Sci-fi Drama Queen

Film, TV and random ramblings, often sci-fi related

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead the Oscar nomiations

 

Oscar nominations

As much as I love the award season, it all comes down to the Oscars. The films leading the way are not your average mainstream films. The first is Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and the other is Birdman.

The Brits are doing well with two leading actors and actresses in Eddie Redmayne, for The Theory for Everything, Benedct Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl. Keira Knightley also got a nomination for her supporting role in The Imitation Game, but she is up against the most nominated/winning actress of them all – Meryl Streep for her fantastic role as the witch in Into the Woods.

Best picture

  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Birdman
  • Selma
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Actor in a leading role

  • Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Actress in a leading role

  • Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reece Witherspoon, Wild

Actor in a supporting role

  • Robert Duvall, The Judge
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Actress in a supporting role

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Laura Dern, Wild
  • Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Animated feature film

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

To see all the nominations, visit the Oscar site here.

Scorsese, DiCaprio and De Niro star in a $70m casino ad

Scorsese, De Niro and DiCaprio ad

Chanel might recruit Baz Lurman to produce extravagant ads, but now a casino, Studio City in Macau has taken advertising to the next level. Hiring Martin Scorsese to direct and star alongside two of his muses, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio in a 60 second ad. Not only does this ad have an incredible cast, it also cost a reported $70m and the actors were reportedly paid more than $15m each. James Packer, the casino owner clearly has too much money on his hands!

In the ad both De Niro and DiCaprio are both reading a script for a role, when they realise they are going up against each other for the role and confront Scorsese. You also see a blink and you’ll miss it Brad Pitt in the ad too, but purely just his face on a billboard. Could he be next in line to be a Scorsese muse?

Check out the ad below.

New Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer

New Avengers Age of Ultron Trailer

Another day, another trailer. This time it’s for the next Marvel Avengers film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. This one gives us a little more of a teaser of the film, and boy does it look impressive. We can see that Tony Stark is in the large Iron Man costume fighting with the Hulk – what the heck is going on there?!

I really can’t wait for this film, let’s hope it matches up to, or exceeds expectations. Avengers: Age of Ultron is in cinemas 1 May 2015.

Fifty Shades of Grey gets a new trailer!

Fifty Shades of Grey trailer

How did I miss this hot off the press? If you, like me, missed the announcement of a new Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, then check out the below.

This new trailer has many of the same clips, but some additions and very much brings to life the romance of this story, not just the steamy storyline.

Fifty  Shades of Grey is in cinemas nationwide on 13 February, yep just a month to go folks.

Into the Woods review

into the woods

Since I heard Meryl Streep was making another musical and it was a fairytale one I have been dying to see Into the Woods. So this weekend I headed to see it. The film brings together the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel with a twist on their stories as they all cross paths in the woods.

I wasn’t too familiar with the musical so didn’t know what to expect, but knew it had a great cast and was going to be epic. The film is just under two hours long, but it sadly feels like three hours. At one point you feel like the film has come to an end, but you realise you have another 40 minutes of the film. But, that aside, I do think this is a great film. The songs are beautiful, I’m particularly in love with Meryl’s Stay With Me (see below video), I could listen to it over and over…but only whilst watching her perform it.

Along with Meryl Streep, the film has a stellar cast, including James Corden as the lead  – the Baker, Emily Blunt as the Baker’s wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Chris Pine as Cinderella’s Prince Charming and Johnny Depp as the Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood.

One highlight in the film I was not expecting was Chris Pine’s comedy performance as Cinderella’s Prince Charming. He meets Rapunzel’s prince in the woods and they stop for a rest to compare notes on their ladies they are pursuing. It turns into a battle for who has the best story in the most incredibly camp man-off I have ever seen. I really think the film is worth seeing for this scene alone. It has a Princess Bride feel to it, that said, this is not a film you will get your boyfriend to enjoy.

For acting, music and production, this film has it all, but sadly I think the slowness of telling the tale does let it down a tad. Into the Woods is in cinemas nationwide now.

Have you seen Into the Woods? If so let me know what you thought of it.

Image source: Disney.com

How do you advertise a luxury apartment…? Channel American Psycho

redrowcomp.jpg

One London luxury apartment company decided that the way they were going to portray their flats was to show a ‘typical’ city worker lusting after status and luxury objects and fed up with his life…until he gets that luxury flat.

