Archive for the ‘Heroes and Celebrities’ Category

Heroes and Celebrities

RIP James Gandolfini – the world has lost a giant

By Stefano on June 20th, 2013

Top-50-TV-The-Sopranos-001Simon Poulter of WWDB pays tribute to James Gandolfini, a great actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos.

Talk to any actor famous for a particular part and they will, more than anything else, do their level best to divorce fiction from reality. Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy even named his first autobiography I Am Not Spock to get some distance from fans who found it hard not to think of him as the pointy-eared Vulcan.

James Gandolfini – who died today at the age of 51 while on holiday in Italy – was a serious actor, with the Broadway chops to prove it. But when The Sopranos came along in 1999, and effectively rewrote series television drama as anyone had known it,

Gandolfini’s casting as the show’s central character – a New Jersey mob boss balancing suburban family life with the complex politics of his business – appeared to be an uncannily perfect fit. And as the series progressed, through six seasons, it became clear that creator David Chase had produced something extraordinary. I would even argue that The Sopranos was television’s greatest ever series. And Anthony John Soprano its greatest ever character.

Gandolfini was born in 1961 to Italian-American parents in Westwood, a town in north-eastern New Jersey and close to where he was living up until his death. After graduating in communications from New Jersey’s Rutgers University, Gandolfini moved to New York and working as a bartender, amongst other jobs, until his acting career took off with a Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992. The following year he appeared in Tony Scott’s True Romance as Virgil, an enforcer working for Christopher Walken’s mobster Vincent Coccotti. It was a part that drew attention to Gandolfini when The Sopranos began casting.

There was, of course, far more to Gandolfini’s canon than just Tony Soprano: at 6’1″ and a substantial frame, Gandolfini filled the screen with presence in films like Get Shorty, The Mexican and most recently in Zero Dark Thirty as a Pentagon general.

This was a role he’d played before, in Armando Iannucci’s big screen version of The Thick Of It, in which Gandolfini stole the show as a thunderously profane, Norman Schwarzkopf-style general who puts the equally potty-mouthed Malcolm Tucker firmly in his place for possibly the first time ever.

However, it was the role of Anthony John Soprano, crew boss in the fictional DiMeo crime family (said to be based on the real DeCavalcante family of New Jersey), who grew up in Newark’s tough Ironbound neighbourhood the son of Johnny Boy Soprano before enjoying the comforts of life at 633 Stag Trail Road, North Caldwell in Jersey’s considerably more upmarket Essex County…….

James Gandolfini 1961-2013

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As a young man!

The Sopranos was more than just another crime show. Part Shakespearian drama, part Greek tragedy, like The Godfather’s depiction of the American dream, it depicted the American dream as suburban life.

Yes, it riled some Italian-Americans for being yet another portrayal of crime in their community, but it also held a mirror to modern day America, of modern American family life.

And that was the premise of Tony Soprano: a modern American dad balancing family life and ‘family life’, with random violence and moral ambiguity ever-present throughout.

“The Sopranos was ambiguous to the point where, to this day, I’m not really sure whether it was a drama or a comedy,” it’s creator told Vanity Fair last year.

If it was a comedy – and there were numerous funny moments (the best being the episode Pine Barrens, with Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti lost in the New Jersey woods) – it was certainly humour of the darkest shade.

Gandolfini’s portrayal of Tony Soprano drove that darkness to its core. Through all six seasons it’s there, played out in the Soprano kitchen, at the ‘Bing or Satrale’s, at Vesuvio, and most critically in Dr. Melfi’s counselling room.

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken,” Lorraine Bracco – who played Melfi – said today at news of Gandolfini’s death. It’s a sentiment that has been shared by many.

“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family,” a statement on the HBO website for The Sopranos said. [James] was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

Since The Sopranos ended Gandolfini tried to put a little distance between him and his best known alter-ego. Acting, however, and particularly roles like Tony, had been useful. Last year he told the Associated Press that acting had become a means to deal with an inner rage.

