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Win THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 on Blu-ray

Posted by Competitions | Sat, 30/08/2014 - 11:43

Marc Webb’s epic telling of the Spider-Man story continues when THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 swings onto Blu-ray and DVD on September 1, and thanks to Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, we’ve got THREE copies of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 on Blu-ray to give-away.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone reprise their iconic roles as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, who face their most dangerous adversaries yet. In THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Peter Parker finds there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing his role as New York City’s hero and spending time with Gwen.

But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Spider-Man faces his greatest battle yet.

For a chance to win, follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 on Blu-ray/DVD.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday September 14, 2014. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is available on Blu-ray & DVD on September 1

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the Movie © 2014 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and LSC Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved. Marvel, Spider-Man and all related character names and their distinctive likenesses: TM & © 2014 Marvel Entertainment, LLC and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.

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Small-Screen Jabber 30 August – 5 September

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Fri, 29/08/2014 - 21:33

By Louise Bolotin

Drama
Nice to have a fresh slab of Scandi-noir action to warm up the late summer evenings. Crimes of Passion (Sat, BBC4, 9pm) is a period piece, too – set on a small Swedish island in the 1950s. And there’s no snow or brooding landscapes with lowering skies. Instead it’s lush and sunny. A woman is murdered during a midsummer party, while the other guests frolic. Superintendent Christer Wijk, a handsome chap in a slick suit, arrives to crack the case, helped by a couple of friends. There’s a distinct nod to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and possibly Jonathan Creek. Six feature-length episodes, in Swedish with subtitles. Lee Ingleby heads a fine cast as proprietor George Mottershead, founder of Chester Zoo in Our Zoo (Wed, BBC1, 9pm). In the 1930s, Mottershead bought a crumbling Victorian mansion and moved his family and some animals into it. Despite opposition, he went ahead with his zoo plans, finding salvation from the horrors of WW1 in the animals he homed. Anne Reid and Ralf Little co-star.

And as WW2 raged on and the government sought ever more creative ways to defeat the Nazis, it was radar – invented by a quiet-spoken, geeky meteorologist – that looked like it could do the job. Castles in the Sky (Thurs, BBC2, 9pm) stars Eddie Izzard as Scottish meteorologist Robert Watson Watt, who came up with ingenious technology for detecting aircraft. Boffins scribbling formulae isn’t generally interesting (cf The Social Network) but it works here. Izzard gives an understated performance, ably supported by the likes of Julian Rhind-Tutt and Tim McInerny, in this amiable, feelgood feature-length play. Alex Kingston, Reece Shearsmith and Noel Clarke head the cast of Chasing Shadows (Thurs, ITV, 9pm), a new four-part police procedural crime show that borders on daftness where the plots are concerned but is held together by some fine performances. In episode one, a serial killer is targeting teenagers.  

Factual
Tony Robinson is on the trail of the Victorian grave robbers in Secrets of the Body Snatchers (Sun, C4, 8pm). It’s a Time Team special exploring the illicit trade in fresh corpses that enabled surgeons to practise their skills. There’s gore aplenty as Robinson investigates some of the nastier ends of this crime. Poet Laureate John Betjeman is profiled by his biographer in Return to Betjemanland (Mon, BBC4, 9pm). AN Wilson visits significant places in the poet’s life, looking at how they had an impact on his creative output. An insightful combination of anecdotes, archive clips, gorgeous location and poetry. Pakistan’s Streets of Shame (Mon, C4, 11pm) investigates the shocking prevalence of child rape, facilitated by the grinding poverty that forces kids out to work and many of them living on the streets. Adult men talk casually about their crimes, believing they’ve done nothing wrong in abusing young boys. Difficult, heartbreaking but essential viewing.

Documentary of the week is Inside the Dark Web (Weds, BBC2, 9pm), a Horizon special on the parts of the internet you can’t access through the World Wide Web. The dark web is where criminals trade drugs and engage in other illegal activities but it’s also used by ordinary law-abiding people who merely wish to protect their privacy from the snooping surveillance agencies. Web creator Tim Berners-Lee and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange discuss why government spying on ordinary people is driving them to the dark web. A must.

