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Movies, TV and Comic Books

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    Teaser promo for Halle Berry sci-fi series Extant
    The first teaser promo for CBS' mysterious new sci-fi drama series Extant has arrived online, and you can check it out below....

    Produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and starring Halle Berry (The Call, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Extant will revolve around a female astronaut (Berry) who returns to Earth after a year in space and attempts to reconnect with her family. Problem is, she's also carrying a child, and her experiences in space will lead to events that will ultimately change the course of human history.

    Extant is being executive produced by Spielberg along with showrunner Greg Walker, and has skipped the pilot stage, with CBS placing a 13-episode straight-to-series order.

    Extant is set to premiere on CBS in the States on July 2nd.

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  • 01/22/14--01:40: Comic Book Review - Zero #5
  • Anghus Houvouras reviews Zero #5...

    Comic Book Review - Zero #5
    "The solicitation text for this issue of ZERO has been censored by the Agency. There is nothing to see here."

    Warning spoilers ahead...

    Last month I named Zero my favorite comic of 2013.  It's blend of espionage and sic-fi elements spoke to me.  It's ground in a dark, violent reality but there was always something larger lurking in the periphery.  Elements of a more frightening world creeping in eluding to a larger threat than the cloak and dagger stories were telling us.  Like a good spy story, there were secrets being kept from the reader as well as the main character.  The fifth issue gives us our first look at the insanity that writer Ales Kot has been brewing since this brilliant series launched last year.

    Edward Zero is a cold, calculating killing machine.  An orphaned child raised in a cult of killer trained to suppress emotion and sharpen his senses with razor sharp precision.  He's very good at what he does.  Over the first four issues, we've seen Zero deal with a number of potential threats and handle them all in spite of personal sacrifice and tragic loss.

    The fifth issue gives us our most blunt look at the character.   In the aftermath of a battle that cost him his eye, Zero is debriefed and reviewed by his superiors to see if he is still fit for combat.  There are doubts plaguing Zero, though his training and a steady diet of medications keep him in a perpetual state of catatonia.  Like many soldiers, he is programmed a certain way the aching need to know more is constantly at odds with the training that has molded him into the blunt instrument he has become.  Zero finally makes a choice to reject his engineering and break free of the medically induced control methods.

    His relationship with his handler Roman Zizek has always been complicated.  There's a paternal instinct, a need to protect Zero from his superiors, though up until now we don't really know why.  The fifth issue finally plays its hand, revealing a larger conspiracy involving something… otherworldly.  It's subtle, though there had been some breadcrumbs laid out.  The world that Zero exists in has been showcasing some science fiction augmentation and it feels like that is about to get ratcheted up as we learn that something catastrophic is in the works, potentially an extinction level event.  Like every issue of Zero, we're given clues to the puzzle but the answers aren't always perfectly clear.

    Zero #5 is another gripping yarn.  This is a must read title for comic fans.

    The collected trade of the first five issues is available on February 19th and can be pre-ordered here

    To find a comic shop near you, click here

    Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the novel My Career Suicide Note, is available from Amazon.

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    Even though the planned sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland isn't scheduled for release for over two years, time, it seems, is of the essence.

    Variety are reporting that Sacha Baron Cohen (Les Miserables, The Dictator) "will play the villain though the details behind the character are unknown."Bleeding Cool, however, claim that chief antagonist is called Time.

    The BC article also states that the director, James Bobin (The Muppets), and the studio have been "looking at both male and female actors for the part," so if Cohen isn't cast, we could well end up with a female actor in the role.

    Through the Looking Glass will see Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) and Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) reprising their roles of Alice and the Mad Hatter, respectively. The film is set for a 27th May, 2016 release.

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    Paul Risker discusses Chan-wook Park's Oldboy, and its Spike Lee-directed remake...

    An individual film can attain infamy for a number of reasons, and one source of infamy is the twist, whether it is a mid-film or end of film twist. It has been exploited by films as diverse as The Crying Game, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Sixth Sense, becoming a defining feature of at least one of these films.

    A decade on, and not unlike Chan-wook Park’s 2003 original, Spike Lee’s remake or rather American adaptation of Nobuaki Minegishi’s original source material, exploits the same twist that shocked audiences exactly a decade ago.

