Friday, February 28, 2014

The Normal Heart - HBO Announce Airdate

It's been a while since I've read anything in relation to Ryan Murphy and HBO's upcoming adaptation of The Normal Heart but now we have an airdate.


The movie will premiere Sunday at 9pm on May 25th on HBO and while SkyAtlantic are rumoured to air the movie as well, they have not confirmed their own airdate for it. However, I imagine they'll air it close enough to the US though.

The movie starring Matt Bomer, Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Jonathan Groff to name a few takes place in New York City in the early 1980s at the onset of the HIV-AIDS epidemic and is adapted from the stage play by Larry Kramer.

Airdate Confirmation: http://attitude.co.uk/hbo-announces-normal-heart-premiere-date/

The Normal Heart will air on HBO from May 25th at 9pm.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teen Wolf - The Slash Debate

Warning: This article might specify one show but it's a commentary on the nature of slash in general. It's just that this show in particular has fired up my need to write an article.


The show of course being Teen Wolf. The MTV supernatural series, loosely based on that Michael J. Fox movie by the same name which has been running for three seasons so far since it's debut in June 2011 might not be a show I've ever really covered here (I've seen the odd episode, but never got round to watching it all properly) but it's certainly a show I am aware of. More to the point I am also aware that it has something of an intense fanbase and one of their key components seems to be the favouring of a slash pairing named Sterek - aka the characters of Stiles Stilinski and Derek Hale, as played by Dylan O'Brien and Tyler Hoechlin. Recently, lead actor Tyler Posey, who plays werewolf Scott McCall on the series made some less than flattering comments about the popular slash pairing and needless to say, some of the internet wasn't best pleased with him - putting it mildly of course.


The thing is though that while Posey's choice of words ("bizarre", "twisted") were pretty poor, I can't help but think that perhaps he raised something of a point though. 'Sterek' from what I've seen are two heterosexual male characters who seem to have more of an antagonistic rapport with each other rather than something that has become far more romanticized and exaggerated with great effect within the Teen Wolf fandom. This is hardly the only show to have this type of situation as fans of Once Upon A Time, Supernatural, Glee and Sherlock can attest to similar slash (and it's female equivalent) pairings almost being obsessively favoured over the more established relationships on the actual shows themselves.


To be honest - Posey seemed more frustrated than bigoted with his remarks and I have to admit, I do find it a tad bizarre myself (as a gay man) that there seems to be more of a fixation on two straight male characters being shipped than the actual gay couple that we have on the show at the moment. A couple that comprises of the rather sweet but slightly clueless, Danny Mahealani (Keahu Kahuanui) and Alpha twin Ethan (Charlie Carver). Granted, it's a relationship that hasn't been given as much screen time compared to the other couples on the show but surely, it's also a relationship that's more deserving of attention from these type of fans than the one they seem to have imagined with Stiles and Derek.


I'm not against slash pairings at all though - it can be rather amusing and harmless but I do find it somewhat annoying when fans try and project it onto the creators and cast of a show and then virtually lose the plot when either cast or crew member doesn't share their enthusiasm. Going from past interviews, it seems that Posey himself has mentioned liking the idea of Scott being either bisexual or paired up with fellow character Isaac Lahey (Daniel Sharman) and perhaps his dislike of Sterek stems from the actual onscreen relationship with the characters in question. If fans are free to slash and ship whoever they want, then I think cast members are certainly free to have their own opinion on the matter too. I definitely Tyler could've worded his comments better but I do think he was onto something though. While there are better written gay characters on other shows, Teen Wolf at least actually has some interesting enough gay characters (and they're adding another one soon with Mason) and personally, I'd rather focus my energy on them rather than a pairing that is largely fan imagined and not so literal.

Slash Fans Vs. Tyler Posey: http://www.thebacklot.com/the-shipping-news-slash-fans-sterek-tyler-posey/02/2014/

Teen Wolf's third season continues to air on MTV, Mondays at 10pm. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Being Human US - Cancelled By SyFy

This time last year, BBC3 announced that after five series that Being Human would come to an end. A year later, it seems that history has repeated itself with SyFy announcing the same for their version of the show.


The show currently into it's fourth season has now been confirmed as it's final season but according to actors Sam Witwer (Aidan) and Meaghan Rath (Sally), the show will have a solid conclusion with no cliffhanger in sight and that the fourth season was also conceived as a final one.

I'm not going to lie - I did try to get into this version of the show and while it wasn't bad as such, it did for me lack the same charm as the UK version had, despite a very likeable leading cast. That being said, it was also one of SyFy's better shows as well, so the cancellation is a little surprising though. Then again, four seasons isn't a bad run for a show and hopefully it won't be too long before we see the cast on other shows too.

Press Release: http://www.spoilertv.com/2014/02/being-human-cancelled-after-4-seasons.html

Being Human's fourth season will conclude on SyFy from April 7th.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

NBC Revives Heroes

It's official - Heroes is coming back to NBC and this time, it'll be Heroes: Reborn.


A couple of months ago, there had been rumours that the show, which ran for four seasons between 2006 and 2010 would be revived but now, NBC have confirmed that a limited series with a new cast comprising of 13 episodes will debut in 2015 from creator Tim Kring.

I have to admit that while this does smack of NBC pulling the same stunt that FOX currently are with 24: Live Another Day, it could also work in the show's favour. Much as I love the original cast, the show never really delivered with subsequent seasons after it's impressive debut year and with most of the main players long since moved on to other projects, perhaps new blood and new plots will actually prove that perhaps there could be some life left in it.

This limited series thing could catch on even further. I wouldn't be surprised if The X-Files ended up being the next thing to get revived for a limited run.

Press Release: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/s1/heroes/tubetalk/a553394/heroes-reborn-is-bringing-back-nbcs-cult-sci-fi-show-a-good-idea.html

Heroes: Reborn will air on NBC in 2015.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Doctor Who - Series 8: New Companion

Well, you didn't just think it was going to be only the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) travelling by themselves, did you? No, Doctor Who is adding another member to the TARDIS team.


Samuel Anderson, best known for his roles in both The History Boys and Emmerdale has been cast as fellow Coal Hill teacher, Danny Pink. Appearing in the fourth (or possibly the fifth) episode of Series 8 (and for the rest of the series onwards), Danny will join the 12th Doctor and Clara on their travels, though executive producer and current showrunner Steven Moffat hasn't revealed how he does this.

While I was hoping for a while that we would get another male companion along with Capaldi and Coleman, I'm actually surprised that his casting has been announced already (though currently the fourth and fifth episodes are being filmed for Series 8), given that past male companions such as Jack, Mickey and Rory (who lazy fans are comparing Danny to - er, wait and watch first, guys?) weren't given press releases to my knowledge when they were added to the show.

