Articles on this Page
- 03/27/14--05:33: _Two promos for Arro...
- 03/27/14--05:34: _Samuel L. Jackson o...
- 03/27/14--06:13: _Movie Review - Mupp...
- 03/27/14--08:39: _First trailer for T...
- 03/27/14--13:37: _The Definitive Guid...
- 03/27/14--13:39: _Video Game Review -...
- 03/27/14--13:39: _The Following Seaso...
- 03/27/14--13:43: _Arkham Knight Revea...
- 03/27/14--13:46: _Vikings Season 2 - ...
- 03/27/14--15:06: _Movie Review - Labo...
- 03/27/14--15:08: _New images from Cap...
- 03/27/14--15:23: _Three new behind-th...
- 03/27/14--16:02: _Spidey, Green Gobli...
- 03/27/14--16:17: _See Henry Cavill in...
- 03/28/14--00:19: _Ice Cube returning ...
- 03/28/14--00:19: _The Simpsons LEGO m...
- 03/28/14--00:19: _Special Features - ...
- 03/28/14--00:20: _Blakes 7 - Drones R...
- 03/28/14--00:20: _Warner Bros. and DC...
- 03/28/14--04:18: _T.J. Miller joins D...
- 03/27/14--05:33: Two promos for Arrow's next episode 'Deathstroke'
- 03/27/14--05:34: Samuel L. Jackson on Nick Fury's role in Avengers: Age of Ultron
- 03/27/14--06:13: Movie Review - Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
- 03/27/14--08:39: First trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- 03/27/14--13:37: The Definitive Guide: Getting The Book Of Mormon tickets
- 03/27/14--13:39: Video Game Review - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
- 03/27/14--13:39: The Following Season 2 - Episode 10 Review
- 03/27/14--13:43: Arkham Knight Revealed!
- 03/27/14--13:46: Vikings Season 2 - Episode 4 Recap
- 03/27/14--15:06: Movie Review - Labor Day (2013)
- 03/27/14--15:08: New images from Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- 03/27/14--16:17: See Henry Cavill in the Christopher Reeve Superman suit
- 03/28/14--00:19: Ice Cube returning for Barbershop 3
- 03/28/14--00:19: The Simpsons LEGO minifigures revealed
- 03/28/14--00:19: Special Features - The Lost Art of Scaring Children Witless
- 03/28/14--00:20: Blakes 7 - Drones Review
- 03/28/14--00:20: Warner Bros. and DC unveil Batman 75th anniversary logo and plans
- 03/28/14--04:18: T.J. Miller joins Disney's Marvel animated movie Big Hero 6
"OLIVER’S WORLD STARTS TO CRUMBLE — Slade (Manu Bennett) makes his move against Oliver (Stephen Amell) and the repercussions are enormous. While Oliver scrambles to protect his family, a key player in his team starts to question Oliver’s decisions. Meanwhile, Isabel (guest star Summer Glau) makes her move to take Queen Consolidated away from Oliver."
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday evenings.
Yahoo! Movies to promote Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Samuel L. Jackson has spoken about his role as Nick Fury in the currently-in-production Avengers: Age of Ultron, revealing that his part in the hotly-anticipated sequel will be limited to little more than a cameo:
"I’m just kind of passing by there [in Avengers: Age of Ultron] you know. I’m not doing so much, I don’t think. Because, it’s another one of those ‘people who have powers fighting people who have powers’. That’s why I didn’t get to New York in The Avengers. There’s not a lot I could do except shoot a gun."
Are you disappointed that we won't be seeing Nick Fury in a major role in Age of Ultron? Let us know your thoughts...
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st 2015 with Joss Whedon directing a cast that also includes MCU veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision) alongside new additions Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) as the Scarlet Witch, James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron and Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker.
Muppets Most Wanted, 2014.
Directed by James Bobin.
Starring Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Jermaine Clement, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo and featuring the voice talent of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, and Peter Linz.
While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.
When it was released in 1979, The Muppet Movie was a stage for Jim Henson and his Muppet cohorts to take their relatively simple TV show and expand and develop their techniques as puppeteers to show off what they could really do. They dreamt big and it paid off. Its sequel The Great Muppet Caper on the other hand was just that - a sequel. It wasn't bad, nor was it inferior. The jokes were all solid, the writing was great and the songs were brilliantly executed, but it seemed to lack the spark of its predecessor. In many ways, Muppets Most Wanted shares a lot in common with The Great Muppet Caper. Not just in terms of its story, but in atmosphere. It's not bad, nor is it inferior. It's just a sequel to 2011's The Muppets.
