Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

A Review of The Walking Dead, S4E11 – The Road to Sanctuary

By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja

- Things are seemingly starting to look up on this show. This week continues the themes we have seen since the prison fell: Why do you keep going in a world in which you have lost everything? Michonne is trying to rebuild something of her old life with Carl. Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita are fighting to save the world. I am enjoying these little personal journeys the characters are taking, but I give it three weeks before everything goes to hell.

- I was extremely creeped out by Michonne trying to make Carl laugh. Granted, I understand why she is doing it, and it’s good for both she and Carl that she is trying to reach out. The writers have done a great job of building this relationship and it fits.

- I liked the opening and it established Abraham very well. He takes out the zombies with the sort of glee you’d expect from a man who lives his job. He is a guy who has been out in the wasteland for so long, and has become so acclimated to the environment that zombies are more like a nuisance. He also is a man with a purpose, even if that purpose will not end well. He may be rough around the edges, but he is not a terrible person. He actually cares about losing Glenn to the wasteland and tries to help him in his own way. I like him in the comics, and they have done a really good job translating him to television.

 - Eugene may (supposedly) know the cure to the zombie apocalypse, but he is the single worst shot you’ll ever find. It has been a year since the apocalypse, you get a group of people to follow you, you maintain a mullet (not the best decision), but you still haven’t cracked the mystery of how to use a gun. A hole horde of zombies right in front of him and he hit the truck! Given that the show can differ from the books, I don’t like Eugene’s odds…

- I was even more freaked out by the intruders who broke into the house Rick was sleeping in. It was great to remind viewers that humans on this show are usually more dangerous and these are some evil bastards. One of them kills another over a bed? How did they manage to work together for so long? However, I loved Rick’s parting gift when he left the bathroom door open and unleashed a walker on the intruders.

- “Zombie apocalypse really sucks” moment of the week: Michonne finding the dead family in the house she was clearing out with Carl.

- Zombie kill of the week: Abraham taking out the walkers in the beginning. He has adopted a “whistle while you work” policy when it comes to zombie killing.

Front page image/image 1 from hypeable.com. Image 2 from screenrant.com.  

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Heroes to Return to NBC in a 13 Episode Miniseries

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Heroes, once a hit TV show on NBC, will return to the network in 2015 in a 13 episode miniseries focused on new characters in a standalone story arc.

A brief teaser can be seen below.

NBC has announced the series’ creator and original executive producer will be at the helm of the 13 new episodes. A digital series will reportedly be launched prior to the airing of the episodes, so that the various new characters may be introduced.

“The enormous impact Heroes had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept.”

Salke added the network “won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in.”

The original Heroes series ran from 2006 until its cancellation in 2010. The series focused on the lives of otherwise ordinary individuals as they dealt with the emergence of their super powers. The show starred Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Milo Ventimiglia, Zachary Quinto, among numerous others.

Source: ComingSoon.net

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Fantastic Four Reboot Casts its Heroes

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

The upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four by director Josh Trank now has actors to play its four lead roles, according to The Wrap.

Jamie Bell, who has been featured in films like The Adventures of Tintin and Man on a Ledge, will portray Ben Grimm, a.k.a The Thing.

Kate Mara, who has starred on television in House of Cards24, and American Horror Story: Murder House will play Sue Storm, a.k.a. The Invisible Woman. Oddly enough, Mara had a small role in Iron Man 2.

Michael B. Jordan, who will play Johnny Storm, a.k.a. The Human Torch, can currently be seen in That Awkward Moment. He has also starred in The Wire, as well as another Josh Trank film, Chronicle.

Rounding out the group is Miles Teller, who will play Reed Richards, a.k.a Mr. Fantastic. Teller is best known for his work in Rabbit Hole and The Spectacular Now.

Reportedly, Mara and Jordan have already closed their deals with 20th Century Fox. Teller is reportedly in final talks, and Bell is expected to sign a deal.

In contrast to the previous films starring the likes of Jessica Alba and Chris Evans, this reboot, penned by Simon Kinberg (who is also a co-producer), draws inspiration from the 2004 Ultimate Fantastic Four series written by Mark Millar, who is Fox’s consultant for their Marvel franchises.

Additional Sources: ComingSoon.net, Newsarama

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Jada Pinkett Smith Cast as Ganster in Gotham

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Jada Pinkett Smith has reportedly been cast as Fish Mooney, a gangster in Fox’s upcoming Gotham TV show.

