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Screenjabber Wrestling Podcast 3: A View to a Phil

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 17/06/2014 - 11:10

The gang are back for the mid-year review of all things WWE, and where wrestling is heading in general for the second half of 2014. Host Tom "Tornado" Mimnagh is joined by "Jumpin" James Nicolaou, "Indie" Mike Loukoumis, "Double H" Harry Harrison-Sumter and "Dangerous" Daniel Akinbola to chat Daniel Bryan, the vacant WWE title, Seth Rollins turning on The Shield, the main event of Wrestlemania, and a certain Mr Philip Brooks. So sit back, relax, and get ready for 45 minutes of pure wrestling talk.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 17/06/2014 - 07:42

22 Jump Street and How To Train Your Dragon 2 both score

By Rich Matthews

In an expected turn, the battle of this week's sequels was won by the R-rated comedy rather than the family-friendly CGI animation. 22 Jump Street, starring returning action goofballs Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, posted the second-biggest opening ever for an R-rated comedy, behind the $85m of The Hangover Part II, with $60m. That's a hefty 65 per cent bump on the original's opening in March 2012, and it's also directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller's second $60m-plus opening this year, following the blockbuster The LEGO Movie. Its global total currently stands at $80.6m.

Coming in just behind with $50m was DreamWorks Animation's How To Train Your Dragon 2. This is a much-needed improvement for Dreamworks following a series of disappointments and is its best opening in four years. However, even though it's higher than the first film's $44m, it doesn't reflect the kind of increase expected for this kind of follow-up, given the huge popularity of the first film, plus a TV series. This reflects a similar pattern shown by Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda 2, which also opened soft and actually ended up grossing less in North America than the original despite massive popularity.

It's worth noting that both sequels stressed action over fun in their marketing, which may have alienated some of the target audience looking for fare for younger kids. It has currently taken $76.1m worldwide.

The newly-anointed Dame Angelina Jolie edged down to third, with Disney's Maleficent taking $19m to build its US total to $163.5m and its global gross of $436.4m. Tom Cruise's fun sci-fi blockbuster Edge Of Tomorrow continued to struggle domestically, adding $16.2m to its gross of $56.6m – however, Cruise's international star still burns bright with the $175m-budgeted tentpole having grossed $237.6m worldwide. Tomorrow also edged in front of the fan-driven The Fault In Our Stars, which tumbled a fairly precipitous 67.2 per cent to take $15.7m for a US tally of $81.7m and global cume of $120.5m.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of X-Men: Days Of Future Past at six passing the $200m mark with $9.5m and a global total of $661.7m, Godzilla at seven with a further $3.2m taking its domestic total up to $191.3M (worldwide $439.6m), Seth MacFarlane's flop Western comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West at eight with $3.1m ($39m, $59m), Seth Rogen and Zac Efron in the chart's other runaway comedy hit Neighbors at nine with $2.5m ($143.1m, $228.7m), and Jon Favreau's indie cooking dramedy Chef rounding out the chart with $2.3m ($14.1m).

Next weekend sees R-Pattz and Guy Pearce's The Rover expanding nationwide and Clint Eastwood's adaptation of Broadway staple Jersey Boys, neither of which will likely make much of a dent in the top three. However, June 27 heralds the arrival of what looks likely to be the biggest flick of the summer, Michael Bay's Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 15/06/2014 - 20:28

By Jenny Priestley 

Well I have to say I'm not at all surprised at the news that Steven Spielberg wants to turn Bryan Cranston's turn as Lyndon Johnson into a mini-series. Having seen Cranston in the role on Broadway recently, I have to say he's absolutely fantastic as the former US President. Spielberg is in the process of optioning the Tony Award-winning play and wants Cranston reprise the role which won him Best Actor at last weekend's Tony Awards. The series will focus on Johnson's first year as the leader of the free world, from Kennedy's assassination to his re-election victory.

Meanwhile, Spielberg is lining up another Tony Award-winner for his latest film. British actor Mark Rylance is in talks to join Tom Hanks in the as-yet untitled Cold War thriller. The story follows James Donovan, a lawyer enlisted  by the CIA to go behind the Iron Curtain to negotiate the release of a US pilot. Filming begins in the autumn.

★ William H Macy has joined Mel Gibson in the thriller Blood Father. The film's plot is about a former prisoner who reunites with his estranged 16-year-old daughter, who has been targeted by drug dealers. The film's directed by Jean-Francois Richet.

