A new West End adaptation of Hollywood thriller Fatal Attraction has received a frosty reception from critics, with reviewers branding the production "horrible", "pointless" and "amateurish". The 1987 movie has been transformed into a play with Mark Bazeley in the role of the adulterous husband played by Michael Douglas, and Natascha McElhone taking on Glenn Close's part as his bunny-boiling lover, with Kristin Davis as the betrayed wife.
The show opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the British capital on Tuesday night (25Mar14), but it failed to win over critics, who attacked the plot changes, the script and the concept.
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail newspaper writes, "Though I give Fatal Attraction three stars - this new stage version is decently acted and coolly staged - I hated almost every minute of it. What a horrible, heartless story."
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer brands the show "pointless", adding, "Though some of the changes to the film may intrigue or infuriate Fatal Attraction obsessives, and the new final twist is undoubtedly ingenious, they are hardly ground-breaking and hardly justify the trouble and expense of a trip to the West End."
Michael Billington of The Guardian was also unimpressed with the show, concluding, "There is something pathetic about the commercial theatre's increasing reliance on movies for source material... It puzzles me why people should be expected to cough up to see a transplanted screenplay; and, even though (writer) James Dearden has made some adjustments to his 1987 script for Fatal Attraction, it remains an essentially hollow experience."
The Times critic Dominic Maxwell gave the play a lowly one star out of five, and branded the show, "a bad idea, poorly executed," adding, "It's amateurish... It's risible." Maxwell also criticised producers over the iconic 'bunny boiling' scene, revealing he could "see the bunny still alive and well in its cage" when it was purported to be in a saucepan onstage.
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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Beloved British actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith have landed Dame titles in Queen Elizabeth II's annual New Year Honours List. The Good Life star Keith and Murder, She Wrote's Lansbury join fellow thespians Michael Crawford and Lynda Bellingham, singer Katherine Jenkins, veteran TV presenter Nicholas Parsons and sculptor Antony Gormley among the other celebrities on the newly-released list.
Of her damehood Keith, 73, says, "It's a recognition for not only my 54 years being an actress but also for all the charities with which I'm associated and I think they'll be thrilled."
And Lansbury tells the BBC, "I'm joining a marvellous group of women I greatly admire like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. It's a lovely thing to be given that nod of approval by your own country and I really cherish it."
Cats and The Phantom of the Opera choreographer Gillian Lynne will also add Dame to her name in 2014, while Turner Prize winner Gormley and theatre producer Michael Codron have both picked up knighthoods.
Michael Crawford and Nicholas Parsons have both picked up Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medals for their charitable work, and composer and conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has been named a companion of honour.
Bellingham has ended a tough year, during which she battled cancer, with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - an honour also bestowed on opera star Jenkins, who was left "incredibly humbled" after learning her name was on the list.
She says, "To accept such an award after only a decade of service to music and charity, comes as a wonderful surprise. I share this award with the charitable bodies I am so privileged to work with."
Meanwhile, conductor Sir Simon Rattle becomes one of only 24 living people to land an Order of Merit medal.
Others named among the New Year Honours include actress and writer Ruth Jones and DJ Pete Tong (both Member of the Order of the British Empire).
Getty/Warner Bros. via Everett Collection
Every year, people all over the entertainment world pull together their lists of the best performances, actors, directors, film, and shows of the year, making special note of all of the newcomers who managed to breakthrough into the mainstream with exceptional projects in 2013. However, when we were running through out lists of the best breakout actors of the year, we happened to notice that many of our new favorite television characters bore some strong resemblances to some of our favorite characters from classic sitcoms.
With that in mind, we've picked 10 of our favorite breakout television stars of 2013 and cast them in roles from our favorite shows of yesteryear.
Joe Lo Truglio as Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith ShowAs the weird, bumbling, food-obsessed Det. Charles Boyle, Joe Lo Truglio has been stealing scenes week after week on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and we think he could continue to put all of that strange ineptness to use as Barney Fife, the nervous, incompetent deputy to Andy Griffith's Sheriff Andy Taylor. Lo Truglio's proven that he excels at making life more complicated for others, and he would be able to portray the perfect mix of heart and humor.
