Archive for September, 2012

Last night we saw the mid season finale of new series of Doctor Who and here is my review of episode 5 and series so far.  Please don’t read if you have not seen any of the episodes, major spoiler alert.

In this episode the Doctor takes Amy and Rory to Central Park. While the Doctor reads a “Melody Malone” novel to Amy, Rory is taken by a Weeping Angel on his way back from getting coffee. In 1938 New York City, Rory meets River Song, posing as a private investigator and as the Doctor discovers, the author of his Melody Malone novel. The Doctor and Amy use the novel to break their way into a time locked 1938 and find Rory, while he and River investigate the Angels’ takeover of Manhattan. At the Winter Quay hotel, they find an aged Rory on his deathbed, confirming Rory’s fate. The Angels created the hotel in order to keep their victims and maintain a constant source of potential energy on which to feed. To escape his fate, Rory and Amy jump off the top of the building to their deaths, creating a paradox which erases the Angels and their hotel. Waking up in a graveyard with the Tardis, all seems well until Rory is transported back in time by a surviving Angel. Rescuing him with another paradox would rip New York City apart. As the Doctor begs for Amy to come back into the Tardis, she bids a tearful farewell as she commits suicide by letting Angel to send her back with Rory, creating a fixed point in time. Later, the devastated Doctor reads an afterword by Amy in the novel, telling him all is well and asking him not to be alone, as well as requesting he visit young Amelia Pond as she waits in the garden.

We have known for quiet a while that episode 5 would be Rory and Amy’s last appearance on Doctor who.  And it looks as though the writers and firmly slammed the door shut on them, tying up a story that began all the way back in “The Eleventh Hour”.  Although it was a sad moment, I didn’t think it was as sad and emotionally charged as previous companions leaving the show (eg Rose Tyler and Donna Nobel) but that’s just my opinion.

To be honest I felt that the Rory and Amy’s departure should have been handled differently.  And maybe their final episode should have been back in series 6 in “The God Complex”. In that story, the Doctor realized how much he was endangering this couple he loved so much, and ultimately left them in a nice flat in London, telling them to start forging independent, non-TARDIS lives together. So why oh why does the doctor risk their lives again?? Why bring them back for series 7?

On the whole, this was a good standalone episode. There was humour, action and emotion.  I really liked the atmospheric pre-credits opening, that teased the detective story, complete with obligatory typewriter, and also reintroduced the scary Angels. And as a bonus we also got the return of the lovely River Song here. But given that it was her parents who were going away, I guess it was inevitable she’d be around for their farewell.  Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were again in tip top form. And the foreboding warning that his Doctor should never travel alone came through loud and clear here.

However, apart from episode 1 and 5 I really don’t think much of the current series of doctor who. Dont get me wrong I love to watch doctor who as I am huge fan. Yes, there have been dinosaurs, cowboys and daleks but no real story arc. It’s been ok but not great and to me it feels like its missing something and that the episodes have just been thrown together to show Amy and Rory on various adventures and to fill the current series.  Maybe its just me and maybe they are saving the best for next year, I don’t know.

Anyway, Doctor who will return at christmas when it ‘officially’ introduces new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman to the show. Having already appeared on the show in the form of Oswin Oswald in “Asylum Of The Daleks”, Coleman’s ongoing role is said to be a different character to the one she played previously. How this fits together with her appearance as Oswin is a mystery. Can she ever fill the void left by Rory and Amy?

I await with bated breath.

What did you think?

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Last night I watched “Avenger assemble” and here is my review  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

I know it was on the cinema earlier on in the year and many of you may have seen it but I have only just managed to see it the other night on DVD.  I have been looking forward to this one for a while and unfortunately did not have the time to go and see it when it was on at the cinema.

Did it live up to my expectation, HELL YES!

At the start of the film Loki encounters the “Other”, the leader of an extraterrestrial race known as the Chitauri. In exchange for retrieving the Tesseract, a powerful energy source of unknown potential, the “Other” promises Loki a Chitauri army with which he can subjugate the Earth. Meanwhile Nick Fury, director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and his lieutenant Agent Maria Hill arrive at a remote research facility during an evacuation, where physicist Dr. Erik Selvig is leading a research team experimenting on the Tesseract. The object has begun radiating an unusual form of energy. The Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a portal, allowing Loki to reach Earth. Loki takes the Tesseract and uses his scepter to enslave Selvig and several agents, including Clint Barton, to aid him in his getaway.

