Monday, August 31, 2015

My Review of Aladdin (1992)

Written by Ron Clements And John Musker And Ted Elliott And Terry Rossio
Directed by Ron Clements And John Musker

Aladdin: "Someday, Abu, things are gonna change. We'll be rich, live in a palace, and never have any problems at all."

I've been meaning to review this one for a while now. One of my favourite Disney movies of all time and one I recently familiarised myself with again by buying the actual DVD, this rather loose but sort of faithful (ish) adaptation of the legend was in a slew of amazing films from the 1990s and from Disney's overall collection at the time.

The story is rather simple - master thief/street Aladdin and his monkey spent most of the time on the streets of Agrabah scraping by, stealing food here and there and generally making idiots out of the Sultan's inept guards until a chance meeting with Princess Jasmine results in Aladdin being thrown into a cell and the rather evil vizier Jafar deciding to use Aladdin's expert skills to enter the Cave of Wonders and get the lamp for him.

Of course that doesn't exactly pan out for Jafar, but Aladdin does summon the genie to transform into Prince Ali in order to impress the not so easily impressed Jasmine, who spends a great deal of the movie tiring of her father's attempts to marry her off. Eventually her and Aladdin/Ali do form a connection (along a romantic carpet ride) before Jafar's true colours are exposed and the genie falls into the wrong hands.

One of the reasons why I love this movie so much isn't just that Aladdin is the most perfect hero a Disney movie could conjure up but it's also that Jafar is the most perfect villain too. He's gloriously OTT in every moment, even his subtle ones and the partnership between him and malicious parrot Iago is one of the best villain partnerships of the entire movie.

To be honest the only main character here who is in any way short changed is the Sultan. He's well meaning but largely clueless to his daughter's needs and a little too easily manipulated by Jafar, even when he's not being hypnotised by the latter. Other than that, you've got a root worthy love story with Aladdin and Jasmine, genuinely fantastic villains with Jafar and Iago and wonderful support with Abu and the Magic Carpet. As for the Genie - it's one of my favourite roles with Robin Williams. He's the absolute highlight of the entire movie.

- I used to actually have the Sega Mega Drive game for this movie as a kid. It was a pretty fun game.
- Loved the little cameos of other Disney movie characters as well, courtesy of the Genie.
- The music highlights are too many but obviously, A Whole New World is the biggest one of the bunch. I also loved Jafar's mocking take on Prince Ali as well when revealing his new found power.
- There has been at least two sequels and a TV series to this movie. A live action movie is also being rumoured as well.

Easily one of the best Disney movies I've ever seen and one of my childhood favourites as well. Aladdin is a timeless classic that even over 20 years since it's release has held up incredibly well to this day. A definite must watch.

Rating: 10 out of 10

My Review of Constantine's 1x01: "Non Est Asylum"

Written by Daniel Cerone And David S. Goyer
Directed by Neil Marshall

Constantine (to himself): "My name is John Constantine and I'm an exorcist. In my line of work, there are days you need to forget but some you never will."

With all the DC shows that came out over the last twelve months, Constantine (as well as iZombie) was one that somewhat slipped my radar a bit but with the title character slated to appear in Arrow rather shortly, I thought I'd get up to speed on this shortlived NBC show before the episode in question and for a pilot episode, this was pretty fine.

Unlike Keanu Reeves in that 2005 movie of the same name, it took less than five minutes to actually believe in Matt Ryan as Constantine, which was a good start. Visually he looks the part so much and unlike Reeves, he actually embodies it as well, which almost the cancellation something of a disappointment.

The opening story itself is pretty straightforward with Constantine checking himself into an asylum, exorcising a demon only then to go out of his way to protect Liv Aberdine from a particularly nasty demon named Furcifer who also managed to toy with Constantine's guilt over the loss of a little girl named Astra but at the end of the confrontation, it was Liv who was able to spur Constantine into defeating the demon once and for all.

It's kind of a shame though that this was the first and only episode to actually feature Liv. I thought the character worked pretty well with Constantine and it was nice to see her reaction to both his powers, his friends and the growing powers of her own but Constantine's own manipulations more or less spelled the end for the character before she could properly begin to be honest.

The pilot episode had a lot to achieve and managed to do it well enough. Along with two different demon battles/exorcisms, we were given enough insight into Constantine's history with the occult as well as his allies in taxi driver Chas and estranged Newcastle mate Ritchie along with the arrival of angel Manny for good measure. Not to mention the rather glorious hints of bigger things to come as well.

- Though we didn't see it, Constantine's chain smoking will be a thing in the series. However the exploration of the character's bisexuality might not be - boo.
- Some nice little Easter Eggs in that cabin - including Doctor Fate's helmet, Pandora's Box, the Ibisick, Eclipso's Black Diamond and so on. There was even a Zatanna reference too.
- The episode's title is latin for "there is no asylum".
- It's nice that we got an opening shot of the character in Northern England, even if it was him in an asylum at the time.

A strong enough opening episode. "Non Est Asylum" played homage to enough of the comics while at the same time managing not to alienate those (including myself to a point) not heavily versed in them either. The show might have gotten a little overshadowed by both Gotham and The Flash (despite having more ratings than the latter) but it was a pretty solid opening episode, though more trippiness could be needed to make it stand out a bit more.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Coming To BBC1

It's not exactly the first time the BBC have adapted Shakespeare's works for their channels with the likes of Hamlet and Richard II appearing in recent and now, A Midsummer Night's Dream will be popping up.

