Date of birth
12th June, 1977
The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard to believe that this sequel actually tops it. Writer-director Paul King and his cast are back with their whimsical approach, combining silly comedy with surreally deranged touches that bring these people to life in ways that are both hilarious and deeply endearing. And this time, the plot feels more developed and the humour even funnier.
We catch up with Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) as he's now a fixture in his Notting Hill neighbourhood. With his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday approaching, he wants to give her the hand-made pop-up book of London landmarks he discovers in Gruber's (Jim Broadbent) second-hand shop and starts working odd jobs to save up to buy it. What he doesn't know is that a neighbour, washed-up actor Phoenix (Hugh Grant), knows that the book is a map to a hidden treasure. When Phoenix steals it and frames him, Paddington's adoptive family (Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin and Julie Walters) launch a plan to clear his name.
Continue reading: Paddington 2 Review
From were-rabbits to sabre-toothed bunny rabbits, Nick Park returns with a Stone Age adventure featuring characters in the world's favourite stop-motion animation style. But sabre-toothed bunnies are not, of course, the only creatures these cave men and women have to worry about; this is a time when prehistoric beasts like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths are roaming everywhere. Soon though, one brave caveman named Dug along with his pet warthog Hognob decides he must bring his rather timid tribe together if he wants to save them from one major nemesis which threatens the peace of their lives for good; the dastardly Bronze Age. But, unexpectedly, that battle soon turns into modern day football.
Continue: Early Man Trailer
Stephen Merchant had fronted the 'Stand Up To Cancer' special in 2016, but turned down the opportunity to host more episodes.
The brand new series of ‘The Crystal Maze’ that was recently commissioned now has a new host in the shape of former ‘IT Crowd’ star Richard Ayoade, it has been reported.
Given the green light at the end of last year, the new series is made of 20 episodes an hour in length each, and is to be filmed at a specially constructed complex that’s currently being built near Bristol by James Dillon, the man behind the classic set design from the beloved ‘90s hit.
Just like the original show, contestants will be competing in challenges and games set in four different zones – Aztec, Future, Medieval and Industrial – before a final collective showdown in The Crystal Dome. Start the fans please…
Continue reading: Richard Ayoade To Host New Series Of 'The Crystal Maze'
By Rich Cline
A triumph on a variety of levels, this staggeringly detailed stop-motion animation has a wonderfully deranged story packed with spirited characters. It also takes on some seriously important issues without ever getting heavy-handed about it. So while we're laughing at the astounding visual mayhem, there's plenty of depth to keep our brains spinning. And what the film has to say about communal paranoia is vitally important in today's world.
The story takes place a decade after a baby was kidnapped by the Boxtrolls, nighttime scavengers who prowl by night. Over the last 10 years, their legend has grown, and the people are now terrified of being eaten. So the red-hatted Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) and his sidekicks (Richard Ayoade, Nick Frost and Tracy Morgan) set a goal to exterminate the trolls in exchange for prestigious white hats, which will let them join Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) for his evening cheese-tasting events. Then Portley-Rind's daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning) spots a boy among the Boxtrolls, learning that Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is actually the kidnapped baby. And that Boxtrolls aren't actually villains at all. But can she get her father to pay attention to her for even a moment, so he can understand that Snatcher is the real bad guy?
Everything on-screen is in constant motion, with cluttered scenes that are a feast for the eyes. Action sequences are complicated and layered, drawing the eye all over the screen as the stakes grow higher with each scene. The mechanical climax feels like one step too far, but the filmmakers keep the focus tightly on the characters, each of whom has a bundle of quirks and obsessions that make them flawed and likeable. Even the nefarious Snatcher has a soft side, and Kingsley has a great time bringing out each aspect of the hilariously vile character, including his scene-stealing alter ego, the fabulous drag queen Madame Frou Frou.
Continue reading: The Boxtrolls Review
Channel 4 is throwing 4oD on the scrapheap.
Channel 4 has taken the relatively bold decision to scrap its online service '4oD' and will replace it with a new overhauled hub featuring all of the channel's digital content. 'All 4' will allow users to watch shows from Channel 4, E4, More 4 and Film4. The new service is expected to go live at the end of March 2015.
Channel 4 launched its catch-up service 4oD in 2006 and has reportedly signed up 50% of 16 to 34-year-old's in the UK - which seems a little high. The broadcaster said its online revenues had tripled in the last five years and continues to grow.
