DEAD Talks Podcast: AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD Episode 405- “Internment”

Walking Dead- Internment Herschel Walker

DEAD Talks launches with a look at “Internment”, the fifth episode of THE WALKING DEAD, Season Four. Join us for a discussion of what may be THE WALKING DEAD’s best episode to date as we praise Scott Wilson’s powerful portrayal of Herschel as he struggles to keep the situation at the prison under control. Along the way, we also talk about the evolution of Rick’s relationship with Carl and share our predictions about what the return of YOU KNOW WHO means for the remainder of the season.

These things and more in this week’s DEAD Talks podcast!

Download the episode HERE.

While you’re at it, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

THOR Brings The Box Office Thunder!

20131110-122557.jpg

THOR: THE DARK WORLD hauled in an impressive $85.7 million in its domestic opening weekend, per Monday’s final box office results. The Marvel Studios sequel improved upon the $65.7 million opening of its predecessor, 2011’s THOR, by 30%. Even more impressive, however, is the $327.4 million worldwide total the film has amassed since being released in several international markets on October 30th. At this rate, the sequel will have eclipsed the first movie’s $449.3 million global box office total by this time next week, if not sooner. By the end of its run, THOR: THE DARK WORLD has a realistic chance of surpassing IRON MAN 2’s $623.9 million to become Marvel’s second highest-grossing solo film, behind only IRON MAN 3.

Substantial growth is the primary objective of any sequel and Marvel has certainly found its mark. As the second film in the second phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, THOR: THE DARK WORLD is yet another beneficiary of Marvel’s increasingly powerful brand in a post-AVENGERS world. Earlier this year, IRON MAN 3 nearly doubled the total of its previous franchise record holder, the aforementioned IRON MAN 2, with almost $1.22 billion worldwide. These numbers form a clear picture of Marvel Studios’ unquestionable success in the execution of its unprecedented strategy.

It would have been significant enough for the release of five successful solo films to lay the groundwork for the eventual team up film’s phenomenal box office run. As Marvel’s last two films have now proven, however, that was only the beginning. THE AVENGERS is now giving back its own multiplier effect to the solo franchises, dramatically increasing the earnings potential of each. Being backed by the marketing and distribution wizards at parent company Disney has also been a critical factor in Marvel’s financial growth.

President of Production Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel Studios brain trust are a seemingly unstoppable creative force, churning out hit after hit even as directors, writers, and sometimes stars exit the MCU franchises. Their secret weapon is the unbridled confidence they have in their intellectual property, believing that the characters and story elements they need to capture the world’s imagination can already be found in the pages of the thousands of comics they’ve published. They know what they need to communicate in order to make their characters palatable to mainstream audiences while satisfying the more particular tastes of die hard fans. They also have a keen sense for which talented creators can best facilitate those adaptations.

Marvel Studios is conducting a master class in creative collaboration and bringing comic books to life. THOR: THE DARK WORLD is the latest lesson.

#151- THOR: THE DARK WORLD Roundtable Review

facebook_cover

THOR: THE DARK WORLD is putting the hammer down on the worldwide box office, making this the opportune moment for a gentlemanly convergence. It is once again time for a Roundtable Review, so please sit back and enjoy as our panel discusses and analyzes the latest offering from Marvel Studios. Have Thor and Loki put forth another epic chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or has this god lost his thunder?

Download HERE.

MMM Podcast #150: Marvel & Netflix Make It Official

527b1c93c190e

Marvel and Netflix are officially in business, developing four 13-episode seasons and a mini-series event for the internet television provider. DAREDEVIL, LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST, and JESSICA JONES will get the call in their own individual series before joining forces in THE DEFENDERS. Speaking of team ups, Forbes blogger Mark Hughes joins me to discuss this massive, innovative programming deal and all the potential it holds. We also take a look at that “other” television series Marvel is developing for ABC ― AGENT CARTER, anyone?

Download HERE.

Will One Of These Three Thespians Be Themysciran?

On September 4, we told you how Jeff Sneider first broke word of a “tall woman” wanted by Warner Bros. for Batman’s love interest and how Latino Review expanded the scoop with more details about how potential candidates needed to possess height and physicality.

We all wondered in the backs of our minds if maybe, just maybe, the casting call was a smoke screen for Wonder Woman. But recent events chronicled here and here (with special thanks to MMM friend Mark Hughes) have rocketed that speculation to the forefront of possibility. Maybe we’re still only going to get a love interest for Bruce Wayne.

And maybe we’re getting Diana of Themyscira.

