Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My Review of Scream 3 (2000)

Written by Ehren Kruger
Directed by Wes Craven

Dewey: "The killer called her."
Mark: "When?"
Gale: "What'd he say?"
Sidney: "Oh you know the usual small talk. "What's new?" "How you been?" "How do you wanna die?"

The above dialogue can be taken in two ways. One, a playful sign of the franchise being aware of it's killer tropes and having fun with them or two, a sign that the franchise was slightly becoming a parody of itself.

Out of the four movies released, this one has always been the weakest for me and the one I've always found myself enjoying the least. It doesn't help that with the exception of Parker Posey's Gale stand in, Jennifer Jolie that none of the new characters in this third offering are even likeable, never mind engaging. I've never wished for so many characters to die or cared when they did watching this.

There are of course some noticeable differences in this movie. First of all, the Stab series become a central plot as the action takes place in Hollywood during the making of the third movie of that franchise where Dewey is a technical adviser and Gale is investigating the spate of killings, kick started by the opening death of Cotton Weary and his unfortunate girlfriend, Christine.

With Dewey and Gale taking on more expanded role while Sidney reappeared a little later into the mix, there was time to get to know and dislike every member of the Stab 3 cast while Dewey and Gale worked on their issues and ultimately together before Sidney entered the picture and the killer's antics also resulted in more history being revealed.

Sticking with the trilogy trope, this movie should be in some ways congratulated for actually giving more of a backstory to Maureen Prescott and tying it into her murder that preceded the first movie. Unfortunately the reveal of Scott Foley's killer director, Roman Bridger being Sidney's half brother who also helped Billy and Stu back then kill Maureen just doesn't hold up as a twist. Probably because Roman doesn't really do anything interesting until then. Granted neither did Debbie or Mickey in the previous movie but yet, they worked as the killers for that one.

The final confrontation has it's moments too. I did like Sidney not getting sucked into Roman's psychosis and Gale and Dewey when they weren't being held captive, did also manage to help save the day. I also liked the ending with the three of them and Patrick Dempsey's detective Mark Kincaid seemingly had closure but compared to the other movies, this one lacked a lot though.

- Sidney had been a recluse in the woods, while helping abused women through a phone network. Neve Campbell only filmed for 20 days for this movie.
- Emily Mortimer played Sidney for the Stab movies. Her character was called Angelina Tyler. Both Jennifer and Angelina's names were lifted off certain actresses.
- Interesting cameos in this movie, notably Carrie Fisher's one when Gale and Jennifer were investgating Maureen's Hollywood connections.
- Despite being killed off in the previous movie, Randy did reappear in order to explain the trilogy rules for everyone. Those included a superhuman killer, anyone can die and the past coming back to haunt you.

The weakest of the four movies, Scream 3 attempted to bring original closure before the franchise would be briefly revived over a decade later. The effort in part is noble but with a combination of horrible new characters and the least interesting killer from the lot, this one is a failure I'm afraid.

Rating: 5 out of 10

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 29-32 Reviews

A slew of episodes with no baddie returns but a couple of new ones and an episode premise that works a lot better than expected.

Episode 29: The Last Resort

A rehab clinic for wayward teenagers is the order of the day for this episode. First we see typical troubled kids like Sean sent there before Chelsea herself too is shipped off for simply challenging the antics of the place. Of course, Terry ended up being captured and having to brave it in the place when his attempts of uncovering Dr Wheeler's cruel treatment of the kids backfired. I did like the teams up Terry had with Sean and Jamal in this episode as Wheeler's reign of terror came to a brief end. 8/10

Episode 30: Armory

Not one of the best episodes to be honest. We met Jared briefly in another episode and this one somewhat expanded on his family a bit. Namely, his stepfather who ended up being fired from Paxton Powers, so he becomes a criminal named Armory. Of course, Armony's career is pretty shortlived as his father and Terry end up catching up to him pretty fast within the episode. More interesting is Maxine's shifting attitude towards Jared as the episode progressed. 6/10

Episode 31: Sneak Peek

I really liked this one. We haven't had too much media related stuff in this version of the Batman universe and Ian Peek is someone who could give Jack Ryder a run for his money by being a right bane for people's privacy. Ian's MO involved going invisible in order to bag his scoop and things certainly intensified when he managed to figure out that Terry was Batman and Bruce is his mentor as well. Of course before Ian could actually divulge the information to the general public, he had to face the consequences of his invisibility and they were pretty shocking. 8/10

Episode 32: The Eggbaby

The premise of this episode did not wow me. I wasn't eggxactly eggxcited for an episode where Terry had to spend most of his time having to watch an egg baby while fighting against a criminal family (a fearsome matriarch and her dogged sons) but bloody hell, this was seriously entertaining. From Blade's insistence on not pulling her weight to look after the egg to Terry's exasperation and bonding with the eggbaby itself. There's a cute moment in the episode where he actually sticks out his tongue to coax the baby and that along with Bruce's bemusement certainly made the episode for me. Then there was Ma Mayhem and her sons, Carl and Slim, who were also great characters to watch. A definite must see episode. 9/10

Next blog I'll look at Zeta, Plague, April Moon and Sentries Of The Last Cosmos.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 25-28 Reviews

I'm about halfway through my whole series watch and the four episodes here were some of the strongest we've seen.