★ Kirsten Wiig is heading behind the camera to make her directorial debut with a new film she's written with Annie Mumulo, her co-writer on Bridesmaids. The new film will follow two best friends who are "in over their heads and out of their depths". The pair will star as the lead characters.

Meanwhile, Wiig's Bridesmaids co-star Maya Rudolph is joining Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in their new comedy about two grown sisters who decide to throw one last huge party in their parents' house before it's sold. The Nest will also feature James Brolin.

And in yet more Bridesmaids-related news, Melissa McCarthy will be planting her hands and feet in concrete in Hollywood next month. She's taking part in the ceremony at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre in July 1, the day after the LA premiere of her new film, Tammy.

US TV network NBC is planing to make an "event series" about The Beatles. It'll be an eight-part drama charting the rise of the Fab Four (I can't write 'and fall' as they arguably never did). The show is being created by Michael Hirst, who previously gave us The Tudors. No word yet on who'll be playing John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Everyone seems to be talking about Orange Is The New Black following the release of season two on Netflix the other week. Now producers are busy working on season thee and have asked Mary Steenburgen to join the cast. No word yet on who she'll be playing.

Some of the cast from The Fault In Our Stars will be in London to promote the film's UK release later this week. As well as a special screening on Tuesday, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern and Nat Wolff will be at the Apple Store on Regent Street on Monday to promote the film. No Shailene Woodley though.

Meanwhile, Divergent – which also stars Woodley and Elgort – will be out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on August 11.

Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey is to receive the 2014 American Cinematheque Award on October 21.The annual event will honouring McCoanughey for his contribution to cinema over the last 20 years. Let's hope they focus more on his work in Dallas Buyers Club than Failure to Launch.

★ Kylie Minogue is resurrecting her acting career by working with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. She's joining the action star in the disaster flick San Andreas. As I'm sure you've guessed, the plot follows a huge earthquake in California. We don't know how big Kylie's role will be yet but the film's out next summer.

★ Keanu Reeves is to replace Daniel Craig in courtroom drama The Whole Truth. Reeves will play a lawyer defending his client who is accused of murdering his wealthy father. The cast also includes Renee Zellweger and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (currently starring in Belle). Filming begins next month.

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Screenjabber Podcast: Listen to us, you bastards

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 15/06/2014 - 19:50

Join Sarah Sharp, Mark Searby, Jessy Williams, David Watson and host Stuart O'Connor as they eulogise Rik Mayall, scrutinise the Sheffield DocFest and reviewerise (that's a word, isn't it?) the new entries in UK cinemas this week: Oculus, A Perfect Plan, 112 Weddings, The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet and Devil's Knot.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Terrestrial TV Highlights 14-20 June

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Fri, 13/06/2014 - 12:03

By Louise Bolotin

If you’re reading this early enough, you’ll be in time to catch Trooping the Colour (Saurday, BBC1, 10.30am), the annual military parade for the queen’s birthday. Britain is a worldbeater at pomp and ceremony – lots of marching and music, fancy uniforms and pageantry. Minette Walter’s murder mystery from 1998 The Scold’s Bridle (Saturday, Drama, 9pm) gets a welcome repeat. Miranda Richardson plays a doctor suspected of killing her friend, who is found dead in her bath with a torture contraption strapped to her head. All three episodes are run back to back in this gripping tale of deceit, greed and old hatreds.

The Queen’s tennis tournament is the big Wimbledon warm-up and often an indicator of likely contenders – the semi-finals take place on Saturday (BBC1, from 1.20pm) and the final is on Sunday (BBC2, 2pm). Backchat Father’s Day Special (Sunday, BBC3, 10pm) sees comedian Jack Whitehall joined by his dad Michael for hosting duties. Talking about parenting are Jonathan Ross, who shows Jack a few interviewing tricks, Judy Murray (Andy’s mum) who gets flirty on the sofa, and Mo Farah.

As the number of endangered species rises, Queensland-based British zookeeper Giles Clark takes on two rare Sumatran tiger cubs born at Australia Zoo in Tigers about the House (Monday, BBC2, 8pm, plus Tues/Wed). The home parenting is to ensure Spot and Stripe’s survival. Of course, it’s full of fluffy cuteness but this three-part documentary also examines crucial questions about saving wildlife. Jonathan Creek and QI star Alan Davies returns to the world of chat in Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (Dave, 10pm, nightly all week), aiming for a relaxed pub-type conversation rather than formulaic interviews. It works rather well, lubricated by alcohol but not engulfed by it. His opening guests for this five-part run are Noel Fielding, who riffs away splendidly, writer Jon Ronson, standup Andrew Maxwell and actor Kerry Godliman.

