Former American Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore joined fans in London for a special screening of documentary sequel Truth To Power screening as part of the annual Advertising Week event. Pictures below
What do Eddie Murphy and Robert Downey Jr have in common? Well soon the answer will be Doctor Doolittle! Universal Studios have hired Iron Man himself to take on the whimsical role of the doctor who can talk to animals in an upcoming reboot, The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle based on Hugh Loftings children’s books from the 1920s.
Stephen Ganghan (Gold, Syriana) is on directing duties for the reimagination of the character who has previously been played by Rex Harrison in a 1967 musical and later by Eddie Murphy in 1998 and 2001.
More news as we get it of course, but for now you can find Robert Downey Jr in your cinemas from July 7 as he reprises his role of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming.]]>
The winners have been revealed for this year’s Three Empire Awards, which celebrates the best in film and entertainment of the past year, as voted for by movie fans. The latest instalment from the Harry Potter wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, picked up the most awards on the night with four accolades in total, including Best Actor presented by Three for Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Newt Scamander, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Make-Up And Hairstyling. The force was also strong for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which scored a hat-trick, claiming the coveted Best Film presented by Sky Cinema award as well as Best Actress presented by Three for Felicity Jones and Best Director presented by VUE Entertainment for Gareth Edwards.
British film triumphed, with Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake taking home Best British Film presented by The Hollywood Reporter and Best Male Newcomer presented by Pure Organic for Dave Johns’ performance in the lead role, while the Oasis production Supersonic picked up Best Documentary presented by Green Tomato Cars.
The 22nd annual awards also bestowed three honorary titles during the evening: Tom Hiddleston received the Empire Hero award presented by Three; Luc Besson picked up the Empire Inspiration award; and Sir Patrick Stewart took home the Legend award.
In addition, Anya Taylor-Joy won Best Female Newcomer presented by London Hilton on Park Lane for her performance in The Witch.
Other films which took home awards included: The Greasy Strangler, which won Best Comedy presented by Absolute Radio; The Witch, awarded Best Horror presented by Monkey Shoulder; Bourne, which won Best Thriller presented by MCM Comic Con; A Monster Calls, which took Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy presented by Three; Deadpool received the Best Screenplay award; Finding Dory was named Best Animated Film; La La Land won Best Soundtrack; Doctor Strange received Best Visual Effects presented by VUE Entertainment, and Inner Workings was awarded Best Short Film.
The accolade for Best TV Series presented by Magic went to The Night Manager and the Best Game award went to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
The Three Empire Awards 2017 was hosted at Camden’s Roundhouse, the event’s first time in the venue. In attendance were nominees, presenters and other distinguished guests from the entertainment world including: Hugh Laurie, Dame Joan Collins, Sir Ian McKellen and Dan Stevens.]]>
After being in development hell for what seems like an eternity, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is finally seeing the light of day. And to prove it to us, the teaser poster has been revealed!
Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba are set to star in the long-awaited adaptation which sees The Gunslinger, AKA Roland Deschain (Elba) try and track down the elusive Man In Black (McConaughey) in a fantastical western inspired landscape. Nickolaj Arcel (A Royal Night Out) is directing this first instalments with no doubt more to come if it becomes a success.
Check out the poster below and our exclusive first interview with female star Katheryn Winnick. Also be sure to check back soon when the first trailer is released. With the July 28 release date drawing ever closer it can’t be too much longer to wait…
With Spider-Man having just recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Sony finally released him to Disney under a new contract that I’m sure everyone including Sony is over the moon about, it seems the extended universe is still very much in play. Before the latest reincarnation turned up in Captain America: Civil War last year, plans were underway to extend the Andrew Garfield Spidey-verse into a Sinister Six film and a Venom stand-alone film. However, with Tom Holland’s Spidey now well and truly under the wing of Marvel Studios and Spider-Man: Homecoming just round the corner, Sony are looking to revive that plan slightly by slipping a Venom film into the schedule for next year.
