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'Miss Marple' Actress Geraldine McEwan Dies Aged 82

Geraldine McEwan Agatha Christie

Geraldine McEwan, the British actress best known for her role as Miss Marple in the ITV adaptations of Agatha Christie's detective novels, has died at the age of 82. Her family released a statement on Saturday (31st January) confirming McEwan had passed away on Friday 30th January following a stroke in October 2014. 

"Following a stroke at the end of October and a period in hospital, Geraldine McEwan passed away peacefully on January 30. Her family would like to thank the staff at Charing Cross Hospital who cared for her incredibly well," McEwan's two children, Greg and Claudia, said in a statement to the BBC.

McEwan was born in Old Windsor, Berkshire in 1932. At the age of 19, she married Hugh Cruttwell, a former principal of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. The couple had two children: a son, actor Greg Cruttwell, and a daughter, Claudia. Cruttwell died in 2002 and McEwan did not re-marry after his death. 

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Arrietty Trailer

14-year-old Arrietty Clock and her family live under the floorboards of a house in western Tokyo. They are 'tiny people' - or borrowers - whose survival depends on 'borrowing' things that humans won't miss, such as a single sugar cube. But their existence must be kept a secret from humans, which is why they are kept hidden and why they only borrow at night.

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The Magdalene Sisters Review

Stirring up controversy for its depiction of Ireland's brutal, now-defunct Magdalene laundries for wayward girls, Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters muckrakes the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and comes off seeming self-righteous, gloomy, and redundant. Opening with young Margaret (Anne-Marie Duff) getting raped at a family gathering by her cousin, followed by brash Bernadette (Nora-Jane Noone) cooing to boys in the schoolyard, and finally showing timid little Rose (Dorothy Duffy), whose illegitimate child is snatched away at the hospital, The Magdalene Sisters firmly and staunchly paints its victims into a corner and keeps them there. The parents hide their eyes in indifference or dismay, sending them into the cruel clutches of the incomparably cruel Sister Bridget (Geraldine McEwan) and her chamber of horrors--a prison run by nuns where beatings, canings, oppressive work conditions, and random cruelties are part of the daily routine.

There aren't any particular surprises in The Magdalene Sisters once the three heroines are locked away. Most sequences follow the same pattern, where the lank-haired, poorly fed, and half-clothed girls aspire for freedom, love, or fair treatment and are met with beatings and brutality. Lest there be any doubt of Sister Bridget's wicked witch nastiness, she's often seen counting her money and turning a blind eye to the random injustices within her makeshift girl's prison. Often compared with Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched, a more careful viewing of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will reveal subtleties to the character that don't exist in the one-note tyrant, Sister Bridget.

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Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves Review

I have to say that I probably have seen the parody of this film more times than I have seen the movie itself. Somehow, through quirks of fate (namely, a WPST-NJ promotion), I got a free copy of the tape of Robin Hood: Men In Tights and have put up with watching it time after time. So, in the sense of cosmic justice, I figured I should actually watch the movie that spawned the film that has given me so many laughs that it probably didn't deserve.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is yet another example of Hollywood taking a famous story and making it Hollywood-compliant. In other words, the original story is still there in some bizarre form (he robs from the rich and gives to the poor), but we're missing Prince John, and Robin Hood's not speaking in a British accent. I can accept Robin Hood not speaking in a British accent if he happens to also be an animated fox (Disney's version, which took up some of my childhood hours), but when Kevin Costner takes a stab at it I just approach the entire movie from that point on with a sort of incredulity.

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Contaminated Man Review

Why William Hurt stooped to make this "First on Max" thriller is beyond me. Contrived beyond the breaking point, Contaminated Man has a poor, tonsured, fake-accented Peter Weller (showing off his worst acting ever) on the run through the Old World, the victim of a manmade biohazard that causes anyone who touches him to instantly keel over and die. Natascha McElhone is Hurt's little helper friend, chasing him down. The plot is so forced and farfetched as to be rendered inconceivable -- but, equally inconceivably, it still manages to be fun. Just plug your ears for Weller's cries -- repeated every 8 minutes -- of "My... family!" Groan.

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The Love Letter Review

Can romantic comedy get any worse than this? A mysterious love letter makes its cliched rounds of a New England town, and everyone thinks everyone else is in love with them. The centerpiece affair: A May-December romance between Scott and a ghoulish Capshaw. Embarrassing to watch.

Love's Labour's Lost Review


For a long time I've had a theory that the musical genre couldn't survive the cynicism of modern audiences except as a ironic in-joke, like the "South Park" movie or as a post-modern homage, like Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You."

I couldn't have been more wrong -- and leave it to Kenneth Branagh, a writer-director-actor who has made his name revitalizing old (old, old!) school entertainment -- to prove it by bringing back the kind of weightless musical delight that carried Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to stardom.

For his new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," Branagh has re-imagined the buoyant romantic comedy as a classy, corny, 1930s movie musical, complete with uplifting dance numbers and a catalog of favorite big band ditties sung with great enthusiasm (if not great skill) by a quality cast of cheerful actors clearly having the time of their lives.

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