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Doctor Who, 2012 Christmas Special: “The Snowmen”
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Saul Metzstein
Aired Christmas at 9pm (Et) on BBC America
Another Christmas, another Doctor Who special. Though the series has a dubious track record for specials, to say the least, it’s become somewhat comforting to be able to count on new Who each December 25th. The high water mark for Doctor Who Christmas specials remains the enchanting and whimsical “A Christmas Carol”, which saw the Doctor (Matt Smith) channeling Dickens in his own timey-wimey way to transform a bitter man, saving the Ponds in the process. Though this episode doesn’t live up to that standard, it is one of the better specials thanks to charismatic performances from Matt Smith and new Companion Jenna-Louise Coleman and the welcome return of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax.
Showrunner Steven Moffat seems highly interested in revamping the series. Aside from the new Companion, »
- Kate Kulzick
It's inevitable that as time goes by, we will lose some of our favorite stars. And yet, year after year, it never gets any easier to look back on the great entertainers who had died over the previous 12 months.
Still, it's important to remember the legacies of the people who enhanced our own lives over the years with their talent, style and love of cinema. Here's a look at some of the many wonderful Hollywood talents who passed away in 2012.
One of the most successful, beloved and influential pop stars of the last quarter century, Whitney Houston also became a Hollywood power in the '90s thanks to her roles in blockbusters like "The Bodyguard" and "The Preacher's Wife." Though she had her very public ups and downs over the past decade, Houston was in the process of making a career comeback on the big screen with the musical "Sparkle. »
- Scott Harris
In celebration of "Les Miserables," HitFix has listed the 20 best movie musicals of the last 50 years. Their top five? "The Sound of Music," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "Mary Poppins," "Cabaret," and "Little Shop of Horrors" in first place. Our poll is of the Top 30 live-action musicals in the last 75 years, which means no Disney animated musicals or "South Park," And "Shall We Dance" (1937) makes the cut but "Swing Time" (1936) does not. Vote! Protest which of your favorites we left off! (I pulled back on more Fosse, Astaire and Garland, or they would have taken up the whole list.) I weigh in on movie musicals here. Now and Then looks at the long slow death of the movie musical. What is the best live-action musical in the last 75 years? All That Jazz Annie »
- Anne Thompson
Above: 1968 poster for Grand Prix (John Frankenheimer, USA, 1966).
Last weekend I came across a bizarre poster, which you can see below, for Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause: a late 60s Czech design which reimagines James Dean as a long haired, barefoot East European hippie. This got me digging into the work of its author on the estimable and essential Czech movie poster site Terry Posters (named in honor of Terry Gilliam). The artist Eva Galová-Vodrázková was born in 1940 and, after studying at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, designed numerous film posters between 1966 and 1972 (Terry Posters has forty-two of them on their site). Her bio says she gave up poster design after “normalisation changes in the venture,” whatever that means, and has since worked as a textile designer. What attracted me to her poster work is a certain devil-may-care quality—evidenced in her Rebel—coupled with a powerful sense of composition. »
- Adrian Curry
New York -- Odd as it seems to apply the definition "the little show that could" to an entry from a Broadway titan like Disney Theatrical Productions, that's essentially the story of Newsies. The company announced on Wednesday that the $5 million musical, which was retooled from the 1992 big-screen flop that starred Christian Bale, has recouped its capitalization just nine months after opening. That marks the fastest-ever road to profit for a Disney show, joining the ranks of the division's other hits, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aida and Mary Poppins. Photos: Broadway Musicals That Have
- David Rooney
Walt Disney Pictures has released their 2013 preview, which showcases their slate of movies for the new year. The studio's new releases include Oz: The Great and Powerful, Iron Man 3, Monsters University, The Lone Ranger, The Little Mermaid 3D, Delivery Man, Thor: The Dark World, Frozen, and Saving Mr. Banks.
Oz: The Great and Powerful - March 8th
Walt Disney Pictures' fantastical adventure Oz: The Great and Powerful, directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum 's beloved character, The Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he's hit the jackpot, fame and fortune are his for the taking, that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone's been expecting. »
1.) Paramount has announced a December 20, 2013 release date for Anchorman: The Legend Continues. That's exactly one year from today. Funny how that works. The entire news team is back from the first film, with Kristen Wiig among those reportedly joining the cast. They'll be in direct competition with the comedy Last Vegas, George Clooney's historical drama The Monuments Men and Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's making-of-Mary Poppins movie. I can't imagine Last Vegas wanting anything to do with Anchorman, especially with Clooney's film (and the Poppins film, to a lesser degree) targeting that coveted "older audience," so smart money has at least one of those movies moving off that spot. 2.) I scoffed a bit last month when it was announced Ben Affleck would star with Kristen Stewart in the grifter romance Focus. Well, that pairing won't come to be as Affleck has left the picture due to his busy schedule. »
- Kevin Blumeyer
Chicago – “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” is the sort of extravagantly wrong-headed misfire that perhaps only could’ve been made by talented people. The director is Peter Hedges, an accomplished screenwriter best known for adapting his excellent book, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” for the big screen. The ensemble cast reads like a roll call of America’s most reliable character actors.
