As the legacy of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who passed away at age 87 on Monday, is honored, Thatcher is also remembered in everything from songs to films. Like many symbolic historical figures, the pop culture renditions are a mix of positive and negative.
Here’s a list of some of the most notable:
"Saturday Night Live": The NBC comedy show “Saturday Night Live” poked fun at Thatcher following her election in 1979. Guest host Michael Palin, known for his role in Monty Python films, played her in one skit on Weekend Update, donning a wig to imitate her voluptuous hair.
James Bond: In the closing scene of the 1981 Bond film "For Your Eyes Only," actress Janet Brown has a cameo as Thatcher. During the closing scene, Brown speaks with James Bond, portrayed by Roger Moore, on the phone and congratulates him on a successful mission. When he asks her to "give us a kiss," she responds with, “Oh, really, Mr. Bond."
"House of Cards": Long before Netflix created a US version, the UK had its own political drama with the same title. Released in 1990 on the BBC, the four-part series took place as Thatcher has just left office. However, she is not portrayed onscreen.
"The Iron Lady": The most recent onscreen portrayal of Thatcher in 2011 had mixed reviews. While Hollywood favorite Meryl Streep won the Academy Award for the film in 2011 for what The Guardian called a “note-perfect performance,” the film was still criticized for focusing on Thatcher’s personal life rather than her politics. In The New York Times, film critic A.O. Scott argued that those entering the film with strong stances on Thatcher – either good or bad – will leave more confused. “Though the film pays lip service to Mrs. Thatcher’s analytic intelligence and tactical shrewdness, its focus is on the drama and pathos of her personal life,” Scott wrote in a statement issued on Monday, Streep herself gave her respects to the Thatcher family. “To me she was a figure of awe for her personal strength and grit… I was honored to try to imagine her late life journey, after power; but I have only a glancing understanding of what her many struggles were, and how she managed to sail through to the other side," Streep said.
"The Audience": Playwright Peter Morgan is behind a play called “The Audience,” in which Queen Elizabeth II, played by Helen Mirren, meets with 12 different historic prime ministers, including Thatcher, played by actress Haydn Gwynne. According to the show’s Facebook page, representatives for the production said the April 8 performance “will go ahead as scheduled” at London’s Gielgud Theatre. However, “as a mark of respect,” Morgan will give a short speech prior to the start.
Saba Hamedy is a Monitor contributor.
The shroud of secrecy that series creator Matthew Weiner places over every new installment – and especially the new seasons – of Mad Men has actually become an integral part of the show’s appeal. Audiences head toward the now-standard two-hour season premiere with little more to go on than a perplexing arrangement of clips and sound bites from the previous season, leaving viewers to assume that even though the characters of TV’s best program continue their inexorable march through time, perhaps nothing has really changed.
And that’s what really set this series apart from all the others: Seeing what the future has in store for Don, Megan, Sally, Betty and the entirety of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is kind of difficult. There’s a curiosity, sure, but it isn’t easy to watch as the magnificent Don Draper loses the magic that once made him the toast of Madison Avenue, or as Roger Sterling dabbles in LSD to combat the ennui that’s absorbed him even more than he’s absorbed in himself. And although it’s funny, no one wants to be reminded of getting older by watching as Pete Campbell relinquishes his hairline with less fuss than Harry Crane surrendered his office in season 5.
As we pull back and look upon it all, it seems that Mad Men is leading the audience down a path of death and despair. But after watching the spectacular season 6 premiere, ‘The Doorway, Part I & II,’ it seems that the series which left its audience with the (thankfully) unfulfilled expectation that Pete Campbell was a suicide waiting to happen, isn’t just pointing toward the end; it’s pointing toward the way out.
Last season saw Don on the precipice of becoming the Don Draper of old, after the idyllic fantasy of his marriage to Megan shifted into something that was no longer entirely under his control and therefore, not entirely fulfilling. The audience was left with Don poised to acknowledge a part of himself he’d figuratively kicked under the bed through the permissive lucidity of a fever-dream, while Jon Hamm’s brilliant and subtle performance illustrated how easily the actor playing the character – and then the actual character – could shift between identities. With an understated raise of his brow, Hamm illustrated how easily Dick Whitman became Don Draper, and how Don Draper can leave behind the man who spent much of season 5 on “love leave“ to become the man who, as we see in the season premiere, is sleeping with his neighbor’s wife.
