Lucy Lawless Joins Agents of Shield, Walking Dead Spoilers, Awesome Jurassic Poster + Links

These 'Jurassic World' posters are so gorgeous that I want one for my living room...at least for summer time. Scifi artist Mark Englert has produced this most recent work for this year's Comic Con. If you haven't seen his previous artwork see Collider's site. They have a wonderful collection of Englert art. The new 'Jurassic World' poster is clearly an homage to the original 1993 film. 'Jurassic World' opens June 12, 2015 and stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, B.D. Wong, and Vincent D'Onofrio.

NEWS


It was announced today that Lucy Lawless will be joining 'Agents of Shield.' And all of the fangirls and fanboys collectively did a happy dance. Perhaps this show isn't so bad after all? Now if only the show dropped some of the dead weight in the form of Skye and Agent Ward...then all would be right with the world. No word on what character Lawless will be playing.

There's a rumor circulating that J.J. Abrams is bringing a "Westworld" remake to HBO with Sir Anthony Hopkins as the lead. I know that HBO typically attracts movie stars, but if this rumor is true then HBO is seriously stepping up their game. James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood will costar.


Baby Poison Ivy gets a name change on 'Gotham.' Poison Ivy's real name has always been Pamela Isley. Now henceforth baby Poison Ivy will be known as "Ivy Pepper." Not sure what prompted the name change? Do the producers really think people are not smart enough to know that she's baby Poison Ivy without the word "ivy" in her name?

Ethan Hawke gets all timey wimey in a new time travel flick. Hawke essentially plays a timecop who has to go back in time and stop a disaster or something. Yeah, we've seen this before, but so what. "All of this has happened before and it will happen again." -- Peter Pan.

In other news-- Has anyone been watching 'The Strain?' io9's article pretty much sums up my feelings about it. It was just ok. I am still waiting for a show (or a film) to semi-accurately depict the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Don't these people hire consultants? Would the CDC seriously release four people infected with a mysterious disease that had just killed 300 people? Does that make sense?

SPOILERS


Watch the first 5 minutes of 'The Guardians of the Galaxy.' 


Via The Walking Dead News
Beth gets a boyfriend on 'The Walking Dead,' in the form of 'The Fault in Our Stars' star Ansel Elgort. And all the fangirls swoon. I'm just happy that Carol and baby Judith seem to still be alive and away from "Terminus." I'm hoping that Carol will save the day. Team Carol all the way. I didn't agree with her decision to kill sick people, but at least Carol has scruples. I can't say the same for the rest of the characters.

I WANT


Her Universe continues to impress me with their stylish geek girl clothes. Yes please.

COSPLAY


Via Jacquelyn Phillips Photography
My favorite cosplay this week is a family cosplay! And everyone said "awwwww."

FUNNY


Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) extolls the virtues of science in an autotune of course, because why not?

LINKS


Melissa Bradley updates us on her cancer fight. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Alex reviews 'Snowpiercer'
Film Sketcher reveals a female transformer
Jeremy Retro dishes on Tony Jaa's new flick
Brittani reviews '400 Blows' for the Blind Spot Series
Sati gets "Under the Skin" of Scarlett Johanasson
Katy has a cool entry for Hitchcock's Women in Film Blogathon
Speaking of which, go see Hitchcock's Women in Film Blogathon
French Toast Sunday is hosting Speilberg in July
The Geek Twins discuss the reasons we never got a 3rd 'Batman' film from Burton
Movies and Songs 365 reviews 'Hard Boiled' for the Blind Spot Series
The Flick Chicks review 'Pompeii'
Fisti's best of 2013 is up. Looking great.
Mark gives an account of the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association Conference
Alex is hosting a Six Degrees of Separation Blogathon

Whew, lots of good links this week!

Gotham is Nitty Gritty?| Batgirl Gets New Duds| Drunks Play Street Fighter + More



NEWS

Website Changes
I'm sure you've noticed that I've made some website changes. I'm using a new template and I'm lovin' the new look. I hope you are too. It's a lot cleaner and simpler. Simple is always good. I'm still in the process of working out the gremlins, so if you notice any bugs please send me an email. Thanks!

Gotham
So supposedly this new trailer for 'Gotham' is uber "gritty and atmospheric." Clearly someone pulled out the thesaurus, because I would hardly call this trailer gritty. IMHO any show with baby versions of Catwoman and Poison Ivy and angsty teen versions of the Penguin and the Riddler is not gritty. It doesn't mean it won't be a good show. However, knowing the Fox Network like I do, I give it 1 to 2 seasons max. I could be wrong, but Fox isn't known for giving their fantasy (and especially SciFi) shows a fighting chance. *cough* Almost Human! *end cough* That said, 'Sleepy Hollow' certainly surprised me.
Gotham's casting certainly looks good. Ben McKenzie plays Jim Gordon. I've liked McKenzie since 'Southland.' Let's try to forget that he started out in 'The OC.' You gotta start somewhere I guess. Jada Pinkett Smith stars as the Penguin's companion, Fish Mooney. As a DC Comics fan, I've never heard of this character before, so the character must be specific to the series. Character actor Donal Logue stars as Detective Harvey Bullock. Det. Bullock is original to DC Comics.