The Fish Mooney character is described as “a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner, she’s got the street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Imposing and hotheaded, she’s not one to be crossed.”

Fish Mooney is also the boss of Oswald Cobblepot, the man who eventually becomes the Penguin. Cobblepot will be played by Robin Lord Taylor.

Gotham, a television show set in the years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, is currently scheduled to premiere during the 2014-2015 TV season.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Image from djhotsouce.com. 

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A Review of The Walking Dead S4E10 – Picking Up the Pieces

By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja

- Unlike last week when we just focused Rick, Carl and Michonne, this week we got caught up with everyone else. I would have preferred for them to just focus on one of the groups we saw in tonight’s episode and spotlight the various teams over the course of the season. I hope they do that more in the future, as there is no way the show can focus on all these isolated groups every episode and not suffer.

- We open with a very depressing narration by Beth, depicting a journal entry set during her time in the prison. Now her father is dead and she is far from the place she called home. It serves as a theme for the episode, in terms of what the characters are hoping for now that their home is destroyed. Glenn and Maggie are holding on to hope to honor Hershel and searching for each other, Beth and Daryl have lost all hope, Tyreese and Carol have a new destination to call home for themselves and the children, and Sasha just wants to survive.

- Right now, I’m not as interested in Beth and Daryl’s journey compared to the others. I can see it becoming a sort of master & apprentice scenario. But right now I’m not as invested.

- Baby Judith is alive, hooray! Although it appeared there was a moment when that was going to change…

- Carol’s back too, yaaayy! It seemed awfully convenient for her to show up right at the moment when Tyreese and the girls needed her, but I’m just glad she’s back. Tyreese still has no idea what she might have done, and Carol has to deal with that. With Carol being involved, this is the group I want to see more of. Carol’s approach of always fighting the zombies versus Tyreese’s approach of avoiding conflict unless you have no choice is definitely going to clash, with the girls taking opposing sides. I am looking forward to see how this will turn out.

- That about covers Tyreese, Carol, and the girls, unless I missed something.  Oh right, I almost forgot…Lizzie tried to kill Judith. Let me say that again, A 10 YEAR OLD KID TRIED TO SUFFOCATE A BABY!!! On a show known for gruesome deaths, favorite characters being killed horribly, and an overall sense that these characters are screwed, this was the darkest moment so far.

- I believe Lizzie is responsible for all the murders at the prison. She couldn’t kill her dad, she lost her “favorite” walker, and then Carol called her weak. She snapped, saw the infected as a threat, and killed them. Carol found out and took the fall because in her mind it was either her fault for pushing Lizzie, or she felt she had to take the fall because she was responsible for all the kids. Now, Lizzie is shaping up to be the Dexter of the zombie apocalypse. She killed the rabbits (and not even for food), doesn’t really have a grasp of how to act around people, and almost killed Judith. I am hoping Carol will train her to strictly kill those who are attacking the group. Hopefully she doesn’t end up as a post apocalyptic lumberjack. Ugh, Dexter

- Glenn has become the show’s new Hershel. He showed appropriate badassery getting through the zombie horde, showed compassion to someone he had every reason to hate, and he has hope in his heart even when things could not be worse. I wonder if he is going to start growing out a Santa Claus beard…

- I think we are all in agreement that Sanctuary is either not all it’s cracked up to be, or a death trap waiting to happen.

- Maggie’s journey is also filled with some great potential. I’m thinking she’ll go the opposite direction from Glenn and become a hardened survivor like Carol.

- Tara’s alive as well, which makes me happy cause I like her character (not at first, but she grew on me). She seems to be set up for a redemption quest for however long she is around. This is good for the show because it gives them a character that isn’t just trying to survive, but actually struggling on her own personal journey.

- Fire apparently works as a distraction for walkers. Have I missed something, or was that something that writers threw in as a convenient way for Glenn and Tara to get away from the walkers?

- We finally got to see Abraham and his crew appearing on the show. I wonder if he and the others are working for Sanctuary, or if their quest is more in line with the comic books…

- “Zombie apocalypse really sucks” moment of the week: Lizzie nearly suffocating Judith.

- Zombie kill of the week: Tara bashing in a zombie skull and then calling out Abraham for doing nothing.

