Showing posts from 2014

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (2014) - VIDEO REVIEW

Its that time of year again, and this time it may well be our Last Christmas, because as Doctor Who depressingly says, "Every Christmas is last Christmas". Prepare for Wham! jokes.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (2014).
By Steven Moffat.
Starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Nick Frost.
Plot: Its Christmas, its the North Pole...Who are you gonna call?

Doctor Who is owned by the BBC. This review is for critical and analytical purposes only, and is made in fandom of the series. No copyright infringement intended.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (2014) - Review

Doctor Who Christmas specials have certainly been a mixed bag over the years. Few have truly been bad, but almost all have been mediocre to 'just about bearable'. I was uncertain about this special. I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised, I was expecting something disappointing and I also was promised something surprising...I was really underwhelmed overall.
I can't call Last Christmas bad at all, but its flaws are plain to see, making it difficult to just love it despite its flaws (as I can for such episodes as Asylum of the Daleks), and I just feel so underwhelmed and little fed up at the end of the episode.
The big selling point of the episode was whether Clara would stay into Series 9, and I feel that this episode was re-written in some way so that she did. Clara's role felt rather small in the story as a whole, and the character of Shona felt like perfect companion material. In fact, I actually thought Shona would join the TARDIS at the end! It would be nice to …

Upcoming Video Reviews

The video reviews for this site and for YouTube not so long ago stopped, and haven't returned since. Why? Well, they're a lot more difficult to make, with planning, notes/script, filming, editing, rendering and uploading, so the last one made was Guardians of the Galaxy back in August. However, I am in the process of getting these reviews done ASAP. They will all come out at some point next year, so will start from (hopefully) next week and continue on. They won't have a schedule as such, unless multiple ones are ready.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) - hopefully coming sooner rather than later, the review of the final Hobbit film should come first!Arrow: Season One (2012/13) - the first TV review that isn't Doctor Who, each season shall be reviewed in a separate video, and hopefully this should come out in January, closely followed by...Arrow: Season Two (2013/14) - ...the second season! This should come soon after Season One, but after this I'll h…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episodes 8 & 9 Review

Agents of SHIELD started off as a fun, enjoyable spin-off from the Marvel films dealing with monster-of-the-week formulas to build interesting and complex characters, while also setting up arcs that would carry through the series that would be built up and concluded at a later date. This was something simple and I was happy with it. However, towards the end of Season One the show became more focused on the arcs, lost a lot of the fun and began to feel like one continuous story building up the characters. We get to Season Two though, and a lot of the character building that made Season One so great is now lost. Agent May is still lacking in actual background; Skye magically turns from being the likeable newbie to SHIELD with a mysterious background to a badass SHIELD veteran with a mysterious background over the course of a few months; Simmons is still the same person she was at the beginning of Season One, only without Fitz; Ward is still a bad guy who thinks he's a good guy; and…

First Thoughts on 'The Flash' / 'Arrow' crossover

Its very rare that you get a TV show crossover with a scale quite like this. Back in 2008, Doctor Who tried to do a successful crossover with Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, but sadly ended up being a lackluster episode and felt incredibly bloated despite being spread over two extra-long episodes. So its great to see these two now iconic TV super heroes coming together for a special two-part story dubbed 'The Flash vs Arrow'.
While both episodes were fantastic (and the best both shows have provided for quite a while, and forever in the case of The Flash), they managed to understand what made such a crossover interesting. Both shows have a very different approach, and you get to see the characters experience the best and worst of both Starling and Central City, as well as the best and worst of The Flash and Arrow.
The Flash's episode 'Flash vs Arrow' deals with how the characters in Central City react to having the Arrow turn up in their city. Joe and Harri…

First Thoughts on 'The Flash' (Episodes 6-7)

