DEAD Talks Podcast: AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD Episode 406- “Live Bait”

WALKING DEAD- Live Bait

This edition of DEAD Talks is a bit more introspective than most, as befits this week’s episode, “Live Bait”. The manner in which the Governor returned was unexpected to say the least, and our panel is still pondering the implications of Phillip Blake (or is it Brian?) behaving like a human being.

Download the episode HERE.

AMC Opening the Doors to PREACHER?

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We’re in rumor territory here, but Badass Digest is pretty dependable and if they’re reporting that AMC is making a pilot for Vertigo’s PREACHER, there’s probably a lot of fire to that smoke.

In the back and forth between Marvel and DC over tv announcements, this seems most like a game changer as PREACHER is just the type of book that openly courts controversy and attention, while being critically acclaimed at the same time. The fact that AMC, perhaps the hottest network going, is behind it inspires a lot of faith that the quality will be good.

We’ve all been waiting for someone like HBO to open up the doors and take a chance on an acclaimed, long form comic property. We might not have to wait much longer.

 

MMM TV: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 107- ‘The Hub’

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Ratings continue to erode as the series’ misses have taken away from its hits to varying degrees of severity depending on whom you ask. This week, however, something happened on “The Hub” that may have provided the roadmap for how AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. can become a more exciting, engaging, “can’t miss” show that will actually keep its viewership week-over-week. This is not the best the show can be, but hear us explain why the “The Hub” set what should be a new standard for a series based on the ultimate agency of espionage.

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MMM TV: ARROW Ep. 206- ‘Keep Your Enemies Closer’

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After spending its first few episodes introducing new characters and plot lines, Season 2 of ARROW kicks it old school this week with “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” an episode focused on John Diggle’s history and his pursuit of one of the first season’s most prominent villains, Deadshot. This is exactly the kind of storytelling that made us fall in love with ARROW in its first season even if The Arrow only makes a cameo appearance. Listen to us explain how and why this is the best episode of the still young sophomore season.

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REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “Come Blow Your Horn”

REVOLUTION- Come Blow Your Horn- Rachel and Charlie

Well, that was… interesting. While REVOLUTION’s unfortunately titled “Come Blow Your Horn” (remember the way he looked at Rachel last week?) wasn’t necessarily a bad episode, its various elements never seemed to work together in a way that allowed them to become something greater. This is a shame because REVOLUTION has actually excelled at doing this for most of the season.

“Come Blow Your Horn” regrettably jumped between story arcs with little to none of the finesse that has characterized the show’s improvement in editing. The subtle touches, such as an establishing shot of Neville after Monroe remarks that he’d be an asset against the Patriots in “One Riot, One Ranger”, were absent from this episode.  As such, its presentation suffered and the story just kind of meandered from point to point.

It’s a testament to the show’s improvement in acting and writing that even though things were a bit jumbled, there was still a lot to like. From both a character and overall story progression standpoint, this episode kept me invested in most of what was happening.

Certainly I was invested in Aaron’s story, which impressed me with its handling. I loved that Aaron’s accidental murder of Cynthia’s husband wasn’t forgotten and came into play here. Zak Orth’s eyes intensely conveyed Aaron’s mix of shame and regret with a deafening silence, and when that tear streamed down his face I really felt for the guy.

I felt even worse for him when he found himself the subject of Dr. Horn’s experiments. From a storytelling perspective though, this actually made me pretty happy. I love that REVOLUTION continues to explore the Aaron’s nanobot abilities (I can’t bring myself to call them powers) through characters other than Aaron.

It’s a great way to make the show’s biggest leap of logic seem a bit more believable and natural. It shows that other characters have the same reaction to Aaron that the audience does. It also shows that they’re just as curious as we are to discover how he came to control the nanobots. It’s an effective way to delve further into the plotline without an awkward and forced explanation.

Increasing the sense of urgency surrounding an explanation for Aaron’s condition is the revelation of Dr. Horn’s brain tumor.  While it adds more to Horn’s character, as did the flashback to his mother’s death 18 years earlier, I’m not sure that either of these things were needed.

Humanizing the Dr. Horn, and by extension the Patriots, risks rendering the mysterious, all powerful, five steps ahead of everybody organization too sympathetic to remain the effective villains they currently are. It isn’t hurting the show at this point, but I really hope the writers keep the Patriots and their representatives as unsympathetic as possible. They work much better that way.

