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Picture - Billy Connolly - A variety... New York City New York United States, Wednesday 18th March 2015

Billy Connolly - A variety of stars were photographed as they arrived for the New York premiere of 'Danny Collins' which was held at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, New York, United States - Wednesday 18th March 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review


Good

Peter Jackson's expanded take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in a battle epic packed with enormous action sequences that oddly distract attention from the much more engaging central plotline. By the time it thunders to its satisfying conclusion after nearly two and a half hours, there's a sense of balance restored, providing some powerfully emotional moments along with the thrills. But there's a lot of chaotic mayhem to get through first.

The action picks up immediately, as the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) roars into Laketown causing further desolation before being stopped by the heroic Bard (Luke Evans), who then leads the survivors back to their long-abandoned city in the mountains. Meanwhile, dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) has reclaimed his throne and Smaug's enormous stash of gold, which consumes his soul with greed. But he abandons his promises to Bard and the elf leader Thranduil (Lee Pace), who assembles the elf army against him. So Thorin calls in a dwarf battalion to take them on. Meanwhile, the hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is trying to diffuse the situation and snap Thorin out of his avaricious funk. And wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) discovers that two waves of ruthless orcs are descending on Thorin.

All of this strategising and squaring-off feels fragmented and uneven, as Jackson cuts back and forth between the sprawling ensemble cast while trying to build momentum toward the earth-rattling collision of these five armies. Thankfully, there's also a lot of interpersonal stuff going on to hold the interest. Elf warrior Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is still caught up in a romantic triangle with his intended Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and her forbidden love, the unusually hot dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). And there's some comic relief from Alfrid (Ryan Gage), a weaselly human who worms his way into Bard's inner circle for some inexplicable reason. Best of all is the push and pull between Bilbo and Thorin, which is very nicely played by Freeman and Armitage.

Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Trailer


The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have won; although they soon discover that the price of their victory was steep. Smaug has laid waste to Lake Town, leaving the residents homeless after Thorin promised them riches. The elves of Mirkwood seek the dwarves that escaped their dungeons, while an army of orcs seek to end the line of Durin. And behind the scenes, a dark lord of shadow, long since defeated, is preparing to make a return to Middle Earth - the secret to his power lies in a small, golden ring. A ring that has chosen a new owner; The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman). 

'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' serves as the final chapter in Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga. The film serves as the sixth film by Jackson to be based on the works of writer J. R. R. Tolkien, and the final part of 'The Hobbit' trilogy. When Tolkien released 'The Hobbit' in 1937, it was a single book. Jackson released the final part of his adaptation of 'Lord of the Rings' in 2003, and stated that he would not work on a 'Hobbit' movie. However, he eventually signed on to direct a two part adaptation of 'The Hobbit', which later turned into a trilogy in 2012. 

The film is due to be released on 12th December, 2014 in the UK, with a US release date of 17th December.

'What We Did On Our Holiday' Transfers A Formula From Small To Big Screen


David Tennant Rosamund Pike Billy Connolly

The new British comedy 'What We Did on Our Holiday' carries on a fine tradition of lively romps with serious undercurrents, blending a cast of comedy stars and solid actors to create hilariously offbeat characters. But what sets the film apart is its approach to its child stars.

David Tennant [L] and Rosamund Pike [R] in 'What We Did On Our Holiday'
David Tennant and Rosamund Pike led the cast of 'What We Did On Our Holiday'

Writer-directors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin perfected their methods on the long-running UK television sitcom 'Outnumbered', for which they script the adult characters' dialogue but allow the children to improvise based on last-minute instructions just as a scene begins filming.

Continue reading: 'What We Did On Our Holiday' Transfers A Formula From Small To Big Screen

What We Did on Our Holiday Review


Excellent

Although its story easily could have spun right off the rails, this British comedy uses earthy honesty to win the audience over. The filmmakers also refuse to shy away from things that are usually taboo in family movies, like marital problems, sexuality and mortality. And by never indulging in wacky slapstick or trite moralising, the movie makes the point that sometimes the worst thing we can do to our kids is try to protect them from what's really happening.