Season 6 offers a handful of pleasures early on. There’s the thrill of finding out Roger Sterling and Pete Campbell have sideburns! Stan Rizzo and Michael Ginsberg have incredible facial hair! Burt Peterson is back! SCDP has an upstairs! Betty Francis is wandering around the Village and has dyed her hair! But more importantly, it’s still all about Don Draper and his relationship to the unalterable passage of time – which is noted by the realization that his wristwatch has stopped as he’s reading ‘The Inferno’ on a heavenly beach during the “vacation” he and Megan enjoy courtesy of Sheraton.
“Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood,” Don reads in voiceover after the season begins from the POV of a man watching while a doctor performs life-saving chest compressions on him.
Naturally, that points to death, but even as Don and everyone else is seemingly stuck contemplating their own future – Weiner seems to be taking issue with the assessment that season 5 (and to an extent, the show’s future) was obsessed with death – ‘The Doorway, Part I & II’ manages to be both completely obsessed with death (e.g., Bobby Draper wants to check out a violin case because it reminds him of a coffin) and able to joke about the audience’s preconceptions about the series’ so-called obsession all at the same time.
The premiere feels like the antithesis to ‘Just a Little Kiss‘ from the get-go, as Don chats with the clearly troubled PFC Dinkins and agrees to give his bride-to-be away, despite having just met him. From then on, Don is rapt with the notion that his time in Hawaii wasn’t just a vacation; it was an experience that even he struggles to put into words. This puts the character in a sort of malaise that acts as the connective tissue throughout the rest of the episode. Even then, Don is met with a multitude of signals that either reminds him of death’s looming presence, or the past he’s tried so hard to conceal.
The two points come to a head at the funeral of Roger Sterling’s mother, as Don, experiencing someone’s death yet again, is forced to listen while an elderly woman eulogizes Roger’s mother and explains how she adored her son, and how life was full because of him. All of this (and his uncanny ability to find a libation at any social event) causes Don’s emotions – presumably about his absent maternal figure – to literally explode from within, forcing him to vomit into a handsome umbrella stand.
But it is Roger’s monologues in therapy that paint the fullest picture of Mad Men season 6 and just what’s going on with him and Don. Like Sandy, the formerly Julliard-bound violinist who regales the Francis family with Chopin’s ‘Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 No. 2,’ these characters are just running away from their dissatisfying lives. They aren’t looking toward the end; they’re just looking for the doorway out.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
Contestant Kendra Wilkinson quit the reality show “Splash” on April 2, saying that she was unable to complete the high dive that was required.
“I'm so sorry, everybody," Wilkinson said during the show. "It's bittersweet. One thing I don't do is quit. This is the first time in my life I've quit something. This will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Wilkinson said she was unable to dive from the board because of her fear of heights. On the show, she walked up to the diving board, which was 23 feet high, then said she was unable to go through with it.
When she said, “I can’t do it,” there were some booing heard in the crowd.
The reality star tweeted after the show, saying that she realized now that “Splash” wasn’t a good fit for her.
“I got a lot of hate tonight but I’ll take it,” Wilkinson said on Twitter. “Big mistake signing up for the show. Sorry I let you all down.”
She said in a later tweet that she had actually planned to quit the show earlier, but got through the previous week’s episode.
“I was supposed to quit with last weeks dive but I didn't and did it,” Wilkinson tweeted. “Felt amazing and it was a huge accomplishment to me and my family.”
Another contestant, Chuy Bravo, had previously withdrawn from the competition after he injured his heel. Two participants, “Cosby Show” actress Keshia Knight Pulliam and Detroit Lions player Ndamukong Suh, have been eliminated so far, with seven contestants remaining, including soccer player Brandi Chastain, who is serving as Bravo’s replacement.
