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Bill Paxton, 1955-2017

Actor Bill Paxton passed away yesterday from complications after surgery.

He had a long list of successful films, including Titanic, Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens and The Terminator.

Paxton also did a lot of television work.  His current small-screen project was the CBS television series Training Day.  His son James was to co-star with him in an upcoming episode.  He had also appeared in several episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and miniseries Hatfields & McCoys and Texas Rising, among many other roles.

His last film was The Circle with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, which is in post-production.  That film will be released in the U.S. on April 28th.

Paxton leaves his wife Louise and a daughter in addition to son James.  Condolences to all.

#BillPaxton

News Roundup

Some snippets of news for your Friday…

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Fox has given Lethal Weapon a renewal for season 2.  If you haven’t been watching this show you’re missing out.  And if someone doesn’t give Clayne Crawford some kind of award then there’s something wrong somewhere.  He’s done an incredible job all year taking on a very difficult role.  Love the rest of the cast also.

To almost everyone’s surprise, NBC has given Days Of Our Lives a renewal for its 52nd season.  Low ratings, Megyn Kelly and writing team shakeups notwithstanding, there will be more sand flowing through the hourglass!  While I only check in on my old soap occasionally, I would be very sad to see it go.  It’s like that old teddy bear in the box stuffed in the back of a closet… you may not look at it often, but you know it’s there if you want to.

Benedict Cumberbatch has another new project coming up, and surprisingly, this one is for the BBC and PBS’ Masterpiece.  According to Deadline, he will star as Stephen Lewis in The Child In Time, adapting the novel by Ian McEwan.  Benedict will also executive produce under his SunnyMarch TV banner.  The plot revolves around Lewis and his wife, and the difficulties they face after their daughter goes missing.

Benedict is filming The Current War, where he plays Thomas Edison to Michael Shannon’s George Westinghouse.  He’ll also be putting on the Cloak of Levitation again in Thor: Ragnarok and the sequel to Doctor Strange.  One busy man.

If you’re a Dan Stevens fan (and you’ve forgiven him for leaving Downton Abbey) then you can catch him in FX’s Legion as David Haller.  This is one of the more obscure X-Men characters.  The role is a big departure for Stevens from Downton and his upcoming princely role in the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

#LethalWeapon #DaysOfOurLives #TheCurrentWar #BenedictCumberbatch #LegionFX #DanStevens

Disney has released the final trailer for the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a doozy.

The film stars Dan Stevens as the Beast, Emma Watson as Belle, and Luke Evans as Gaston.  It also stars Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.

They have also released moving posters of the major characters.  Buzzfeed has them all here.  Be aware, though, that the final poster (NOT moving) is of Dan Stevens as the Prince, so if you don’t want to know what he’ll look like when the curse is broken, stop after the Beast one.

The film arrives on March 17th in both the U.S. and the U.K.

#BeautyAndTheBeast #DanStevens #EmmaWatson #LukeEvans

Oscar Nominations

La La Land has tied with All About Eve and Titanic for the most Oscar nominations at 14.  The musical/romance film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), and pretty much everything else it was eligible for.

The other Best Picture nominees were Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Lion and Manchester By The Sea.

Joining Stone in the Best Actress category are Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), and Natalie Portman (Jackie).

Best Actor nominees are Gosling, Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences).

The nominees for Animated Feature Film include Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle and Zootopia.

Deadpool was unfortunately shut out, even in the technical categories.  Doctor Strange received a nomination for Best Visual Effects.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was also nominated in that category as well as for Sound Mixing.

You can see a list of all the nominees here on the official website.

Congratulations to all!

#Oscars #DoctorStrange #LaLaLand

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The title for Star Wars‘ Episode VIII has just been revealed to be The Last Jedi.