Well the ad has been compared to American Psycho the film which is about exactly that. It’s been ridiculed and the company has had to pull the ad.

I have to say, the PR team had a great response to the video: “We tried to do something a bit new and different from the typical property videos out there, but we accept that maybe we didn’t get it quite right with this one!”

Image source: guardian.co.uk

Marvel’s Daredevil to arrive on Netflix in April

Marvel's Daredevil

Marvel have been busy this week. No sooner is the Ant-Man trailer out then I also receive details of the first Marvel original series on Netflix – Daredevil. The film wasn’t a great success, but Daredevil is a great Marvel character, so it’s great to see that he is getting another shot at making it into live action. The series will delve into the backstory of how Matt Murdock evolves into Daredevil. It has worked for DC’s Arrow and The Flash so I have high hopes for these Netflix

It is also the first of four Marvel adventure series that will be appearing exclusively on Netflix, the others are Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Iron Fist and Marvel’s Luke Cage. These shows will all be leading up to the teaming of the main characters in Marvel’s The Defenders.

Check out the teaser below, Marvel’s Daredevil will be available on Netflix from 10th April 2015.

 

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for… the Ant-Man trailer

ant-man trailer

They teased the teaser last week, counting down until Tuesday evening when the actual teaser trailer for the new Marvel film Ant-Man and now we can finally see it. It is rather like the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer – i.e. it looks exciting but I don’t really know what it is about. For those that don’t know much about this Marvel hero, like me then you won’t really have a clue other than what the name implies.

The trailer is dominated by Michael Douglas narrating through the trailer, there are lots of clips of Paul Rudd looking serious, a far step from his usual comedic performances…that is until we hear him speak in the trailer, on only two occasions and both are to deliver sarcastic comments. My favourite being “is it too late to change the name?”.

Check out the trailer below.  Ant-Man currently has the same release date for the US and UK of 17 July, usually Marvel films are released a week earlier in the UK…perhaps this is the new way forward.

My highlights of 2014

2014 film and TV

I’ve been asked by Currys PC World to think about my favourite book, film or TV show that I have watched or read in 2014. This got me thinking, there have been so many things I have enjoyed this year. Here are some of my highlights, leading to my favourite of the year.

  • My favourite book I read this year (to be fair I don’t manage to make my way through that many) was Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I would have to say the last few episodes of season 1 made my jaw drop. I didn’t see coming what happened, plus the cross over with Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved why Marvel has explored both the big and small screens
  • The end of How I Met Your Mother – the ending might not have been what I was hoping for, but the show was sent off well
  • The Fall – I got to this show late, so did a marathon of season 1 in November and then have been watching season 2 this December. Absolutely incredible. Yes it is wrong to fancy a serial killer, you may wonder why they would cast someone so good looking in such a role, but you realise it is an incredibly important part of the story
  • The Missing – Again, another late comer for me. I only watched it this weekend, but wow, what a show
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – I watched this on Sunday, this is the most I have cried this year. The film didn’t do as well as people thought, but I was impressed with the story telling and the use of real footage and images of the scenes as they happened
  • Horns – I never read the book, but was invited to the premiere. At first I thought the film was funny but predictable, then it turned into WTF?! A brilliant film, if you haven’t seen it I recommend it
  • Grey’s Anatomy – so good I watch it all year round. When the new season isn’t on I dig out the old DVDs and start again
  • X Factor – this year has been full of really good contestants, plus at week four, when Ben Haenow sang Highway to Hell I suddenly thought he could be the winner, I never thought it before and I usually am pretty good at guessing the finalists from the auditions. And I was right, from that week on he had the highest votes every week
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – This also had a shocker that I wasn’t expecting. And the special effects, in particular Jamie Foxx’s electric blue skins was pretty impressive
  • Gone Girl  – this one is missing from my picture because I completely forgot to add it to my list. How could I forget this, such an epic film. I really wish I had read the book, but I perhaps wouldn’t have been as shocked or constantly trying to predict what was actually going on

So that leads me on to my highlight of the year. I’ve thought about this a lot. There is a lot I have talked about, The Fall is a weekly topic, but only while it has been on air. There is one film however that has been at the forefront of my mind and conversation throughout 2014 so it had to be my choice.

guardians-galaxy (1)

It is of course, Guardians of the Galaxy. Firstly, I was excited from the trailer and I had no idea what the story actually was about. Then I was invited to a 17 minute preview of the film. Ok, this looked epic. Then I got to go to a preview of the film – amazing. Hello baby dancing Groot! I have been checking if a toy version existed, found out it was being made, apparently ready for Christmas and have been waiting ever since. And then there is that soundtrack. Since the film’s release I have listened to at least one song off that soundtrack on shuffle on my iPhone every day.