    It is an interesting creative choice the filmmakers have taken, as those who are familiar with Park’s original film will be aware of the twist, and consequentially it will be deprived of the opportunity to accomplish its expressed intention. The twist reveal is after all a filmmaker playing the role of the magician, creating an uncertain journey in which he confuses and misdirects the audience with smoke and mirrors; an act of gamesmanship if you like.

    The line on the Oldboy poster reads, "Ask not why you were imprisoned; ask why you were set free.” It is suggestive of another similarity between original and remake by citing an intention of Lee’s Oldboy to be a playful film.

    The line could be from some omnipotent God addressing the character with a touch of the surreal that harks back to the dreamlike original. Park’s film closely bordered on being a science-fiction film, and whilst it came close to looking like our world, it felt like another propelling it towards science-fiction, especially in regards to its meditation on the human condition and what it is to be human.

    It is a line that speaks of the game of smoke and mirrors from the outset. Before audiences have even taken their seats it is daring them to try to anticipate the truth behind one man’s quest for revenge, an invitation to solve a mystery. Oldboy is a deadly game that extends beyond the torturous world of the lead protagonist, and not dissimilar to the magic trick, it draws the audience’s attention only to misdirect, setting them up for the unexpected and surprise twist.

    Oldboy however plays around not only with the audience and its protagonist, but with the convention of the revenge-thriller, which like the early Western was a moral and sometimes colour coded play. There was a clear distinction between the hero and villain; the protagonist and antagonist. The revenge-thriller is to some extent and purposes the story of a wronged man or woman, and the slight they incur is the catalyst for the violent drama, which then converges on the supposed cathartic act of revenge, or in a dramatic Shakespearian overtone, “Is now the traffic of our stage.”

    Whilst Oldboy builds up to an act of revenge that is the convention within the revenge-thriller narrative, the quest for revenge is in itself an act of revenge that never leads to the expected and conventional cathartic act. Instead both films allow the protagonist to continue to spiral deeper into the emotional angst, with the more recent deciding to offer more of an uplifting end by featuring the punishment of the self which is counter-intuitive to the story, of having to live in a hell that is a product of the vengeful act.

    Both versions have deliberately sought to undermine the conventions and expectations of the revenge-thriller, which is compounded by posing a moral dilemma. The audience are asked to consider the distinctions between revenge, justice and retaliation, and how these define the characters that are in equal proportions protagonist and antagonist, the distinctions that should be so clear, in fact blurred and stranded on the battlefield of an audience’s subjective opinion.

    Oldboy does however offer an interesting insight into the ease at which we can be manipulated by a filmmaker, and just how liberal we are in the act of affording characters the privilege of our sympathy.

    Adding a second twist to its narrative in its handling of the sub-genre, Oldboy remains a genre subversive film, and in so doing it transcends itself above being categorised as a nasty little revenge thriller with an unsympathetic or morally questionable protagonist.

    With poetic grace Roger Ebert wrote that Oldboy is a "powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare."

    Oldboy depicts revenge as a response, and splits open the chasm of revenge to show that its true nature is not physical, but instead emotional. It is one where survival and life are inconsequential, and the physical quest of revenge is rendered ineffective by the emphasis of emotional revenge. In itself Oldboy features uncharacteristic creative choices as it relates to the revenge-thriller format. With its dying or living breath, it remains a provocative film.

    Paul Risker is a critic and writer for a number of on-line and print publications, including Little White Lies, Film International, Starburst Magazine, and VideoScope. He is currently based in the United Kingdom.

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    Robb Ghag reviews All-New X-Men #19...

    "The X-Men are shaken to the core by the Battle of the Atom. Kitty Pryde is particularly is shaken by the events of the X-Men crossover. With her students gone, what is Kitty to do?"

    If you’re a fan of the X-Men, then you must be reading All-New X-Men.  If there was a pre-cursor to the new film, it’s coming in the pages of this comic.

    The first few pages are a throw back (both visually and stylistically) to the “God Loves, Man Kills” storyline, which was the basis for X2: X-Men United.  The storyline with Stryker, his son, the purifiers and the battle with the “All-New X-Men”, is simply awesome.

