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    With the likes of The House of the Devil and The Inkeepers, American filmmaker Ti West has been developing quite a name for himself amongst horror fans, and now we have a new poster and red band trailer for the writer-director's next offering The Sacrament; check them out here...

    The Sacrament follows two Vice media correspondents as they set out to document their friend’s search to find his missing sister. They travel outside of the United States to an undisclosed location where they are welcomed into the world of “Eden Parish,” a self-sustained rural utopia comprised of nearly 200 members.

    At the centre of this small, religious, socialist community is a mysterious leader known only as “Father.” As their friend reunites with his sister, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems. What started as just another documentary shoot soon becomes a race to escape with their lives.

    The Sacrament is set for a VOD release in the States on May 1st, along with a limited theatrical run from June 6th.

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    Parks and Recreation Seasons One, Two and Three & Four Box Set (including 68 episodes plus bonus features) is available on DVD here in the UK from Monday, March 3rd and to celebrate the release we have two copies to give away to our readers courtesy of the lovely people at Fabulous Films and Fremantle Media Enterprises; read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter...

    Created by Primetime Emmy® Award winners Greg Daniels (The Office U.S., King of the Hill, The Simpsons) and Michael Schur (The Office U.S., Saturday Night Live), comedy superstar Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope, an ambitious and hopeful small-town government worker, whose dreams are way bigger than her political talents.

    SEASON ONE The saga of Local Government employees attempting to turn a neighborhood hole in the ground into a new public park.

    SEASON TWO Indiana’s most enthusiastic public servant marries gay penguins, welcomes a military regime from Venezuela, hosts a 36 hour telethon and takes on Ron Swanson for Woman Of The Year.

    SEASON THREE With the complete shutdown of the Pawnee government for budgetry reasons, dedicated government employee Leslie Knope and her colleagues plan their most important project yet: The Harvest Festival. Other series challenges include saving a painting depicting Leslie as a powerful and bare-chested Greek goddess and most importantly, the search for Pawnee’s missing beloved miniature horse Li’l Sebastian.

    SEASON 4 The ever-enthusiastic Leslie Knope has her sights set on the City Council, but political campaigns are never easy - Leslie must deal with shady journalists, a deep- pocketed opponent, a still smitten old flame and even suspension in her quest to serve her beloved hometown.

    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 "PARKS". The competition closes at midnight on Saturday, March 8th
    . UK entrants only please.

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

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    Matt Ryan cast as Constantine in NBC's pilot
    Deadline has revealed that NBC has found its lead for the upcoming TV pilot Constantine, with the site reporting that Welsh actor Matt Ryan (The Tudors, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) has signed on to play the supernatural detective John Constantine in an adaptation of DC's Hellblazer. He'll take over from Keanu Reeves who portrayed the character on the big screen back in 2005.

    According to the site, the show "centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. John Constantine is described as a working-lass Londoner with rakish good looks, scruffy blond hair, deadpan humor, and signature trench coat, who has been studying the dark arts since he was a teenager. When the daughter of a late friend is targeted by demons, Constantine steps in to save her."

    Constantine has been written by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and DC regular David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman).

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    We've seen many of these before in varying degrees of quality, but 20th Century Fox has now released a high-resolution batch of images from X-Men: Days of Future Past showing off much of the main cast - and the presumably minor players - from the Bryan Singer-directed mutant superhero sequel; click any of the images for bigger versions...

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    X-Men: Days of Future Past

    "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), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) 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, Adan 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. Watch the trailer here.

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    Piers McCarthy reviews the tenth episode of The Walking Dead season 4....

    The Walking Dead Season 4 - Episode 10 Review
    Having the obligatory opening episode focused on Rick and Carl (alongside Michonne), the tenth episode of Season 4 shows us what has happened to the rest of the group. Whereas I thought “Inmates” would focus on a select few – as had the first episode – we get to see each member of the surviving gang and how close and how far they’ve travelled to and from one another.

    Major spoilers follow

    If some criticism went towards Carl’s succinct maturation during “After” – cramming a compendium’s worth of character development into 40 minutes, it seems the writers don’t have the same plan for Beth. Starting the tenth episode with her voice-over (reading from her diary), we start to understand a girl who so far has only said a few lines and sung a couple of songs. It’s nothing too major, nor is it an attempt to pinpoint that personality in a select amount of time, it’s simply edifying. The fear and excitement of the last few years are summed up nicely in the memoirs she recollects. We see her now as an older, more knowing part of the crew who has suffered some of the worse loss out of all of them. Presently, she’s paired with Daryl which seems like the perfect match. Both have an innate goodness, are smart, and are able to take care of themselves yet, ultimately, seem more altruistic than the rest.

    There is a moment where Beth demands to track the remaining family and friends, but Daryl seems apathetic and tired. This is the first sign of weakness we’ve seen from the Rambo-esque warrior but it is his loyalty and honour that brings out of the stupor to help Beth. There is no romance to be had here – an age difference, for one, would prevent it, I expect – but it’s a relationship that has the potential to be poignant.

    Part of their tracking involves seeing many corpses and a dozen drops of blood. The fate of the other lot seems uncertain, especially when they come across a load of walkers feasting away at a group of recently dead. Beth’s sadness and shock at the tiny disaster zone speaks volumes of her frailty; the next scene showing her burning her diary pages for a fire exemplifies this further – her past is an ashen memory (if that reading isn’t stretching too far!).

    Before noting the next narrative arc, it’s worth mentioning the location work for this episode which is fantastic. There are a couple of landscapes expertly picked out for that desolate-feel. An abandoned train track may seem trite for an apocalyptic story but having not come across one for a while in the Walking Dead, it stands out. It also stands as the centre-piece for the interconnected timelines, of which Tyreese, Mika and Lizzie come second in the episode.

