As a cinemagoing experience, Pacific Rim: Uprising is the equivalent of being clattered over the head with a pair of dustbin lids for close on two hours. The new film is a follow up to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim (2013.) Del Toro serves as producer alongside the star, Britain’s very own John Boyega. Of all the humans in the film, Boyega, playing Jake Pentecost, comes out just about the best.
Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown comforted a boy after no one showed up to his Stranger Things-themed birthday party - and promised she would come to his next party.
Piers Morgan has mocked the Me Too movement while attempting to cajole co-host Susanna Reid into hugging him on Good Morning Britain. Morgan made the crass remark after reading out a tweet from actor Bradley Walsh who quipped the dynamic between Morgan and Reid was reminiscent of that between Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd’s characters in American TV series Moonlighting.
Watching Michael Portillo mounting the Himalayan Queen Express (a train) I was filled with envy. There he was, completing the final leg of a rail journey that, just from an inventory of its stops, sounds ridiculously exotic, romantic and indeed redolent of British imperial history: Amritsar-Ludhiana-Ambala-Chanigah-Kaka-Shimla. Each stop could fill an hour of TV on its own, but Portillo and the team managed, like an old-time Indian train with the passengers piled high on the roof, to accommodate everything and still keep things moving along at a tidy clip.
Jim Carrey has unveiled a portrait depicting Donald Trump as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz.
Ballet Black’s new programme is surely the company’s finest yet. Cathy Marston’s taut new ballet The Suit shows tragedy bursting out of the seams of everyday life, while Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a riotous take on Shakespeare, love and ballet. Founded in 2001 by director Cassa Pancho, Ballet Black was created to offer role models for young dancers of black and Asian descent.
Premiered in this engrossing co-production with the Tricycle Theatre, Francis Turnly's epic thriller unfolds in Japan and North Korea. It begins in 1979 with the disappearance of seventeen-year-old Hanako (Kirsty Rider) during a storm. Unwilling to accept that she is dead, her devastated sister Reiko and their mother Etsuko (Kae Alexander and Rosalind Chao) spend the next twenty-five years searching for answers.
Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One (which received its European premiere in London on Monday night) is a nerd’s delight. It is a sci-fi film crammed so full of pop culture references that it could easily have risked sagging under the weight of its own nostalgia. Tasters of everything from Atari video games to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, from John Hughes bratpack movies to Saturday Night Fever, from John Boorman’s Excalibur to King Kong, are thrown into the mix.
Jim Carrey has faced criticism for a portrait he painted which is thought to be of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The actor shared the painting on Twitter on Saturday with the caption: “This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. The apparent caricature of Ms Sanders sparked an immediate backlash - critics arguing the comedian’s painting was “unflattering”, “insulting”, and “disgraceful”.
The especially cruel element of Tristan Bernays’ one hour play on dementia, Old Fools, is that it understands how much memories constitute romance. In the intimate setting of the Little Theatre at Southwark Playhouse, we are introduced to musician Tom and linguist Vivian. Told out of sync, the better to place us in Tom’s position, unguided by coherent narrative memory, Bernays’ play is a simple boy-meets-girl yarn, but with this cruel twist: Tom will eventually remember none of it.
The Royal Ballet’s new triple bill celebrates the music of Leonard Bernstein, and its own leading choreographers, but the greatest celebration is of the dancers. In bright new works by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon, established stars and the company’s rising generation dance with joyful strength and feeling. McGregor’s Yugen is set to Bernstein’s robust, rhythmical Chichester Psalms, sung in Hebrew with chorus and treble soloist William Davies.
In 2012, composer Max Richter ‘recomposed’ Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, hoping to liberate the 1721 work from elevator-music over-familiarity. Now, puppet company Gyre & Gimble present this ‘Reimagining’ of his recomposition: Bunraku-style puppetry is used to find a story within Richter’s flickering post-minimalist rewrite. The show even debuts their new, specially made harpsichord – although there’s still the odd wash of ambient electronica here too, mixed with birdsong.
Ellen Barkin has hit out at Terry Gilliam after his controversial remarks about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. While Barkin - who starred in the directors 1998 film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - didn't elaborate, it's incited discussion on social media.
