Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Merlin The Complete Fourth Series DVD/Bluray

Merlin has come of age and is no longer the BBC family drama Sunday evening filler programme while the mighty Doctor Who recharges his TARDIS. Each year the production, the writing, the performances, the ratings have all improved series after series, with the latest series ratings even beating that of the mighty time lord.

Series 4 is the game changer, the bar has been raised and the show takes on a more darker grown up approach toning down the comedy element of previous years, and finding a better balance between drama and humour. Episodes now have a progression instead of feeling like disposable stand alone tales. The principle legend of Arthur and Camelot is embraced and begins to come in to play. Stronger character development and the better execution of each players responsibilities and consequences of their actions make this the most mature and satisfying outing yet.

The main cast are all superb, and adapt to the new style with great gusto, it should be mentioned that it is great to see a strong Irish representation in the primary cast all flying the flag with terrific performances. It is no suprise though that it is the great Richard Wilson who steals the show with his fantastic portrayal of Gaius, but his role does feel rather reduced this series.

The cinematography is beautiful and really shines in HD, 35mm film was used for the first time on this run of episodes and the upgrade from super 16 is strikingly different and visually more appealing, with colours, sets and landscapes looking more cinematic. The music also deserves a mention as it adds great emotion to the episodes.

Series 4 is not all plain sailing though, some of the CG does not work and looks rushed, earlier plot threads cast aside for no apparent closure as the series concludes, and some battle scenes not properly realized. There is also the dubious scene in the the finale where magic is used so Arthur can take the sword Excalibur from the stone,  a twist which I feel disrespects the King Arthur and the sword in the stone legend. But there is enough quality in the production and rich storytelling to overlook these flaws and enjoy this take on the Camelot saga.

There is also some impressive guest stars featuring Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones' Diary, Harry Potter), Phil Davis (Doctor Who, Brighton Rock) and Nathaniel Parker (Stardust, The Chronicles of Narnia) as well as the return of Santiago Cabrera (Heroes, Che) as Lancelot.

Extras include Making Of Series 4 Film, Cast & Crew Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Out-Takes, Storyboards, which should keep fans busy till series 5 airs.

Merlin is no longer a boy and it is this new grown up approach that makes this series so enchanting and satisfying. Magic!

Merlin Series 4 is available on DVD & Bluray now.


Monday, January 30, 2012

'Game Of Thrones' Season 2: Preview - You Win or You Die

A new one minute trailer for season 2 of Game Of Thrones has been released, titled You Win or You Die,  and features Joffrey Baratheon, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen whose character is seen declaring: "I am Daenerys Targaryen and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood!"

The series returns April 1st stateside and less than 24 hours after it's shown in the US on HBO, it premieres on Sky Atlantic on Monday 2 April.

Cold Winds Are Rising

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trailer for Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Trailer for Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' is now below, it stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, "Moonrise Kingdom" follows a young boy and girl falling in love. When they are moved to run away together, various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down – which might not be such a bad thing. Willis plays the town sheriff; Norton is cast as a camp leader; Murray and McDormand portray the young girl’s parents.

It has a May 25 2012 date for America with no date yet for us across the pond.

EXPIRED: Yamada - Way of The Samurai Trailer & DVD Competition

Get ready for hard-hitting, hi-impact fight action from the cinematic tradition that brought you Ong-Bak and The Warrior King.

Set in the ancient Kingdom of Ayothaya, this incredible true story brings to life the adventures of Yamada Nagamasa, a young Japanese Samurai warrior, who gave up his homeland to protect the sovereignty of the Thai people. Betrayed and left for dead by treacherous Japanese forces, he finds a new family in a remote village and masters the devastating fighting art of Muay Boran (Thai boxing).

Fearless, he ascends to the royal bodyguard of King Naresuan The Great, but will soon face his greatest ever battle against the elite Japanese warriors he once regarded as brothers...

To celebrate the release of this highly anticipated upcoming film which is released on DVD & Blu-ray in the UK and Ireland on 30/01/2012, the good folks at Cine-Asia have provided us with some copies to give away.

To be in with a chance of winning a DVD simply email: Yamada@flicksnews.net with your name to be entered in the draw.

In the mean time, check out the kick ass trailer below:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Richard Schiff Joins 'Man Of Steel' Cast

West Wing alum Richard Schiff has joined the cast of Zack Snyder's upcoming Superman movie, 'Man of Steel'.

Schiff will play Doctor Hamilton, no further details on the casting have been revealed, but it is thought that the role is based on Professor Emil Hamilton who is a scientist with ties to the secretive government research and development facility S.T.A.R. Labs from the Superman DC Comics stories.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

'Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy' TV Spots

Noel Fielding returns to TV screen this month with his new series 'Luxury Comedy' which starts on E4 January 26.

The series is described as psychedelic character-based comedy show half filmed and half animated, with music provided by Kasabian's Sergio Pizzorno.

Along with animator/director Nigel Coan (The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull), Fielding has created a joyful, charming explosion of a TV show that is in the tradition of Spike Milligan and Kenny Everett but completely modern at the same time.

The show is like biting into an aurora borealis sandwich...like Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger recreating The Jungle Book using toast... Warm and strange and packed with jokes, Luxury Comedy will change the way you feel about television and your own hands forever.

'Television needs a madman - I just want to blow people's minds.'

You can check out some very short clips below of what to expect: