Octavia Spencer

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Picture - Octavia Spencer - A host... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 22nd March 2015

Octavia Spencer - A host of stars were photographed as they attended a special screening of new movie 'Home' which was presented by 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 22nd March 2015

Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer

'Insurgent' Spends More Time On Shailene Woodley And Characterisation


Shailene Woodley Kate Winslet Naomi Watts Octavia Spencer Ashley Judd

Unless you had read the book, last year's hit 'Divergent' probably left you scratching your head about the story set in post-war Chicago, where people are segmented into factions according to their personalities (Dauntless, Candor, Amity, Erudite and Abnegation), plus the factionless rebels and multi-factioned divergents. Basically it all felt rather contrived, and director Neil Burger's movie had to spend too much time trying to explain how it worked.

Maggie Q and Shailene Woodley in 'Divergent'
Maggie Q and Shailene Woodley in 'Divergent'

Now we move into the second chapter, 'Insurgent', and director Robert Schwentke can just get on with the story, playing down the odd structure of this closed-off city. So it's a much more involving movie that centres on the characters themselves, weaving the action into their personal situations while building a much more urgent sense of suspense up to another cliff-hanger ending. This also lets the female-dominated cast members shine, including Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts, plus Octavia Spencer in a key cameo, and Ashley Judd in recurring flashbacks.

Continue reading: 'Insurgent' Spends More Time On Shailene Woodley And Characterisation

Insurgent Review


Good

A sharp improvement on the original, this second entry in The Divergent Series has a much stronger sense of its premise and characters, which makes it much more exciting to watch. Where Divergent felt gimmicky and a bit shallow, this chapter pushes the characters much deeper, giving the actors a chance to bring them more engagingly to life, which makes the odd set-up more involving as well.

It picks up immediately where the first film ended, with Tris (Shailene Woodley) escaping from post-apocalyptic, segmented-society Chicago with her boyfriend Four (Theo James), her brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and their shifty cohort Peter (Miles Teller). Hiding out in the Amity agricultural community, they know that Erudite leader Janine (Kate Winslet) has sent her goons (Jai Courtney and Mekhi Phifer) to find them. Actually, she needs a divergent to open an artefact from the pre-war days so she can rid Chicago of pesky divergents forever. When their location is discovered, Tris and pals head back into the city, teaming up with factionless leader Joanna (Naomi Watts) and getting help from the head of Candor (Daniel Dae Kim) before going to Erudite to face Janine.

The story has a strong push to it, driving these rebels ever closer to a confrontation with their nasty nemesis, and their journey is fraught with surprise wrinkles, vicious battles and some mind-bending imagery. In fact, there are so many dreams, flashbacks and computer simulations that it's not always clear if what's on screen is actually happening or not. But it all looks so cool that we hang on to discover where it'll go next, so the two hours passes briskly, and sometimes breathlessly. The film looks terrific, as director Robert Schwentke keeps the focus on the characters while creating some amazing effects around them, especially in the simulation sequences.

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Picture - Octavia Spencer Ansel Elgort -... New York New York United States, Monday 16th March 2015

Octavia Spencer Ansel Elgort - Premiere of 'The Divergent Series: Insurgent' held at the Ziegfeld Theatre - Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theatre - New York, New York, United States - Monday 16th March 2015

Miles Teller, Octavia Spencer, Lucy Fisher, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Douglas Wick and Jai Courtney
Octavia Spencer and Jussie Smollett
Octavia Spencer

Picture - Dave Annable and Octavia Spencer... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 1st March 2015

Dave Annable and Octavia Spencer - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the premiere of Disney's "Cinderella" The premiere was held at at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 1st March 2015

Dave Annable and Octavia Spencer

The Oscars Suffer From Worst Ratings In Six Years


Neil Patrick Harris Octavia Spencer Ellen Degeneres

This year’s Academy Awards was the least watched in six years, according to preliminary viewing figures. USA Today reported that initial Nielsen estimates put the 87th Awards stats at 36.6 million viewers, the lowest since 2009.

Sunday’s ceremony, hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris and dominated by Birdman, was a pretty steep 16% drop on last year’s awards when 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. Ellen Degeneres hosted that one and, powered by a memorable selfie which was then re-tweeted around the world, it had 43.7 million viewers.