In response to the attack, Fury reactivates the “Avengers Initiative”. Agent Natasha Romanoff is sent to Calcutta to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner to trace the Tesseract through its gamma radiation emissions. Coulson visits Tony Stark to have him review Selvig’s research, and Fury approaches Steve Rogers with an assignment to retrieve the Tesseract. While Barton steals iridium needed to stabilize the Tesseract’s power, Loki causes a distraction in Stuttgart leading to a confrontation with Rogers, Stark, and Romanoff that ends with Loki’s surrender. While Loki is being escorted to S.H.I.E.L.D., Thor, his adoptive brother, arrives and frees him hoping to convince him to abandon his plan and return to Asgard. After a confrontation with Stark and Rogers, Thor agrees to take Loki to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s flying aircraft carrier, the Helicarrier. There Loki is imprisoned while scientists Banner and Stark attempt to locate the Tesseract.

The Avengers become divided, and argue over how to approach Loki and the revelation that S.H.I.E.L.D. plans to harness the Tesseract to develop weapons as a deterrent against hostile extra-terrestrials. As the group argues, Barton and Loki’s other possessed agents attack the Helicarrier, disabling its engines in flight and causing Banner to transform into the Hulk. Stark and Rogers try to restart the damaged engines, and Thor attempts to stop the Hulk’s rampage. Romanoff fights Barton, and knocks him unconscious, breaking Loki’s mind control. Loki escapes after killing Coulson and ejecting Thor from the airship, while the Hulk falls to the ground after attacking a S.H.I.E.L.D. fighter jet. Fury uses Coulson’s death to motivate the Avengers into working as a team. Stark and Rogers realize that simply defeating them will not be enough for Loki; he needs to overpower them publicly to validate himself as ruler of Earth. Loki uses the Tesseract, in conjunction with a device Selvig built, to open a portal above Stark Tower to the Chitauri fleet in space, launching his invasion.

The Avengers rally in defense of New York City, and an amazing battle ensues. After evacuating civilians the avengers battle against wave after wave of Chitauri as they descend upon Earth.  Banner turns up and transforms into the Hulk and helps with the fight. I wont say much more just in case I spoil it, but its pretty amazing.

I really really liked this film and thought the action sequences were amazing. To be honest I was blown away and this film exceeded my expectations.  The effects are brilliant and all of the characters were portrayed very well. Iron man and the hulk were my favourite characters.  There was a nice balance of screen time devoted to each of the superheroes. And it did not feel over the top with all the superheroes on-screen at the same time. There was also a nice mix of humour and action.

There are so many great moments from the film but a couple involve the hulk. One of my favourite bits is when the hulk and Thor destroy a Chitauri ship and they both have a second to rest and the Hulk throws a punch knocking Thor across the room very funny. Another bit is when the hulk confronts Loki and Loki says “Enough, I’m a god you dark creature, I will not be bullied by a!!!!” and before you realise it the hulk has completely ignored him and beats him to a pulp before saying “Puny God”, very funny. In fact I think the hulk stole the show, but that’s just my opinion.

So yes, yes, yes, well worth a watch.  But one warning for those with weak bladders, it is another of those long films at nearly 2hrs 20 mins, but well worth it.

What did you think?

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Posted: September 21, 2012 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film

Here is the latest trailer for The Hobbit:An unexpected Journey.

What do you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of “The Hunger Games” which I saw on DVD recently (Released on 3rd September 2012).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

I had not read the book so did not know what to expect.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in the nation of Panem, where boys and girls aged 12– 18 must participate in the Hunger Games, a televised annual event in which the “tributes” are required to fight to the death until there is one remaining victor.

The nation of Panem is formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, and consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve poorer surrounding districts. As a punishment for a previous rebellion, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by lottery (the “Reaping”) to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The participants (or “tributes”) must fight to the death in an arena until only one remains alive; the victor is rewarded with fame and wealth. In her very first Reaping, 12-year-old Primrose Everden is selected from District 12. However, her 16-year-old sister Katniss (played by Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her place. Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson), a baker’s son who once gave Katniss bread when she was starving, is the other District 12 tribute.

Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol, where (just like the X-factor) they mentored by a drunken past victor called Haymitch Abernathy (played brilliantly by Woody Harrelson). He warns them about the “Careers” from Districts 1 and 2 who have trained intensively at special academies for the Games and who almost always win.