The ending of Episode VII, The Force Awakens, sees Rey (Daisy Ridley) finding Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) where he’s been hiding since Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Leia and Han’s son, turned to the Dark Side as Luke was training him along with other would-be Jedi.  Does The Last Jedi refer to Luke?  The last scene of The Force Awakens obviously sets up Rey to be trained by Luke.  I’m hoping this means there would then be two, and not that Luke will somehow meet his end in this film, leaving Rey.

As Radio Times helpfully points out, Luke is referred to as “the last Jedi” in The Force Awakens.  That and the fact that Mark Hamill is (at least rumored to be) in Episode IX, I’m breathing a little easier, but we will have to wait until December 15th to find out for certain.

I’m still not over Han Solo!

#StarWars #MarkHamill #DaisyRidley #TheLastJedi

Golden Globes Winners

Last night the film La La Land and the television miniseries The Night Manager brought home some Golden Globes.

La La Land, the throwback musical film starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, won all eight Globes it was nominated for, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and best performance nods for Stone and Gosling.

In the film drama category the winner was Moonlight.  Isabelle Huppert took home the Best Actress award for Elle and actor Casey Affleck won for Manchester By The Sea.

Zootopia won the award for Best Motion Picture – Animated.

Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie won Globes for their performances in the AMC original miniseries The Night Manager.

The legendary Meryl Streep received this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award.

You can see all the winners and nominees on the official Golden Globes website here.

#Golden Globes #LaLaLand #TheNightManager #TomHiddleston

The Associates of Sherlock Holmes is an anthology of Holmes-related stories written by various authors.  There are 13 stories, and the book is edited by George Mann, who has himself written some Sherlock follow-on books, as well as scripts for the BBC.  He has also edited other Holmes anthologies and produced a number of other works.

assoc_of_sh_bookEach of the stories center around one of the supporting or minor characters from the original Conan Doyle stories, from lesser-known characters such as Inspector Stanley Hopkins and Helen Stoner from The Adventure of the Speckled Band to the more well-known Irene Adler and Sherlock’s brother Mycroft.

Because they’re from different authors the stories vary widely in whether the author attempts to write in Conan Doyle’s style or not (and whether that is achieved).  Some fell with a clunk with me and others I quite liked.

I would give this book maybe a 3.5 or 4 out of 5.  If you’re a Holmesophile this will give you some good reading, just expect that some stories will be better than others.

The Associates of Sherlock Holmes is published by Titan Books.

Image via Amazon.com

#SherlockHolmes #SirArthurConanDoyle

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Please note that this review of the first episode of Sherlock series 4, titled The Six Thatchers, contains all kinds of spoilers.  If you haven’t seen the episode don’t read any farther.  Fair warning!

I’m also not going to hold back in this review.  As much as I loved the first two series of Sherlock, it started to go off the rails in series three and it has now completed that unfortunate detour.  I wish I could say that after two years Sherlock is back and it’s great.  But unfortunately I can wipe this episode off my DVR and feel no pain.

When we last saw Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) he had killed villain Charles Augustus Magnussen and it looked as though our hero would be banished from Britain.  Just four minutes later, however, he gets a reprieve and it turns out his brother Mycroft (Mark Gatiss, who also wrote the episode) and three others in the British government devised a plan to doctor the security footage of the deed to make it look as though someone else did it.  The reason they do it is that it appears villain Moriarty has made some plans from beyond the grave and they need Sherlock to save the day (brother Mycroft’s spies seem to never be enough, apparently).  Despite the many mentions of Moriarty, however, he really has nothing to do with the episode and is just thrown in for… well, I’m not sure why he’s thrown in.

There is an actual case to be solved, the case of The Six Thatchers, which is a takeoff on the original Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.  In the original story six identical busts of Napoleon are shattered and Sherlock works out that a missing and valuable pearl was placed in one of them during manufacturing while they were still wet.  After the busts had been sold the thief had to hunt down and break them all to find it.  This story is speedily dispensed with in The Six Thatchers, with busts of old Maggie standing in for Napoleon.  Instead of a pearl, though, what’s found in the bust is a duplicate of the flash drive that was destroyed in the last series that has details of Mary Watson (Amanda Abbington) and her former assassin team’s info on it.