Episode 25: Babel

The animals of Neo Gotham are losing the plot. Ace attacks Bruce, Max's cat is brave enough to try and maul a pitbull and even the elephant at the zoo is going wild. Of course, it's a problem that soon escalates as Shriek resurfaces and make it clear that he can cause a lot of damage to the city and it's residents sanity if Batman isn't handed over to him. As plans go, it's one of Shriek's more dastardly of ones with some of the citizens more than happy to see Batman handed over before the latter is able to stop Shriek yet again. A very inventive episode. 8/10

Episode 26: Terry's Friend Dates A Robot

Can we talk about the opening sequence for this one? Terry fighting robotic versions of Riddler, Two Face and Killer Croc was absolutely brilliant. It's easily one of the best things the series has produced so far. As for the rest of the episode - the trope of a nerdy bloke dating a homicidal robot named Cynthia isn't the greatest of storylines and it played out rather predictably as well. Terry's friend, Howard is also pretty unlikeable as a character from start to finish that it makes the episode even harder to enjoy though I did like Max's attempts of taking down Cynthia before Terry did though. 7/10

Episode 27: Eyewitness

This one was bloody intense. Mad Stan has been one of those characters that has popped up in various episodes but hasn't done much to make an impression, so when it looked like Batman might have actually killed him, suddenly I found myself a little interested in the character. Of course it soon transpired that Stan wasn't actually dead but more that Spellbinder had returned and nearly succeeded in turning Barbara against both Batman and Bruce for good. Speaking of Barbara, we do need to get an episode where she moves past her unresolved issues with Bruce at some point, right? 8/10

Episode 28: Final Cut

Curare is one of my favourite villains we've had in this series and her second episode is every bit as good as the first. Last time we saw Curare, she was on the run for failing to kill Sam and this time, she's bumping off the people trying to kill her. One of them uses blackmail/bombing Neo Gotham to get Batman to help with Max also getting caught in the middle and saving the city from a bomb. While I did miss Bruce's absence in this one, I did like seeing Terry and Max getting closer though. 8/10

Next blog I'll look into The Last Resort, Armory, Sneak Peek and The Eggbaby.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 3x08 & 3x09: Perpetual Night & The Blessed Dark

It's a double bill series finale and it's a singular review as I look into the final two episodes of the show ever.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Damon Thomas and Paco Cabezas

The End: The last two episodes of this season and the show in general has always been the battle for Vanessa's soul but oddly enough for this series finale, the character only appears in two scenes altogether. The first scene where it looked like she completely embraced her darkness and succumbed totally to Dracula while the second one was more emotionally charged. It was a scene where Vanessa and Ethan were reunited after a season apart from each other, only for Ethan to kill Vanessa in order to 'save' her. I can see why many fans were disappointed by this and while I kind of was too, this show was never going to end in Vanessa remaining alive. I wish it had but kudos to both Eva Green and Josh Hartnett in those moments as Vanessa's storyline came to as dramatic end as it had begun. I did have a little tear during her burial scene, especially as Caliban watched from afar. One of the most compelling heroines on television. It's been a pleasure knowing you, little Scorpion.

The Count Lives On: Another extraordinary thing about this episode was that Dracula actually survived the whole thing. Aside from making London into a ghost town and baiting both Ethan and Malcolm over Vanessa and Mina, we actually saw a lot less of Dracula than expected. He had only one scene with Vanessa and when he realised that Ethan had killed her, he just left, which makes him an ongoing problem than we'll never see taken care of. This of course is something of a theme within the last two episodes as a series of not resolved plotlines linger about.

To Lose Yourself Or Die: Last time we left her, Lily was stuck in Bedlam and about to conditioned into being the perfect woman for Victor. Of course, seeing as no-one wanted this to actually happen, Lily was able to get Victor to change his mind but it took some doing. Actually it took telling Victor about her infant daughter dying while she was out whoring one night for him to feel for Lily and ultimately change his mind, which actually enraged Henry more than it should've done Dorian. Speaking of Henry, his father finally died and now he's Lord Hyde but that's it really. On the other hand, Dorian kicked out Lily's feminist allies, killed Justine (after breaking her spirit) but then got somewhat dumped by Lily who decided to make her own way after all.

