Category Archives: 1. News

Bye bye, blog

This blog will always hold a special place in my heart but, sadly, the time has come to stop posting.

While writing about my love of film I started conversations and made friends with like-minded film fanatics all over the world, some who are still blogging and some who have stopped.

Thank you to everyone who read this blog and who commented. I will keep logging what I watch here but after seven years the posts will now stop.

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[In Memoriam] Sir Christopher Lee

christopher_lee1The inimitable Sir Christopher Lee passed away on Sunday 7th June after suffering from heart and respiratory problems. He was 93.

A terrific actor admired by his peers, critics and the public alike, for my generation he will be best remembered for his turns as Saruman the White and Count Dooku while for others he will forever be the ultimate actor to play Count Dracula following his Hammer Horror performances.

Sir Christopher Lee 27.05.1922 – 07.06.2015

Comic-Con 2012

Once a year, a magical event takes place at the San Diego Convention Center where thousands of comic book, film and TV fans from all over the world come together. I’ve never been myself but from what I’ve see and read, it has to be one of the best – if not the ultimate – conventions to go to.

As always, there are a myriad reasons why I wish I’d gone this year, but here are just a few of them:

  • The True Blood panel
  • The Game of Thrones panel
  • The Marvel panel
  • and, of course, The Hobbit panel

Handstands, goodbyes and stripper jokes

From the reports that I’ve read, the True Blood panel sounds like it was the most fun, with everything from Ryan Kwanten (Jason Stackhouse) doing a walking handstand across the stage to laughs regarding Joe Manganiello’s (Alcide) role in Magic Mike.

In addition to Kwanten and Manganiello, other cast in attendance included Anna Paquin (Sookie Stackhouse), Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) and Alexander Skarsgard (Eric Northman). The panel began with a preview of what is to come in the latter half of season 5. The LA Times reported: “Alcide will step up to become pack master and Russell Edgington will create all kinds of trouble (not much of a surprise there). The footage also appeared to suggest that Sookie might be turning in some of her fairy powers (given that Bill sure seems to be glamoring her). And was that a glimpse of a ghostly Godric we saw?”

The show’s creator, Alan Ball, also received a warm and emotional send-off as he stepped down as show runner. He will continue on as executive producer in a more advisory role and leave the day-to-day production of the series to other members of the crew.

New faces, new places

Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) were among the cast who attended the Games of Thrones panel, which was moderated by the novels’ author – and the show’s executive producer – George R R Martin.

The panel kicked off with an introduction to a bevy of new cast members via an introductory reel tacked onto the end of the official season 2 clip reel. These include Mackenzie Crook as Orell, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed and Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell.

Not that much was hinted at about the next season but, seeing as I haven’t seen season 2 yet and have only just finished the second book, I’m quite glad nothing in particular was revealed. The cast did talk about what it was like filming in all the different locations. Apparently there was the Wolf Unit in Belfast, the Dragon Unit in Morocco and the Freeze Your Ass Unit in Iceland!

A Marvel-lous panel

The powerhouse studio simultaneously straightened a few things out while also throwing up a whole lot more questions. Iron Man 3, which is well into filming, was the main focus of the panel. However, these tidbits of information were also thrown out:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the title for the The sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Evans will reprise his role though and it is slated for an April 2014 release.
  • The sequel to Thor has just started filming in London. It will be called Thor 2: The Dark World. Alan Taylor (Games of Thrones) will take over from Kenneth Branagh as director. It is slated for a November 2014 release.
  • Henry Pym aka Ant-Man will have his own film, the first of the ‘Phase 2’ films from Marvel. It will be directed by Edgar Wright though no cast members or release date have been announced yet.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy will also hit the big screen, though no cast members have been announced. The Guardians are an inter-stellar superheroes made up of Star-Lord, Draxx the Destroyer, Groot, Gamorra and Rocket Raccoon. It is slated for an August 2014 release.

News from Down Under…

The best source of information about The Hobbit at Comic-Con is undoubtedly TheOneRing.net – take a look at the website to see both a transcript from the panel in Hall H plus a Q and A video.

Among the cast and crew assembled were Peter Jackson (director), Philippa Boyens (co-producer and co-writer) and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins). “Some 6,500 fans waited in Hall H all day to see The Hobbit panel and a twelve-and-a-half-minute showreel from the film, with many more unable to get in,” TheOneRing.net explains.

During the Q and A Jackson talked about the filming process and what it was like for some of the actors – Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood – to be back on set.

