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'The Mentalist' unmasks Red John: 5 TV shows that survived a revamp

Warning: This article contains spoilers that some readers may prefer to avoid.

Over in the Us, The Mentalist finally played its trump card last Sunday (November 24) and revealed the true face of Red John.

Yes, the brutal nemesis of Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) was unmasked - though UK viewers will still have to wait a few weeks before the game-changing episode is broadcast on Channel 5.

But it begs the question... can The Mentalist go on without its driving force and chief boogeyman? Here's five other TV shows that did survive a creative revamp...

> The Mentalist: Red John finally unmasked - Have your say

Blake's 7

When Blake's 7 star Gareth Thomas decided to depart the BBC sci-fi drama back in 1979, the show's producers were faced with the difficult task of producing a third series without their title character. Rather than replace Blake outright, they decided to have Paul Darrow's wily
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Watch Richard Curtis’s Brilliantly Funny First Film ‘Dead On Time’

This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. He’s only directed three films, including the new sci-fi rom-com About Time, but Richard Curtis has been a well-known screenwriter for a few decades. When we think of a Curtis movie, we don’t just consider his popular directorial debut, Love Actually (and nobody here thinks of Pirate Radio, aka The Boat That Rocked). We think of Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote The Girl in the Cafe and one of the best episodes of Doctor Who (“Vincent and the Doctor”), and he co-scripted Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequel, as well as War Horse. Plus he co-created Blackadder and Mr. Bean, both with regular collaborator Rowan Atkinson. Curtis
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Saturday Shorts: ‘Dead on Time’, written by Richard Curtis

Today’s film is the 1983 short Dead on Time. The film stars Nigel Hawthorne, Rupert Everett, and Rowan Atkinson, is directed by Lyndall Hobbs, and written by Richard Curtis. Curtis’ writing career stretches back over 30 years, having worked on tv shows such as The Black Adder and Mr. Bean, and written movies such as Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, before making his directing debut with 2003′s Love Actually. His newest film, titled About Time, opens in limited release in American theatres this weekend before expanding to wide release next weekend.

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The post Saturday Shorts: ‘Dead on Time’, written by Richard Curtis appeared first on Sound On Sight.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Twitter launches 140-character festival as Ofcom probes Comic Relief sketch

Big names will take part in venture with Comedy Central, BBC sketch had over 2,000 complaints, plus Ian McKellen's sitcom

This week's comedy news

Can't get to Edinburgh? Kilkenny just that bit too far away? Never fear. The cable channel Comedy Central is teaming up with Twitter to launch the first 140-character comedy festival. The festival will commence on 29 April and run for five days, featuring a host of comedy names tweeting jokes and posting six second videos using Twitter's new video app Vine. Next Monday, Twitter will stream the only live #ComedyFest event, a panel discussion featuring Mel Brooks and Judd Apatow. The New York Times has more on the story, including the lowdown on a new app Comedy Central is developing to help users discover their favourite new comedians.

Back in the world of real festivals, veteran Anglo-American standup Rich Hall has won the Barry award at the Melbourne comedy festival,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

10 Stupid Decisions That Killed Great TV Shows

Television is a volatile business where everything can change in an instant. But the core tenet of television production is making wise decisions. At the heart of everything you’ll ever see on television is a single decision. Sometimes they’re good ones like “Let’s give The Black Adder another try”, sometimes they’re terrible ones like “Let’s make a sitcom about Hitler”, and sometimes they’re stupid ones that kill great programmes before their time.

Here are ten of those decisions…

10. Batman (ABC, 1966 – 1968)

What Was The Show?

A deliberately camp adaptation of the Batman comics.

What Was The Stupid Decision?

Destroying the sets a week after cancelling the show.

How Did It Kill The Show?

At this point, Batman had already been cancelled but there was a light at the end of the tunnel when NBC offered to pick up the series a fortnight after its cancellation.

