What’s New? || Geek News

It’s Sunday – it’s Oscar Sunday and this week has been dominated by the lead up to the Academy Awards but I’ve still got some news for you so let’s just get to it:

Final Daredevil Trailer

The second part of the 2-part Daredevil Season 2 trailer has been released by Netflix and there is a lot of Elektra. I enjoyed Season 1 of Daredevil  but I think it lacked something that made my interest peter out towards the end. The upcoming season promises to be packed full of action, we have: Elektra, The Punisher, The Hand and I believe Stick may be returning. Check out the trailer below.

Finn Jones Cast As Iron Fist

Game Of Thrones’ Finn Jones has officially been cast as Iron Fist in the Marvel-Netflix series of the same name. Iron Fist completes The Defenders: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage & Iron Fist. We first saw Luke Cage in Jessica Jones but his solo outing will be arriving on Netflix soon and Iron Fist will follow.

Marvel’s Most Wanted Gets Official Synopsis

The ABC Marvel show, Marvel’s Most Wanted, has received an official synopsis.It follows Bobbi and Hunter from Agent’s Of Shield after leaving the newly formed S.H.I.E.L.D. The synopsis is:

Centers on Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) and Lance Hunter of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., two ex-spies and ex-spouses who are on the run with no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D. and a long list of enemies looking to claim the bounty on their heads. Able to trust no one but each other, Bobbi and Hunter form an uneasy alliance with Dominic Fortune, a rogue adventurer with a wealth of resources and even more adversaries, who agrees to protect them so long as they help him with his own agenda. These two heroes will help anyone in need, all while trying to uncover the conspiracy that put their own lives in jeopardy.

Bobbi and Hunter are two of my favourite characters on Agents of Shield so I will be sad to see them go but the relationship between the characters is so strong and also fun that it could be good to see them strike out on their own.

That’s it for today – I know it was a short one but I will be back on Tuesday with more. As usual:

What part of the Daredevil trailer has you most fired up? Does Finn Jones look like an Iron Fist? How are they going to remove Bobbi and Hunter from Agents of Shield? Let me know in the comments.

The (mostly) CW Review

Supergirl: Truth, Justice and the American Way (Season 1, Episode 14)

“By breaking the law you have forfeited your right to exist.” – Master Jailer

After it’s one week hiatus Supergirl came back with some bite – that is to say that Kara is a lot angrier than she was a few weeks ago and I kind of like it.

This week was a lot about morality. Kara was forced to decide on what she would do with Maxwell Lord who had been locked up in the DEO for an indefinite amount of time. Her extra-terrestrial opponent was actually an alien serial killer (so, he was an alien but he also killed other aliens… in case that wasn’t clear) and as if that were not enough she also had to deal with a new opponent in the office. Her boss hired a new assistant, demoting Kara to second assistant – it’s all very Devil Wears Prada.

The episode started off with a visit from Non, who took Kara to her aunt’s funeral and handily mentioned that he was calling a ceasefire during his period of mourning. Melissa Benoist truly is the glue of this show and she is a fantastic actress – this was illustrated wonderfully as she delivered a heartfelt funeral prayer over her aunt’s coffin.

Kara still believes that Hank killed her aunt and she is nowhere near forgiveness yet. Last episode was the first time that we really got to see Kara angry and it’s great that they’re continuing with that. So rarely are female characters allowed to simply be angry when bad things happen to them – sad, broken, invigorated, determined: sure, but to express anger like any other natural emotion is uncommon but refreshing.

Speaking of fresh, I think that this week’s villain was a nice deviation from the cycle of random alien, Non & Astra, Maxwell Lord. So far it’s seemed like all aliens on the planet just want to kill humans (in which case, maybe Maxwell Lord isn’t so crazy). To have an alien that was harming other aliens was a nice new twist. Also, his identity behind his mask came as a real surprise for me which was good.

The fight sequences in this show are never perfect and this week that was particularly noticeable. It was as though Kara and the Master Jailer were simply waiting for each other to make moves: almost like it was choreographed or something… I’m hoping that this is just teething problems in an otherwise brilliant first season.

Overall, this was a very good episode of the show. I do wish that I got to see more of Winn but it’s not as though he was overtly absent.

The Flash: King Shark (Season 2, Episode 15)

“Ain’t nobody faster than me.” – Wally

If you don’t remember King Shark from earlier this season then he’s half-man, half-shark. Based on that alone, my expectations for this episode were incredibly low. I’m happy to report that I was just so very wrong.

