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Thor: Ragnarok review

11 hours ago

Thor: Ragnarok is a Marvel movie that's less keen to play by Marvel rules. Here's our review...

One of the more valid criticisms levelled against Marvel’s films is that for all its claims of being filmmaker-led and tonally diverse, they’re increasingly unimaginative productions. Slick action scenes, a smattering of Whedonesque quips and the occasional fan-servicing cameo are all staples of any movie with the Marvel logo, and while that formula might prevent another (relative) failure like Thor: The Dark World, it also robs audiences of the chance to be truly surprised.

Enter Thor: Ragnarok, which gives proof, just as we need it, that Marvel Studios will still give movies the chance be surprising. The film is directed by Taika Waititi, a filmmaker made famous by his eccentric, genre-lampooning horror mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. There’s no mistaking his fingerprints all over Ragnarok, with its constant »

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The Big Bang Theory season 11 episode 4 review: The Explosion Implosion

14 hours ago

Caroline Preece Oct 19, 2017

The Big Bang Theory manages to have some fun with a couple of old ideas in its latest season 11 offering. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

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11.4 The Explosion Implosion

One thing The Big Bang Theory had to prove when announcing another pregnancy for Howard and Bernadette was how different it could be from the first. There’s the commonly held idea that babies ruin shows, but so far The Big Bang Theory has not only sidestepped a lot of the challenges - chiefly by not ever having to have a baby on set - but also milked the scenario for multiple plot lines and running jokes.

So why have Bernadette become pregnant again, rather than Amy or Penny? Well this time they’re having a boy, »

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Tron 3 is still on, insists Jared Leto

19 hours ago

Simon Brew Oct 19, 2017

It may yet take some time, but plans remain afoot for a new Tron film, with Jared Leto...

It’s been just shy of seven years now since Tron: Legacy arrived in cinemas. It did good business, but it was such an expensive film to make, that Disney dithered over making a third movie. Still, it didn’t completely pull the plug until relatively recently, in the aftermath of filling its slate with Star Wars and Marvel movies.

However, there was talk earlier in the year that a new Tron film may still be viable, with Jared Leto linked with playing the lead in the new project. And according to Leto, there’s still a flicker of hope that that’s the case.

Chatting to Collider, he confesses his love of Tron, saying “it was a huge movie for me as well and I do think there »

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The Snowman: its director explains what went wrong

21 hours ago

Simon Brew Oct 19, 2017

The Snowman arrived in cinemas in pretty odd shape. It director, Tomas Alfredson, has been explaining why...

With the people involved in the new screen adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s book The Snowman, it was something of a surprise that the film itself was so muddled. Michael Fassbender stars in the film, that’s directed by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Tomas Alfredson. The movie has received poor reviews, though, and Alfredson has given an interview to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation where he explains what went wrong.

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Bottom line: he didn’t get to shoot 10-15% of the film’s script, because of how quickly the film got started.

Alfredson was hired to direct when Martin Scorsese switched to being executive producer. »

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Mr Robot season 3 episode 2 review: Undo

22 hours ago

Alec Bojalad Oct 19, 2017

Elliot has a very awkward birthday with help from Dancing with the Stars, some emojis, and the FBI. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

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3.2 Undo

Undo is a good episode of Mr. Robot, an excellent episode of television altogether, and ultimately one that I find troubling.

It’s a good episode because all episodes of Mr. Robot inevitably are. We talk about the style of this show to the point of critical self-parody sometimes but how can we not? This, only the second episode of the season, opens with an extended montage set to New Sensation as Elliot clocks in to his new day job at Evil Corp day after day, hallucinates his fellow subway riders wearing deadmau5-style emoji helmets, »

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Morgan Freeman to star as Colin Powell in new biopic

23 hours ago

Nick Harley Oct 19, 2017

Powell will detail the former Secretary of State's time in the George W. Bush White House.

Morgan Freeman has always been a stately presence, and now he’ll take that persona to the logical next step by portraying former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a biopic.

Freeman will star in Powell by director Reginald Hudlin, who’s coming off the heels of his Thurgood Marshall biopic, Marshall. The script was written by Ed Whitwort and has remained on the best unproduced screenplay Black List since 2011. The film is set during Powell’s time in the White House serving as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.

A respected Army general and the first African-American Secretary of State, Powell became a controversial figure after making a case for the war in Iraq to the United Nations Security Council. Powell initially opposed U.S. involvement in the Middle East, »

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Riverdale season 2 episode 2 review: Nighthawks

18 October 2017 3:13 PM, PDT

Chris Cummins Oct 19, 2017

Archie begins to feel targeted while Veronica and Jughead deal with family issues in a largely expositionary episode...

This review contains spoilers.

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2.2 Nighthawks

Oh man. That ending. Wow.

Before I tackle that shocking final scene, let's go back to the beginning. The start of this week's instalment is a seemingly simpler (though still kind of shitty) time for Archie and the gang compared to where we are when the credits roll. As the episode opens, Jughead's narration informs us that Pop Tate's Chok'lit Shoppe is the "heart of Riverdale." And indeed it may very well be. In fact, the main reason that Betty makes saving Pop's into her crusade du jour is that the restaurant seems to be a thread that »

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Jason Isaacs interview: The Death Of Stalin

18 October 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

Rob Leane Oct 19, 2017

We said hello to Jason Isaacs, before chatting about The Death Of Stalin and Star Trek: Discovery...