The news comes after Warner Bros recently delayed poor Aquaman from his October 19 2018 release to a later December 18 date, leaving room for Venom to swoop on in and grab it. Head Sony Honcho Amy Pascal is set to produce the film which will follow the fan favourite Spider-Man villain who had his silver screen debut in the much-criticised Spider-Man 3 and hasn’t been seen since.
No casting news has been revealed as of yet but keep your eyes peeled for more news soon. For now though, you’ll have to wait for July 7 when Spidey gets his first MCU solo film!]]>
An African American man (Daniel Kaluuya) visits his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) family for the weekend. But things soon start getting spooky when her family’s hired help start acting out…
Writer/director Jordan Peele – one half of comedy duo Key and Peele – brings a sharp witted, spine-tingling horror film to the screen in what is sure to become an instant classic. When Chris (Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Williams) visit her family’s estate, paranoia soon sets in with him as their attitude towards him becomes increasingly creepier.
Opening with a scene in which a (literal) run-in with a deer results in a police call-out where Chris is instantly singled out despite not being the driver, Peele’s script continues with some all too familiar racial stereotyping. As he begins to meet his unofficial in-laws played by Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford (who ensures Chris that he would’ve voted for Obama a third time if he could!) he soon feels outnumbered as, even with the black maid and handyman roaming around the house, he’s still paraded around the party at an annual get-together attended by a sea of old white people.
It’s a slow burner but the deeper Get Out gets, the more intrigue and chills it brings with it. While Peele is known mostly for his comedy work, coming off the back of last years Keanu with Keegan Michael-Key who also star alongside each other in their hit sketch show, the comedy in Get Out never feels shoehorned in and instead just elevates the plot to a realistic sense that would have otherwise been missing as the paranoia becomes ever more ridiculous. This is thanks partly to the comedic talents of LilRel Howrey as Chris’ friend/comic relief.
But if Peele is the off-screen standout of the film, Kaluuya is undoubtedly the face to remember. Recognisably to British audiences mainly for his lead role in an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, his performance in Get Out is further proof that he has what it takes as an actor.
There’s really nothing negative to report for Get Out. Peele’s script gives the most entertaining thriller in a long while. The more impatient viewer might be waylaid with the slow burn of Peele’s script but I promise, if you wait you’ll come to the same glowing conclusion as me.
The Ugly Truth
Jordan Peele proves that he is not just a funny man, but a damn fine director too. Mixing horror and humour brilliantly in a film that not only leaves you thinking about its social commentary but will also leave you with a shiver down your spine for a good while.
Review by Johnny Ellis]]>
After being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, retired footballer begins to make a video diary for his unborn son.
Those of us in the UK may not know the name of Steve Gleason, but for America, his name is an important one. Following a diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease (or ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it is also known), the titular subject of this documentary, retired footballer Steve Gleason starts filming video diary entries for both his unborn son and to raise awareness of the disease as he struggles with it. As the film and ultimately his diagnosis progresses, he faces issues including his faith and the struggles his disease brings upon his family.
Director Clay Tweel (Finders Keepers) manages to bring Gleasons life to the screen in this documentary which is as heart-breaking as it is uplifting. Using footage from his video diaries as well as interviews with his wife and family and fly-on-the-wall scenes, Gleason is without a doubt a struggle to get through even for those unfamiliar with both the person and the subject, but it is presented with a beautiful sense of closeness that otherwise would have been easily missing. There are scenes which are tough to watch, such as his heart to heart with his father discussing their differences of opinions regarding death and religion. But for every difficult scene there is an uplifting one soon to follow. Gleason’s story is one which will no doubt resonate with many and for the luckier viewers who have no prior knowledge of ALS, it certainly raises awareness in a brutally honest approach.
There really is nothing negative to report on Gleason. The only possible downside could be it’s affect on certain audience members. Those who have known or still know someone suffering through this heart-breaking disease, which results in sufferers losing their ability to move, speak and, eventually breathe, may have a tougher time than others when watching this documentary, but it is highly unlikely to offend.
