3 items from 2013
Latest triptych of films in long-running space saga will kick off in 2015 with Episode VII, directed by Jj Abrams
The latest trilogy of Star Wars films will arrive in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Disney chairman Alan Horn has revealed.
Speaking at the annual CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, Horn confirmed the latest triptych of movies in the long-running space saga would kick off in 2015 with Star Wars: Episode VII. Disney previously announced that the film is being directed by Jj Abrams from a script by the Oscar-winning writer of Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt.
Horn also confirmed Disney is working on a number of spin-off "movies derived from that [Star Wars] universe", though he did not state when these were due to arrive on the big screen. Many fans have interpreted Horn's speech at the annual conference for cinema chain owners as a sign that Disney is planning to release a »
- Ben Child
Johnny Cash: Blood, Sweat and Tears (Columbia)
Some of Cash's '60s concept albums were burdened with much too talking between tracks; here the tribute to the American working man gets to mostly stand alone on its musical merits, and shines. Notably, it incluces the top version of the traditional "John Henry"” about the most legendarily heroic working man ever, and the version of "Casey Jones" here is classic as well. Politically and psychologically, Cash was the perfect man for this job.
Byrds: Notorious Byrd Brothers (Columbia)
Sometimes transitional albums, confusing listeners expecting a group's earlier style, are underrated. Not so with this classic. It's true that it didn't sell as well as earlier Byrds LPs, nor did the single from the album chart very high, but for decades Notorious Byrd Brothers has been widely revered, and not just by fans; some critics have even anointed it as the band's best album. »
Tom Daley's celebrity diving show joins a notable group of television programmes that are so utterly awful we can't stop watching them
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"Tom Daley belly flops with new show"… "ITV plunges to new low with Strictly Come Diving flop" … "Tom Daley's Splash! makes a plop." Even before ITV's new diving celebrity talent show Splash! hit the screens last week, headline writers were cracking their knuckles with glee. Four minor celebrities coached to dive by Olympic medal-winner Tom Daley? It was always going to be rubbish, wasn't it?
But judging by both the colossal Twitter response and the audience figures (it was watched by an average of 5.6 million), viewers rather liked it. Splash! has already proved something of a hit in the Netherlands (where it's called Sterren Springen) and has sold around the world including to ABC in America, »
- Ben Dowell
3 items from 2013
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