Utterly charming, this silly prequel rewrites the origin story of the minions and sends them on a series of adventures that are gently anarchic and refreshingly low-key for an animated blockbuster. The film has an unusually gentle tone, with some real visual artistry to it rather than the cookie-cutter story structure and imagery in most summer movies. And while it's not riotously funny, children will be mesmerised and adults will be smiling.
It opens at the dawn of time, as minions evolve into yellow pill-shaped sidekicks who serve their evil masters throughout history. When they find themselves without a leader, they try to build a society in an arctic cave, but something just isn't right. So Kevin, Stuart and Bob (voiced in Esperanto-style gibberish by director Pierre Coffin) head off to 1968 New York to find a villain to work for. There they hear about ruthless baddie Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), so they head to Villain-Con in Orlando to meet her. She's impressed by their loyalty and takes them to London to work with her inventor husband Herb (Jon Hamm) on a nefarious plan to steal the British crown from the Queen (Jennifer Saunders). But nothing goes quite as planned.
Since it's set in the 1960s, the filmmakers give the film a groovy vibe, with sun-drenched animation and hilariously colourful details in every scene. Adults are more likely to catch references to things like the Monkees, Hair or Bewitched, but kids will enjoy the general silliness, including lots of chances to sing along with the minions as they babble through classic tunes. Thankfully, directors Coffin and Kyle Balda resist temptation to use the standard animation formula, opting instead for a meandering pace, a less pushy moral message and action scenes that emerge from the plot, settings and characters. And the starry voice cast refreshingly disappears into the characters.
Continue reading: Minions Review
Jon Hamm has had his say on the Mad Men finale.
Jon Hamm, who starred as troubled creative director Don Draper in AMC's signature drama Mad Men, has offered his own interpretation of what happened to his character after the series finale on Sunday.
Mad Men [R] has catapulted Don Draper to international fame
After being adrift for a while, Draper found himself at a commune on the West Cost and after achieving inner peace, he created Cola-Cola's iconic I'd Like To Buy the Word a Coke commercial.
Continue reading: Jon Hamm On What Happened To Don Draper
Matthew Weiner has given his take on the 'Mad Men' finale.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has offered his insight into the finale of AMC's signature drama and explained the significance of the Coca-Cola ad that ended the series on Sunday. In conversation with novelist A.M Homes at the New York Public Library on Wednesday night, Weiner said the final season was an inward journey for its principal character Don Draper.
Don Draper [R] found inner peace at a retreat in California
"The whole last season was the idea that the revolution failed and it is time to deal with what you can control, which is yourself, this turning inward," Weiner said. "He (Draper) stripped it all away, that was the idea."
Continue reading: Matthew Weiner Has His Say On Don Draper's End Game
The show, which helped to engender a revolution in TV drama, drew to a close after eight years on Sunday night.
Sunday night saw the end of a television era as AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ drew to a close after seven seasons, and the final episode drew impressive, but not record-breaking, viewing figures.
According to Variety, it is estimated that the climax of the eight-year long series saw an average of 3.3 million people tuning in. The numbers are crunched by Nielsen, the company which measure TV ratings, and includes live viewing and same-night DVR playback.
The cast of 'Mad Men', in 2011
Continue reading: 'Mad Men' Draws In 3.3 Million Viewers For Finale
Since the dawn of time, the Minions have been desperately looking for a master. From dinosaurs, to cave men, to Dracula, to Napoleon, the Minions have sought out the biggest and best of masters from around the world. The trouble is, their optimism and perseverance - while commendable - is nothing compared to their utter ineptitude. The Minions have a terrible problem with either killing their boss, or letting their bosses die in some way. But with the 1960s in full swing and the Minions currently unemployed, they travel to a villain convention to find a new master, and uncover a conspiracy to steal the crown from the Queen of England.
Continue: Minions Trailer
Jon Hamm could have played Nick Dunne in 'Gone Girl'.
Jon Hamm was the first choice to play Nick Dunne in David Fincher's box-office smash Gone Girl though was reportedly forced to down the role by Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, who refused to relax the terms of his contract with the AMC show.