The comedy will be adapted into a 90 minute movie for BBC1 by Russell T. Davies, as announced by the channel’s controller Charlotte Moore revealed at the Edinburgh Television Festival this week. The former Doctor Who showrunner, whose recent hits have included drama Cucumber and Banana will produce a “truthful version of the play - the original play, the original words, the original Shakespeare" with Moore adding it would be "warm and funny" and "will have as much attitude and invention as any theatrical interpretation.”

The interesting thing also revealed about this adaptation (which has yet to be cast) is that Russell will be working with the Doctor Who team himself in Cardiff as the adaptation will have a riot of prosthetics, CGI, magic and action. With growing rumours of there not being a full series of the popular BBC1 next year, at least the team will have something to do next year.

With no further information on upcoming drama, The Boys (which Davies is meant to be doing for Channel 4) for now, it's nice to see that Russell will be back in Cardiff and working with the old/new team. One can only hope that while he's there, he might get some inspiration for reviving another series of his that last aired in 2011. As for the casting - you just know that both RTD and BBC1 are going to get the big guns for this adaptation.

Press Release:

Production for A Midsummer Night's Dream begins in the next few weeks and will air in 2016 on BBC1.

Glee - Season 6 Review

US Airdate: January 9th - March 20th 2015

All things come to an end.

Last Song: The sixth and final season might have aired a while ago and the DVD might have been released for US viewers is also not too recent but given that it's now finished airing on Sky1, it seemed the right time for this blog to do one more review for the final season. And it was certainly an interesting one, wasn't it?

While fellow FOX stablemate and current E4 hit, Empire might have overshadowed proceedings, Glee's final year did it's best to reminder audiences why it was such a groundbreaking hit in the first place and the focus on New York was halted in order for Rachel and Kurt to come back and manage the New Directions with the occasional guest appearance from past cast members and some new characters also thrown into the mix.

The new characters turned out to be rather likeable and interesting enough - quirky brother and sister duo, Mason and Madison, soulful singers Jane and Roderick and post modern gay (yes that phrase actually got uttered on the show), Spencer who breathed some new life into the New Directions along with the returning Kitty, the only member from the second generation that the show made the effort to retain for most of the final season.

I do like the focus of Rachel and Kurt as mentors as it forced the pair of them (the former especially) to grow properly as characters and it was nice to see some of the former characters like Mercedes, Artie and Sam factor enough times even if there was a noticeable reduction in the amounts of screentime for Santana and Brittany while Quinn seemed to be barely there at times.

For shippers though, the season briefly had Kurt and Blaine seperated, the latter dating Karofsky before they got back together and married in the same episode that Santana and Brittany did while Quinn/Puck and Will/Emma were going strongly largely offscreen. Even better was the reunion between Rachel and Jesse towards the final episodes of the season, even though it highlighted how ultimately pointless Sam's initial pursuit of Rachel was for the majority of the final season.

As for the final two episodes - 2009 and Dreams Come True, the former turned out to be one of the best nostalgia trips the series had as well as a clever retelling of the very first episode while the latter felt like a genuinely deserving series finale, bringing everything to a beyond satisfying closing while at the same time perfectly encapsulating the central message the series has always strived for.

While for the most part this final season did manage to recapture some of the heights of it's earlier years, there were a few blips on the way. Beiste's transitioning story while touching definitely should've been set up in the previous season as it was a little rushed here, the rivalry with Vocal Adrenaline was a bit tiresome in parts and some of Sue's antics (in particular that godawful Hurt Locker two parter) were barrel scraping in their awfulness as well. Other than that, Season 6 proved to be a mostly good return to form for the show.

DVD Extras: Just a Music Jukebox, The Final Curtain and "Looking Back" Video Yearbook for features. I thought with the final season they would've added a little more.

Episode Ratings

6x01: Loser Like Me = 7/10, 6x02: Homecoming = 8/10,
6x03: Jagged Little Tapestry = 7/10, 6x04: The Hurt Locker Part 1 = 4/10,
6x05: The Hurt Locker Part 2 = 4/10, 6x06: What The World Needs Right Now = 8/10,
6x07: Transitioning = 7/10, 6x08: A Wedding = 8/10,
6x09: Child Star = 7/10, 6x10: The Rise And Fall Of Sue Sylvester = 6/10,
6x11: We Built This Glee Club = 7/10, 6x12: 2009 = 9/10,
6x13: Dreams Come True = 9/10

Glee Season 6 is currently available on DVD.

Friday, August 28, 2015

ITV's Harry Price: Ghost Hunter - Cast Announced

ITV seems to have the supernatural/fantasy genre on the brain at the moment (most definitely not a criticism). With upcoming series such as Jekyll & Hyde and Beowulf on the horizon, ITV have also announced the cast for supernatural drama, Harry Price: Ghost Hunter.

The two hour movie will see Rafe Spall (The Shadow Line) in the title role,which has been described as a spine chilling mix of real history and fiction and is based on the novel The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring and real paranormal investigator Price himself. The film has been written by Jack Lothian (Doc Martin, Death in Paradise, Ashes to Ashes) and produced by leading independent production company Bentley Productions

Rounding off the cast include Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey) who will play Sarah Grey, one of Harry’s team in his paranormal investigations; Richie Campbell (DCI Banks) will play Albert Ogoro, Harry’s friend; and Lewis Reeves (Unforgotten) will play journalist, Vernon Wall.  Further casting includes Tom Ward (Death in Paradise) as MP Edward Goodwin and Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey) as Edward’s wife, Grace.