Watching the wealthy offload their unwanted baubles in The Auction House (Tuesday, C4, 9pm) is a vicarious pleasure. The Lots Road auctioneers in Chelsea is the focus of this three-parter – while the borough’s millionaires try to sell their artwork and antique furniture (or buy other people’s) the staff at Lots are demoralised under the dictatorial boss Roger, who runs the business with an iron fist. It was a disappearance that gripped the world and Where is Flight MH370? (BBC2, 9pm) remains a pertinent question. This Horizon documentary rounds up the story of the search so far and explores how new technologies could help stop us losing planes that go missing.

Celebrity baker Lorraine Pascale (above) was brought up by foster parents – in Fostering and Me with Lorraine Pascale (Thursday, BBC2, 9pm), she explores the current crisis in fostering, with fewer carers than ever coming forward to give children in need a home and social workers struggling to stop the system breaking down completely. Some of the kids she interviews about their experiences in care and in foster families are heartbreaking but there are plenty of positives too.

The brilliant, Bafta-nominated (and RTS award winner) Friday Night Dinner (Friday, C4, 10pm) returns for its third series. A sitcom about the secular Jewish family, the Goodmans, the action in every episode focuses on the title event. Writer Robert Popper is a master at nailing the family quirks and tensions in such a tightly focused setting. Starring Tamsin Grieg, in the opening episode son Tom finally brings a date home and the unfortunate Emma finds herself thrust into a hellish hotbed of inspection. At the height of the Cold War, singer-songwriter Billy Joel was invited by Gorbachev, in the sprit of glasnost, to do a politically risky small tour of Moscow, Leningrad and Tbilisi. Billy Joel: the Bridge to Russia – a Matter of Trust (BBC4, 9pm) is an account of this historic trip to the Soviet Union in 1987, where he was the first American to play a rock concert. The event made headline news globally. Seen for the first time since it was filmed on the tour 25 years ago, the documentary covers how Joel’s music and he himself had a groundbreaking effect on the Russian people and was a cultural turning point for US and Soviet diplomatic relations. It’s followed at 10.15pm by Billy Joel: Live in Leningrad, the footage of one of his electrifying gigs there during which he played many of his biggest hits.

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Top 10 Period Dramas

Posted by luke | Thu, 12/06/2014 - 07:31

The Invisible Woman (2013)
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this engrossing period drama focusing on the illicit relationship between Charles Dickens (a charismatic performance from Fiennes himself) and his mistress, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones). Fiennes shows a deft directorial touch for dealing with the sensitive subject matter, and Jones gives a standout performance as the fragile, emotionally repressed Nelly, who was almost written from history.

The Age of Innocence (1993)
Martin Scorsese directed this tale of 19th century New York high society in which a young lawyer, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, falls in love with his fiancé’s cousin, the Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer) and in the process exposes the hypocrisy of the establishment. Based on the novel by Edith Wharton of the same name, Scorsese said it was his ‘most violent’ film to date, referring to the emotional turmoil suffered by the principal characters.

Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Ang Lee directed this adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, and Emma Thompson won a thoroughly deserved Oscar for her adapted screenplay. She also turns in a pitch-perfect performance as the put-upon Elinor Dashwood, ably supported by Kate Winslet as flighty younger sister Marianne, while Hugh Grant, Greg Wise and Alan Rickman play the various suitors which the Dashwood sisters must navigate.

An Ideal Husband (1999)
Based on the Oscar Wilde play, this romantic comedy stars Jeremy Northam, Rupert Everett, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Minnie Driver in this tale of government minister Sir Robert Chiltern (Northam) who finds himself in hot water after an old acquaintance (Moore) threatens to uncover past misdeeds, throwing his perfect marriage into jeopardy. He enlists the help of old friend, philanderer Lord Goring (Everett) and the resulting social satire is arguably Wilde’s funniest play.

