OS Cover Image

OS Cover Image

Monday, 29 April 2013


Beyond the doors of the Summer Hiatus, the Universe awaits...
So, the prophesied time has come- as of now, we're on our Summer Hiatus for a little while. Fear not, though, because the weeks of 2013 are flying by, and so the next 6/7 weeks where we're off with other commitments will likely go just as fast. Time flies, as they say, so make the most of it and indeed this little break.

But what of when we do return? In case you hadn't already noticed, we've confirmed a whole host of big reviews of releases such as Doctor Who, Game Of Thrones, Arrow, The Great Gatsby, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III, Man Of Steel, The Newsroom and plenty more, full news coverage of E3, ComicCon and more and plus a lot of previews and Best Of Awards features to look back on the best of 2013 so far and indeed what we've still got to come. Make no mistake, once On-Screen returns, we're not going anywhere for the remainder of 2013!

Enjoy the 'break', then- I wish the best of luck to everyone involved in exams or other hectic periods of their lives in these intense next few weeks. Once they're done, rest assured that On-Screen will be back in full force- and we'll go everywhere and anywhere, through all in time and space. Just one question will be asked of you, dear readers, as we return for good in mid-June- where do you wanna start?
The Ed

Marvel News: Joss Whedon On Thanos

What will the Master of Death be doing come Avengers 2?
The Avengers 2's writer and director Joss Whedon has today provided the first hints on the role of behind-the-scenes antagonist (in Avengers Assemble) Thanos in his upcoming sequel. Thanos remains a prized Marvel creation for fans, having featured heavily in the iconic Infinity Gauntlet storyline.

Here's what Joss had to say on the matter: "Well, Thanos is more powerful. He is so powerful he is not someone you can just try out and punch him. Like he did in the comics, you want him threading throughout the universe and to save the big finale for the big finale. He is definitely a part of what I have got going on. The thing about the Avengers is that they are very powerful but not very stable. So, there will definitely be some people that shake them up in the next instalment." It could be quite easily connoted here, then, that Thanos will still not have a profound presence until the third Avengers film, but with Iron Man 3 giving us little in the way of definitive hints as to what's to come, we'll at least have to wait until Thor: The Dark World to see how everything will start to pan out for the franchise.

The Avengers 2 will burst into cinemas worldwide in April 2015.

Watch Dogs Release Date Announced

Ubisoft's hottest game of 2013 is coming this November!
Ubisoft Quebec have today announced an official release date for their upcoming open-world shooter video game project Watch Dogs. Set in the near future, this much-anticipated title sees players take control of the technology all around them, manipulating their friends and foes in a digital age where information is everything. If everything turns out as expected, we can expect one of the best games of 2013 right here, as showcased by the rather epic trailer below. Watch Dogs retails on Xbox 360, the new Xbox, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo WiiU on November 22nd.

Coming Up This Week: April 29th-June 16th

Our bumper edition of our weekly feature encompasses the entire Summer Hiatus' duration- brace yourselves...
Well, you might not have quite expected this one. With our Summer Hiatus taking up seven weeks as a whole, we won't of course be able to bring you weekly Coming Up This Week features, and while I originally contemplated scheduling new editions of this post with releases that we know about for each successive Sunday to give On-Screen a residing presence, what with the busyness that awaits us all now, I reckon it's better to let things go quiet for a while so as to have a definitive return in mid-June (June 19th, though we've left out those last two days between the Sunday and Wednesday). Here, then, is our split guide to all of the weeks ahead!
ARROW: HOME INVASION- The hit CW superhero drama Arrow is back this week, as Deadshot returns to Starling City and the battle in the Glades heats up. There are only four episodes left of the run, and Home Invasion should kick off proceedings in spectacular fashion. (Monday 29th)
GAME OF THRONES: KISSED BY FIRE- Meanwhile, over in Westeros, the Hound and Jaime face judgement this week, plus Robb and Tyrion face deadly military and civil betrayals respectively. Prepare for more shocks than you might ever have expected! (Monday 29th)
FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON- Ubisoft Montreal are facing us with a rather bizarre prospect in Blood Dragon, their downloadable game spin-off to the hit 2012 shooter FarCry 3. It could succeed, it could flop, but with sci-fi antics plenty, it should be a wacky ride finding out for sure...(Wednesday 1st)
DOCTOR WHO: THE CRIMSON HORROR- It's the time of the Paternoster Gang to shine this week on Doctor Who. Vastra, Jenny and Strax are on a mission to save the Doctor and Clara from the Crimson Horror, in what should be a hilarious and dark period drama blockbuster featuring Diana Rigg. (Saturday 4th)
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS- Can Benedict Cumberbatch provide the best turn as an film antagonist in 2013? The battle with John Harrison looks like a mightily exciting prospect, especially with JJ Abrams' In Darkness boasting some of the most stunning special effects of the year! (Thursday 9th)
THE GREAT GATSBY- Leonardo DiCaprio, Carrey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire are all heading up one of the big contenders this Summer for Film Of The Year 2013. The Great Gatsby is one of the all-time classic novels, so the journey of experiencing it on the big screen after exams will be one to truly relish...(Friday 10th)
DOCTOR WHO: NIGHTMARE IN SILVER- This penultimate instalment of the 50th Anniversary Spring run of blockbuster adventures is penned by none other than Neil Gaiman. With the man behind The Doctor's Wife at the helm, this resurrection of the Doctor's greatest foes, the Cybermen, with an incredible new look should be one for the ages. (Saturday 11th)
LES MISERABLES DVD- Yep, one of the greatest films of 2013 is now mere weeks from its retail DVD and Blu-Ray release. Les Miserables is an incredible motion picture, and one that most definitely deserves your attention after exams regardless of whether you saw it in cinemas first time around. (Monday 13th)
DOCTOR WHO: THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR- The time has come for the Doctor's greatest secret to be revealed. What could it be? What's the truth behind the mystery of Clara Oswald? How do the plans of the Great Intelligence and the return of River Song factor into the Fields of Trenzalore and the Fall of the Eleventh? All this and more will be revealed as we enter the most exciting prelude to the 50th Anniversary Special that you could possibly imagine...(Saturday 18th)
ARROW FINALE- So just what lies in store for the glades? We'll find out soon, as the Green Arrow must make the ultimate Sacrifice at the climax of Season One in order to save Starling City. Sufficed to say, this epic finale could be one of the big US televisual highlights of 2013! (Monday 20th)
DJANGO UNCHAINED DVD- One of 2013's greatest historical films comes to DVD, with Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz tag-teaming with the terrifying Leonardo DiCaprio for a true romp for the ages. Again, this is once you cannot aford to miss. (Monday 20th)
NEW XBOX REVEAL EVENT- The big reveal is here? Just what is the new Xbox console? We'll find out for sure in a little over three weeks' time, and gamers should be expecting an event that's nothing short of spectacular in terms of debuting the Xbox 720 hardware ahead of tonnes of E3 software reveals. (Tuesday 21st)
THE HANGOVER PART III- Another of the Summer Of Film 2013's big entries arrives, as the Wolfpack embark on their final adventure. Can they find Leslie Chow and bring him back to the FBI from the depths of Las Vegas in time to save Doug one final time and end the hangover madness? The end is here...(Friday 24th)
FAST & FURIOUS 6- This has to be one of the more interesting Summer Of Film blockbusters. Fast & Furious 6 kicks off a new two-part story arc for the hit racing film franchise, with Fast & Furious 7 already confirmed for a Summer 2014 premiere. With that in mind, expect twists, teasers and setpieces aplenty in the most action-packed instalment yet!
GAME OF THRONES: THE RAINS OF CASTAMERE- As the shocking aftermath of an upcoming wedding leaves several characters reeling, we can no doubt expect a sensational penultimate instalment of Thrones to round out May. Nevertheless, the journey there should be just as exciting...(Monday 27th)
GAME OF THRONES FINALE- The end of Season Three will dawn as June opens, bringing to a close yet another run of incredible blockbuster episodes. I can assure you that having read A Storm Of Swords Part 1, you can expect some killer twists in the weeks ahead to build to a finale that you will never forget! (Monday 3rd)
GLEE FINALE- As the competition heats up at Regionals, the New Directions will have to give it everything if they are to trump in the final episode of Glee's fourth season, All Or Nothing. Meanwhile, Rachel will discover some startling truths at NYADA, and you can bet that there'll be some BIG cliffhangers to build into Seasons Five and Six here. (Sunday 9th)
E3 2013- The biggest video gaming event of 2013 is here. Although Nintendo won't be giving a keynote, Microsoft and Sony will more than compensate by bringing us the full software line-up for their new Xbox and PlayStation consoles in full force, while developers come out by the dozen with plenty of footage of the most anticipated titles of the year and beyond- be prepared, because post-hiatus we'll cover everything, with opinions on it all! (Monday 10th-Thursday 13th)
MAN OF STEEL- Up in the sky...is it a bird, is it a plane? Nope, it's the release of Man Of Steel, perhaps the most anticipated superhero film of 2013. Fresh from the minds of Watchmen and The Dark Knight, this may finally be the movie which does DC's Superman justice, and kicks off a whole franchise of Justice League adaptations to boot...(Friday 14th)
THE NEWSROOM RETURNS- We're not 100% sure on Sky Atlantic's Episode One airdate for the return of the almighty The Newsroom for its second season yet, but it's an extremely exciting event nonetheless. The news team must assemble for their greatest challenge yet this year, as events from the past threaten to throw their whole organisation into jeaporady!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Coming Soon To On-Screen