Jason Isaacs has been on our screens a lot of late. The former Lucius Malfoy actor is currently gracing online streaming services around the globe as Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery, and his hilarious turn as General Zhukov in The Death Of Stalin will be lighting up a cinema near you very soon.

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As part of his promotional tour for the aforementioned Russian romp – which has satirical mastermind Armando Iannucci (Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It, Veep) at its helm – Isaacs sat with us for twenty minutes in a swanky London hotel to have a ruddy good chat.

As I shuffled in and sat down, »

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Paul Kaye interview: Dennis Pennis, Game Of Thrones, Zapped

18 October 2017 11:37 AM, PDT

Louisa Mellor Oct 19, 2017

We chatted to actor Paul Kaye about playing wizards, the musical Matilda, and his move from celebrity satire to serious drama…

Main image credit: Jordan Katz-Kaye

“Bitterness, really” is Paul Kaye’s explanation of what drove his satirical red-carpet interviewer Dennis Pennis in the nineties. “I’d hit thirty, I’d sort of failed as a musician, I’d failed as an artist I felt at the time.” Ambushing Hollywood’s elite in the persona of a brash, punk nuisance wasn’t Kaye’s first choice for stardom, he admits. “It wasn’t how I expected to forge a career. Of all the things I thought I’d end up doing, it wasn’t that.”

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Trained in theatre design, in his »

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Dead Space 2: designer reveals its huge budget and low sales

18 October 2017 10:13 AM, PDT

Matthew Byrd Oct 19, 2017

A lot of money was spent promoting Dead Space 2, but it didn't seem to have much of an impact, if a new report's anything to go by...

Following news that EA had decided to shut down developer Visceral Games, new information has appeared which suggests that the studio's financial woes may stretch all the way back to the development of Dead Space 2.

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Former Visceral level designer Zach Wilson took to Twitter and revealed that Dead Space 2 cost about $60 million to produce. Despite the costs, the game only sold around 4 million copies. 

Wilson also noted that EA was "merciless" when it came to their spending on Dead Space 2. Wilson hinted that a large chunk of that money went towards the game's promotion »

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Matthew Vaughn and Stardust, 10 years on

18 October 2017 8:44 AM, PDT

Mark Harrison Oct 19, 2017

We salute the 10th anniversary of Matthew Vaughn's wonderful Stardust...

“A philosopher once asked, 'Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?' Pointless, really. Do the stars gaze back? Now, that's a question.”

Comic book movies are Matthew Vaughn's speciality. Between Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and the Kingsman franchise, he's been a constant and eclectic presence as these films have boomed, and if reports are to be believed, his next film could be about either Flash Gordon or Superman.

But going back even further than Mark Millar or Marvel, Vaughn's first comic book movie was his adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Stardust, which arrived in UK cinemas ten years ago this week. Before it was published as a novel in 1999, Gaiman conceived the postmodern fairy tale as a 'prestige' comic; the four-issue mini-series »

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The top 20 most speed-binged original shows on Netflix

18 October 2017 3:22 AM, PDT

Kirsten Howard Oct 18, 2017

The rarely-spotted unicorn that is Netflix's ratings data has cantered out from the forest of secrecy once more...

“There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story — whether it's the final page of a book or the last climactic moments of your favourite TV show. Netflix allows you to watch in a way you never could before, and there's nothing better than seeing a show engage our members and ignite a passion for viewing.”

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The above is a quote from the vice president of Netflix's original series, Brian Wright, which this week appeared alongside a release from the streaming giant that contained a characteristically-uber-specific list of their most speed-watched shows.

Netflix announced that a staggering »

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American Horror Story - Cult episode 7 review: Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins: Scumbag

18 October 2017 1:35 AM, PDT

Ron Hogan Oct 18, 2017

Cult is shaping up to be the best season of American Horror Story since the first. Spoilers ahead in our episode 7 review...

This review contains spoilers.

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7.7 Valerie Solanas Died For Your Sins: Scumbag

Going by the reaction of the Internet, hundreds of people were injured when Lena Dunham was announced as joining the cast of American Horror Story: Cult. Most of these injuries were caused by violent, forceful rolling of the eyes. I was one of the eye-rollers. I watched Dunham's show Girls for several seasons, only to fall away from it when the self-indulgence got to be a bit too much for me. Dunham, never afraid of being controversial, has brought a lot of backlash onto herself. She makes deliberately »

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Daniel Kitson the latest to join top benefit gig in London

17 October 2017 11:55 PM, PDT

Den Of Geek Oct 19, 2017

Mark Thomas, Robin Ince, Josie Long and now Daniel Kitson are heading to the stage to help raise money for a very good cause...