    From the beginning of this series, all the way to now, this book continues to deliver the goods, from Battle of the Atom, to Yesterday’s X-Men, and I am sure this will continue into the eagerly anticipated “Trial of Jean Grey” storyline coming in issue #22 next month.

    The entire concept of the book looks to lend itself to something that, again if you are an X-Men fan, you can never get enough of: time travelling mutants.  With the new release of the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer; some of my favourite characters from the comics look to be coming to the big screen.  I think it is safe to say that a few years from now, the entire concept of All-New X-Men will be the basis of the next X-Men reboots, and I cannot wait!

    Robb Ghag works for an Arts & Entertainment Brokerage in Toronto Canada. An Animation and Film school graduate, he specializes in Risk Management of Animation and VFX studios throughout North America.

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    Cobie Smulders confirms Maria Hill return for The Avengers: Age of Ultron
    It was expected, but now it's official. How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has confirmed that she's set to link up with Earth's Mightiest Heroes once again, returning to the role of Agent Maria Hill for Joss Whedon's eagerly-anticipated sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    “I'm not talking about Avengers anymore... ever,” Smulders told IGN when asked whether she's read the script for Age of Ultron. “I'll tell you, I'm excited about it. I know everything there is to know, but I'm not saying anything about it -- until literally the movie's out on DVD. Then I'll be like, 'Wasn't that a great part?' But I'm very excited. Joss Whedon is the best man on the planet.”

    The Avengers sequel will mark Smulders' fourth appearance as Maria Hill after The Avengers, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Smulders will join fellow Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), while newcomers include Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) as Scarlet Witch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker and James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron.

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st, 2015.

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    On the sixth anniversary of his passing, Martin Deer remembers Heath Ledger....

    Today marks the sixth anniversary of the passing of Heath Ledger - a day which is still very much fresh in my mind as though it were yesterday, and so I want to pay my respects to a man that created something that I will cherish for as long as I myself shall live.

    Due to the time difference the day the UK became aware of Heath's passing was in the early hours of the 23rd. I received a text from a friend which said that Heath had died, however I was half asleep and it didn't register. I woke up the next morning and checked my phone as always. Seeing the text there, I realized that it had actually happened. The shock and sadness I felt was staggering. I didn't know this man, but his death hit hard.

    For two years before his passing I had followed the events of his life closely. From the moment he was cast as The Joker in The Dark Knight myself and fellow Bat-fans were constantly hearing and looking out for updates on the film, and by association Heath. I wasn't a fan of Heath before he was cast - I was aware of him of course but I wasn't a fan, that changed when he was cast as one of my favourite fictional characters and I sought to seek out his work. As we all know Heath was a wonderful actor, capable of incredible things in front of the camera, and so for the months and years building up to the release of The Dark Knight my excitement was at a level it has not been at since – even for The Dark Knight Rises my excitement was not on the same level. The viral marketing around the film only increased the excitement, and being most centered around The Joker, everyone was eagerly anticipating his performance. So move forward to January 22nd – 23rd for me of course – and the news of his passing was a thunderous strike to the gut. It seemed neither fair nor real.

    But let’s not focus on the negative, Heath is gone and that will not change, however his work will live forever and by portraying one of the most iconic characters in the history of not only cinema, but in any medium, Heath’s memory shall remain with us longer than our own will. When the first full trailer arrived in December – when Heath was still alive – the forever quotable “why so serious?” was bellowed throughout my house ad nausea – just ask my rather annoyed sisters. When Heath passed that kind of childlike excitement faded away, but thankfully it soon returned as we began to focus on the incredible work we knew was in store for us that summer.

    July 23rd was the day I got to see The Dark Knight. I didn't know what to think; the film itself was emotionally draining and I needed time to coalesce my thoughts, however one thing was immediately conveyable - HEATH WAS UNBELIEVABLE!

    The incredible work that Heath brought to the role of The Joker has been discussed for the last four and a half years, over and over. And that is still not enough. The nuances of his performance were extraordinary and the charisma mesmerizing. This was a performance that you do not see very often, on a level that many could not hope to achieve. Heath melted in to the role of The Joker as though they were one, as though Heath Ledger never actually existed; he had simply been taken from the pages of all of the iconic comic book stories that The Joker ever existed in. He blew our minds and filled our hearts with joy.

