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).
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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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."
"I had to pinch myself during my scenes with Colin and Russell Crowe. I said, 'This can't be really happening!' Acting is like a game of tennis: If you're working with someone brilliant, you have to up the stakes, and I love that challenge." Former Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay was starstruck working with Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe in new movie Winter's Tale.
Warner Bros Pictures via Everett Collection
Even without having read Mark Helprin's novel Winter's Tale, I have the unshakable feeling that Akiva Goldsman's film adaptation does not do the story justice. Speckled throughout the moreover colorless movie are hints of an intriguing idea — a fantasy epic about an angel-demon bureaucracy coexisting with the human race throughout the span of 20th century New York City, operating within the parameters of a didactic miracle-granting system — an idea that doesn't come close to its full potential. In 118 minutes, we barely scratch the surface of the world in which an apparently immortal Colin Farrell finds himself. We see him cavort with Russell Crowe, a malicious gang-leader with netherworld origins, seek guidance from a mystical Pegasus, and carry out his destiny as the savior to a mysterious red-haired girl. But we never truly understand why any of this is happening. Not that it gets particularly confusing; on a plot level, it's all quite simple. But that's the problem — it shouldn't be.
The central conceit of the film is that everyone is put on this Earth with a divine "mission" to uphold. Farrell's gives us the narrative of Winter's Tale, introducing the various rules and officers of the supernatural regime along the way. Abandoned as a baby and brought up under the criminal regime of a Manhattanite from Hell (Crowe), Farrell ascends from orphan to petty thief to horse whispering renegade to whimsical lover of a dying Jessica Brown Findlay to ageless messiah... all without much clarity on the nature of the story (or stories) he's occupying, save for two ham-fisted scenes of exposition — one with Graham Greene (not the dead author) and one with Jennifer Connelly, who shows up halfway through the movie for some reason.
Warner Bros Pictures via Everett Collection
The world that Farrell is woven into has so many bright spots: we're on board for miracle quests, a magic-laden New York City, flying horses, and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood giving a cameo as the epitome of evil. Everything we see is fun, but it all flutters away as quickly as it arrives. We don't want quick bites of the way angels and demons do business with one another on the streets of Manhattan, we want the whole meal. A more thorough exploration of Helprin's world wouldn't just be doubly as interesting as the thin alternative we're offered in Goldsman's adaptation, it'd also fill in all the comprehensive gaps in Farrell's emotional throughline
We don't really understand so much of what happens to Farrell. Even when we're offered tangible explanations, we have no reason to understand why the Winter's Tale world works in such a way that Farrell might survive a 300-foot fall, develop amnesia, or sustain youth for a full century. What's more, we don't understand why Farrell's tale as a cog in this mystical machine is any more important than anyone else's. Or, if it's not, and we're simply asked to watch him carry out his quest as a glimpse into the vast, enigmatic system that Winter's Tale is ostensibly founded upon, we ... we don't understand enough of that world itself.
Warner Bros Pictures via Everett Collection
We're never invited close enough to any of the movie's attractive features for them to matter. So even when the movie does offer entertaining bits — in its fantastical elements, its detail of New Yorks old and new, or Farrell's admittedly charming romance with Findlay — we're not engaged enough to really connect with any of them.
Still, the flying horse is pretty cool.
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British actress Jessica Brown Findlay has been left fearing for her parents' safety after severe flooding hit their hometown. The former Downton Abbey star grew up in the village of Cookham in Berkshire, England, which has been hit hard by the storms and rising waters which have devastated much of the country in recent days.
Findlay has now revealed her parents have been caught up in the disaster. Their house has so far remained unscathed, but the family's friends are struggling.
During an appearance on U.K. morning TV show Daybreak, Findlay says, "No (they haven't been flooded), they're OK, but lots of their mates are (flooded). It's, you know, two feet of water in one of their friends' houses. It's nuts. It's insane and it's not stopping."
Former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay has taken up trapeze lessons in order to prepare for her role in Frankenstein. The actress will play a circus performer in the new film, opposite fellow Brits Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, and she wants to make sure she looks the part on camera.
She tells the New York Times, "I'm doing static trapeze, so you climb a rope and do lots of insane things, up very, very high with only one arm or one leg on the bar. When we film it, I'm relying on the fact that there will be a net."
Frankenstein, which is based on Mary Shelley's novel of the same name, is set to hit theatres next year (15).
If you haven’t started Season 4 of Downton Abbey beware of major spoilers.
There are only two episodes in Season 4 and, so far, we have seen a major character die and one of the series’ most lovable characters brutally raped. Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) was in a car crash last season and the season premiere proves he didn’t survive. In episode 2, Anna Bates (Joanne Froggatt) gets raped by Mr. Green (Nigel Harman), Lord Gillingham’s vallet. What’s next? Are Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) going to get into a fight in the salon? Are these topical stories or are they gratuitous soap opera shock moments?
This is a huge departure to some prior storylines. Sure, there have been some scandalous activities at Downton. Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) lost her virginity out of wedlock to a man who died in bed with her. But the issue was handled more like a comedy of errors and the film Clue than a graphic body disposal. They didn’t chop up his body and hide it in a silver chafing dish. Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) did have an affair with a secretly gay member of the aristocracy. But it was more about Thomas’ struggles in society at the time. However, Anna’s rape was violent and intense. It seemed to come out of left field. Is it gratuitous?
Granted, this is topical for aristocratic society because it is very possible for a rape to go unreported when it’s a servant that is raped. However, wouldn’t a servant raping another servant be hastily dealt with? It may have been more topical had Anna been raped by a member of the aristocracy. It wouldn’t make the crime more permissible. However, it would give a voice to the great number of victims that were raped by members of a higher class and forced to stay silent. Instead, Anna stays silent because she fears Mr. John Bates (Brendan Coyle) will go wild and kill him. Bates may be a convicted criminal but he isn’t a murderer. What’s scary and unexpressed is if Mr. Bates is so wild and crazy is he beating Anna? If not, why shouldn’t she tell someone what happened?
Is Downton Abbey veering off course or is it delivering the level of drama you’d expect from the series? So far, nothing is anachronistic. Yes, Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) died of complications of childbirth. And yes, if Matthew got into a car accident he wouldn’t survive. But are all these horrific events gratuitous?
Despite the intensity and randomness of these events it seems like the show is venturing to express life at that time. As the series approaches the 1920s, so comes modernism. As sad as it is to see the utterly lovable Anna violated, it does give her character a storyline that transcends dressing Lady Mary. Hopefully, she is able to tell someone and get vindication for this violation. But I guarantee you that if Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) becomes a prostitute it may be time to stop watching Downton Abbey.
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).