HARLEY QUINN 1×10 stills gallery

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access/Amazon Prime Video)

STAR TREK: PICARD S01E02 “Maps and Legends” review

Star Trek: Picard airs new episodes Thursday’s on CBS All Access in North America. Internationally, episode air on Amazon Prime Video the following day.

Synopsis

Picard begins investigating the mystery of Dahj as well as what her very existence means to the Federation. Without Starfleet’s support, Picard is left leaning on others for help, including Dr. Agnes Jurati and an estranged former colleague, Raffi Musiker. Meanwhile, hidden enemies are also interested in where Picard’s search for the truth about Dahj will lead.

Review

At the end of first episode, “Remembrance” (reviewed here), I thought I had Star Trek: Picard all worked out. A complex plot featuring the outlawing of synthetic life forms, wrapped up in a character who tied Picard back to memories of the past.

But soon in to this second episode I realised that actually we had barely begun to scratch the surface of what Picard is all about.

Second episode, “Maps and Legends”, immediately begins to flesh out the story by showing the audience part of the attack on the Utopia Planitia ship yard on mars. We heard in the previous episode that this incident, with synthetic lifeforms setting fire to Mars’ atmosphere and destroying the rescue ships bound for Romulus, is what forced the Federation to withdraw aid from the dying Romulan people.

It’s only a glimpse in to the attack and doesn’t explain why the synthetics turned on their human colleagues. Its tantalising storytelling to drop breadcrumbs like this but also the scene itself shows off some excellent visual effects and is typical of the excellent production values on the series.

We’re soon back at Chateau Picard and picking up on the mystery surrounding Isa Briones’ Dahj. Picard’s reliance on Romulan pals Zhaban (Jamie McShane) and Laris (Orla Brady) continues to be a highlight of the series for me. They’ve become his surrogate family and their relationships all feel very pure and genuine.

Through Laris and Zhaban we learn about a dark ops section of the Tal Shiar called the Zhat Vash. It all sounds very cloak and dagger which is really saying something for the Romulans. It’s narratively convenient that Picard has both these characters living with him and that they are able to give out so much exposition but I’ll forgive the show just because it’s really trying to craft a genuinely engaging mystery over this new long-form storytelling method.

For anyone wanting to learn more about Zhaban and Laris, please go read the Star Trek: Picard Prologue comic book series as they’re both featured there.

Picard and Laris head to Dahj’s apartment which appears to have been scrubbed clean. Also handy is the fact that the pair used to be members of the Tal Shiar and know their way around how the group works. But it’s nice to get Laris away from the Chateau and given a more meaty storyline to work with.

It becomes clear around this point that Star Trek: Picard is really playing a long game with its story. Details are being given to the viewer on a need-to-know only basis which feels so at odds with the classic Star Trek format but at the same time it’s exhilarating to watch.

I found myself hanging on every word as Picard and Laris attempted to piece together what happened to Dahj which caused her to hunt down Picard for solace. It’s all sufficient entertaining and mysterious without becoming dull or drawn out.

From here on in we’re getting in to serious spoiler territory. “Maps and Legends” takes Picard to Starfleet headquarters where we get to see the scene from the trailer in which he has to spell out his own name to get a visitors pass.

He visits Admiral Kirsten Clancy (guest star Ann Magnuson) with whom he has a heated debate about returning to space. She doesn’t believe in his mission and more so she thinks he’s a relic of Starfleet’s past who needs to disappear off back in to history. It’s not nice to see him dismissed in such a horrible manner. It drives home that point that this isn’t the Jean-Luc Picard we left behind in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Wrapping up Jean-Luc’s storyline this week he seeks out his old friend Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and we are finally introduced to her character. Their history has been explored in the Prologue comic much like Zhaban and Laris but its abundantly clear, even in this story introduction, that these two are not on the same page right now.

Elsewhere in the galaxy we get to spend some more time on the Borg cube which is being excavated by the Romulans. Narek (Harry Treadaway) is continuing to try and get on the right side of Soji (Isa Briones). There’s still very little context as to why the Romulans are putting all their efforts in to unlocking the secrets of the Borg.

