The Geekend Roundup: This Week in Movies and TV

Movies

AGE OF ULTRON TRAILER GUYS!

Seriously, how much longer do we need to wait? This third official trailer was released on March 4th and it shows us brand new footage of everything that we’ve wanted to see. Hulk busting, Hulkbuster, Hulk busting the Hulkbuster, Ultron AND a special little peek at the mysterious Vision! I don’t want them to show him in his entirety until the movie comes out, but unless I avoid the internet entirely over the next 2 months that seems nearly impossible. Heres hoping!

The man himself-Joss Whedon-saw down with SFX recently to talk about his two newest character attractions-Vision and Ultron. It sounds like he is resting a lot of hope on the powerhouse talents of James Spader and the angry awesomeness of Ultron. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us! Check out the interview here.


Earlier in the week, Marvel started to release individual character posters alongside an official cast poster that is a sheer clusterf*k drowning in Photoshop and terrible proportions.

Gimme simplicity!

Chris Hemsworth may have given away the entire ending of the movie during his appearance on Saturday Night Live this week. SPOILER ALERT!


It has been a relatively slow season for movies, and I haven’t seen a whole lot lately that has caught my attention, aside from ‘Kingsmen: The Secret Service’ (which was fantastic, for the record). However, the brilliant Neil Blomkamp released his newest sci fi effort ‘CHAPPiE’ this weekend. I saw it, I reviewed it, and I loved it. I was extremely disappointed to find out that it has been panned by critics, but relieved to see that it has been getting generally positive feedback from viewers. I am sincerely hoping that the bad critic backlash does not deter people from seeing the film. They got it wrong this time!

Check out my review here!


Television

HBO has officially launched its streaming service at a cost of $15 a month. Although the consumer industry in general is going “unplugged” and seeking out options like this, the question remains: would you pay $15 a month just to watch HBO programming? Some die hard Game of Thrones fans might say yes, but for the general public-they may still be persuaded to simply stream or download GOT, Boardwalk Empire, Veep etc. If the trend catches on, as it clearly has with Netflix, Crackle etc, better rates could follow. NBC has its sights set on something similar where they offer a package that includes Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in one package.Their proposed price point is only about $2.5-$3.5 per month.

Will you pay $15 a month to watch HBO?


The news of passing celebrities seems to be coming in far too consistently lately. On March 4th we lost Daniel Von Bargen-better known as George Costanzas flighty boss Mr Kruger from ‘Seinfeld’. RIP Mr Bargen


Agents of Shield has returned! So, what have they become? I won’t divulge too much for those who are still not caught up, but the mid season premiere finally gave us a few answers, all the while raising more tantalizing questions. This has become the addicting formula of ‘Agents of Shield’ since the series began. The most important thing to know right now is that they are setting us up for the ‘Inhumans’ storyline that Marvel has promised us a 2018 feature film in its Phase 3 lineup.

The fate of S.H.I.E.L.D and rival Hydra is constantly hanging by a thread, as they are caught in a power struggle that often brings ramifications of a global scale. On the next episode, we are reportedly getting another visit from the beautiful warrior Lady Sif of Asgard. Why? Your guess is as good as mine!


Binge show extraordinaire ‘Orange is the New Black’ has an official return date of June 12th. In case you were going to check-its a Friday. So book off your weekend.


An official photo has been released of Melissa Benoist in her new Supergirl costume for the upcoming CBS/DC series. Costume designer Colleen Atwood -who also designed costumes for ‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ describes the costume as a melding of the classic look, but brought into modern day. Reception for the new costume has been overly positive, and Benoist looks great in it. I am a fan.

Supergirl

Benoist is making a solid name for herself, originating as (basically) Lea Micheles replacement on ‘Glee’, but most recently giving an outstanding performance in ‘Whiplash’ as Miles Teller’s love interest.


Casting News and Rumours:

  • Zachary Quinto will be making an appearance on the third season of ‘Hannibal’ as a patient of Gillian Andersons character Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. The series will return on June 4th 2015
  • Jada Pinkett Smith has told fans not to count on her return to the ‘Gotham’ series next season, as her one year contractual obligations are already fulfilled for the first season
  • Alec Baldwin will serve as both star and executive producer of an upcoming HBO drama where he will play the Mayor of New York City. It has been compared to “the lightest episode” of the Sopranos as well as a less “pitch black” version of ‘House of Cards’. Sign me up!

