James Spader is the Voice of Ultron

spaderultronThe casting of James Spader as the voice of the titular baddie in Avengers: Age of Ultron could also provide a nugget of plot detail: Perhaps Ultron is out to destroy humanity because he’s just so over people.

Spader is known for playing some cold characters, and among the constants in his repertoire of acting skills is an amazing sense of condescension; it simply drips from every word coming out of his mouth and radiates from every pore of his body — so perhaps it’s a good thing Ultron is expected to be CGI. (Will Spader perform the motion-capture, or leave that to a pro? Andy Serkis and Doug Jones, call your agents…)

Imagine Ultron, molded from adamantium, stalking around NYC, delivering withering put-downs and sarcastic comments that degrade and demean Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as he heaps shame and humiliation on them.

Or, maybe Spader’s Ultron will be more like Mr. Grey, his character in 2002’s Secretary — and the indestructible robot will insist that Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) spank him!

New Movie Posters That Caught My Eye

I cannot vouch for the quality of the films, but these recently released posters either grabbed my attention (Filth) or promote movies that I’m looking forward to seeing (Thor: The Dark World).

The two new entries on the Thor sweepstakes cannot top the previously released image. Sorry.


Continue reading

Rocket Raccoon Finds His Voice

rocketraccoonMarvel Studios made it official today, announcing that Bradley Cooper — of Silver Lingings Playbook and The Hangover fame — has signed to provide the voice for Rocket Raccoon in the now-filming Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

I must confess that my initial gut reaction is disappointment, because I feel that Cooper brings nothing in particular to the role except name recognition. Now producers will be able to trumpet “Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper” as part of the cast, which, aside from Zoe Saldana and (arguably) Vin Diesel, isn’t exactly brimming with household names in Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Lee Evans and Karen Gillan.

GotG opens Aug. 1, 2014.

Watch Paul McGann Winning the Role of the Doctor

Here’s a little treasure to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the greatest show in the galaxy: a clip from Paul McGann’s audition for the DOCTOR WHO TV Movie. He’s reading from a scene that never made it into the final script — and he is terrific! It’s no wonder he won the role.

Imagine if this scene had made it onto our screens in 1996 — the Master would officially be the Doctor’s half-brother (instead of merely rumored) and we would know the name of the Doctor’s father. Reportedly, had the movie spawned a new series, the Doctor’s search for Ulysses would have been a main narrative thrust.

Of course, now, see what is essentially “new” Eighth Doctor material makes me miss him all the more. Whatever the faults of the TV Movie, McGann’s performance was not one of them. He was a fantastic Doctor and deserved more time on our TV screens — and the DW Mythos is poorer without him.

Here’s hoping he somehow returns to the series this winter…


Broad401After (apparently) clearing Mark last week, BROADCHURCH this week demonized a handful of other townsfolk so viewers would have new character to boo.

The script tried very hard to make viewers think that creepy old Jack Marshall is the killer. Or could it be prickly Susan Wright, the most off-putting and snide character on the show? And then there’s Paul, the insomniac minister who wanders in the night. What about Steve, the so-called psychic looking to cash in on Danny’s murder? And why were so many people having Sunday dinner together?
Continue reading

Is This a Photo of Three Doctors?

doctors3Can this be an authentic photo from the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story depicting the 10th and 11th Doctors with the John Hurt Doctor? (Is John Hurt really and truly a proper Doctor?) This is purported to be a snapshot taken by a fan when a scene from the anniversary special was shown earlier this week at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. Is this Matt Smith, David Tennant and Hurt all as the Doctor?

According to Heat magazine, the alleged dialogue that reportedly goes with this alleged scene is said to be:

Hurt: “I’m looking for the Doctor.”

Tennant: “Well, you’ve come to the right place.”

I don’t know what to believe about this. On the one hand, the crappy quality makes one believe this could be legit; on the other hand, the crappy quality makes it easy to fake. Anyone with more than 10 minutes of training with Photoshop can combine images. And Instagram can make a clear photo look just as horrible as this. So I’m not taking a stand on authenticity. If it’s real, fine; if not, who cares? (It’s a pretty dull image anyway.)

Carrie Clip Carries Us Toward October Release

The more material I see from the forthcoming Carrie remake, the more promising it looks — well, as “promising” as a “reimagining” can be. The best part of this clip is the use of a very creepy arrangement of the old Shirelles song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” Inspired.

This trailer confirms that the new version will hit all the major beats of the 1976 movie, though not in precisely the same way.

Starring Chloë Grace Moretz (who’s so talented she’s scary all by herself) and the always-wonderful Julianne Moore, Carrie opens Oct. 18.

Steven Moffat on Writing

woffatwritesThe BBC website has a truly fascinating video interview with DOCTOR WHO and SHERLOCK executive producer/lead writer Steven Moffat in which he talks about writing and his process. Yes, he mentions examples from DW and SHERLOCK, but the important stuff is (I think) his explanations of how he approaches things like writing itself, creating characters and what makes a great dramatic moment. He also doesn’t think writing should be such a solitary process. (Not sure I agree with him on that one, but who am I to argue…)

Follow this link to Writer’s Room to see the video (because BBC won’t let me embed it here); I think it’s totally worth devoting 11:20 to hearing about how and why a master of the craft of TV writing works!

The Doctor’s Less-Than-Dapper Alternate Duds

tennishAt long last: Secrets of DOCTOR WHO revealed! With the 11th Doctor’s time in the TARDIS winding down, it’s traditionally time to look back at the reigning Doctor’s era. Here are some images that appear to be wardrobe tests for Matt Smith’s Time Lord costume. And these duds were… duds.

The clever folks over at Geek Tyrant have unearthed the samples, and I must say I dislike them all — except, of course, for the red shirt/bow tie look that was ultimately adopted. I really hate the casual T-shirt looks, and I think adopting one of those would have been a complete disaster. And the suit-and-tie/overcoat get-up smacks too much of David Tennant’s pinstripes and duster.

Is this the "pirate" outfit?

Is this the “pirate” outfit?

I am still dying to see the so-called “pirate outfit” that Smith was slated to wear up until the very last moment. Unless that black one with the open-collar plaid shirt is considered pirate-y? Could that be the costume-that-almost-was?

As I remember executive producer Steven Moffat telling the story, they were up against the deadline to reveal the new Doctor’s costume and were set to go with the pirate look (even though support was lukewarm) when Smith convinced Moffat to take a look at the professorial tweed outfit with bow tie — and Moffat made the switch. Supposedly, they were in the last hour before unveiling the costume to the press, so the change quite literally came at the eleventh hour! But the switch was made, and the rest is history. Thank the Laws of Time it wasn’t rewritten.

BREAKING BAD 5.11: “Confessions”

BB08251302To tell the truth, Walt’s confession changed everything on this week’s BREAKING BAD.

Of course, it wasn’t so much his confession as a confession by him, but it accomplished what he set out to do — not clear his conscience, but allow himself to sleep at night by putting some distance between himself and Hank by painting Hank as the drug kingpin of the Southwest.

Heisenberg’s alibi is flawless: The only thing the press (and the community) will eat up faster than a meth-king school teacher is a meth-king cop. Especially one who heads up the local office of the DEA. There’s no way Hank could get out from under if Walt indicts him. No one will believe his brother-in-law could have been operating right under his nose for all those months without Hank looking the other way. He’s supposed to be a celebrated supercop, after all, right?
Continue reading