Level 7 #2: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.- ’0-8-4′

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After a remarkably successful first outing MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is back with its sophomore episode, “0-8-4.” In this chapter, the team must storm before it can fully form and the naturally arising conflicts are heightened thanks to an unknown, but very threatening object found in Peru. Do the hits keep coming in Marvel’s second televised at bat? Download the show for our full review!

Download HERE.

IMAX Goes “Behind The Frame” With THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

IMAX celebrates today’s start of ticket sales for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE with a new promotional behind the scenes feature with the film’s director and some of its stars. Of particular note is the revelation that the IMAX format is reserved in the film exclusively for scenes taking place in the Arena so as to make it an immerse audience experience.

It’s really good to hear the cast and crew speak of the scope and ambition of the production. They seem to have put a lot of effort into making it not only a worthy follow up to THE HUNGER GAMES, but a deserving film in its own right.

The fire continues to rise with the release of four CATCHING FIRE character focused covers for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. The covers feature Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and the guy all the ladies are sure to be swooning over, Finnick (Sam Claflin). You can take a look at the covers below.

Catching Fire- Katniss EW Catching Fire- Peeta EW

Catching Fire- Gale EW

Catching Fire- Finnick EW

Tickets for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are on sale now. The film will be released on November 22. Tick Tock…

New THOR: THE DARK WORLD Images

Marvel Studios has lifted its embargo on all media outlets that visited the set of THOR: THE DARK WORLD last year. To mark the occasion, Marvel has released several new images from the film. For an excellent rundown of what was seen and heard on the set, check out Collider’s full report which includes new details about the film (mild spoilers) and interviews.

 

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THE WALKING DEAD Returns With Prequel Webisode Series THE OATH

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AMC has released all three installments of THE WALKING DEAD’s Season Three webisode series, THE OATH.

The webisodes, directed by zombie makeup master and execeutive producer Greg Nictoero, features Wyatt Russell (THIS IS 40) and Ashley Bell (THE LAST EXORCISM) as Paul and Karina, survivors in need of a doctor. When they arrive at a hospital THE WALKING DEAD fans are familiar with, they encounter Gale (Ellen Greene), a doctor who may have her own agenda.

You can view all three webisodes below. Season Three of THE WALKING DEAD premieres Sunday, October 13 on AMC.

Part One

Part Two

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoyW1LKQhnE

Part Three

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vZREEK6V0U

New Trailer And Banners For THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

The new trailer for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG debuted this morning on NBC’s TODAY show, introduced by Middle Earth veterans Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas).

The trailer joins the three banners released yesterday in heralding the imminent arrival of director Peter Jackson’s second installment in the trilogy that serves as backstory to the LORD OF THE RINGS saga. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG will be released on December 13.

Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), Kili (Aidan Turner), Dwali (Graham McTavish), and Fili (Dean O’Gorman) 

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Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans)

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Thranduil (Lee Pace), Elvenking of Mirkwood

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Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen)

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Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly)

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Katniss Takes Aim In The Final Poster For THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

The “Girl on Fire” looks deadly serious in this, the final poster to be released for Lionsgate’s THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE.

The poster is simple, but effective. It features the now famous Mockingjay pin engulfed in flames but now also in the crosshairs of President Snow and The Capitol. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) stands in front of the symbol, bow at the ready, prepared for another fight to the death in The Arena as the advice of her mentor Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) hangs in the air.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE hit theaters November 22. To see recently released images as well as the film’s trailer, click here.

Tick tock…

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MMM Podcast #144: GOTHAM Before Batman

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As MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. enjoyed a very successful premiere, news broke of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment planning an aggressive expansion of its televised universe across three networks. In this week’s podcast, The Gentlemen discuss GOTHAM and how a Batman-themed show can generate mainstream appeal without actually having Batman in it. We also weigh in on CONSTANTINE and what DC’s increased presence on television affects the silver screen prospects of its characters.

Download the show HERE.

For more discussion on televised superhero adventures, don’t forget to check out our LEVEL 7 podcast for MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR Draws Nearer

Day of the Doctor Behind the Scenes Teaser

It seems like we’re all on the “slow path” to the 50th anniversary celebration, which gives me a greater appreciation for Madame du Pompadour than ever before.

The new teaser photo above popped up on the BBC website today. Full of Dalek-y goodness, I tried to peer beyond that black veil, but could not discern what else may be going on in the photo.

After the airing of ATLANTIS tonight, there are also going to be a couple of “stings” that reveal the “ident” for the episode. If that means something to you, congratulations, you’re more British than I. You should definitely tune in.

If it doesn’t, don’t worry, we’ll be back with links and explanations on those terms as they become clearer.

UPDATE

So, we finally got a glimpse at those promised “stings”.

While not much new info about the episode was provided, the BBC team did give us the first official hashtag – #SaveTheDay. Track it early and often, Whovians. #SaveTheDay is your new digital/social master.

I like the hashtag because it works, reminding you of the date to save – 23.11.13. Or, as the graphic states: 23.DW.13

The other sting is an abbreviated version of the first.

The hype-train is in full force now, people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8eurkMakNc

ARROW Season 2 – A Look Ahead

In just about ten days, everyone’s favorite archer (sorry Hawkeye), will make his return for the second season of ARROW on the CW. As someone who significantly enjoyed the first season, I’m very excited to see what’s in store for “The Hood.” Given the already announced casting news of Grant Gustin as TV’s Barry Allen aka The Flash, the scope of what we can expect in this new season seems to be growing exponentially. For all intents and purposes, ARROW seems to be leading the way in expanding the DC Universe among mainstream audiences.

