New superhero spinoff show coming to the CW

So in some new CW related news, the network has set its’ sights on a potential new spin off show featuring characters from Arrow and The Flash, in a weird mish-mash, super-hero team up/the premise makes no sense at this point but we’ll see where it goes.

And yeah, Caity Lotz who played the original Black Canary in Arrow who is also dead is suppose to be in it, as is Captain Atom and Captain Cold interestingly enough, so not a full roster of heroes. The announcement of a hero ensemble show rather than an out and out spin off based on one character did take me by surprise and you have to wonder where the CW is going with this exactly. Though to be fair, maybe a lone spin-off would be risky and the CW may not want 3 standalone superhero shows on at the same time as one could bomb, but having a superhero-team show plus Arrow and The Flash is apparently getting the go ahead, so who knows.

We’ll get a lot more information about said show as time goes on but I’m really curious to find out what exactly it’s gonna be about, the premise needs to be really solid in the first place to draw in viewers, though fans of the CWs’ superhero shows will watch anyway, it’s good to have a wider fan base. Also if this new show is some sort of hero parade style show (which is bit of wishful thinking at this point), it would be awesome to see Green Lantern, Nightwing and some others, though how all these characters plus Captain Cold, Captain Atom and Black Canary fit into a show is somewhat of an issue.

Whatever the intention behind the show, the idea is cool but putting it into practice will be interesting to see,

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Whiplash review

Whiplash, a film that was not on my radar at all I have to say is actually rather fantastic, an engaging and compelling film from start to finish, it features the enthusiastic and ever vibrant JK Simmons in one of the best performances of his career and Miles Teller as the dedicated, single minded drummer aiming for glory.

Miles Teller, though this isn’t his breakout performance or anything gives a really spirited performance as the single minded Andrew trying to be the best drummer he can be, he works off Simmons excellently and you can tell from the get go that the two will be at odds, having the most dysfunctional teacher-student relationship possibly of all time. JK Simmons plays Fletcher, a bit of an asshole but an accomplished conductor to a classical, well respected jazz band, he aims with questionable methods to elevate his student musicians to great heights, pushing them as hard as he can to try to achieve perfection. Simmons as Fletcher helps to make this movie, bringing life and tension to the movie and making it one gripping ride, he falls short of physical aggression towards his students but he’s every bit as intimidating and menacing as a man can be, without being 6’5 or really muscle bound and that is great acting.

And therein lies the tension and suspense you get in the story between Andrew and Fletcher, with the two wanting the same things in essence but with Fletcher just going a few steps too far, the level Andrew goes to later in the film to continue playing for the band borders on the unbelievable but it provides a fantastic conclusion.

The characters in the film are pretty well constructed and compelling to watch, mainly in Andrew and Fletcher of course but also in terms of the people in Andrews’ life, his long suffering and worrying father, wanting the best for him and a potential love interest for him that he leaves behind. Seeing a bit of depth to Andrew was quite interesting and while it would have been nice to get more backstory for the character, you do understand his motivation, albeit questionable and ill advised. And plot wise the film flies along, at around 110 minutes, it’s so god that you want it to be longer, you still want to see what happens next, especially with that ending and of course the musicians in the film and the instrument playing itself is fantastic.

Not being versed in classical music and different terms, it’s interesting that JK Simmons character still helps the audience to try to understand his frustration and to see the different between rushing and dragging for example, the ‘not my tempo’ scene, one of the best in the film is tense and gripping. And to the untrained ear, (me, you, any non-instrumentalist) you just can’t tell that Andrews’ character is apparently rushing, just a nod to the talent, dedication and attention to detail that goes into being a musician in that type of music.

Attention to detail is another thing the film does well, especially with its quickfire and functional editing, used to tell things happening in a scene or take us through the plot more conveniently than with showing us with a minute scene. Whiplash has great features and is a great film, a straightforward plot elevated by great performances, a controversial  theme running through it and it makes for a great, thrilling watch.

8/10

. Great performances by Teller, Simmons

. Straightforward but gripping plot

. Great editing and fantastic instrument playing, Miles Teller especially

Oscar night reaction

So, the Oscars everyone, the biggest, longest and glitziest night in the film industry calendar took place last night, generally entertaining and flowing awards show, Neil Patrick Harris was a fantastic host in my opinion and while there weren’t too many huge surprises as far as winners go, it was still an overall good show.