David Burtka Neil Patrick Harris
2015 Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris (R)

Continue reading: The Oscars Suffer From Worst Ratings In Six Years

Picture - Octavia Spencer - Hollywood's biggest... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 22nd February 2015

Octavia Spencer - Hollywood's biggest stars were snapped on the red carpet as they arrived for the 87th Annual Oscars awards ceremony which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 22nd February 201

Picture - Octavia Spencer - THE 46th... Pasadena California United States, Friday 6th February 2015

Octavia Spencer - THE 46th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium - Pasadena, California, United States - Friday 6th February 2015

Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer

Black Or White Trailer


When a young girl's mother dies in childbirth, she is sent to live with her grandparents. After her grandmother dies in a car accident, Elliot Anderson (Kevin Costner) takes on the responsibility of raising her by himself. When his granddaughter's African American grandmother Rowena (Octavia Spencer) arrives to tell him that they should share custody, Elliot is reluctant to the point of hostility. Despite his granddaughter having more family living in the South - including her drug-addicted father - Elliot furiously battles for sole custody, stating that his fight is not born of racial hatred, but due to the loss of both his wife and daughter making his granddaughter the only thing he has left in the world. 

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The Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer


Following on from the events of 'Divergent', the mysterious government has discovered a magical maguffin which had the power to create the idyllic future they have always hoped to fulfil. The only catch, is that it requires a Divergent in order to activate it. As the government begins testing any and all Divergents they can find, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is already on the run, and meets up with an army of secret, hidden Divergents. When it is revealed that she may be the only one to truly activate the maguffin, the Divergents rise up as an Insurgency, and take the fight to the government that has oppressed them for too long.

Continue: The Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer

Fox Pulls 'Red Band Society' Mid-Season


Octavia Spencer

In news which will exacerbate what has been a pretty disastrous fall for new TV shows across all networks, Fox has announced that it will halt production on its freshman comedy-drama ‘Red Band Society’.

Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer stars in comedy-drama 'Red Band Society', which has been pulled by Fox today

The network will stop producing the episodes after its initial order of thirteen episodes wraps up, but it’s not yet officially been cancelled. It is however in a critical condition (if you’ll excuse the pun).

Continue reading: Fox Pulls 'Red Band Society' Mid-Season

Get On Up Review


Good

With an appropriately jarring sense of energy, this James Brown biopic acutely captures the Godfather of Soul's iconic musical talents, although the fragmented script undermines any emotional kick in his story. The film also struggles to build up momentum, because it continually leaps between various chapters in Brown's life. Which means that it never quite connects these disparate episodes into one coherent narrative. Even so, Chadwick Boseman delivers an electrically charged central performance.

Boseman plays James from the time he was 16, thrown into prison for stealing a suit in 1949, until his comeback in the 1990s. Raised in a brothel run by his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer) after his parents (Viola Davis and Lennie James) abandoned him, James is in prison when he meets visiting gospel singer Bobby Byrd (Nelsan Ellis), who takes him in on his release. Together they form The Famous Flames, gaining small-time success as James catches the eye of a manager (Dan Aykroyd), a record executive (Fred Melamed) and the public. A string of major hits followed in the 1950s and 60s, then James went solo in the 70s before the usual issues of fame caught up with him: money, drugs and guns. But he returned to the stage in the 1990s.

The film completely skips over his Hollywood years in the 80s, which wouldn't be a problem if the decade was so notably missing from the film. As the story skips back and forth through the years, the audience is forced to make sense of the disparate scenes, filling in several holes along the way. Aside from one rather surreal scene in a Southern Gospel church, there's never much of a sense of how Brown found his voice or developed his inimitable style. It also never quite captures his impact on the music industry as a whole.

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Get On Up - Memories Of James Brown Featurette


The cast and crew of forthcoming James Brown biopic 'Get On Up' talk about the legacy of the pioneering entertainer and the impact he had following his spectacular live show at the Apollo Theater in Harlem which was subsequently transposed to his 1963 live album entitled 'Live At The Apollo'.

Continue: Get On Up - Memories Of James Brown Featurette

The Divergent Series: Insurgent - Teaser Trailer


Following the revelation that she is Divergent and not specialised for any of the dystopian Chicago factions, Tris (Shailene Woodley) uncovered a series of intrigue and dishonesty amongst factions. Now, Tris is on the run with her leader Four (Theo James); being chased by the Erudite - a faction based on intelligence - as they plot to become the dominant faction. With Tris' family having sacrificed themselves some great secret, Tris and Four must find out what that is before the Erudite can catch them and win.

Continue: The Divergent Series: Insurgent - Teaser Trailer

Get On Up Trailer


Since he was a child, he knew he'd become a star. He may not have had the easiest life growing up in a poor family and enjoying frequent brushes with the law (something that continued for the rest of his life despite his illustrious career), but he was a pioneer in what he did best. Following his first stint in prison as a teenager, he embarked on a musical career that would create a whole new way of looking at music. His funky rhythms, mind-blowing voice and effortless moves on stage would go on to inspire artists for generations even if his troubled personal life left much to be desired. He even took his soul magic to Vietnam during the 20-year conflict - a venture that demonstrated both his patriotism and his bravery. This is the story of James Brown.

Continue: Get On Up Trailer