We Merry Few: While there was a lot of unresolved stuff in these last two episodes, I did like seeing people coming together to save Vanessa. Seeing Dr Seward outwit Renfield (the least intimidating would be vampire ever) and then banding together with Malcolm and Catriona was absolutely glorious. It was even more glorious when she literally said 'Fuck him' about Dracula while Catriona played off Malcolm extremely well and certainly knew how to handle Renfield as well while both Malcolm and Ethan later bonded some more over their loss of Vanessa while Victor stepped in to help the gang once more during their confrontation with Dracula. I'm really going to miss this band of misfits.

History Not Repeating Itself: Breaking up the bigger plots of the last two episodes, it seems that John Clare's hope for a happy family came to a miserable end. His son unfortunately died and his wife made it abundantly clear not to return unless Caliban got Victor to bring back their son from the dead. Caliban on the other hand, did the wiser thing by not turning to Victor but instead laying his son to rest in the waters instead. While the other plots were more commanding, this was a nice enough subplot and I did feel bad for Caliban both here and when he hid from afar to mourn Vanessa as well.

Oh and did everyone notice the new title sequence for the second hour of this double bill series finale along with 'The End' title card. Goodbye show, it's been an interesting three seasons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Review of Scream 2 (1997)

Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven

Debbie: "Oh! Mickey was a good boy, but my God! That whole "Blame-the-movies" motive? Did you buy that for one second? The poor boy was completely out of his mind."
Sydney: "And you're not?"
Debbie: "No. I'm very sane. My motive isn't as 90's as Mickey's. Mine is just good, old-fashioned revenge. You killed my son! And now I kill you, and I can't think of anything more rational!"

The inevitable sequel. They're often not quite as good as the original but if they're lucky, they're at least a satisfying follow up to what came before and this one certainly managed that as two years from the events of the Woodsboro murders, Ghostface has resurfaced to get back at Sidney Prescott and her friends once again.

From the imaginative opening sequence where an unfortunate couple (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) ended up getting slaughtered at the cinema showing of Stab (that movie within a movie thing that the next sequels will play around with as well) to Randy Meeks unfortunate demise in the back of a camera van to the final shoot out between Sidney, glory seeking Cotton Weary and the killers in question, this movie certainly packs a punch or two.

What other movie has shown Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar making an amusing cameo) getting thrown out of a window by Ghostface or Sidney being attacked herself during a rehearsal of Cassandra while also providing one hell of a meta commentary on the nature of sequel along with a very cringey rendition of I Think I Love You. This movie isn't lacking in memorable moments now is it?

As for the killers, finding decent motives is always hard. Timothy Olymphant is perfectly charming as murderous film student Mickey but Laurie Metcalfe is the one who shines as the vengeful Debbie Salt. The mother of Billy Loomis, Metcalfe spent most of the movie coming across as an annoying foil to Gale Weathers before her real identify was revealed during an electrifying confrontation with Sidney made all the better when Cotton, desperate for more fame also stepped into the fray.

Debbie's motive of revenge might have been old fashioned but it worked pretty well and she's actually one of my favourite killers to take on the Ghostface mantle along with her son and Sidney's cousin in a later movie. Mickey's amusing but the movies thing, it really was so 90's even by the time the movie was released.

However while the villains of this sequel are great, the new friends/love interests somewhat lag by comparison. Jerry O'Connell is pretty bland as Sidney's frat boy boyfriend, Derek and even Hailie (Elise Neal) wasn't quite as memorable or engaging as Tatum was from the first movie. On the other hand, the continued dynamic with Gale and Dewey continued to be a highlight in this franchise and Sidney has plenty of great moments herself.

- The Stab movie bits managed to boast appearances from Heather Graham (as Casey Becker), Tori Spelling (Sidney) and Luke Wilson (Billy).
- Titles for this movie originally included Scream Again and Scream Louder. Think we fared well with Scream 2 if I'm being honest.
- Hailie and Derek were originally meant to be the killer but this movie suffered some serious online leaks and script delays.
- This is the first of the movies not set in Woodsboro. The third one also won't be set there.

Sequels are tricky to pull off but Scream 2 is impressive. It's self aware to the hilt, but back when this was released this was something new-ish rather than being an overused trope. The killers are great, there's memorable moments aplenty and the change of location certainly helped things as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 21-24 Reviews

And in this batch of episode we've got superpowered kids, the latest addiction, giant rats and a menacing presence that isn't quite as ghostly as everyone believes.