    The Walking Dead Season 4 - Episode 10 ReviewHaving saved Tyreese during the mid-season finale, Lizzie seems like Carol’s successor. Taught by the very woman she’s becoming, Lizzie is fiercely unmoved by events. Mika, on the other hand, is a live-wire of paranoia and dread. Mix-matched, their storyline can be trying at points, but there’s something in Lizzie’s near-inhuman stance on things that grips you. With Tyreese also cradling Judith (obviously having taken her from that blood-soaked carrier), there is a fair bit more riding on their survival. Taking care of Judith seems incredibly taxing when the baby is crying all through the forest. Attracting walkers, Lizzie is given Judith as Tyreese helps fend the undead off (moving to the centre-piece we’ve seen minutes before with the group being eaten, here in a flashback scenario). Lizzie, in trying to stay unnoticed muffles/smothers Judith to a point where you really start to wonder if she’ll kill the child. With no emotion in her face it’s a worrying moment – acted out well by Brighton Sharbino.

    As Tyreese tackles the small hoard on his end of things, Mika has to point the gun at the walkers heading towards her, Lizzie and Judith. The shot rings out as we’re back on focus on Tyreese and you can expect something to have gone wrong (Mika’s pretty weak and the weak don’t tend to survive on this show).  The walker win of the week comes when Tyreese takes down the zombie who has chewed on the neck of an ex-survivor, bashing its face off with his hammer. As he floors the walker we hear a “Tyreese”, and he then turns to find Carol and the three girls. That’s another re-addition to the show, and something that’ll add tension considering Carol killed Karen a while back.  

    Going over the episode for reviewing purposes I had forgotten how much is packed into it. Next up is Maggie, Bob and Sasha who have found themselves banded together. There isn’t much to take from their part in this week’s story apart from Maggie’s search for Glenn. They find the bus that had left the prison, crawling with walkers. As The Walking Dead is known for killing off favourites, there is a fear that Glenn may not have survived. As Maggie works her way through the fray looking for the (potentially unfamiliar) face of Glenn, it nearly seems possible. A cry that turns to a smile as she kills one unseen foe (that could have been Glenn) we realise he’s safe. Cut to the break and we see him, lying on one of the prison bridges with walkers clawing up at him.

    The Walking Dead Season 4 - Episode 10 ReviewGlenn’s absence has been felt throughout the last few episodes. Only as a shell of himself, the character was almost lost to us but fortunately “Inmates” brings about his return. And it’s a glorious one at that – Steven Yeun’s shining moment in the show so far (both in acting ability and kick-ass entrances). Picking himself up off the rubble, Glenn goes back into the abandoned prison to do what any sane survivor would do – scavenge every useful thing remaining. He also picks up an old photo of Maggie from his cell and this is where we see Yeun the best he’s been. It’s a subtle sob; just enough to have the audience well up but never lose it. It’s captured in that moment expertly – a showreel-worthy example of Yeun’s talent. As he leaves the cell-block we cut to the smoky outside and out comes Glenn, kitted out in the riot gear and looking cool. He throws himself into the walkers and pushes his way through and out.

    Spotting Tara sitting catatonically, he goes over and hands her a weapon and tells her to get out with him. This is the last pairing of the episode and a less thrilling one. Still, it leads to the two exiting the prison and finding themselves struggling against another group of zombies. Injured and tired, Glenn realistically loses his energy and drops down. What we don’t know at this point is someone has been watching. Tara notices them after saving the unconscious Glenn from a walker yelling, “Hope you enjoyed the show, assholes!”. Apparently they did, as three come out of a huge vehicle, swaggering up and retorting, “You’ve got a damn mouth on you, you know that?”

    From not having read the comic I’m unaware of whom this group are, but a close friend, who’s a big fan of the Kirkman series, tells me I’m in for a treat. I’d like to hope so as the human element of conflict ended with the death of the Governor so this should spice things up a bit.

    Piers McCarthy - Follow me on Twitter.

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    According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is currently developing a sequel to the live-action / animation hybrid Space Jam, with Miami Heat star LeBron James reportedly in line to star alongside Bugs Bunny and company (although SportsCenter is quoting sources close to the NBA star as suggesting he's not involved).  

    Space Jam was released in 1996 and saw basketball legend Michael Jordan lining up on the court with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil to take on the evil Monstars. The film also starred Bill Murray, along with appearances from NBA stars such as Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues. It went on to earn over $230 million around the globe, making it the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time.

    Space Jam 2 is being developed by Charlie Ebersol (Ithuteng: Never Stop Learning) who will produce through his own production company from a script by his brother Willie Ebersol.

    Are you interested in seeing Space Jam 2? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum....

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    Watch four clips from Hannibal's season 2 premiere
    With NBC set to start serving its second helping of Hannibal from this coming Friday, the network has released four clips from the season two premiere of Bryan Fuller's serial killer drama, which stars Mads Mikkelsen as the brilliant psychiatrist, cook, killer and cannibal Hannibal Lector and Hugh Dancy as gifted - and crazy - FBI profiler Will Graham.

    Check out the clips here after the official episode description for the second season premiere entitled 'Kaiseki'...

    “WILL’S INNOCENSE CONTINUES TO BE TESTED AS CYNTHIA NIXON AND GILLIAN ANDERSON GUEST STAR – Will (Hugh Dancy) is determined to fight for his innocence as Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jack (Laurence Fishburne) try to wrap their heads around the fact he’s behind bars. Meanwhile, Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) faces a strained relationship with Will while Kade Purnell (Cynthia Nixon) with the FBI pays him a visit.Also starring Hettienne Park, Aaron Abrams, Scott Thompson and Gillian Anderson.”

    Hannibal season 2 gets underway in the States this coming Friday, February 28th.