What's more is that we will have two teachers from Coal Hill travelling in the TARDIS once again. Can Clara and Danny be the new Ian and Barbara in that respect? Maybe not but it's nice that we will have a male companion in Capaldi's era though and Danny Pink is such a Moffat type of name for the character.

Appearing in the fourth episode are Robert Goodman (Gangs of New York, Game of Thrones) and then with the first episode  co-starring Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch, Groove High), and Pippa Bennett-Warner (The Smoke, Death in Paradise).

Press Release:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/articles/Rising-Star-Joins-Doctor-Who-for-Peter-Capaldis-First-Series

Doctor Who's eighth series continues to film and will air on BBC1 during Autumn 2014.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

DaVinci's Demons - Season 2: Live Cast Chat/Cast Photos

Last blog for this show before sitting down and watching the second season as we draw nearer to DaVinci's Demons. A month exactly.



Over the past few weeks, Starz have released further cast shots as well as a slew of interesting posters. So far we've had - DaVinci/Riario, Lucrezia/Pope Sixtus, Clarice/Vanessa and recently Lorenzo/Alfonso, the latter a new villain added into the mix and who will be played by Kieran Bew as well. We've also learned due to recent cast interview (such as yesterday's Google/FOX UK chat with Tom Riley, Eros Vlahos and Greg Chillin) that Rome actor, Lee Boardman will be playing the role of Amerigo Vespucci and that his character has a past with Zoroaster (Gregg Chillin).


It does seem from the trailers that a good chunk of this season will be with DaVinci and the gang in the new world and that Carolina Guerra's character, Ima will be prominent to proceedings. It also seem that Lucrezia (Laura Haddock) will be interacting with other characters as well as never being too far away from DaVinci (I know it won't happen but I have no desire to see them rekindle their flame) while the latter and Riario (Blake Ritson) will have to work together, which does sound more interesting. Any chance though the show might actually explore the lead character's bisexuality though doesn't seem hopeful though, given the lack of spoilers on that front.

Season 2 Cast Pictures: http://www.farfarawaysite.com/section/demons/gallery4/gallery.htm
Cast FOX/Google Chat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhN9rNfUCnA

DaVinci's Demons Season 2 will air Saturdays 9pm on Starz from March 22nd and Fridays at 10pm on FOX UK from April 4th.

Friday, February 21, 2014

ABC Bag Revenge/Heroes Stars For The Visitors

Well, they do and here are the actors in question, they've snagged for sci-fi pilot titled The Visitors (not to be confused with that John Corbett show from the 1990's I assume).


Barry Sloane, best known for his roles in Hollyoaks and recently as Aiden Mathis in the second and third seasons of Revenge has been cast as Wes, an ex-FBI agent who now works for a secret department, taking on classified missions to protect the public. This probably doesn't bode well for fans of Aiden Mathis but does seem like a good opportunity though for Sloane. The series, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV - follows the human race's fight to thwart an unseen alien menace out to destroy the Earth.


Also cast is Milo Ventimiglia, best known for his roles in both Heroes and recently, Mob City. Ventimiglia will play the role of will play the mysterious John, who speaks in a strange language and is covered in mysterious tattoos and diagrams. The pilot will be by Soo High (Under The Dome) and directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Go). This could have potential, provided it doesn't veer too much into the usual stuff we see with these type of sci-fi shows though.

Press Release: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/news/a552842/heroes-star-milo-ventimiglia-revenges-barry-sloane-for-the-visitors.html

Filming for The Visitors begins soon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Review of The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


Written by Christopher Nolan And David S. Goyer And Jonathan Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Selina: "There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us."

The amount of times I have watched this movie since it's DVD release will probably be something of a testament to my personal feelings towards the end of Nolan's Batman franchise. While The Dark Knight does seem to be the favourite out of the three with most people, it's The Dark Knight Rises that overall became my favourite of the bunch.

Out of the three Nolan movies, it's also the longest but never feels like it's being dragged out for a reason but I think the main reason why I love this movie so much is that it actually gave a definitive ending to this particular take on Batman and managed to do so pretty well from my point of view.

Christian Bale has been brilliant throughout all three movies and while the middle movie was his best one, performance wise, he is once again, wonderful throughout this movie as well. Seeing the Batman slowly regaining his focus and trying to stop Bane, especially after a certain encounter is done at a pace that certainly feels organic to the movie's narrative.

Speaking of Bane - when it comes to the rogue gallery, he's an interesting choice for a final antagonist and after being assassinated, character wise with Batman & Robin, it's a credit to Nolan and of course, Tom Hardy that the Bane we saw here was an excellent, calculating man, although his great plan for Gotham was pretty similar to his former mentor, Ra's al Ghul. Hardly shocking considering that he was also a member of the League Of Shadows.

Of course the real villain of the piece didn't turn out to be Bane. Nope, the seemingly selfless Miranda Tate turned out to be no other than Talia al Ghul and while I kind of wish she had revealed her identity a little earlier in the movie, Marion Cotillard did a blinding job as the fanatical daughter of Ra's as Ghul with the screen time she was given nonetheless.

However the highlight of the movie though was Anne Hathaway as cat burglar/print stealer, Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I've always been a big fan of Catwoman and after Halle Berry's disastrous outing in that 2004 movie, it's nice to see that Hathaway seems to get the role a lot better with Selina veering from deadly femme fatale to anti-heroine within the two and a half hours of this entire movie. She's pretty much a joy to watch and her interactions with Bale's Batman and Bruce Wayne are certainly fun. Hathaway definitely became one of the best incarnation of the role to be honest with this movie alone.

As for John Blake - I guess it kind of felt obvious in retrospect that he was Robin, if by name only but his heroism throughout the movie and eventual inheritance of the Batcave certainly felt earned and I do think Joseph Gordon Levitt did an excellent job with a rather interesting supporting role as well. He certainly had as much as screen time as Gary Oldman's James Gordon and definitely did more than either Lucius or Alfred as well. personally, I like to think because of this movie's end, Blake went on to become someone rather familiar.

- This movie had some more cameos from Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow. Had circumstances been different, I'd like to think we would've briefly seen the Joker again as well.
- According to Anne Hathaway, she thought she was auditioning for Harley Quinn in this movie.
- I wonder why they chose such a long gap between this movie and the previous one, chronology wise. Was a eight year gap really needed? Not a criticism but I am curious though.
- The final scene with Bruce and Selina living in Florence as Alfred watched them was a nice touch as the fact that Batman's reputation had been restored to the people of Gotham.

For a final movie, The Dark Knight Rises brought a sense of completion to proceedings. The great thing about Nolan's trilogy was the definitive beginning, middle and end it had and all three movies realised that extremely well. A stunning end to a stunning series.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Review of The Dark Knight (2008)


Written by David S. Goyer And Christopher Nolan And Jonathan Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

The Joker: "You truly are incorruptible, aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever."
Batman: "You'll be in a padded cell forever."

