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Movies, TV and Comic Books

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    Penthouse North, 2013.

    Directed by Joseph Ruben.
    Starring Michelle Monaghan, Michael Keaton, Barry Sloane, Andrew W. Walker and Kaniehtiio Horn.

    DVD Review - Penthouse North (2013)

    SYNOPSIS:

    A reclusive photojournalist lives quietly in a New York penthouse, until a smooth but sadistic criminal looking for a hidden fortune enters her life.

    DVD Review - Penthouse North (2013)

    Certain types of films seem to come in cycles. A successful film will always breed many that will try to ride on the coat tails of that. Found footage films as an example are currently all over the place since the success of Paranormal Activity. It wasn’t the first of its kind by any means but its success started a new wave. Home invasion films have also been very popular in recent years, on the big and small screen. Penthouse North is the latest entry into the home invasion formula.

    Sara, a former military photojournalist (Michelle Monaghan), blinded in action during a tour in Afghanistan, now lives in a high rise penthouse apartment with her boyfriend. He may not be all he appears to be, as her pregnant sister believes. Upon returning from a trip to the shops, the reclusive Sara returns to her apartment and soon discovers that her boyfriend is dead, and she’s not alone in the apartment. Invader, Chad (Barry Sloane) is intent on finding something that Sara’s now deceased boyfriend had stolen from him and an associate. The associate in question is Hollander (Michael Keaton) who later comes into play. It’s fairly standard stuff, owing much to See No Evil and following the home invasion formula down to the letter.

    Director Joseph Ruben is no stranger to the woman in peril thriller, having previously directed Sleeping With The Enemy and also cult classic, The Stepfather. Penthouse North is placed in more than capable hands. While he might not get close to some of his more memorable works, there’s certainly a surety of hand here and though there’s a degree of going through the motions, at least it ticks all the boxes. The film looks okay, the cinematography looks reasonable, even though it looks slightly more televisual than cinematic. There are some okay set pieces, though the aspect of having a blind heroine isn’t utilized effectively enough really. Some sequences should have ratcheted up far more tension.

    Monaghan leads the picture well. There’s not quite enough depth to her character, but this is a picture that’s 90 minutes and needs to be no longer than that. She’s got the necessary inner strength which rises above her vulnerability. However a film like this rests on the strength of the villain(s). The interesting element in this film is a gradual switch-around with both villains as they go in opposite directions from the sensitive villain to the unflinching monster. Both Sloane and Keaton are good here as the arcs of each of their characters go in opposite directions. Keaton has always made an excellent villain when given the opportunity, such as Pacific Heights. This hardly challenges him in the slightest but he’s still effortlessly solid here.

    Overall this is a passable thriller. It doesn’t come close to breaking any new ground. There’s a fair amount of going through the motions by all involved, but the ability of Ruben, Monaghan and Keaton makes this more enjoyable than your standard straight to video home invasion thriller. It’s just all a bit too simple really and lacking in imagination.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★

    Tom Jolliffe



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    Trevor Hogg chats with Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas about bringing the swift justice of Judge Dredd to the West Coast...


    Douglas Wolk
    “My grandmother was an incredible painter, and my father sculpted on the weekends for many years and recently took it up again,” states Douglas Wolk who is a Portland, Oregon-based author and critic.  “Sadly, I didn't inherit their aptitude for visual art.”  Comic books were initially a childhood fascination.  “I started reading them in earnest when I was 9, although I'd probably read a bunch before that and never stopped.”  Blockbuster success at the box office has had an impact on the comic book industry.   “I've certainly seen a lot of comics in the past 10 years or so that are clearly movie or TV pitches, which tends to make for mediocre-at-best comics.  I've heard that some comics publishers tend to reserve at least some chunk of other-media rights even for ostensibly creator-owned work. But it's also clear that smart comics publishers are mostly interested in making good comics, big-screen-friendly and otherwise. I mean, I can't imagine how it'd be possible to film Sex Criminals or Hawkeye or Zombo in a way that preserves what makes them wonderful.”   Wolk reveals, “Favourite comic book would probably be Finder, but ask me tomorrow and I'll say something different. As for favourite comic book movie I’ll say Ghost World [2001].”



    “My parents are both immigrants from Cuba,” explains illustrator, cartoonist and writer Ulises Farinas who like his creative collaborator Douglas Wolk lives in Portland, Oregon.  “My mother was a history professor and my dad just figured out how to make a living any way he could. One thing I feel lucky to have had, was that despite being pretty poor and all the crap that goes along with that, my parents always encouraged us to read and pursue the arts. If you're always going to struggle, there are some extremely valuable things that are still free in life. An ability to appreciate and learn from the arts and be educated doesn't need a college degree or anything fancy, just a curiosity and discipline.”  The small screen served as the introduction to the world of comics for Farinas.  “I think from watching TV and seeing cartoons of X-Men and Batman, made me realize they existed. But the first one I purchased was from a flea market across the street from the Rahway prison in NJ. My father also brought home a box of Archie comics once, and I’d read them a lot.”  The artist observes, “Publishers are always considering the big GREEN potential of any book. Will it make money is the same question whether that's considering movie licensing or not. It doesn't affect the types of comics I want to draw, so I'm only concerned with my own green potential.”


    Ulises Farinas
    "I've been reading Judge Dredd comics since I was about 12, and I did a blog about them, "Dredd Reckoning," for a year and a half," states Douglas Wolk who has created a five-part miniseries Mega-City Two where Judge Dredd heads to sunny urban climate of California to become a dark cloud of justice.  “I love the depth and weirdness of that world; it’s been a treat to get to explore it and add a bit to it. We've actually had an enormous amount of creative freedom on this project; Dredd-related comics have historically had a wide stylistic range, and it's been fun to get to come up with a new angle on that, too. The setting is so strong and beautifully broad that you can do just about anything with it as long as you keep the characters and the details consistent.”  The project has allowed a role reversal. “Well, it's a comic book, for one thing! I've been a critic and journalist for a couple of decades now. I've written a lot about comics, but aside from a few short pieces and the odd mini, I'd never written comics before this. Now I have the bug and I want to write a lot more of them.”


