9 items from 2014
Senators grilled Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives on an array of competitive concerns over their proposed merger at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday, but one of the most frequently asked questions was very simple: Will consumers see higher monthly bills?
“I will make one firm commitment that there is absolutely nothing in this transaction that will result in an increase in prices for Comcast customers,” David L. Cohen, executive vice president for Comcast.
The testiest exchange during the three-hour session — the first major public forum for pols to weigh in on the deal that would unite the nation’s two largest cable operators — came between Cohen and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who has been a vocal critic of the merger. Franken pressed Cohen on specifics about Comcast’s dealings with various competitors and the FCC in the three years since it was granted approval to take over NBCUniversal. »
- Ted Johnson
In 1926 J.R.R. Tolkien completed his translation of Beowulf, read it to a few friends, made one or two corrections, became happy with it, and then never saw the need to publish it! Now finally the Tolkien Estate has signed a deal to publish this translation which is to be edited by his youngest son Christopher Tolkien, who has said this about the book...
‘From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.’
Beowulf was translated by the late Seamus Heaney »
- Gary Collinson
Earlier tonight, "True Detective" concluded its first season — and, with it, the stories of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart. I reviewed the finale here, and as a bookend to a conversation we had before the season started, I spoke with the show's creator, Nic Pizzolatto, about the finale and the season as a whole (along with a vague but intriguing hint about season 2, which hasn't been officially ordered yet, but only because I suspect HBO is waiting until they've signed the actors they want before announcing). That's coming up just as soon as I strike you as more of a talker than a doer... The structure of the series means you could have done anything with the ending, up to and including killing the two leads, because you get a clean slate with the next season. Why did you choose this particular way to end the story? Nic Pizzolatto: »
- Alan Sepinwall
Since its premiere, The Good Wife has done what is nearly impossible for most shows- it is stunningly smart, perfectly paced, and beautifully written, and it has only gotten better in its game-changing fifth season. Guest stars are nothing new to the show, which has the most creative and entertaining guest casting on television, and it uses these performers incredibly well, folding them into stories the audience is already invested in alongside characters we care about. With each new guest star, The Good Wife manages to accomplish yet another often unachievable feat: making us care about the guests we’ll likely only see for a few episodes as much as the regular characters. The series has already peopled its world with a fantastic group of actors (check out Kate Arthur’s ranking of 76 of them from last year to get an idea), but it can always add a few more. »
Feature Louisa Mellor 28 Feb 2014 - 06:15
How films like The Lego Movie are replacing destiny narratives with messages of scepticism and adaptability…
2013 saw the release of a film that sold a message antithetical to the upbeat ‘you can do it if you really try!’ cheerleading prevalent in kids’ movies. ‘Sometimes you can’t do it’, said this film, ‘even if you really, really, really try’.
It’s not as bleak a caution as it might seem. An imaginative scenario in which the hero fails but adapts teaches a useful lesson about flexibility (a skill parents might agree can be a tricky one for kids to take on). Wishing upon a star, working your socks off, thinking you can… in real life none of that guarantees a result. Isn’t it about time kids’ movies became comfortable with that idea? »
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance »
- Melissa Thompson
R.I.P. Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) was found dead in his home in Manhattan yesterday morning of an alleged drug overdose. He was 46. Deadline reports that Hoffman was discovered in the bathroom of his apartment by an unidentified friend and that a hypodermic needle and what appeared to be heroin were found at the scene. Hoffman leaves behind his three children with costume designer Mimi O’Donnell: Cooper (11), Tallulah (7) and Willa (6).
Some of Hoffman's ongoing projects have been shelved, while others continue on. Only yesterday, we reported that Hoffman's planned second feature as a director, Ezekial Moss, was moving forward with Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams in starring roles. With his passing, Exclusive Media has dropped the movie that Hoffman spent over a year working on with writer Keith Bunin. The Hunger Games — Mockingjay Part 1 will still be released as scheduled, though Lionsgate has not explained how they »
- BJSprecher Sprecher
Warner Bros.’ attempts to turn King Arthur into a big cinematic character (and kick off a franchise in the process) are enough to fill their own book of myths and legends. Now one of the questing directors who previously tried, Guy Ritchie, appears ready to give it another shot, looking at a an even more ambitious plan.According to Deadline, Ritchie is considering an idea spawned by writer Joby Harold that would spin the story across no less than six fantasy films, and has written the first script.It’s certainly a bold idea, though we’ll refrain from holding our collective breath for it to reach screens, since the last time Ritchie tangled with Arthurian subject matter he developed a project with Trance writer John Hodge, only to see Warners pivot away in favour of David Dobkin’s idea.Wedding Crashers man Dobkin focused instead on Arthur & Lancelot, a »
We ran an early set of preview pages from George A. Romero’s new comic book series last year, but we know much more about the series now, including the fact that it features vampires as well as zombies. Titled Empire of the Dead, the first issue will be available on January 22nd, but we have six pages you can read right now:
“This January, experience the next epic from the Godfather of the Zombie Apocalypse himself – George A. Romero! Marvel is proud to announce Empire of the Dead, an all-new comic series written by George A. Romero with stunning art by Alex Maleev and gorgeous NYC-themed variant covers by Arthur Suydam!
“George A. Romero singlehandedly created the zombie genre that’s captured the public imagination for decades,” says Editor In Chief Axel Alonso. “Now, his unique vision for the silver screen comes to life on the comic book page »
- Jonathan James
9 items from 2014
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