Out of all the movies in Christopher Nolan's trilogy, it seems that this will be the one that will forever go down as the most successful as the bunch. It's not hard to see why really. Not only is it arguably the movie where Christian Bale gave his best performance as both Bruce Wayne/Batman but it's also the movie that gave us one of the innovative versions of the Clown Prince himself, the Joker, courtesy of Heath Ledger.

To say that Ledger (who sadly passed away after this movie had been complete) is a revelation would be an understatement but it's hard to come up with other superlatives for him. He really is that brilliant as the Joker and in my opinion, he's actually the most threatening version of the character in movie form because he's genuinely hard to predict.

In this movie alone, we've seen him kill his own men, con mobsters, jeopardize both Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes lives, cause absolute destruction throughout Gotham and conduct his own little social experiments with a bunch of civilians and criminals when he didn't attempt to kill the mayor and spend a great deal of time needling Batman beyond belief. No wonder Ledger's take on the role has go down a treat with fans. He truly is the Joker in every way possible.

Of course to say that Ledger is the only standout performance from this movie though would be a bit unfair. While Aaron Eckhart doesn't get much to do upon becoming Two-Face, as Harvey Dent though, he truly was the White Knight that Gotham deserved. It's a shame that things went so terribly for him because his heroism and dedication to trying to clean Gotham up certainly generated the respect he deserved.

As for the role of Rachel Dawes - I'm actually disappointed we lost Katie Holmes but props to Maggie Gyllenhaal for stepping in and being every bit as good as her predecessor was as well. While this movie doesn't particularly end well for Rachel, she's still cemented as an instrumental character in this particular take on the franchise. Basically, it's not just Bruce and Harvey who lose something in this movie.

As for the rest of the movie - the action definitely picks up in certain parts. The fight scenes with Batman and Joker are definite highlights as are the Dark Knight's little trip to Hong Kong to pick up a certain accountant and the opening heist also delivered nicely too. However while the movie does flesh out James Gordon a little more, there isn't too much that either Alfred or Lucius get to do but that's a minor niggle in an otherwise superb movie.

- Eric Roberts took on the role of Sal Maroni - Falcone's successor while Commissioner Loeb was killed. Guess who succeeded him?
- Gotham has about 30 million people and this movie took place a year after Batman Begins.
- So how did the Joker really get those scars? I actually wish we had gotten a definitive answer there.
- Wayne Manor was still burnt from the previous movie so we had a penthouse apartment and a replacement for the Batcave as well. I also liked the Scarecrow cameo at the start of the movie.

While it will be the next movie that will ultimately be my favourite out of this whole trilogy, for a second act, this one certainly raised the stakes. While the ending unwisely pitted Batman against the very city he vowed to protect, it certainly added a further emotional punch to a movie that kept hitting with them.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Review of Batman Begins (2005)


Written by David S. Goyer And Christopher Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Bruce (to Ra's al Ghul): "I seek... A means to fight injustice. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful."

Thanks to Batman & Robin, the franchise for the Caped Crusader hadn't exactly ended on a high and this movie could have either breathed new life into the Dark Knight or finished him off on the big screen for good. Luckily for us, it was the former.

By literally taking things back to basics, co-writer and director, Christopher Nolan along with fellow writer David S. Goyer re-energised the series with the first of a clearly thought out trilogy. Here we do see a Bruce Wayne who lost his parents in a Gotham that's become a cesspit of crime where crime lords like Carmine Falcone reign supreme and the legal system is either embedded with corruption or too ineffectual in order to grind things to a halt.

Before we get onto the Caped Crusader, can I just say that Rachel Dawes is one of the best recently made up love interests for Bruce Wayne/Batman? Not only does Katie Holmes actually do a blindingly good job with her but she also managed to make Rachel's anger and desperation for justice come across rather well without it ever feeling cloying and the rewrite of her and Bruce Wayne being childhood friends actually worked extremely well for the movie's narrative itself. Finally, a love interest for the Bat that can actually rival the likes of Selina Kyle and Talia al Ghul.

Of course, the Caped Crusader himself is also a man looking for justice. Christian Bale was an absolutely inspired choice for the roles of Batman/Bruce Wayne and doesn't really put a foot wrong throughout this whole franchise (though his grunting is initially a little off). Bruce's quest for vengeance and justice certainly seems to be a balancing act and his collisions with villains such as the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and Ra's al Ghul/Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) are certainly memorable.

Out of the two here, both Murphy and Neeson should be commended for their excellent performances but while I enjoyed the Scarecrow and his use of fear toxins on everyone, for me the most exciting villain was Ra's al Ghul. He's always been one of the most memorable enemies for Batman and his overzealous attempts of destroying a decadent Gotham certainly put both him and Batman on opposing paths with only one real outcome. Still, the fight sequence with the two of them on a moving train is nothing short of impressive to watch.

As for the rest of the movie's supporting players, this excellent cast was rounded off with Michael Caine's brilliant take on the protective butler, Alfred while Morgan Freeman certain made the most of his screen time with the trustworthy Lucius Fox but it's Gary Oldman who would impress the most (and continue to do so in the next two movies) as detective/lieutenant James Gordon. It's no wonder now the likes of FOX are doing a prequel series with his character centre stage given the amazing characterisation he's given in this franchise now.

- Had the previous franchise not ended so badly in 1997, Batman Triumphant actually would've had the Scarecrow as a main antagonist.
- The redesign of the Batmobile as a Tumbler took some getting used to but it does actually work.
- That little kid both Batman and Rachel were nice to became Joffrey in Game Of Thrones. Just saying is all.
- The working title for this movie was The Intimidation Game. I'm glad that title didn't stick.

For a start to a whole new take on the Dark Knight, both Nolan and Goyer certainly set up a rather high standard with a slightly gritty, more serious take but thankfully one that would also have it's moments of theatricality as well. Batman Begins was a brilliant way of getting the ball rolling and it's follow up movies more than deliver as well.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Monday, February 17, 2014

Elementary - A Revised Opinion (Spoilers)

I'm not gonna lie. When I first heard that CBS were doing their own version of Sherlock Holmes with the New York based Elementary, I wasn't exactly jumping for joy about the prospect of it. Also like some viewers, I also wasn't too eager on the character of Watson being rewritten as a female character, even though the always excellent Lucy Liu had been cast. Then I actually watched the show.


