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Here's What We Know So Far About 'Mary Poppins Returns'


Emily Blunt Colin Firth Meryl Streep Emily Mortimer Ben Whishaw Julie Walters Julie Andrews Dick Van Dyke

Production has commenced on the highly anticipated Mary Poppins Returns and Walt Disney Studios have finally revealed some exciting plot details.

Filming is currently underway at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England and the musical is scheduled for release on December 25, 2018.

Emily BluntEmily Blunt stars in Mary Poppins Returns

Continue reading: Here's What We Know So Far About 'Mary Poppins Returns'

Julie Walters - The Burberry Film Festival - VIP premiere, held at Regent Street. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Julie Walters

Julie Walters - BAFTA tribute to Downton Abbey at the Richmond Theatre - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th August 2015

Julie Walters

Julie Walters - BAFTA Tribute: Downton Abbey held at the Richmond Theatre - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 11th August 2015

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - the EE British Academy Film Awards held at The Opera House at British Academy Film Awards - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015

Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th February 2015

Julie Walters

Julie Walters - Photographs of a variety of stars as they took to the red carpet for the world premiere of 'Paddington' which was held at the Odeon cinema in London, United Kingdom - Sunday 23rd November 2014

Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Paddington - International Trailer


In the jungles of Peru, a young bear learns about and becomes obsessed with Great Britain and sets off on an adventure to visit the county. After an arduous journey, he finally arrives in London's Paddington Station, but realises quite soon that he is both lost and lonely. That is, until the Brown family discover him and adopt him, naming him Paddington, after the place they found him. Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is a great addition to the household, as his antics entertain the children. But said antics often end in destruction within the household, leaving the Brown family in a difficult position. Things become even more difficult when Millicent (Nicole Kidman) sets about trying to capture and stuff Paddington, in order to add him to her exhibition. 

Continue: Paddington - International Trailer

Julie Walters - British female celebs took over the London eye for International Day of the Girl in London, England, 10.10.14 - London, United Kingdom - Friday 10th October 2014

Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - The Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2014 (BAFTA) - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 18th May 2014

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

TV And Film Stalwart Julie Walters To Be Honoured With Bafta Fellowship


Julie Walters

The actress Julie Walters is to be recognised for her considerable contribution to both film and television by way of a Bafta Fellowship, the BBC have reported. Walters said she was "completely honoured and thrilled" at the news.

Julie WaltersJulie Walters at the premiere for 'Harry Hill The Movie'

"I got a letter just saying 'you've been chosen, would you accept it?'" she told Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Breakfast show. "That was it. It was just like an email, and I emailed them back and said, 'yeah, great!'" Walters will join previous recipients of the award, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Richard Curtis and Sir David Jason.

Continue reading: TV And Film Stalwart Julie Walters To Be Honoured With Bafta Fellowship

Julie Walters - 'The Harry Hill Movie' World Premiere at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square, London - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 19th December 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters, Harry Hill and Sheridan Smith
Harry Hill, Julie Walters and Sheridan Smith

"Metro Manila", Lindsay Duncan And James McAvoy - The Big Winners Of The British Independent Film Awards 2013


James McAvoy Julie Walters Lindsay Duncan James Nesbitt

This year’s British Independent Film Awards honored world-renowned Hollywood actors and actresses, as well as small, independent productions and rising stars, from James McAvoy and Julie Walters, to newcomers like The Shell’s Chloe Pirrie.

Lindsay Duncan, British Independent Film AwardsJames McAvoy, British Independent Film Awards
Lindsay Duncan and James McAvoy won for best actress and actor, respectively.

Some of the winners included Blue Is The Warmest Color (Best International Independent Film), Filth and Le Week-end, but with three awards in total, Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila was by far the most successful. The film won for Best Achievement in Production, Best Director and the top honor of the night, Best British Independent Film.Click here to check out the full review of Metro Manila.