    Judge Dredd has got a long history, and it’s got everything which lines up with exactly the kind of things I love to draw: vulgar, over-detailed, dirty cities and dirty people,” states Ulises Farinas.  “So far I've only been encouraged to go even more nuts.   I'm free as a bird and that bird is a flamingo!”  The creative talent responsible for Mega-City has made the project an enjoyable experience.   “Outside of my long-time collaboration with my co-writer Erick Freitas (Gamma, Amazing Forest), Douglas Wolk is the best collaborator in the game. Plus being able to have covers done with Owen Gieni, and colours by Ryan Hill, it's like we're a bunch of dudes who are slo-mo walking with an explosion going off behind us.” Visual research was conducted by the illustrator.  “For most of my comics’ projects I have a few books I use often. They are the Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections books, The Works: Anatomy of a City by Kate Ascher, and a few comics by Geof Darrow and Moebius.  I also watched movies with a similar vibe: Fifth Element [1997], Matrix movies, Book of Eli [2010], Riddick[2013], and the Dredd movies.”  Farinas believes, “Wolk's got the brain for Dredd.   Wolk knows Dredd’s history and knows what he wants to do with him in this story. I always defer to him when it comes to specific Dredd-universe questions.”


    “I’ve known of Ulises' work from when he did a [fantastic] illustration for an article I wrote for Wireda few years ago,” states Douglas Wolk.  “IDW's Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall suggested him for this project, and I pretty much yelped with delight. Ulises and I are in contact almost every day; he came up with a lot of the images, and ideas about how our setting works, that ended up driving the story. I write a full script, with panel descriptions and dialogue; the panel descriptions were pretty long at first, but I'm trying to take after John Wagner's example of writing really terse panel descriptions and letting artists do their thing. As it happens, one of Ulises' many gifts is for staging things in visually engaging ways; he knows where dropping or adding a panel or rearranging things a little will make the story stronger. After Ulises draws each issue, I tweak the script pretty extensively.”  When it comes to the meeting creators of Judge Dredd, John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, as well as explaining the contribution of Denton Tipton who handles the editing responsibilities, Wolk remarks, “I've never spoken with either Wagner or Ezquerra, although I love their work, separately and together. Denton joined the project when Ulises and I were already working on it; we got to meet up with him at Comic-Con in San Diego this past summer, and talked though our plans for all five issues. Denton has been amazingly patient with all my weird lettering requests and lawyerly point-of-continuity micro-analysis.”



    “After more than 2000 episodes, the parameters of Dredd's world are well defined,” notes Douglas Wolk.  “We know an enormous amount about its culture and technology, and what is and isn't part of it. Since it's so internally consistent, we have to be careful not to do something that contradicts it, or could cause problems for other creators down the line. That said, I love those kinds of creative constraints, and there's a lot of room for fun within them.”  The main theme for the creative team is to have fun with the storyline as well to blow things up.   “I'm sure my subconscious has been kicking up stuff that's not clear to me yet.   But it's really about the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles, and the way it organizes power around images. One way of looking at Dredd is as a series is that it’s about the person-as-law and the city, and that's particularly true of the stories that take him out of Mega-City One.   You get to see the relationship between the state, the place and the person in those, and I'm having a lot of fun playing with that balance.  Explosions are also a very important theme.”



    “Creative Freedom is more about constraints than anything,” notes Ulises Farinas.  “Even if you're making the most wacky universe, there's has to be a Theory-of-Everything. Making a few rules/laws/guidelines and then taking them to their logical conclusion is where you get the best ideas from, because they grow organically. A lot of people come up with a cool idea first, and then work backward, that's why Star Wars sucks so badly. But if you just let your ideas come about because they are required by your story, it’s always a better thing.”  Ryan Hill who looks after the colouring for Mega-City Two is a familiar collaborator.  “We've been working on another project together, so we already got a work vibe going.  ‘Bright and grimy’ is what I told him, and then just let the beast loose. Besides specific colouring decisions, like the Judge’s uniforms or cars, Ryan is free to do whatever he wants.”  In regards to laying out the artwork, Farinas states, “Usually I count how many panels the page has, and just throw some boxes down on the paper. I try to mix it up from the previous pages, and adjust the panel sizes according to the importance of the panel. I don't often try to do anything fancy.  I'm satisfied with conservative grids.”  The artist admits, “I don't like to draw perspective lines, i just eyeball everything. Sometimes that's not reliable. My solution is erasing a lot and sometimes, taking pictures of wood blocks in the correct arrangement and drawing over them on tracing paper.”



    “I made myself a chart of the various through-lines, just to get a sense of when I wanted to set certain things up and when I wanted other things to reach fruition,” explains Douglas Wolk.  “The five issues are each individual units; there's a story that runs through all five, but each one has its own focus.”  The external question is how to incorporate background information without bringing the action to a halt.   “I try to make exposition as entertaining as possible: deliver it in a way that reads as moving the story forward, or is just fun in its own right. There are a couple of passages of Mega-City Two where I had a whole lot of information to get across in a hurry, and putting it in the form of a big musical number seemed like the most appropriate way. There are musical numbers in Judge Dredd stories sometimes. You don't get that in a lot of other adventure comics.”  Wolk observes, “I'm pretty sure there are seven or eight words of narration, total, in all of Mega-City Two; I decided at the beginning that I wanted to keep it to an absolute minimum. The key to dialogue, though, is pretty simple: read it out loud! If somebody's voice doesn't sound right, or if it gets stilted or draggy, that will be obvious when it comes out of your mouth. [Then you get to revise it, cut it, and revise it some more. There’s nothing wrong with tinkering.] Dredd himself also has a very specific voice, although it's understandably changed a bit over the past 37 years' worth of stories.  Given the setting of our story, I was aiming for something a bit closer to the way he talked in the early episodes.”




