Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Comic-Con 2016 - Highlights

In the past I've done more individual trailers and stuff for some of the panels but this year I decided to do more of a rundown of stuff we've learned from various shows and movies over the last few days at Comic Con. Without further ado ....

Castings Alert

- Rihanna has been cast as Marion Crane for the fifth and final season of Bates Motel.
- Once Upon A Time's sixth season will be adding Aladdin (Deniz Akdeniz), Jasmine (Karen David), Jafar (Oded Fehr replacing Naveen Andrews), Morpheus (Giles Matthay) and the Count of Monte Cristo (Craig Horner)
- Kristin Chenowith has been cast as Easter for American Gods.
- Agents Of SHIELD have added Ghost Rider into the mix with Gabriel Luna taking on the role, Lili Birdsell will also recur in the new season.
- Neil Jackson has joined the cast of The Originals while Nathalie Kelly will be playing evil herself in The Vampire Diaries.
- Brie Larson has been cast as Captain Marvel.

Time To Say Goodbye And Hello

- Over the weekend, it was confirmed that the upcoming seasons of Bates Motel, The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf will be their final seasons.
- Game Of Thrones seventh season will only be seven episodes and will air in Summer 2017. I assume then it's inevitable eighth season will only be six episodes then.
- Legion will be coming next year for US viewers as will BBCAmerica's version of Dirk Gently with Samuel Barnett and Elijah Wood.
- Viewers will be meeting Penny's mother and brother in the tenth season of The Big Bang Theory as played by Katey Sagal and Jack McBrayer respectively.
- Colton Haynes will be playing a mysterious role in the second season of Scream Queens.
- David Tennant will also be playing the Doctor again, this time on Family Guy during a spoof.

Star Trek: Discovery

With Star Trek Beyond currently in the cinemas, here is a stark reminder that next year we will have a television series once again. While Bryan Fuller sadly didn't confirm the cast at Comic Con (something of an oversight there), he did confirm the proper title for the show and you know what? I like it! We also got an image of the ship as well, which looks okay so far. It's also been confirmed that UK viewers will be able to see the series on Netflix next year.

Sherlock: Series 4 Trailer

Between Benedict Cumberbatch appearing at San Diego as part of the promotion for Doctor Strange (still not too fussed on that to be honest), a trailer for the fourth series of Sherlock was also released and it certainly piqued interest. It looked dark and brooding and even contained the delightful moment where Mrs Hudson likened Mycroft to a reptile. We're also been teased as to whether or not Moriarty (Andrew Scott) is still alive, seeing Mary (Amanda Abbington) in gun toting action and getting a nice look at Toby Jones playing the baddie too. Overall, it looks like a promising season ahead. You can have a look at it here ,... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlcWFoNqZHc

That's a round up wrap for this year's Comic Con. This time next year, yeah?

Comic Con 2016: The DC Movie & Television Round Up

I apologise for not being more up to date with these Comic Con blogs but with a lot of information to process, I had to decide how I was going to go about things. As a fan of the DC comics/movies/TV shows, they were certainly the ones who ruled this weekend. Their best bits so to speak ....

Unite The (Five Of) Seven

- Did anyone want a nice cast shot of the Justice League? Well, you've got one of six of the principal cast members. Sadly we didn't learn who the seventh hero in question is (will be shocked if it's someone other than Green Lantern so to speak) but we got a trailer.
- A two and a half minute delightful trailer which saw Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) banding together to bring The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) into the fold. No sign of Superman (Henry Cavill) yet but we know that death isn't going to be a deterrent for him so to speak.
- Keeping with the trailers, we also got a new one for Wonder Woman and if you didn't love Gal Gadot as the Amazonian beforehand, you definitely will after seeing this one. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor isn't too shabby either.
- Meanwhile with less than a fortnight to go, Suicide Squad have been ramping up the promotional blitz with more cast shots, character spots and so on. One more trailer was released for the movie and it's really not long until this movie finally comes out.
- There's also been rumblings of a Harley Quinn/Birds Of Prey spin off movie and Ben Affleck could be directing his own solo Batman movie as well.