The Geekend Roundup is brought to you in cooperation with my friend and yours-Buddy Critic. Come check us out on Facebook and join our geeky little community!

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Geekend Movie Release: CHAPPiE

I want to give you a bit of a “review” of’ CHAPPiE, but I don’t want to give much away’. Why? Because I have been fortunate enough to walk into the last three Neil Blomkamp movies with very little preparation, aside from a trailer or two-and it made the experience exponentially more satisfying. I was blown away the first time that I saw District 9, slightly underwhelmed by Elysium, but blown away again by CHAPPiE. So, I am about to give you a very narrow summary of the movie. If you want to preserve your movie knowledge virginity as well, skip the next two paragraphs.

Basically, Chappie takes place in a crime infested, slightly futuristic Johannesburg. Tetra Vaal is a robotics company who has released a line of police robots invented by young scientist and engineer Deon (played by Dev Patel, of Slumdog Millionaire fame). The robots are keeping crime at bay very successfully, but fellow engineer Vincent Moore (played by Hugh Jackman, of Hugh Jackman fame) and his massive military grade robot “Moose” are left living in their shadow. Vincent becomes aware that Deon has been playing with artificial intelligence technology in one of the company’s robots, and tries to strategize a way to jeopardize the police robotics program, and Deon’s A.I efforts.

Meanwhile, Deon finds himself in trouble with a group of local gangsters, played by Yo-Landi and Ninja of ‘Die Antwoord’ (yeah, you heard right) and Jose Pablo Cantillo (Walking Dead) who want him to program a robot to help them pull off a high stakes heist. Utilizing his recent breakthrough in artificial technology while trying to save his life, he creates ‘CHAPPiE’ (voiced by Blomkamp staple actor, Sharlto Copley), who grows from the mind of a child, to a street thug, to an alarmingly intelligent being. Oh, and there was only a LITTLE bit of Sony’s signature product placement. However, there was a lot of Die Antwoord playing in the background. Despite not being a fan myself, it didn’t bother me to hear it throughout the movie. 

If you decided to skip those last couple of paragraphs, all that you need to know is: go see this movie. It was surprisingly emotional, gritty in its realism, original and-in my humble opinion-very memorable.Sure, there are flaws. The acting was surprisingly good, whatever CGI went into creating CHAPPiE was very well done and the story was really gripping. Believable or not, this is definitely a movie that I will remember.

I found myself drawing an immediate comparison to the Johnny Depp flick ‘Transcendence’ that came out last year, but there is really no comparison. Though both movies show how startling artificial intelligence and sentient consciousness has the potential to be, CHAPPiE manages to keep its effects and progression at a believable level. It may be a more playful and immature look at the subject, but that is what I enjoyed about it. It did not take itself too seriously, and much like ‘District 9’ it was not afraid to mix in strange and imperfect characters with non-human elements that you could emotionally attach yourself to-alongside a bit of guerilla style action violence.

Like I said, originality is certainly not lacking in this film. I had moments of emotional confusion and was genuinely taken aback by how the story and the development of CHAPPiE’s personality was handled. Blomkamp has definitely made a fan out of me all over again. Don’t listen to the critics on this one. Go see it and make up your own mind.

If you see CHAPPiE this weekend, head over to the Buddy Critic Facebook page and tell us what you thought!

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The Geekend Roundup: This Week in TV

Though this is not strictly television news, it is a huge blow to the entertainment industry and to lovers of pop culture. The beloved Leonard Nimoy has passed away at 83 years old due to end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy has been in the industry for decades, and although he is known best for his role as ‘Spock’-he is known just as well for his amazing, soothing, unforgettable voice. His dear friends and fans have taken to social media to honor his memory-and everyone from The Simpsons to William Shatner have incredibly touching things to say about him.