The Flash is a show that's difficult to hate on, because despite its clichés, its mostly for fun, so you just forgive it for its problems and try and enjoy it - with great ease.
The last two episodes did have those clichés, but I can see The Flash becoming its own show. Its overcoming some boring villains, its overcoming a lack of development, and is becoming some really interesting. These are characters we are interested in. This is a show that doesn't need a mid-credits scene with Dr Wells to entice the audience to come back next week. This is a show that is using its big budget to create fantastic villains and brilliantly-realized action, and to use all of this to tell interesting stories that can be told in a TV series, but not in a film.
While the Pilot was just a 45 minute first film in a series for The Flash, each episode seems to realize it needs to build its story-line and characters to tell individual 45 minute stories to build up an over-arching story. While it sti…

First Thoughts on 'Arrow' Season 3 (Episodes 5-7)

Oh dear Arrow, what's happening to you?
This season of Arrow so far has been quite lackluster compared to the previous two. The show is filling its episodes up with villain-of-the-week formats and nothing that interesting keeping its audience watching. We only have Ra's al Ghul (whom we probably won't see until the end of episode 8) threatening Oliver, Sara's death and...
Hang on, lets talk about that. Where is the arc of Sara's mysterious killer going? It turns out she wasn't killed by Roy in a Mirakuru-entranced state (instead he's feeling like a murderer - with nights off to look awesome alongside Arrow - after having killed a SCCP officer last season. Who remembers that? I didn't, and I only watched Season 2 in October), and Sara wasn't killed by Malcolm Merlyn. I'm sure something was mentioned about Ra's al Ghul killing her, but that never got a definitive answer. And if it did, then that information was lost on someone who's been …

Terminator: Genisys (2015) - TRAILER REACTION

I don't usually do trailer reactions on this site, and certainly not usually late ones, but I feel this is a trailer I want to make an Editorial about.
My knowledge of the Terminator franchise is limited to Terminator 2: Judgement Day only, and while that was a fantastic film, my interest in seeing the original film and sequels has peaked only recently. In fact, it wasn't that long ago when I realized just how good Judgement Day is, so when the trailer was released for Genisys, I really wasn't sure what to expect.
While Genisys does seem to bear a strong similarity to Judgement Day from the trailer, it does also incorperate elements of the original movie, only this time with a twist. It follows the story that John Connor - leader of the human resistance against the Skynet-created machines the Terminators - sends his friend Kyle Reese back in time to, what I presume is, 1984 to protect his mother Sarah from a T-800 (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger). However, when Kyle arri…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 7 Review

While I stand by my statement from previous weeks that there is way too much going on this season in Agents of SHIELD (hence why I'm still preferring Season 1), I'm glad SHIELD hasn't gone down the Doctor Who: Series Six route, where it just can't be bothered to tie-up any of the lose ends and just builds and builds to nothing. That being said, we could still get a cop-out conclusion to all of these arcs.
Its nice that the characters actually acknowledge how convenient it is that all of the dangling plot threads connect in some way, shape or form, even if it doesn't actually give a proper explanation as to why they all are, other than convenience.
The writing on the wall is the main focus of this episode, with the writers at long last giving us some answers. Its great to see more from the TAHITI project from last season, although I do feel this plot thread should have been cleared up much earlier on when we didn't have the addition of Whitehall and our additio…

First Thoughts on 'The Flash' (Episodes 2-5)

To be perfectly honest, I have little to say about The Flash. It doesn't seem to know quite what to do. With it being more of a family show than Arrow, its constantly avoiding some darker areas to explore, incorporating more cheesy and light-hearted moments.  Then again, viewers who don't watch Arrow will be left going "hang on, when was this in The Flash?" at the previously for Episode 4 with the footage from Season 2 of Flash's parent show, and will probably be wondering who Felicity Smoak is. This seems to clash with it being a separate show for a different audience and just seems to be the light-hearted spin-off to Arrow, instead of its own show. Then again, it is its own show for a lot of the time, so...I just don't know. I'm very glad I watch both Flash and Arrow! The jokes and gags are well placed in The Flash, but the more serious moments can get overshadowed by humour and the lack of faith in going darker. Episode 5 explored the Army experimenti…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 6 Review