    I saw the film four times at the cinema upon initial release, and countless times at home on Blu-ray and what I can say is that Heath’s performance is still as incredible as the first time I saw it, still as spellbinding, still able to wonder and astound with each line he utters and smack of the lips that he takes.
    In the run up to the release of The Dark Knight Rises I was able to see The Dark Knight again at the cinema, and with the end of the greatest era a Batman-fan has undoubtedly endured, it was a time for reflection. Seeing Heath on the big screen again after four years was a moving experience. Heath was made for the silver screen, and for ever that is where he shall remain.

    Martin Deer

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    UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 17th to Sunday 19th January 2014....

    Martin Scorsese's latest Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration The Wolf of Wall Street has enjoyed a bumper opening at the UK box office, with the film pulling in a hefty £4,655,984 over the three-day weekend. This marks a record for Scorsese, whose previous record-opening was Gangs of New York back in 2002 with £2.62 million, as well as the third-biggest debut for an 18 certificate film after Hannibal (£6.4 million) and Bruno (£5 million).

    The only other newcomer to crack the top ten this week was the horror Devil's Due, which pulled in a decent £1,002,627, while bouyed on by the Academy Award nominations, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity reentered the chart in its eleventh week on screens, claiming tenth place and edging ever closer towards the £30 million mark on these shores.

    Number one this time last year: Les Miserables

    1. The Wolf of Wall Street, £4,655,984 weekend (New)
    2. 12 Years a Slave, £3,055,020 weekend; £7,125,073 total (2 weeks)
    3. American Hustle, £1,547,249 weekend; £9,422,593 total (3 weeks)
    4. Frozen, £1,151,814 weekend; £34,166,925 total (7 weeks)
    5. Devil's Due, £1,002,627 weekend (New)
    6. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, £847,078 weekend; £41,589,347 total (6 weeks)
    7. Last Vegas, £830,499 weekend; £5,442,891 total (3 weeks)
    8. The Railway Man, £776,512 weekend; £3,028,139 total (2 weeks)
    9. Delivery Man, £670,753 weekend; £2,240,103 total (2 weeks)
    10. Gravity, £497,188 weekend; £28,848,926 total (11 weeks)


    Friday sees four big releases vying for a spot in the chart, with Kenneth Branagh's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (cert. 12A) [read our coverage of the London press conference here] joined by the boxing comedy Grudge Match (cert. 12A) [see our interview with Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro here], the Coen Brothers'Inside Llewyn Davis (cert. 15) [read our review here], stage adaptation August: Osage County (cert. 15) [read our interview with director John Wells here].

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    Oliver Davis reviews Prophet #42...

    After its terrific issue 41 (and, to be honest, every installment prior to that), Prophet #42 acts as a filler episode, taking a break from the series' climactic battle to tell a story from Diehard's millennia-spanning life. The comic's usual writer and artist - Brandon Graham and Giannis Milonogiannis, respectively - have an issue-long sojourn, too, passing over story, art and colours responsibilities to Ron Wimberly.

    The change doesn't jar as much as you would think, thanks to rotating creative team Prophet has established for itself: a different artist is used to draw each of the main 'Johns'. It lends to the book's distinctive visual bow, to which Wimberly adds yet another string.

    His style is a palette of pastels; light blues, greens, oranges and yellows. Shapes are made abstract through their lack of detail, and the frequent extreme close-ups demand a studied glance. It slows down the pace of the read considerably, making you ponder and work to uncover a meaning.

    The story itself is told by Diehard, of when he had TAKEN UP WITH THE KOXO PEOPLE IN THE STEPS OF THE RELATIVELY OBSCURE PLANETOID D314159. The Koxos are a tiny race, no bigger than Diehard's head in scale, but they have accepted him. They are in danger, though, from the Human Empire mining their planet's MOTHER'S MILK (a hallucinogenic metaphor for oil).

    Although the writing isn't as poetic as Graham's, the art is a delight. The Human Empire is given a tad more context as the great enemy, a positioning that is sometimes forgotten by the poetic lyricism of Graham's issues.