Continue reading: "Metro Manila", Lindsay Duncan And James McAvoy - The Big Winners Of The British Independent Film Awards 2013

Julie Walters - Moet British Independent Film Awards held at Old Billingsgate Market - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th December 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - Sky's Women in Film and Television Awards - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Friday 6th December 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - European premiere of 'One Chance' at Odeon Leicester Square - Thursday 17th October 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - BFI London Film Festival: 'One Chance' European premiere - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 17th October 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

The Paul Potts Story Heads To The Big Screen With James Corden [Trailer]


James Corden Julie Walters Colm Meaney Mackenzie Crook Simon Cowell Amanda Holden

Paul Potts – the man who rose from his workaday life to win Britain’s Got Talent and record the album One Chance, which topped sales charts in nine countries – is played by James Corden in ‘One Chance’ for which you can see the trailer for below.

Continue reading: The Paul Potts Story Heads To The Big Screen With James Corden [Trailer]

Robert Maillet and Julie Walters - Harry Hill: The Movie film set at a Theatre in London - London, United Kingdom - Monday 20th May 2013

Robert Maillet and Julie Walters
Robert Maillet and Harry Hill
Robert Maillet and Guest
Robert Maillet and Harry Hill
Robert Maillet and Harry Hill
Robert Maillet and Guest

Hamster Abu - Actress Julie Walters joins Harry Hill in his new film 'The Harry Hill Movie'. The pair were filming at the house of Nana, Walters' character, and were joined by their pet hamster Abu - London, United Kingdom - Friday 17th May 2013

Julie Walters, Hamster Abu and Harry Hill
Julie Walters
Harry Hill and Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Julie Walters - South Bank Sky Arts Awards held at the Dorchester - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 12th March 2013

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Brave Takes Home The Oscar For Best Animated Film Academy Awards Ceremony


Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences Kelly MacDonald Robbie Coltrane Billy Connolly Craig Ferguson Emma Thompson Julie Walters

Pixar added yet another Academy Award to the pile last night as the Disney-owned studio's fantasy blast from the past Brave picked up the top prize for animation at the star-studded event.

The film, inspired by Gaelic folklore and the landscape of the Scottish Highlands, had already won the BAFTA and Golden Globe for the same category - following in the footsteps of the six Pixar films that have also won the award since it's inaugural year in 2001. The film battled off competition from Wreck-it Ralph, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! to take home the award.

In addition to being set in a pre-historic Scotland, the film also incorporated a wealth of Scottish talent including Kelly MacDonald, Robbie Coltrane, Billy Connolly and Craig Ferguson, with Brits Emma Thompson and Julie Walters also voicing parts in the film. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond praised the film and it's continued success - and what it means to Scotland too - telling the BBC, "To win the Oscar for best animated film is a massive achievement. It is absolutely fantastic to see Merida and the gang continue to fly the flag for Scotland in Hollywood."

Continue reading: Brave Takes Home The Oscar For Best Animated Film Academy Awards Ceremony

Julie Walters, Meera Syal, The Noisettes and Tower Of London - Gilles Peterson, Julie Walters and Meera Syal with Shingai Shoniwa and Dan Smith of the Noisettes Thursday 26th April 2012 at the Tower of London for the launch of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad

Julie Walters, Meera Syal, The Noisettes and Tower Of London
Julie Walters, Meera Syal, The Noisettes and Tower Of London
Julie Walters, Meera Syal, The Noisettes and Tower Of London
Julie Walters, Meera Syal, The Noisettes and Tower Of London
Julie Walters, Meera Syal and Tower Of London
Julie Walters, Meera Syal and Tower Of London

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review


Excellent

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up the strands of the whole series and also manages to give its actors some meaty scenes to play with. While it's hugely satisfying, there's also a letdown as we reach the end.

With Voldemort (Fiennes) in possession of the mythical Elder Wand, and four Horcruxes still at large, Harry (Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) know that they have work to do. Breaking into a Gringotts vault is tough enough, but when they sneak back into Hogwarts, they find themselves in all-out war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So with the help of adults (Smith, Walters and more) and fellow students (including Lewis, Wright and Lynch), they make their final stand.