As a lifelong DC Comics fan, I’m excited that WB seems to be finally moving towards the aggressive side of exploiting their IP, albeit on the small screen. Recently announced GOTHAM and CONSTANTINE are further evidence that the recent leadership change at the studio may end up proving fruitful for the studio and fans alike. While TV is not always the first preference when it comes to comic book/superhero properties, I do appreciate the initial planning and effort that is being put forth. Only time will tell if these small screen endeavors increase the chances of big screen franchises in the years to come.

When it comes to Oliver Queen and the return to the earthquake-ravaged Starling City, the future in uncertain but exciting. DC/WB are being aggressive in their planned expansion of the DC Universe. There are a few ways that this can be viewed. I love the idea of expanding the universe in which the Green Arrow exists, but I hope it doesn’t come at a cost to the integrity of the show. Seeing other recognizable characters from DC Comics in a live-action TV show has the potential be a great thing. However, the title of this show is ARROW. It’s not the DC Universe, it’s not Justice League. I don’t have an issue with using ARROW to launch THE FLASH for next year, but expanding the DC Universe should never go past a couple episode guest spot.

During its later years, SMALLVILLE nearly went full-on Justice League with their story lines. Some would argue that those were some of the highlights of the entire series and I enjoyed those stories quite a bit too. However, I never really got on board for a “JV” Justice League. These weren’t fully formed characters but they were already marching towards what we knew they would eventually become throughout the preceding decades of comic book stories. In my opinion, there are just certain aspects of the comic book/superhero universe better suited for the multiplexes.

Many fans, including myself, are disappointed at the possibility of the delayed cinematic version of The Flash now that the character has been repurposed for The CW. I think the idea to spin his show out of ARROW is a pretty inspired and smart idea. Unfortunately, I know that Barry Allen will still not be getting the full canvas of storytelling that only a movie screen can offer. I have no reason at this time to doubt that THE FLASH can be a compelling weekly story to tell on TV, but it’s going to need to go above and beyond what ARROW does consistently to be considered a true hit. The landscape for storytelling changes when you have main characters with superpowers. Not only does this elevate expectations for itself but it does for ARROW as well. And therein lies the heart of my concern.

I’m a firm believer in the mantra of the story comes first. On one hand, it’s obvious that DC/WB are pushing to expand the reach of their IP. On the other hand, they are directly using an existing show as a springboard. Was this a studio mandate or did the writers of ARROW in the early stages of working on season two come up with a great reason to bring Barry Allen into the same world they created for Oliver Queen? As of right now, I don’t believe the latter is true. For those of us who prefer to see our favorite DC Comics characters on the silver screen, what happens in season two of ARROW could be a double-edged sword. If the appearance of The Flash and subsequent spin-off TV series end up being a significant success, fans of DC Comics may be in for the long haul in front of their TV screens if they want to enjoy those characters in a live-action format. Outside of Batman, Superman, and possibly Wonder Woman, the shared DC Cinematic Universe could be on the way to becoming the DC Televised Universe.

Now would probably be a good time to insert “beggars can’t be choosers” into my concerned stream of consciousness. And yes, that’s true. I know films are expensive and come with a much greater risk versus the potential return on investment. I know that over time, TV shows can reach a far greater audience than a movie ever could. But I don’t want the live-action DC Universe to grow just because of a executive mandate. I want the push to expand to come first and foremost from the heart of creativity.

TV and Film are and always will be a business. But people don’t purchase movie tickets or program their DVR’s just because something new is coming. They do it because they want to be entertained. They want to escape. They want to connect. It’s great to have variety and so many choices for entertainment. But there are far fewer choices that ever stand the test of time. So many pilots and films come out each year and are quickly forgotten. But every once in awhile a team of creative people come along and produce something that you will never forget. It doesn’t matter if it’s a TV show or a film, the right experience can stay with you.

My only hope for season two of ARROW is that this time next year, I’ll be reminiscing about how great the stories were and not about how many characters I recognized from the DC Universe.

Keep your browsers locked on Modern Myth Media for our upcoming coverage of ARROW season two!

 

METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER Review

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If ever there was band that personified modern myth-making in its music, career, presence, and rabid fan following, Metallica is that band. Submitted as evidence, METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER, a head-banging, pulse-pounding, transportive experience like no concert film ever before. There’s a reason Metallica’s movie plays in IMAX while Justin Bieber and One Direction sell matinee popcorn to 12-year-old girls and their moms in standard theaters.

Big band, big screen, and massive sound are the essence of THROUGH THE NEVER, as the legendary metal band rifles through a blistering set list including classics like “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Master of Puppets,” and for the KILL ‘EM ALL lovers, “Hit the Lights.” As a veteran of several live Metallica shows, it is astonishing just how effectively the unique, unmatched energy of those concerts was captured. Having many of the band’s classics blasted in IMAX sound was a brand new way to hear songs listened to hundreds of time before.

As backdrop to the concert footage, Dane DeHaan (CHRONICLE) plays Trip, a silently enthusiastic Metallica fan who works as roadie and is tasked with retrieving an unknown item for the band from a broken down van somewhere in the city outside of the arena. Before long, Trip finds himself in the middle of an all-out riot. It’s cops versus protestors and both sides seem to be against Trip as he runs from and eventually finds the courage to face his tormentors.

The violent scenes outside the venue do not add significantly to the experience. They are, however, a fitting match for the thrashing guitar riffs and the growls from frontman James Hetfield. In no way does Trip’s journey hurt the movie and any audience member can sympathize with the kid just wanting to get back to the arena and watch his favorite band play.

METALLICA: THROUGH THE NEVER is not just as film, like a Metallica show is not just a concert. It is an experience. It should be seen by anyone with any interest in hard rock or heavy metal music. Certainly, no fan of the band should miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Metallica in IMAX.

Just be prepared for bruises on your legs from all the unconscious air drumming.

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