Trailer: Bel-Air

In 2019, a fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air proposed rebooting the comedy as a gritty drama, even creating a faux trailer to depict how it may appear.

Three years later, Will Smith, the show’s lead, has made it a reality, and the first official teaser has been released.

The title character continues to migrate from his hometown of West Philadelphia to his aunt and uncle’s fancy estate in a wealthy LA suburb.

However, the show’s tone has been twisted and turned upside down.

The new show, simply titled ‘Bel-Air’, is a serious drama, as opposed to the original comedy of the 1990s original.

The original saw Will move in with his rich relative, after getting into a fight with a local bully. That still happens in the remake, but guns and police are involved. Will’s Uncle, Judge Philip Banks-played by Welshman, Adrian Holmes, pulls some strings to get Will out of trouble.

The new trailer also introduces us to the new incarnations of cousins Carlton, Ashley and Hilary, as well as butler Geoffrey, played by Jimmy Akingbola.

Will Smith collaborated on the new show with Morgan Cooper, an aspiring filmmaker who created the original teaser.

Smith said:

“Three years ago, my guy Morgan Cooper uploaded his fan trailer to YouTube, showing how he envisioned the Fresh Prince as a drama. Now, here is the first full look at his retelling of the story that’s always been so close to my heart.”

Morbius delayed for the sixth time

Morbius, a Spider-Man spin-off, has been postponed for the sixth time.

Morbius will now open on Friday, April 1 instead of the previously scheduled Friday, January 28. The film’s star Jared Leto announced the news on Twitter.

The official reason given for Sony’s decision to postpone Morbius is due to a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variation.

However, there is speculation that the film’s delay is down to the success of Spider-Man: No way home. No way home earned $1billion in just two weeks of its release. It’s still going strong now, selling out show after show. If this is the reason, I think it’s a wise move. Spider-Man: No way home is overperforming all box office projections. Morbius is a film, with a character most people are unfamiliar with. Even if it did really well, it wouldn’t do ‘no way home’ numbers and would look like a flop comparatively.

Morbius was initially due to open in July 2020. But was delayed due to the original covid outbreak. It sees Leto’s titular character go up against his childhood friend Loxias Crown, AKA Hunger, played by Matt Smith.

Episode 278: Doctor Who-Eve of the Daleks

Martyn, Chris and Sam discuss the latest New Year’s Day special of Doctor Who, Eve of the Daleks. 

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

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Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

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Spoiler-Free Review: Cobra Kai series 4

This weekend, fan-favourite Cobra Kai returns to Netflix for its fourth series.

In this series, we see Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) pair up with his long-term enemy, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). The duo has put aside their differences and merged their classes, in order of giving their students a chance at winning the tournament against the Cobra Kai dojo, now managed by John Kreese (Martin Kove).
This was never going to be an easy match, especially now that Kreese’s old war buddy, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) has returned. Everyone is on the edge and unsure of what to expect.

This series returns to a more character-driven narrative, that some fans may have felt was missing from series 3. Thomas Ian Griffith is clearly having the time of his life, playing a complete psychopath and he’s exactly what the show needed. Johnny’s estranged son, Robbie (Tanner Buchanan) has joined Cobra Kai and is teaching them everything he learned from Daniel and Miyagi-Do. Samatha (Mary Mouser) has fully embraced Johnny’s “strike-first” attitude.

There are some twists and turns that I won’t spoil here. We also get to see a lot more of Daniel’s son, Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro). This is nice, as he’s mostly just been in the background for a lot of the show. We’re also introduced to a new character, Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young).

It’s a fantastic set of episodes that move the story forward and set up the future of the franchise. I came away from this extremely excited for series 5. However, the first eight episodes do sometimes feel like they’re just treading water until the tournament in the last two.

Series 5 has already been greenlit, so I can’t wait to see where they take this franchise next.

Cobra Kai returns to Netflix on New Year’s Eve.

Trailer-The Batman

A new trailer for The Batman has just been released by Warner Bros. It’s called “The Bat and The Cat,” and it’s our best look yet at the film.

