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Patrick Stewart (#110 of 6)

Interview: Ian McKellen and Sean Mathias on Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land

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Interview: Ian McKellen and Sean Mathias on Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land
Interview: Ian McKellen and Sean Mathias on Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land

The paired productions of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, currently on Broadway, offer the rare treat of seeing two 20th-century classics back to back in repertory, and the opportunity to see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart give virtuoso displays of their considerable theatrical skills. The knighted English actors, of course, started their careers on the stage, long before they became international screen stars, best known, respectively, for the Lord of the Rings and Star Trek franchises, and, together, for their characters with super powers in the X-Men series. On Broadway, Sir Ian is collaborating with Sean Mathias, the Welsh-born director, with whom he’s enjoyed a personal, artistic, and professional relationship for over three decades. I recently talked to the actor and director about their long-term friendship, and about the two plays at the Cort Theatre.

Watch the Trailer for BBC Two’s The Hollow Crown Series, Coming to iTunes, VOD, and DVD Aug. 27

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Watch the Trailer for BBC Two’s The Hollow Crown Series, Coming to iTunes, VOD, and DVD Aug. 27
Watch the Trailer for BBC Two’s The Hollow Crown Series, Coming to iTunes, VOD, and DVD Aug. 27

Like your buzzworthy British stars and venerable greats in the same place? Then you can’t do much better right now than The Hollow Crown, a Shakespearean miniseries first broadcast on BBC Two in 2012, and coming to iTunes, VOD, and DVD Aug. 27. Produced by Sam Mendes, the four-part epic includes adaptations of The Bard’s Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two, and Henry V, and features Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Irons, John Hurt, Patrick Sterwart, and Simon Russell Beale. The great Whishaw and Beale both won BAFTAs for their work in Richard II, which was also up for Best Single Drama. Focus World is releasing the complete, talent-packed series stateside. Check out the official trailer below.

Poster Lab: X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Poster Lab: <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em>
Poster Lab: <em>X-Men: Days of Future Past</em>

If you wait until halfway through the credits of new Marvel actioner The Wolverine, you’ll get—surprise!—an Easter-egg-y teaser of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the latest leg of this comic-book-maker turned film studio’s incestuous universe. In the clip [spoiler alert], Logan (Hugh Jackman) catches up with Magneto (Ian McKellen) and a resurrected Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who, now evidently on the same team, warn their furry friend of an incoming menace that’s a threat to all mutants. Thanks to this early teaser poster, and, to a lesser degree, this one, fanboys know said threat is the infamous army of towering robotic “Sentinels,” which, in the end-credits scene, are further foreshadowed by a flash of the Trask Industries logo (for the non-geeks to whom this means nothing, just roll with me).

Summer of ‘85 Lifeforce and The Return of the Living Dead

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Summer of ’85: Lifeforce and The Return of the Living Dead

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Summer of ’85: Lifeforce and The Return of the Living Dead

It boggles the mind to think that within the span of a mere three months of the summer of 1985, two new and very different films penned by Alien scribe Dan O’Bannon were released. The first film was Lifeforce, an abysmal cheapy Cannon scifi exploitation flick whose incompetence has long been excused as a product of its troubled production history. The second film is The Return of the Living Dead, a cynical, canny and very hip parody of George A. Romero’s seminal Night of the Living Dead. The former film is directed by super-hack Tobe Hooper, most famous for directing the influentially grody Texas Chainsaw Massacre and for nominally helming Poltergeist; the latter was directed by O’Bannon himself, who had no prior experience directing a film and would only direct one afterwards and with good reason (his 1992 Lovecraftian horror flick, The Resurrected, is almost as chintzy as Lifeforce but not nearly as preposterous).