Jon Hamm [R] as Don Draper in Mad Man
Gone Girl made $368 million at the box office and scored Rosamund Pike an Oscar nomination though the lead role went to Ben Affleck after Weiner rose concerns about the shooting schedule of the film and the TV show clashing,
Continue reading: Jon Hamm Was Upset After Being Forced To Turn Down 'Gone Girl'
The props and costumes from 'Mad Men' have been donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
The hit AMC series Mad Men may be drawing to a close but its props and costumes will live on in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The series executives have made the decision to donate many iconic items from the show. The items were handed over in a star studded presentation ceremony in Washington D.C. on Friday morning (27th March). In attendance were Mad Men cast members: Jon Hamm, John Slattery and Christina Hendricks. The show's creator Matt Weiner and AMC President Charlie Collier were also in attendance.
Jon Hamm and Matthew Weiner attended the presentation ceremony at the Smithsonian.
Continue reading: 'Mad Men' Donates Props & Costumes To Smithsonian Museum
Jon Hamm completed a 30-day rehabilitation programme for alcoholism.
Jon Hamm has revealed that he recently completed a rehabilitation course for alcoholism. Hamm's publicist Annett Wolf said in a statement on Tuesday the actor entered rehab with the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt.
Jon Hamm played Don Draper on AMC's signature drama series Mad Men
"With the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward," read the statement.
Continue reading: Jon Hamm Went To Rehab For Alcoholism Before 'Mad Men' Finale
Jon Hamm feels sad about leaving 'Mad Men', but Bryan Cranston made him feel a little better.
Jon Hamm has revealed that Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston offered him advice on coming to terms with the end of Mad Men. Hamm rose to international fame playing creative director Don Draper on AMC's signature drama, which begins airing the final episodes of its seventh season on April 5.
Jon Hamm's Don Draper remains one of the most enduring characters in TV drama
"It's hard, man. It's hard to let it go. It'll hit you a couple of different ways at different times," Cranston told Hamm. The American actor famously played Walter White on Breaking Bad - one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory.
Continue reading: Bryan Cranston Helped Jon Hamm Get Over 'Mad Men'
An array of recognisable pops, costumes and scripts from AMC's 'Mad Men' will be exhibited at museums across the U.S.
As 'Mad Men,' one of television's most popular dramas from the last decade, is preparing to air for a final time this April, AMC will donate several of the TV series' recognizable props, costumes and scripts, which contain unfilmed, alternate endings, to the Smithsonian.
Don Draper's fedora and suit will be donated to the Smithsonian
Without a doubt, the most valuable items that will be put on display the Smithsonian's Museum of American History will be the suit, fedora and office bar cart of Don Draper - the main character in 'Mad Men,' played by Jon Hamm.
Continue reading: Don Draper's Bar Cart, Suit And Fedora Headed To The Smithsonian
It's a wonder why the prehistoric tribe of Minions have managed to survive so long with limited access to their staple diet of bananas and very little in the way of intelligence. But they make it their life's work to follow and serve the most despicable of villains in return for their care - though, as time goes on, it seems there are fewer and fewer baddies left in the world, ever decreasing down to the Minion's own ineptitudes. From dinosaurs to vampires, Minions have always been loyal to the evil they serve, but after each tragic and accidental death, they are forced to move on. Stuck in a tight spot with no master to serve, they find themselves bored and depressed; that is until head Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide it's time to set out on an adventure. Through blizzards and mountains, never-ending fields and deadly oceans they travel until they reach New York in 1968. They hitchhike to Orlando's annual Villain-Con and it's there they find their new mistress, Scarlet Overkill, and their only hope of saving Minion-kind.
Continue: Minions - International Trailer
'Wet Hot American Summer' has amassed a stellar cast.
Netflix's limited series Wet Hot American Summer is slowly accumulating one of the finest comedy casts of the year. Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig and Jason Schwartzmann have been tapped for the eight-part series from Michael Showalter (Stella) and David Wain (Role Models, Wanderlust).
Jon Hamm will join Kristen Wiig, Jason Schwartzmann and Chris Pine in Wet Hot American Summer
The A-list additions join some 20 returning cast members from the 2008 movie, including Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Meloni, Paul Rudd and Molly Shannon. Other newcomers include John Slattery, Randall Park and Lake Bell.
Continue reading: Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig Joins Netflix's 'Wet Hot American Summer'
After a good year for movies and television in 2014, the American Film Institute has honoured the very best that the year had to offer.
For the past fifteen years, the American Film Institute has honoured ten films and ten television shows that truly show off what the year had to offer. 2014 had a particularly good year for films, however, so for the first time, the AFI Awards actually awarded eleven motion pictures with the honouree status. A whole host of celebrities gathered in celebration.
