Advertisements

Tag Archive: Robin Hood


Like the works of Shakespeare, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli & Co., and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, the older, legendary tale of Robin Hood will return (sometimes many times) in a newly realized form for each new generation.  Long, long before Oliver Queen and Clint Barton, there was that wielder of bow and arrow, the original superhero, Robin of Loxley, or Robin Hood.  Lionsgate Films released its first preview trailer for its version of Robin Hood, coming late this year to theaters.  Starring Kingsman’s Taron Egerton as Robin, Jamie Foxx as Little John (with some very Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves-styled Morgan Freeman makeup), Ben Mendelsohn (today’s go-to bad guy) as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Eve Hewson as Marian, Tim Minchin as Friar Tuck, and Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet, the next Robin Hood feature looks to be the least like its predecessors.

As much as prior incarnations attempted to provide a historically accurate look–for better or worse–for their films, usually targeting the story anywhere from the 14th to the 16th centuries, director Otto Bathurst’s version offers up some modern designs.  Costume designer Julian Day, known for some nicely realized, historically inspired designs in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the 1970s racing film Rush, seems to have avoided any historicity in designing costumes for his latest film.  When does it take place?  Apparently not in any real-time or location.

The classic adventure and romance seems to be weighted this toward action and more action, with much CGI and slow motion fight scenes, and if the first trailer is any indication, it’s going to be light on the fairy tale romance of past versions.  Take a look for yourself at the first trailer for this year’s Robin Hood:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Shannara series

MTV clearly has ambitions to become the next CW Network, and its choice for the latest young adult focused series is sure to bring in viewers of shows like The Vampire Diaries, Stitchers, Smallville, and The Flash.  It’s The Shannara Chronicles, a classic fantasy world series based on the Terry Brooks series of novels and specifically The Elfstones of Shannara.  The two-hour premiere aired Tuesday night and revealed an incredibly rich set of film locations and environments to create a world ruled by Elves in a future Earth in the area of what was once the Pacific Northwest (the show opening reveals an ancient ruin that was once the Seattle Space Needle).  Humans, dwarves, gnomes, and trolls–all the fantasy races you’d expect in a good fantasy series can be found here.

A single tree guarded by the Elves is said to keep the Demons from re-entering the world.  Some say this is just a myth.  But the tree has now become sick, and a young Elf woman, her grandfather the Elfking, a Druid, and his apprentice must convince everyone the story is not just a myth as they attempt to save the tree, or allow the unspeakable evil to be unleashed.  It’s Terry Brooks, not George R.R. Martin, so expect quick-paced action (the story races forward so you’ve no time to get bored), less melodrama and long dialogue, and a more youthful cast.

John Rhys-Davies Shannara

With a production led in part by popular executive producer Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf), the cast is also quite impressive.  Bringing gravitas and legitimacy to the series is John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Raiders of the Lost Ark) as the Elfking, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit, Arrow) as a Druid human, and James Remar (The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, The Legend of Korra, Django Unchained) as head of the Rovers

The young members of the cast show some promise, too, beginning with Pan’s Labyrinth star Ivana Baquero as the second female lead Eretria, Austin Butler (Arrow) as Wil, the naïve padawan of the Druid who possesses three rare Elfstones, and Poppy Drayton (Downton Abbey, Father Brown) as the show’s burgeoning warrior, a “Chosen” heroine named Amberle.

Continue reading

If you are a fan of Doctor Who or Batman or Star Trek or The Lord of the Rings, there is really only one series that should top your TV viewing list right now.  And that series is Sherlock, airing Sundays on Public Television.  This week’s episode charged past even the original three episodes produced by the BBC that first aired more than two years ago.  We’ve waited a long time for the series’ return and we couldn’t have been happier with the result.  A stunningly good plot based on a classic Holmes story, introducing an enchanting new character, and as much Holmes and Watson verbal sparring as you could pack in one week’s time slot.

Why watch Sherlock?  Let’s count down some reasons.

1.  Sharp writing.  The show is smartly written by the best current TV writer anywhere—Steven Moffat.  Moffat has been dazzling us with the best stories on TV including 20 episodes of Doctor Who, and his stories are always interesting, even exciting, and always full of twists and turns.  Moffat has written episodes of Sherlock, including this Sunday’s episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” and next week’s episode “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”  With all the drama are equal doses of laugh-out-loud humor.  You will laugh at Sherlock’s oddities and Watson’s dumbfounded expressions.  I can’t think of a better written series since the original Life on Mars, and this week’s episode is one of the best stand alone TV episodes you’ll ever see.  If you think I am exaggerating, I just dare you to watch this week’s show and tell me I am wrong.

2.  A modernized classicSherlock?  The British show on Masterpiece Theater?  Make no mistake: This isn’t Masterpiece Theater of the past.  This is no stodgy series re-hashing old plots.  Yes, the stories are rooted in the original works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but the updating to today is brilliant and artfully done.  This Sherlock and Watson get to excite a new generation of fans to the sleuthing and detective mind of Holmes, only using the modern technologies and investigative methods—some methods even ahead of their time as only a guy named Sherlock Holmes could do.

3.  The acting.  What other TV series has the soon-to-be biggest performers in the blockbusters of tomorrow?  Usually once an actor makes it big he leaves TV and doesn’t turn back.  But for right now Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Watson’s Martin Freeman are still doing TV and it will be among their best works no matter what they do from here on.  Freeman and Cumberbatch also make for great old fashioned buddy cops.  Like the masterful ensemble cast of the A&E series Nero Wolfe and the TNT series The Closer, the supporting cast of Sherlock is fun to come back to visit each week in their own right.