    #42 is a decent filler issue, but, ultimately, it is still a filler issue. Make the most of them, though. There are only three more Prophets left in this recent revival.

    Oliver Davis is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors. You can follow him on Twitter @OliDavis.

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    Paul Risker reviews The Poirot Collection, consisting of Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun...

    From Ealing to Poirot by way of The Wicker Man, the Studiocanal back catalogue is filled to the brim with classic films that serve our home entertainment adventures of discovery and rediscovery. Now with the release of The Poirot Collection that brings together the three feature films of Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun, a glorious Blu-Ray warmth is offered to the crime aficionado during these winter months.

    One of the icons of detective literature and television, Hercule Poirot first emerged from the imagination of the English writer Agatha Christie, before Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and David Suchet introduced her creation to the screen. Between them they have imbued Poirot with a Shakespearean presence; each interpretation an individual joy to watch, and when compared, Poirot becomes a character who like so many of Shakespeare’s cast, is at home in the hands of performers who proceed to create nuance.

    Murder on the Orient Express is a complimentary episode in Sidney Lumet’s filmography alongside jury and one room drama Twelve Angry Men, police interrogation drama The Offence, and the police thriller Serpico. He would follow up Murder on the Orient Express with his heist movie Dog Day Afternoon, before continuing to pursue his fascination with crime that culminated with his final movie Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. A creative rendezvous between two individuals who were both influential in their respective mediums, Murder on the Orient Express is an important and seminal moment in the cinemas crime/detective drama.

    Each of the three films adheres to a ritualistic form progressing through the clearly defined chapters of set-up, conflict and resolution. Murder on the Orient Express however lacks the more exhaustive set-up that screenwriter Anthony Shaffer brought to its successors, which allowed the audience opportunity to observe the cast of suspects as they interacted or scowled at the obvious victim. This permitted the audience to gather more information to hand before joining Poirot in his post-murder enquires, but more importantly teases us with the prospect of anticipating and therein beating Poirot to the punch. 

    Despite the ritualistic formal structure of each film that brings with it a repetitive feel, Ustinov’s Poirot has a more restrained air about him in contrast to Finney’s over the top portrayal, and Anthony Shaffer’s meticulous writing is always a cause for admiration.

    Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun are all ensemble dramas. The ensemble cast versus Poirot strikes that perfect balance wherein the individual weaves his way through the cast of characters, as the individual protagonist and the ensemble merge, becoming both a story of the ensemble as well as another chapter in the crime solving adventures of in this case Hercule Poirot.

    The splendid ensemble cast resonates more deeply as one discovers cinema - Lauren Bacall one of the original femme fatales in The Big Sleep, and Anthony Perkins’ nervous, jittery disposition possesses shades of Psycho’s Norman Bates. Throughout the three films acting luminaries such as James Mason, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow distract from any ritualistic structure, as do the solutions to the murders. Following the repetitive form a second time round, the third outing finds Poirot confronted by a hotel full of suspects all of who have alibis. It poses a seemingly unsolvable dilemma that piques the interest and immerses us in the personal dramas that finds us all too happy to have taken a second holiday with monsieur Poirot.

    Together this collection of films are an example of taking a narrative form and working creatively within it by using all the components of film, from script to cast to create compelling crime drama whose ritualistic form becomes a source of affection.

    Possessing a grandiose visual and musical ambition, these are three thoroughly entertaining tales of crime that sweep us up, and collectively they are an important compendium to ITV’s long running television series with David Suchet in the title role. Whilst deeply rooted in the annals of British television, this trilogy is evidence of Poirot’s contribution to the cinematic crime drama and detective story.

    With age they have matured, possessing that feel of classic crime dramas that modern television and film is lacking, where the cerebral detective reigns supreme over crime solving technology and DNA.

    Box Set Rating - ★ ★ ★ ★

    Murder on the Orient Express - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
    Death on the Nile - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
    Evil Under the Sun - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

    Paul Risker is a critic and writer for a number of on-line and print publications, including Little White Lies, Film International, Starburst Magazine, and VideoScope. He is currently based in the United Kingdom.

