Wednesday, 30 July 2014

TWIN PEAKS - is it time to resume television's weirdest mystery?


Longtime readers will know that I reviewed the first season of TWIN PEAKS five years ago, but didn't continue into the second. Is now the perfect time to resume those reviews? I've just purchased the gorgeous 'Entire Mystery' Blu-ray box-set, and feel drawn back into Mark Frost and David Lynch's mysterious world. Would anyone like to read a run of archival season 1 reviews (republished with amendments and HD vidcaps), leading into new series 2 reviews?

From AMERICAN HORROR STORY to FARGO, will U.S cable's sudden love of 'anthology series' last?


There's an emerging trend in U.S TV for cable dramas to have seasons that deviate from the preceding one, becoming anthologies. FX's American Horror Story started the ball rolling, when creator Ryan Murphy announced its second year wouldn't continue the 'haunted house' plot of its inaugural run. Instead, AHS told a completely different story set in a crazy asylum, utilising some of the same actors.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Trailers: THE HOBBIT – THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES & SIN CITY – A DAME TO KILL FOR


This Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy hasn't achieved the same highs as its predecessor, but it's technically superior and I actually prefer Martin Freeman to Elijah Wood. The Hobbit trilogy has been dogged by complains each instalment's too long (which is hard to argue against), and the love/hate high-frame rate (HFR) medium overshadowed the first film's content somewhat, but I think people are being too hard on these movies. They're astonishingly rich productions and I find myself luxuriating in the pure escapism of them in my cinema seat, with 3D glasses perched on my nose. I probably won't watch them more than a handful of times (also true of LOTR for me), and I can't help agreeing with much of the criticism, but something about these films just delight me. They're visual triumphs and I enjoy the storytelling, even if everything's protracted and embellished because of Peter Jackson's desire for them to be LOTR prequels in addition to a three-part Hobbit adaptation.

TRUE BLOOD, 7.6 – 'Karma' - in sickness and in health

JASON: Bill Compton is one tough motherfucker. He's gonna beat this thing. I mean, hell, he was like a bonafide vampire God about six months ago!
After five disheartening episodes, True Blood makes headway with the sixth, "Karma". Suddenly the thrust of the story is squarely on the shoulders of two main characters, terminally ill vampires Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), as they both concentrate on tying up loose ends before dying the 'true death'. Eric intends to avenge the death of his sister by murdering Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), while Bill wants to make sensible arrangements for his coming demise. The fact Sookie (Anna Paquin) was responsible for transmitting the virus to Bill, her former lover, during a violent skirmish before he drank her blood, was also a good idea that binds those characters together as the season starts jogging towards a climax.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Trailers: 50 SHADES OF GREY & MAD MAX – FURY ROAD

Mr Grey will see you now...
It's the trailer to the movie adaptation of the book your female co-workers and—OH GOD, NO!—your mum, raved about two summers ago. It was a good litmus test of people's literary taste, actually, because 50 SHADES OF GREY was an abysmal piece of literature (starting life as Twilight fan-fic) that conned millions of people into buying it. More fool them. But hey, sex sells.

TV Picks: 28 July – 3 August 2014 (Last Leg, Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy, Scandal, The Singer Takes it All, etc.)


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

Sunday, 27 July 2014

SDCC 2014's Saturday panels: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, THE SIMPSONS, TRUE BLOOD + Bonus BATES MOTEL


Yesterday was the third day of San Diego Comic-Con, and below are fan-filmed videos of four panels for AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, THE SIMPSONS, TRUE BLOOD, and (as a late bonus from Friday) BATES MOTEL.

Trailer: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 Part 2 (SDCC 2014)


Due to when it's scheduled by HBO every summer, TRUE BLOOD has always been able to debut a trailer at San Diego Comic-Con covering the latter half of its current season. This has tended to be a very good thing, as it's helped get audiences stoked for what's still to come. And when you have a poor season on your hands (which is quite often with this show), you need all the help you can get in keeping people hooked.

Has Channel 4's THE MIMIC lost its voice?


THE MIMIC returned a few weeks ago, continuing the hapless non-adventures of maintenance man Martin Hurdle (Terry Mynott), who's now lost his low-paid job and chance of fame and fortune after bottling a TV appearance in series 1's finale. Martin has an uncanny gift for impressionism, see; hence the show's title. It's an original way to showcase Mynott's talent for imitation, although he's also done the more traditional impersonation-based sketch show. The only problem is, I'm not sure creator Matt Morgan really knows where he's going with this.

Trailer: NBC's CONSTANTINE (SDCC 2014)


NBC revealed a fresh trailer for their upcoming supernatural drama CONSTANTINE at San Diego Comic-Con yesterday, and it's a big improvement on the others (which were already pretty cool). Of course, I've already seen the pilot, and thought it was distinctly average, but they've reworked it ahead of transmission in October.