The Walking Dead
More details on 'The Walking Dead' Season 5 are pouring in. Some S5 photos have been floating around, along with empty promises from the producers, some talk of major character deaths--of course, and most curious of all is the rumor that some scenes were cut from the season premiere because they were too disturbing. Perhaps more will be revealed at Comic Con this week. I wish I could get excited, but I'm totally hate watching this show now.

Batgirl
Yes, the new Batgirl costume is awesome. Take a gander. Now if only these guys could take a crack at Wonder Woman's costume? I'm sure they'd do a great job. The new 'Batgirl' costume is not only svelte, but practical. She's traded in high-heels for combat boots. Good job!

Batman
Speaking of, don't forget to celebrate "Batman Day" on July 23rd! Earlier this year in May, 'Batman' celebrated his 75th birthday! To commemorate "Batman Day," check out how the caped crusader's costume and mask have changed over the years.

Avengers 2
New photos from the 'Avengers 2' set are here. There really isn't anything too exciting here, but it's cool to get a quick glimpse of the set. 'Avengers 2' will open in theaters on May 1, 2015. Time passes so quickly sometimes, 2015 seems so much closer than it did before.

Tolkien & Lewis
The J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis friendship and rivalry will be the subject of a movie. Finally. I'm a big fan of both of their works, so I would definitely see this film.

REALLY?

Repetitive Screenwriting
i09 lists some of the most repetitive screenwriter tricks. I have to agree with them. Screenwriters seem to write the same cliches over and over and over again. For example, "it's behind me isn't it?" | my new "not" favorite-- someone walks into a road and then suddenly gets hit by a bus | exciting scene immediately followed by 48 hours earlier... There are so many more and they are so true. Please screenwriters stop this. Try to squeeze out an ounce of creativity.

Repetitive Movie Posters
I have to say I agree with this person. Hollywood movie posters aren't as creative as they used to be. Sometimes movie posters are just as formulaic as the films themselves. Admittedly, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' was fantastic. I haven't seen 'Purge 2' yet so I'm not sure about that one. The original "Purge" film was actually a fun little thriller, so I may see the sequel.

I WANT

I have some of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics, which has featured Spike, but somehow I missed a graphic novel exclusively about Spike written by James Marsters himself! "Spike: Into the Light" is available on Amazon and I will be reading it soon.
Via twitter

FUNNY

Drunk Russian Streetfighting
Drunken Russians fighting to the tune of Street Fighter. This is perhaps one of the most awesome things I have seen in a long time. Yes, more to drunken Russian street fighter. The car is in the background too!

Ambitious Drunk Raccoon
So this ambitious raccoon decides to take on a 28 pound of cat food. Short version-- the raccoon wins.

Awesome Photoshopping
This woman takes her Facebook profile photos very seriously and it's glorious. I wish I were this creative.

COSPLAY

This guy's cosplay is just awesome. Well played sir. Well played.

The 16 Most Annoying Characters in SciFi/Fantasy TV & Film

Dishonorable mentions pictured above. (See photo key at bottom of post)
Allow me to pose the age old question again. Who are the most annoying characters in science fiction and fantasy television and films? I'm sure you have your own picks. I know I have mine! I'm sure there are quite a few characters I haven't thought of. I was inspired to write this article after reading a great i09 article last year, "Why Do We Hate So Many Female Characters So Much?" According to io9 it's a combination of factors:
  • -No defining characteristics 
  • -Poor writing. 
  • -Poor acting.
  • -Fans are often unwilling to give female characters the same slack they give male characters.
  • -"Storytellers create female characters to be love interests and nothing more--meaning they're one-dimensional."
They make a good point. Most of the irritating characters on my list are female. So I think io9 might be on to something.

New Obsessions, Film Previews, Geek News, Spoilers + More

Ok, I've recently become obsessed with 'Penny Dreadful' or as Katy playfully refers to it as 'Penny Pornful.' The series started out a little slow for me, but has come along quite nicely. It also gave me a new found love for Eva Green and Timothy Dalton. Green has done some incredible work on this series.. I've always known that she was a good actress, but she has really taken it to the next level. Green's character is complicated, multi-faceted, intense, and tormented. Even though the show itself is a little tongue in cheek, the tragedy that some of the characters endure is profound. It has all of the markings of a great show for me: historical fiction, psychological horror, lush set design, and marvelous actors. The show has a soulfulness that most supernatural shows lack. This 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' knockoff is better than I thought it would be, which is always a pleasant surprise. It does 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' better than 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.' All round top marks from me.