    “One of the things that makes Dredd work is ‘thrill-power,’ or, as former 2000 AD editor Andy Diggle famously put it, the sense that a story has been boiled down to ‘a shot glass of rocket fuel,’” says Douglas Wolk.  “Adventure comics are partly driven by spectacle, and comics are not just a visual medium but a drawn medium, so I've been trying to construct each issue around images that will look fantastic when Ulises draws them; the story falls into place from there.”  The series has been full of pleasant surprises.  “The big two-page splash in the first issue is the obvious ‘wow’ moment, but pretty much every bit of character acting or piece of design Ulises comes up with is incredible. I could do nothing but fall on my back and writhe with glee when I saw his cover for #3.” When composing the covers, Ulises Farinas made an effort to avoid the ‘TOUGH DUDE LOOKING TOUGH DOING SOMETHING TOUGH’ pose cliché. “The only cover like that is the first one, and the first cover is how I got the job,” remarks Farinas.  “But everything else, from the paperdolls to the final cover, were attempts to have fun with the iconic elements of Dredd. Also triangles are an easy way to make a good composition.”   Wolk notes, “I have a deep and long-standing fondness for Dredd's world, and I wanted to make something that belonged to it while being different from what we'd seen of it before.”  The action comedy miniseries will not go beyond the five issue run.   “Mega-City Two is pretty self-contained as a story, and I don't currently have any plans for more.  I believe IDW's got some other Dredd projects in the hopper! This was a total blast to do, though, and I'd love to write more stories set in Dredd's world.”



    Many thanks to Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas for taking the time to be interviewed.

    To learn more visit the official website for IDW Publishing as well as the official Twitter accounts for Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas.

    Judge Dredd: Mega-City Two #2 arrives on February 5, 2013.

    Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada.


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    Hell Comes to Frogtown, 1988.

    Directed by Donald G. Jackson and R.J. Kizer.
    Starring Roddy Piper, William Smith, Sandahl Bergman, Eyde Byrde and Cec Verrell.


    SYNOPSIS:

    Sam Hell is a prisoner of the female faction who took over the US after nuclear war. Mutants thrive in the wasteland while humans face possible extinction due to infertility. Bomb strapped to his crotch, Hell is forced to rescue a group of fertile women from a harem ran by an evil mutant gang.


    Imagine if Planet of the Apes didn't have the social commentary, was a lot simpler, more misogynistic, with less character and frogs instead of apes and you should get a good idea of what to expect from Hell Comes to Frogtown. A dumb (but campy fun) 80s action-comedy starring wrestling legend Roddy Piper.

    Released the same year as John Carpenter's They Live (which also features Piper), Hell Comes to Frogtown paints a post-war world in which women are mostly infertile and mutants have taken over certain towns. A nomadic traveller by the name of Sam Hell is captured by a group of women soldiers/nurses who make him sign a contract that states he must impregnate as many women as he can while at the same time rescuing a group of women who are being held captive in Frogtown.

    To call Hell Comes to Frogtown an exercise in female exploitation cinema would be a slight understatement. While the shine of the movie is an empowerment fantasy where women dominate the world, their main role in the picture is to flaunt and fawn over Piper's Sam Hell. Not a scene goes by where a woman isn't trying to make a pass at the mullet-sporting beefcake and the end of the movie features our heroic male character standing tall having rescued half a dozen damsels in distress. With that said, it is an exploitation comedy movie made in the late 80s, so what should we really expect?

    The fact of the matter is, Hell Comes to Frogtown is an incredibly stupid movie but it's also quite a lot of fun. Once you immerse yourself into the hyper-realistic, almost Troma-like world filled with anthropomorphic frogs and exploding metal pants you'll have a blast (no pun intended). Piper is suitably wooden in the role (he isn't as good here as he is in They Live) and his almost all-female supporting cast do a serviceable job of making him look like an appealing sex object. The script is functional, the directing is clean and there is a great light-hearted tone throughout the movie which just makes it fun to watch. Taking it seriously would be a fool's errand because the directors themselves were not taking the subject matter seriously and like all good "so bad it's good" movies, Jackson and Kizer tried to make a movie that would entertain people. And to that end, they succeeded.

    Getting yourself into this mindset when watching a movie like Hell Comes to Frogtown is almost essential when trying to get past the lame make-up effects for the evil frog characters. While the rest of the movie is silly fun, the frogs themselves are pretty laughable. At best they're Howard The Duck, but at their worst they're Garbage Pail Kids. Lips movements don't match up and they're all expressionless, but it really doesn't matter. Because everyone on set and in the movie believes they are real-life frog mutants talking, you as an audience buy into it.

    Hell Comes to Frogtown is as dumb as a bag of spanners and about about as subtle. Its gender politics may seem passé here in 2014, but there is enough in this dumb-but-fun meathead comedy that makes Hell Comes to Frogtown somewhat charming. Leave your senses at the door as they won't serve you well in this strange world, but do bring your smile as it will be spread across your face from start to end.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★  / Movie: ★ ★ ★

    Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.


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    We've already seen a red band trailer for A Million Ways to Die in the West, but last night a Super Bowl spot for the upcoming comedy aired, with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg's buddy Ted directing viewers to a new green band trailer for the film, which sees MacFarlane joined in the cast by Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Charlize Theron (Prometheus), Amanda Seyfried (Les Miserables), Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph), Giovanni Ribisi (Avatar) and Liam Neeson (Taken).