While not full of the spontaneity and randomness of moments in the 2014 Oscars which Ellen Degeneres hosted, it still had some great moments, NPHs’ birdman re-enactment, John Travolta and Idina Menzels’ re-union, John Legend and Common winning an Oscar for ‘Glory’ and performing it.

Eddie Redmayne winning best actor was great and maybe not that much of a surprise as he was a long running favourite, alongside Michael Keaton who had a good night regardless as Birdman picked up a few awards. Seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel pick up awards for production design and make up and hair styling was nice as well, the film was too good to not win anything. Also Boyhood, the film didn’t have a great night, Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress but Birdman really had more of a clean sweep, I was expecting more of an even share between the two films and other media outlets seemed to think the same but hey, at least it wasn’t completely shut out.

And Interstellar won an Oscar! For best visual effects, a well deserved win of course, the only real surprise win for me was Graham Moore winning the Oscar best adapted screenplay with The Imitation Game, not that the film’s bad but I was expecting American Sniper to pick it up. And speaking of American Sniper, nothing for it at all? That was a bit of a surprise but I suppose it was never a huge candidate to have a big night at the Oscars, it was a fairly late general release (came out in January). While films like Whiplash, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman and Boyhood had months of pre-awards hype and build up.

Oh and I got a few Oscar predictions right (though they were fairly predictable this year), with Best Picture, Best Actor, Best supporting actor, actress, Best original screenplay.

Some Oscar predictions

It’s almost here everyone, the glitziest, most star spangled award show of the year, it’s only the academy awards of course, long sought after and always hotly contested. This year isn’t any exception and some of the biggest categories are full of quality nominees, anyway I wanted to make a few predictions of mine for categories and here they are.

I’m tipping Boyhood, Birdman and The Theory Of Everything to have a particularly good night, while American Sniper may get a surprise win somewhere. Hopefully we will get some surprises and not a a too predictable show, though it’ll probably be enjoyable either way with the ever entertaining Neil Patrick Harris hosting. I’d really love Interstellar to get a few deserved wins, it’d be a deserved winner for best score easily.

Also I’d like to see Rosamund Pike win best actress but it’s probably not gonna happen and a surprise win in best picture would be nice, imagine if Selma wins it. And yeah, I have left out a few categories that I can’t really judge as I haven’t seen all or any of the films in them.

Best Picture

American Sniper
Birdman

Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard LinklaterBoyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Best Actor in a leading role
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress in a leading role
Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Actor in a supporting role
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

Best Film Editing
Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, American Sniper
Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel
William Goldenberg, The Imitation Game
Tom Cross, Whiplash

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida
Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

Best Costume Design
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game, Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar, Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner, Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything, Johann Johannsson

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy, Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar, Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past, Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

New Alien movie on the way, helmed by Neil Blomkamp

That Xeno

 

So in pretty huge film news and seemingly out of the blue, a new Alien film was announced today, much to the joy of all Alien and any long time horror fans out there, Prometheus wasn’t exactly every Alien fans cup of tea and that’s fair enough.

This new film may just be the Alien film that longtime fans have been wanting, there are so many places the story could go and the franchise is in good hands under Neil Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium). An ambitious and bold filmmaker with a love for sci-fi, taking on an Alien film will be a bit of departure for him but I think he can make it work, he’s openly spoken about how big a fan of the franchise he is and he has wanted to direct an Alien film for a while, so it seems like a fitting move.

Importantly, Ridley Scott is still onboard as a producer for the new film and I’m sure he may have some creative inputs and suggestions here and there so all in all, it’s a pretty sweet set up, seeing an Alien film with todays’ CGI as well should be quite something. Prometheus (love it or hate it) had some great visuals and the new Alien film will look even better, depending on when it does come out (2016, 17?), especially in the hands of Blomkamp, who seems to have a good eye for visual spectacle.

Some other talking points, will Sigourney Weaver return? She has recently spoken about being open to reprising her role as Ripley in the films, also will the new film be a direct sequel to the original films, also how will it fit in with the franchise in relation to Prometheus and Prometheus 2. Lots of things to think about but yeah, I’m pretty excited to find out more about the film in the coming months/years cos it could end up being great.