Gosford Park (2001)
Julian Fellowes cut his teeth on this Oscar-winning screenplay long before Downton Abbey, but the similarities are evident in this exquisite 1930’s murder mystery. Director Robert Altman uses the premise of a weekend away in the country to pick apart the hypocrisy and eccentricities of the British class system, and the whip-smart script is perfectly brought to life by a startling cast, headed up by Dames Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren, Michael Gambon, Clive Owen, Kristin Scott Thomas and Stephen Fry.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Joe Wright’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s most famous work earned him a BAFTA for most promising newcomer and follows the trials and tribulations of the five Bennett sisters after two eligible bachelors move into town- Mr Darcy (Matthew MacFayden) and Mr Bingley (Simon Woods). Wright was famously reluctant to cast Keira Knightley in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett, deeming her ‘too attractive’... until he met her, and realised her tomboyish attitude was ideal for the role.

Atonement (2007)
Arguably Joe Wright’s greatest film to date, this heartbreaking wartime drama based on Ian McEwan’s bestselling novel boasts a stellar cast, including James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saiorse Ronan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Vanessa Redgrave. When the budding romance between Cecilia Tallis (Knightley) and Robbie Turner (McAvoy) is cut brutally short following a lie told by Bryony Tallis (Ronan), the repercussions span several decades. Wright’s tackling of the novel’s twist ending is a particular masterstroke.

The Duchess (2008)
This biographical drama chronicles the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, played by Keira Knightley. A celebrity of the time, Georgiana's charm, activism and fashion bring her adoration everywhere she goes. But the stifling restraints of her controlling husband (Ralph Fiennes) lead her into a passionate affair with the younger Charles Grey (Dominic Cooper) highlighting the stark, appalling differences in treatment between men and women in the aristocracy of the 18th century.

The Young Victoria (2009)
Emily Blunt shines in this brilliantly crafted account of Queen Victoria’s early years on the throne, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Tackling the tempestuous relationship with her mother and the constitutional crises she faced as a young monarch, Blunt is ably supported by Rupert Friend as Prince Albert, the suitor who eventually won her heart.

Jane Eyre (2011)
Mia Wasikowska takes the lead in Cory Fukunaga’s beautifully crafted, minimal adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic. When the modest Jane Eyre (Wasikowska) arrives at Thornfield to take the position of governess, her relationship with her employer Mr Rochester (a hugely underrated performance by Michael Fassbender) rapidly crosses the professional boundary- until she discovers he’s harbouring a devastating secret.

The Invisible Woman is available on Blu-ray and DVD from June 16, from  Lionsgate Home Entertainment

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Farewell Rik Mayall, you genius bastard

Posted by Neil Davey | Mon, 09/06/2014 - 19:50

By Mark Searby

There are just some people who you never expect to die. Some people who should be immortal. Some people who know no bounds. These people are the ones you grew up with. Normally they are family, but they can also be the ones who formed a lasting impression on you during your teenage years.

Rik Mayall was just such a man to me. Never has a man I’ve never met been such a huge part of my life. Yet it’s not just me; there are millions of people out there who were transfixed by Rik’s work. Some of them older than I am and some of them are younger. That’s the thing with Rik – no matter how old he was, he always appealed to the angsty teenager. The spotty dork we had all grown out of by our mid-20s (possibly). But when Rik was on screen, we all reverted back to that age of when we first came across this brilliant English comic.

Mayall was a massive ball of energy. The guy seemed to operate on a different power cycle to everyone else. His constant one-upmanship against everyone was the ultimate way to see Rik at work. He wouldn’t be beaten by anyone ... and it was pure comedy gold to witness. A man so entrenched in being an obnoxious that you couldn’t help but love him, or at least love to hate him.

Everybody knows his hits – The Young Ones, Bottom, The Comic Strip, Blackadder, The Dangerous Brothers, Drop Dead Fred, The New Statesman, Kevin Turvey ... the list speaks for itself. Yet Rik also did straight roles as well. Some of his finest work came in his own Rik Mayall Presents. It was a show that didn’t do well for ITV at the time, but has aged very well – the dark, gross-out humour of Briefest Encounter. Or the all too real TV show host that loses it in Micky Love. Or the wonderfully written and acted rom-com Dancing Queen, starring Helena Bonham Carter.

