This Winter Weather Makes Me Think… ‘Winter Soldier’

With all this blasted snow around these parts (the Northeast USA), I prefer to think about warmer weather — like, say, April 4, which just happens to be the day Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens.

Like the last batch, these images do a good job of making this sequel look like action-packed fun. In fact, all of the promotional material — the teaser poster and the first trailer — has been hugely effective, in my book.

Good to see the Falcon finally getting some love — and even Frank Grillo’s Crossbones. (Anyone else remember Grillo from THE SHIELD or, better yet, GUIDING LIGHT?) Robert Redford is at the center of swirling Oscar rumors for his role in All Is Lost, so he’s getting more attention in the promotional materials for Winter Soldier. This is the first good look I’ve seen of this movie’s version of Cap’s (Chris Evans) uniform. And who ever needs an excuse to run a photo of Scarlett Johansson?

New Year, New Series — New Direction!

drcapaldiIt’s 2014, kiddies, and DOCTOR WHO will take advantage of the arrival of a new Doctor to set a new tone when Series Eight bows this fall.

With Peter Capaldi now having taken over the lead role from Matt Smith in “The Time of the Doctor,” the show was bound to change, if only by virtue of having a new leading man, but show-runner Steven Moffat promises something more significant: Things will change in a big way, but it will still be DOCTOR WHO as usual.

“[DOCTOR WHO] changes all the time, and it’s keeping ahead of the audience in a way. All shows age and they all age sort of in the same way. You learn how to do it, you get really slick at it, and then you think you’re really, really slick at it and everyone’s started to yawn. And you think, ‘Oh God, we’re really slick at this but everyone knows what we’re going to do’… So now we’ve got to actually get a bit raw at it and do it in a different direction. It happens on every show – you get good at it — and ‘good at it’ is the enemy in the end.

“If [Russell T Davies] had stayed on, [DOCTOR WHO] would still have changed. I remember when we had our handover chat, he was saying, ‘So what are you going to do? Are you going to change that?’ And I said, ‘Well, what would you change?’ We both agreed, ‘It’s time to kick a lot of stuff out.’ And, actually, it is time again to do that.”

The rejiggered Series Eight, featuring the 12th Doctor and Clara (Jenna Coleman) starts filming this month.

A Few More Movie Teaser Images

Here are some images from a couple of anticipated blockbusters — and something a little different for action/adventure/Sci-fi director Ridley Scott.

I’m pretty sure we’ve seen enough of Electro from summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, so now I want to know more about the Rhino. Please, please, please, don’t let him actually turn out to be a Zord straight out of MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS!

Seeing Andy Serkis in a motion-capture suit is pretty much a guarantee that something special is going to be happening on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. You can see the fruits of some his work in the DotPotA teaser trailer.

Finally, I hope Christian Bale doesn’t use his hoarse Dark Knight whisper in the biblical epic Exodus. It already will quite a shock when a chestburster pops out of Pharaoh — not to mention how out-of-place batarangs are going to look during the climactic battle sequence!

A Final Preview of ‘The Time of the Doctor’

Doctor WhoTomorrow is the big day: Matt Smith’s last adventure as the star of DOCTOR WHO. During tomorrow’s Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” the 11th Doctor will cede the show to the 12th incarnation of the Time Lord, to be played by Peter Capaldi.

So, just in case you need a little more convincing, here are the big guns of the series — Smith, executive producer Steven Moffat, and co-star Jenna Coleman — with some hints of what to expect from the story, which just happens to be the 800th episode in the history of the series.
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The Naked Truth About DOCTOR WHO’s Matt Smith

It appears that DOCTOR WHO’s Matt Smith could not resist getting his kit off one last time before his Doctor dies in this week’s Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor” — as these photos attest.

Since show-runner Steven Moffat has been promising that there will be callbacks to all of Matt’s seasons as the Doctor, this is obviously a reference to the Doctor’s shower scene in “The Lodger” from series five. What is Clara (Jenna Coleman) pointing at?

‘The Time of the Doctor’ — Time To Get Naked?