And I have to admit (and not for the first time) perhaps I prejudged it too harshly. While I am still a bit fed up of US networks doing their own versions of UK programmes, Elementary turned out to be a lot better than I gave it credit for. Both Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have turned out to be a captivating and engrossing take on the great detective and his sober companion, possibly even as good as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have been on Steven Moffat/Mark Gatiss's Sherlock series and while the show has largely felt like a traditional procedural at times, it's far more preferable than CBS's other unadventurous offerings.


It's also been slightly more adventurous in some respects to Moffat/Gatiss's baby as well. While changing genders for Watson wasn't the most radical thing Elementary could've done, I think changing Moriarty into a female character and merging him/her with Irene Adler however was. Also casting the incredible Natalie Dormer (The Tudors, Game Of Thrones) certainly helped matters too. Dormer could recite a phone bill and turn it into a BAFTA winning performance. Her take on both roles (Jamie Moriarty/Irene Adler) easily matches what both Andrew Scott and Lara Pulver have done with the roles and she's been a rather interesting version of the popular antagonist/love interest for Mr Holmes. However the less said about Vinnie Jones version of Sebastian Moran, the better though.


Another masterstroke was the brief introduction of Holmes's former landlady, Miss Hudson, who in Elementary's version is actually a transgendered woman, played by Candice Cayne (Nip/Tuck, Dirty Sexy Money). It was a brave move and one that seemed to go down well with fans of the show as well, probably due to the depiction of Hudson as a regular character not written to be a victim or a source of humour. It's hard not to impressed with the show for this alone.


As for the rest of the show - Aidan Quinn has been great as the rather stoic/duty bound Captain Tommy Gregson and the second season itself hasn't wasted time in throwing both Holmes and Watson into London as well as meeting up with the likes of Mycroft Holmes (Rhys Ifans) and Lestrade (Sean Pertwee), both of whom have been memorable in their brief appearances so far. Elementary might not generate the same levels of mass fan hysteria as it's BBC counterpart and it might be a bit too procedural times for it's own good, but overall, I can admit when I'm wrong and this show is certainly better than I thought it would be.

Elementary airs Thursdays 10pm on CBS and will resume airing on SkyLiving, Tuesdays at 9pm from February 18th.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Violent Night In

And here's a rundown of some of the programmes I've been watching over the last few weeks.


Broadchurch: Continuing to watch this at TV3's pace, I've only two more episodes to go, even if I already know who the killer is and their motives. This still hasn't stopped me from enjoying the show and getting more and more engaged with the characters. The whole conversation in relation to Paul's faith and Hardy's weary cynicism was a delightful moment and although Susan continues to give me the creeps, she didn't deserve to lose her poor dog as a result though. Is it wrong that the dog's death bothered me more than most of the anguish/secrets from most of the characters?


Girls: I'm still sticking with the third season of this risible show for the time being (having it paired with Looking factors into it) and apart from Marnie and Adam, the characters are still horrible-ish people (except Ray, he's mostly boring). Of course it would take Hannah to make her editor's death about her (even if she has a right to worry about her book's future) and Jessa being flattered that someone would go to the trouble of faking their own death just so they wouldn't have to spend time with her is rather disturbing. Then there's Shoshanna, who just seems to spout inane lines nowadays but at least Adam's psychotic sister was given the boot in one of the rare moments where Hannah did something right for a change.


Inside No 9: Sometimes it really does feel like you're never too far away from another bonkers series from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. It wasn't that long ago we had Psychoville and with Inside No 9, they've certainly delivered something great. The first episode felt pretty basic but the second episode - a silent episode with the cheeky title of A Quiet Night In, featuring the likes of Oona Chaplin and Kayvan Novak was something else altogether. Probably one of the most genius pieces of comedy the BBC have done in the longest of whiles, I can't wait to see where the remaining four episodes (and commissioned second series) will go. Definitely worth a watch.


Ja'mie: Private School Girl: You know the drill with Chris Lilley by now - he does a show, it lasts a series and then it's onto the next creation of colourful characters. Except this time around, he decided to reprise his role of spoiled antichrist, Ja'mie and give her a series for herself, centering on her exploits at Hillford High and trying her best to out mean Mean Girls too in the process. Ja'mie's even got her own set of Plastics (I mean prefects) at her beck and call and her torrent of abuse is casually tossed at her family and rivals, the borders with little effort as well. It's a fun enough series but the second episode did lack some of the bite that the first one had in spades and it does make me wonder if Ja'mie and her bitchy antics are enough to sustain the remaining episodes. Other than that, pretty quiche. I'll stop now.


Line Of Duty: I didn't watch the first series of this and I'm not sure if I'll watch more than the opening episode but then again, I just might given the wealth of acting talent in this series. Keeley Hawes alone is pretty great as the surviving/possibly bad cop Lindsay Denton and it does genuinely seem to be hard to predict where she'll go in the next few weeks. Also this show's rather casual way of bumping off seemingly prominent characters like Jessica Raine's Georgia also means that no-one is safe. Yeah, I can see myself watching more of this alright.


Looking: Three episodes in and I think this show is getting it's groove. It helps that three main characters are still more likeable than the ladies from Girls but more to the point, it's also nice to see Russell Tovey make his US television debut and not play an overly stereotyped British character as well. That being said, I can't imagine that it will be too long before Patrick and Kevin actually do go beyond their working relationship though. On the flip side and maybe it's because of the general structure, it does often feel like not a great deal actually happens as well. That could also be a consequence of me perhaps watching far more fast paced shows too.


The Musketeers: Four episodes in and I'm still in that phase where I'm enjoying the show but I'm not overly in love with it either. I mean, it's hard to deny that the writing for this show is somewhat better than Atlantis (though not by a huge margin) and the last few episodes alone have actually fleshed out our leading men pretty well. Still a few more ongoing arcs (aside from the Cardinal's scheming) might actually help proceedings a bit more though.


- There are rumours that White Collar's sixth season will be it's final one.
- The CW have renewed Supernatural, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Reign for further seasons.
- Sarah Jane Potts has joined the cast of Gracepoint as hotelier Gemma.
- Michelle Fairley will replace Judy Davis in 24: Live Another Day.
- John Wesley Shipp will appear in The Flash pilot episode in a mysterious role.
- Sunny Mabrey has been cast as Glinda for the third season of Once Upon A Time and will debut later in the year.
- Both Anna Chancellor and Richard E.Grant will appear in the fifth series of Downton Abbey.
- Juliette Lewis and Ryan Philippe will appear in upcoming ABC drama, Secrets & Lies.
- Alyson Hannigan has joined new comedy More Time With Family for CBS, which will be produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
- Channel 4 will be airing the second series of Utopia from June.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Veronica Mars - Entertainment Weekly Feature/Movie Trailer

I'm a bit late with this one but yeah, not only have I seen the trailer for the upcoming Veronica Mars movie but Entertainment Weekly have given both Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring their latest cover and a fantastic photoshoot to boot.