Press Release:

Filming for Harry Price: Ghost Hunter is currently taking place in London. An airdate for ITV has yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x09: "The Dance"

Written by Jill E. Blotevogel
Directed by Ti West

Emma (re Kieran): "I can't believe he did this anymore than I can believe you killed Nina."
Audrey: "Then I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. You two have fun together."

With the finale less than a week away, I have to give the penultimate episode it's due. Not only did it spend a good time convincing most people that Seth Branson/Palmer was guilty of the murders but soon things were flipped over and the suspicion then fell on to Kieran after both Audrey and Noah discussed that he had a prior history with Nina.

I have to admit it was a solid enough twist and a good means of creating a little tension between Emma and Audrey as well as the former didn't want to believe that her boyfriend might be a killer. Then Piper did a little digging and it turned out that Kieran paid a little house call to Brandon's elderly mother as did Piper and Emma themselves in this episode.

I don't know if Kieran's the killer but I certainly don't think Branson is, even if the last scene of the episode resulted in a rather bloody escape from the cop shop while the sheriff was being held hostage by Ghostface as well. It's going to be interesting to see how many of the characters make it out of the last episode alive to be honest.

As for the rest of the episode - it mostly involved Jake putting his foot in it, Brooke giving Branson/Palmer the benefit of the doubt and various mentions of the many killed at different points. Set up wise, I do think they set the scene rather well for the final showdown between Emma and whoever the killer(s) may be though.

- Piper certainly had a little more fire to her in this episode than she's had all season.
- While I like the Pulp Fiction nod, it does seem a little old for the characters on this show.
- Maggie's getting a maternity test. I keep thinking her other kid is going to be Piper and not Seth.
- It's Halloween going by this episode.

A solid penultimate episode, "The Dance" certainly has everything set up nicely enough for the last showdown between Emma and Ghostface. I just hope the identity of the killer (or killers) is a good one though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ABC's Marvel Universe - Spoilers

Yesterday I discussed casting for Luke Cage and today I finished up Daredevil and with this blog, I'm also doing a rundown of spoilers both Agents Of SHIELD and Agent Carter (the finale which will air Sunday on FOX UK).

- Going by the haircut it looks like Skye's transition into Daisy Johnson is more or less completed at this stage. Actually the character will now be referred to as Daisy this upcoming season.
- Luke Mitchell will be a regular this season and Blair Underwood will be returning for several episodes.
- Constance Zimmer will recur, Andrew Howard will have a recurring role and Matt Willig will be playing villain Lash.
-  Coulson is again trying to put the pieces of his once revered organization back together while also dealing with the loss of his hand.
- Fitz is obsessed with discovering the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of Simmons.
- Grant Ward has a personal mission to take down Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.

- Season 2 will be ten episodes instead of eight and will be set in Hollywood. 1947 to be specific and set six months after the events of the first season.
- Jarvis's wife will be introduced this season. Jarvis has also been helping Howard in LA.
- Madame Masque will be the villain for the second season, though the role has not been cast yet. A  1940s version of that villain.
- Due to comments from fans in relation to the first season, the producers will be more diverse with casting for this season.
- Chad Michael Murray will reprise his role as Jack for the second season. Dominic Cooper meanwhile will also be returning as Howard Stark.
- Filming for the new season begins in September.

Meanwhile it seems that if Netflix can have multiple connected Marvel shows then ABC will too as the network have ordered a pilot script for a Mockingbird spin-off featuring Adrianna Palicki as Bobby Morse and Nick Blood as Lance Hunter. This was announced a few months ago, then dropped and now seems to be back on. I guess if it goes through we lose two good characters from the main show but I'm not sure if there's enough of a USP for another spin-off really. It'll be interesting to see how this one pans out over the next few months.

Agents Of SHIELD Spoilers:
Agent Carter Spoilers:

Agents Of SHIELD's third season will air on ABC, Tuesdays at 9pm from September 29th while Agent Carter's second season will premiere in January 2016.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Luke Cage - Casting Information

Well, I'm nearly finished Daredevil (one more episode to go), will definitely watch Jessica Jones (though it might take a while due to other shows) and then there's also Luke Cage, which I hadn't been paying attention to but the casting has certainly gotten me a little more interested though.

The lead role of course will be played by Mike Colter, known to audiences for the short lived series Ringer and guest roles in such shows as ER and American Horror Story. Of course prior to seeing Colter on his own show, he'll be popping up in Jessica Jones first (as will Rosario Dawson's Claire Temple) but casting for his own show has also gotten rather interesting in recent days.

Alfre Woodard best known for her roles on Desperate Housewives and Hill Street Blues has nearly finalised a deal to appear in the upcoming series. Woodard will be taking on the role (or a version at the very least) of Black Mariah, a character who in the comics is a nemesis to both Luke Cage and Iron Fist as well as being a professional criminal and a drug dealer. The casting has yet to be confirmed, but I'd say it's pretty likely to be honest.

It's still a while off before this series debuts so it'll be interesting to see who else the series gets given that both Daredevil and Jessica Jones so far have pulled in rather impressive actors.

