Thursday Jul 24, 2014

Football: Premier League set for US big screens

US fans will have a new venue to satisfy their growing appetite for football when selected 2014-15 English Premier League matches hit movie screens across the country.NBC Sports, which holds Premier League broadcast rights in the United States, is teaming up with entertainment company Fathom...
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TV

Football: Premier League set for US big screens
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Football: Premier League set for US big screens

US fans will have a new venue to satisfy their growing appetite for football when selected 2014-15 English Premier League matches hit movie screens across the country.NBC Sports, which holds Premier League broadcast rights in the United States, is teaming up with entertainment company Fathom Events to show live matches on Saturday mornings in selected American cinemas. The "Barclays Premier League LIVE" in-theater series was announced on Wednesday, and will kick off on Saturday, August 16. In order to ensure that the highest profile fixtures are featured in theaters, each week's game will be announced the Tuesday before. According to Fathom, fans who buy tickets will also be treated to "specially produced half-time breaks" featuring interviews, analysis and "'theater-only' insights live from England." A record 32 million Americans tuned in to NBC Sports Group's 2013-14 Premier League coverage - more than doubling the 13.3 million who watched the previous season on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer, according to The Nielsen Company that compiles viewership ratings. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil also drew record television audiences Stateside. "It's clear from the recent nationwide outpouring of support for team USA in the World Cup that more and more Americans are embracing and following this remarkable sport," said Fathom Events chief executive John Rubey. "In this 'first-ever' cinema sports series partnership with NBC Sports Group, fans in theaters can expect to get the full Barclays Premier League experience as though they were at one of the famed stadiums in the United Kingdom." bb/rcw Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus

According to Deadline, the English actor is set to be playing the part of famous seer Nostradamus in the eponymous TV series co-produced by Carnival Films, the production company behind "Downton Abbey.""Nostradamus" will also be produced by Anonymous Content ("True Detective") but it is not known yet which TV channel will broadcast the series. Joseph Fiennes, of "Shakespeare In Love" and the upcoming "Hercules," is a TV regular, having appeared in "FlashForward" and "Camelot," both canceled after the first season, and in the second season of "American Horror Story." The show will follow the 16th-century French apothecary famous for his predictions as he seeks vengeance for the murder of his family. Affected by disturbing and dangerous visions, this self-destructive dreamer will look for the culprits and get caught up in schemes involving the Royal Court. No other news has been given as of yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Fashion films of the week: Dior, Lanvin, Bottega Veneta

A new campaign from Dior, family fashion at Lanvin and a personalization teaser from Bottega Veneta: here's our latest selection of the hottest new fashion films from three of the biggest luxury labels out there.Christian Dior Willy Vanderperre was on hand as usual to capture his Belgian compatriot Raf Simons's latest campaign at Dior. This video, set to a minimalist techno soundtrack, shows the brand's models, including Aussie star Julia Nobis, wearing Raf's slick, sporty take on luxury. http://youtu.be/rhpR2lJkYao Lanvin Edie Campbell brought her whole family (including architect mother Sophie Hicks and her model sister Olympia Campbell) along with her to star in the latest Lanvin ad campaign. Photographer Tim Walker shot the Campbell clan romping about in this fun three-minute film. http://youtu.be/LXccuFv_0Og Bottega Veneta Based on the Italian brand's famous 'Knot' clutch bag, this short video seems to hint at an exciting new customization project. Titled "When your own initials are enough," the Knot is seen covered in python butterflies and in a glimmering reflective texture. http://youtu.be/O5v2BZxhS58 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Movies

Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Joseph Fiennes will play Nostradamus

According to Deadline, the English actor is set to be playing the part of famous seer Nostradamus in the eponymous TV series co-produced by Carnival Films, the production company behind "Downton Abbey.""Nostradamus" will also be produced by Anonymous Content ("True Detective") but it is not known yet which TV channel will broadcast the series. Joseph Fiennes, of "Shakespeare In Love" and the upcoming "Hercules," is a TV regular, having appeared in "FlashForward" and "Camelot," both canceled after the first season, and in the second season of "American Horror Story." The show will follow the 16th-century French apothecary famous for his predictions as he seeks vengeance for the murder of his family. Affected by disturbing and dangerous visions, this self-destructive dreamer will look for the culprits and get caught up in schemes involving the Royal Court. No other news has been given as of yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Evan Wood to headline HBO's 'Westworld'

