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Film Review: ‘Ethel & Ernest’

Film Review: ‘Ethel & Ernest’
“There was nothing extraordinary about my mum and dad, nothing dramatic,” says Raymond Briggs during the brief live-action prologue to “Ethel & Ernest.” Truer words were never said, even if they’re among very few words not directly taken from the graphic-novel source in Roger Mainwood’s scrupulously faithful adaptation of that slender 1998 tome. This animated feature celebrates the kind of very ordinary, mostly happy shared marital life that “Up!” memorably encapsulated in its first few minutes before moving on to the more typical movie business of fantasy and adventure.

The lack of conflict proves more conspicuous over the course of 95 screen minutes than it did over 103 pages one might easily whisk through in one-quarter that time. Still, there’s considerable nostalgic charm to the low-key tale, particularly for British audiences to whom Briggs (best known internationally for the 1978 children’s picture book “The Snowman”) is a beloved institution. In the U.S., the toon
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Snowman review – Michael Fassbender plays it cool in watchable Jo Nesbø thriller | Peter Bradshaw's film of the week

The bestseller about a maverick cop on the trail of a serial killer reaches the big screen in a gruesome but watchable adaptation from Tomas Alfredson

Of course it is a letdown to discover that Michael Fassbender is not actually playing the lead in Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman and that he is not, in the words of the song, walking in the air, wearing a white costume and carrot nose, his feet softly pedalling in the magically Christmassy night sky, and his calloused hand in that of a child. In fact, the film he’s in ironically sports with precisely these images of childhood innocence. Fassbender is playing a serial-killer-catching cop in a chilly Scandi procedural, on the trail of a murderer calling himself the Snowman. The officer himself has the borderline ridiculous name of Harry Hole. He is grizzled, alcoholic, rulebook-shredding.

Screenwriters Peter Straughan and Hossein Amini have
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Battle Beyond the Stars

This quintessential New World picture from producer Roger Corman features a jaw-dropping array of behind-the-scenes talent including a score from James Horner, a script from John Sayles and art direction from James Cameron. Starring Richard Thomas, the supporting cast is equally impressive, including turns from Sam Jaffe, George Peppard, John Saxon and Robert Vaughn. Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami who went on to helm animated classics like When the Wind Blows and The Snowman.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

7 Non-Disney Animated Films That Could Be Remade as Live-Action Movies

We’re not saying they all should be, but they could.

This week, Disney releases another live-action remake of one of their animated classics. And they have many more planned for the future. But they aren’t the only ones attempting to adapt animated works into flesh and blood. The Ghost in the Shell joins Beauty and the Beast in theaters later this month, and other anime remakes, such as Akira, are in development.

It is surprising that more studios aren’t trying to copy Disney with the idea, though. Is it because so few non-Disney features involve human characters or because those that do aren’t that interesting? Below I’ve selected some that could work just fine. Some of them maybe should be done. If you have any other ideas, be our guest and share them in a response.

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989)

As I’m not a fan of redundant literal adaptations, I
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Raymond Briggs: ‘There could be another world war. Terrifying, isn’t it?’

The creator of children’s classic The Snowman cried during recordings for a new festive film about his parents. Now he fears the dark times they lived through are coming back

Raymond Briggs would have good grounds for feeling every bit as grouchy as he likes to appear. Late last year, his partner of 40 years died of Parkinson’s disease; she had been ill for years, many more than he had realised. “You look back and think: ‘God, that was odd, the things Liz did.’ I came home one day years ago and saw this lovely carpet out on the grass. Extraordinary. Why throw it away? I couldn’t understand it. I mean, God almighty, it was very exasperating. But at the time, we didn’t know she was ill. It was this creeping, awful disease thing.” He inhales briskly. “Never mind. Bit of a bugger, but there we are,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Den Of Geek’s Christmas 2016 UK TV and radio picks

Louisa Mellor Dec 12, 2016

We’ve taken a pen to the UK Christmas TV and radio schedules and circled the shows we’re looking forward to. Add yours below!