Wonder Woman Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgk_63b-Mrw
Justice League Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIHH5-HVS9o
Suicide Squad Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SULFiCh0Zsw

Wonder Woman is released on June 2nd 2017 and Justice League will be released on November 17th 2017. Suicide Squad is in theatres from August 5th.

Meanwhile In The TV Universe

- Well, we certainly got some trailers behold. Gotham gave us the briefest of ones with about thirty seconds of their sizzle reel showing us anything new. So far we're seeing Barbara (Erin Richards) and Tabitha (Jessica Lucas) opening a nightclub, Oswald (Robin Lord Taylor) being hoisted up, Fish (Jada Pinkett Smith) seemingly catching up with Hugo Strange (BD Wong) and Valerie Vale (Jamie Chung).
- There's also rumours that James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie) may be taking on a new persona and Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) will be the latest person to be released from Arkham Asylum.
- Arrow on the other hand showed us a flashback to the recently killed off Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) while Oliver and Felicity clashed over starting up a new team.
- A new team which includes Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), Artemis (Madison McLaughlin) and the future Mr Terrific/Curtis (Echo Kellum) somewhat training with an impatient Oliver. We've also got a new baddie in the midst going by the name of Prometheus (no, not that one) too.
- The Flash meanwhile will seriously be delving into Flashpoint territory as the consequences for Barry (Grant Gustin) saving his mother become apparent pretty quickly. Billionaire Cisco and more Reverse Flash for instance as well as the introduction of Wally West's Kid Flash.
- Tom Felton's character has more or less been confirmed as Dr Alchemy (with Tobin Bell providing the voice) but there will also be another speedster antagonist in the new season to boot.
- Legends Of Tomorrow's second season will be a full one this time around and viewers will be able to see both Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Damien Darhk in the first episode. Jonah Hex will be returning for the sixth one.
- Viewers will also be meeting the Justice Society Of America (Hourman, Commander Steel, Vixen, Stargirl, Obsidian and Dr MidNite) and of course, the Legion of Doom (Reverse Flash, Damien Darhk, Malcolm Merlyn and Captain Cold).
- As for Supergirl, not as much news was released for the upcoming season but we do know that there will be a bit of a clash between Kara (Melissa Benoist) and her more famous cousin, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) though.
- As for Chris Woods character, it seems that he's someone from the Pod that was discovered by Kara during the first season finale. It's also been revealed that Floriana Lima will be playing Maggie Sawyer and Ian Gomez will be playing Snapper Carr. The latter will not be a fan of Kara or Supergirl either.

Gotham - Season 3 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SULFiCh0Zsw
Arrow - Season 5 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HeaCOOzzE4
The Flash - Season 3 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GkBpMP1r6E
Legends Of Tomorrow - Season 2 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOk8r0VX62Q

Gotham airs Mondays 8pm on FOX from September 19th, The Flash airs Tuesdays 8pm on the CW from October 4th, Arrow airs Wednesdays 8pm on the CW from October 5th, Supergirl airs Mondays 8pm on the CW from October 10th and Legends Of Tomorrow airs Thursdays 8pm on the CW from October 13th.

And In Other DC News (Spoilers Alert)

- Kiersey Clemons has been cast as Iris West for the upcoming movie, The Flash.
- Katie Cassidy has signed a similar deal to both John Barrowman and Wentworth Miller so we will be seeing her in the upcoming seasons of Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow.
- Joe Dinicol has been cast as Ragman for an upcoming episode of Arrow.
- The Killing Joke has a particularly controversial look into both Bruce and Barbara's relationship. The movie is out now on DVD.
- Matt Ryan's Constantine is not only getting an action figure for next year but CWSeed are airing all thirteen episodes of the series and the character is a main player in the upcoming Justice League Dark animated movie.
- Tricia Helfer will be playing Lucifer's mother in the second season of Lucifer and has already been upgraded to regular status.

And that's it for now. More DC movie and TV news and reviews to follow soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

My Review of New Blood's 1x03: "Case 1, Part 3"

Written by Anthony Horowitz
Directed by Anthony Philipson

Stefan: "Do you want chocolate?"
Rash: "Of course."