Wilkinson first came into the public eye for her role on the E! reality series “The Girls Next Door,” which focused on residents of the Playboy Mansion. She starred in the “Girls” spin-off series “Kendra” and also competed on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Duff will play a love interest named Stacey for Ashton Kutcher’s billionaire character, Walden, and will appear on the show’s season finale. But according to E! News, Kutcher won't fall for Duff. Instead, he becomes attracted to Stacey’s grandmother, who will be played by actress Marilu Henner of TV’s “Taxi.”
The season finale of the sitcom, which will finish its tenth season, is set to air May 9.
“Two and a Half Men” starred actors Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones for eight seasons, though the eighth season was abbreviated because Mr. Sheen entered a rehabilitation facility. In the show’s ninth season premiere, Sheen’s character, Charlie Harper, was revealed to have died and Kutcher’s character, Walden Schmidt, was introduced as Cryer and Jones’ new roommate.
Industry watchers say the odds are good that “Men” will return for an 11th season next year, with negotiations currently underway.
Hilary Duff rose to fame as the title character on the Disney TV series “Lizzie McGuire,” which aired from 2001 to 2004 and was turned into a movie titled “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” released in 2003. She also starred in the films “A Cinderella Story,” “Raise Your Voice,” and the 2003 remake “Cheaper by the Dozen” and that film’s 2005 sequel. Duff guest-starred as movie actress Olivia Burke for a series of episodes on the CW soap “Gossip Girl” as well as appearing in a 2010 episode of the NBC comedy “Community.”
Duff also has a successful music career, selling more than 13 million albums worldwide and has performed in four concert tours.
Kutcher first became well-known as spacey best friend Michael Kelso on the 1999 sitcom “That ’70s Show,” and has since starred in movie comedies such as “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Just Married” and “New Year’s Eve.” He was cast as Steve Jobs in the biopic “Jobs,” but the film’s release was recently changed from April 19 to an undetermined date.
We heard that Oscar-winning animation filmmaker Andrew Stanton is directing a Finding Nemo sequel last year, not so long after his expensive live-action debut John Carter proved to be a disappointment at the box office. It didn’t take long for Ellen DeGeneres to enter negotiations to reprise her beloved voice role as the memory-impaired blue tang fish Dory from the first movie.
A few months later, Disney/Pixar introduced DeGeneres’ character to the current kiddie generation – who were either not alive or too young to remember the year 2003 - by giving Finding Nemo a 3D theatrical re-rerelease. That decision was rewarding on two levels, in terms of immediate profits AND early marketing for the sequel, which has now been officially titled… Finding Dory.
Here is an excerpt from the press release, with Stanton and DeGeneres discussing the story and themes for Finding Dory:
“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time,” said DeGeneres. “I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating ‘Toy Story 16.’ But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.”
Director and Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton takes audiences back to the extraordinary underwater world created in the original film. “There is no Dory without Ellen,” said Stanton. “She won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world—not to mention our team here at Pixar. One thing we couldn’t stop thinking about was why she was all alone in the ocean on the day she met Marlin. In ‘Finding Dory,’ she will be reunited with her loved ones, learning a few things about the meaning of family along the way.”
According to Stanton, “Finding Dory” takes place about a year after the first film, and features returning favorites Marlin, Nemo and the Tank Gang, among others. Set in part along the California coastline, the story also welcomes a host of new characters, including a few who will prove to be a very important part of Dory’s life.
Finding Dory will open in theaters on November 25th, 2015. The ocean-set adventure will surely be released in both 2D and 3D, which is encouraging news for those who were impressed by how the extra dimension enhanced the breadth and scope of Finding Nemo‘s aquatic setting and fishy inhabitants featured in the 3D re-release (read our review for a more in-depth analysis). Indeed, those effects should be all the more pronounced in the sequel, thanks to more pre-planning and advancements in computer animation over the past decade.
While you have to take a grain of salt with Stanton’s claims about him committing to Finding Dory being a matter of good timing – and not a direct response to John Carter‘s smaller-than-desired ticket sales – what’s been revealed about the sequel so far sounds promising, especially considering how many people appeared concerned that a followup to Finding Nemo would just re-hash the Best Animated Feature Oscar-winning original movie’s storyline.