So there you have it, an obvious choice in my eyes. But what have you enjoyed the most this year?

Image sources: glamour / Marvel Wikia / Wonderbearden / DC Comics / Huffington Post / Atlantablackstar / BBC / Mirror / Good Reads / MTV / Blastr / digitalspy /io9 / ibtimes

I have not been paid by Currys PC World to write this post, nor to write about any of these shows/films or book in particular. All thoughts are my own.

What makes a TV show perfect? The answer according to BT TV is drama

 

So this is something really exiting that I have been working on at work recently. To celebrate the new BT TV offering which includes YouView, BT Sport and Netflix all for £5.99 a month BT wanted to find out what made TV truly unmissable. Working with the legend that is Heat magazine’s Boyd Hilton and Bournemouth University, the top 25 TV episodes of the last decade were watched and analysed (I did volunteer to watch them all, but sadly I had other work to do) to find out their exact make-up of drama, comedy, shocks and surprises, romance and action.

BT TV Unmissable TV Decoded

The answer is as the above image explains:

  • 65 per cent drama
  • 12 per cent shocks and surprises
  • Nine per cent comedy
  • Eight per cent action
  • Six per cent romance

Downton Abbey perfect TV episode

The findings found that Sybil’s death in Downton Abbey’s season three, episode five was the episode closest to the ‘Unmissable TV Code’ with 78 per cent drama, seven per cent shocks and surprises, two per cent comedy, seven per cent action and six per cent romance.

  • The most dramatic – The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary (Season five, episode one) – 98 per cent drama
  • The most shocking – Grey’s Anatomy: Sanctuary season six, episode 23 and Dexter: Seeing Red season one, episode 10 – both with 23 per cent shocks and surprises
  • The most action-packed – Desperate Housewives: Bang season three, episode seven – 33 per cent action
  • The most romantic – Sex and the City: An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux season six, episode 20 – 28 per cent romance
  • The most laughs – Modern Family: Hawaii season one, episode 23 – 74 per cent comedy

Friends final episode is the UK's favourite

Despite drama being the biggest ingredient the title for the most unmissable TV episode from the last decade went to a comedy – the final Friends episode. Despite being one of the greatest comedy shows, it wasn’t all laughs and giggles as it was made up of 48 per cent drama, 29 per cent comedy, two per cent romance and 21 per cent shocks and surprises.

TV expert Boyd Hilton commented: “It’s one thing to spot a classic TV show that will endure over the years, but what makes this research so exciting and unique is how it helps us work out why a particular episode is so powerful and unmissable. This is the ultimate guide to the recipe for TV Gold.”

Delia Bushell, Head of BT TV added: “The small screen now rivals the big screen thanks to the huge number of gripping TV series, unmissable sport and box office hits available at our fingertips. As we launch the next exciting phase of BT TV we wanted to know what makes TV so unmissable. Through our research, we’ve cracked the code.”

BT TV’s newest offer launched on 11 November 2014 and includes BT TV, YouView, BT Sport and Netflix. For the first time, BT TV customers can sign up for Netflix alongside BT’s other products and services, with the added convenience of paying one bill directly through BT. The new BT TV package is £5.99 a month, and new customers will also receive six months free BT Infinity Broadband*.