His constant war with best mate Ade Edmondson is what Rik will be remembered for by most people. Their slapstick antics never failed to raise a laugh. Even when the rest of the comedy world was going against what they were doing, their live shows would still be huge successes around the country. Nobody bashed a face in with a frying pan quite like Mayall and Edmondson. And when they fucked up and went off script, well those were extra magical moments for thsoe who were lucky enough to be there. Only last year was there talk of Bottom: Hooligan’s Island the TV show. The BBC asked the two of them to write a couple of episodes and they loved what they saw. Yet both of them felt they needed to be older and had put it back on the shelf ready for 2023. On that shelf sits comedy gold never to appear.

Mayall had balls as well; he was one of the most confident comedians ever. His no-shits-given attitude was what set him apart on screen. Even down to calling his autobiography Bigger Than Hitler – Better Than Christ. The first paragraph in that books starts: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was Rik Mayall." He had the guts to joke about his near-death experience on a quad bike during Easter 1998, saying he was dead longer than Christ but still managed to rise up. So that must make him better than Christ. The fucking balls on the man to keep repeating it. But that was Rik through and through, everything was a joke.

For the past year I have been in regular contact with his manager requesting an interview. Each time I would be turned down because he was busy. His agent was always super nice and would always check with Rik first. Granted I’d be disappointed not to get an interview with one of my heroes. But on the flip side I was excited to hear he was working full-time again. It meant the world wouldn’t be deprived of Mayall as it so was for many years after his accident. Only last year were we treated to Mayall back to his best during his turn as Greg Davis's father in the TV show Man Down – a role that was so gleefully repulsive that he was the main reason people tuned in, and he only appeared on screen for a few minutes each episode. But it would be glorious minutes of unadulterated anarchy that really he should have been too old to do but he never was and never looked like being.

That interview will now never happen. On a personal level, it makes me sad that I never got to meet one of my all-time heroes. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I think we all know that if we had met Rik then it would have far exceeded our expectations. On a professional level, it’s a massive disappointment that we never got to see Rik talk about his entire career. He wasn’t much for interviews anyway (preferring the quiet family life), but hearing him wax lyrical about his years on stage and screen would have been a riot of comedic proportions. It seems the big red book of This Is Your Life eluded him as well.

As I stare at my book shelf that holds a signed copy of his autobiography (found at the back of a Waterstone’s store years ago) I wonder where UK comedy be without him? What would life have been like? Where would the anarchy have come from? Would he have flicked the V-sign at me or give me a quick feel-up?

The final line in his autobiography reads:

My work here is done. The rest is silence, all that remains is dust

The End

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 09/06/2014 - 06:52

The Fault In Our Stars shines while Cruise teeters on the Edge Of Tomorrow

By Rich Matthews

Just when you thought that Young Adult fiction adaptations would be limited to Hunger Games sequels and the odd mini-hit such as Divergent, that film's star – Shailene Woodley – pops up in the film version of runaway romantic bestseller The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green.

The story of two lovers who meet at a cancer help group has grossed a runaway $48.2m to top the US weekend box office. How big a hit it ends up being may be signposted by the large dropoff day-by-day after its mammoth Friday opening day, but if you consider that Fox only spent $12m on it, whatever happens now is just more gravy. It's even started a decent international rollout, so it's overall global is a healthy $65m.

Things certainly weren't so rosy for Tom Cruise in Doug Liman's Edge Of Tomorrow, which was beaten into third by Disney revisionist holdover Maleficent. With its $29.1m opening, Tomorrow even lags behind the $37m opening of Cruise's recent similar sci-fi actioner, Oblivion, which went on to take $89m in the US but $286m worldwide. Tomorrow has already opened to $111m abroad, to take its opening tally to $140, which makes its result likely to be close to Oblivion overall. That's only really a problem for Warner Bros when you consider the film's reported $170m-plus budget – the studio is putting all its money on the Cruiser's still-strong international star power.

Holding strong at two, Angelina Jolie's long-gestating Maleficent took a fairly magical $33.5m to take Disney's latest neo-feminist take on one of its classics to $127.4m domestic and a more-than enchanted $335.5m. Suddenly that Disney gamble seems much more like a safe bet. How it holds up against more upcoming family fare – How To Train Your Dragon 2 flies in on June 13 – remains to be seen.

The top five was finished off by two films with very different fortunes. At number four, X-Men: Days Of Future Past continued to cruise towards the $200m line, taking $14.7m to raise its domestic total to $189.1m and worldwide to $609.6m (now easily the most successful entry in the franchise), while Seth Macfarlane's Ted follow-up A Million Ways To Die In The West could only corral a further $7.2m to take its herd up to a meagre $30.1m domestic and $50.1m global.