After a sort of "Previously on Harry Potter" prologue and a quietly intense opening, the film plunges into the Gringotts heist and barely pauses for breath. Director Yates adeptly juggles action and drama, keeping images razor sharp and making sure the effects work is seamlessly eye-catching (they're also the most consistently high-quality effects in the series). But of course Lord of the Rings-scale spectacle is nothing without great characters, and this film pushes everyone into new territory.

Radcliffe takes on the challenge extremely well, bringing Harry's self-doubt and crippling guilt together with a potent sense of destiny and sacrifice. Of the supporting cast, Rickman, Smith and Gambon get the weightiest scenes, while Lewis and Walters finally have superb moments in the spotlight. And Bonham Carter clearly has a ball with a terrific scene as a shape-shifted Hermione.
Meanwhile, that outrageously starry ensemble fills out each scene, including many who barely utter a word.

As the story propels to the climactic moments, there are a few fits and starts while events recoil and wait to burst forth again. Even though this is the shortest of all eight movies, it feels a little long due to its intensely focussed plot. This means every moment on screen is vitally important, and most are given the chance to play out without feeling rushed. But it also means that, as the ending (and epilogue) get closer, we simply don't want it to end.

Julie Walters Thursday 7th July 2011 World Premiere of Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows, Part 2 - Arrivals London, England

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Gnomeo & Juliet Review


Very Good
With its Toy Story meets Shrek approach, this animated romp feels somewhat derivative. It's all snarky dialog and whizzy action. But it's also silly enough to keep both adults and children chuckling.

Gnomeo (voiced by McAvoy), son of Lady Bluebury (Smith), is the leader of the blue Montague garden. Accompanied by his sidekick Benny (Lucas), Gnomeo engages in tit-for-tat warfare with the red Capulets next door. Then he meets Juliet (Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick (Caine), and it's love at first sight. Which sends red warrior Tybalt (Statham) into a rage. As they plot a secret life together, Gnomeo and Juliet are assisted by Juliet's frog friend Nanette (Jensen) and the garden flamingo Featherstone (Cummings). But can these star-crossed lovers find happiness?

Continue reading: Gnomeo & Juliet Review

Julie Walters Friday 3rd December 2010 The 2010

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Sheila Hancock and Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Sheila Hancock and Julie Walters

Gnomeo & Juliet Trailer


Some gardens just wouldn't be complete without the addition of a garden gnome or two. The gardens on Verona Drive are no exception; the owners of the houses are extremely fond of their little hat wearing friends. What the human residents don't realise is that when all's quiet and there are no humans around, their garden comes to life!

Continue: Gnomeo & Juliet Trailer

Julie Walters - Sunday 6th June 2010 at BAFTA London, England

Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters
Julie Walters

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review


Very Good
Darker and a whole lot drearier, this sixth Harry Potter adventure centres on a slow-developing mystery, and the filmmakers clearly struggle to give it much pace. It's well-made and watchable, but feels like an intake of breath before the frantic finale.

After the horrific conclusion of their fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Radcliffe) has a solitary summer before being drafted by headmaster Dumbledore (Gambon) into the ongoing war between the wizarding forces of light and darkness. And as year six starts, Dumbledore assigns Harry to get some important information from new potions professor Slughorn (Broadbent) about the Dark Lord's background. He of course does this with the help of pals Ron and Hermione (Grint and Watson), who with Harry are also caught up in conflict more typical for 17-year-olds: raging hormones.

Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette


Watch the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Continue: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette

Mamma Mia! Review


Good
Not everyone can make a movie. The motion picture art form, while not incredibly complicated, contains enough nuances and pitfalls to circumvent even the most seasoned show business veteran. Perfect proof of celluloid's selective process arrives in the form of Mamma Mia!, the big screen adaptation of the hit jukebox musical. While it ends up being a whimsical and quite wonderful experience on a superficial level, the vision behind the lens is radioactive in its undeniable cluelessness.

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) lives on a remote Greek island with her ex-rock star mother Donna (Meryl Streep). She is about to marry the British bo-hunk Sky (Dominic Hooper), and she really wants her dad to give her away. Unfortunately, Sophie doesn't know who her father is. Finding her mother's diary, she invites the three men Donna was involved with at the time. Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) writes travel guides, while Sam (Pierce Brosnan) and Harry (Colin Firth) are a big time businessman and banker, respectively. Naturally, Donna is dumbfounded to see her exes. Even worse, when she discovers Sophie's motives, it will take her best friends/former back-up singers Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski) to save the day... and the wedding.