Music
Paloma Faith delivers for Friday Night at the Proms (Fri, BBC4, 10.15pm. Singing live at the Albert Hall, conducted by Guy Barker and backed by his 42-piece jazz orchestra, Faith reworks many of her hits, including Upside Down and Picking Up the Pieces, in a laid-back bluesy concert that has more than a touch of cabaret about it. New York’s most prestigious performing arts college is the focus of A Season at the Juilliard School (Fri, Sky Arts 2, 7pm), whose alumni include Barry Manilow, Kevin Spacey and the late Robin Williams.

Arts
Classic novels are examined afresh in The Secret Life of Books (Tues, BBC4, 9pm) in a new six-part series. First up is Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, with TV scriptwriter Tony Jordan, of EastEnders fame, looking at the parallels between Dickens’ works (which were originally sold in instalments) and modern-day TV soaps.

Entertainment
Simon Day and John Thompson of the Fast Show try their hand at being cowboys in the Patagonian pampas in The Two Amigos: a Gaucho Adventure (Sun, BBC2, 9pm). As celebrity travelogues go, this isn’t too bad – the Argentinean landscape is beautiful and we don’t often get to see their culture on screen. In preparation for participating in a cattle drive in the foothills of the Andes, the pair don traditional ponchos and learn the art of being a gaucho. Jamie Oliver goes for our nostalgic jugular in Jamie’s Comfort Food (Mon, C4, 8pm), reinventing old favourites like macaroni cheese and the humble burger. TV shopping goes under the microscope in Gems TV (Tues, ITV, 9pm) – the cable channel is the UK’s largest jewellery retailer, turning over £100 million a year. Slick presenters use street market techniques to sell their wares from a small studio backed by a giant warehouse. Broadcasting 24/7, husband and wife owners Steve and Sarah Bennett lift the lid on their success.

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Gbenga Akinnagbe interview

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 29/08/2014 - 09:49

Screenjabber's Mark Searby talks to actor Gbenga Akinnagbe about his film and TV career – from his beginnings on the TV series Barbershop through his multiple roles in many hit US TV shows, as well as his film work in Hollywood blockbusters and smaller independent movies. He talks extensively about his work on The Wire, and what his feelings are towards his character, Chris Partlow. He also mentions which individual he would love to play in the Marvel cinematic universe...

Gbenga Akinnagbe interview Part 1

Gbenga Akinnagbe interview Part 2

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The Guest interviews

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 28/08/2014 - 21:42

Screenjabber's Stuart O'Connor speaks with writer Simon Barrett, director Adam Wingard, star Dan Stevens and co-star Maika Monroe about their new thriller, The Guest.

The Guest: Dan Stevens round table interview

The Guest review

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Win a copy of Transcendence on Blu-ray or DVD

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 26/08/2014 - 11:51

Transcendence is out now, and thanks to Entertainment in Video, we have TWO copies on DVD and TWO copies on Blu-Ray to give away.

Transcendence stars Johnny Depp as Dr Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, who is working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions.  His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.

However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed — to be a participant in his own transcendence.  For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can, but if they should.

Their worst fears are realised as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown.  The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

For a chance to win, follow @Screenjabber on Twitter and tweet the following text:

Follow @Screenjabber and RT for a chance to win Transcendence on Blu-ray or DVD.

For an extra entry, just pop over and LIKE the official Screenjabber Facebook page.

The competition will close at NOON on Sunday September 7, 2014. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Mon, 25/08/2014 - 14:17

By Jenny Priestley

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is working on a one-off story got a new book. It's for a collection of 21 original stories from authors including Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Neil Gaiman and Martin. The book is titled Rogues and Martin's story will follow one of the biggest rogues from the Thrones series. The book is being released on September 15.