This episode we got to see the dynamic between Barry and Wally, Diggle and Lyla made a trip over to Central City, King Shark tried to kill Barry and after months of waiting, we finally know the identity of Zoom.

The theme this week was character development. For once, I liked watching Caitlin: after losing Jay last week her personality’s changed. She’s harder, meaner and more – it really feels as though this is a Caitlin that I can get on board with and it’s the most interesting that she’s been since Season 1.

We’re talking about an episode in which there was a giant CGI man-shark so let’s talk about the giant CGI man-shark. For a CW television show, I think that King Shark was amazing. He was genuinely quite terrifying to behold and that came from a fantastic effects team who took the time to give him his own distinctive look. I was expecting Sharknado but this was much better and I have to commend what they did with this character.

This was another crossover episode, this time with Diggle and Lyla coming over from Star City to help out with King Shark. I love Diggle no matter where he is and it was nice to see him have more of an active role which he’s been lacking recently in Arrow.

Jessie is slowly being introduced as a character to the show and I’m a wary fan. Initially she seemed like a bit of brat: appearing very affronted by the idea that after having her life saved by a group of people who had risked their own lives, despite not even knowing her, she wouldn’t be able to go back home.

Perhaps I was quick to judge – I imagine that there’s an adjustment period with these things. Later on in the episode she came into her own and even found a place in this ensemble, working with her dad and annoying Cisco. Is she a replacement for Jay? I would be fine with that.

Ever since Wally was introduced and he made that “white shadow” remark about Barry, I’ve been waiting to see exactly what kind of dynamic the two will have and that was finally revealed this week. Tense and uncomfortable are both words that would accurately describe the interaction. There’s a lot of jealousy on Wally’s part and Barry was just resigned to take any lashing out that Wally threw his way. Fundamentally they’re very similar people and I think that that means their relationship will culminate in either all-out hatred or a real bromance.

Grant Gustin delivered another emotional scene when talking to Joe and Iris about his experience on Earth-2. Watching that scene, I felt a wave of sympathy for Barry and it was the first time that I had thought of Earth-2 as equally significant as Earth-1 so for the second week in a row, kudos to Gustin for a beautiful performance.

I feel as though Season 1 of this show was very much the origin story of The Flash and Season 2 is where we get to see Barry develop into a real, bonafide hero – not just somebody who does the obvious, right thing when convenient but who makes difficult decisions whilst putting everybody else ahead of himself.

The episode ended with the big reveal: the identity of Zoom. Jay Garrick is Zoom – I think. When Zoom took off his mask it was Jay’s face but he had just dropped Earth-2 Jay’s dead body on the floor and we’ve already seen Earth-1 Jay (Hunter Zolomon) so are there three Jays? I’m not sure what’s happening with this storyline anymore. I’m intrigued but it’s also giving me a headache.

Arrow: Taken (Season 4, Episode 15)

“I’m enough of a geek to know science fiction when I see it.” – Felicity

This week Oliver got to channel his inner Liam Neeson as he raced to save his kidnapped child from Damien Darhk.

The big news this week in Arrow was that Vixen would be visiting Star City to help Oliver out in his crusade against Damien Darhk. There was some conflict between Oliver and Felicity after Felicity discovered that Oliver had a secret son which resulted in her leaving him. The Arrow team destroyed Darhk’s source of power and saved Oliver’s son but the not-quite-shocking end to the episode was that Felicity was able to walk again.

With the mayoral campaign and Felicity’s dad, we haven’t seen much of Darhk in recent weeks and I forgot what a fun villain he is. He strikes this great intermediate between genuinely intimidating and amusing. Add the fact that he was the first person to suggest that Felicity – the tech genius of the show – motorise her wheelchair and he was my favourite part of this episode.

Vixen, a.k.a. Mari McCabe, became a live-action character for this episode of Arrow. If you’re unfamiliar with the character then Vixen is an animated web-series set in the Arrowverse. Maybe you caught her little joke in the episode, she and Oliver “had an animated encounter last year.” I don’t care if it was corny, I laughed.

I loved Vixen: I thought that she was totally awesome and kick-ass but she’s just a bit too far-fetched for Arrow. Yes, Arrow has become more outlandish and magic is just an accepted part of that world now but Vixen has a totem that allows her to channel the spirit of any animal. Compared to The Flash and SupergirlArrow is the grounded show – I can’t see superhuman abilities fitting in and I don’t think that Vixen belongs there.

