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For years, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has given life to the iconic puppets and creatures in your favorite children’s shows (Sesame Street), sci-fi/fantasy movies (Labyrinth), and other endlessly-rewound projects (basically, anything with the Muppets).
As Chairman of the Henson Company, Brian Henson (son of Jim and Jane Henson) has worked on his share of famous creatures — and as the head judge on Syfy’s new reality series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesdays at 10 pm), Henson is hoping that fans will relish a weekly peek behind the curtain of one of Hollywood’s most fascinating processes. »
- Marc Snetiker
Ten years ago today, Unfiltered debuted on Air America Radio stations. While the big draw was Chuck D and comedian Lizz Winstead, the lasting effect of Unfiltered (which barely lasted a year) was that it introduced Rachel Maddow to a national audience. However, for most people today is April Fools Day, so be a little cynical when you check the news.
In the upcoming Walking Dead season, Alanna Masterson (Tara), Christian Serratos (Rosita) and Andrew J. West (Gareth) have been promoted to series regulars. I hope that means they’ve got plans for Tara.
All that pretty and he has to turn out to be evil. Sigh.
No, The Simpsons didn’t make a mistake Sunday when they called the Springfield Elementary lunchlady Dora instead of Doris. The »
- Lyle Masaki
Tom Jolliffe on the lost art of scaring children witless...
There comes a time in every person’s life when the phrase “in my day” starts to gradually creep its way into your vernacular. The older you get the more common its usage becomes. Well, having crossed the threshold of 30 a couple of years ago, I’ve found myself saying it on a few occasions, and just recently I remembered that “in my day” kids films were often pretty dark and disturbing. Giving young 'uns nightmares seems to be a thing of the past.
So have modern kids films become more sanitized? A lot of films aimed toward the younger markets are decidedly tame. Pixar at its best has the good sense of introducing themes about life and death and growing up. The beginning of Up for example, which had grown adults in cinemas crying like babies, didn’t shy »
- Gary Collinson
Interview Simon Brew 28 Mar 2014 - 06:15
Heading into UK cinemas today is the brand new Muppets movie, Muppets Most Wanted. Directed once more by James Bobin, he spared us some time to talk about working with The Muppets, the complexities, the preparation, the bits that were cut and more. Here's how it went...
Mild spoilers for Muppets Most Wanted lie ahead...
The Muppets continue to popularise quite an old fashioned craft. More than just puppeteering, too. What are your feelings on it? Because my understanding of doing a Muppets film is that the preparation is arduous, the shoot is arduous, the post-production is a little bit lighter?
It is to a degree, but remember too that in post we have to deal with the fact that they »
Feature James Clayton 28 Mar 2014 - 06:15
As its sequel makes its debut in UK cinemas, James looks back at the 2011 The Muppets movie...
"We're doing a sequel!" they sing and, indeed, Muppets Most Wanted is now in theatres and folks really do want to see The Muppets... Again! (The sequel's working title). In fact, if you scan most 'most wanted' lists you're likely to eventually find the Muppets somewhere in the midst of the myriad desired items.
Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of Jim Henson's ragtag felt-and-foam-based gang of handmade heroes are in demand and universally loved. Even so, it's probably reasonable to suggest that, for a while, people forgot just how much they loved them.
This is where the 2011 movie The Muppets comes in. Easily the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational reboot ever made, the James Bobin-directed comeback flick brought the whole band back together again »
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge is the latest SFX show from Syfy, following their successful make-up competition show Face/Off. In anticipation of the series debut we talked to Brian Henson, chairman of the Jim Henson Company and also the head judge on the Syfy series, about the new creature building competition series.
Can you tease a bit of some of the creatures we’re going to see coming up, since we’ve only seen what’s in the first one?
Brian Henson: Well, we keep it a little bit secret because that’s part of the fun so I won’t tell you too much. I will say that creatures in general – there’s a really wide range that you can do depending on if they’re small or they’re large or what kind of technique you’re using. Is it more fabrication or is it more mechanization? »
- Phil Wheat
On Tuesday night, Syfy premieres “Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge,” a reality series akin to “Project Runway” with 10 designers scrambling to make the next Yoda instead of an overflowing dress. The first episode features a sea animal assignment that ends with a screen test (and tears). The contestants battle over hand-glue and sliced foam for a prize worth $100,000, which includes a job at Henson’s old shop.