It's hard to place where Muppets Most Wanted falls flat. Perhaps it's the writing, perhaps it's the lack of creativity in the story or perhaps it's the overt product placement, but something about Muppets Most Wanted feels empty. Even the cameos feel a little awkward and forced. Which is weird because, the movie is actually quite enjoyable. A lot of the jokes work, there Muppet spirit is prevalent and it's so unashamedly aware of itself that it's hard to hate it. Both Tina Fey and Ty Burrell look to be having the time of their lives and their interactions with The Muppets bring a lot of the film's highlights. Burrell and Sam the Eagle in particular are a hilarious duo and Fey's infatuation with Kermit, while underdeveloped, is a nice touch. While the movie might not be great, everyone looked like they are having a blast and that really helps elevate the movie's joyous nature.
Well, all expect Ricky Gervais who looks like he'd rather be anywhere else. In interviews, Gervais has said that working on a Muppets set is a "dream come true", but you wouldn't know that by looking at his performance. For someone who is usually very charismatic, he is as dry as the Sahara Desert against his fuzzy counterparts and much better comedian actors. During his song and dance number with Constantine, he looks dead behind the eyes as if reminding himself, "just think of the money, just think of the money".
One of the shining elements of The Muppets was the phenomenal soundtrack from Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie and thankfully with him back on board, the songs in Muppets Most Wanted are the clear highlight. It doesn't have anything near the level of Man or Muppet, but it does have a few tunes that will stick in your head and refuse to leave. Music has been an integral part of what makes The Muppets so it's good to see that at least they haven't failed at this. However, the fact they didn't change the lyrics to We're Doing a Sequel to mirror the movie's title change further points towards a lack care in terms of creativity.
Muppets Most Wanted's biggest crime is that it's a sequel without a purpose. When Jason Segel brought The Muppets back to the big screen it was because he wanted to remind the world just how brilliant these characters are how they can transcend generations. Muppets Most Wanted on the other hand is just an excuse for Disney to drain a few more dollars from their new found success. It's not a terrible movie at all and in fact it's quite enjoyable. But it's missing a certain spark and a certain love to make it a truly brilliant movie. At least the songs are good, but that's really all there is to say. A shame really.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.
We've finally got our first look at director Jonathan Leibesman (Wrath of the Titans) and producer Michael Bay's (Transformers: Age of Extinction) controversial live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with the arrival of the first theatrical trailer, which you can check out right here...
"The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan."
And here's an official still of Megan Fox (Transformers) as April O'Neil...
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stars Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Raphael, Pete Ploszek (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Jeremy Howard (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Donatello, Noel Fisher (Battle Los Angeles) as Michaelangelo, Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as Splinter, William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) as The Shredder, Will Arnett (The LEGO Movie) as Vernon Fenwick, Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost) as Bernadette Thompson and K. Todd Freeman (The Dark Knight) as Baxter Stockman.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set for a North American release on August 8th before opening here in the UK on October 17th.
It can be so hard to get hold of the hottest West End theatre tickets that it sometimes feels like divine intervention is your only hope - especially when a show is so laden with praise and awards as The Book of Mormon. American Express members can rest easy knowing they have preferred entry, but here's a guide to other methods of getting your hands on tickets to the most sought-after musical of the year.
Occasionally, you can find last-minute seats through the theatre's website. Unsurprisingly, though, these are likely to be the seats with the worst views, and will often be several rows apart - not ideal if you're looking to enjoy the show in a group.
Thankfully, there are a few options out there that don't rely on the power of prayer. One of the most popular is the ticket lottery. 21 top-price tickets are kept back every day, and sold at just £20 each - entrants can put their name forward on the day to win. Of course, this isn't the best method. Beyond the lack of guarantee you'll actually strike it lucky, you have to enter at the Prince of Wales Theatre itself, so it’s only really useful if you’re already in London, and have the free time to be there when the draw's made at 5.30 (12.30 for matinees) - not much help if you're stuck in the office past six. It also only applies to groups of two, as it's one entry per person, and two tickets per winner.
If you’re not local to London, which – despite what most Londoners think – the majority of people aren’t, then it could be best to go with a hotel package. As well as being incredibly convenient, there’s a saving on all components, and you get a choice of different seats and hotels. You can even include train fares in the bundle.
The most sure-fire way to get good seats, though, is with a membership bonus like the American Express Invites scheme. Holders of Amex credit cards who are quick off the bat can get access to tickets before the general public, and once tickets are on public sale, a handful are still put aside exclusively for Amex members.
Chris Cooper reviews Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes...
For nearly 15 years now Metal Gear Solid has been my favourite game, top of a list including such greats as Super Mario Bros 3, Sonic the Hedgehog, Half Life, and RoboCop vs Terminator, amongst others. It laid the foundations for a series that I have followed ever since.
If you asked me to rank the series so far (entries I've played) then it would look like this:
1. Metal Gear Solid - A cool main character. Action. Double and triple crosses. Ridiculous names. Breaking the fourth wall. 556ers and pineapples. It had it all. A game I still play and enjoy now. Have at you Snake!
