Red Notice still Netflix’s number 1 worldwide

Despite the fact that “Red Notice” was not well received by critics, Netflix customers appear to be enamoured with the comedy-action film and its A-list ensemble, which includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot.

The film topped Netflix’s weekly worldwide streaming lists for English-language movies in all 94 countries for the third week in a row.

According to Netflix, the film has received 328.8 million hours of viewing since its November 12 release and has now overtaken Sandra Bullock’s “Bird Box,” which garnered 282 million hours of viewing in its first 28 days.

Johnson took to Instagram to congratulate the creative team, on the positive response to the action-comedy adventure.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber recently discussed the possibility of a sequel. He told The Hollywood reporter “I think that is a real possibility.”


The outlaws to return for a second series

The Outlaws, a BBC/Amazon co-production, created by Stephen Merchant (The Office) and Elgin James (Mayans M.C.), will be returning for a second series in 2022.

The comic thriller follows seven convicted criminals, as they complete their community service in Bristol, United Kingdom. The second series has already been filmed and is a direct continuation of series 1, in an unusual move by the BBC, both series were shot back-to-back.

Oscar-winner Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can), Stephen Merchant, Rhianne Barreto (Honour), Gamba Cole (Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle), Darren Boyd (Killing Eve), Clare Perkins (EastEnders), Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark), Jessica Gunning (Back), Charles Babalola (Bancroft), Nina Wadia (Goodness Gracious Me), Tom Hanson (Brassic) and Aiyana Goodfellow (Small Axe). Julia Davis (Sally4Ever), Dolly Wells (Dracula), Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones) and Claes Bang (Dracula) have all reprised their roles.

According to the BBC, The Outlaws has been their biggest comedy launch in 2021, with 11 million views on iPlayer.

Series 2 will broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK and Amazon Prime, worldwide.

Personally, I can’t wait for the second series. The first was an utter joy to watch. If you haven’t seen it yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Review-Venom: Let there be Carnage

The Venom franchise is a very strange beast and probably the oddest franchise in Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-or whatever they’re calling it this week. The character was first seen in live-action, way back in 2007’s terrible Spider-man 3. Talks of a Venom spin-off followed the film, but nothing came of it until 2018.

The original Venom film was a letdown, a jumbled mess with an identity crisis. It wasn’t sure if it was a buddy-comedy or a body horror. It didn’t help matters that it was released in the same year as one of Hollywood’s most popular superhero movies, Avengers: Infinity War. Compared to that, Venom felt like a throwback to a superhero movie from 2003.

Venom: Let there be Carnage, however is heads and shoulders above the first film. The tone is set immediately and they stick with it. The crude humour is still present, but it somehow works this time around. At just 90 minutes, it’s a lean film that breezes by. Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Eddie Brock and the CGI Venom, gets the movie through some really tough spots.

Woody Harrelson, like Hardy, wholeheartedly embraces the film’s unique, frequently ridiculous tone and thoroughly enjoys his role as the antagonist. He’s practically chewing the scenery.
The duo makes it easier to overlook some of the obvious storey gaps and jumpy editing because they work so well together.

Whilst I enjoyed the pace of the film, the shorter runtime does do a huge disservice to Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), Francis Barrison (Naomie Harris), Stephen Graham and Patrick Mulligan, the films secondary characters. Fans of the comics may feel a bit letdown, by how little they feature. They all have intriguing potential roles, but they don’t get much in the way of development beyond a few rushed plot beats and end up being the story’s weakest link.

When the two alien symbiotes ultimately battle it out in the third act, it’s a satisfying conclusion.
The CGI is noticeably better than in the first film, probably due to director Andy Serkis’ previous experience.
The action is simple to follow and looks fantastic. There’s even a great cameo by Reece Shearsmith, which leads to the funniest line in the film.

While the film passes the fundamental prerequisites for a comic-book movie, enjoyment. It is the post-credit scene that elevates the film and the character of Venom to new heights. It not only broadens the realm of where he and Eddie Brock may appear next, but it also elevates the potential sequel to new heights.

Venom: Let there be carnage, is available to rent from all VOD services in the UK.

Nicolas Cage to play Dracula

According to Deadline, Nicolas Cage is set to play Dracula in Universal Pictures’ upcoming monster movie ‘Renfield’.

Nicholas Hoult will play Dracula’s henchman R.M. Renfield, while Cage will feature alongside him.
Those who have read the book will remember that Renfield was an inmate at a mental institute, who was assumed to be suffering from delusions but was actually a servant of Dracula.

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but it’s thought to be taking place during the modern-day. Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War) is directing the movie with a script written by Ryan Ridley, based on an original story outline from The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman.

Cage rose to prominence as an actor with films like Moonstruck and Raising Arizona in the 1980s, before receiving an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in 1995, quickly becoming one of the world’s most famous actors.
He went on to star in a slew of box office smashes, including The Rock, Con Air, Face/Off, and National Treasure.
He won his second Oscar for Adaptation, in the early 2000s.

I personally can’t wait to see what version of Cage shows up for this film, when he’s good. He’s better than everybody. But when he’s terrible, he’s worse than everybody.

Ahsoka Tano Disney Plus Series Casts Ivanna Sakhno

According to Variety, actress Ivanna Sakhno has been cast in the spin-off series to The Mandalorian, for Disney Plus.

Sakhno will star opposite Rosario Dawson, who is reprising her role of Ahsoka Tano, and Natasha Liu Bordizzo. Who was recently announced to be playing a live-action version of Sabine Wren, a character who first appeared in animated form in Star Wars: Rebels.

Details on who Sakhno is playing are being kept incredibly secret, although it seems she will be playing a new character created specifically for the series.