BT TV starter features up to 70 TV and radio channels (including Freeview HD) live pause, rewind and seven-day scroll back catch up, as well as on-demand services – like BBC iPlayer and 4oD. BT Sport will be broadcasting 38 exclusive live Barclays Premier League matches this season, all 69 Aviva Premiership Rugby games and much more. For more information visit bt.com/tv

 

Top 50 episodes

1 Friends: Season 10, The Last One (the friends say goodbye to Monica’s apartment and Ross and Rachel get back together)
2 EastEnders: Christmas Day 2007 (Max & Stacey’s affair revealed)
3 Sherlock – The Reichenbach Fall (The episode follows Moriarty’s plot to discredit and kill Sherlock Holmes. Holmes calls Moriarty to a showdown on the roof of St. Bartholomew Hospital. Holmes jumps from the roof.)
4 Coronation Street: Aug 14 2009 (Becky & Steve’s 2nd wedding)
5 The Inbetweeners: Series 3, episode 1 The Fashion Show (Simon ends up modelling skimpy bathing trunks and, in his hurry to put them on, literally lets it all hang out)
6 Sex and the City: Season 6, episode 20 (An American Girl in Paris Part Deux: Big comes to Paris to win Carrie back)
7 Downton Abbey: series 3, episode 5 – (Sybil goes into labour. During the night she becomes very ill and dies.)
8 Doctor Who: Blink (Sally Sparrow receives a cryptic message from the Doctor about a mysterious new enemy species that is after the TARDIS.)
9 Lost: Season 1, episode 1 (the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 find themselves lost on an island)
10 Broadchurch: Season 1, episode 1 (Local detective sergeant Ellie Miller returns from holiday to find her desired promotion to inspector has gone to outsider Alec Hardy, anxious to prove himself after gaining a poor reputation)
11 Game of Thrones: season 3, episode 9 (The Rains of Castamere, aka Red Wedding) (Robb Stark’s army arrives at House Frey, for his uncle Edmure’s wedding. Lord Frey turns on the Starks after the wedding, killing both Robb and his wife and many other guests.)
12 The Office: final episode – Tim takes drastic action when he learns that Dawn has resigned in order to move to the USA with her boyfriend and leaves Tim heartbroken.
13 Breaking Bad: Season 5, episode 14 Ozymandias (Walt goes on the run. Jesse is taken hostage. Skyler believes it’s time to tell Flynn the truth)
14 Homeland: Season 2, episode 12 The Choice (Now Walden and Abu Nazir are killed, Brody and Carrie ponder their future, together or with her in the CIA, in her family’s lake cabin)
15 Life On Mars: Season 2, episode 8 The End Of The Line (The CID investigates the murder of a miner, and determine that a cop killer is behind it)
16 Prison Break: Season 1, episode 21 Go (Michael, Lincoln and the other inmates make a break for it, but after the alarm is sounded, find out who will make it over the wall, who will be left behind and who will leave the prison in a body bag)
17 Frasier: Goodnight Seattle (final episode) (Fraiser finds Martin and Ronee on the verge of matrimony, and Niles and Daphne preparing for labor. Meanwhile, Frasier prepares for his career in a new city.)
18 The Walking Dead: season 5, episode 1 (Carol takes drastic action to save Rick and the reunited group from the people of Terminus as she and Tyreese reach the compound)
19 Luther: season 3, episode 3 (John Luther is on the trail of a satanic occult killer who kidnaps a woman but leaves her baby in the living room)
20 Dexter: season 1, episode 10 Seeing Red (When the Ice Truck Killer leaves a horribly bloody crime scene at a hotel, Dexter digs deeper into his past)
21 Desperate Housewives: Season 3, episode 7 Bang (The day begins just as every other… Except today, there will be a deadly hostage situation in a local supermarket)
22 The Killing: series 1, episode 1. (Rosie Larsen has gone missing. Seattle detectives start an investigation into her disappearance which involves questioning Rosie’s family, friends, and neighbors.)
23 Modern Family: Season 1, episode 23 Hawaii (Jay’s plan to relax in Hawaii are thwarted. Phil tries to make the vacation special for Claire, but this results in the kids being unsupervised. Mitchell and Cameron debate on what to see)
24 Grey’s Anatomy: Season 6, episode 23 Sanctuary (Seattle Grace Hospital is hit with a crisis like no other in its history when a shooter makes his way around the hospital)
25 Happy Valley: Episode 4 (Catherine stumbles upon Ann and is attacked by Royce as she tries to get her to safety)
26 True Blood: Season 2, episode 9 I Will Rise Up (Luke the Frenemy’s suicide bombing of Dallas Vamp)
