Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges to release own country album

July 29, 2011

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Actor and singer-songwriter Jeff Bridges, 61, who won an Oscar for portraying a rugged country singer in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, is set to become a hit country singer in his own right.

His new self-titled album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, will be released by Blue Note/EMI on 16 August 2011.

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Dame Shirley Bassey’s life story to be turned into a TV film by the BBC

June 27, 2011

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Dame Shirley Bassey’s life story is to be turned into a TV film by the BBC.

The drama will show the 74-year-old singer’s “difficult rise from poverty to international stardom” – from her tough youth in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay area to her glamorous life in Monte Carlo today.

The film will be part of a series of BBC Two programmes about mixed race culture in the UK.

Shirley Bassey first found fame in the late 1950s, scoring her first hit with ‘Banana Boat Song’ in 1957, at the age of 20. It reached Number 8 on the UK Singles Chart. She achieved her first Number One with ‘As I Love You’ in January 1959, making her the first Welsh artist to top the UK charts.

She is the only artist to have recorded the theme songs for three James Bond films: Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Moonraker (1979).

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The Who’s Keith Moon biopic delayed

May 2, 2011

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The Who’s Roger Daltrey has confirmed that a film about the late Keith Moon has been delayed because of problems with the script.

Daltrey has spent years working on the film which was due to be released in 2012 under the title: See Me Feel Me: Keith Moon Naked For Your Pleasure. But he now admits the project is in trouble because he can’t find a script that manages to capture the essence of the hell-raising drummer who died in 1978.

Austin Powers star Mike Myers had been tipped to take the title role. 

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Disney cancels The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine remake in 3D

April 29, 2011

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Disney Studios has reportedly scrapped its plans to remake The Beatles’ 1968 psychedelic film Yellow Submarine in 3D, blaming “budget issues”.

   The 3D project was to be directed by Oscar-winning Robert Zemeckis, the creative driving force behind Back To The Future, Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He planned to use the same motion-capture 3D animation and special effects he employed in the films Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol.

   When the film was first announced in August 2009, Zemeckis said he hoped to get Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr involved in the project. He wanted to incorporate the 16 Beatles songs and recordings from the original film – including ‘All Together Now’, ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’.

   Last year, Zemeckis revealed that Dean Lennox Kelly (from BBC TV’s Robin Hood) would provide the voice of John Lennon, along with Peter Serafinowicz (Paul McCartney), Adam Campbell (Ringo Starr) and Cary Elwes (George Harrison).

   The original version of Yellow Submarine – directed by George Dunning – reflected the ‘peace and love’ counter-culture of 1967 and 1968 and told the story of a peaceful, music-loving underwater community that is attacked by music-hating ‘blue meanies’.

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James Bond composer John Barry dies aged 77

February 20, 2011

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John Barry – composer of the soundtracks for classic films such as Born Free, Out of Africa, Midnight Cowboy, Somewhere in Time and the James Bond films – has died in New York of a heart attack aged 77. He is understood to have been in poor health for some time.

  Born John Barry Prendergast to a cinema-owning family in York on 3 November 1933, he first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven. His earliest hits included ‘Hit and Miss’ (1960) which was the theme music for BBC TV’s Juke Box Jury, and a cover version of The Ventures’ ‘Walk Don’t Run’ (1960).

  The first film for which he composed, arranged and conducted the score was Beat Girl, starring Adam Faith, in 1960.

  Barry’s 1962 arrangement of Monty Norman’s James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 Bond films, including From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964) and You Only Live Twice (1967). He was regarded as having a huge influence on the ‘coolness’ and distinctive style of the 007 series.

  Awarded an OBE in 1999 for services to music, Barry was renowned for his lush strings, orchestral swells and elegant melodies. He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was always inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen.

  Barry was also an innovator. He was one of the first composers to use Moog synthesizers in a film score (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1969).