A brilliantly diverse bill has been pulled together next week in London, for a really good cause. Robin Ince has put together a show called A Night For Helen & Barry. And on the bill are:

Mark Thomas

Charlotte Church

James Acaster

Josie Long

Hollie McNish

Grace Petrie

Chris Stokes

Alistair Barrie

And the might Mr Ince himself.

Update: Daniel Kitson has now been confirmed too.

The gig takes place on Monday 23rd October at7.30pm, and it’s to help fund Helen Crimmins’ fight against cancer, with money also going to chosen cancer charities.

Please support the gig if you can and spread the word. It promises to be a very special evening.

More details can be found here: http://cosmicshambles.com/helenandbarry, »

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Legends Of Tomorrow season 3 episode 2 review: Freakshow

17 October 2017 8:13 PM, PDT

Jim Dandy Oct 18, 2017

A little wariness and a little historical context for a mixed episode of Legends Of Tomorrow. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers.

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3.2 Freakshow

I'm... not sure how I feel about the new status quo on Legends Of Tomorrow. The show has generally leaned into the humour and absurdity of the fringes of a superhero universe - it's one of the things that made it maybe the strongest superhero show on television. But the shift from last season's desperate, frantic sprint to save the universe from permanent alterations at the hands of three psychopaths that led to broken rules and more broken timelines, to this year's "gang of lovable screw ups" has been pretty jarring.

Freakshow was a little bit of a mess of an episode, »

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The Flash Season 4 Episode 2 Review: Mixed Signals

17 October 2017 8:13 PM, PDT

Mike Cecchini Oct 18, 2017

Mixed Signals gets by on charm, but not much else, and we expect better from The Flash. Spoilers ahead in our review...

This review contains spoilers.

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4.2 Mixed Signals

I don't know about this one, folks. I know that Mixed Signals was supposed to serve as the true reset after the understandable weirdness of getting Barry out of the Speed Force in the season premiere. And I get that the showrunners want to send a message loud and clear about this season's new, lighter tone to help kind of wash away any lingering negativity from how intense season three was (disclosure: I didn't have a problem with it). But was it me, or did Mixed Signals just feel really forced?

I don't »

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Marvel’s Kevin Feige hints at changes for Avengers movies

17 October 2017 4:13 PM, PDT

Don Kaye Oct 18, 2017

The era of using Avengers sequels to end each Marvel ‘phase’ may be over soon.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has suggested in recent months that once the current string of Marvel movies - a.k.a. Phase 3 - concludes, future Marvel releases might not be grouped into those unofficial 'phases' anymore. Each section of the studio’s production cycle so far has ended with an Avengers movie: Phase 1 ended with The Avengers in 2012, while Phase 2 was capped by Avengers: Age Of Ultron (and, to a lesser extent, Ant-Man) in 2015.

Phase 3 will follow suit, climaxing with the untitled fourth Avengers film in 2019. That movie and next year’s Avengers: Infinity War are all but certain to radically transform not just the make-up of the Avengers themselves but the Marvel Cinematic Universe overall. With that in mind, is it possible that doing away with the McU’s 'phases' »

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Dead Space developer Visceral to close

17 October 2017 2:13 PM, PDT

Matthew Byrd Oct 19, 2017

It was making a Star Wars game and was famous for Dead Space, yet EA is to close Visceral, it's announced...

In a stunning move, EA has announced that they have decided to shut down developer Visceral Games.

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It's not clear exactly why EA decided to shutter the studio. However, EA did release a statement regarding the future development of Visceral's high-profile Star Wars game. 

“Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe,” said EA's Patrick Söderlund. "In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, »

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Jungle review

17 October 2017 1:40 PM, PDT

Daniel Radcliffe stars in Jungle, a true story of survival. But is it any good?

Daniel Radcliffe is doing an accent. That’s the first thing that grabs your attention in Jungle, which opens with the brave British actor intoning an opening narration over a blank screen. He introduces the themes of adventure and exploration, explaining why his character will venture into the Amazon rainforest a bit later on.

It’s not the most remarkable opening, but it’ll do. And that same sentiment could sum up the film that follows. Jungle is another survival film about a young man who’s way out of his depth. Straight of the gate, it’s got a fair bit to prove if it wants to stand out from the pack.

The film’s ‘based on a true story’ tag is its Usp. Radcliffe plays the real-life Israeli explorer Yossi Ghinsberg, who, at »

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The Death Of Stalin review

17 October 2017 12:35 PM, PDT

Armando Iannucci serves up superb satire once again, with his rib-tickling Russian jaunt, The Death Of Stalin...

Modern day politics has become so ridiculous that it’s practically beyond parody, which presents a unique challenge for celebrated satirist Armando Iannucci. The political problems of Malcolm Tucker and Selina Meyer seem somewhat quaint now, compared to the grim reality of current affairs around the globe. But, thankfully, Iannucci has found the perfect workaround: instead of attempting the tricky task of ridiculing Trump or Theresa, he’s opted to travel back in time and remind us that shambolic stupidity is nothing new in politics.

The Death Of Stalin centres on – spoiler alert – the death of Joseph Stalin. The film opens shortly before the dictator’s demise in 1953, finding the funny in a regime where pissing off the wrong person means getting your name promptly put on a death list. Paddy Considine and »

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