12 items from 2015
Yonderland was a resounding success for Sky1 in 2013 - The Guardian called the playful fantasy series "perfect family viewing" while Total Film favourably compared the first series to both Jim Henson's 1986 classic Labyrinth and the works of Monty Python.
Mathew Baynton - co-creator, writer and star - admits it came as "a massive relief" when critics and the public at large embraced Yonderland - a comedic fantasy adventure which, in its sensibilities and its use of puppets, recalls films like The Dark Crystal, The NeverEnding Story and - yes - Labyrinth.
"It's quite a weird show," he concedes. "The pitch for it doesn't sound like surefire, mainstream TV gold, so in that sense [the success] probably was a bit surprising. But we believed in it, and thought it was hilarious, so I felt more relief than anything else - that people loved it as much as we do."
Yonderland was produced »
If you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.
And so it begins -- the serious presidential push, with more and more candidates getting air time on late-night, either in person to mock themselves or to be mocked by the hosts from afar. Republican candidates Jeb Bush and Donald Trump were both featured in (somewhat) amusing political sketches Tuesday night: "The Tonight Show" welcomed Jeb in person, and "The Late Late Show" had a sketch poking fun at Trump's announcement speech. The Donald was not there in the flesh, but it's only a matter of time before the new White House hopeful stumps on late-night himself.
- Gina Carbone
David Bowie has never played an actual deity on film, although as Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), he does get to hang out with Jesus for approximately three minutes. This fact seems almost surprising, considering how his musical personas often have the tinge of a messiah, from the alien Ziggy Stardust, the schizophrenic Aladdin Sane to the “Aryan superman,” The Thin White Duke. David Bowie on celluloid is nevertheless godlike, even when the word itself is never spoken out loud. Strangers from strange lands, Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man who Fell to Earth (1976), Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) and Jareth in Labyrinth (1986) all have a divine quality that inspires almost cultish behaviors from those around them.
David Bowie’s characters in the three films are introduced in ways that accentuate their status as the Other. In Man, Thomas is an alien from another planet. »
- Phuong Le
Riding high with his reality show Drag Race, the star tells us why he will never be mainstream, the importance of finding your tribe, and the secret to being a ‘badass bitch’
Before he was the world’s most famous drag queen, RuPaul Charles was a punk in a downtown Atlanta band called Wee Wee Pole. There’s an internet-famous prom picture of him in 1983, when he was 23 and dressed as if he’d just stepped off the set of the David Bowie movie Labyrinth. He was there as the date of his bandmate’s sister, but, he tells me, he dressed like that even when he was at the same school. “I was always RuPaul. Always. Even as a kid, I would dress up in my sisters’ clothes, in cowboy outfits, in sailor outfits. I loved putting on different costumes.”
RuPaul’s laugh is so long and so loud »
- Rebecca Nicholson
“Big Stone Gap” was shot entirely on location in the coal-mining Virginia town of the same name, which is also Trigiani and Wilson’s hometown.
“We made not just a great movie, but a beautiful movie,” Goldberg said. “It looks lush.”
- Dave McNary
The biggest deals of this year’s Cannes Marché du Film and how the Competition titles sold throughout the festival.
Behind the glamour of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, business was booming at the Marché du Film (May 13-22), with representatives from 120 countries in attendance - up four on 2014.
A total 3,300 films were on offer this year, around 1,000 at the project stage, with an estimated 11,000 film professionals in attendance, in line with last year.
In the opening days, Marché chief Jérôme Paillard told Screen: “Acquisition agents are telling me that it’s the first time in a number of years that there are so many big projects. I’ve been told there are around 50 high profile projects on offer.”
North AmericaHOT Projects
Open Road paid »
From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...
Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.
What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction »
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Running Time: 113 minutes
Synopsis: Ella (James) finds her blissful and carefree life turned upside down after the tragic deaths of her parents. Left in the care of her new cruel Stepmother (Blanchett) Ella finds herself demoted to Cinderella, a servant for her new family. Not one to give up hope Ella finds here fortune changed after a chance encounter with a handsome and charming young man (Madden). Her Stepmother and Step Sisters however have other plans…
Everyone knows the tale of Cinderella, the downtrodden young woman whose Fairy Godmother helps her achieve her dreams. There have been countless adaptations, both traditional and modern, that have come and gone over the years, but Disney‘s animated version is viewed by many as their favourite account. »
- Kat Smith
In the latest trailer for the second half of “Outlander” Season 1, Jamie tries to explain to Claire exactly how much he loves her. He's pretty good at it, too. I mean, what's the point of a Parisian education if you can’t string words together into an expression of unwavering devotion? Swoon ladies, swoon. Remember when David Bowie says “Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave,” in “Labyrinth”? I imagine if Claire were to say this to Jamie, she wouldn’t even have time to finish the request before he declared “Done!” and swept her into the bedroom. "Outlander" returns to Starz on April 4th, at 9/8c. »
- Donna Dickens
You might not know who Gary Rydstrom is, but you've certainly heard him before. This is a man whose pioneering sound work has won him seven (!) Academy Awards and brought to life groundbreaking technological advancements like the first film presented in DTS sound ("Jurassic Park") and re-crafting sound mixes in 5.1 surround (after his breakthrough work on "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," he and James Cameron created a new multi-channel mix for the original "Terminator"). He's also directed a pair of Pixar short films ("Lifted" and "Hawaiian Vacation") and overseen the English language dubs of four Studio Ghibli movies ("Tales from Earthsea," "From Up on Poppy Hill," "Arrietty," and last year's Oscar-nominated masterpiece "The Wind Rises"). In short: he's kind of the coolest dude around.
And this weekend he adds another accomplishment to his already unfathomably long list, when his debut feature film "Strange Magic" debuts in theaters nationwide. This bizarre, George Lucas-produced animated fairy tale, »
- Drew Taylor
Every now and then, I find myself suddenly and unexpectedly angry at George Lucas, but not for reasons that have anything to do with "Star Wars." There has been a refrain we've heard from him over and over during the past couple of decades, where he talks about returning to his roots and making experimental films that could never exist inside the studio system, movies that aren't created to be commercial product, but that come from a very personal place. And over and over, those comments lead nowhere and nothing happens. I'd love to see him do it, though. I have a huge fondness for "Thx-1138," Lucas's first feature film, which evolved out of a student film he made. I take Lucas at his word that commercial filmmaking was never meant to be the complete detour it became after "American Graffiti" and "Star Wars" both blew up into mega-hits, »
- Drew McWeeny
Like any decent trick, "Strange Magic" came about as a bit of a surprise. Instead of the usual multi-year lead-up of most animated film releases, the release announcement for this film came as a bit of a shock when its beans were spilled last November.
The project is directed by Gary Rydstrom, a sound designer and editor credited with the majority of the most popular live-action and animated films ever made, from "Toy Story" to "Titanic," with the "Star Wars" prequels, "Jurassic Park," and "Saving Private Ryan" under his belt. He has 17 Oscar nominations (with seven wins), yet this is the first time he's credited as the director of a film.
The story is credited to Rydstrom's boss at Skywalker Sound, the one and only George Lucas. This is a straight-up fairy tale, complete with dark forests, goblins, elves and the like.
Oh, dear. Are you going to be some Lucas fanboy about this? »
- Jason Gorber
12 items from 2015
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