Tuesday, 17 June 2008

That's Entertainment goes monthly....

Because of my time being taken up with other creative endeavours, I will only be able to update my showbiz blog once every month. The next entry will be sometime in July.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Returning this Sunday...

Due to the other creative endeavours that I am involved with, the next edition of 'That's Entertainment will be posted this Sunday. Apologies for this second delay.


Monday, 9 June 2008

Back on Wednesday....

Sorry about the delay. The next entry will be posted this coming Wednesday.

See you all then...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Opportunity Knocks Online: The ‘MySpace’ Phenomenom

If a person sets up his own ‘MySpace’ page, they place themselves firmly in the electronic global community, but for those who want their talent to be recognised, the online service is the way that they currently set about achieving this. Referring you back to last week’s entry in this showbiz blog, the actress and singer-songwriter Paloma Faith took advantage of the benefits of having a ‘MySpace’ page, and recently got herself signed to Epic Records. The method of opening doors for hopefuls who possess talent has changed over the years. Today, it is much more an interactive an affair. Even my own web log contributed to this useful trend seven days ago with the profiling of new faces on the showbiz scene, a few of whom had not been profiled in any other celebrity-based blog or magazine. Putting oneself out there on the world wide web can provide a straight line to exposure that will help these types of careers flourish. Established stars have also been reaping the benefits of creating your own ‘MySpace’ page, particularly people like Lily Allen. The latest to try this method of letting the world know you have talent is Lulu Popplewell, the younger sister of Anna Popplewell (‘Girl With The Pearl Earring’, ‘The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe’).
In the last few days, I checked out her page, and was surprised to discover that she had done some audio files of songs she had composed. They may be home-made recordings, but the bare pit atmosphere they generate gives them a certain freshness. I was impressed enough to download them. Budding musicians, actors, actresses and writers now have a suitable platform to start from. Whoever created MySpace has certainly built a new highway for talented performers in the showbiz world to reach stardom.

The little girl at the heart of Moffat's wonderfully baffling story

Seen The Future And It Works - Moffat Takes Charge

Getting down to brass tacks, the news that Steven Moffat is stepping into Russell T. Davies’ shoes is a further assurance that the future of ‘Doctor Who’ is no longer in jeopardy. Under his guidance, I believe that the show will continue on, probably until The Doctor reaches the end of his thirteenth incarnation. Even then, the possibility that it could continue after that could become a reality if Moffat is still in charge by then. If not, I feel that he has the judgement to instil in his eventual successor a passion to keep the show going for as long as it can.
However, the future is an unknown creature; we have yet to see whether his personal vision makes or breaks the longevity of the show. I lean towards the former being the likeliest of scenarios.

In terms of the programme as a whole, Moffat has proved to be the strongest of the current crop of ‘Doctor Who’ writers. In the twenty-seventh season, he delivered the chilling, multi-layered two-part story ‘The Empty Child’, turning a simple question into a frightening one. Such was the popularity of the tale that he wrote two more stories: the tragically romantic scare fest ‘The Girl In The Fireplace’ and ‘Blink’, the Doctor-lite story, which won a Nebula Award and featured what many Whovians consider to be the scariest monsters in the programme’s forty-five year history, the Weeping Angels. Yesterday, he moved the fear factor up a notch or three with the first instalment of his latest two-parter ‘Silence In The Library’. Using great skill, he has woven an intricate, three-pronged storyline that only the second part can make the various threads more coherent, so you get a greater sense of what just is going on. Moffat taking over will provide Whovians with the welcome certainty that he will raise the bar in terms of storytelling and that he’ll employ writers ‘who’ will help him to realise this goal.

Greenlighted – Movies & TV Shows In Production

Against The Current – Michelle Trachtenberg, Joseph Fiennes, Justin Kirk.
Farlanders – Jeff Daniels, Melanie Lynskey, Maggie Gyllenhaal.
He’s Just Not That Into You – Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Ginnifer Goodwin.
A Christmas Carol – Jim Carrey, Christopher Lloyd, Fay Masterson.

TV Shows:
Trinity – no cast announced.
Life Bites – no cast announced.
The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher – no cast announced.
Being Human – Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, Guy Flanagan.
The Last Word Monologues – no cast announced.
Dani’s House – Dani Harmer, Zoe Salmon, Harry Culverhouse.

