Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy Snow White and the Huntsman that screamed out for a sequel. And indeed, this prequel/sequel hybrid doesn't quite make sense, muddling its premise by straining to keep Snow White herself out of the story (she's always just off screen) while spinning a tale that feels so derivative that we feel like we've seen it all before. The powerhouse cast does what it can, aided by some fabulous costumes, but it's impossible to escape the feeling that there's nothing to it.
Decades before her encounter with Snow White, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was just beginning her violent march toward power when her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) suffered a terrible tragedy. Believing that love itself betrayed her, Freya moves to another kingdom and inflicts a frozen winter on her subjects, raiding the surrounding lands for children she will raise to fight, with love between them forbidden. When her two top fighters, Eric and Sara (Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain), can't help but fall for each other, they are severely punished. Years later, after Eric's adventure with Ravenna and Snow White, he sets out to get rid of Ravenna's pesky magic mirror, accompanied by four frisky dwarfs (Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach). And this puts them all on a collision course with the icy Freya.
The script feels like it was written by a committee desperate to get something, anything on-screen. The first half of the film is essentially the backstory, and the second half is a Hobbit-style quest with moments of random Game of Thrones-style action thrown in simply to give the special effects team a workout. This isn't too surprising considering that the movie is the directing debut of effects expert Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. So if it makes little logical sense, at least it looks achingly cool, especially when the duelling divas are clad in spectacular frocks by Colleen Atwood.
Continue reading: The Huntsman: Winter's War Review
Benedict Cumberbatch and James Nesbitt head 'Leading Actors'.
The BAFTA Television Award nominations for 2015 have finally been announced, including the usual entertainment favourites, some easily predictable names and a few surprises along the way that represent the very best of British television.
James Nesbitt's 'The Missing' leads the nominations
We're never tired of hearing his name at awards ceremonies; 'Sherlock' star Benedict Cumberbatch is once again nominated for his exceptional performance as the modern-day sleuth on a show that the public has also put up to receive the Radio Times Audience Award. More Leading Actor nominations feature Toby Jones in 'Marvellous', which is also in the Single Drama category and Best Supporting Actress with Gemma Jones.
Continue reading: BAFTA TV Nominations Announced! The Missing Gets The Most Nods For 2015
As James Corden looks set for stateside presenting glory, we look at some of the lesser known facts about this comedy Brit.
Rumours are rife of James Corden’s appointment as the new host of the CBS chat programme, The Late Late Show. Reports have suggested that Corden is taking over the slot from current host, Craig Ferguson, although representatives for the British comedy actor and CBS have yet to confirm the situation.
Reports suggested that James Corden will be the next host of CBS' The Late Late Show
Already a big hit in the UK from Gavin and Stacey, Americans seem as yet unsure about the potential new face on their screens as they know little about him. So, to help our stateside counterparts and to give us Brits a little bit more information about this comedy favourite, here are 10 things that you didn’t know about James Corden.
Continue reading: 10 Things You Didn't Know About James Corden
See what the press have been saying about ITV's latest serialised dramatisation.
The new three-part ITV drama, ‘The Widower’ aired last night (March 18, 2014). The show aims to tell the story of Mark Webster, who was convicted for the murder of his first wife, and the attempted murder of his second. But what have the critics made of this, the latest attempt by ITV to dramatise horrific, real-life events.
Reece Shearsmith Is Excellent as Mark Webster
The show sees Reece Shearsmith in the lead role, who, as Mark Monahan of The Telegraph notes, looks nothing like Webster. But it “Shearsmith’s quietly depraved, just about plausible central performance that made last night’s first episode really rather watchable,” he added in his three-star review.
Sheridan Smith is "really honoured" and "thrilled to be playing Cilla, as she is a British icon," in the upcoming Jeff Pope-written three part series for ITV, which will follow the early years of the Liverpool native's career.
The 32 year-old actress will portray the Liverpool native's "rocky rise to fame and will capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool."
The upcoming series, which was penned by BAFTA winner and 'Philomena' writer Jeff Pope, will focus on her younger years, emerging on the famed Merseyside music scene when she went by her real name, Priscilla Black.
Continue reading: Sheridan Smith To Star As Cilla Black In ITV Three-Part Series
While women in the audience may find resonance in the comical prickliness, this film remains more of a stage play than an actual movie. Indeed, playwright Hirons has adapted the script from her play When Women Wee, but it's such a broad farce that we never quite believe any of it on-screen. Although two of the actresses nicely underplay their characters for the cameras.