Our guide to everything you can expect to see beyond the Summer Hiatus...
For once, the On-Screen waters for the next few weeks are considerably calmer than usual. The reason for this? We're taking a brief break in the midst of exams and other commitments in order to take stock, but when we return in the entertainment media explosion that is mid-June, I can assure you right now that everything will be notched up to 101% as a host of massive entertainment releases and announcements head our way during and after the quick seven-week period where we're 'off air'.

That blunt period window may sound a bit daunting at first, but believe me, as 2013 is racing by so too will this oh-so-brief hiatus. And besides, when we do return proper, you can expect an infinite number of exhilarating posts to come your way. There may be one or two new posts to come on the evening of May 24th to keep you sated, yet it's on June 19th that On-Screen truly comes back to life, with oh so many reviews, previews, World Exclusives, features and big news reveals to come. Without further ado, then, let's take a look ahead to just what you can expect...
REVIEWS- Sufficed to say that between April 29th and June 19th, there will be plenty of big releases which we'll be raving to review once the hiatus is done. Obviously there are surprises to come, but we can confirm that reviews of the following will kick off our slate:

  • Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror, Nightmare In Silver and The Name Of The Doctor
  • Game Of Thrones: Kissed By Fire, The Climb, The Bear and the Maiden Fear, Second Sons, The Rains of Castamere and Mhysa
  • Arrow: Home Invasion, The Undertaking, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Sacrifice
  • Elementary: Risk Management, The Woman and Heroine
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Hangover Part III
  • Man Of Steel
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Deadpool: The Game
  • The Carnegie 2013 Teen Fiction Shortlist
  • Doctor Who's new Eleventh Doctor Adventures novels and the latest 50th Anniversary eBooks and Destiny Of The Doctor releases
  • And lots more...
PREVIEWS & FEATURES- Next up, here's a roundup of some of the big previews and features that you can only expect at somewhere like On-Screen from June 19th onwards. Believe me, this is the only place you'll want to be for these definitive opinions on the big entertainment matters...
  • The Summer Of Film 2013 Part Two (July-August)
  • The Autumn Of Gaming 2013
  • Assessing Game Of The Year 2013 So Far
  • Assessing Film Of The Year 2013 So Far
  • Assessing TV Show Of The Year 2013 So Far
  • Top 5 Greatest Films Ever
  • Top 5 Greatest Video Games Ever
  • Top 5 Greatest TV Shows Ever
  • Doctor Who: Countdown To 50
  • Best Of Who Awards
  • May 2013: Best Release
  • Previewing The Newsroom Season Two
  • Previewing Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD
  • Previewing Sherlock Season Three
NEWS COVERAGE- As if all of that weren't enough, May and June will no doubt be laden with a host of big, exciting news reveals and announcements. Once we return, we'll be rounding up all of the big reveals of the last 1.5 months in a host of feature articles and Opinion editorials. Of course, we can't predict everything that's coming, but here's at least some of the stuff you can expect to be covered by us upon our return:
  • Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary Special & 50th Anniversary Celebrations
  • Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013
  • New Films & Video Games Announced
  • The Future Of Marvel And DC's Cinematic Universes
  • Call Of Duty: Ghosts Announced
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Revealed
  • The New Xbox Reveal Event & Launch Line-Up
  • More On The PlayStation 4
  • Batman: Arkham Origins Revealed
  • Grand Theft Auto V Revealed
  • And lots more...
So all of that is just a taste of what you can expect from On-Screen when we return. One thing is for sure- when On-Screen returns, you'll know about it, by goodness, and although I can't say for sure what the future holds, I can assure you that the blog will be here for the rest of 2013 and long beyond. I look forward to having you along for the ride...
The Ed
(P.S. We'll have a brief article to confirm On-Screen's Summer Hiatus tomorrow evening, so the end isn't quite here just yet...)

Video Corner: The Final Videos (For Now)

A final quarter of new YouTube highlights before the Summer Hiatus kicks in...
Our Video Corner feature has proved a great success with a good deal of you readers so far, which is definitely a pleasant surprise. Naturally, this regular weekly feature will return along with On-Screen as a whole after the Summer Hiatus. Until then, though, we've rounded up a few entertainment highlights both hilarious and substantial to keep you going. Enjoy, all!:
GAME OF THRONES DOES FRIENDS- Ever wondered what HBO's hit US drama Game Of Thrones would look like when pitched to the classic theme tune of Friends? Well, now's your chance to find out, in a hilarious crossover fan piece that does a fantastic and comedic job of matching up two vastly different narrative universes and stylistic patterns!
DOCTOR WHO: NEXT ON BBC ONE...On a different note, have you ever wondered what a BBC announcer's introduction to a new episode of Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary run would have sounded like back in the 1980s? Well, once again, there's no better place to find out right here, as we see The Bells Of Saint John in a very different light.
DOCTOR WHO: THE CRIMSON HORROR TRAILER- Vastra, Jenny and Strax are headed to the Northern village of Sweetville in Doctor Who this coming Saturday. Here's that intriguing 'Next Time' trailer for Mark Gatiss' Victorian period drama blockbuster The Crimson Horror, a Doctor-lite tale that promises wonders in the form of Game Of Thrones' renowned British 'Aunt' star Diana Rigg as the villainess...
STAR WARS 3D HONEST TRAILER- And finally, an old classic that we just couldn't resist. The Honest Trailer series has always been game for a great laugh, and their rendition of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace In 3D has probably remained their finest hour. Sure, it's a shame we won't see Episodes II-VI in 3D due to Star Wars VII's release in 2015, yet for now it's hard to care as there are so many laughs to be had right here!