Sherlock star Andrew Scott will be at the Apple store on Regent Street on August 28 to promote his new film, Pride. He'll be joined at the event by co-star Faye Marsay. The film's premiere follows on September 2nd at the Odeon Camden.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan have joined the voice cast of Jungle Book: Origins. Cumberbatch is voicing the film's villain, Shere Khan, whilst Andy Serkis will play Baloo the bear, and Bale will voice panther Bagheera. Blanchett will play Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan. Mullan will be Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli. Harris is the female wolf Nisha, while Marsan is her mate, Vihaan. Serkis is also directing the film.

Ashley Jensen has been cast in the lead role in a new drama for Sky that sounds a bit more like a comedy. She'll star in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, a 120 minute drama that will be shown at Christmas on Sky1, with Jensen playing PR turned detective Raisin. “It’s not often a part like this comes along for a woman" says Jensen. "Agatha Raisin is a strong forthright, independent, driven, successful woman, who is both funny and flawed, a real woman of our time.”

Steve Martin looks set for his first film in a few years. He's in talks to star in Magic Camp for Disney, a film he's already helped to write. The story follows a banker who returns to Magic Camp, which he attended as a shy child. This time he's working there and makes it his mission to improve the lives of all the kids while aiming for the top spot at the Golden Wand competition. Martin used to be a magician in real life (something I didn't know).

Bates Motel actor Freddie Highmore is co-writing the script for a new to com TV show. He'll be working with Kerry Ehrin, who is the showrunner on Bates Motel. The show, which is being set up at NBC, is set in the world of venture capitalism and follows the relationship between an overly emotional but talented female executive and her ambitious and eccentric young British assistant. No word yet on whether Highmore will appear in the show.

Rob Brydon is to host the BAFTA Britannia Awards in Los Angeles on October 30. The annual event helps kick off award season and is a celebration of achievements honouring individuals and companies that have dedicated their careers to advancing the entertainment arts. Last year's winners included Kathryn Bigelow, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Winona Ryder is to star in a new miniseries from David Simon, creator of The Wire. She'll appear alongside Alfred Molina, Jon Bernthal, Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener in Show Me a Hero. The drama is set in an American city overseen by young, idealistic mayor Nick Wasickso. He's given a federal court order to build low-income housing in a rich part of town which leads to civil disorder and may mean the end of his political career.

A new biography of Robin Williams will be published in the UK in October. Robin Williams 1951-2014: When the Laughter Stops is written by Emily Herbert, who has also written about Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Matt Smith. The book will look at the late actor's career including both his comedic and dramatic roles.

Sigourney Weaver is joining Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones in the film adaptation of children's fantasy book, A Monster Calls. The story follows a young boy who attempts to deal with bullying and his mother's terminal illness by escaping into a fantastical world thanks to a tree monster. Weaver will play the boy's grandmother, Jones his mother and Neeson the monster. The film's due for release in 2016.

David Yates is expected to return to the world of Harry Potter and is in talks to direct Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Yates directed the last four Potter films and had a close relationship with both producers Warner Bros and writer JK Rowling, who is currently busy on the film's script. The story is set 70 years before Potter and follows author Newt Scamander, who is commissioned to write a reference guide to the magical beasts found in the Potterverse. The film's due for release in November 2016.

Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is to appear in a new play off Broadway early next year. He’ll be joined in the production of A Month in the Country by Taylor Schilling from Orange is the New Black who is making her New York stage debut in the show. The play is being directed by Dinklage’s wife, Erica Schmidt. Schilling will play Natalya, the wife of a wealthy landowner, in the 19th century comedy of manners, with Dinklage as her admirer Rakitin. The play will run at the Classic Stage Company from January 9 to February 15.

Mad Men star Elizabeth Moss and Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery are to co-star in psychological thriller, Queen of Earth. The story follows two women who head to a beach house to escape the pressures of the outside world. Although they grew up as best friends, they soon realise they now have little in common. The film's being directed by Alex Ross Perry.