Well....that cinematic quality was both a blessing and a curse, with radio conversations and cut scenes routinely lasting over ten minutes. I'd often just put the controller down and watch. It took until the fourth game to be able to pause them! If I got called away whilst one was running I had a tricky choice to make.
|Listen to Otacon for ten minutes or have my dinner? Hmmmm.|
The stories were also labyrinthine in their scale and complexity, with terms such as the 'La-li-lu-le-lo', and 'The Patriots' completing bamboozling me several times (and I thought I had a handle on it!).
So now, we have a new MGS. Ground Zeroes is the first part of Metal Gear Solid V. With 4 years passing since the release of Peace Walker, and 6 since the last big console release (MGS 4), has creator Hideo Kojima learnt anything? Or is he still being stubborn?
From the looks of this very expensive demo, it would appear not.
Let's deal with the two big cardboard boxes in the room first. The game's length and Big Boss's voice.
I completed the main story mission in 90 minutes. That's not long however you cut it. But as far as I'm concerned this is a prologue and it's if you want to buy it it's up to you. There are side missions and other objectives which I haven't really got into yet (maybe I'll cover that at another point).
What I have been doing is running around shooting everything and blowing things up. Not exactly in the spirit of a sneaking mission! But it's fun. Moving to an open world and just letting you get on it with it is a great move. Much like GTA, if you want to get on with things you can, but if you want to muck around, then fill your boots. Considering it will be at least a year before we get the main title The Phantom Pain, I'll take what I can get. What we've got is an area that lends itself to exploration and far more than the initial 90 minutes in replay value.
Onto the bigger deal now. David Hayter is Snake. Having played both Solid Snake and Big Boss, Hayter's growly "Metal Gear!?" is one of the most recognisable voices in gaming. I, like many others, was up in arms when Kiefer Sutherland was announced as the new voice of Big Boss.
How dare they! They're raping my gaming memories! They touched me whilst I was sleeping! I won't buy the game!
Ridiculous I know, but all bar one of those thought went through my mind.
When I first heard Big Boss speak it was jarring. Seeing "Kiefer Sutherland" produced a snort of derision. But then it was all finished, and I realised that not only did I not mind the new voice, but I think I get it. I get why Hideo Kojima ditched Hayter and picked up Jack Bauer.
Hayter's Boss/Snake was a caricature. A larger than life action hero who defied expectations.
Sutherland's Boss is a real person.
A lot of this may be due to the script, which whilst still full of jargon, doesn't meander like in in previous games. Regardless, there is a realism and level of nuance that just wasn't there before.
We also need to bear in mind that Big Boss is present in MGS4, yet Hayter didn't voice him then. It would have been weird having an old Snake taking to an Old Boss and them sound the same. I'd like to think the gap is being opened so that Hayter can come back to voice Snake when Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 are remade or future games retcon them. Could be jarring, but it would be cool.
But how does the game play?
Big Boss's movements are fluid and convincing, with the transitions between stances and speeds of movements particular impressive. The main character of an MGS can finally sprint properly! Obstacles that would have flummoxed out hero in the past, such as fences, are now cleared easily, whilst taking cover is context sensitive with no button press needed.
Selecting weapons and equipment has now moved to the D-pad. No more holding a shoulder button and selecting. This is not only welcome, but necessary, as using weapons has finally adopted the 'L2 to aim/R2 to fire' convention for a main console release. Much nicer.
You can now tag enemies using your binoculars. This leaves a marker on them that you can always see, giving you situational awareness. A nice substitute for the Soliton Radar.
The attention to detail extends to the audio, with the noise the binoculars make when being equipped and unequipped feeling reassuringly solid.
I won't spoil any story details for you. But I will say that this is the most adult story series creator Kojima has written. One scene in particular left me squinting. I had no problem with it though, as I've seen plenty worse in other media. Once I find more collectibles and find out further story details that could always change (I've heard about some other more unsettling aspects to the story but have yet to experience them).
Ground Zeroes may be a glorified demo when all's said and done. But with streamlined storytelling, top notch graphics and audio, modern controls and strong replay value it's worth paying out for. On first impressions it currently sits around Peace Walker on my list. A good start, but I'll know for sure when the full experience is released next year in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Age hasn't slowed this series down one bit.
Chris Cooper is a Flickering Myth Staff Writer, and owner of the blog Super Duper Stuff. Follow him on Twitter @SDCCooper or visit the blog's Facebook page.
Matt Smith reviews episode 10 of The Following season 2...
In the previous season of The Following, the attempted parallels between producers and the show itself was the use of Joe Carroll as a writer. He’d come up with a plan, which actually involved writing a story, and he’d meticulously organised and thought about the eventualities in order to influence those around him. The producers, writers and directors of the first season must’ve been hoping for the same thing and, for the most part, they accomplished their mission of writing something that would take an audience by the scruff of the neck, surprise them throughout and leave them shocked at the ending the producers had constructed.
This season, a similar parallel can be drawn in concerns to Joe Carroll. Again, there’s an obsession, hopefully connecting both Ryan Hardy and the audience to Carroll’s plan. Hardy, stuck in limbo like the audience between seasons, didn’t know what to do with himself besides developing a drinking problem. Hopefully there weren’t audience members doing that, but now Carroll’s back on TV we can refocus on trying to find out what he’s going to do next.