Angelina Jolie at the 15th Annual AFI Awards (Credit Frazer Harrison - Getty Images)
The honoured films consisted of 'American Sniper', 'Birdman', 'Boyhood', 'Foxcatcher', 'The Imitation Game', 'Interstellar', 'Into The Woods', 'Nightcrawler', 'Selma', 'Unbroken' and 'Whiplash'. For the celebration, Academy Award-winning Matthew Mcconaughey ('Interstellar') was seen, along with Ethan Hawke ('Boyhood'). Brad Pitt and Edward Norton ('Birdman') were also seen together, after appearing opposite one another in 1999's 'Fight Club'.
Continue reading: American Film Institute Honours Best Films Of 2014 [Photos]
With the fourth season of 'Girls' set to debut of 11th January, the cast and various celebrities arrived at the New York première for the series.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York was the sight of something pretty spectacular on 5th January 2015. And no, it wasn't because Ben Stiller was running around at night with a magical tablet and entourage of historical waxworks that look oddly like famous film stars. The Museum was, however, the location for the premiere for season four of HBO's 'Girls'.
As well as the majority of the main cast, the premiere saw members of the supporting cast and various additional celebrities arriving to support the premiere. In addition to Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and Adam Driver posing on the red carpet and with one another, 'Mad Men''s Jon Hamm and 'Star Trek''s Zachary Quinto also made an appearance. The event was similar to the way in which the premiere for season three took place at The Lincoln Centre in Manhattan and also saw a string on celebrities checking in to show support.
Continue reading: Lena Dunham And Adam Driver On Sight For 'Girls' Season Four Premiere
The Minions are a prehistoric race with a love of bananas and not the biggest brains individually. Together, their life's mission is to serve the deadliest villain around - but they are not very good at keeping them safe. From the scariest dinosaurs, Egyptian kings, Napoleon and even vampires, Minions have been around to assist the world's tyrants with their dastardly deeds, but it wasn't long before they tragically ran out of baddies to aid. Bored, desolate and miserable, three Minions named Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide enough is enough and set out to find a new master. Trekking through freezing mountains, sprawling pastures and never-ending oceans, they finally arrive in 1968 New York - 42 years before they met their future partner Gru. It's their they meet Scarlet Overkill - an evil mistress with whom they must band together to save their kind.
Continue: Minions Trailer
Based on a true story, this is one of those relentlessly uplifting Disney movies that mixes comedy and emotion to inspire and move the audience. Thankfully, it also has a very smart screenplay by Tom McCarthy (Win Win) that draws out some resonant themes while tackling cross-culture issues with wit and honesty. This makes it easy to identify with the sparky characters who are trying to reinvent themselves.
Sports manager JB (Jon Hamm) certainly needs a reinvention. He has lost all of his high-profile clients and now needs to find the next big thing. Perceived as washed-up, he has some difficulty convincing someone to fund his crazy plan to stage a talent competition in India to find baseball talent among the local cricket players. With the help of his easily distracted assistant Aash (Aasif Mandvi) and cantankerous ex-coach Ray (Alan Arkin), he narrows the candidates down to two potential stars: Rinku and Danesh (Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma and Slumdog Millionaire's Madhur Mittal). After JB brings them back to Los Angeles, along with over-eager interpreter Amit (Pitobash), renegade coach Tom (Bill Paxton) has to whip them into shape to see if they can attract interest from the big-league teams.
While the film continually threatens to indulge in smiley culture-clash slapstick, McCarthy's script continually grounds the action in the characters, who emerge as fully rounded people who are engagingly unpredictable. The cast is earthy and natural, anchored ably by Hamm as a likeable guy who remains self-absorbed even though he's desperate, and who takes a long time to learn his rather simple lesson. His chemistry with Lake Bell (as the plain-talking tenant in his pool house) is superbly messy. And ace scene-stealers Mandvi and Arkin bring plenty of comic relief to their hilarious roles.
Continue reading: Million Dollar Arm Review
This year's Stand Up To Cancer telethon has begun accepting donations ahead of its live showing on September 5th.
Stand Up To Cancer aims to reiterate the point that everyone is connected and everyone can be affected by cancer with their every-two-year telethon which this year features a stellar celebrity line-up including Pierce Brosnan, Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.
