Monthly Archives: November 2013

Class of ’92: watch David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs talk about playing for Manchester United

The Class of ’92 is a new documentary about the extraordinary generation of footballing talent that emerged from Manchester United’s youth team in the early 1990s, many of whom went on to become household names. In this clip, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, the Neville brothers and Nicky Butt discuss their stellar careers and reputations they forged at United

• The Class of ’92 is in selected cinemas in the UK from 1 December and released on DVD on 2 December Continue reading…
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Life of Pi tiger nearly drowned on set, report alleges

Incident with King the tiger during Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning production one of many flagged up in alarming investigation of animal protection monitoring in HollywoodThe Bengal tiger used in the Oscar-winning film Life of Pi almost drowned on set in an i… Continue reading

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Ron Burgundy sings his support for crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford

Anchorman star Will Ferrell appears on Conan in character and campaigns for the ‘damn honest’ politician’s re-election Continue reading… Continue reading

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Jason Statham calls for stunt Oscars

Action specialist says it’s a ‘farce’ that film industry’s premier awards ceremony fails to recognise stunt co-ordinators’ work

• Interview: The secret life of Jason Statham
• Jason Statham to star in Layer Cake sequel Viva La Madness

Jason Statham has added his voice to leading figures in the stunt co-ordination sector of the industry for stunt performers to be rewarded with their own Oscar category.

Speaking to Vanity Fair magazine, Statham said: “I think it is an overlooked category, [considering] how much responsibility these coordinators have for some of the greatest entertainment in action movies. I mean, all of the stunt men—these are the unsung heroes. They really are. Nobody is giving them any credibility. They’re risking their necks.”

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Jason Flemyng posts Star Wars: Episode VII script on Instagram

‘Pint of Stella and a Star Wars script! That’s me sorted till five,’ actor writes, in seeming follow-up to interview gaffe last year Continue reading… Continue reading

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Blue Is the Warmest Colour – review

Abdellatif Kechiche’s epic film evokes love in its purest and most passionate form – intense, cataclysmic and unforgettable Continue reading…
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Star Wars: meet the monkey who might have played Yoda

Photos have been released of the original plan for the character of Yoda: a monkey in a mask

• Star Wars pet clothing range revealed
• Yoda rumoured for spin off Star Wars movie

As ill-judged Star Wars ideas go, it’s up there with the purple lightsaber – though might have some way to go before it can compete with Jar Jar Binks. Photographs have emerged for the first time of the monkey in a mask which George Lucas et al once hoped might play diminutive Jedi master Yoda.

The story of how the unnamed simian was screen-tested for the role of the galaxy’s greatest backwards-talking warrior – he was even taught to hold Yoda’s cane – has long been part of Star Wars mythos. It was documented in JW Rinzler’s 2010 book The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. But it is believed the shots of the monkey on set have not previously hit the public domain.

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The Hobbit’s Gandalf almost proved a greenscreen too far for Ian McKellen

Isolated and ‘pretty miserable’ during Peter Jackson’s gruelling New Zealand shoot, actor thought about quitting acting

• The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer
• Ben Child: Peter Jackson’s Hobbit philosophy – more is better Continue reading…
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The Parallax View: a JFK conspiracy film that gets it right

Parkland and other movies about JFK’s assassination show just how far to the right Hollywood has shifted. Alan J Pakula’s classic film, however, is a high point of New American Cinema

John F Kennedy assassination: 50 years of conspiracy in film and fiction
• All Alex von Tunzelmann’s Reel History assessments of the JFK films

Just about the only interesting things about the new Hollywood movie Parkland is its demonstration of how far Hollywood has shifted to the right over the last couple of decades.

John F Kennedy was quite a conservative president. He opposed the March on Washington and did little to promote the cause of civil rights, whereas Hollywood celebrities as diverse as Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, and Steve McQueen joined the march and heard Martin Luther King discuss his dream. Nevertheless Kennedy’s murder sent shockwaves through the liberal Los Angeles community. The humourist Mort Sahl remarked that Kennedy was “shot like a dog on the streets of Dallas, and all of a sudden he had no friends”.

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Brittany Murphy toxicology tests suggest heavy metal poisoning

Father commissions reports after 2009 death of troubled 8 Mile actor initially ruled as caused by pneumonia

• Simon Monjack, husband of Brittany Murphy, dies of heart attack
• Peter Bradshaw on Brittany Murphy: That girl from Clueless

A toxicology report commissioned by Brittany Murphy’s father has suggested that the 8 Mile actor did not die from natural causes, as was previously thought.

After Murphy’s death at the age of 32 in 2009, the LA coroners office concluded that pneumonia was the cause of death, with “anemia and prescription drugs [playing] a role”. Her husband Simon Monjack died five months later, also of natural causes.

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In Fear – review

A couple get lost looking for a hotel in Ireland in this smart, scary film Continue reading… Continue reading

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Why don’t cinemas and directors show proper lesbian sex scenes?

The fetishisation of gay women’s sex lives by straight male directors mean serious LGBT films struggle to find major backers Continue reading… Continue reading

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Jason Statham to star in Layer Cake sequel Viva La Madness

JJ Connolly will again create a screenplay from his own novel, with Statham taking Daniel Craig role and recruiting director

• News: Jason Statham signs up for Melissa McCarthy comedy
Jason Statham: five best moments Continue reading…
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George Clooney knocks Crowe and DiCaprio, but loves Pitt

The Monuments Men director reveals feud with Crowe and disrespect from DiCaprio’s associates, while approving Pitt’s resilience

• George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuarón talk about Gravity at the Venice film festival
• George Clooney drops out of Oscars race as The Monuments Men postponed Continue reading…
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Philomena: nun too sloppy when it comes to the facts

Steve Coogan’s take on the real-life story of a woman whose baby was sold by nuns for adoption is scrupulous and sane, save for a small lapse involving one SisterMagdalene Laundries were church institutions in which young women considered guilty of lic… Continue reading

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Cinema programmers beware: feminist films can flunk the Bechdel test

The decision of some Swedish cinemas to vet what they show using the test should be applauded with caution – its creator had satire in mind, and its enforcers may yet be motivated by money Continue reading…
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