The story takes place almost entirely in the ladies' room at a British nightclub, where the disorganised Sam (Smith) is having a night out with her friends: shameless maneater Chanel (Winstone), trashy Saskia (Hoare) and the too-nice Paige (Steele). Then Sam runs into the posh Michelle (Nash) and her gorgeous French friend Jess (Chaplin), and decides to ditch her pals. But the club isn't big enough to avoid them for long, and things get increasingly messy for everyone as the night progresses. Meanwhile, the restroom attendant (Fiori) just laughs at their melodrama.
With Sam at the centre, every other woman is essentially a stereotype carefully written to convey some aspect of femininity. By contrast, the men are barely defined at all, so only two register, both of them unusually nice: Sam's ex (Warren) and a guy (Balfour) she chats to in the smoking area. But in this large ensemble, only Sheridan and Winstone manage to give their characters three dimensions, mainly because they create properly cinematic performances that rely on understated details rather than histrionics.
Continue reading: Powder Room Review
The latest take on Shakespeare's historic play is a hit with critics and audiences at the Noel Coward Theatre in London
The latest stage version of William Shakespeare's historic epic Henry V is currently playing to packed-out audiences at the Noel Coward Theatre on London's West End, with critics being particularly taken by lead man Jude Law, who portrays the embattled monarch in Michael Grandage's take on the show.
Jude Law is being roundly praised for his depiction of Henry V
The last instalment of the Michael Grandage Company’s season on the West End, it may also be the best too, thanks largely to the star performance from its lead performer. After a successful 15-month season, consisting of five plays each performed at the Noel Coward Theatre, Henry V marks the end of Grandage's triumphant run, but he couldn't have ended things on higher note. Whilst praise has been distributed to the direction and stage design for the show, it is Law's lead performance that has captured critics and audiences alike, as the Dom Hemingway actor continues his good run of form as a critically acclaimed acting talent.
Continue reading: Jude Law As 'Henry V' Is (Probably) The Best Acting Performance Of 2013
It's a raunchy, dark (literally) comedy about a lady's restroom. If that doesn't make you want to see it...
Powder Room is a neon-lit, booze-soaked revelation into what goes on in the lives of women when no one is looking in a story set, as you may have guessed, mostly in a nightclub restroom. Or so the trailer would have us believe, at least. The film, based on the appropriately titled play When Women Wee, by Rachel Hirons, takes place within a single club in the space of one night.
It tells the story of bored with life Sam, who spends days working and her nights, much like the current one – out at one questionable venue or another with a gaggle of shot-downing friends. A revelation comes to her on this particular night, when she has a chance encounter with old friend Michelle, who is now engaged and leads a dream life, full of glitz and glamour in Paris. Unlike Sam, Michelle is thoroughly underwhelmed by the particular club and makes her friend question her own judgement and standards.
Sam is living an entirely uninteresting life full of hardships and love life troubles. However, during one night out to what she reckons is a 'posh' nightclub, she is forced to reassess her life and think about who she really wants to be as she is reunited with her glamorous old friend Michelle, who is now engaged and leads a glitzy lifestyle in Paris with her equally trendy friend Jess. To her, the club is a distinctly cheap and tacky and Sam becomes so consumed with jealousy that she finds herself carving out a whole new identity that she is forced to keep up the rest of the night. But with friends like Chanel, Saskie and Paige who spend the evening downing shots and shamelessly seducing men, it becomes a harder feat than she realised.
Continue: Powder Room Trailer
The Harry Hill Movie looks like a riot!
Forget The Fast & The Furious! This week, comedian Harry Hill and British movie legend Julie Walters took to their scooters and powered through a quiet London suburb to film scenes from Hill's new movie Harry Hill The Movie. In a pretty hilarious looking scene, the comedian drives a yellow mobility scooter in typically slapstick fashion, falling off it at one point as Walters - who plays his grandmother - cackles away.
Iconic actress Walters was almost unrecognizable in a white frizzy wig, dark sunglasses and purple jacket while Hill was dressed as, well, Harry Hill. The comedian opted for his signature suit with big collared shirt and creeper shoes. The movie follows Harry and his grandmother as they attempt to get his pet hamster from London to a vet in Blackpool before the clock winds down. It's seems a pretty silly premise, though Harry has assembled quite for the cast for the movie, including revered actor Jim Broadbent, comedian Matt Lucas and recent Olivier award winner Sheridan Smith.
Directed by Steve Bendelack and co-written by Harry, Jon Forster and James Lamont, the movie is due to hit cinemas later in the year.
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