And here’s where we go off the rails.

Continue Reading »

One day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away, her mother, legendary entertainer Debbie Reynolds, has also died.

debbie_reynolds_via_wikipediaDebbie Reynolds suffered a stroke while at her son Todd Fisher’s home and was rushed to the hospital where she later passed away, according to Variety.  She was 84 years old.

Reynolds was a fixture on screen in the 1950’s and 60’s, with such films as Singin’ In The Rain, Bundle of Joy and Three Little Words.  She was nominated several times for a Golden Globe as well as other awards, and in 1965 was nominated for an Oscar for The Unsinkable Molly Brown.  She was recently presented the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her career as a singer included several albums that went to the top of the charts.

Reynolds married three times, but only had children with her first husband, Eddie Fisher.

Condolences to the family and friends of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Image via Wikipedia.org

#DebbieReynolds #CarrieFisher

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Carrie Fisher Dies at 60

Actress and writer Carrie Fisher has died at UCLA Medical Center at the age of 60.  The sad news was confirmed by her daughter, Billie Lourd, according to Rolling Stone.  Fisher suffered a massive heart attack last week while on a flight and had been in the ICU since then.

carrie_re_starwars_dot_comShe was best known as Princess Leia (later General) in the Star Wars franchise, but Fisher was also the writer of four novels, as well as the semi-autobiographical Postcards From The Edge, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA.  She had just recently published her memoir, The Princess Diarist.

She was married briefly to singer Paul Simon, but Billie was the daughter from another relationship, with Bryan Lourd.  Her parents were actress Debbie Reynolds, who survives her, and singer Eddie Fisher, who passed away in 2010.  Carrie had one brother and two half-sisters.

She will be greatly missed.

Image via StarWars.com

#CarrieFisher #StarWars

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Is everybody jolly out there?  Well, if not, I’m here to give you some ideas how to spend your time off from work.

  1. Go to a movie.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the big one out there that you may have trouble getting tickets to.  Order them online if necessary.  I haven’t had time to check this one out yet, but I probably will in the next few days.  Chris Pratt’s Passengers is also out, but with a big ol’ Rotten Tomatoes splat (31% – yikes!) I’m not sure if I’ll put out the coin for that one or just wait for it to show up for rent online.  If anybody’s seen it feel free to let me know how it is by posting a comment.
  2. Watch Sherlock series 4.  This will premiere on the BBC and PBS on January 1 with the next two episodes on subsequent Sundays.  The last episode, The Final Problem, will also be shown in certain theaters.  See my previous post for more info.
  3. Do some charitable work and/or donate to your favorite cause.
  4. Catch up on Lethal Weapon.  Episodes are available for free online.
  5. Play with the furkids.  You got the felines and canines and any other animals in your lives presents, right?  Mine are getting a some-assembly-required new cat tree.  Cross your fingers I get this one put together before I have to go back to work.  I have 10 days.
  6. Rewatch all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.  That’ll take you a while.  Be sure to get up and stretch once in a while.
  7. Write down your New Year’s Resolutions.  Then put them in an envelope, tear them in half, and throw them away.  Seriously, who needs the pressure?
  8. Watch all the old Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone.  There were 14 of them.  Personally I’d skip the ones where they’re chasing Nazis (outside of the first two they were all in what was then present day.  No, BBC’s Sherlock wasn’t the first to do that).
  9. Listen to all 26 episodes of BBC radio’s Cabin Pressure.  With Benedict Cumberbatch and a crew of very funny people (including Anthony Head in some later episodes), it’s my go-to comedy series when I need a laugh.  You can order the CD’s or an Audible version on Amazon.

Everyone have a very happy whatever-you’re-celebrating, and hug the furkids for me!