The star of the series is Brian Henson, the company chairman, Jim’s oldest son and one of the judges. Brian started his career on the special effects team of 1984′s “Muppets Take Manhattan,” and his credits include 1986′s “Labyrinth,” 1990′s “The Witches” and the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” big-screen movie, where he acted as second-unit director. In the ’90s, he directed two chestnut Muppets classics, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and “Muppet Treasure Island,” before Kermit and his Muppet pals were »
- Ramin Setoodeh
In this very special 19th Episode of the Hey You Geeks podcast we’re taking you into the Jim Henson Creature Shop with special guests Peter Brooke (Creative Supervisor) and John Criswell (Animatronic Supervisor), both Mentors on the the new Syfy series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge. With the new Syfy series set to premiere on March 25th, a new Muppets film in theaters and this week marking the 15th anniversary of Farscape, theres no better timing for an episode devoted to the imagination geniuses at Henson Studios. From the Creature Shop itself, Peter and John discuss past projects including the Dinosaurs TV series, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, Where the Wild Things Are and more. Then, we discuss the practical effects vs. CGI debate and what that might mean for the future of special effects. Give a listen, and don’t forget to share your reviews of Hey You Geeks on iTunes! »
- Tony Nunes
Trailer Simon Brew 18 Mar 2014 - 06:53
We're looking forward to this back. Put back from its original release date to September this year, The Maze Runner is the movie adaptation of James Dashner's book. It centres on a character by the name of Thomas, played by Dylan O'Brien in the movie, who wakes up in the middle of a huge maze, with a bunch of others. He has no memory of his previous life, save for the odd dream, and he has to basically do a Jason Bourne and piece back his memory, and also escape the maze itself.
As you can see from the first trailer for the film, the maze is wildly different from the finest one in film to date (that'd be Jim Henson »
London — Film London, a publicly-funded agency that supports the film and TV biz in the U.K. capital, is hosting six animation execs from the U.S. this week.
The visit is part of the agency’s drive to encourage more international production to come to the city on the back of the introduction of the tax reliefs for high-end television and animation announced last year.
The visitors, who include senior reps from the Jim Henson Company, DreamWorks Animation, Amazon Studios, Frederator Networks, NBC Universal’s Sprout and Mattel’s Playground Productions, will take part in a three-day program designed to promote London’s animation sector.
The program includes one–to-one meetings with London animation houses, including Collingwood & Co., Blink Industries, Lupus Films and Karrot Entertainment, and presentations from Tony Orsten, the chief executive of motion-capture facility The Imaginarium (Warner’s “Godzilla”), and Alan Dewhurst, producer of “Peter and the Wolf, »
- Leo Barraclough
Christopher Malcolm, who has died of cancer aged 67, played Brad Majors in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show in 1973 and, as his life as an actor started to overlap with an interest in producing the shows themselves, he became, after co-producing the West End revival of Rocky Horror in 1990, the executive in charge of all subsequent worldwide productions.
His death came just a few days after his latest project, the revival of Oh What a Lovely War at Stratford East, opened to enthusiastic notices, probably sealing a West End transfer. The way the show turned out was a good example of the kind of creative partnerships he enjoyed and nurtured throughout his career. For more than 30 years, he worked as an "insider" producing link between such London »
- Michael Coveney
Christopher Malcolm, the much-loved stage and screen actor and producer, has died. The Scottish-born actor was 67.We knew him best as 48-kill rebel ace Zev Senesca – Aka ‘Rogue 2’ – in The Empire Strikes Back, without whom Han and Luke would still be wandering Hoth. He also popped up in Bruce Beresford’s Aussie-com The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie, played vigilante Kirk Matunas in Highlander and was dad to Jennifer Connelly's Sarah in Labyrinth, but it was for his work on, and around, the stage that Malcolm was best known.Born on August 19, 1946 in Aberdeen, his father was a farmer but it was his mother’s passion for amateur theatre that kindled a life-long interest in the art. The Malcolm family moved to Canada ten years later and it was in British Columbia that he sacrificed university for his first acting gigs.Returning to the UK, he scored roles in the »
Scottish actor Christopher Malcolm, who was a regular screen presence through the early seventies through the late eighties, and a cast regular on hit British comedy Absolutely Fabulous, died today at the age of 67. His passing was confirmed by his daughter, playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, via Twitter. Today the world lost a beautiful, brilliant man. My dad Christopher Malcolm left peacefully and with dignity. He will always be my hero. X — morgan lloyd malcolm (@mogster) February 15, 2014 In addition to his television and film roles, Malcolm was an accomplished, classically trained Shakespearean actor, beginning his career with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company in England. He performed in standards like “Macbeth” and ”Hamlet,” though his push to mainstream audiences came during his appearance as Brad Majors in The Royal Court Theatre’s original run of “The Rocky Horror Show” in 1973. While a number of the stage cast transitioned to Jim Sharman’s big screen adaptation, The Rocky Horror Picture Show »
- Dustin Hucks
Christopher Malcolm has died, aged 67.
