Richard Briers

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Legendary Animator Bob Godfrey Passes Away Aged 91


Richard Briers

Godfrey at his peak was an Oscar-winning film maker who took his statuette for his short film Great, which was a biography on the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. However, he was by far and away best known his animation work on TV, which included drawing for shows like Roobarb and Henry’s Cat. The news of the death comes just days after his former colleague Richard Briers also passed away; the pair had worked together on Roobarb.

The Australian born animator had started his career in the 1950’s with Larkin Studio and began making early animations in the basement of the company’s building, including 1952’s Big Parade and Watch The Birdie. According to The Independent, Watch The Birdie was inspired by a Paul Klee painting. He also won a BAFTA for his animation Henry 9 To 5, a slightly risqué for the time film about British sexual habits.

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The Good Life: Legendary TV Actor Richard Briers Dies Aged 79


Richard Briers Kenneth Branagh

Legendary television actor Richard Briers, who played the enduring Tom in BBC comedy The Good Life, has died at the age of 79. The actor, who also starred in Ever Decreasing Circles, Monarch of the Glen and numerous successful stage productions, had been ill for a number of years with emphysema.

Richard Briers, Variety Club Showbiz AwardsTributes Are Pouring In For The Legendary Richard Briers

His agent, Christopher Farrar, said in a statement, "Richard was a wonderful man, a consummate professional and an absolute joy to work alongside. Following his recent discussion of his battle with emphysema, I know he was incredibly touched by the strength of support expressed by friends and the public, adding, "He has a unique and special place in the hearts of so many. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his family at this sad time."

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Cockneys Vs Zombies Review


Weak
It's impossible for this film to escape comparisons with Shaun of the Dead, another witty zombie comedy set in London. Although this one transfers the action from North London to the East End, where the undead prowl around the neighbourhood that has just hosted the Olympic Games. Which also lets the filmmakers play with that no-nonsense Cockney grit. The script has some very funny moments, and the cast is terrific, but the film is too inconsistent to be a classic.

The craziness starts when a construction crew opens a 500-year-old plague pit, unleashing flesh-chomping zombies. Oblivious to this, brothers Terry and Andy (Hardiker and Treadaway) are planning to rob a bank to get the cash to save their grandfather's nursing home, which is under threat from a property developer. Their team includes a safecracker (Ryan), a gun nut (Thomas) and a loyal idiot (Doolan), but their badly planned heist is derailed when they run into the undead. Now their goal is to rescue Granddad (Ford) and his pals (including Blackman, Briers and Sutton).

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Picture - Richard Briers London, England, Sunday 16th November 2008

Richard Briers Sunday 16th November 2008 The 56th Annual Variety Club Showbiz Awards - Arrivals London, England

Love's Labour's Lost Review


OK
Film musicals are a tough sell these days. It's either the annual Disney animation vehicle or it's Edward Norton dancing to swing music. I could probably count the last five years worth of decent musicals on my left hand. The juxtaposition of dialogue with song and dance always seems to remind me of the tragedies of my high school drama days. Those damn tights. The bad pancake makeup.

Kenneth Branagh's latest Shakespearean opus, Love's Labour's Lost, falls into the category of an ingenious experiment gone horrible wrong. Like a bartender with one too many vodka-tonics on his breath, Branagh mixes one of Shakespeare's lesser-known comedies with the music of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin and places everything in 1939 France. Think the Rat Pack in some bad 1960s film.

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Peter Pan Review


OK

In an era of severely dumbed-down children's movies, the first live-action "Peter Pan" picture since the silent era does something extraordinary -- it un-Disneyfies the story, revives the deeper themes of J.M. Barrie's original book and play, and emerges as an appropriately wily family-fare delight.

From its exquisite, Maxfield-Parish-inspired Neverland of golden sunlight, lush green forests and cotton-candy clouds to the quintessently pubescent and enigmatically tingly chemistry between Peter (the strangely pretty 14-year-old Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (the even prettier 13-year-old Rachel Hurd-Wood), the film is a vivid and surprisingly visceral experience.

Director P.J. Hogan ("My Best Friend's Wedding") evokes the true wonder of childhood in the eyes of his young stars as Peter Pan, the mythical leafy-clad boy who refused to grow up, hovers with the power of happy thoughts and fairy dust outside the third-story window of Wendy Darling on a snowy night in 1900s London, engrossed in the stories of adventure that the girl spins with wide-eyed zeal for her little bothers John and Michael.

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Love's Labour's Lost Review


OK

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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Richard Briers

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