Archive for February, 2015
10 Goriest Television Moments
Stop! Don’t look any further if you’re squeamish, or you have a stomach full of food and you’d like it to stay that way.
To celebrate the launch of super gory medical drama Critical for Sky, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 goriest television moments for all of you bloodthirsty television fans!
1. Spartacus: Seddulus’ face sliced off
Is there a better way to assert your dominance in a crowded rebel camp than by slicing off the face of the giant German leader Seddulus? Also, a fitting end to a horrible character – go Spartacus!
2. Breaking Bad: The botched disposal of Emilio’s body
Walt and Jesse’s first attempt at disposing of a body didn’t go too well, due to Jesse’s decision to melt Emilio down with acid in his bathtub, rather than the plastic tub that master chemist Walt suggested. Needless to say, the acid burnt through the bath and ceiling, leaving half-melted body parts strewn over the floor.
3. Game of Thrones: Oberyn’s head crushed by the Mountain
We might not have expected the Viper to outpower the Lannisters’ enormous medieval-muscle-man Gregor Clegane, but we did hope for an ending a little more dignified for Oberyn, who had his skull squished until his head exploded.
4. American Horror Story: Matt Bomer shanked up
We didn’t want the gorgeous Matt Bomer going anywhere near another Ryan Murphy show, let alone the crazed Dandy of AHS: Freak Show, but fortunately for us, Bomer’s hustler character was stabbed to death only after getting his kit off.
5. Penny Dreadful: Frankenstein’s first monster rips through his second
It’s tough vying for Daddy Frankenstein’s attention, but the easy way to get through it is to rip up your replacement immediately.
6. Hannibal: Hannibal hypnotizes Mason Verger to eat own nose
Hannibal easily outmaneuvered Mason Verger by drugging and using the power of suggestion to make him eat his own face – on camera. The grisly moment when Will found Verger feeding parts of his face to the dogs was particularly unforgettable.
7. Vikings: Blood Eagle sacrifice
Finally, both a gore scene and a history lesson! Apparently Vikings used to execute people by a means of torture known as the “Blood Eagle.” Prisoners would have their spines and ribs broken from the back and then their lungs pulled out through the hole.
8. Utopia: Wilson Wilson tortured for information
This scene, which took place in the FIRST EPISODE, was not for the faint of heart and is horrifying in all sense of the word. Due to being part of a group that had possession of a manuscript of government secrets, Wilson Wilson was tortured for information he simply didn’t have. Certainly a test for even Channel 4’s audience.
9. The Knick: Gruesome operations in front of an audience
Sky’s recent venture into the world of gory medical dramas focused on life at the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York during the early twentieth century. At the forefront of medical innovation, world class surgeons often performed surgery in front of audiences.
10. And finally, check out the gore-filled trailer for new Sky series Critical
If you liked the Knick, or got a weird kick from the article above, you’ll probably enjoy new Sky series Critical, which airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on Sky One. The series takes place in real time as doctors fight to save patients at a major trauma unit. Yes, there’s a lot of blood.
Well, that’s us out! Hope you have a fantastic lunch!
Time Crawls When Watching I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse
It crossed my mind last night, whilst watching new zombie reality television show I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse, that BBC Three is possibly churning out rubbish so we’ll be quite glad to see the back of the channel if/when it finally ignores audience opinion to go online-only.
I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse is exactly the reality show one expects from the title. Unfortunately, everything about it is as predictable as the title. The challenges are mediocre, unoriginal and largely non-entertaining. In the first episode, the contestants have to try to find their lost family as well as food and water supplies for their base.
The problem with the premise of the show is, obviously, zombies aren’t real. The audience knows this. The producers know this. The contestants know this. The show is not original enough in its staging or challenges to ever get past this. The contestants aren’t particularly bothered that they are supposed to be stuck in a building with hoards of flesh-eating zombie outsides, their families probably dead, probably going insane themselves from a combination of paranoia and starvation. Whilst facing the impending terror of zombie-actors, the contestants prove this by their lackluster jogging – sometimes merely walking – away from the zombies.
Instead of fear and discussion of survival techniques, we get mundane Big Brother-esque drama as ten people are put in a room together with cameras.