And the case is finally solved. It took three episodes, various dead bodies, a framed person and a near death experience or two for our two protagonists but this episode managed to wrap the whole Lipocite/drug testing plot on a nearly satisfying note.

I said nearly because it did feel somewhat a little too convenient that no-one aside from David Leese actually got brought to justice and the two deadly assassin ladies (who killed both Bruce and Coleman) also managed to slip away quite well while Henry was eventually exonerated for the murders he didn't commit.

I did like that Stefan and Rash risked their jobs (both lost them, both regained them by the end of this one) in order to solve the case. Rash knew it wasn't Henry responsible for the murders and Stefan was actually successful in getting Bruce to finally crack and fill in the dots before the guy ended up being shot to pieces.

The best sequence and by far the daftest though was seeing both Stefan and Rash jumping off the hotel room and managing to successfully land in the swimming pool. If there's one other thing this show has in it's favour, it's that it revels in the absolute absurd with the stylistic sequences that the more I watch this show, the more I'm convinced it's a natural successor to Hustle more than anything else.

Of course the highlight of this episode was the increased screen time with Stefan and Rash. They started the episode by chasing down a nervous Henry and then ended it with deciding to get a flat together. Both actors continue to play off each other so well and it really has become the driving force behind the show, which isn't the most thorough of police dramas.

- I had to laugh at Stefan's boss saying that they ran a serious operation. The tone of this show really does suggest otherwise.
- Why do I get the feeling we'll see those killer ladies again. Mayhew's pulling the strings and he doesn't seem to be done yet.
- No Leila in this episode. Rash's irritation in Stefan being interested in her is amusing though.

Overall, while I think this storyline could've done with two episodes, this one did end it on a pretty strong note. The rapport with Stefan and Rash though is the hook, but I do think the other characters (aside from Leila) do need to be fleshed out a little better though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, July 22, 2016

Luke Cage/Iron Fist/The Defenders - Comic Con Trailers

Comic Con is officially here and over the next few days, we're going to be getting some great treats, First up, a look at the trailers for some upcoming Netflix/Marvel shows.

Luke Cage: I've been waiting a while for a trailer for Mike Colter's super strong heroic, bar owner and it did not disappoint in the slightest. The minute and a half trailer saw Luke ripping off a car door and using it as a shield against some gun toting baddies while telling us that he's ready. It's also another two months before the series gets it's release on Netflix so I'm imagining that more trailers and promotion are imminent for the upcoming series.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymw5uvViqPU

Iron Fist: I wasn't expecting a trailer for this series but I'm really glad one appeared. As well publicised by now, former Game Of Thrones actor Finn Jones has taken on the role of rich boy, Danny Rand/Iron Fist and despite one or two Arrow type reminders, this trailer certainly set up things well for the upcoming series. Now all we have to do is see Danny in costume and unlike Daredevil, I really hope it doesn't take all of the first season for that to happen.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCSPda7xQ3s

The Defenders: And finally we got this trailer. Less of actual footage and more of a voice over from Stick (Scott Glen) as he questions whether or not the combined forces of Matt Murdoch, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Danny Rand are enough to take out the Hand once and for all and ultimately save New York from destruction. I can't wait to see all four characters meet and interact with each other during this particular event series.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBZtM8q2Z1g

Also in the least shocking news ever, Marvel confirmed at Comic Con that Daredevil will be returning to Netflix for a third season. However due to the character's role in The Defenders, the wait will be a little longer but either way, it's good news though. The show's second season certainly gripped and ended on a high note and I am intrigued to see what a third year will offer.

Daredevil News: http://comicbook.com/marvel/2016/07/23/marvel-and-netflix-announce-daredevil-season-3/

Luke Cage will be released on Netflix from September 30th while Iron Fist and The Defenders will debut in 2017.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Review of New Blood's 1x02: "Case 1, Part 2"

Written by Anthony Horowitz
Directed by Anthony Philipson

Stefan: "Thanks."
Rash: "Don't mention it. You just ruined my evening."

A bit of a slower one than the first. Having done some reading up, I do find it interesting that later cases are done in two episodes and while I have yet to watch the third episode (that's likely to be tomorrow), I do wonder if this whole storyline should've been resolved here instead of extending until the next one.