Continue reading: Mamma Mia! Review

Becoming Jane Review


Weak
Newly minted young star Anne Hathaway stars as a twentysomething Jane Austen in Becoming Jane, and the real excitement of the film is not her actual performance -- which is basically perfunctory -- but the fact that at least one cast member is not a member of Britain's acting-in-semi-retirement community. It may seem as if Julie Walters and Maggie Smith, who both have supporting roles here, are far from retired; they collectively appear in about half of the Shakespeare and Austen-related films that are released every year (divided up evenly with Judi Dench and Helen Mirren), and they both have lucrative gigs in the Harry Potter series, as well as whatever nutty, life-loving oldie roles that come their way.

But that's just the problem: These actresses have to wait ages between actual roles, biding their time with supporting roles that might as well have them standing in a pasture. So in Becoming Jane we're treated to Smith doing her umpteenth haughty old bat and Walters overplaying another frazzled mum figure. If we're still supposed to find this shtick delightful, I suggest the British Film Board start scouring actual retirement homes for some fresh blood.

Continue reading: Becoming Jane Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Trailer

Continue: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer

Wah-Wah Review


OK
The obvious risk with autobiographical films is that audiences just might not in the end be interested in the same sort of story that the filmmaker wants to tell about himself. So it is with Wah-Wah, written and directed by Richard E. Grant, who based it on his own childhood growing up in Swaziland in the years leading up to the end of British rule - Grant might want to focus most on the film's dysfunctional (though fun in its own way) family and its effect on his young stand-in, but viewers may be left wondering what's going on outside that melodrama. It's a big world out there, and Grant only gives us teasing glances at it.

The boy at the center of everything is Ralph Compton, 11 years old in the film's preamble, in which he watches (once literally, from the back seat) as his mother Lauren (Miranda Richardson) screws a married man and then takes off with him. The divorce proves ugly and Ralph is sent off to boarding school, leaving his devastated father Harry (Gabriel Byrne) behind, fending off the occasional advance from local females. The film starts properly three years later with the return home of Ralph, this time played by Nicholas Hoult, sprouted quite a bit from his About a Boy days. Ralph comes back to find Harry just remarried, this time to an American stewardess he's known for six weeks, Ruby (Emily Watson). She's a breath of warm air, waltzing right into this snobbish little colonial backwater and immediately breaks practically every one of their thousand little etiquettes - night and day to the waspish, scathing Lauren. But yet it's not enough to keep Harry from hitting the bottle hard. Harry drinks, Ruby frets, Ralph fumes, and occasionally Lauren returns just to stir things up to an even higher pitch.

Continue reading: Wah-Wah Review

Driving Lessons Review


Weak
As with many young stars before him, Rupert Grint finally strikes out from his Harry Potter series to see if he has the chops to be anyone but Ron Weasley. Jeremy Brock's Driving Lessons offers him a more dramatic role compared to the comic-relief label that his character in the Potter films often is stamped with. It's a shame that the screenplay and filmmaking doesn't pursue the movie with the same integrity Grint attempts to instill into his character.

Ben Marshall (Grint) has been born into a house of piety. His father (Nicholas Farrell) is an English vicar and his mother (Laura Linney, of all people) preaches and speaks The Word with more holier-than-thou sentiment than her husband ever even considered. Ben's father is aloof to the fact that his wife is also being "visited" by a younger priest that works at his church. These things could be the explanation behind Ben's peculiar behavior with girls and other schoolmates, but his mother insists it's that he isn't doing enough in the community. To rectify this, Ben is somewhat forced into weed-pulling servitude to Evie Walton (Julie Walters), a washed-up theater actress who speaks with brash wit and blunt obviousness. As expected, what first starts out as awkward employer/employee relations turns into warm friendship and blossoms when Ben accompanies her to a small reading in Edinburgh, where Ben drops his V-card and, in theory, learns what life is really about.