Episode 21: Hooked Up

Getting back to returning villains, it was Spellbinder's turn to reappear and cause chaos in Gotham by getting kids hooked to a virtual reality scenario where their biggest fantasies could come true but the bigger focus was on Maxine. In this episode, she wanted to help Batman and Bruce even more than she already was and she soon ended up as one of Spellbinder's victims as we learned a bit more about her family. She was also the one to undo Spellbinder's antics in this episode as well, so overall, this was a strong one for Maxine. 7/10

Episode 22: Rats

I have to admit that as a character, I'm finding it hard to even like Dana sometimes, let alone feel sorry. I know we're meant to feel slightly bad that Terry keeps blowing off their dates and is generally distant with her but in this episode, a part of me was hoping that Terry would actually dump her. Instead as Batman, he has to rescue her from a former student named Patrick who looks like a rat and has made other people into them as well for good measure. Overall I found this episode pretty boring in parts. 5/10

Episode 23: Mind Games

A step up from the previous one. Terry in this one had to go up a couple of dangerous foes in order to save a young girl named Tamara with psychic abilities. I really liked some of the fight sequences Terry had when it came to going up against some of the members of the Brain Trust. I also liked the way Tamara was able to communicate with Terry throughout the episode before she was also reunited with her parents. Definitely one of the strongest episodes we've had. 8/10

Episode 24: Revenant

A ghostly episode but not really. Strange goings on have been happening at the high school and it's enough to inspire Dana, Chelsea and two other girls to take part in a seance, that Nelson rudely interrupted before a sinister presence tried to kill him and Batman had to step in to save him. The episode soon revealed that it wasn't a ghost terrorising the high school but actually a more powered up Willie Watt, who bulked up and managed to cause more carnage before eventually being taken down again. It's a great return episode for the character. 7/10

Next blog will look at Babel, Terry's Friend Dates A Robot, Eyewitness and Final Cut.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 17-20 Reviews

In this batch of episodes we get a futuristic tale, a new ally for Terry, a game hunter and the return of a certain gang for seconds.

Episode 17: Lost Souls

For a show set in the future, it's actually been a great thing that they haven't gone overboard with the futuristic episodes as such but this one dipped into that side of things than previous ones had done. Having Terry's Batman suit hijacked by the long deceased Vance, who also had sinister plans for his grandson did make for a few interesting scenes, including one where Terry had to do battle with his suit while also wearing a different disguise as well. It's not the strongest of episodes but the idea is solid enough though. 6/10

Episode 18: Hidden Agenda

It had to happen. Someone close enough to terry had to learn that he was actually his brother and instead of it being his mother, brother or Dana, the honour went to Maxine, though at first she was more convinced that he was a member of the Jokerz than the new Dark Knight. I like Maxine as a character. Unlike Dana, Maxine actually has a character to her and the way she figured out Terry's secret identity was done pretty well. I even loved the Robin/Alfred exchange with them at the end and in between the use of the Jokerz and a valedictorian within the school setting, this was a pretty strong episode. 8/10

Episode 19: Blood Sport

A game hunter episode. Not one of the most enticing of premises but the Stalker (who has an established history of crime) has rocked up in Neo Gotham with the desire to hunt the Bat demon, which also included snatching Terry's little brother for bait. I did like the flashbacks for the Stalker and the fight scenes between him and Batman were decent enough. That being said though, the episode wasn't as engaging as it could've been though. 6/10

Episode 20: Once Burned

I really liked the Royal Flush Gang's last appearance so having them return for an encore was more than fine by me. This time, it was Melanie Ten robbing from a rival gang and spinning Batman a line about her family being held captive by the Jokerz. Of course they weren't and once again, she was put in the position of choosing between love and family yet before the latter and the rival gang ended up being arrested. I do like that the show is attempting a Bruce/Selina rapport with Terry/Melanie and for the most part, it does work though. 8/10

Next blog will focus on Hooked Up, Rats, Mind Games and Revenant.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Girl Is Someone

And here's another look at some of the shows I've been watching lately.

Arrow: I'm not gonna lie, the fourth season finale was probably the weakest we've had from the series so far but it did have it's moments. Damien finally being taken out for starters was great to see and it was nice to see Oliver somewhat inspire a bit of confidence within the city but with just him and Felicity left (Thea's gotta mopey and Diggle's reenlisted), next season really will need to bring the gang back together as well as address the void left behind with Laurel's exit. Oh and tone down Olicity too would help things a little.

Daredevil: I've been a little catching up on this but given that I had so many other shows to watch and summer is a bit of a television wasteland, holding this off paid off though. I've seen the first five episodes of this show's second season and it's every bit as enjoyable as the first. While I'm not too fussed on the Matt/Karen romance, the latter continues to get great development, character wise, Foggy is fun and the references to both Jessica and Luke are nice to have onscreen. Even better though has been the Punisher arc and the beginnings of the Elektra one too. Feels like we're being spoiled here.

