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After some inadvertently atmospheric early marketing spawned the unfortunate 'Creepy Paddington' meme, and more recently the BBFC slapped the film with a PG rating for mild sex references and bad language, there was all the more reason to wonder whether producer David Heyman and writer-director Paul King would obey the famous edict to "please look after this bear".
Mercifully, we needn't have worried. Britain's favourite duffel coat-clad bear is in thoroughly safe hands here, King unfurling his sprightly festive adventure with an arresting blend of thrills, spills and sharp comedy. Ben Whishaw, cannily recast in the lead voice role after the departure of Colin Firth, »
Last week the Big Apple and fizzy drinks did for Lauren. This week we were down to nine and the promise of a Tudor battle reenactment. Shields at the ready, everyone …
It’s the Mystery Item Treasure Hunt round! Woop woop!
“You basically just stole that diamond!”
In the Cab of Steely Determination, an unrepentant James basically recites the lyrics to Destiny Child’s I’m A Survivor.
Dapper Laughs is canned for the second time this month.
I may have veered off from his actual words towards the end there.
But that was the gist, at least. It was actually quite moving.
Dapper Laughs gives his big redemptive speech.
“I’m in this big wide world on my own,” he says. “And the reason I’m here is because I want someone like yourself, »
- Tom Meltzer
Pop Up Screens is bringing something special to Notting Hill's 20th Century Theatre this Christmas.
The theatre is being transformed into a snow-filled winter wonderland, to create London's only cinema in the snow.
Visitors will enter the magical screening through a wardrobe, where they will find boozy hot chocolate, mulled wine and other treats to feast on through the films.
There will be up to three screenings a day at 1pm, 5pm and 8.30pm with ticket prices ranging from £10 for children and £20 for adults.
Full movie times and ticket prices can be found on the Pop Up Screens website. »
Neil Calloway speaks on the ‘Comic Book Guy’ mindset of some cinema-goes with film errors…
They’re out there, waiting. They’ve watched and dissected the trailer, they’ve worked out which opening day screening they’re going to, and they may even have booked their ticket. Then, the big day comes. They see the film. They power up their smartphone before they’re out of the multiplex. Straight away they’re onto a messageboard to complain about something.
The lead character’s hair changes between shots. The chase sequence starts in daylight but ends at night. The International Space Station is not in the same orbit as the Hubble telescope.
It would perhaps be obvious to compare them to The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy, and also be cruel, but he’s such a good character because these people exist. They’re not watching the film, they’re just looking »
- Oli Davis
Film executive Nadia Bronson, known for her innovative work during her tenure as head of international marketing at Universal, died Friday following a long battle with cancer. She was 67.
Bronson, a native of France, was well-liked among colleagues and competitors. She’s credited with raising the profile of the international marketplace — so much so that she was often dubbed “The Queen of Cannes” — thanks to the creativity she brought to promoting films.
During her 24-year Universal tenure, she oversaw international campaigns on such notable pics as “Out of Africa,” “In the Name of the Father,” “Apollo 13,” “Jurassic Park” “Shakespeare in Love,” “The Mummy,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Babe,” “Gladiator” and “Schindler’s List.”
“Jurassic Park” was a massive hit overseas, topping $600 million in 1993. Two years later, “Waterworld” performed impressively internationally with $175 million.
Bronson, who spoke five languages fluently, combined a straightforward business style with a charm that endeared her to executives, »
- Dave McNary
New study reveals links between film and television productions and tourism through social media.
New insight into the links between film and television productions and tourism has been revealed at an international screen tourism conference today by Film London, the lead partner for major European project EuroScreen.
The study demonstrates how social media commentary generated by films and TV shows can help generate millions of pounds worth of free online advertising for the locations and destinations they feature on screen.
The research claimed that Richard Curtis romantic comedy Notting Hill generated the equivalent of £19.5m ($30.7m) in online ad spend for London, while the Harry Potter series netted £10.4m ($16.3m) and TV series Wallander yielded £17.9m ($28.2m) for Ystad in Sweden.
Screen tourism also resulted in other boosts. Game of Thrones, for example, generated £1m ($1.5m) for Malta despite the series being more closely affiliated with its ‘home’ in Northern Ireland, while productions »
Shooting is underway in Glasgow on ‘eco-rom com’ Scottish Mussel, the debut writer-director project from Talulah Riley (St Trinians), with Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen) in the lead role alongside The Inbetweeners’ Joe Thomas.