The nature of this being a show about non-entities means that the whole production seems terribly manufactured. There is no spontaneity. The challenges are set by the producers and the contestants will react how they are expected to act. We know really that all reality shows are extremely manufactured, but that’s not to say there’s no place for the pretense.
There are good moments. I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse is well put together, with great cut-scenes and excellent soundtrack choices. The idea that the zombie outbreak was caused by 5G is a stroke of genius (though does remind me of Clara’s little problem with the wifi in that Doctor Who episode). The challenge where one contestant gets stuck in an air vent with a zombie is the stuff of claustrophobic nightmares. But these moments are few and far between.
Perhaps this had potential. It was likely commissioned off the back of In The Flesh’s success for BBC Three, and might have worked better as an hour of meaningless fun alongside the oft-dark zombie drama. However, BBC Three has since given up on In The Flesh, and apparently lost all love for the zombie genre. If this was going to work, it needed to be terribly innovative – a new way of looking at reality TV – and it isn’t. It’s hard to believe anyone who wasn’t involved in the making of this reality show would get any pleasure from watching their hour crawl lifelessly away.
Oscar Winners 2015: Powerful moments rebut lack of diversity
Last night’s Academy Awards honoured a host of rather predictable winners for their achievements in film over the past year.
Popular favourite Birdman swept up the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Achievement in Cinematography. Meanwhile, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore were named Best Actor and Best Actress respectively, and JK Simmons and Patricia Arquette were awarded Best Supporting Actor and Actress – all of these having been hotly tipped to win by bookies in the lead-up to the awards.
Unfortunately, it was simply a matter of fact that this year’s Oscar winners would be a largely homogenous group when it came to skin colour, sexual orientation, body type etc. See for example this alabaster collage of the nominees for the four acting categories:
Since the Oscar nominations were announced in January, we and many others have been raging over the lack of diversity among those the Academy has chosen to honour, with actors of colour and female filmmakers being largely overlooked.
Nevertheless, those of us lamenting the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations were given reasons to celebrate by a number of powerful moments during the awards ceremony. Here’s a roundup of the most fist-pump-inducing moments.
Neil Patrick Harris’s welcome as the ceremony’s host: “Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest.”
David Oyelowo, Kerry Washington and others talking inequities on the red carpet:
“The voting system didn’t reflect the community … I just think every facet of life, whether it’s institutions or just the nation in general should reflect what society is composed of, not just racially, but in terms of sex as well, women, young, old.” – D.O.
“It’s less about the Academy and more about the business in general … we need to be more and more inclusive in the stories we tell and the stories we support in theatres” – K.W.
Patricia Arquette pushing for wage equality and equal rights for women in her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech:
Graham Moore moving us to tears and creating the #StayWeird hashtag when accepting his award for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Imitation Game):
Common and John Legend’s performance of ‘Glory’…
And their acceptance speech for Best Original Song (Selma):
All in all, not a bad reaction to the Oscars with the ‘whitest nominees’ since 1995.
The full list of winners:
Best picture: Birdman
Best director: Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Best actor: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Best actress: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Best supporting actress: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Best supporting actor: JK Simmons for Whiplash
Original screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo – Birdman
Adapted screenplay: Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
Achievement in costume design: Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling: Frances Hannon & Mark Coulier – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best foreign-language film: Ida – Paweł Pawlikowski
Best live-action short film: The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas
Best documentary short subject: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry
Achievement in sound mixing: Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley
Achievement in sound editing: American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Achievement in visual effects: Interstellar – Paul J Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R Fisher
Best animated short film: Feast – Patrick Osborne, Kristina Reed
Best animated feature film: Big Hero 6
Best production design: The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
Achievement in cinematography: Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
Achievement in film editing: Whiplash – Tom Cross
Best documentary feature: Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
Best original song: ‘Glory’ from Selma – Lonnie Lynn (Common), John Stephens (John Legend)
Best original score: Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mission Survive: Excellent Casting Makes Show Shine
Bear Grylls’ new show is not about brawn and it’s not sensationalist television, it’s about finding a hero, and it succeeds in being a kind of original, entertaining new format with excellent celebrity casting.
We begin as you’d expect, with the celebrities admitting their lack of preparation for a survival challenge. Kelly’s scared of water. Tom thinks if left alone he could be dead in three hours. Max claims the most extreme environment he’s ever encountered is Salford.