4.  You like Batman.  Who doesn’t?  How many writers of some of the all-time best Batman stories were inspired by Doyle’s classic detective?  If you’ve read Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s Batman: Hush, the 19th century Holmes permeates every inquisitive angle of the Dark Knight Detective’s sleuthing.  And it’s not just Batman.  The New 52’s Batgirl series includes an updated Barbara Gordon who is in many ways yet another Holmes in training.  If you like the Mystery in Masterpiece Mystery, you will find yourself sucked into the plot and trying to beat the master detective as he follows the clues of each week’s quandary.

5.  You like comic book style.  The “special effect” of printing words on the screen as Sherlock moves from location to location, indicating the speed and scope of Sherlock’s genius mind should be familiar to comic book readers’ world of thought balloons and sprawling visual effects using words.

6.  You like The Lord of the Rings.  If you like The Lord of the Rings like me, you’ve probably continued to follow the cast members who played the characters in the trilogy in their projects after the movie.  Why not start early with the new star of The Hobbit, Martin Freeman, Sherlock’s Dr. John Watson?  And Benedict Cumberbatch, who will be the voice of Smaug in part 2 of The Hobbit?

7.  You like Star Trek.  Khhaaaannnn!  One day it’s “official” the next day it isn’t and the studio’s PR machine isn’t helping quell rumors, but whether or not Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise Ricardo Montalban’s Khan, he is some type of villain in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, next year’s 12th film in the Star Trek franchise.  No matter how loyal you are to the late great Montalban, no matter how much of a traditional Trekker or Trekkie you consider yourself, you, too, will be convinced by Cumberbatch’s ability to take on any role by watching his performance as Holmes.

8.  You like Doctor Who.  I’ve already mentioned Steven Moffat writing the series above, but if you want to get a glimpse at the only actress rumored to be among the first considered to replace Matt Smith as the first female Doctor, you need look  no further than the stunning performance  by Lara Pulver as Irene Adler in Sunday’s first episode of the second season.  And heck, True Blood and Robin Hood fans will like seeing Pulver here, too!

9.  You’re an anglophile.  Doesn’t the mere sight of the London Eye ferris wheel at the beginning of each Sherlock episode want you to go buy plane tickets?  And this week’s story took place in part in Buckingham Palace.  What more could you want?  And if you like James Bond, who ever was a better ringer for Ms. Moneypenny, fawning over the great 007 spy, than Sherlock’s poor coroner Molly Hooper, and her unrequited love for Holmes?

10.  You believe that “brainy is the new sexy.”  Hey, it’s not my quote.  Just watch this week’s episode.

It’s one of the lamest marketing messages I’ve ever read, and many shows have used it before, but basically I’ll use it here because it applies: “there is simply no reason not to watch” Sherlock.   And every reason to watch it.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

By C.J. Bunce

Several stories have been reported across blogs and UK journals over the past few weeks about Matt Smith and Karen Gillan soon wrapping up their roles as the Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond.  So let’s wade through what appears to be fact and what appears to be rumor.

First of all, it will be a sad day when Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are replaced.  I tried watching Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston became a Doctor and then when David Tennant became the next Doctor.  And neither hooked me into how fun this series could be, after years of giving the show a try through several changes in Doctors.  But Matt Smith’s youthful energy and Karen Gillan’s beautiful Scot look and comic timing made the series the most enjoyable around, and caused me to go back and finally dig into the series with the two prior Doctors.  And made me a fan.

But the beauty of Doctor Who is the fact that the Doctor regenerates into new people–so the show can go on for generations, as long as new writers can continue to write exciting stories.  I overheard a kid in a local comic store who must have been no older than 13 say “you always remember your first Doctor” and it made me laugh.  He’s probably right.

So what news is true?  The producers of Doctor Who have reported on the official Doctor Who website that the next actress to play the companion to replace Karen Gillan is 25-year-old actress Jenna-Louise Coleman from Blackpool.

Jenna-Louise Coleman--the next Doctor Who companion.

Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat had reported this past Christmas that the Ponds (Amy and hubby Rory) would be leaving.  The website makes clear that Coleman will replace Gillan after one more season with Amy and Rory in the story.  Coleman has had roles on British TV and a small role last year in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Coleman in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The website suggests that the new companion will accompany Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor for 14 episodes in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the series on British TV.  Here is the sneak preview at the new season coming soon to BBC One and BBC America, and HEY!–note that it features a cool cyborg, right out of the movie Westworld:

So that’s the next companion story.  But what about the next Doctor?

The British tabloid the Daily Express, known for sharing rumors, this week claims an insider has disclosed that Matt Smith’s replacement will be the first woman Doctor of the series.  And one of the front runners (again, per the reported rumor) may be a very cool choice, the new Irene Adler in the third season of the Sherlock series, also produced by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat.  Adler is portrayed by British actress Lara Pulver.  Pulver was a regular on BBC’s Robin Hood series as Isabella, Erin Watts on MI-5, and is currently Claudine Crane on True Blood.  Although this has aleady aired in the UK, here is a preview for U.S. viewers of Pulver as Adler in the new Sherlock (and ignore the reference to Pulver as “naked”–it’s all innuendo with a lot of clever filming):

What is clear from the above clip is that if Pulver can hold her own opposite both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes (soon to star in the next Star Trek and The Hobbit films) and Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson (starring this year in The Hobbit), there is no doubt she would make a great, sassy and smart 12th Doctor in the Doctor Who franchise.  If we’re going to lose Matt Smith–my vote for the best Doctor of all–why not try something really new?

So… new companion?  True.  New Doctor?  Nothing confirmed to report yet.

%d bloggers like this: