Saturday, 1 November 2014

November 2014 Highlights – ATLANTIS • BABYLON • THE FALL • RIPPER STREET • TOAST OF LONDON


It's November. Halloween's behind us and Christmas is fast approaching, which means most of the new/returning TV shows are back on-air. But which stragglers do we have to look forward to, now the nights are drawing in?

Friday, 31 October 2014

Letterboxd: HORNS • CARRIE (2013) • DIVERGENT • POMPEII

★★ (out of five)

Based on the 2010 novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), HORNS squanders a cool premise and manages to turn a supernatural black-comedy whodunit into a lacklustre, over-serious bore. The set-up's rather good, with twentysomething Ignatius "Ig" Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) dealing with the aftermath of his girlfriend Merrin's (Juno Temple) murder in a small logging town where everyone believes he killed her, and only avoided jail thanks to a high-priced lawyer.

Then things take an unusual turn when Ig wakes up to discover horns protruding from his forehead, that give him the ability to compel people into sharing their deepest, darkest secrets in his presence. A useful super-power once Ig decides to investigate Merrin's murder and catch the person who really killed her...

THE X-FILES, 1.6 – 'Shadows' • spirited office work


★★☆☆

Mulder and Scully investigate the bizarre deaths of two muggers in Philadelphia, which leads Mulder to theorise their victim retaliated using psychokinesis.

Better than "The Jersey Devil", but with its own array of flaws, SHADOWS is at least commendable for playing with audience expectations a little. Glen Morgan and James Wong return for writing duties after their home-run "Squeeze", but couldn't prevent this hour from being a disappointment. This episode was apparently commissioned because Fox wanted more stories where Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) help people, and took inspiration from 1982 film The Entity.

THE X-FILES, 1.5 – 'The Jersey Devil' • little miss mutation


★☆☆☆

Mulder and Scully travel to New Jersey to investigate a cannibalistic murder, which Mulder believes was perpetrated by an evolutionary relic...

After a run of surprisingly solid early episodes, The X-Files vomits its first dud with THE JERSEY DEVIL; a decidedly dull hour from creator Chris Carter, treading similar turf to the Sasquatch myth, but in a more absurd manner. However, there were elements of the story that worked okay, or were interesting in hindsight because the writers are still finding their way into these characters.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

THE FLASH, 1.4 – 'Going Rogue' • ice and smoak


★★★★

Crossover alert! Arrow's beautiful boffin Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) makes the trip from Starling City to Central City in "Going Rogue", ostensibly to visit her friend Barry (Grant Gustin) after hearing he's out of his coma. As a confidant of The Arrow, Felicity's let into S.T.A.R Labs' inner circle about Barry's new powers, during a time when jewel thief Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) decides to up his game and defeat the city's new super-sonic do-gooder...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Marvel own geek asses for the next five years... you hear that, DC/Warner Bros?


Marvel held a special event yesterday which sent social media into meltdown for awhile, if you follow the geekier spectrum of people. The big news is that Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige outlined Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which is everything between Ant-Man and the third Avengers movie, spanning the next five years. I say "big news", but that's an umbrella term for a whole menagerie of surprises and revelations. Read on!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

THE WALKING DEAD, 5.3 – 'Four Walls and a Roof' – rolling in the aisle


★★★☆

Who are the good guys? It's all a matter of perspective, although the poor explanation for the Terminus "hunters" becoming cannibals means we're still on grizzled Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) side, despite the fact he brutally murdered someone with a machete in the aisle of a church. But what do churches represent these days? Can there be a God if he's allowed this zombie apocalypse to happen? Father Gabriel's (Seth Gilliam) appalled Rick's group slaughtered people in the Lord's House, but for Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the others it's just "four walls and a roof". A place of momentary sanctuary on this journey with an unclear destination; although Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) kindly left Rick with a map to Washington D.C, having now departed on his mission to cure the world with half of Rick's team.

Monday, 27 October 2014

TV Picks: 27 October – 2 November 2014 - Arrow • The Flash • Frankenstein & The Vampyre: A Dark & Stormy Night • Intruders


Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Teaser Trailer: THE AVENGERS - AGE OF ULTRON • Marvel goes dark


It's the sequel to the third highest-grossing movie of all time (having racked up $1.5bn in ticket sales). Worryingly, The Avengers came out in 2012, when everyone thought the world was going to end because of a Mayan prophecy, and were using the iPhone4S. Simpler times. Maybe it seems like The Avengers only came out yesterday because you can't go more than three months without an Avenger headlining their own solo movie.

DOCTOR WHO, 8.10 – 'In the Forest of the Night' • growing pains


★☆☆☆

While nowhere close to the level of Neil Gaiman as a "celebrity guest writer", it's something of a coup for DOCTOR WHO to secure the talent of screenwriter/novelist Frank Cottrell Boyce—best-known for scripting numerous Michael Winterbottom films (Welcome to Sarajevo, 24 Hour Party People) and the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. He's also won two major awards for his children's literature, Millions (which he later adapted into a film) and The Unforgotten Coat. I was anticipating "In the Forest of the Night" this year because FCB has obvious skill and is well-suited to writing for a British institution like Who, but after a promising start this episode quite literally got lost in the woods...