Movies

Before They Were Oscar Nominees: British Stars Up for Academy Awards in 2015

This year five talented Brits have been nominated for an Academy Award. Most of these names are quite familiar to UK film fans; however, before they were delivering inspiring performances and their names appeared on movie theater marquees, they had to pay their dues with small guest appearances in television series and made-for-TV movies.

Let’s take a brief look at their careers before they were Oscar hopefuls…

Category:Other

BAFTA 2015: Which is the Best British Film?

If the holidays are wrapping up and the cold, dark winter is truly setting in, it can mean only one thing. It’s awards season! For the UK film industry, the greatest accolade that can be bestowed is from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA for short, which also happens to the name of the statuette presented to the winners. 

On this past Friday, the nominees for the 2015 BAFTAs were announced at the Picadilly headquarters of the Academy itself by perennial host Stephen Fry and his cohort Sam Claflin. While there might have been a few snubs, most of the expected names were announced. Of interest to British movie fans, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game received multiple nods for acting, screenplay, director and best overall film. Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike and Imelda Staunton also earned nominations for their impressive work in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Gone Girl and Pride respectively. A complete list of nominees can be found here.

Though a British organization, most of BAFTA’s awards are not limited to UK produced movies except for one – the Outstanding British Film category. Last year some of the nominees for this award had a tenuous claim to this distinction. In fact it was Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney that won this honor in 2014.

This year’s batch of outstanding movies are much more identifiably British and a good representation of UK filmmaking overall. Two are biopics of famous scholars, two are based on historical events set in the fairly recent past, one is a Scottish sci-fi thriller and the last is a CGI depiction of a beloved British children’s character. I’ve actually seen four out of the six films on the list and, despite a few disagreements based on my own personal tastes, would concur with a majority of  its candidates.

Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

Category:Movies

New Trailer for ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

A new trailer has been released for the highly anticipated sequel to heartwarming 2012 comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, if the new clip is anything to go by, it pretty much looks as though we’re kind of in for more of the same as we go back to India for a second stay. However, in this case, “more of the same” is a perfectly acceptable and actually quite desirable outcome as the first film is so lovely.

Creatively titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel will continue to follow the story of a group of British retirees making a home for themselves in a second-rate Indian retirement hotel. Eight months have passed since the events of the original film and, with the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and the Beautiful nearing capacity, owner-manager Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) is looking to expand his business empire. Or, at least build another retirement home. 

Category:Movies

From ‘Sherlock’ to Superhero: Benedict Cumberbatch is Your New ‘Doctor Strange’

Well, at least we can say we knew him when, right? After weeks (months, maybe) of will he/won’t he rumors and speculation, it’s finally official Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has added another crown jewel to his geek credentials by nabbing  the lead role in upcoming Marvel tentpole Doctor Strange.  

For the past year a slew of big Hollywood names have been attached to the role of Stephen Strange, including Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Keanu Reeves and more. In fact, Cumberbatch was mentioned as being on Marvel’s short list for the part earlier this year, though that talk died out over the summer, when it seemed like Joaquin Phoenix was going to take it on. But now, Marvel has come back to Cumberbatch, and have brought the actor officially on board.

Category:Movies

James Bond 24 Will Be Called ‘Spectre’ and Other Details You Need to Know

It’s official: The 24th installment in the iconic James Bond film franchise has a title, a cast, a car and a release date. The film is to be called Spectre and, of course, Daniel Craig is back for his fourth turn as Agent 007 and he’ll be joined by many returning cast members from his last Bond outing, along with, predictably, a bunch of new faces.

Ralph Fiennes will be returning as the new M, along with Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny and Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner.  As far as the new folks go, most notably there’s Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz (Djano Unchained), who has joined the cast as a character called Oberhauser. Plus, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista has signed on as Mr. Hinx, and Sherlock’s Andrew Scott is set to play a new MI-5 agent named Denbigh.

Oh, and the new Bond girls for this outing are Monica Bellucci (The Matrix films) and Lea Seydoux (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), playing characters named Lucia Sciarra and Madeleine Swann respectively.

