Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bill Nighy's Billy Mack costume from Love Actually on display...

Whenever I rewatch Love Actually, which is pretty much every year at Christmastime, I'm always amazed at how well Richard Curtis' romantic comedy holds up. The movie from 2003 with its interweaving storylines and characters is equally sweet, funny and heartfelt (who can forget the scene where Emma Thompson's finds out her husband is cheating on her), and boasts a bevy of wonderful British actors at their best, like Bill Nighy as the devilish aging rockstar rogue, 'Billy Mack'.

Original Love Actually movie costumes on display
Billy Mack Video Vixen Love Actually film costumes
Love Actually film costumes
Original Love Actually movie costumes
Love Actually movie costume exhibit
Love Actually movie costumes
On my most recent visit to the NBC Universal Experience archive attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood in L.A. on January 20, 2015 they had two original costume from the film on display, including one of Bill Nighy's 'Billy Mack' suits and one of the festive vixen outfits from his faux music video.

Love Actually movie poster
Love Actually movie poster
In the movie Bill Nighy plays the has-been rocker who re-records one of his old bestselling hits as a Christmas song by changing a few words, in an attempt to cash in on holiday season nostalgia. He wears this particular blue suit and garish stripped shirt when being interviewed on Michael Parkinson's chat show.

Original costume worn by Bill Nighy as Billy Mack in Love Actually
Bill Nighy Billy Mack Love Actually movie costume
Bill Nighy Billy Mack Love Actually blue suit
Billy Mack Love Actually film costume
Billy Mack Love Actually movie costume
Billy Mack Love Actually costume shoes
Billy Mack's music video in Love Actually is an homage to Robert Palmer's iconic 80's video, Addicted to Love, which memorably featured leggy models seductively playing their instruments and provocatively licking their lips. In this film version the music video is parodied even further, with the gorgeous models even more suggestive and dressed as Santa's helpers to make things more festive.

Original Video Vixen costume worn by Sarah Holland in Love Actually
Love Actually Video Vixen costume detail
Love Actually Billy Mack Video Vixen costume
Love Actually Billy Mack Video Vixen costume
Love Actually Billys Video Vixen costume
Love Actually Billy Mack Video Vixen movie costume
Actress Sarah Holland wears this outfit as one of Billy's Video Vixens and the costumes in this Christmas-themed movie were designed by Joanna Johnston. You can also see more of her design work in these film costumes for Lincoln and these Back to the Future III movie costumes.

Many others have tried to emulate the interlocking narrative of Love Actually, films like Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve come to mind, but none have truly recaptured the ease and magical chemistry of this movie. 

For me, seeing these costumes was the highlight of the ever-changing costume and prop exhibit and I hope they have more memorabilia from Love Actually on display in the future.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bruce Willis 12 Monkeys movie costume and props...

In Terry Gilliam's 1995 mind-bending, time-traveling sci-fi thriller, 12 Monkeys, Bruce Willis plays 'James Cole', a convicted criminal in a dystopian future Philadelphia given the opportunity to travel back in time back to the past to help discover a cure for a virus, which has decimated the world's population forcing the survivors to live underground, thought to have been released by terrorist organisation, the Army of the Twelve Monkeys.

Original film costume worn by Bruce Willis 
as James Cole in 12 Monkeys
Bruce Willis 12 Monkeys movie costume props
Bruce Willis 12 Monkeys tiger print shirt
Original 12 Monkeys film costume props
Bruce Willis 12 Monkeys tiger print shirt
12 Monkeys film costume prop exhibit
Cole's dangerous missions to collect information on the virus and discover its origins don't go to plan, and this costume is worn by the actor towards the end of the movie when he and 'Dr. Katherine Railly' (played by Madeleine Stowe) attempt to escape in disguise (there's a long haired wig and moustache that accompanies this loud tiger print shirt) via the airport to enjoy the time they have left before the coming plague.

Julie Weiss was the Oscar-nominated Costume Designer on this time-hopping movie, and you can also see her costumes in 2012's Hitchcock, American Beauty, Frida (for which she also received an Academy Award nomination) and many more besides.