“I don’t know what exactly I was angry about,” he said. “I try to avoid certain things and certain kinds of violence at this point,” he added. “I’m getting older, too. I don’t want to be beating people up as much.”

Sopranos creator David Chase said today: “[James] was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.”

Those sad eyes. In Tony Soprano, truly the window of the soul. And in James Gandolfini, a brilliant actor whose life has been cut so short. RIP.

Post originally appeared here.



Heroes and Celebrities

RIP Ray Harryhausen – we pay tribute to the man who inspired Spielberg and Lucas

By shinychris on May 8th, 2013

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Ray Harryhausen, the special effects wizard who brought life to dozens of the silver screen’s most memorable stop-motion monsters has died aged 92.

An industry legend, his work went on to inspire modern monster movie kings such as Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and Wallace and Gromit director Nick Park, all of whom paid Harryhausen and his pioneering work.

And though many of Harryhausen’s clay model techniques have since been superseded by CGI, there’s a charm and life in his creations completely missing from the sterile computer-generated imagery that dominates modern cinema.

In tribute, here’s a look at ten of Harryhausen’s best stop-motion monsters.

10) Hydra (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

9) Kali (Golden Voyage of Sinbad 1974)

8) Cyclops (7th Voyage of Sinbad – 1958)

7) Tyrannosaurus Rex (One Million Years BC – 1966)

6) Kraken (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

5) Talos (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

4) Mighty Joe Young (Mighty Joe Young – 1949)

3) Pegasus (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

2) Medusa (Clash of the Titans – 1981)

1) Skeletons (Jason and the Argonauts – 1963)

Here follows a list of just some of the tributes pouring in from movie industry greats on the passing of Ray Harryhausen:

“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much. Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS”
George Lucas.

“THE LORD OF THE RINGS is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least”
Peter Jackson

“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”
Nick Park

“His legacy of course is in good hands
Because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”
Randy Cook

“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”
Phil Tippett

“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”
Terry Gilliam.

“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.”
Peter Jackson

“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”
Steven Spielberg

“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
James Cameron

By Gerald Lynch, Tech Digest



Celeb style, features, Football, Heroes and Celebrities, Sports

Brandish’s fifteen men to watch in 2013 – who is going to be influential in tech, style, sport and politics?

By Stefano on December 19th, 2012

So 2012, a year that promised much, and in the case of the odd sporting event at least delivered in spades, is heading for the exit door.

What then will 2013 bring? Who are going to be the key people that we will be talking about in tech, sport and style?

Our rather small panel of Brandish writers got together then to name the 15 people we think are going to have a very good year in 2013. Some have achieved incredible things already, others will become much higher profile next year. We may of course be way off the mark, but at this point if we were betting men these are the 15 we’d be slapping the cash on.

So here’s the list. Who have we missed?

Pics from various sources – some are PA. The Martin Brighty pic was originally from the excellent Modcast.

Carl Jenkinson

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Arsenal's young English right back looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights at the beginning of last season. But since that shaky start he has arguably become the Gunners' most improved player and a long stay at The Emirates, as well as an England career seems certain. Jenkinson is also intelligent, articulate and passionate about the club. Like his fellow countryman Jack Wilshere, his commitment to charitable causes hasn't gone un-noticed too. Along with fellow Gunner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he personifies much of what a model young professional should be.



Heroes and Celebrities, News, photography

The Lost Beatles Photographs by Larry Marion

By Laura on March 29th, 2011

We can’t wait for the new comprehensive pictorial book of lost photographs of Britain’s greatest music export, The Beatles, to come out. Written by Larry Marion with the help of The Beatles’ US Tour manager Bob Bonis, the book features everything from on stage performances to rehearsals and light-hearted behind the scene moments.
The book is being published by Harper Collins.