Amid the cosy repeats, big movies and inescapable cranberry-stuffed cookery shows on TV this month are a few original gems. Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton’s Inside No. 9 festive special The Devil Of Christmas (Tuesday the 27th of December, 10pm, BBC Two) is top of our must-watch list. Hot on its heels is Yonderland’s family friendly Yonder Yuletide (Saturday the 24th of December, 6.30pm, Sky One). Another for families on Sky is the Christmas Day Jasper Fforde adaptation The Last Dragonslayer, while Channel 4 has the non-festive-but-essential-for-fans-of smart-sci-fi Humans series two finale (Sunday the 18th of December, 9pm).

See related James Cameron's Avatar: five years on Avatar review

Not to forget, of course, the Doctor Who Christmas Special, a brand-new series of Sherlock,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Reliving the joys of an 80s TV Christmas

Jenny Morrill Dec 20, 2016

Russ Abbot, Bullseye, Noel Edmonds and a film we all watched in the same room. Christmas TV was more exciting in the 80s...

Cast your mind back to when Christmas Day wasn't about Doctor Who followed by sticking something on Netflix until it was time to go watch the annual fist fight outside the pub.

See related Looking back at Martin Scorsese's The King Of Comedy The Wolf Of Wall Street review The Wolf Of Wall Street & Scorsese's confrontational films

In the 80s, Christmas was about seeing which fantastic fare the TV had decided to bless us with. Of course, the more prepared among us knew this well in advance, having eagerly pored over the Radio Times/TV Times to check that Jimmy Cricket's Family Laugh 'n' Waz would be shown. There it was – right after Reflections On The Eucharist With The Reverend Paul Leyland.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Ethel & Ernest review – tea and crumpets but not much magic

The screen version of Raymond Briggs’s affectionate tribute to his parents fails to beguile like The Snowman or When the Wind Blows

Based on Raymond Briggs’s graphic novel about his parents, this hand-drawn animation looks at some of the major events of the 20th century through the eyes of a couple of ordinary Londoners. It’s affectionate and nostalgic, all tea and crumpets, net curtains and scrubbed doorsteps. But the sweetly soft-focus approach, which involves Ernest reading headlines detailing various global news events and Ethel fretting about her soft covers and social standing, is ultimately a little unsatisfying. The animation style is appealing and unthreatening, but the film lacks the beguiling magic of The Snowman or the thematic potency of When the Wind Blows.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Animals Of Farthing Wood's most traumatic deaths

Wil Jones Oct 25, 2016

The Walking Dead has nothing on The Animals Of Farthing Wood when it comes to traumatic deaths. Revisit if you dare...

Looking back at the media you loved as a kid and realising that there was loads flying over your head is a milestone of becoming an adult. Maybe it was the barely-concealed sexual innuendo of the pop songs you used to sing along to on the radio. Maybe it was the references to Alfred Hitchcock movies in The Simpsons. For me, it happened recently, when I suddenly realised how violent and generally depressing The Animals Of Farthing Wood was.

See related The Missing series 2 episode 2 review: The Turtle And The Stick The Missing series 2 episode 1 review: Come Home The women taking over TV crime drama One Of Us episode 1 review

The Animals Of Farthing Wood started out as a series of children’s novels written by English author Colin Dann,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Studiocanal Acquires Paddington Bear Brand, Plans Third Paddington Movie

Studiocanal Acquires Paddington Bear Brand, Plans Third Paddington Movie
Paris — Vivendi’s Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film-tv production-distribution company, has acquired Paddington and Company and the Copyrights Group, two purchases that give Studiocanal full ownership of nearly all of the Paddington Bear brand worldwide.

The deal marks Studiocanal’s first acquisition of an iconic European intellectual property. It comes as Studiocanal and parent Vivendi have identified the ownership and exploitation of European properties, especially big, resonant European culture icons, as one of its cardinal growth strategies.

Studiocanal is also “committed” to a third Paddington movie, Studiocanal chairman-ceo Didier Lupfer said. “Paddington 2,” produced by David Heyman (“Harry Potter,” “Gravity”) and directed by Paul King, is gearing up to go into production in October, tracking for a late 2017 release.