My one criticism is as Katy indicated, there's too much emphasis on "random quickies." In fact, I think all Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) does is seduce people. I would love to know more about Dorian Gray besides his sexual conquests. This is one of the big problems I have in general with the pay subscription channels like HBO and Showtime. Whereas other networks with stricter nudity guidelines have to find creative ways to tell a story, networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz rely on gratuitous nudity to pull their storylines along. Sex sells essentially. Unfortunately, a good story needs more than boobs.

I don't mind a love scene if it compliments (or adds to) the story. My issue is when the writers put a nude scene in just to appeal to the perverts. I'm not making this up. In fact that's what one HBO producer said verbatim. An unnamed producer told director Neil Marshall that he "represented the pervert side of the audience" and he encouraged Marshall to go full frontal just because they could. "Everybody else represents the serious drama side, I represent the perv side..." I have no doubt that someone like is likely whispering into 'Penny Dreadful's ear.

"Meh" to AMC, Yay for Apes, Dr. Who World Tour, Geek News, + Cool Stuff

Over the last few years AMC has gotten a lot of press for their creative television shows--mostly good. I've been actively watching 'The Walking Dead' since its inception and I've also read all of the comics. So I'm typically excited when AMC develops a new show. As a geek and a history buff, I'm drawn to shows like 'Halt and Catch Fire' and 'Turn.' I'm also drawn to watch anything with Lee Pace or Jamie Bell. So in that regard, AMC has effectively fooled me, not once but twice this year. First with 'Turn' and now with 'Halt and Catch Fire.'

At first glance I thought that 'Turn' was going to be a smoky spy thriller set during the Revolutionary War. Instead we got 'Gossip Girl' with corsets. Scene stealers like Angus MacFadyen, Burn Gorman, and J.J. Feild were grossly underutilized. The immensely talented Jamie Bell has been reduced to a Bella Swan-like character. Will he or won't he? Does he love Anna or Mary? Seriously, if I want to watch a nighttime soap I'll tune in to ABC to watch 'Revenge' or 'Mistresses.' I watch AMC because it's different from the major networks, although it's slowly catching up in the category of mediocrity.

Agent Carter News, Jupiter Ascending Postponed, Cosplay + More

I'm sure that everyone has heard by now that 'Agent Carter' with Haley Atwell is a go! Yay for Hayley. I'm super excited for this show. Atwell just revealed that Howard Stark himself (Dominic Cooper as seen above bottom right) will also be reprising his role from 'Captain America: The First Avenger' and will be joining her on the new series.


Somehow I've never heard of the zombie British series 'In the Flesh.' How did this one slip through the cracks? I've been seeing recaps of the Season 2 finale online. I hope Season 1 comes to Netflix or Amazon Prime so I can catch up.

Star Wars News, X-Men Easter Eggs, Jurassic World Plot Leak, + Links

I don't typically partake in celebrity gossip so I stay away from websites like TMZ if I can help it, but I couldn't help stopping by to get a glimpse of the new 'Star Wars' film. Admittedly, I'm actually glad to see a "real" prop (see picture of giant mole above) instead of more CGI garbage. There is something to be said for non-computer generated special effects. I'm not a purist. I do enjoy appropriate doses of CGI, but "too much" CGI can actually be a bad thing. I wrote an article about this in 2012.

Yet more 'Star Wars' news this week. Lupita Nyongo and Gwendoline Christie have both been cast in the film. I'm curious as to what roles they will be playing. The Lupita/Star Wars rumor has been going around for a few months now.
Via hypable


Tom Cruise as Tom Cruise...again, Khal Drogo as Lobo, & She-Hulk Diss



When watching a preview of the new Tom Cruise film, 'Edge of Tomorrow,' I'm reminded that Cruise essentially plays the same character in every movie. Cruise is one of the most typecasted actors. If Cruise is in a film, one thing can be guaranteed-- his character is a strong-willed, moral, yet troubled man, down on his luck, but has the will to overcome, blah blah blah. It doesn't leave a lot of room for creativity.

The crazy thing is that Cruise is actually a good actor. His roles in 'Interview with the Vampire' and 'Rock of Ages' are proof of that. So why doesn't Cruise challenge himself more? I know that he's an a-lister, but similar a-list actors have had much more diverse careers. I for one would like to see Cruise stretch himself in films like 'Collateral.' My favorite Cruise role continues to be 'Interview.' Given Cruise's career trajectory that's not likely to change. I guess we should be thankful, at least he's not pulling a "Nick Cage."