Wow, something really did hit the fan this week in Agents of SHIELD. At long last, this season seems to be really going in a new direction, exploring these different characters, their interactions and motivations.
First of all we have the complex relationship of Skye and Ward, and the wonderful scene towards the end showing the parallels of Grant and his brother Christian was a clear standout of the episode. You just can't tell who's telling the truth, let alone whether Skye or Coulson believe either one. Brett Dalton is fantastic, doing his great performance as of yet in SHIELD. The look on his face when Skye tells him that he will be sent to his brother is just that of pure dread and horror. This is what I hoped we'd get to see several episodes ago, but better late than never. In fact, the cliffhanger ending with Ward killing his captors was perfectly paced, acted and directed. Just the look on his face. This guy truly means business, and both Christian and Skye are in …

Top 11 Doctor Who: Series 8 Episodes

11). Kill the Moon 
A story built up on far too much science fiction nonsense and a variety of plot holes, as well as some poor characterization - 6/10
10). In the Forest of the Night 
A slightly dull story without much of a plot, but ultimately entertaining in places - 6/10
9). Robot of Sherwood
A nice, fun story with some plot holes, but Ben Miller and Tom Riley are excellent guest cast members - 7/10
8). Listen
A creepy, enjoyable story with a distinct lack of originality and Steven Moffat-isms - 7/10
7). Dark Water / Death in Heaven 
A mix of creepy themes, great character moments and an overall rather disappointing episode - 7/10
6). The Caretaker 
A story without much of a plot, but with some great character moments and fantastic humour - 8/10
5). Time Heist 
An incredibly entertaining bank heist story with some fun moments and a great monster, even if the story ends with a slightly over-complicated resolution - 8/10
4). Into the Dalek 
A classic Dalek story with some great, chilling moments -…

Interstellar (2014) - Movie Review

Interstellar is a film with a hell of a lot of good, but also with quite a bit of bad, making it incredibly difficult to review. Its a film with so much on its shoulders with Christopher Nolan's fantastic critical acclaim from The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010), not to mention the huge success of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). What does become clear from this film though is that he has already reached and passed his peak with The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010), and Rises (2012) was nowhere near as good as those two. And, sadly, neither was Interstellar.
This is a film that instantly sets its mood surrounding survival, and the dystopian future Nolan has created with a dust-covered Earth running out not of fuel but of food. This is such a brilliantly realized future that Nolan clearly enjoys exploring as a writer and director. In fact, this could be a film in itself - humanity trying to get away from this future Earth, allowing for more e…

First Thoughts on 'Arrow' Season 3 (Episode 4)

Wow, Arrow, you picked up.
I did worry that the first three episodes were going to be what the series would become - character pieces relying less on plot and action to help enhance the overall story of Arrow, but no - they were simply building up to this.
It was fantastic to explore the dynamic between Nyssa al Ghul (still waiting for Talia, but oh well) and Laurel throughout the episode, as they both loved Sara, but differently. Its clear both actresses had great chemistry, and Laurel is certainly building up to becoming...well, you can probably guess what.
Nyssa and Laurel's quest for vengeance was nicely explored, building to a three-way fight between Nyssa, Arrow and Malcolm Merlyn as a nice climactic conclusion. John Barrowman sold the hell out of this episode, constantly getting into Oliver's mind, and its clear he is trying to manipulate both him and Thea for his own schemes.
While I'm still waiting for Roy to get an episode to shine in, he did great here, and its…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 5 Review

Well, that was eventful.
For the past four episodes, I've been waiting for Agents of SHIELD to actually do something that a member of its audience is remotely interested in. Most of the conversations I've had about Agents of SHIELD have concluded with "there's too much in there now and there is not enough time to use it all, not to mention most of Season 1 seems to have been forgotten".
Finally, we get a proper introduction to Skye's father, and what his relationship with Raina is. Finally, we get to explore the theories about Skye's true identity. Finally, Simmons being a mole in HYDRA actually goes somewhere.
While I did find the episode and this season so far very predictable for the most part, such as Bobbi Morse working for SHIELD secretly as well as being whatever-his-name-is' ex-wife, Simmons being rescued by her, Skye finding out the truth and it turns out she knows all feels like we have been waiting for this for four episodes…

