Saturday, 29 June 2013

Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen Say Goodbye to Gandalf

The Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest fantasy series ever made. (There are others, of course, but I won't go into those now.) J. R. R. Tolkien created a fantastical world that captured so many hearts and imaginations, and Peter Jackson brought that world to life. Then, nine years later, he brought The Hobbit to life as well.

On Friday, Jackson posted a picture of himself and a bearded, scratched-up, grey-robed Sir Ian McKellen. The caption read, "Seconds ago we finished our last shot with Gandalf. The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I'm feeling very sad right now."

Don't worry, Peter. We're feeling very sad as well. We fell in love with Gandalf from the moment he rode into the Shire with a wagon full of fireworks, and we have loved him ever since, not just because he is a wonderful character, but because McKellen plays him with a conviction that never fails to draw us in.

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Ashton Kutcher as Apple’s Co-Founder Steve Jobs

JOBS – the highly anticipated film chronicling the story of Steve Jobs’ ascension from college dropout to one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century – nationwide on August 16, 2013.
JOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001. The film plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whiteley, JOBS was shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme.
JOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Reality TV Makes ‘Naked’ Bid For Ratings

Discovery Channel is baring it all for its new survival series.

Several other reality survival series have already tested participants’ ability to hunt and create shelter. Discovery chose to up the ante, dropping cast members into remote, wild locations–completely nude. The show is sure to test the limits of what the public will accept from reality shows.

“Naked and Afraid” will feature two complete strangers, one man and one woman, for 21 days as they attempt to survive and navigate their way to a predetermined extraction point, one to 10 miles from their drop-off location. Each episode features a different couple in a different location and will premiere June 23.

[More from First Look At Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book]

As part of the show, the survivalists’ are allowed one personal item of their choosing. They are also given a “rudimentary map” and Go Pro cameras, “which were rolling at all times,” according to Denise Contis, an executive producer on the show.

While navigating the terrain of the Maldives, Panama and Boreo may have been a first time experience for the participants, all of whom classify themselves as “survivalists,” nudity is no longer uncharted water for the network.

“Naked Castaway,” which premiered in April, featured explorer Ed Stafford as he survived for 60 days sans food, clothing or tools on a deserted Fijian island.

[More from The Accidental Film Franchise]

“We wanted scenarios that are so real they are unreal,” said Contis, referring to the premise of “Naked and Afraid.”

The cable network, which has produced such documentaries as “Planet Earth” and “Africa” and built their non-fiction programming with “Shark Week,” has increasingly turned from documentaries to the unscripted reality genre to attract new viewers.

“We are telling a magnetic story with compelling characters and a vicarious exploration,” said Contis. “’Naked and Afraid’ touches all or a lot of the key components to our programming.”

In addition to the survivalists’ camera footage, a four-person crew tracked and shot the couple at all times. Once a day everyday, producers would collect the memory cards from the participants’ cameras and check the batteries.

The crew got involved on more than one occasion, when people were depleted or in an emergency situation. But Contis said she does not believe that interfered with the overall show. “There is no manipulation, no element of scripted reality,” she said.

When asked about the potential dangers for the participants, Contis said, “I don’t know that they were very clearly in danger. They were placed in this location, where and how they survived and if they traveled at all, that was up to them.”

[More from How the Stories on ‘The Newsroom’ Were Chosen]

Executive producer Steven Rankin was bitten by a Fer-de-lance snake during filming and nearly lost his foot in Costa Rica. He later tweeted a gruesome photo of his injury.

Contis also denied that Discovery was aiming for any shock value. “It’s the ultimate survival show. Neither of them have clothes and by the time they are on the ground it is a complete non-issue.”

From a production standpoint, Contis also said that the show was not shot any differently due to the participants’ nudity, and that certain areas would be blurred out for broadcast.

The show went through a 10-month pre-production development period, where locations were scouted and the participants were chosen.

Discovery Channel, part of Discovery Communications, is distributed to 100 million homes in the U.S. and over 180 countries.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

London Premiere of 'World War Z'

It was natural — albeit fairly rare — for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to bring their two sons Maddox and Pax to the world premiere of their dad's giant new summer movie "World War Z," because he made the movie just for them. Pitt said at the CinemaCon convention back in April that he had been looking for a film project especially suited to their tastes. The Daily Mail quoted Pitt as saying, "I just wanted to do a film that my boys could see before they turned 18 – one that they would like, anyways. And they love a zombie." 

