Absolutely Anything is a 2015 British science fiction comedy film directed by Terry Jones, and written by Jones and Gavin Scott. The film stars Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rob Riggle, Eddie Izzard and Joanna Lumley, with the voices provided by John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Robin Williams in his final film role. It was the first film to feature all living Monty Python members since 1983's Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Principal photography and production began on 24 March 2014, and ended on 12 May 2014. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 14 August 2015 by Lionsgate UK. The film grossed $3.8 million worldwide.
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Terry Jones|
|Music by||George Fenton|
|Edited by||Julian Rodd|
|Distributed by||Lionsgate UK|
|Box office||$3.8 million|
Decades after being launched into space, a space probe containing information about the human race and a map to Earth is found by four aliens that make up the "galactic council". They debate on whether to destroy the earth or make humanity a member of the council, instead relying on "standard galactic protocol" to decide. They will give one human (chosen at random) the ability to do absolutely anything he or she wants. After ten days, if the powers have been used for good, the Aliens will spare earth and make humanity a member of the council. If the powers are used for evil, Earth will be destroyed for the moral improvement of the galaxy.
The human is chosen and revealed to be Neil Clarke (Simon Pegg) a secondary school teacher who is both struggling at his job, due to the Headmaster, Mr. Robinson (Eddie Izzard); and with his lack of a girlfriend, although he has a crush on author agency employee, Catherine West (Kate Beckinsale), who lives underneath him in the apartment block. At first, oblivious to the powers he has, Neil accidentally causes an alien spaceship to destroy a classroom within the school, killing the entire class in the process. The galactic council scolds the alien that blew up the classroom, who responds by saying that out of the millions of species the council has evaluated, none have ever passed and all have been destroyed.
Perplexed and anxious, Neil goes home and slowly realises he can do anything after causing his dog, Dennis's waste to clean itself up, and causing spilt whisky to flow out of the drain and back into the bottle. He asks that "everyone who died come back to life" and unknowingly causes everyone who has ever died ever to be resurrected, resulting in a zombie apocalypse, he reverses this and asks that the explosion never happened, sending himself back in time to the previous day. He then confirms his suspicions by causing the PE teacher Miss Pringle (Emma Pierson) to worship his friend, Ray (Sanjeev Bhaskar) whereas before, she was repulsed by him.
Over the coming days, Neil uses his power for personal gain by giving himself a more muscular body, increasing his penis size, making Mr. Robinson be nice to him and giving Dennis the ability to speak (voice of Robin Williams). One night, the galactic power the aliens possess fails momentarily, meaning Neil cannot do anything. This happens just as Neil asks that Catherine be madly in love with him, and coincidentally a drunk Catherine knocks at his door at that moment, after being encouraged to sleep with Neil by a friend. They spend the night together as a result and are seen by Colonel Grant (Rob Riggle), an American soldier who has been stalking Catherine.
The next day, Catherine goes to Neil's apartment to speak to him, where Dennis shouts from the kitchen that he loves Neil and he should "Shag the Bitch!". Disgusted and now thinking that Neil is gay, Catherine storms out with Neil chasing after her. Ray appears and states that Miss Pringle doesn't worship him romantically, she actually thinks he is a god and has formed a religion based on him. That night, Catherine returns home to find Colonel Grant waiting in her apartment for her, and she locks him in. Neil appears and offers to cook dinner for her, which she accepts. Grant crashes the meal and Catherine storms out due to the two fighting, Neil incapacitates Grant by breaking then fixing his arm and then convinces Grant that he has powers. Grant knocks Neil unconscious and kidnaps him and Dennis, when Neil wakes up, Grant forces him to grant a list of selfish and pointless wishes, threatening to shoot Dennis if Neil refuses.
Catherine and Ray track Neil down to the apartment Grant is renting and rescue Neil, but not before Neil makes Catherine fall madly in love with Grant. When free, Neil reverses all of the wishes he granted Grant and also stops Miss Pringle from worshipping Ray. Upon getting home, Catherine angrily tells Neil that she could never love anyone who could make her do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to do it. Disheartened, Neil decides to use his powers to solve the world's problems; he gives everyone in the world as much food as they want, he gives everyone in the world their own dream house, and removes any reason for anyone to go to war.