The Ugly Truth
Tweel has managed to bring the life of Steve Gleeson to the screen in a brutally honest way which, with the help of Gleason’s video diary entries, ensures it is as respectful as possible. For a documentary about a man who has been working to raise awareness to ALS, even having his name on a US law related to it, Gleason couldn’t be more perfect.
Review by Johnny Ellis]]>
In the familiar tale as old as time, a beautiful girl finds herself trapped in an enchanted castle with a selfish prince who has been turned into a Beast. Seizing the opportunity the castle’s magical servants try their best to fan the unlikely flames of love between the mismatched pair in order to break the spell that binds them all.
Beauty and The Beast is a very faithful and inevitably lucrative adaptation of one of Disney’s most beloved and universally celebrated modern animated classics. The timeless core story remains fundamentally compelling and romantically satisfying.
Emma Watson proves her vocal prowess with a strong musical performance as heroine Belle. Meanwhile fellow British star Luke Evans in particular is a magnificently boisterous fit for the brutish Gaston, the self-proclaimed village heartthrob determined to claim Belle’s hand in marriage by any means necessary and in spite of her extreme reluctance. The further vocal talents of Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson pour fresh life into their already familiar characters, helping this new version to recapture much of the magical charm of the previous cartoon.
Those with especially fond memories of the animated film will welcome the new film’s faithful parade of all its key moments and songs. Gaston’s ode to himself, the enchanting ‘Be Our Guest’ and the film’s memorable romantic refrain ‘Tale as Old as Time’ are among the iconic highlights painstakingly recreated with live actors and photo-realistic modern animation.
The new film boasts a joyously colourful production value and all-star cast that few but Disney is truly capable of offering. Those that truly love the original will be delighted to see so little changed and to have a fresh chance to introduce the magic of Disney to their own children and a new generation of fans.
Disney continues to unapologetically plunder its extensive back catalogue of classic animated stories for the guaranteed box office success of live action adaptations. While their Sleeping Beauty re-imagining Maleficent at least made efforts to approach the overly familiar material form a fresh perspective, this new version of Beauty and The Beast literally only serves as a scene by scene copy of the original fan favourite.
It’s also worth noting that although this is indeed ostensibly a ‘live action’ version, as the Beast and the rest of the castle’s enchanted inhabitants are actually fully CGI creations the truth is most of the films key scenes are actually largely or even fully animated. As a key example the crowd pleasing ‘Be Our Guest’ dining table musical number remains entirely a work of colourful animation with the solitary exception of Emma Watson’s awed expression. Given the exquisite perfection of the original cartoon version it is questionable how much a more photorealistic animated version truly adds to proceedings.
The film’s occasional efforts to slip in some extra social justice themes are either awkwardly heavy handed or so barely noticeable that they remain utterly trivial. Belle being bullied by the French townsfolk for trying to teach a young girl to read is an awkward attempt to openly polish the film’s feminist credentials.
In contrast the supposed gay subplot surrounding Josh Gad’s turn as Gaston’s faithful sidekick Le Fou turns out to have been bizarrely overhyped. Amid bold talk of a gay love scene that saw the film banned outright or given restrictive releases in some countries the reality is literally a split second of incidental background dancing. Only the filmmakers will know if more meaningful material was filmed but ended up on the cutting room floor.
While much like the animated original the film does much make frequent jokes at the expense of Le Fou’s simpering admiration for Gaston, this is typical treatment for villain’s comedy sidekicks and certainly nothing as ground-breaking and controversial as audiences may expect in the wake of so much utterly unnecessary media hype.
Live action adaptation is also not without other specific draw backs. Cartoon films frequently get away with having stories set in 17th Century France but voiced by a muddled bag of Anglo-American accents and thick Gallic stereotypes. Unfortunately in the real world as opposed to a purely cartoon creation those inexplicable juxtapositions become all the more jarring.
Emma Watson slips in the occasional Bonjour Monsieur with all the linguistic subtlety of a nervous GCSE student, but her clipped British tones are still pure Hermione Granger. It’s a distracting contrast with the quintessentially French exuberance of for example Ewan McGregor’s singing Candelabra.
