‘God Help the Girl’ Trailer

Here’s something different: Me plugging a film starring one of my favorite actresses. (Yeah, right.) What’s different about this particular flick is that it stars Emily Browning, not Jena Malone. (Uh, you’ve done that before, too, Joe.) The movie is called God Help the Girl. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the movie tells the story of the emotionally troubled Eve (played by Emily), who turns to songwriting as a coping mechanism.

God Help the Girl, directed by Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish indie band Belle & Sebastian, opens Sept. 5.

Carla Gugino and Malin Akerman’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Director Zack Snyder challenged two of his former leading ladies, Carla Gugino (Sucker Punch) and Malin Akerman (Watchmen), to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ladies accepted — and decided to have a little fun with it, despite the serious subject matter.

Hey, I just remembered: Carla was in Watchmen as well, playing the Golden Age Silk Spectre, mother to Malin’s Silver Age version. So I guess that makes this a little… weird.

INTRUDERS 1.01: “She Was Provisional”

INTRUDERSCan you keep a secret? The debut episode of INTRUDERS kinda sucked. The pilot played as intentionally vague and purposely confusing – as if being obtuse made it somehow deeper. I felt like I was on the outside of the show looking in – and the people inside were all old friends who weren’t interested in letting me in on the joke. I know it sounds weird to want more of something bad, but this show could have benefited from a two-hour debut. But only if we would have gotten more exposition, not more mysteries.

(BBC America’s INTRUDERS did well in the ratings, pulling in 1.5 million viewers, Variety says, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3″ estimates.)

It’s hard to know where to begin with a recap. In 1990, Donna Albert (Katherine Evans) celebrates a birthday and is later accosted by Frank and Richard Shepherd (Robert Forster and James Frain), who claim to be there “to shepherd” her. (Get it? Their name is Shepherd) She suffers some weird symptoms, and then later kills herself, leaving a note for a “Gary Fischer” and claiming she is not Donna.

In the present day, Amy Whelan (Mira Sorvino) doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday, but her ex-cop/novelist husband Jack Whelan (John Simm) insists, even though she is not acting like herself. The next day she leaves for work – and never comes home. Jack recovers her phone from a cab driver and learns she has been getting mysterious texts, some of which suggest Amy is setting up Jack to be murdered.

intruders1After little Madison O’Donnell (Millie Brown) celebrates her ninth birthday, she gets a visit from Richard – who changes his mind about shooting her dead on a beach. Later, Madison prepares to kill herself in a bathtub just like Donna – but suddenly drowns her pet cat instead. She makes a threatening call to Richard (who calls her “Marcus”), promising: “What goes around comes around,” and sets off into the night.

Meanwhile, people are looking for Bill Anderson, an acoustic engineer who has a conspiracy theory about ultra-low frequencies emanating from 32-foot organ pipes in Europe. (Seriously.) Apparently, if someone could hear these frequencies, they could learn “how to never die.” At least, that’s what crazy podcaster/ham radio operator Oz Turner (David Dastmalchian) believes. Jack is visited by an old friend, lawyer Gary Fischer (Tory Kittles), who drops cryptic hints about Bill Anderson. Richard somehow tracks down Oz and kills him.

Despite all that Sturm und Drang, INTRUDERS just didn’t give me enough to be interesting.

It’s clear that Shepherd was supposed to kill Madison but he didn’t, and she was probably supposed to commit suicide in the bathtub but didn’t. So that’s twice Madison dodged the Reaper. How long can that go on? And why is Marcus in a little girl’s body?

Millie was terrific as Madison – except for Madison’s breakdown after the cat incident; her “Oh, my god, what have I done?” dialogue was too on-the-nose for a child and sounded odd coming from her. Millie didn’t know how to deliver the wooden lines. But other than that, she was very scary as that ever-popular horror trope, the freaky little girl.

Speaking of the cat incident, what do you want to bet that scene dominates the internet morning-after conversations, even though the murder wasn’t explicitly shown?

intruders2From BBC America’s myriad nonstop commercials, viewers know going in that the show has something to do with the dead rising and second souls occupying bodies – but the premiere episode doesn’t really get into any of that. Not even a little bit.

Everything about the episode was maddeningly elliptical:

  • What’s up with Gary, who traveled from Chicago to Washington state to talk to Jack in the woods for three minutes about the murder of Bill’s family in Seattle?
  • Who is Shepherd, and who is working for? Is he doing something different now than he was back in 1990?
  • Why mention that the car Jack borrowed needs new engine mounts if the engine didn’t then fall out of the car? Somebody needs to read more Chekov.
  • Why is “Amy Whelan” a codename for “Mr. Crane”?
  • What do the dilating pupils signify? The never-mentioned second soul taking over?
  • Why did Jack write a book called Afterlife? What’s it about?

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

  • When Shepherd asked Oz, “No ‘I want to believe’ poster?” it was a reference to executive producer Glen Morgan’s tenure as a producer on THE X-FILES.
  • Is the number 9 an extended Beatles joke?
  • Did many in the viewing audience wonder what that 45-record adapter was when Frank showed it to Donna? How many of you just assumed it was a prop made for the episode?
  • Simm and Frain have very good American accents.
  • Oz didn’t use the crisper sleeve for his Hot Pocket, so clearly he deserved to die.

DOCTOR WHO: What’s Up With ‘Into the Dalek’?

itd06Tonight’s episode, “Into the Dalek,” written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat, features the first appearance of Samuel Anderson as the new recurring character Danny Pink, who is a teacher with Clara (Jenna Coleman) at Coal Hill School. But, perhaps even more significantly, it pits the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) against his most persistent foes, the merciless Daleks, for the first time!

Executive producer Moffat has been dropping some pretty big hints in print about the storyline. For instance, he told Doctor Who Magazine:

What’s the most dangerous place you put the Doctor, we wondered. And then we put him there. Oh, it’s a proper blockbuster, this episode. So many explosions that Peter Capaldi came in on his day off to watch the Daleks blowing up.

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DOCTOR WHO: ‘Into the Dalek’ Clips

The BBC is treating DOCTOR WHO fans to a plethora of promotional video material to mark the 12th Doctor’s first adventure with his mortal enemies, the Daleks!

Brief Teaser:

The Doctor has his most interesting patient yet, eh?
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DOCTOR WHO: ‘Into the Dalek’ Promo Pics

The BBC has released a bunch of promotional images and an official synopsis for the second episode of series eight, “Into the Dalek,” airing Saturday night on BBC America.


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‘Captain America 3′: Winter Is Coming (Back)

buckybackIt’s not exactly the revelation of a state secret, but Anthony and Joe Russo, the co-directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, have confirmed that a major character from that movie (still the top-grosser of 2014!) will return for Captain America 3 : none other than Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier himself.

This is hardly a surprise, given that both Cap (Chris Evans) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) survived the last film with no resolution of their conflict and Cap vowing to track him down. Also, Stan previously revealed that he signed a nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios, and he still has seven films to go, so the Winter Soldier has to show up someplace….
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