However, this soon backfires when worldwide obesity rates rise, every piece of uninhabited land in the world is developed on, and several countries declare war on each other for no reason at all. Disillusioned, Neil goes to Hammersmith Bridge with the intention of committing suicide, but as he jumps into the River Thames, Dennis jumps in after him and Neil is forced to swim them both out of the river. Sitting on a bench on Hampstead Heath overlooking London, Dennis says that Neil should give the power to him, as he never thinks of anything selfish and he loves taking orders, which Neil happily does.
Meanwhile, the aliens finish their evaluation and decide that Earth is not worthy, revealing that they view greedy and evil acts as strong and thoughtful acts as weak. They therefore decide to destroy the planet, but just before they can, Dennis asks that the source of the power be destroyed, causing a laser beam shooting towards Earth to bounce back to the alien's ship, killing them all and destroying the galactic power. Full of confidence and excitement for not having the powers any more, Neil asks Catherine out, which she agrees to.
In a March 2014, interview with Empire, Terry Jones spoke about the plot of the film. He described it as being about Neil, a teacher in a failing secondary school, who is given the ability to make anything happen by asking it to. He only realizes he has this after saying "I'd make an alien spaceship hit class 10C and vaporize them" to a colleague, only to hear an explosion elsewhere in the school and find 10C's classroom destroyed.
Jones credited the film's idea to the H. G. Wells story "The Man Who Could Work Miracles", but said that it "just changed out of all recognition from that". He also explained that the script for the film has been around for 20 years, saying: "I just think it's my own baby really. But I wrote it with Gavin Scott, and we've been writing it for 20 years, then Mike Medavoy rang up in 2010 or so and asked what scripts I had hidden in my bottom desk drawer. So I pulled out Absolutely Everything – not literally, of course – and here we are." He also spoke about the character Dennis the Dog, saying: "I think he's going to steal the show. We've got a real dog, Mojo, who is very obedient, and a wonderful dog, a mongrel, but CGI work will be done. Simon Pegg is a big dog fan, and him and Mojo get on very well. Before Douglas Adams died, he looked over the script and he said that Dennis the Dog's scenes were the funniest scenes..." He also spoke about the designs of the alien characters, saying: "James Acheson is doing the costumes, and he has already got a wonderful array of aliens of different sizes and shapes. The story behind the aliens is they intercept the Voyager space craft as it leaves the solar system [and] comes into intergalactic space – well, it isn't really intergalactic space, but we pretend it is, anyway – and they say they have to assess one Earthling at random by giving them these powers. They pick Neil."
On 14 September 2010, the film was first announced, and it was also announced that John Oliver, Robin Williams, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam were cast in the film, with Eric Idle announced as joining his fellow Pythons on 20 February 2014. In January 2012, it was announced that film would begin filming in spring 2012. On 11 December 2013, Simon Pegg was cast as the lead character Neil Clarke. On 26 February 2014, Kate Beckinsale was cast in the film. On 19 March 2014, Rob Riggle was cast in the film.
Principal photography and production began on 24 March 2014, and ended on 12 May 2014. Director Jones said "It was 6 weeks shoot [sic] and it was shot in London. We took over a disused school in Hornsey Lane, which is not far from my house. We built the studios in there and used it as a base. Then, we shot the interiors of the flats in Earl’s Court." On 28 March 2014, it was announced that Lionsgate UK would distribute the film in the United Kingdom.
Australian singer Kylie Minogue recorded and released a promotional single, "Absolutely Anything and Anything At All", for the soundtrack. A music video was released on Minogue's official YouTube channel.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received an approval rating of 18% based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 3.7/10. Its consensus states "Given the impressive array of talent involved in Absolutely Anything—and the near-total lack of laughs it provokes—this Monty Python reunion can only be regarded as a disappointment". At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 34 based on six reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Peter Bradshaw, writing in The Guardian awarded the film 1/5 star, and said "cheap and cheerless sci-fi comedy. There’s a blue-chip cast here, and it’s directed by Terry Jones; the Pythons have cameos, as creepy alien creatures. But this low-budget Brit film is just depressing, a sub-Douglas Adams sci-fi comedy which looks like mediocre kids’ TV with a dismal script and cheap’n’cheerless production values. A huge amount of talent here. Sadly it goes nowhere." James Mottram, writing for The List, also awarded the film 1 star, and said "Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale head up an awful sci-fi comedy from Terry Jones. It’d be very sad if this is the last Python collaboration to hit screens."