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    The IMDb has debuted five new images from Sabotage, the upcoming action thriller from David Ayer (End of Watch) which sees Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Last Stand) leading a cast that 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). Check them out here....

    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 opens in the US on April 11th and in the UK on April 25th. Watch the latest red-band trailer here.

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    Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Batman vs. Superman, Gotham, Arrow, Constantine, Son of Batman, Teen Titans Go! and more...

    Well, they sure made us wait, but this week Marvel Studios gave us our first look at August's cosmic superhero adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, and boy did they deliver, with the reveal of the first trailer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! leading to what's been described as a "social media smash", with more mentions in the first 12 hours across Facebook and Twitter following its release than Man of Steel managed in 24 hours. The fun got underway on Monday with the arrival of three new images featuring the Guardians team of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) [see here], with a brief, fifteen second teaser [see here] on Tuesday leading in to the arrival of the first trailer on Wednesday, which was accompanied by another twelve stills [see here]. And, if that wasn't enough, Marvel then dropped character featurettes for each of the five A-Holes, which included the first dialogue from Bradley Cooper's Rocket [see here], and of course the first poster for the film, along with the rather excellent tagline "You're Welcome" [see here]...

    ...Along with the Guardians themselves, the first trailer also gave us a look at Karen Gillan (Doctor Who) as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Korath the Pursuer and a blink-and-you'll miss obscured glimpse of Lee Pace (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) as the big bad, Ronan the Accuser [you can get a better look at him in action figure form here]. Be sure to check out director James Gunn's breakdown of the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer here, along with the thoughts of Luke Owen here and The Flickering Myth writing team here; you might also want to take a look at Anghus Houvouras' op-ed 'Flying Below the Radar: What B Can Teach Us About Geek Marketing', which you can read here...

    ...As well as unveiling Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel also kicked off production on The Avengers: Age of Ultron in Johannesburg, and naturally it was only a matter of moments before the first set photos and video from the eagerly-anticipated sequel arrived online; you can see them here, along with a description of the scene featuring The Incredible Hulk [and here's a good look at the pre-CG Hulk reference point]. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios also made its first official announcement about production of Age of Ultron, confirming that director Joss Whedon and company are heading to South Korea to "film key elements of the movie in the capital city of Seoul..."

    ...Marvel debuted a Japanese poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier this week which sees Falcon (Anthony Mackie) joining Cap (Chris Evans), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), along with a POTENTIALLY SPOILERY TV Spot, which you can view here. Meanwhile any fans hoping to see plenty of Scarlett running around in her skin tight S.H.I.E.L.D. suit in Captain America: The Winter Soldier appear to be out of luck, with the actress discussing her attire while speaking about the upcoming sequel this week: "I don't spend a lot of time in my catsuit in this one. I take it to the streets in a different way, There's a real kind of Big Brother aspect to this film. All that Cap and Widow know to be true, everything that they trust in - as much as they trust in anything - is sort of ripped out from underneath them in a way that we haven't seen before. Everything is not as it seems. It's not so black and white, it's not so cut and dry, it's not good versus evil. The stakes are much higher. It brings them closer together because they find themselves in a vulnerable situation and they're in it together..."

    ...Composer Henry Jackman has also spoken in depth about his work on the Captain America sequel, including crafting a "crazy and dark" theme for Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier, while Edgar Wright revealed during last weekend's BAFTA British Academy Film Awards that Steven Price - BAFTA-winner for Gravity - is set to compose the score for next year's long-awaited Ant-Man movie...

    ...Looking further ahead in Phase Three (presumably) and its been reported that Marvel Studios has been speaking with four directors with regards to the long-rumoured Doctor Strange movie. Said to be under consideration for the job are Mark Andrews (Brave), Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair), Dean Israelite (Welcome to Yesterday) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), while screenwriters Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda) are "in the mix" to script the film. Meanwhile, it's been rumoured that Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is being eyed for an unspecified role, which - if true - would be the second time he's been linked to a Marvel movie, having passed on the role of Malekith in Thor: The Dark World...

    ... And on the subject of Thor: The Dark World, the Phase Two sequel hits Blu-ray and DVD this coming Monday, complete with the bonus short All Hail the King, and Marvel has released a short clip from the latest One-Shot, which sees Ben Kingsley reprising his Iron Man 3 role as The Mandarin Trevor Slattery; watch it here...

    ...We already knew that Bill Paxton (Aliens) was joining the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as one of two new recurring roles, and yesterday it was revealed that the other spot will be filled by B.J. Britt (Being Mary Jane), who's set to play Agent Triplett, "an associate of Bill Paxton's character" [check out the first image of Agent Triplett alongside Elizabeth Henstridge's Agent Simmons here]. And on the subject of Bill Paxton's character, Brett Dalton (Grant Ward) has offered a few words about Agent John Garret's history with Ward and how he differs from Coulson (Clark Gregg): "Coulson makes decisions based on instincts and intuition. Ward is more about risk assessment and tactical skills. That's all that he's known until joining Coulson's team. [Garrett is] the guy who trained Ward, so he's a reflection of him in a lot of ways..."

    ...NBA All-Star Chris Bosh lends his voice to Heimdall in this Sunday's episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.; head on over to YouTube to see a clip from the episode, which sees Thor making Skaar a unique offer...

    ...After months of rumour and speculation, 20th Century Fox and director Josh Trank (Chronicle) have finally found their Fantastic Four for the 2015 reboot, and aside from Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, The Adventures of Tintin) as Ben Grimm / The Thing, there was little surprise with the rest of the names making up Marvel's first family. As expected, Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fruitvale Station) will play Johnny Storm / The Human Torch and Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, That Awkward Moment) is set for Reed Richards / Mister Fantastic, with Kate Mara (American Horror Story, House of Cards) securing the role of Susan Storm / Invisible Woman. The response to the casting reveal was lukewarm at best (actually, that's probably more of an understatement), but Flickering Myth's Anthony Stokes was a fan [see here], while Anghus Houvouras felt that anyone getting upset over the casting was wasting their energy [see here]...