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    We've already seen one viral promo for The Strain, the upcoming vampire horror series from Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) and Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) and now we have the first "official" teaser trailer for the show, which you can view below...

    "The Strain follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City, as he and his team investigate what appears to be an outbreak of vampirism. They soon need to fight for the fate of humanity itself."

    Alongside Corey Stoll, The Strain also stars David Bradley (Game of Thrones), Kevin Durand (Fruitvale Station), Mia Maestro (Alias), Jonathan Hyde (Titanic), Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings), Richard Sammel (Inglourious Basterds), Doug Jones (Hellboy), and Robert Maillet (Pacific Rim).

    The Strain is set to get underway on FX in July.

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    Yesterday Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gave us our first look at Son of Batman with the official trailer, and now thanks to The World's Finest we have the box art for the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie, as well as an official release date of May 6th this year...

    "Batman is shocked to learn that not only does he have a son, but the boy’s mother is Talia, the daughter of the international overlord, Ra’s Al Ghul. Nevertheless, the Dark Knight and his willful boy (as the new Robin) becomes uneasy allies when Talia enlists a team of ninja man-bats on a criminal enterprise with international consequences."

    Son of Batman is based upon 'Batman and Son' by Grant Morrison, and has been adapted by Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep), with Ethan Spaulding directing. Featuring in the voice cast are Jason O'Mara (Justice League: War) as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) as Damian Wayne / Robin, Morena Baccarin (Homeland) as Talia, Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time) as Ra's Al Ghul, David McCallum (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Xander Berkeley (24) as Kirk Langstrom / Man-Bat and Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke / Slade Wilson.

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    With just over two weeks to go before the North American release of RoboCop, Sony has released a new IMAX poster for the reboot, as well as two clips featuring Joel Kinnaman's (The Killing) Alex Murphy in action....

    RoboCop IMAX poster

    In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex's life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.

    RoboCop is set for release in the UK on February 7th and in North America on February 12th with Jose Padilha (Elite Squad) directing a cast that also includesGary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises), Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers), Michael Keaton (Batman), Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up), Aimee Garcia (Dexter), Michael K. Williams (The Wire), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), and Miguel Ferrer (Iron Man 3).


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    Gal Gadot confirms three movie deal as Wonder Woman
    We might have a little while longer to wait before we see Wonder Woman making her feature film debut, what with Warner Bros. pushing Batman vs. Superman back ten months to May 2016, but if all goes to plan the Man of Steel sequel won't be the only time we'll be seeing Gal Gadot's Amazon Princess on the big screen.

    Speaking to Israeli talk show Good Evening with Gai Pines, Gadot has revealed that she's signed a three movie deal with the studio, which you'd imagine would include a solo movie, along with the inevitable Justice League ensemble. She also went on to reveal that she's set to pocket $300,000 for her role in Batman vs. Superman, as well as suggesting that filming will now get underway in May.

    Of course Gadot isn't the only name attached to multi-picture deals for Warner's DC movie universe, with Ben Affleck signed on for "multiple" outings as Batman and Henry Cavill gearing up for the second of his own three film deal with Batman vs. Superman.

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    Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Celebrity...

    Simon Columb on Vicky Cristina Barcelona...

    The rogue artist has never been sexier than in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. While we join Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) as they visit Barcelona, their differing attitudes to romance and relationships is tested when they meet Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) – and his crazy ex (Penelope Cruz). Woody Allen captures a passionate and fiery summer, whereby we can escape to a dream of the bohemian lifestyle with flowing red wine and expressive, impasto art. Sun shines on the Gaudi gardens and as tensions heat up, we are left to define what creates an artist. Are all artists required to be a tad unstable to confidently create? Is romance better left unsaid and unspoken – or should it be fully embraced? A criticism of marriage and deconstruction of love is Woody Allen at his best. Vicky Cristina Barcelona additionally utilises the European destination to flavour the film with beauty, grace and a deeply seductive charm.

    Simon Columb 

    Brogan Morris on Celebrity...

