Archive for November, 2010

Doctor Who 16/02/85 – The Two Doctors

Posted in 6th Doctor, Doctor Who on November 30, 2010 by watsonprime

I’m one of those people that thinks that every Doctor was good. While there were some who were better at others when portraying the time lord, I genuinely don’t think there was a bad Doctor. However, I do have favourites, and I consider the Sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker, to be my favourite. While he had a whole bunch of terrible episodes, and of course was treated terribly by the BBC, he still gave a fantastic performance as The Doctor.

In The Two Doctors, he meets the incarnation of himself that was probably the most different in terms of personality and dress, The Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton. Where Number 6 is arrogant, loud, and a bit of a dick to his companion Peri, Doctor Number 2 is friendly and has one of the best companion relationships out of all the Doctors. The Doctor had met versions of himself before, but whereas those occasions were for anniversary specials, this one was simply for the sake of making a good story.

The story starts in black and white, with The Second Doctor and Jamie in the TARDIS, but quickly turns into colour. It’s immediately noticeable that the two are older, which makes sense considering that twenty years have passed since their first appearance, but they both are clearly enjoying being back in their roles, and the fact that they have aged doesn’t affect their acting at all. The pair are investigating experiments in time travel which ends badly when a group of Sontarans invade the space station and capture The Doctor. Meanwhile, The Sixth Doctor is fishing for gumblejack while Peri wanders round in a bikini top. After failing to land a big catch, they head back to the TARDIS where The Doctor feels the effects of his capture and torture by Sontarans back in his second form.

The majority of the three episodes are set in a Spanish villa, which immediately differentiates it from the previous studio set stories. But despite the location and the fact that Patrick Torughton and Frazer Hines are reprising their roles, the serial still feels like traditional Doctor Who, as opposed to The Five Doctors which very much felt like a special episode.

Watching Patrick Troughton as The Doctor is an absolute treat. While the fact that he’s on a mission from the Time Lords doesn’t fit in with the shows continuity, it is a minor issue and doesn’t effect the story. While he spends most of the serial tied to a chair he still manages to dominate every scene he’s in and shows to the newer audiences why he is considered to be one of the best Doctors ever.

Despite the familiar faces, there are a few fresh ones with a new species, the cannibalistic Androgums, represented by a particularly nasty villain called Shockeye. Unlike the Sontarans and the scientist Dastari who’s goal is to possess a time machine, Shockeye simply wants to devour a human, which makes his scenes with Peri particularly uncomfortable, you’re not sure if he wants to have sex with her or eat her.

Considering the poor quality of some of The Sixth Doctors episodes, The Two Doctors is one of the finest in the season with both Troughton and Baker working well against each other (although, not as great as between Troughton and Jon Pertwee) in the few scenes they have together. This serial has been noted by many as one of the most violent in the entirity of Doctor Who, with shootings, stabbings and even The Sixth Doctor covering a guys face with a poisoned handkerchief, but it’s not too distracting, and it’s a small price to pay for a good Sixth Doctor serial.

Doctor Who 03/01/70 – Spearhead from Space

Posted in 3rd Doctor, Doctor Who on November 30, 2010 by watsonprime

Due to the fact that I’m still unemployed, I”m watching a lot of Doctor Who, so hear goes another Doctor Who review.

When people refer to ‘their’ doctor, they usually mean the first Doctor they watched. So, by that reckoning, my doctor is The Third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee. At some point in the 90s, the BBC showed some Doctor Who, and while I was fully aware of Doctor Who and his most important facts (the TARDIS, regeneration, Daleks etc) I had never seen an episode. So I watched Spearhead for Space, which was Jon Pertwee’s first serial as The Doctor and (unknown to me at the time) the first Doctor Who filmed in colour.

After watching the first few few serials, I stopped, I can’t remember if that was because they stopped being aired or if I found something better to watch, but I still remembered Jon Pertwee and his dashing interpretation of the Doctor. Of course then came the reboot and Eccleston and my passion for Doctor Who was reignited, so when I recently started collecting the DVDs, one of the first ones I bought was Spearhead from Space.