Produced by J.J. Abrams, the TV adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film has now been picked up to pilot by HBO. The Oscar-winning actor who brought Hannibal Lecter to the silver screen will share the billing with the young "Whatever Works" star in this sci-fi drama.For his first collaboration with HBO, the director of "Star Wars VII" is executive producing a new take on "Westworld." Set in the future, the original film depicts a theme park where a cast of androids allows visitors to take a virtual trip to the time and place of their choosing. For two friends and businessmen who visit the park and travel to the Far West, a fun day out turns into a nightmare when a technical malfunction allows the machines to take control. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, the 1973 film starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin and Dick Van Patten. In the new TV adaptaion, Anthony Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant and quiet head programmer and chairman of the board at "Westworld." Rachel Evan Wood will co-star in the role of Dolores Abernathy, a farm girl who begins to realize that her perfect existence is based entirely on a lie. The drama series will be written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, the creator of the J.J. Abrams-produced CBS series "Person of Interest" and the screenwriter behind the last two movies in his brother Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy. TV audiences are familiar with the work of Michael Crichton, who created the long-running series "E.R." The writer and director also penned the novel that inspired Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Will Ferrell to star in and produce film adaptation of 'Manimal'

The TV series, which was canceled after one season in 1983, will be adapted for the silver screen.Just like Bruce Wayne, Dr. Jonathan Chase is a rich lady's man with a secret: he can change into any animal he wants (he prefers black panthers and hawks). Two years ago, Sony bought the rights to the series, which hadn't been as successful as expected at the time. Now, however, it could benefit from the surge of popularity animals are currently experiencing on TV and in films. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who have worked together on "Anchorman 2," "The Other Guys" and "Step Brothers," will produce the film adaptation. They will be working with the original series' co-creator, Glen A. Larson ("Knight Rider", "Magnum"), while Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will be in charge of the script. The scriptwriters are currently working on "Get Hard" starring Ferrell. The film will feature both real-life footage and animation. No release date has been announced yet. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Steve Carell agrees to lead 'Brooklyn Family Robinson'

From "Foxcatcher" to family comedy, Steve Carell underlines his versatility by taking the main role in Disney's "Brooklyn Family Robinson."Carell will not only play the Robinsons' dad, who swaps his clan's urban pad for island living, but will also act as producer for the Disney movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Also named in a production capacity are Charlie Hartsock and Vance DeGeneres, of Carell's production company Carousel, who came up with the idea with the help of the film's scriptwriter, David Reynolds of "Finding Nemo" fame. Carell's current gig, "Foxcatcher," retells the true life story of philanthropist turned wrestling coach John du Pont and his two Olympic-grade protégés, Mark and Dave Schultz; the tense and sinister film was given a rapturous reception at the Cannes Film Festival in May and goes on general release from November. Prior to that, the American comic appears alongside Jennifer Garner ("Juno," "Dallas Buyers Club") and the young Ed Oxenbould ("Julian") in another Disney movie, October's storybook adaptation "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt to team for 'By the Sea'

For the first time since meeting on the set of the 2005 movie "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will be seen together on the silver screen in "By the Sea."Jolie is the driving force behind the production: after writing the screenplay, she will direct the film and star alongside her spouse. In a press release announcing it has acquired the rights to the screenplay, Universal describes the story as "an intimate, character-driven drama." No further details were revealed. "By the Sea" will be Jolie's third film as a director after "In the Land of Blood and Honey" (2011) and the biopic "Unbroken," which is due for release on December 25, 2014. Adapted from the non-fiction book by Lauren Hillenbrand, the new film is based on the life of Olympic athlete and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini, who died on July 2 at age 97.  In addition to placing the finishing touches on "Unbroken," Jolie is working on her next role as Cleopatra in a historical biopic that recent rumors suggest could also include appearances by all six of her children. The feature's release date has not been announced. Brad Pitt, meanwhile, will return to US theaters on November 14 in the war drama "Fury." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.

Events

London critics fall for 'Shakespeare in Love'
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
London critics fall for 'Shakespeare in Love'

