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    In the first of a three-part feature, Jackson Ball looks at the evolving Disney Princess...

    It is hard to see how young children could be “prepared” for women’s liberation by reading fairy tales; an analysis of those fairy tales that children actually read indicates instead that they serve to acculturate women to traditional social roles. (Lieberman, M. 1972)

    The idea of a character serving to ‘acculturate women to traditional social roles’, is evident in Disney’s first ever animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In many ways, the 1937 film can be seen as the archetypal template for future Disney films, as it features many structural characteristics that transcend much of Disney’s animated catalogue. For example, Snow White tells the adapted story of a ‘princess’ character from a popular folk tale. This trend has occurred no less than ten more times in Disney’s ‘Animated Classic’ canon: Cinderella (1950), Sleeping Beauty (1959), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), Mulan (1998), The Princess and the Frog (2009), Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013).

    It is the quintessential ‘princess’ character that so many feminist theorists have written about in the past, particularly the initial model, Snow White herself. Arguably, the character is a fairly one-dimensional one; Snow White is young and beautiful, but appears to have no real motivation in life other than finding a handsome prince, as indicated by her musical number ‘Someday my Prince Will Come’.

    Snow White, and her supposed lack of ambition, once again reaffirms the feminist theory of acculturation, as stated by Lieberman. The notion put forward by many feminists is that young girls will see the film as a model for life, wherein beauty takes precedence over personal ambition and all of life’s problems can be solved by finding the right man, or ‘prince’.

    "…the film follows the classic ‘sexist’ narrative about the framing of women’s loves through a male discourse. Such male framing drives women to frustration and some women to the point of madness. It also pits women in competition for male approval…"(Zipes, J. 1995)

    Zipes builds on Lieberman’s initial point with the second caveat of women competing against each other as a result of the male discourse. This second point is clearly evident in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, embodied by the character of the Evil Queen. After being told by the Magic Mirror that Snow White is the ‘fairest of them all’, she is driven mad with jealousy and sets out to kill the titular character. Here it is the role of the Magic Mirror that represents the male discourse, assessing the female characters on their beauty and pitting them against each other out of envy. Added to this is the films central male character, the Prince, who is first seen singing to Snow White about her beauty. Not only does this fit the ‘sexist’ narrative, but also the singing only adds to the Evil Queen’s envy.

    In terms of social relevance, it can be a fair postulation that the supposedly ‘sexist’ elements of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (and several other early Disney animations) are reflections of the sociological landscape of the time. Obviously in 1937, upon Snow White’s release, the social climate was very different from today. The film predates the radical women’s rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, so the rights and expected gender roles for women were a lot more submissive. With that in mind, it is to be expected that the representations of female characters in that time differ from those of today.

    Check back tomorrow for part two...

    Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter.

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    Luke Owen reviews The Twilight Zone #2...

    Wall Street magnate Trevor Richmond has succeeded in finding a way to avoid going to prison for embezzling millions from investors. He has a new life, a new name, a new face and a new past. No one can ever come looking for him. It's everything he could possibly have asked for. Until he discovers someone who lives in his house, his life, with his name, his lover, and worse still, his own face. A total stranger has stolen everything he is, was, and hoped to be...and he's not about to let that theft go unanswered, no matter what it may cost him.

    While issue #1 of J. Michael Straczynski's The Twilight Zone was clearly a new take on the franchise with a much sexier, darker tone, it still felt like it was in the Rod Serling mold that we have all come to love. The Twilight Zone #2 however feels like a huge step back in terms of story structure, tone and effort. This doesn't feel like a follow up issue to a good opening to The Twilight Zone and instead feels like a totally different comic - and a poorly written one at that.