From what we know about the upcoming movie so far, it seems that our titular character, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has moved to New York and become a lawyer since the events of the third season and has also been trying to distance herself from her hometown of Neptune. That of course goes out the window when ex-boyfriend, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) gets accused for murder yet again. Seriously that bloke should've left Neptune ages ago. It hasn't been especially kind to him, has it?


The thing I find great about this whole movie - well, the power of the show's fanbase and Kickstarter. It might have been seven years since the show's swift cancellation but for a show that only ran for three seasons, it certainly had enough fans who were willing to help fund it and the fact that virtually all of the main cast are back as well is brilliant. It's also great that this movie has been able to attract some interesting people such as Jamie Lee Curtis and James Franco as well. More power to this movie. Also going by the two minute trailer released last month, creator Rob Thomas certainly hasn't lost his edge with his creation.

Entertainment Weekly Photoshoot/Movie Stills: http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20483133_20786269,00.html#30101824
Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq1R93UMqlk

Veronica Mars will be released on March 14th.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chasing Shadows - Another ITV Crime Drama

Well, it is but it's one that also has not one but two prominent Doctor Who actors as well (clearly ITV picked up on something from Broadchurch with David Tennant and Arthur Darvill) in the mix.


Noel Clarke, best known for playing Mickey Smith and writing/directing/acting in several of his recent movies has the role of DI Prior in Chasing Shadows, a four part drama from DCI Banks writer, Rob Williams. The series is due to begin filming soon for an eight week period in the South East and will focus on a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who target vulnerable and impressionable people.


The second Doctor Who related person cast in a main role is River Song herself, Alex Kingston. The actress who has also recently guest appeared in both NCIS and Arrow will be playing the role of Ruth Hattersley. The character, an analyst from the Missing Person Bereau is described as maternal with being maternal and is in a partnership with the eccentric lead character of the four part drama, which is seemingly rocky as well, despite their dynamic looking good on paper.


As for the eccentric partner - he's played by none other than Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville and currently on BBC2, Inside No 9). Shearsmith's character, DS Sean Stone - a socially awkward intense misfit, sidelined by his bosses and paired with Ruth and whose eccentric behaviour tends to land him in trouble from time to time.

I have to admit, like most crimes dramas nowadays, it doesn't exactly sound particularly inspired and if it weren't for the Whovian connections, I probably wouldn't bother at least watching the first episode. Then again, if it's like Broadchurch, it might just pleasantly surprise me.

Press Release: http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/reece-shearsmith-alex-kingston-and-noel-clarke-star-chasing-shadows#.UvzJhoG9YTA

Chasing Shadows will air on ITV later in 2014.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Review of Batman & Robin (1997)


Written by Akiva Goldsmith
Directed by Joel Schumacher

Poison Ivy: "There's just something about an anatomically correct rubber suit that puts fire in a girl's lips."
Batman: "Why is it that all the beautiful ones are homicidal maniacs? Is it me?"

Oh dear. And here's where things went down the pan for the Batman franchise until Christopher Nolan would later restore. It's like everything that was fun about Batman Forever was upped several notches and ended up having the most adverse of effects on the dynamic duo/not so terrific trio.

So what exactly went wrong with this movie? Well, let's talk about George Clooney for a start. A great actor in some respects but not exactly a riveting Batman (though he gets the Bruce Wayne bits right) and one who was also hampered by an erratic script and slightly dodgy suit to an extent and that's not even getting into the tedious rivalry between Batman and Robin that took up way too much screen time as well.

For a movie that should've been about the strength of the dynamic duo, it became more of an annoying rivalry with Robin mainly bleating on about not being seen as an equal or the not so interesting love 'triangle' between him, Batman and Poison Ivy. It's a shame really because Chris O'Donnell is still good as Robin but he's given such tedious material to work with in this movie that there were times when you almost wished Batman had left him as an ice sculpture early in the movie.

Alicia Silverstone does fare marginally better as Barbara Wilson/Batgirl, who is at least useful and more proactive/butt kicking than Robin or even Batman are allowed to be to a degree. It also helps that she's got a likeability factor as well and the rewrite of her being Alfred's niece instead of Commissioner Gordon's daughter works considering how much of a nonentity the latter remained throughout this entire franchise as well.

The best part of this movie concerned Alfred though. Giving him a niece was one thing but dangling the possibility of him not making it out of the movie alive was another. While this might be the worst movie of the four, it is also without a doubt the one where Michael Gough was given plenty to do and gave his best performance throughout. It kind of makes me wish that the previous movie had given him more to do.

As for the villains of the piece - ugh, what was done with Bane pretty much equaled character assassination. The character might be a brute but he's usually an intelligent, calculating one. Here he's basically reduced to a 'grab/smash' henchman for the other two baddies before eventually being dispatched off. At least fifteen years after this movie was released, Tom Hardy was able to give an accurate depiction of the character. Jeep Swenson isn't given that luxury here though.

Then there's Mr Freeze. He's certainly a cool customer and like with the Carrey/Jones double act of the previous movie, there's a competition of sorts with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy as to see who can chew up the scenery the most but at times, this genuinely did hamper the movie more than anything. Still, Freeze's almost successful plan to reduce Gotham to an icy world did at least look nice visually but it's Thurman's take on Ivy that enabled her to be the successful villain of the bunch, even if it meant having to sit through that tedious rivalry with Batman and Robin for her affections.

- Julie Madison (Elle Macpherson) - what was the point of the character? At least Vicki and Chase served a purpose in their movies.
- Had this movie not sunk the franchise, there was the possibility of a follow up called Batman Triumphant ... http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Batman_Triumphant
- Did we really need to see two versions of each of Batman/Robin/Batgirl's costumes?
- This was also the only film where none of the baddies learned about Batman's real identity. I guess that's pretty interesting.

After such a promising start to this whole franchise, it's a shame that Batman & Robin's too goofy tone at times was the thing that shot the franchise. Perhaps in retrospect, it did benefit from the rest before Nolan's trilogy rejuvenated things but despite some fun moments here and there, this was certainly a disappointing movie.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Review of Batman Forever (1995)


Written by Akiva Goldsmith And Lee Batchler And Janet Scott Batchler
Directed by Joel Schumacher

Batman: "I see without seeing. To me, darkness is as clear as daylight. What am I?"
Riddler: " Please! You're as blind as a bat!"
Batman: "Exactly."

The first of the movies from Joel Schumacher and the first time that franchise moves away from the more dark and gothic elements of Tim Burton's vision for the Caped Crusader into something that's arguably a lot more colourful and vibrant by comparison. You can somewhat understand why Joel Schumacher's interpretation of the franchise might not have gone down a storm with some movie goers at the time (or even now to an extent).

