Episode 94:Man of steel

In which Martyn and Mark take a look at man of steel. It was recorded on an extrememly hot day, in Martyn’s garden so, there is a bit of background noise.

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Film Review-Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me grossed over $540 million in 2010 and became the 10th-biggest animated motion picture of all time. So, a sequel was inevitable. 1370857566_thumb

Set a year after the events of Despicable Me, Gru (Steve Carell) has settled in as a parent to his adopted children Agnes, Edith and Margo. Gru is a calmer character in this film compared to the 2010 film.

He uses his old Evil Lair, his chief inventor Dr Nefario (Russell Brand) and his Minions to produce jam. The film lacked the emotional depth of first film. But, that isn’t to say that it’s a bad film, I just felt a sense of déjà vu, it’s pretty much the same story, but with a love interest in place of the children.

It’s clear from the advertising that the Minions – those knee-high yellow Tic-Tacs, on a poster near you are key to the commercial equation of the franchise. So they swarm all over the place doing various child-pleasing routines in hard hats and beachwear, while Gru gets embroiled in an afterthought of a plot, involving a secret agent called Lucy (Kristen Wiig) who’s also, predictably enough, his love interest. Steve Carrel phones in his performance, with that not very funny accent.

It’s his co-stars that shine here, Russell Brand is once again brilliant in his role, as is Miranda Cosgrove. It’s worth stating that this cynical 30-year old isn’t the target audience for this, but children will undoubtedly love it. There were a few adult pleasing moments, a reference to Invasion of the body snatchers had me howling with laughter. If anything this feels like nothing more than a set up to the Minion spin-off, which is coming out next year. Fun, but forgettable it’s worth seeing in 3-D, for the end credits alone.

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Frankie episode one-spoiler free review

A few years ago in America, there were a series of commercials featuring Cavemen advertising GEICO car insurance. A TV exec Frankiesaw the ads and thought “this would make a great TV show” (It didn’t).
After watching Frankie, it’s clear that an exec at the BBC saw the boots “here come the girls” commercials and had the same thought.
Luckily, Frankie is a good show. It’s written by Lucy Gannon (Soldier Soldier) and stars Eve Myles (Doctor Who/Torchwood) and Dean Lennox Kelly (Doctor Who/Shameless).

Frankie (played by Myles) is a nurse with a heart of gold, often putting the care of her patients a head of her own. Her long-term partner Ian (Kelly), a police officer is starting to feel the strain of her being so caring.

The episode starts off a few days before Frankie’s 36th birthday. Ian is planning a surprise party for her, she knows. He does it every year.
Frankie is so caring, that she misses her own birthday in order to care for one of her patients. Which, is the straw the broke the camels back for Ian.

Eve Myles puts in another great performance, it’s as if the part was written for her. She injects humour and emotion and gives us a fully formed character, that we often don’t see in a series opener.
The supporting cast is also great, Kelly puts in an endearing performance as Ian, in the hands of a lesser actor, he could have come across as unlikable, but you genuinely feel his pain when Frankie let’s him down.

Be prepared to fall in love with Eve Myles all over again.

Frankie starts on the 14th of May at 9pm, BBC1.

Have a listen to the chat the Pharos project and I had with Eve Myles last year.

TV REVIEW-BATES MOTEL:EPISODE 1

There are a few things people don’t know about me. One of those things being that I am a huge fan of thfreddie-highmore-vera-farminga-bates-motel-500-aee movie Psycho. A paper I wrote about the movie, achieved me my A, in a GNVQ English exam.
In 2000, I went on a tour of California and, the only thing I really wanted to do, was go on the Universal studios back lot tour, to see The Bates Motel. I still have an unused Bates Motel flannel, that I bought 13-years ago. I’ve owned Psycho on VHS, DVD and blu ray. So, when I heard A&E were working on a prequel series to my favourite film, I was apprehensive to say the least.
Now, it isn’t really truthful to call Bates Motel a prequel. It really isn’t, it’s mostly inspired by the Robert Bloch novel ‘Psycho’. It’s set in the modern-day and in a different town to the novel and the movie.

We’re first introduced to Norman (Freddie Highmoore) just after he discovers the body of his father in the garage. A cause of death is never given and from Norma’s (Vera Farmiga) reaction it hardly seems accidental. Six months later, Norma and Norman have bought a motel and moved to a new town, White Pine Bay.

Norma’s brutal rape, at the hands of the motel’s former owner kicks off the main story line. Coming home after sneaking out to a party, Norman smashes the rapist on the head, with a blunt object. Whilst Norman gets a first aid kit to attend to his mother’s wounds, the rapist taunts Norma until she stabs him multiple times. Norman wants to call the police, but his mother convinces him to help her cover it up by stating “who would want to stay at the rape/murder hotel. We came here to start our lives over and I Am Starting Over”.

Parallels have been drawn between this and American Horror Story, but Bates Motel has more in common with David Lynch’s twin peaks, than anything else. Everybody in this seemingly idyllic town is connected and they all have secrets.

Everything about this works, the pacing is great, the script is sharp and the musical score is tone setting and completely un-intrusive.
The performances are great, as Norma was a mostly an off-screen character, Farmiga as a lot more to work with than Highmoore. But, he doesn’t let the confines of playing a well-established character hold him back, there are elements of Anthony Perkins in his performance but he manages to make the role his own.

This is a true homage to a classic that leaves you wanting for more and, we’re going to get it. After this episode aired in the US, A&E announced that they’re commissioning another series.

The Bates Motel gets it’s UK premiere on Universal Channel on Thursday September 12th at 9pm.

Episode 89: Doctor Who-The Bells Of Saint John

In which we actually discuss Doctor Who, yes, actual Doctor Who. Martyn and new host Mark look at The Bells Of Saint John. It’s also our longest episode to date.

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Episode 87:Jack The Giant Slayer

In which Martyn and Gerrod take a look at the new movie, Jack The Giant Slayer, which is released in the UK on 22/03/13.

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Episode 86: In the Flesh episode 1.

In which Martyn and Gerrod get drunk and turn to ask.fm for the answers. They also take a look at the brilliant new zombie show on BBC3, in the flesh.
Without the calming influence of Pete and/or Ash and the sexual nature of ask.fm, the episode quickly turns filthy, fast.

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Episode 84: From Dusk Till Dawn

In which Martyn, Gerrod, Pete and Ash review the 1996 film ‘From Dusk till dawn’.

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Make sure you check out Ash’s critically acclaimed podcast nightsattheroundtable.net

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