    Breathless performances from Kenneth Branagh and Judy Davis, as divorcees occupying separate tales of showbiz bullsh*t, fuel an already exhausting movie of fleeting famous faces in Woody Allen’s aptly named Celebrity. Branagh plays what may be a terminally dissatisfied Woody surrogate, a journalist who wants to be a screenwriter who wants to be a novelist. Through his connections, he gets head from ditzy actress Melanie Griffith, tries it on with capricious model Charlize Theron and attempts to sell a script to volatile actor Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a dizzying tour through the superficial social circles of the rich and famous (even Donald Trump makes an appearance), a somewhat scathing indictment of the facade of the Hollywood dream, as Davis’s Robin chooses love and happiness, while Branagh’s Lee keeps chasing the hollow promise of fame and fortune – the final images we see on-screen are his face, followed by the word ‘help’.

    Brogan Morris - Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the young princes. Follow Brogan on Twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion.

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    The Flickering Myth Podcast returns...

    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is released this Friday here in the UK (it's already out in the States) and staff writer Luke Graham sat down with its producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and David Barron to discuss the movie.

    Along with the interview we also have highlights from the press conference, which you can also read about here.

    "The story follows Ryan from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When Ryan believes he's uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that's more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley)."

    The episode is now live so if you refresh your iTunes or RSS feed it should automatically update. However, you can also listen to Episode #23 directly in the player below...

    If you would like your thoughts shared on the podcast, email with the subject heading "Podcast Questions".

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    Legendary Pictures announced today the release date for Godzilla: Awakening, the prequel comic to the upcoming American reboot directed by Gareth Edwards.

    Edwards himself made the announcement via Youtube with the following press message:

    "Hey Godzilla fans,

    Can't wait to see the King of the Monsters return to the big screen on May 16th? wee're excited to announce that you can experience Legendary's Godzilla in the all-new graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening, on sale May 7th.

    Co-written by Greg Borenstein and Max Borenstein (screenwriter of the forthcoming movie), this epic adventure, set decades before the film, is the perfect way for fans to experience the new Godzilla before seeing it in theaters"

    Watch the video message below.

    Godzilla is out on May 16th and features Aaron Talyor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Ken Wantanbe (Inception).

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    With the movie out in a few months, it shouldn't be too long before we get the first trailer for the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but this could be our first look at their new designs.

    The movie has had a lot of negativity surrounding it, and these designs might not help.

    While not an exact match, this is the first look (from at the Halloween costume tie-in for Michelangelo. Previous reports have said that the new designs will take inspiration from the original Eastman and Laird comics, but they've added some new features like sunglasses and necklaces.

    Of course, this isn't an exact replica of what they'll look like, but it gives us a good idea.

    What do we think?

    The movie is directed by Jonathan Liebesman, with Megan Fox (Transformers) as April O'Neil, Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Raphael, Pete Ploszek (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Jeremy Howard (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Donatello, Noel Fisher (Battle Los Angeles) as Michaelangelo, Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as Splinter, Will Arnett (Arrested Development) as Vernon Fenwick and William Fichtner (The Lone Ranger) as Shredder. The film is due for release on June 6th, 2014.

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    The film might not be due to arrive until November, but Lionsgate is wasting little time in kicking off the promotional campaign for the next instalment of The Hunger Games franchise, with the first teaser poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 arriving online today...

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 sees Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) returning to the director's chair alongside returning stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci,  Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Meta Golding, Jena Malone and Stef Dawson, while new additions to the cast include Julianne Moore (Carrie), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and Lily Rabe (American Horror Story).

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is set for release on November 21st.

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    Back in November it was revealed that Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) had signed on to direct DreamWorks Animation's adaptation of Dav Pilkey's hugely successful kid's book Captain Underpants, and now the main voice cast for the animated movie has been announced.

    According to The Wrap, Kevin Hart (Grudge Match) and Thomas Middleditch (The Campaign) are set to voice the leads George Beard and Harold Hutchins, two fourth graders who accidentally create a superhero when they hypnotize their school principal Benjamin Krupp. Ed Helms (The Hangover) is set to voice Krupp - a.k.a. Captain Underpants - while Nick Kroll (Kroll Show) will portray the villain Professor Poopypants and Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) will voice George and Harold's nerdy playground nemesis Melvin.

    As of yet, there's no release date scheduled for Captain Underpants, but we'll keep you updated with news as it comes.

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