Still, Batman Forever is actually a pretty solid movie and possibly on a par with Burton's debut, better than it's follow up and lagging a tiny bit behind on it's predecessor. Sure, it might not be super dark but there are certain dark moments in the movie - particularly with the death of Dick Grayson's family courtesy of Two-Face and of course, further flashbacks into Bruce Wayne's parents murders and the steps in which he became Batman himself. That alone should be noteworthy enough for some.

In terms of villains, both Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones almost seem to be competing with each other to see which one of them can chew up the scenery the most. As the Riddler and Two-Face, they're an immensely enjoyable double act to watch, though neither of them are particularly riddled with depth or anything that goes beyond destroying Batman and wreaking havoc on Gotham.

For the most part though, that works in the movie's favour. Their various capers and penchant for mucking up social events turn out to be usually enjoyable to watch (and one at least had a narrative consequence too) and their final showdown with Batman certainly turned out to be immensely satisfying before one of them ended up dead and the other became a pernament resident in Arkham Asylum as well.

As for the new guy himself - I have to admit Val Kilmer is somewhere in between for me. He's pretty good for most of the movie and certainly convinced enough as Batman but while he's better than successor George Clooney, I would still rate both Michael Keaton and Christian Bale over him. However I do think it's a pity we didn't get to see him in a second movie. Though given what transpired with that, perhaps Kilmer was wise to bail on proceedings.

As for the Boy Wonder himself - I really like Chris O'Donnell. In this movie, I think the balance with both Dick Grayson/Robin was struck well. We saw the angry young man trying to avenge his parents murder, the would be secondary hero and the guy who also ended up bound and gagged and nearly drown with Chase during the final act. I even laughed when O'Donnell's Robin had a 'holey' moment in this movie as well. Robin might not always be the most rewarding of roles for an actor to play but O'Donnell did a good job nonetheless.

Last but not least - Chase Meridian. Along with Julie Madison, Chase was probably one of the least engaging of love interests for Bruce Wayne/Batman. She's not particularly awful and Nicole Kidman does the best she can in the role but at the same time, the chemistry between Chase/Batman is virtually nonexistent and forced and by the end of the movie, she did fall into the traditional damsel in distress role as well. It also didn't help that her fixation on Batman seemed a little unprofessional and cloying in certain parts as well.

- The original version of this movie if Burton had directed it is worth a read ... http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Batman_3_%28Burton%27s_proposed_film%29
- Two-Face's hench ladies - Sugar (Drew Barrymore) and Spice (Debbi Mazar) were originally meant to be called Lace and Leather.
- Nice shout out to Catwoman courtesy of Chase in this movie and Dick considering calling himself Nightwing at one point was interesting.
- Both this movie and Batman & Robin probably had the most comic book look and feel to it. Both a good and a bad thing in it's own way.

Out of all the Bat related movies, I do sometimes think that Batman Forever is a bit on the underrated side of things. Granted it's the start of some excesses from Schumacher that would ultimately turn the franchise on it's head and while neither Riddler nor Two-Face are particularly threatening (The Animated Series made them far more menacing than this movie ever did), they are at least entertaining while Kilmer/O'Donnell make for a solid dynamic duo. Overall, it's a better movie than sometimes given credit for.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, February 10, 2014

Gotham - James Gordon/Alfred Pennyworth Have Been Cast: EDITED

And he's going to be played by ....


Benjamin McKenzie of course. The 35 year old actor, mainly known for his roles on The OC and Southland has bagged the role of Detective James Gordon and upon announcement of his casting tweeted this ...

All I can promise is I will do my best not to screw this up. Can't wait to get to work.

I kind of feel bad that Ben felt he needed to tweet that to be honest. I wasn't a massive fan of The OC but I caught the odd episode of Southland here and there and I do think McKenzie is a solid actor. He might not be some fans perception of who the character of James Gordon is but I'd rather see him in action first and he's also age appropriate for the role as well. I wish both McKenzie and Gotham luck and can't wait to find out who else will be joining the cast for this show over the next few months.

However this isn't McKenzie's first foray into the Batman universe. He previously voiced the Dark Knight in Batman: Year One and no doubt, his former football star/war hero/current detective Gordon will also encounter the younger Bruce Wayne in the upcoming series.


Meanwhile (and the reason I'm editing this blog post), it's also been revealed that Sean Pertwee has been cast in the role of Alfred Pennyworth - a former marine, who becomes a butler to the Wayne family and fiercely protective of Bruce upon a tragic accident. Meanwhile Robin Lord Taylor (recently seen in The Walking Dead) has been cast in the role of the Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot, who in this universe will be seen as a low level psychopath working for gangster Fish Mooney. Other cast members include Sons Of Anarchy's Daniel Logue as Harvey Bullock, Merlin's Erin Richards as Dr Barbara Kean (Gordon's fiancee) and Zabryna Guevara as Captain Essen, Gordon’s boss at the GCPD Homicide Squad. I have to admit that already this show is sounding a tiny bit more exciting than Batman Vs. Superman.

Casting News 1: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/news/a549926/gotham-the-ocs-ben-mckenzie-to-play-commissioner-gordon-in-fox-show.html
Casting News 2: http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/gotham/29254/sean-pertwee-cast-as-gothams-alfred

Gotham begins production soon and will air for the 2014-2015 television season for FOX.

Glee - 100th Episode Details/UK Ban (Possibly)

It's been a while since I've really discussed Glee, having been wrapped up in Ryan Murphy's other baby, American Horror Story but with the show's imminent return, it's time for another blog on the matter.


Well, the show will be back pretty soon with the first two episodes rumoured to be titled, Frenemies and Trio. After that we'll see episodes such as City Of Angels, 100 and New Directions. However the biggest news items seems to be less about the show's milestone 100th episode and more about the fact that the show may get banned from being aired in the UK in the future due to a rights issue with a comedy club also named The Glee Club. If this does happen, I guess UK viewers will have to seek the remainder of the show online but I honestly can't see it coming to that.


Elsewhere, getting back to the 100th episode (really, it's titled 100?), it seems that along with the returns of Quinn, Brittany, Puck, Mike and Mercedes for the episode, Gwyneth Paltrow will be reprising her role as Holly Holliday for the milestone episode while Kristin Chenowith will also be reappearing as April Rhodes with some familiar songs being sung in this episode as well. After that though, the show will be moving to New York on a more permanent basis for the remainder of the show's lifespan. All things said, I think that's a wise idea. Audiences seem to have tired of the McKinley antics for a while now and although it'll be a bit contrived, keeping things NY based with the majority of the cast will probably be easier in the long run.