Continue reading: Driving Lessons Review

Titanic Town Review


Weak
Oh, hey, it's a movie about the IRA in Belfast! Does nothing take place in Ireland aside from IRA activity? When Billy Elliot's Julie Walters gets fed up of all the bombing, burning busses, gun battles, and home raids, she does something about it -- speaking out against war altogether. So, if you like your rock throwing broken up by a petition campaign, well, this movie's for you.

Sister My Sister Review


Weak
Now it's getting ridiculous. This is the third two-women-kill-an-old-lady movie in the last year. While the first two, Heavenly Creatures and Fun, were both spectacular pictures, Sister My Sister is an unfortunate embarrassment.

The aforementioned two women are Christine (Joely Richardson) and Lea (Jodhi May), close-knit, questionably sane sisters employed as maids for the domineering Madame Danzard (Julie Walters). The girls slave for low wages, and what they do earn is inevitably taken by their greedy mother. The theme of "All they have is each other" is truly beaten over your head in no uncertain terms. When things start to get bad, the maids turn to the film's other theme for solace: "There's no problem a little incest can't cure." When things get their worst, only wholesale slaughter will do.

Continue reading: Sister My Sister Review

Lover's Prayer Review


Weak
The hero of the unlikely British drama Lover's Prayer, based on Ivan Turgenev's story "First Love," is a frail, pale-faced, Russian boy named Vladimir (Nick Stahl) who stumbles through the movie as if his legs were stilts, barely finishing five complete sentences. The son of middle-class landowners, Vladimir is spending away summer near Moscow, waiting to go to college in the fall. He desperately wants to fall in love but, being very shy and deeply absorbed in his own naïve imaginary world, he's unsure of himself. To explain his longings, the director relieves the actor from acting almost entirely, and, instead, simply asks him carry his dour face throughout the movie and adds a voice over of an older Vladimir, his tone so dispassionate one wonders if the actor took sedatives before taking on the project.

Soon enough, Vladimir becomes acquainted with his parents' neighbors, an alcoholic and broke princess with a hair like a haystack, who, while reaching for a bottle, utters banalities in a loud piercing voice. Immediately, Vladimir falls for the princess's daughter Zinaida (Kirsten Dunst) and spends endless summer days in the company of this pug-nosed, plain looking capricious young woman. Zinaida adds Vladimir to her circle of admirers -- a group of men of every stripe, age, and rank. They all dance around Zinaida, playing charades, eager to fulfill her every wish. As it turns out, she seems to have many such admirers -- and Vladimir learns that she is having an affair with his own father.

Continue reading: Lover's Prayer Review

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone Review


Very Good

When you're the chosen one, like the boy wizard Harry Potter, expectations surrounding your arrival can be quite high. The same can be said for the film adaptation about said boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And while the young wonder might not let his magic school chums down, the movie chronicling his early wizard years could use a little lift.

Which isn't to say that Sorcerer's Stone, the first Harry Potter movie based on J.K. Rowling's inexplicably successful book series, is a boring movie. In fact, Rowling's exceptional world, involving young magic makers at a British wizardry prep school, transfers to the screen with a general creativity and charm in the hands of director Chris Columbus. The author's Cinderella-esque tale of a boy who gets invited to the most magical ball of them all, kicks off with a classic sensibility, almost like a modern Dickens.

From there, getting to the celebrated Hogwarts School is a treat, as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the rest of the incoming first-years (including Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger) buy the proper wizard tools, find the elusive Track 9 3/4 at the train station, and travel in boats by moonlight to the gothic center of higher learning. Columbus weaves the special effects so smoothly into the narrative as to make the magic nearly matter-of-fact.

But after we get the general gist of life at Hogwarts, Sorcerer's Stone loses some of its sheen. The collection of characters to which we're introduced early -- Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall; Alan Rickman as the eerie Professor Snape; the delightful Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid -- aren't utilized well enough to provide the necessary oomph. They're stuck within Steve Kloves' (Wonder Boys) light, thin plot, with their roles eventually reduced to side characters, comic relief, or vague red herrings.

