Events, offers and releases 20/1/14

Violet and Jean talking
Jack Ryan and Thomas Harper shaking hands

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There are two big film releases this week, and both on the 24th. August: Osage County, starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor is a black comedy in which the alcoholic patriarch of a Southern family surprises everyone by killing himself.

For a more action packed evening, head to your local cinema on the same night to catch Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. A reboot of the series, this movie sees Jack Ryan going undercover as a broker to search for terrorist activity.

ODEON are giving away cinema tickets to lucky winners! Head to their website and have your say on who you think deserves to win in all 8 categories. Get it right and you’ll win yourself 10 free tickets! Even better, a lucky draw of all submitted entries will see 5 pairs of ODEON cinema tickets given away too!

A tie for Gravity and 12 Years A Slave at the 2014 PGAs

An image of Sandra Bullock at Comic Con 2013
An image of Sandra Bullock at Comic Con 2013

Star of Gravity, Sandra Bullock.

Last night, amid the hustle and bustle of awards season, the less popular, but equally revered among the film industry, Producers Guild Awards (PGAs) took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in California.

While the fashion and A-list celebrity took a back seat this time around, the PGAs takes time out to celebrate the producers and visionaries responsible for bringing films from an idea to the big-screen.

The biggest news from last night was that for the first time in history there was a tie in the ‘Theatrical Motion Picture’ category. Both Gravity and 12 Years A Slave walked home with an award.

While that is great news to these producers, it throws a spanner in the works when it comes to predicting the Oscars which are announced in March.

Normally, around this time in the award season a front-runner has usually established itself, this year is the exception. Gravity has enjoyed huge oscar buzz since September, but has more recently lost out to 12 Years a Slave at the Golden Globes.

In the meantime, the hugely successful, American Hustle, directed by David O Russell was crowned winner at the Golden Globes (this time for Best Motion Picture (Comedy)) and also received the same award more recently at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

All these awards including, The Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Producers Guild Awards and the Critics Choice Awards, are all an indicator to the most revered awards, The Academy Awards.

While in the past it can be seen that one film has dominated awards season all the way to the Oscars. But the big bash that takes place on 1 March this year, is sure the throw up some huge surprises.

What this means is that this year is the most exciting and unpredictable awards season.

To see the full list of winners click here.

A look at Edith Head: costume designer

Two sketches of dresses sit either sides a black and white portrait of Edith Head
A black and white portrait of Edith Head holding two dressmakers dummies

Edith holding two dressmakers dummies. Image via

You may not know the name but you will undoubtedly have seen her work before. Edith Head was an American costume designer who worked from 1924 when she was hired as a costume sketch artist by Paramount Pictures, until her death in 1981. She is also the woman who inspired Pixar’s The Incredibles character, Edna Mode.

When Head was hired by Paramount Pictures she had no art, design or costume design experience. She was only hired because she had borrowed sketches from art school classmates which impressed the head designer so much Head was hired on the spot.

Over her long career she amounted eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design from 35 nominations, a feat which no one else has matched. It is important to note that the first Academy Award for Best Costume Design wasn’t given until 1948, already well into Head’s career and that her eight awards are the most Oscars ever won by one woman.

Head designed for numerous actresses on over 1000 productions, creating gowns for all of Hollywood’s golden girls. Some of the most notable are; Veronica Lake, Ginger Rogers, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Tippi Hedren and Katharine Hepburn.

Perhaps the most outstanding work from Head are her designs in collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock. Head designed for 11 of the directors films in her later career including The Birds (1963). Head designed Tippi Hedren’s pale green skirt suit which has become an icon of the film and style of the time.

A sketch of Audrey Hepburn in an extravagant white dress

Head’s sketch of Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday. image via

10 years earlier, Head was also costume designer for Roman Holiday (1953), Audrey Hepburn’s breakthrough film. In the film Hepburn plays a princess tired of her boring and restricted life, she escapes her guardians and falls for an American newsman in Rome.

In the below film, Edith Head answers the question “How do you go about changing actresses appearances with their wardrobe?” by discussing the work she had done on Roman Holiday with Hepburn. Her first costume is a ‘casual, informal’ which she wears while pretending she is not a princess. Head then describes her transformation to a princess in a regal dress, of ‘real lace’ as head called ‘transformation through wardrobe’.


