Men of the Year 2014

David Oyelowo

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You may or may not recognise the name, but you will sure as hell recognise the man. Mr Oyelowo has been in some of the biggest films of the last five years – The Help, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Lincoln to name just three – and this year was no different. With roles in Interstellar and A Most Violent Year, David’s career seems to be getting bigger and better, culminating in a brilliant performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in the highly recommended Selma. As our very own Sarah put it, he’s come a long way since Spooks.

Chris Pratt

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Whether he’s Fat Pratt or Six Pack Pratt, we’re smitten with the Parks and Recreation star – his turn as Star-Lord in Guardians Of The Galaxy has seen him go from (please excuse this next word) cuddly, cute comedy actor to bonafide box-office banger. And before you say it, no it’s not *just* his looks that have us hooked – Pratt’s hilarious performance as Emmet in The Lego Movie appealed to viewers of all ages and his voice was perfect for the earnest and enthusiastic hero. And good lord was it difficult to make a decision on which picture of him to use for this post. I spent HOURS researching…

John Boyega

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Since the end of November, there’s only one film anyone has been talking about, and it doesn’t even come out for another year – Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. The trailer opens with a young man popping up on screen looking panicked and exhausted – that’s our John Boy(ega)! With a lead role in arguably the most hotly anticipated film of next year, we’re so impressed that the star of Attack The Block and Half of A Yellow Sun has seen so much success so early on in his career – and he’s still only 22 years old!

John Oliver

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When Jon Stewart took a break from hosting The Daily Show this summer to direct his film Rosewater, he could have picked any of the show’s correspondents to stand in for him, and he chose the only British one. John Oliver did a fantastic job of hosting the show; he was already hugely popular with the audience, you could tell this from the rapturous applause he received whenever he hosted a segment. His brand of super-sarcastic, verbose humour was wasted on the absolutely dire Mock The Week, and he’s much better suited and appreciated in his role as a correspondent on a fake news show. Sure, he looks like a Jim Henson muppet come to life, but he actually did such a good job that he was given his own show on HBO, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which is similar to The Daily Show but with even more sarcasm and a British accent – what more could you want? And speaking of The Daily Show alumni…

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert

This year, Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman’s replacement for when the talk-show king steps down in 2015. While the DTSFT ladies agree that it would be nice to see someone other than a white, middle-aged man hosting a late-night chat show, we’re still pretty pleased with the choice that’s been made. Stephen has come a long way since his days as a correspondent on The Daily Show, landing his own show in 2005, The Colbert Report, which sadly came to an end in December with a final episode packed full of callbacks to earlier episodes and a sing-along with his favourite recurring characters and guests. It’s going to be weird to see him hosting as himself rather than the conservative character (also named Stephen Colbert) that he has played for so long, but we’re definitely excited to see what he has to offer.

 Kailash Satyarthi

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Along with Malala Yousafzai, Kailash was the recipient of the 2014 Nobel Prize for his tireless campaigning for children’s rights. The access to education, which we in the Western world take for granted, has been a focus point for Mr Satyarthi, and his Nobel Prize was well-deserved.

Peter Capaldi

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Here at DTSFT, we were delighted with the casting of Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Doctor, as he made a nice change from the potato-faced Matt Smith. His turn as Mr Curry in Paddington also brought him to the attention of a new and younger audience, who will hopefully be tuning in to be utterly terrified by Doctor Who.  Mwuhahahaha!

Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie

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Yeah I’m lumping them all in together because otherwise this post will go on forever – it’s the Captain America: The Winter Soldier gang! With Hannah’s insatiable lust for Sebastian Stan, there was no way the DTSFT ladies were going to leave this trio off the Men of The Year list. While we’ll have to wait for Captain America: Civil War to see the boys back onscreen together, you could check out ‘Playing It Cool’ for a cheeky helping of Evans and Mackie. We’re especially proud of Evans for his directorial debut, Before We Go, as well as his role in the dark action thriller, Snowpiercer – give it a UK release date, god DAMMIT!

Chadwick Boseman

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Chadwick made waves last year with his role as Jackie Robinson in the magnificent 42, and it looks like the next few years are going to be no different for this versatile actor. After portraying soul legend James Brown in the biopic Get On Up, Boseman is set to star as the Marvel character Black Panther in not one but TWO upcoming Marvel movies – Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther. Chadwick, you complete and utter BANGER.