11-year-old Maddox and Pax, 9 — who previously only attended premieres for kid-friendly flicks like "Shark Tales" and "Kung Fu Panda 2" (though Maddox also accompanied his parents to the inspirational "Invictus") — may be considered a bit young for the PG-13 action movie, which features hordes of rampaging zombies (in the U.K. where they saw it the movie is recommended for audiences age 15 and up). But at least they already know that Pitt makes it through the movie okay.

Right before showtime, the boys looked ready for the action when they posed for a quick photo inside the Empire Cinema with their famous parents. Pax was dressed in all black — just like his mom and dad. Meanwhile, Maddox looked pretty spiffy rocking a gray blazer and casually dangling his shades from the neck of his shirt. However, he also had on gray hat … perhaps to pull down over his eyes in case "WWZ" got too scary. 

Matt Smith set to leave Doctor Who

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who and will bow out in the Christmas special when he will be replaced by a new incarnation of the time lord.

Smith, who has been in the role since 2010, said it had been "an honour" to play the part.
He said: "Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show.
"I'm incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years."
He also paid tribute to show supremo Steven Moffat whose "varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career".
He said: "It's been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he's a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor. The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I've never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable.
"Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I'm back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special."
Smith, who recently made his directorial debut, has spoken about ambitions for a film-making career. The search is on for a replacement but no-one has signed up for the role yet. Smith's most recent on-screen companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, will stay with the show.
Moffat said: "Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he'd turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next.
"The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing."
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Saturday, 1 June 2013

42 year old Mary J Blige shows off her HOT bikini body (PHOTOS)

American singer-songwriter Mary J Blige was spotted in a beach showing off her hot bikini body.
What a hot body for 42-year old lady!

Fashion goes bizarre: Gold-plated mouthpieces and spikey headpieces steal the show on Royal College of Art catwalk

Royal College of Art Graduate Fashion Show: Young designers Lucie Vincini and Maiko Takeda shock with their bizarre collections.

A trip to the dentist is something most of us dread, so we wouldn't be surprised to hear winces coming from the FROW crowd at the Royal College of Art Graduate fashion show.

Models hit the catwalk for menswear designer Lucie Vincini yesterday wearing menacing gold-plated mouth guards which bared their teeth, with a huge gold ring hanging over their chins.
In scenes that would make anyone fearful of the dentist quiver in their seats, the mouthpiece caused
a stir among the audience - as the models showcased a series of weird and wonderful outfits.

From diamante-studded skull caps, to label-baring baggy shirts and tartan suits, the fledging designer's final collection made for eye-catching viewing as it was shown on the catwalk in Kensington, west London.

Key trends were clearly designed to shock, with the young designer showcasing a triple denim look and a huge white duvet coat, complete with tiered silk panelling down the sides.

Naturally, Vincini's collection wasn't the only one to turn heads during the show though - as Batman-style beanie hats, patchwork-fur jodhpurs and duvet-like jackets also hit the runway.

[George launch Graduate Fashion Week collection, see the details]

Fashion designer Maiko Takeda was another young graduate whose collection went down a storm with the audience, with her creature-like designs playing with geometric shapes and structures.

One model appeared to be wearing a furry caterpillar across her eyes, as she hit the runway with a spiky, perspex creation across her eyes.

With just enough clear plastic over her eyes allowing her to see, the model's eyewear graduated in colour that created a thickening effect.

Another model sheer's dress was teamed with one arm made entirely of spikes, which wrapped around the entire top half of the dress.

[Topshop heiress Chloe Green launches her latest collection]

But it was the headpieces at Takeda's show that really caused gasps from the audience, as models managed to avoid tripping down the catwalk in their huge face-covering creations.

Despite the spiky colourful pieces covering models' eyes, there wasn't a mishap in sight as they hit the runway in the looks.

Instead, the FROW crowd were wowed by the spiked headpieces, which flaunted the designer's love of geometric shapes, which are said to be inspired by environmental influences.

Tell us what you think of the Royal College of Art Graduate Fashion Show over on Twitter, now.