Thursday, 24 March 2011

V Season 2 Starts tonight on Syfy UK. Here's a catch up....WATCH IT!

Return of The Visitors.  

Ok there are those that may never have seen the first season of the 21st century incarnation of V. Shame on you, but fear not season 2 begins with lightening quick Previously on and a very well written opening 5 – 10 minutes or so that pretty much brings you up to speed on what you need to know about what’s happening, who everyone is and what their motivations are. Er, well that’s not entirely accurate; you’ll still be wondering what the Vs are up to, but you’ll have a much better idea of that come the end of the episode. In other words, no excuses, if you haven’t been watching start now!
As for my own super speedy recap here goes.......       

  1.   Big, but not Independence Day big space ships turned up in 29 locations around the world!
  2.    In a sharp dig / comment on 21st century humanity these giant ships come equipped not with plasma beams (well maybe) but with the handy ability to turn the bottoms of their mother ships into massive video-screens, 3D optional.
  3.  Anna, the Queen of the aliens, who call themselves Visitors, uses these screens to proclaim that the Vs are “...of peace." Whatever that means.
  4.  In yet another dig at 21st century values all of the Visitors are allegedly, strikingly attractive to look at. You see whilst the aliens of World Invasion: Battle L.A, spent decades studying our military tactics, technology and physiology, the visitors were rather more intelligent. They got some popcorn and beverages, put their claws up and watched lots of movies and TV. Cleverly deducing that any amount of spin would get them further than all out warfare, especially if those providing the spin were amazingly good looking. Hmm, maybe they just watched Zoolander. Maybe 5th Column should see if the Vs can turn left!
  5. 5th column? It’s nothing to do with Tetris, this is the name of the long standing resistance movement involving rebel Vs both at “home”, on V ships and on Earth.  We puny earthlings are also involved in fighting the Vs.
  6.  Parents and progeny, how not to raise your young. There’s a lot of “alien special Jeremy Kyle” on the way. Anna is using her daughter to help further the cause of the Vs, but her daughter really isn’t happy about it and secretly wants to help the humans. Not least of all because she is in love with Anna’s favourite pet project (perhaps literally) Tyler. Now Tyler is a human who loves all things V. Something he was trying to keep from his mum, because he thought she didn’t like them. Until it turned out she got the gig of being Anna’s FBI protector on Earth. Simples no? Well, no. Turns out Tyler was right, his mum, Erica, really, really hates the Vs because she knows that whatever they’re here for it isn’t to watch the Super bowl. She also knows they are not human, are spying on people the world over using their nifty camera jackets, like the one Tyler ALWAYS wears; curse his lack of fashion sense! So Anna’s daughter is lying to her mum and her Boyfriend Tyler, but not to his mum, Erica, who is lying to her son and to Anna, but to be fair Anna is lying to everyone, including the other Vs about..... Oh no, wait, that would be a spoiler so wait your turn.
  7.  As if all that East Enders wasn’t enough Ryan has been lying to his fiancĂ©e for a looong time, she found out, but unfortunately that didn’t stop her from getting all abducted. She thought she got lucky when they declined to probe her and helped birth her child, but her usefulness at an end Anna “took care of her” and is taking care of the baby. This leaves Ryan a prisoner on Anna’s ship agonisingly close to his baby and, kind of, mourning his lost love.
  8. Why kind of? Well being no good reptile things the Vs have no emotions. Well they didn’t until they got a little too clever for their own good. You see those parallel universe Visitors who invaded that other Earth of the mid 1980s stuck to simple, Mission Impossible style, tear off latex masks to hide their scaly features. This bunch has gone all 21st Century and use actual biological skin instead. The problem with this is that, somehow it can lead to the Vs getting “infected” with human emotions. It is these Vs that tend to be 5th column members; but even they are kinda Vulcan when it comes to emotions.
  9. This leads me neatly to the end of this section. Anna decided to give birth to a particularly nasty batch of warrior Vs; realising that they’d never get to watch the Super bowl if all out war with hideous warrior Vs broke out our little resistance cell managed to get Erica onboard Anna’s ship so she could cull said nasty lizards. Meanwhile Joshua, main of the 5Th column on Anna’s ship was discovered and killed, Anna’s human media mouthpiece, Chad Decker, discovers some seriously Josef Mengele like torture science involving ‘live aboard’ humans and may finally be about to put the safety of his species above that big promotion. Erica Evans manages to blow up Anna’s gestating army, causing Anna to manifest that which her kind most hate and fear, (no not the X-Men) emotion. In a fit of pique (I’ve always wanted to say that!) she smashes some buttons and Bob’s your uncle, the sky turns a hideous blood red. End season one!
  10. WHAT!?!? We have to wait how long to find out what’s going to happen? Lucky you, the wait is over
  11. Good guys (mostly)

    Ryan Nichols – Visitor 5th Column

    Morris Chestnut

    Erica Evans – Human FBI

    Elizabeth Mitchell


        Lisa – Visitor, confused

Laura Vandervoor

Father Jack Landry - Human
Joel Gretsch

Anna – Alien Queen. Evil I tell you, evil

Morena Baccarin

Kyle Hobbes – combat expert puts the terrorist in resistance fighter adding complexity to the whole story.

Charles Mesure

Chad Decker – Journalist, opportunist

Scott Wolf

Tyler Evans – gullible horny teenager

Logan Huffman


Finally the Captain America Trailer is here in glorious HD

Well we finally got the first real trailer.......