Unveiled on Monday, the acquisition of Paddington and Company and the Copyrights Group gives Studiocanal filmed and TV usage of the classic children’s book character, as well as use of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Raymond Briggs: ‘Don’t call me the king of Christmas. I don’t like children, I try to avoid them’

As a version of Fungus the Bogeyman is about to hit our TV screens, the author explains why he hates the festive period

Next Sunday families across the UK will settle down to watch Sky One’s Christmas highlight, a three-part take on Raymond Briggs’s much-loved comic book Fungus the Bogeyman. It comes complete with special effects from Andy Serkis’s Imaginarium studio and a cast including Timothy Spall, Victoria Wood and Keeley Hawes. It is a clever, witty visualisation of Briggs’s slime-saturated world and one that will no doubt join those other Briggs classics The Snowman and Father Christmas as part of the annual festive viewing experience.

For the 81-year-old author, however, that reputation as the King of Christmas is a cross to bear. “In the book version of The Snowman, there’s no Christmas, there’s nothing Christmassy in Fungus, and Father Christmas is anti-Christmas,” he
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Mary Poppins: not sugary, but sharp and subversive – on the page and the screen

Disney’s remake pledges a return to the source: Pl Travers’ stories. Travers hated the 1964 movie, but it was more faithful to her books than she realised

When I was growing up, I had access to two VHS videos. One was The Snowman, the classic adaption of the Raymond Briggs cartoon, and the other was Mary Poppins. (I’m talking about the mid-1980s, when this represented an extraordinary range of options on top of Britain’s four terrestrial TV channels.) As a result, I watched Poppins probably 3,000 times; I know it from the first spit-spot to the umbrella’s final squawk. It is thanks to this movie that I still misuse the word “amortize” and, in times of stress, can be unaccountably soothed by the phrase “Shipyards, the mercantile”.

I was, therefore, interested to read this week of a new Poppins movie in the works, to be directed by
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Jim Broadbent, Brenda Blethyn to voice animation 'Ethel & Ernest'

  • ScreenDaily
Voice cast of Raymond Briggs’ adaptation also includes Luke Treadaway and Virginia McKenna.

Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn are to voice the lead characters of Ethel & Ernest, a new hand-drawn animated feature based on Raymond Briggs’ classic graphic novel and tribute to his parents.

Production is underway on the film, set for theatrical release in 2016, and the cast also includes Luke Treadaway as Raymond, Olivier award winner for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and star of Fortitude; Virginia McKenna (Born Free, A Town Like Alice), June Brown (EastEnders), Pam Ferris (Matilda), Simon Day and Roger Allam.

The film will also showcase the voice of 11-year-old Harry Collett as young Raymond, who provides the voice of Buzzbee in Disney Junior’s animated series The Hive.

Ethel & Ernest marks the feature debut of Roger Mainwood, who worked as an animator on Briggs’ classic short The Snowman and was lead animator on the 2012 sequel, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

11 underappreciated graphic novels

We asked our writers to recommend graphic novels that deserved more fanfare, and here's what they chose...

Geek tastes running tall and wide, when we asked our writers to recommend favourite books that they felt hadn't received the levels of popularity or public recognition they deserved, in came a heap of suggestions. Too many for one piece, hence us dividing the entries into four separate lists: adult sci-fi, fantasy and horror fiction; graphic novels; children's/Ya fiction; and non-fiction.

We'll let you use the power of your eyeballs to see which one of those lists you're currently reading. And in the spirit of the piece, hope you'll join in by providing your own suggestions to keep the recommendations coming in the comments section. Sharing: it's what makes geek communities great.

Nextwave: Agents Of H.A.T.E – Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen

Written as a reaction to Ellis’ "widescreen" storytelling in The Authority,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Song Of The Sea: how an animated treat was made

We look at how director Tomm Moore created the Oscar-nominated animation Song Of The Sea, and how the Irish landscape inspired it...

Walking along Ventry beach in south west island, it's easy to see how a filmmaker might be inspired by the spectacular landscape: the rolling hills and craggy rocks, the overwhelming air of tranquillity. But the inspiration for animator Tomm Moore's new film, the Oscar-nominated Song Of The Sea, was inspired by a less than tranquil experience.