While McGregor, Luke Evans and the rest of the all-star supporting cast relish in their roles in truth the central paring of Emma Watson’s Belle and Dan Steven’s full CGI Beast are far less successful embodiments of the beloved animated characters. Neither is an especially good visual fit for the roles and although Steven’s can at least blame animators for changing the Beast’s appearance Watson has less excuse for a mostly stilted performance.
Though Watson’s impressive singing voice is more than adequate for the musical numbers her acting style has sadly not progressed much from the awkward gasping theatricality and blank expressions evidenced throughout the Harry Potter franchise.
The Ugly Truth
While overall the film will likely delight younger audiences experiencing this iconic story for the first time, older fans will almost certainly be left somewhat underwhelmed by what is at best merely a mostly competent approximation of their most special childhood cartoon memories.
Review by Russell Nelson]]>
In 1973 team of explorers and soldiers travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific, unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic Kong.
When going into Kong: Skull Island, you may be inclined to compare it with 2014’s Godzilla of which this film is the first in an apparent new monster-filled cinematic universe leading to an upcoming versus film. One of the much discussed downsides to director Gareth Edwards’ take on Japan’s most famous lizard was the amount of screen time its titular character received. Fortunately, Kong’s director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) and writers Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly manage to smash away any fear of ape absence with an impressive array of cgi and action which will make you yearn for a Kong/Godzilla fight before the credits have even begun.
Set in 1973, Skull Island follows a star studded team of explorers, headed by John Goodman’s Bill Randa and accompanied by Samuel L. Jackson’s Preston Packard and his team of soldiers as they set out to discover what lies on Skull Island. Their Apocalypse Now inspired arrival is soon cut short by Kong himself in an awe inspiring action sequence that will have you on the edge of your seat. With the team now split up on an island that has no map, it is up to Tom Hiddleston’s smoldering adventurer James Conrad to keep more people from dying, while Brie Larson’s Marson Weaver puts her photography skills to the test while occasionally kicking ass. One of the most refreshing things about the film is Weaver’s absence of any notable romantic storyline. For a franchise which has in the past, not been as fairly equal to its female characters as one could hope, Weaver remains a strong and independent character even when she has her moment with Kong.
In addition to the already full cast, John C. Reilly also joins the team as Hank Marlow, a World War II soldier who, after being left stranded on the island with only his Japanese counterpart for company, has become an unwilling inhabitant of the island, learning to live under the rule of its 328 foot king. Reilly brings some much needed humour to the film alongside Hiddleston’s serious(ly handsome) acting.
Even this amount of stars aren’t able to ape the presence of the films main star. Industrial Light and Magic have managed to pull of a superb job of bringing King Kong back to the big screen with some amazing CGI work. Kong is certainly big enough to go toe to toe with Godzilla in 2020 and this writer cannot wait to see more!
Anyone looking for more than a simple monster movie may feel a tad short changed come credits time, as, while the film manages to introduce the bulging cast list with ease (take note Suicide Squad) and does a few interesting things with its period setting, it’s never enough to really grasp onto.
On the subject of Suicide Squad, Kong: Skull Island also manages to get away with its 70s laden soundtrack by the skin of its teeth. It’s one verse away from becoming truly grating.
The Ugly Truth
Featuring more than enough ape action and an impressive cast, Kong: Skull Island manages to bring back Hollywood’s most famous monkey with a bang and then some. Go in expecting a monster movie and you’ll come out satisfied. Expect any more and you may feel left wanting.