First Thoughts on 'Arrow' Season 3 (Episodes 1-3)

Arrow is back, and for the first time ever I can watch it on Sky 1 week after week!
There are many changes for this season. Firstly, the tone is much less dark and gritty, with the series embracing its comic book roots and providing some nice tie-ins to The Flash (including a Barry Allen cameo). This is greatly appreciated, and while some may not be happy about this, it comes across as a natural change and makes the darker moments more effective, not to mention fitting in more with The Flash's more family-friendly tone.
We also had the dramatic death of Sara in Episode 1, which was brilliantly executed. However, it seems to have lost its impact with it being mentioned so much. I understand this is a driving force for Laurel's character arc over this season (which I won't spoil, if you can't work it out already), but I think its being overdone a little too much. However, Oliver's response to this is fantastic, leading him to Corto Maltese to try and tempt Thea back…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 4 Review

After a rocky start for Agents of SHIELD season 2, finally we get back to the great stuff I loved about season 1. We have the return of standalone episodes building up the characters and storyline for the season, while also being an entertaining 45 minute installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Friday nights (or Tuesday nights in the US).
The characters are given a lot more focus this week, with Hunter, Triplett and Mac getting their moments, as well as Fitz having some truly great character moments as he tries to adjust with his brain trauma. The final scene with him and the others sharing a drink was a great moment, and showed how far his character has come since the Pilot last year. While the lack of focus on Skye still feels jarring, with her just about getting a few lines in this episode, its great other characters are getting their moments, even if Koenig and 'real' Simmons appear to have been forgotten about.
The real focus was on the relationship between May a…

Doctor Who: Dark Water / Death in Heaven - VIDEO REVIEW

For an extra long Doctor Who story, I decided to do an extra long review. Contains spoilers from start to finish.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 3 Review

After a slight improvement last week, it seems we're back to square one of the quality of this season of Agents of SHIELD.
Donnie Gill was truly wasted in the episode. While I did get the impression a lot of CGI work and set-dressing was done to bring his powers to life, his character didn't enhance the story of the episode and after such great set-up for Blizzard last season I thought they would do more with him, but alas not. I suppose he could still return (death is not the end in the MCU for most characters), but I doubt it considering his death scene. However, the brainwashing element was a great twist, and the menacing HYDRA agent did an excellent performance. Sadly though, even that plot element was wasted. I was hoping for some cool super villain action in future episodes, but no. Maybe it was too expensive to do, so the production team decided to give him a send-off episode. There were so many directions they could have taken (not all of them that expensive, I'm …

Doctor Who: Dark Water / Death in Heaven (Series 8 Episodes 11 & 12) - MINI REVIEW

Normally, I'd do one overall Mini-Review summary for the episode, but after viewing both, I've decided to do separate ones, with the difference in quality between the two. As for the video review, I'll talk about both in one just to make it easier.

Pacific Rim (2013) - Movie Review

'Pacific Rim' was a film I had little-to-no interest in seeing initially. The promotional material seemed to sell it as simply robots verses aliens, and I thought it would end up being a terrible waste of time and money.
Then the reviews came in, and after over a year, I decided to get the Blu-ray and sit down to watch it.
I was wrong.
While yes, the film is very much Robots VS Aliens, this is a simple premise which it uses as a basic template to explore complex and engaging character arcs, stunning action sequences and a fantastic story-line.
The acting is fantastic throughout, and the excellent screenplay gives the actors lots of subtle moments and moments to shine, and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic direction brings out the excellence of the screenplay.
The film all seems to come together to make an entertaining, engaging and enjoyable film with plenty of action, humour, drama and emotion to overall succeed in a way that so few action films do. Its not all about one el…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 2 Review

While I wasn't keen on the opening episode of Season 2, Agents of SHIELD has certainly picked-up in terms of quality with Friday's episode "Heavy is the Head".
Not only do the set-ups from the previous installment continue to build, but we also re-visit old favorites such as Raina, who has a welcome return. Actress Ruth Negga is fantastic in the role, and proves to be menacing, evil and twisted despite seeming sweet and innocent. Raina is a character that the writers clearly enjoy developing her, and her crossing of HYDRA this episode for a mysterious man at the end (Skye's father, I'm assuming) provides some interesting elements.
We also continue the arc of Coulson's symbols on the wall - something last episode mentioned vaguely despite being the cliffhanger to Season 1. While I'm not sure where the series is going with the arc, I'm glad it hasn't been forgotten about.
This episode does feel like Episode 1 Part 2, with the cliffhanger from l…

Doctor Who: In the Forest of the Night - VIDEO REVIEW

Another episode, another review. I did not have much time to edit this together, hence the lack of the usual jump-cuts!