First aired in January 1970, “Spearhead from Space” finds The Doctor after his forced regeneration at the hands of the Time Lords in the previous serial “The War Games” and sees the start of his forced exile on Earth. We see the start of three plots: an alien invasion, The Doctor dealing with his new form, and the arrival of Liz Shaw at UNIT, which will all quickly be thrown together as the story progresses. We also see the reappearance of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
As a child I was always terrified by mannequins, even more so by living statues (the people that paint themselves gold and stand very still until money is put in their pot) so imagine my fright when my first Doctor Who villain was The Autons, creepy living plastic dolls that kill innocent civilians!

While it’s not the most dignified way to introduce a new Doctor, there have been worse and by falling out of the TARDIS and being brought to hospital, we are quickly introduced to some of the key elements about the time lord. We learn that he travels in a police box, is an alien with two hearts, has a history with UNIT and can change his appearance. While Troughton was a fantastic Doctor, Pertwee brings a whole new interpretation of the character and very quickly makes it his own. The Third Doctor is a far cry from the timid, easily panicked Second, although just as friendly and a lot more charismatic. Also, he’s taller.

The first episode doesn’t do The Doctor justice as he both starts and ends the episode while unconscious. We see that he’s crafty, as he wakes up and manages to escape a group of kidnappers by using a wheelchair, but it’s not exactly a great introduction to one of the most dynamic incarnations of the Gallifreyan. But by the second episode we see his ability to think quickly, his hiding in plain sight trick as he evades a doctor by having a shower is inspired, as well as well as the introduction to his unique dress sense and love of classic cars.

“Spearhead from Space” refers to the initial attack on earth by The Autons, which were seen more recently in the latest season finale. As a child I was always terrified by mannequins, even more so by living statues (the people that paint themselves gold and stand very still until money is put in their pot) as I always assumed they were evil for some reason, so imagine my fright when my first Doctor Who villain was The Autons, creepy living plastic dolls that kill innocent civilians! Watching them shoot innocent shoppers is just as shocking now as it was when I first saw it as a child and it really helped separate Doctor Who from anything else I watched, in Doctor Who, people die and it doesn’t matter if they’re bad guys, good guys, or just caught in the middle and it’s a frequent theme that’s brought up. At least in this serial as opposed to some others, The Doctor isn’t to blame for the killings.

In a episode full of new faces, it’s nice to see a familiar one in The Brigadier. Still the hardened military man, we see that he is fully prepared to protect the earth from any form of invader, even issuing the order to shoot any civilian who wanders near the TARDIS. While the interaction between him and Liz Shaw is based on the now classic sci-fi plotline of “skeptical scientist meets organisation that fights aliens and isn’t convinced at first”, it’s his interactions between him and a new, more confident Doctor that are a delight.

While the serial has one of the scariest villains ever, matched only, in my opinion by the Weeping Angels (which are another group of aliens that look like statues,)there is plenty of humour, and while the Doctor isn’t particularly funny or silly, most of the laughter originates from him, for example his escape via wheelchair, his hesitation at entering a “Doctors Only” room in the hospital, or his sheepish exit from the TARDIS after failing to pilot it are all pretty humorous and help break up what is a fairly slow moving plot. It also demonstrates Pertwee’s ability to not take himself too seriously, despite playing one of the more serious Doctors.

Overall “Spearhead from Space” is a pretty good serial, and one of the better introductions to a Doctor, although it takes a while to get going. It  has many of the qualities of a good Doctor Who; the villains are scary, the Doctor is intelligent, quick-thinking and charismatic, The Brigadier doesn’t suffer fools gladly and a female companion shows she can hold her own.

Doctor Who 02/11/68 – The Invasion

Posted in 2nd Doctor, Doctor Who on November 27, 2010 by watsonprime

One good thing about Doctor Who is the fact that due to it’s nature, every episode can be completely different, with new locations, timezones and characters. But sometimes it can be fun to revisit certain characters and see how they interact with a constantly changing Doctor and his companions. The best recurring character by far is, of course, Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart played by Nicholas Courtney. The Brig’s first appearance was in 1968’s ‘Web of Fear’ but it was in ‘The Invasion’ later that year that we saw him since his promotion to Brigadier.

