Jessica Brown Findlay's new TV adaptation of Jamaica Inn attracted a flood of complaints after it aired in the U.K. due to the poor sound quality. The Downton Abbey star plays the lead role in the small screen version of Daphne Du Maurier's classic novel about smugglers in Cornwall, England and the first installment of the three-part drama was broadcast in Britain on Monday (21Apr14).
However, BBC bosses received 117 complaints from angry viewers, many of whom claimed they were unable to understand the dialogue due to sound problems. The project's screenwriter, Emma Frost, also complained about the problems, insisting the sound on the TV show was dreadful and very different to an advance screening she had seen.
In a series of posts on Twitter.com, Frost writes, "It sounded like listening through mud... The director and execs were on the phone to the BBC from the off yelling 'Why can't we hear it???'... Complaints were relentless - quite rightly. None of production team know what happened with the... sound. It was fine before... Something went VERY wrong on transmission... My TV was at full volume and I was still struggling... Last night's sound was completely different to the advance screening copies watched by previewers & me. All cast were audible."
A spokesperson for the BBC says, "There were issues with the sound levels... and for technical reasons, they could not be altered during transmission. We are adjusting the dialogue levels in episodes two and three to address audience concerns so they can enjoy the rest of the drama, and would like to apologise to those viewers who were affected."
British actress Jessica Brown Findlay was scared of drowning while filming watery scenes for upcoming drama Jamaica Inn. The former Downton Abbey star plays the lead character Mary Yellen in a new TV adaptation of the Daphne Du Maurier novel about smugglers in Cornwall, England.
Findlay spent five days wading in and out of the sea while filming on location, and admits the waves terrified her.
She tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "Filming in the sea was ridiculous. It was exhilarating and special because you get to a place so far beyond where it feels 'pretend'. It was very real and there was a certain level of fear. You were in the sea, everyone disappeared and you may drown.
"The waves were so big - you'd go under and for a few seconds and you couldn't see which way was up."
The three-part adaptation of Jamaica Inn will air in the U.K. from 20 April (14).
Naomi Watts is reportedly in talks to take on Tippi Hedren's iconic role in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock thriller The Birds. The movie classic is set for a revamp by blockbuster moviemaker Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes company, although he won't direct the film - that task will fall to Dutchman Diederik Van Rooijen.
The Birds was loosely based on a story by Daphne du Maurier.
Sienna Miller previously portrayed Hedren in TV movie The Girl, which centred on Hitchcock's obsession with his leading lady as they filmed The Birds.
Daphne Du Maurier's real life Jamaica Inn has been saved after it was snapped up in a multi-million dollar deal. The pub in Cornwall, England inspired the writer's 1936 book of the same name, and was later immortalised on the big screen by Alfred Hitchcock in his 1939 film starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara.
Jamaica Inn was put up for sale earlier this year (14) after its owners decided to retire, sparking fears the building, which was once a notorious smugglers' haunt, would be redeveloped.
It has now been snapped up for more than $3.2 million (£2 million) by English businessman Allen Jackson, who has vowed to preserve Jamaica Inn. He also noted the timing of the sale comes just weeks before a new TV adaptation starring Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay is due to air in the U.K.
He says, "With the BBC adaption airing around Easter, I believe it is a very timely acquisition. I am delighted to have acquired Jamaica Inn and intend to breathe new life into this fantastic and historic location."
MGM via Everett Collection
Spaceballs, Mel Brooks' homage to all things sci-fi related recently came out on Netflix Instant Watch and I watched it. Aside from a few dated references, it was as sidesplittingly hilarious as the day that I saw it in the theaters back in 1987. Now... I warn you. This is one of those movies that, if you bring it up to any male over the age of 35, he will start spouting line after line after line of dialogue (The Princess Bride is another one). Just ride it out if you have to. I won't subject you to that, though.
It's got a great cast — my favorite out of all the Brooks movies — with Bill Pullman, John Candy (rest in peace), Rick Moranis, Daphne Zuniga, the voice of Joan Rivers and Brooks himself as a spoof of Yoda (Yogurt). The cast seemed to have genuine fun making this movie, and it shows in their exuberant, campy performances. It's rated PG but the language is a little coarse, so watch an edited version on regular TV if you're watching it with kids younger than 12.