Although Head actually won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design in Sabrina (1954), Audrey Hepburn’s costumes were actually designed by Givenchy who was uncredited. Head was hired as costume designer for Sabrina but was then told that Hepburn was having Givenchy design all of her gowns which was quite an offence to such an established costume designer. To prevent Head from quitting the film, director Billy Wilder and Paramount Pictures gave her full screen credit for Costume Designer.

Givenchy got his own back in 1961 for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Again Givenchy designed all of Hepburn’s gowns while Head designed all of the other characters costumes (bar Patricia Neal), but Givenchy ensured that Head was only credited as ‘wardrobe supervisor’ which was an insult to a designer of her stature.

Edith Head’s packed career is one unlikely to ever be rivalled. The costume designer is immortalised in her creations which span over half a century, and adorned Hollywood more glamorous actresses for decades.

This week in history: 13th – 19th January

Image is a still from the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Jim Carrey is shown wearing a jazzy shirt with his hands out wide.
Image is a still from the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Jim Carrey is shown wearing a jazzy shirt with his hands out wide.

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The 17th of January 1962 saw the birth of the most manic and immature Hollywood comedian of all time, Jim Carrey. With notable roles in such films as Bruce Almighty, The Mask and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Jim Carrey is often seen having a great time on screen, pulling faces and making jokes.

Georges Melies, one of the first magicians to bring magic to the theatre died on January 19th 1932. Georges made over 500 short films and movies with A Trip to the Moon being the most notable. He died forgotten and in poverty.


The game adaptation isn’t always as good as the movie

Image shows a screenshot of the video game, E.T The Extra Terrestrial.
Image shows a screenshot of the video game, E.T The Extra Terrestrial.

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Do you ever find that a brilliant film leaves a gap behind and you’re left wanting more? Video game adaptations should fill that hole but unfortunately they aren’t always what you’re looking for. Often the video game following the movie doesn’t live up to its silver screen counterpart. After all, what is seen as the worst video game ever made was in fact, a movie tie in game.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 was initially believed to become a very successful game, achieving high sales figures due to the connection with the film when it was released in December. But the E.T video game was a commercial failure with very few units sold. Why did it do so badly?

Initially planned to be an innovative companion to the movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial tasked players with moving the titular protagonist from a top down perspective through a variety of levels in order to locate pieces of a phone. Funnily enough, the objective of the game is to phone home.

Set back by poor controls and sub par graphics of the time, E.T. just didn’t sell as expected. Many believe it was a contributing factor to the video game industry crash in 1983, where there was a surplus in video game cartridges and consoles, the market was saturated. The unsold copies of E.T. are rumoured to be buried in New Mexico, as Atari had nowhere to store the cartridges.

Edit: The copies of E.T. have been found in Alamogordo, New Mexico after a recent excavation according to video game website, Kotaku.

Clearly, this didn’t set the bar high for video games that are tied in with movie releases. Since then, many of the games that have centered on recently released movies and typically, haven’t done all that great. Catwoman on the PlayStation 2 for instance, was atrocious, marred with clunky animations and god awful game mechanics. In the game, the character model barely resembled the lovely Halle Berry.

Movie tie in games have a (often true) reputation that they are rushed in order to coincide with the release of the movie. The big wigs tend to see them as cash grabs, something they can make some quick, easy money from, regardless of the quality.

However, not all video games that are tied with movie releases are bad. There are a few that are generally fairly entertaining and worth a mention. Spiderman 2 for the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox coincided with the release of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 2 movie. The game allowed players complete freedom of exploration of New York City, with really well-crafted web swinging mechanics. Spiderman 2 the video game showed us that it’s certainly possible that movie video games can be done right, if care and attention is applied.

Image shows a screenshot of the video game, Spiderman 2

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Whilst you’re more than welcome to pick up a movie tie in video game, I recommended to make sure that you don’t go head first into your purchase and do your research beforehand! Check reviews from video game websites and others who have played the game. You don’t want to be spending your hard earned money on another game like E.T.