Parks And Recreation is comedy at its sweetest

• Sarah Dempster's TV Od: Praise be to BBC4 for picking up the Us comedy smash Parks And Recreation, it's been a long time coming

"It's a great time to be a woman in politics," chirps Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), perched, beaming, on a park bench. "Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, me…" Leslie is a visionary, a perfectionist who operates within a self-guffed mushroom cloud of nuclear positivity. The deputy director of Pawnee, Indiana's parks department, she's the sort of ambitious can-do apparatchik who calls a spade a spade, then organises a photo session with the nearest spade, then, warming to the theme, proposes the founding of Spade Day, for which she will, inevitably, dress as a spade. Leslie's hopes, dreams and repellent pastel pencil skirts are at the heart of Parks And Recreation (Wednesday, 10pm, BBC4), the first, glorious series of which arrives this week amid celestial parps of jubilation and the assurance that everything,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Elspet Gray obituary

A dignified comic actor in farce and on TV, and a dedicated disability campaigner alongside her husband, Brian Rix

The acting career of Elspet Gray, who has died aged 83, was obscured but not extinguished by being so closely bound up with her marriage to the farceur Brian Rix. In 1951, Gray gave birth to a daughter, Shelley, who had Down's syndrome. In later life she was active alongside her actor-manager husband after he left the stage in 1977 to work for people with learning disabilities – initially through presenting a BBC television series, and then as secretary general of Mencap. However, she made periodic returns to the stage and maintained a screen presence: in 1979, for instance, she was a paediatrician guest in Fawlty Towers, and in 1994 the first bride's mother in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

As well as bringing up her subsequent three children, she visited Shelley every week in the residential
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Elspet Gray obituary

A dignified comic actor in farce and on TV, and a dedicated disability campaigner alongside her husband, Brian Rix

The acting career of Elspet Gray, who has died aged 83, was obscured but not extinguished by being so closely bound up with her marriage to the farceur Brian Rix. In 1951, Gray gave birth to a daughter, Shelley, who had Down's syndrome. In later life she was active alongside her actor-manager husband after he left the stage in 1977 to work for people with learning disabilities – initially through presenting a BBC television series, and then as secretary general of Mencap. However, she made periodic returns to the stage and maintained a screen presence: in 1979, for instance, she was a paediatrician guest in Fawlty Towers, and in 1994 the first bride's mother in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

As well as bringing up her subsequent three children, she visited Shelley every week in the residential
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Richard III – a career in clips

To mark the discovery of Richard III's skeleton under a car park in Leicester, we've put together some clips of the monarch's most memorable screen portrayals

Reading on a mobile? Watch here

Laurence Olivier's 1955 Shakespeare adaptation remains the dominant source for our assumptions of all things Richard III. Dressed in black, scowly as hell, and with that creepy, reedy intonation, Olivier's interpretation defined Richard as evil Crookback, of whom we should be grateful to Henry Tudor that we are rid. Perversely, punk rocker John Lydon cited him as a major influence, and clips from the film pop up in Julien Temple's Filth and the Fury doco. (Look for him at 1:45 in this clip.)

Reading on a mobile? Watch here

Olivier was endlessly, instantly parody-able, as Peter Sellers showed on a 1964 Beatles TV show, doing Hard Day's Night in the style of Winter of Discontent.

Reading on a mobile?
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Johnny English Reborn Review

Fans of British television comedy will have grown up with the unique wit and physical presence of Rowan Atkinson. Emerging from sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News, he partnered with writer Richard Curtis (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Love Actually) to create Edmund Blackadder, the effeminate, awkward bastard son of a fictional King Richard IV in the popular sit-com The Black Adder. The real genius came in the second season when Ben Elton was brought on as co-writer, Atkinson moved into a solely acting role and his character transformed into a smart, cynical Elizabethan lord, who was confidante to the Queen and surrounded by imbeciles he could bully and kick in the backside. After four seasons, the hugely successful series did what all good...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Your next box set: Blackadder

From castle to first world war trenches, Blackadder was inspired comedy

Is Blackadder the most influential TV series ever? Look who came out of it: Richard Curtis, its original scriptwriter, who revolutionised the British film industry in the mid-1990s; regular guest Stephen Fry, now the unofficial leader of the Twitter generation; and, strangest of all, Hugh Laurie, once the dorkish Prince Regent, now arguably the biggest TV star in the Us. In fact, the one person relatively untouched by the Blackadder gold dust is its central figure, Rowan Atkinson; he's had his successes since, but nothing so brilliant and funny.