     After a cowardly sheep farmer (MacFarlane) backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend (Seyfried) leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman (Theron) rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. When her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

    Check out the Super Bowl spot here, followed by the new green band trailer...



    A Million Ways to Die in the West opens in North America on May 30th and in the UK on June 6th. 

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    Ahead of its release tomorrow, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released a new clip from the animated movie Justice League: War which sees Wonder Woman introducing herself in style to Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash. Check it out after the official synopsis...

    When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. 

    Justice League: War is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) and is set to feature a voice cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) as Batman, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as Superman, Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) as Wonder Woman, Justin Kirk (Weeds) as Green Lantern, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings) as Shazam, Steve Blum (Young Justice) as Darkseid, Bruce Thomas (Birds of Prey) as Desaad and Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Silas Stone.


    Justice League: War is out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, February 4th.

     

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    It seems that Warner Bros. is confident its got a hit on hits hands with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller's (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) upcoming animated comedy The LEGO Movie, with The Wrap revealing that the studio has already tapped Jared Stern (The Internship, Mr. Popper's Penguins) to start working on a script for a sequel with another as-yet-unnamed writer.

    The LEGO Movie follows Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary run of the mill LEGO minifigure who finds himself thrust into an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant when he's mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world. Pratt is joined in the voice cast by Will Ferrell (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises), Liam Neeson (Taken 2), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Charlie Day (Monsters University) and Alison Brie (Community).


    opens in the States on February 7th and arrives in the UK on February 14th.


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    The Bridge (Sweden/Denmark: Bron/Broen).


    Starring Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia, Dag Malmberg, Rafael Pettersson, Puk Scharbau, Sarah Boberg, Lars Simonsen, Emil Birk Hartmann and Vickie Bak Laursen.


    SYNOPSIS:

    TV series following an oddly paired duo of Swedish and Danish police inspectors who must work together to solve the most gruesome and potentially world changing of mysteries...


    Offering up countless whodunits and whydunits straight to the audience, The Bridge is amongst the best of the recent influx of Nordic (or any kind) crime dramas. Simply put, the writing is superlative, gradually edging its way into our thoughts and ideas. Starting each episode with the view of the Øresund Bridge connecting Copenhagen and Malmo, the intricately constructed show brings the perfect combination of high powered ideas and shock tactics to keep everyone guessing.

    All of the cast are terrific, although the two leads are undoubtedly the main focus. The alternately hard working and gradually angst ridden Danish cop Martin and the emotionally detached Saga are brilliantly portrayed. Even in the most extreme of circumstances - of which there are many - they are both sympathetic characters who the audience continues to invest time and emotion in.

    Without giving away any spoilers (of which, again, there are many) it is safe to say that the two main characters undergo a fantastic degree of transformation during the show. The borderline Asperger's syndrome Saga even manages to start decorating her flat a little differently towards the end of the second series! Far from being a moot point, it is evidence that this show is all about the details.

    Adding to the list of great Scandinavian TV to go along with The Killing, Wallander and Borgen, The Bridge is yet another example of the superb creativity going on in the Nordic countries in drama, TV and film. Strongly recommended to all fans of mystery suspense and carefully put together plotlines, The Bridge is a must see.

    Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer. 


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    Warner Bros. latest DC animated movie Justice League: War arrives on shelves today, and much like the New 52-launching Justice League: Origin story arc from which it is based, it seems the direct-to-video feature will launch a shared continuity for the line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. 

    This will definitely be the first salvo in doing new movies that are in continuity with each other," James Tucker, Warner's DC animation supervising producer, tells ComicBookResources. "Our next movie's going to be Son of Batman, and that Batman will be the same Batman that you see in Justice League: War. Basically, we'll have two concurrent series of Justice League movies and Batman movies, and they'll be in continuity with each other. So it's kind of world-building.

    Tucker went on to review that the plan going forward is to release two "in-continuity" movies a year and one stand-alone feature (this year's third offering is Batman: Assault on Arkham, set in the Arkham videogame universe), although the in-continuity titles won't be limited to the New 52, but rather adapted to fit into the framework of the new shared universe.

    Are you excited for the possibilities of a shared DC animated universe? And what stories would you like to see adapted for the screen? Let us know in the comments below....


    Justice League: War is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) and is set to feature a voice cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) as Batman, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as Superman, Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) as Wonder Woman, Justin Kirk (Weeds) as Green Lantern, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings) as Shazam, Steve Blum (Young Justice) as Darkseid, Bruce Thomas (Birds of Prey) as Desaad and Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Silas Stone.


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    Well, we can officially add another supervillain to the Rogues Gallery for the upcoming superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with director Marc Webb confirming on Twitter that B.J. Novak (The Office) is playing Alistair Smythe, who in the comic book universe is the son of Spencer Smythe, creator of the Spider-Slayers. Novak's Smythe joins the previously confirmed villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Harry Osborn / Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), while there's also rumours that Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) is set to portray the Black Cat.

    Also featuring in the cast of the sequel are returning Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Campbell Scott (Richard Parker), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker) and Denis Leary (George Stacy), while the cast also includes Colm Feore (Thor) as Donald Menken, and Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) as Dr. Kafka.


    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on April 18th in the UK and on May 1st in North America.

     

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    David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman) is set to take a break from his DC duties for Warner Bros. to direct The Breach, an adaptation of Patrick Lee's 2009 sci-fi novel, which is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Transformers: Age of Extinction) for Lionsgate.

    According to THR, The Breach centres on "a corrupt ex-cop who is trying to get his life back in order when he discovers a crashed plane in the Alaskan wilderness. The first lady is among those dead in the wreckage. That sets off an adventure featuring a beautiful survivor, assassins, a secret organization, alien technology and an end-of-the-world scenario."