Last year, Pierce Brosnon lost his daughter, Charlotte, to Ovarian Cancer
"Simply put, Stand Up To Cancer's goal is to end cancer's reign as a leading cause of death by raising funds to accelerate research that will help transform cancer from a disease that takes far too many lives to one people survive" states the Stand Up To Cancer website. In a bid to remind people that one out of every two men and one out of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the campaign has been running since 2008 with various famous faces offering their own experiences of the disease and support of the cause.
Continue reading: Stand Up To Cancer Reveals Its Incredible Celebrity Line-Up
Fiercely original and wildly ambitious, this provocative drama is often thrilling simply because it's like nothing ever put on-screen. This means that it can be somewhat overwhelming at times, as the film cycles through its dense plot, which seems to meander and stumble here and there. From inventive filmmaker Ari Folman (who made the award-winning animated doc Waltz With Bashir), this is a challenging look at identity in an increasingly digital society.
The story begins in the present day, as actress Robin Wright (playing a variation on herself) is living out of the limelight with her two kids (Kodi Smit-McPhee and Sami Gayle). Then her agent Al (Harvey Keitel) brings her a very strange job offer: a film studio boss (Danny Huston) wants to buy Robin's image to digitise and use in movies, while the real Robin is free to live her life away from Hollywood. Since her son's medical condition needs her attention, she signs a 20-year contract and lets the studio create an avatar that will carry on her career. Two decades later, advances in technology have made this kind of virtual existence available to the general public, so as a pioneer Robin is invited to the Futurists Congress, which is held in an animated alternate reality.
Essentially the story is told in two halves. The first part of the film is a smart and funny razor-sharp satire of Hollywood image-making, as the studio wants the young Robin Wright of The Princess Bride and Forrest Gump rather than the older, more serious actress. And from her perspective, she still wants to control her image as much as possible ("no Nazi or sci-fi movies!"). Then events leap forward to the animated Congress, which is a deluge of colourful characters from vintage cartoons and videogames. In this realm, people can be whatever they want to be. But the truth is that they are living drugged-up Matrix-style lives in the real world while their avatars cavort as if in a dreamland.
Continue reading: The Congress Review
'The Princess Bride' actress Robin Wright plays a fictional idea of herself, as someone struggling to land acting roles despite her immense fame decades ago. In the movie, her son is suffering from increasing blindness for which she needs to raise many to help. Her agent has one last idea; seeing as she can no longer land movie roles, Miramount Studios want to scan her whole body, emotions, voice and personality to be used in digital imagery for future films so she no longer has to act. Desperate, she accepts the deal; allowing the studio to take ownership of her and accepting the money they pay her for it. Years later, however, she has become a major movie star once again and now Miramount want to showcase their new avatar programme at the Futurological Congress, whereby buyers can turn themselves into animated versions of anyone - and Miramount wants Robin to let people become her. As her life progresses, she starts to wonder just where the reality has gone in this virtual world.
This intriguing half-animated sci-fi drama explores themes of virtual reality and the limitlessness of human endeavour in the technological era. It has been directed and written by Ari Folman ('Waltz with Bashir', 'Made in Israel', 'Saint Clara') and is based on the novel 'The Futurological Congress' by Stanislaw Lem. 'The Congress' is due for UK release on August 15th 2014.
Critics assess the real-life sporting drama lead by the 'Mad Men' star.
Million Dollar Arm is released today in the USA, bringing Craig Gillespie's take on the remarkable true story of sports coach J.B. Bernstein to life with Mad Men's Jon Hamm in the driving seat alongside Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi and Lake Bell. It's easy to see why Hamm was cast as Bernstein, the sports agent and marketing wiz who devised a programme to inspire Indian cricket players to make the jump to baseball in the search for a news sports hero.
Jon Hamm Plays Sports Coach J.B. Bernstein In This Heart-Warming True Story Dramatisation.
"Sometimes a hard-hitting expose, sometimes a big-hearted crowdpleaser, "Million Dollar Arm" wants it both ways to be sure, but its instincts are mostly right on the money, as are its actors," says Variety. Scott Foundas is even-handed in his review, making sure to praise all those who make the movie such a solid watch, including "Gyula Pados' ace widescreen lensing," "jubilant wall-to-wall song score by Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman" and Hamm "who possesses a special talent for ferreting out the humanity in seemingly soulless corporate suits."
Continue reading: 'Million Dollar Arm' Released: A Home Run For Jon Hamm? [Trailer]
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