George Clooney, Kathryn Bigelow, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sacha Baron Cohen were all honored at last night's Britannia Awards, an annual shindig held by BAFTA's Los Angeles outpost to foster Anglo-American industry relations -- or, you know, to throw what is reputedly always a pretty good party. Scott Feinberg gives a comprehensive rundown of the event, where the likes of Julia Roberts, Judd Apatow and Chiwetel Ejiofor were also on hand to present. Receiving his award from his recent co-star, Cumberbatch offered this pointed soundbite: "Chiwetel, it feels bizarre that I'm standing here getting the British Artist of the Year Award after watching your performance in '12 Years a Slave.'" [Hollywood Reporter]
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My favorite kind of parody is the sort that simultaneously functions as both a comedy and a good example of the thing it's parodying. It's a much harder thing to pull off than a straight-up spoof, but it's more satisfying in the moment, and long-term. It's been a while since I got a belly laugh from "Galaxy Quest" (a "Star Trek" lampoon that was also the best "Star Trek" movie since "Wrath of Khan") for instance, but I still get chills at the moment where Alan Rickman has to say his character's stupid catchphrase and mean it. More than 25 years after I first saw "The Princess Bride," Vizzini's monologue about a land war in Asia still makes me chuckle, but the greatest pleasure comes from hearing Mandy Patinkin say with the deepest sincerity, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
I'm not going to put "The Wrong Mans," a British comic thriller that Hulu is premiering today (two episodes are up now, the other four will debut over the next four Mondays, and Hulu Plus subscribers can watch them all now), on the level of those films. But the thriller part of it as just as much fun as the comic part.
She may remain an outsider when the bigger awards have their say, but it's turning into a pretty good, and pretty unusual, awards season for Scarlett Johansson. She got a surprise Best Actress nod at the Gotham Awards for her delicious comic turn in "Don Jon," while her acclaimed voice work in "Her" has sparked talk of her becoming the first actor to score an Oscar nomination for an invisible performance. And they're digging her across the pond, too: for her remarkable work as a seductive alien in Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin," the actress has cracked the Best Actress lineup at the British Independent Film Awards.
Guess what? Nolan gets his own slice of the vengeance pie in this episode of "Revenge," and it's nice to see him get some small reward for his otherwise thankless role as Emily's sidekick. What's weird, though, is that he seems to think this opportunity to destroy someone's life requires not grim determination (Emily's standard M.O.), but an Oscar-worthy speech of gratitude. "I've learned so much from you, Ems," he gushes, so grateful is he to her for having found the inner pluck to "take control" of his own life. I really think Nolan needs to make new friends, as crushing someone like a bug under your heel isn't exactly taking the high road.
If this is what rock bottom looks like, Kenny Powers may never learn his lesson.
Last week's episode concluded with a brutally ugly implosion between Kenny and April, and I wrote at that point that I can't imagine how this marriage is fixed after something that awful. This week made it clear that while Kenny expects there to be a magic reset button, that does not appear to be the case. April wants out of the marriage, and she wants to try to wrap things up without causing each other any more pain. Kenny, on the other hand, reminds me of a Randy Newman song with the way he's behaving this week.
"I ran out on my children / And I ran out on my wife / Gonna run out on you too, baby / I done it all my life / Everybody cried the night I left / Well, almost everybody did / My little boy just hung his head / And I put my arm, put my arm around his little shoulder / And this is what I said: / 'Sonny, I just want you to hurt like I do / I just want you to hurt like I do / I just want you to hurt like I do / Honest I do, honest I do, honest I do'"
I don't know why, but I keep hoping that Kenya will suddenly realize how she comes across, give one last "Gone With the Wind" fabulous twirl, and start thinking before she speaks. I realize that would ruin the entire show and the rest of the cast would have no one to gossip about other than maybe Beyonce or Rihanna. Still, it's hard for me to accept that someone who can seem so sane and even charming sometimes transforms into the Queen of Crazypants when she feels she has been the victim of some minor transgress.
A review of tonight's "Masters of Sex" coming up just as soon as I find you a secretary who knows the difference between "I" and "me"...
Sigh. It seems that, no matter what our intrepid Henry supporters do in Neverland, Peter Pan is always one step ahead of them, laughing gleefully at how they're playing right into his tiny hands. This is starting to become frustrating, and it also makes me wonder why Pan, if he's so all-knowing and powerful, doesn't just wipe Emma and the gang off the map and stick to the business of manipulating poor Henry. I know, I know. All reasons will be revealed in time. But in the meantime, all of the ingenious plotting and creative reasoning feels futile and depressing. It also might be nice if Pan, with all his powers, could turn on the lights in Neverland. Just a thought.
MTV censors Miley Cyrus smoking a joint at the European Music Awards
This year's ceremony was broadcast from Amsterdam, but Miley's joint-smoking was gone when it was aired in the United States.
Conan O'Brien deletes tweet joking about a Muslim female superhero after backlash
Conan received considerable backlash Friday after tweeting: "Marvel Comics is introducing a new Muslim superhero. She has so many more special powers than her husband's other wives."
"Downton Abbey" renewed
The British series will be back for a 5th season.
Bill Cosby is planning another family sitcom
Cosby has re-teamed with "Cosby Show" producer Ed Werner on a project he says " "would (satisfy) the people who have come to me in public places and said, 'Can't you put something on that I can watch?'" But Cosby emphasizes he's not remaking "The Cosby Show."
Charlie Sheen offers to make amends with Chuck Lorre
Sheen tweeted the offer to the "Two and a Half Men" creator, hoping to make amends in person. But is he serious?
"60 Minutes" apologizes on-air for Benghazi report screw-up
"We are very sorry," Lara Logan said, apologizing for using a source who had proven to be unreliable.
Watch Sacha Baron Cohen prank the Brittania Awards with an "old lady"
During the ceremony, broadcast Sunday on BBC America, Cohen was awarded the "Charlie Chaplin Brittania Award for Excellence in Comedy."
"Doctor Who" unveils its official 50th anniversary trailer
"The Day of The Doctor" airs Nov. 23.
"The Vampire Diaries" throws a 100th-episode party
Check out The CW drama's Episode 100 cake.
PBS will re-air Hugh Jackman in a 1999 performance of "Oklahoma!"
Jackman's performance will be shown on Nov. 15 as part of the "Great Performances" series.
It's not unusual these days for websites that cover comic books to have a fair amount of movie-related material that they generate, but it's less common for gaming sites. I guess we're going to have to get used to that, though, as more and more of the big giant gaming properties start to get adapted and studios try to handle publicity in different ways. I don't mind going to Comic-Con to cover movie news for you guys, but for the next few years, are we also going to have to adapt to going to BlizzCon as well?
Over at Kotaku, one of my favorite gaming blogs, they were covering BlizzCon anyway, and they ended up putting together a pretty great overview of what we might expect from "Warcraft" when Legendary Pictures and Universal release the film in 2015.
Duncan Jones is directing the movie, and I'm eager to see him working on a big canvass. He's a smart director with a strong visual sensibility and an FX-oriented background, and more importantly, he's someone who genuinely loves gaming and that culture and who seems to want to do right by the property he's adapting. At this point, you can't really ask more.
A quick review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I declare we have Spaghetti Tuesdays every Wednesday...