Director Brian G. Hutton has died, aged 79. The filmmaker passed away on Tuesday (19Aug14) after suffering a heart attack last week (begs11Aug14).
The New York City native began his career as an actor, but stepped behind the camera after taking part in a directing programme with Universal Studios.
In 1968, Hutton directed Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war classic Where Eagles Dare, and he teamed with the duo again in 1970 for Kelly's Heroes, which also starred Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.
Hutton also made two movies with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor - drama X, Y and Zee opposite Michael Caine and Night Watch with Laurence Harvey.
In 1980, Hutton was recruited to replace Roman Polanski as the director of The First Deadly Sin, after his predecessor fled America to escape statutory rape charges. The movie featured Faye Dunaway and Frank Sinatra in his final major film role.
Hutton also directed the films High Road to China, The Pad and How to Use It, and Sol Madrid.
As an actor, Hutton starred in movies like Fear Strikes Out, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, King Creole, The Case Against Brooklyn, and TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide and The Rifleman.
Italian screen icon Sophia Loren is set to lift the lid on her life, love and career in her first memoir. The Two Women actress has signed a deal with Atria Books to release Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: My Life as a Fairy Tale in December (14).
The book will feature Loren's letters, photographs and other memorabilia she has collected over the years. In the book, she'll detail her life story from her poverty-stricken childhood during World War Two to her rise to fame.
Among the souvenirs the 79-year-old Oscar winner will share with fans will be a letter from her The Pride and the Passion co-star Cary Grant, a telegram and other notes from her The Voyage and Brief Encounter colleague Richard Burton, and a sketch of film producer Carlo Ponti, who she wed in 1966.
Breaking Bad will go up against House Of Cards in the fight for the best international TV show prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards. The drama shows will compete against French supernatural show The Returned and Danish political drama Borgen at the television awards ceremony in London on 18 May (14).
Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, is also up for the Radio Times Audience Award, which will be voted for by the British public. It will compete against U.K. shows including detective drama Broadchurch, Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor and reality shows Gogglebox, The Great British Bake Off and Educating Yorkshire.
Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has been nominated in the Leading Actor category for his portrayal of a serial killer in The Fall, along with Dominic West for in his role as Richard Taylor in Burton and Taylor, Sean Harris for Southcliffe and Luke Newberry for In The Flesh.
West's co-star Helena Bonham Carter is up for Leading Actress for her portrayal of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She will compete against Kerrie Hayes (The Mill), Maxine Peake (The Village) and Olivia Colman (Broadchurch).
Broadchurch is also nominated in the Drama Series category alongside The Village, detective thriller Top of the Lake and comedy My Mad Fat Diary, while Dornan's The Fall will compete in the Mini-Series group against Southcliffe, In The Flesh and The Great Train Robbery.
Other stars to have landed key nominations include Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who is nominated for best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme for The IT Crowd, going head-to-head with his co-star Richard Ayoade. The sitcom is also nominated in the Situation Comedy category.
Actor Kevin Spacey is preparing to swap American politics for the British parliament after signing on to star as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a new movie. The double Oscar winner will portray the U.K.'s great wartime leader in Captain of the Gate, an upcoming film which will document Churchill's rise to power, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Spacey is no stranger to political projects - he currently plays scheming Democrat Francis Underwood in the U.S. version of drama series House of Cards.
Churchill, who was Britain's Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 - and again from 1951 to 1955, has previously been portrayed on screen by Richard Burton (Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years); Simon Ward (Young Winston); Timothy West (Churchill and the Generals); Robert Hardy (Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years); Bob Hoskins (World War II: When Lions Roared); Albert Finney (The Gathering Storm), and Brendan Gleeson (Into the Storm), while Timothy Spall played the Prime Minister in 2010's The King's Speech.
Actor Rhys Ifans is set to follow in fellow Welshman Richard Burton's footsteps by starring in a new film adaptation of iconic poet Dylan Thomas' famous play Under Milk Wood. Director/producer Kevin Allen has obtained the movie rights to the 1954 work, which features the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of a fictional Welsh fishing village, and is planning to make back-to-back English and Welsh language versions of the project, which was previously tuned into a big screen release by filmmaker Andrew Sinclair in 1972.
Allen has cast Notting Hill star Ifans in the role of First Voice, which was originated onscreen by Burton.
Burton's on/off wife Dame Elizabeth Taylor also starred in the 1972 film.
Producers have promised to "veer away from delivering a one dimensional, literal reflection of Thomas' original work" and instead "explore some of the darker, visceral elements" of "a richly funny, filthily fluid dystopian dreamscape - whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas' original text".
Filming on Under Milk Wood is due to begin this summer (14).
Plenty of actors have lent their voices to prime time animated series like The Simpsons or movies like The Croods and Toy Story. But it’s hard to imagine Saturday Morning Cartoons with huge stars. A lot of people are shocked to find out that the original voice of Shredder on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star James Avery, or to recall which Star Wars veteran was behind The Joker. Perhaps you weren't aware of the big names behind some of these childhood favorites...
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
A group of teenagers use magic rings to harness the elements and to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero. Each episode, they battle villains trying to pollute the environment. Whoopi Goldberg voices Gaia, the spirit of the Earth and their boss. What a lot of children at the time didn’t realize is the show’s villains are all played by major celebrities. Meg Ryan is Dr. Blight, a disfigured doctor who works with a sarcastic British computer. Jeff Goldblum plays Verminous Skumm, a mutated rat creature with a fondness for toxic waste. Sting even appears on the show as the creatively named Zarm. Other villains are played by Hollywood veterans Martin Sheen, James Coburn, Malcolm McDowell, and Ed Asner. Major celebs also stop by for guest appearances including Danny Glover, Louis Gossett Jr., and even Elizabeth Taylor.
This Disney cartoon creates a mythology where stone gargoyles come to life when the sun sets. It also has a bizarre Star Trek connection. Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis play series villains David Xanatos and Demona. There are also performance by other The Next Generation stars Michael Dorn, Brett Spiner, LeVar Burton, and Colm Meany. The captains of Deep Space Nine, Avery Brooks, and Voyager, Kate Mulgrew, appear on the cartoon. Nichelle Nichols even makes an appearance.
Batman: The Animated Series
Batman is probably the most star-studded cartoon in television history. The series features appearances by stars from the 1970s to today. 1970s icons like Adrienne Barbeau, Michael York, and Marilu Henner pop by the series. Bewitched actress Elizabeth McGovern plays her last role ever on the cartoon. Mark Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, finds a career resurgence playing The Joker. Night Court’s Richard Moll, The Beastmaster Marc Singer, and Melissa Gilbert all bring 1980s nostalgia playing major characters. Bruce Wayne’s various love interests include Heather Locklear, comedian Julie Brown, and Supergirl Helen Slater. There are also appearances by future celebrities like Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss and Megan Mullally.
Similarly, this Man of Steel cartoon has a ton of television actors lending their voices. Superman is voiced by Wings star Tim Daly and Lois Lane is Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany. Sitcom stars Peri Gilpin, Brad Garett, and Joely Fisher all appear on the show.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Hit British crime drama Broadchurch looks set to dominate the U.K.'s Royal Television Society Programme Awards after receiving four top nominations. The murder-mystery series, about a child's death in a small coastal town, is nominated in the Drama Serial category alongside zombie show In The Flesh and Elisabeth Moss' Top Of The Lake.
Broadchurch's female leads Olivia Colman and Jodie Whittaker will go up against each other for the Actor - Female award along with My Mad Fat Diary star Sharon Rooney, and the show's creator Chris Chibnall is up for a writing prize.
In the Actor - Male category, Idris Elba is nominated for his turn as a troubled cop in Luther alongside Stephen Dillane (The Tunnel) and Lennie James (Run).
Burton and Taylor, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West as Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, has received a nod in the Single Drama line-up, competing with Our Girl and The Challenger.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 18 March (14).
Late movie legend Richard Burton vowed to stay sober while making classic movie Under Milk Wood by limiting his drinking to only one bottle of vodka a day. The Welsh actor, who was a hardened drinker, appeared in the 1972 film opposite his on/off wife, Dame Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter O'Toole, and the film's director has opened up about the making of the movie in a book called Down Under Milk Wood.
In the tome, Sinclair reveals the difficulties he faced as he attempted to gather three of Hollywood's biggest names together, describing it as like "fixing a weekend between Howard Hughes, Queen Elizabeth II and Puck".
The moviemaker also claims Burton promised to cut down his booze intake while making the movie, adding, "'I am not drinking on your film,' he told me. 'That means only one bottle of vodka a day. I'm sober on two, but when I'm drinking it is three or more.'"
In the book, Sinclair also details Taylor's outrageous demands, including three special French nightgowns which swallowed up 50 per cent of the project's costume budget and her refusal to travel to the Welsh town of Fishguard for filming on location. Her scenes were shot separately at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.
Sinclair also claims Taylor refused to perform on one of her scheduled filming days, so O'Toole took her out to lunch, plied her with alcohol and then held her up as she drunkenly read her lines in front of the camera.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.