Game Of Thrones: This season has been pretty strong but aside from the episode where we finally got Hodor's backstory in great detail along with his death and several returns (the Hound, Benjen, Brotherhood Without Banners and so on), it does feel like the pace has slowed down to deliberately build to the last two episodes. Cersei's trial is imminent, Margaery is playing the long game with the Faith, Sansa and Jon have different ideas to get their home back, Dany took the long route to return to Meereen and Arya finally decided that being someone was better than the alternative. Now, let's just move things that little further shall we and kill off some important characters this time around?

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: With the only Marvel show left on ABC, the third season finale did us a solid and killed off both Lincoln (didn't hate him but he was a tad bland at times) and finally Hive/Ward as well while teasing the ambiguity of the new director and having Daisy on the run as some vigilante type before she's inevitably swayed back to the group properly next season. The final few episodes were solid enough but not entirely spectacular. It'll be interesting to see where things go from here though.

Once Upon A Time: This season might not have been the show at it's most impressive, though the second half certainly was a step up from the first half though. The two part finale though certainly had it's moments, namely the introduction of both Jekyll and Hyde, the land of untold stories and of course, the return of the Evil Queen in the oddest of ways. All of these things however still didn't cancel out Henry's irrevocable stupidity by nearly banishing magic or the fact that yet again, Rumple never truly pays for any of his betrayals. That being said, enough happened here to make me want to watch the sixth season though.

The Flash: Barry- what the hell, man? Did you learn nothing from Rose Tyler or other similar situations? Yeah, we lost Henry but not John Wesley Shipp who turned out to be Earth 2's Jay Garrick and Barry saved his mother, so that's going to blow up in his face next season. Other stuff that happened included Zoom getting his just desserts, Harrison and Jessie taking their leave, more WestAllen foreshadowing and of course for a brief moment, the arrival of Black Siren who may pop up again next season. Strong final batch of episodes though.

- Nick Zano has been cast as Dr. Nate Haywood/Commander Steel for Legends Of Tomorrow's second season. The show will also be adding an earlier version of Vixen as a regular too.
- Rick Gonzalez has been cast as Wild Dog for Arrow's fifth season. Josh Segerra however will be playing the role of Adrian Chase/Vigilante, the main antagonist for the upcoming season.
- Supergirl will be adding Lena Luthor, Maggie Sawyer, Nick Farrow, the Doctor and Snapper Carr. Superman will also be appearing in the first two episodes of the show's second season. Tyler Hoechlin will be playing the man of steel.
- CMT and Hulu have stepped in and Nashville has been renewed for a fifth season of 22 episodes.
- Lesley Jordan will be returning to American Horror Story for it's sixth season, due to begin filming in July.
- Outlander has been renewed for both a third and fourth season by Starz.
- Orlando Jones and Gillian Anderson have joined American Gods as Mr Nancy and Media alike.
- Gotham will be recasting the role of Ivy Pepper as Clare Foley will not be returning for Season 3.
- John Stamos has joined Scream Queens second season as a regular. He'll be playing the role of Dr Brock Holt.
- Orphan Black has been renewed for a fifth and final season by BBCAmerica.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 3x07: Ebb Tide

Things are certainly hotting up now. With some characters getting closer to returning, others have slipped back into the dark side once again.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Paco Cabezas

Embrace The Bite: Well, this week certainly clued Vanessa in to the bleeding obvious. She spent the start of the episode being blissfully happy with Dr Sweet, even going as far as telling Caliban that she felt happy before her later conversation with Caitriona made her realise that her lovely new boyfriend is also the Dragon/Dracula himself. A delicious confrontation between Vanessa and the Count then took place but the episode ended with her succumbing to Dracula's seduction once again and this time, it looked like we might have lost Vanessa to the dark side. Ethan and Malcolm can't return soon enough.

Forced Into Submission: Lily's whole feminist storyline has been the most perplexing all season long. On one hand, she's completely right in her bid to empower the women she has but at the same time, she's encouraged the lot of them to become murderers in her quest and this week, she finally pushed Dorian's patience (as did Justine, who has gotten fairly tiresome to watch). Dorian handed Lily over to Victor and Henry and I have to admit the moment, Victor told Lily he wanted to make her into a proper woman made me a little sick. Lily might be dangerous but Victor truly repulsed with this episode. I'm actually hoping now that Lily kills him for this.

Home Again: Last week delved into Caliban's past some more with his sick son, Jake and this week, thanks to some kind words from Vanessa, John went home and actually managed to get acceptance from both his wife and ailing son and it was a rather lovely moment. I did enjoy those scenes and I also liked that Vanessa told Caliban about how kind he was to her in the past even though it's something he has yet to remember himself. This season has actually done a lot of good for this particular character.