Of course this episode did seem to have a lot of build up into it though. We had Laura's funeral which also introduced a few more characters from the India trip of 2010, including Bruce Lockwood and the rather sinister company Green Fern, which did help intensify things when Stefan's own investigation at their party saw him being drugged and then saved by Rash halfway through the episode.

If there's a disappointment it's probably that we haven't seen enough of Stefan and Rash together. Like in my previous review, the actors play off each other so well and Stefan certainly made more of an impression on Rash by puking on his before it was revealed  to the both of them that they were working on the same case. The last scene as they went to chase Henry was something of a comical delight, intentional or not.

The Henry part of the episode was a little more interesting as those two sinister ladies from the first episode planted evidence on him to make him look like a killer. I did find myself a bit more sympathetic towards Henry in this one and I liked that Rash showed some doubts towards him being the killer despite chasing after him with Stefan at the end.

As for the rest of this episode, there were some moments that confused but overall, this whole medical drug trial storyline has been solid enough. The next episode will undoubtedly be the deciding factor in all of this though to whether or not stretching out each case over several episodes is the best approach for the show.

- We learned that Allison (who fancies Stefan) is actually Peter Mayhew's niece and she's been spying for him.
- Bit mixed on Stefan and Leila but don't dislike it either. I do hope Leila is given a bit more to do though.
- The credit sequence seems a little similar (but not a rip off) to Sherlock.
- Points to the trippy and creepy as hell visuals we got during Stefan's drugged state. They made me jump a little at one point.

A solid episode but a little bit slower than the first one and at times, perhaps a little too much on the exposition side of things. The potential though is still there and I like the fun element to the leads rapport as well.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 49-52 Reviews

The final few episodes of this series sees the returns of several baddies and a moment where Terry seriously put his identity at great risk.

Episodes 49 & 50: The Curse Of The Kobra

One more two parter before the series and it's better than expected. While the previous one with the Justice League was a bit one, this feel a little smaller by comparison at first. Terry gets some training by Kairi Tanaga, going on Bruce's advice and befriends the somewhat strange Zander who is then beaten by Max at a video game. It seems that Zander has been position as the new leader of the Kobra and Max is going to become a reptilian bride whether she likes it or not. Zander is a pretty engaging guest villain and I quite liked Kairi as a character too. The ending is pretty bittersweet for this one. There's also a brief Jokerz appearance in this one. 8/10

Episode 51: Countdown

The returns are still strong in these episodes. This time around you've got Mad Stan getting some more extended screen time as he decides to add vigilante to his resume of things he's somewhat done on the series. To his credit, he did manage to rescue Zeta from a couple of bloke and there was some nice moments with Terry and Ro and Stan's little dog was adorable too. Unfortunately we did have Zeta being used as a time bomb but fortunately that one resolved itself though. Despite being the penultimate episode, this was actually made before the finale and this was also a crossover episode with The Zeta Project. Speaking of. 7/10

Episode 52: Unmasked

Now this was a bit of an anti climatic finale. I don't know if this was truly intended to be a final episode and while it's engaging, it just feels too low key to be a series ender though. Once again, the Kobra gang (I swear they have a new leader every story they're in) learn that a little boy knows who Batman is so they get agents to pose as the police to snatch the kid and identify Batman. While Terry was reckless in revealing his identity to the kid in general, it does seem for the time being that his secret is safe while the Kobra gang got their backsides handed to them once again. I liked the last scene and overall the episode is good but could've been a bit stronger though. 7/10

Next time it'll be The Batman. I've enjoyed reviewing this series a lot.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My Review of New Blood's 1x01: "Case 1, Part 1"

Written by Anthony Horowitz
Directed by Anthony Philipson

Rash: "I don’t want to be a policeman. I want to be a detective."

The detective show isn't exactly something that we're lacking on television at the moment. Every week there's virtually a new one to get into but BBC1 have gone with something a little different with their latest offering from Foyle's War creator, Anthony Horowitz.