Continue reading: Channel 4 Scraps '4oD' In Favour Of New Service 'All 4'
The BAFTA TV Awards 2014 nominations have been announced - is your favourite show in there somewhere?
The nominations have been announced for this year's BAFTA TV Awards, which will be held on Sunday 18th May. After an outstanding year in television, this year's awards will make for gripping viewing with nominations covering all categories of TV talent. Channel 4's comedy series, The IT Crowd, leads the way with four nominations alongside the broadcaster's chilling crime drama, Southcliffe, according to BAFTA.
Actor Richard Ayoade & Comedy 'The IT Crowd' Could Clean Up At The 2014 TV BAFTAs.
The IT Crowd dominates the best performance in a comedy categories as Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd are each nominated whilst their co-star Katherine Parkinson has been nominated for best female in a comedy and the show's final episode is up for best sitcom.
By Rich Cline
After his acclaimed drama Submarine, actor-turned-filmmaker Richard Ayoade applies his considerable visual skills to this striking blackly comical adaptation of Dostoevsky's novella. Bristling with wit and snappy details, the film's style overwhelms its emotional core, leaving us unable to feel the punch of this odyssey about a young man wrestling with his own identity.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as Simon, a loner who's still anonymous at work after seven years in his desk job. Secretly in love with the copy girl Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), he watches her through a telescope from his flat and digs through her rubbish. Then just as he's assigned to mentor the surly teen daughter (Yasmin Paige) of his manager (Wallace Shawn), James meets new employee Simon (also Eisenberg), a mirror image of himself who is far more confident, fun-loving and, yes, popular with everyone in the office.
Ayoade designs the film like a drab variation on Terry Gilliam's Brazil (and more recently The Zero Theorem), with that same claustrophobic sense of overcrowded anonymity and Kaflaesque bureaucracy. It's not particularly original, but it is fun to watch, especially on a big screen where we can take in the detailed sets and costumes, as well as a steady procession of amusing cameos from the likes of Chris O'Dowd and Submarine stars Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor and Craig Roberts. All of this adds to the general chaos of Simon's life, as well as his deep urban angst. But we're too distracted to properly sympathise with him.
Continue reading: The Double Review
Simon is a timid, uncharismatic and largely forgettable man who doesn't seem to be getting anywhere in life. He is rarely acknowledge at work and is a stranger to all his colleagues, his mother is disappointed in his lacklustre life and to top it all off, the woman he loves, Hannah, remains firmly indifferent to his existence. With his future hanging in the balance as he fails to make an impression on anybody, his life is further thrust into oblivion with the arrival of his doppelganger and complete opposite, James - who is newly employed at Simon's work. Unlike Simon, James captivates everyone he meets and is destined for success - even Hannah has his attention as he rapidly takes over Simon's life. With everybody else totally ignorant of the creepy resemblance, Simon is forced to snatch his life back by any means possible.
Continue: The Double - Clip
The Boxtrolls are odd underground creatures that wear cardboard boxes as if they were shells. Shy and wary of the unforgiving world around them, they take to the streets at night to recycle rubbish from dustbins and store it in their homes below the streets of Cheesebridge; a town fixated with money and smelly cheese and who are less than welcoming to their sewer dwelling neighbours, who they believe to be enormous insidious menaces. That couldn't be further than the truth when it comes to the Boxtrolls; there is simply nothing menacing about them, so when they find themselves being pursued by a ruthless exterminator by the name of Archibald Snatcher, all they want to do is make sure they are well hidden. They have a protector, however, named Eggs - a young boy who the Boxtrolls adopted as a baby - and he's about to show them just how brave they can be in the face of danger.
Continue: The Boxtrolls Trailer
Simon is one of those sorts of people who can never seem to make an impression on anybody. His work colleagues barely know his name, his love interest Hannah remains stoically uninterested and his mother is unsupportive and, quite frankly, thinks he's rather strange. Already in danger of letting his life slowly slip from his grasp, things start to get dark when a new employee joins Simon at work. James is the spitting image of Simon in every way from the hair and clothes to the voice and smile; however, the very obvious difference is that James is brimming with confidence with a magnetic charisma that charms everyone he meets. Simon appears to be the only person who notices his resemblance - a frustrating prospect when Hannah starts to become extremely interested in James. Simon simply can't let this imposter infiltrate his world - but just how far will he go to stop him?
Continue: The Double Trailer