They even unveiled Bond’s new car, an especially snazzy looking Aston Martin DB10.

Category:Movies

Watch: Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen in Trailer for ‘Far From the Madding Crowd'

Who’s up for a little Thomas Hardy at your local multiplex? A big screen adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd is headed our way next year, offering those of us who like our period drama with a bit of classical literary flavoring an option beyond Jane Austen.  Also, this just looks pretty awesome in general, if you ask me.

The film’s cast is top notch, as is really to be expected in dramas such as this, featuring The Great Gatsby’s (or Doctor Who’s if you’re really fond of the episode “Blink”) Carey Mulligan as our heroine, opposite Masters of Sex’s Michael Sheen, The Hollow Crown’s Tom Sturridge and dishy Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts.

Category:Movies

Lily James and Richard Madden Star in Magical Live Action ‘Cinderella’ Trailer

Disney is bringing one of its most iconic animated heroines to life – in a film that’s positively stuffed full of fabulous British actors. The House of Mouse has released the first trailer for its live action version of film classic Cinderella – and it’s surprisingly good.

Downton Abbey’s Lily James trades in her flapper dresses for a ball gown as the titular Disney princess, and she gets the King in the North (also known as Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden) as her Prince Charming. 

Director Kenneth Bragnagh has assembled a top-notch supporting cast, including Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Cate Blanchett as Cinderella’s wicked stepmother, and The Borgias’ Holliday Grainger and James’ own Downton co-star Sophie McShera as the horrible stepsisters. 

Category:Movies

Watch: The Final Trailer for the Final 'Hobbit' Film is All Kinds of Awesome

After fourteen years, six films and something like twenty hours worth of movies, Peter Jackson’s epic journey through the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is finally wrapping up this December with the release of the third film in The Hobbit trilogy.

Subtitled The Battle of the Five Armies (a switch from the original There and Back Again that I’m still miffed about), the film is set to wrap up the story of Bilbo Baggins’ journey, as well as showcase several massive fight scenes, and create a bridge of sorts between the end of the story in The Hobbit and the beginning of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

You can say what you like about Jackson’s work, and there are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the debate about whether The Hobbit trilogy really needed to be three films or not, but this trailer is something spectacular – if only because it represents the true end of an era, as we say goodbye to Jackson’s singular vision of Middle Earth.

Category:Movies

Dead Funny Films: British Horror with a Playful Side

Halloween is just around the corner, that time of year when it’s fun to be scared. Or so they say. I’m not a big fan of traditional horror films, but I’ve found that those with a decidedly pronounced sense of humor can be quite entertaining indeed. At the very least a light, funny moment here and there can make all the blood and gore a little easier to take. Shaun of the Dead is probably the best example of a horror flick with an equal amount of comedy.

However, ten years after its release Shaun is a classic of this blended genre and you, my dear thrill seekers, are perhaps looking for something a bit more under the radar. The following is a list of horror comedies you can find on-line to satisfy your craving for a “dead funny” film.

Category:Movies

Watch Another Trailer for Alan Turing Biopic ‘The Imitation Game’ with Benedict Cumberbatch

The highly anticipated biopic The Imitation Game – starring Benedict Cumberbatch as codebreaking genius Alan Turing – is set to open the London Film Festival with a gala screening this week. In honor of the film’s debut in England, a brand new trailer has been released, which focuses a bit more on the man behind the intellect that helped crack the Nazis’s Enigma code.

Two trailers for the film have already been released, both of which focus on the groundbreaking work done by Turing and his team at Bletchley Park. This newest clip focuses the team of mathematicians assembled to crack the most difficult code the world had ever seen  and the machine that Turing created – considered the earliest computer – to help them do it. The trailer also highlights the growing stress Turing was under to crack Enigma as quickly as possible – as well as to keep the secrets of his personal life from those around him.

Cumberbatch is joined by an all-star supporting cast featuring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Charles Dance and more. And, quite frankly, it looks outstanding. 

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