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Small-Screen Jabber 23-29 August

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Fri, 22/08/2014 - 16:06

By Louise Bolotin

Drama
If ever there was “event TV”, then surely it is Doctor Who (Sat, BBC1, 7.50pm). I for one can’t wait to see the brilliant Peter Capaldi (left) in the role – judging by the teasing trailers (I do believe the Ed has a full review here), he will not disappoint. I’m loving his tailored costume, a marked contrast to Smith’s bonkers professor look. The  80-minute opening episode (actually a two-parter concluding next week) focuses on the regenerated Doctor figuring out who he is and getting used to the new body he’s inhabiting. And while he’s doing this, he’s also investigating why a dinosaur is on the loose in Victorian London while Clara frets about how their friendship might change. Regular sidekicks Madam Vastra, Jenny and Strax give the doctor a helping hand.

Want more? An Adventure in Space and Time (Sun, BBC2, 10pm) is a rerun of last year’s feature-length drama about the creation of Doctor Who, written by Mark Gatiss. David Bradley inhabits the role of first Doctor William Hartnell perfectly and producer Verity Lambert is played by Jessica Raine. It’s affectionate, as you’d expect from a superfan scriptwriter, and captures the sense of being on the brink of creating a radical show at a still rather fusty BBC. It’s a Jane Austen weekend (Sat, Drama, from 1pm) – all six episodes of the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice back to back, followed by all three episodes of Death Comes to Pemberley. The latter is a marvellous spoof whodunit based on the imagined married life of the Darcys, spoiled only by the lack of on-screen chemistry between the two leads, Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Goode.

The Stephen King sci-fi drama Under the Dome (Mon, Channel 5, 10pm) returns for a new series. In the opening episode the dome turns into a giant magnet, sucking up cars, scrap, household appliances and knives, while the Chester’s Mill residents try to decide if it’s trying to converse with them.

Factual
If you’ve been watching The Mill on Sunday nights, The Real Mill with Tony Robinson (Sun, More4, 9pm) sees the presenter explore the real Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire where the drama is set, from the harsh life of the workers to the pampered owners Gregs, who treated them better than mill workers elsewhere. The stunning Taj Mahal is the splendid setting of Hotel India (Wed, BBC2, 8pm), a four-part look at life within the palatial hotel it has now become. A destination for the wealthy, whose every whims are catered for by the staff, who include a British butler and a barman who has worked there for 42 years stocking up the bedroom minibars. Allergies: Modern Life and Me (Wed, BBC2, 9pm) is a Horizon investigation into the rising number of people developing allergies and how this epidemic might be halted through new treatments and lifestyle changes.

Good to have David Attenborough back on our screens. The veteran naturalist’s latest offering is Attenborough’s Fabulous Frogs (Thurs, BBC2, 9pm), in which he takes us on a fascinating trip through all things amphibian after confessing frogs were his first pets as a boy. There are toads too. Some of these creatures do amazing things – changing colour, secreting their own suntan lotion in arid climates, freezing itself then thawing again… Prepare to be enthralled. The invasion of the American prom goes under the microscope in Prom Crazy: Frocks and Ferraris (Thurs, ITV, 9pm). I remember when I was lucky to get a pound off the parents to buy lemonade at the school disco at the end of term, but the shocking sums parents now spend on designer outfits, stretch limos and beauty salon treatments for their 16-year-olds is an eye-opener in this documentary. The cameras follow four teenagers as they get ready for the big night.

Music
Blondie’s New York (Fri, BBC4, 9pm) tells the story of how the NY punk-pop band broke through into the big time in 1978 with their third album Parallel Lines. With two critically acclaimed but little-bought albums already under their belt, the pressure to write a hit record was immense. Terry Ellis of Chrysalis Records bought out their existing contract for $1 million then sent them into the studio to recoup his investment. There’s some great archive footage of their studio time with Australian producer Mike Chapman, as they wrote songs about the poverty, crime and drug abuse in downtown New York. Debbie Harry also discusses her song-writing, the media’s obsession with her looks and her relationship with then-boyfriend, Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. It’s followed by an hour-long show of their appearance at Glastonbury Festival this year.