    X-Men: Days of Future Past
    ...Fox's marketing department has been pretty active on the X-Men: Days of Future Past front this week. After dropping character profiles for Future Xavier (Patrick Stewart), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Storm (Halle Berry), we then got a whole batch of promotional stills featuring Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Bishop (Omar Sy), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Future Magneto (Ian McKellen), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Warpath (Booboo Stewart), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), Past Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Past Xavier (James McAvoy) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), followed by a second batch of high-resolution stills that also included the likes of Toad (Evan Jonigkeit), Stryker (Josh Helman), Havok (Lucas Till) and the young Scarlet Witch...

    ...If you're looking to go into X-Men: Days of Future Past with as little knowledge as possible, you should skip to the next paragraph now as Nicholas Hoult has explained the reason we've seen Hank McCoy in both human and mutated forms in the upcoming sequel: "What's happened up to this point is between the time of the last movie and this movie my character has created a serum which basically controls his mutation so his appearance is normal as long as he doesn’t get worked up. Any animal instinct or urges, that kind of brings him out. So yeah, he changes into Beast a few times throughout the story and they've done some great action sequences with him this time, particularly in the mansion flying around on these chandeliers and stuff..."

    ...Shifting to Sony's Marvel universe now and the studio has continued its promotional efforts for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by releasing even more new footage from the superhero sequel thanks to two new featurettes [see here] and a TV spot [see here], while we've also been treated to a new banner and behind-the-scenes images [see here], a Daily Bugle viral article with Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka) coming to the defense of Spidey [see here], and our first real look at Dane DeHaan (Chroncile) as The Green Goblin courtesy of an official still of Harry Osborn's evil alter-ego battling Andrew Garfield's wall-crawler [see here]...

    Gal Gadot shows off her Wonder Woman physique in preparation for Batman vs. Superman ...It's been pretty quiet on the Batman vs. Superman front this past week, although Gal Gadot posted an image of her training progress for the role of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the 2016 Man of Steel sequel, while a new casting rumour hinted at the possible inclusion of Cyborg (yeah, you guessed it - Michael B. Jordan has been linked). Meanwhile, Seth Green (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Robot Chicken) decided to adopt the opposite approach to the countless Hollywood stars who've spoken out to support Ben Affleck as The Dark Knight, suggesting that he's not entirely convinced by Batfleck: "Modern mainstream is accepting of interpretations of these characters with more gravitas, you know. We’re past the time of Adam West’s kind of goofy interpretation of Batman. "You gotta remember that at the core of that character, Batman’s a crazy person. Batman has no powers. Batman is a rich, screwed up kid whose parents were killed in front of him. If this movie is meant to be the idealistic alien, humans before all else Superman, and this is supposed to be the grizzled weathered Batman who’s been living in Gotham, fighting crime himself for 10 years, you need a guy who’s older, you need a guy who’s got more weight, you need a guy that a Henry Cavill Superman is gonna be actually scared of. There is only so much that you can act a role before people are or are not going to believe you in that role. I’m never going to play, um, you know, an MMA fighter, because I’d step into the ring with an actual MMA fighter like Batista and I wouldn’t look correct..."

    ...Fox's Batman prequel series Gotham has added another name to its expanding cast, with Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix Revolutions, Madagascar) set to play mobster Fish Mooney, a newly-created character described as "an imposing, hotheaded and notoriously sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner with street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book who is not one to be crossed." The actress joins Ben McKenzie (Southland) as Detective Gordon, Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth) as Oswald Cobblepot, Zabryna Guevara (The Guilt Trip) as Detective Essen, Erin Richards (Being Human) as Barbara Kean and Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy) as Detective Harvey Bullock, the latter of whom also happened to discuss the tone of the upcoming show during an interview this week: "What I do love about Gotham, that I can say so far, is that it creates this incredible world that, for me, you can step into things that almost feel like the roaring 20s, and then there’s this other really kind of heavy Blade Runner vibe floating around. It has this anachronistic element to it where it feels like it’s either New York in the 70s, or it kind of exists independently of time and space in a way, and you can dip into all of these different genres. So I’m excited by it. There are elements of it that are completely contemporary and there are pieces of it that are very old-fashioned. I’m excited to see which way they go with the production design and wardrobe and all that kind of stuff. My main concern to start with, I was just going over this relationship between him and Gordon, just to find out how that dynamic plays out." Read more from Logue and his thoughts on the relationship between Bullock and Gordon here...

    Arrow Producer's Review for 'Time of Death' featuring The Clock King
    ...Robert Knepper (Prison Break) makes his first appearance as William Tockman - a.k.a. The Clock King - in this week's episode of Arrow; be sure to check out a clip and Producer's Review featurette for the episode, which is entitled 'Time of Death': "Oliver (Stephen Amell) brings Sara (Caity Lotz) into the Arrow team. Watching Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) spar with Sara and talk old scars, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) starts to feel left out. The team is investigating a villain named William Tockman, a.k.a. The Clock King (guest star Robert Knepper), who is a brilliant thief armed with technology that can open any bank vault in Starling City. After The Clock King infiltrates the computer systems in the lair, Felicity feels pressure to prove her worth. When she gets a lead on Tockman’s whereabouts, she heads out without the team, putting her in peril. Meanwhile, Oliver throws Sara a welcome home party, but Laurel (Katie Cassidy) refuses to attend. After Lance (Paul Blackthrone) makes his case for a family dinner, Laurel acquiesces, but when Oliver shows up with Sara, she loses her temper on both of them..."