Regardless of the character, Variety exclusively provided three of the top candidates tonight:

OLGA KURYLENKO

Ukrainian model and actress Olga Kurylenko first gained major attention as Argentinian Secret Service Agent Camille Montes in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, wowing audiences with her easy, playful chemistry with Daniel Craig. Other action roles include HITMAN and MAX PAYNE, but it’s two recent roles that really make her an interesting choice. She’s absolutely, hauntingly beautiful opposite new Batman Ben Affleck in director Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER, which relies heavily on its actors’ abilities to paint a complete emotional story despite its scarcity of dialogue. She successfully plays everything from blissful love to crushing despair with the same grace she displays opposite Tom Cruise in this year’s science-fiction thriller OBLIVION, which relies heavily on mystery as a storytelling tool. We learn a lot about what’s going on in the film from Kurylenko’s character’s subtle reactions to what she knows is wrong all around her. She’s currently gearing up to star in Russell Crowe’s feature-length directorial debut, THE WATER DIVINER. Kurylenko is 5’9″ and certainly has the chops to pull it off.

GAL GADOT

International audiences are well aware of Israeli actress Gal Gadot after she appeared in the three most recent FAST & FURIOUS films as Gisele, a dangerous damsel who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “distress.” She’s got height at 5’9″ and seems a bit slight for an Amazon, but Zack Snyder has never been shy about showing his actors to the gym. Gadot would bring a massive fan following from the runaway FAST & FURIOUS box-office juggernaut, and she’s free for a new franchise now that her duties as Gisele are complete.

ELODIE YUNG

French actress Elodie Yung spun and swung her way through hordes of ninjas alongside Ray Park’s Snake Eyes as Jinx in G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. And in addition to being a student at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she’s also a black-belt martial artist who already knows her way around a sword. She’s got 5 feet and 7 inches… and she knows how to use them.

So there we go. My personal favorite is Kurylenko because I’ve loved her in everything I’ve seen her in so far, but admittedly I’ve not seen Yung in anything yet. And we can’t forget Gadot’s franchise power, either.

And on top of all this, Variety’s article also mentions that The Flash is expected to make an appearance of some sort. And what about Dick Grayson? I’ll share more thoughts on this when my mind stops boggling. In the meantime, what do all of our loyal (and appreciated) readers and listeners think? Who’s your choice among these three actresses? Who’d you like to see who isn’t on this list?

All I know for sure is this:

In issue #8 of the New 52’s solo WONDER WOMAN title, Hades asks Wonder Woman why she protects humans.

She says, “Because life is important.”

Hades replies, “No. Life is brief. Truly. That’s all life is.”

“And in its brevity,” she counters, “is where life’s importance lies.”

And I love that, because it shows off her philosophical side.

That’s why I liked Lynda Carter so much. Not only was she believable in fights, but she carried herself in way that exuded kindness, warmth, wisdom, and grace.

There’s an episode of the 1970s series where a dictator in a purple jumpsuit (played by the delightful Henry Gibson) kidnaps the world’s best athletes so he can force them to compete as his nation’s Olympic team. Wonder Woman tells him she hasn’t gotten angry in 500 years, but that his behavior is pushing her awfully close. And you can see every one of her centuries gleaming behind Lynda Carter’s eyes. She also brought kind of a wry sense of humor to it, too. In other words, she was truly an ACTRESS and not just a beautiful woman in a shiny suit. That’s what we need now. Someone who can capture the magic that Carter did. Because say what you will, but for my money Carter was every bit as perfectly cast (and as impossible to replace) as Christopher Reeve. Snyder found a worthy successor in Henry Cavill. Let’s hope he can do it again. I believe he can.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Coming December 2015

Star Wars

Lucasfilm announced today that STAR WARS: EPISODE VII will be released on December 18, 2015. The change from the traditional STAR WARS release month of May had been rumored for some time.

From StarWars.com:

WITH PRE-PRODUCTION IN FULL-SWING, A CONFIRMED RELEASE DATE OF DECEMBER 18, 2015, HAS BEEN SET FOR LUCASFILM’S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.

“WE’RE VERY EXCITED TO SHARE THE OFFICIAL 2015 RELEASE DATE FOR STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, WHERE IT WILL NOT ONLY ANCHOR THE POPULAR HOLIDAY FILMGOING SEASON BUT ALSO ENSURE OUR EXTRAORDINARY FILMMAKING TEAM HAS THE TIME NEEDED TO DELIVER A SENSATIONAL PICTURE,” SAID ALAN HORN, CHAIRMAN OF THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII WILL BE DIRECTED BY J.J. ABRAMS (SUPER 8, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, STAR TREK) AND IS BEING SCRIPTED BY ABRAMS AND LAWRENCE KASDAN (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RETURN OF THE JEDI). LUCASFILM PRESIDENT KATHLEEN KENNEDY, J.J. ABRAMS, AND BRYAN BURK ARE PRODUCING, WITH TOMMY HARPER (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, JACK RYAN, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS) AND JASON MCGATLIN (TINTIN, WAR OF THE WORLDS) SERVING AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS. JOHN WILLIAMS IS RETURNING TO SCORE STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.