/r/IAmA is a subreddit for question-and-answer interactive interviews termed "AMA" (short for "Ask Me Anything"). AMA interviewees have ranged from various celebrities to everyday people in several lines of work. Founded in May 2009, the subreddit has gone on to become one of Reddit's most popular communities.Alexa Davies
Alexa Davies is a Welsh actress best known for her role as Aretha in Raised by Wolves and Yvonne in Cradle to Grave, and as young Rosie in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.Gavin Scott
Gavin Duncan Scott (born 1950) is an English novelist, broadcaster and writer of the Emmy-winning mini-series The Mists of Avalon, Small Soldiers, The Borrowers and Legend of Earthsea. He spent ten years making films for British television before becoming a screenwriter, creating more than two hundred documentaries and short films for BBC and the commercial TV, including UK’s prestigious Channel 4. His first assignment in the United States was with George Lucas, developing and scripting The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. His work ranges from family entertainment to comedy, science fiction and historical dramas.
Scott wrote Krakatoa, a Titanic-style movie for National Geographic Feature Films, and an eight-hour adaptation of War and Peace for Lux Vida SPA, directed by Robert Dornhelm (Into the West, The Ten Commandments).
He created and executive produced a 22-part television series set in the nineteenth century about the origins of the creative ideas of Jules Verne, which was broadcast around the world.
In 2006, his children's film Treasure Island Kids: The Battle for Treasure Island, starring Randy Quaid, was released on DVD.
Born in Hull, Yorkshire, Gavin emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1961. At 17 he spent a year as a volunteer teacher in the jungles of Borneo, working with the children of head-hunters, after which he studied history and political science at Victoria University of Wellington, and journalism at the Wellington Polytechnic. He returned to Britain overland across Asia in 1973, traveling through Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Iran, and worked for Shelter, the British housing charity, before joining the Times Educational Supplement, from which base he also wrote features for The Times.
After five years as a reporter and program anchor for BBC Radio, Gavin began in 1980 making films for BBC Television’s Newsnight, covering literary as well as political subjects; among his interviewees, J.B. Priestley, Christopher Isherwood, Iris Murdoch and John Fowles. He then made documentaries on science and culture for series such as Horizon and Man Alive before joining Channel 4 News, for which he made films until 1990.
Following the death of Maurice Macmillan in 1984, son of the former British Prime Minister and MP for Surrey South West Harold Macmillan, Gavin Scott was selected and stood as a Liberal here at the Parliamentary Byelection for the Liberal/SDP Alliance and came within 2600 votes of taking the seat from the Conservative candidate Virginia Bottomley who went on to serve in John Major's cabinet.
It was during this time that he started writing novels, including Hot Pursuit, about a Russian satellite that crashed in New Zealand, and A Flight of Lies, about the hunt for the bones of Peking Man. He has recently written a Dickensian historical novel set in the nineteenth century, The Adventures of Toby Wey. He also had a stint at ITN as a reporter/newsreader in the late 1980s.
Gavin is also a sculptor, creating shadow boxes similar to those of Joseph Cornell, using mass-produced toys as his medium. He lives with his family in Santa Monica, California, and recently finished writing the script of Absolutely Anything with Terry Jones.John Oliver
John William Oliver (born 23 April 1977) is an English comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. Oliver started his career as a stand-up comedian, both in the United Kingdom and United States. He came to wider attention for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as its senior British correspondent from 2006 to 2013. Oliver won three Primetime Emmy Awards for his work as a writer on The Daily Show and was its guest host for an eight-week period in 2013. In addition to The Daily Show, Oliver co-hosted the satirical comedy podcast The Bugle (2007–2015) with Andy Zaltzman, with whom Oliver had previously co-hosted the radio series Political Animal, and hosted John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show on Comedy Central from 2010 to 2013. He has also acted on television, most notably in a recurring role as Ian Duncan on the NBC sitcom Community.