And that brings us to this week’s episode of The Following. Carroll has appeared on television, revealing himself to be alive, and Hardy has refocused his efforts to find him. His obsession with Joe Carroll, while all consuming, hasn’t actually affected anyone else’s life as much as it did previously. He’s grown to become the FBI agent he was before, marking the return of Ryan Hardy.
Something else bought from the first season is Claire Matthews, who in a twist made her return to the series. While this moment, coming at the end of the episode, reeked of shock in order to grab viewers, it’s a little early to comment on whether this is just a calculated move for more audience share or something that will actually lend something dramatically. Joe Carroll’s ability to drive everyone near him to obsession (again, something the producers would probably hope when it comes to audience and show) links to his ability to make people murder. Not just his followers, but both Hardy and Claire, who have forgotten their moral standing in the wake of what Carroll did to them. A neat twist of what Carroll’s influence can do to everyone, on both sides of good and evil.
But Carroll isn’t a God, as much as he’d want to be. Fortunately, he’s made interesting by his very human desire for attention. Why does Carroll do what he does? Before, he was pushed by a love of Poe, but it’s obvious he will use his charisma to gain the infamy that is his true love. The way that’ll be taken away by Ryan Hardy and the FBI actually scares him, and you can hear the desperation in his voice that shows James Purefoy’s performance isn’t just grinning like the fox and gleefully butchering people.
More parallels can be drawn between characters. Everyone’s in bed, everyone’s playing their games. Hardy, using a news reporter to poke at Carroll. The reporter, gaining fame from getting the story first. Carroll, pushing Emma to help him gain followers. The only one who seems to be missing out here is Emma, who in a delightful turn is the one with the most gleeful, and therefore ignorant, smile on her face.
In drawing from the previous season, with the return of Claire and the old relationship between Hardy and Carroll returning, this season might be trying to give the audience what they want. Unfortunately, the ideas and themes bought up in the previous season held up better on close scrutiny. The tragedy of the Hardy death curse is compromised by Claire’s return. And the feeling that the writers of the show planned everything is less evident when the twists come across as shocks designed to keep us watching one more week as opposed to something smart like Carroll planned in the first season.
Like Carroll now, the producers have given up on intelligent writing and have resorted to hopefully passing with charismatic performances, which just makes it seem like things are being made up as they go along. Which is a shame, as some of the parallels discussed above show the series can be a smart one, if it just forgot to worry about keeping viewers interested and just worried about making a good story.
Matt Smith - follow me on Twitter.
What's most intriguing is not only similarities to Batman's suit (especially with its own ears), but the identity. I'm leaning towards this being misdirection personally. Using guns yet being similar to Batman could suggest Jason Todd (a dead Robin who has returned in the comics), or maybe Hush, AKA Bruce Wayne's childhood friend Thomas Elliot. In Arkham City he showed us with a face reconstructed to look like Bruce. Could he be taking it one step further?
Regardless, I think we can agree that's it all looking rather cool so far.
Let the speculation commence! What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released on October 14th for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Chris Cooper is a Flickering Myth Staff Writer, and owner of the blog Super Duper Stuff. Follow him on Twitter @SDCCooper or visit the blog's Facebook page.
Megan Applegate recaps the fourth episode of Vikings Season 2...
Episode 4 starts out with a whine.
Aslaug’s to be exact.
It’s too cold. It’s too muddy. It’s too crowded. These peasants smell like barn animals.
The normal princess-y things we expect from her. Rollo’s spent time out and about looking for extra farmers ready to raise pitchforks against Jarl Borg and to help the gang take back Kattegat, but all he managed to round up was a measly 30. Things aren’t looking promising, and with the princess driving Siggy mad with her complaints, something’s got to give soon. Lucky for her (and us) her “seeress” powers kick in and she spies a vision of Ragnar traipsing down a hill toward her with his axes at the ready.
Speaking of Ragnar, he’s convinced to sit in a big steamy tub with Ecbert in a rather uncomfortable scene. (Seriously, is Ecbert ever not in that tub?) Seems he’s got ambitious plans that go beyond being the king in Wessex and he thinks the burly Vikings might come in handy. Remember from the last episode that Ragnar thinks being burly Vikings might come in handy when it comes to getting what he wants, as well—English farmland.
Cut to Lagertha and Bjorn. Word’s reached both of them that Kattegat’s been seized and when Lagertha tries to use her feminine wiles to convince her new husband to help out her old husband, it nearly backfires and turns into a rape scene. Lucky for us, Lagertha changes tactics and uses her Shield Maiden wiles instead and nearly runs him through with a dagger and a promise to castrate him again if he ever treats her like “one of his whores.” Go, girl.