May 2013: Your Guide To The Big Dates

Our guide to every release date you CANNOT miss this month!
Each and every month, we here at On-Screen pride ourselves on keeping you up to date with all the hottest release dates coming up. What with our Summer Hiatus just around the corner, then, this guide to the big release dates of May 2013 should be more invaluable than ever as we take a brief leave of absence. Here, compiled together, are all the key releases and dates you'll want to keep in your diaries in the weeks ahead...
WEDNESDAY 1ST- GAMES: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon; EVENTS: Call Of Duty: Ghosts Reveal
THURSDAY 2ND- CDS: Doctor Who: Smoke And Mirrors; BOOKS: Doctor Who: Who-Ology
FRIDAY 3RD- MOVIES: Ted Sky Movies Premiere
SATURDAY 4TH- TV: Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror
SUNDAY 5TH- TV: The Village Finale
MONDAY 6TH- TV: Game Of Thrones: The Climb; Arrow: The Undertaking
THURSDAY 9TH- MOVIES: Star Trek Into Darkness
FRIDAY 10TH- MOVIES: The Great Gatsby; Prometheus Sky Movies Premiere
SATURDAY 11TH- TV: Doctor Who: Nightmare In Silver
MONDAY 13TH- TV: Game Of Thrones: The Bear And The Maiden Fair; Arrow: Darkness On The Edge Of Town;; DVDS: Les Miserables
SATURDAY 18TH- TV: Doctor Who: The Name Of The Doctor
MONDAY 20TH- TV: Game Of Thrones: Second Sons; Arrow Finale; DVDS: Doctor Who: Series 7 Part 2; Django Unchained
TUESDAY 21ST- EVENTS: Xbox 720 Reveal Event
FRIDAY 24TH- MOVIES: The Hangover: Part III; Fast & Furious 6
MONDAY 27TH- TV: Game Of Thrones: The Rains Of Castamere

May 2013: The Five Releases You Can't Miss

As the Summer Of Film 2013 enters its hottest phase, see what we have to come in the month ahead...
What with our Summer Hiatus taking up the month in its entirety, May 2013 feels like a strange period for On-Screen. Nevertheless, the month itself is packing plenty of major entertainment releases, and when we do return after exams and other commitments in June, you can be assured we'll have all the definitive verdicts you need to provide guidance as to what to do and see next! Here's our guide, then, to the Top 5 Hottest Releases which we reckon will be rating highest upon our return:
5. GAME OF THRONES- After a stunning set of opening episodes, the saga of Westeros is entering its darkest and most intense period as the third season races towards its explosive climax. With Tyrion, Sansa, Jaime, Joffrey, Robb, Danaerys, Jon, Brann, Varys, Margery, Cersi, Tywin and Arya all embroiled in a host of deadly conspiracies this time around, who if anyone can win the game? It's time to find out...(Monday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)
4. THE HANGOVER: PART III- The Wolfpack are back. Heading to Las Vegas one final time, the gang are attempting to get Alan's life back on track by taking him to a mental rehabilitation clinic. What transpires, though, is far more menacing, as a group of FBI warlords take Doug hostage and demand that Stu, Phil and Alan find Leslie Chow and bring him to them before the day is out. It's a simple yet effective set-up for what should be a truly epic finale to a trilogy filled with hilarious mishaps! (Thursday 24th)
3. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS- Another major Summer Of Film 2013 entry, Star Trek Into Darkness follows up on JJ Abrams' hot 2009 reboot of the science-fiction franchise with another grandiose adventure. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as a mysterious villain who casts the lives of the Enterprise crew and the entire human residence on Earth into chaos, forcing Kirk and Spock on a vendetta mission into the depths of the space that will require the ultimate sacrifice. How far would the Enterprise crew go to save their planet, I wonder? (Thursday 9th)
2. DOCTOR WHO- As the 50th Anniversary Spring run of blockbuster episodes of Doctor Who continues, things are really building towards a climax now. In The Crimson Horror, Vastra, Jenny and Strax must race to save the Doctor and Clara from a deadly Victorian horror fate. In Nightmare In Silver, the Doctor brings Clara's carechildren Artie and Angie along for the ride, only to discover that the greatest theme park in the universe is not what it seems, and a deadly silver resurrection is coming! Finally, in The Name Of The Doctor, the Doctor's greatest secret is revealed, and the mysteries behind Clara and the Great Intelligence are unraveled in what promises to be an incredible prelude to the 50th Anniversary Special later this year...(Saturday 4th, 11th and 18th)
1. THE GREAT GATSBY- Some of you may be surprised to see a somewhat lesser-known Summer Of Film entry adorning the top of our list. Nevertheless, Baz Luhrmman's impending adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's glorious Jazz Era novel The Great Gatsby looks like an extremely hot prospect, combining modern editing technologies and a dazzling soundtrack filled with iconic artists with a vintage feel to the whole production, and boasting none other than Leonardo DiCaprio in its lead. Prepare for cinematic excellence, as we delve into the enigma that is Jay Gatsby, and, as Florence and the Machine put it, the green light in his eyes! (Friday 10th)

April 2013: Best Release

Game Of Thrones' greatest episode yet walks away with our reward of April 2013's Best Release!
This month has once again been filled with brilliant releases- there have been four more dazzling blockbuster episodes of Doctor Who, the hot NeatherRealm Studios DC fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us and of course Iron Man 3 for starters. Yet this time around, the prize for April's Best Release had to go to the US drama that produced an absolute televisual masterpiece right at the last minute- I'm talking, of course, about Game Of Thrones' fourth episode of Season Three, And Now His Watch Is Ended.

I've already covered the episode's numerous strengths in my review, yet sufficed to say it's the innovative plot twists, the stunning direction, the star turns from so many great actors and actresses and so much more which makes this instalment such a sensational highlight in the show's history. It was hard to imagine how the production team could match and top Season Two's Blackwater, but I reckon that here they've done just that, setting up a new benchmark which future episodes will no doubt find staggeringly difficult to live up to.

Above all, it leaves us wondering that if this is the kind of quality we can expect not even halfway through this run, then what glorious place might we reach come the season finale next month? Indeed, that more than anything, is exhilarating food for thought...

The Village Second Season Commissioned

The BBC bring us another bout of sombre yet dramatic period drama next year.
The BBC Press Office has today announced that BBC1 period drama The Village has been commissioned for a second season. Currently set in the days of the Great War, this new drama stars John Simm and Maxine Peake, and will develop throughout the 20th Century in future seasons starting with the 'Roaring Twenties' in Season Two. It should be interesting to watch how the life of this English village develops in such a different era, especially if the whole decade is likely to be covered this time around. The Village continues every Sunday on BBC1, and will return for a second season of six episodes in Spring 2014.

Two & A Half Men Eleventh Season Commissioned

The hit US comedy will return to CBS for more hilarious antics next year.
CBS Studios have this week announced that Two & A Half Men has been commissioned for an eleventh season of twenty-two episodes. Starring Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer, the US comedy show has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of viewers, even despite its loss of Charlie Sheen as one of the titular protagonists at the beginning of Season Nine. What's more of a shame is that Angus T. Jones will now no longer be a season regular officially, although Jake hasn't appeared in the show for a good few episodes now, so perhaps this was inevitable what with Jones' derogatory outburst towards the programme's producers recently. Two & A Half Men continues every Monday on Comedy Central, and will return in Autumn 2013 and Spring 2014.

Oblivion Review

Our definitive verdict on Tom Cruise's latest blockbuster.
As one of the opening acts of the Summer Of Film 2013 season, and arriving hot in the wake of the rather impressive Iron Man 3 (4.5*), Oblivion is a blockbuster which has a lot of expectations to live up to. Ultimately, it's neither a disaster nor a masterpiece, turning out to be an ambitious CGI-powered science-fiction drama that can't help but lose its way in a number of regions.

One wholly positive aspect is Tom Cruise's turn as protagonist Jack Harper, a man whose existence on the remnants of the planet Earth is itself laden with dark secrets. Discovering the truth behind Harper's pre-Oblivion fate is a mystery that's amongst the most compelling parts of the film, with The Dark Knight's Morgan Freeman and Game Of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) lending interesting turns as the ambiguous players that Harper meets on his quest to find answers.