LONDON (AP) — A hit. A very palpable hit. So says a character in the new West End production "Shakespeare in Love," quoting "Hamlet." And so say most London critics about the stage version of the Tudor-set rom-com that charmed its way to seven Academy Awards in 1998. On Thursday critics showered the play with accolades that will make producers' ad campaign a dream. The Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings praised the play's "fizzy, infectious exuberance," while the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer said it "generates a glow you could warm your hands by." Paul Taylor in The Independent topped them all: "It makes you feel grateful to be alive." Adapted by Lee Hall — and co-produced by Disney, whose backing has helped fund a large-scale production with a 28-strong cast — the play sticks close to the film's plot. The burgeoning Bard (Tom Bateman) is young, broke, and has writer's block — until he meets adventurous gentlewoman Viola de Lesseps (Lucy Briggs-Owen). She returns the playwright's ardor, and also dreams of becoming an actor, then a forbidden goal for a woman. But she is betrothed to the boorish Lord Wessex. The course of true love never did run smooth. While many movies have been adapted for the stage in recent years — from "The Bodyguard" to "Fatal Attraction" — in this case the idea is so obvious it's amazing it took so long. At the heart of "Shakespeare in Love," alongside the human romance, is a love affair with the theater. "I kind of set out to write the play the film would be adapted from," said Hall, whose work includes the stage musical "Billy Eliot" and a forthcoming movie biopic of Elton John. "The theater is the perfect place to do a show about theater. You can make all those gags that you can't possibly make in the film." In the film, it was possible to see the cast of charmers, chancers, dreamers and moneymen swarming around London's Elizabethan playhouses as stand-ins for Hollywood players. Here, the play's the thing. Shakespeare and his contemporaries struggle against lack of funds, state censorship, fickle audiences and creative constipation — and out of it all emerges art. The movie was co-written by playwright Tom Stoppard, a master of brain-tickling banter. Hall said he kept "about 90 percent" of the movie's lines, but added new material and chunks of Shakespeare's own words. "I saw it rather like a musical, but the numbers were the Shakespearean verse," Hall said after Wednesday's opening night at London's Noel Coward Theatre. The result is a play peppered with Shakespearean in-jokes, designed to make audience members who were paying attention in high-school English classes feel satisfyingly clever. Bateman and Briggs-Owen are hugely appealing in the central roles, played onscreen by Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow. Briggs-Owen, in particular, has a loose-limbed charm reminiscent of the heroines of 1930s screwball comedies. There's sterling work from the whole cast under Declan Donnellan's direction, including David Oakes as Shakespeare's friend and rival Christopher Marlowe, Paul Chahidi as impresario Philip Henslowe and Colin Ryan as a creepy, violence-loving lad who may be the future of entertainment. Live musicians and Elizabethan-y song and dance contribute to an entertaining evening that wears lightly its insights about the fine line between comedy and tragedy. In the play, Shakespeare sets out to write a crowd-pleaser titled "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter." What audiences want, Henslowe tells him, is "love — and a bit with a dog." The work-in-progress becomes the tragedy "Romeo and Juliet," and "Shakespeare in Love" ends on a bittersweet note of love and loss. But there is a dog. He's called Spot and he gets one of the biggest ovations of the night. ___ Follow Jill Lawless at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pacino, Dafoe set for Venice Film Festival
Thursday Jul 24, 2014
Pacino, Dafoe set for Venice Film Festival

ROME (AP) — This year's Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare, and feature performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston and Ethan Hawke. Organizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that includes Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani's subprime-mortgage drama "99 Homes," with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and New Zealand-born filmmaker Andrew Niccol's "The Good Kill," starring Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operator. There is a strong American presence, both behind the camera and onscreen, among the films in the running for the Golden Lion. They include David Gordon Green's Texan drama "Manglehorn" starring Pacino and Holly Hunter; Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini," featuring Dafoe as taboo-breaking Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini; and Italian director Saverio Costanzo's "Hungry Hearts," a suspenseful drama set in New York starring Adam Driver. The festival, which mixes big-name directors and arty auteurs with the work of exciting newcomers, also includes "The Cut," a drama by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin starring Tahar Rahim; Swedish director Roy Andersson's "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"; and "The Postman's White Knights" by Russia's Andrei Konchalovsky. Documentary-maker Joshua Oppenheimer competes with "The Look of Silence," a sequel to his powerful investigation of Indonesian political violence, "The Act of Killing." Films from France, Italy, China, Japan, Turkey and Iran round out the competition lineup. Pacino appears again at the festival, as an aging actor in Barry Levinson's "The Humbling," adapted from a Philip Roth novel. It is among the "out of competition" entries which are not contestants for the Golden Lion. The eclectic out-of-competition roster also includes Peter Bogdanovich's Broadway comedy "She's Funny That Way," starring Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson; Lisa Cholodenko's Maine-set drama "Olive Kitteridge," with Frances McDormand and Bill Murray; actor-turned-director James Franco's adaptation of William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury"; and Danish provocateur Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac Volume II." The 71st Venice Film Festival opens Aug. 27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," starring former "Batman" Michael Keaton as an actor struggling to get beyond a famous superhero role. The festival runs to Sept. 6, when a jury led by composer Alexandre Desplat awards the Golden Lion for best film and seven other prizes. ___ Online: Venice Film Festival: http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Review: La Roux returns with sexy, sassy second LP