For instance, Roger Allenford worked better this week because of the selfish and unsympathetic choice to kill his wife rather than face the consequences of her actions (which I honestly didn’t see coming). Also benefitting from being unsympathetic was Neville, who was once again shown to be capable of causing the deaths of others when it suits his purposes. Giancarlo Esposito was brilliantly manipulative this week as a Neville who, now that he believes his son has been saved, is feeling in control again. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Jason’s programming reasserts itself and Neville realizes his relationship with his son isn’t as solid as it currently seems.

Back in Texas, the relationship between Rachel and Charlie continues to improve, as do the scenes between Elizabeth Mitchell and Tracy Spiradakos. It’s one of the best examples of the show’s growth that these two characters can share a heartwarming scene as they bond over making gas bombs. And it works.

Also working in this episode is the badassery of one Mr. Sebastian Monroe, who continues to steal any scene he’s featured in this season. David Lyons consistently strikes an impressive balance between intensity and comedy, which has deepened a character who was once very one note. He’s a joy to watch.

Not a lot of Miles development tonight, but the brief glimpse of his worsening hand wound promises to pay off soon. Kudos again to REVOLUTION for treating this injury with the gravity it deserves for this character in this world.

In the end, “Come Blow Your Horn” is an episode containing the same level of improvement we’ve come to expect from REVOLUTION this season, wrapped in an unattractive package. Its cliffhanger of an ending may be to blame for the choppy episode setup, but I’d like to think that a show demonstrating this level of improvement could do better on the editing front. Here’s hoping next week’s resolution strengthens this entry.

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REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “The Patriot Act”

Goddard Gets DAREDEVIL

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Development for Marvel’s recently announced four-series deal with Netflix is fully underway. Jeff Sneider of The Wrap reports the studio is negotiating with Drew Goddard to write the DAREDEVIL series. Goddard certainly has the credentials, having served as a writer on LOST and ALIAS in addition to penning the script for WORLD WAR Z.

Goddard also has a notable connection to AVENGERS director and Marvel Studios creative consultant Joss Whedon. Goddard wrote for the Whedon-created series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL. Goddard also directed last year’s CABIN IN THE WOODS, a film he co-wrote with, you guessed it, Joss Whedon.

His professional experience is sound, but Goddard’s passion for the character is what makes him an ideal choice for DAREDEVIL. Goddard previously explained his DD fandom in great detail to Collider.

You’re talking to a guy who had quotes from Daredevil painted on his wall while growing up. Even when I was 18, I still had the blood red door with the, ‘I have shown him that a man without hope is a man without fear.’ That was what I loved and so it’s the sort of thing that if we can find the right project, I would love to do it.

It is clear that Goddard, if and probably when the deal gets done, will be pouring his heart and soul into making a live-action iteration of Matthew Murdock that lives up to fans’ lofty expectations for the character. He obviously knows the source material well enough and will have Whedon and the rest of Marvel’s masterminds to lean on when crafting a series that honors Daredevil’s comic book lineage while also adapting the mythology to make it accessible to a broader audience. This is a very promising first step in the development of Marvel’s Netflix content.

More THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR Promos Appear in Our Midst

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Even with Halloween in our rear view mirror, BBC America is doling out more treats for fans. In the last few days, both an abbreviated 40 second TV trailer, as well as a much longer (1 minute, 20 seconds – 50% longer if my math skills are right) TV trailer have appeared.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Many faces… many lives. You betcha.

Then, Daleks. No doubt about it.

I love the punchline to the “I’m looking for the Doctor” bit.

The Tardis still looks a bit fake-y for a big budget picture. It looks better in the TV series, if you ask me.

The fez. Is back.

Rose? What’s wrong with your eyes?

A big… red… button? (Probably one that must not be pressed under any circumstances)

Geronimo! Love the callback to the first appearance of the 11th Doctor.

And the second trailer:

Adds an Allons-y! Brilliant!

And the “whose sonic screwdriver is bigger” funtime.

Plus, the Tenth Doctor’s reaction to the new Tardis.

Aaaaand, I forgot how much I missed Rose.

But in this trailer, it gets obvious how golden Tennant and Smith together on the screen will be.

Overall – it looks so Fan-ta-stic! (weeping for the Ninth Doctor)

I am so geeked for the THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR. Hopefully you’ve got your tickets because it promises to be big fun on the big screen.

 

 

 

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.

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THOR Brings The Box Office Thunder!

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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

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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?

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