Front page image/image 3 from cinemablend.com. Image 1 from atlantablackstar.com. Image 2 from amc.com. Image 4 from wetpaint.com. 

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New Game of Thrones Season 4 Trailer Debuts

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

A new trailer for for fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones made it’s online debut this week, giving fans a new peek at what they can expect when the season premieres on April 6.

Based on the popular books by George R.R. Martin, the show stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, among numerous others.

Front page image from comingsoon.net.

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Original Flash TV Star Joins The CW’s New Flash Pilot

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

In 1990, John Wesley Shipp played the Flash in CBS’s The Flash television series. This week, Shipp has been announced as a cast member on the pilot for The CW’s own television show starring the Scarlet Speedster.

At this time, Shipp’s role is being kept a secret. The role of Barry Allen/The Flash, who Shipp played in the ’90s, will be portrayed by Grant Gustin. Candice Patton has been cast as Barry’s love interest, Iris West. Rick Gosnett will portray Eddie Thawne (The Reverse Flash in the DC Universe), and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon (Vibe in the DC Universe).

The CW’s The Flash series will be co-created by Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti. Kreisberg and Berlanti will write the pilot alongside Geoff John’s DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer. David Nutter will direct.

Source: ComingSoon.net

Image from toutlecine.com.

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Fox Casts Iconic Characters For Gotham

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Coming off the recent news that Ben McKenzie has been cast as James Gordon in Fox’s upcoming Gotham series, Warner Bros. has announced several new additions to the cast. Evidently a number of iconic characters from Batman’s world will be making their way to the small screen in the near future.

Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers, Event Horizon) will fill the role of Alfred Pennyworth. Very much in the vein of Batman: Earth One, Alfred is described as “tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London,” who has loyally served the Wayne family, and is “fiercely protective” of young Bruce Wayne.

Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, will be played by Robin Lord Taylor (Accepted, Another Earth). Cobblepot is described as a low-level psychopath who works for a gangster named Fish Mooney. “With the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal,” Cobblepot hides “his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.”

Zabryna Guevara (Burn Notice) has been cast as Captain Essen, Gordon’s boss at the GCPD. Erin Richards (Being HumanMerling) has been cast as Barbara Kean, Gordon’s fiance. In Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One, Detective Sarah Essen was the cop that Gordon had an affair with. She later became his second wife.

Gotham, a television show set in the years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, is currently scheduled to premiere during the 2014-2015 TV season.

Source: ComingSoon.net

Image from rottentomatoes.com.

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A Review of The Walking Dead S4E9 – The Father, the Son, and the Zombie Slayer

By Seth Miller
Staff Writer, Part-Time Ninja

- So it looks a good portion of the remainder of this season will have different episodes focused on one or two survivors trying to live outside the prison. This could be a good chance to explore the characters some more without having to deal with a crisis. To start off, we focus on Rick and Carl trying to find a shelter, while Michonne is wandering through the zombie wasteland.

- Zombie Hershel head! Showrunners, you have put the fans through a lot and you do this; that is just cold-blooded.

- Michonne’s arc in this episode was the one I found most compelling. She made this effort to open herself up and reclaim her humanity, only to have it taken away again. She gets some new zombie pets and is willing to go out in to world to probably die.  We got some great development to her backstory with the dream sequence. We were able to see Michonne before she met the group, and she essentially wanders the world just like one of the zombies. The difference being instead of some outside force bringing her back, she resolves to live and find those that she has come to care about. She is still one of the most badass zombie slayers in the land, but she got that little bit of that humanity back that she lost long ago

- Kudos to Danai Gurira and director Greg Nicotero. Michonne’s story was filled with long stretches where she didn’t say a word. Gurira’s acting and Nicotero’s direction carry these scenes and they both do a spectacular job.  It also helps that her story climaxes with one the most incredible pieces of zombie killing I have ever seen on this show.

- While I loved Michonne’s arc the most, I also enjoyed Carl’s story throughout the episode. He starts of as petulant kid, and he still is to an extent. But what makes it not only tolerable, but also interesting, is that it comes from the tragedy of seeing his home destroyed, his family killed, and seeing Rick fail. He is trying to grapple with this idea that he will have to step up and survive on his own. He ends up finding the strength to survive for a short time. But in the end, he realizes he still needs his father, or at least that he would miss him. It was kind of a reset from the Carl at the end of season 3, who straight up murdered a kid and was brought back from the brink.