    In terms of theme, it does kind of work. Our central character Trevor Richmond is now avoiding prison under his new name and face only to discover that the company who provided his escape has given his old life to someone else - and this person is doing a better job with it. The Twilight Zone was always great at telling 'be careful what you wish for' type stories and Richmond  becoming the jealous ex-lover who wants his old life back is a shining example of how the series could take formulaic stories and turn them on their head. The body-swapping gimmick a clever plot device and works quite nicely for the theme it's telling, but it's bogged down by some completely random choices to move the story forward.

    The opening of The Twilight Zone #2 is innocent enough with Richmond confronting the company and being given a lecture that (clumsily) hammers home the story's theme, but then it devolves into a madcap action comic with gun fights, hostages and car jacking. It feels like a completely different comic to not only the first issue, but the first third of this current one. Why J. Michael Straczynski thought this was the best way to move the story forward is anyone's guess, but it feels very silly and its poor script doesn't do it any favours. Furthermore, the comic's conclusion feels as if none of this is going to be followed up in the next issue as Richmond confronts the man who took over his life.

    With a bit of luck, the third part of this tale will bring it back on track, but The Twilight Zone #2 is a bit of a mess. The character motivations are there and the theme works great, but its execution is sloppy and the whole 'crook on the run' motif feels lazy and unimaginative - which is highly ironic as this is the dimension of imagination. Faith can still be put into J. Michael Straczynski to pull this out of the bag, but this comic isn't a great showcase of the man's writing.

    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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    On Sunday we got new TV spots and trailers for two of this year's big superhero movies in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, although 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Days of Future Past was absent from the Super Bowl line-up. Well until we get the next trailer, X-Men fans will have to make do with a brief international promo for the Bryan Singer-directed sequel, which pretty much consists of footage we've already seen before in the first teaser trailer. Check it out after the official synopsis... 

    The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23rd with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Halle Berry (Storm), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) alongside franchise newcomers Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Quicksilver, Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) as Warpath, Fan Binbing (Iron Man 3) as Blink, Adam Canto (The Following) as Sunspot, Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road) as William Stryker, Evan Jonigkeit (Girls) as Toad, and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Bolivar Trask.

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    After the recent “controversy” over the plot and casting of the Fantastic Four reboot, for which our very own site received a nasty email from a legal team representing 20th Century Fox over certain changes to the characters' origins [see story here], the studio behind the new version haven’t let it keep them down in regards to casting the film.

    With a script being readied with director Josh Trank (Chronicle), Fox have begun screen testing various actors this week for the main roles in the superhero team. The Hollywood Reporter has apparently been informed that both Emmy Rossum (Shameless, The Day After Tomorrow) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) have both read for the role of Sue Storm a.k.a. The Invisible Woman. In addition, hot young actor Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment, The Spectacular Now) who has been previously linked heavily with involvement in the film, has tested for the Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic role. THR is also suggesting that young Brit actor Christian Cooke (Romeo & Juliet) has tested for Ben Grimm/The Thing, and that another heavily linked actor Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) is still the strong front-runner for Johnny Storm/Human Torch.

    Outside of the casting screen-tests, THR has gathered some new info on the possible villain involved in proceedings, with all news pointing to the re-involvement of Doctor Doom, who was in the original two Fantastic Four films in 2005 and 2007, played by Julian McMahon. The studio seemingly wants a big-name star to take on the villainous role, but suggestions from the report state that they are even considering changing the character’s gender.

    Of course, none of the news in concrete as of yet, and we wait to see if an official announcement is forthcoming, or indeed if other actors are yet to test for the roles. Nevertheless, The Fantastic Four is scheduled to start filming in March in Baton Rouge, with a release date marked in for June 19th 2015.

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    Despite it’s recent high-profile delay until the summer of 2016, the much-anticipated Batman vs. Superman film is still getting a huge chunk of publicity. With last week’s controversial casting of both Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred getting many a column written, as well as the cryptic tweets from Dwayne Johnson on his possible involvement, the news out of Camp Batfleck continues apace as well.