The basic premise barely needs repeating: the oily title character is reborn in successive historical epochs, accompanied by his much dumped-on sidekick Baldrick (Tony Robinson). Many episodes are now classics, but that's no reason not to revisit them: the one where Blackadder falls in love with "Bob"; the one
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

CriterionCast – Episode 049.5 – Disc 2 – On The Screen And Fess Up Friday With Moises Chiullan

Disc 2 episodes are bonus/supplement episodes of The CriterionCast. Rudie Obias, Ryan Gallagher, Travis George & James McCormick ramble on and on about movies and movie experiences. “On The Screen” is where they discuss anything and everything that has been on their screens in the week. So anything from TV & movies to music & web junk, everything “On The Screen” is up for grabs. This is what they recommend to you, their listeners.

Special Guest: Moises Chiullan – The Arthouse Cowboy at Hollywood Elsewhere.

What do you think of their show? Please send them your feed back: CriterionCast@gmail.com or call their voicemail line @ 347.878.3430 or follow them on twitter @CriterionCast or Comment on their blog, http://CriterionCast.com.

Thank You for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe to their podcast and please leave your reviews in their iTunes feed.

Our next episode they will highlight and discuss Cc #266 Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 film,
See full article at CriterionCast »

In defence of The Phantom Menace

George Lucas’ first Star Wars prequel has been widely criticised over the years, but does The Phantom Menace really deserve it? Here’s James’ defence of Episode One...

The late 1990s were a joyous time for Star Wars fans. The release date of The Phantom Menace was drawing ever closer, and anticipation for it was at an all time high. Fans were buying cinema tickets, watching the trailer for film in coming attractions, and then leaving before the film they'd paid to see began.

The big day finally came and the reaction was lukewarm at best. The reviews from critics were something of a mixed bag. American critic Roger Ebert gave it four out of five stars. Empire magazine was less favourable, giving it only three stars. The public, however, were far less forgiving. The Phantom Menace has been branded (among other things) 'a disgrace to Star Wars', 'unforgivably bad',
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sherlock Holmes's smarter brothers: the best pilots that never made it to air

The BBC has buried the pilot of its Martin Freeman Sherlock Holmes series. But will it prove a lost treasure to match these?

The BBC is currently licking its wounds after deciding not to broadcast the £800,000 pilot of its new Sherlock Holmes mini-series. How dare they waste the licence fee on something that nobody will ever see, thundered the Sun. But the BBC shouldn't get too downhearted. A pilot didn't make it to air. It happens. There are lots of failed pilots that were never broadcast – and while Sherlock was reportedly canned because it wasn't up to scratch, other never-seen pilots have become legendary …

Heat Vision And Jack

The legendary 1999 pilot to an unmade series about a super-intelligent fugitive astronaut and his talking motorcycle companion. Starring Jack Black, Heat Vision and Jack has been routinely heralded as one of the best pilots never to make it to air – directed by Ben Stiller,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Black Adder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition DVD Review

I am an anglophile. I will own up to that straight out of the gate. I grew up watching every BBC program offered by my local PBS station. That’s how I came to start my lifelong relationship with Monty Python. That’s where my fascination with Red Dwarf began. That’s how I came across Rowan Atkinson’s gem of a series Black Adder. Brit humor fans click to find more after the jump.

