In April, the world bid a fond farewell to number of stars of the silver screen and the small screen. In brief, shown below, is my passing tribute to those stars who leave an indelible mark on the entertainment industry, and in particular the world of film and television. May you all Rest In Peace, and thanks for the memories.
* Michael Anderson : Born 30th January 1920, died 25th April 2018, aged 98. Michael Joseph Anderson Snr. was an English Director most notably known for Directing the WWII real life drama 'The Dam Busters' in 1955, the classic 'Around the World in 80 Days' in 1956, and the Sci-Fi film 'Logan's Run' in 1976. His other films worthy of note included the 1956 version of the George Orwell classic '1984', 'The Quilter Memorandum', 'Orca', 'Millennium' and 'The New Adventures of Pinocchio' which was to be his last full length feature film in 1999. All up Anderson had 43 Directing credits to his name, twelve as Assistant Director, two Acting and two Producer credits also. He had three Award wins to his name and another nine nominations including the Best Director Academy Award and Golden Globe nods for 'Around the World in 80 Days', which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1957 as well a four other wins at that years Oscar's. At the time of his death, Anderson was the oldest living nominee for an Academy Award for Best Director, and the only surviving Director whose film won a Best Picture award in the 1950s.
* Verne Troyer : Born 1st January 1969, died 21st April 2018, aged 49. Verne Jay Troyer was an American Actor, Comedian and stuntman who's best known performance was as 'Mini-Me' in the 'Austin Powers : The Spy Who Shagged Me' second instalment in this film franchise and in the third film 'Austin Powers in Goldmember'. He garnered fame for his diminutive stature, measuring just 81cms (2 feet 8 inches) tall due to a rare genetic disorder known as cartilage-hair hypopiasia that clinically manifests itself as short limbed dwarfism. This condition made Troyer one of the world's shortest men. His big screen debut came in 1994 in 'Baby's Day Out' which was followed by regular work in the ensuing years in film and television including more notably, 'Jingle All The Way', 'Volcano', 'Men In Black', 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas', 'Mighty Joe Young', 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas', 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone', 'The Love Guru' and 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'. Troyer had accumulated 58 Acting credits throughout his career and had picked up two award wins and four nominations.
In the week ahead we have four new films to tease you out to your local Odeon, kicking off with the real life telling of a scandal that rocked a high ranking political figure, his acclaimed family and the Presidential system in the US in the late '60's/early '70's. We then turn to a dramedy of a mother of three young kids who is gifted a Nanny to help her sleep, rest, cope and gain back some semblance of life from the never ending demands of motherhood. This is followed up by a comedy of a recently divorced mother who goes back to College to complete her Degree having put her life on hold for the sake of her soon to be ex-husband and her College age daughter, only thing is, she ends up in the same school and in the same class as her daughter, and so begins a whole new life of rediscovery, adventure and antics. We then wrap up with a murder mystery whodunnit where the patriarch of the family is poisoned in his bed and the immediate family are all prime suspects playing out in the great tradition of that acclaimed British female mystery crime writer who has had plenty of her works committed to the big and small screen.
Whatever your taste in big screen film entertainment is this week - be it any of the four latest release new movies as Previewed below, or those doing the rounds currently on general release and as Reviewed and Previewed in previous Blog Posts here at Odeon Online, you are here cordially invited to share your movie going thoughts, opinions and observations by leaving your relevant, succinct and appropriate views in the Comments section below this or any other Post. We'd love to hear from you, and meanwhile, enjoy your big screen Odeon outing during the week ahead.
'TULLY' (Rated M) - this American drama comedy offering is Directed by Jason Reitman whose previous Directing credits include 'Juno', 'Up in the Air' and 'Thank-you for Smoking' amongst others, and is Written by Diablo Cody whose previous Writing credits include 'Juno', 'Young Adult' and 'Ricky and the Flash' also amongst others. The film Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival back in January this year, went on general release in the US last week, and here in Australia this week. This film tells the story of the mother of three young kids Marlo (Charlize Theron, who it is reported gained nearly 23 kilos for her role over a period of about fifteen weeks, and ate around the clock to keep the weight on. It took her a year and a half to take the weight off once filming concluded), who is gifted a nighttime Nanny by her brother, to help her sleep and cope with the trials and tribulations of raising a demanding young family that includes a new born. Reluctant to take advantage at first, Marlo soon gives in and forms a unique relationship with the thoughtful, caring and at times challenging young Nanny named Tully (Mackenzie Davis). The film also stars Mark Duplass as Craig (Marlo's brother) and Ron Livingstone as Drew (Marlo's husband).
'LIFE OF THE PARTY' (Rated M) - here we have an American comedy film Co-Written and Co-Produced by the real life married couple of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy and Directed by Ben Falcone in his third Directorial outing with his wife after 2014's 'Tammy' and 2016's 'The Boss'. The story here surrounds long time dedicated wife Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) who is suddenly and abruptly dumped by her husband Dan (Matt Walsh), seeking a divorce. Whilst Deanna has no regrets about bringing up her daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) and being a stay at home Mum, she does regret never finishing her Degree. So, Deanna decides to go back to College, and plunges headlong into the same school and same class as her daughter, who remains totally unconvinced that this is a good idea. Needless to say new adventures and new experiences await as Deanna gets reacquainted with all the fun, freedom, frolics and frat boys that College life can muster. Sounds like a hoot! Also starring Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Jacki Weaver and Julie Bowen. Released in the US, UK and Australia this week.
'CROOKED HOUSE' (Rated PG) - Agatha Christie seems to be back in vogue right now, with this big screen adaptation of her 1949 novel of the same name, following on from Ken Branagh's reworking of 'Murder on the Orient Express' late last year and his reported re-adaptation of 'Death on the Nile'. This British murder mystery is Directed and Co-Written for the screen by Frenchman Gilles Paquet-Brenner. In this detective story, former Foreign Office diplomat Charles Hayward (Max Irons) has returned from Cairo to London to become a private detective. When Aristide Leonides (Gino Picciano), a wealthy and ruthless business tycoon, is poisoned in his own bed, Detective Hayward is invited to solve the crime by his former lover and before the Scotland Yard Detectives arrive on the scene and potentially expose hidden and dark family secrets. As the investigation deepens he must confront the shocking realisation that one of the key suspects is Aristede's beautiful granddaughter, his employer and former lover; and must remain focused and alert to navigate the sultry Sophia de Havilland (Stefani Martini) and the rest of her hostile family. Also starring Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Julian Sands, Terence Stamp and Christina Hendricks.
With four new release films out this week to tempt you out to your local Odeon, remember to share your movie going thoughts with your other like minded cinephile friends afterwards here at Odeon Online. In the meantime, I'll see you sometime somewhere in the week ahead at your local Odeon.
-Steve, at Odeon Online-