Instead, it sounds as though the “Finding” will be more figurative than literal in the Nemo sequel, which has Albert Brooks returning as Marlin and DeGeneres as Dory becoming a more fully-rounded character (e.g. the protagonist, by the sound of it).
There’s potential for Finding Dory to rank alongside the second and third Toy Story movie – as Pixar sequels which keep pushing the studio to mature and grow from a creative standpoint – something its last followup to a lucrative original work, Cars 2, failed to accomplish. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for that to happen (in the meantime – just keep swimming, swimming…).
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Season 3 of The Walking Dead has come to a close, but just like the gruesome fate that potentially awaits each and every character, the series will return to stalk and torment those still counted among the living.
But unlike the climax of season 2 – which teased viewers with a tantalizing and somewhat-foreboding glimpse of the prison – season 3 reached its conclusion with a slight sense of optimism (as Rick and the others welcomed the citizens of Woodbury into the prison), but no real indication of the direction The Walking Dead would be headed in season 4.
In a series of interviews, comic book creator Robert Kirkman discussed the season 3 finale, the fate of Andrea, Milton and the Governor, as well as what fans can expect from the core group of survivors, now that they seem intent on making a go of it as a community in the prison.
While there have been certain key deviations the series has taken from the source material, e.g., Andrea’s demise, Kirkman maintains that at least some of season 4 will focus on the dynamic between Rick and the recently-welcomed Tyreese.
“There’s some really, really cool and big stuff that people have been expecting, or that people have been anticipating from the comics, that will work into Season 4. To give a hint, I will say that we do have Tyreese and Rick, who are now united, which is a big moment for the comic book fans. There’s a lot of story that comes from those two guys being on the same side. We’ll possibly see a bit of that in Season 4.”
But Rick aligning himself with Tyreese won’t be the only change fans will see in the character. According to Kirkman, Rick’s brief interaction with the Governor and the environment he created in Woodbury has caused Rick to re-think some aspects of how he intends to survive in this zombie-infested world, and what it means now that he’s decided to no longer keep everyone at arm’s length or, as we saw in ‘Clear,’ ignore a stranger’s plea for help.
“It’s going to be different in a lot of ways. We’ll see a very different Rick Grimes for one. His experiences against the Governor and with the various things that happened to him in season three are informing his character in huge ways. We’ll see a lot of familiar elements from season three: we’ll see the prison, Rick and his group are still in the same place but those elements are all going to be radically different. I can’t really get into it but season four is going to be extremely different than season three in some very startling and cool ways.
This is the moment where Rick takes a turn; he’s no longer going to be pushing people away, he’s no longer going to be doing what ever he can to protect these people in ways that hurt other people. He’s not going to be the guy who would leave that guy on the side of the road — the backpack guy in Episode 12. He’s letting the people of Woodbury in and trying to tell Carl that these people are like us, you have to be open to this and the only way to survive in this world is to have people and be in a community. That’s going to be a big part of season four.”
While Rick seems more intent on exploring his compassionate side, and possibly learning to grow a community, Carl has adopted a far more ruthless, kill-or-be-killed type of mentality. As evidenced by his merciless killing of a young man who appeared to have been surrendering, Carl’s shift into that of a child soldier has now yielded some negative results, and the youngster may soon find himself at an ideological crossroads with his father.
“Rick’s got his work cut out for him. He’s aware of this and he sees what allowing his son to become a child soldier has brought, which is a very big part of Season 4. Moving forward in the show, this is a guy who’s working as hard as he can to maintain a life for this child. [In] the process of surviving… he’s allowed his son to lose a pretty substantial piece of his humanity. It’s now a question of: Is there going back? Is this now status quo? These are the things that a father will have to deal with.”
In the closing moments of ‘Welcome to the Tombs,’ we saw as Rick welcomed not only Tyreese and Sasha into the fold, but he also brought the people of Woodbury to the prison. There have been questions circulating as to why the decision was made to stay in the prison, rather than the relatively normal confines of Woodbury, but Kirkman says the continued threat of the Governor makes the prison the more sensible choice for Rick and the others.
