Movie Review: MARY POPPINS RETURNS

MARY POPPINS RETURNS | © 2019 Walt Disney

Rating: PG Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Nathanael Saleh Writer: David Magee, screen story by David Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca, based on the MARY POPPINS stories by P.L. Travers Director: Rob Marshall Distributor: Walt Disney Co. Release Date: December 19, 2018 While MARY POPPINS creator P.L. Travers still probably wouldn’t be happy with the new MARY POPPINS RETURNS, the title character, as played by Emily Blunt, feels closer in spirit to Travers’s work than Julie Andrews’s interpretation in the 1964 film. This Mary Poppins is […]Read On »

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Movie Review: PADDINGTON

PADDINGTON | © 2015 TWC-Dimension

Rating: PG Stars: Ben Whishaw (voice), Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Michael Gambon (voice), Imelda Staunton (voice) Writer: Paul King, screen story by Hamish McColl and Paul King, based on the character created by Michael Bond Director: Paul King Distributor: TWC-Dimension Release Date: January 16, 2015 PADDINGTON, based on the beloved illustrated children’s book series by Michael Bond about a young and very civilized bear from deepest Peru who comes to live in London, is the kind of movie that could have been made at almost any time in film history. […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: THE HOLLOW CROWN reworks Shakespeare for four new PBS films

Rory Kinnear in GREAT PERFORMANCES: THE HOLLOW CROWN - RICHARD II | ©2013 PBS/BBC

THE HOLLOW CROWN, on PBS’ GREAT PERFORMANCES beginning Friday September 20 at 9 PM and continuing for three Fridays thereafter, consists of four new films of William Shakespeare’s histories HENRY II, starring Ben Whishaw in the title role, and HENRY IV PART I, HENRY IV PART II and HENRY V, starring Jeremy Irons as Henry IV and Tom Hiddleston as Prince Hal/Henry V, with Simon Russell Beale as Falstaff. Other notable cast members include David Bradley (Walder Frey on GAME OF THRONES), Lindsay Duncan, David Morrissey (the Governor on THE WALKING DEAD), James Purefoy (of THE FOLLOWING), Patrick Stewart, David […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: THE HOUR star Romola Garai talks Season 2 of the BBC America series

Romola Garai in THE HOUR - Series 2 | ©2012 BBC America

In THE HOUR, now in its second season on BBC America, Wednesdays at 9 PM, it’s the late 1950s. Romola Garai’s character Bel Rowley, who lost her job as producer of the news show “The Hour” at the end of Season One, has been reinstated. Her former lover and current problem associate Hector Madden (Dominic West) has been her anchorman but seems to be moving to another network, while erstwhile best friend and key investigator Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) has returned with new wife in tow to take a news anchor job. They’re all neck-deep in a new mystery. Garai, […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: THE HOUR creator Abi Morgan talks Season 2

Ben Whishaw in THE HOUR - Season 2 | ©2012 BBC America/Kudos/Joe Martin

THE HOUR is back for a second season on BBCA America. It’s now 1957 and we’re back in the offices and studios of the British news program “The Hour,” where producer Bel (Romola Garai), anchorman Hector (Dominic West) and journalist Freddie (Ben Whishaw) have all reconvened ten months after the harrowing events of the first season. Writer/producer Abi Morgan created THE HOUR, and also wrote the screenplay for last year’s feature film THE IRON LADY, which earned Meryl Streep another Best Actress Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher. Morgan is present at the party BBC America is throwing for the Television […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SKYFALL

SKYFALL movie poster | ©2012 Sony Pictures/MGM

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Albert Finney Writers: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and John Logan, based on the character created by Ian Fleming Director: Sam Mendes Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony/M-G-M Release Date: November 9, 2012 If pressed to define exactly what makes a James Bond movie a James Bond movie, as opposed to some other sort of spy thriller, not too many people would be able to give a specific response. SKYFALL, the newest installment in the chronicles of British secret agent 007, provides an answer. It may not be […]Read On »

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TV Review: THE HOUR – Series 1 – “Episode 1”

Dominic West in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

Stars: Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Dominic West, Anna Chancellor Writer: Abi Morgan Director: Coky Giedroyc Network: BBC America, Wednesdays @ 10 PM Airdate (U.S.): August 17, 2011 Before the days of TV cable, American audiences got fare made by the BBC on PBS on MASTERPIECE THEATRE and MYSTERY! The shows that turned up on both of these programs were often wonderful, full of memorable characters and fascinating stories and gorgeous period detail. THE HOUR, a six-part series that debuted on BBC America (it just concluded its run in the U.K. on BBC) would fit beautifully on either showcase. Set in […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: Abi Morgan counts down THE HOUR for BBC America

Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw in THE HOUR - Season 1 | ©2011 Kudos Film & Television Ltd

In 1956 England, the BBC is trying out a different style of TV news program. News producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) doesn’t want to toe the government line about the rapidly heating-up Suez Canal crisis. Bel’s relationship with married anchorman Hector Madden (Dominic West) is likewise catching fire. Meanwhile, Bel’s chief researcher/best friend/genius Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) pines for her while investigating a pair of murders that seem linked to a sinister conspiracy. Welcome to THE HOUR, the six-part period political thriller/murder mystery/newsroom drama premiering tonight on BBC America (it just aired in the U.K. on BBC2). Series creator/executive producer […]Read On »

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TCA 2011 News: Why THE HOUR is more political thriller than MAD MEN

THE HOUR - Series 1 | ©2011 BBC America

BBC America will be debuting THE HOUR, its new co-production with BBC 2 on August 17th and critics got a first taste of the impressive looking  new series at the Summer’s 2011 TCA session. Set in the mid 1950s, the series created by Abi Morgan is an espionage thriller set in the news room of the BBC as it follows the triangle of a young journalist (Ben Whishaw), an ambitious young producer (Romola Garai) and the new lead anchor of the show (Dominic West). While similarities between THE HOUR and MAD MEN are inevitable, executive producer Derek Wax says those […]Read On »

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