A very strange scene occurred in which Laurel cried to her father about the fact that Oliver had cheated on her and fathered a child with another woman whilst they were together. I understand that they were really trying to press the theme of what it is to be a father but that was some really clunky writing. Perhaps I’m cold-hearted but I felt no sympathy for Laurel – it’s been a decade, you already knew he cheated on you with your sister: you should probably get over it.

Oliver was finally victorious over Darhk as Vixen destroyed what seems to have been his source of power. Moving forward, I’m not sure what that means for the show: I don’t think that we’ve seen the last of Darhk but will he get his powers back? I said that his wife seems like she could be a real challenge for Oliver so maybe she’ll step into the ring next.

Unlike with Laurel, I can sympathise with Felicity’s situation and her decision to take a break from Oliver (we saw them together at the gravestone at the beginning of the season so I don’t think that this separation is permanent). One thing did irk me a bit, though. Felicity can walk again – miraculously, just in time to walk out on Oliver. Is that poetic or just really cheesy?

The 100: Bitter Harvest (Season 3, Episode 6)

“What are you on and how do I get some?” – Jasper

Last week’s manifesto of ‘blood must not have blood’ was put to the test across the entirety of this episode.

Clarke was faced with the decision of what to do with Emerson – the man responsible for the most recent attack, and destruction, of the mountain – and eventually spared his life. Jaha continued to induct people into the increasingly sketchy City of Light and it was revealed that there is a second, improved version of Alie out in the world. Pike launched an attack on a Grounder village but thanks to Octavia, they were prepared and killed on of the Sky People.

As Clarke continues to stay with Lexa we’re seeing how their different ideas combine to create what ultimately is “ideal” policy and that’s an interesting part of the show. Obviously, last season they had a brief period in which they were a couple but that ended with a massacre. I like how the show hasn’t made them jump back into that relationship – whilst there is clear and palpable chemistry between them , there are bigger things at play than a will they, won’t they story. The development of their relationship this season feels very organic.

The mystery of the City of Light is slowly unraveling – is it a cult or a coup? Nobody seems particularly interested in it apart from Abby, yet it looks like the number of people involved in it within Arcadia is growing exponentially. When they revealed that Abby’s co-worker, Doctor Jackson, would being spying on her on behalf of Alie it all just became even more sinister.

Pike is wildly growing worse: what initially seemed like defensive, or even preemptive reactionary behaviour is now just becoming this bullying sense of entitlement. In this episode, Lexa said “it is human nature to want vengeance” and that was demonstrated pretty clearly through this story-line. The Sky People were ready to kill the Grounders without even asking for them to move but the Grounders were happy to raze their own home and the Grounders with it. This show is blurring the lines between right and wrong and it’s hard to fully support any one side.

Octavia was the one that alerted the Grounders to the Sky People’s plan and she’s a fascinating character in the show. I said that it’s hard to fully support any side but I’m always Team Octavia. Unfortunately, Bellamy is in the difficult position of standing on a different side from her but also being her brother. Bellamy has had a pretty dramatic change in his stance on Grounders but his love for his sister has always been his one unwavering characteristic. Will he turn against her?

Titus is an actual person – with real human feelings and ideas. After seeing Titus constantly at Lexa’s side, it was bizarre to see him in any other capacity that wasn’t faithful adviser. He has some very strong ideas and at the end of the episode it was shown that he was a survivor of the thirteenth ark station. Titus just became a lot more interesting and I can’t wait to find out what his endgame is.

That’s it this week – with the exception of Arrow, I thought that all of the shows brought a pretty high standard. Of course, you might think something completely different so tell me about it:

Is Siobhan more dangerous than a simple assistant? Were you impressed by the King Shark CGI work? Is Titus an enemy of Arcadia or the Grounders? Let me know in the comments.

What’s New? || Geek News

Happy Thursday people, I hope you’re having an awesome week so far and maybe it’ll get even better when you find out some of the cool things that have happened in the last few days.

 Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi & Christina Kirk Join Cast of Powerless

On Tuesday I said that Vanessa Hudgens had been cast in this new DC show about an insurance firm. Now, we have three more actors – Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Danny Pudi (Community) & Christina Kirk (A to Z) – joining the roster. They will all be playing people who work at this insurance firm. Now, DC have never done a purely comedy, no-action, show so this is kind of experimental but with Pudi and Tudyk I think that this really has the potential to work.

