Hit crime drama Broadchurch was a triple winner at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Awards on Sunday (18May14). The detective series picked up the Leading Actress prize for Olivia Colman, Supporting Actor for David Bradley and the top honour of the night for Best Drama.
Colman's win marked the star's third TV BAFTA prize, after claiming two trophies last year (13) for her roles in Twenty Twelve and Accused.
Overwhelmed with emotion upon receiving the award, Colman said through tears, "Well, Broadchurch, I'm so pleased everyone likes it. Chris Chibnall is a f**king genius, thank you for writing it! And (co-star) David Tennant, standing opposite you is a joy and a treat."
Double winners also included veteran presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who were feted with both Entertainment Performance and Entertainment Programme for Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, while comedy The IT Crowd earned both Katherine Parkinson and Richard Ayoade the Female and Male Performance in a Comedy Programme, respectively.
Other awards were handed to Southcliffe star Sean Harris for Leading Actor, Sarah Lancashire for Supporting Actress in Last Tango in Halifax, U.S. drug drama Breaking Bad for the International prize and Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor earned the Radio Times Audience Award.
Veteran TV star Cilla Black was lauded for her decades of work with the Special Award, while Julie Walters was given BAFTA's highest honour, the BAFTA Fellowship, for her contribution to film and TV.
During her acceptance speech she said, "When I told my mother I wanted to be an an actress in 1969, she said: 'She'll be in the gutter before she's 20'. But what a gutter, and I shared that gutter with some of the most amazing and talented people without whom I would not have a career."
Talk show host Graham Norton hosted the event for the second year in a row at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
I know, that headline is trouble. You're always treading dangerous ground when you insist on defining what makes a good this or the right kind of that, as if there is no room for change or improvement when it comes to classic properties. Of course there is — Jason Segel's 2011 Muppet film approached the concept from an entirely different direction. It didn't hit all of its marks, but it prevailed overall in its conceit: make a movie not about Muppets, but about Muppet fandom. But Muppets Most Wanted, in absence of a clear mission statement and fueled largely by the monetary glimmers of the sequel game (the film's opening number admits this outright), has fewer marks readily available to hit. Landing in the ambiguity between the classic Muppet adventure formula and Segel's post-modern Henson appreciation party, Most Wanted feels like a failure on both counts. It doesn't know which kind of movie it wants to, or should, be. So it doesn't really be anything.
On the one hand, there's the half-cocked "get-the-band-back-together" through line, mimicking but not quite accomplishing the spirit of the 2011 picture. None of the Muppets are particularly likable or charming in this turn, and even fewer of them actually given anything to do. Kermit loses his s**t in the first act after a spat with Piggy and a barrage of insubordination from his troupe (provoked by the nefarious Dominic Badguy, Ricky Gervais), storms off in a huff, and gets swept up in a case of mistaken identity when his criminal doppelganger Constantine pulls the old switcheroo, landing Kermit in a Russian gulag. You'd think this would be a good opportunity for the second tier of Muppet favorites — Piggy, Fozzy, Gonzo, Scooter, Rowlf, et al — to go on a search and rescue... but save for a very brief sequence at the tail end of this achingly long film, none of the other Muppets are giving anything to do. They just hem and haw and perform the occasional "Indoor Running of the Bulls" while Dominic and Constantine scheme, rob banks, and bicker.
Meanwhile, Kermit has some fun in prison — a far more endearing plot that sees him befriending the merry convicts, organizing a penitentiary revue, and even winning the heart of the vicious warden Nadia (Tina Fey). If only we could spend more time with real Kermit and less time with fake Kermit and his second banana Gervais, an effectively boring pair.
On the other hand, though, there's the Muppet shtick that fans of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island — and yes, The Muppet Show itself — will deem the movie's best material: CIA Agent Sam Eagle and Interpol Agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) hot on the trail of Constantine and Dominic. Here, we get a different type of Muppet movie entirely from what Segel and the A-plot in Most Wanted are opting: the old fashioned vaudeville act, with Sam standing as an independent entity from his googly-eyed brethren, on a goofy, musical prowl with Burrell that fuels the film with its best and most consistent chuckles. Their "Interrogation Song" number is outstanding, exemplifying the many talents of Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie, who wrote all the music for this and the previous film.