    Fresh from reports from his friend Kevin Smith and wife Jennifer Garner on what the new Batsuit looks like and the direction that Zack Snyder’s film is taking, it seems now best pal Matt Damon has been let in on a few Bat-secrets.

    Speaking to MTV, Damon has given his two cents on proceedings, saying:

    "I've seen a picture, I have seen a picture. It's excellent. And I've talked to him about the storyline, and it's great. Look I've known him for thirty-something years, I'd be the first guy being like 'Buddy, what are you doing?' but I think the movie is going to be great."

    Everyone of course has his or her opinion on how the new Batsuit should look post Nolan and Bale, but if you had to pick, what would yours look like? And the story, what are you expecting from the film?

    Set for its worldwide opening on May 6th, 2016, Batman vs. Superman will star Henry Cavill, returning as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and Jeremy Irons as Alfred, as well as Man of Steel stars Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne. The film is directed by Zack Snyder and co-written by Man of Steel scribe David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio (Argo).

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    With its second season, The CW's hit superhero show Arrow has already taken huge strides in expanding its 'DC Universe', introducing the likes of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), The Black Canary (Caity Lotz), Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro), Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai-White), Solomon Grundy (Graham Shiels), The Dollmaker (Michael Eklund), Anthony Ivo (Dylan Neal), Shrapnel (Sean Maher), Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), A.R.G.U.S. and the League of Assassins. However, according to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, there's still plenty more to come this season...

    "I will say that we have a crazy number of DC – it’s funny, there’s stuff that will be happening in the middle of this season that we haven’t announced yet, that if people think we’ve done a lot of DC Universe stuff now it pales in comparison to where we’re headed", Guggenheim tells Newsarama. "It’s really going to be kicked up to a ridiculous degree. There’s two episodes in a row, where we’re keeping the titles secret, because both episodes will just blow people’s minds."

    How do you think Arrow has handled its DC expansion this season, and which other characters would you like to see heading to Starling City? Let us know in the comments below...

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    Trailer for Stephen Sommers' Odd Thomas adaptation
    Despite having just received a DVD release here in the UK, director Stephen Sommers' (The Mummy, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) adaptation of Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas has been gathering dust in terms of U.S. distribution since being delayed last summer, but the film has now secured a Stateside release this month and so we've been treated to a brand new trailer...

    "Small-town fry cook Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is an ordinary guy with a paranormal secret: he sees dead people, everywhere. When a creepy stranger shows up with an entourage of ghostly bodices -- predators who feed on pain and portend mass destruction -- Odd knows that his town is in serious trouble. Teaming up with his sweetheart Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the local sheriff (Willem Dafoe), Odd plunges into an epic battle of good versus evil to try to stop a disaster of apocalyptic proportions."

    Odd Thomas opens in the States on February 28th. Read our ★★★★ review from last year's Film4 FrightFest here.


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    Ahead of its release in April, Hammer has debuted a new UK trailer and poster for its upcoming horror The Quiet Ones, which is directed by John Pogue and sees Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) starring alongside Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) and Erin Richards (Being Human)...

    Hammer's The Quiet Ones

    A university student (Sam Claflin of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and some classmates are recruited to carry out a private experiment -- to create a poltergeist. Their subject: an alluring, but dangerously disturbed young woman (Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel). Their quest: to explore the dark energy that her damaged psyche might manifest. As the experiment unravels along with their sanity, the rogue PHD students are soon confronted with a terrifying reality: they have triggered an unspeakable force with a power beyond all explanation.  

    The Quiet Ones opens in the UK on April 11th and in North America on April 25th.

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    We're still waiting to see the first trailer, but in the meantime a new image from the upcoming live-action series Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist has arrived online via VideoGameFilms, which features Ryu (Mike Moh) and Ken (Christian Howard) alongside their master Gouken (Akira Koieyama)....