The Viking/Saxon negotiations are broken up by the news of Jarl Borg’s massacre. Ragnar and his men leave and Athelstan chooses to stay behind with King Horik. Athelstan later ends up a prisoner of that portly bishop Ecbert likes to bully and finds himself nailed to a cross with a crown of thorns—just like that priest in the last episode promised him. All looked lost for our beloved “halfling” until Ecbert pulls up on a horse (finally with some clothes on and finally out of his bath!) and orders the Viking priest to be cut down. Phew! Not sure if it’s out of the flame and into the fire for him, but at least he’s safe for now.
And finally, the payoff.
Ragnar arrives home and is happily reunited with Aslaug, his boys, and his brother. What more could a man want? Well, Bjorn arrives with his mother and a road full of men ready to support Lothbrook and his quest to take Kattegat back.
Previews for the coming episode make it look like it’s going to be a bloody run and hint at jealousy between the old wife and the new one. Might Ragnar have the chance to rethink his choice? One can only hope…
Labor Day, 2013.
Directed by Jason Reitman.
Starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith and Tobey Maguire.
Escaped prisoner Frank Chambers (Brolin) convinces depressed single mother Adele (Winslet) to
harbour him from the police over Labor Day weekend in this all too sweet drama from Jason Reitman.
Labor Day is a difficult film to review as it was neither phenomenally good nor shockingly bad: it was simply average. Following the story of young teenager Henry (an exceptional performance from young talent Gattlin Griffith) and his depressed mother (Winslet) who are forced to harbour fugitive Frank Chambers (Brolin), Labor Day is an altogether different experience compared to Reitman’s previous films. The film is an uneven drama with moments of brilliance mixed in with oversentimentality that lead it down a strange path. The plot is formulaic and the story unfolds exactly how you would imagine from the initial meeting of Frank and Adele to their inevitable romance. Chambers appears at first as intimidating but he softens so quickly into seemingly the perfect man for Adele. During the Labor Day weekend he fixes their heater, the car, cooks peach pie and so on. But it’s as Frank’s past comes to light that the film begins to get more interesting. However, the main flaw in the film is that Winslet and Brolin lack chemistry and their quick romance over this sun soaked weekend never really convinces. It’s a shame as their separate scenes are engrossing, but together something just doesn’t mesh.
Supporting actors are also under used although this may have been the intention of Reitman to isolate the unconventional threesome. It did leave me wondering why recognisable faces had been cast in such small roles. James van der Beek crops up as a suspicious policeman; JK Simmons has a minute of screen time as a neighbour delivering peaches and so on. Clark Gregg as Henry’s father gets more screen time and a final scene between the two was beautiful to watch. But the focus of this film is the three leads and with such little chemistry between Brolin and Winslet, the film is never going to be a winner.
The film is saved by the performances from Winslet and Griffith. Winslet very rarely disappoints and her portrayal of a lonely single mother is spot on. As the film continues we find out about her heart-breaking miscarriages and how she became this shell of a woman who struggles to get up in the morning. It’s the little things that make her performance so believable, from the tremor in her hands to the fear at trying to leave the car to buy groceries. Adele is a damaged woman and Winslet portrays her expertly.
Tobey Maguire narrates the tale as the older Henry, but this film is entirely based on Gattlin Griffith’s performance. As the main focus of the story he expertly takes the reigns and manoeuvres us through his unsettling world with his mother, his disconnected life from his father and his adolescent pains. He is utterly convincing as a traumatised young child, balancing his childhood innocence with his adult awareness of the situation at hand.
Labor Day is an interesting film to watch but unfortunately it’s instantly forgettable. Gattlin Griffith is definitely a talent to watch and Kate Winslet’s performance is exceptional. The lack of chemistry lets it down massively and its sickly sweet ending will divide audiences. It’s an interesting choice for Reitman to do this kind of film as it lacks the snappy script that we loved in Young Adult, Juno and Thank you for Smoking. Reitman shows us the long winding road to Adele’s house over the initial credits and we feel the oppressive sun pulsing off the screen. What you don’t feel is any sense of connection to the film.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
With just over a week to go until the North American release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios has released a batch of new stills from the Phase Two solo sequel, which we've got for you right here....
"After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier."
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out now in the UK and opens on April 4th in North America, with Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) joined in the cast by MCU newcomers Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce. Read our review here.
Earlier in the week Empire dropped a behind-the-scenes image from Fox's upcoming simian sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and now the magazine has delivered another three, which we've got for you right here...
Eight years after Caesar claimed his freedom, a new group of human survivors threaten the growing population of genetically evolved apes. Peace is the intention; war is inevitable. Who will emerge as the dominant species?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is set for release on July 11th, with a cast that includes the returning Andy Serkis as Caesar alongside Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises), Keri Russell (Mission: Impossible III), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Enrique Murciano (Black Hawk Down), Kirk Acevedo (The Thin Red Line), and Judy Greer (13 Going on 30).