What went wrong? Oh, where to begin? It appears as if Hedges had set out to construct a heartwarming family drama out of increasingly uncomfortable, squirm-inducing scenarios. Consider the multitude of moments in which goggle-eyed adults ask a child if they can touch him and he happily complies. Or the scene where that same creepy kid draws a startlingly sexy portrait of an old curmudgeon. Or how about all of those times when the saintly brat just stands there smiling for no apparent reason.
Blu-ray Rating: 1.5/5.0
Meet the extremely odd Timothy Green, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Royal Mary Poppins, reporting for duty? Not quite. When Kate Middleton and Prince William welcome their first child (or children, if it's twins) next year, they will once again break with royal tradition. While British rulers have typically enlisted full-time teams to help with newborns, the Duke and Duchess, both 30, plan to handle the lion's share of childrearing, sources tell Us Weekly. Still, Kate plans on returning to her work as a volunteer for the Scouts and other charity organization -- which means the royal couple will [...] »
Murder Files: Killer on the Run
8pm, Channel 5
In 2006, British-born Neil Entwistle shot dead his wife and baby daughter in a small town in Massachusetts. He then took a plane to Britain, fleeing to his parents' house in Nottinghamshire, where police caught up with him. It was revealed that his life as a happy, successful married man was a sham, as he had lost his job and was living on credit, while he also had a fondness for escorts. The whole, terrible story is retold here, complete with flimsy reconstructions, melodramatic music and tawdry narration. Martin Skegg
Wartime Farm Christmas
- Martin Skegg, Jonathan Wright, Andrew Mueller, David Stubbs, Hannah Verdier, Ben Arnold
A man has been recorded spending more than three hours to pronounce what is supposedly the longest word in the English language. 'Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl...isoleucine' is the chemical name of 'titin' (also known as 'connectin') - the largest known protein. It has 189,819 letters. However, in the past it has been disputed whether or not it is a real word - proteins are named after the chemicals involved in making them. The longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis' at 45 letters long. 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', made famous by Mary Poppins, is 34 letters long. > 'Amazeballs', 'mummy porn', 'frenemy' make Collins online dictionary
> Omg, Lol enter Oxford English Dictionary Below is the full 189,819-lettered word (more) »
- By Ben Lee
A Christmas-time release date usually signifies Oscar dreams for an announced movie project. Just look at the 2012 slate, which crams everything from The Hobbit and Zero Dark Thirty to Django Unchained and Les Miserables into the Christmas frame. Add a prestige director like George Clooney to the mix . directing an ensemble of all-stars . and you can bet that Sony has awards hopes for Monuments Men, which just put its chips down on a valuable piece of 2013 real estate. BoxOfficeMojo claims that Sony will release Clooney.s next directorial effort on Dec. 20, 2013. At the moment, that.s a crowded weekend. Monuments, providing everything holds, will open opposite Tom Hanks. Mary Poppins drama Saving Mr. Banks, Fox.s Walking With Dinosaurs, and the senior-circuit comedy Last Vegas. Of course, Peter Jackson.s second Hobbit will still be cleaning up in theaters (having opened on Dec. 13). And Paramount.s Jack Ryan reboot has »
London, Dec 6: Julie Andrews, who is famous for her musicals such as 'Mary Poppins' and 'The Sound of Music,' has revealed that her famous voice has been irrevocably damaged by a botched throat operation - done to remove non-cancerous throat nodules in 1997.
The Oscar and Tony Award-winner said that the damage from the operation has permanently limited her range and her ability to hold notes.
"The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.
Andrews said that she can still speak "pretty well" and can still hit a few bass notes.
- Arun Pandit
Let’s breathe a collective sigh of relief for Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez. With the number of competitors on Season 2 of The X Factor down to the mid-single digits, neither one of ‘em will have to awkwardly count on their fingers to keep track of the proceedings from now through the season finale. (Okay, maybe that Kardashian woman will have problems till we’re down to the final four, but I digress…)
Anyhow, where our perpetually malfunctioning hostbots dodged a bullet, the X Factor audience was not so lucky. Honestly, is there any sport or competition imaginable — short of »
- Michael Slezak
Julie Andrews has no designs on replacing Santa Claus as a symbol of the holiday season, but she's giving him a good race anyway.