The Brigadier is a complete badass, constantly at odds with The Doctor, due to his military nature and willingness to use lethal force. The Brigadier is also the only character to have met The Doctor in all his incarnations (although some of these happened off screen) and despite their differences, they are great friends.

The Invasion is a Second Doctor story involving the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe landing in London for TARDIS repairs only to find a mysterious company, International Electronics, in charge of everything. When The Doctor investigates the advanced technology, along with the help of UNIT, he finds that it is, obviously, alien in origin. Which aliens? Cybermen!

Patrick Troughton is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, Doctors and in The Invasion it’s not hard to see why. His interpretation of The Doctor as a man who puts up a front of being a harmless, bumbling fool while quietly evaluating people was a big departure from William Hartnell’s grumpy grandfather. One example in this serial of his ability to be underestimated is when he notes that Tobias Vaughn, the head of International Electronics, doesn’t blink as much as a normal human, the fact that he was able to get close enough to the head of the evil corporation shows just how little his enemies think of him. As the brigadier says “That man has an incredible knack of being one jump ahead of everyone”.

One of the Second Doctors qualities is the fact that he was by far one of the friendliest incarnations of the Gallifreyan, this is especially notable in his relationship with his companion Jamie McCrimmon. They’re total bros. They both look out for each other, and while the Doctor’s other companion Zoe is modelling clothes, Jamie and The Doctor go and investigate the company. That’s not to say Zoe is useless, where Jamie has the brawn, she has the brains, able to cause a sophisticated computer to self destruct from a few choice equations, she’s a invaluable member of the TARDIS crew and far from a damsel in distress. Although she does get a few good screams throughout The Invasion, but that’s just what happens when you’re travelling with The Doctor. Much like all good Doctor Who there are some scary scenes. The Cybermen are a genuinely intimidating foe, and one scene involving a insane Cyberman is particularly harrowing.

The Invasion is a victim of it’s time period in that the material is dragged out over 8 episodes, which means that there is a fair amount of filler, for example we have to watch Vaughn open the giant, sliding door everytime he talks to the Cybermen, which gets pretty repetitive and boring very quickly. But The Invasion is still a great serial, if just for the fact that we see the friendship between The Brigadier and The Doctor start to blossom.

Doctor Who 22/11/89 – Survival

Posted in 7th Doctor, Doctor Who on November 26, 2010 by watsonprime

“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.”

I’m pretty much all about Doctor Who. If you were to go into my bedroom, you would see two Doctor Who posters, a shelf full of Doctor Who DVDs, action figures, a programme from Doctor Who Live and the centrepiece of my collection, a framed copy of Jon Pertwee’s record “Who is the Doctor”.

Thanks to this blog, I’ve realised that I enjoy writing reviews (although I’m still not sure whether or not I’m any good at it) and I figure that I should write some reviews of Doctor Who. So when I can, I will write a review of one of my Doctor Who DVDs.

So which one to review? Well, why not start at the end? (To be honest, I’d start at the beginning but my girlfriend has that DVD and she lives in Birmingham)

In 1989 the last serial of the classic Doctor Who series aired, the Doctor was on his seventh incarnation, played by Sylvester McCoy, and while it wouldn’t be the last we saw of him – he returned to the role for the 1993 charity special “Dimensions In Time” and the 1996 TV Movie which saw him regenerate into his eighth incarnation played by Paul McGann – it is the last proper chance to see him in action. It’s also the last proper look at the Master, played by the increasingly camp Anthony Ainley, before he turns into a CGI snake and possesses Eric Roberts.

“Survival” aired on the 22nd of November 1989 and concluded on the 6th of December, a rather ironic name given the series was about to be put down, but then considering the series’ Time Lord-like ability to regenerate, in hindsight it seems strangely fitting.