    ...In other Arrow news, we've also got our first look at the Suicide Squad as they're to appear in the show, with an image revealing that the initial line-up of the team will consist of we also have our first look at the Suicide Squad, which consists of Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), Mark Sheffer / Shrapnel (Sean Maher) and Floyd Lawton / Deadshot (Michael Rowe) alongside Lyla Michaels / Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson), Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and John Diggle (David Ramsey)...

    ...Another DC pilot has moved closer to becoming a reality this week, with Welsh actor Matt Ryan (The Tudors, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) signing on to play John Constantine in NBC's upcoming TV adaptation. The pilot has been written by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and DC regular David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman) and is described as centring "on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. John Constantine is described as a working-lass Londoner with rakish good looks, scruffy blond hair, deadpan humor, and signature trench coat, who has been studying the dark arts since he was a teenager. When the daughter of a late friend is targeted by demons, Constantine steps in to save her..."

    ...It's been announced that Warner's next DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Son of Batman, will receive its world premiere at WonderCon Anaheim in April, ahead of a home-video release the following month. Son of Batman is based on Grant Morrison's 'Batman and Son' comic book arc and features a voice cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Justice League: War) as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) as Damian Wayne / Robin, Morena Baccarin (Homeland) as Talia, Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as Ra's Al Ghul, David McCallum (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Xander Berkeley (24) as Kirk Langstrom / Man-Bat, Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke / Slade Wilson, Sean Maher (Firefly) as Nightwing/Dick Grayson and Bruce Thomas (Kyle XY) as Commisoner Gordon...

    ...And finally, head on over to The World's Finest for a clip and images from Wednesday's upcoming episode of Teen Titans Go! entitled 'Birds', which has the following description: "Robin removes two mockingbirds from the chimney with a gas he created in his lab. But the chemicals mutate the birds into muscular bullies who then move into the tower."

     Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen - Available now via and

    Gary Collinson

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    Jackson Ball reviews the eighth episode of House of Cards season 2...

    House of Cards Season 2 poster
    The second season is currently in limbo. All the buzz from the explosive opening has long since dwindled, and the show is yet to gain the momentum that comes with being on the ‘homestretch’. The result is this sagging middle-ground which, while totally necessary for the overall plot, can be a little difficult to wade through.

    Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!

    This is one area in which I believe the whole Netflix ‘binge-viewing’ is left wanting. There’s no denying that even the greatest TV shows (and House of Cards could still rank among them) suffer from a bit of mid-season stodginess, but when you’re forced to wait a week for the next episode, you’re anticipation and excitement levels can offer counteract it, at least to some degree; whereas watching on-demand in large quantities can make a slow episode seem slower than usual.

    That being said, Episode 8 was not a travesty. The show remains as beautifully crafted as ever and the performances remain consistent. Plot-wise, the exposure of Claire’s infidelity and the resulting scandal is an interesting but inevitable development.

    For me, the entire episode can be summarised in relation to one of its own scenes. During a poolside confrontation between Frank and Raymond Tusk (Gerald McRaney), the tension grows unbearable until, in an act of controlled rage, Frank tosses his expensive steak dinner into the pool. Tusk’s German Shepard senses a free lunch, so we see the dog dive in after the meat, all in beautifully-captured slow motion. It’s an aesthetic-pleasing and memorable scene… which contributes little to nothing to the overall story. If the most memorable thing about this episode is a scene that has no real ties to the ongoing narrative, then that should speak volumes about the rest of this dreary episode.

    Here’s hoping the season can relocate its momentum, as we gain pace towards its upcoming climax.

    Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter

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    Image Comics has released a preview for the first issue of writer Jonathan Ross and artist Ian Churchill's Revenge (formerly known as The Revenger), which you can check out right here...

    "Griffin Franks was a joke in Hollywood. A washed up action-hero. Over the hill. Past it. A has-been. A barely-was. But now he IS The Revenger. He’s a star. His movie’s a hit. His latest wife is hot. He finally has everything he wants. Just in time for someone to take it all away. Forever. Starting with his face."

    Revenge #1 is released on Wednesday, priced $2.99.

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    Chris Hemsworth and Liam Hemsworth wanted for The Raid remake
    Last week we heard that Screen Gems and XYZ Films are developing an English language Hollywood remake of Gareth Evans' acclaimed Indonesian action thriller The Raid, tapping Patrick Hughes (Red Hill, The Expendables 3) to direct.

    Now we have our first names linked to the role of two brothers on opposite sides of the law, with The Wrap reporting that real life siblings Chris Hemsworth (Rush, Thor: The Dark World) and Liam Hemsworth (The Expendables 2, The Hunger Games) "have been mentioned as possible targets for the hard-hitting action movie".

    Of course, it's a long way from being mentioned to being cast, so don't be surprised if this one doesn't pan out. Still, if it does, do you think the Hemsworth brothers are right for the roles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...

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    NBC reviving Heroes for 13 episode event series Heroes Reborn
    NBC has announced that it's looking to jump on the superhero TV show bandwagon by reviving Heroes for a 13-episode event series entitled Heroes Reborn, which is described as a "stand-alone story" from original creator Tim Kring and will air on the network in 2015.

    "The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening," said Jennifer Salke, NBC's Entertainment President. "Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept. Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in."

    Heroes was a huge success when it premiered back in 2006, averaging close to 15 million viewers for its first season. However, the show struggled to maintain the same level of quality with its subsequent seasons, coming under criticism from critics and fans alike, and was cancelled in 2010.

    Here's a short teaser trailer for Heroes Reborn:

    The new miniseries will face plenty of competition in the superhero stakes, with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, Arrow (and potentially The Flash and Hourman) on The CW, a Gotham pilot in the works at Fox, and NBC also developing a series based on Constantine.