    This thrilling, multi layered series will take the audience back to the formative years of the iconic characters, Ryu and Ken, as they live a traditional warrior’s life in secluded Japan. The boys are, unknowingly, the last practitioners of the ancient fighting style known as ‘Ansatsuken’ (Assassin’s Fist). The series follows them as they learn about the mysterious past of their Master, Gouken, and the tragic and dark legacy of the Ansatsuken style. Can their destiny be changed…or will history repeat itself? 

    Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist is set to arrive some time this year.

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    Disney's CG-animated spin-off Planes may not have enjoyed the box office success of its Pixar cousin Cars, but having pulled in some $206 million at the box-office, the Mouse House is gearing up for the release of the sequel, entitled Planes: First & Rescue, and a new theatrical trailer has arrived online which we have for you below....

    "Planes: Fire & Rescue features a quirky crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from a raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of wildfire air attack. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous air attack team, including spirited super scooper Lil’ Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero."

    Disney's Planes: Fire & Rescue is set for release in North America on July 18th and in the UK on August 8th.


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    The classic British children's character Postman Pat is getting the big screen treatment this year with the release of a new CG-animated movie, and we've got the first poster and trailer for you right here, although you might not like what you see...

    "Postman Pat: The Movie finds Pat, everyone’s favourite postman, coming face-to-face with the temptations of money, status and a shiny new suit when he enters a national TV talent show competition that threatens to tear him away from his hometown of Greendale and the friends he loves. What happens when kindness meets selfishness? When local fame meets global notoriety? A nice cup of tea is kicked aside by a frappacappucino? Pat is set to find out as he falls for the age old temptation of the grass being greener…"

    Postman Pat: The Movie is set for release on May 23rd, with Stephen Mangan (Green Wing) voicing Pat (and Ronan Keating handling singing duties), while David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Harry Potter stars Rupert Grint and Jim Broadbent also feature in the cast.

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    Last week Warner Bros. sent the internet into a frenzy - again - with its latest casting on the Man of Steel sequel as Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me) was announced as the latest actor to portray Superman's arch-enemy Lex Luthor on the big screen.

    Now The Hollywood Reporter has revealed some behind-the-scenes details on the casting, stating that Girls star Adam Driver - who was heavily linked to the role of Nightwing - was actually also under consideration for Luthor, along with Joaquin Phoenix (Her), who is said to have passed on the role.

    It's also thought that Warner Bros. considered sticking with an older Lex Luthor, with Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) "discussed internally". However, no offer was ever made to Hanks, while Bryan Cranston was also never approached, despite what many "scoop" sites would have us believe.

    Batman vs. Superman is set for release in May 2016 with a cast that also includes Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), and Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth).

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    There's a new red band trailer arriving tomorrow for the upcoming action thriller Sabotage, and to whet our appetites we've got a thirty-second teaser that you can check out right here...

    Sabotage is directed by David Ayer (End of Watch) and sees Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Last Stand) leading a cast that also includes Sam Worthington (Avatar), Terrence Howard (The Best Man Holiday), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Harold Perrineau (Lost), Olivia Williams (Dollhouse), Mireille Enos (World War Z), Josh Holloway (Lost) and Max Martini (Pacific Rim).

    "In SABOTAGE Arnold Schwarzengger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done – until, one-by-one, the ten members mysteriously start to be eliminated."

    Sabotage is set for release on April 11th in North America, and April 25th here in the UK.

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    According to Variety, Lost star Evangeline Lilly has entered early talks with Marvel Studios about joining the cast of Edgar Wright's upcoming Ant-Man adaptation, with the site reporting that she is being considered for the role of Hank Pym's daughter, and Scott Lang's love interest.

    Lilly, who appeared in last year's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and will be returning for The Hobbit: There and Back Again in December, would join Paul Rudd (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra) as Hank Pym. It's also said that the role "is not intended to be a one-off appearance", which seems standard when it comes to Marvel Studios contracts.

    Ant-Man is set for release on July 17th 2015.