Sadly, though, the core narrative often struggles to feel like more than a rehash of sci-fi greats gone by. The twists that inevitable come at the storyline's halfway point are neither unexpected nor innovative, instead simply setting the flick's arc on a slightly different and arguably more compelling tangent. Worse still, at times it feels as if the narrative plays second fiddle to the sumptuous special effects, yet in a world where impressive CGI is now often taken as a given for budding blockbusters, this is a pitfall which most Summer Of Film entries would do best to avoid- even Iron Man 3 fell into this trap in rare instances.

On the whole, then, Oblivion is something of a mixed bag. Outside of Cruise's, Freeman's and Coster-Waldu's compelling turns as layered sci-fi constructs, the rest of the supporting cast give largely forgettable portrayals, begging the question as to how much passion there really was for this project at the time of its production. Nevertheless, despite its obvious narrative shortcomings and its over-dependency on its decent special effects vistas, Oblivion is at the very least still worth the time of those who desire nothing more than a shallow-but-compelling blockbuster at the box office this cinema, even if those desiring anything more should steer their shuttles well clear.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Doctor Who: Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS Review

Voyage to the heart of a 1000-year old timeship in our definitive review...
Seemingly at the heart of this 50th Anniversary Spring run of Doctor Who is the promise that half a decade on, the show can still provide multitudes of surprises around some of its alleged constants. Case in point, this week's utterly brilliant blockbuster episode, Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS, the third consecutive gem in three weeks that's once again up with the best of Season Seven.

Without a shadow of a doubt, at the heart of the episode's success (other than the heart of the TARDIS itself, of course) was Sherlock writer Stephen Thompson's superb handling of our voyage into the depths of the Doctor's iconic time-and-space Type 40 travel machine. It would have been all too easy for our glimpses into the confines of the ship and its inner workings to have felt like a simple nostalgia tour with anti-climactic resolutions- hello, The Invasion Of Time!- yet the science-fiction themed family drama of the Van Baalen brothers, the innovative plot twists and the season arc elements elevated it far beyond such a lowly status.

Indeed, this week more than ever, for the first time since the mid-season opener The Bells Of Saint John, we can begin to discuss proper the implications of the wider plot arc. Once again, this entire season's arc has been structured quite differently from Seasons Five (the cracks in time) and Season Six (River and the Doctor's death), with two self-contained strands running through, the first being the Fall of the Ponds and the second being the mystery of Clara interwoven with the issues of the Great Intelligence and the Doctor's secrets. This time around, the Doctor revealed his full worries about the Oswald trio to Clara, scaring her more than ever as he realised that she was totally oblivious to any past incarnations of herself. More excitingly still, in the depths of an all-encompassing Gallifreyan library on board the Doctor's 'old girl', Clara actually discovered the Doctor's true name...

Now, some critics have argued the inevitable 'reset' button the Doctor launches through the TARDIS' leaked crack was a cop-out on Thompson's part. For me, though, it worked well in ensuring that the next two episodes don't simply have viewers going "Well, why aren't they talking about the elephant(s) in the room?", and moreso it revealed the almost worrying lengths that the Time Lord will go to in order to keep his name hidden. If River whispered it into his ear in Season Four, and Clara was ready to say it now until the madman in a box cut her short, then it seems that it's not so much the pronunciation of the word which has the Doctor on edge, but rather the implications this knowledge could have for either himself or the universe. Perhaps the reason the Doctor needs to keep his name a secret is a selfish one- could it stop him travelling if the name were to fall into the wrong hands, and/or rob him of the essence of being a Time Lord? Whatever the secret truly is, it seems we'll know for sure in three weeks' time where everything's heading for the 50th Anniversary!

Back to the episode at hand, though- another point of huge commendation from this reviewer was the visionary direction from Mat King. Once again, there was a reinforced sense of true blockbuster-esque science-fiction action on offer here, with many of the wonders of science-fiction legends in film such as Prometheus and Avatar present via vistas such as the Library, the Eye of Harmony and the Van Baalen salvage ship itself. Yet at the same time, it didn't feel as if we were jarringly outside the realms of Who- more and more, in a positive sense it feels as if writers are trying to show us now how classic-era tales of wonder and galactic exploration can fare on a show that now has an impressively large televisual budget and yet can employ great character guest stars such as Ashley Walters every week to great effect.

What's most consistently astounding for this reviewer regarding Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS is that it has come from the same mind which gave us The Curse Of The Black Spot in 2011's Season Six. Although that nautical sea-bound yarn has its fair share of merits, and warranted a strong 4* score from us, its ending felt ripped out of other recent Who tales and as a whole brought the entire story down with its deus ex machina nature. In contrast, Journey's ending provides a well-rounded (well-roundeled? Sorry.) sense to the whole viewing experience, both wrapping up brimming season plot arcs with a golden bow waiting to be fully unwrapped in two weeks' time and giving a dazzling science-fiction-heavy conclusion to a true blockbuster of an episode.

When Doctor Who returned to our screens at the end of March, I'll admit that it was something of a shame to have it return with a great-rather-than-spectacular 4.5* episode in The Bells Of Saint John that wasn't quite the masterpiece that episodes like The Snowmen and Asylum Of The Daleks were. Once Cold War had arrived, though, it was clear that the show was back on top form, with Hide and now Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS failing to disappoint in any respect either. Tonight, we've had ourselves a glorious time exploring shocking areas of a ship that we thought we understood, yet which in the end could house darker secrets than we as viewers might ever possibly have imagined in 50 years- and that's saying something. It begs the question that if this is the kind of innovation upon a half-century-young format we can still get on a weekly basis, then just what might we expect when we reach 2063? Because judging by the spectacular results on offer tonight, Doctor Who isn't going anywhere from BBC1 other than up, up and up into the distant reaches of time and space!

Game Of Thrones: And Now His Watch Is Ended Review

Our review of Game Of Thrones' greatest Season Three episode yet!
These past few weeks, the production team on Game Of Thrones have clearly been striving to bring us the next true masterpiece of a series renowned for its finest moments. Season Three's fourth episode, And Now His Watch Is Ended, finally accomplishes that feat with aplomb, bringing us fully back into the territory of Blackwater with an almighty bang. If there were any doubters that Thrones remains the hottest prospect for US drama right now, then Monday's episode was the silencer to those doubts.

Firstly, we must hand a shining actorial credit to Conleth Hill, the man who brought us his darkest rendition of Lannister eunuch Varys in the episode's opening. The concept of how Varys 'lost' his possessions had until now been an ongoing humorous running joke, yet the true revelation of this sacrifice was brought home in a dark and bizzarely poignant dialogue exchange between Peter Dinklage's Tyrion and Hill's 'Spider' character, whose web of deceit was shown as infiltrating even the very underground of King's Landing. Given the hilarious chemistry on offer between Hill and Diana Rigg's charismatic Aunt character, there's plenty more potential for Varys to shine in the days ahead.

Emilia Jones also came into her own more than ever before as Danaerys, a woman whose pivotal journey across the three seasons of Thrones reached its most breathtaking setpiece yet, as the Mother Of Dragons allowed her children to gorge upon an entire kingdom of slavers and corrupted leaders. The SFX of this sequence were handled masterfully, and Jones owned the stage as Danaerys turned the tables on those who had been mocking her seemingly behind her back for the past fortnight of slave encounters. Make no mistake, the future developments of this character arc should prove amongst the most enticing in the remaining six episodes of this run.

In all honesty, And Now His Watch Is Ended is so filled with breathtaking moments of televisual dramatic gold that it's easy to lose count. Brann's hallucination of his spiteful mother, Jaime's suicidal contemplations in the forests with Brienne, the battle between the Hound and his judgmental adversary and the Knight's Watch commencing a civil war with Craster after his torments of his wives and his starving their company- all of these sequences were brought to life from the novel A Storm Of Swords Part 1 beautifully by director Alex Graves. No longer did it feel as if any major imbalance between the various character arcs existed, a true testament to the creative impact of the editing and scripting presented here in this brilliant piece of drama.