The Gossip Pot
Usually it is Lindsay Lohan who makes headlines that cause Dina, her mum, to become annoyed and embarrassed. This time, the reverse has happened. An episode of Dina Lohan’s TV reality show has sparked the anger of viewers after it appeared to show her allowing her other daughter, fourteen year-old Ali, to be in the room whilst a sex tape was being played on the video recorder . . . Andrew has his Nancy; twenty-eight year-old cabaret singer from Blackpool is to take this coveted part. However, I did wonder whether Samantha should’ve gotten the role, but the public has spoken …Guesswork is still proving to be the order of the day as Angelina Jolie’s representatives are neither confirming nor denying whether she has given birth to twins. Fear not, if someone spots her with a double buggy, then we’ll know for sure.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Growing On The Tree: 2008's Hot New Showbiz Talents

This is to be the first yearly edition of my pick of the best of the new talents emerging in the world of showbusiness. I can only hope that my forecasts for their futures turn out to be correct.

Actors & Actresses

Ben Whishaw - Although I have yet to see this young man in action on screen, the buzz is that he will be a major leading man quite soon. Helping him to this status is the 2008 film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's most famous novel "Brideshead Revisited". The other prominent role in his career so far was as the killer with an amazing sense of smell in the British-German co-production "Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer. However, his latest role will be a completely British one, as he is playing Sebastian, who has a torturous relationship with Charles Ryder, one that lies somewhere inbetween friendship and love, at a time when homosexuality was the type of thing that you had to keep buried and never speak of. If the critics are kind to this adaptation of the book, Whishaw could certainly look forward to more career-building parts in the not too distant future.

JJ Feild - You wouldn't have thought that someone born in Colorado, USA could receive critical plaudits for parts such as Frederick Garland in the TV adaptations of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart book series or even as the unassuming romantic hero in the ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey", Henry Tilney. Yet, he slipped into both roles with ease. The line of his acting career can be traced back to the end of the Nineties, when he was just a jobbing actor, testing the thespian waters by appearing in an episode of the ultra-cosy Sunday evening drama "Heartbeat". Real exposure came with his portrayal of Simon Doyle in 'Death On The Nile', alongside another up-and-coming star, Emily Blunt. With three movies currently in the works in 2008, it is fair to assume that major stardom can only be a film role away.

Shia LaBouf - If you can put aside that he was in the exceptionally lame US teenage comedy "Even Stevens", Shia manages to make entertainment insiders believe that he has a future in films. Having seen "Transformers", I too believe that, in spite of some people seeing the film as little more than a cinematic advertisement from toys that hail from the Eighties. Starring in the fourth Indiana Jones movie is definitely an advantageous career opportunity, whether the film goes down a storm or like a lead balloon. Let's hope that LaBouf gets more opportunities of that sort.

Holly Grainger - Her body of work, extensive though it is, has mainly been in TV, but the movie version of Kevin Holden's novel about teenage life and football hooliganism looks set to move Holly into cinema, an area of visual entertainment she had previously not entered. One of a long list of former child performers, the Lancashire-born daughter of celebrated character actor Gawn Grainger, has successfully navigated her way through adolescence with a string of roles that show her the good and bad aspects of growing up into a young woman. It is yet to be established whether the first film she has been cast in will be her only film. Still, the optimist within me would love to see Miss Grainger make more movies in the future.

Linzey Cocker - Like Holly, Linzey hails from Lancashire, but the difference is that Miss Cocker has two films in the pipeline, not one. The one that has the highest profile of the two is 'Wild Child', which will see her screen time with Julia Roberts niece, Emma, one of the current crop of new A-List teen movie stars in Hollywood. Television viewers are bound to know her, though, as Jade, the jealous twin sister of Ashley, the geeky girl who became a fashion princess. The leap into film came as something of a surprise. As brilliant as her performance was, I did feel that she was going to do some more TV parts, before auditioning for movie roles, something that very few British actresses of her age group succeed at. Nor did I think for a second she'd be one of the female leads in an American teen comedy, but the corners you do walk round can still hold surprises for you.