Those working on the ship seem to be there on good faith but I wonder if they don’t fully understand the true meaning behind their work. Once again Star Trek: Picard shows off some excellent writing by making the viewer feel like they’re learning more about the story when, in fact, we are only taking baby steps towards the true narrative of the season.

“Maps and Legends” really dives deeper in to the current state of Starfleet and the Federation. We learn that Starfleet has been infiltrated by Romulans and that this ties to Narek and his mission aboard the cube. It threatens the entire ideology of Star Trek to its core as we learnt that the group we’ve known as the shining light of the galaxy really has begun to fall from grace.

It also presents Star Trek: Picard with a deeper political undertone. Not only are their sociological aspects to the story with the outlawing of the synthetics but now we have corruption and subterfuge within what is essentially our own government to contend with.

The plot thickens, the action ramps up and I, for one, am completely hooked on every aspect of Star Trek: Picard.

Verdict

“Maps and Legends” presents a deepening mystery for Star Trek: Picard. If you thought you had the story all wrapped up then think again, this is a slower burner which is set to flip Trek on its head!

9/10

Star Trek: Picard is set to star Patrick Stewart, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Isa Briones, Harry Treadaway, Alison Pill, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco and Evan Evagora. The series debuts on CBS All Access on January 23, 2020 followed by a release on Amazon Prime in the UK and internationally on January 24.


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Legends of Tomorrow (The CW/Warner Bros.)

The LEGENDS OF TOMORROW are hunting a high school serial killer in new episode photos

The CW has released promotional photos for the upcoming third episode of Legends of Tomorrow season 5. “Slay Anything” will follow members of the team as they head back to high school in search of a serial killer whilst Constantine and Charlie has a little side mission of their own.

Check out the synopsis and photos for the episode below.

SURVIVING FAMILY — When the Legends discover a new Encore, Sara (Caity Lotz), Rory (Dominic Purcell) and Ava (Jes Macallan) end up crashing a high school reunion to attempt to stop a serial killer from finishing unfinished business. The Legends devise a plan to send Nate (Nick Zano), Ray (Brandon Routh), Nora (Courtney Ford), Behrad (guest star Shayan Sobhian) and their hostage Zari (Tala Ashe), back in time to try and intervene in order to try to save everyone including them. Meanwhile, Constantine (Matt Ryan) is annoyed that Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) has been squatting in his old home, but it might be the blessing in disguise they were not looking for.

Legends of Tomorrow stars Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Tala Ashe, Amy Pemberton, Jes Macallan, Matt Ryan, Nick Zano, and Dominic Purcell. The series airs Tuesday nights on the CW in North America and on Sky One in the UK.


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Sonic The Hedgehog (Paramount Pictures)

Watch the new Big Game Spot for SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

Paramount Pictures has released a new Big Game Spot for Sonic The Hedgehog ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl. The spot features a number of big name sports stars discussing how Sonic does it better, the spot leads in to some action-packed new footage as Sonic squares up to Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carey) and you can check it out in the player below!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG is a live-action adventure comedy based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega that centers on the infamously brash bright blue hedgehog. The film follows the (mis)adventures of Sonic as he navigates the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound – human – best friend Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). Sonic and Tom join forces to try and stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from capturing Sonic and using his immense powers for world domination. The film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog stars Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, with James Marsden, Neal McDonald, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally and Natasha Rothwell.

The movie is due in cinemas February 14, 2020.


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Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access/Amazon Prime Video)

Promo photos release for STAR TREK: PICARD episode 2, “Maps and Legends”

The second episode of Star Trek: Picard debuts TODAY on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and we’ve got a first look with these new promotional photos.

“Maps and Legends” picks up right where the previous episode (reviewed here) and finds Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) beginning to delve in to the mystery of Dahj (Isa Briones). The second episode will see Picard head to Starfleet to meet with a surly Admiral as well as introduce the brilliant Michelle Hurd as Raffi.

We’ll bring you our review of the episode later but for now enjoy these new images!