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we've got a selection of new stills from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which give us another look at two of Spidey's (Andrew Garfield) foes in The Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and show Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy in peril. Oh, and there's also a behind-the-scenes shot of director Marc Webb with Marvel legend Stan Lee...
We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.
It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on April 18th in the UK and on May 1st in North America, with a cast that also includes returning stars Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Campbell Scott (Richard Parker), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker) and Denis Leary (George Stacy) and new additions Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro, Chris Cooper (American Beauty) as Norman Osborn, Colm Feore (Thor) as Donald Menken, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) as Felicia Hardy, Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) as Dr. Kafka, B.J. Novak (The Office) as Alistair Smythe.
An image has surfaced online by way of the Man of Steel Fan Page which allegedly shows Henry Cavill during his audition for Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, dressed in none other than Christopher Reeve's classic Superman suit....
And if you'd like to see Cavill sporting a different suit again, be sure to check out a shot from his Superman: Flyby screen test here.
Cavill will next be seen as the Man of Steel with the release of Batman vs. Superman on May 6th 2016, which will see him starring alongside Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) and Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth).
Both movies focused on Ice Cube as Calvin Palmer, a barbershop owner in South Side Chicago. He inherited the shop from his father and wants to carry on his legacy but struggles to keep everything financially stable. Along with Cube there is a pretty impressive cast in both movies that include Cedric The Entertainer, Queen Latifah, Michael Ealy, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas and Anthony Anderson. No word on if any other cast members are returning, however MGM for sure wants to get Cedric The Entertainer and Queen Latifah back for the third movie.
Now seems like the perfect time to come out with a third movie in the series. With last year's release of The Best Man Holiday proving that even 14 years later people were still interested in those characters, a more popular series in the Barbershop could fare even better. As long as they can get most of the cast back there's no doubt this won't be a hit.
This year, LEGO will tie in to the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons with a new licensed line based upon the classic animated series, and while The Simpsons House set has already hit (and flown off) shelves, The Hollywood Reporter has now given us our first look at the 16 minifigures set to arrive on May 4th, coinciding with the broadcast of a special LEGO episode of The Simpsons entitled 'Brick Like Me'.
The Simpsons House retails for £179.99/$199.99 and comes with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and Ned Flanders, while the rest of the minifigures will be priced at £2.49/$3.99.
Tom Jolliffe on the lost art of scaring children witless....
There comes a time in every person’s life when the phrase “in my day” starts to gradually creep its way into your vernacular. The older you get the more common its usage becomes. Well, having crossed the threshold of 30 a couple of years ago, I’ve found myself saying it on a few occasions, and just recently I remembered that “in my day” kids films were often pretty dark and disturbing. Giving young 'uns nightmares seems to be a thing of the past.
So have modern kids films become more sanitized? A lot of films aimed toward the younger markets are decidedly tame. Pixar at its best has the good sense of introducing themes about life and death and growing up. The beginning of Up for example, which had grown adults in cinemas crying like babies, didn’t shy away from the subject matter of mortality and treated its younger audience with respect by showing it. It was a brave, mature move by Pixar which they’ve done in several other films.
Is it just a case that kids see too many messed up images in real life these days thanks to the press and internet? Gone are the days when you’re closed off to the outside world somewhat. As a kid you’d rarely look at your dad’s newspaper. You might scampishly have a quick peek at Page 3 of The Sun given the chance, but that’s about it. The internet now opens the user up to every possible image imaginable relating to life, sex and death. It’s easy to find something you have a want to look at, and it’s just as easy to stumble across something you don’t want to, whether you’re 9 or 90.
Have kids films simply become tamer to give them a break from this? Or is it that for the very young, animation has taken over, thus quelling the great amount of creature make up we’d see in live action films of the 80’s for example (Legend one good example…more on that later). Can you be as frightened by something animated, over something that is physically there in front of the camera? The make up/prosthetic might not be real but the physical entity is.
For those comfortably into adulthood now, think back to the films that creeped you senseless as a kid. It wasn’t always just by the threat and intent in some of them, but by just pretty Avant-garde imagery, or just plain weirdness. Some characters by virtue of their make-up, actions, or the performer (or all) gave kids many nightmares. Think of the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for example.
Back to Legend now, and it features, still, some of the finest creature effects ever committed to film. Now Ridley Scott’s gorgeous fantasy was a misfire in many ways. In particular it never knew what audience it wanted to target. The visuals, the tone and the threat were all quite adult, but the story and much of the dialogue were very childish. What you thus had was a kids film far too terrifying for young audiences. Tim Curry as the Demon is a walking nightmare. A terrifying image, performed with all the intensity and relish of the best adult Horror icons. Every creature in that movie looked grotesque but real too. The make up was so good that the characters almost jumped out of the screen. Meg of the Swamp was also absolutely terrifying. Certainly, they don’t make kids films like Legend any more.
