LOW WINTER SUN 1.3: “No Rounds”

LWSnr03It took three episodes, but LOW WINTER SUN finally indulged in two standard cop-show tropes: the boxing ring and the strip club. Sure took its time getting there! Now it’s starting to resemble a standard cop show more and more.

The boxing interludes came courtesy of Frank (Mark Strong), who is either feeling the need to be physically punished for his sins as a crooked and barely competent cop, or is hoping that he will be battered senseless by a succession of younger, stronger boxers. He gets beat up all right (headgear is for wimps!), but all he gets is a banged-up body to go with his damaged soul.
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Captain America Sequel: A Crowded House

capwidowfuryIs it just me, or does anyone else think the Captain America sequel is getting more than a bit crowded? The latest synopsis of Captain America: The Winter Soldier teases a big role for Black Widow, and combining that with lots of Nick Fury and introducing the Falcon and new baddie the Winter Soldier — so where does Cap himself fit in?

Samuel L. Jackson recently had this to say about his character, Nick Fury:

“You see Nick Fury the office guy, him going about the day-to-day work of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the politics as opposed to that other stuff. It’s great to have him dealing with Captain America in terms of being able to speak to him soldier to soldier and try to explain to him how the world has changed in another way while he was frozen in time. Some of the people who used to be our enemies are now our allies — him trying to figure out, “Well, how do we trust those guys?” or “How do we trust the guys that you didn’t trust who don’t trust you? And explaining to him that the black and white of good guys/bad guys has now turned into this gray area. Nick lies to him all the time, too. But he’s trying to help him navigate the waters of the new sharks that he doesn’t know anything about.”

Of course, all this mental stuff could be going on inside Fury’s head and all we’ll see onscreen is one interaction with Cap. But then again, probably not.
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Another Sad, Traumatizing Regeneration for the Doctor?

elevehourRegeneration. It’s the ability of a Time Lord to renew his physical form when facing death and results in a new face and a different personality — and allows DOCTOR WHO to continue to reinvent itself with every new lead actor. It’s about to happen again, and judging by executive producer/writer Steven Moffat’s hints, it appears that the 11th Doctor’s final story this Christmas will have some elements in common with the end of the 10th Doctor’s tenure: 11 will see the end coming.

Moffat tells Doctor Who magazine that the Matt Smith version of the Doctor also will contemplate the more unpleasant aspects of changing bodies and personalities:

“One of the horrors of regeneration is that a certain amount of his persona alters entirely. His appetites and his enthusiasms will change. And that’s sort of what I’m writing about now in Matt’s last episode, the fact that he’s terribly aware that he’s about to be rewritten. And it’s frightening.”

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Eye on District 7’s Johanna Mason

It’s the weekend, so why not take a little time away from the “serious” topics like the state of regeneration on DOCTOR WHO to enjoy a little SF eye candy, courtesy of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire?

Part of the movie’s promotional campaign, is to show how the main characters — victors of previous Hunger Games — are treated as media stars and fashion icons after their wins, much as popular athletes are worshipped in today’s society. (Readers of the novel know there’s a dark side to the adulation.)

These images of Johanna Mason — as played by Jena Malone — accompany an article from an imaged fashion magazine, Capitol Couture, in which the District 7 victor discusses her personal style. In “Johanna Mason: Branching Out,” it is revealed that the bodice and plumed collar of this dress are made of sculpted cork! Jena has previously said that the lashes from the movie are real; they come from Japan and Germany!

DOCTOR WHO: Peter Jackson Could Be Waiting in the Wings…

Romana

Romana

DOCTOR WHO’s executive producer, Steven Moffat, appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe theater festival last week and fielded some questions from fans that left me both disappointed and hopeful about the future of the show.

When asked about a possible return for Romana, Moffat replied:

“I have actually given no thought at all to Romana. The Time Lords are dead in my mind. They died.”

This is a grave disappointment to be not only because I have been holding out hope for the restoration of Gallifrey as part of the show’s 50th anniversary celebration, but because I like Romanadvoratrelundar and would love to see her appear again. But this all sounds very, very final to me. Word is that Moffat will be addressing continuity around the messy eighth-ninth Doctor area, and that means the Time War, and that means… the fate of Gallifrey and the Doctor’s role in it. So if Moffat is saying they’re all dead…
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Is the Doctor Limited to a Baker’s Dozen of Lives?

drcapaldiThe question of precisely how many lives DOCTOR WHO’s title character will live just refuses die; and lately it’s been regenerating with increasing frequency, thanks to the impending arrival of the Doctor’s 12th incarnation, as well as the suggestion that another Doctor is going to be retroactively inserted into the established order, bumping the Doctors ahead one incarnation.