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    Ben Wheatley (A Field in England, Down Terrace) is arguably the most exciting British director working today, and he's just announced via Twitter that his next project will be an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World, Only Lovers Left Alive). Cue mouth watering...

    The novel was written in 1975 and is about a vast tower block that provides its residents with everything they could ever need: swimming pools, a school, supermarket, etc. A neat concept at the time, and like much of Ballard's dystopic work, one that has come to pass (see: Hong Kong).

    As the inhabitants become isolated from the outside world, factions develop between them (into the literal low-, middle- and high-classes based on which floor they live) and violence ensues. Hiddleston will play a young doctor who becomes embroiled in the tower block war.

    The book was nearly developed for cinema in the late 1970s by Nicolas Roeg and Paul Mayersberg, but financing fell through. This new script has been written by Wheatley's frequent collaborator and wife Amy Jump (Kill List, Sightseers).

    Wheatley will be directing the first two episodes of Peter Capaldi's Doctor Who, which will air on the BBC this August.

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  • 02/06/14--03:29: 2014: TV Hightlights
  • It seems that year on year the quality of television just keeps getting better, and 2014 promises to be no exception.

    The hotly anticipated fourth series of Game of Thrones is scheduled to premiere on April 6th. With a star cast including Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Ciaran Hinds, this series has the potential to be the best one yet. The third book of the Game of Thrones series has been split into two seasons (seasons 3 and 4), so this season should answer all those questions that fans were left asking after the pulsating end to series three. Will we see more White Walkers? Will the Starks avenge Rob’s death? All will, we hope, be answered. And if that isn’t enough, the show features dragons. Yes: fire-breathing dragons.

    It’s a bumper year for sport as well! The world famous Grand National gets underway on April 5th, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Grand National racing action aside, we have the 2014 Football World Cup in Brazil and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Pause. Over in Russia, the Winter Olympics in Sochi are about to get underway and in September the biannual Ryder Cup kicks off.

    Meanwhile, cool personified is Kevin Spacey. Here is a guy who likes to photobomb, lark around, but more importantly, he can act. Look no further than House of Cards for proof. The Netflix original returns this February and Spacey’s star turn as Frank Underwood, the Political Whip for the Democrat Party, rolls on. This is a guy who can manipulate anything into going his way. Cool, sophisticated, and a script to die for.

    Peter Capaldi won the hearts of many with his acid-tongue character Malcolm Tucker in the critically acclaimed The Thick of It. However, he is about to embark on his toughest role to date, playing the Doctor. With filming for the new Doctor Who series now underway, it should be hitting screens around October. From the stills released, Capaldi certainly looks like the coolest Doctor we’ve ever seen, and his Crombie coat is nothing short of spectacular!

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    Anghus Houvouras reviews the thirteenth episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (spoilers ahead)...

    Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 13 ReviewLet me first say that I really liked the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show that is rapidly losing both viewers and defenders.  As always, it's far from perfect, but the pulpy low-stakes Marvel Universe based show still does enough for me to warrant watching.

    It's a show that is still trying to find it's footing, even after an entire half season of episodes.  Thematically it's all over the map, and it's a show so white you could use it to balance digital cameras.  This week's episode gave hope to viewers who have been hoping to see two things:

    - More Marvel Madness
    - Less Skye

    "T.R.A.C.K.S." almost single handedly took care of both those complaints by introducing Deathlok, a cool little Easter egg finally ready to hatch, and by killing Skye, the most reviled character on the show. 

    Our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents are trying to recover a mysterious package that's being delivered to evil entrepreneur Quinn in the hopes that they can learn the whereabouts of the even more evil Clairvoyant who's psychic tomfoolery has been a constant thorn in Coulson's side.  The mission goes awry leaving Skye and Simmons to try and continue the mission without backup.  This leads to the extremely plausible scenario where Simmons is utterly useless and Skye takes two slugs to the chest.  I was wondering if the show's creators had the moxy to kill off a major, generally disliked character to try and get the show 'back on track', but they loaded up her near lifeless body into a hyperbaric chamber and left her fate to be determined in the next episode (I'm guessing she lives).

    Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 13 ReviewThere was some cool stuff in this episode, mostly dealing with J. August Richards' emerging Deathlok.  A character that could be all kinds of cool on a show like this.  There might be a lot of people who are forgiving of some of the earlier, slower installments of the series if it ends up being a Deathlok origin story.  It certainly feels like it's making slow, plodding steps in the right direction.   There's still so much of the show that feels like pointless filler.  The relationship between Agent Ward and Agent May.  Coulson's paternal like instincts towards Skye.  You get fifteen minutes of meat and half an hour of pointless, sugary confection. 

    I always go back to the comparison I made awhile back to The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  A show that bore much of the same criticisms that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets because it's not exactly the thing fans want it to be.  A show like this is never going to please everybody, if for no other reason that the superhero to non-superhero ratio is always going to be far too low for fans who want more than the what the show is currently delivering. 

    For me, "T.R.A.C.K.S." was another solid episode.  I'm still curious to see how the Deathlok and Clairvoyant stories play out.  There's still enough here for me to stay invested in each week, even if the restless masses have already given up on what is still an engaging premise with potential. 

    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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    Warner Bros. might be struggling to get its DC house in order on the big screen, but when it comes to television, we've got a whole host of properties heading our way.

    As well as the hit superhero series Arrow, The CW has The Flash, Hourman and iZombie in the pipeline, while Fox is working on Gotham and NBC is developing Constantine. And now it looks like we can add another potential show to that list...

    According to Deadline, Mad Men executive producers Andre and Maria Jacquemetton and Gravity producer David Heyman are currently working with SyFy on an adaptation of Brian Wood's Vertigo / DC title DMZ, which ran for 72 issues between 2005 and 2012 and is "set in the near future and centers on a young man trapped in Manhattan, which has been turned into a demilitarized zone (DMZ) after a second American civil war."

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    The all-female Expendables spin-off The ExpendaBelles has secured a director, with Deadline reporting that Robert Luketic has signed on to the project, which reunites him with Legally Blonde screenwriters Kristen Smith and Karen McCullah. Sylvester Stallone is producing, while Avi Lerner will serve as executive producer. Here's the official synopsis:

    When America’s Navy SEALs are wiped out trying to penetrate the island lair of a deadly despot who has captured one of the world’s top nuclear scientists, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as the right man for the job and that this is a mission so impossible that only women can handle it. The only way in: some of the world’s deadliest female operatives must pose as high-class call-girls shipped in by private plane to satisfy a dictator–and instead save the scientist and the day.

    Luketic is expected to begin casting on The ExpendaBelles soon, with previous names thrown up by Lerner as possibilities including Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) and Cameron Diaz (The Counselor).

    Who would you like to see in The ExpendaBelles? Let us know in the comments below...

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    Everyone wants to be in Star Wars. If you listen to the Internet you might think that everyone is in Star Wars! It's all a bit boring to be honest. You'd think J.J. would have learnt with Kahn.....

    However, the latest news to come out is sure to excite. In a recent interview with Sky Movies, Jim Gordon himself, Gary Oldman, was asked if he had any interest in joining the new film.

    "They've called, yeah," Oldman replied. "I'm more cynical about it (casting) now, I believe it when I'm on the plane home. You know, the deal isn't done (until then). But yeah, they've inquired."

    Gary Oldman in Star Wars? With his range he could easily be envisaged as anything from a Sith Lord, to a Jedi Master, to a Mouse Droid. Maybe not the last one.

    But as the man himself says, don't take it as fact yet. Though he isn't aloof to it all, later saying ‘I mean Planet of the Apes, Harry Potter, Batman and Star Wars– bloody hell!’.

    What say you to this latest piece of info? Let us know in the comments below...

    Star Wars: Episode VII is due for release on December 18th 2015.

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