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Masters of The Universe?

There are two words that light up the eyes of movie studio executives in Hollywood – but lately, they’ve also come to dignify a collective groan from some audiences: “Shared Universe”. The phrase that Marvel and its owners Disney have used to great effect to create an interlocking jigsaw puzzle of colourful characters and storylines has granted other studios and companies carte blanche to replicate it themselves – only the problem is, everyone seems to be doing it, with varying degrees of success. And it seems that the latest attempt, Universal Studios’ plan to create a “Dark Universe”, is the point where people are getting fatigued by the whole idea of having to watch at least 12 films to understand the greater narrative. The first…

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DC’s Wonder Woman win

Eating a large slice of humble pie, writer Phil Bowers explains (with spoilers) how DC finally hit the mark with their latest movie. So Wonder Woman is good. In fact, it’s DC’s best effort on the big screen since Christopher Nolan crafted The Dark Knight in 2008. But why? Since closing the chapter on Nolan’s Magnum Opus with The Dark Knight Rises, DC has quickly tried to establish a shared universe to rival that of closest competitor Marvel. The DC Extended Universe, as it’s been dubbed, features some big hitters, arguably bigger than any Marvel could throw into the fray. Yet, as we all know, DC has had three bites of the cherry so far, and they’ve been indifferent to average. Man of Steel is…

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Yesterday’s Enterprise

It’s the Star Trek that few people love – not even Star Trek fans themselves. Enterprise was the last endeavour for Trek on TV, not even last the customary seven seasons (The Original Series ran for five, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager for seven each), as time was abruptly called at the end of the fourth year of its voyage. With Discovery, the new attempt to bring Trek back to the small screen, arriving later this year after 12 years since Enterprise concluded, we’ve taken a look at what was bad about the series that many people said killed Trek, and then why it actually stands up pretty well against some of the other entries in Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future.…

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Logan: The End

**Spoilers follow for Logan** It was always going to end the way it did. For Hugh Jackman, and his portrayal of Marvel’s most popular mutant, there was only one story that would get across his affection for the character as well as the inevitable conclusion to the tale of The Wolverine. Jackman has embodied the role in the way only a few others have. He’s played it for seventeen years, moulding Logan into a character that appeals to so many, because of his ability to display a range of emotions that we can all identify with. The essence of Wolverine is a character driven by his heart rather than his head. He constantly battles those emotions and has given in to them on more than…

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2017 on the Big Screen

If you thought 2016 was full of genre movies, then 2017 should keep you happy. There’s plenty of science-fiction, comic book and fantasy movies on the way, so here’s a little guide to what’s on offer, and an insight into whether it’s suited to your taste: 10 February – The Lego Batman Movie What it’s about: A spin off from the highly successful Lego Movie last year, incorporating the spoof Caped Crusader, voiced by Will Arnett. It’s a comedy sending up the darker side of Batman, with the lightest of Dark Knights finding the the value of friendship, teamwork, and why it’s useful to have a Robin around, especially when you need help cleaning Wayne Manor. Predictably, The Joker, voiced by The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis,…

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10 Perfect Casting Choices

Some characters are hard to get right, and some are open to interpretation. For instance, the recent attempts to get the Fantastic Four right both visually and conceptually have met with mixed success, and as the likes of Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox will tell you, when it comes to casting that next big comic book hit, it’s not that easy to pick the right person for the job. So what have you got to get right? Well, it helps if the person playing the role is familiar with the source material, but not essential. It also helps if they themselves have a little of the character within them, be that honour, mischief, determination or charisma. With that in mind, here’s ten examples of…

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Revisiting: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

It was the Star Trek show that boldly went, well, nowhere. At least that’s what people used to think. These days, Deep Space Nine is seen as being ahead of it’s time – featuring season long story arcs, moral ambiguity from the lead characters, the rights and wrongs of both religion and politics, the bleakness and prejudices that come from war, and the consequences of conflict. DS9 was the black sheep of the Star Trek family – not embracing the paradise that Gene Roddenberry sought to create with The Original Series and The Next Generation, and having a maturity and style that Voyager lacked. Deep Space Nine is the story of a space station of the same name, abandoned by the militaristic Cardassians after their…

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Logan’s Last Stand

The trailer for “Logan”, the last movie where Hugh Jackman will don the claws of Marvel’s most brutal mutant, has got the Internet buzzing with anticipation. This, though, is a very different Wolverine than the one you might have seen before. The movie, while fitting into the continuity formed at the end of X-Men: Days of Future Past (where Wolverine’s time travelling resulted in a soft reset of the original timeline, meaning Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier, Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey, and Halle Berry’s Storm were all still alive), is set ten years after that period – and mutants have all but been wiped out. Wolverine himself is a shadow of what he was – his healing factor has slowed, he bears the scars of many…

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Icons: Captain James T. Kirk

“Most legends have their basis in fact.” It’s a throwaway line from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “And the Children shall Lead”, but it sums up the impact of once of science fiction’s most well known and loved characters: Captain James T. Kirk. Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, Kathryn Janeway and Jonathan Archer all have their fans, but without Kirk, they wouldn’t have a yardstick with which to measure their success. Each lead in the Star Trek universe since Kirk first ordered the Enterprise out of spacedock has been compared with him. Some not as charismatic (Sisko), others not as bold (Archer and Janeway), or not as quick with their fists (Picard). Kirk had something for everyone. He was the roguish charmer that women…

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Caged Lion

When you hear the word “diversity”, you probably think it’s a way of making all aspects of society more inclusive to reflect the changing nature of all our cultures and ensuring we learn as much as possible from people with different life experience and beliefs than yours. Or you might think it’s a way of trying to shoehorn in major changes to society in order to keep politically correct lobbyists happy. Whichever side of the fence you fall on, it’s interesting to note the reaction of people when decision are made by both publishers and studios to make characters interesting and engaging, regardless of their race. Consider the reaction when Sam Wilson took on the Captain America mantle in Marvel Comics, the outrage was palpable,…

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