The story starts in London, as Abi and Doug (Rosamund Pike and David Tennant) set off to drive north to the Scotland Highlands for the 75th birthday of David's father Gordy (Billy Connolly). They've told their three hilariously overactive kids Lottie, Mickey and Jess (Emilia Jones, Bobby Smalldridge and Harriet Turnbull) not to say anything to anyone about their crumbling marriage. And when they arrive it's clear that everyone has something they don't want to talk about. Gordy is avoiding conversations about his terminal cancer, while David's brother Gavin (Ben Miller) and his wife Margaret (Amelia Bullmore) are also covering up facts from their recent past. Then on a day trip to the beach, the holiday takes a startling turn.

Where the film goes from here hinges on the actions of three children under 10 years old, and all three actors are terrific, creating believable characters who are bursting with individualistic personalities. Watching them try to decode the adult world around them is thoroughly engaging, with the humour lightly balanced by some darker truths. Meanwhile, the grown-up cast get to play the more obviously comical moments, including a few rather too-broad gags. But each of them keeps their character in focus, never letting them tip over into cartoonish silliness. Pike, Tennant and Connolly are all terrific, with pointed support from Miller and Bullmore, plus Imrie as a rather too-knowing social worker.

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Billy Connolly Recalls How Robin Williams "Tried To Say Goodbye To Me" Before His Suicide


Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly recently revealed that his good friend and legendary comedian, Robin Williams, may have tried to say his final goodbyes in an emotional phone call to the Scottish funnyman before committing suicide last month.

Billy Connolly
Connolly recently recalled his final conversation with Williams

Connolly, 71, who revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease this time last year, recently told The Telegraph that he and the 'Mrs. Doubtfire' actor would frequently speak about their experiences dealing with the nervous disorder. Williams is believed to have taken his own life not long after discovering he was suffering with early-stage Parkinson's, he was 63 years-old.

Continue reading: Billy Connolly Recalls How Robin Williams "Tried To Say Goodbye To Me" Before His Suicide

Picture - Billy Connolly - Snaps of... London United Kingdom, Monday 22nd September 2014

Billy Connolly - Snaps of the stars as they took to the red carpet for the premier of British comedy movie 'What We Did on Our Holiday' at Odeon West End, London, United Kingdom - Monday 22nd September 2014

Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly

What We Did On Our Holiday - Extended Trailer


When Doug (David Tennant) and his family travel to the Scottish Highlands for his father's (Billy Connolly) birthday party, hilarity ensues as they embark on what will no doubt be a holiday to remember. Along the way there will be plenty of time spent allowing the children to drive and verbally battle with their grandfather. That, and debate with their Uncle Gavin (Ben Miller) whether he is rich or not and how he is able to live in such a big house. 

Continue: What We Did On Our Holiday - Extended Trailer

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Teaser Trailer


Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and its mound of treasure which was stolen from the dwarves some time ago by the fiercesome dragon Smaug. Their attempt to slay him has failed, instead unleashing further horrors upon themselves. Angering the dragon has only made things worse with him now determined to murder every creature that lies in its path, demolishing a neighbouring village with little more than a breath. Gandalf remains captured and tensions are ever rising between not only friends, but elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins and it's clear that the  deadliest, brutalist war for thousands of years is well on its way.

Continue: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Teaser Trailer

'What We Did on Our Summer Holiday' Has Kids Saying Funny Things [Trailer]


David Tennant Rosamund Pike Billy Connolly

David Tennant and Rosamund Pike star in the upcoming BBC film, 'What We Did On Our Summer Holiday' from the creators of 'Outnumbered'. And when we say 'Outnumbered' you should know that the film basically just relies on the formula of kids saying funny things because they don’t care about offending people.

What We Did On Our Summer HolidayFamily laughs are what 'What We Did On Our Summer Holiday' are all about

The family comedy drama sees Tenant and Pike as the parents of three outspoken sprogs. They drive up to Scotland - from London or Brighton, probably, considering the kids get Watford confused with the highlands – to visit Billy Connolly (granddad). 

