November 25, 2014

News: Rutger Hauer is a viking, ITV 'updates' Jekyll & Hyde, George Eads to leave CSI + more

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  • Rutger Hauer, Alexander Dreymon et al join the BBC’s The Last Kingdom

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November 24, 2014

Yes, there's even more to David Lynch's Dune than you first thought - here's 21 deleted scenes

Posted yesterday at 17:25 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

So I’ll come clean and admit that David Lynch’s Dune is one of my favourite movies. It’s also one of the ones I can quote from the most, but I won’t subject you to that – I think you’d rather endure the Box than that.

As you might expect from such a huge book, it is also a long movie, very long for 1984 when it was released, coming in at 2h11. It could have been even longer, though, but producer Raffaella de Laurentiis had a clear strategy for stopping David Lynch from going too long: "For every day you run over budget, she told Lynch, a page will be ripped from the script. At random.”

Even so, Lynch filmed a lot more Dune than went into his first cut. Much of that extra material then got saved up and restored, complete with additional narration, for an extended Sci-fi channel version – which Lynch asked be credited to someone other than him, as he didn’t approve.

But that still wasn't all the footage that Lynch filmed. Oh no. There was plenty, plenty more. And for fans of the book, some of those deleted scenes were actually very important moments: everything from Paul marrying Irulan and the death of Thufir Hawat through the funeral of Jamis all the way to the creation of the Water of Life by a baby sand worm.

But life is good. YouTube is kind. And you can watch all 21 additional scenes in the play list below*.

The spice must flow.

* Some of them you can see in the Extended version.

News: Constantine cut, Shatner to recur on Haven, a new Global Frequency, Tina Fey goes to Netflix + more

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November 21, 2014

What have you been watching? Including Cara Fi, The Comeback, Neville's Island, Robocop (2014), Constantine and The Fall

Posted 4 days ago at 17:31 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there's Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

First, I’ll apologise in advance for the typos: I’m just heading out the door to watch The Imitation Game.

Anwyay, we’re nearing Thanksgiving and the Christmas season (aka ‘December’) which means that viewing options are starting to drop off, new shows are few and far between, and old shows are giving us their mid-season finales. But I have watched a couple of new things, including State of Affairs, which I’ve reviewed elsewhere.

Cara Fi (UK: S4C)
A dying Welsh village puts the faces of its single men on the sides of milk cartons to attract women there. Starring Dave Coaches (Steffan Rhodri) from Gavin & Stacey, it’s pretty gentle, not especially romantic comedy with a sad basis in reality. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but it’s a different change of pace from the usual fare and it clips along decently enough.

The Comeback (US: HBO; UK: Sky Atlantic)
Lisa Kudrow plays a fading, once semi-famous actress, trying to use reality TV to make a comeback, only to discover that she might get a second chance, playing a thinly veiled pastiche version of herself in a sitcom. Technically the show’s second season, it’s first season airing in 2005, and since then, most of its young stars (Kellan Lutz, Malin Akerman) have gone on to better things, although Akerman makes a cameo in the first episode, Lutz lined up for a later appearance. However, as with the first season, this is such an insider TV show that even though I’ve been writing about TV and US TV for the best part of two decades, even I found it a bit niche. More damningly, I didn’t laugh once. Fans says the show’s simply ahead of the curve, in which case I’ll probably find it funny in 10 years’ time, but seeing as most of it is cringe comedy and laughing at people who’ve fallen on hard times, maybe not.

I’ve also watched a movie:

Robocop (2014)
Remake of the 1980s ‘classic’, this hits neither the original’s lows nor its highs, loses virtually all the satire, and ditches Nancy Allen’s tough female partner for Omar from The Wire. Nevertheless, the story of a murdered cop turned into a cybernetic police officer for a privatised police force does actually do some interesting and different things, looking at the concepts of free will, the nature of perception, media manipulation, the disabled, prosthetics, and the tensions between altruistic science and those funding it. It’s certainly not memorable and will probably be forgotten about soon enough, but it’s nevertheless a pretty decent film that would probably be a lot more noticeable and notable were it not for the original.

And I’ve been to the theatre, too.

Neville’s Island (Duke of York's)
Four Northern middle managers (Neil Morrissey, Adrian Edmondson, Miles Jupp, Robert Webb) go the wrong way on an outward bounds course and end up stuck on an island in the Lake District. How will they get on together? Will they escape? And will any of them go mad and attack the others? I’m not saying, but it’s a fun play which ultimately doesn’t say a whole lot, but is entertaining nevertheless, with some good performances. It also features one of the best sets I’ve ever seen – or smelt. Seriously, that’s some moist piney goodness they’ve got going on there.

After the jump, I’ll be running through: Arrow, Constantine, Elementary, The Fall, The Flash, Forever, Gotham, Gracepoint, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, The Newsroom and Scorpion.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including Cara Fi, The Comeback, Neville's Island, Robocop (2014), Constantine and The Fall"

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News: Steve McQueen's Lynda La Plante's Widows adaptation, Matt Smith and the zombies, East West 101 goes US + more

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November 20, 2014

Nostalgia Corner: MacGyver (1985-92)

Posted 5 days ago at 14:38 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

MacGyver

There are few TV shows that have actually changed the English language, but ABC’s MacGyver gave us not only a new verb, but inspired virtually an entire generation of viewers to start carrying around Swiss Army Knives.