It primarily focuses on Batman and Catwoman, as well as the type of connection they’ll have.
It also includes a lot more of The Riddler, as well as a secret he’ll divulge about the truth of Gotham City, which involves Bruce Wayne!

The trailer is jam-packed with fresh footage, and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Here’s the synopsis:

“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.”


Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first pandemic-era film to earn $1bn

The latest Spider-Man film has become the first pandemic-era film to gross more than $1 billion (£750 million) at the global box office.

In addition, Spider-Man: No Way Home was named the highest-grossing film of 2021.

According to media data analytics firm Comscore, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the most recent film to gross more than $1 billion.

Since the pandemic began two years ago, no other Hollywood film has come close to surpassing that box office milestone.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe picture grossed $1.05 billion worldwide over the weekend.

Even while the Omicron variety of Covid-19 has spread swiftly over the world, generating new concerns about indoor events, the Sony-Disney co-production reached its milestone less than two weeks after its premiere.

China, which is currently the world’s largest cinema market, has not yet seen the film.

Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, featuring Zendaya as MJ and Benedict Cumberbatch as the wizard Doctor Strange.

Listen to our review of the film here.

Film review-The King’s Man

The King’s Man is a prequel, to the two previous films in the franchise. It attempts to provide a backstory to please Kingsman fans, but it primarily feels like it’s addressing questions nobody asked.

On the verge of World War One King George of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas of Russia are three cousins who find themselves as rulers of three European and Eastern mega-powers (all played by Tom Hollander).
Meanwhile, dark forces commanded by Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl) lurk in the shadows, attempting to infiltrate the three leaders’ trust and launch a world war, beginning with Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination.
With his intimate relationship with Wilhem, Hanussen shatters the trust between cousins, while manipulative monk Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) rips into the Tsar, all while a secret mole runs rampant in King George’s circle of influence.

The action is directed incredibly well, there’s an absolutely breathtaking skydiving sequence and, Rhys Ifans steals every scene he’s in. However, the screenplay by director, Matthew Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek (The Last Days of American Crime) — adapted from Mark Millar’s comic —leads The King’s Man into being a very disjointed film. It’s a part-historical drama and part-action adventure. It starts with a serious anti-war message but quickly turns into a parody.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where The King’s Man has gone wrong, but, despite a clever early twist, it all feels ploddingly predictable in a join-the-dots-of-history and Kingsman origin-tale kind of way, even the “shock” post-credits set-up for another instalment is rather head-slappingly obvious.

The King’s Man is out in the UK on Boxing Day.

Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige discuss Spider-Man’s future

Amy Pascal, the longtime producer of the Spider-Man series, and Kevin Feige, the CEO of Marvel Studios, have an unusual creative partnership, as they demonstrated in a new interview.

Whilst speaking with the New York Times, about Spider-Man: No Way Home and the future of the wall-crawler, the dynamic-duo addressed Pascal’s previous comments that Tom Holland would star in a new “Spider-Man trilogy”.

Pascal said:

“We’re producers, so we always believe everything will work out, I love working with Kevin. We have a great partnership, along with Tom Rothman, who runs Sony and has been instrumental, a great leader with great ideas. I hope it lasts forever.”

Feige added:

“Amy and I and Disney and Sony are actively beginning to develop where the story heads next, which I only say outright because I don’t want fans to go through any separation trauma like what happened after ‘Far From Home.’ That will not be occurring this time”.

In 2019, the original deal between both studios ended, leading to a financial dispute between Disney and Sony. For a while, it looked like Peter Parker’s time in the MCU sandbox was done. Fourteunetly, cooler heads prevailed and the studios got to work on no way home.

In the interview, Pascal and Feige also discussed how they first collaborated. Feige had worked as an unofficial script consultant on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Most of his advice wasn’t taken up by Sony. When the film was released to widespread negative reviews, she and Feige met to discuss the next way forward. He suggested a co-production deal, with Marvel studios taking control of the character. She didn’t take the suggestion well.

“I threw a sandwich at him,” she said.