    As well as working on The Breach Goyer has another DC project in the works, as he is currently writing the script for NBC's Constantine TV pilot, while he's also set to produce an adaptation of Vertigo's Sandman alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Don Jon).



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    Lift to the Scaffold aka Elevator to the Gallows (France: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud), 1958.

    Directed by Louis Malle.
    Starring Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Jean Wall and Yori Bertin.

    SYNOPSIS:

    A self-assured business man murders his employer, the husband of his adulterer, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.


    The stuck-in-a-lift plot device grabs your attention. The opening action-sequence of Speed; Emilio Estevez’s short-lived role in Mission: Impossible and the Shyamalan-penned Devil. The claustrophobic, metallic space automatically creates a sense of urgency and tension. The silver-box, hanging by a taught, tight wire seems so fragile and yet it remains the spine of the modern skyscraper – who would walk up so many flights of stairs and remain, effortlessly cool?

    Louis Malle’s Lift to the Scaffold exploits this plot-device in all its cool glory. Rather than exclusively set in and around the “lift to the scaffold”, Malle playfully charts the knock on events of the leading man who has found himself stuck mid-floor. Interestingly, the title Ascenseur pour l'échafaud was translated to Elevator to the Gallows in the US, giving a deep sense of dread and danger that isn’t entirely accurate. The film is more playful and smoothly suave than the almost horror-focused US title dictates.

    The tall building within Paris captures an industrialist, almost American, atmosphere. Julien Tavernier (Maurice Ronet), like James Bond, is due to commit a murder. His boss, and the husband of his lover is Simon Carala (Jean Wall). He tactfully informs his secretary to not disturb him ensuring an alibi is in place. He creeps to the floor above. He delivers a document, raising the gun. Carala doesn’t believe he will shoot. Tavernier shoots - and sets the scene to look like suicide. Sneaking back into his office, he exits and bids adieu to his secretary. Sitting in his costly car, he looks up. The grappling hook used to climb to Carala’s office remains. Swiftly, he leaves the car running and, back into the office he travels up in the lift until security clocks out and turns the power off. Tavernier is stuck, his girlfriend, Carala’s wife (Jeanne Moreau), awaits him at a nearby café. And two teenagers look at his expensive car with the keys left in the ignition. The car seeks to be stolen.

    From the opening credits, you are gently carried into this moody, Miles Davis-scored, night of unplanned events. Murder, illicit affairs, cops and robbers, guns and a riddle you can’t resolve (How will he escape the lift?) pull you into this cinematic sleaze. Sleazy in the way a tall and dark-haired man will seduce a married woman – though illicit, you can’t help but enjoy the sinful seducer’s charm. As Florence Carala searches for Tavernier, we hear her thoughts. Has he killed her husband? Has he left with a different woman? Her narration is the only one we hear and we are drawn into her own fears and sense of panic. The teenagers, Louis and Veronique begin as scooter-thieves and are promoted to car-thieves early on. Akin to Godard’s À bout de soufflé, this crime-plot heightens the tension alongside the murderous beginning that establishes the lift-locked Tavernier.

    Lift to the Scaffold moves at a fast pace, and considering the lead character is trapped in an elevator for two thirds of the film, it is surprising how engaging the film is. Florence’s romantic, wistful voice-over lingers in the air long after she has spoken. Due to the jazz-score, the coolness is intoxicating. Exiting the film, the soothing and infectious confidence that oozes out of every pore, will seep into your blood stream. Though Malle doesn’t truly fit amongst the “nouvelle vague”, the tone of the film will resonate and draw you into the genre. You will be clamouring for a copy of Godard or Truffaut; Rohmer or Rivette. Lift to the Scaffold is accessible and memorable and a must-watch for any film “obsessionnel”.

    Lift to the Scaffold is released on February 7th at BFI Southbank, Curzon Renoir, IFI Dublin and selected cinemas nationwide.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

    Simon Columb


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    Tori Brazier continues our Al Pacino Retrospective with a look at The Godfather...

    Regularly topping polls as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece The Godfather needs very little introduction. Suffice it to say, the film deserves every one of its accolades (including three Academy Award wins and seven nominations) and every inch of its stellar reputation amongst film fans and critics alike.

    Based on the 1969 novel of the same name by Mario Puzo (who co-wrote the screenplay with Coppola), The Godfather tells the story of a fictional New York mob family headed by patriarch and ‘Don’ Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). It focuses on the gradual moral corruption of his youngest and brightest son Michael (Al Pacino), who begins the film in 1945 as a decorated war hero and college-educated family outsider, but ends it as a ruthless Mafia boss operating out of Las Vegas in 1955 after a series of blood-thirsty revenge schemes between the Five Families (based on the real-life Italian American criminal New York Five Families).

    Pre-production, and production for that matter, were rife with difficulty for The Godfather. Not only was Coppola not Paramount’s first choice for director (both Sergio Leone and Peter Bogdanovich had turned the project down in favour of later making the Jewish-American gangster epic Once Upon A Time in America and What’s Up, Doc? respectively) but neither Al Pacino or Marlon Brando were seen as agreeable options for their roles. Coppola, whose biggest directing credit to date was Finian’s Rainbow with Fred Astaire, was mainly chosen due to his Italian American heritage as Paramount studio boss of the time Robert Evans had seen previous Mafia films helmed by non-Italians bomb at the box office, and this time he wanted to be able to “smell the spaghetti”. Coppola had to fight hard to cast both Brando and Pacino after Laurence Olivier turned down the role of Don Corleone, as Paramount wanted Ernest Borgnine and Robert Redford or Ryan O’Neal for the parts. Brando was seen as more trouble than he was worth due to having delayed filming on previous productions, and Pacino at this time was still a relative unknown, having only appeared in two films. At one point James Caan was set to play Michael, but after Coppola threatened to quit the film Pacino was cast and Caan was moved on to the role of eldest Corleone brother Sonny. Coppola’s reasoning was that in his vision he saw an Italian-American actor for Michael, who could convincingly suggest Sicilian heritage, and not for Sonny as he was the ‘Americanized’ son. In Coppola’s own words, the making of this classic movie was “an extremely nightmarish experience” as it was “very unappreciated”. Paramount was “very unhappy with it. They didn’t like the cast. They didn’t like the way I was shooting it. I was always on the verge of getting fired”.