If there's any real summary of just how much of a staggering legacy a masterpiece such as this can leave, it's the haunting final moments as Danaerys' army prepares to rage war on the rest of the East and indeed Westeros. We as viewers now have the worrying, yet exhilarating lingering sense that nothing can ever truly be the same in the realms of Westeros and beyond from this point onwards, and there have only been a few rare instances in the show's successful history where this reviewer could accurately make such a claim. Game Of Thrones: And Now His Watch Is Ended doesn't just mark the best episode of Season Three so far by a long margin- in equal measure it defines for us, the viewers, just what we should come to expect from the show from now on. No longer need we compare each successive episode to Season Two's highlight Blackwater, for now we have a far more recent and thus impactful masterpiece on which a benchmark can be so clearly set and striven towards...so good luck to the other writers on the team, eh?

Friday, 26 April 2013

Who News: First Name Of The Doctor Details Revealed

Steven Moffat and Jenna-Louise Coleman talk what we can expect from the 50th Anniversary season finale...
The BBC have today released a number of small press interview details from Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman on Doctor Who's upcoming 50th Anniversary season finale, The Name Of The Doctor. As per usual, we've rounded up all the latest on this thrilling blockbuster eighth episode of the Series Seven Part Two run, and here's everything that's been said so far:
  • THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR SYNOPSIS- "Clara is summoned to an impossible conference call, alerting her that the deadly Whisper Men are closing in on Vastra, Jenny and Strax. Someone is kidnapping the Doctor's friends, leading him toward the one place in all of time and space that he should never go. It's a deadly trap that threatens to unravel his past, present and future..."
  • MATT SMITH ON THE FINALE- "With the 50th, this is going to be by far the biggest year for the show. And the finale is just the start. It focuses on a pivotal moment in the Doctor's life and the life of his companion. It's a complete game changer and it all starts now!"
  • JENNA-LOUISE COLEMAN ON THE CLARA MYSTERY- "All I can say is that Clara hasn't just met the Doctor three times before."
  • STEVEN MOFFAT ON THE WHISPER MEN- "The great dilemma is that Doctor Who is never more like Doctor Who when it is introducing a new monster, but equally when it's reviving a foe from the classic era. Having brought back two of the classics, the Ice Warriors and the Cybermen, this year we wanted a brand new monster to create chills in the finale. And the thought of stylish, whispering, almost faceless creatures was an idea that firstly scared me and that I thought would work well in an episode that looks forward and back."
  • STEVEN MOFFAT ON THE FINALE- "It's full of surprises and questions that have never been answered in the history of Who, including the Doctor's greatest secret. We're not pretending, we're not kidding, it's actually going to happen. The episode is called The Name Of The Doctor and involves our hero in a conflict that is very, very personal to him. Usually he's saving other people, but this time he might be the one who needs to be saved. We'll also find out what makes his new companion so impossible and there's a surprise that no one has got right so far, and one that will change the course of Who forever!"
Doctor Who continues with The Crimson Horror next Saturday on BBC1 at 6.30pm, with The Name Of The Doctor set to broadcast on May 18th.

Iron Man 3 Review

Can it top Avengers Assemble? Our definitive verdict on 2013's first big superhero blockbuster...
Sometimes, it's incredible to look back on where the superhero film genre was five years ago. In 2008, a budding film starring Robert Downey Jr as a little-known Armored Avenger burst into cinemas, and with that the Iron Man franchise and subsequently the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born. From there, we've had The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and the rather spectacular Avengers Assemble, and now half a decade later, the wheel has come full circle and Iron Man 3 is here. Naturally, though, the question immediately arises- is it the best of the lot?

Sufficed to say, as an action blockbuster opening the Summer Of Film 2013, Iron Man 3 does not disappoint. It's testament to the overwhelming quality of the visual effects on offer here that our audience noticed a moment when the entirety of the auditorium's 60-inch screen was encased by visual artist names whilst sitting through the credits. Perhaps even moreso than Avengers Assemble, the SFX team here have truly done justice to themselves both in terms of the comic-book adaptation genre and the wider action-adventure genre as a whole. You'll gaze in awe amongst the stunning action setpieces at just how life-like the various Iron Man models put into action seem, and even to an extent how plausible those infected by the Extremis virus become in its later stages.

No worthy blockbuster is without a layered and intelligent narrative, though, and Iron Man 3 manages to come packing in this respect too. Classic Iron Man comic-book storyline arcs such as that of Extremis and the character's archnemesis the Mandarin are integrated into the franchise lore in meaningful and realistic ways, with both Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce on top form as the layered antagonists the Mandarin and Aldrich Killian respectively. There's a surprisingly emotional character arc for Tony Stark himself to undergo after the events of the Battle Of New York as well, and Robert Downey Jr masters the role like never before in the subtler moments, the moments where a man is forced to face the reality of his mortality and indeed the parts of him which threaten to make him more of a machine than the man he once was.

Much debate was made of the matter of Marvel Studios' appointment of Shane Black to the role of the director here, yet it's hard to see what all the worrying was about. Black's vision for the film's main setpieces is both innovative and awe-inspiring, with one particular moment of the final series of confrontations standing out for this reviewer in terms of the sleekness and visual fidelity with which it was so skilfully handled. The balance of humour, emotion and action seems to be dead on here for the most part, the former obviously a trademark element of the Iron Man films which Black does an efficient job of punctuating without detracting from the quieter and reflective sequences.

If Iron Man 3 falters at times, it's by no means for want of trying, for any lack of ambition. Indeed, an argument could be made for the viewpoint that had Black and the production team attempted to hone in and emphasise the subtleties and dramatic impact of Tony's PTSD anxieties, and his gradual arc of overcoming them and realising his legacy a little more, then perhaps the film would have had a better chance of topping last year's superb ensemble masterpiece. Instead, we're left with a somewhat disappointing turn from Rebecca Hall as the once-ambiguous scientist Maya Hansen, one or two moments dotted in the film's second and third acts that are played a little too heavily for comic effect, and a tone that seems a little uncertain once we move past a particularly inspired plot twist at around the movie's halfway point.

All the same, it's difficult to imagine a more effective opening to the second phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (i.e. Avengers) film franchise. Where Iron Man 3 occasionally stumbles in tonal missteps or mishandled characters- Maya, Pepper and Rhodes falling into that category- it more than compensates for harkening back to those good ol' days of an unashamed action blockbuster which just wants its audience to have a helluva good time. After a suitably comedic post-credits sequence, we're told that 'Tony Stark Will Return', and given the hot filmic form the comic-book character is on right now, that's undoubtedly a reassuring final sentiment. It's been five years since the original Iron Man graced our cinemas and revolutionised the superhero genre, and while it's neither perfect nor a bonafida Avengers crown-stealer, Iron Man 3 is a fitting representation of how far the genre has come, providing intelligent thrills and shocks aplenty in what has turned out to be the greatest entry in the trilogy by far.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Legendary Edition Announced

Bethesda's finest hour returns with all of its DLC and updates packaged in a retail product!
Bethesda Game Studios have today announced the development of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Legendary Edition for release later this year. Packaging together the original Skyrim campaign, the full incredible open-world along with the Hearthfire, Dragonborn and Dawnguard DLC expansion packs, this is a package which boasts extreme replay value for any series newcomers or fans alike. Indeed, that original campaign is meaty enough without the allegedly good DLCs (none are stand-out great, but all are consistently impressive, apparently). The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Legendary Edition ships for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on June 4th.

