Check out a lovely gallery of red carpet and backstage pics from this year’s Jameson Empire Awards. Talent attending this year’s star studded film awards included: Tom Cruise; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kate Beckinsale; Darren Aronofsky; Hugh Jackman; Rosamund Pike; Simon Pegg; JJ Abrams; Margot Robbie; Steve Coogan; Jonathan Ross; Emma Thompson; The Inbetweeners cast; Sarah Harding; Stephen Fry; Brian Cox; Richard E Grant; Will Poulter; Douglas Booth; Mark Gatiss; Paul Greengrass; Celia Imrie; Sally Hawkins; James McAvoy; Armando Iannucci; Hayley Atwell; Logan Lerman and Professor Brian Cox.
The best films and filmmakers of the past year, as voted for by the cinema-going public, were honoured this evening at the 19th Jameson Empire Awards. Film fans from the UK and around the world selected their cinema highlights for the awards, which honour blockbusters, independent filmmaking and home-grown British films.
To celebrate 25 years of the magazine, Empire bestowed two special Lifetime awards on star guests Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Current Empire cover-star Cruise was presented with Empire’s Legend of Our Lifetime award by Rosamund Pike. Acknowledging his stellar career to date, the magazine highlighted his outstanding work on Top Gun, Mission Impossible, Jerry Maguire and Interview with the Vampire. The Action Hero of Our Lifetime award was bestowed to action legend Arnold Schwarzenegger who was honoured for his performances in a host of well-loved action movies including True Lies, Predator, The Terminator series and Total Recall.
Two further special awards were presented by Empire to Hugh Jackman and Simon Pegg. Jackman attended the ceremony to receive the Empire Icon award presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey while Simon Pegg collected the Empire Hero award. Pegg joins an illustrious list of previous winners that includes Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Jude Law.
Pegg’s recent film The World’s End scooped Best British Film in what was to be an outstanding evening for British filmmaking talent. James McAvoy and Emma Thompson took the Jameson Best Actor and Best Actress presented by Max Factor awards and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa was awarded Best Comedy presented by Magic 105.4. In addition, Oscar and BAFTA-nominee Sally Hawkins received the award for Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine. Joining Hawkins in the new supporting actor categories – introduced this year to acknowledge the extensive breadth actors shortlisted by readers – was Michael Fassbender who won the Best Supporting Actor presented by The National Lottery award for his role in 12 Years a Slave.
Actors new to our screens were honoured in the Newcomer categories with Margot Robbie collecting the award for Best Female Newcomer presented by Max Factor for her exceptional performance in The Wolf of Wall Street while Aidan Turner collected Best Male Newcomer presented by Tresor Paris for his role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson’s epic sequel also took a second award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film presented by MediCinema.
Another film scooping multiple awards was Gravity for which helmer Alfonso Cuarón triumphed in the Best Director category and which received the prestigious Best Film accolade, presented by Sky Movies.
As previously announced, British director Paul Greengrass also received the Empire Inspiration Award, presented by Mazda Motors UK, for his work on the Bourne trilogy and recent commercial and critical success Captain Phillips.
The Jameson Empire Awards continue to recognise the diverse tastes of cinema-goers, with awards dedicated to popular genres including Best Horror which went to The Conjuring, and Best Thriller presented by Quaglino’s awarded to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
The Jameson Empire Done in 60 Seconds short film award-winner was David Smith from the UK for his remake of There Will Be Blood. Smith was on a shortlist of 24 contestants from 16 countries , nominated by Empire readers, which was then whittled down to the Top 5 by the judging panel who finally picked their winner.
Also present at the event this evening were nominees, presenters and guests including: Tom Cruise; Arnold Schwarzenegger; Kate Beckinsale; Darren Aronofsky; Hugh Jackman; Rosamund Pike; Simon Pegg; JJ Abrams; Margot Robbie; Steve Coogan; Jonathan Ross; Emma Thompson; The Inbetweeners cast; Sarah Harding; Stephen Fry; Brian Cox; Richard E Grant; Will Poulter; Douglas Booth; Mark Gatiss; Paul Greengrass; Celia Imrie; Sally Hawkins; James McAvoy; Armando Iannucci; Hayley Atwell; Logan Lerman and Professor Brian Cox.