I was shocked, utterly dismayed actually, by the number of my friends who consider themselves pop culture princes and princesses and yet weren’t familiar with the masterpiece that is Black Adder. For those similarly uninitiated, Black Adder encompasses four series, each series containing six episodes a piece. Each series is set in a specific time period and follows the Blackadder that lives during that age. While the exact characters differ between series the actor and name stays consistent.
See full article at Collider.com »

DVD Review: ‘Blackadder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition’ Rules

Chicago – Legendary TV shows deserve legendary DVD sets and the “Ultimate Edition” release for the beloved “Blackadder” truly lives up to the often over-used “ultimate” title. Giving fans everything “Adder”-related that they could possibly ask for, this is the perfect gift this holiday season for fans of British television.

DVD Rating: 5.0/5.0

The glorious six-disc set for “Blackadder” includes every episode of the show digitally restored from the original program masters plus a host of all-new bonus features.

Blackadder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition was released on DVD on October 20th, 2009.

Photo credit: BBC Home Video

Starring Rowan Atkinson (“Bean”), Hugh Laurie (“House”), Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, and more, the four-series program is a classic in England and has a legion of fans here in the States, and this set is good enough to make a few new “Adder”-holics on either side of the pond.

Each
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

BlackAdder Remastered The Ultimate Edition DVD

The Eagle has landed! BlackAdder Remastered The Ultimate Edition is available on DVD. Easily one of the best comedy creations ever, this set includes everything that has ever had BlackAdder in the name. Not only the Rowan Atkinson stroke of sheer brilliance that delivered to us the least illustrious name to ever darken the door of history, but also the cunning plan that introduced to the world - Baldrick! On six discs, and in the most stunning of packaging since double-leather bound books with gold inlay that come with their own wench to turn the pages for you, the complete collection can now be yours! The Black Adder - Cursed by ridiculous hair, and decked out in fabulous tights, Blackadder slinks and skulks his way through the dark (well, darkish) ages to no great effect whatsoever. His crazy schemes, and crazier sidekicks are all for naught, and in so many senses.
See full article at AreYouScreening »

[TV] Black Adder Remastered: The Ultimate Edition

If it doesn’t already, it should sadden you that Rowan Atkinson’s most well known role is Mr. Bean. Sure, attempting to remove your underwear in public has its comedic merit, but only if you’ve never seen Atkinson’s stupendously idiotic turn as the self-appointed Black Adder in the times of olde. The series spans different eras with each of the seasons taking place in a new one. Then, to further the adventures of the unfortunately inept title character, three of the specials created after the series’ conclusion are included on their own disc. It’s not the first “all inclusive” set to be released but it does a good job rounding up most of the extras that have been created for the show over time – though true Black Adder connoisseurs will notice that some of the smaller events (The Shakespeare Sketch in 1989 or the theatrical show Blackadder:
See full article at JustPressPlay »

This Week In DVD: October 20th

Rob Hunter loves movies.  He also loves standing in line at the unemployment office. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs.  So join us each week as he takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. Click on any of the titles below to magically head over to Amazon.com and pick up the DVD.  And don't forget to check out Neil Miller's hilariously titled This Week In Blu-ray column for reviews on the latest high definition Blu-ray releases! Nothing new worth buying this week! Instead, I'll be renting a bunch and saving my $$ for next week when I pick up Night of the Creeps, The Prisoner: The Complete Series, and
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

New Featurettes for 'The Boat That Rocked'

Richard Curtis has quietly become one of the more reliable comedy writers of this generation. He wrote for some seminal British comedy series - Not the Nine O'Clock News, The Black Adder, and Bean - as well as the films Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Love, Actually, which he also directed. His new film is The Boat That Rocked, a comedy about a 1960s pirate radio station that shattered the traditional model of BBC radio.

As you might expect, Curtis attracts another great cast here: Kenneth Branagh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, and Bill Nighy, among others. I had hoped this would be out a little earlier in the year than it will be. Universal has apparently settled on August 28th for a release date.

There are three brand new featurettes for the film, courtesy of Trailer Addict, and they sure make it look like
See full article at Get The Big Picture »
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