New Monsters University Trailer Released

A third and final glimpse at Disney's biggest animated film of 2013.
Disney Pixar have today released a new theatrical trailer for their upcoming animated comedy film Monsters University. Set a decade before the 2003 classic Monsters Inc., this prequel adventure features Mike and Sully meeting up at the first time in university and preparing for the ultimate Scare Fest. While it's a little uncertain as to whether this can be the debatable classic that Inc. was, there's still plenty of potential in the trailer below for Pixar greatness. Monsters University roars into cinemas worldwide on July 19th.

Who News: Regeneration DVD Set Announced, Synopsis Debuts

BBC Worldwide unveil their latest 50th Anniversary celebratory piece, plus see what's in store for Nightmare In Silver!
As the new 50th Anniversary season of blockbuster Doctor Who adventures continues to broadcast every Saturday, so too are we getting an onslaught of weekly news surrounding the upcoming anniversary celebrations and more besides. Today, we've got news from BBC Worldwide on a very exciting new DVD set, plus the full synopsis for Neil Gaiman's new episode Nightmare In Silver. Here's our roundup:

  • THE MOMENT HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR- What better way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary than with a celebratory DVD set that compiles all of the Doctor's regenerations? Yes, BBC Worldwide have today officially announced Doctor Who: Regeneration, a massive hardback book which not only features beautiful illustrations and articles on each of the Eleven Doctors, but also six DVD discs containing all of the regeneration stories for the various Doctors. That means you'll get The Tenth Planet, The War Games, Planet Of The Spiders, Logopolis, The Caves Of Androzani, Time And The Rani, The Movie, Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways and The End Of Time in one shiny set, a true collector's item if there ever was one, and at roughly £40 RRP it's an absolute steal. Stay tuned for our review after the Summer Hiatus...
  • NIGHTMARE IN SILVER SYNOPSIS- "Hedgewick's World Of Wonders was once the greatest theme park in the galaxy, but it's now the dilapidated home to a shabby showman, a chess-playing dwarf and a dysfunctional army platoon. When the Doctor, Clara, Artie and Angie [the two children who Clara cared for in The Bells Of Saint John] arrive, the last thing they expect is the re-emergence of one of the Doctor's oldest foes. The Cybermen are back!"
Doctor Who continues with Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS this Saturday at 6.30pm on BBC1, while Doctor Who: Regeneration hits DVD retailers everywhere on June 24th (see the trailer for the set below!).

Marvel News: Iron Man Franchise Update, Avengers 2 Teased

Will there be an Iron Man 4? And who's joining The Avengers in their second film?
We Marvelites are a lucky bunch this week, having recieved Thor: The Dark World's first teaser trailer on Tuesday and Iron Man 3 in cinemas today. On top of those, though, there have also been a couple of pretty interesting news reveals, and being the charitable folks we are here at On-Screen, we thought it would be simpler to round it all up in one place. Here's our guide to all the latest Marvel film news:

  • IRON MAN: THE END?- Gwyneth Paltrow had some interesting comments today when she was quizzed about the possibility of another standalone Iron Man film after the current one. Here's what she had to say: "I don't think there will be an Iron Man 4. I think we're done." By we, in context Gwyneth means herself and Robert Downey Jr, although it seems likely that Robert's contract will be extended through The Avengers 2. Although this may be the last solo film for Tony Stark, don't be surprised if he "waves his customary retainer" in future team-up films for years to come!
  • JOSS WHEDON ON NEW AVENGERS- On a different note, The Avengers 2 writer Joss Whedon has today revealed a couple of hints about what we can expect from the ensemble sequel. Joss has teased that "a brother-sister act" of two new characters from the comic book will join the Avengers team in the second instalment, speculated by many fans to be Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Whether these two characters can be negotiated with Fox to not be used in future X-Men films is another matter, but if this is the case then we could even build towards an Avengers Disassembled adaptation, which is a truly incredible prospect...
Iron Man 3 is out now in cinemas across the UK, while The Wolverine claws into cinemas worldwide on July 16th and Thor: The Dark World hammers its way into UK theatres on October 30th.

New Grand Theft Auto V Trailers Announced

More trailers for this year's most anticipated open-world game hit later this month!
Rockstar Games have today announced the release of three new trailers for their upcoming open-world video game shooter Grand Theft Auto V for release later this month. These new videos will focus on Michael, Franklin and Trevor, who respectively make up the three main protagonists of the title's storyline that the player can switch between at will as their missions build to a variety of daring heists across Los Santos. Grand Theft Auto V's latest trailer campaign will commence on April 30th, while Grand Theft Auto V itself is set for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 17th.

Rayman Legends Release Date Confirmed

Ubisoft Montpieller confirm we'll see their platformer hit a few weeks earlier than expected...
Ubisoft Montpieller have today announced the final release date of their upcoming platformer sequel Rayman Legends. Taking place after the events of 2011's hit Rayman Origins, this new side-scrolling adventure will feature stunning artistic visuals, a lengthy campaign full of challenges and an inspired blend of gameplay and musical platforming. Originally, the game was set for release in mid-September, but it's now been confirmed we're getting it a couple of weeks prior to the originally announced release date. Whether the move has been as a result of Legends otherwise coming too close to Grand Theft Auto V's September 17th release is something I'll leave you to contemplate...Rayman Legends bursts onto Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo WiiU on August 30th.

Nintendo Axe E3 2013 Press Conference

One of the world's biggest video game publishers declines to make a full keynote at one of the year's biggest gaming event.
Nintendo Games have today officially confirmed that they will not host a major press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013 event. Instead, the publisher will offer two minor events debuting new games for release in the USA and Europe to investors and "western media", allowing players to get their hands on recently-announced Nintendo Direct software and other newly revealed titles.

It's certainly a bold decision on Nintendo's part, and one that we can't be quite sure yet whether it will turn out beneficially or detrimentally. On the one hand, these keynote conferences have usually been the centrepiece of publishers' annual news reveals, and certainly with the good-rather-than-great ZombiU, New Super Mario Bros U and LEGO City Undercover marking the Nintendo WiiU's only major exclusives so far, the console is in sore need of some new IPs and genuine next-generation features. On the other hand, often Nintendo's press conferences have been (just as Sony and Microsoft's have too) widely criticized for their lack of balancing of hardware and software, so perhaps it makes sense for Nintendo to give up and focus on letting the E3 player get ahold of their new projects right from the off.

There will still be major keynote conferences from Microsoft, Sony, EA and Ubisoft, though- of that you can rest well and truly assured. E3 2013 takes place from June 11th-13th, and we'll have all the details for you after the blog's Summer Hiatus.

Justice League Director Revealed

Find out who'll bring us their first team-up film come 2015...
Until recently, the odds hadn't been looking in the favour of the proposed Justice League movie getting the greenlight from Warner Brothers and DC Studios. Nevertheless, speaking to Empire Magazine, Zack Snyder has confirmed that unless Man Of Steel does not sell nearly as well as expected, he will be helming the DC team's first ensemble film in two years' time. Granted, that timeframe could shift depending on how quickly the potential production team and cast can be assembled, but Snyder's certainly right to call this opportunity "everything [he] had ever hoped for", so it'll be interesting to see how the situation develops post-MOS. Man Of Steel flies into cinemas worldwide on June 14th, while Justice League is currently slated for release in 2015.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

New Xbox Reveal Event Announced

Xbox- A New Generation Is Revealed On May 21st...
Microsoft have today announced a new press event where they will unveil the new Xbox console hardware. Following in the wake of the worldwide success of the Xbox 360, this new console looks set to both match the visual and gameplay features of the PlayStation 4 while indeed expanding upon the 360's successful TV and entertainment capabilities and partnerships in unprecedented ways. It seems that Microsoft will utilise the press event itself to reveal the new Xbox hardware itself and tease and announce a few software titles to launch, before then revealing the full line-up of blockbuster games launching with the console at E3 a couple of weeks later. So if you thought the PS4 reveal was exciting, wait until you see what's coming next...The new Xbox will be revealed to the world on May 21st, and we'll have all the news on the console and E3 2013 (June 11th-13th) for you after the Summer Hiatus.