Jack O’Connell

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Unlike some actors who seem to love the limelight more than the craft, Jack O’Connell is a young actor who has worked hard at his talent and is finally starting to get some recognition. After making his name with a role in Skins and films like Private Peaceful and Harry Brown, this intense young actor’s star has continued to rise and this year saw him in three of the most talked about films – ’71, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Angelina Jolie-directed Unbroken. From interviews I’ve watched, he doesn’t seem all too comfortable on the chat-show circuit, which I think makes for a better actor – the less we know about him, the more believable he’ll be in his roles.

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Red Carpet Watch: ‘Iron Man 3’ Hollywood Premiere

This was the big premiere. The earlier Iron Man 3 premieres looked a bit half-hearted when you see the crowd that attended the Los Angeles one. So let’s get started:

Jaimie Alexander

Jaimie Alexander (Sif in Thor and Thor: The Dark World) wearing Marc Bouwer. I love the colour of this dress – I’m not sure why I like yellow so much but I do. And the simple shape works beautifully for Alexander. The one extravagance on this dress is the embellished neckline with a cut-out. It’s demure and sexy at the same time.

Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey

Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr. I love Susan’s dress and is it me or has Downey got a coordinated pocket square? Super cute. I love his three-piece suit but it’s still worn with typical Downey style – loose tie, unbuttoned shirt collar and trainers. The white is just too much for me. I’m sorry. (Maybe it’s the lifts in them too…)

Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) wearing John Varvatos. Very laid-back look. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing though. The most disappointing aspect is his hair. This makes no sense for Bucky…

Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall wearing Prada. I can’t bring myself to a decision as to whether this is a great dress or not…I think I like aspects of it. I definitely don’t like the shoes though.

Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky

Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth both look great – similar styles to previous premiere appearances. Hiddleston wearing a grey suit with sharp lines (and a pocket square) and Hemsworth wearing a blue suit in a more relaxed way.

Cobie Smulders

Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill in Avengers Assemble) wearing Halston. I really like the simple style of this dress. And it’s red. We know how I love red. The relaxed seventies vibe of the dress is also played up and I love this.

Emily VanCamp

Emily VanCamp (Agent 13/Sharon Carter? in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) wearing Temperley London. I really like the shoes here – they have a total Deco style about them and I love everything and anything Art Deco-y. I’m less of a fan of the dress. I’m not sure why. I like the nude-y tone of it and the gold accents coordinated with the shoes but…I think it needs something more. Maybe it’s too simple a shape for me.

Kat Dennings

Kat Dennings (Darcy in Thor and Thor: The Dark World) wearing Dolce & Gabbana). There is a lot going on in this dress but somehow, it works. I love it. Saying that, I really don’t like the shoes. Really don’t. Loving the bright pink lips though so I’m going to concentrate on the good aspects.

Zachary Levi

Zachary Levi (Fandral in Thor: The Dark World) wearing Reiss. If we’re ticking boxes here we’ve got three-piece, pocket square and not black. The blue is pretty bright but it works. I really like it. It fits perfectly and the beige tie accent and brown shoes are great. I’m having fewer problems with Fandral’s re-casting now.

Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle wearing a sharp three-piece suit. The tie is a little too wide for my liking but that’s nearly too petty for words. It’s a good suit if not maybe a little wide…

Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) wearing a Naven blouse (confirming that she’s not wearing a dress). I love the tuxedo jacket. Love it. I always love a tuxedo jacket. The skirt is a pencil skirt with a double-ended zip down the left side. This is amazing. The issue is the blouse. It’s…just a little odd. And I think it might be on the  wrong side of sexy – just a bit too much emphasis on Atwell’s…assets. The necklace is pretty badass though. But I still love her.

Sir Ben Kingsley

Sir Ben Kingsley wearing a very simple black suit, black shirt combination. The yellow and black tie just adds some colour to brighten and lift the outfit.

Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce wearing Dolce & Gabbana. Simple, well-cut, relaxed. Not much to talk about. It’s a good look (and very different from his costume as Aldrich Killian).

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing Antonio Beradi. At first glance, mostly from this photo, the dress looks very impressive. Some interesting panels and sheer sections. And then there’s this photo. Now I have a very different impression of the dress. And it’s not an altogether great one…

S x

Superhero Sunday: ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) is due to start filming…soon? Its start date has been pushed back repeatedly but it should be starting in the not too distant future. And with the announcement of Robert Redford joining the cast (replacing the heavyweight presence of Tommy Lee Jones from the first film) I thought it would be worth revisiting Captain America: The First Avenger. None of the Marvel films have been panned so to speak, but some are regarded as the weaker films. For a lot of people this includes Hulk (2003), The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Captain America. I am not a fan of the Hulk films but I do think that Captain America has got a bit of a bad rap. It’s not perfect, sure, but it has some great performances and wonderful moments – all setting up the development of the Steve Rogers character.

Captain America: The First Avenger

With a film that is so firmly based on the origins of one character, it’s important to cast the role as well as possible. When Chris Evans was first cast the only issues that fans had was due to his previous role as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films. As complaints go it is fairly limited and, by now, seems irrelevant – especially with the reboot of the Fantastic Four on the way. The first meeting of Steve Rogers shows him as short and very skinny. These are possibly the most disturbing images of the film – seeing Evans so emaciated is very unnerving. And then you move onto Captain America Steve. Easier on the eyes but still the same sweet endearing character. Out of all of the Avengers he can be regarded as boring. He isn’t cocky like Tony Stark, not arrogant like Thor (even if he has developed since his first introduction) and not quite as “damaged” as Bruce Banner. Rogers is a weak man with great inner strength and character who was given great physical strength as well. Plus, who doesn’t love a gentleman?

Peggy Carter

Another great aspect? Hayley. Atwell. I’m quite clearly obsessed infatuated adoring of her. I don’t even need to mention how much I love Peggy Carter.

"The Howling Commandos"

The rest of the cast are also top notch. Tommy Lee Jones as a gruff Army General. Stanley Tucci as the well meaning, intelligent Doctor. Sebastian Stan as Rogers’ best friend with all (or most of) the luck, Bucky Barnes. Dominic Cooper as the third actor to play Tony Stark’s father Howard – and setting up a possible love triangle. Toby Jones as the weedy scientist. Rogers’ team of soldiers – never fully claimed as The Howling Commandos. And then there’s Hugo Weaving as the deranged Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. Doing crazy Nazi to the full but never quite camping it up like Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Which is a good thing.

Bucky Barnes

Howard Stark

The problems? Mostly relating to the plot, in my mind. I don’t know the full details of Captain America in the comics or the origins of Red Skull. All I can go in is what I make of the film. Aside from the fact that there is a general accepted suspension of disbelief regarding superheroes anyway, the Red Skull story seems…just too insane. (I have no problem with the plot of Thor though.) And the end… It is both heartbreaking (I love Peggy!) and also unsatisfying. The best moments of the film come with Rogers being a solider. Whether that’s in battle or just interacting with the other soldiers and Stark. And Peggy. Anything with Peggy. (Undeserving of just a side note, but Anna B. Sheppard’s costume design is also incredible. But I may just be distracted by that red dress.)

Red Skull

But let’s not forget another wonderful aspect of the film. This:

And that’s why I went as a USO girl for a fancy dress film night.

The USO Girls

Let’s cut Captain America a little slack and look forward to The Winter Soldier!

The Winter Soldier

S x

Emmys 2012: 5 US TV Shows That I’m Addicted To

The 2012 Primetime Emmys are only a few weeks away (23rd September – or should I say, September 23rd?) and to get ourselves ready here at DTSFT we’re going to post a few things about American TV.

I absolutely love American TV. Not just the shows themselves, but also the technical stuff, like when the fall season starts, and when pilot season is, and what shows have been picked up, renewed…or – dun-dun-duuuuun – cancelled.

I’ve been spending a lot of time watching some of the latest US series, and I have to say that I’ve been very impressed. But then again, I didn’t think that they would let me down!

Here are 5 shows that I just can’t seem to switch off:

Revenge

What’s it about? After seeing her dad get sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Emily Thorne returns to her childhood home in the Hamptons to get revenge on the people who did it.