When a massive earthquake struck in 2011, Japanese oyster fisherman Atsushi Fujita was working as usual by the sea. Seven years on, Fujita and thousands like him along Japan’s north-east coast have rebuilt their lives alongside huge sea walls that experts say will protect them if another giant tsunami, which some see as inevitable in a seismically active nation like Japan, was to strike. The 12.5-metre concrete wall replaced a four-metre breakwater that was swamped in the 11 March 2011 disaster.
Journeying between trips in Manchester, conferences in Las Vegas and karaoke bars in Seoul, the acerbic fast-paced Brilliant Jerks is an exhilarating ride through the modern workplace and the blurred, almost indistinguishable intersection between public and private spaces. This is the story of a Silicon Valley start-up that has created an application to hail cabs. Writer Joseph Charlton never names the company even though it’s clearly Uber because his interest is not in whether the taxi-hire application should be allowed to exist but on an environment that celebrates machismo while fostering systematic sexism, institutional racism and bullying.
“It must be a face – it’s got ears” is one of the more unkind comments I’ve heard about Andrew Lloyd Webber. Talking of pug ugly, Caroline Quentin goes in search of The World’s Ugliest Pets for ITV. Lloyd Webber’s got nothing on this lot, and was good to see the child-frightening Sam, again, an ugly old dog for sure which defies description.
Tacita Dean, unlike some of the other members of the Brit Art gang who emerged in the 1990s, is the most unsplashy and least street-recognisable of individuals, the most muted of those tiresome, roaring beasts. This week it is the National Portrait Gallery, in a retrospective of her films called Portrait. A second exhibition, called Still Life, opens at the National Gallery.
The symbiotic relationship between cinema and theatre was once again highlighted when Noel Coward changed the name of his play Still Life to Brief Encounter after the success of the 1945 David Lean film. The movie classic has given this affair an enduring appeal in ways that a successful play from the era could not, and it’s this relationship between film and stage that is being explored in this revival of Kneehigh Production of Brief Encounter, which a decade ago proved to be such a hit that it crossed the Atlantic and was acclaimed by Broadway. When Emma Rice first adapted the play a decade ago she celebrated the enduring power and appeal of movies.
This scattergun production throws all of the toys out of the pram and smashes our senses with its overload of visual imagery and big loud sounds. Buggy Baby is packed full of metaphors and motifs delivering information on the three main characters, a baby, single mum and a psychologically traumatised refugee, in piecemeal fashion as the action flits between kitchen sink realism to surrealism and from comedy to horror. The hints of the surrealism to come are to be found in the clever staging by designer Max Johns and the lighting by Jess Bernberg.
Professor Stephen Hawking was truly loved by the world. The meeting so racked him with nerves, that he confessed he started reeling off facts about Hawking's own life, even pointing out they were both Capricorns.
Salma Hayek has lambasted Mattel for creating a Barbie version of the radical Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Mattel, the US multinational toy company, revealed a Barbie version of Kahlo last week as part of an “Inspiring Women” series which also included mathematician Katherine Johnson and aviator Amelia Earhart. The Hollywood actor, who was nominated for an Oscar for playing Kahlo in 2002 film Frida, questioned why the iconic artist had been turned into a figurine.
James Corden has hit back at critics who suggested Beatrix Potter would dislike the film adaptation of her book The Tales of Peter Rabbit, branding them “snobby”. Corden, who provides the voice for the much-loved character, said the film is primarily about “acceptance” so could not understand those who viewed it as “anything other than positive”. It is the first time the character will be featured in a film as creator Potter had previously denied permission for all those who asked for the rights, including Disney.
Joaquin Phoenix lights another cigarette and stares out the window of the hotel suite, where snow is falling but disappearing before it reaches the ground. Phoenix is in good spirits when I meet him though, despite the fact that interviewing him feels akin to taking him hostage.
Jacqueline Wilson has said she came up with the idea for her new book after seeing mothers holding copies of The Story of Tracy Beaker they owned as children. 27 years after the beloved children’s author first wrote about a feisty young girl growing up in a care home nicknamed “the dumping ground”, she is now set to release a new book with Tracy as a single mother raising her own, challenging nine-year-old daughter. Speaking to Donna Ferguson in the Guardian, Wilson said: “It’s stimulating to think about how people develop as they get older,” she said.
Michael Caine has said he would not work with Woody Allen again after learning of the allegations against him. Asked about the director, who has been condemned by several high-profile actors and industry figures in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Sir Michael said he was “stunned” when he heard about the accusations. “I can’t come to terms with it, because I loved Woody and had a wonderful time with him.