Movie Review: TOLKIEN

TOLKIEN movie poster | ©2019 Fox Searchlight

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Harry Gilby, Craig Roberts, Patrick Gibson, Anthony Boyle, Tom Glynn-Carney, Adam Bregman, Albie Marber, Ty Tennant, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi, Laura Donnelly Writers: David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford Director: Dome Karukoski Distributor: Fox Searchlight Release Date: May 10, 2019 On a number of occasions in TOLKIEN, characters get excited about words. Not words put together into stories or poems (although there’s enthusiasm for that as well), but how sounds fit together, and where they came from, and how they might be put together into new languages. These are conversations that a lot of […]Read On »

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LES MISERABLES: Dominic West on the new PBS drama – Interview

David Oyelowo, Lily Collins, Dominic West in MASTERPIECE: LES MISERABLES | ©2019 BBC/Lookout Point

When most people think about Victor Hugo’s sprawling novel LES MISERABLES, originally published in 1862, they associate it with the hugely popular stage musical and its film adaptation. However, LES MISERABLES has been adapted as a straight drama on a number of occasions. The newest version of LES MISERABLES, a miniseries originally produced by and aired on the BBC, begins airing in the U.S. on PBS MASTERPIECE on Sunday, April 14. Dominic West stars as reformed criminal Jean Valjean, trying to live a good life as he is pursued over decades by obsessed law officer Javert (David Oyelowo), with revolution […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TOMB RAIDER

TOMB RAIDER | © 2018 MGM

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi Writers: Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Alastair Siddons, story by Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Evan Daugherty Director: Roar Uthaug Distributor: Warner Bros/M-G-M Release Date: March 16, 2018 Large on scale, small on impact, TOMB RAIDER is one of those movies that makes it hard to come up with enough informative words to shape a review. It’s okay. It’s not great, it’s not awful, it’s just one of those things that you can watch with mild enjoyment, if no real excitement. TOMB RAIDER is the origin story of […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS movie poster | ©2017 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi, Sergei Polunin, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe Writer: Michael Green, based on the novel by Agatha Christie Director: Kenneth Branagh Distributor: 20th Century Fox Release Date: November 10, 2017 Agatha Christie’s durable mystery novel MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS has been adapted as a feature film in 1974, a telefilm in 2001, an episode of the series AGATHA CHRISTIE’S POIROT, and more. It’s also been unofficially adapted, ripped off and parodied […]Read On »

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Interview: Gary Janetti gets VICIOUS with new PBS Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi comedy

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi in VICIOUS artwork | ©2014 BBC / PBS

In the comedy VICIOUS, premiering its first season on PBS Sunday, June 29, at 9 PM, Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen play, respectively, Stuart Bixby and Freddie Thornhill. Stuart and Freddie are a gay couple who have been together for fifty years. They love one another dearly and insult each other – and anyone else in the vicinity – incessantly. This very British series was created by American Gary Janetti, with Mark Thornhill. Janetti has written and produced on FAMILY GUY and WILL AND GRACE. After a Q&A session PBS holds on VICIOUS for the Television Critics Association […]Read On »

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Movie Review: ANONYMOUS

ANONYMOUS movie poster | ©2011 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower, Derek Jacobi Writer: John Orloff Director: Roland Emmerich Distributor: Columbia Pictures Release Date: October 28, 2011 What is the problem some historians have with the notion that William Shakespeare wrote the plays that are attributed to him? An argument is made in the film ANONYMOUS that Shakespeare’s father was illiterate, but it seems logical that the mind capable of writing Shakespeare’s plays and poems was capable of learning to read in the first place. In any event, most […]Read On »

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Interview: Neil Jordan explores THE BORGIAS historical crime saga

Jeremy Irons in THE BORGIAS - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime

Showtime’s THE BORGIAS, airing Sunday nights at 10 PM, concerns the fifteenth-century reign of Pope Alexander VI, aka Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons), whose family name has become through the centuries a synonym for murder and treachery. The first season runs as a ten-episode miniseries and it has already been picked up for a second season. Filmmaker Neil Jordan, who has directed, written and/or produced such films as THE CRYING GAME, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and MICHAEL COLLINS, makes his first foray into series television as the creator of THE BORGIAS. He also serves as an executive producer, writer and some […]Read On »

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TV Review: THE BORGIAS – Season 1 – “Borgias in Love”

Francois Arnaud in THE BORGIAS - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime/Jonathan Hession

Stars: Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Colm Feore, David Oakes, Joanne Whalley Writer: Neil Jordan Director: John Maybury Network: Showtime, airs Sunday nights Original Telecast: April 24th, 2010 The last episode of THE BORGIAS that I reviewed I stated that the series was slowing down to a dreadful pace, and needed something to save it. Episode five, “Borgias in Love” seemed to quicken the pace and up the ante in the continuing various plotlines. Let’s start where we left off in episode four with Lucrezia Borgia (Holliday Granger) being married off to Giovanni Sforza (Ronan Vibert) to help secure […]Read On »

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TV Review: THE BORGIAS – Season 1 – “Lucrezia’s Wedding”

Holliday Grainger in THE BORGIAS - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime/Jonathan Hession

Stars: Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Colm Feore, David Oakes, Derek Jacobi, Joanne Whalley Writer: Neil Jordan Director: Simon Cellan Jones Network: Showtime, airs Sunday nights Original Telecast: April 17th, 2010 THE BORGIAS has officially slowed down to an agonizing pace. The rest of the season will determine whether or not I decide to watch the second season (if there is a second season). I am sad to say this has become a show that I find myself needing busy work to putter with so I can kind of stay focused, otherwise the urge to get up and wander […]Read On »

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TV Review: THE BORGIAS – Season 1 – “The Moor”

Lotte Verbeek and Jeremy Irons in THE BORGIAS - Season 1 -"The Moor" | ©2011 Showtime/Jonathan Hession

Stars: Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Colm Feore, David Oakes, Derek Jacobi, Joanne Whalley Writer: Neil Jordan Director: Simon Cellan Jones Network: Showtime, airs Sunday nights Original Telecast: April 10th, 2010 THE BORGIAS got off to such a promising start with the two hour premiere on Showtime, that I was a little bit concerned where the series would go from there. So much history involving the world’s “first” crime family still has to be covered, but it just depends on how writer Neil Jordan decides to tackle it. The third episode, “The Moor” still adds more pieces to the […]Read On »

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