SHOOTING IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN SPRING 2014 AT PINEWOOD STUDIOS.”

 A December release for the STAR WARS sequel should make for a much better “Holiday Special” than the last one, and insure a “Happy Life Day” for all.

Marvel & Netflix Team Up For An EPIC TV Package!

3420715-dd

Last month, Deadline reported Marvel Studios was developing a massive television package to be shopped around to cable, VOD, and streaming providers including Netflix. We spoke at length regarding what that package could include on the MMM Podcast later that week. Now, it’s official and we know which characters are coming to the small screen!

Marvel has just announced a deal with Netflix that will bring four original, interconnected series to the internet television provider. The series will all take place in Hell’s Kitchen, New York with DAREDEVIL leading the way. He will be followed by JESSICA JONES, IRON FIST, and LUKE CAGE. The deal with Netflix includes four 13-episode series culminating in a mini-series event entitled, THE DEFENDERS. Netflix will begin airing the Marvel content in 2015.

Essentially, Netflix is getting its own television-sized section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with each individual superhero series building toward a team up. This is an incredible leap forward in live-action superhero storytelling with unbelievable potential. Marvel is making a great call in having superheroes serve as the focus of each series while playing the crossover game that the studio has mastered.

The DAREDEVIL series is sure to excite fans who’ve waited so long for the character to get another crack at live-action adventuring. JESSICA JONES shows Marvel is not going to make this just a boy’s game while IRON FIST and LUKE CAGE will satiate those who’ve been demanding their inclusion in the MCU.

The shorter season length should allow for more lean, concise storytelling with each 13-episode serial having a very clear focus. Marvel has a commitment from Netflix upfront, meaning each season of programming can be developed in its entirety with every episode advancing its characters toward a known end. There is, however, no end in sight for Marvel’s reign atop the live-action superhero genre.

For more information, please see the full press release below.

Disney’s Marvel and Netflix Join Forces to Develop Historic Four Series Epic plus a Mini-Series Event Based on Renowned Marvel Characters

Landmark Deal Brings Marvel’s Flawed Heroes of Hell’s Kitchen, led by “Daredevil,” to the World’s Leading Internet TV Network in 2015

Burbank, Calif. – Nov 7, 2013—The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced an unprecedented deal for Marvel TV to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel’s most popular characters exclusively to the world’s leading Internet TV Network beginning in 2015. This pioneering agreement calls for Marvel to develop four serialized programs leading to a mini-series programming event.

Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York.  Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.

Produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Television Studios, this groundbreaking deal is Marvel’s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling.

“This deal is unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling. Netflix offers an incredible platform for the kind of rich storytelling that is Marvel’s specialty,” said Alan Fine, President of Marvel Entertainment. “This serialized epic expands the narrative possibilities of on-demand television and gives fans the flexibility to immerse themselves how and when they want in what’s sure to be a thrilling and engaging adventure.”
“Marvel’s movies, such as ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Marvel’s The Avengers,’ are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “With ‘House of Cards’ and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we’re thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude.”

This new original TV deal follows last year’s landmark movie distribution deal through which, beginning with 2016 theatrically released feature films, Netflix will be the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated movies from the Walt Disney Studios, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm.  Netflix members can currently enjoy a wide range of Disney, ABC TV and Disney Channel films and shows across the 41 countries where Netflix operates.
About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $42.3 billion in its Fiscal Year 2012.
About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 40 million members in more than 40 countries enjoying more than one billion hours of TV shows and movies per month, including original series. For one low monthly price, Netflix members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

 

 

Rumor: Is Dick Grayson In BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN?

NIGHTWING-theofficialjla-34455036-1280-799

With Batman, Superman, and apparently Wonder Woman set to appear in the upcoming MAN OF STEEL sequel, I know what you’re thinking, “This movie needs more superheroes!” As it turns out, there might be one more, though he may not necessarily be in costume. Earlier tonight, El Mayimbe of Latino Review reported a rumor he’s heard that Dick Grayson, the original Robin and eventual Nightwing, will appear in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. El Mayimbe cautions that he is still trying to confirm this rumor, but that casting breakdowns seeking a young “John Hawkes” type for the film along with Warner Bros. seeking a 5’10” stuntman trained in martial arts could backup this story.