The Lost Beatles Photographs by Larry Marion

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Clothing, Heroes and Celebrities

Style Profile: Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola

By ThomasHewetson on April 10th, 2010

josep5.jpgThe Barcelona coach is the best dressed manager in any sport that I have ever seen. Everyone praised the sartorial elan of Jose when he wore that fantastic Armani coat a few years back, but the suits were never as fashionable as what I’ve been seeing Pep Guardiola dressing in on the touchlines. Slimly cut almost always with a crisp white shirt and a narrow tie, he is a walking advert of how the suit doesn’t need to be stuffy and also doesn’t need to make you look like you shop too much in the Topman skinny-cut section.

I’ve tried to find out whether they are off-the-peg. It was a long-shot and invariably it turns out they are bespoke, but if you look for the general cut, then you can find some good ready-to-wear out there. The thing so beautiful about these suits is that, unlike the Dior Homme and high street versions of the slim suit, the jacket is not cropped so retains the same masculinity and elegance of the traditional suit jacket just with a 21st century silhouette.

It’s the little touches that elevate him to a genuinely stylish man. Known to wear a pocket square matching the colour of his shirt and often matching the colour of his tie to his suit, it’s simple but effective and his use of v-necks and cardigans to is impeccable. He even has a beautiful mac for if it gets a bit chilly.
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Heroes and Celebrities, Video

VBS.TV Meets David Haye.

By ThomasHewetson on April 2nd, 2010

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I would have embedded it, but it starts without you having to click play and I’m sure that would be annoying. You can watch it HERE.



Heroes and Celebrities, News

Esquire Singular Suit Project featuring Kim Jones, Jeremy Deller, Patrick Grant & Antony Gormley

By Isabelle OCarroll on July 16th, 2009

Esquire has brought together some of our favourite designers and our most art-throb artists for the Singular Suit Project which opens at Somerset House on July 31st.

Patrick Grant from Savile Row tailors Norton & Sons teamed up with one of our favourite artists, Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller to produce a US-style boilersuit which accumulates patches as mementoes of the wearer’s life. Richard James‘ sheer tailored suit takes inspiration from Spencer Tunick‘s mass nude photographs and just so happens to be bang on trend. Newly appointed Dunhill Director Kim Jones worked with Terence Koh on an-all white suit, with mixed-media embellishments which cracks and ages as it’s worn.

The full feature will appear in a special hardback edition of Esquire’s September issue out on Aug 6, in the meantime check out our thumbnail gallery featuring a selection of the designs.

Click image to start gallery (9th pic NSFW)

[Images: Esquire]



Heroes and Celebrities

John Malkovich, transcending fashion

By jsmith on July 14th, 2009

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Does cool transcend fashion? In John Malkovich’s case yep it certainly does. Malkovich belongs to a band of bus pass eligible actors that every young man should aspire to when becoming an old man. This motley crew of old geezers romp around southern Europe spreading their own brand of style and finesse and even when they drop a sartorial clanger like Malkovich’s off white suit at the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (yeah me neither) they still come out looking Ex Lax smooth. There is a certain substance to Malkovich’s style that over powers the clothes that he wears, meaning this suit takes on a casual style embodied by the wearer and creates a look that only a lifetime of Being John Malkovich can buy.

What do you think, can you still look cool wearing less than the hottest threads? Is who you are more stylish than what you wear? Let us know via our Facebook page.

[Image: Wenn]



Gallery, Heroes and Celebrities

The Serpentine Summer Party: Pharrell, Gareth Pugh & Will Young

By admin on July 10th, 2009

Over at Catwalk Queen we’re swooning over the women at the Serpentine Gallery Summer Party, but for once the guys were holding their own even if you discount Grayson Perry and his dress!

Ron Arad sported a colourful jacket, Gareth Pugh was obviously all in black and the wonderful Bill Nighy showed that blue and grey is great. Surprise of the evening came from Pharell, who sported a pair of knee high boots, still top marks for effort.


Click image to start gallery


Heroes and Celebrities, News

Wireless: Daniel Merriweather vs Tinchy Stryder

By Isabelle OCarroll on July 6th, 2009

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Displaying two very different menswear styles Daniel Merriweather and Tinchy Stryder put on their best togs for their appearances onstage at Wireless.