And the flatness of the narrative goes hand-in-hand with some of Sorcerer's Stone look as well. Save for a couple of sequences, Columbus just doesn't provide enough visual wow for such magical subject matter. I know that some of the action is meant to be dark, but the overall look of the movie doesn't have the punch that the on-screen activity demands. In the end, there are too many missed opportunities for maximum thrills.

A prime exception is the truly wonderful centerpiece of the film, a prep school Quidditch match. For the uninitiated, Quidditch is a soccer style game played completely in mid-air, with players on broomsticks. Picture a combination of The Wizard of Oz and Rollerball.

Columbus' take on this game is superb. There's speedy action, seamless effects, and some thrilling excitement. The design of the match provides a wonderful combination of visual styles, with mid-20th century prep school clothes amidst medieval set design. The scene is, by far, the highlight of the film, much as the pod race was in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (oddly enough, another somewhat disappointing movie about a chosen boy).

But once we get back to the tale of our trio of little wizards, the plodding plot returns. And unfortunately, Radcliffe, as our hero, doesn't seem too enthused by much of the wild goings-on. His school cronies, on the other hand, are just great -- Grint, as Ronald, is wide-eyed and sympathetic, and Watson, as the precocious Hermione, is smart and energetic, taking a bigger bite out of this movie than any other actor.

While Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone does score points by giving visuals to some wildly fantastic stuff, the total picture lacks polish, and feels like a mild setup to future movies. Similar to X-Men, we get an environment being introduced just for the sake of future movies. That creates anticipation among fans, but shortchanges those watching this one.

The release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone coincides with another Harry Potter milestone -- the beginning of production on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, scheduled to hit theaters in mid-November, 2002. Stone is already expected to break box office records, including a possible run at Titanic (highly unlikely, if you ask me). That means there's one thing Warner Brothers will be saying about young Harry for the foreseeable future... long live The Boy Who Lived.

Harry Potter's DVD is as inexplicable as it is ambitious. An enormous two-disc set, the DVD promises tantalizing "never before seen footage," but good luck trying to find it. Disc one is the standard movie, and disc two amounts to what is best described as an intricate game for kids. It's all designed as a puzzle -- to do anything you have to twist the right bricks to gain access, just like Harry and Hagrid did in London. If you didn't memorize the pattern, you'll have to go back to the movie (swapping discs in the process -- though if you screw up enough times, the game will eventually show you the answer). To open more and more of the disc you have to complete more and more idiotic tasks -- picking a wand, mixing potions, and the like. I gave up after half an hour of this nonsense, having exposed little more than a collection of interview clips. Warner Brothers: I appreciate that you've tried to do something beyond the usual with this highly anticipated release, but for us adults, give us a back door to the special features. We just don't have time for this Hogwarts -- I mean, hogwash.

School's in session.

Prick Up Your Ears Review


Good
You might not even recognize Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina in this little-seen movie about a little-known playright from the 1960s named Joe Orton. Living the high life of a swingin' '60s British homosexual, Orton (Oldman) becomes famous while his older partner Kenneth Halliwell (Molina) does not. Halliwell's reaction to this turn of events is particularly tragic for both. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film unfortunately spends far too much time on the minutiae of Orton's life and takes way too long to build to its inevitable, horrible conclusion.

Calendar Girls Review


OK

Inspired by a group of middle-aged women in Yorkshire, England, who rocked the boat in their local knitting-and-baking club and made worldwide headlines by posing nude for a charity calendar, "Calendar Girls" is a quaintly cheeky comedy very much in the vein of "The Full Monty."

Blessed with sparkling performances from the fabulous Helen Mirren and Julie Walters ("Billy Elliott") as the feisty ringleaders who are bored with their group making a pittance each year by putting out boring 12-monthers with pictures of churches or flower arrangements, the movie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with a harmlessly fun sense of humor. But it's beguiling only throughout the planning and the posing -- and all the public discombobulation and personal-inhibition busting that results. Once the calendar is released, the picture runs out of steam and tries to keep afloat for a long third act by inventing false drama.