Since 2014, Oliver has been the host of the HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He has received widespread critical and popular recognition for his work on the series, whose influence over US culture, legislation, and policymaking has been dubbed the "John Oliver effect". For his work on Last Week Tonight, Oliver has won six Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards and was included in the 2015 Time 100, being described as a "comedic agent of change...powerful because he isn't afraid to tackle important issues thoughtfully, without fear or apology."Kate Beckinsale
Kathrin Romary Beckinsale (born 26 July 1973) is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing (1993) while still a student at the University of Oxford. She appeared in British costume dramas such as Prince of Jutland (1994), Cold Comfort Farm (1995), Emma (1996), and The Golden Bowl (2000), in addition to various stage and radio productions. She began to seek film work in the United States in the late 1990s and, after appearing in small-scale dramas The Last Days of Disco (1998) and Brokedown Palace (1999), she had starring roles in the war drama Pearl Harbor (2001), the romantic comedy Serendipity and Tiptoes
(2003). She followed those with appearances in The Aviator (2004) and Click (2006).
Since being cast as Selene in the Underworld film series (2003–2016), Beckinsale has become known primarily for her work in action films, including Van Helsing (2004), Whiteout (2009), Contraband (2012), and Total Recall (2012). She also continues to make appearances in smaller dramatic projects such as Snow Angels (2007), Nothing but the Truth (2008), and Everybody's Fine (2009). In 2016, she received critical acclaim for her performance in the period comedy film Love & Friendship.Kylie Minogue videography
The videography of Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, consists of 73 music videos, 6 lyric videos, 11 concert tour video releases, 11 music video compilations and 2 documentaries.Michael Jackson and Bubbles
Michael Jackson and Bubbles is a porcelain sculpture (42 x 70.5 x 32.5 in) by the American artist Jeff Koons. It was created in 1988 within the framework of his Banality series.Monty Python filmography
The Monty Python comedy troupe branched off into a variety of different media after the success of their sketch comedy television series, Monty Python's Flying Circus.New York's Village Halloween Parade
New York's Village Halloween Parade is an annual holiday parade and street pageant presented on the night of every Halloween in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. The Village Halloween Parade, initiated in 1973 by Greenwich Village puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee, is the world's largest Halloween parade and the only nighttime parade in New York City. The parade reports itself to have 50,000 "costumed participants" and 2 million spectators. 2018 marks the 45th anniversary of the Village Halloween Parade.It has been called "New York's Carnival." The parade is largely a spontaneous event as individual marchers can just show up in costume at the starting point without registering or paying anything. The parade's most signature features are its large puppets which are animated by hundreds of volunteers. The official parade theme each year is applied to the puppets. In addition to the puppets, the website reports that more than 50 marching bands participate each year. In addition, there are some commercial Halloween parade floats.
The official route on Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street, all within Manhattan, is 1.4 miles long (the distance from the gathering spot on Sixth Avenue from Canal Street to Spring Street adds another 0.2 miles). The parade usually starts at 7 PM New York time and lasts for about two to three hours.The parade has been studied by leading cultural anthropologists. According to The New York Times, "the Halloween Parade is the best entertainment the people of this City ever give the people of this City." "Absolutely anything goes," says USA Today. "Be prepared to drop your jaw."
The parade is also themed in the video game Tycoon City: New York, published in 2006.Phoenix Pictures
Phoenix Pictures is an American film production company that has produced films since the late 1990s with features including Black Swan (2010), Shutter Island (2010), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), The Thin Red Line (1998), and Zodiac (2007). Producers Mike Medavoy and Arnold Messer founded Phoenix in November 1995 as an independent production company. They acquired financing from Onex Corporation, Pearson Television, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Its business model was based on packaging films to present to studios and to then navigate the films' development. Variety said Phoenix Pictures was one of the few companies to produce more than 25 films with the same executive team in place.Robin Williams filmography
American actor and comedian Robin Williams (1951–2014) was featured in many feature films and television series throughout his career.
Williams studied acting at the College of Marin in California and later at the Juilliard School in New York. Williams' first acting role was in the revival of Laugh-In in 1977, before he portrayed Mork in Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982 and the titular role in Popeye. After starring in less financially successful films he made his breakthrough role portraying Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam.Simon Pegg
Simon John Pegg (né Beckingham; born 14 February 1970) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer.