You guys probably knew that this was coming. Revenge is fantastic. It’s soapy, sexy, sticky and silly, and I love everything about it: the twisted storylines, the cutting one-liners (I’m looking at you, Nolan Ross!), the designer outfits and lavish parties. It’s almost like a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ thing for me really; like we’re getting a sneak peek in on the crazy lives of the stinking rich and infamous. Season 1 is still going in the UK, but I believe that Season 2 has started filming across the pond, and is due to air on 30th September (but not for a while in the UK), with even more crazy plots, eccentric characters and awesome outfits from Nolan. Can. Not. Wait.

Covert Affairs

What’s it about? Annie Walker gets recruited into the complex and action-packed world of the CIA, all the while having to keep her job a secret from her sister.

Seriously underrated. The whole tone of the show is cute, but because it’s about the double life of a CIA agent it hasn’t forgotten to pack a punch.

The cast is great, including the gorgeous Piper Perabo as Annie Walker and a great performance from the equally gorgeous Christopher Gorham as blind military intelligence/special ops officer Auggie Anderson, and the stories are really engaging. I don’t think people in the UK rate it as much as those in the US do, but if you’re thinking about watching it, you really should – it’s a lot of fun!

Once Upon A Time

What’s it about? A land full of fairy tale characters gets cursed by the Wicked Queen, and sends them all to an alternate world – ours. In the small town of Storybrooke, the characters are completely unaware of their past lives…until a woman named Emma shows up and changes everything.

Exciting, heart-warming and lovable, this series provides an interesting twist on some of the most popular fairy tales: Snow White is a butt-kicking tough cookie and Little Red Riding Hood is part girl, part wolf. I also find the similarities between the fairy tale characters and the residents of Storybrooke quite clever: Snow White is a teacher called Mary Margaret Blanchard, Jiminy Cricket is a psychiatrist called Dr. Hopper, and ‘Granny’s House’ is now a diner. Season 1 has now finished in the UK and we won’t get the next lot until next year (I had to hold back the tears when I heard the news) but they’ve picked a hell of a cliffhanger, haven’t they?

Political Animals

What’s it about? Elaine Barrish Hammond, wife of former President Bud Hammond, decides to run for the top spot herself, but her troubled family life often gets in the way of her campaign.

I’ve only started watching this recently, but I’m only 3 or so episodes in and I can’t tear myself away from it. I like my TV shows dark and kind of twisted and this one is definitely that. There’s swearing, sex, conspiracy, back-stabbing…it’s brilliant. However it does include some serious political issues, such as a dispute between Elaine and President Garcetti about whether or not to rescue a Chinese submarine left stranded in the West Coast. And Sigourney Weaver is amazing as Elaine. I can’t wait to watch the rest!

Homeland

What’s it about? CIA operative Carrie Mathison believes that American solider Nicholas Brody was turned while he was held captive by the Al-Qaeda and is planning to make an attack on the United States.

Although it’s more complex (and more sweary), it still has the same hard edge as my favourite TV show, like, ever ever ever, 24. And I think that that’s what drew me to it. The main storyline is easy enough to follow, but what’s great about it is that so many other storylines are woven through it, making it difficult to work out the characters’ motives, such as the close – very close – relationship between Carrie and Brody, and the fact that Brody’s wife Jessica started seeing his best friend Mike while he was in Iraq. I did find the last episode of Season 1 a bit of an anti-climax, but that hasn’t lowered my expectations; I’m sure the next season will come back with a bang…they just need to go pick up a few Emmys first.

Hannah

Happy Birthday Sebastian Stan!

So I started this with Benedict Cumberbatch and will casually (when I remember) update with other DTSFT favs. Now, Stan might be just my fav cos of various appearances in Gossip Girl (I know, but I love it nonetheless), Captain America: The First Avenger and Once Upon a Time. Bring on Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

I still love me a three-piece suit.

Sebastian Stan – 13th August 1983. So happy 29th birthday!

How good does he look in an army uniform? No need to answer. We all know.

Now, I’m really enjoying ‘Once Upon a Time’ and not just for Whedon-y guest appearances/writers. It’s not perfect but…please don’t spoil me! It’s just lots of fun!

S x