Casting Info:

Luke Cage will debut on Netflix in 2016. The character can be seen soon in Jessica Jones, which will debut in late 2015.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x08: "Ghosts"

Written by Erin Maher And Kay Reindl
Directed by Rodman Flender

Piper (to Emma): "Second chances are rare. Don't waste them."

Anyone else feel like they were getting whacked with anvils left, right and centre? We've known for weeks (or speculated) that Emma had an older sibling out there and this episode definitely confirmed it. The question though, is it Piper or Branson because this episode made kind of a case for both of them.

With Piper, she's been getting closer and closer to Emma with each passing episode and yet again, she dropped the hint about her father no longer being alive, which by now is something that Emma should be picking up on. To be honest, I would genuinely be shocked if Piper wasn't Emma's mystery older sibling but at the same time, maybe the writers have been wanting viewers to think that so they could shock us with someone else. Like Branson for instance.

This episode ended with him getting caught with a scantily clad Brooke and then arrested as a suspect thanks to Noah and Audrey unveiling more about Branson's past. The fact that Maggie/Daisy doesn't seem to know the sex of her first born coupled with the fact that Branson would be in the same age bracket as Piper certainly makes him another possibility for being Emma's mystery older sibling.

Then there was the fact that Branson has a penchant for sleeping with students (Brooke, you're not the first), one of whom ended up being murdered as well. I'm not sure if Branson will actually be revealed as one of the killers but I certainly think he's an imminent death within the next two episodes and not someone whose eventual demise will generate a lot of sympathy either.

As for the rest of the episode - I liked that we met Emma's father, Kevin but it was a bit of a copout that it was only through flashbacks and Emma seemed a little too restrained over the fact that her mother hid the fact that she had another child for some reason. As for the aftermath of Will's death, aside from a few moments here and there, it seemed far less focused on than expected. I'm not entirely sure that was a bad thing either though.

- Some nice attempts of horror in this episode with Emma getting hallucinations of a split in half version of Will holding a bloody heart. I have to give the show props for that visual.
- Brooke was attacked but not killed by Ghostface. I'm starting to like the character, even if the actress is a little ropey in her emotional scenes.
- Brooke's dad got rid of the body of a fellow user friend of her mother's. Her mother actually is in rehab.
- Seth's real surname is Palmer. We also learned (unsurprisingly) that Maggie and Brandon had sex once too.

Certainly an interesting enough episode. I liked that "Ghosts" shed some further light on certain things, even if said things (Maggie having a kid before Emma etc) were obvious to begin. The fact that the show is upping the horror a little is nice too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x07: "In The Trenches"

Written by Jordan Rosenberg And Meredith Glynn
Directed by Leigh Janiak

Ghostface (to Emma, re Will): "This is going to be date to remember."

Finally, they went there. Not only did the show actually kill off one of the six main characters but it also did it in a style that seemed more akin to the movies themselves than any of the previous murders have been.

I'm not going to pretend to be saddened by Will's death because I kind of wasn't but at the same time, even before his murder, it did seem like the episode made a good job of both ruling him out as one of the killers (still convinced there's two of them) and also in redeeming him a little bit. The fact that Emma accidentally hit a trip wire that saw Will being cut in half by farming equipment though - kudos for that one, show.

Will's fate was fairly similar to the likes of Steve and Derek but at least he was given a memorable enough exit. With three episodes left, I can maybe assume that another one of the core six will probably get it (most likely Brooke) with the full reveal of Brandon James history revealed to Emma along the way.

Aside from the death of Will, the rest of the episode had an awkward dinner with Emma's mum, Kieran and his father as well as Kieran not being pleased with Emma's lingering feelings for Will. On the plus side, Brooke had many good scenes in this one, particularly with her father, Jake and Noah while Audrey was largely sidelined (which was less good) but there's some question marks concerning Piper this week as well.

- Starting to get the impression that we're being lead to believe that Brandon James was not the original killer.
- Will was bound and gagged twice in this episode before getting the unfortunate boyfriend death of the week. Ex in his case.
- Are we supposed to read something into Branson's absence from this one?
- Noah and Jake suspecting each other will probably result in one of them being innocent and the other dying. Or both of them being in on it together.

"In The Trenches" probably felt like the most influenced by the movie franchise so far. I did like the way Ghostface lulled Emma into a false sense of security before Will got sliced in half. While the show still feels a little too tame at times, this was a good step in the right direction.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, August 20, 2015

In Synth With Each Other

A brief run down of some of the other shows I've recently seen.

Daredevil: I've watched quite a lot of this show since the last time I've blogged about it and things certainly got so much more interesting. The flashbacks/backstories for Stick, Fisk and Matt and Foggy's friendship have been all fantastic to watch with Fisk emerging as a wonderfully complex villain as Matt's mission to take him down has rightly intensified over the last few episodes. I also liked that we went down a darker path with Karen (whose determination to do the right thing has been noble and reckless). I definitely can't wait to see where the remaining two episodes will go with this series.

Humans: A brilliant end to the first and thankfully given the cliffhanger with Niska, it's a good job that Channel 4 and AMC renewed the show for a second series. It was nice to see the Synths all come together, to have Voss/Beatrice kind of help them out and even to see the Hawkins progress as a family unit and individual characters. It's a bit of a shame we lost George in the penultimate episode but perhaps not that shocking though. It will be interesting to see what another batch of episodes will provide next year for the Synths though.