Pegg came to public prominence in Britain as the co-creator of the Channel 4 sitcom Spaced, directed by Edgar Wright. He went on to co-write and star in the Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013). He and Nick Frost wrote and starred in the sci-fi film Paul (2011). Pegg portrays Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible film series (2006–present) and played Montgomery Scott in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016), co-writing the latter.Terry Gilliam filmography
This is a filmography for film director, screenwriter, producer, animator and actor Terry Gilliam.Terry Jones
Terence Graham Parry Jones (born 1 February 1942) is a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director and historian, best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy troupe.
After graduating from Oxford University with a degree in history, Jones and writing partner Michael Palin (whom he met at Oxford) wrote and performed for several high-profile British comedy programmes, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and The Frost Report, before creating Monty Python's Flying Circus with Cambridge graduates Eric Idle, John Cleese, and Graham Chapman, and American animator/filmmaker Terry Gilliam. Jones was largely responsible for the programme's innovative, surreal structure, in which sketches flowed from one to the next without the use of punchlines. He made his directorial debut with the team's first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Gilliam, and also directed the subsequent Python films, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
After Python, Jones' most well-known television project was the anthology series Ripping Yarns, which he co-created and co-wrote with Palin. He also wrote an early draft of Jim Henson's 1986 film Labyrinth, though little of his work remained in the final cut. He is a fairly well-respected Medieval historian, having written several books and presented television documentaries about the period, as well as a prolific children's book author.
In 2016, Jones received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BAFTA Cymru Awards for his outstanding contribution to television and film.The Man Who Could Work Miracles (story)
"The Man Who Could Work Miracles" is a British fantasy–comedy short story by H. G. Wells first published in 1898 in The Illustrated London News. It carried the subtitle "A Pantoum in Prose."The story is an early example of Contemporary fantasy (not yet recognized, at the time, as a specific subgenre). In common with later works falling within this definition, the story places a major fantasy premise (a wizard with enormous, virtually unlimited magic power) not in an exotic semi-Medieval setting but in the drab routine daily life of suburban London, very familiar to Wells himself.The Middle Men
"The Middle Men" is the sixth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day, the fourth series of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It was originally broadcast in the United States on Starz on 12 August 2011.
Torchwood: Miracle Day follows the aftermath of a day where humanity has stopped being able to die. In the episode, a team called Torchwood exposes information to the public about secretive concentration camps where wounded people are taken to be incinerated.The Museum of Curiosity
The Museum of Curiosity, formerly titled The Professor of Curiosity, is a comedy panel game on BBC Radio 4 that was first broadcast on 20 February 2008. It is hosted by John Lloyd (Professor of Ignorance at the University of Buckingham, and later at Southampton Solent University). He acts as the head of the (fictional) titular museum, while a panel of three guests – typically a comedian, an author and an academic – each donate to the museum an ‘object’ that fascinates them. The radio medium ensures that the suggested exhibits can be absolutely anything, limited only by the guests’ imaginations.
Bill Bailey acted as co-host of the programme in the first series, under the title of curator of the museum. Bailey left the show after he initially decided to "retire" from panel games, and was replaced by Sean Lock in the second series. Each subsequent series has seen a different comedian take over as the sidekick/curator, with Jon Richardson, Dave Gorman, Jimmy Carr, Humphrey Ker, Phill Jupitus, Sarah Millican, Noel Fielding, Jo Brand, Romesh Ranganathan, Sally Phillips and Lee Mack assuming the role in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth series respectively. Gorman also stood in for Richardson for one episode of the third series, after Richardson was stranded due to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Ker also functioned as a stand-in, this time for Jimmy Carr, when Carr was unable to attend one episode in series 5.
The programme has often been compared to the television panel game QI. Both were co-created by Lloyd, several of the Museum's 'curators' and comic guests have appeared regularly on QI, and the QI Elves (QI's research team, who provide hosts Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig with live information as required during the programme) provide the research. As a result, some critics consider the radio show to be a spin-off of the TV programme, and some have further ventured that The Museum of Curiosity is not as good as its forerunner. Most reviews of The Museum of Curiosity, however, are positive.Value (semiotics)
In semiotics, the value of a sign depends on its position and relations in the system of signification and upon the particular codes being used.
Films directed by Terry Jones