Star Trek: Picard is set to star Patrick Stewart, Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Isa Briones, Harry Treadaway, Alison Pill, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco and Evan Evagora. The series debuts on CBS All Access on January 23, 2020 followed by a release on Amazon Prime in the UK and internationally on January 24.


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Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

BIRDS OF PREY (2002) S01E06 “Primal Scream” review

Birds of Prey is available now on DVD and digital. The series can be streaming on DC Universe in North America.

Synopsis

At Reese’s request, Helena goes undercover to help thwart a gang of thieves terrorising New Gotham and quickly discovers that the group is part of a larger criminal infrastructure.

Review

“Primal Scream” is another of Birds of Prey’s 2000’s nostalgic highlights. The premise alone, elena (Ashley Scott) joining a biker gang ripping up New Gotham and getting swept up the agenda, is as 00’s as it sounds.

But as I keep saying in my reviews of this series, there’s far more going on than meets the eye. Bubbling under the surface of Birds of Prey’s deliciously nostalgic visuals are a number of diverse and complex characters.

Helena is by far the most compelling of the leads. Whilst comic book fans likely gravitate towards Oracle (Dina Meyer) and the younger audience may feel more connected to Dinah (Rachel Skarsten), it’s Helena who is undergoing the most development as the season rolls on.

This episode see’s Helena being tempted towards the darker side of her feelings. The lure of the animal gang is undeniable for her and it plays out well on screen. The episode highlights her growing bond with Reese (Shemar Moore) by having him play her anchor to real life as opposed to Oracle.

Humanising the heroes plays an incredibly important part in making a series like Birds of Prey successful and as people reflect and look back on the series it’s characters like Helena which will be fondly remembered.

The villains play second fiddle, particularly given that so many of the comic book greats were off limits. That’s most evident in an episode like “Primal Scream” which invents its own gang instead of trying to connect to the source material.

But I would argue it’s when the show creates original characters that it really pushes towards fulfilling its potential. There’s more creative flair with original villains than when the show looks a knock-off’s like Darkstrike.

Once again the show crafts a self-contained arc for Huntress which provides Scott with great material to perform and is satisfying for the audience to watch.

Verdict

“Primal Scream” is a slice of pure 00’s nostalgia with some great action but even better characters.

7/10

Birds of Prey stars Ashley Scott as Helena Kyle/Huntress, Dina Meyer are Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Rachel Skarsten as Dinah Redmond, Shemar Moore as Detective Jessie Reese, Mia Sara as Dr Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn and Ian Abercombie as Alfred Pennyworth.


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1917 (eOne Entertainment)

Two new 1917 featurettes released ahead of BAFTA ceremony

eOne is celebrating three weeks at the top of the UK box office for Sam Mendes 1917. The film is nominated for nine BAFTA’s and with the ceremony set to take place on Sunday many are watching the film to see how well it competes alongside the likes of Joker and The Irishman.

First up is the Every Step of the Journey featurette:

Next up we take a look at one of the most stunning visual sequences in the film in the Lighting By Flares featurette:

1917 is directed by Sam Mendes, who wrote the screenplay with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (Showtime’s Penny Dreadful). The film is produced by Mendes and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary RoadAway We Go) for their Neal Street Productions, Jayne-Ann Tenggren (associate producer, Spectre), Callum McDougall (executive producer, Mary Poppins ReturnsSkyfall) and Brian Oliver (RocketmanBlack Swan). 


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Batman (DC Comics)

Warner Bros. formally announces THE BATMAN production

Following Matt Reeves tweeting a picture of the production logo for The Batman, Warner Bros. has put out a press release formally announcing production on the film.

The press release doesn’t give too much away about the film’s story but does confirm the film’s cast list. With it we get confirmation that John Turturro is playing Carmine Falcone whilst Peter Sarsgaard is playing a character called D.A. Gil Colson.

Check out the full press release below.


