Riley, using his near-superhuman skills to defend Florence against the forces of Rome. The latter, produced by Michael Bay, takes place 20 years before the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s "Treasure Island" and centers on Captain Flint and a young Long John Silver as they fight to defend the notorious criminal haven of New Providence Island. Season one of Black Sails premieres January 25th at 9pm Et/Pt. The second season of Da Vinci's Demons will debut Saturday, March 22nd at 9pm Et/Pt. Hit the jump for the new trailers, images and more details on the upcoming Starz series. Here's the new Black Sails trailer: And here's the »
- Dave Trumbore
You don’t know pirates. You think know pirates after all those hours watching Johnny Depp slurring and scampering around the Caribbean in guyliner. But that’s only because you haven’t seen Starz’ Black Sails yet. The new Treasure Island prequel debuting Jan. 25 is more like a Deadwood with palm trees — more grounded and gritty, yet still delivers steady heaps of swashbuckling. Below showrunner Jonathan Steinberg (Jericho, Human Target) and star Toby Stephens (who plays pirate Captain Flint) take our questions (and if you haven’t watched the Black Sails opening credits, do that immediately).
Entertainment Weekly: How did »
- James Hibberd
15 items from 2014
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