    Are you excited to see the return of Heroes, or should the show have stayed dead and buried? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to The Flickering Myth Forum...

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    International trailer for Godzilla stomps onlineA new poster arrived online last week, showing off the immense size of the iconic King of the Monsters, and now we have another international trailer for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Godzilla reboot.

    Sadly, this latest trailer consists of footage we've already seen, but if you're itching for all things Godzilla ahead of the film's release in May, you can check it out right here via CBM...

     "An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Kaiju, this spectacular adventure pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence."

    Godzilla is directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and features a cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), David Strathairn (Lincoln), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis) and Ken Watanabe (Inception).

    Godzilla hits cinemas on May 16th.

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  • 02/23/14--06:41: Holding out for Heroes
  • Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...

    In the last twenty-four hours, NBC released details of resurrecting an old franchise...

    "'Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in' said Jennifer Salke, NBC's Entertainment President.'"

    Read the full article here.

    I remember when Heroes first hit our television screens. It had incredible word of mouth and became a cult favourite instantly. I recall my wife watching it with her family and well-versed film fans singing its praises. I remember because I was on the knife-edge when the first series appeared on DVD, but decided against buying “Part I” (and forking out further, when “Part II” arrived). Instead, I would wait, patiently, for the complete box set.

    Unfortunately, by the time Season One was released in its entirety in December 2007, Season Two had already begun. In fact, Season Two had played out all eleven episodes by December 7th – three days before the Season One box set was even on sale in the UK. Fans of the series remember what happened with Season Two. Rather than build on the strength of the first season, it failed majestically due in large part to the writers’ strike.

    In fact, in November 2007, Heroes creator Tim Kring apologised for the second season, admitting “We made a mistake”. In the middle of the writers’ strike, many series dipped – 24 settled for a one-off TV film 24: Redemption and other series, such as Lost, settled for half-seasons – but none hit the dust as badly as Heroes. It never recovered.

    As a potential viewer of the series I lost interest before watching a single episode. While I waited patiently to pay out for the DVD, I knew that in the long-run, the series wouldn’t pay off (In the same way I know that The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Deadwood failed to come to satisfactory conclusions) and decided not to invest. Had I invested in the hours of time required to enjoy these series, the failure to properly resolve the character arcs would leave a bad taste in my mouth and the time spent would grate. I could’ve watched all of The X-Files, or watched The Wire, again. Instead I watched a failing TV series, and had I just waited, I wouldn’t have bothered.

    But here we are, as Heroes: Reborn is due for release next year. A second chance perhaps? But still, new TV-series are touted as ground-breaking before the end of the first season (True Detective) and films smugly tell us “You’re Welcome” on their advertising campaign before a single critic, fan or audience member can judge the film fairly. Patience people, please.

    True Detective may be one of the best television dramas this side of The Wire, but things change. Heroes screwed up after one of the strongest first seasons ever. It was over after four seasons – and cancelled on May 10th, 2010. Over 14m viewers in the US for Season One, rivalling Lost, and still it couldn’t muster up enough clout to gain a fifth and final season to properly finish. Instead, it was cancelled at the end of the fourth.

    Marketing is integral to TV and film but it is worth hedging your bets. I’ve watched the second season of House of Cards and the third season of Game of Thrones recently – and, if True Detective and Heroes: Reborn are as good as they say, this time in two years I’ll have seen them too. But until the run is finished, and the full verdict is out, I’ll bide my time and enjoy series that court conversation and recommendations for years. TV series are praised for the longevity – and how they can explore topics in more detail with more depth and substance than a single film ever could. But this potential can be abused with weak plots and dull supporting characters – and the time lost on a weak series, you can never get back. Patience is all you need… until you’re hooked.

    Simon Columb

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    Sophie West talks with Tamaryn Payne on working on comedy zombie movie Stalled...

    Since our ★★★★★ review of the movie at last year's FrighFest, Flickering Myth have been keeping a close eye on Christian James and Dan Palmer's zom-com-in-a-john Stalled. Ahead of its DVD and Blu-Ray release tomorrow, Sophie West sits down with Tamaryn Payne to discuss what it was like working on the movie...

    SW: You have worked with Stalled's writer/actor before, right? How did you first meet him and director Christian James?

    TP: Yes eons ago! When I was back home in Bournemouth, Dan was looking for 2 girls for a slasher film and he found me at a local drama school, which led to me playing Shaz in Small Town Folk which was a brilliant experience for a 17 year old looking to go to drama school.

    You are probably best known as Analise Appleton from Hollyoaks. How was your experience on the show and will you be returning at some point?

    Hollyoaks was so much fun and Annalise was a brilliant character. I miss the people but I am loving working on a variety of projects and so though I would never rule out going back, it's not on my agenda.

    After that came the grisly Danny Dyer revenge flick 'Vendetta' - How did you get the part and how was the experience?

    Vendetta was awesome. I got to play my first non-glam role and I really enjoyed playing a part where there is nothing to do with a relationship and it's completely about the action. P.S. Danny is lovely. I want everyone to know that.

    Your character in Stalled is not a million miles away from her. Why do you think you are so good at playing, dare I say, bitches?

    Hmm it's interesting you say that because a lot of people saw her as sweet, but I do find it fun to play a bitch. I, like all girls, have come across many Evie's in my time, and it's great to get out frustrations in a role.

    Tell us about Stalled and when/where we can see it?

    Okay, so the film is about a guy stuck in the girls toilets during an office Christmas party because there has been a zombie outbreak. Dan Palmer writes great comedy. I think you can get it in a quite a few countries now but in the UK it's going to be on sale [tomorrow] in ASDA soon and there's HMV and online shops like Amazon too.

    Do you like horror films? You have appeared in two in your short career, would you be happy carving a career as the new Brit scream queen?