Full official List of Winners Below:
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Legend of Our Lifetime
Presented by: Rosamund Pike
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Action Hero of Our Lifetime
Presented by: Jonathan Ross
EMPIRE ICON presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey
Presented by: Darren Aronofsky
Presented by: JJ Abrams
EMPIRE INSPIRATION presented by Mazda Motors UK
Presented by: Brian Cox
Best Male Newcomer presented by Tresor Paris
Presented by: Sarah Harding
Aidan Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug)
Best Female Newcomer presented by Max Factor
Presented by: Richard Armitage
Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Presented by: MyAnna Buring
Best Comedy presented by Magic 105.4
Presented by: The Inbetweeners cast
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Best Thriller presented by Quaglino’s
Presented by: Stacy Martin & Jamie Campbell Bower
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy presented by MediCinema
Presented by: Sophie Turner & Thomas Brodie-Sangster
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
Best Supporting Actor presented by The National Lottery
Presented by: Celia Imrie
Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
Best Supporting Actress
Presented by: Richard E Grant
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Best British Film
Presented by: Mark Gatiss
The World’s End
Best Actress presented by Max Factor
Presented by: Stephen Fry
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Jameson Best Actor
Presented by: Kate Beckinsale
James McAvoy (Filth)
Best Director presented by Air New Zealand
Presented by: Logan Lerman & Douglas Booth
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Best Film presented by Sky Movies
Presented by: Brian Cox
DONE IN 60 SECONDS
Presented by: Edith Bowman, Ben Wheatley, Alex Zane
David Smith, There Will Be Blood
Having reunited and re-established their fame The Muppets are convinced by a smooth talking agent Dominic Badguy to set out on a world tour. But when the world’s most dangerous Frog Constantine breaks out of a Siberian prison the Muppets find themselves caught up in his evil schemes and another elaborate crime caper, pursued by Interpol and the CIA.
The Muppets made a long overdue but triumphant return to the big screen in 2011. Director James Bobin and musician Brett McKenzie recaptured much of the magic of the Muppets that had once appeared lost with the untimely passing of Jim Henson. Rescuing the franchise from inferior quality straight to DVD efforts the last film was a heartfelt homage to the original charms of his beloved creations. Muppets Most Wanted happily continues that revitalisation.
Music has always been one of the Muppets most effective tools for demonstrating their unique combination of whimsy and humour. Opening number We’re Doing a Sequel is a catchy encouraging start and the songs that follow are all likely to provoke big smiles. A lavish musical homage to a Siberian prison, cheesy love ballad I’ll Get You What You Want and a final reprise of classic Muppet track Together Again are among the toe tapping highlights.
The Muppets have also always been able to rely on cameos from an array of famous faces. The Muppets are so universally popular that the likes of Lady Gaga, James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston and Céline Dion will gladly drop everything for just a brief appearance. Armed with their resurgent popularity Muppets Most Wanted is easily the most star packed of all the Muppets adventures.
Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey do fine work in more substantial human roles, both clearly relishing every moment they get to play alongside their childhood heroes. Though easily and consistently outshone but their Muppet co-stars they clearly don’t seem to mind.
New villainous Muppet Constantine is also great fun. The evil frog that bears an uncanny resemblance to Kermit is a mischievous delight, complete with a garbled Russian accent and amusing mean steak.
While Flight of the Conchord’s funnyman Brett McKenzie returns to provide an array of entertaining songs for the new sequel in truth they don’t quite match the memorable charms of his Oscar winning efforts in the last film. Although there’s plenty to smile about and a few catchy moments at times it perhaps lacks the heart that made songs like Rainbow Connection and Man or Muppet so effective.
Overall that is perhaps the only criticism to be made of Muppets Most Wanted; it’s slightly lacking the cohesive emotional narrative of the Muppets 2011 return. Unlike its nostalgia infused predecessor Muppets Most Wanted is a throwback to the straightforward silliness of the usual Muppet adventures, its charming fun but without quiet as much emotional subtext and sentimental impact.
Devoted Muppet fans may perhaps also be a little disappointed to see popular characters like Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and Pepe the King Prawn once again given minimal screen time. As the latest film continues the trend of giving prominence to key figures like Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy.
The Ugly Truth:
In a world of cynicism and overblown CGI it’s a heart-warming delight to have the tangible whimsy of the Muppets back on the big screen. Lifelong fans and the newest generation of captivated kids will welcome the latest dose of well-polished Muppet musical madness.
Today Michael Bay continues his quest to systematically convert your memories of beloved toys into inevitably disappointing but embarrassingly lucrative films. Here is the first official look at the new live action/CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
The teaser trailer confirms in just 90 seconds what many had long expected/feared. Producer Michael Bay has precisely followed his trademark formula to bring you essentially a Transformers remake with Turtles instead of robots. See for yourself below:
Madonna is set to direct her third feature film, adapting Rebecca Walker’s book Ade: A Love Story. Walker is the daughter of The Color Purple author Alice Walker and is reportedly attached to produce the big screen adaptation of her debut novel.
The book centers on a troubled romance between an American student and young muslim man on a remote island paradise. With their initial passions complicate by a clash of cultures.
Madonna’s previous track record as a director has certainly failed to live up to the massive success of her seemingly never-ending pop music career. Her last directorial effort W.E. was a critical and commercial disaster of infamous proportions. The historical biopic documenting the relationship between Edward VII and Wallis Simpson was slammed by damning reviews and took less than million dollars worldwide.