Ellen Page - After starting her career as a little-known Canadian actress and passing through walls in the first couple of 'X-Men' movies, Ellen flexed her film acting muscles, when she turned the tables on a pervert in 'Hard Candy', in a way that will make any man wince. This grisly tale led to her securing the lead in 'Juno', a film about teenage pregnancy, which in turn led her to receive an Academy Award nomination the Best Actress category, a welcome, or unwelcome, development for any actress, depending on how much ground they have already gained. Not all lesser known female actors can get something from such an acolade. Fortunately, she has been lucky enough to have three new movie projects come her way, and I feel doubly sure that there will be plenty more where they came from.

Talulah Riley - Thank god for Nylon Magazine! For a while, it was looking like Talulah wasn't going to get mentioned in these articles that spotlight new and talented British actresses. It is strange, therefore, that an American magazine, rather than a UK one, had done just that. The adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel "Five Little Pigs" had provided her with her first professional acting role. Appearing as a teenage Angela Warren in various flashback scenes gave Talulah her first taste of work as an up-and-coming actress. Although things were quiet for her for a few months afterwards, she soon got a steady stream of work, beginning with "Pride & Prejudice" in 2005, and culminating with the deliciously dark-humoured revamping of the "St Trinians" movie franchise. 2008 looks set to be the year that Miss Riley is lifted out of the supporting character category and into the potential leading lady one.


Amy MacDonald - She may have been launched as a hot new singer-songwriter in the music scene last year, but, as far as I'm concerned, the Scottish songstress is not quite at the stage where she is definitely a household name. The singles "This Is The Life" and "Poison Prince" are prime examples of just how capable a composer she is, but still there isn't a great deal to suggesr she is as big a star as I'd like her to be. This was signified by the fact I was able to buy a copy of her debut CD with the minimum of expense. Such talent shouldn't be cheapened in this way, and I am crossing my fingers that I'll be able to buy her follow up album for about sixteeen quid.

Paloma Faith - Coming back to "St Trinians" briefly, a Google search for the actress who played Andrea, the head of the Emo clique, revealed that she is also a singer-songwriter, and a darn good one at that. So much so, that I posted a thread on her IMDB message board, saying that I was keen to see a record label sign her up, and I was pleased to discover I wasn't alone in my belief that the big music moguls should take note of her talent, which is marvellously divided between composing tunes and acting. Versatility is always a good attribute to possess, and Miss Faith has plenty of that.

Put Away Your Flags: Is Eurovision doomed?

Since the mid-Fifties, television viewers have scoffed with good humour at the Eurovision Song Contest, the musical competition that was meant to celebrate musical talent(or the lack of it) within the confines of all the European countries and continents. Now, here we are in the twenty-first century, and you'd think that such a formula would still be adhered to, but the whole event has veered completely off course. Last night's result proved that. Fair voting went out the window. The biggest casualty of this was the UK entry. Andy Abrahams' song came joint last, and it now throws up the possibility as to whether there is going to be a British entry next year.

Even Terry Wogan, the long-time voice over host of Eurovision, seems to be wondering whether any future participation is a waste of time. He also dropped significant hints about him not wanting continue with his commentary duties in twelve months time. Perhaps the sheer politicising of Eurovision as a whole makes him feel that the contest has just become a waste of time, in this day and age, as it seems countries like Holland, Norway, Poland, France, Sweden, Ireland and Britain are deliberately being kept in the cold, so far as the Eastern European nations go. All these questions seem to be leading to the one big question; will the contest be scrapped altogether. Speaking for myself, I do hope it is gotten rid of. For the past ten years, it has gone downhill at a very sharp rate, and, given the selective nature of who gets the votes, I feel that I have to now give the entire contest NULL PWAH.....

Greenlighted - Films & TV Shows In Production

Cat Tale - Elisha Cuthbert, Jerry O'Connell, Sean Astin
Four Christmases - Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Carol Kane
Nine - Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Daniel Day Lewis
Shutter Island - Leonardo Di Caprio, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley

TV Shows:
Beautiful People - no cast announced
Blake's Seven(new version) - no cast announced
Hotel Babylon: Series Four - Dexter Fletcher, Alexandra Moen, Emma Pierson
Unforgiven - no cast announced