If you have Netflix and are even vaguely interested in superheroes, then you have probably already seen Daredevil and are probably a huge fan. I could cut this review short and just say ‘Daredevil is awesome!’ but it is one of my charming personality traits that I like to waffle on a bit.
In case you are unlucky enough to have not read any of the comics – or lucky enough to have missed the Ben Affleck movie – a quick origin story is necessary. When Matt Murdock (Daredevil) was a kid he unfortunately got radioactive waste spilled onto his eyes. As all comic book fans know, radioactive anything is great and always gives you superpowers of some kind. In Matt Murdock’s case, all his other senses get massively enhanced. Having a crap is presumably an horrendous experience, but generally speaking his new powers make him pretty amazing.
Matt also becomes a lawyer. He deals righteous justice as the Daredevil and as a lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.
Kingpin aka Wilson Fisk
One of the great things about the Netflix Daredevil show is that they take their time introducing the backstory, spreading it over several episodes. Frankly, I am bored of origin stories and the advantage of a TV series is that nothing is hurried. You don’t even meet the main bad guy – Kingpin (aka Wilson Fisk) until around episode three. Which is a shame because he is superbly portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio, but this is made up for with a ton of screen time later. Actually, all the actors are great, as is the script.
The fight scenes are well done too and there are moments when I found myself wincing in sympathy as Daredevil gets the shit kicked out him at various points. He really takes a beating. A very well choreographed beating.
Anyway, no need to labour my point. I loved Daredevil, but it took me a couple of episodes to get into it. Basically, from when Kingpin entered the series. Then I was hooked and pretty much binge-watched the rest. Here is a lovely trailer.
The Syfy channel and Spielberg’s Amblin Television have just announced that they are going to make a TV show based on Aldous Huxley’s superb Brave New World. I have to admit, I have mixed emotions about this – and most of those emotions are negative.
On the one hand, I can’t help but get excited when a novel I like is being turned into a film or TV show. On the other hand, I have been disappointed the vast majority of the time. I know I recently got fairly excited by the prospect of The Expanse coming to TV, but the books are written so visually that I can almost see the TV show in my head. On the third hand, Brave New World is pretty much a novella and short stories can make great TV/films as they can go with the idea and not be too beholden to the source material. On the fourth – alright, bollocks to the whole ‘hand’ thing – another point is the fact that the best novellas are the length they are because they have a precise story in mind that is longer than a short story but has a definite end. A Brave New World has a definite end.
I’m a huge Orwell fan. Animal Farm and 1984 were perfectly complete stories that were far too long for a short story, but not quite book length. They were the length they needed to be for the finite tale they told. The same goes for the perfectly written The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. (All of these have actually translated quite well into films as the novella is perfect film length.)
I just don’t think a Brave New World will translate into great TV. They should make it a movie or fixed-length mini-series. I guess we shall see.
I saw an earlier Tomorrowland trailer and thought it looked ok. George Clooney is nearly always good value and the science fiction element looked intriguing, but it didn’t seem all that special. Well the new Tomorrowland trailer looks even more interesting and my intrigued-o-meter has risen.
The premise of there being a world that runs parallel to our own has been done before – I was immediately reminded of Baxter/Pratchett’s (slightly disappointing) The Long Earth series or The Talisman by King/Straub. But Tomorrowland seems really cool, with an almost retro scifi feel to it. This feeling is enhanced by a couple of clips that were released separately – more on that in a second. The film also has Hugh Laurie, who is worth a watch. I don’t know his role in Tomorrowland but if he speaks with an American accent, he’s a good guy; with his natural English accent, he’s a baddie. Sorry if that turns out to be a spoiler, I’m just guessing. Anyway, here is the Tomorrowland trailer:
I think it looks pretty damn good.
The idea is that a secret society called Plus Ultra was founded by Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Gustave Eiffel, and H.G. Wells in 1889. They then went to live in a hidden city. On Youtube and Twitter there is a great conspiracy type account called Stop Plus Ultra that has already released a couple of videos. There’s also a website. The Youtube channel is here. The first video is great:
The second one is interesting but a bit long. For some reason, it reminds me of a recruitment drive for the underwater city of Rapture in the Bioshock games.
I’m a sucker for these kind of viral marketing techniques and have been ever seen the internet excitement that surrounded The Blair Witch Project. It remains to be seen whether the film is any good, but until then check out the STOP PLUS ULTRA website. Like most conspiracy theories it is untrue but I so want it to be real: STOP PLUS ULTRA blog.
The trailer for the third Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies, is here and it actually looks pretty cool for two major reasons. The first is that there appear to be Five Armies. The second is that it looks like they will have a massive fight. There will also be a dragon, hobbits, attractive elves and Sauron’s eye and so on.
I know I should be more excited about Batman and Superman when it comes to the new Batman vs Superman film, but… well… you know… Wonder Woman. An Amazonian warrior princess who may or may not be a demi-god depending on which origin story you follow. Who’s not going to be interested in that?
I’m sure some purists will complain that the picture of Gal Gadot as the new Wonder Woman isn’t what they envisaged. But the original outfit would look crap on the big screen. Here is the first glimpse of Princess Diana (that really is her name) in Sensation Comics 1942:
Wonder Woman Sensation Comics
Or maybe people think she should look like the Wonder Woman who featured in the TV show from the late 70s? I remember she featured quite heavily in my dreams when I was about 8 years old. But then so did the Bionic Woman and Mindy from Mork and Mindy, so perhaps it wasn’t just the outfit. Also, a costume that looks like something a pervert would make if given an American flag is a weird choice of clothing for a foreign princess.
I think the new outfit looks good. Exactly what I imagine an Amazonian warrior princess would look like. And that is something I imagine a lot. Basically, the outfit is a variation on Xena’s which is no bad thing given what it could have been.
Without further waffle, here is the picture. See what you think.
Gal Gadot as the new Wonder Woman
Thanks Wikipedia for the old comic pictures (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Woman)
This will be the final Godzilla trailer I will post, I promise. Mostly because the film comes out soon and there aren’t likely to be any more. I am trying not to get my hopes up but frankly that is proving difficult. Enjoy.
As you may have noticed if you are a regular reader, ScifiWard now has a shiny new look. What do you think? Send opinions to the usual address at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your opinions DO matter and I will pay close heed to them. As long as they are in line with my own.