Wait, What Happened? || Geek News

It’s the final day of November which means tomorrow is Christmas. That’s right, the entire month of December is Christmas but if a day is just too long to wait, then I have a couple of early presents for you in the form of some news. A lot has been going on so you might find yourself feeling lost and asking: wait, what happened? if that’s the case, I’ve got you covered.

DC Crossover Week

Image result for dc crossover cwThe CW’s DC Crossover Week is well underway  but if you haven’t already been watching, it is a week-long event in which The CW’s DC hero shows crossover. So from Monday to Thursday night, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow are all following one storyline that sees them all jumping into each other’s shows. The event is now halfway through and it’s amazing. If you weren’t watching it already, you are in the fortunate situation of being able to watch the first two episodes right now without having to wait a whole day in between.

Riverdale Trailer

The first trailer for The CW’s upcoming series, Riverdale, was released this week. The series is a teen drama based on the characters from Archie Comics. I am not familiar with Archie Comics so I didn’t know what to make of this series: to be perfectly honest, the trailer doesn’t tell you very much except for the fact that they have a very pretty cast (but it’s The CW so what else were you expecting?). If you want to have a look, you can check that out below:

H&M Christmas Advert

The Christmas adverts are one of my favourite parts of the festive season and every year they just seem to get better. H&M took it to a whole new level this year by hiring Wes Anderson to direct a short film and it’s beautiful. It’s Wes Anderson so every shot is gorgeous but the story itself is very sweet. It’s less than four minutes long so check it out:

Have you been watching crossover week? Will you be watching Riverdale in the new year? What’s your favourite seasonal advert currently on air? Let me know in the comments.

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Where Did All The Rom-Coms Go?

Even talking about this, I feel as though somebody is going to come out of the shadows and snatch away my geek card but here I go: I like rom-coms. I have always liked rom-coms and even though I know that they’re probably the most universally mocked film genre in existence, I still have a soft spot for them.

They used to be everywhere but now I’m struggling to remember the last one that I saw in cinema. Was there some sort of secret conspiracy to slowly stop producing romantic comedies? Or was everybody else aware and I just missed it? I looked up romantic comedies that had been released this year and one of the top results was Deadpool. Whilst I admit Deadpool boasts both romance and comedy, it’s not exactly When Harry Met Sally.

Image result for deadpool

Cinema goes through phases: at the moment it’s very much into action franchises but there was a time a few years ago when it was all YA adaptations. Rom-coms had their turn in the spotlight and now they’re taking a step back – that’s natural. The only issue is that most genres still have some sort of presence whereas rom-coms just don’t and I have a theory about why this has happened.

Romantic comedies got really bad.

You’ve Got Mail, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Love Actually are all amazing movies. Just Go With It, All About Steve, and Did You Hear About The Morgans? are not. I mean, seriously Hugh Grant: how can you go from Love Actually to Did You Hear About The Morgans? The main difference between those groups of films is their release dates – the newer ones suck.

Image result for did you hear about the morgans

Romantic comedies were successful for a long time because they were fun and cute and everyone could enjoy them. They were a guaranteed success so film-makers got lazy. Grab a couple of attractive film stars, have them fall in love despite some seemingly insurmountable obstacle and do it all with a cute soundtrack behind them. Sorted. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to make a good movie and film-goers made that clear by not going.

Perhaps I’m just nostalgic for the old rom-coms but I think that the genre deserves a renaissance. There are so many talented young actors that I would be happy to spend 90 minutes watching fall in love. So, this is my official plea to Hollywood:

I love Marvel and I’m a big fan of all of those Disney movies but please can we get just one good romantic comedy next year? I’m not expecting it to be Nora Ephron-standard. Just better than The Killers or What Happens In Vegas or… you know what? Just don’t put Ashton Kutcher in it and we should be fine.

What’s your take on rom-coms? What film genre do you think is in desperate need of a comeback? Let me know in the comments.

A Beginner’s Guide To The Edge of Seventeen

Everything you need to know before Edge of Seventeen hits cinemas tomorrow.

What is The Edge of Seventeen?
The Edge of Seventeen is a coming-of-age comedy drama movie.

So a little bit like Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club?
Funny you should say that – the writer-director-producer of the film, Kelly Fremon Craig, said that John Hughes was one of the film-makers that she took inspiration from in the making of this film.

What’s it about?
Well, if you’re looking for an official synopsis then:

A precocious, narcissistic high-schooler named Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is horrified when her best friend (Haley Lu Richardson) starts dating her impossibly perfect brother (Blake Jenner). Soon, she falls into a downward spiral that forces her to reflect on her cruel, self-centered behavior.

That… actually sounds kind of dark.
No, no, no. It’s like normal teen angst – as long as you’re personally not sixteen, it should be pretty funny. Plus Woody Harrelson’s in it so I’m sure it’s laughs all around.

I do like Woody… Who else is in it?
This film has a pretty fresh, young cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Hayden Szeto, Blake Jenner, and Kyra Sedgwick amongst others.