James Wolk as Wally Cleaver from Leave It to BeaverJames Wolk specializes in characters that are charming, popular and intelligent, which makes him the perfect pick to play the Beaver's charismatic older brother. Sure, he's a lot older than Wally was on the show, but it's hard to think of an actor who would be better at portraying a character described by all of the girls as "the most," because as Zach on The Crazy Ones, Wolk is the most charming, funny and attractive actor on TV right now.
Tatiana Maslany as One of Charlie's AngelsIt's not quite a sitcom, but Charlie's Angels had the right combination of action and comedy that would make it the perfect vehicle for Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany. On the show, she's proven that she can handle whatever twists and turns come her way, as well as being able to hold her own in a fight, but Maslany is also funny and charming enough to handle the show's more humorous moments with ease. Plus, with Maslany at the forefront, this would finally be a Charlie's Angels reboot worth watching.
Andre Braugher as Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore ShowAndre Braugher's been a well-respected television actor for a long time now, but as Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, he proved that he can handle comedy just as well — if not better — than he does drama. We think he'd be perfect to take on the role of Lou Grant, Mary Richards' tough but loving boss on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He's already got plenty of experience keeping a group of goofballs in line, and it would finally give him the chance to break out and play something other than a cop for a change.
Malin Ackerman as Samantha from BewitchedJust try and put the terrible Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell film out of your mind for a second, and instead picture Malin Akerman as the loveable witch struggling to balance her magical powers and her role as a normal housewife. Ackerman's honed her comedy chops on the new sitcom Trophy Wife, and her perky-yet-sarcatsic demeanor makes her the perfect choice to take on Samantha. Plus, she's proven that she's great with phsyical comedy, which will come in handy when it's time for her to wiggle her nose.
Nicole Beharie as Agent 99 on Get SmartA beautiful, intelligent, highly skilled agent tasked with balancing both her bumbling, confused sidekick and a top secret mission? It may sound like Nicole Beharie's Sleepy Hollow character Abbie Mills, but it's actually Agent 99 from the sitcom Get Smart, which proves that Beharie would be the ideal choice for the role. She's got the looks, smarts, and comedic chops to take on the slapstick spy comedy, but also has plenty of experience with the more action-intensive elements. On top of all that, she's a compelling actress, who would be able to give the character enough depth to keep her from being a complete caricature. Just add Tom Mison as Maxwell Smart, and you've got yourself a show.
Albert Tsai as Dennis from Dennis the MenaceAt only nine years old, Albert Tsai has become one of the biggest breakout stars of the year through his role as the quirky, hilarious Bert, one of Kate's stepsons on Trophy Wife. When it comes time for Tsai to properly break out, say into feature films or a reboot of a classic sitcom, we think there would be no better vehicle for him than as everyone's favorite troublemaker Dennis the Menace. He's got enough charm to keep Dennis loveable, despite his antics, but would also be able to give the character a much needed dose of weirdness.
Corey Stoll as Fred from I Love LucyAs Rep. Peter Russo on Netflix's House of Cards, Corey Stoll did most of the show's heavy emotional lifting. If he's looking for some lighter fare, we think he'd do a great job as Fred Mertz, the stingy husband of Lucy's best pal Ethel. Since Fred fought in World War I and lived through the Great Depression, it gives Stoll enough gravitas to ground the character, while also giving him plenty of screwball plots and slapstick comedy to keep things light and up-beat — plus, no Kevin Spacey around to manipulate all of his actions. It's a win-win.
Rebel Wilson in Her Own Version of The Carol Burnett ShowRebel Wilson's show Super Fun Night may not have done as well as many were expecting, but she's still had a pretty stellar year. We think that the best way for her to capitalize on that would be her own Carol Burnett-inspired variety show. She's already got plenty of experience writing sketches, and even created and starred in several sketch shows and comedies in Australia. And since she showcased her musical talents in last year's Pitch Perfect, she's become the ideal candidate to bring back the variety show format to a younger generation.