The cast also includes Harry Enfield (Kevin & Perry Go Large), Emun Elliott (Filth), Paul Brannigan (The Angel’s Share) James Dreyfus (Notting Hill), Rachael Sterling (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and comedians Russell Kane and Rufus Hound.
In Scottish Mussel, Compston plays a Glaswegian chancer who meets a pretty English conservationist while trying to make his fortune as an illegal pearl fisher.
The film will shoot on location in and around Glasgow for four weeks from October »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Manuel here with some Streeptastic news.
Meryl Streep has just signed on to play Florence Foster Jenkins in an upcoming Stephen Frears film. Florence will follow the eponymous protagonist, a New York heiress whose lack of musical talent didn’t stop her from pursuing a career in opera in the early twentieth century. This should be good news for us Streep fans because it means we may get three back-to-back-to-back musically-centered Meryl films in a row. Remember she’s set to play Maria Callas for Mike Nichols’ HBO adaptation of Terence McNally’s Master Class while she’s currently filming Ricky and the Flash, the Diablo Cody-penned Jonathan Demme film about an aging rock-star. More thrillingly, the Frears/Demme/Nichols triple punch is the closest we’ve gotten in a while to Streep committing to working with top-tier directing talent (no offense to David Frankel, Philippa Lloyd and Philip Noyce »
- Manuel Betancourt
Ghostbusters, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street are among the films on offer during the Halloween season of Pop Up Screens 2014.
Pop Up Screens has confirmed its Halloween lineup for October 30 to November 2, taking place at Notting Hill's 20th Century Theatre.
Those in attendance will find their way through a scary maze before taking their seats.
Each screening costs £20.
The full schedule is as follows:
30 - Friday The 13th at 8.30pm
31 - Poltergeist at 8.30pm
1 - Ghostbusters at 1pm
1 - Pet Sematary at 5.30pm
1 - A Nightmare On Elm Street at 8.30pm
2 - Dark Crystal at 1pm
2 - Candyman at 5pm
2 - Evil Dead II »
It's been 15 years since 1999, because that's how time works. 1999 is generally considered a great year for movies. Transformative, even: A diverse array of films, directed by a fleet of up-and-coming filmmakers, all arriving at the multiplex back when cable was lame enough and the internet was slow enough to make the multiplex a place that mattered. If you happened to be young in 1999—or young-ish—it was possible to feel like you were seeing the entire cinematic art form evolve in front of you. Fifteen years ago this month was Three Kings and Fight Club and Being John Malkovich, instant-cult »
- Darren Franich
There's a moment in The Rewrite when a nostalgic Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) heads to YouTube to relive his Academy Awards winners' speech for screenwriting. It's an archive clip of Grant himself picking up a prize, he's floppy-haired, charming and reminds you of just how good he was back in the Notting Hill height-of-fame era.
There have, of course, been great roles for Grant since then. 2002's About a Boy represents a career high, while the criminally-underseen Cloud Atlas saw him in chameleon mode, switching effortlessly between six different characters.
The Rewrite is Grant's fourth starring role for Marc Lawrence (putting the filmmaker in Richard Curtis territory in terms of collaborations), but when their last outing was Did You Hear About the Morgans?, you can guess where this one is going. »
Screenwriter Richard Curtis has revealed that he was against Hugh Grant taking the lead role in Four Weddings And A Funeral, and he actually voted against the actor when it came to deciding who got the part. Considering it was the performance that wound up founding Grant's career, that's a pretty astonishing fact. After his performance in the romantic comedy, which was written by Curtis and directed by Mike Newell, Grant went on to become an international star, and he later paired together with Curtis for 1999.s Notting Hill too, which helped to cement his place as England.s most famous actor of the 90s. Grant recently revealed Curtis. original decision when he declared that the writer had done "everything in his power" to stop him from taking the breakthrough part, and Curtis has now gone on to add some more detail to the tale, insisting that he only tried »
A Waits track was influential in the development of Notting Hill, the filmmaker revealed.
"When I was writing Notting Hill, that was all I listened too. There was something I sensed in the background and in the tone and in the mood of that song which is what I wanted to reach at the best moment of the film.
"Songs have always been an incredibly important bit of the inspiration for me."
He said that the song "seems to me to completely say how you want to feel about how extraordinary Christmas is".
"In a way, »
The writer and director revealed that he was disappointed with the film and wishes he'd had longer to work on it.
According to the Radio Times, Curtis spoke at the Cheltenham Literature Festival yesterday (October 4), saying: "The only nightmare scenario that I've been caught in was Love Actually, which worked at the read-through, and when we finished the film and I watched it edited, it was...a catastrophe."