The serial opens with The Doctor returning Ace to Perivale, the town she once promised she would never go back to, but considering the traumatic events of “Ghost Light” and “Curse of Fenric”, it’s not surprising that she might want to see some old friends. Of course being Doctor Who, there’s something wrong with the town and people have gone missing. The Doctor, being his usual enigmatic self, senses there’s something wrong and for reasons at first undisclosed to the audience, start suspecting the local stray cats. The real reason for the disappearances is revealed to be anthropomorphic, horse-riding ‘Cheetah People’ who have the ability to teleport from their home planet to Earth. Of course, being a Seventh Doctor story, there’s a greater evil behind the scenes, and after the Doctor is brought to the Cheetah Peoples homeworld, he soon comes face to face with his old nemesis “The Master” who confesses to the Doctor that he needs his help.

Overall it does seem a fitting end for the Doctor, while the Cheetah People seem a bit of a rubbish enemy, the idea of the Doctor’s last battle being with his evil counterpart seems appropriate. Also interesting is the symmetry between this and the very first episode, Doctor Who ends as it began, in contemporary London. Additionally the ending implies the Doctor continues his voyage through Time and Space which, of course, now we know continued through several more regenerations – to put a full stop at the end of the 1989 series wouldn’t have been true to the character, as the audience and the writers knew he would never stop travelling.

The Seventh Doctor is as manipulative and secretive as ever and it’s a shame that we don’t get to see more examples of his strategic ability, but the fact that we see him admit to a group of scared humans that he’s waiting for one of them to start to transform into a cheetah person so he can use them is a great demonstration of just how far his character has changed from his ‘wacky’ first appearance in “Time and The Rani”

There are some negative points, the fact that the Master has a teenage boy on a leash and then takes him shopping, seems a bit bizarre, but considering the amount of theories surrounding the Masters sexual orientation, it’s not completely surprising. The motorcycle crash in the serial’s climax is pretty ridiculous and requires some suspension of disbelief. Also the fact that the “Kitlings” are reminiscent of Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch is pretty distracting. But these are minor points in a pretty decent episode.

This was the first Sylvester McCoy episode I ever saw, and when I first saw him, I admit, I didn’t like him. I didn’t see him as The Doctor, just an eccentric man, but once I watched it again after watching some more of his episodes, I realise that I was wrong and that McCoy is a fantastic interpretation of The Doctor and it’s a real shame that his run was cut short. At least he got closure with the TV movie, although his demise was far from dignified,  but then nothing could be worse than his previous incarnations death, which I’m sure I’ll cover at some point.

So in summary, a pretty good last episode for the Doctor, and now we know that the Doctor goes on to have many more adventures, his final monologue/voiceover is all the more fitting.

Misfits Season 2 Episode 3 Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on November 25, 2010 by watsonprime

“It”s peanuts… dry roasted.”

Misfits has gone to being a fantastic show that I enjoy, to quite possibly my favourite program currently airing. The latest episode pretty much secured that with it’s several Batman references. I’m a sucker for a good pop culture reference, and it was about time that a program about people with superpowers acknowledged the classics. There’s probably been some previously but this weeks stood out to me for their brilliance. First there’s Superhoodie dropping through a skylight to save Alisha from a mugging, then there’s the fact that his “base” is essentially the Bat Cave from The Dark Knight, plus throw in the fact that he likes to stand in dramatic poses on top of buildings and it’s not hard to see the Batman parallels. Also, somebody mentions Kryptonite.

Speaking of Superhoodie, we finally learn the identity of the mysterious protector. While I don’t want to give away who it is, it is of course, a future incarnation of one of the five, and considering we already know it’s a white male and only one of those two has ever gone out of their way to protect the group it seems pretty obvious in hindsight (did I just give it away? whoops). It’s Simon, from the future, and he’s a bit of a badass. While the revelation of Simon being Superhoodie isn’t the main focal point of the episode (it’s revealed in the first fifteen minutes) what is important is how who finds out and how they deal with it.

While the Superhoodie story takes precedent in this episode, there is of course the obligatory “new character who also has superpowers” plotline, which starts off a little bit creepy, gets a bit weird, and then ends in one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen in recent television. While the storyline is pretty unimportant, it does show how Simon could end up as a protector of the group.