Is it any good?
Based on the trailer and reviews? Absolutely – it closed the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Based on the box office? Not at all. The film had the misfortune of coming up against giant movies like Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them and Bleed for This so its success in the US was limited.

Would you recommend it?
Whole-heartedly. Although if you want to see it, the distribution in the UK is limited and it is only showing at big cinemas.

The Book of Love || Trailer Review

Where to start with The Book of Love? I don’t want to keep you in suspense so straight away I’ll just say that this is a terrible trailer. Like, I’m 80% sure that the film is better than the trailer and I can say that pretty confidently because the trailer gives away the entire film.

Sorry, did you want to watch the movie and not know who lives and who dies? What the kid is trying to build? How she ends up working with Jason Sudeikis? Well, sorry. The trailer tells you all of that. In truth it doesn’t seem like a bad film: it has a decent cast and we get to see Sudeikis dive into dramatic territory again. Maisie Williams is a talented, young actress but that isn’t what you think about when you see her in this trailer because where there is Maisie, there is also The Accent.

The Accent is really the star of this trailer. It’s maybe Southern? Probably in the continent of North America? That is one secret that the trailer holds onto, possibly because the filmmakers couldn’t place it either. I know that accents are difficult but… wow.

I wouldn’t see this film: mainly because I already know the majority of the plot and I would be paying just to marvel at how The Accent develops throughout the film.

What did you think of The Book of Love? Will you be watching it in theatres? Where is that accent from? Let me know in the comments.

The Best Of This Week’s TV

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of the people out there who celebrate the holiday. If you’re in a country like mine where we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this holiday just meant that there was very little television and lots of online sales. Anyway, back to the topic at hand: let’s talk about what showed this week. Before we get to the best, we have to talk honourable mentions.

Honourable Mentions

  • No Tomorrow.pngJane the Virgin – for Bruno Mars karaoke.
  • Gotham – for confirming that it gets a hundred times better when watched as a comedy rather than a drama.
  • Supergirl – for Alex: she’s quickly becoming the best part of the show.
  • No Tomorrow – for fuchsia houses and party crashers.
  • Scorpion – for farting superheroes that save California.

Show of the Week: The Flash

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I didn’t like Caitlin last season: she was boring and superfluous and I didn’t really understand what she added to the show. The only time that that changed was when we saw her Earth-2 doppelganger, Killer Frost. The people over at The Flash have clearly taken that to heart and this season we’re seeing Caitlin wrestle against her inner Killer Frost.

The Flash is good at heroes but their villains are often just a little bit too campy to be taken seriously or seen as genuinely threatening. With Killer Frost, Alchemy, and Savitar, the villains in this series have reached a new level of awesome.

Also in this episode, we were able to see Wally finally get his powers and all the Kid Flash fans rejoiced. They have been teasing this story-line for the longest time and we finally get to see it play out – in my opinion, just in the nick of time, because Wally was beginning to come across more like a whiny kid than a young hero.

Finally, dues must be paid to Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes who are two fantastic actors that are able to bring real emotion to what can sometimes be a light show.

This Week’s Worst: Westworld

Image result for westworld episode 8

I have been praising Westworld since its first episode because it’s new and different and a very brave concept to invest so much money in, but as the plot unravels I am losing interest.

This is a show about robotics, artificial intelligence, morality, humanity, and so many other huge ideas. It does well exploring them but in the end I worry that it is more of a philosophical discussion than a compelling, narrative-driven show. Clearly there is a story, I’m just not sure that it’s as interesting as the concepts that it is trying to explore.

People were calling it HBO’s new Game of Thrones before it ever aired but by now I think that the world can agree that that simply isn’t true. Forgetting the completely different genres, Game of Thrones was always the sort of show that left you shocked and wanting more. Westworld is interesting and intelligent but it’s not addictive. I could stop watching it at any point and not care about what happens next.

Are you looking forward to next week’s four-way CW superhero crossover? Which of the shows is your favourite? What did you watch this week? Let me know in the comments.

Wait, What Happened? || Geek News

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to all of the Americans out there. Over the last few days we’ve had news ranging from castings to law suits and if you want to know more about that then you’ve come to the right place.

Angela Bassett Cast In Black Panther

Image result for angela bassettBlack Panther isn’t the next Marvel movie coming out, or the one after, or even the one after that, but it’s coming. I promise. It will be directed by Ryan Coogler and will star Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira and many other amazing people. If that were not enough to get you excited about the film, Angela Bassett has just been added to the cast. Look out for her in the role of Ramonda, Black Panther’s mother, when the film is released in February 2018.