He added that the film was difficult to manage because it was so vast in scale.
"Because there were 12 stories, [finding the right order] was like three-dimensional chess. And that was enormously difficult to finish or get right," he said.
The writer and director went on to say that he wished he'd had more time to work on the film, saying: "You could have played with it for all time – but it had to be out by Christmas. »
A haunted past bears painful memories, but the ghosts of the mind can be controlled. For ex-convict Alex Locke, though, the bygone days he’d rather forget physically re-enter his world. The first of a trilogy, Mark Morris’ The Wolves of London sees Alex pursued by otherworldly killers after he steals the Obsidian Heart, a relic capable of time travel, and Titan Books has provided us with an exclusive excerpt.
“A psychology professor living with his young daughter, Alex Locke is an ex-convict who’s been able to put his past behind him. When his older daughter is threatened with violence, however, he is forced back into that world in an effort to secure the cash to save her. After a botched theft of an obsidian heart for a young woman named Clover Munro, Alex and Clover are forced to go on the run. They are pursued by a variety »
- Derek Anderson
San Sebastian, Spain– Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, who delivered the biggest French-language hit ever with the Omar-Sy starrer “Intouchables” ($426 million worldwide) in 2011, fired up this year’s San Sebastian fest with the European premiere of “Samba” on closing night. In the well-polished social comedy, Sy plays Samba, a hard-working Senegalese migrant whose life is turned upside down after getting caught by authorities. Pic, which is produced by Quad Films, centers around Samba’s unlikely relationship and building romance with Alice, a social worker (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is recovering from a burn-out. Sold by Gaumont, “Samba” sparked standing ovations at both Toronto, where it world-premiered, and at San Sebastian. Kicking off the European tour to promote the movie, Toledano and Nakache took time to chat with Variety about the genesis of “Samba,” what the film means to them, their collaboration with Sy and Gainsbourg, and what they look forward to in France and beyond. »
- Elsa Keslassy
The Production Guild of Great Britain has revealed the winners of its inaugural awards.
The awards recognise achievements made by those working in a range of production management fields, including production office, accounting, assistant directing, location management and post production.
Production Guild chief executive Alison Small said: “The knowledge, experience, skill and determination of our members play a crucial role in achieving the final result of films and TV programmes we can all enjoy.
“Their work is a vital ingredient in the UK’s track record in making successful British content, and in making the UK the destination of choice for international film and programme-makers, creating jobs, generating investment and showcasing what we can do to the world.
“We are proud to celebrate the high standards of excellence that our members working in production management achieve year upon »
We’ve reviewed every summer movie season since 1980 to find out which are the best, and which are the worst. Last week we posted our picks for the worst, and here we post our picks for the best.
2015 and 2016 may just be the most overthetop summer movie seasons yet. It seems like nearly every movie slated for a summer 2015 or 2016 release is heavily anticipated. Because of these impending summers of movie awesomeness, we’ve decided to take a look back at summer movie seasons of years past. The idea of the summer movie season is currently in full swing, but it didn’t catch on immediately. Hollywood had to do its fair share of experimenting to determine what types of films would be most successful. As a result, some summer movie seasons have been better than others. We’ve reviewed them all for you and ranked them from worst to best. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
He speaks! Hugh Grant finally broke his silence about his child with TV producer Anna Elisabet Eberstein while recently speaking to Swedish newspaper Nöjesbladet (via the Daily Mail). The Notting Hill star, 54, told the paper that his romantic relationship with Eberstein was in the past, but she and their 2-year-old baby boy are a very big part of his life. "I love him very much," Grant said while attending a race in Skane Knutstorp. He added that the tot, whose name has still not been disclosed, was "excellent." Grant [...] »
The adventuring standup has become a master of combining Powerpoint presentations with observational comedy, with his latest show taking viewers on a journey of random subjects that baffle and dumbfound him.
Ahead of the new series, Digital Spy spoke to Dave Gorman about his work routine, choosing channels and in particular: copyrighted postcards (which is crying out for a Powerpoint presentation of its own).
Dave on... Twitter naysayers
"You never know how people are going to take to something. But [reviews to series one] just definitely seemed overwhelmingly positive. There was one person every week – literally one every week – being a dick on Twitter. You could just sit there and laugh and enjoy them and it was funny. The idea is not to entertain everyone. The idea is to really entertain the people who like it. There's this weird idea »
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