    Luckily for Coppola, and as everyone knows today, The Godfather proved to be a colossal success and was for a time the highest grossing movie ever made. Sequels were released in 1974 and 1990, with The Godfather Part II becoming the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Brando also did well from the film, having famously stuffed his cheeks in order to achieve the desired “bulldog” effect for Don Corleone and based the character’s distinctive voice on that of real-life mobster Frank Costello, winning the Best Actor Oscar for his efforts. Both he and co-star Pacino, however, boycotted the ceremony: Brando in order to make a statement against the mistreatment of Native Americans by the film industry (Sacheen Littlefeather attended in his place in order to make a speech), and Pacino in protest of the fact that he had been nominated for Best Supporting Actor rather than Best Actor like Brando, despite the fact that he had more screen time. It was, nonetheless, the career-making and, alongside that of Tony Montana in Scarface, the career-defining role for Al Pacino, who critic David Thomson describes as having “made the poison of vengeance and paranoia absolutely persuasive”.

    So, I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse: don’t be a Fredo, join the family and watch this film- and you probably won’t end up with a horse’s head in your bed tonight.

    For more on the Al Pacino Retrospective running at the BFI throughout February amd March, head here.

    Tori Brazier

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    The LEGO Movie, 2014.

    Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
    Featuring the voice talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Cobie Smulders.


    SYNOPSIS:

    An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.


    Phil Lord and Chris Miller celebrate the absurd, the oddities and the outcasts. Cloud With a Chance of Meatballs was bizarre and an experiment in the absurd yet to describe The LEGO Movie as bizarre would be slightly restricting. It is more than simply bizarre, it's a creative marvel, utterly bonkers and hugely ambitious. Most impressively, it's weird. Really weird, almost Avant Garde. It celebrates the chaos and anarchy of LEGO while blending it with an incredibly human heart; a concept absent among animations in recent years.

    Instead of order, chaos reigns. Emmett (voiced brilliantly by Chris Pratt), is average in every sense of the word. His favourite song is "Everything is Awesome,"- catchier than the common cold - he wakes up, reads the instructions and goes about his day as the instructions so set out. After a mishap leads him to obtaining the "piece of resistance," Wildstyle, voiced by Elizabeth Banks, whisks him off to help fight the sinister and maniacal Lord Business.

    Yet there is more to the film than simply a plot. It works as a framework for the world to be created. Each character is sillier and more inventive be it Alison Brie's "Unikitty" or Nick Offerman's Metal-Beard, a grotesque mess of numerous LEGO pieces that don't belong together.

    Cynicism would signal towards it simply being a further cash-grab scheme, sell the product first, build a narrative later. Yet the world they have created feels less like an advert, less falsified, more real, as if they individually built it, brick by brick. Each character has subtle scratches and broken helmets as if Lord and Miller have played with each figure for hours on end.

    As the film enters it's hectic and manic final third, chaos ensues. LEGO has no rules and the filmmakers use this, almost to a fault. Yet the filmmakers intelligence and understanding of the product results in a gloriously manic and loopy conclusion. Logic is thrown out of the window, exactly what the film is aiming for disappears but all for the better.

    The nostalgia of LEGO is celebrated, resulting in a film both attractive for children and adults alike. Unikitty will please the children, 80s Spaceman glistens with scratches and a broken helmet that many adults will recognise with a gleeful smile. A heartfelt and beautiful message protrudes out during the final 15 minutes which may feel forced under the reign of a different director, but feels perfectly placed and balanced.

    Absurd and gleefully chaotic, The LEGO Movie does what few animated films achieve. Witty, weird and more often than not, beautiful and touching. A film to be celebrated not simply as a piece of animation but as a marvel of cinema. Lord and Miller have created a film in a similar vein to the Toy Story trilogy. In the words of Emmett, everything is awesome.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Thomas Harris




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    Anghus Houvouras on X-Men: Days of Future Past....

    I doubt I'm alone on this. I can't be. This sickness, this palatable level of nausea I feel with every subsequent piece of marketing associated with the film. This sense of dread that creeps in with every photo that hits Twitter. I say to myself 'they're set photos'. They can't possibly convey or capture what we were all anticipating to be one of the most awesome geek movies to storm into cinemas. But then the photos kept coming, each one more surreal than the last. Then Empire Magazine started showing us the covers to their latest issue covering this big budget summer blockbuster. And that's when it sank in:

    X-Men: Days of Future Past looks terrible.

    Marketing is a funny thing. The design of pre-release hype is to build my anticipation for the project. And yet, every time a new batch of stills gets released for the Bryan Singer helmed Marvel comic adaptation, it makes me want to see it less. How is that possible? This is a $200 million film tackling one of the most revered stories in the history of comics featuring characters we've been clamoring to see on the big screen since the X-Men first headed to movie theaters thirteen years ago. How it can look this bad?

    For a while I thought that it had to be me. I'm a jaded film writer who tends to be a hair overzealous in my criticism. I mean, I'm the guy who called Watchmen one of the most disappointing films of all time, much to the chagrin of comic fans everywhere. Perhaps this was just my well established judgmentalism creeping in. When I saw the first batch of photos on 70's themed cast photos, I thought it looked like the film's costume designer had dressed everyone in the leftover wardrobe of Deep Throat. It was like the film was being produced & directed by Jack Horner. Then the shots of the more familiar X-Men cast started showing up. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart clad in super futuristic leather ensembles that seemed better suited for a S&M fetish bar than a superhero movie.