When asked whether The Silmarillion will make it onto the big screen, Jackson’s answer was a resounding ‘no’: “No, the Silmarillion is totally owned by the Tolkien estate. It’s not owned by Warners or MGM like The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are.”

Jackson also revealed that Howard Shore is due to start recording the score with the London Philharmonic in five or six weeks.

Results of the BAFTA Awards 2012

The Orange British Academy Film Awards 2012 were held last night at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The Artist stole the show and took home seven awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was awarded Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. Best Actress went to Meryl Streep for her performance in The Iron Lady. Streep lost a shoe on the way onstage, prompting Colin Firth to dash over and retrieve it for her. In her winners’ press conference held after the ceremony Streep was asked whether she had gotten over her Cinderella moment. She replied: “I did, but I was very upset, because I neglected to thank the person that I wanted to thank the very most.”

Streep then went on to thank her make-up man and hairdresser who she has worked with for the past 35 years, J Roy Helland, plus the prosthetics team on The Iron Lady who made it possible for her to portray Margaret Thatcher over four decades.

The BAFTA Fellowship was awarded to Martin Scorsese by Max Von Sydow while the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award was presented to John Hurt by Billy Bob Thornton.

The full list of winners is as follows:

BEST FILM
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Help
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
My Week With Marilyn
Senna
Shame
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We Need To Talk About Kevin

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Attack The Block – Joe Cornish (Director/Writer)
Black Pond – Will Sharpe (Director/Writer), Tom Kingsley (Director),
Sarah Brocklehurst (Producer)
Coriolanus – Ralph Fiennes (Director)
Submarine – Richard Ayoade (Director/Writer)
Tyrannosaur – Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Incendies
Pina
Potiche
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

DOCUMENTARY
George Harrison: Living In The Material World
Project Nim
Senna

ANIMATED FILM
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn
Arthur Christmas
Rango

DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Tomas Alfredson – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lynne Ramsay – We Need To Talk About Kevin

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig – Bridesmaids
John Michael McDonagh – The Guard
Abi Morgan – The Iron Lady
Woody Allen – Midnight In Paris

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash – The Descendants
Tate Taylor – The Help
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon – The Ides Of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin – Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

LEADING ACTOR
Brad Pitt – Moneyball
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Michael Fassbender – Shame

LEADING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis – The Help

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Jim Broadbent – The Iron Lady
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Ides of March

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Carey Mulligan – Drive
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Judi Dench – My Week with Marilyn
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer – The Help

ORIGINAL MUSIC
The Artist – Ludovic Bource
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Hugo – Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias
War Horse – John Williams

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo – Robert Richardson
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Hoyte van Hoytema
War Horse – Janusz Kaminski

EDITING
The Artist – Anne-Sophie Bion, Michel Hazanavicius
Drive – Mat Newman
Hugo – Thelma Schoonmaker
Senna – Gregers Sall, Chris King
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Dino Jonsater

PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Artist – Laurence Bennett, Robert Gould
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Hugo – Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
War Horse – Rick Carter, Lee Sandales

COSTUME DESIGN
The Artist – Mark Bridges
Hugo – Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre – Michael O’Connor
My Week With Marilyn – Jill Taylor
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Jacqueline Durran

MAKE UP & HAIR
The Artist – Julie Hewett, Cydney Cornell
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
Hugo – Morag Ross, Jan Archibald
The Iron Lady – Marese Langan
My Week With Marilyn – Jenny Shircore

SOUND
The Artist – Nadine Muse, Gérard Lamps, Michael Krikorian
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – James Mather, Stuart Wilson,
Stuart Hilliker, Mike Dowson, Adam Scrivener
Hugo – Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Casali, Howard Bargroff, Doug Cooper,
Stephen Griffiths, Andy Shelley
War Horse – Stuart Wilson, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson,
Richard Hymns

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn – Joe Letteri
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Tim Burke, John Richardson,
Greg Butler, David Vickery
Hugo – Rob Legato, Ben Grossman, Joss Williams
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White
War Horse – Ben Morris, Neil Corbould

SHORT ANIMATION
Abuelas
Bobby Yeah
A Morning Stroll

SHORT FILM
Chalk
Mwansa The Great
Only Sound Remains
Pitch Black Heist
Two And Two

THE ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
Adam Deacon
Chris Hemsworth
Chris O’Dowd
Eddie Redmayne
Tom Hiddleston