Comedy
David Walliams’ comic drama Big School (Fri, BBC1, 9.30pm) is back. Walliams stars as hapless head teacher Mr Church, now trying to salvage his relationship with Miss Postern (Catherine Tate) after a misunderstanding puts romance further out of his reach. The strong cast includes Philip Glenister, Frances de la Tour and Daniel Rigby although the writing never quite hits the heights. An undemanding and cosy show for a Friday night on the sofa but don’t expect more. By far the better option is Josh (Fri, BBC3, 11pm), a 15-minute sitcom pilot starring standup Josh Widdicombe that debuted on iPlayer. After his fiancée dumps him, Josh moves back in with his his friends but sympathy for his breakup is in short supply as flatmates Owen and Kate are busy  pursuing their own love interests. He heads to the pub, where he hangs out with Geoff the landlord (Jack Dee) and the barmaid.

Entertainment
Peter Capaldi, now the Doctor but so good as The Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker and Cardinal Richelieu in The Musketeers earlier this year, presents The Cricklewood Greats (Mon, BBC4, 11.10pm), a spoof documentary first shown in 2012 and written by Tony Roche. It’s the tale of a fictional film studio, possibly based on Elstree, and the contributions its output made to cinematic history. Terry Gilliam also stars, as the high-spending director who pushed Cricklewood to bankruptcy. 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy (Mon, Sky1, 9pm) takes the bucket list concept to the extreme when Irish TV presenter Baz Ashmawy takes his 71-year-old mother on a US road-trip to do things she’d never do in the comfort of her Dublin home. The TV gongs get handed out at the 66th Annual Emmy Awards (Tues, Sky Living, 8.30pm). British shows Sherlock and Downton Abbey are nominees, up against smash hits Breaking Bad and True Detective. James Corden’s sporting challenge show, A League of Their Own (Fri, Sky1, 9pm) returns for a new series, testing celebrities’ skills against the professionals. Guests in the opening show include Frank Lampard and Judy Murray.

Sport
Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers go head to heads in the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final (Sat, BBC1, 2.20pm). Kick-off is at 3pm at Wembley Stadium. The smart money is on the Tigers – the Rhinos have lost all six of their last cup finals.

Best of the rest
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond faces off Alistair Darling, frontman for the all-party no campaign, in round two of Scotland Decides: Salmond versus Darling (Mon, BBC2, 8.30pm). Expect 90 minutes of fierce debate as the referendum is only three weeks away. The pair’s last encounter was only viewable in Scotland but as a split would affect the rest of the UK it’s only right the rest of us get to hear the arguments. Darling won last time, narrowly. Can he convince voters not to break away this time round?

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Relive the best in horror this Film4 FrightFest

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 22/08/2014 - 10:20

In celebration of this year’s Film4 FrightFest, Zavvi is offering a special deal on the best in horror for chills, thrills and scares.

From the icons of fright, right through to the classic scenes that always leave a chill down your spine, experience the terrifying horrors that everybody knows and loves, both old and new, that take suspense to that all-time teeth-chattering high, so high in fact that you need to experience it time and time again.

The films on offer at Zavvi include the following from Warner Home Video’s extensive range of horror:
The Shining Blu-ray
The Conjuring Blu-ray
The Exorcist Blu-ray
Poltergeist Blu-ray
A Nightmare On Elm Street Collection Blu-ray

The Shining extended edition is also screening at this year’s Film4 FrightFest on Sunday August 24, at 6:10pm. Frightfesters are being treated to a rare UK appearance from Kubrick’s former producer and brother-in-law Jan Harlan, who will give an invaluable insight into the mind of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. You cannot miss this once in a lifetime opportunity - tickets are available to book now.