Daniel Merriweather, best known for his vocals on the Mark Ronson version of The Smiths’ ‘Stop Me’ opted for a tweedy jacket, shirt and tambourine, accessorised with a pair of aviator shades. Tinchy Stryder who recently acheived mainstream success with N-Dunz collaboration ‘Number One’ sported a t-shirt from his own ‘Star In The Hood’ range as well as a thick chain and Timex watch. Both very good efforts, and very different, hurrah!



Clothing, Heroes and Celebrities, News, Polls

Giles Deacon’s second range for New Look hits stores on the 15th

By Isabelle OCarroll on July 6th, 2009

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Giles Deacon for New Look, one of the few designer X high street collaborations for men returns next week with another collection, featuring a selection of shirts, t-shirts, jeans and knits.

We like that the New Look collections are a chance to see Deacon’s lighter take on fashion with witty t-shirt prints and bright colours. Hopefully we’ll see see pieces which push boundaries a little more in future collections but as always it’s baby steps for menswear. Having said that the designer himself wears quite simple and classic clothes, miles away from his last Pac Man womenswear catwalk show. What do you think? Take our poll and let us know!


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Heroes and Celebrities

Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel at the Transformers Premiere

By admin on June 23rd, 2009

josh duhamel shia labeouf transformers premiere.jpg

While the whole world (ok, a bit of an exaggeration) is going crazy over Megan Fox over at Brandish our eyes are trained on the menfolk.

Josh Duhamel
and Shia LaBeouf both turned up to the Transformers première in grey suits; LaBeouf wins points for opting for a three-piece suit, while Duhamel’s jacket looks like its been moulded to his body. It’s a shame they didn’t go for some slightly more adventurous accessories, a colour block tie, pocket square or a pair of pastel suede shoes could have really livened things up. Do these guys not have stylists?!



Entertainment, Heroes and Celebrities, News

Brandish Exclusive! Interview with Nickque Patterson, Fashionisto Supreme pt2

By wreid on June 18th, 2009
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Here is Part 2 of our amazing interview with the lovely Nickque Patterson. Hilarious and just as addictive as Part 1 of the interview, you won’t want our convo with this London fashionisto to end!

Read on for Ska, life in music videos and plenty of references to the likes of Mark Ronson, Noel Fielding and BGT’s Diversity!

Read the rest of this entry »



Entertainment, Heroes and Celebrities, News

Brandish Exclusive! Interview with Nickque Patterson, Fashionisto Supreme pt1

By wreid on June 16th, 2009

4313_97016153972_563923972_2668847_2262474_n.jpgNickque Patterson is setting the London fashion world alight- slowly but surely. As a stylist, DJ, designer and all-round fashionisto persona, Nickque is one of those people for whom every street is a real-life catwalk. Whether in front of the camera as a model or working behind the scenes orchestrating an edgy editorial, Patterson knows the trends and makes fashion happen.

Ever so fortunately, he was excited to be interviewed for Brandish and after the jump we have his full interview. Prepare for shoes described as ‘elite,’ Nickque’s self-decided role as the “Jesus of Fashion” and grooming-secrets (just check out the hair!)

We love him!

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Heroes and Celebrities

Hairstyles at the Glamour Awards last night

By admin on June 3rd, 2009


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Perma-pout Ed Westwick had a sharp slicked-back do, which always looks good for formal occasions. Use pomade and a fine-tooth comb to acheive this look, we like Black & White Lite for this.
Mark Ronson wasn’t wearing his Topshop jacket but still sported a cobalt blue shirt. His mighty quiff is helped by the fact he has a thick head of hair, but Trevor Sorbie’s styling clay and a small blob of mousse will help achieve that hold without too much shine.
Surprisingly ex-Blue member Lee Ryan also sported a great do. Shorn on the sides and with a slight quiff, it’s not too OTT but still has style. You can achieve this with a little blow-drying and some Elnett hairspray.

Take a look at the our Glamour Awards gallery on CQ




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