Michael Ealy as Lionel from The JeffersonsThough his new sci-fi drama Almost Human has only just begun airing, Michael Ealy has become one of the most popular new television stars, due to the perfect combination of good looks, charm and talent. We think all of those qualities would serve him well as Lionel Jefferson, the smart, kind, wise-cracking son of George and Louise. Ealy's already proven that he has enough charm to take on the part, but Lionel's complicated relationship with his father and his wife, Jenny, would give him plenty of opportunities to showcase his acting talent. With Ealy on board, there's no doubt that Lionel would become much more than just a funny supporting character.
Julian Assange brought the world of espionage to its knees with a new brand of spying. Whereas in the early days of James Bond you needed a truckload of fancy gadgets, now the cloud is the ultimate tool of the spy trade. Assange only needs a few taps on a keyboard to do more work than 007 could do in a week with any fast car or silenced pistol. This all means that being a spy is probably loads easier nowadays thanks to all the cool technology we have lying around. You don't even have to go anywhere, or do any of that tough secret agent stuff like fighting other spies or sneaking around in vents. So what fictional spies' jobs would be easier if they took place in 2013?
Get SmartMaxwell Smart, the bungling secret agent behind the original Get Smart television series, used to use the incredibly unwieldy communication device known as the shoe phone in order to communicate secret messages. But it's a long time since the swinging '60s and these days, an agent probably has about 12 different micro-communication devices hidden all across his person, none of which involve lifting their shoe to your their to use.
Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyIn Tinker, Talor, Soldier, Spy, George Smiley is tasked with finding a double agent buried deep within the senior management of MI6. While this took forever back in George Smiley's era, nowadays, whoever the mole turned out to be would have definitely slipped up and posted some sort of incriminating evidence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, or any other one of the innumerable social networks we use to blast our secrets across the World Wide Web.
The Lives of OthersIn 1980s East Germany, Gerd Wiesler is tasked with spying on a playwright and his wife, so he bugs his apartment with numerous microphones and other surveillance equipment before hiding away in an attic to observe their lives. But if the Berlin Wall never fell, and this story happened today, there would be no need to bug the apartment because everyone is completely surrounded by cameras at every waking moment. Our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets make government spying amazingly easy.
Mr. and Mrs. SmithBrad and Angelina would have figured out each other’s secret lives as secret agents a lot quicker if Facebook was widely used back in 2005. Think of how many relationships were destroyed thanks to Mark Zuckerberg's social media network. That movie would have ended a lot sooner.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with preferring to not get married and just stay in a committed relationship with your partner instead, which is what many people in Hollywood choose to do. It’s one thing to just be dating, though, and a whole other thing to get engaged, which implies that you will be marrying. Some celebs seem to like the title of “fiance” more than turning it into “spouse,” and would rather be engaged for years than actually tie the knot.
Lebron James of the Miami Heat recently married his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson, after a 2 year long engagement (and a relationship since high school), and John Legend finally married girlfriend of 4 years and fiancé of 3 years, Chrissy Teigen, on the same day as James and Brinson, no less. Though they finally got hitched, there are still some celebs who aren’t yet ready to put a wedding ring on it.
Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson Jessica Simpson has been engaged to retired NFL-er Eric Johnson since 2010 and they already have 2 kids together, Maxwell Drew and Ace Knute Johnson. To be fair to Simpson, though, it is difficult to try on dresses and plan out weddings when you've been pregnant and/or popping out kids for most of the relationship.
Taran Killam & Cobie Smulders Cobie Smulders and Taran Killam are actually married now, but they still took their sweet time doing it. Engaged in 2009, the pair waited for 3 years (and the birth of their daughter) to finally tie the knot.
Kate Hudson & Matthew Bellamy Like her parents, Kate Hudson is living the non-married life with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy. Unlike her parents, though, Hudson has been engaged since 2011. There’s been no date set for their wedding as of yet, but we hope these crazy kids can make it last.
Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been together for 8 years. Though they initially claimed that they wouldn’t get married until gay people were allowed to marry too, the couple announced their engagement in 2012. Considering it took them 7 years to even get engaged, it’ll probably be another 7 for the actual wedding. Don’t hold your breath, peeps!