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Unfortunately, Muppets Most Wanted isn't sure that it wants to be The Great Muppet Caper, beheld so stubbornly to its Segelian roots. There's a palpable compulsion to stick with this agonizingly self-aware, nostalgia-crazy, brimming-beacons-of-the-past-in-a-callous-today theme that doesn't work a fraction as well as it did in the 2011 film. Without a legitimate celebration of any of our favorite characters, how could it? With so much going on in this movie, and such a lengthy runtime at just under two hours, it's a sure sign of failure that we walk away feeling like we spent barely any time with the Muppets.
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Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Treading water at the very surface of RoboCop, there is an idea. A dense concept, ready and willing to provide no dearth of dissection for any eager student of philosophy, psychology, political science, physics — hell, any of the Ps. To simplify the idea on hand: What separates man from machine? It's a question that is not just teased by the basic premise of José Padilha's remake of the 1987 sci-fi staple, but asked outright by many of its main characters. And then never really worried about again.
We have principal parties on both sides of the ethical quandary that would place the security of our crime-ridden cities in the hands of automatons. Samuel L. Jackson plays a spitfire Bill O'Reilly who wonders why America hasn't lined its streets with high-efficiency officer droids. Zach Grenier, as a moralistic senator, gobbles his way through an opposition to the Pro-boCop movement. We hear lecture after lecture from pundits, politicians, business moguls (a money-hungry Michael Keaton heads the nefarious OmniCorp...) and scientists (...while his top doc Gary Oldman questions the nature of his assignments while poking at patients' brains and spouting diatribes about "free will"), all working their hardest to lay thematic groundwork. Each character insists that we're watching a movie about the distinction between human and artificial intelligence. That even with an active brain, no robot can understand what it means to have a heart. But when Prof. Oldman tempers his hysterical squawking and Samuel L. Hannity rolls his closing credits, we don't see these ideas taking life.
In earnest, the struggle of rehabilitated police officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) — nearly killed in the line of duty and turned thereafter into OmniCorp's prototype RoboCop — doesn't seem to enlist any of the questions that his aggravated peers have been asking. Murphy is transformed not just physically, but mentally — robbed of his decision-making ability and depleted of emotional brain chemicals — effectively losing himself in the process. But the journey we see take hold of Murphy is not one to reclaim his soul, although the movie touts it as such. It's really just one to become a better robot.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Meanwhile, RoboCop lays down its motives, and hard: Murphy's wife and son (Abbie Cornish and a puckish young John Paul Ruttan) lament the loss of Alex, condemning his dehumanization at the hands of Raymond Sellars' (Keaton) capitalistic experiments, and sobbing out some torrential pathos so you know just how deep this company is digging. Weaselly stooges (Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle, and Jackie Earl Haley) line the OmniCorp roster with comical wickedness. Overseas, killer combat bots take down peaceful villages, unable to work empathetic judgment into their decision to destroy all deemed as "threats." And at the top, figures of power and money like Sellars and Pat Novak (Jackson) speak the loudest and harshest, literally justifying their agenda with a call for all naysayers to "stop whining." Clearly, RoboCop has something to say.
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And when it's devoted to its outrage, RoboCop is terrifically charming. The buzzing political world is just a tiny step closer to ridiculous than our own; the pitch meetings at OmniCorp are fun enough to provoke a ditching of all the material outside of the company walls. And one particular reference to The Wizard of Oz shows that the movie isn't above having fun with its admittedly silly premise. But it loses its magic when it steps away from goofy gimmicks and satirical monologues and heads back into the story. We don't see enough of Murphy grappling with the complicated balance between his conflicting organic and synthetic selves. In fact, we don't see enough "story" in Murphy at all. First, he's a dad and a cop. Then, he's a RoboCop. But can he also be a RoboDad? With all of its ranting and raving about the question, the film doesn't seem to concerned with actually figuring out the answer.