No matter which number Peter Capaldi will bear when he takes over as the Doctor after this year’s Christmas Special, I believe there must be a way for the last of the Time Lords to persevere — even if Hurt is inserted into the timeline, and Capaldi become the 13th and (apparently) final Doctor.

BTW, what does it say about DW fandom that so many people are already preoccupied with the question of how long Capaldi is staying with the role? The man hadn’t officially been the Doctor for 10 minutes before people started wondering when he will quit. The near-instantaneous speculations on the 13th Doctor struck me as insulting to the incumbent as well as the show. It appears that Capaldi’s professional stature is working against him; folks cannot imagine that the respected actor will stick with the role for very long.
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SURVIVOR Is Coming Back — and Mixing It Up Again

SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATERSURVIVOR is one of those shows with which I have a deep love/hate relationship. I always love the first episode of each series, because it’s exciting and intriguing to see the new cast. The second episode can also be fun, but in more recent seasons — with players more familiar with the show — the gamesmanship has begun to rear its ugly head, and I start to really hate cast members.

From there, my interest can waver severely based on the personalities that take center stage. I quickly become bored with the moustache-twirling villains, and if they get away with their B.S. for than a couple of weeks I find it too frustrating to watch. If the cast is just too dull — like… er, you remember that season recently… the one with… they were on a tropical beach… oh, hell — I won’t even bother watching after the first handful of episodes.

The 27th cycle (yes, 27!), dubbed SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATER, has found yet another way to mix things up while keeping it all familiar: returning players (including Rupert, now on his forth excursion, but no Ozzy) are paired with loved ones and Redemption Island is back — but the rules and game conditions have been altered quite a bit.
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BROADCHURCH 1.3

broadchurch31The third episode of BROADCHURCH was concerned with ruling out the prime suspect in the death of Danny Latimer: his father, Mark — the man with the most punchable face in town and the flimsiest alibi.

The show made a wise decision in trying to get us to sympathize with Mark — or was that trying to get us to suspect him more than ever? — by giving us a dream sequence in which Mark finds his son cold and wet but alive, and emotionally embracing him, telling his son he’s sorry.

Sorry for what… exactly?
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Can GHOST SHARK Scare Up Viewers for SyFy?

Tonight sees the premiere of GHOST SHARK on (wait for it…) SyFy. Now, I’m not going out on a limb and predicting the same sort of inspired lunacy as SHARKNADO, but this flick looks like it has some potential.

On the downside, there’s something about the ghost of a shark that somehow sounds maybe a bit more plausible than a tornado whipping sharks at people, and that sorta makes it feel a little less fun. (Which means we’re counting on Mackenzie Rosman and her polka-dot bikini to pull out a win here.)

Here’s the SyFy description of the movie:

“First sharks fall from the sky and eat lots of people. Now a dead shark seeks revenge on the entire human race. Where will it all end? In the new Syfy Original Movie GHOST SHARK, premiering Thursday, August 22 at 9PM (ET/PT), a great white shark is tortured and killed by a fisherman, then returns from the dead, exacting vengeance on all humans. When Ava’s (Mackenzie Rosman/7TH HEAVEN) father is brutally murdered, no one believes that the ghost shark got him — except the crazy lighthouse keeper Finch (Richard Moll/NIGHT COURT). Ava and her friends take the problem into their own hands as they desperately try to survive the bloody wrath of the ghost shark.”

Moffat Teases the 12th Doctor

dwmNewly anointed 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi graces the cover of the new Doctor Who magazine with the quote: “We’re still exploring who the Twelfth Doctor is — but every one of the last 50 years will have helped make him.”

Well, DOCTOR WHO executive producer Steven Moffat gave DWM a nibble of an inkling of an idea of what he has in mind for the latest incarnation of everyone’s favorite Time Lord:

“The Doctor’s always said he’s thousands of years old, and suddenly he’s going to look closer to what we know he secretly is. He’s going to look like an older man. A fiercer man. He won’t be the dashing young man he was a minute ago, and I think that’ll be rather exciting.”