Marvel's Agent Carter: I'm not going to lie - I really like this show but I am also not really addicted to it. It might a consequence of not watching it back in January when it first aired or just generally preferring Agents Of SHIELD but either way while things are moving along rather nicely (a female assassin after Peggy, Howard occasionally popping up, any scenes with Jarvis or Daniel) - including Peggy's double life getting exposed, it's just not exciting me as much as I thought it would. The show is still a lot of fun though.

True Detective: Well, that was a bit of an anticlimax, wasn't it? I didn't hate the second season as much as others did, but undeniably at times I did find myself drifting away from it. I hated Paul's death and everything about his storyline ultimately sucked while the main conspiracy plot despite some efforts never really caught on for me. I did like Ray and Antigone for the remainder of the run but even they weren't enough to ignite the remaining episodes of the season. Hopefully the third season (assuming there is one) can recapture the stronger elements of the first year.

- Netflix have renewed Sense8 for a second season.
- Lauren Ambrose, Robbie Amell, Annabeth Gish and Vik Sahay will also be in episodes of The X Files.
- Anne Hathaway is heading to television for an adaptation of The Ambassador's Wife.
- Matt Cohen has bagged a recurring role as Levi for How To Get Away With Murder as has Famke Jannsen.
- Britney Spears will be appearing in an episode of Jane The Virgin.
- CBS are developing a Facebook inspired comedy.
- Syfy have cancelled Haven after five seasons.
- Rosario Dawson will be taking her Daredevil into Jessica Jones.
- Shannon Esper will recur in the fourth season of Orange Is The New Black.
- Chris Brochu has joined the cast of Shameless for it's sixth season.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Look: Boy Meets Girl

A couple of months ago it was announced that BBC2 were doing a sitcom with a transgender character. I should've discussed it back then but now we know that the show is called Boy Meets Girl and that it's coming soon.

The six part series, starring trans comedienne and actress Rebecca Root focuses on the developing relationship between 40 year old Judy (Root) and 26 year old Leo (Harry Hepple) with former Loose Woman panellist Denise Welch in a supporting role as Leo's mother, Pam. Other cast members include Janine Duvitski, Nigel Betts, Lizzie Roper, Jonny Dixon and Jayden Lowther

Created by Elliott Kerrigan and also written with Simon Carlyle and Andrew Mettam, the former was discovered through the Trans Comedy Award, a 2013 BBC talent search for scripts with positive portrayals of transgender characters.

Having watched the trailer for this show, I'm definitely intrigued by this one. There's something rather sweet and funny about this show and it's high time to have an openly transgender character and actress leading a sitcom as well. Im pretty unaware of Root's previous work but she seems fantastic from what was shown in the trailer.

Press Release/Trailer:

Boy Meets Girl will air on BBC2 Thursdays 9.30pm from September 3rd.

Friday, August 14, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x06: "Betrayed"

Written by Jaime Paglia
Directed by Juluis Ramsey

Emma (to Noah): "Audrey, what did you do?"

Apparently nothing as bad as this episode wanted us to think. Yeah, it was time for the actual law to start interviewing/suspecting other people given that Tyler was officially ruled out by having his head being found a few episodes back.

At first it did look like Mr Branson was going to be called into question (bet that'll happen later though) but instead it turned out to be Audrey who got the grilling from the surprisingly competent Lorraine Brock and for a fair portion of the episode, both Emma and Noah were forced to actually doubt Audrey's innocence when they found a fairly incriminating video of her.

Audrey wanting revenge on Nina for outing her relationship was pretty understandable but I wasn't surprised when it was later revealed that Rachael had actually calmed Audrey down and stopped her from doing something stupid. The more interesting aspect of this plot was that it allowed Maggie to open up a bit more about Brandon James.

I do like that she actually took Emma back to her old house and that it was revealed that Daisy/James were actually friends. As divisive as the show has been, I do think they've done a fairly decent job in giving the Brandon James backstory a lot of proper emphasis and weight. I do think however that Maggie/Daisy is going to be a future victim in the remaining episodes of this season though.

Keeping with interesting plots though - I liked the team up of Will and Piper as the former gave the latter enough juicy dirt on Brooke's father before both of them had a non deadly encounter with Ghostface by the end of the episode. This basically resulted in Piper being knocked out and Will being kidnapped and being a boyfriend in a Scream franchise rarely ends well, does it? If Kieran's not one of the killers, then he's definitely a future target as well.

- Oddly finding the Brooke and Jake scenes more interesting than they're supposed to. I did like Brooke tearing Will a new one over his involvement in blackmailing her father.
- Mr Branson changed his name. He might not be the killer but he's definitely hiding something other than spying on kids (which is bad enough).
- Three episodes, no kills. They're clearly setting up a big one very one. Yes, I know who.
- There was definitely a little Halloween vibe with the visits to old houses in this episode.

You know what, I really liked this one. I think "Betrayed" certainly pushed things along a little further and the lack of kills have worked well enough in the show's favour.The acting still isn't the greatest at times and even I think it would be nice if Noah could slow down on the pop cultures a tiny bit but other than that, there's been an improvement here.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Doctor Who - Series 9 Trailer 2/Private Eye Rumours

With less than six weeks to go and following the trailer we got at Comic-Con last month, BBC1 have unveiled another trailer for the upcoming ninth series of Doctor Who with some brand new clips to feast our eyes on.