His friend George Takei said it quite well: “Today, the world lost a great man, and I lost a great friend. We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to “Live Long And Prosper,” and you indeed did, friend. I shall miss you in so many, many ways”

As you did, we will always remember to Live Long, and Prosper because of you. Rest in Peace.


Another tragic loss this past week in the television arts community was comedy writer Harris Wittels, who passed away of apparent drug overdose at the age of 30. The name may not be well known, but he was quite well known in the comedy world for his outlandish wit and brilliance, writing for shows like ‘The Sarah SIlverman Program’, ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘Eastbound and Down’. His face may be recognizable to fans of podcast and show ‘Comedy Bang Bang’. Friends like Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Peretti took to Twitter and Facebook to share their sadness and their stories, but no response was quite as touching as the lengthy letter composed by devoted friend Aziz Ansari. You can read the letter here.

Rest in Peace, Harris.


The minutes, days and weeks are creeping up until Game of Thrones starts up again. HBO has already given us one lengthy trailer that revealed just enough to get us drooling a little bit. This week, they revealed a pretty righteous (okay, amazing) poster and a couple of small character centered clips featuring Brienne of Tarth and the lovable bastard Jon Snuhhhh

hbo-george-r.-martin-game-of-thrones-season-5-tyrion-lannister-peter-dinklage-dragon

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding what this season is going to be like in comparison to their source materials, but the general consensus seems to be that they are steering away from the books overall. This isn’t good news to everyone, but as long as the show continues to deliver on shock value, boobs and quality storylines I don’t see their fan base straying off anytime soon.


In other April news, Netflix is debuting and streaming the entire first season of ‘Daredevil’ starting on April 10th. New clips and posters continue to merge, with the latest one being one of my personal favorites thusfar. There has been some controversy around how Charlie Cox’ Daredevil/Matt Murdock looks in the trailers, but this image seems to be quite close to what fans are expecting.

Daredevil Steven S. DeKnight Charlie Cox

Showrunner Steven S DeKnight says that the series will be “PG-16”-snuggling up to an R rating but not quite touching it. This is certainly welcome in the superhero universe-which is generally washed down to an age appropriate level-but it is very appropriate to this character. Charlie Cox said:

This is more sinister, and that really suits the character. The hero and the villain… it’s a very blurry line. Let’s say that you didn’t know anything about Daredevil, hopefully you would feel a sense of ambiguity about who’s on the right path here. And, well, you know… we have blood.


Sarah Chalke has signed on to star in Fox comedy “48 Hours Till Monday” opposite funnyman Rob Riggle, ‘3rd Rock From the Sun’ alumna Jane Curtin and Merrin Dungey. Chalke has been keeping busy since her ever scene stealing role as Dr Elliot Reed in ‘Scrubs’-lending her voice to underrated comedy ‘Rick and Morty’ as well as making cameos in ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘Cougartown’ and a recurring role in ‘Backstrom’ opposite Rainn Wilson.


Marvels ‘Agent Carter’ has come to the end of its first-and potentially only-season, which means one thing: ‘Agents of Shield’ is BACK this coming Tuesday!

I started out as a skeptic of the show, because I felt that it started out rather weak, but AOS quickly picked up steam and won me over with its wit and its irresistible cliff hangers. Just to get our blood pumping a little bit harder for the coming mid season premiere they released a beautiful poster giving us a glimpse into the future of the show and its emerging lead character Skye-who has become entangled in the very core of the shows storyline. I cannot wait for Tuesday. WHAT HAVE THEY BECOME?

Something…inhuman?


On March 1st Fox debuts a new series starring Will Forte titled ‘Last Man on Earth’. Forte is…you guessed it, the last man on earth after a virus seemingly kills out the entire population. This isn’t your average post apocalyptic show, being brought to us by comedy power couple Chris Miller and Phil Lord. These guys have created some of the funniest TV and film of the past decade, from the short lived ‘Clone High’ animated series (also starring Forte), Brooklyn Nine Nine, ’21 Jump Street’, ’22 Jump Street’ and ‘The Lego Movie’. This group of guys working on a weekly series together is bound to be nothing short of comedy gold.

The Geekend Roundup is brought to you in cooperation with my friend and yours-Buddy Critic. Come check us out on Facebook and join our geeky little community!

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