In this week's programme presented by Martha Kearney:
THIS WEEK'S PANEL:
Mark Kermode | Paul Morley |
Natalie Haynes |
Comment on this programme
Will Daniel Craig prove the critics wrong as the new "Blonde Bond" in "Casino Royale" by actually being the sexiest and most dangerous bond to date? Casino Royale was the first book written by Ian Fleming; but until now the James Bond franchise has been unable to secure the rights to the film. In this film we go back to the beginning of Bond's career seeing how he made it to "Double O" status and the events that shaped his character to the one we know so well now.
Judi Dench reprises her role as "M" to send Bond on his first mission as 007 to find out how a network of terrorists is funded which leads him to Le Chiffre played by Mads Mikkelsen. Le Chiffre sets up a high stakes poker game at Casino Royale in Montenegro and funded by the beautiful treasury accountant Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), Bond tries to call his bluff and win the game, thus bringing down the terrorist network.
Bond still retains his usual tongue-and-cheek humour; but he proves to be a much rawer, darker character in this movie and we see how he eventually softens to Vesper; as together they battle against Le Chiffre and his henchmen.
Casino Royale is much more emotionally complex than the other Bond films and we really see his character evolve as he goes through his first kills, his first love and in turn, his first heartbreak. The Newsnight Review panel will give their verdict.
Casino Royale is on general release across the UK
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music - the musical with a catalogue of disasters - opened this week to rave reviews. Despite the first Captain Von Trapp being given his marching orders just nine days before the show opened, and one of the Marias jumping ship, this new Andrew Lloyd Webber production went down a storm on its opening night with standing ovations from the audience. The box office takings have increased since rave reviews from the theatre critics.
For those who somehow remain oblivious of the highly publicised BBC ONE show How do you Solve a Problem Like Maria? the BBC and Andrew Lloyd Webber joined forces to cast their 21st century Maria from thousands of hopefuls. Connie Fisher was the public favourite and went on to capture the hearts of the West End audience with her performance as the failed nun turned governess to the seven Von Trapp children who falls in love with their father.
Set in the alps of Austria and with the Nazis looming on the horizon, The Sound of Music was the last show in a 17 year partnership between musical giants Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, following the earlier successes of hit musicals, Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific and the King and I, and was immortalised by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film.
With the last London revival back in 1981, the show also stars soprano Lesley Garrett as Mother Abbess.
The Sound of Music continues at the London Palladium
Tsunami: The Aftermath
Tsunami: The Aftermath is the new television drama for BBC TWO centering on the aftermath of the devastating tidal waves that hit East Asia on Boxing Day 2004, destroying everything in their path and causing the deaths of more than 200,000 people.
These tragic events are presented across various points of view from Thai villagers, to British tourists and officials and an Australian charity worker. Produced by Kudos Film and Television for BBC TWO and HBO Films, Tsunami: The Aftermath aims to be a "thought provoking drama of loss, survival and hope".
The star studded cast features, among others, Tim Roth as a relentless truth-and-scoop seeking journalist, Toni Collete as an Australian charity worker in Thailand, and Sophie Okonedo and Chiwetel Ejiofor as a couple seeking their lost 6-year-old daughter.
The plot is all fictional, written by award winning Abi Morgan (Sex Traffic and Murder) but based on extensive research and interviews with survivors and made with the co-operation of local authorities in Thailand. It was highly important for the production team to support the people affected by the natural disaster and focus on the lessons learnt and reflect on the far-reaching, emotional and political repercussions of the fateful day. Still, the BBC has been criticised for dealing with this subject at a time that some may say is too close to the event where the awful trauma has in some places not faded away.
Will Tsunami: The Aftermath prove to be a gripping powerful drama about the human condition in times of peril or a traumatising re-enactment that does not serve its purpose? The panel discuss.
Tsunami: The Aftermath begins on BBC TWO on 28th November at 9pm
Nintendo's latest contender in the console market is Wii, pronounced 'Wee'. Perhaps in an attempt to address some of the concerns surrounding child obesity, the key selling point of this device is that it introduces greater physical activity to gaming.
The machine comes with the sports games package as standard and the use of a remote sensor as the controller allows gamers to simulate taking part in the sport. The controller acts as a stand in tennis racquet, aeroplane joystick or sword depending what game is in use and players can check on their heart rate and monitor fitness levels as they play.
In the tradition of Nintendo it's aimed at the family market - it has news and weather channels, internet access built in and family friendly games. The Playstation 3, due out in March next year, concentrates on a different demographic - its key selling point being the console as a multimedia platform comprising Bluray with film, music and photo playback.
Wii is released in the UK on December 8th by Nintendo
Playstation 3 is launched in March 2007 by Sony
Jarvis Cocker was a Brit pop star as founder and front man of Pulp. The band were known for their witty, often acerbic, lyrics dissecting the cultural scene and Cocker himself was known for his showmanship, on stage and often on someone else's stage - he made headlines by storming Michael Jackson's performance of Earth Song during the 1996 Brit Awards.
Since Pulp released their Greatest Hits in 2002 and parted with their label Island, Cocker has worked with a new band Relaxed Muscle, appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and now releases his debut solo album Jarvis. The album features Cocker's trademark mix of acid lyrics and black humour and features fellow Sheffield born guitarist Richard Hawley.
Cocker performs the track Fat Children in the Newsnight Review studio.
Jarvis is released on the Rough Trade label
Newsnight Review is broadcast after Newsnight every Friday at 11pm on BBC Two.
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