The trailer is very, very good. It gets accross that this is something very different. The WWII setting, a character, Rogers, who wants to be a hero. Unlike Bruce Banner, or Tony Stark and unlike the arrogant Thor. It also manages to show connections, Howard Stark, Chris Evans kicking butt and just a glimpse into the fact that there's more than just Nazis to kill. The brief Red Skull reveal is a clever touch too.

Follow the link for 1080p or watch right now the standard version. . Comments welcome............

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger gets a longer trailer

The captain can’t fight ET cheese.
So finally, after months of waiting; after surviving on a starvation diet of 30 seconds of quick cut, Super Bowl, trailer sugar cubes we finally get to see a much longer, 1 min trailer! Take “see” literally, because, at time of writing (the very small hours of Wednesday the 23rd of March) all we have available is the trailer featuring a mildly annoying voice over from the self proclaimed “best” ET (Entertainment Tonight). I’m not sure what they think they’re the best at, given that they trailed their Captain America exclusive as a first look at “The Next big super hero blockbuster”. An odd comment given that Fellow Marvel Studios’ film Thor opens nearly 12 weeks before this film and that film will be followed by both Warner Brothers’ Green Lantern and Fox’s X-Men First Class. So they're not “the best” at film knowledge or research then.

Courtesy of
As for the trailer itself, which you can see at the end here, it’s pretty good. We get to see even more, Benjamin Button like, Chris Evans before transformation into Captain Pecs America. Hints that Evan’s elite squad won’t be just kicking standard Nazi butt; The Red Skull reveal is still a little blink and you’ll miss him (hence my adding the rather impressive still photo of Hugo Weaving’ Nazi nasty, and Hydra ..Er... hyena, hater) but plenty of HYDRA goons and tech is on display, including the very handy personal submarine, futuristic guns and those pesky goons with the mental double flame throwers.

The film makes an odd change in that here Steve Rogers tries to enlist after America (finally) joins WWII following Pearl Harbour. One of my favourite things about This character, and his creators / publishers, was that he tried to join the army before the American’s entered WWII and that he was created, published and even shown punching Hitler on the nose BEFORE, the Americans entered the war, in one of several attempts to persuade the people in charge that sitting around waiting to see how the whole “rest of the world war” thing turned out, might not be the best policy.

 But the good news is that it takes place between his origin and an event near the end of WWII that enables him to join Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, War Machine and the rest of Nick Fury’s “Superhero boy band” The Avengers in the present. It seems silly treating something that’s been in the public domain for around 50 years as a spoiler, but most people only know these characters through their movies, so I won’t ruin the end of Captain America for you. So the benefit of having the movie cover a 3 or 4 year time period is that as well as having a Captain America in the present you have years worth of WWII set stories to tell as well. Either by having future films set in 2 time periods, the present with jumps to the past, Godfather Pt II style, or set entirely in WWII. It is yet another thing that distinguishes Captain America: The First Avenger  from other super hero movies and gives the lie to the oft spouted rubbish that somehow 5 or 7 super hero movies, out of over 130 movies, a year is  too much.

But of course the most important thing for nerd, geeks and fan-boys / girls across the world are those 2 brief glimpses where “Captain America throws his mighty shield...”... It actually looks pretty impressive, way more so than such a thing has any right to do in live action; oh and he catches it pretty well too. I’ve also embedded the 6 seconds of young Steve Rogers standing up to a bully, before being rescued by his future sidekick Bucky. (Hey it’s the 40s)
Here ya go..........

........ Bully time...


Friday, 18 March 2011

Black Swan director leaves 'The Wolverine'.

Aronofsky leaves ‘The Wolverine’

Darren Aronofsky, The multi award nominated /winning, director of Black Swan, has dropped out of directing The Wolverine. A statement said it was because the shoot would have meant spending too much time in Japan, away from his family. Aronofsky separated from his wife, and mother of his son a month after it was announced that he would be directing The Wolverine. It is probable that this circumstance, coupled with the recent tragic events in Japan, have made the extensive location filming untenable for him.

 A joint statement from Fox & Aronofsky reads:-

“As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year........
I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again,"

What now? 

Of course this is bad news, as it would have been interesting to see what such a unique director would have brought to a film like this. It’s definitely a story with a lot of depth to it and genuine character development for Logan too; The original is full of drama and romance as well as all the action you'd expect from a Wolverine story  set in the land of ninja and samurai. The Script is by 'The Usual Suspects' & 'Valkyrie' screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, and is based on The 1982 story arc created by two of the comic book industry's genuine legends, Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.

Widely acknowledged as one of the finest story-lines ever written. We can only hope someone of similar standing, and outside the box styling is found to replace Aronofsky, whose choice as director was a clear statement of intent as far as making something different to what has come before and to create not just a kick ass piece of super hero entertainment, but a complex, award worthy film as well. we can only hope someone of similar standing, and outside the box styling is found to replace him. 

Personally I’d rather see the release pushed back a bit than rushed replacement. There was an intent to get something different done here so getting the likes of Brett Ratner, Stephen Sommers and co, who could all do a fine job action blockbuster wise, wouldn't really cut it, A-List directors or not. That said it would be interesting to see what Luc Besson would do with this story; ditto Guillermo Del Toro or Quentin Tarantino. Of course you suspect any of those three would be likely to push hard for a higher rating (15 – 18 or R) than the studio / Jackman preferred 12A or PG-13. Three directors who may also have been interesting, but are definitely too busy are J. J. Abrams, Brad “The Incredibles” Bird, and Paul Greengrass.

Final, unlikely, wild card................................ The Cohen brothers.

Ladies fear not, Hugh Jackman will doubtless still be putting on the extra 30lb of muscle Aronofsky said he needed to make the movie. The chances of Logan stripping down to a vest at least once remain high.