La Roux, "Trouble in Paradise" (Interscope/Cherrytree) Coming off an artistic hiatus after a widely acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning debut, La Roux returns in force with an off-beat, electrifying and synth-pop second album. "Trouble in Paradise" showcases the new La Roux, singer-songwriter Elly Jackson minus producer Ben Langmaid, who left the duo during work on this follow-up to their 2009 self-titled debut. Jackson paired with producer Ian Sherwin to finish off the job and the result is a nine-track collection that, while retaining the band's original sound and charisma, adds a sexy edge. It starts off with a disco mirror ball of a tune, "Uptight Downtown," a gentle dance session in the making. It moves into strum-friendly "Cruel Sexuality" and the light touch "Sexotheque" where the instrumentals convey a childlike wonder in stark contrast to lyrics that tell the story of a couple where the man is a bit of a dog. "Silent Partner" turns from a Michael Jackson tribute to a nightmare scenario of an abusive relationship, while "Kiss and Not Tell" spins another tale of romantic woe. Slow burn track "Let Me Down Gently" sounds so vintage that La Roux should be paying royalties to the 1980s. However, Caribbean-sounding electro party-starter "Tropical Chancer" comes as the front runner of the album — the perfect balance of rhythm appeal and sass — a bit like this entire endeavor. ____ Follow Cristina Jaleru on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cristinelle7 Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
Americans aplenty as UK's Booker Prize goes global

LONDON (AP) — The Americans have arrived in force for Britain's Booker literary prize. Five U.S.-based writers are on the 13-book long-list for the prestigious fiction award, announced Wednesday. This is the first year writers of all nationalities have been eligible for the Booker, previously open only to authors from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies. The roster includes Americans Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers, as well as Irish-born, U.S-based writer Joseph O'Neill. Also on the list are Britain's Howard Jacobson, Neel Mukherjee, Paul Kingsnorth, David Mitchell, David Nicholls and Ali Smith, Ireland's Niall Williams and Australia's Richard Flanagan. Some British writers have expressed fears that the change in eligibility may lead to U.S. dominance of the 45-year-old award, officially named the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC. This year Britons are still in the majority, and there is only one writer — Flanagan — from a Commonwealth country other than Britain. Only three of the nominated authors are women. "After all the fears about a U.S.-dominated list, the number of British writers comes as a surprise," said Jonathan Ruppin, a spokesman for bookstore chain Foyles. "Although the absence of any authors from Africa or Asia is perhaps the more striking aspect of the spread of nationalities." Philosopher A.C. Grayling, who chairs the judging panel, said that in a "vintage year" for fiction, the judges were looking only for quality. "It didn't matter to us if they were written by men or women, by Americans or Australians or Brits," Grayling said. "Fiction in English, no matter who written by, no matter where published, is now part of kind of a global scene. Fiction is fiction, and good fiction will always stand comparison with good fiction." Bookmaker William Hill made O'Neill the early favorite to win with "The Dog," the story of a disillusioned lawyer, followed by Mitchell for decades-spanning saga "The Bone Clocks," which will be published in the fall. A six-book shortlist for the 50,000-pound ($85,000) prize will be announced Sept. 9, and the winner unveiled at a ceremony in London on Oct. 14. ___ Online: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/ Copyright (2014) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility
Wednesday Jul 23, 2014
'The Last of Us 2' a definite possibility

A sequel to 2013's PlayStation hit "The Last of Us" is certainly in the cards, says a rep for award-winning studio Naughty Dog.The game was originally released for PlayStation 3 in June 2013, just a few months before its successor was released, and a PlayStation 4 edition is now due the week of July 29. With a week to go until the PS4 version emerges, Naughty Dog was never going to rule out the possibility of a sequel at this point, as community strategist Arne Meyer outlined the studio's process. "All of our games are self-contained stories so they don't have to continue if we don't want them to or if there's no reason for them to continue," Meyer told VideoGamer.com. "It really comes down to is there something interesting in this universe we've created that we want to continue to explore? Is it something that we can get the entire team passionate about? Is it something we can get the creative directors excited about and then we could continue it?" "We're just starting to explore ideas of what more could there be in this universe and starting that decision process," though "that doesn't mean the end result is guaranteed," he cautioned. At the same time, the game is making its way to theater as a free (but limited-space) live read at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California. "The Last of Us: One Night Live" is to take place on July 28, with the principal cast reunited to recreate select scenes from the game's script. That's to be livestreamed on YouTube, Twitch.TV and the PlayStation Network. And speaking of creative directors, it would appear that a "Last of Us 2" may be a while off, as lead pairing Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley have been attached to confirmed PlayStation 4 title "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End," continuing the adventures of smart-talking treasure-hunting swashbuckler Nathan Drake in 2015. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2014.