27 The Thick Of It: Season 3, episode 2 (Someone in the department has accidentally wiped the immigration records of 170,00 people over the past few months)
28 The Wire: Final Grades (2006) (The bodies from the vacants pile up while Burrell offers his support to Daniels and admonishes Rawls for crossing him. A distraught Bubbles finds himself at his wit’s end after his revenge plan backfires.)
29 Orange is the New Black: season 2 finale episode 13 (Several futures hang in the balance as the inmates face and confront their worst nightmares; Life will never be the same again)
30 House of Cards: season 1, chapter 11 (Following the collapse of Russo’s (Corey Stoll) campaign, Francis (Kevin Spacey) launches a risky ploy to join the Walker administration)
31 House M.D.: Season 4, episode 15 House’s Head (The episode where House receives a lap dance after being involved in a bus accident. After vaguely remembering seeing someone who is
32 The Bridge: Series 1 finale episode 10 (Swedish version: Saga does all she can to crack the case and catch the killer before it’s too late.)
33 American Horror Story: Season 2, episode 7 Dark Cousin (Grace is found bleeding to death after her operation but is brought back from the abyss just as she was to receive the kiss of death)
34 Peaky Blinders: series 2, episode 1 (As the 1920s begin to roar, business is booming for the Peaky Blinders gang. Tommy Shelby starts to expand his legal and illegal operations, with an eye on the racetracks of the south.)
35 Line Of Duty: series 2, episode 1 (Georgia and Steve attend at the hospital where somebody is trying to kill the witness and who kills Georgia)
36 The Good Wife: Season 5, episode 15 Dramatics Your Honour (Alicia agrees to a deposition with Nelson Dubeck, Will struggles to find a winning theory as he defends an accused killer, and Kalinda has new doubts about her future with Lockhart Gardner)
37 True Detective: season 1, episode 4 (Martin is faced with marital problems. The search for Reggie Ledoux leads the detectives to a motorcycle gang called The Iron Crusaders, which Rust worked undercover in the past).
38 Hannibal: season 2, episode 1 (While Will continues to assert his innocence, Hannibal and Jack try to come to terms with the fact that he’s in jail; Kade Purnell visits Will)
39 Utopia: first episode (Five strangers from an online comic book forum agree to meet after gaining possession of the original manuscript for the cult graphic novel ‘The Utopia Experiments’)
40 Skins: series 4, episode 8 season finale (With the cry of I’m Cook, Cook avenges the death of Freddie)
41 Gossip Girl: Season 2, episode 17 Carnal Knowledge (Blair starts a rumor that Miss Carr and Dan are romantically involved)
42 The Fall: Season 1, episode 1 (On the night that the police are called out to discover a cache of weapons in a car Spector, telling his wife that he is going to do voluntary work, kills Sarah Kay with police officers outside her house and unable to get in)
43 Battlestar Galactica: Exodus part 2 (2006) (The attack to rescue everyone on New Caprica begins. On the planet below, Tyrol and Anders lead the attack to free everyone from the prison.)
44 Top Of The Lake: Episode 1 (Tui, a 12 year old girl, walks into a remote mountain lake on New Zealand’s South Island as if to drown herself)
45 Mad Men: Season 4, episode 7 The Suitcase – (Don deliberately delays returning an important call from California, because he knows its bad news about Anna.)
46 Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8 episode 3 Palestinian Chicken (Larry plays
47 30 Rock: Season 6 episode 1 Dance Like Nobody’s Watching (Everybody becomes confused when Liz suddenly becomes cheerful, Jack tries to talk Jenna out of being the mean judge in a children’s reality talent show, and Kenneth prepares for what he believes to be the imminent Rapture)
48 Entourage: Season 4 episode 12 The Cannes Kids (The boys are in Cannes trying to seal the deal on Meddellin with big studio before the screening)
49 Arrested Development: season 3 episode 9 SOBs (George Sr. suggests a last-ditch effort to save the family by holding a fund raiser to raise money to pay their legal expenses)
50 Scandal: season 3 episode 13 finale The Price of Free and Fair Election (After Cyrus learns of Maya Pope’s latest plan to kill President Grant, his hesitance turns the tide of the election)
Image sources: BT TV / telegraph.co.uk / mic.com / 
I work with BT in my day job, but I was not paid or asked to write this blog post. I chose to write about this as the subject interested me.

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