Overall, another fantastic episode which deftly balanced a gripping storyline with some hilarious scenes, topped by fantastic soundtrack that emulated all the best superhero films. I really can’t get enough of Misfits right now.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Posted in Assassin's Creed, Video Games on November 25, 2010 by watsonprime

I first saw the trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood when it premiered at E3, apart from thinking that it looking frickin’ awesome, I assumed it would be more like a short DLC campaign than a proper game. How wrong I was (about the proper game part) Brotherhood is nothing short of amazing, it’s a full game that takes all the great stuff from Assassin’s Creed 2 and makes it even more fun. Now, considering Assassin’s Creed 2 took all the great stuff from the first Assassin’s Creed and made that even more fun, this has to be some sort of record for most consistently improving series.

If you liked Assassin’s Creed 2, you will love Brotherhood, we return yet again to Desmond Miles and his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze, whose interweaving story grows deeper as we continue the hunt for the ‘Pieces of Eden’.

For those new to the series, I wouldn’t recommend Brotherhood as it continues the story straight on from Assassin’s Creed 2 and considering that ended with Ezio fighting the pope in a basement underneath the Vatican only to meet an angel/goddess/alien thing who spoke to Desmond, who was watching the whole thing through Ezio’s memories, I can imagine it might be confusing. But if you’re a fan of the previous game, I can guarantee you will love Brotherhood.

The gameplay is almost exactly the same as the previous two, although the fighting system has been tweaked slightly that makes fights quicker and more interesting to watch, there are two new projectile weapons that can be used – a crossbow and poison darts, which work in exactly the same way as the hidden pistol but allow for a bit of variation in long distance kills. The biggest change is the addition of Assassin recruits, who can be trained up and can help Ezio fight enemies and make money. The recruits can be used in a number of ways, they can be signalled to stealthily take down an enemy, they can be called to help in the middle of a fight, or once you’ve gathered enough followers, they can shoot every enemy in the vicinity in a matter of seconds. Watching an Assassin recruit take down an unsuspecting guard never gets boring, and they prove invaluable once they’ve been trained up to their top rank. It also brings a little strategy into the game as the only way to train an assassin is to send him/her on missions, but when the recruit is away, they can’t help you, which means that you have to judge whether or not you’ll need their assistance in the near future. It’s doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but it’s a nice addition to the game.

Whereas the previous game allowed you to improve your villa and the small town within its walls, Brotherhood takes that idea even further with Ezio now charged with building up Rome, which involves a mixture of assassination missions and general good investing. Also making a reappearance are the tombs that Ezio must navigate in order to find treasure, again these include a mixture of Prince of Persia style gymnastics, as well as the odd chase sequence, which all helps break up the game and add some variety to the usual assassination missions.

Storywise, Assassin’s Creed mixes the same amount of science fiction, conspiracy theories and historical drama. Ezio is still a fantastic character, especially now as we’ve seen him grow from a teenager to a master assassin, and now we watch as he becomes a leader of an entire organisation. We also see a bit more of his romantic side as we find out in flashback missions about his relationship with his one true love (the girl at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed 2) and the impact his assassin life had on her. We also spend a bit of time with the games other lead character, Desmond, who now has gained his ancestors skills and is now a competent assassin in his own right. While he’s nowhere near as interesting a character as Ezio, it’s still cool to play as him, if only to see Ezio’s villa in modern times.

Basically, this game is amazing, it’s obscene amounts of fun and I haven’t even tried out the multiplayer yet, which I can only hope is as fun as the main game.

Although I would like to play as a new ancestor in the next game. Possibly the Russian assassin from the comics.

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by watsonprime

I am a massive fan of My Chemical Romance, so I have been eagerly awaiting this day for a good few years. The band’s new album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” was released today, four years after their last album “The Black Parade”. Again, this is a concept album, much like their previous one, but instead of the last moments of a cancer patient on his deathbed, Danger Days is about a colourful gang of rogues living in a post apocalyptic world fighting a villain played by Grant Morrison (yeah, Grant Morrison, how cool is that?).