“They see the prison as something that is much more easily defended than Woodbury. They were able to get into Woodbury easily themselves. The Woodbury defenses are very effective against zombies, but not very effective against humans. They see [the prison] as much more of a defensible position.”
And while the comic creator acknowledges the next season’s storyline will begin at the prison, there’s no guarantee that is where it will end.
“There’s always going to be new locations and new places to discover and explore. I don’t want to reveal too much; Season 4 is still five months away. But I will say that as we see at the end of Season 3 we’re definitely going to start Season 4 at the prison. We may be there the whole season and we may not be… But there are going to be some big differences from Season 3.”
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
It’s safe to say that since the introduction of the Governor, The Walking Dead season 3 has been leading up to a climactic showdown between Philip’s well-armed citizen soldiers and Rick’s group of bedraggled survivors back at the prison.
At the end of last week’s ‘This Sorrowful Life,’ Rick gave everyone at the prison the opportunity to decide whether or not their new home was worth fighting (and probably dying) for, or if they’d simply be better off by cutting their losses and moving on down the road – maybe move in with Morgan and help him build his zombie obstacle course.
Surprisingly, The Walking Dead opted out of spending a significant portion of the season finale showing democracy in action and instead went the bait-and-switch route by insinuating that the group had decided the relative, yet creepy security provided them by the mostly-sturdy walls of the prison were not worth dying over. Carl was seen packing up his belongings and shrugging off his father’s attempts at conversation, leading us to believe that perhaps the vote didn’t go his way and despite his child-soldier protestations, the group was headed for the road once more.
But, of course, that’s not what happened, and it’s also not the only bait-and-switch ‘Welcome to the Tombs’ has to offer.
Early on, Philip is seen giving someone a brutal beating, which, considering it plays out from the POV of the victim, the audience may initially believe it to be Andrea – who was last seen wide-eyed and shackled in Philip’s dental/torture chair. Regardless how problematic and inconsistent her character had become, it’s hard to believe anyone was looking forward to an episode wherein the Governor actually tortures Andrea, and thankfully, the writers’ better judgment won out and no such event occurred. Instead, Philip turns on Milton for setting fire to the walkers and then leaves him to die in the same room as the shackled Andrea.
Ultimately, this would prove to seal Andrea and Milton’s fate. As the two of them wait for the grievously injured Milton to expire, he alerts Andrea to the pair of pliers he stashed before the Governor did him in. It’s as tense a scene as it is maddeningly simplistic, which, oddly enough, when coupled with the is-he-still-breathing check-ins on Milton manages to actually heighten the suspense, if not the desire for the viewer to yell at their television.
The Andrea and Milton situation plays out over the course of the entire episode, which eventually ends up in the most likely place: Milton goes full-zombie and attacks Andrea just as she frees herself. There’s a moment where the viewer is left to wonder exactly what happened. Did Milton chow down on Andrea, or did she manage to get the better of him? As it turns out, it’s a bit of both. Andrea suffers an undead Milton-bite and although she’s able to dispatch the zombie, it’s basically curtains for another character that certainly had her fair share of detractors, recently.
And it’s here that The Walking Dead is able to play to its strengths. Much as the series did with last week’s farewell to Merle, and earlier in the season with the deaths of Lori and T-Dog, the characters seem to be given a better shake in death than they ever were while they were still drawing breath.
Which brings the discussion back around to the Governor – another potentially strong character who was mostly a ball of inconsistent characterization and questionable motivations this season. And here in ‘Welcome to the Tombs,’ he seems to exist solely to serve the plot rather than develop into a more interesting character.
As far as climactic battles are concerned, there’s no doubt the one that’d been hinted at during the season’s various time-filling episodes would have been considered serious fan service. But instead, the finale decided to go in a different direction by watching as Philip essentially self-destructs; first getting his people caught in a trap set by Rick and Co., and then gunning all but one of them down after they tuck tail and run.