Call Of Duty: Ghosts Leaked

Tesco accidentally spill the beans on a new Call Of Duty blockbuster.
UK superstore Tesco.com have today made a rather rudimentary mistake- they've leaked the existence of a new Call Of Duty project from Activision. Titled Call Of Duty: Ghosts, this tenth (yep, you read right- tenth) instalment in the hit video game first-person shooter franchise will likely take place in between the events of Infinity Ward's 2007 title Modern Warfare and its 2009 sequel Modern Warfare 2 and thus before 2011's Modern Warfare 3. It seems that Infinity Ward will once again be on development duties- what should be interesting is the same thing that keeps this franchise and Assassin's Creed going, the 'gimmick' that defines this year's entry. Call Of Duty: Ghosts is set to launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox, PlayStation 4, Nintendo WiiU and Microsoft Windows on November 5th.

DWNP- Doctor Who: Babblesphere Review

The Doctor and Romana face a satirical sociological menace in the fourth entry of the Destiny range!
Over at Doctor Who News Page each month, I'm writing up reviews of the monthly Doctor Who: Destiny Of The Doctor 50th Anniversary audio range of Doctorly tales. This month, it's the turn of Fourth Doctor Tom Baker to take to the stage, with Lalla Ward narrating the best entry in the range yet that features a stunning storyline and some intriguing story arc hints for what's still to come in the remaining seven instalments. Babblesphere is without a doubt AudioGo's finest classic Who audio effort so far, as our 4.5* review at DWNP will show in good measure. Here, then, is the link to our definitive verdict on Babblespherehttp://reviews.doctorwhonews.net/2013/04/babblesphere-23041323008.html

Ratchet & Clank Movie Announced

Sony's biggest animated heroes are coming to the big screen...
Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Pictures have this week announced the production of a film adaptation of the Ratchet & Clank video games franchise. Based on the original game and the untold story of the two protagonists' origins, this Pixar-esque animated movie will feature the original voice cast for the series' characters in order for fans to get immediate recognition and nostalgia and newcomers to warm to this big-screen rendition. The trailer below doesn't give much plot away, yet it's still a humorous start to what should be an innovative marketing campaign for an ambitious low-budget piece. Ratchet & Clank jumps into cinemas worldwide in 2015.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection Announced

Snake. Snake...SNAAAKKEEE!!!!
Konami Games have today announced the development of Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection for release later this year. Set for retail exclusively on the PlayStation 3 hardware, this new collection of every MGS title so far will provide a rather stunning catch-up tool for those series newcomers who want to play the entire franchise so far before Metal Gear Solid 5 arrives in 2014. Here's the full list of titles included in the package:

  • Metal Gear Solid (1998)
  • Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (1999)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (2001)
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake-Eater (2004)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (2008)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (2010)
Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection will ship for PlayStation 3 on June 14th.

Dodgeball Sequel Confirmed

Grab life by the balls...again!
20th Century Fox have this week announced the development of a sequel to their hit cult sports comedy film Dodgeball. Released in 2004, this budding rags-to-riches flick featured Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller in the early formative stages of their career, along with a host of currently underused American stars who provides a rip-roaring series of riotous laughs throughout the piece. Little has been revealed about the follow-up instalment, other than that it will likely feature the Average Joes and Globo Gym teams coming together to face a bigger dodgeball menace. Dodgeball 2's release window is currently set for TBC 2016.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Broadchurch Second Season Commissioned

iTV bring us more domestic drama by the shore next year!
iTV Studios have announced today that Broadchurch will return for a second season on iTV1 in the near future. Consisting of six new episodes, the new run follows hot in the wake of the hit success of the first season and should provide fans with another gripping case of death and drama. The likelihood of lead stars such as David Tennant, Arthur Darvill or Olivia Colman returning for further appearances in the show has yet to be revealed, but the second run's sure to be another ratings hit. Our full review of Broadchurch Season One will land after the Summer Hiatus. Broadchurch will return to iTV1 in Spring 2014.

Kick-Ass 2, World's End Release Dates Confirmed

We have the UK dates that these big Summer Of Film entries are arriving on right here...
Universal Pictures have today announced the official UK release dates for their upcoming cult action-comedy films Kick-Ass 2 and The World's End. The former is the much-anticipated sequel to 2010's hit Kick-Ass, focusing on Kick-Ass and Hit Girl's assembling of the Justice Forever team to face off against an oncoming army of super villains. The latter, meanwhile, is Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's final entry in their 'Cornetto Trilogy', guest starring the likes of Martin Freeman and Ralph Spall in a grand adventure. The World's End wanders into UK cinemas on July 19th and Kick-Ass 2 on August 14th.

Who News: Moffat Talks Name Of The Doctor

What lies at the Fields of Trenzalore for the Eleventh Doctor?...
Doctor Who's executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat has today provided us with the first hints as to what to expect in the season finale of the current run of blockbuster episodes. Titled The Name Of The Doctor, the final instalment's premise involves the Doctor's friends being captured by an unknown menace, forcing the Doctor to travel in his TARDIS to the one place in time and space he should never go. Will it be the Fields of Trenzalore? Here's what Steven Moffat had to say- and we'll hear lots more from DWM and the BBC next week...

  • ON THE FINALE'S CLIMAX- "I feel as though we're going to deliver. We've only just finished shooting the actual completed ending- it's ridiculously secret- but it's quite a thing, hopefully."
  • ON THE FINALE'S DEALINGS WITH SERIES ARCS- "There's often an element of throwing in some lovely names, and then figuring it out later, but I've always sort of had a plan for the Doctor and Trenzalore. Things will be resolved. Things I've left hanging in plain sight- and sometimes not in plain sight- will be tied up..."
Doctor Who continues this Saturday with Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS at 6.30pm, with The Crimson Horror airing on May 4th, Nightmare In Silver on May 11th and The Name Of The Doctor concluding this 50th Anniversary season of blockbuster adventures on May 18th.

Thor: The Dark World Trailer Released

The Asgardian Avenger returns to action this October!
Marvel Studios have today released the first theatrical teaser trailer for superhero film sequel Thor: The Dark World. Set to play in cinemas before Iron Man 3, this new preview of the upcoming instalment in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise teases a rather epic London-set opening to proceedings, before Thor (Chris Hemsworth) brings Jane (Natalie Portman) back to Asgard in the midst of an intergalactic crisis. It seems Malkeith's (Christopher Eccleston) plans could require Thor to make the ultimate sacrifice, but not before the war hero has to deal with the consequences of leaving his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in chains. This is easily one of the most exciting trailers released this year so far, so you'll want to be giving it a watch with just two days' to go until Iron Man 3's release. Thor: The Dark World hammers into cinemas across the UK on October 30th.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Game Of Thrones: Walk Of Punishment Review

Our verdict on last week's sensational third episode of Season Three.
Although the opening two instalments of Game Of Thrones Season Three were a little more low-key than many fans might have expected, the latest instalment, Walk Of Punishment, capitalised on the series' trademark action and romances in new and daring ways. With a variety of exciting character arc developments clearly present throughout the episode, it should be interesting to see how the show develops in the seven instalments remaining this season.

First and foremost, it was brilliant to have the action over in King's Landing placed at the centre of the viewer's attention once again. Peter Dinklage continues to dominate the screen with ease in any scene in which Tyrion Lannister features in, boasting equally impressive chemistry with Charles Dance's Tywin that should be fascinating to watch continue to develop in the near future. Better yet, those two characters' plans and dialogues should begin to interweave soon with those of Joffrey, Margery and Diana Rigg's Olanna, ensuing in meetings and verbal sparring which this reviewer cannot wait to see play out.