That's reaffirmed by the veteran talent's current television appearances. This weekend alone, she'll be present vocally in "Shrek 2" on MoreMax (Friday, Nov. 30) and "Shrek Forever After" on FX (Saturday, Dec. 1), and she'll be both seen and heard in "Eloise at Christmastime" on Hallmark Channel (Sunday, Dec. 2).
And that's hardly all: ABC Family ran Andrews' Oscar-winning performance in Disney's "Mary Poppins" over Thanksgiving weekend, and the channel also will feature her voice in the animated "Despicable Me" (Saturday, Dec. 8) and her presence in the two "Princess Diaries" movies (Friday, Dec. 28). And ABC again airs her much-beloved work in "The Sound of Music" Sunday, Dec. 23.
"I'm sort of pasted all over the place," Andrews tells Zap2it with a hearty laugh. "I must say, the mailbox does »
Broadway actor Christian Borle, producer Sue Frost, and hair designer Paul Huntley will be honored at Transport Group's annual gala, "Gimme A Break!," the theater company announced Wednesday. Transport Group, a not-for-profit theater company that stages new and re-imagined works by American writers, holds an annual gala to recognize outstanding contributions to the American theater community. This year's gala, "Gimme A Break!," will be hosted by actor and comedian Julie Halston and will feature performances by Broadway stars sharing their big breaks in story and song. Along with performances the "Transporting American Theatre" Award will be presented to Borle, Frost, and Huntley at the Dec. 10 event, held at the Asia Society and Museum. A Tony Award winner for his role in "Peter and the Starcatcher," Borle (pictured) is also known for his role as Tom Levitt on NBC's "Smash." He has also starred in Broadway productions of "Mary Poppins," "Spamalot, »
Welcome to "Where on the Shelf Is..." In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, Why?! of these non-releases. Up this week is...The Last Movie What Is It?: For the bulk of the 1960s, Hollywood was dominated by musicals (My Fair Lady, The Sound Of Music, Mary Poppins), epics (Lawrence Of Arabia, Cleopatra, Doctor »
- Mathew Plale
Cameron Diaz's much ridiculed bid to sound Texan rodeo star is the latest in a resonant cinematic tradition of feeble phonemes
Gambit has attracted plenty of brickbats, but one complaint might have surprised yesteryear's filmgoers. Cameron Diaz plays an over-the-top rodeo queen, so she weighs in with a wacky Texan accent. What's wrong with that? Well, it isn't quite the way that Texans actually speak. Her effort is "insufferable" according to Guanabee.com; it had BuzzSugar "cringing".
Sadly, California–born Diaz has form when it comes to mangling the speech of the southern states. The moral dilemma film The Box was set in Richmond, Virginia. For this, Diaz laid on what a Brit might have thought an unobjectionable southern accent. The city guide Black Book heard things differently. "It's that generic cornpone drawl that Hollywood would usually have us believe everyone below the Mason-Dixon line speaks," the magazine fumed. »
- David Cox
The Library of Congress’ National Film Registry is a treasure trove of excellence in filmmaking. It has everything from silent films to animated shorts, avant-garde fare to Hollywood blockbusters, documentaries to old-time serials. To be eligible for inclusion, a film must be at least ten years old and meet the simple threshold of being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. As of 2012, 575 films have been preserved. 25 more will join them at the end of the year.
But there are literally dozens of classic films out there that are long overdue for inclusion. Whether we grew up with them as kids or discovered them at some point along our film-watching odyssey, they deserve to be placed among the very best of American cinema. Here are ten of what I consider to be likely contenders for inclusion in the registry. They represent a wide variety of genres and filmmaking techniques.
10. Mary Poppins
- Thomas Ahearn
President Obama pardoned not one, but two turkeys. (Congrats, Cobbler and Gobbler!) Most major networks scheduled repeat programming so families and friends could gather around the Thanksgiving table (or plot Black Friday ops with military-style precision). But Simon Cowell, dastardly Brit, scheduled an X Factor results-show telecast.
Wait, what is this? A non-animated airing of How the Grinch Stole Thanksgiving? I mean, Wednesday’s performance show was stuffed to the point of bursting (sorry if that phrase made you reach for the Tums) with haunting and harrowing tales from the Season 2 Top 10′s past. (Read the recap here, if you missed it. »
- Michael Slezak
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