Feige added:

“She said, ‘I really want you to help on this next movie. We have these great ideas for the next one. It’s amazing stuff and I said, ‘I’m not good at that — giving advice and leaving. The only way I know how to help is if we just make the movie for you.’”

Despite Pascal’s initial scepticism, she and Sony eventually warmed to the idea after Feige offered more concrete proposals for how to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

She said:

“He said ‘I have an idea. What if Tony Stark makes Peter’s suit?’ And as soon as he said that, I understood the possibilities of what we could do together. To have Iron Man and Spidey in the same world, one rooted more in technological innovation — the new suit — and less in medical experimentation, which is where we were confined before, felt so much more modern.”

Since then, each of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” films, starring Tom Holland and produced by Pascal, has been a critical and commercial triumph, with most fans dubbing Holland “the best Spider-Man ever”.

Personally, as a fan. I’m excited to see where this partnership goes. They’ve opened up the multiverse now and with Sony continuing to make their own Marvel movies, the possibilities are truly endless.

More than just an impression-episode 3

Chris has released the third and final episode in the first series of his podcast, ‘more than just an impression‘.

The podcast is run by actor and Impressionist Chris Walker-Thomson, who interviews other well-known talented individuals who continue the legacies of big stars no longer with us.

In episode 3, he talks to the brilliant writer and actor, Sadie Miller, about playing the role of Sarah Jane Smith for Big Finish Productions, a role previously played by her late-mother, Elisabeth Sladen… and much more!

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Review-The year of Martha Jones

The Master has won. He has stolen humanity’s future and imprisoned his nemesis, ruling the Earth with an army of deadly Toclafane.
But Martha Jones escaped, and now walks the Earth, telling stories of the Doctor. Above all else, humanity needs hope. And Martha will carry that hope across the world.

Something we never saw on Doctor Who is a big component of Martha Jones’ companion narrative.
During a time of death, destruction, and turmoil, she spent a full year on her own.
In the shows third series (Nu-Who), the Master and his army of Toclafane took over Earth and rendered our favourite Gallifreyan hero unconscious and looking like a cross between Yoda and Dobby.

Martha was entrusted with a monumental responsibility by the Doctor.
We know she succeeded because she is the best companion the modern series has had, but we didn’t see how she did it.

The Year of Martha Jones is a unique blend of great storytelling, humour and action. Much like The Doctor, Martha has become a mythological and contentious figure. People across the world murmur her name.
Some see her as a ray of hope. Others think she’s overrated, and her stories are nothing more than fairytales in the middle of constant conflict. They are perplexed by Martha’s genuine objectives and wonder if she has a plan to assassinate the Master.

At her core, Martha is just a human being trying her best to maintain emotional and mental stability in the face of an overwhelming challenge. She’s witnessed horrific tragedies and struggles with loneliness and paranoia all the time, unsure of whom she can trust in the world.

Her hope is still in the Doctor, and she always emphasises his great characteristics in her stories, but reality weighs heavily on her heart.
She is the only one in this unexpected and tough scenario.

The audio quickly finds its footing, thanks to a combination of great writing and performances from all involved.
Freema Agyeman and Adjoa Andoh, who plays Francine Jones, have great and natural chemistry together, it’s revealed in the extras that even Freema’s real-life mum, thinks of Adjoa as her second-mother. Freema calls her “Mamma Adj”.

We also meet a number of new interesting characters, such as Ewart James Walters as Tucker and Serin Ibrahim as Holly, an old college friend, who has a shaky relationship with Martha.

The Year of Martha Jones is a fascinating insight into human resilience, there are no bombastic over the top moments like you’d expect from the David Tennant era. Instead, this is a quiet and reflective story, that focuses on the little victories Martha is able to win on her journey. Scott Handcock’s direction is flawless and is beautifully accompanied by Howard Carter’s music and sound design.

It’s also easily Freema Ageyman’s best performance as the character. Over the years she has grown and evolved as an actress. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Miss Jones.

The Year of Martha Jones is available to buy from Big finish.