Continue reading: 'What We Did on Our Summer Holiday' Has Kids Saying Funny Things [Trailer]

What We Did On Our Holiday Trailer


Three young children are about to learn what adulthood is really like when they take a summer trip to the Scottish Highlands with their parents Doug and Abi. There they are due to attend Doug's father Gordie's birthday party and there's plenty of fun to be had for the kids with building sandcastles, playing football, spending time with granddad and generally having an adventure with their distant family. However, Doug and Abi have other things on their mind which they are keen to keep well hidden from the folks. Unfortunately for them, it seems their children have extraordinary memories for things they've heard - especially when they're things they really shouldn't have - and it could be that the uncomfortable secret their parents are bearing will be revealed to everyone they hoped it wouldn't.

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Billy Connolly Recalls Receiving Double Diagnosis On The Same Day


Billy Connolly

In one unforgettable day Billy Connolly received two life changing diagnosis'.

The Scottish comedian recalled the time he was told he had testicular cancer and Parkinson's disease on the same exact day, in a new ITV documentary.

The upcoming 2-part series, called 'Billy Connolly's Big Send Off', takes a detailed look into the world of death, from its customs to the people working within the industry.

Continue reading: Billy Connolly Recalls Receiving Double Diagnosis On The Same Day

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - International Trailer


Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the treacherous Misty Mountains. Their quest to retrieve the dwarves' vast pile of treasure and the land that they once called their home is at a peak as they reach the Lonely Mountain. Guarded by a colossal dragon named Smaug, the Lonely Mountain proves to be even more perilous than where they had just been and armed only with elven swords and Bilbo's Ring, they must make the ultimate defeat while fighting giant spiders and more goblins along the way. More threats face them in the form of untrustworthy elves with intelligence that far surpasses any of the travellers' put together, and their chances of survival are becoming very slim indeed.

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is the second instalment of 'The Hobbit' movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson ('King Kong', 'The Lovely Bones', 'The Lord of the Rings') and based on the novel by JRR Tolkien. Screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro make their return as do much of the previous cast alongside some new faces. It is due to be released in the UK on December 13th 2013.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review - Click Here To Read

Billy Connolly Given All Clear Following Cancer Scare


Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly has one less thing to worry about now, as his cancer scare is now officially over, with the comedian revealing the good news himself earlier this evening (1 October). The 70-year-old comic was speaking with the Sky Sports News team ahead of Celtic's Champions League tie against Barcelona in Glasgow when he revealed that he is officially cancer free.

"I got the clearance on Wednesday on my cancer so I'm okay," he told the Sky Sports News team on live television, quoted by the BBC. Last month, it was revealed that the veteran comic had undergone minor surgery to treat a cancerous tumour in his prostate, which was in the early stages of it's development. It was during his treatment for prostate cancer were he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. At the time of his diagnosis, a spokesperson for the comic said that he was receiving "appropriate treatment" after he was found to be suffering from the early symptoms of Parkinson's. Despite his recent health scares though, the statement added that he will continue to perform on stand-up and appear on the screen.

"Billy has been assured by experts that the findings will in no way inhibit or affect his ability to work, and he will start filming a TV series in the near future, as well as undertaking an extensive theatrical tour of New Zealand in the new year," his spokesperson said at the time.

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Relentless Billy Connolly Won't Let Recent Medical Setbacks Stop Him


Billy Connolly Michael J Fox Jack Nicholson

Despite the seemingly crippling twin concerns of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, Scottish comedian and national treasure Billy Connolly has vowed to keep on working, in what can only be described as the most determined move. Ever.

Billy ConnollyBIlly Connolly is staying positive.

A spokeswoman for the 70-year old comedian and actor said: “Billy Connolly recently underwent minor surgery in America after being diagnosed with the very early stages of prostate cancer. The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered. In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson's disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.” (The Independent).

Continue reading: Relentless Billy Connolly Won't Let Recent Medical Setbacks Stop Him