Unlike parts of the previous series, it really does feel like the upcoming series is playing on the more heroic aspects of the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi). In this trailer alone, he's certainly getting a fair chunk of heroic style lines when he isn't musing about being in the TARDIS with a certain young lady. Speaking of whom ....

Clara Oswald. It's our third series with Jenna Coleman's former nanny/teacher as the main companion and she's definitely thrust into the main action as we see Clara confronting Daleks, Missy and Maisie Williams mysterious character amongst others. It should also be noted that there does seem to be a strong sense of team spirit between her and the Doctor this year but with the talks of "glory days" from Moffat and company, could this series spell the end for Miss Oswald?

Speaking of Missy, it's nice to see Michelle Gomez back in action as the most fun version of the Master since Anthony Ainley and in the clips we see her making her presence known to both the Doctor and Clara while also laughing in the face of a Dalek as well. If the previous trailer didn't confirm that both Missy and the Daleks weren't in the opening two episodes, then this one certainly did. I'm also guessing there's going to be some truth to those Davros rumours after all too.

As for Maisie Williams, by now we know that she's playing a brand new character and this trailer alone we saw her in two very distinct costumes - as a peasant during her scenes with Clara and then as someone a bit more well off looking during a scene with a fire breathing leonine type creature. I really do hope with all the hype that is being placed on Maisie's mysterious character that it's one incredibly satisfying pay off and not a Tasha Lem style anticlimax.

As for the rest of the trailer, there were certainly more highlights to them. We got to see Osgood running into a police station in Mexico, Rigsy looking spooked by something, the return of the Zygons, the Doctor facing off with the likes of Odin, the Mire as well as jumping out of a window, more encounters with the eyeless ghost creatures from the third and fourth episodes and so on. It's certainly an exciting trailer, arguably more than the first one was last month.

Last week, Private Eye published an article indicating that the show's tenth series (which was confirmed a few weeks ago) will not air in 2016. A few hours later the BBC issued their own statement, which didn't exactly deny the article while a poster on Digital Spy has posted often contradictory rumours about the show's future. At the moment, it's really hard to know what exactly is true and until the ninth series has completed airing (around December 5th), we probably won't know the full story until then. In the past, Private Eye have been accurate about some things, so there could be some truth to their initial reports. It could also mean that perhaps a showrunner handover may or may not be imminent either but until the BBC actually confirm anything, it's genuinely hard to tell what's going on behind the scenes at the moment.

Series 9 Trailer 2:

Doctor Who's ninth series will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from September 19th.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

DC Television - Crossovers & Casting Updates

Yup, with a few weeks/months before some of these shows return, the casting announcements have been pretty wild. Basically, it really is a good time to be fan of the small screen universe with DC at the moment.


- The biggest news is that Matt Ryan will be reprising his role as John Constantine in the fifth episode, titled Haunted. He'll be there as part of the fallout of Sara's resurrection in the season.
- Rutina Wesley will be playing Lady Cop and she'll be a member of an anti-vigilante task force.
- Elysia Rotura has been cast as a love interest for Oliver while Parker Young has been cast as a love interest for Thea.
- Ryan Robbins will play Conklin, JR Bourne will be Double Down and Jimmy Akingbola will be Baron Reiter.
- Alexander Calvert will be Anarky and Echo Kellum will be Mr Terrific.

The Flash

- The CW have released a poster of Barry meeting Jay Garrick's Flash as played by Teddy Sears.
- Wally West has also been cast with Keiynan Lonsdale, who'll debut in the winter.
- Adam Copeland has the role of Atom Smasher.
- Michael Ironside will be playing the father of Captain Cold and Golden Glider.

Legends Of Tomorrow

- Falk Hentschel has been cast in the role of Hawkman and unlike Hawkgirl, he will be aware of his past lives.
- Casper Crump will be taking on the role of Vandal Savage, the main antagonist of the show's first season.
- Phil Klemmer will be showrunner for the series along with Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim and Sarah Schechter.
- Booster Gold will not be appearing in the show for the time being.
- Jay Jackson played by Franz Drameh could also be a specially created/original character for the show.


- Chris Browning will be playing Ben Krull, aka Reactron, who'll debut in the third episode as will Jenna Dewan-Tatum as Lucy Lane.
- General Sam Lane, Red Tornado and Non are all coming to the show.
- There will be no crossovers with Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow for now or references to the shows.
- Superman will factor into Supergirl's life but won't be appearing on the show.
- "She has a lot more to go through than even Clark Kent did in adjusting to Earth," says EP Geoff Johns.
- Britt Morgan has been cast in the role of Livewire for the series.

That's certainly an exciting bunch of spoilers. I think of these shows forthcoming seasons (along with other DC favourite, Gotham) are definitely pulling out the stops with the variety of character introductions and as someone who didn't get around to watching Constantine, I am interested to see how he'll fit into the Arrow universe. I also wouldn't be surprised if he pops up in two other shows as well over the next year.

Show Spoilers:

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm from October 7th on the CW, The Flash airs Tuesdays 8pm from October 6th on the CW and Supergirl airs on Mondays at 8pm from October 26th on CBS. Legends Of Tomorrow will air on the CW from January 2016.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x05: "Exposed"

Written by David Coggeshall
Directed by Brian Dannelly

Emma: "My life is not a game."
Ghostface: "Yes, it is and when I say it's over, you lose."

