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Tag: British Things (61-70 of 349)

Colin Firth thinks the film industry is underestimating audiences. But is it just giving the people what they want?

H.L. Mencken said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” In these globalized times we can now remove that “American” qualifier. This past summer was the highest-grossing season on record for the movie industry, despite the complete lack of originality, surprise, or any big-budget entertainments that deserved any real praise beyond, “Well, anyway, it was better than Green Lantern.” Currently, the halls of Hollywood are filled with cackling corporate fat cats, popping champagne and plotting future villainy: Green Lantern 2, why not? But not everyone is celebrating the film industry’s stupid-is-as-stupid-does gravy train. According to the Guardian, recent Oscar winner and emergent cinema hero Colin Firth used the Venice Film Festival opening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to offer his own opinions about the dumbing-down of movies. “I do think there is a tendency to underestimate audiences,” said Firth. “I do think there is an appetite to be stretched.” READ FULL STORY

From covering Lady Gaga to pimping out dormice: Everything you need to know about on tour British comic Bill Bailey


Bill Bailey is one of the most popular comedians in the U.K. thanks to his appearances on shows such as Black Books, Spaced, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks and his surreal, hilarious, stand-up routines. This month, Bailey is visiting these shores with dates in New York, Chicago and Boston. “There’s something for all tastes,” he says of his current show, Dandelion Mind. “There’s intellectual comedy. There’s observational stuff. Music. Lots of visuals. It’s a multi-media romp!” The tour will also be opportunity for audience members to see why Bailey is routinely mistaken for Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. “Oh yeah, that’s happened many times,” he admits with a chuckle. “You’re Lars!’ ‘No, I’m not.’ ‘Yes, you are!’ ‘No, I’m not.’ And then eventually you go, ‘Yeah, alright, f— it, I am. I’m Lars!’”

Here are five more things you need to know about Mr Bailey: READ FULL STORY

Well-juiced Simon Cowell talks 'American Idol' fatigue, 'X Factor,' orgasmic IV regimen

In an interview with GQ, Simon Cowell talks about his total disinterest in his last few seasons of American Idol and how a lawsuit citing similarities between Idol and The X Factor forced him to delay plans to bring his show to the U.S. for five years. It’s a great read whether you dig the guy or not, but the thing that will stick with me most is that Simon Cowell has a multi-person team to make sure his “breakfast appears” every day. Breakfast is seven courses, six of them liquid. GQ provides footnoted recipes of his breakfast smoothies, with each fruit serving measured out to the millimeter.

It’s all very scientific. At this point, his entire life is so immaculately curated that Simon Cowell just doesn’t have to deal. With anything. Ever. He wakes up late, watches The Jetsons, absorbs nutrients, and avoids people. He’s my hero. And here’s something very unfortunate for a person who is not a multimillionaire media mogul: Simon Cowell has brainwashed me into believing I should be on an orgasm-inducing IV at all times. (I should, right?) READ FULL STORY

LIFE names 'The Worst Accents in Movie History.' Rough week, in'nit Anne Hathaway?

One Day could very well turn out to be the most distracting movie of 2011. Either you couldn’t get attached because you’d read the book and knew the shocking, twist ending that was coming or you didn’t know and were so blindsided you had a hard time enjoying the rest of the film. But, there’s been an even bigger diversion that’s kept people for falling for the weepy, big-screen adaptation of David Nicholls’ best-selling novel: Anne Hathaway’s shaky British accent.

The folks over at LIFE would have to agree. In their list of “The Worst Accents in Movie History” they argue that Hathaway’s Emma is supposed to hail from Leeds, but the actress seemed to have picked up a whole bunch of regional dialects and compiled them into one super-distracting allegedly British accent. Of course, she’s hardly the only star to miss the mark completely when it comes to speaking in a foreign tongue. READ FULL STORY

Kate Winslet saves Richard Branson's mom in a fire

That headline is so fake-seeming, tragic, and awesome all at once. In what may turn out to be her most heroic role, actress Kate Winslet saved Richard Branson’s mother from a fire early Monday morning. Winslet and her two kids, who were staying with about 20 people at the largest house on Branson’s private isle in the British Virgin Islands, escaped the flames unharmed. The fire ignited as Tropical Storm Irene hit Necker Island with lightning and high winds.

“Many thanks to Kate Winslet for helping to carry my 90 year mum out of the main house to safety,” Branson wrote on his blog. “She was wondering when a Director was going to shout CUT!”