FILMING IS UNDERWAY ON WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ “THE BATMAN,” DIRECTED BY MATT REEVES AND STARRING ROBERT PATTINSON 

Pattinson plays the dual role of Batman and Bruce Wayne amidst a star-studded ensemble 

Dublin, – January 28, 2020 – Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “The Batman.” Director Matt Reeves (the “Planet of the Apes” films) is at the helm, with Robert Pattinson (upcoming “Tenet,” “The Lighthouse,” “Good Time”) starring as Gotham City’s vigilante detective, Batman, and billionaire Bruce Wayne. Starring alongside Pattinson as Gotham’s famous and infamous cast of characters are Zoë Kravitz (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Selina Kyle; Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy,” “12 Years a Slave”) as Edward Nashton; Jeffrey Wright (the “Hunger Games” films) as the GCPD’s James Gordon; John Turturro (the “Transformers” films) as Carmine Falcone; Peter Sarsgaard (“The Magnificent Seven,” “Black Mass”) as Gotham D.A. Gil Colson; Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”) as mayoral candidate Bella Reál; with Andy Serkis (the “Planet of the Apes” films, “Black Panther”) as Alfred; and Colin Farrell (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Dumbo”) as Oswald Cobblepot.

Reeves and Dylan Clark (the “Planet of the Apes” films) are producing the film, with Simon Emanuel, Michael E. Uslan, Walter Hamada and Chantal Nong Vo serving as executive producers. Reeves’ behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Greig Fraser (“Lion,” upcoming “Dune”); his “Planet of the Apes” production designer, James Chinlund; editors William Hoy (the “Planet of the Apes” films) and Tyler Nelson (“Rememory”); Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon (“The Jungle Book”); Oscar-nominated SFX supervisor Dominic Tuohy (“1917,” “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”); Oscar-nominated sound mixer Stuart Wilson (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“1917,” “Little Women,” “Anna Karenina”) and costume designers Glyn Dillon (the “Star Wars” franchise) and David Crossman (“1917,” the “Star Wars” franchise); hair designer Zoe Tahir (upcoming “No Time to Die,” “Spectre”); and Oscar-nominated makeup designer Naomi Donne (“1917”).

Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. Based on characters from DC, “The Batman” is set to open in theaters June 25, 2021 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.


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Spawn

Todd McFarlane comments on production schedule for upcoming SPAWN movie

It’s been a little while since we had an update on Todd McFarlane’s planned reboot movie of the Spawn franchise. The original creator of the character is looking to bring the film to life as writer and first-time director, but as yet no production schedule or release date has been announced.

In a new interview with Newsarama McFarlane has discussed his hopes to get the film in to production this year.

“When I was at New York Comic Con, Joker came out and Hollywood has a penchant for looking at what works, then doing it 10 times over,” McFarlane continued. “This movie opened up, then made a billion dollars which is still 33% bigger than any other R-rated movie in the history of cinema. So, Hollywood is on the go for R-rated comic book stuff, right? The phone has been ringing and I’ve got lots of people thinking about Spawn now. There’s a different momentum happening right now and in the next month, I should have another big announcement about the movie.”

“I’m trying to add one more piece to the puzzle, then I think that will tumble the rest of them. So I just need this one piece. I was supposed to have a meeting yesterday but that didn’t happen so that got pushed to a few weeks, but if that goes well, there will be an announcement soon.”

“Hopefully we can start production this year, because if we don’t, I probably won’t make it,” McFarlane stated. “The window is open right now and if I can’t pull it off this year, it’s only going to get harder, right? I’m confident enough that it’s going to work, but give me a month, and I’ll get back to you.”

Spawn is currently in development with no scheduled release date. Jamie Foxx is currently set to take on the lead role.


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Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) - (Warner Bros.)

First BIRDS OF PREY reactions show overwhelmingly positive response

Following last night’s Birds of Prey world premiere in London the social media embargo surrounding the film lifted. Those who have seen the film are now able to share their first thoughts on the latest DC Films release.

Have fans and reviewers taken to Margot Robbie’s crazy, psychedelic vision of the classic DC Comics team? If these reactions are to be believed then the answer is yes!

Check out some highlight comments below:

Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. The movie will be directed by Cathy Yan and arrives in cinemas on February 7, 2020.


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