The Scottish actor was perhaps best known for playing the original Brad Majors in the original stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, who tweeted: "Today the world lost a beautiful, brilliant man."
She added that he "left peacefully and with dignity. He will always be my hero."
Malcolm played Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show from 1974, and co-produced the 1990 West End revival.
He later took control of producing the subsequent productions of the Richard O'Brien musical.
His latest revival Oh What a Lovely War opened to positive »
Christopher Malcolm, who has died of cancer aged 67, played Brad Majors in the original production of The Rocky Horror Show in 1974 and, as his life as an actor started to overlap with an interest in producing the shows themselves, he became, after co-producing the West End revival of Rocky Horror in 1990, the executive in charge of all subsequent worldwide productions.
His death came just a few days after his latest project, the revival of Oh What a Lovely War at Stratford East, opened to enthusiastic notices, probably sealing the West End transfer he was hoping for. The way the show turned out was a good example of the kind of creative partnerships he enjoyed and nurtured throughout his career.
For more than 30 years, he worked as an "insider" producing »
- Michael Coveney
With Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day falling on the same wintery weekend, the studios are betting that love sick couples and self-loathing singles will both be lining up for some romantic movies this weekend -- how else to explain the simultaneous release of an unnecessary "Endless Love" remake, an "About Last Night" redo, and "Winter's Tale," arguably the most "original" of the three V-Day offerings but still an adaptation of a 1983 novel written by Mark Helprin.
The film was written and directed by Akiva Goldsman, perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning screenplay for "A Beautiful Mind" (or, conversely, for running the Batman franchise into the ground with the script for "Batman & Robin"), and stars Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, and Russell Crowe. Oh, and Will Smith (more on that in a minute). It's a tale of timeless love and spiritual reawakening and is designed to make couples everywhere »
- Drew Taylor
Feature Simon Brew 11 Feb 2014 - 06:32
How do we decide what's a four star movie? Are all five star movies made equal? Simon explains the issues with star ratings
A pair of reviews went up on this site last week, for films that - for differing reasons - we rated at four stars apiece. Above the four stars, in both cases, were many hundreds of words discussing the films in question. Yet both, in different ways, continued to fuel the ongoing, interesting debate about the star rating system, and its suitability.
Because in the comments below our reviews of both RoboCop (2014) and The Lego Movie were some pertinent, constructive questions. We're not going to name the commenters, as the aim isn't to expose them to flaming or such like. Yet they raise some interesting questions and points - which we've quoted directly - that in many ways frame the ongoing star rating debate. »
I know there’s been a previous trailer for Winter’S Tale but this is my first foray in Akiva Goldsman’s world that looks both mysterious and undoubtedly relies on the magical. Not everyone enjoys a story of romance but something feels positively different with this brand new exploration into the tale of a burglar (Colin Farrell) who falls for an heiress (Jessica Brown Findlay) as she dies in his arms.
I wonder if it’s a sense of those cult-classics in the vein of The Princess Bride or Labyrinth, and that’s not just because it also stars Jennifer Connelly, but the film is selling itself as a ‘love story’, not a true one and so we’re open for any kind of adventure – with a dark twist.
- Dan Bullock
Community Season 5, Episode 6 “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking”
Written by Monica Padrick
Directed by Tristram Shapeero
Airs Thursday nights at 8pm Et on NBC
With the dust finally settling from the whirlwind of change Community’s been through the last few weeks, “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” is our first real look at the “new” Greendale – and despite a flurry of guest stars, it feels much like it did in its early days, before “Contemporary American Poultry” and “Modern Warfare”. Despite the cast changes, gas-leak infected season, and creative turnover the show’s experienced in the last few months, “Corked-Based Networking” shows there’s still plenty of gas in the comedic tank – and with a few new elements thrown into the mix, new characters and directions to explore.
The most interesting new wrinkle to the Community formula is Buzz Hickey, whose character unexpectedly becomes the focus of episode in its climatic moment. »
- Randy Dankievitch
Jonathan Groff attends the Queer Brunch at Sundance.
Overstock.com Co-President Reacts To Exec Jon Johnson‘s Statements Calling For Religious Protections Against Lgbt
Insane lady says insane thing.
Here’s the first trailer for Wgn’s Salem, which is about witches or something.
Seriously, why is he new to me?
Via Towleroad comes these tweets from Goldie Hawn, apologizing for her “meeting the wonderful President of Nigeria” tweet. »
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