Season 5 Spoilers: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/Glee

Glee returns to FOX Tuesdays at 8pm from February 25th. Not sure when Sky will air the remaining episodes of the fifth season.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Film Short: Three Minutes


Written And Directed by James Moran

Man (to camera): "Come on, this doesn't even make any sense. If I don't know what I did, then what's the point?"

I don't usually review shorts (though I might review some in the future) but given the Doctor Who and Torchwood connection that is writer and director, James Moran (The Fires Of Pompeii, Sleeper, etc), I thought I'd give this one a whirl.

While it might actually be longer than the title suggests (nearly six minutes but who's counting, eh?), the short pretty much featured an office worker (played by Emmerdale's Daniel Brocklebank) bound and gagged to a chair in a locked room with a bomb with about three minutes to save himself.

I'm not gonna tell you whether or not the unnamed male character actually makes it out of the short alive but the one thing I was curious about (that didn't get answered) was as to why he ended up in that predicament in the first place. Did he piss off a former lover or business partner? It's hard to tell really but for a one man show, Brocklebank did a pretty neat job. I've always liked him as an actor and it's a pity he hasn't popped up in some more mainstream stuff (aside from an EastEnders appearance a few years ago).

Short wise, this was a pretty solid and engaging one and given that Moran has an upcoming feature called Crazy For You with Rory Williams himself, aka Arthur Darvill, there's a good possibility I will review another one of Mr Moran's fine works.

Three Minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK4hXdd3m6M&feature=youtu.be
James Moran's Blog: http://www.jamesmoran.blogspot.ie/

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Channel 4 - Dispatches: Hunted


Last night Channel 4 aired an hour long documentary at 10pm entitled Dispatches: Hunted. The documentary itself was a painful reminder of the current situation in Russia and the attitude the country has not only with it's LGBT citizens but also the promotion of tolerance and equality. Being aware of the news for the last few months, I knew the situation was bad. Watching this documentary however, even I was shocked to realise just how bad the situation had become.

Presented by Liz MacKean, Hunted showed vigilante groups using social media to target and entrap gay people, who they then would either beat up, torture and degrade before posting their victims ordeal online in a bid to further humiliate them. I have to admit to finding myself getting particularly angry that the crew behind this documentary didn't step in to actually help a man who was being interrogated by a spiteful woman named Katya and threatened by thirteen men as well.

In the hour documentary we also met a lesbian couple now living in fear that their children they've had from previous relationships would be taken away from them if the laws going against gay couples and single parents came into effect. I'm not a parent but I am a firm believer that no child should be taken away from a loving family unit and some of the people seen in this documentary shouldn't be allowed to influence children and pass on their disgraceful values.

Of course, it wasn't just gay people being shown at risk. Even straight people who openly supported equal rights (including a female school teacher here) were being targeted by so called 'citizens' of Russia who demanded that they would be named and shamed and even set alight at one point as well. The father who seemed to have a specific axe to grind with the female teacher definitely showed his true colours as an abhorrent human being and an all round hypocrite.

Watching this hour long documentary, I couldn't help but feel both extremely angered and saddened by the current situation with the mistreatment of LGBT Russian citizens. Of course I wasn't the only one with plenty of people on social media (of all types of sexual orientation) expressing similar reactions to my own.

The current situation under Putin's ruling is an utter disgrace and really can be likened to fascism. Something has to be done to stop these psychotic witch hunts and persecution of LGBT citizens and it has to be done now. I know it's basically stating the obvious but it really does need to be stated and constantly, until something actually is done. This documentary proved to be a horrifying eye opener as to why Russia's current laws and actions are beyond inhumane and need stopping.

Hunted can be watched on 4OD for those who missed it.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

My Review of Batman Returns (1992)


Written by Sam Hamm And Daniel Walters
Directed by Tim Burton

Batman: "Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it."
Catwoman: "But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it. You're the second man who killed me this week, but I've got seven lives left."

My favourite film. I could pretty end this review with those three words alone but I won't. Now I loved the first Burton movie and enjoyed at least one of the Schumacher ones (while being extremely disappointed in the second one) but out of anything Bat related, this is by far the best movie.

The reasons vary for me as to why I love this movie in particular. The Christmas/snowy backdrop certainly plays a role into my love for the movie, the even darker tone is another reason but more to the point, I just think all of the villains in this one really click and there's pretty much three of them.

As corrupt businessman Max Schreck, Christopher Walken could've easily found himself playing an unengaging character but within this movie he managed to be truly repellent and hold his own against the other two main antagonists as well as the man known as Batman/Bruce Wayne. Because of this, his eventual demise in the movie was all the more satisfying to watch.

Then there's the Penguin. Danny DeVito certainly had a mountain to climb after Nicholson's performance as The Joker in the previous movie but I actually think he managed to turn in a far more compelling performance as both the tragic and downright sinister Oswald Cobblepot. I spent a great deal of this movie grudgingly admiring his scheming towards trying to become the Mayor of Gotham and ruining Batman's reputation and actually felt bad for him when it eventually went wrong and he died.

However the best performance in the entire movie was of course Michelle Pfeiffer. Whether it was as the rather volatile version of Catwoman or the more tragic like elements of Selina Kyle, Pfeiffer's take on both characters and the transition from Kyle to Catwoman remains one of the best moments from the entire movie.

I liked the more darker and animalistic side we saw with the character and Pfeiffer's chemistry with Keaton was electrifying throughout the entire movie. It's a shame that Catwoman didn't succumb to the idea of living in a fairytale with Bruce Wayne or that she didn't appear in subsequent movies but it's hard to deny that Pfeiffer's take on the role was nothing short of memorable.

As for Keaton, much as I loved him in the first movie, I actually do think this movie was his best performance as the Caped Crusader. He certainly nailed the roles of Bruce and Batman even better second time around and again, it was a shame that he didn't continue for the following two movies.

- I love the fact that the movie was largely set during Christmas even though it was released during the summer of 1992.
- A lot Penguin's minions though seemed to be styled in a way you would imagine The Joker would've had his to be honest.
- This movie came out the same year as Batman: The Animated Series debuted on US television.
- I also think this movie along with Schumacher's only contributions probably had the most overt sexual overtones as well. That's not a criticism, just an observation.

Dark, thrilling, filled with delicious quotes and iconic moments and imagery, this is by far (in my opinion) the best movie I've seen in relation to the Dark Knight. Also, going by my earlier comments in this review, Batman Returns would also be my favourite movie of all time as well.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

My Review of Batman (1989)


Written by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren
Directed by Tim Burton

Batman: "I'm going to kill you."
The Joker: "You idiot! You made me. Remember? You dropped me into that vat of chemicals. That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try."
Batman: "I know you did."

Well, I did promise to review the Batman movie franchise and of course, I was going to start with the Burton/Schumacher films first. I have to confess while it's the next movie that ultimately is my favourite of the four movies that were released between 1989-1997, this was an impressive start to the franchise that would eventually hit something of a nadir.