About a decade ago, Moore was staying on holiday in the nearby town of Dingle, and visited Ventry beach with his 10-year-old son. To their horror, they found the beach littered with the bodies of dead grey seals. Reports at the time suggested that local fishermen, who blamed the seals for dwindling fish stocks, were responsible for the cull.

"I was talking to a local lady, and we were disturbed by
See full article at Den of Geek »

When The Wind Blows | Blu-ray Review

Born an American of Japanese decent and soon quarantined to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in northern California after the bombing of Pearl Harbor as child, Jimmy Teru Murakami was permanently scarred by the experiences he and his family endured during the war. Decades later, after he had been nominated for a pair of Academy Awards for his shorts The Magic Pear Tree and The Snowman, as well as having collaborated with Roger Corman on the sci-fi feature Battle Beyond the Stars, Murakami confronted the realities of nuclear war by stretching the boundaries of traditional animation with his bracing blacker-than-black satirical comedy, When The Wind Blows.

Based on Raymond Briggs’ brutal graphic novel of the same name, the tale follows a senior couple who lived through World War II as part of the British army and fought the good fight, now elderly, living rurally and long out of the loop of real world politics.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Tomas Alfredson To Tackle Jo Nesbø's Snowman

Tomas Alfredson To Tackle Jo Nesbø's Snowman
Swedish directorial nous will meet Norwegian crime writing flair in a kind of Scand-avengers, with news that Tomas Alfredson is taking on Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman as his next project. According to Variety’s scoop, Alfredson will also be working on the adaptation with co-writer Soren Sveistrup, the man best known for creating smash-hit TV series The Killing, for the Working Title / Universal production.The Snowman is one of Nesbø’s bestselling series of Harry Hole novels. The Oslo cop, a boozy, fags-and-fatalism maverick in the best traditions of movie ‘tecs like Jake Gittes and Popeye Doyle, is in his early ‘40s in the books and an outsider in his own department.Well used to the seamier side of human behaviour, even he is disturbed to find things going all Raymond Briggs when a woman’s disappearance is signposted by her pink scarf wrapped around the neck of an alarming-looking snowman.
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Kaleidoscope acquires On Angel Wings

  • ScreenDaily
Kaleidoscope acquires On Angel Wings
Distributor picks up worldwide rights to animation backed on the book by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has secured worldwide rights (excluding UK TV) to On Angel Wings, an animation based on the book by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo.

Kaleidoscope will introduce the 30-minute special to buyers at MipTV in Cannes next month.

The writer and director of the animation is Dave Unwin who directed award winning TV special Father Christmas and The Wind in the Willows among others.

It is produced by Iain Harvey who executive produced the 1982 children’s classic The Snowman and produced The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories with his production company, The Illuminated Film Company.

The music is composed by Julian Nott who has worked with animator Nick Park on Wallace and Gromit.

The adaptation of Morpurgo’s picture book, published in 2006, is a re-working of the nativity. It centres on a young shepherd boy called Amos who
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Trailers from Hell Goes to Outer Space with 'Battle Beyond the Stars,' from Producer Roger Corman

Trailers from Hell Goes to Outer Space with 'Battle Beyond the Stars,' from Producer Roger Corman
Destination Outer Space! continues over at Trailers from Hell, with director Neil Marshall introducing "Battle Beyond the Stars."This quintessential New World picture from producer Roger Corman features a jaw-dropping array of behind-the-scenes talent including a score from James Horner, a script from John Sayles and art direction from James Cameron. Starring Richard Thomas, the supporting cast is equally impressive, including turns from Sam Jaffe, George Peppard, John Saxon and Robert Vaughn. Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and an uncredited Corman. Sadly, Murakami, director of animated classics like When the Wind Blows and The Snowman, passed away on February 16 at age 80. )
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Battle Beyond the Stars

This quintessential New World picture from producer Roger Corman features a jaw-dropping array of behind-the-scenes talent including a score from James Horner, a script from John Sayles and art direction from James Cameron. Starring Richard Thomas, the supporting cast is equally impressive, including turns from Sam Jaffe, George Peppard, John Saxon and Robert Vaughn. Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami and an uncredited Corman. Sadly, Murakami, director of animated classics like When the Wind Blows and The Snowman, passed away on February 16 at age 80.

The post Battle Beyond the Stars appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »
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