Occasionally kids films had a playful element to them. Time Bandits by Terry Gilliam, a film that aimed much above the little one’s heads, and wasn’t afraid to throw in something as absurd and slightly messed up as (spoiler alert…) blowing the protagonists parents up right at the end of the film. There was a fair amount of dark imagery in it still, played largely comically to nullify too many nightmares.
Many 80’s kids films had moments that stand out. Even singular moments from different films, or one or two characters that just seemed to terrify you for one reason or another, or a creepy creature effect stood out. I remember the giant spider in Krull scaring me witless (and the old man when cloned by a slayer). The Gmork (the wolf) in Neverending Story, or the scene when a horse is being swallowed by a swamp of despair. Indiana Jones has several stand-out moments throughout the series from exploding heads, to melting skulls to hearts being torn out. That said nothing in the first three was as scary as how bad the fourth film was, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Is this just because I’ve grown up with these films and they’ve burrowed their way into my subconscious? Will kids in 10-20 years reminisce about the kids films of this generation being frightening? I don’t think they will, in part because kids are thicker skinned these days and become far more aware of certain things at a younger age than they did “in my day.” Perhaps the more pertinent question to ask is, are they missing out? Does a bit of downright weirdness and out of the box thinking hurt? Does seeing a creature, crafted and there in camera, as opposed to animated by computer, hurt? Are they being ignored in favour of the tween market?
The Harry Potter films began as pretty tame kid’s films but ended up becoming quite dark teen films. Granted this may have been in concordance with growing with its primary audience. Every 10 year old who first sat gawking at the young Potter, would still be there at 20 years old when the cast had also matured with them. That said, would kids these days find the films of previous generations, even stuff as messed up as Legend, tame?
I look back at a lot of these films, or individual characters/creatures which frightened me as a nipper. I look back in fondness though. Some may have had me hiding behind a cushion at times but they still fascinated me none-the-less. Perhaps for the younger audiences, we’re now in a period of history where political correctness rules. You can’t do this, can’t do that, and you shouldn’t have anything on screen too scary for young children. Are studios playing it safe? Let us know your thoughts. What films terrified you as a kid?
Villordsutch reviews Big Finish Audio Productions' Blakes 7 - Drones...
Directed by Ken Bentley.
Starring Gareth Thomas (Roj Blake), Paul Darrow (Kerr Avon), Michael Keating (Vila Restal),Jan Chappell (Cally), Sally Knyvette (Jenna Stannis), Alistair Lock (Zen/Orac), Tim Treloar (Bru Renderson), Sara Powell (Dr Cara Petrus).
It’s been a good few years since I’ve watched Blakes 7 (on VHS tape) and I clearly recall what Blake did at the end of Season 4 (it still haunts me) and what happened to The Liberator (the coolest of all starships) in Season 3. It’s due to this I’m guessing that this episode falls either in Season 1 or Season 2 of the TV series. You may remember the odd ropey episode in those Seasons but they are general considered to be the strongest, which is rather good really when you’re making a full cast driven Audio Production of Blakes 7.
This story continues on from episode 1.2 'Battleground' where The Liberator has taken damage and Orac, to give the ship time to repair itself, has taken control from Zen and has landed the Liberator into the ocean planet used by the Federation for war games. The opposing forces of the Federation in the war games are criminals, which can be for example a benefit thieving chef or a nurse who has commented on more the more influential people receiving promotions. One of the weapons being trialed in these games is a nano-sized robot insect which, once it stings a person, its toxin begins to vibrate the body’s cells until they get hotter and hotter before finally exploding like a bomb. Whilst on the planet Vila is stung by one of the nano insects, and during all of this Avon discovers Orac is growing smarter and a bit more paranoid.
As you can see from the cast list above is that you have nearly all the Blakes 7 cast back here. It’s rather fantastic and the only hint of aging I can hear is in Gareth’s voice (he occasionally reminded me of Colin Baker) but considering it’s over thirty years since Mr Thomas played Roj Blake I can let it go. The supporting cast too are well played, as are the sound effects used on the production; when they were on the planet the sound engineer must have had an “Abandoned Quarry” effect on his mixing as it sounded spot on.
At around an hour long you’re getting a very good Blakes 7 episode here that will easily fit into your Blakes 7 history and as the theme music kicks in you’ll be grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.
The Dark Knight Detective celebrates his 75th anniversary this year, and Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have unveiled their plans to celebrate the landmark, which you can read in full after the official 75th anniversary logo....
To mark the milestone 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment have revealed plans for a year-long celebration befitting the world’s most popular Super Hero. Highlights of the anniversary program, which starts today, include a new commemorative 75th anniversary Batman logo and an exclusive “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit, featuring 20 contemporary artists’ interpretation of The Dark Knight’s iconic cowl headpiece and cape from the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight videogame. There will also be 75th anniversary-related activities across all of Warner Bros. Entertainment throughout the year.
First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands on March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate all media. In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.