Voyage Home: This week, Ethan, Malcolm and Kaetenay finally left America and headed on a boat to Britain. The latter also spent some time grilling both Malcolm and Ethan on their relationships with Vanessa but despite being on a boat, Kaetenay was also able to actually interact with Vanessa too for a moment. Needless to say that encounter didn't go down so well as the latter edged closer and closer to embracing her dark side but at least Ethan and Malcolm are on the way home.

Other Character Moments: This episode had a few lovely character bits to it as well. At the start we learned that Lily had a little girl who died as a one year old while Caitriona provided more intel on Dracula, Renfield upped his creepiness and Seward also showed signs of suspicion with Renfield as well as he asked too many questions about Vanessa while Justine's attempts of rebellion only saw Dorian point out how tiresome she actually was. On a frustrating note, aside from foolishly enabling Victor, it's been seven episodes now and not only have we not seen the Hyde element of Henry but we still haven't anything else to go on with the character.

Next week, it's a double bill as the battle for Vanessa's soul and Dracula gathers pace. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Doctor Who - Series 10: Casting & Writers Confirmed

It was nearly two months ago that Pearl Mackie was confirmed as new companion, Bill and now with production starting up, the BBC have released some interesting new items about Series 10 of Doctor Who.

First of all, Matt Lucas will be reprising his role as Nardole from The Husbands Of River Song and it seems that from the press release, it'll be for multiple episodes. I have to admit, this isn't news I was particularly hoping for to be honest. The character wasn't that great in the Christmas special and while I appreciate that Moffat's last run is aiming for a lighter tone, I think there are better past guest characters that Moffat could've brought back instead. Moffat on Lucas's return ....

“Delighted and slightly amazed to be welcoming Matt Lucas back on to the TARDIS - and this time it’s not just for Christmas, he’s sticking around. One of the greatest comedy talents on planet Earth is being unleashed on all of time and space.” 

The first two episodes of the tenth series will be written by Steven Moffat and Frank Cottrell Boyce, the latter returning since writing the eighth series episode, In The Forest Of The Night. Both episodes will be directed by Lawrence Gough. The second block of episodes will be penned by Sarah Dollard (Face The Raven) and Doctor Foster's Mike Bartlett. That's an interesting bunch of writers so far. Also guesting in the series will be Stephanie Hyam (Jekyll & Hyde, Peaky Blinders). Hyam will be playing a character named Heather, according to her online CV.

As for the main companion herself, Moffat did drop a few more hints about Pearl Mackie's Bill. In an interview for the 500th issue of DWM, Moffat stated that Bill could be short for Billie (or possibly, Belinda), name wise, that the character will be from the present day and that unlike Rose, Amy and Clara, the character is not a "forgotten princess" type. When also asked about meeting Bill's family, Moffat stated that we'll meet people around Bill, which sounds intriguing. Moffat has also stated that he will be writing four episodes for the upcoming series.

Meanwhile with filming for BBC3 online spin-off, Class still underway, creator Patrick Ness has confirmed through his recent tweets that at least one of the regular male character will be gay and will have a boyfriend. Ness didn't specify who the character will be but seeing as we only have two regulars with Greg Austin and Fady Elsayed, it's guaranteed to be at least one of these two characters. Although I had hope we'd get an LGBT character in this spin off, I'm really glad that Ness has now confirmed it though.

Matt Lucas Press Release: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/entries/6d059f23-2325-4a46-9b5e-cd0ad94b4a59
Class News: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/class/37676/class-patrick-ness-talks-lgbt-representation

Class is currently filming and will air on BBC3/BBC1 and BBCAmerica in the autumn. Filming for Series 10 of Doctor Who starts June 20th with a Christmas special to air this year.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Review of Scream (1996)

Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven

Ghostface: "What's your favourite scary movie?"

So, it's been nearly twenty years since the release of this movie. In that time we've had three sequels and two seasons of an MTV show that doesn't quite the same bite as this impressive debut from 1996. This movie may owe a lot to previous horror movies but it also helped to redefine the genre back in the late 1990s as well.

Set in the fictional town of Woodsboro, it's been a year since the tragic and gruesome murder of Maureen Prescott and a killer given the nickname of Ghostface (Roger Jackson) by a later victim opens the movie with the gruesome deaths of high school sweethearts Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) and Steven Orth (Kevin Patrick Walls) and from there on in, it's a bit of a bloodbath.