    After that they released a trailer that showed so little that you figured either they were playing this hand close to the vest or that they had nothing to show. Where are the Sentinels? Where was the action? Why did every shot feature a different mutant with the same hangdog look on their face? What kind of mopey, action-less spectacle was Bryan Singer putting together?

    It was until last weekend when I ventured into my local comic book shop that i was even able to articulate these feelings into words and phrases. The store owner and I talked about the slate of comic book films for 2014 and he asked "So what do you think about Days of Future Past."

    And without thought or hesitation I blurted out: "I think it looks awful."

    A chain reaction started. Soon, everyone in the store began to echo the same sentiment. The terrible behind the scenes photos. The dull as dishwater teaser trailer. The embarrassing photos of a Quicksilver who looks more like a keyboard player for 30 Seconds to Mars than a badass mutant speedster.

    Bryan Singer is a director who I still feel lacks a strong cinematic identity. I liked the first two X-Men films, but they are wildly overpraised. The less that's said about Superman Returns, the better. When he was brought back in to do the latest film in the X-Men franchise, it felt less of an inspired choice and more of a return to the well. Now, they're trying to match the size and scope of The Avengers in the hopes of reaping the financial reward of a massive, expanded universe. So I ask:

    Has the marketing for this movie done anything to inspire your confidence in those choices?

    When you look at these awful set photos and tepid trailers, do you feel like you're seeing the foundation for something epic?

    I don't, and that's disappointing.

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

    http://www.amazon.com/My-Career-Suicide-Note-ebook/dp/B00D3ULU5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371583147&sr=8-1&keywords=my+career+suicide+note


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    Anghus Houvouras on Woody Allen, Philip Seymour Hoffman and the concept of letting go...

    The concept of separating the art from the artist is one I've wrestled with for a long time. I can recall conversations on this very topic dating back to the days before the internet. Back when collections of film fans gathered at the local tavern after a screening at the art house cinema to discuss movies and the cinematic culture. I can remember heated debates about Roman Polanski and whether or not the ticket I had bought was passively supporting an accused rapist.

    This is hardly a new topic. This isn't even a new topic for a column. Last year I wrote about this subject in regards to Orson Scott Card and the backlash forming against his borderline militant stance against same sex marriage. At the time I waxed philosophically about my inability to see past the personal failings of the artist to appreciate the art, citing Polanski as a prime example. No matter good a filmmaker, I struggle with the idea of supporting someone who committed cruel, inhumane acts and then fled the country to live a live of privileged exile.

    We find ourselves in a similar situation with Woody Allen. A beloved filmmaker who has exhibited some questionable behavior in the past, having married his stepdaughter in a scandal that hardly ruined his career but certainly did a fair amount of scuffing. Allen's career resurgence has run into another sticky widget after his former stepdaughter Farrow accused him of sexual molestation when she was seven. As a film writer, I was curious. I've read enough to form opinions and make an uneducated snap judgement or two. While the accused behavior is the most troubling aspect of this story, the second most has to be the number of people jumping to Allen's defense.

    And I'm not talking about friends and family, but film fans. The ones who don't know anything about Allen other than his movies. Their knee jerk reaction to defend a filmmaker that they love of some rather heinous accusations is baffling. When something terrible like this happens, there is an immediate need for people to declare their opinion. There are those who instantly crucify Allen based on accusation alone. Then there are those who will defend Allen for no other reason than they like his films. Doesn't that trouble you?

    I can understand the condemnation. Someone accuses a celebrity with questionable judgement of some horrible acts. Sanctimony kicks in, and the comments begin to fly. I have a harder time understanding those who immediately defend Allen as if it's some kind of righteous act. No matter how many times I hear people say "Innocent until proven guilty.", what I hear is "Innocent until proven guilty because Annie Hall is one of my favorite movies."

    The idea that there are fans who will defend a celebrity because of how much they love their work is kind of grotesque. In a passive way, it's enabling. You are basically declaring that you are willing to defend a potential child molester because you have a hard time with the concept that a filmmaker you respect would do such a thing. It's a child-like reflex. Circling the wagons to protect one of your own. But the thing is, you don't even know him...

    Philip Seymour Hoffman tragically passed over the weekend. A sad, truly terrible loss. A man with a seemingly infinite well of talent which was only matched by a gnawing absence that pushed him into a powerful addiction that ended his life. There are few words to express how truly awful it is. Like many of you I launched into discussions about Hoffman's work. Favorite films. Epic performances. His effortlessness.

    Comments started to creep in. Film bloggers like Dave Poland who sought to inform us that the tragedy wasn't that we lost this great actor, but that Hoffman left behind a wife and children. The 'real' tragedy was a family losing a loved one. It's such a lazy thought and a sanctimonious thought: feeling as though you need to instruct people WHY it's a tragedy. To quantify our loss.

    The first thought that crossed my mind was that I didn't know Philip Seymour Hoffman as a father or husband. I knew him as a performer. A talented soul who delivered as consistently as any actor I remember. How could I mourn the loss of someone I only knew from what I saw of them on stage and screen?

    Then it hit me. The separation of art and artist. I finally understood.

    I can't mourn Hoffman as a family man. I can empathize. I can attempt to relate in that way. But the Hoffman that I'm mourning is the one I saw in Boogie Nights and The Master. The thespian capable of creating such humanity. The actor who was so engrossing. To me, the real tragedy wasn't just losing a talent or the prospect of the films he would never be able to make, but that a person who brought so much joy and stirred so many emotions wasn't able to achieve a livable level of happiness. That the person who gave so much didn't live long enough to get it all back.