Daredevil Teaser Shows Elektra In Action

Earlier this month, Netflix released the first half of the trailer for Season 2 of Daredevil and at the very end we caught a glimpse of Elektra. In their new 15 second teaser we get to see Elektra in action and she looks amazing. Hopefully, this season is so great that it can just wipe away the memory of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner forever.

Steven S. DeKnight Will Direct Pacific Rim 2

Speaking of Daredevil, the former show-runner of the series is now set to direct the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim (did you like that little segue?). This film has been in the works for what feels like forever and it was starting to seem like it wasn’t going to happen but we have now received confirmation from Guillermo Del Toro himself. Del Toro will still be involved with the sequel but as a producer rather than director.

Gwyneth Paltrow Will Appear In Captain America: Civil War

Do you remember Pepper Potts? If you don’t then that might be because she hasn’t been seen in the MCU for three years now but it has been confirmed the she will be back in Captain America: Civil War. Most likely in a very small capacity but nonetheless it will great to see Gwyneth Paltrow in that role again. One of the things that I really loved about the earlier Iron Man films was the dynamic between Pepper and Tony so it will be nice to see that again.

First Set Photo From Justice League

This week, Zack Snyder shared the first set photo from the upcoming Justice League movie. He took a photo with Jason Momoa – who will play Aquaman – but if you look past that then there are plenty of great little teases in there. In the background we can see a Flash costume, a Mera image and what may be a Nightwing costume.

That is it for news until Sunday but tomorrow there will be a new (mostly) CW review so check that out if you’re at all interested. Until then,

Do you think Powerless will be any good? Are you a fan of Pepper Potts? Can you find any other nuggets in the set photo that I missed. Let me know in the comments.

#OscarsSoPredictable

The Oscars are coming again this weekend and since the nominations came out in January there has been general uproar (again) about the lack of diversity. As somebody who enjoys cinema I can’t help but agree but I also believe that it goes so much further than that. We’ve reached a point where the Oscar nominees and winners are getting predictable. You could argue that it’s formulaic.

Last week I spoke about Pixar and they, together with Disney, have won nine of the fourteen Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature.Today, I want to focus on the superhero genre which anybody could tell you is leading the film industry at the moment but is yet to be recognised by the Academy.

There’s no denying that comic-book films are a huge section of the film industry at the moment. Particularly with the MCU, the box office has been dominated by Marvel and DC titles in the last few years, with The Dark Knight The Avengers actually having the highest worldwide gross of 2008 and 2012 respectively.

top grossing films
 

Top grossing films: 2006 - 2016 (so far)

 

As a kid who loved the cinema, I thought of the Oscars with a level of reverence that I reserved for them and them alone. If you (as an actor, director, writer etc.) or your movie won an Oscar then that meant more than any review or anybody’s opinion – clearly your work was the best. Now I’m not too sure about that.

You’re familiar with the term “oscar bait” – a film that is produced with the intention, and likelihood, of winning at the Oscars – and right now that seems largely to be biopics and epic period dramas. I don’t want to disparage the recent Best Picture winners or nominees, I’m actually a fan of the majority of them, but I believe that they’re missing something key.

Empire is the biggest selling film magazine in the UK and if you look at their last three covers, they’re all superheroes.

last three empire covers
Empire UK Magazine Covers Feb 2016 - April 2016

Empire hold their own awards every year – the Jameson Empire Awards – in which the winners are voted for by the readers of the magazine (people that love cinema). The difference in nominations is astounding. Moving past superhero movies for a second, films like Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Hobbit all receive critical acclaim. Regardless, they’re snubbed by the Oscars when it comes to the coveted Best Picture award but are recognised in the Empire Awards. Voting in the Empire awards is open to everybody; the Oscars are based on exclusion.

The problem with the Oscars at the moment is that the same people are voting for the same types of films over and over again. A 2012 study by the Los Angeles Times showed the following to be true of Academy Award voters:

  • 94% Caucasian
  • 77% male
  • 54% over the age of 6o.

Clearly this is not representative of all people who watch films throughout the year.

You may think that if these films are the highest-grossing in the cinema and they receive so many other accolades, then should some gold statue really matter? The Academy Awards are recognised as the most prestigious awards in the film industry – perhaps these superhero films don’t need to win Best Picture but if the vast majority of people agree that something was the best feature film of the year, then shouldn’t it win the award?