Starring Richard Dean Anderson as the eponymous Angus MacGyver, the show was created by three men: Lee David Zlotoff, one of the producers of Remington Steele; Emmy-award winning director John Rich; and Henry Winkler - the Fonz on Happy Days. It saw Anderson's former Vietnam bomb disposal expert turned secret agent working first for the US government’s Department of External Services and then for the private sector Phoenix Foundation, investigating all manner of dangerous subjects both professionally and personally.

So far, so ordinary. What then set MacGyver apart from other action heroes?

  1. His mullet.
  2. The intensely catchy theme tune.
  3. But most importantly, in contrast to the usual US action hero stereotype, MacGyver not only refused to use a gun, he used his mind instead. Give MacGyver a dilemma to solve or sticky situation to get out of, not only would he likely remember a related situation from his childhood, he’d use his vast knowledge of science and technology to improvise a solution, whether it was something basic like putting an egg into a perforated radiator to temporarily plug the holes or something more advanced like building a laser.

Here, let the title sequence give you all three of these things in a concentrated burst:

Continue reading "Nostalgia Corner: MacGyver (1985-92)"

News: Netflix rescues Longmire, Hugh Laurie's US TV return,

Posted 5 days ago at 07:25 | comments | Bookmark and Share

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Flash vs Arrow crossover

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance in Wolf Hall

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  • Trailer for Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, with Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden et al
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November 19, 2014

That time when Anderson Cooper and The Unit crossed over with Black Widow

Posted 6 days ago at 20:42 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Black Widow #12

This month's issue of Black Widow is out today. Yes, her off The Avengers:

And the observant will notice from the front cover that CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a guest star in this issue. No, really.

Anderson Cooper in Black Widow

Odd, hey? Still, anything to get people reading it, I say. But you’d have to be very observant to spot the crossover with The Unit in this issue as well:

The Unit in Black Widow

Spot it?

Blink and you’ll have missed the fact that 'Dirt Diver’ was the call sign of The Unit’s Mack Gerhard.

Gosh, what a TV-filled comic this month.

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S4C's new romcom Cara Fi has an interesting disclaimer

Posted 6 days ago at 19:25 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It’s on S4C, it’s about a dying Welsh village that puts the faces of its single men on the sides of milk cartons to attract women there, it stars Dave Coaches (Steffan Rhodri) from Gavin & Stacey – it’s Cara Fi.

But it has something of an interesting disclaimer at the start of every episode.

Cara Fi

Beats the usual boilerplate, doesn’t it?

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Review: State of Affairs 1x1 (US: NBC)

Posted 6 days ago at 14:10 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

State of Affairs

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC

Katherine Heigl has been a movie star for so long, it’s hard to remember that she made it big on TV first. Sure, she was something of a teen movie doyenne, playing both Steven Seagal and Gerard Depardieu’s daughters in Under Siege 2 and My Father, The Hero respectively, but it was in first Roswell and then Grey’s Anatomy that she really got noticed, before eventually hitting the big time in Knocked Up.

Unlike most of the world, tired of the endless series of identikit rom-coms that have characterised her career since and aware of her ‘difficult’ reputation, I have a lot of time for Heigl. She’s done her best to change the rom-com dynamic, trying to inject some feminism and even some swearing so that women aren’t continually gentrified and oppressed by the genre. But she could certainly do better than 27 Dresses for starters.

Apparently, she thinks so, too, which is why she’s returned to TV to do something completely different: playing a gun-toting CIA analyst in State of Affairs. Something of a melange of everything from Homeland through The Threat Matrix (bet you thought no one would mention that show again), it sees Heigl advising her former mother-in-law-to-be - the US president (Alfre Woodard) - about the top threats facing the United States’ interests around the world, be it abducted doctors in Africa or Islamist terrorists… in Africa. And along the way, she’ll have to face politics, in-fighting, special forces, psychiatrists, security teams and someone who knows her dirty little secret.

And although pretty much every aspect of the show has been put through the NBC low-quality “generification machine”, if you were expecting it to be an epic disaster that would maintain Heigl’s status as a hate figure in the entertainment industry, you’d be surprised, since it’s okay. It’s not great, but compared to what it could have been, it’s a slight eye-opener.

Here’s a trailer.

Continue reading "Review: State of Affairs 1x1 (US: NBC)"

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15 ways to say I Am Groot

Posted 6 days ago at 07:31 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Ich bin Groot.

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News: Fox to remake Luther, HBO developing Cortes, Stuart Townsend to recur on Elementary + more

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November 18, 2014

Weekly Wonder Woman: World's Finest #28, Smallville Continuity #12, Sensation Comics #14

Posted 7 days ago at 10:00 | comments | Bookmark and Share

World's Finest #28

It was a relatively quiet week for regular Wonder Woman last week, but in various universes (and times) she had lots to do. Most notably, over on Earth 2 - where she’s dead, of course - we got a flashback to a time when the coming apocalypse was predicted and the immortal Wonder Woman had to venture out into Man’s World to save two children - one Clark Kent and one Bruce Wayne, in fact.

Meanwhile, over in Smallviile: Continuity, there was another child of a different variety for Diana to visit and in Sensation Comics #14, everyone was on acid.

At least it seemed like it, because Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame has just started a two-issue story.

More after the jump.

Continue reading "Weekly Wonder Woman: World's Finest #28, Smallville Continuity #12, Sensation Comics #14"

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