While this sadly leaves the door wide open for the Governor to return, it also allowed for a somewhat refreshingly optimistic turn of events that, although it made Rick look absurdly fickle yet again, brought out an interesting ideological conflict between him and Carl.
In the end ‘Welcome to the Tombs’ worked out in much the same way as ‘This Sorrowful Life’ and, to a certain degree, like season 3 as a whole. About half of the season (mostly the pre-hiatus portion aside from ‘Clear‘) was fairly strong, but those moments were mostly undone by muddied characterizations and a drawn-out conflict that, as we see here, didn’t really deliver.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
Each time Game of Thrones returns, it’s worth noting how the ever-expanding animated map of Westeros illustrates the series’ excursive story – a tale that shows no sign of restricting the number of borders it is willing to cross, or the seas it will traverse in order to regale viewers with the most unrestrained yarn possible.
As season 3 begins, the intro’s eye-in-the-sky zooms in on King’s Landing; does a flyby on the scorched stones of Harrenhal; buzzes a smoking Winterfell; and bounds effortlessly over the sea (offering a glimpse of Astapor, the home of the Unsullied). Through this journey one thing becomes clear: No matter how many Starks wind up with their head on a pike, no matter how many countless warriors become engulfed in wildfire and spend the rest of eternity in the depths of Blackwater, Westeros, the most vital element in Game of Thrones, will carry on.
But that satellite – watching as the world seemingly builds itself up from nothing – is more than a celestial voyeur; it is the omniscient eye of showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Thanks to the work of George R.R. Martin, its vision hints at a course along a pre-established storyline, alluding to the fates of characters too small to be seen from its lofty vantage point, but exceedingly integral to this world’s future. The landscape that is shown before every episode reminds the viewer that across the myriad plotlines, this is the tale of Westeros; it is detailing where the story has been, but along with having the best seat in the house, it is blessed with the knowledge of what’s to come.
Perhaps that’s what affords Weiss and Benioff the opportunity to tell this tale so patiently and, as we’ve seen over the course of two full seasons, in single-serving portions that the audience gobbles up with all the enthusiasm of a direwolf chomping fingers off burly men with a penchant for furry footwear and winter swordplay.
In 10 hours, season 2 broadened a world where men like Ned Stark lost their lives to the whims of sneering boy-kings into a place where Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon-aided aspiration of laying claim to the Iron Throne was nearly derailed by blue-lipped warlocks, and Tyrion Lannister nearly lost his life in a battle so epic its account was granted full-use of the season’s penultimate episode.
The build-up to ‘Blackwater‘ paid off in more ways than one. It brought several of the season’s key storylines together and it showed how increasing the scale of the series could be feasibly and convincingly done. And now, season 3 is following that large-scale effort by making things even bigger and grander (if the sight of a giant driving wooden stakes into the frozen ground with his fists is any indication). In fact, season 3 is so big it will reportedly only constitute one-half of the book from which its storyline is derived.
And as the games commence, the effects of that mighty battle are still being felt. Blackwater has left two men on opposite sides of the conflict broken. In defeat, Stephen Dillane’s Stannis Baratheon appears to have given himself over wholly to the instructions of Melisandre, who imprisons a sun-baked, but still devoted Davos. In King’s Landing, however, victory proves to be just as empty for Tyrion, who receives a one-two punch from sister Cersei and father Tywin, knocking him back to the lowest rung on the Lannister family ladder.
Elsewhere, Robb looks for a suitable cell for his mother amongst the ruins of Harrenhal, while Jon Snow is still trudging along beyond the wall, waiting to make the acquaintance of Ciarán Hinds’ Mance Rayder, while his fellow (former?) men of the Night’s Watch prepare to do battle with the elements, White Walkers and Samwell’s inability to do the one job he had to do.
But despite the addition of even more effects-driven magic, e.g., dragons, giants and beautiful, sprawling vistas, it doesn’t feel like a jarring leap from season 2 to season 3. In their staging of the series’ progress, Weiss and Benioff have ushered in a more gradual and therefore seamless transition between seasons that belies the excruciating wait between them and hints at the grand, long-term plans HBO has for Game of Thrones.