In the first episode, each of the celebrities have to jump, unaided, from a helicopter into a nasty looking algae-covered lake, leaving them emerging looking like, in Vogue’s William’s middle class words “quinoa.” It all goes according to plan, almost – Jamelia’s freaked and falls spectacularly, and, surprisingly, Kelly Holmes is afraid of water as well as losing.
Finally in the camp, the celebrities get an easy day of it. Bear explains he’s given them all the materials, food and tools they need to survive – including, get this, brain and heart, which apparently taste like corned beef – and they basically just have to survive the night without him. They manage to set a camp up, thanks mostly to Vogue’s two construction degrees, relight a fire they left to get sodden during a tropical downpour, and battle a terrifying spider.
Their next challenge is riding a horse to their next camp, which proves terrifying for Jamelia, who normally leaves the difficult task of horse-riding to her children. Of course, the prospect of jumping on a horse is no bother for Zara Phillips’ beau Mike Tindall, nor Laurence Fox, whom shares banter with Mike over not being able to make the polo team at Harrow.
They reach a new clearing, and are tasked with retrieving their food, which is held in sacks in the treetops and requires the skilled use of ropes and climbing. The others are tasked with clearing the area and setting up tents and a fire. Here’s where it goes horribly wrong. Kelly and Mike at first make quick work of the sacks, until Mike starts getting tired. Meanwhile, the celebrities attending the camp are next to useless. Vogue is skinning a wet tree branch for the fire, Max has no idea how to put the hammocks up, and Jamelia and the fire just doesn’t work out.
At the end, there’s an elimination. Except there isn’t. None of the celebrities have proved themselves useless yet, or rather, the ones who have have been the most entertaining to watch.
The show is not alike I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here, yet it’s very easy to make the comparison. They both involve abandoning celebrities in the jungle to see what happens. There’s also some eating of strange things. But that’s where it ends. Firstly, Bear is a sympathetic, if hard, mentor. He’s a guy to aspire to, and the celebrities – all worthy of the title ‘celebrity’ by the way – are understandably in awe. Secondly, the celebrities involved are all strong characters, and it’s clear none have been brought in with the intention of being disruptive and causing drama. One can’t imagine Gemma Collins taking part in Mission Survive. They’re all potentially people who might win, and it’s refreshing. Thirdly, it’s not sensationalist television. It doesn’t need to be sensationalist television, because the tasks and skills these celebrities need to survive are sensational in themselves. We’re sure if you gave it three or four series, Mission Survive might get dull and flat, but right now it’s probably the hottest celebrity reality show of recent months.
Do we like it? Yes, and we’ll probably keep watching. It’s celebrity reality television sure, but it’s of the better kind, and stars a well-thought out ensemble. Watching people doing incredible things, that’s basically like doing them yourself, right?
Boyhood vs. Birdman: The Oscars Race for Best Picture
As this year’s Academy Awards loom just around the corner, the competition for Best Picture is looking like a two horse race between Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.
While we’re secretly hoping for underdog Whiplash to swoop in from the left field and take home the Academy’s biggest accolade on Sunday night, chances are the film gods will vote in favour of one of these two heavyweight contenders.
So, who will come out victorious between Linklater’s 12-year labour of love and González Iñárritu’s innovative blockbuster?
We’ve weighed up the facts so you don’t have to.
As you can see, the competition is almost neck and neck in terms of numerical stats. Yet there are a couple of other theories which may give clues as to Sunday’s final outcome.
For example, Birdman won Best Film at this year’s PGA, DGA and SAG awards. Only 2 films ever (Apollo 13 in 1996 and Little Miss Sunshine in 2007) won both the SAG and PGA awards for Best Picture, but didn’t win Best Picture at the Oscars. Ouch!
Meanwhile, Boyhood is a pretty safe bet to win Best Film Editing at this year’s Oscars; a category that Birdman isn’t even nominated in. It’s been 35 whole years since a film wasn’t nominated for Best Editing and still went on to win Best Picture. Will 2015 break that trend?