#Sherlock #CabinPressure #LethalWeapon #StarWars

Golden Globe Nominations

The nominations for the Golden Globes are out, and there are some surprises as usual (Deadpool!! Ryan Reynolds!  Tom Hiddleston!)  Mostly this consists of a lot of stuff I haven’t seen, so I can’t say I’m particularly invested in who wins, but hey! Deadpool got nominated, so there’s that.

Highlights are below:

Best Motion Picture – Drama:

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Lion
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Moonlight

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

  • 20th Century Women
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • La La Land
  • Sing Street

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Amy Adams, Arrival
  • Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
  • Isabelle Huppert, Elle
  • Ruth Negga, Loving
  • Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:

  • Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
  • Joel Edgerton, Loving
  • Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
  • Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
  • Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

  • Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
  • Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
  • Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
  • Emma Stone, La La Land
  • Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

  • Colin Farrell, The Lobster
  • Ryan Gosling, La La Land
  • Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jonah Hill, War Dogs
  • Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Best Motion Picture – Animated:

  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • Sing
  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings

Best Television Series – Drama:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Stranger Things
  • This Is Us
  • Westworld
  • The Crown

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television:

  • American Crime
  • The Dresser
  • The Night Manager
  • The Night Of
  • The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television:

  • Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
  • Bryan Cranston, All The Way
  • Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
  • John Turturro, The Night Of
  • Courtney B. Vance, The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

In addition, Hugh Laurie won a nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a  Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (whew – can they get all that on the statue?) for The Night Manager, where he played a very chilling villain.

A full list of the nominees can be found on the Golden Globes website.  The awards will be presented on January 8th.

Congratulations to all the nominees.

#GoldenGlobes #Deadpool #TomHiddleston #RyanReynolds

There are three episodes to the upcoming fourth series of BBC/PBS’s Sherlock.  The titles are as follows: The Six Thatchers, The Lying Detective and The Final Problem.  The series starts on both networks on January 1.

It’s the title of this last episode that bothers me… as any Holmesophile knows, The Final Problem is the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story where Doyle intended to kill off the detective as well as his nemesis Professor Moriarty by having them battle to the death over the Reichenbach Falls.  Doyle ended up bringing back Holmes after a public outcry.

The current version of Sherlock has already done a story where Holmes supposedly dies called, of course, The Reichenbach Fall in the second series.  Let’s hope there’s not another “is Holmes really dead?” mystery at the end of this one, or I will simply never forgive Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.  It has been hinted, though, by stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, that Sherlock will return at some point.  Those guys have been pretty busy doing little projects like, oh I don’t know, The Hobbit and Doctor Strange, so getting on their calendar has been tough.  From all accounts, though, we will see more Sherlock although it may be quite a while before the next one.  I’d be happy with a made-for-TV movie once in a while as doing three 90-minutes episodes requires months of shooting.

In the U.K. and Ireland The Final Problem will be shown in theaters on the same night as on BBC1, January 15th, according to Radio Times.  Here in the U.S. the episode will air in its usual slot on PBS but won’t be shown in the theaters until January 16th, followed by another showing on the 18th, according to Entertainment Weekly.  Why pay to see it in the theater when you can plop in front of the TV and watch it for free with your cats curled up by your side?  Because there will apparently be additional content in the theatrical version that is not included in the television one (not to mention that those of us stateside know that PBS does cut some time out of the BBC version to allow for their completely unnecessary intro).

Go to Fathom Events here to order your tickets online for the theatrical version.

Below is a trailer for the fourth season.

#Sherlock #BenedictCumberbatch #MartinFreeman

Marvel and Funko have released a short called Spellbound, starring the God of Mischief, Loki; Spider-Man, and Iron Man.

Enjoy.


#Loki #IronMan #SpiderMan #Spellbound

Marvel has released the second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which comes out in May.

If nothing else this trailer proves that once babies are out of their pot and mobile, they’re extremely dangerous.

#GuardiansOfTheGalaxy #GotGVol2

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