Review by Johnny Ellis]]>
Ian Bartholomew for Half A Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre
Adam J Bernard for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre
Ben Hunter for The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre
Andrew Langtree for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Haydn Gwynne for The Threepenny Opera at the Olivier, National Theatre
Victoria Hamilton-Barritt for Murder Ballad at the Arts Theatre
Rebecca Trehearn for Show Boat at the New London Theatre
Emma Williams for Half A Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre
Dreamgirls at Savoy Theatre (music by Henry Krieger)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace Theatre (composer and arranger Imogen Heap)
Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (the band and company creating the gig-like rock vibe of the original concept album of Jesus Christ Superstar)
School of Rock the Musical at the New London Theatre (three children’s bands who play instruments live every night)
Betroffenheit by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young at Sadler’s Wells
Blak Whyte Gray by Boy Blue Entertainment at Barbican Theatre
Giselle by Akram Khan and English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells
My Mother, My Dog and Clowns! by Michael Clark at Barbican Theatre
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for its London season at Sadler’s Wells
Luke Ahmet for The Creation by Rambert at Sadler’s Wells
English National Ballet for expanding the variety of its repertoire with Giselle and She Said at Sadler’s Wells
Cinderella at London Palladium
David Baddiel – My Family: Not The Sitcom at the Vaudeville Theatre
Peter Pan at the Olivier, National Theatre
The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
Matthew Bourne for The Red Shoes at Sadler’s Wells
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Steven Hoggett for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Drew McOnie for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre
Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Show Boat at the New London Theatre
Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum
David Fynn for School of Rock the Musical at the New London Theatre
Tyrone Huntley for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Andy Karl for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Charlie Stemp for Half A Sixpence at the Noël Coward Theatre
Glenn Close for Sunset Boulevard at London Coliseum
Debbie Chazen, Sophie-Louise Dann, Michele Dotrice, Claire Machin, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding for The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre
Amber Riley for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre
Sheridan Smith for Funny Girl at the Savoy Theatre
The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
This House at the Garrick Theatre
Travesties at the Apollo Theatre
Yerma at the Young Vic
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre
Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at the Dorfman, National Theatre
The Truth at Wyndham’s Theatre
Cuttin’ It at the Maria, Young Vic
The Government Inspector at Theatre Royal Stratford East
The Invisible Hand at Tricycle Theatre
It Is Easy To Be Dead at Trafalgar Studios 2
Rotterdam at Trafalgar Studios 2
Neil Austin for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Lee Curran for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Natasha Katz for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Hugh Vanstone for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Paul Arditti for Amadeus at the Olivier, National Theatre
Adam Cork for Travesties at the Apollo Theatre
Gareth Fry for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Nick Lidster for Autograph for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Gregg Barnes for Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre
Hugh Durrant for Cinderella at London Palladium
Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Katrina Lindsay for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Bob Crowley for Disney’s Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre
Bob Crowley for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Rob Howell for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Christine Jones for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Anthony Boyle for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Freddie Fox for Travesties at the Apollo Theatre
Brian J. Smith for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Rafe Spall for Hedda Gabler at the Lyttelton, National Theatre
Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Kirsty Findlay, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann, Joanne McGuinness and Dawn Sievewright for Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour at the Dorfman, National Theatre
Noma Dumezweni for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Clare Foster for Travesties at the Apollo Theatre
Kate O’Flynn for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
4.48 Psychosis at the Lyric Hammersmith
Akhnaten at London Coliseum
Così Fan Tutte at Royal Opera House
Lulu at London Coliseum
Renée Fleming for her performance in Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera House
Stuart Skelton for his performance in Tristan and Isolde at London Coliseum
Mark Wigglesworth for his conducting of Don Giovanni and Lulu at London Coliseum
Ed Harris for Buried Child at Trafalgar Studios 1
Tom Hollander for Travesties at the Apollo Theatre
Ian McKellen for No Man’s Land at Wyndham’s Theatre
Jamie Parker for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
Glenda Jackson for King Lear at The Old Vic
Cherry Jones for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Billie Piper for Yerma at the Young Vic
Ruth Wilson for Hedda Gabler at the Lyttelton, National Theatre
Simon Stone for Yerma at the Young Vic
John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
John Tiffany for The Glass Menagerie at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Matthew Warchus for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
Elegy at Donmar Warehouse
The Flick at the Dorfman, National Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
One Night In Miami… at Donmar Warehouse
Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre
The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre
Groundhog Day at the Old Vic
School of Rock the Musical at the New London Theatre