For all our speculation, we’ll just have to wait and see how the die is cast at Sunday’s ceremony. If we had our pick, we’d give the gong to Boyhood. If for nothing else, it’d give Michael Keaton one less reason to walk around with his head up his arse.
Bobby Beale Turns Damien Thorn: Internet Reacts
It finally happened. Bobby Beale – Ian’s cute, not-yet-corrupt (or so we thought) 11-year-old son – has been unveiled as the murderer we’ve been waiting for since last August.
— BBC One (@BBCOne) February 19, 2015
It wasn’t as big a shock as it could have been, as bookies had Bobby placed as favourite immediately before the show aired, but we didn’t think EastEnders would actually go into Omen territory.
Neither, apparently, did most of the Twitter. Here are some of the best responses to the revelation:
Suddenly small children were being recognised for the danger they pose to society:
ever since eastenders last night im keeping my little brother locked up in the dog cage so he doesn't beat me to death with a brick
— lara (@irlsansa) February 20, 2015
Quite worried about how my little brother watched eastenders with me tonight, might have to chuck him out can't take these risks
— Sabrine (@SabrineAouni) February 19, 2015
Little brother and I were about to get into a fight over scrabble, I let him win I am not risking anything tonight mate #EastEnders
— amrit (@InnerAphrodite) February 19, 2015
Some critiqued the originality of the storyline:
— Behlul (@behlul_official) February 19, 2015
Others were simply amused:
— Aaron Anthony (@_Aaron_Anthony_) February 19, 2015
— #Sinu. ♤ (@sinu_suresh) February 19, 2015
Meanwhile, Dot’s storyline caused confusion over which show was on television:
— Chuck Thomas (@chuckthomasuk) February 20, 2015
— Sadie Evans (@Sidpea) February 20, 2015
Tune in for yet another live episode of EastEnders tonight at 8pm on BBC One.
Amazon Picks Up Pilots For Full Series
The audiences have spoken! Amazon Prime Instant Video have unveiled the fruits of their January pilots season, and we can reveal which of the new shows we’ll be seeing more of.
The Man In The High Castle
So, The Man In The High Castle is the new darling of the January pilots season, being the most watched Amazon Original pilot since their January pilots began. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check out the superb first episode, the series is based off an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick which depicts a world where Germany and Japan won World War II and the two superpowers are fighting their own cold war in very different – yet very similar – circumstances.
Mad Dogs, an American remake of the British show with the same name, has also been picked up by Amazon for a full season. The series is about a reunion of old friends in a Belizean villa where everything goes quite wrong. Long-held grudges, lies and a body all come to the surface.
The New Yorker Presents
The innovative The New Yorker Presents has also seen success and will be picked up for the full-season. The docu-series is quite unlike anything Amazon or others have tried before, reenacting stories and presenting poems and ideas from the beloved magazine. It’s basically everything that makes The New Yorker such a cultural delight to read, presented visually. The pilot is out there, but it seems to have worked.
Here’s hoping each full series can fulfill the promise of the pilots!
Watch Game of Thrones Deleted Scenes
We just keep getting Game of Thrones goodies! In the buildup to the upcoming fifth season, we’ve finally got our hands (okay, eyes) on some Game of Thrones deleted scenes from season four, courtesy of the official Game of Thrones Youtube channel.
The first of the deleted scenes features the aftermath of Tyrion dumping Shae and provides a little more insight into why she chose to betray her former lover so devastatingly later on in the series. In the clip, she is comforted by Bronn in the sort of way one can imagine Bronn comforting someone.
The second of the clips sees Missandei trying to comfort Daenerys after she learns of Jorah’s treacherous past. In it, she warns Missandei never to betray her.
So, basically, what we’ve learnt from these clips being deleted is that the Game of Thrones girls are sassy ladies who don’t need your comfort, thank you very much.
QUIZ: Which Breaking Bad Character Are You?
Have you watched today’s episode of Better Call Saul on Netflix yet?
If you’re waiting til tonight, we’ve constructed a very accurate personality quiz to help you pass the time.
Just click on the link below and answer the ten simple questions to find out which of the original Breaking Bad characters you’re most like. Will you be a heinous Heisenberg, a stern Skyler, or a sleazy Saul? A meddling Marie or an heroic Hank?
Find out with our Breaking Bad quiz below!