6 items from 2014
“When television is good, nothing – not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers – nothing is better. But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland. You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials – many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see »
- Mindy Newell
Earth. 2013. Some guy sits in his basement flat in a proverbial state of unemployment. His only goal? To perfect his game of Halo. Mission completed. So what next? Earth. 2014. Said unemployed guy has pumped all his energy into a sci-fi movie, shot in 3D and to be screened at Frightfest. The result? A film that looks, feels and sounds like a game of Halo!
And that, in a nutshell, is Shockwave Darkside 3D. Although to be fair, the official synopsis makes the film sound a hell of a lot more exciting:
The nano-plague that poisoned Earth’s water supply has reached its 60-year critical mass. The Unlight enemy forced the first exodus to the moon where the outlawed banished population was supposed to die. But now the Unlights have launched from Earth and »
- Phil Wheat
Thank heaven for suspension of disbelief, because film and television get their science wrong a great deal of the time. And I don’t just mean the small details. Often, the basic premise of the story is fundamentally flawed from the start. Here’s a look at seven science fails from television and the cinema.
The premise of the Matrix is essentially that humans are kept alive by the machines as a type of electric generator. Frankly, this is not only far-fetched, it’s impossible in terms of the conservation of energy. The humans would need more energy to be kept alive than they would actually produce. It’s comparable to saying you could power your car with batteries, while keeping the batteries charged with a giant turbine powered by the car's engine. The giant turbine would require more energy than the car engine could supply, and therefore »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
In space, everyone one can hear you kvetch. That appears to be standard operational procedure aboard “Space Station 76,” an intergalactic deadpan farce that suggests a daft mashup of “The Ice Storm” and “Space: 1999.” With the aid of ensemble players who maintain admirably straight faces amid the absurdity, director Jack Plotnick gets an impressive amount of mileage from a concept — characters in a futuristic sci-fi setting evince ‘70s angst and attitudes — that might seem at first blush barely adequate to sustain a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. This low-key indie comedy could live long and prosper on homescreen platforms.
Working from a script he and four fellow writers originally conceived for the stage, Plotnick establishes a tone of seriocomic soap-operatics in the early scenes while introducing the diversely dysfunctional crew of the Omega 76 Space Station.
Sexually repressed Capt. Glenn (Patrick Wilson, first among equals in a fine cast) is by »
- Joe Leydon
Whether you’re into Doctor Who and Star Wars or The Wire and Sherlock, there’s a great line-up of special guests coming to the NEC on 22-23 March for McM Birmingham Comic Con and Memorabilia. Here are just a few of them!
British actor, writer and director Phil Davis has appeared in a host of top TV shows including Whitechapel; Sherlock, Being Human, Merlin and Doctor Who, while his movie credits include Alien 3, Quadrophenia, Notes On A Scandal, Secrets & Lies and Vera Drake, for which he was BAFTA-nominated. Paul McGann – Famous for playing the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film – a role he reprised in 72 audio dramas and the 2013 mini-episode ‘The Night of the Doctor’ – and for starring alongside Richard E. Grant in much-loved 1987 black comedy Withnail And I. Clarke Peters – Best known as detective Lester Freamon in acclaimed crime drama The Wire, as well as »
- Phil Wheat
Earliest TV memory?
I remember a programme called The Boy From Space. There was a black actor called Loftus Burton in it; he ended up starting the drama school I went to in Notting Hill. Loftus went on to act in the TV series Space: 1999 and I went on to be the "pussy in space".
The Real McCoy. British television is lacking in that kind of show. The characters were not written by some guy in an ivory tower who dictates what we should be watching. Only a certain number of people now get to take the piss out of people who need the piss taken out of them. The only show that really did that was Spitting Image, and The Real McCoy was very much like that, but it was from a different community's point of view. »
- Kate Hutchinson
6 items from 2014
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