Biz humor! It’s what it’s all about.

What did you do today?

No, no, it’s not a competition. I mean, you already were going to lose because you don’t have a private island.

Read more:
See Kate Winslet in the trailer for Roman Polanski’s ‘Carnage’

Annie on Twitter

'Ghost the Musical' to head to Broadway this spring. Can it do the movie justice?

A piece of advice to all movie execs hell-bent on re-making beloved Patrick Swayze movies: Make them into a Broadway musicals instead! There’s no way that the news of the musical version of Ghost, which has been playing to good reviews at London’s West End and is headed to the Great White Way this spring, will upset people even half as much as the idea of an upcoming Dirty Dancing big-screen reboot did. On film, the role of the slain Sam Wheat will forever belong to Swayze, but on stage, the part can be given new life, without taking away from the magic of one of the greatest tearjerkers of all-time.

Starting with previews in March of next year, Ghost the Musical is set to open at New York City’s Nederlander Theater in April. READ FULL STORY

'One Day': Should the ending have been changed?

 To be fair, I knew it was coming. Having already read David Nicholls’ charming 2009 international best-seller One Day, about the ups and downs of friends Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew’s relationship over the span of 20 years, I knew the movie was also going to end on a major — if not pretty shocking — downer. For those of you who have not read the novel or seen the adaptation starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (and it seems like that’s plenty of you), beware of MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. READ FULL STORY

Christine O'Donnell walks off Piers Morgan interview

Christine O’Donnell cut her interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan short after the former Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware grew frustrated with the host’s insistence in discussing her previous statements on sex, gay marriage, and the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The Tea Party darling eventually accused the Brit of being rude, but she initially tried to laugh off his persistent queries into her infamous remarks about masturbation. “Are you the pro-masturbation talk-show host?” she tried to joke, opening the door for Morgan to answer, “If the option is to be the anti, I think I’d be in the pro department, and I’m not afraid to say so.”

O’Donnell tried to steam ahead with her Tea Party talking points, but Morgan interrupted with “Have you committed lust in the heart since then?”

O’Donnell was not amused, but Morgan’s line of questioning seemed to rattle her. “I address that stuff in the book,” she said, before continuing with, “I’m here to talk about the book.” Ooookay. She’d had enough of Morgan and bluntly told him so. “I obviously want to talk about the issues that I choose to talk about in the book,” she remarked, clearly mistaking Morgan for a stenographer.

“Why are you being so weird about this?” Morgan replied. “I’m just asking you questions based on your own public statements and now what you’ve written in your own book.”

“Okay, I’m being pulled away,” O’Donnell said. “You know, we turned down another interview for this.” Watch the exchange below. READ FULL STORY

Piers Morgan denies phone-hacking, downplays 2009 radio interview

The phone-hacking scandal that has wounded Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and shuttered the News of the World tabloid newspaper is also now threatening CNN’s Piers Morgan. Larry King’s replacement was the top editor at News of the World in the mid-1990s and later ran the Mirror, and Louise Mensch, a British politician, erroneously inferred that Morgan had admitted illegal hacking in his 2005 autobiography when she questioned Murdoch and former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks last week. Morgan confronted her on Wolf Blitzer’s show and declared, “For the record, in my time at the Mirror and the News of the World, I have never hacked a phone, told anybody to hack a phone or published any story based on the hacking of a phone.”

Now, a 2009 interview has resurfaced that has Morgan on the defensive again. Appearing on a radio show, Desert Island Discs with host Kirsty Young, Morgan responded to “all that nasty down-in-the-gutter stuff” that tabloid newspapers were notorious for: READ FULL STORY

MTV dusts off classic Amy Winehouse concert

Back in the summer of 2007, just days after her smash album Back to Black was certified gold and critics began comparing her to Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, 23-year-old Amy Winehouse was the headline attraction on the premiere episode of MTV’s then-new live music show, 45th at Night. Backed by the Dap-Kings and pairing with Mos Def for a sizzling rendition of “Love is a Losing Game,” Winehouse was masterful, performing hit songs like “Rehab,” “Back to Black,” “Me & Mr. Jones,” and “You Know I’m No Good.”

Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., MTV will re-air the “rarely-seen set” (except on YouTube) as a musical celebration of the singer, who died tragically on Saturday. Take a peek at MTV’s promotional clip. READ FULL STORY

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