Movies

Category:Movies

The Funny Side of British Espionage

This week I finally got to see the new comedy, Spy, an amusing espionage romp through Europe starring Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper. A modest yet top-notch CIA analyst, Susan transforms into a surprisingly adept field agent. Her first mission is to save the world from a rogue nuclear device currently for sale to the highest bidder.

 Normally, I would have waited until this film made it to DVD; however, I felt I must show my monetary and emotional support for an actress primarily known and loved in this country as Chummy. You’ve got it. Appearing in her first Hollywood film role, Miranda Hart plays Nancy Artingstall, McCarthy’s fellow intelligence analyst and best friend. And contrary to my initial concerns, Hart gets quite a substantial amount of screen time.

If you don’t know or care about Miranda Hart (shame on you!) there are a few other Brits of interest in this rather uproarious spy adventure. Jude Law plays Agent Bradley Fine, Susan’s suave AMERICAN partner who soaks in her adoration, but never takes her affection seriously. Jason Statham is Agent Rick Ford, a loose cannon with a hilarious tendency of exaggerating his spy prowess. Probably best of all is Peter Serafinowicz as lecherous Italian informant Aldo who takes a bit too much of a liking to Ms. Cooper. He’s full of surprises as Aldo.

Anyhow, this movie got me thinking about spy comedy as a genre. I daresay it’s sort of ironic when you consider that one of the tensest and most suspenseful categories in drama has spawned so many parodies. In turn, these spoofs have given us some of the most memorable characters in film and on TV from Austin Powers to Maxwell Smart.

Category:Movies

Eddie Redmayne to Star in ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

What do you do after you win an Oscar for playing the world’s most famous theoretical physicist? Join the Harry Potter universe, apparently.

Eddie Redmayne, who recently picked up the Best Actor statue for his performance as Stephen Hawking in biopic The Theory of Everything has officially been cast as the lead in Potter spinoff/pseudo-prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

He will play “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, author of the famous Hogwarts textbook that gives the film its title. 

Category:Movies

The New 'Crimson Peak' Trailer is Terrifying and Also Kind of Gorgeous

Full-length trailers for Crimson Peak, director Guillermo del Toro’s latest foray into Gothic horror have arrived, and if you are at all into the prospect of watching Tom Hiddleston swan about in fancy period dress as an emotionally conflicted romantic with an obvious deep, dark secret, this is the movie for you.

Provided you don’t mind blood, death or things that make you jump out of your seat. 

Category:Movies

This Mother's Day Let's Talk British Movie Matriarchs

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, it’s only fitting to honor the qualities that make the moms in our lives so special to us. I have selected some maternal British film characters to illustrate these nurturing attributes. Though flawed and sometimes infuriating, you’re sure to recognize your own loving mother (or even yourself) somewhere in this list.

Category:Movies

Martin Freeman Joins the Marvel Universe in 'Captain America: Civil War'

If you're a fan of all things British, you're probably just going to have to accept that you'll have to start seeing those big Marvel superhero films sooner or later, as the list of British Actors of Note who've nabbed roles in this particular cinematic universe is quite lengthy - and apparently growing every day.

Next up to bag a spot in the world of Marvel: Sherlock star Martin Freeman, who has officially nabbed a role in the anticipated sequelCaptain America: Civil War

He joins a long lineup of impressive Brits who've done Marvel roles of varying sizes including Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Ben Kingsley (The Mandarin), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), Paul Bettany (JARVIS/The Vision), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), David Tennant (Zebediah Kilgrave), Christopher Eccleston (Malekith the Accursed), Charlie Cox (Matt Murdock) and more. 

Category:Movies

Watch the Full Trailer for Ian McKellen’s ‘Mr. Holmes’

The full trailer for upcoming big screen Sherlock Holmes saga Mr. Holmes has arrived and, while it represents at least the fourth mainstream portrayal of the great detective to grace popular culture in the past five years, it seems safe to say that this film is doing its best to set itself apart as something different.

Based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, the film follows the adventures of the great detective near the end of his life. At the age of 93, Holmes has retired to Sussex, where he lives with a housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker) as he struggles with getting older and the perils of encroaching dementia.

And, of course, there’s the fact that it stars the great Sir Ian McKellen, one of those actors who is of such a caliber that most people would happily watch him read the phone book, let along play Sherlock Holmes. (I have actually watched McKellen read the phone book, for the record, and it was still a mesmerizing performance. Just so you know.)

Based on the novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin, the film follows the adventures of the great detective near the end of his life. At the age of 93, Holmes has retired to Sussex, where he lives with a housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son (Milo Parker) as he struggles with getting older and the perils of encroaching dementia.

And, of course, there’s the fact that it stars the great Sir Ian McKellen, one of those actors who is of such a caliber that most people would happily watch him read the phone book, let along play Sherlock Holmes. (I have actually watched McKellen read the phone book, for the record, and it was still a mesmerizing performance. Just so you know.)

Category:Movies

Watch: Ian McKellen in the Teaser for 'Mr. Holmes'

Despite the fact that there are currently three versions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's great detective in popular culture at the moment - Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock, Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary and Robert Downey, Jr in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series of films (Yes, I am determined to believe a third installment is going to happen. One day.) - there's always room for one more.

Especially when that one more is being played by acting legend Sir Ian McKellen

Category:Movies

'Downton Abbey's" Dan Stevens to Star in Live Action 'Beauty and the Beast'

Have you been missing Dan Stevens being all dreamy and perfect on Downton Abbey? Okay, maybe you haven't been missing him THAT much, given that he's kept himself pretty busy with a variety of film roles The Guest, A Walk Among the Tombstones, Night at the Museum) and even a bit of stage work (The Heiress) since leaving HIghclere Castle behind. But, that's okay, because he's just landed the dream role we have all known he was perfect for since way back when Downton first began - an actual Disney prince!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stevens has officially been cast to play the Beast in Disney's upcoming live adaptation of the Oscar-nominated animated classic Beauty and the Beast. He will star opposite Brit Emma Watson, who was cast as Belle several weeks ago. (Rumor has it that another up and coming British thespian - Luke Evans - is in talks to take on the role of the nefarious Gaston, but that hasn't been confirmed quite yet. 

Category:Movies

British Actors Excel at Playing Real People: They’ve Got the Oscars to Prove It

British actors aren’t strangers to Academy Award acclaim. Last weekend Eddie Redmayne, star of The Theory of Everything in which he gave a radiant performance as world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, joined the company of almost thirty of his fellow countrymen and women in winning a Best Leading Actor or Actress statuette since the honors were first bestowed 87 years ago.

Vivien Leigh won twice for her portrayal of some very famous fictional characters; in 1940 for Gone with the Wind and in 1952 for A Streetcar Named Desire. Laurence Olivier was recognized in 1949 for his interpretation of one of the most famous of Shakespeare’s characters, Hamlet.

Today, however, I want to focus on those actors, like Mr. Redmayne who have taken on the daunting challenge of playing a person who actually existed and were rewarded with a little bald golden man for their trouble. The biopic trend has been on the increase since the 1980’s but that’s not to say that people weren’t bringing history to life long before that time. 

Category:Movies

Watch: Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain in Trailer for ‘Crimson Peak’

The first trailer has arrived for director Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Gothic horror film Crimson Peak, and if what you most want in life is a bunch of shots of Tom Hiddleston being creepy in a super posh period costume, well, it’s your lucky day.

Hiddleston stars opposite Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam in this supernatural period drama that features ghosts, family secrets, dark passions, and general craziness.   

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