12 Monkeys movie poster
12 Monkeys movie poster
Also on display with this movie costume was this suitcase prop, part of the scientific equipment used by James Cole on a contaminated post-apocalyptic future Earth in 2035.

Screen-used film props from 12 Monkeys on display
12 Monkeys movie suitcase prop
12 Monkeys movie props
12 Monkeys suitcase film prop
These original items from the 1995 science fiction movie were photographed on display at Universal Studios Hollywood's archive exhibit on January 20, 2015, which is very timely considering the new TV remake on the Syfy channel premiered on January 16, 2015. You can't beat the mind-boggling cinematic original though.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Back to the past with these Universal Studios cinematic treasures...

When most people visit Universal Studios Hollywood it's to ride the attractions and have a fun day out, for me the highlight of the theme park is to see what new delights have materialised in their ever-changing archive exhibit of treasures from the worlds of TV and film.

Latest costumes and props from the archives 
at the NBC Universal Experience exhibit
Universal Studios movie costume prop exhibit
Original Universal Studios movie costumes props
Back to the Future movie costumes props
Universal Studios film TV costumes
NBC Universal Experience costume prop exhibit
On my most recent trip to the NBC Universal Experience attraction on January 20, 2015, I was pleased to see many new screen-used costumes and props on display from musicals, comedies, fantasy, sci-fi, period dramas and more genres besides.

One costume which caught my eye again was Marty McFly's atomic Western costume from Back to the Future III, which I'd seen exhibited back in May 2013, but this mannequin seemed to show off the fabulous fringe on the cuffs in greater detail.

Original Marty McFly cowboy costume worn by Michael J. Fox 
in Back to the Future III
Back to the Future III Marty McFly Western costume
Back to the Future III Marty McFly cowboy costume
Marty McFly Back to the Future III cowboy costume
Michael J Fox Back to the Future 3 film costume
Original Back to the Future film costume props
If you like this Old West outfit worn by Michael J. Fox when he's stranded in the past, and designed by Joanna Johnston, be sure to also check out more original costumes, props and the DeLorean car from the Back to the Future Trilogy.

Another real highlight of the fresh array of movie memorabilia had to be these costumes from 2003's Love Actually, which is one of my all-time favourite feel-good films and a Christmas viewing essential in our household.

Original costumes from Love Actually on display 
Love Actually movie costumes Universal Studios
Also designed by Joanna Johnston, this funky suit was worn by Bill Nighy as faded rock star 'Billy Mack' in his Christmas song video accompanied by his video vixens in an homage to Robert Palmer's iconic 80's Addicted to Love music video.

As a complete contrast, beside those costumes is a dress worn by Deanna Durbin as 'Louise Ginglebusher' in 1947's romantic comedy I'll Be Yours, with Costume Design by Travis Banton.

Original costumes from period dramas, musicals, biopics and science fiction films
NBC Universal Experience costume exhibit
Be sure to stick around in the days to come for a closer look at all the fantastic costumes and props on display at the L.A. theme park on this visit, including:

Film costume worn by Bruce Willis and props from 12 Monkeys
Tom Hanks tuxedo and props from Charlie Wilson's War
Original Love Actually film costumes
Nathan Lane's movie costume and props from The Producers
TV costume and props from Warehouse 13
Jeremy Renner's costume from Kill the Messenger
Mia Wasikowska's period costume from Jane Eyre
Day of the Dead masks and dress worn by Salma Hayek in Savages
Emma Thompson's costume from Nanny McPhee Returns
Luke Evans Vlad the Impaler costume from Dracula Untold
Motorcycles featured in Inglorious Basterds and The Mummy Returns

And do yourself a favour, if you ever visit Universal Studios Hollywood, don't forget to check out this special exhibition space in the Lower Lot, as you may see a piece of history from a movie or TV show you love, or an outfit worn by your favourite film star.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meryl Streep's Good Witch costume from Into the Woods on display...

Academy favourite Meryl Streep received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal as the 'Witch' in Rob Marshall's big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods musical, and here's a closer look at one of the fantastic costumes she wore on display at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 6, 2015.