The female protagonist of the movie is a girl named Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell and the daughter of the tragically killed Maureen. Sidney believed that Cotton Weary (Liev Schrieber) was her mother's killer but with the arrival of Ghostface trying to murder Sidney and her friends at every turn. There's also the teaming up of media hack/journalist Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and earnest deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) with the former convinced that Sidney falsely identified her mother's killer a year prior.

This franchise has always relied on the triumvirate of Campbell, Cox and Arquette and all three are naturally the standouts in a movie that has more than enough of them. Campbell gives Sidney a warmth and depth with her classic final girl, Sidney Prescott while the pairing of Gale and Dewey has been one of the most enduring movie partnerships we've had in the last few decades.

As a killer, Ghostface has managed to become as successful and as iconic as the likes of Michael Myers, Freddie Krueger, Leatherface and Jason Voorhes to name a few and in this movie, it's revealed the killers are Sidney's boyfriend, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and his somewhat dim witted friend, Stuart (Matthew Liliard) and while only one of them has an actual motive, the two of them certainly made for a deadly double act which Sidney then ended up taking out herself.

As for other characters, Rose McGowen's character, Tatum got some fame by being the one to label the killer Ghoistface and while she had some quippy comments and a good point about sexism, Tatum isn't a character that really steps out of the supportive best friend to the final girl role while Jamie Kennedy's Randy Meeks is great for exposition and movie trivia/rules. Both however are extremely fun characters to watch and have more life to them than later supporting characters as well.

- The original title for this movie was Scary Movie. Another franchise would take on that title though.
- There's some great music for this movie, including Gus's cover version of Don't Fear The Reaper.
- Randy's rules to survive include being a virgin, not drinking/doing drugs, never saying I'll be right back and everyone's a suspect.
- Ghostface's general look is largely based on a certain painting and the costume was originally meant to be white instead of black.

The start of a mostly solid movie franchise, the first Scream certainly played homage to horror movies past while doing a lot to influence future horror movies and television programmes in it's wake. The movie certainly set up an impressive precedent here.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, June 10, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 13-16 Reviews

With the latest episodes I watched, I've managed to finish off the first season and delve a little into the second season. A mixed bunch of episodes.

Episode 13: Ascension

The first season of this show ended with the very public outing of Derek Powers as Blight and while everyone in Neo Gotham knew exactly who he was, the episode was more about his downfall. Yeah, we saw a vindictive side to Terry who really wanted to take Powers down but it was Derek's son, the equally as corrupt Paxton that proved to be the thorn in his side. Paxton it seems really is his father's son with his attempts of taking out both his father and Batman in this episode. However the episode left the door open for Blight to inevitably return though. 8/10

Episode 14: Splicers

The opening episode for the second season went in an interesting direction. I know it's a (not that) far future but a part of me did have a little difficulty in believing that even teenagers would be into splicing as a new trend. Of course, the man behind it had more nefarious reasons for the splicing and Terry suffered a bit of it by becoming a vampire bat like creature for a scene or two. There was a nice enough appearance from Barbara and Sam and I liked Terry and Ace working together as they both took out Dr Cuvier in his transformed state. The episode also debuted a new recurring character in Max as well. 6/10

Episode 15: Earth Mover

Well, this was a weird one. On paper, the idea was pretty riveting. On screen though, a little bit of a mixed bag though. In this episode we met a friend of Terry and Dana's named Jackie, whose adopted dad Bill was responsible for the death of her real father during a work related incident. Except the real father didn't die. Instead he became some toxic waste earth type of creature able to control some Clayface looking like (but not actually Clayface) minions before Batman was eventually able to defeat him. The episode works for the most part but there's something a little off with it as well. I just can't put my finger on it though. 7/10

Episode 16: Joyride

After a few cameo appearances here and there in previous episodes, this episode decided to put some actual focus onto the Jokerz gang when they stole a government vehicle to wreck havoc upon. I don't like the Jokerz that much as a gang and the more the appear, the more they actually make me wish for the real thing instead. However, I did quite enjoy the dynamics within the gang and seeing Terry taking on one obnoxious member  and defeating him quite nicely. While I don't like this gang or even their T rivals, if we get more episodes of this quality, I guess I'm open to more appearances from them though. 8/10

Next blog I'll focus on Lost Souls, Hidden Agenda, Blood Sport and Once Burned.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 3x06: No Beast So Fierce

This week's episode took something of an interesting turn as a family dinner spectacularly went to hell, Vanessa met a new ally and Dorian showed signs of regretting his own allegiances.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Paco Cabezas

Letting The Wrong One In: The good news for Vanessa is that most of her allies will actually be back by next week. However in this episode alone, Mr Lyle informed her he was heading to Egypt (I detect a plot for next season) while also putting her in contact with a new ally (more on this person in a bit). Both the new ally and Dr Seward told Vanessa that she needed to bring people closer to her rather than push them away. Vanessa actually took this advice on board by hooking up with Dr Sweet/Dracula in his museum and now I'm feeling horribly conflicted by this storyline. I know Vanessa should put a stake in the guy's heart and that he's totally evil but Christian Camargo's take on the character has been one of the best I've seen in recent years. I actually don't want to lose the character by season's end.