Well, he might not have bumped off anyone else this week (yup, that's two episodes in a row sans murder) but at least Ghostface had the decency to make his/her presence known and generally antagonise a mostly embarrassed Emma this week.

This week saw Emma dealing with the fallout of having her first time with Will become visual knowledge but aside from a few snide comments, I kind of felt like there was more of a focus of using the sex tape and a confession from Brooke as a means of breaking Emma up with Will and pairing her with Kieran in almost record time.

Kieran is a slightly better character than Will (not by much though) and I guess the connection with him and Emma is decent enough. I did like that he did a little gun practice with her, even though it predictably led to a sex scene that ended the episode.

As for Will, well his tedious friendship with Jake came apart first with his secret bet on Emma being revealed and then when Jake got a little overzealous in blackmailing Brooke's father. As awful as Jake is as a person (and I hoping for him to a future casualty if he's not the killer), at least he has some get up and go about him as a character. The way he sided up to Brooke and enlightened her about her father's secrets was actually pretty effective. I still detest him as a person though.

Meanwhile, we had a memorial for the victims of Ghostface's killing spree where both Emma and Noah got to make tributes to Riley while Noah and Audrey realised that Seth was spying on people and decided to raid his laptop in the middle of the day. I did like that this episode seems to thrown some potential clues as to whom the killer may be. I'll get into a bit in this review.

- Potential suspects - Jake, Audrey, Piper (murdered father she didn't know), Brooke's father and possibly Seth. Or more likely a string of red herrings. And did Brooke's father kill her mother?
- The episode introduced a new detective who is also the ex partner of the Sheriff too.
- The phrase "I'll be right back" surfaced in this episode.
- I like that Lakewell is actually having self defence classes for the students. I also liked that Audrey kicked Will's backside as well during one moment.

"Exposed" was easily the strongest episode so far. I have to credit the show for actually keeping interest during episodes that don't actually feature any kills. I also think a certain secret about Piper is going to come out (if I'm right, I think her and Emma are sisters) fairly soon as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, August 07, 2015

My Review of Scream's 1x04: "Aftermath"

Written by Erin Maher And Kay Reindl
Directed by Brian Dannelly

Audrey: "You almost make this look cool."
Noah: "Oh yeah, we are cooking with gas."

Well, that escalated a bit then, didn't it? Not only did the episode briefly touch on Riley's death but a lot of other interesting enough things actually happened here too. Namely having the formation of a Scooby Gang with Emma, Audrey and Noah as the three of them decided to explore the hospital in order to follow up on a cryptic clue sent to Emma by Brandon James.

It makes sense to put these three into junior detective mode rather than Will, Brooke and increasingly creepy/annoying Jake and I did like the rapport between Emma, Audrey and Noah as they found Tyler's head (yeah, he's not the killer) amongst some other things as well, including a few files off Nina's laptop which happened to be there as well, which lead into something else.

We know from the opening episode that Emma had a bit of a role in Audrey's relationship with Rachael being publicly outed and at the end of this episode, Audrey and Noah inadvertently uploaded Emma and Will's first time, which makes me wonder if Nina was collecting that, is there a chance that her laptop files might also have dirt on Brooke and Seth to name a few people?

The blackmail plot which has been bubbling in previous episode did feel more prominent in this episode as well. We had both Will and Jake going back to blackmailing Brooke's father just so the former could pay to go to college, which does make me wonder what they have on Brooke's father while Ghostface set up poll to see which one will end up dead next - Brooke or Emma?

Keeping with the interesting stuff, it's kind of interesting to note that Emma and Piper seem to have the opposite sort of dynamic that Sidney and Gale initially had in the movie franchise. Not it could be that the writers are setting up a lovely friendship or perhaps Emma and Piper will eventually clash as the series progresses but it's a lot more interesting to watch than anything with Will and Jake though.

- Brooke's father is clearly lying about her mother's whereabouts.
- This episode had no kills and it didn't feature either Kieran or Seth.
- The show sure does love to comment on Piper's caffeine addiction as much as Noah's geek credentials.
- Riley's parents were mentioned but not seen in this episode.

The show is definitely picking up a little and "Aftermath" definitely pushed things nicely along the way. I do hope though that the kills get a bit more creative and we could do with a different type of victim next time too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Batman V. Superman: Two Casting Rumours/Gotham - Season 2 Promo Pictures

Take both with a pinch of salt as for obvious reasons neither have been exactly confirmed in relation to Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.

We know that Robin somehow factors in the movie due to a certain moment we saw recently in the Comic-Con trailer but now it's currently rumoured that Zack Snyder's son, Eli might be playing the tragically killed off Boy Wonder and all because of an Instagram picture with the caption 'Boy Wonder'. It wouldn't be the first time that Eli has appeared in his father's work having made appearances in both 300 and Sucker Punch and it has yet to be denied as well. For the moment, I'm certainly not ruling it out. If it's true, then Jason Todd's death will get a live action depiction on the big screen.

Also remember when Jena Malone's casting was announced and we all possibly thought that she might be the first onscreen version of Carrie Kelly's Robin? Well, the latest rumours now is that Malone might possibly be playing Barbara Gordon/Batgirl/Oracle instead. If true, this would be the third time the character was depicted onscreen, given that we've had Yvonne Craig in Batman 66 and Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin. Given that we're getting an older version of Batman, it's likely (if true) that it might be the Oracle version of Barbara.