One thing that I need to explain to recent teenagers about the dated references. A "Dot Matrix," the name of Rivers' android character, was a type of printer that was in widespread use. It moved at the speed of a typewriter on amphetamines and screeched as loudly. Heaven forbid you had to print out a paper in college at 2 in the morning. It woke up half the dorm room floor. Video cassettes were used to record and watch movies. It required a lot of rewinding and fast forwarding. The Internet was far from being widely used and cell phones were larger than phone books and mostly restricted to rich people's cars.
Still, while the movie was hilarious, I did find myself getting into joke fatigue around three quarters of the way through this viewing. What Brooks did here was pretty much take every joke that he could think of and throw them at the wall to see what would stick. It's nearly a non-stop barrage, and by the time you reach the Alien tribute near the ending of the movie, you might only have energy for a "heh" reaction. Then again, I think my sides were still sore from laughing too hard earlier.
So, I can't recommend this movie highly enough. I'm thrilled it's on Netflix Instant Watch. It's a perfect homage to our favorite Star Wars movies. Thank goodness it came out well before the prequels, though I would have been interested in seeing what Brooks came up with for Jar Jar Binks. May the Schwartz Be With You.
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.
Former Friends star Matt Leblanc appeared drunk in a Bob Seger video at the beginning of his career. A director pal asked him if he'd appear as "the hero guy" in Seger's Night Moves video, opposite Melrose Place star Daphne Zuniga, and LeBlanc signed up.
But it turned out the rocker was a fan of his then-new comedy show and he invited the actor to join him for a drink before the shoot.
LeBlanc recalls, "It's at this drive-in movie theatre... and I'm in this little box and they knock on the door and say, 'Bob Seger would like to talk to you in his motor home...,' so I go in there and he's this really nice guy and he's really humble and he whips out a bottle of tequila.
"Cut to about an hour and a half later, I'm hammered and he's hammered and my friend that was in it (video) with me, he's hammered... You can kind of tell in the video I'm a little (drunk)."
As well as LeBlanc and Zuniga, The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki also appeared in the 1994 promo.
A representative for 50 Cent has hit out at reports suggesting the rap superstar has abandoned his teenage son after suffering a major fall-out last year (13). The In Da Club hitmaker, real name Curtis Jackson, became embroiled in a feud with Marquise and his mother Shaniqua Tompkins in January, 2013 after the boy reportedly refused to answer the door when his famous father visited.
They exchanged a series of angry text messages over the incident, and the family drama went public after they were shared online, with 50 Cent allegedly declaring "I don't have a son anymore" in one angry text.
50 Cent's reputation as a father hit headlines again this week (begs06Jan14) after Tompkins alleged he had not seen Marquise since May, 2012 - but now the hip-hop mogul is fighting back, dismissing suggestions he's a bad dad.
A statement issued by the rapper's representative to TMZ.com reads: "50 is saddened by the attention-seeking tactics of his son's mother. He remains a proud and supportive father and feels blessed to have two sons."
50 Cent became a father for the second time in September, 2012 after ex-girlfriend Daphne Joy gave birth to a son named Sire Jackson.
The star shared a series of photos of the tot on his Instagram.com page on Monday (06Jan14), before deleting them moments later over fears he was putting the child's safety in danger by plastering his photo all over the blog.
50 Cent's relationship with Joy hasn't gone so smoothly either - he was sentenced to probation and 30 days of community service in October (13) after he was accused of domestic violence following an alleged fight with her.
The real life Jamaica Inn immortalised by Daphne Du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock has been put up for sale. Du Maurier based her creepy 1936 book on the real life pub of the same name in Cornwall, England, and the tale was later brought to life by Hitchcock in his 1939 film Jamaica Inn, starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara.
The real life Jamaica Inn, which was built on moorland near the town of Bodmin in 1750, was originally used as a coaching inn and later became a notorious smugglers' haunt.
The bar is now on the market for around $3 million (£2 million) after its current owners decided to retire from the pub business.
Du Maurier stayed at the inn in 1930 and the pub now contains her original writing desk and a large number of her possessions as a tribute to the woman who made the venue famous.
Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay appears in a new BBC adaptation of the book, which is due to air in the U.K. in the spring (14).