During an interview with TV personality Caesar Flickerman, Peeta unexpectedly reveals his love for Katniss. She is initially outraged, believing it to be a ploy to gain audience support, as “sponsors” may provide in-Games gifts of food, medicine, and tools. However, she discovers Peeta meant what he said.

The Games begin with half of the tributes killed in the first few minutes; Katniss barely survives ignoring Haymitch’s advice to run away from the melee around the tempting supplies and weapons strewn in front of a structure called the Cornucopia. And just as in Big Brother, where warring contestants make short-term alliances to manage the outcome and prolong their presence in the contest, Peeta forms an uneasy alliance with the Careers Cato, Clove, Marvel and Glimmer. They corner Katniss up a tree. A young girl from District 11 named Rue, hiding in a nearby tree, draws her attention to a poisonous “tracker jacker” nest hanging from a branch. Katniss drops it on her sleeping besiegers. They all scatter, except for Glimmer, who is killed by the insects. Hallucinating due to “tracker jacker” venom, Katniss is warned to run away by Peeta. Rue cares for Katniss for a couple of days until she recovers.

The alliance has gathered all the supplies into a pile. Katniss has Rue draw them off, then destroys the stockpile by setting off the mines the group had planted around it. Furious, Cato kills the District 3 boy assigned to guard it. Rue is fatally wounded by Marvel. Katniss kills Marvel, then comforts the dying Rue. Afterward, she gathers and arranges flowers around Rue’s body. When this is televised, it sparks a riot in District 11. President Snow (Donald Sutherland) summons Seneca Crane, the Gamemaker, to express his displeasure at the way the Games are turning out.

Since Katniss and Peeta have been presented to the public as “star-crossed lovers”, Haymich is able to convince Crane to make a rule change to avoid inciting further riots. It is announced that tributes from the same district can win as a pair. Upon hearing this, Katniss searches for Peeta and finds him with an infected sword wound in the leg. She portrays herself as deeply in love with him and gains the sponsor gift of soup. An announcer proclaims a feast, where the thing each survivor needs most will be provided. Peeta begs her not to risk getting him medicine. Katniss promises not to go, but after he falls asleep, she heads to the feast. Clove ambushes her and pins her down. As Clove gloats, Thresh, the other District 11 tribute, eliminates Clove after overhearing her tormenting Katniss about killing Rue. He spares Katniss “just this time”. The medicine works, keeping Peeta mobile.

Crane unleashes a pack of hound-like creatures in order to speed things up. They get Thresh and force Katniss and Peeta to flee to the roof of the Cornucopia, where they encounter Cato.  I wont say much more and spoil the ending just in case you want to see it for yourselves.

In my opinion the effects and action sequences in the Hunger games are brilliant. And the acting is good too. On the whole it is a pretty good futurist adventure and portrays a terrifying future, but I don’t think it is as good as the hype made it up to be.  I thought it was predictable at times and felt like another “twilight”, but that’s just my opinion.

But well worth a watch. What did you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Good afternoon every body. I hope you are all well and have been enjoying the last remnants of the sunny weather. I just thought I would let you know of another upcoming science fiction and horror comic and card trade event that I will be trading at later this month.

I will be attending the Golden Orbit Science fiction, comic & card fair at the THISTLE HOTEL, PORTLAND STREET, PICCADILLY GARDENS, MANCHESTER M1 6DP on Saturday 22nd September 2012 (12.00 till 3.30 pm).  The hotel is located in Manchester city centre near both Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Railway Station. Also just a short walk from Sachas Hotel and Tib St Public car parks nearby. Bar and refreshments available all day.

I will be selling various surplus stock from my Ebay shop, including……..

Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert books.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who collectables and annuals.

DC, Marvel, Wildstorm, 2000AD, Image and other independent comics from Modern and bronze age.

So if you are looking for comics, books or collectables and are in Manchester on the 30th June then why not pop in and say hello. And if you spend over £10 on comics you will get 2 Comics free.

If you are looking for something in particular let me know before hand and I will make sure I will bring it with me.

Will keep you posted as I get other events booked in!

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

On saturday we saw the return of the highly anticiapated new series of Doctor Who and here is my review.  Please don’t read if you have not seen this opening episode, major spoiler alert.

This was an awesome start to the beginning of the countdown to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who next year. Steven Moffat promised a story featuring the most Daleks ever and he did not disappoint, “Asylum of the Daleks” had more Daleks than you could shake a stick at.