“Batman is an incredibly important property with multi-generational appeal across all of the Studio’s businesses, and we’re proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “From billion-dollar blockbuster films to TV, home entertainment, video games and consumer products, The Dark Knight continues to resonate with audiences worldwide and rightfully deserves his place as a global pop culture icon for the ages.”
Batman is the single most successful Super Hero film franchise in history and there have been more theatrical movies released based on Batman than any other comic book character. In video games, the Batman Arkham franchise is also the most successful Super Hero game concept ever. Batman consistently breaks records in every incarnation of his character and remains the gold standard by which all other comic book sales are measured.
“Batman is one of the greatest characters ever created, in comics or elsewhere, and even after 75 years he continues to wildly fascinate fans. He is an integral part of pop culture and has successfully captured the imagination of the entire world,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and President & Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The origin of Batman, Bruce Wayne and the famous citizens of Gotham are legendary and likely a story you know inside out, even if you’ve never picked up a comic book in your life, and that speaks volumes to the character’s immense popularity and the constructs of the original mythology.”
The first published adventure of The Bat-Man (as he was then known) was in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27, conceived of and drawn by a 22-year-old Kane with his frequent collaborator, Bill Finger, scripting the story. The character was so successful, that one year later the first comic book devoted exclusively to the Caped Crusader’s adventures, Batman #1, hit newsstands. In that issue, Batman battled The Joker and Catwoman for the first time.
Now, DC Entertainment and the Studio’s various divisions, including Pictures, Television, Animation, Interactive Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Consumer Products, will mark this extraordinary 75th anniversary with a range of highly anticipated events and products.
The new commemorative logo, also released today across social media and websites, takes its cue from the famed Bat symbol, and features block-style lettering of “75 Years.” The mark will be rolled out on Batman-related promotions, products and initiatives.
Key activities planned for the Batman 75th anniversary celebration include:
DC Entertainment – DC Entertainment has an action-packed year filled with new Batman titles, commemorative issues and variant covers, including the recently released special edition of Detective Comics #27 commemorating Batman’s first appearance in the book in 1939, the new weekly series Batman Eternal launching April 9, and upcoming exclusive Batman variant covers planned for San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
Batman Day – DC Entertainment is also partnering with thousands of comic retailers, book stores and libraries for “Batman Day” on Wednesday, July 23. Each location will host a Batman 75th anniversary celebration and offer fans a free, special edition Batman comic.
Interactive Entertainment – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has invited celebrated fashion designer Asher Levine to create a cape and cowl based on the Batsuit of the recently announced Batman: Arkham Knight videogame developed by Rocksteady Studios. Favorite contemporary artists will have the opportunity to use the replicas as a blank canvas to produce their own, original interpretations of Batman’s iconic attire for an all new “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit that will be showcased at San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
Home Entertainment – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will bring fans an array of new Batman titles throughout the year, including the highly anticipated release of the Batman ’66 TV series for the first time ever. Other new releases include animated films Son of Batman (May 6) and Assault on Arkham (summer 2014). Additionally, a 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s Batman feature film will be released in the fall.
Animation – Warner Bros. Animation has created two all-new Batman animated shorts set for debut in April, with fan-favorite producers Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and Darwyn Cooke (Batman Beyond) each presenting a unique and familiar take on the Batman animated universe. In addition, Timm will participate in a Batman 75th all-star panel at WonderCon in Anaheim on Saturday, April 19, which will also feature an exclusive premiere of Cooke’s animated short based upon Batman Beyond.
Television – Warner Bros. Television is in production on the pilot episode of the highly anticipated Gotham, a new one-hour drama for FOX which explores the origin stories of eventual police commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham City famous. In Gotham, Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie – Southland) will encounter a familiar cast of characters – including a young Bruce Wayne – as he fights to keep the city safe. Executive producer Bruce Heller (The Mentalist, Rome) wrote the pilot, which is being directed by executive producer Danny Cannon (CSI series, Nikita).
Pictures – As Batman’s 75th anniversary is celebrated in 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures will begin production of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film starring Henry Cavill, who reprises his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film, slated for release summer 2016, will bring the two most iconic Super Heroes of all time together for the first time on the big screen.
Consumer Products – Warner Bros. Consumer Products has partnered with an array of licensees to celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary through special edition and limited-release products. From the classic 1960s TV series to modern day comics, Batman’s presence will be larger than ever in celebration of his legacy through everything from toys to t-shirts.
DCComics.com – For the latest information and exclusive content celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, visit Batman75.com. The dedicated section on DC Comics’ website launches today with the Batman 75 Sweepstakes which offers one lucky fan a one-of-a-kind prize package.
Rotoscopers as "an aspiring low-budget filmmaker [who] originally volunteered to be a test subject for the the robot experiments by Tadashi, but then stuck around to help the Tech Lab research team with their projects."
Big Hero 6 is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) and is based upon the Marvel comic book series of the same name from Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Here's the official synopsis:
"From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Big Hero 6,” an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city."
Big Hero 6 is set for release on November 7th.