The catalyst for the calendar is the desire to buy a comfortable new couch for the waiting room of a hospital where many of the women spent long hours while one of their husbands was dying of cancer. Realizing they couldn't possible raise enough with their usual endeavors, Mirren's character hits upon the novelty notion of posing nude when she see a cheesecake calendar on the wall of a mechanic's garage.

Continue reading: Calendar Girls Review

Billy Elliot Review


Good

The backdrop for "Billy Elliot" is familiar: A haggard blue-collar English community, struggling under the conservative, anti-labor regime of Margaret Thatcher. We've seen variations on this theme in "Among Giants," "Brassed Off," "The Full Monty" and "The Van."

The time period is specific -- it's 1984 and the coal workers are on strike -- although such details won't mean much to audiences outside Britain.

But the characters and their drives and dreams are utterly unique in this non-pandering feel-good film that features such strong performances and original circumstances that even the most stalwart cynic will likely succumb to its charismatic charm.

Continue reading: Billy Elliot Review

Titanic Town Review


Good

Of all the movies I've seen depicting The Troubles in Northern Ireland -- and there have been some powerful films on the subject -- "Titanic Town" is the first one that really drove home to this outsider what it must have been like to live in a neighborhood where sniper fire is an everyday occurrence, where the hulks of bombed-out cars sit in the town square and where a quiet residential street can be invaded at any moment by columns of soldiers, armed to the teeth and coming to drag away one or more of your neighbors.

The most visceral moment in this tense but hopeful film, about an Irish Catholic mother of four who takes it upon herself to stop the undeclared war, comes in the middle of the night when the teenage daughter of this housewife-activist wakes up to the sight of paramilitary guerillas taking up attack positions in her front yard. The scene gave me chills, plain and simple.

Our passport into this perilous world is Bernie McPhelimy, a real-life woman of dogged determination who in the 1970s jumped headlong into the quagmire that was (and still is) the bitter, violent, terrorizing clash between Catholic Irish Republicans and Protestant, Britain-backed Unionists.

Continue reading: Titanic Town Review

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone Review


OK

Overly self-indulgent director Chris Columbus could have cut out the entire middle hour of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and if you hadn't read the popular children's book, you'd never know the difference.

A good 70 percent of the picture consists of showy set pieces that don't service the plot (which we'll get to in a minute) so much as obligingly recreate unrelated passages that would be missed by the boy wizard's enthusiastic and possessive fan base had they been omitted.

One 10-minute episode is spent watching a sport called Quidditch, sort of a flying-broom version of field hockey with more than one puck and incredibly intricate rules that go largely unexplained. It's a lot like the pod race scene in "The Phantom Menace" -- irrelevant but spirited -- although with 1/10th the special effects budget. (Oh, that blatant blue-screening!)

Continue reading: Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone Review

Julie Walters

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Julie Walters

Date of birth

22nd February, 1950

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.60


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Julie Walters Movies

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool Movie Review

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool Movie Review

Based on a true story, this stylishly produced British drama centres around two superbly involving...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

Paddington 2 Trailer

Paddington 2 Trailer

Since being adopted into the Brown family, Paddington bear is now a big part of...

Brooklyn - Clips Trailer

Brooklyn - Clips Trailer

Eilis Lacey's life in Ireland has drawn to a standstill, there's no work and her...

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Brooklyn Movie Review

Brooklyn Movie Review

Director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby never even try to temper the flood of...

Brooklyn Trailer

Brooklyn Trailer

Taking your first steps into adulthood is never easy, but for a young Irish woman...

Paddington Movie Review

Paddington Movie Review

It's difficult not to go into a movie like this with a sense of dread,...

Paddington Trailer

Paddington Trailer

In the jungles of Peru, a young bear learns about and becomes obsessed with Great...

Effie Gray Movie Review

Effie Gray Movie Review

Based on a notorious true story, this film takes a muted approach that matches the...

Effie Gray Trailer

Effie Gray Trailer

When young Effie Grey (Dakota Fanning) is married to John Ruskin (Greg Wise), a man...

Paddington Trailer

Paddington Trailer

Paddington is a young Peruvian bear who has always held a curiosity for the city...

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