    I'm still scared of the dark. It's pathetic. I never watch scary films but acting in them is fun and challenging too because you are dealing with such a heightened, extreme situation. I always say you have to let this industry take you where you fit, if you want to work, and so yes I'd happily be a scream queen if it's what I best play.

    In Small Townfolk you play an atypical horror babe victim, in one scene (my boyfriend's favourite) you are scantily clad in  revealing underwear. How are those scenes to film?

    Ha oh yes, that scene... It's cold! It depends on how you are feeling at the time - in shape/not and the people you work with. They have a responsibility in making you feel at ease. But the more I do any intimate scenes/minimal clothing, the less I really care!

    Will you be working with Dan and or Christian James again? And if so can you spill the beans?

    They've told me some ideas and they are all interesting to me. I can't reveal anything as yet though as I have no idea what his plans are with me!

    What else does Tamaryn Payne have in the pipeline?

    Who knows, I want to continue as I have been, working in film TV and theatre to be honest, so it's back to auditioning and keeping positive.

    Stalled is released on Blu-Ray and DVD tomorrow.

    Sophie West

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    Horror movie vetrans Sean Whalen and Lynn Lowry have joined the cast of Jose Prendes' upcoming "serial killer nightmare"The Divine Tragedies. Here's the press release...

    The famous Leopold and Loeb ransom and murder case is being brought to the screen with The Divine Tragedies. This twisted tale of stalking, kidnapping and violent murder has been re-envisioned by director and writer Jose Prendes (The Haunting of Whaley House). A true tale of wits, the production team, including brothers and producers James and Jon Kondelik, are pleased to announce the attachment of actors Lynn Lowry and Sean Whalen to their terrifying tale. Actor Ken Foree has already announced his participation in the film, with more famous horror personalities set to be included soon.

    The Leopold and Loeb murder case has been sensationalized in film previously. Alfred Hitchcock used this famous trial in his famous thriller Rope (1948). And, Prendes has his own interpretation of the case. In the story of The Divine Tragedies, Charles (Graham Denman) and his half-brother Thomas (Jon Kondelik) concoct a deadly game to test their superior intelligence against the dimwitted masses. This game will eventually lead to murder. And when Genevieve, a beautiful single mother, enters their lives they finally find the perfect girl for their first kill. But, problems arise when they quickly discover that Detective Homer Gaul (Ken Foree) is hot on their trail.

    Fans of horror will recognize both Sean Whalen and Lynn Lowry from previous horror roles. Sean Whalen has had appearances in such tales as Wes Craven’s The People Under the Stairs (1991) and more recently in Hatchet 3 (2013). Director Prendes says of Sean and his character: “I wrote this really bizarre and sleazy character, who just so happened to have some endearing qualities and I always had Sean in mind for it.” As well, actress Lynn Lowry has appeared in dozens of horror titles. Her most prominent roles include The Crazies (1973, 2010) and Cat People (1982). Lowry has had several recent appearances in the horror genre and she has collaborated with Prendes previously in The Haunting of Whaley House (2012). Prendes says of Lowry: “Lynn is simply wonderful. She is the kind of actor that draws us in and makes us care. She easily changes the dynamic of a scene. I am honoured to be working with one of my favourite actresses again.” The production crew behind The Divine Tragedies is proud to bring Sean Whalen and Lynn Lowry on board one of this year’s most thrilling murder tales – The Divine Tragedies!

    Filming on The Divine Tragedies begins at the end of February. You can follow more details of the movie via their Facebook page.

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    Jackson Ball reviews the ninth episode of House of Cards season 2...

    House of Cards Season 2 poster
    This latest instalment from the second season returns House of Cards to its compelling best, as we finally see the collateral damage caused by the schemes of Francis ‘Frank’ Underwood (Kevin Spacey). Until now it has mostly been political figures and journalists that have been laid to waste by Frank’s cunning, but now it appears that the ‘real’, everyday people connected to him are being thrown under the bus also.

    Spoilers Ahead – You have been warned!
    First off there’s Adam Galloway (Ben Daniels): artsy photographer and former lover of Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). When the Underwood’s adversaries leak news of Claire’s affair, a scandal and press-storm ensues, forcing them to go straight into damage control. Fortunately, Claire has already proven herself time and time again to be the ultimate Ice Queen of manipulation. The sheer ease with which she tricks Adam here (and, indeed, us) is almost frightening. Especially when you consider the fact that we already know she genuinely still cares for the man whose life she is ruining.

    If Adam’s implosion is uncomfortable to watch, then the real tragedy is saved for the downfall of Freddy (Reg E. Cathey). As the humble BBQ chef, and one of the few characters who seem to honestly like Frank, I’ve long since wondered where the writers of the show were going to take the character of Freddy Armstrong. I needn’t have worried though because, while the circumstances of his breakdown are gut-wrenchingly unjust, the story arc is a master class in television writing.

    Just like Frank had to sacrifice his friendship with Freddy in order to progress, the House of Cards creative team had to sacrifice one of the ‘nice guys’ in order to really kick the thematic trajectory of this season into gear. What’s so fascinating about both of these betrayals is that they show a clear difference between Frank and Claire. Whilst we know that remorse doesn’t come easy to either of them, there is at least some reluctance on the part of Frank. In stark contrast though, Claire confirms herself as the hardest Underwood, appearing almost machine-like in her steely lack of emotion towards Adam; just another example of Robin Wright’s supreme talent for subtle nuances. 

    Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter

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    It's fair to say there's not a day goes by without several emails arriving in our inbox from up-and-coming filmmakers, writers, artists, and pretty much every kind of content creator you can think of, either alerting us to their most recent work, or notifying us of a crowdfunding campaign for their latest project.