    If nothing else, I think I finally understand those who can appreciate the art without considering the artist. I'm not sure if I have the strength of will to be one of those people. If I could let go of judgemental tendencies and knee jerk reactions to appreciate a movie by someone accused of such terrible acts. But after this weekend I think I have a better understanding of those who are.

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

    http://www.amazon.com/My-Career-Suicide-Note-ebook/dp/B00D3ULU5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371583147&sr=8-1&keywords=my+career+suicide+note


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    To celebrate the release of the coming-of-age comedy drama Goats starring David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga, which arrived on DVD here in the UK this past Monday (February 3rd), we've teamed up with the lovely people at Koch Media, Fox and Universal to offer one lucky reader the chance to win the film on DVD, along with box-sets of The X-Files: The Complete Collection and Bates Motel: Season One! And that's not all, as three runners up will also grab a copy of Goats on DVD. Read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter...

    Young intelligent stoner, Ellis (Graham Phillips) moves to the East coast to attend the prep school his dad went to, leaving his New Age mother, Wendy (Vera Farmiga), and goat herder father-figure 'Goat Man' (David Duchovny) behind in Tucson. Struggling to adapt to his new surroundings but excelling in all aspects of his school work, he begins to reassess his situation and learns some lessons about love and life while doing so.

    Head over to Amazon to order Goats, Bates Motel: Season One and The X-Files: The Complete Collection

    To be in with a chance of winning, firstly make sure you like us on Facebook (or follow us on Twitter)...


    ...Then complete your details below, using the subject heading "GOATS". The competition closes at midnight on Saturday, February 15th
    . UK entrants only please.

     
     By entering this competition you agree to our terms and conditions, which you can read here.


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    Leon: The Professional, 1994.

    Directed by Luc Besson.
    Starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman and Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing).


    SYNOPSIS:

    Leon (Jean Reno) is a solitary assassin living under the employ of Italian gangster Tony (Danny Aiello). After hideously corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) slaughters a mostly innocent family on his floor, he's forced to take in twelve-year-old girl Mathilda (Natalie Portman). The unlikely duo begin to bond and grow, as Mathilda asks Leon to train her in the art of assassination, so that she can claim revenge for the death of year 4-year-old brother.


    Leon is a fantastic piece of cinema that simply doesn't get enough acclaim or recognition. This could be due to the sheer quality of films that were released in 1994, that simply overshadowed the more unknown Leon: The Professional. To name a few, 1994 spawned such milestones as; Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and The Lion King. Although these films are all classics in their own right, Leon is certainly a film that deserves to stand amongst them, and the 20th Anniversary Edition is a deserving celebration for a film of this calibre. The blu-ray contains both the theatrical cut, and the generally preferable director's cut which captures more crucial development between Mathilda and Leon.

    Boiled down to its core components, Leon: The Professional is an action film. Unlike many generic action films in the 90's, it defies the typical structure, choosing to focus on the heart-warming relationship between a child in need and a rather unorthodox parental figure. The story is basic, but effective. The film ultimately comes together as a result of Luc Besson's finely honed directorial eye, alongside some incredible performances from the tragically underrated (at the time) Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. Jean Reno plays the skilled, yet emotionally distant assassin to a tee, while Oldman's Beethoven loving, coke-snorting psychopath is equally iconic. Natalie Portman's acting début is arguably one of the best of her career, even now.

    Leon: The Professional is one of the most intuitive, original and refreshing action films ever made. It injected an otherwise dull, overplayed genre with some genuine sentiment and feeling, the film remaining one of Besson's most praised works to this date. It remains a true and cult classic, and is certainly worth the purchase for any collector of quality work.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Sam Thorne




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    Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have released a new trailer for director Neil Burger's (The Illusionist, Limitless) upcoming sci-fi Divergent, which is based upon Veronica Roth's best-selling sci-fi YA trilogy and sees Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, The Spectacular Now) leading a cast that also includes Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment), Theo James (Bedlam), Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Ansel Elgort (Carrie), Maggie Q (Nikita), Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Kate Winslet (Carnage).

    "DIVERGENT is a thrilling action-adventure set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy to destroy all Divergents, she must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late."

    Check out the new trailer here...


    Divergent is set for release on March 21st.



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    Having secured Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) for the role of Detective West, The CW's upcoming pilot The Flash has now found its Iris West, with Candice Patton (The Game) set to link up with Grant Gustin's Barry Allen in the planned Arrow spin-off.

    Patton becomes the latest name to join the cast after Rick Gosnett (The Vampire Diaries), who will play Detective Eddie Thawne - rumoured to be an alias of Eobard Thawne, a.k.a Professor Zoom - and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th), who will play Caitlin Snow, the alter-ego of the New 52's Killer Frost.

    The Flash pilot is set to go into production in March with Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and director David Nutter producing alongside DC's Geoff Johns.



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    Ever wanted to see the galaxy? Well, you might be in luck, as Disney and Lucasfilm Animation have released a new batch of Imperial recruitment posters in promotion of their upcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels, which you can check out right here...




    "Star Wars Rebels continues the epic tradition of the legendary Star Wars saga with all-new exciting, action-packed adventures. It is a dark time in the galaxy, as the evil Galactic Empire tightens its grip of power from world to world. As the series begins, Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet, ruling with an iron fist and ruining the lives of its people. But there are a select few who are brave enough to stand up against the endless Stormtroopers and TIE fighters of the Empire: the clever and motley crew of the starship Ghost. Together, this ragtag group will face threatening new villains, have thrilling adventures, and become heroes."


    Star Wars Rebels is produced by Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class) and Greg Weisman (Young Justice) and features a voice cast that includes David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler), Freddie Prinze Jr. (Scooby-Doo), Vanessa Marshall (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox), Taylor Gray (Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventures) and Steve Blum (The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes). The show is set to premiere in the Fall.


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