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Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
P. Diddy says he's being fleeced in child support
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs thinks he is being fleeced by the mother of his 10-year-old son and is hurt by her demands to increase his child support payments, which currently stand at $35,000 per month. "We've had a great relationship, and then all of the sudden I got hit with a lawsuit for more money," Combs told The Associated Press Thursday. Combs is currently appealing the $35,000 per month ruling brought on by Misa Hylton-Brim, a fashion stylist for Lil' Kim and other stars. "My son goes to the best schools, he has full-time tutors," the mogul said. "I wouldn't know what else to do to give my son." Combs claims Hylton-Brim wants more money because she's in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, with whom she has children. "It's not about child support, it's about adult support," he said. "I love the mother of my first child. I would never want to do anything to hurt her, but I have to defend the kind of father that I am." Combs, who also pays roughly the same amount in child support payments to model Kim Porter, the mother of his second child, Christian, added: "The fact is that the mother of my first child gets more money than the mother of my second child." Combs and Porter are currently together. But Combs said he had no bad feelings towards Hylton-Brim. "I'm always going to respect her for being the mother of my child … but at the same time, that don't mean she has to be right."
Disney chief Michael Eisner to step down in 2006
Disney chief Michael Eisner plans to step down when his contract expires in September 2006, Reuters reports. Eisner, who headed the Burbank, California-based company for two decades, told the board of his decision in a letter dated Sept. 9, released by Disney on Friday. Eisner became Disney's chief executive in 1984 and presided over one of the world's best-known brands, whose businesses range from theme parks to films to the ABC television network. But in April, the 62-year-old Eisner just narrowly survived an attempt led by dissident shareholders Stanley Gold and Roy Disney, a nephew of founder Walt Disney, to oust him from his post at Disney. Eisner was subsequently stripped of his role as Disney chairman.
Gwyneth Paltrow to take time off
Gwyneth Paltrow, who gave birth to daughter Apple in May, says she is not going back to work any time soon. "I don't imagine that I'm going to take on something very big in the next 6, 8, 10, 12 months," the actress reveals in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, which hits newsstands Friday. Paltrow said she could fill her leisure time attending Pilates class or watching reality TV fare like MTV's Newlyweds, staring Jessica Simpson--Paltrow's favorite singer. "I'm just glad that there's one super-popular girl in America who's not drunk, sleeping with tons of people, and wearing incredibly revealing, inappropriate outfits," Paltrow told EW. "She's a postmodern Donna Reed."
Naomi Campbell discusses drug addiction
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who won a legal battle against the Daily Mirror tabloid over revelations about her drug addiction, will talk about her battle with drugs in an interview with British talk show host Michael Parkinson, Reuters reports. According to excerpts from the show released Friday, Campbell admitted to doing cocaine. "No one forced me to do it. I did it because I wanted to. I don't have any blame for anyone but myself," Campbell, 34, said. "I go to (rehabilitation) meetings in every country I'm in. When you stop drugs, you have to stop everything."
Theron's injury could have been worse
Charlize Theron's recent injury on the Berlin set of Aeon Flux could have been much worse. The actress' boyfriend, actor Stuart Townsend, told AP Radio that Theron was doing a back-flip somersault while wearing platform shoes when she slipped and hurt her neck. "The slipped disc went almost into the spinal cord," he explained. "She's fine, but could've been in a lot of trouble." Townsend says he expects Theron, 29, to be laid up for six weeks. When asked why she was performing the stunt, Townsend replied: "She's just that kind of girl. She's like, 'Yeah, I'll do anything.' But I said, 'The stunt girl is going to start working and not you.'"
Kanye West leads Source noms
Rapper-producer Kanye West received a leading seven Source Hip-Hop Music Awards nominations Thursday, including nods for best album, video, lyricist and producer of the year, the AP reports. Ludacris followed close behind with six nods. The rapper will battle for male artist of the year against Jay-Z, Lil Flip, Twista and Juvenile. Youngbloodz, Ying Yang Twins, 8Ball and MJG, Westside Connection and OutKast, meanwhile, will compete for group of the year. The Source Awards, which will be handed in out in Miami Oct. 10, and will air on BET Nov. 30.
Legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas dies
Frank Thomas, one of Disney Studios' pioneering animators whose credits include Pinocchio, Bambi, Peter Pan and 101 Dalmatians, died yesterday at his home in Flintridge, Calif., the AP reports. He was 92. Thomas had been in declining health following a cerebral hemorrhage earlier this year, according to the studio. Thomas was a member of Walt Disney's elite "Nine Old Men," who worked on many classic shorts and features during a career that spanned more than four decades. He was born in Santa Monica, Calif., and went to college at Stanford University, where he met his lifelong friend and another of the "nine old men," Ollie Johnston--the last of those original animators still alive. Thomas is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanette, their children and grandchildren.