    While we'd like nothing better here at Flickering Myth than to help raise awareness for these projects, unfortunately we're often just too pressed for time to get through each email and give them due attention. If we plug one, do we plug them all? Or do we plug as many as time permits? The hard truth is, not every crowdfunding campaign deserves to be funded. But we just don't have the time to post the wealth of projects and talent that do, and we don't want people to feel like we're casting aside their work just because we're too busy writing about the latest Age of Ultron set photos.

    That's a roundabout way of saying we've pretty much avoided plugging crowdfunding campaigns in the past. But there's tonnes of undiscovered talent out there, producing some excellent work, whether it be short films, comic books, YouTube skits, hell even fan-fiction, and we want to do a little more to help.

    So, we've set up a new section on The Flickering Myth Forum, which we hope will become a place to discover and share content from new and emerging talents. If you're a creator, please feel free to share links to your work and crowdfunding campaigns, and in return we'll give them a mention on our social media channels. And, if we really like what we see, we'll try and make the time to plug it on the site too...

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    Nymphomaniac: Volume I and Nymphomaniac: Volume II, 2013

    Written and Directed by Lars von Trier.
    Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Michael Pas, Jean-Marc Barr and Connie Nielsen.


    A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.

    “Leave your hair up. It might be necessary if I decide to punch you in the face.” – K (Jaime Bell) to Joe (Charlotte Gainsborgh) in Nymphomaniac: Volume II

    Controversy, rightly or wrongly, is attached to a Lars von Trier picture like hype is attached to the news of a comic book adaptation, often blown out of proportion because of the need for something to write about. With the marketing for his latest work, the two parts of Nymphomaniac, teasing us with posters of the cast making an ‘o-face’ and a cheeky () between the h and m in the title, along with promises of scenes featuring real sex and various director’s cuts for cinema releases, the stage was set for Lars von Trier to make his most divisive film to date.

    Curiously enough Nymphomaniac struck me as one of the director’s most disengaging and emotionally empty films despite the combined four hour running time of both volumes. A lot can be said of the director’s thoughts on the worth of human life, his depiction of females and heroines who inevitably march down a path of self-destruction and his commentary on sexuality as “the strongest force in human beings” but above all of this, the film feels visually stunted which leads the four hours to become tiresome before the first volume is through.

    Like all of his films, the construction of the art is clear from the beginning as Rammstein’s industrial metal (or so I’m told) ‘Führe Mich’ belts out over a sequence where a man, Seligman, (Stellan Skarsgård) finds a woman, Joe, (Charlotte Gainsbourg) beaten and bloodied in a dark alleyway which is clearly filmed on a set, as is the bedroom where he helps her recuperate. Once at his house, the film begins its bildungsroman narrative as Joe tells Seligman her story of nymphomania and why she’s a ‘bad human being’ for how she’s led her life. In a rather contrived way the two characters couldn’t be further apart in terms of sexual experiences with Seligman the voice of purity and forgiveness, acting as a confessional output for Joe; but by telling the story in this narrative structure the film lacks that relentless race to despair which made previous films like Dancer In The Dark, Dogville, Europa, The Elements of Crime and Melancholia (to name but a few) so undeniably watchable and engaging. This is the only film (which I’ve seen) of his to be told in flashback and from a single viewpoint a perspective and I don’t feel the narrative style is where his talents for storytelling lie.

    Moreover, the style of handheld camera, multiple and frequent edits and camera angle changes which audiences have become accustomed to for the past 15 years, and which lends his films a curiously unsettling and unpredictable aura is mostly gone, in favour for on-screen diagrams, stock footage, and illustrations from angling books. Oh, and a montage of flaccid penis from all types of men. Obviously. Ultimately, and keeping in the theme of the movies, Nymphomaniac did not stimulate my cinematic erogenous zones.

    Where the film will surprise audiences is in just how frequently funny it is. Von Trier clearly has a wicked sense of humour and this is his most amusing film after Direktøren for det hele (aka The Boss Of It All) whether that be Joe stashing spoons inside herself in a crowded restaurant, Seligman’s equivalating sex to fly fishing, or the ‘silent duck’ which I won’t go into detail here. If anything, however, the tone between humour and dark sexuality leads the film to become all too frequently unbalanced. I don’t expect von Trier to rely on so many cuts to Skarsgård’s sheltered character to relieve the audience from the lurid acts (especially in Volume II) over and over again. The only time the film is truly unsettling is when Joe visits, on several occasions, a man who physically hurts women in some of the most bizarre scenes you’ll see in mainstream cinema. I loved these sequences because I had no idea what would happen next; classic von Trier.

    Another positive is how sex is portrayed in the film; it is never sexy or glossy and there’s nothing tender or romantic about the film whatsoever. The need to have sex soon becomes a chore to organize as Joe systematically fits in up to ten partners every day, with each one making up the different needs she has which she justifies as attributing to one lover. As Volume II begins and Joe’s nymphomania has completely taken over her life and ruined her sensual pleasures, she gets a job which enables her to use her sexual experiences to break men down, as part of a shady loan repayment organization; in this scene we see one of several real sex scenes, but this is the only one where the sight of an erect penis on a 25 foot screen could be justified to progress the story. As for the rest, it is needless and pointless and we know these are body doubles.

    This brings an end to von Trier’s ‘depression’ trilogy which started with Antichrist (the only film of his I would rate under a 7 on a 1-to-10 scale) and has the excellent Melancholia sandwiched in the middle. It is far from his best work and features a final scene which was frustratingly nonsensical, but it remains watchable throughout and is bound to lead to philosophical debates on gender, sex, and sexuality long after the film has finished. I, however, was looking for more from a film experience from a director I’ve come to admire so much, but one thing is for sure; von Trier continues to show why his films demand to be seen by anyone who values a film maker with an unique cinematic eye.

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

    Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter.

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