- Did anyone else find it hilarious that after Carl’s big speech about how he didn’t need Rick anymore, he got knocked down trying to smash a door? Don’t lead with your shoulder, kick the door the in!

- Zombie Apocalypse really sucks moment: The whole dream sequence that showed what happened in Michonne’s real life. Seeing this abridged version of her life before the zombie apocalypse really drives home that loss she felt and currently feels.

- Zombie Kill of the Week: Michonne’s slaughtering a whole zombie horde. I loved it, and really hope that someone out there is combining that scene with a Sterling Archer screaming rampage.

Front page image from zap2it.com. Image 1 from pennlive.com. Image 2 from screenrant.com..

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A Review of The Following S2E1 – Joe Carroll: Dead or Alive?

***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE SEASON PREMIERE OF THE FOLLOWING.***

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

I had a lot of negative things to say about The Following last season, which I still stand by today. However, given how low my expectations were coming into the season 2 premiere, I was pleasantly surprised. That being said, the episode definitely had its flaws.

One year after the murder of Claire Matthews, and the apparent death of notorious serial killer and cult leader Joe Carroll, former FBI agent Ryan Hardy’s life has seemingly returned to normal. But when a group of people are brutally murdered by a group of men wearing masks depicting Carroll’s likeness, the FBI begins investigating the possible reemergence of Carroll’s followers. Little do they know this attack occurred without the knowledge of Emma Hill, and many of Carroll’s original followers. In any event, Ryan Hardy is once again about to be thrust into a bloody conflict based around his old enemy Joe Carroll. An enemy who may, in fact, still be alive…

To be frank, I’m glad they killed off the Claire character. I didn’t so much mind her, despite how stupid and irresponsible she was at times. But after seeing the actress, Natalie Zea, have to deliver some of that God awful dialogue on Under the Dome  last summer, I’d prefer to keep her out of my sights for awhile.

Jumping ahead to the end cliffhanger, it’s surprising to see Joe has survived the fire and explosion from last season. It’s certainly a surprise to have it revealed this early. It would have been fantastic to leave that question hanging over viewers’ heads for half the season, with various characters concocting theories as to how he could have survived, where he might be, etc. Revealing his survival so soon might be a case of the show turning over too many cards too soon.

What’s more, the end of season 1 seemed to indicate that Valorie Curry’s character Emma would be the big villain going forward. Putting Joe back into the mix may or may not throw a monkey wrench into that.

At the same time, the idea of rival groups devoted to Joe Carroll is certainly intriguing. It appears we have Emma leading one group, and these twins Mark and Luke leading the other. The chaotic scene with the three followers in the Joe Carroll masks was extremely compelling. I loved the “resurrection!” battle cry, and the Carroll masks are a nice play off of the uninspired, yet undeniably creepy Edgar Allan Poe masks from last season. Seeing this group feud with Emma’s group for a few episodes leading up to Joe’s eventual return could prove interesting, especially given the world believes Joe dead.

One can definitely argue that Sam Underwood was chewing a little scenery as the twin that had the all lines (Mark?). He might find himself in a dilemma similar to Valorie Curry’s last season, in that her dialogue made her performances eye-rolling as often as they were creepy. Still, he definitely has the twisted, psychotic killer thing down. And who knew he could dance?

Arguably the most impressive aspect of the episode was the handling of the Ryan Hardy character. Given what we know about him, and the guilt we know he feels over the people Carroll has killed trying to get to him, it makes sense for him to try and hunt down the remaining cult members on his own. The one aspect of it that’s perplexing, however, is that he would choose to involve his niece Max (played by Jessica Stroup). Given all the people Ryan has lost thus far, to even have Max involved peripherally seems like a tragedy waiting to happen. Still, it’s interesting to watch Ryan try and contain what he feels is this curse that’s upon him, and how that affects his relationship not only with his family and close friends (Well hello, Keith Caradine.), but with his old buddy Mike as well.

All in all, The Following has definitely gotten off to a strong start. But then again, it got off to a strong start last year as well, and eventually the number of cliches, the hokey dialogue, and some missteps from the writer’s room left us with a subpar product. Thankfully, there’s a lot of potential for the show to be better this year. But as The Following proved last year, you can’t make great television out of potential.

Front page image from tvmediainsights.com. Image 1 from seriable.com. Image 2 from zap2it.com.

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