As a result, the sound on this album is vastly different to the previous one, but then the band have been constantly evolving their style since their first album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love”. On the agenda today is a bright, punky sound that, while still sounds like My Chemical Romance, suggests that they are really having fun making music.

Much could be said about their change in musical style, and I’m sure that many would accuse the band of “selling out”, and it goes without saying that their first and last albums are radically different, but Gerard Way has done a lot since that first album came out, they are no longer angsty 20-somethings, recording dark, brooding music, Gerard Way is pretty much living the dream right now; he’s married, has a kid, is the writer of an award winning (and spectacularly awesome) comic book and he makes his living in a rock band, to make gloomy music about the dark side of things would be a little bit ridiculous, and not in a good way.

Anyway, back to the review.

The album is absolutely killer, there is a wide range of styles, although not as wide a “The Black Parade”, I’ve not noticed any polka music in this one. Fast paced tracks like “Na Na Na” and “Planetary (GO!)” which have elements of earlier My Chemical Romance sit nicely alongside power ballads like  “SING” and “The Only Hope For Me Is You”.

One thing My Chemical Romance excel at (besides being an awesome band) is creating a whole world for their music in the form of music videos, viral campaigns, merchandise, costumes and treatment of their fanbase. Much like how they transformed themselves into the Black Parade in promotion of their last album, the band have become the Fabulous Killjoys, with long red hair and primary coloured clothes in stark contrast to the monochromatic, marching band look they sported previously, or even the red and black they went with before that. All this helps create a context for the album, which enhances the experience for the listener and helps transport to the world of the Killjoys and their battle against Better Life Industries.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

Posted in Harry Potter on November 20, 2010 by watsonprime

It’s a long story…

After three years studying Advertising, I’ve got used to looking at things and working out who the intended audience is, after watching Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 I have a feeling that no-one has a clue who they were making the film for.

When one thinks of Harry Potter, one imagines a world of magical adventure with a an eclectic and slightly odd cast of characters dealing with “mild peril” that’s aimed towards children. Unfortunately The Deathly Hallows is nothing like that. It’s equal parts gloomy, gothic and gruesome with moments of pure pant-shitting terror mixed with a surprisingly raunchy topless makeout scene (between Harry and Hermione, yeah, I didn’t believe it when I heard about it either).

The film itself is struggling to be fitted into the series, while it’s a beautifully shot film, showcasing some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes, there is no visual link between that and the previous films. While it seems wrong to judge a film based on it’s predecessors, when the film in question is the seventh in line it’s almost a necessity. While the previous films had a self contained story beginning and ending with a journey to and from Hogwarts, Deathly Hallows feels like the middle of a story, which I guess it is, but it doesn’t make for a good film.

Due to the fact that the films have steadily been gathering a massive cast featuring every single british actor ever (except Dexter Fletcher apparently, so I guess he’ll be in the next one?) the amount of characters in Deathly Hallows is too much to deal with, while I understand that the director is trying to stick to the source material, it unfortunately becomes too strenuous trying to remember who was who in a film that is based more on cameos than actual characters.

As I mentioned, the film is pretty terrifying. Now, this could be just me and my crippling fear of snakes, plus the fact that I had forgotten everything in the book so I wasn’t expecting certain scenes, but I imagine any child who tried to sleep after seeing the film would have nightmares for sure.

Also, I understand the Voldemort was trying to piss off Ron, but seriously, Emma Watson topless? The only people you’re going to piss off are the parents who took their kids to see the film.

The main problem I have with this film, and really it’s no-ones fault, is the terrible, terrible actors. While the main trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint do a pretty good job, and of course all of England’s finest play their parts well, most of the child actors who were obviously good enough to find their way into the first film ten years ago, have some of the most awful line readings I have ever seen in a mainstream film. The Weasley Twins in particular, who are supposed to be the comic relief (?) give such wooden performances that I’m not sure if they’re actually supposed to be enchanted dolls given sentience by some Dark Magic.

I didn’t really enjoy the film, but that could be due to the fact that I worked in a book store when the last book came out (You weren’t there man, you wouldn’t understand). I imagine if you are a hardcore fan you’ll probably enjoy it, but I imagine there will be a whole bunch of people wandering out of the cinema a little bit confused about what they just saw.

