MR HOLMES – REVIEW – Gandalf retires to the English countryside to play an older Benedict Cumberbatch where his amazing skills of deduction takes him 90 minutes to find a wasp.

Sherlock Holmes is of course one of those iconic roles that never seem to go away. From books, to illustrations to the cinema to TV and back again, the appeal of the illustrious inhabitant of Baker Street is apparently timeless, an Edwardian Superhero and crime fighter, whose superpower is brainy-ness. Ian McKellan stars as them aging sleuth in Bill Condon’s lovingly crafted film adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel. By the way such is the popularity of Holmes that there is another novel based on the aging detective by Michael Chabon called The Final Solution which is well worth a read. Holmes is living in the countryside with his housekeeper (Laura Linney) and her young son, Roger (Milo Parker).  He has recently returned from Japan when he sought a plant, the prickly ash, which has herbal properties that help slow the progress of the dementia from which Holmes suffers. His faltering memory is aided by Roger as he tries to piece together his last case so that he can finally face the end with something like equanimity. And herein lies the problem of the film. In a novel such an internal quest can be rendered effectively, showing the drama of the flailing mind, but on screen we have a bunch of flashbacks which don’t actually have any particular consequence to the action of the present. Its thematic similarities to McKellan and Condon’s earlier collaboration Gods and Monsters also means that anyone familiar with the earlier film will see this as a bit of a retread. Ian McKellan is wonderful of course, but one can’t help but wish that he had been placed in a story of a little more consequence. Like Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution for instance.

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 UNDISCLOSED LOCATION – Now everybody knows that Benedict Cumberbatch received an email from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asking him not to take the role of Julian Assange in Bill Condon’s new film The Fifth Estate.

What people don’t know is that Cumberbatch wrote a reply but thanks to our friends at the NSA we have obtained/stolen a copy. Click over the jump to read the full text. 
 Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013
From: Benedict Cumberbatch 
To: Julian Assange
Subject: RE: Message from Assange
Dear Jules,
Thank you for your reply to me trying to contact you. It is the first time I’ve had a letter from a historical person!
I am disappointed that you have decided not to be involved. I think I would have enjoyed meeting you too. I had invited Tom Hiddleston to come round as well and I was thinking we could all play Twister! Imagine that, you me and Hiddles all playing Twister in Ecuadorian embassy. It would have been class. Talking about bonding.  
Anyway no worries about not wanting to. I’m an actor. I’m sure I can do a pretty good version of you without meeting you. After all I haven’t met any f*cking dragons to play Smaug have I? Ha ha ha!! 
I think I’ve got you down pretty good. I’m using Paul Hogan as a model for the accent and I’ve taken the hair from Lady Galadriel from Lord of the Rings.  The bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant, but I can just make it up. 
As for your comment: ‘I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film’: I’ve thought about this a bit and I think I’d have to say ‘f*ck off!’ I imagine you’ve been watching lots of telly locked up in the embassy there, but it doesn’t make you Roger Ebert just yet, does it? Eh? Why don’t we make the film first, eh?  
Anyway, I have to go. Emma Watson and Carey Mulligan are coming for dinner and then we’re going to have a pie fight. Can you imagine how crazy that is going to be?


HOLLYWOOD – Benedict Cumberbatch to star in Bill Condon‘s Bang! the film set to chart the rise and fall of classic 80s band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Cumberbatch stars as the singer and band leader Holly Johnson, the Liverpudlian pixie who led his group to world dominance with singles such as Relax and Two Tribes. Eddie Marsan is also on board as Paul ‘I came to Dance’ Rutherford. Gods and Monsters director Condon told Studio Exec today:

The film comes from conversations we had while Benedict and I were making The Fifth Estate. I said what’s your favourite song and he said the Power of Love, which is amazing because my favourite album is Welcome to the Pleasuredome, so I said lets make a film based purely on this conversation.

Cumberbatch, however, reveals that the whole thing was a misunderstanding:

I meant the Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News, not Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Jesus I even prefer Jennifer Rush’s song to that crap pile of an eighties band, but by then it was too late. Bill had got a deal and he looks so sweet when he’s enthusiastic about something. So I went ahead and signed on.

Bang! is due to start filming next August.



 HOLLYWOOD – The countdown to the release of Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part Two has started and Bill Condon, the director has spoken for the first time about how radically different the film will be to the Stephenie Meyer book: ‘The fans are going to shit their pants.’

‘We followed the book really closely in the other films,’ said Condon, whose previous credits include the marvellous Kinsey and Gods and Monsters. ‘The problem is all the fans have read the books and know what’s going to happen, so we thought this is the last one let’s just go hog wild.’

Although Condon fought shy of giving too many details, he made flying space ships gestures and machine guns sounds with his mouth and then some tap dancing, and then huge explosions. One thing Condon was clear about: ‘There’ll be a lot less of all that Edward and Bella and Jacob bullshit,’ said Condon. ‘That stuff got old fast.’

Fans can make up their own minds about the new direction when the film comes out in mid-November.