7 items from 2015
With an opening weekend that topped $70m in the Us, Kenneth Branagh may have the hit of his movie directing career on his hands with his live action Cinderella take. It's a strong film too, that finally makes it to the UK this week. And ahead of its release, he spared us some time for a natter about it...
I think I've worked out what you're up to. I've worked out your ruse. You do Thor, Cinderella and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Three different juggernauts, aimed at three different segments of the market, opening your work up to an audience that may otherwise not be familiar with it.
This is all about selling DVDs of Peter's Friends, isn't it?
[Laughs] That would be a lovely by-product.
Were you consciously looking for different audience subsets, »
You really shouldn't walk into a screening of a film not expecting an awful lot. As the mantra goes, you're supposed to go in hoping for something wonderful, else you soon go down a cynical cul-de-sac, with little hope of return. Cinderella, though, was a stretch. I can understand the business sense to Disney of making a live action Cinderella - heck, the thoroughly ordinary Alice In Wonderland took more than $1bn at the box office - but what about the appeal to a director such as Kenneth Branagh? And, more importantly, what about the appeal to, well, us?
Because the problem with such well told tales is just that. You know what's going to happen, and when. Then you read the film is just shy of two hours, and recall »
As VFX technology marches on at speed, more and more of our favourite movie characters are being brought to life by actors driving a performance capture digital creation.
Though Andy Serkis's Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Sharlto Copley's Chappie sit at the cutting edge today, in its current form it actually stretches back nearly 20 years to Star Wars's much-maligned Jar Jar Binks.
Go back even further and take into account rotoscoping - animators drawing over an actors' performance frame-by-frame - it's possible to mark Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a landmark film in 1937. There, an actress was used as the basis for the titular princess.
Fast forward to 2015, and we're now at a point where many in the industry are calling for an 'Assisted Performance' Oscars category to recognise the work done by actors and VFX artists.
"I think the technology is relatively new, »
If we could only agree on what ‘remake’ actually means, we could probably decide which film was the most remade. Cinderella is said to be the most retold story in cinema history, with A Christmas Carol also a hotly-tipped contender.
Somewhere high in that ranking must also be Brewster’s Millions. To date, it’s been filmed ten times and, according to Deadline, an eleventh iteration is now in the offing.
All that’s known about the new version is that Robert Townsend will be directing.
Townsend’s debut, Hollywood Shuffle, is a very sweet but also sincere and pointed piece of satire on how the American film industry marginalised and stereotyped actors and characters of colour. It’s still his most successful film, at least critically speaking, but Townsend did go on to make several other films that engaged with similar themes.
This is why I find his attachment »
- Brendon Connelly
If last week’s game of kick the can was a turning point on Togetherness you’d hardly realize it as such in the events of this week. Sort of. “Ghost in Chains” was the kind of episode shows need every once and again to set the stage for episodes to come, strategically moving the characters into position like so many chess pieces, and it suffers as such. But even while everyone is being shunted around for the final two episodes of the season, each relationship bears the strain of the events of last week.But before we get to all that, let’s talk about the week in Brett. Or, more appropriately, let’s talk about Jacob Marley. How much time do you spend thinking about Jacob Marley? Probably not much. Marley, a key character in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, was always kind of a bit player, »
- Libby Hill
One of the more obnoxious trailers I've seen in the last six months was for "Paddington," which looked like loud, annoying children's trash. I've sat through so many of those movies since I had my kids, and even when it's my job to review them, it is one of those things that I have to steel myself for ahead of time. Whoever cut the trailers for "Paddington" owes writer/director Paul King a personal apology, though. I mean, I get it. I know why they didn't push the whole "From the director of 'The Mighty Boosh'" angle in the trailers, but it would have at least convinced me. I am delighted to report that King's movie is sweet and smart and silly, beautifully made from top to bottom. While my kids were entertained by it, I found it very moving and was pleased to see how well King's sense of style, »
- Drew McWeeny
The mystery is solved: Peter Capaldi is a hit as the Doctor.
The first season of “Doctor Who” with Peter Capaldi in the title role wound up being the highest-rated season of the series on BBC America, the network said Monday. Overall, the season, which featured Jenna Coleman guest-starring, averaged 2.035 million viewers in Live + 3 Day ratings, which take into account viewers who tuned in for the original telecast and over the next three days.
This year’s Christmas special, “Doctor Who: Last Christmas,” also fared well, »
- Tim Kenneally
7 items from 2015
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