Also running out of steam at number six, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla update took just shy of $6m to raise its homegrown tally to $185m, so it will be lucky if it will get to $200m at this point. Globally, the mega-monster is nearing $400m with $393.7m. For a bit of perspective, now the initial hype has died down, the 1998 version (considered a flop) took $230m in adjusted money in the US alone, and last year's robots vs monsters Pacific Rim managed to take in $411m in its run. Coming at seven, the Seth Rogen/Rose Byrne/Zac Efron R-rated comedy Neighbors kept its cool with $5.2m ($137.8m US, $223.4m worldwide), while Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore rom-com Blended limped to another $4.1m ($36.5m) and Jon Favreau's indie cooking comedy Chef rustled up an extra $2.6m for a slowly growing domestic gross of $10.4m. Topping everything off at 10 was Disney's Jon Hamm baseball sports drama Million Dollar Arm with $1.8m ($31.3m).

Next weekend, alongside Dreamworks' returning Dragon, Sony serves up action comedy sequel 22 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.

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That's Showbiz! With Jenny

Posted by Jenny Priestley | Sun, 08/06/2014 - 13:38

By Jenny Priestley 

★ Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams (left), who plays Arya Stark, has been named among this year's crop of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow. The young actress, who's just 17, appears in the list alongside the likes of Olivia Cooke from Bates Motel, Taron Egerton, who we'll see alongside Colin Firth in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Eleanor Tomlinson, currently filming the BBC's new version of Poldark. The annual list is out together by industry experts and has previously included the likes of James McAvoy, Tom Hiddleston and Emilia Clarke.

The line-up for the second We Love the 90s Film Fest in London has been announced with the event taking place next month. Among the films being shown are Boyz in the Hood, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas and Muriel's Wedding. The outdoor screenings take place at the Portobello pop-up cinema from July 25 to August 3.

★ God's Pocket, directed by Mad Men star John Slattery, will arrive in UK cinemas on August 8. The dark comedy stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, Christina Hendricks and Eddie Marsan. The film is Slattery's directorial debut and follows Mickey, whose stepson is killed by an industrial accident and Mickey tries to bury the news alongside the body.

So it looks as though we finally have a new Ant-Man director, with Peyton Reed replacing Edgar Wright. Adam McKay – who some of the trades were saying was the favourite to get the gig – has come on board to work on the script. I'm not at all sure about Reed. His previous films include Yes Man, The Break Up and Bring It On. It feels as though the end product could be more of a broad comedy than a traditional comic book movie. We shall have to wait and see....

Meanwhile, Marvel is said to be eyeing up Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hardy for the new Doctor Strange movie. Sinister director Scott Derrickson will be in charge of the film.

★ Hellboy star Ron Perlman will be at the opening night of this year's East End Film Festival on June 13th. The actor stars in the festival's opening film, Dermaphoria, and will take part in a Q&A after the screening. This year's festival runs until June 25th.

★ Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal has been signed up to star in Narcos, a new drama for Netflix. Pascal played Prince Oberyn Martell in the HBO drama and if you watch the show you'll know he has a bit of free time now... Anyway, the new show is about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the DEA agent who tracked him down.

★ Naomi Watts and Daniel Dae Kim have joined the cast of Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent. Watts will be playing the pivotal role of Evelyn, leader of the factionless. They joins Shailene Woodley and Theo James, who will be back as Tris and Four. New members of the cast also include Octavia Spencer and Suki Waterhouse.

Could Denzel Washington be set to star in a remake of The Magnificent Seven? Apparently MGM wants the Oscar winner to reteam with director Antoine Fuqua on the project. Nothing's official yet though.

★ Al Pacino will take part in a Q&A event at BFI Southbank later this year. The Oscar-winning actor will discuss his two films, Salome and Wilde Salome, at the screening on September 21. The films and talk we be broadcast in cinemas around the UK and hosted by Stephen Fry.

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Terrestrial TV Highlights 7—13 June

Posted by Louise Bolotin | Sat, 07/06/2014 - 07:35

By Louise Bolotin

The world’s largest art show offers a chance to see up-and-coming artists alongside the famous. Kirsty Wark, Alastair Sooke and Morgan Quaintance show us round some of the 1,000 exhibits on show at The Summer Exhibition: BBC Arts at the Royal Academy (Saturday, BBC2, 7pm). BBC2 is also dipping into its comedy archives again from 8pm, starting with a classic episode of Yes, Prime Minister, plus sketches from French and Saunders, and Victoria Wood. If you’ve not seen it before, catch Minette Walters’ gripping psychological thriller from 1997 The Ice House (Drama, 9pm), which stars a very young Daniel Craig and Frances Barber. Three women come under suspicion when a body turns up in the grounds of their rambling country pile.