First Thoughts on 'The Flash' (Pilot)

The Flash is finally here! After a huge marketing campaign started earlier this year, with two tie-in episodes of 'Arrow' season two, followed by the trailer release, and finally the series. Numerous other stuff has been released in between, as well as the announcement of a Flash action figure (which incidentally looks cool).
The Pilot is essentially the origin story for Barry Allen becoming the Flash, complete with narration, a tragic back-story (which has a nice unique element to which I'll talk about later), brooding characters, sequel/series set-up and some woods from an old friend to help Barry on his way. Its not secret that this is a spin-off to Arrow, but Flash does a good job at standing on its own. Oliver Queen's cameo may not help new viewers, but for Arrow fans as well, its a really great moment to see the two side-by-side as heroes, even if Oliver looks more clean-shaven and particularly smiley and cheerful.
The tone is very different from Arrow as well. …

Thoughts on new Marvel Studios film announcements

Earlier today, the following Marvel Movies were announced with release dates:
Captain America: Civil War (6/5/2016)Doctor Strange (4/11/2016)Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (5/5/2017)Thor: Ragnarok (28/7/2017)Black Panther (3/11/2017)Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1 (4/5/2018)Captain Marvel (6/7/2018)Inhumans (2/11/2018)Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2 (3/5/2019) If any other studio had announced these films, I would have been skeptical, but if its Marvel Studios, then I have high hopes from the get-go. Each film sounds unique and interesting, and with their current track record, they should all be pretty awesome movies. I am no expert on comic books, but I'm pretty excited to see what these new films over the coming five years have got for us. Glad to see Avengers: Infinity War is a two-movie epic though.
This is of course adding to the current set of Marvel films:
Avengers: Age of Ultron (24/4/2015)Ant-Man (17/7/2015) The teaser posters/logos for the announced films can be found below:

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2, Episode 1 Review

Agents of SHIELD opened its second season last Friday and...that was a bit of a shaky start.
I watched the episode the first time with family (most of whose conversations lasted longer than the adequate ad-break time), so I ended up missing certain crucial elements, but felt the episode to be a weak entry from the show.
When I watched the second time, I liked it a lot more, and was actually able to hear the dialogue!
After a quick recap on last season (sneakily editing out Samuel L Jackson's brilliant final scene putting Coulson in charge of SHIELD and Coulson's writing on the wall), we open in 1945 where Agent Peggy Carter (from Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel One Shots: Agent Carter and the new Marvel's Agent Carter TV show, set to air next year) and some Howling Commandos (who, would you believe it, had some dialogue and almost get personalities!) as they take over a Hydra base. Plot hole though - wasn't the Agent Carter short set a year after WWII or so…

Doctor Who: In the Forest of the Night (Series 8 Episode 10) - MINI REVIEW


Doctor Who: Flatline - VIDEO REVIEW


Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - Teaser Trailer REACTION

Where shall I begin?
Ultron (voiced by James Spader), sounds absolutely terrifying, from his Pinocchio-esque speech on strings to just his huge, robot self. Even when he's little more than a charred Iron Man robot, he looks frightening! The CGI still needs to be polished in places (and by that I mean one or two shots), but he looks utterly fantastic! He looks to be the best villain of MCU since Loki, but completely different. Move over Batman v Superman, because this superhero cross-over actually has released a trailer, and it is badass.
There are so many hints at the Avengers themselves. There's no sign of Vision, but if the rumours about Captain America 3 are correct, than I can definitely see the beginnings of Tony Stark's arc leading him there. Thor seems pretty angry at Tony, and even drops his hammer (no idea how to spell the name) almost in defeat!
Cap and Black Widow look cool. Let's be honest though, since The Winter Soldier, Cap has just become plain awesome…