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Stan Lee will tell you that villains aren't born, they're created. Just about every evil doer in the Spider-Man universe started out as a good man — or, at the very least, an innocuous man — brought to villainy following the amalgam of a personal tragedy and a scientific catastrophe. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we'll be meeting two new characters, pictured below. Prior to being struck by lightning, Maxwell Dillon was your standard electrical engineer everyman. Before the death of his father, young Harry Osborn was a good-natured trust fund oddball, and close friend to Peter Parker. But even in images from these early days, we can see storm a-brewin' in these character's eyes...
In these new pictures from the upcoming sequel, we see Jamie Foxx before he has taken form as supervillain Electro, and Dane DeHaan in the chapters leading up to his turn as the second Green Goblin. Just a couple of average joes — a bespectacled, jeri curl combover-sufferer and a buttoned-up Aryan introvert. But if you look deep into the pair's glaring eyes, you'll see so much more... the doom that awaits Andrew Garfield in the upcoming sequel.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters May 2.
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Andrew Lloyd Webber — the man who breathed modern, musical life into Eva Perón, Jesus Christ, and the long unsung heroes of the Jellicle race — is apparently a big Jack Black fan. The Broadway mainstay has announced interest in adding a new project to his long list of stage staples: a musical adaptation of the 2003 movie School of Rock. Webber tells Broadway World, "[One] thing that I've just got the rights to that I am very excited about ... is that movie School of Rock."
Webber suggests that he will combine his own lyrical talents — which have resulted in classic numbers like "Memory," "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," and "Music of the Night" — with the rock and roll benchmarks present in the original Richard Linklater movie. "There may be songs for me in it, but it's obviously got songs in it as it stands," Webber says.
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This is an interesting tactic for the established composer, who seems to be drawing from the well of Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys, tapping into pop favorites of yore for a stage production. Fans will recall School of Rock boasting a soundtrack featuring artists like Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, Cream, The Clash, The Doors, David Bowie, and Steve Nicks, in addition to original songs penned by star Black and screenwriter Mike White.
Presently, Webber is in the process of developing a musical based on the life of physician and subject of political controversy, Stephen Ward. "So, I will go from Stephen Ward, which is really going to be sort of a chamber musical, to a musical about kids playing the guitar!" Webber says, once again invoking jealousy in the heart of Maxwell Sheffield.
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[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
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Jessica Simpson caught a lot of guff in the months leading up to the birth of her first daughter Maxwell — although it is perfectly natural, healthy, and utterly unsurprising for a woman to gain a good deal of weight in the late months of her pregnancy, Simpson and her size were the targets of jabs coming from every corner of the media. Now that the singer/actress is pregnant once more, announced via a Twitpic on Christmas Day and confirmed in the below Weight Watchers ad, Simpson might be gearing up for a new slew of jokes at her expense. But she doesn't appear to be intimidated by the prospect — instead, Simpson is empowered by her own healthy choices and attitude.
The video features Simpson plugging Weight Watchers, announcing the forthcoming new addition to her family, and riding around in the American mountainside... which, as someone should tell the producers of this commercial, is only a pacifying backdrop if you haven't seen 127 Hours. Check out the video below for some otherwise positive reverberations.
[Photo Credit: Wenn]
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There’s something about the holidays that makes Jessica Simpson want to tell people that she has a baby inside of her — the singer-actress-headline fixture is celebrating Christmas Day by confirming the rumors that she is indeed pregnant with her second child with fiancé Eric Johnson.
It was Halloween of 2011 when Simpson proclaimed herself an expectant mother for the first time, using some visual wordplay to announce the news. Now, just seven months after the birth of daughter Maxwell, Simpson has taken to Twitter with another image declaring the expansion of her family.
Pictured is Maxwell, adorned in Christmas garb, and labeled “Big Sis” in a sandwritten holiday card:
Simpson attached the picture to a message of holiday cheer, wishing readers, "Merry Christmas from my family to yours!"
Congratulations to the family on this most festive of updates. And keep a look out for news on Easter, the Fourth of July, and Arbor Day for news of further Simpson children!
[Photo Credit: Twitter]
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