Doctor WhoIf any Whovians need another reason to watch “The Time of the Doctor” on Christmas Day, DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat tells the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine that the special will feature “a fair bit of nudity.”

While visions of Jenna Coleman’s Clara and her sugar plums are dancing in your head, recall that the last time a story featured a lot of bare skin — season five’s “The Lodger” — the exhibitionist was the Doctor himself, Matt Smith!

Moffat also lets us in on a little secret about one of the Xmas story’s baddies, the new character Tasha Lem (played by Orla Brady):

“The Doctor meets an old friend. Someone from his distant past. Someone who knows him very well, but whom we have never met. She’s the ‘Mother Superious’ of the Papal Mainframe.”

Aha, so Tasha Lem is a ranking officer in The Church, the religious/military hybrid organization of the 51st century. That connects her to the Headless Monks (of “A Good Man Goes to War” in season six), who name-checked the Papal Mainframe, and to the Clerics (from “The Time of Angels”/“Flesh and Stone” in series five). Moffat has previously promised call-outs to all three of Matt Smith’s seasons as the Doctor, so this is obviously part of that.
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More New DOCTOR WHO Christmas Snapshots

The latest batch of photographic teases from the BBC include two things we’ve never seen before: a Cyberman made of wood, and a new character called Tasha Lem. And then there are the usual Daleks and some regular Cybermen.

Tasha Lem, played by Orla Brady, is rumored to be someone from the Doctor’s past. Since he has quite a long past, she could someone totally new — but a lot of fandom is hoping she turns out to be the Rani (originally personified by Kate O’Mara). It seems to be a bit of wishful thinking (since show-runner Steven Moffat once vowed never to bring back the Rani) — however, someone clawed out of that Gallifrey Falls painting alongside Clara in “The Day of the Doctor,” and it certainly appeared to be a female hand. And Moffat lies. (Does he ever!)

And I certainly hope the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) doesn’t perish in that ridiculous caped get-up, waving that Dalek eye-stalk like a deranged Harry Potter wannabe!

We will all know soon enough: 9 p.m. on Christmas Day on BBC America.

More ‘Day of the Doctor’ Photos

Here are a handful of new promotional photos teasing the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story “The Day of the Doctor.”

This particular batch is notable for the clear looks at Billie Piper‘s Rose Tyler. This is definitely not the shopgirl that the Ninth Doctor met, nor is it the Rose the 10th Doctor knew. I think she comes from sometime after she was left on Pete’s World. And our assumption that she returns in this story with the 10th Doctor is wrong. Very wrong. She appears to be the companion of the Hurt Doctor, while 10 is traveling alone!

More photos to come!

Will ‘Snowpiercer’ Be Another Failed Graphic Novel Adaptation?

Highly-regarded Korean writer/director Bong Joon-ho (The Host) has managed to come up with one of the worst ideas for a movie that I’ve heard since… well, since somebody suggested Gore Verbinski make a Lone Ranger movie. Bong has written and directed the graphic novel adaptation Snowpiercer.

The movie purports to tell the tale of the last survivors of the human race riding on a train that endlessly circles the globe following a new ice age that wipes out most living things on Earth. Seriously, that’s the premise. The story sees the “freeloaders” who live at the end of the train attempt a revolution by seizing the engine of the train from the privileges upper class at the front of the train.

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Matt and David Team Up — in This Video!

David Tennant and Matt Smith — better known to the world at large as the 10th and 11th Doctors, respectively, sat down together to have a chat about the story they just finished recording to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of DOCTOR WHO.

In the story, the current Doctor and his immediate predecessor team up to face the Zygons — and perhaps some other monsters — as well as deal with a stunning addition to the mythos: John Hurt as the Doctor! Hurt debuted at the close of the series seven finale, and his appearance came as a shock because 210 US fans who accidentally received copies of the episode kept their collective mouths shut about the climax. And by way of a thank you, the BBC have released this fun video clip as a bit of fanservice.

Somehow, we must all find our inner calm and wait until Nov. 23 to see the actual episode.