Doctor Who: Flatline (Series 8, Episode 9) - MINI REVIEW

Yet another excellent script from Jamie Mathieson. Two absolutely brilliant scripts in a row? One being the best of the series so far, and the best episode since 'The Name of the Doctor' (2013)? A third script is definitely needed. Its good to see that Who's new talent isn't just scripts like 'Kill the Moon' and has true gems like 'Flatline' and 'Mummy on the Orient Express'.
The episode was truly brilliant, albiet with some poor supporting characters (the train driver was unnecessary and as for the clichéd and annoying can you get?). We also has YET ANOTHER cameo from Danny Pink, which I did think might go somewhere, although maybe it will in the next three episodes. Its difficult to say without knowing what's going to happen in future episodes, but all in all, another brilliant episode. The Boneless was creepy and the visual FX were very impressive. Rigsy was a great character, although he wasn't as developed as he could …

Thoughts on DC Cinematic Universe Announcement

OK guys, so yesterday Warner Bros and DC Entertainment announced 10 new DC Movies to be released from 2016 to 2020:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (25/3/16)Suicide Squad (5/8/16)Wonder Woman (23/6/17)Justice League: Part 1 (17/11/17)The Flash (23/3/18)Aquaman (27/7/18)Shazam (5/4/19)Justice League: Part 2 (14/6/19)Cyborg (3/4/20)Green Lantern (19/6/20) For the most part, I'm happy with this list. I'm excited for Batman v Superman, Justice League: Parts 1 and 2, and as for Wonder Woman - hire Joss Whedon if you have ANY sense DC. Then again... Shazam sounds like a great flick and its a shame that it won't actually be part of the Justice League, but good on the film-makers for making their own self-contained film. Justice League being in two parts sounds like a good idea, Aquaman has potential, as does Cyborg.
As for the Green Lantern reboot, adapt the animated movie 'First Flight' Its a great animated film, and makes the 2011 live action 'epic' look terri…

Gotham - Episode 1 'Pilot' Review

Gotham certainly has some big shoes to fill, making it stand out against other DC Comics TV shows and as a prequel to Batman. Sadly though, I feel it still has a while before becoming its own show instead of simply a prequel to the famous Dark Knight's story.
The focus on the Waynes' murders, Bruce Wayne's struggle as an orphan, the start of origin stories for villains and an overall theme of 'this is before Batman' makes Gotham just fall back into the shadows of nothing special.
The 50 minute Pilot introduces some interesting elements, such as James Gordon's struggle in a corrupt Gotham Police Force, as well as Oswald Cobblepot on his journey to become the Penguin. However, the cameo from Edward Nygma felt unnecessary and not-so-subtle as I would have liked, and as for the Ivy Pepper cameo...really? Ivy Pepper? Not Pamela Isely, Ivy Pepper? Of course they aren't at all hinting at her becoming Poison Ivy...
Easily the best hint at Batman future was the …

Autumn 2014 TV - What to look forward to?

Well folks, its that time that isn't happening again, but anyway, here are my thoughts on some TV shows coming up this Autumn:

Doctor Who: Series 8 
- The series has already aired 8 great episodes, but the remaining 4 are undoubtedly the most intriguing. Who is Missy? Is she the woman in the shop? What are the Cybermen doing? Will Clara die? Will Danny die? Will Courtney die? Is Heaven real...? All these questions should be interesting to find out the answers to, and then its the Christmas episode! Will Clara die in that one instead, or simply leave? Who knows...

Doctor Who series 8 continues from Saturday 18th October to Saturday 8th November 2014.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: Season 2 
- Season 1 of the Marvel show has been met with some mixed criticisms, although by the end it did gain a fanbase to defend its faults. Was it really as bad as its reputation suggests? No, of course it wasn't. While far from being the next Firefly (Joss Whedon's best work if you ask me), SHIE…