Young arts receive state subsidy


I enjoyed watching the British TV series “Broadchurch”. A noir crime drama, it starred both David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker. I found it remarkable because, at different times, Tennant and Whittaker played that famous time traveler, Doctor Who.

‘Doctor Who’ first appeared on the BBC in 1963. The sci-fi program has remained popular, now starring Whittaker as the 13th actor to play the eponymous Time Lord who travels the universe in a machine time traveling fly that looks like a blue British police. box (a phone booth for police use).

Called TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), the word found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary due to the show’s popularity.

The transition from actor to actor is written into the scripts, allowing the Time Lord to transform into a new body when the old one is badly injured.

The 10th actor to play the role, Tennant was a beloved incarnation of Doctor Who. He says it’s been his ambition to play Doctor Who since he was a little boy.

“The End of Time” was a two-part storyline that aired between December 2009 and January 2010. In it, Doctor Who learns that his nemesis, a renegade alien known as the Master, has returned, marking the end the times. The Doctor must destroy a diamond to break the bond and make the Master disappear. But as he does, he hears the prophesied “four knocks” that signal his own demise. Make way for the 11th Doctor Who.

This marked David Tennant’s final appearance in the role. The story has been described as “enormous and epic, but also intimate”. It is considered a classic.

It’s no surprise, then, that Fathom Events is celebrating the 10th anniversary with a one-night presentation of ‘Doctor Who: The End of Time’.

You Whovians (as Doctor Who fans are sometimes called) will want to catch this special screening on August 7 at Regal Grande Stadium 16 in Greensboro at 7 p.m. It also features a new interview with Tennant.

Doctor Who fans have included Stephen Hawking, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, Tom Hanks, Michael Chabon, Mark Hamill and David Duchovny. Steven Spielberg said: “The world would be a poorer place without ‘Doctor Who’. ”

TV Guide ranked “Doctor Who” as the No. 6 and No. 18 science fiction television program among the best cult shows of all time.

Yes, I admit it. I am a Trekkie, Warsie, Avatard, Gater, Achiever, Buffista and Baker Street Irregular wannabe. Add to that resume that I’m also a Whovian.

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ is the new ‘Fast & Furious’ spin-off

Movies steal concepts from television. Take fallout, for example. “Lavern and Shirley” was a spin-off from “Happy Days.” “Knots Landing” was a spin-off of “Dallas”. “Phyllis”, “Rhoda” and “Lou Grant” are from the “Mary Tyler Moore Show”. “Star Trek” spawned a number of television series. “JAG” spawned “NCIS,” which spawned “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” The “Law & Order” series gave us a total of 10 spinoffs.

The radio did it too. “Fibber McGee and Molly” gave us our very first spinoff when a supporting character got a comedy program called “The Great Gildersleeve.”

The “Fast & Furious” movie franchise did the same. After eight films (with two more in the works), this series about street racing, spies and heists has its first spin-off, an action adventure titled “Hobbs & Shaw.” It is alternatively called “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”.

The early “Fast & Furious” movies starred (on and off) Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as two outlaw street racers who performed impossible car stunts while taking on the bad guys.

Along the way, former wrestler (and even bigger movie star) Dwayne Johnson appeared on “Fast Five” as Luke Hobbs, a DSS agent and bounty hunter. Martial artist (and popular anti-hero movie star) Jason Statham joined the party in “Fast & Furious 6” as a British special forces assassin and mercenary named Deckard Shaw.

With this new film – ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ – Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw become unlikely allies as they team up to protect Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), an MI6 agent who is being chased by thugs heavily armed led by a rogue spy named Brixton Lore (Idris Elba). They are assisted in their fight by Madame M (Eiza González), a mysterious billionaire black arms dealer.

Considering the physicality of the two stars, the film offers more punches than fast cars, although racing fans won’t be disappointed.

The spin-off is fortified by a few familiar faces. Dame Helen Mirren reprises her role as Shaw’s mother. Charlize Theron returns as Cipher. Eddie Marsan appears as Professor Andreiko. Kevin Hart and Ryan Reynolds make an appearance on the end-cap.

“Hobbs & Shaw” will break heads and burn rubber starting tonight at Creekside Cinemas with screenings at 7 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

As it happens, that spin-off supplanted the ninth “Fast & Furious” movie on the 2019 schedule. This caused “tension” between Vin Diesel and Johnson, with Diesel posting an Instagram dissing Johnson.

‘Fast & Furious’ fans don’t care about the controversy between the two brawny stars. They would like to see a fight between the former bouncer and the 10-time world wrestling champion.

Meanwhile, “Fast & Furious” spawns yet more spinoffs: A future movie that will focus on female characters; an animated television series titled “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers”; Universal theme park attractions, one of which is called “Fast & Furious: Supercharged”. Even “Fast & Furious Live,” a road tour that combines stunts, pyrotechnics and throwing techniques to recreate scenes from the movies.

“Fast & Furious” is ranked the 10th highest-grossing film series of all time, with a cumulative total of over $5 billion. And that’s without counting this “Hobbs & Shaw” spin-off… and other films to come.

Top 10 Movie Spinoffs

With “Hobbs & Shaw”, the new film which is a spin-off of the “Fast & Furious” series, I started to think of other films which had been derived from another.

I mean movies that took one or more characters or other elements from the original movie and then went in a new direction – not just a sequel.

Here are my Top 10 favorite movie spinoffs:

10) ‘Minions’ (2015) – These little yellow sidekicks of the sweet villain Gru in the ‘Despicable Me’ animated films stand on their own little feet in this story about how they met their master.

9) ‘Puss in Boots’ (2011) – The fairytale cat (voiced by Antonio Banderas) in these animated ‘Shrek’ movies has its own story.

8) ‘Bring Him to the Greek’ (2010) – This silly comedy starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand is actually a spin-off of that sweet romantic comedy ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall.’ Here, Brand reprises his role as Aldous Snow, an obnoxious British rocker who’s late for a big performance.

7) ‘It’s 40’ (2012) – This devious king of comedy Judd Apatow brought back two minor characters (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann) from ‘Knocked Up’, giving us a spin-off no one noticed was a spin-off.

6) “Creed” (2015) – Is it a spin-off or a sequel to the “Rocky” movies? We’ll go with spinoffs as Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) hands the boxing gloves to Apollo Creed’s (Michael B. Jordan) son.

5) “The Lego Batman Movie” (2017) – I’m not a fan of toy-based movies, but the Lego folks nailed it, especially when they did this spin-off with a toy version of Batman, the super -capped hero. Credit the voice acting by Will Arnett, Ralph Fiennes and the rest of the cast.

4) ‘Night Train to Munich’ (1940) – The comedy team of Caldicott and Charters (Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford) were so popular in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes’ that they appeared in five other films in the same roles.

3) ‘A Shot in the Dark’ (1964) – The original ‘Pink Panther’ movie was about a cat burglar (David Niven) with that cuddly nickname, but clumsy Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) was so funny the producers brought him back for more films.

2) ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ (2016) – In this charming spin-off of the Harry Potter blockbusters, we meet Newt (Eddie Redmayne), who is something of a cryptozoological zookeeper in the same wizarding world.

1) ‘Deadpool’ (2016) – A spinoff of Marvel’s ‘X-Men’ movies, this sarcastic, self-aware anti-superhero was a hit as portrayed by Ryan Reynolds. After Reynold’s poorly received “Green Lantern” film, this was a welcome return for him to the comic world. I admit I’m biased in that I gave Deadpool its first self-titled comic when I was an editor at Marvel.

Your favorite spinoffs? There are many more to choose from. Movies are never shy about taking a detour when the audience asks.



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