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A look back (and inside) The Mask

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 19/08/2014 - 21:00

By Mark Searby

1994 seems to have been the year that kick-started new trends that are still prevalent in today’s society. The year saw the launch of the PlayStation games console by Sony, and Oasis exploded onto the music scene with one of the greatest debut albums ever, Definitely Maybe. Sadly, the music scene also saw the death of Kurt Cobain, a man who pushed grunge music into the mainstream. On the movies front, the Hugh Grant-led Four Weddings And A Funeral became the UK’s biggest box office film ever with worldwide takings of more than $250m worldwide. The box office also caught light thanks to Tom Hanks’s Forest Gump, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Disney’s The Lion King.

Coming in at number nine on the highest-grossing films of 1994 was a movie that not many people at the studio had high hopes for or that audiences were particularly interested in watching (comic book-style movies were not box office gold – unlike today), yet The Mask became a global phenomenon and its opening weekend in the US saw it take $23m.

The Mask was a film that the whole family could enjoy, and quote to each other for years to come. But what made this movie such a huge success? And where did it all start?

“Ooh, Somebody Stop Me!”

The Mask was intended to be a horror film from New Line Pictures. The studio was looking for a new type of horror icon, much like Freddy Krueger, to kick start another scary movie franchise. Charles Russell was offered the job of directing the horror version of The Mask, but he felt it worked better as a comedy. New Line thought differently and had three alternate scripts written where the protagonist would put on the mask and go around killing people. Then about a year later, the studio came back to Russell and asked him if he would be interested in doing his version of The Mask.

“What are you doing down there?”
“I’m just looking for ... My Mask. FOUND IT!”

Russell had wanted to work with Jim Carrey for a long time. Carrey was only really known as one of the guys on the TV series In Living Colour. Jim modelled the character of Stanley Ipkiss on his own father, so many  of Ipkiss’s traits are Carrey family ones – such as the fact that Stanley keeps asking people ‘Ah?’ ‘What?’ ‘Eh?’. This was because his father was deaf in one ear. His motions as The Mask are very dance like and his movements bring to mind slapstick stars of the silent era. The facial expressions on the mask were devised to resemble Carrey’s own expressions.

It wasn’t a rigid mask like most would have today; instead, it was latex that had the ability to move with Carrey’s facial features. The mask was made of 17 separate pieces of latex that had to be joined together, and took four hours in the make-up chair to apply and only 30 minutes to remove. The problem was trying not to bury Carrey underneath too much rubber.

Some people might say that Carrey's rubbery face doesn’t need a mask as he has the ability to contort his face in nearly every way imaginable. Carrey said that: “[The Mask] makes Stanley the person who has all the answers. He can never be hurt. He is the guy everybody would love to be when they are faced with a situation.”

The Mask opens up the suppressed side of Stanley’s personality. Co-star Cameron Diaz commented that it wasn’t when Carrey was wearing the mask that scared her; instead, it was when he had to have it removed at the end of the day. “It was terrifying as it was glue and chunks of sponge would just stay on his face.”

“You know what Mrs Peenman ... Nothing”
“Well that’s what you are Ipkiss. A big fat nothing”

The CGI was created by two teams at Industrial Light & Magic, as they had to create cartoon-like images directly fused to the real actors. The scene where Stanley, as The Mask, has his eyes and tongue pop out when Mrs Peenman walks into him took about four weeks to complete. The only CGI scene that wasn’t scripted was when The Mask blows a heart shape from his cigarette smoke followed by snorting the arrow out. Carrey had come up with the idea at about 3am on the set, so the crew shot the scene and just hoped that the digital effects could be included later. As it turned out it’s one of the best visual CGI moments in the film.

The howling wolf shot when The Mask see’s Tina is a complete ripoff of the legendary Tex Avery cartoons. Carrey filmed it, but then post production at ILM saw his head removed and a computer graphics metal frame imposed on the shot. That was then covered with CGI skin and finally the stars and planets flying round his head.

“Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssmokin”

The role of Tina Carlyle was set to be filled by the up and coming actress Anna Nicole Smith. It was only changed when the producers were on their way out of a modelling agency and noticed Diaz. It was her first film role – previously a model, Diaz burst onto and in to the film with one of the greatest entrances ever committed to celluloid. Anybody who saw that film upon release will remember, until their dying breath, the dolly-in and pull-back scene.