It's also a rather dark start as well with the way the entire movie is shot. Even the few scenes set during the day look positively gloomy and the amount of swearing and mild language as well as the casual violence served as a nice reminder that Batman's whole world definitely is a dark one to behold.

As the Caped Crusader, Michael Keaton is undoubtedly one of the best actors to have taken on the role. He embodied a nice charm (and even an edge) to Bruce Wayne and certainly delivered when it came to Batman. It's almost a shame that he didn't actually continue the role post Burton but at least he's a delight throughout the first two movies and his battle with an uncertain Gotham and The Joker certainly made sure the movie moved along nicely.

As The Joker, I actually do think Jack Nicholson is excellent. While I do ultimately prefer Heath Ledger's take on the role almost 20 years after this movie was made, I like that Nicholson embodied The Joker's pure insanity and love for chaos with the havoc he wreaked on Gotham with tampering with products (Smylex) to give the locals the same smiley face (as well as laughing themselves to death) he became cursed with as well as his pursuit of both Batman and photo journalist, Vicki Vale as well.

When it comes to love interests, they can be pretty hit and miss in the Batman franchise (unless you're Selina Kyle). Kim Basinger does a decent job with making Vicki likeable and competent enough as a character and while she's certainly a better formed character than later love interests like Chase Meridian and Julie Madison are, I have to admit, I wasn't overly enamoured with the romance between Vicki and Batman/Bruce in the movie. It's not terrible but it's not particularly captivating stuff either.

However the highlight of the movie will always be the machinations between the Caped Crusader and the Clown Prince. With both of them (ironically) being responsible for each other's respective fates, their final fight in the bell tower of a church is a beautiful written moment, filled with some nice pathos, shocks and witty banter as well with the latter ultimately meeting his demise.

If there's a downside to the first movie it's probably that the supporting characters aren't particularly interesting. It's not so bad when it's incompetent cops such as Eckhart but the likes of Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon aren't particularly interesting to watch either. On the plus side, at least Alfred, played by Michael Gough is given some nice moments in the movie. He certainly would be a consistent joy to watch in the subsequent movies as well.

- This movie did come out 50 years after the character made his comic debut. Coincidence or deliberate good timing there?
- I loved the Beauty & The Beast moment with Joker and Vicki in the bell tower. Subtle it wasn't but it certainly was effective.
- Joker's name was revealed as Jack Napier in this movie prior to his transformation. It's interesting that in these four movies we see every villains transformation into their respective alter-ego.
- One of the original drafts was supposed to feature Dick Grayson. Probably way too early to have introduced the character into the franchise. Batman Forever really was the right time to do that.

Starting off this movie franchise, this was a great debut. Dark in the right places with a great Batman and Joker battling each other as well. I might not have watched this as much as it's respective sequel but I certainly enjoyed Keaton's debut in the role a lot.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, February 03, 2014

Sherlock - Series 4: Where To Go?

Now that the third series of Sherlock has finished airing on both BBC1 for UK viewers and PBS Masterpiece for US viewers and has been released on DVD, here are five things I'd like to see with the fourth series.

1: Keep The Ensemble Feel


Maybe I'm going against the grain of tradition with this particular verse but one of my favourite elements of the third series was not only just the further examination of Sherlock and Watson's friendship but the expansion of other characters. I enjoyed the fact that Lestrade, Molly, Mycroft, Mrs Hudson and of course, Mary had far larger role in this series and their respective dynamics with the boys.

2: Returning Characters


It was nice to get a brief momentary glimpse of Irene in The Sign Of Three during Sherlock's mind palace antics but I kind of wouldn't mind seeing her again in a slightly larger role. Not to the extent of her role in A Scandal In Belgravia but another proper interact with her and Sherlock would be nice at some point during the fourth series. I suppose more of Billy as well, given how much fun he was to watch in His Last Vow wouldn't go amiss as well as Sherlock and Mycroft's parents too as I enjoyed their scenes with the Holmes boys as well.

3: Mary Must Live


Having done a rewatch of the third series on DVD, I still maintain the fact that Amanda Abbington's Mary Morstan was easily one of the best things about the current series. Credit given where it's due, it's a tribute to Abbington herself as well as writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Stephen Thompson that Mary managed to be an asset to the show without disrupting the 'Johnlock' dynamic. More to the point, given the general reception towards the character/actress, the interesting backstory she's been given and the fact that she's carrying John's child, there's definitely more to do with the character than simply kill her off for cheap drama/angst purposes.

4: Tread Carefully With Moriarty


I'm still not entirely sure if it's a wise idea to have Moriarty back into the mix and I'm saying this as someone who massively enjoyed Andrew Scott's take on the character in the first two series. Assuming that the character is actually physically back in action for the role because it's going to take some explanation as to how he survived blowing his own brains out. I just hope on this front that Moffat/Gatiss/Thompson know what they're doing with this one.

5: Perhaps Some New Villains?


I think of instead of Moriarty being the big focus (aside from probably the Series 4 finale), perhaps it's best to make sure the first two stories have fairly memorable villains. Series 3 first two stories had both an unknown terrorist and the Mayfly Man, both of whom were okay but did a lot better with the rather repugnant, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Maybe the fourth series would do well to introduce the likes of Sebastian Moran for a modern audience, especially given that even Elementary have introduced that character. I'm sure there are plenty of great actors out there who could do wonders with that role and go up against Benedict Cumberbatch in the same memorable way that both Andrew Scott and Lars Mikkelsen have done in the first three series. Casting suggestions, anyone?

Sherlock - Series 1-3 are now available on DVD.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Batman Vs. Superman - New Castings

This movie might not be surfacing until May 2016 but the casting for Batman Vs. Superman keeps a coming and now we've got actors confirmed for both Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth.


Jesse Eisenberg, best known for his roles in movies such as The Social Network and 30 Minutes Or Less has been cast in the role of Lex Luthor. The 30 year old actor will be playing the legendary enemy of Henry Cavill's Clark Kent/Superman in the second movie. I have to admit, while I do like Eisenberg as an actor, his casting does seem a little left field and the fact that he's a tiny bit younger than Cavill is interesting. I'll keep an open mind though.


Meanwhile, Jeremy Irons who recently appeared in the TV series, The Borgias has been locked in to play the role of Alfred Pennyworth, the butler to Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman. I have to admit this is pretty interesting casting. It'll be interesting to see who else gets announced for this sequel over the next few months as well as seeing Affleck in his Bat costume as well.

Casting Details: http://www.totalfilm.com/news/jesse-eisenberg-cast-as-lex-luthor-in-batman-vs-superman

Batman Vs. Superman is scheduled for release on May 6th 2016.