Cars 3 Teaser

Pixar movies were all inarguably critical successes until Cars and even more so, Cars 2 (a lot of people would like to forget Cars 2). Personally, I enjoyed the first film but the second was truly a departure from true form for the animation studio. The teaser for the third installment, however, looks intense. Pixar movies get dark (see: first 5 minutes of Up, incinerator scene in Toy Story 3 etc.) but this teaser appears to show the film’s protagonist slowly and dramatically dying. If they were trying to catch people’s interest, Pixar have certainly done that. I’m actually excited about a Cars movie. Hopefully we’ll get a full length trailer soon but until then, here’s that amazing teaser again:

Amber Heard Sued For Undermining Film

Image result for amber heardAmber Heard is being sued by the producers behind one of her films, London Fields. You’ve either heard about the movie because of all the controversy that surrounded it last year, or more likely, you’ve never heard of it because some of that controversy included it not securing a distributor. The film was slated to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last year and none of its cast arrived to promote it. There were so many issues (which you can read more about here) but the result is that producers have filed a $10 million lawsuit against Heard.

Which Marvel release after you most excited for? Will you be going to watch the next Cars movie? Are actors obligated to promote their films? Let me know in the comments.

 

xXx in a Day

A series in which I watch the entirety of a movie franchise in one sitting and then I share with you some of my thoughts on said franchise. This month: xXx.

First of all, can I suggest that you don’t just Google ‘xXx’ at any point. Unless of course you’re after porn, in which case you’ll definitely want to Google ‘xXx’. In relation to that, if you’re reading this because you thought that it was about porn, I have some terrible news for you.

The xXx series currently consists of two films: xXx (2002) and xXx: State of the Union (2005). There will be a third one in January of next year so it seems like a perfect time to refresh my memory of the series. I had some vague memory of watching them but nothing substantive enough that would mean I knew what to expect. This was effectively, my stream of consciousness throughout the xXx-perience:

xXx (2002)

  • Opening with angry, German, punk music – now I know it’s about being extreme.
  • Out of all the intelligence agencies in the US? The NSA? Aren’t they all coders and hackers that spy on peoples’ emails?
  • “They can smell the training on our agents a mile away.” – so we’ll throw random civilians in there instead. These are not good choices Samuel L. Jackson.
  • This is literally kidnapping. Kidnapping and wilful endangerment of life: not the best recruitment process.
  • “I LIVE FOR THIS SHIT!” – said Vin Diesel, the world’s most wooden actor. Which casting director thought it was a good idea to hire him as a wild thrill seeker?
  • Do they have to begin every single scene with a shot of his tattoo?
  • I am so down with the impossible stunts in this movie: jumping a motorbike through the gap in some barbed wire may not be logically sound but it looks dope.
  • “Kiss my ass, scarface.” – Jesus Christ, just go back to jumping bikes. The less dialogue, the better.
  • So Vin Diesel’s character likes cars, particularly GTOs. Interesting…
  • “Bitches: come.” – who wrote this???
  • Naturally playing Call of Duty automatically makes you an arms expert.
  • The creepiest, most uncomfortable kiss ever on film. It’s hard to look at the screen.
  • Russian scientists: this sounds hella original.
  • Dramatic rooftop scene with pretty, sad music and rousing inspirational speech all culminating in… are they eating each other’s faces? Add kissing to the list of things that this film can’t get right.
  • Why are there 30 more minutes of this movie? This is so unnecessary.
  • Vin Diesel doesn’t really age, does he?

xXx: State of the Union (2005)

  • Okay, next movie: I have a very strong feeling that it’s going to be worse than what I just saw. Fortunately, I now have snacks.
  • There are horses – this seems much more chill.
  • Scratch that, everyone’s dead.
  • Did they name an NSA facility after xXx?
  • They have a new director and cast – Samuel L. Jackson is the only constant.
  • The new xXx is Ice Cube and he’s playing… an angry black man. Mind-blowing.
  • One line is dedicated to explaining Vin Diesel’s disappearance. Apparently he died in Bora Bora. There are worse ways to go.
  • The prison break’s new. And fun. Maybe this won’t totally suck.
  • “I don’t blend.” – well you’re not going to be a very good secret agent, bro.
  • “It wasn’t an attack; it was a diversion!” – you see, if you watched a movie every now and then, you would have seen that coming.
  • It’s a sequel so now we’re blowing up boats instead of motorbikes. I guess that’s logistically more impressive because of all the water around them…
  • The music is a step up. Now our main character is black, we get to hear a lot of background hip-hop.
  • We can also make racist jokes because we have a black guy and that means it’s totally okay. Yay. Now we just have to make them funny.
  • It’s only halfway through and I’m kind of done – I’m fairly certain of the plot. Sequels suck.
  • Another film where Sam Jackson is dead and then his subordinates mourn but then he’s not really dead. Did the Russo brothers steal from xXx?
  • “Compassion? Understanding? What world are you living in?” – these films have the worst villains with just awful dialogue.
  • And we end promising a completely new face for the new xXx. Ha ha. Flash forward 12 years to that amazing new trailer with of presumed dead Vin Diesel.

Overall, that wasn’t terrible. The first one was definitely better than the sequel (although the first one wasn’t great either). Let’s not focus on the plots – because the directors didn’t seem to think that that was important either. The stunts are amazing and based on the trailer for the new film, I would guess that they’re really focusing on those this time around.

xXx is never going to win an Oscar and if you have a free afternoon, I wouldn’t recommend watching the first two movies but they are really good at blowing things up and looking cool emerging from said explosions.