Misfits Season 2 Episode 2 Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on November 19, 2010 by watsonprime

Is Dexter Fletcher in everything? Clearly the answer is, yes of course. Appearing as Nathan’s distinctly non irish father in Misfits, Mr Fletcher is one of those actors who can be in a hollywood blockbuster one minute and a Channel 4 teen drama the next.

As I may have mentioned before, I love Misfits, I love it’s unlovable characters, I love the fact that it’s a science fiction show that’s cleverly disguised itself as a topical drama, and I love the fact that, when it does do the sci-fi thing, it doesn’t worry about sticking to the cliches.

Episode 2 of Series 2 focused on Nathan and the sudden appearance of his long-lost brother, who turns up out of the blue with his their father (the aforementioned Dexter Fletcher) in his boot. After causing a little bit of trouble, the newly reunited brothers take the rest of the gang to a night club to do whatever it is that young people do.

Whenever a story appears about people given superpowers, there will inevitably come the bit when they lose their powers/gain new ones/have their powers reversed and Misfits, went with the latter, with a little but of the second one mixed in as well. To be fair, if they lost their powers, they’d probably just keep on doing the same thing. After taking some pills in the club, the gang experience a reversal of their powers. The most interesting of these reversals happens to Curtis and Nathan; Curtis being thrown forward in time to find himself dressed as a superhero, in a relationship with a strange new woman, and Nathan finding that he may have more in common with the dead than with the living.

Also, we see a bit more of Superhoodie, the mysterious, parkour-ing, paintball masked manipulator, who is now known to the group and is clearly (to the audience) manipulating the group into position for a future event, even causing Curtis to meet the mysterious woman from his trip to the future.

Overall, another fantastic episode, my girlfriend, who watched it with me and had never seen an episode loved it and was able to follow the plot due to the fact that, while it is clearly telling a series spanning story, each episode contains a self contained story that has a definite beginning middle and end. As always, I can’t wait for next week and would strongly recommend it.

First post-pre-preview of Green Lantern

Posted in Green Lantern Film on November 17, 2010 by watsonprime

So, the first full Green Lantern trailer has been released and, after the pre-preview that left me apprehensive, I think it looks pretty darn good.

There is some elaboration on the scenes we saw the the Entertainment Tonight trailer, as well as lots of new ones mainly covering Hal’s recruitment into the Green Lantern Corps. We also see some nice shots of the GLC, including our first proper look at Mark Strong’s Sinestro.

Ryan Reynolds is clearly playing Hal Jordan as he plays every single one of his characters. But judging from the extra footage we’ve seen, it seems to fit Hal better than I thought when I saw the preview. The character of Hal is summed up in the trailer pretty well, he’s a ladies man who flies planes and he’s also not afraid of coming onto his boss Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively, or at least a wooden doll of Blake Lively.

Green Lantern’s origins aren’t as well known as, say, Batman or Superman, and the trailer sums it up quickly for those who don’t know. Hal Jordan finds a dying alien called Abin Sur, who reveals that he is part of an intergalactic police force, these officers wear a green Power Ring that gives the wearer a whole bunch of super powers, the most notable of these being the ability to make solid constructs out of Green Light. Abin then gives the ring to Hal, noting that he has the ability to overcome great fear. Hal puts the ring on, which generates his costume (which looks better than I first thought) and flies to the planet Oa to start his training.

While it looks impressive to those who read Green Lantern, or are at least aware of the title and it’s characters, I fear that no-one outside of the comic book community is going to see this film. If we look at the big superhero films, people can usually only name about four: Superman, Batman, Spider-man and X-Men. These were all films that, in the case of the latter three, had cartoons that ran for the better part of the 90s, successful iconic films and were popular amongst non comic book readers. Basically, these were all well known before their films came out, Green Lantern on the other hand, to someone who is not so knowledgable about the DCU just looks like it might be like Star Wars or something.

As a massive Green Lantern fan, I can now say that I am excited about this film. I am also glad that they kept Sinestro pink, and not red, like he’s been coloured recently.