However, the biggest twist of all and possibly the best-kept secret (I never expected it) was the surprise debut of Jenna-Louise Coleman’s character Oswin Oswald who we all though was not expected to be seen until the Christmas special but she has now been cleverly introduced to the audience. She is just as feisty and flirtatious as Amy Pond and on top of that she is very likeable. Coleman gave a stunning performance as Oswin and she has the makings of a great companion. But how she will be introduced as the doctor companian at chistmas is yet to be seen. Will the Doctor encounter her earlier in her timeline like River Song? Or is there yet another twist yet to come.

Anyway going back to the episode,

At the start we find the Doctor, along with a strangely estranged pair of Ponds, “summoned” to the dalek fleet orbiting the planet “Asylum of Daleks”, But not to kill them, instead they are asking for doctor’s help to sort out problems on the Dalek asylum, where the most hate-filled Daleks are kept. They must locate and deactivate the planet’s force field so it can be destroyed by the daleks.

We’re then introduced to a pretty brunette genius named Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman) who crashed on the planet a year ago. She spends her downtime baking soufflés, hacking into the Daleks’ systems and blasting Bizet’s Carmen. The Doctor ponders where she gets the milk for her soufflés as he and the Ponds are teleported down to the asylum

However, after being teleported down to the asylum the Doctor and Amy are separated from Rory, giving them time to catch up as they are attacked by Dalek zombies. Amy tells the Doctor that he can’t fix her marriage like he fixes his bowtie.

They escape, but Amy loses her wristband that keeps her from being turned into a Dalek zombie herself. She begins losing her memory as they search for Rory. In the meantime Rory encounters some unreconstructed Daleks, who are about to  “Exterminate” him before he is saved by the “Souffle Girl”. The cheeky Oswin flirts with both the Doctor and the newly single Rory over the intercom as she helps them find each other. The Doctor makes one of the Daleks self-destruct, blowing up the others. He goes to find Oswin, leaving the former Mr. and Mrs. Pond to talk.

Rory tells Amy she should take his anti-zombie armband because the Dalek conversion works by eliminating love and it’s obvious he loves Amy more than she loves him. He reminds her that he waited 2000 years to be with her (swoon). She becomes angry and says she loves him more and that’s why she let him go. Amy can no longer have children, and thinks Rory deserves a chance to have them.

As they work things out, Rory realizes Amy is actually wearing a wristband – the Doctor gave her his. As he walks past a security camera, the Doctor fixes his bowtie.

The Doctor enters intensive care, where the Daleks who hate him most are housed. They corner him, but Oswin is able to hack into the Daleks and delete all knowledge the Doctor.

He arrives at Oswin’s chamber and she begins to pack. As he walks in, his face falls. He asks Oswin again how she had milk for her soufflés. She pauses, confused, and the camera pans around to show not a pretty girl but a chained up Dalek.

Apparently, when Oswin crashed on the planet, she was converted to a Dalek, but she was clever enough to create an elaborate fantasy world. She fights her Dalek programming and lets the Doctor go.

The Doctor returns to find Amy and Rory kissing (yay!). Oswin takes down the planet’s shields and the Doctor teleports Team Tardis back to the Dalek spaceship. As the planet explodes, Oswin turns to the camera and promises she’ll see us again soon.

The Daleks are confused when the Doctor appears on their ship. “Doctor who? Doctor who?” they chant. He realizes Oswin not only erased memories of him from the Daleks in the room with him, but all Daleks everywhere.

He drops Amy and Rory off at their townhouse in London. After an awkward pause, Amy turns and walks into their home. Rory grins and follows her.

Overall I thought was an excellent start to the series and Matt Smith gives his normal brilliant performance. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill too have developed their portrayals of Amy and Rory respectively and everyone is on form in the build-up to the Ponds’ departure. And Amy and Rory’s storyline where the couple haven’t lived happily ever after and are getting divorced is bueatifully played. Amy can’t have children due to what happened to her at Demon’s Run. It was an incredibly sad and touching moment when Amy tells Rory that she divorced him because she could not have children but wanted to give him the chance to do so.

And the introction of the new companian added an extra twist to the series. How the other episodes in this series will top this opening episode is yet to be seen. But I cant wait for more, doctor who, doctor who, doctor who :).

What did you think?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.