Diaz turned 21 while shooting, so the crew decided to throw her a party after filming had finished. As they were filming through the night the party started in the early hours of the morning and went on into a normal working day. During the entire filming process Diaz used a pushup bra as she felt it suited the character, but she has never worn one since in a film. Cameron’s singing in the nightclub was all overdubbed by Susan Boyd, who does a lot of voiceovers for animated films including Mulan, The Little Mermaid and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure TV series.

“They call me Cuban Pete. I’m the king of the rhumba beat”

The Mask was completed in a little over eight months at a cost of $18m – which included all of the special effects that had never been done before. Russell commented that: “It saved us a lot of money when we cast Jim. As he was so flexible that we didn’t need to enhance his movements via digital.” Carrey had signed on for the film before the release, and blow up, of Ace Ventura so he was only paid $500,000 for his work on The Mask. Once it was released he next inked a deal for Dumb & Dumber at a fee of $7m.

“That’s a spicy meatball”

A year later, Nintendo Power magazine exclusively revealed that there would be a sequel – The Mask 2. Alongside announcing the sequel, the magazine also ran a competition for the winner to have a walk-on part in the forthcoming film. But it never materialised, mainly due to Carrey not wanting to reprise the role. The basic storyline would have been that mob boss Dorian would have returned and The Mask would have been worn by a woman, which follows some of the stories from the original comics. Rather than that we were given Son Of The Mask, a terrible prequel that involves no one from the original film. Also churned out was an animated TV series that ran from 1995-97. The final episode saw The Mask/Stanley Ipkiss team up with Ace Ventura. None of the subsequent tie-ins could match the popularity of the original film.

“We all wear masks ... metaphorically speaking”

The Mask is silly at its heart, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable, but it also has this charming personality about it – a human romance that takes place within the cartoon comedy world. A Jekyll and Hyde story for the 1990s that gave Jim Carrey a bigger canvas to express his talents, and it introduced us to the beauty of Cameron Diaz.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 17/08/2014 - 20:08

The Expendables 3 proves undependable while Turtles and Guardians stay on top

By Rich Matthews

With Paramount's Michael Bay-produced reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Disney/Marvel's latest blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy holding strong in the top two spots, this weekend's three new releases – Fox's Let's Be Cops, Lionsgate's The Expendables 3, and the Weinstein Company's The Giver – could only manage third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

The fourth place showing for the third in Sylvester Stallone's Expendables marks a franchise low of $16.2m, with the first entry grossing $35 and the sequel $28m. This is in part probably because of a leaked pristine copy of the star-jammed actioner early in the month being heavily downloaded and damaging business, but nonetheless shows that the concept of putting Sly, Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes and co in one movie together has now run out of steam. Just the fact that it was beaten to the number three spot by Let's Be Cops' $17.7m – which stars low-level celebs Jake Johnson (from TV's New Girl) and Damon Wayans Jr – is a major blow for Lionsgate. Fifth place was taken by The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Taylor Swift, with $12.8m.

None of the these could challenge Teenage Mutant Turtles ($28.4m, US total of $117.6m, global $185.1m) or Guardians Of The Galaxy ($24.7m, $222.3m, $418.7m). Currently Guardians is pacing ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Transformers: Age Of Extinction at the domestic box office, although its worldwide haul is lagging behind all of them.

Positions six to 10 were filled by disaster flick Into The Storm ($7.7, $31.3m, $49.8m), Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey ($7.1m, $23.6m), Scarlett Johansson's Luc-Besson-augmented Lucy ($5.3m, $107.6m, $168.5m), dance sequel Step Up All In ($2.7m, $11.8m, $49.6m) and Richard Linklater's 12-years-in-the-making indie smash Boyhood ($2.2m, $13.8m, $22.7m).

Next weekend Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For debuts alongside Chloe Moretz's Warner Bros drama If I Stay and Jim Caviezel football drama When The Game Stands Tall, so don't expect any major dents at the top.

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