Tumblr Feminism, 19th Century Style: If you think I'm mocking feminism with that heading, I'm actually not but Lily's whole crusade and Justine's more militant 'kill all men' take on the thing makes it very hard to completely sympathise. I get that Lily is recruiting women like herself to the cause - vulnerable, abused, degraded etc but her actions are eventually going to result in innocent people actually being murdered and while even Dorian is starting to realise her plan is too flawed, it's not a good sign. That being said, Lily probably should've killed Victor when she had him in her clutches because his obsession with trying to cure her just keeps growing and I don't like that Jekyll and now Dorian perhaps are going to enable him even more so.

Bye, Bye Papa: Ethan's father, Jared managed to last all but two episodes before being taken out by Malcolm. While a part of me would've been fine with Ethan carrying out the deed in the church, it's nice that by next week we'll be out of America with him and Malcolm and back to London. This plot has certainly had it's moments and the dinner scene with everyone was some quality tension but it's also nice that this storyline is coming to a conclusion. Hecate bit the bullet in this episode courtesy of Rusk, who may or may not have survived the episode too but either way, this plotline is coming to an end.

Fencing Lady: We lose one female character (and sadly not Justine) but we gain another. Lyle's friend - fencing lady, Caitriona Hartdegan was introduced rather swiftly in this episode as Vanessa watched Caitriona best a male opponent, give some more information about Dracula and then offer Vanessa some sound advice on keeping her allies close together. Caitriona got enough scene in this episode for me to make a positive impression and if we can't have any more of Lyle for the time being, then I'm happy with her presence and let's be honest, Vanessa could do with some more female friends.

Flashbacks Time: The good news is that Caliban returned this week. The less good news is that he has yet to remember his past with Vanessa and both characters have yet to meet each other this season. We did however get some lovely and tragic scenes between Caliban and his son but other than that, nothing really advanced too much here I'm afraid.

Next week, Vanessa and Ethan reunite and Lily finds herself being betrayed by both Dorian and Victor.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Batman Beyond - Episodes 9-12 Reviews

A good selection of episodes as two villains return, more are introduced, scope is given to Barbara and we get the lowdown on slappers.

Episode 9: The Winning Edge

Slappers - the new drug to help out those stressed, under performing sporting students as given to Mason and company by an overzealous coach working for a man who has been nursing Bane of all people on the side. It was interesting to see Bane suffering the effects of his previous dependency on Venom while his carer seemed to learn nothing from Bane's condition by trying to emulate him as well. Of course while this episode was a bit of an after school special (drugs are bad, gotcha!), it was a fairly well done one though. 7/10

Episode 10: Spellbound

With this title, I was hoping for something of a more magical episode but as a guest villain, I quite liked Spellbinder's deadly abilities. Manipulating students into handing over information on rich parents/employers (Terry succumbed to the villain twice) was one thing but the character's actions nearly caused a few deaths as well. As a villain, Spellbinder was great but I have to admit once his identity had been revealed (a local shrink), I sort of found his motivations a bit laughable in the end. There was also a nice little reference to Dick Grayson as well in this episode. 7/10

Episode 11: Disappearing Inque

Our first proper returning villain outing. It's been eight episodes since Inque's enjoyable debut and she came back due to a rather gullible and in love Aaron being blinded by her charms that he was willing to help her become human again whilst holding Batman hostage and attempting to kill Bruce Wayne. Inque is similarly taken out to how she was last time and Aaron's naivety has a horrible consequence but there was a joy in seeing Bruce suit as a robotic Batman in order to rescue Terry and for a second outing, it was a pretty engaging one for Inque. 7/10

Episode 12: A Touch Of Curare

Finally an episode that gave Commissioner Barbara Gordon some much needed focus. In this episode alone we learned that her husband Sam was being targeted by blue skinned assassin, Curare and during a lovely cafe scene with Terry, we also learned why she's more distant with Bruce these days. I've never liked the idea of Barbara/Bruce having any kind of romantic history but I do like that this episode explored why she gave up her own cowl (though nothing on Tim) and it was nice that she was also able to take on Curare with Terry's help as well. Curare wasn't given too much scope as a character but they did seem to set up a return of sorts, so maybe we'll learn more about her organisation next time around. 8/10

Next blog I'll talk about Ascension, Splicers, Earth Mover and Joyride.