Again, this is just a rumor, but it is hardly far-fetched. With Bruce Wayne set to star in the film alongside Clark Kent, any prominent member of the Batman mythos has a fair chance to appear, especially those historically closest to Bruce like Alfred, Jim Gordon, and Dick Grayson. As crowded as the superhero locker room may seem for this film, there’s no rule saying Grayson has to appear in costume just because he makes it onto the screen. More importantly, whether Grayson rocks his Robin/Nightwing costume or not, he could fit in nicely as a role player in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN and then be featured much more prominently in a BATMAN solo film that Ben Affleck will probably direct.

For El Mayimbe’s full report, you can head over to Latino Review, or watch the video below.

REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “The Patriot Act”

REVOLUTION- Dr Horn

In ways both colossal and subtle, “The Patriot Act” continued to demonstrate the overall improvement in quality that has so remarkably characterized REVOLUTION’s second season. Well written and well acted in equal measure, the episode continued to advance the story by staying focused on what matters most, the characters.

Specifically Dr. Gene Porter, who in an emotional and extremely well acted portrayal by Stephen Collins, anchored the episode. Through flashbacks, we learned his involvement with the Patriots began just after his wife died of cholera. In a coincidence of timing that was in no way suspicious, he was approached by a Patriot and recruited in exchange for access to vaccines (including a cholera vaccine, surprise, surprise) and medical supplies. These flashbacks earned Porter our sympathy as we witnessed the terrible actions he undertook in order to secure medicine for Willoughby.

I’m appreciative of the writers for immediately following last week’s reveal of Porter’s Patriot ties with an episode largely dedicated to exploring his Faustian bargain with them. It was necessary to maintain the integrity of the story and it was well executed, both in how it was written and in the inner conflict so apparent in Collins’ performance. It turned a plot twist that could easily be seen as a contrivance into a compelling aspect of the story.

Equally compelling was Zeljko Ivanek’s performance as Dr. Horn, whose machinations were largely responsible for moving the story forward this week. Ivanek imbued Horn with the desperate menace of a man wielding power to mask his own fears and inadequacies. This revealed itself in his interactions with other characters, primarily Rachel.

The wounded way in which he realized that she had no memory of him, conveyed as his smile of recognition faded into barely masked disappointment, immediately gave the impression of a man perpetually unnoticed before the blackout, with little to no real importance. The pride with which he related the story of his rise to power was apparent, and indicative of his desire to impress “prom queen” Rachel. Their conversation was more about him showing her how important he is now than it was about the nanobots.

In just a few scenes, Dr. Horn was shown to be a capable villain with the kind of complexity that makes for an interesting character. I enjoyed the dynamic between him and the other characters and hope he sticks around for a while.

While this episode was largely dominated by doctors Porter and Horn, REVOLUTION’s other characters were given moments that continued their development as well.

The most impressive being the growth in the relationship between Rachel and Charlie. With two simple scenes, we’re shown that their argument in the kitchen last week meant something. The first is when Charlie asks why Rachel saved Monroe. In typical Rachel fashion, she pragmatically says, “Because we needed him.” Then, more tenderly, “And you asked me to.” She listened to Charlie’s assessment of her last week, and Charlie acknowledges the beginnings of a stronger bond between the two when she comforts Rachel as the episode ends… which was an awesome way to go out, by the way.

The theme of parental reconciliation continued with Neville’s attempts to reclaim Jason from the Patriot trainee program. In scenes that maintained a terrific sense of tension, Neville had to decide whether or not to trust Jason over the protests of Justine Allenford. It’s a testament to the acting of JD Pardo and directing of these sequences that even after Jason proves his trustworthiness by killing the two recruits, you still don’t quite trust him.

Aaron’s story continues to move along a pace that intrigues me without making me impatient for an explanation, which we got the beginnings of during Rachel’s conversation with Dr. Horn. Slowly revealing more about his newfound abilities while steadily bringing them to the forefront of the story is the right choice, and I’m grateful to the writers for avoiding the temptation to focus completely on it. Just please have a plan for this… please.

Honorable Mention this episode goes to David Lyons, whose characterization of a Monroe drugged up on was hilarious and touching. Using this opportunity to show this character with his walls down was a stroke of genius. That first scene when he awakes to find Miles watching over him and says, “Hey buddy!” was awesome.

There are television shows that you look forward to all week. These are shows you watch live because you can’t wait to see the story continue. REVOLUTION has become one of those shows for me. It’s truly found itself this season, and is consistently balancing the kind of character development, pacing, and writing that earns your investment on a weekly basis.

REVOLUTION has become the show I always wanted it to be.

From Batman to Superman to the Avengers and Beyond! Our Heroes. Our Mythology.