Another unexpected surprise hit was the role of Jaime Lannister and Brienne in the episode's storyline. The implied near-miss of a situation of rape was just as dark a moment for the show as a similar scene involving Sansa was handled in Season Two, made all the more tense and disturbing by the viewer being unable to see whether Brienne was actually still safe amongst Jaime hearing her screams. It appears that there's a fierce friendship breeding between those two past adversaries, again something which will bear intriguing investigation in the weeks ahead with Jaime needing more of an, ahem, hand in adventures to come.

Naturally, much of the appeal of this week's episode was the potential it raised for adventures to come. That inevitably did provide the sense that a standalone piece it wasn't quite the next full-on Game Of Thrones masterpiece fans are waiting for from Season Three's earlier episodes, but it's as close as the show's come to Blackwater's quality in some time. With this in mind, our excitement for the days ahead for Game Of Thrones can be enhanced considerably, especially if Walk Of Punishment provides even a hint of the kind of episode quality we can expect in the near future!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Video Corner: Arkham, Bling & More

Journey to Gotham, Hogwarts and more in our latest Video Round-Up...
This week on our Video Corner feature, we've rounded together another collection of both hilarious and substantial videos for you to divulge. From Harry Potter to The Bling Ring, from The Great Gatsby to Batman: Arkham Origins, there's something for a whole host of entertainment fanbases here. Without further ado, then, head below and see what YouTube has to offer this time around...
HARRY POTTER HONEST TRAILER- The Honest Trailers video series has always brought its fair share of laughs. This JK Rowling-themed edition is no different, compiling clips of the eight Harry Potter films in a hilarious manner with a honest yet insightful take into the defining films of the past decade.
BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS STORYLINE- Worried about whether Warner Bros can provide us with a fully fledged Batman: Arkham storyline sans Rocksteady and Paul Dini? This development video on Arkham Origins may well put your mind at rest, as it shows plenty of loyalty and reverence on the part of the Montreal branch making this entry in the franchise.
GREAT GATSBY: OVER THE LOVE- How do you squeeze Florence + The Machine into the daring soundtrack of Baz Luhrmman's The Great Gatsby film? Here's how- you provide the world with one of the most gripping tracks of 2013, intertwining some of the movie's greatest themes with a dazzling voice to carry all the lyrics with ease...
THE BLING RING TRAILER- For Emma Watson fans, we've got the first teaser trailer for the actress' new film The Bling Ring. It doesn't reveal much, but Emma's looking great there, which could well be enough for fans originating from the male gender of humanity!

21 Jump Street 2 Announced

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill blast back into cinemas next year!
A sequel to the hit comedy 2012 film 21 Jump Street has been announced by Columbia Pictures this week. Starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, last year's original comedy movie was a heartwarming series of hilarities that placed the two lead stars back in their high school days as undercover cops. Given that the films are adaptations of the original TV show of the same name, the follow-up shouldn't be left wanting for new material to play with next year. 21 Jump Street 2 is set for release in cinemas worldwide in 2014.

FIFA 14 Announced

EA's bestselling football video game franchise returns this Autumn!
EA Games have this week announced the development of FIFA 14 for release later this year. As always, this new title will come packaged with updated player rosters and stadium environmental possibilities, with new features this time around including enhanced AI, the most realistic ball physics engine yet and an innovative take on the classic Career mode. For those who have never quite seen the appeal of forking out £40 year in year out for the same game, myself included, there's nothing on offer to change our minds, but for fans of the series this will no doubt sate their appetites once again. FIFA 14 will retail for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiU and PC (and no doubt next-generation consoles) this September.

The Evil Within Announced

Bethesda reveal their next surefire masterpiece...
Bethesda Game Studios have this week announced the development of The Evil Within for release in the future. Developed by an internal team of the studio featuring some of the creators of Resident Evil, this new project will feature a blend of horror and action and push both of its generations of consoles further than fans ever thought possible. I'm glad to see the studio aren't simply opting for another Elder Scrolls or Fallout instalment, just as they didn't with Dishonored last year, but don't be surprised if we get an announcement of that ike at E3 2013 either. The Evil Within will launch on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and next-generation consoles in 2014.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Coming Up This Week: April 22nd-28th

Tony Stark returns in Iron Man 3 and the Doctor journeys to the centre of the TARDIS in the next seven days...
We're now heading into our final full week of new posts before the Summer Hiatus, which begins next Monday, April 29th. That's the bad news- but on the plus side, we're 'going out' with a helluva bang, with a good number of big releases coming our way in the next seven days. Rest assured, there'll be coverage of what's to come during and after the Hiatus very soon too, but for now, here's our guide to everything that's ahead between April 22nd and 28th:
GAME OF THRONES: AND NOW HIS WATCH IS ENDED- The tension in Westeros ramps up a notch in the fourth episode of Game Of Thrones Season Three, as Varys finally meets a match, Danerys takes control of the slave situation in the East, and Arya meets the Brotherhood Without Banners' leader. Exciting times ahead! (Monday 22nd)
DOCTOR WHO: THE ROOTS OF EVIL- Philip Reeve is bringing us a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary eBook to coincide with the Fourth Doctor month of April. Here, we see the Doctor and Leela tackle a deadly alien menace whose power lies within a mysterious forest that puts every time traveller under threat...(Tuesday 23rd)
THOR: THE DARK WORLD TRAILER- Just ahead of Iron Man 3 kicking off Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two in cinemas, Marvel Studios are debuting the exclusive first trailer for the next entry in their continuing franchise. Thor: The Dark World is looking like an incredible superhero film for the ages, and we're sure this first preview will more than do it justice. (Tuesday 23rd)
IRON MAN 3- Does the man make the suit or the suit make the man? That's the question that Tony Stark and his superhero alter-ego Iron Man must answer for themselves in the epic superhero threequel Iron Man 3, where a cocky move on Stark's part with regards to his social and super lives places everyone he loves in danger, forcing him to rely on his wits and intelligence rather than other Avengers in order to stop the menace of the Mandarin. Could Iron Man 3 be a new Film Of The Year 2013 contender? We'll know for sure this Thursday...(Thursday 25th)
DOCTOR WHO: JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS- And finally, we fans are getting yet another Doctor Who 50th Anniversary blockbuster adventure. When the TARDIS is brought aboard an intergalactic salvage ship to be sold for scrap, things can't go well- but when the Doctor places it in self-destruct mode and gives the scrappers thirty minutes to help him find Clara in the depths of his ship, then the situation becomes of universal proportions. Prepare to see the TARDIS like you've never seen it before, as we journey to its very heart and learn its darkest secrets! (Saturday 26th)
AND THERE'S MORE- Jack Reacher hits DVD and Blu-Ray retailers tomorrow, plus LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins lands on Nintendo 3DS, Star Trek provides a thrilling prelude to the events of the new film In Darkness on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Dead Island: Riptide bursts onto consoles everywhere and Injustice: Gods Among Us hits Nintendo WiiU.
AND NEXT WEEK...Vastra, Jenny and Strax must rescue the Doctor and Clara from a deadly Victorian fate in Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror, Oliver Queen and Diggle face the return of Deadshot in Arrow: Home Invasion, a marraige holds devestating implications in Game Of Thrones: Kissed By Fire and Ubisoft unveil their full new downloadable shooter as FarCry 3: Blood Dragon hits Xbox Live and PlayStation Network!
AND BEYOND...Obviously our Summer Hiatus begins on Monday April 29th, so after that date until June 19th this regular feature will culminate for a time. Nevertheless, we'll be doing an extended edition next week covering from April 29th-June 19th, including (but by no means limited to) The Great Gatsby, Star Trek Into Darkness, Doctor Who: Nightmare In Silver & The Name Of The Doctor, Game Of Thrones' final six episodes of Season Three, Arrow's final three episodes of Season One, The Hangover Part III, Fast & Furious 6, E3 2013, Man Of Steel and much, much more...