And so, even when presented with an exceptional episode like ‘Valar Dohaeris’ (that is, for all intents and purposes, an hour of table-setting), what transpires feels like something more along the lines of true episodic carry-over, rather than the brusque beginning of a new season; a notion that (with the possible exception of diva-in-training Daenerys) thankfully leaves little time for characters to constantly remind one another of their situation. Instead, they are tasked with keeping the story moving forward.
After all, this isn’t just the start of another thrilling season of HBO’s preeminent series; it’s the continuation of an epic television saga that shows no signs of slowing down.
Kevin Yeoman blogs at Screen Rant.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining may have received polarized reactions upon its 1980 release, but the film is widely considered a horror classic today thanks to a terrifyingly manic performance from Jack Nicholson, an immensely haunting setting and disturbing surrealistic imagery. The film has undoubtedly left a lasting nightmarish impact on viewers, as evidenced by the tagline for the upcoming documentary on the making of the film: “Some movies stay with you forever…and ever…and ever.”
The documentary, titled Room 237, takes fans of Kubrick’s adaptation of the famous Stephen King bestseller behind the scenes, exploring how the film was crafted while examining its subtext. This week, we are getting a look at the debut trailer for Room 237, which you can check out above.
Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t give us a peek at never-before seen footage from behind the scenes of The Shining, but it does create a similar tone and mood that the film did. The very simple trailer builds excitement for the niche audience by scrolling quotes about the film’s cultural significance and its ambiguous nature, while re-creating one of the most memorable images from the film.
The trailer promises the documentary will tackle some of the symbolism and hidden meanings of the film that are still heavily debated today, including literary allusions to fairy tales and the argument that the film is a larger metaphor for the genocide of Native Americans.
Here’s the official synopsis for Room 237:
After the box office failure of ‘Barry Lyndon,’ Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. ‘The Shining,’ Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of ‘Shining’ devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative ‘Room 237′ fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.
Like many of Kubrick’s films, The Shining was not immediately embraced by audiences or critics. Rather, the film slowly built a cult following that helped transform it into an accepted classic years later. Many members of its following became obsessed with what they perceived to be underlying themes in the film, creating intriguing discussion and informative essays – many of which contained what some may call radical, outside-thinking perspectives.
It’ll be interesting to see how the documentary unravels and explores many fans’ interpretations of The Shining and why it still resonates with horror aficionados more than 30 years after its theatrical release. It may not touch on much of Kubrick’s intensity as visionary auteur or the relationships between cast and crew, but its ambitious approach to the subject and the layers beneath one of our favorite horror movies definitely has us intrigued.
Daniel Johnson blogs at Screen Rant.
“Dancing with the Stars” contestant Dorothy Hamill announced that she was leaving the competition after suffering an injury.
Hamill said she would be leaving the competition as the two contestants who were candidates for elimination, reality actress Lisa Vanderpump and boxer Victor Ortiz, waited to find out who was going to be sent home.
The former ice skater said she had injured her back.
“It could cause irreparable nerve damage," Hamill said of continuing on the show. "And it would be completely unfair of me to stay in this and have any of these people go home.”
If she had been uninjured, Hamill had scored well enough that she would have remained in the competition.
Hamill was competing with partner Tristan MacManus and had participated in the first two weeks of competition, performing a jive and contemporary routine, respectively.
After announcing on Tuesday’s show that she would be leaving, the former Olympian told USA Today that she was still sad over having to depart the show.
“My injury is still bothersome with the pain and numbness that go with it," Hamill said in an e-mail. "But I'm really feeling a huge loss and sadness… My next big project is to get my back and spine better… I don't know what that is going to entail. But I have the best team of doctors to advise me. So it isn't a glamorous project. But it will be a full-time commitment. With any luck, I will be able to skate again. And maybe even dance.”
Hamill said she would return to “Stars” “in a heartbeat” if the show would let her back in.
She told Entertainment Weekly she’ll be attending future shows even if she won’t be participating.
“Whether I’ll be dancing or not, I will be here,” Hamill said.
Hamill won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1976 for women’s singles figure skating.