What do you think about the Oscars? Should the superhero genre be allowed a space in the Best Picture category? What was the best film of the past year for you? Let me know in the comments.

What’s New? || Geek News

Merry Tuesday everybody, I’m trying to not constantly talk about Deadpool this month but they’re making it so hard. That said, I just want to slip in that Deadpool is now the highest grossing X-Men film of all time. And now everything else from the last few days:

Wonder Woman Set Photos

Wonder Woman Set PhotosI have to say that seeing Wonder Woman in action is what I’m most looking forward to in Batman v Superman. Production is still going on for her solo outing (to be released in Summer 2017) and whilst we still have to wait over a year for the actual movie, we have some pretty cool set photos to keep us going. To see all 29, check out the gallery I posted yesterday.

 

New Jungle Book TV Spot

As much as Marvel and DC are coming out with amazing films this year, the movie I’m most excited about in 2016 is The Jungle Book. Maybe it’s nostalgia but from what I’ve seen so far in trailers, I just love it so much and this new TV spot is no different. There’s a bit of Bagheera/Baloo interaction in this one, check it out:

First Look At Star Wars Experience

On Sunday, Disney offered the first look at their Star Wars experience that will open at Walt Disney Resort (Orlando) and Disneyland (Anaheim). It looks beyond amazing and amongst the many things that they’re promising of this park, you’ll be able to sit behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon. I mean, that’s pretty cool.

Justice League To Begin Filming

Zack Snyder has confirmed that Justice League – Part 1 will begin shooting on April 11. Unfortunately, the rumours were not true and the film is still going ahead. Maybe that’s not fair and the film will be great but every instinct is telling me that this is just a huge money-grab as opposed to a good film. Personally, I don’t think DC has done anything great, in terms of movies, since the Dark Knight Trilogy.

Vanessa Hudgens To Star In DC Pilot

Whilst the DC cinematic universe isn’t exactly winning me over, their shows are some of my favourites currently on television. They are adding a new show to their collection called Powerless, all about an insurance firm within the DC world whose job is only made more difficult by all the superheroes flying around, breaking things. It has now been confirmed the Vanessa Hudgens will star as Emily Locke, an insurance adjuster.

That’s all today, come back for more Geek News on Thursday but until then:

Any thoughts on Wonder Woman? How are you feeling about the Jungle Book marketing? Are you hopeful for Justice League? Let me know in the comments.

What’s New? || Geek News

Once again it’s Sunday and the final news round-up of the week but I have some absolute gems for you this morning.

Deadpool Is #TeamCap

So Chris Evans saw Deadpool last night and like any rational-minded human being he loved it. He loved it so much that it led to this Twitter exchange that absolutely made my day. rdj rr ce twitter

Emily Blunt In Talks To Play Mary Poppins

Disney is making a sequel to Mary Poppins and they have made it no secret who they want to play the titular role. Emily Blunt is currently in talks to play the magical, singing nanny and I will say that if it can’t be Julie Andrews then Emily Blunt does have a similar quality about her that I believe would make her great for this role. The film is to be set 20 years after the original but still follow the adventures of the Banks family.

New Pete’s Dragon Poster

Pete's DragonIn other Disney news, the studio have released the first motion poster for their upcoming release, Pete’s Dragon. The remake of the 1977 film of the same name is coming out this Summer and whilst I’ve never seen the original I am looking forward to this one – even with their worst films Disney is never really a disappointment and from what I’ve seen so far, this looks like it’s going to pretty good. Also, the first official trailer comes out later today so keep an eye out.

Deadpool vs. Gambit

What? The Gambit movie’s finally happening? And he’s teaming up with Deadpool??? As amazing as that would be – no. What is happening, however, is a comic-book mini-series. There will be five issues – debuting in June – and if you’re not into comics but got excited by that headline then give it a go. The great thing about a mini-series is the minimal commitment involved.

First Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 Trailer

I adore this Netflix original – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will be back again on April 15 and I can’t wait for the singular day of joy that it will bring me as I binge-watch it. I don’t know much about the new season: the main cast are all returning but as far as the plot goes that is a mystery to me, although it has already been renewed for a third season.

Well guys, that’s it for this week. Of course I’ll be here again on Tuesday with more geekly news but until next week:

Team Cap, Team Iron Man or Team Hello Kitty? Have you watched the original Pete’s Dragon? What’s your favourite Netflix series coming back this year? Let me know in the comments.