Post-transformation Witch costume 
worn by Meryl Streep in Into the Woods
Meryl Streep Into the Woods post-curse Witch costume
I'd seen this 'Good Witch' costume along with her 'Cursed Witch' costume from Into the Woods exhibited at ArcLight Sherman Oaks cinema before the movie opened at the beginning of December, but this outfit had more room to breathe and was visible from more angles in the display case at the El Capitan.

Into the Woods costume and prop exhibit 
at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
Into the Woods El Capitan Theatre Hollywood
The actress (who has been nominated nineteen times and won three Oscars to date) wears this beautiful gown when the Baker and his wife retrieve all the iconic fairytale items the Witch needs to remove the curse placed on her.

After watching the costume on screen I personally thought it had great movement with the cape, especially in the wind-machine special effects scenes. I also love the blue colour, voluminous shoulder design and fringe like sleeves of this outfit, which is quite unlike any other Witch costume I've see in a movie, good or bad.

Into the Woods Witch movie costume worn by Meryl Streep
Blue Witch costume Into the Woods
Into the Woods Blue Witch film costume
Into the Woods Blue Witch costume detail
Meryl Streep Into the Woods Good Witch movie costume
Into the Woods Witch movie costume
Meryl Streep Into the Woods Good Witch costume
Into the Woods Witch movie costume
Into the Woods post-curse Witch costume
Into the Woods Witch film costume
For another example of a good witch (although some would debate whether Meryl Streep's Witch was good even after the curse is lifted), be sure to take a look at this Glinda movie costume from Oz The Great and Powerful.

For more familiar dark witch costumes, you can also enjoy these costumes from Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters from 2013, these fun witch costumes from 1993's Hocus Pocus (always a fan favourite at Halloween) and of course this Wicked Witch of the West costume worn by Mila Kunis in The Wizard of Oz movie prequel.

Costume Designer extraordinaire Colleen Atwood is also nominated for an Oscar for this Disney live-action feature film, so let's wait and see if her Into the Woods movie costume designs help her secure her fourth Academy Award win this February.

Into the Woods movie billboard
Into the Woods movie billboard

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Original Into the Woods movie costumes and props on display...

Another character featured in Stephen Sondheim's twisted musical take on familiar Brothers Grimm fairytales is 'Jack and the Beanstalk', and here's a selection of screen-used film costumes and props from Disney's big screen adaptation of Into the Woods on display at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on January 6, 2015.

Original costumes worn by Daniel Huttlestone as Jack 
and Tracey Ullman as Jack's Mother in Into the Woods
Into the Woods Jack movie costume
Into the Woods Jack film costume
Into the Woods Jack Beanstalk character costumes cow
Tracey Ullman Into the Woods Jack's Mother costume
Into the Woods Jack's Mother movie costume
Into the Woods movie costumes and props
The Oscar-nominated Colleen Atwood was responsible for these turn-of-the-century, poor rural folk costumes worn by the young Daniel Huttlestone as the infamous 'Jack', who trades his cow 'Milky-White' for some magic beans, and Tracey Ullman as his mother.

Into the Woods movie poster
Into the Woods Jack movie poster
In addition to these two outfits, there were many other fantastic movie costumes from Into the Woods on display, all influenced by different fashions, ideas and time periods, an eclectic mashup of styles, just like the musical interweaves many iconic fairytales like Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and Rapunzel into one story.

Screen-used film props from Into the Woods on display
Into the Woods movie prop exhibit
Original Into the Woods film props
Into the Woods Golden Egg prop
Into the Woods movie props
Jack's sling magic beans Into the Woods props
Into the Woods giant gold coin props
In addition to Jack's cow, the exhibit also featured such eclectic items as his sling used to fell the giant, magic beans, massive gold coins and a huge golden egg stolen from the land of the giants above the clouds, plus Rapunzel's hair brush, Cinderella's wedding bouquet, Red Riding Hood's basket and more besides. And the El Capitan Theatre always does such a great job presenting them all too, staging with leaves and branches for that authentic Into the Woods feel.

For more great fairytale-themed movie memorabilia, be sure to also check out these original costumes and props from Disney's Maleficent, which was inspired by the classic Sleeping Beauty story, plus these costumes and props from TV's Once Upon a Time.