  In a career spanning almost 50 years, Barry was responsible for some of the most memorable and beautiful film scores of all time. He won five Oscars for his film work, including two for Born Free (1967), and one for The Lion in Winter (which also won a BAFTA) in 1969, Out of Africa (1986) and Dances with Wolves (which also won a Grammy Award) in 1991.

  His work for TV included the theme for The Persuaders (1971), while his non-soundtrack work included the albums The Beyondness of Things (1999) and Eternal Echoes (2001).

  Barry’s most recent film score was for the wartime thriller Enigma (2001), while a musical version of Brighton Rock, created with lyricist Don Black, had its London premiere in 2004. He received a BAFTA fellowship in 2005.

  Don Black, 72, who worked with the composer on his Born Free, Thunderball and Diamonds are Forever theme songs, said Barry remained unaffected by his international success. “The thing about John that I will always remember was he never changed,” he said. “He was very much the Yorkshireman, whether he was in Beverly Hills or Manhattan.”

  Barry – who lived in Oyster Bay, Long Island – is survived by Laurie, his wife of 33 years, his four children and five grandchildren.

  According to Don Black, Barry’s widow Laurie is considering staging a major memorial service in London later this year. “She’s talking about the Albert Hall in June or July,” he said. “There will definitely be a big night coming.”

CLASSIC JOHN BARRY SCORES

  • From Russia With Love
  • Goldfinger
  • Zulu
  • Born Free
  • You Only Live Twice
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Diamonds are Forever
  • Somewhere in Time
  • Out of Africa
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Chaplin

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Dolly Parton to write film and musical about her life as ‘Backwoods Barbie’

October 1, 2008

 

Country music legend Dolly Parton has confirmed that she is writing a film and a musical about her amazing life – and she plans to play herself in the movie version.

 

The singer and actress – whose latest studio album is titled Backwoods Barbie – is currently receiving rave reviews in the United States for writing the Broadway-bound stage version of her 1980 hit movie 9 To 5.

 

She now wants to follow up that project by turning her colourful life story into a stage and screen extravaganza.

 

In the stage version, three actresses are likely to portray her at different points in her life. But she says she would play the current Dolly if the musical is picked up as a movie.

 

“I’m writing my own life story as a musical. I won’t even probably be in it, but, if I do it as a movie, I would play the later part,” said Dolly, who will be 63 in January 2009. “It would be done with three Dollys I think.”

 

She revealed that she had already been contemplating turning her life story into a musical when she was approached by producer Robert Greenblatt with the idea of basing a musical on 9 to 5, the screwball comedy in which she made her acting debut.

Nine To Five turned into a Broadway musical … while hit musical Wicked heads for Hollywood

July 16, 2008

The 1980 film Nine To Five – about three female colleagues who plot to turn the tables on their sexist, lying boss – is to be turned into a musical which will open on Broadway on April 23, 2009.

The musical will feature Dolly Parton’s original score for the film, as well as 20 new songs.

 

The West Wing‘s Allison Janney will take on the role played by Lily Tomlin in the original film, while Stephanie J. Block will play Jane Fonda’s character, and Megan Hilty will co-star as the sexy executive secretary originally portrayed by Dolly Parton. Marc Kudisch will play their bigoted boss.

 

It was producer Robert Greenblatt and original screenplay writer Patricia Resnick who persuaded Dolly Parton to work on the stage adaptation.

 

Although she was unsure about it at first, Dolly Parton, 62, said working on the musical turned out to be the most fun she had ever had as a songwriter. “I don’t know that much about Broadway; it’s a little bit out of my league,” she said. “But when they asked me if I would write the music, I said I would try.”

 

Meanwhile, the Tony award-winning Broadway musical Wicked is heading in the opposite direction. It’s set to become the latest stage show to be turned into a major film.

 

Following the success of Chicago, Hairspray and Mamma Mia!, the Wizard of Oz-inspired musical is to be turned into a film by Universal Pictures. It will be produced by Marc Platt and Stephen Schwartz.

 

However, fans will have to wait some time to see the film, according Wicked author Gregory Maguire. He says it may be four years before it actually hits the big screen.


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