Sakhno recently appeared in a few episodes of the highly underrated series ‘High Fidelity’ with Zoe Kravitz.

“Ahsoka” is one of several live-action “Star Wars” properties being made for Disney Plus. Another spin-off to The Mandalorian, ‘The book of Bobba Fett’ airs next month. Series three of ‘The Mandalorian,’ is expected to arrive in 2022. The streamer is also working on Obi-Wan Kenobi series, starring Ewan McGregor as well as a Rogue One prequel, based around the character of Cassian Andor, with Diego Luna reprising his role.

Doctor Who viewing stats

Here’s a subject nobody ever gets bored of hearing. Doctor Who’s overnight viewing stats.

Doctor Who Survivors of the Flux was watched by 3.82 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The figure is a slight increase from last week’s episode, The Village of Angels, which received an overnight of 3.45 million in the overnights. The seven-day consolidated figure, which includes all those who watched the episode within one week for chapter four was 4.55 million. This is the lowest seven-day consolidated rating since the series returned in 2005.

What do these figures mean? Absolutely nothing. The way we consume our media has changed dramatically over the past decade. We’re no longer beholden to broadcast times, people time-shift and record it. Others watch on iPlayer. My kids for example have absolutely no idea what day their favourite TV shows airs, having to watch it “live” would seem like a bizarre concept to them. However, they know exactly how to access the shows they like via streaming services.

Although the figures seem low in a traditional sense, Doctor Who is still performing strongly. It was the 8th most-viewed programme on BBC Television for the week and the 21st most-watched across all British television.

New Spider-Man trilogy in development

There has been a lot of speculation recently, including from Tom Holland himself – that Spider-Man: No Way Home, would be the end of his career as everyone’s favourite wall-crawler. The upcoming film does indeed mark the end of his current contract. However, according to producer Amy Pascal, this won’t be his last time suiting up, as there are already ideas in the works for a new trilogy.

Whilst talking to Fandango she said:

“This is not the last movie that we are going to make with Marvel or the last Spider-Man movie. We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel. We’re thinking of this as three films, and now we’re going to go on to the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies.”

This is wonderful news for fans who were worried about the companies splitting up, we came very close to seeing Tom Holland exit the MCU when the previous deal ended in 2019. However, both companies were soon able to reach an understanding of the continued use of the character.

Whilst it hasn’t been stated officially, I personally believe it was Sony that pushed Disney to open up the Marvel multiverse, so they could bring in characters from the Venomverse. It will be interesting to see how both companies utilise Peter Parker going forward. But one thing is for sure, Miles Morales will be the future for the franchise.

More from Pascal can be found here.

Spider-Man: No way home is out in the UK on the 15th of December.

Review-Torchwood: The Red List

The pandemic may have stalled plans for the official seventh series of Torchwood, but producers James Goss and Scott Handcock haven’t just rested on their laurels this year, like the rest of us. In the past 12 months, they’ve given us Torchwood tales about mould, coffee shops and Sontarans. We’ve also seen the return of Yvonne Hartman, Zachary Cross, Billis Manger and, Adam Smith. I’ve barely managed to take the bins out and these guys have continued giving us the best version of Torchwood on any medium.

This month’s release teams up Mr Colchester with a modern-day version of Ace AKA Dorothy McShane, for an adventure set in South America. The duo is both independently there to investigate a revolution but are stuck in a hotel under quarantine.

Mr Colchester, who is played as brilliantly as ever by Paul Clayton, begins the storey with a monologue.
This works as a great way to convey information to the audience, without feeling unrealistic or forced. I think we’ve all probably spoken to ourselves this year. Clayton is clearly having a great time, reprising his role as fan-favourite Colchester and it’s great to hear Sophie Aldred play an older version of Ace, it just goes to show how much work she puts into her performance as a younger version of the character on the main range. As the two versions are so clearly different.

The two leads have great chemistry and play on the mundanity that comes with a lockdown.
They’re supported in this adventure, by Xavier, a hotel technician played by Manuel Pacific. Xavier is there to receive the brunt of Colchester’s complaints and Pacific does a tremendous job, with such a small role.

Scott Handcock, as always, is a fantastic director who is able to get real genuine and believable performances from the three cast members. Steve Foxon’s sound design is flawless and perfectly encapsulates the Latin ambience and compliments Blair Mowat’s music incredibly well.

It’s difficult to review this audio fully, as it’s impossible to do so without spoiling. So I will say, it’s a lot of fun and features the best-written characters from both Torchwood and Doctor Who. It ends on a cliffhanger and I for one, hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Colchester and Ace.

Torchwood: The Red List is available to purchase from the Big Finish site and goes on general release on the 31st January 2022.


More than just an impression-episode 2

Chris has released episode two of his brand new podcast, more than just an impression. Known for his renowned Patrick Troughton performance and more. He interviews other well-known talented individuals who continue the legacies of big stars no longer with us. Listen to how their opportunities began, how they craft their performance and much more.

In this episode, he’s joined by legendary actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw. The pair talk about Jon’s career, Dead Ringers and his recent work playing Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart for Big Finish, a role made famous by Nicholas Courtney.

The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and, Anchor FM.

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A new synopsis for The Batman released

Warner Bros. has released a new synopsis for director Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Over the past year, we’ve seen a couple of trailers. But this is the first full synopsis released by the studio.

“Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens.

When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City”.

It’s not mentioned in the synopsis, but DC is really leaning into the multiverse with the release of this. The Batman is confirmed to be taking place on Earth 2. That doesn’t mean we’ll get to see other versions of Batman pop up, but it is interesting that studios now view these as different universes. Instead of reboots.