A seven part drama, the focus is on newly promoted junior detective Rash Sayyad (Ben Tavassoli) and Serious Fraud Office investigator Stefan Kowolski  (Mark Strepan) as the two of them in this opening installment are essentially investigating the same case but from two different angles as one looks into the victims of a pharmaceutical company's experimental drugs while the other is undercover in the company in question, playing up his accent and sawing down doors.

If you're looking for something gritty, there's a chance this might not be the show for you, though there are certainly some gruesome deaths to begin and end the episode and the antics of an isolated loner named Henry (who unknown to him is being lured into a deadly trap by a group of women) certainly raise some interesting moments when he quits his job and isolates his concerned mother with his erratic behaviour.

The main plot with the company is certainly interesting enough though Stefan's false boss David Leese is more of a pawn in a bigger scheme than previously led to believe. Meanwhile Rash has to deal with a rather sarcastic and sullen boss in Mark Addy's character DS Derek Sands as he delves deeper into the actions of a woman named Laura who underwent a drug trial six years prior in India.

The show has been heavily publicised the 'bromance' between Stefan and Rash as it's selling point, although they only share a brief exchange here when they're taking part in the same race and Stefan tries his luck with Rash's sister, Leila, played by Aiysha Hart and they clash a bit. That being said, the potential partnership between the pair is great while the show makes a solid effort into exploring both men's lives outside of their work as well in order to give them both a little more depth.

- Rash is Iranian and Stefan is Polish, both of which is acknowledged within the episode in a manner that didn't feel contrived. They both also have a thing for biking.
- Anna Chancellor popped up here as SFO director, Eleanor Davies while Mark Bonner also appeared as a clearly villainous government figure named Peter Mayhew.
- iPlayer have been airing the episodes prior to their screening on BBC1. In a lot of ways though, it feels like a show aimed for BBC3.
- Stefan and Rash's home backgrounds couldn't be more different to each other as well.

A fun start for a show that certainly seems to have a fun feel to it. Yes, there's a serious drugs trial plot that will be explored in the next two episodes and older/more experienced characters but the youth of the leads and the charisma from them certainly gives the show a well needed boost. A fun one to watch at the moment.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Star Trek Beyond - The Sulu Debate

Last week, it was revealed that John Cho's Hiraku Sulu in the upcoming movie Star Trek Beyond would have a husband and daughter and it's certainly generated an interesting debate.

Thought as a tribute to the original actor, George Takei who played the role in the original Star Trek television series and the first few movies, Takei's comments on the matter have certainly been interesting. The openly gay actor himself expressed some disappointment in the decision by the movie's co-writer Simon Pegg and while a part of me can empathise a little with his stance, I have to admit that even without the staunch of the upcoming movie's co-stars such as out actor Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, I'm seeing this development with Sulu as a good thing.

In the movie we briefly see Sulu's partner Ben (Doug Jung, co-writer of the movie), so it doesn't feel like it's something that the movie is trying to sensationalise. Sulu's sexuality and considering that these movies since 2009 have been set in some kind of alternative universe, is it really that big a deal? Despite having a daughter, Sulu has never been presented as an overly heterosexual character to begin with and it's certainly high time that we had a  prominent LGBT character in the Star Trek universe (aside from Terry Farrell's Dax in Deep Space Nine who's bisexual) and with movies still being behind on LGBT characters compared to television these days, having a character like Sulu be out and proud while at the same time not having his sexuality wholly define him can only be a good thing in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that John Cho is an exceptional actor and handsome man. Personally I think it's a commendable decision.

It's also making me curious though for CBS/CBS All Access's upcoming Star Trek series as well. When asked last month if the series (whose cast has yet to be confirmed) would have any LGBT characters, Fuller did state that fans "would be happy" but didn't directly confirm anything concrete. In light of Sulu now being an out man with a husband and daughter, I do hope that one of the main characters in Fuller's reimagining is an openly LGBT character. It's certainly more than due now. Thoughts anyone on both the upcoming and television series and LGBT characters in general?

More Discussion: http://www.newnownext.com/mr-sulu-revealed-to-be-gay-in-star-trek-beyond/07/2016/

Star Trek Beyond will be in cinemas from July 22.