The French Open finals are on this weekend. On Saturday, Maria Sharapova will be battling it out against Simona Halep (ITV, 1.30pm). On the Sunday, the men’s final will see Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal go head to head (ITV, 1.30pm). Djoko will be hoping for his first French win, to complete all the slams, while Rafa will be after a record-breaking ninth title.

Tennis aside, Sunday’s best pick is Wildfires 2014: Inside the Inferno (BBC2, 9pm), in which Kate Humble and Simon Reeve investigate Australia’s bush fires. They can break out up to a 100 times a day, putting huge strain on the volunteer fire service that battles to protect people and contain the devastation. On the eve of the World Cup in Rio, Soccer Aid (ITV, 6pm) will see celebrities and A-list celebrities kicking the ball across the grass at Old Trafford to raise cash for Unicef. Among the stars are Damien Lewis, Robbie Williams, James McAvoy and Olly Murs. There’s film fun to be had in The Greatest 80s Movies (Channel 5, 10pm) as Judd Nelson, Corey Feldman and other stars count down through the decade’s top celluloid outings.

The Culture Show profiles one of the UK’s top conceptual artists in Ryan Gander – the Art of Everything (Monday, BBC2, 10pm). With three shows opening this summer in London and Manchester, Gander’s eye-popping creations are designed to challenge preconceptions. Miranda Sawyer presents. Yet more pre-World Cup teasers as David Beckham (above) goes in search of an Amazon adventure by motorbike in David Beckham: Into the Unknown (BBC1, 8.30pm). He and three pals head into remote jungle, where he quickly discovers a fear of snakes while seriously roughing it. This is Becks as you’ve never seen him before and it’s rather good, though not groundbreaking. Watch out for wife Victoria fretting about his hair gel – priceless.

From footy to food. Celebrity Masterchef (Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm) is back for a ninth series. You know the form. Contestants include singer Kiki Dee, actors Todd Carty and Sophie Thompson, dancer Wayne Sleep, model Jodie Kidd and the ubiquitous Christopher Biggins. Meanwhile, in Nigel Slater’s Great British Biscuit (BBC4, 8pm) the popular cook explores our love affair with biscuits. A repeat but a worthy one. And back to footy, but now the women finally get a look in. Street Kid World Cup (BBC3, 9pm) sees a team of teenage girls from London head to Brazil to play against the local youngsters there. The Brazilian kids come from very challenging backgrounds and this is a surprisingly touching culture clash.

Eight years on from film-maker Chris Terrill’s searing documentary on the war in Afghanistan, he’s back with his sidekick, former marine Bertie Kerr, in Commando: Return to the Frontline (Wednesday, ITV, 10.35pm). Kerr now works in the City but the brutality of his tour in Helmand province has left its scars. And as the British army begins its exit, he and Terrill reflect on the conflict and the changes in Afghanistan.

And now, the curtain’s up – the first World Cup match is underway. Brazil v Croatia (Thursday, ITV, 7pm) launch the contest, with Adrian Chiles leading the team of presenters and pundits over the next month. Kick-off is at 9pm, but before then Rio puts on a spectacular opening ceremony – if anyone knows how to throw a party it’s Brazil, which draws on its carnival traditions to open the proceedings. (Matches will also be on the BBC over the next four weeks and schedules on both channels will be liable to disruption, with regular shows shifting times and channels.)

Divine soul singer Roberta Flack is profiled in Killing Me Softly: the Roberta Flack Story (Friday, BBC4, 9pm). She rose to fame at the late age of 35 with her cover of Ewan McColl’s haunting The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face in 1972 and went on to have smash hits with Killing Me Softly with His Song  and Band of Gold. Her background – middle-class, classical background, married to a white bass player – was atypical for many black American musicians and she had plenty of flak (pardon the pun) for it. Her arrival as a serious artist shook up preconceptions of how a soul artist should sound in this revealing documentary. Flack discusses her lengthy career, with contributions from Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis and Cissy Houston.

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