Meanwhile Gotham are pushing their promotional campaign for the second season. The latest posters are definitely geared towards the 'Rise of the Villains' arc this year, along with elevated regulars Morena Baccarin (Leslie), James Frain (Theo) and Jessica Lucas (Tabitha/Tigress) also featured in the pictures. In fact the recent trailers themselves have been heavily pushing that arc and it certain does look very exciting.

More Details:

Gotham's second season airs Mondays 8pm from September 21st on FOX. Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice is in cinemas from March 25th 2015.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Doctor Who - More Series 9 Casting/Rumours for Series 10

It's been a month since my last blog in relation to the upcoming series of Doctor Who but within the last few days enough interesting things have emerged to warrant another one as we get closer and closer to the ninth series, starring Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as the Doctor and Clara Oswald respectively.

First of all, the BBC have released a nice promotional picture of both the Doctor and Clara with an interesting paragraph to accompany it ....

It shows the world’s greatest heroes in explosive form, dashing from danger but - knowing those two – running headlong into more trouble!

Is it me or does that possibly signal (along with the glory days mantra from Moffat and company) that this upcoming series might end up separating both the Doctor and Clara at the end of it? Not saying it will, but certainly not ruling it out at the moment either. Meanwhile fans of Maisie Williams, it's been confirmed that her character in The Girl Who Died/The Woman Who Lived will be a brand new character and not a returning face as previously speculated. Unless Steven Moffat is lying, which he did cryptically add when answering that question at the Television Critics Association last week.

Meanwhile filming has moved onto episode nine of Series 9. The episode will be written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Justin Molotnikov (who also directed Sarah Dollard's episode) and will guest star Gatiss's League Of Gentlemen co-star Reece Shearsmith. The actor who also played Patrick Troughton in 2013's biopic An Adventure In Space And Time will be joined by Elaine Tan (Eastenders, Entourage), Neet Mohan (All in Good Time, Desert Dancer), Bethany Black (Cucumber, Banana) and Paul Courtenay Hyu (Dalziel and Pascoe, Coronation Street). A very impressive cast there.

There's also a current rumour circulating through Private Eye that Series 10 might not air in 2016. I'll post a link and if it turns out to be true, then I'll discuss it in a future blog post.

Series 9 News:
Private Eye Article:

Series 9 of Doctor Who will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from September 19th.

American Horror Story: More Signings For Hotel

Well, more people have been announced for the upcoming season of American Horror Story and there are some interesting casting choices here. In fact I'm actually editing this blog to include spoilers that were released from Televisions Critics Association panel on Friday.

The biggest news is that we finally have a name for Lady Gaga's character on the show. She will be playing a wealthy, fashion/art obsessed socialite named Elizabeth who owns the hotel and will be involved in relationships with characters played by Angela Bassett, Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson. Bassett will be playing an actress named Ramona Royale while Jackson will be playing a fashion icon/father named Will Drake. Finn Wittrock's character will be a male model named Tristan Duffy, looking for his next high (something he gets with Elizabeth) while Bomer's character Donovan has interesting relationships with the ladyfolk.

As for the remaining characters, Sarah Paulson's Sally is a drug addict who has a budding something with Wes Bentley's detective John Lowe and Max Greenfield's unnamed fellow drug addict character while also having a rivalry with Kathy Bates's hotel manager Iris. Chloe Sevigny will play a doctor named Alex, dealing with a family tragedy and who is also the wife of Bentley's character while Denis O'Hare (in the most inspired role yet) will be playing Liz Taylor, a bar worker inspired by a certain film actress. No new information was released on Evan Peters Mr March but we did learn that characters from previous season will be checking in from episode six or seven onwards.

And because Ryan Murphy likes working with cast members on multiple projects, it seems that former Glee hunk Darren Criss will be appearing in the show's Halloween episode. According to sources, Criss would be playing a hipster named Justin who puts one demand too many on Kathy Bates's Iris and ends up suffering for it as a result. It's not been officially confirmed yet but really hoping this one is actually true though.

In returning cast news though, Lily Rabe (currently on ABC drama, The Whispers) has also signed up for the new season. It seems that Rabe will be playing a real life serial killer on the show. In fact, it seems the serial killer she will be playing will be Aileen Wuornos, who was previously portrayed by Charlize Theron in the 2003 movie, Monster. Rabe will make her debut in the Halloween episode, which she will be at the centre piece of.

Also confirmed for a role is Naomi Campbell. The model who had a recurring role in the first season of Empire will apparently be playing a rival to Lady Gaga's character (whose character name still hasn't been announced yet) for multiple episodes. I'm not gonna lie - Campbell's not exactly that great as an actor but it doesn't seem like she's going to be playing a particularly challenging one here either.

Last but not least (for now), Richard T. Jones will be in at least eight episodes of the upcoming fifth season. Jones will be playing a detective named Hahn while other cast members include Helena Mattson and Madchen Amick as a mother. Meanwhile the titles for the first three episodes have been seemingly confirmed as Checking In, Chutes & Ladders and Mommy. The Halloween episode will be titled Devil's Night and will be a two parter.

AHS: Hotel Spoilers:
Character Details:

American Horror Story: Hotel will air Wednesdays 10pm on FX from October 7th and will air shortly afterwards for UK viewers on FOXUK.