Da Vinci’s Demons’ Season 2 and NYCC Coverage

David S. Goyer, Tom Riley, Blake Ritson, Laura Haddock, Gregg Chillin(PCM) From creator David S. Goyer, The STARZ original drama, Da Vinci’s Demons returns for season 2 on Saturday March 22, 2014. When Florence is thrown into chaos in the wake of the Pazzi conspiracy, Leonardo da Vinci must push the limits of his own mind and body to defend the city against the forces of Rome. In the meantime the Medicis go to unthinkable lengths to deal with new threats, as da Vinci continues on his quest to find the fabled Book of Leaves and uncover the secret history of his mother. He quickly realizes that he will encounter new enemies and lethal competition in his quest. His search will take him to lands far and away and force him to reevaluate everything he knows. Check out the season 2 trailer below!

You can also check out the round-table interviews from New York Comic-Con right here!

The post Da Vinci’s Demons’ Season 2 and NYCC Coverage also appeared on Television News.

Bad Words Review

bad-words-jason-bateman-03-636-380(PCM) Jason Bateman (“Identity Thief”) makes his feature directorial debut with the subversive comedy BAD WORDS. He stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. While reporter Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn of “We’re the Millers”) attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya Chopra (Rohan Chand of “Homeland”), who is completely unfazed by Guy’s take-no-prisoners approach to life.

Bateman gets to step completely out of usual straight man act, and he really takes advantage of it. The films premise is simple enough; a disgruntled man enters a enters a children’s spelling bee through a loophole to prove some point, that will be revealed throughout the film. As the contest goes on, “Guy” befriends an 11 year-old fellow competitor, and as you can imagine, hijinks ensue.

There is no doubt that Jason Bateman brings a little bit of “ Michael Bluth” into every role he takes on, but in his directorial debut, Bateman really brings on the characters’ resentment, that we all know he’s capable of, but usually holds back a bit in previous roles. Its great to see Bateman honestly looking like he’s having fun with a role, and its not just his performance. As a whole the movie feels like a breath of fresh air, something a bit different and defiantly screwed up. Fans of deadpan delivery should definitely enjoy this film. The way that Bateman’s character, Guy, treats children is uncanny. Nobody dies or gets physically hurt. But feelings? A childs’ feelings? They don’t just get hurt… they get smashed to bits, horrifically and often very profanely.

badwords_aThe heart of the movie is all about the relationship between Guy and Chaitainya, which is both hilarious and unexpectedly tender. “Bad Words” is a movie about loneliness and kids in need of better parenting, not to mention a ridiculous buddy flick involving an adult who dishes out a vivid verbal takedown of a unlikable mothers’ vagina and a kid who gets drunk and debates whether all women have nipples. All in all it’s a dark comedy that can make us believe in the friendship between a wounded jerk and a lost child and the ability in doing something right.

The post Bad Words Review also appeared on PCM Reviews.

RoboCop (2014) Review

2014_robocop(PCM) The original Robocop was an unexpectedly intelligent story, mocking our consumer driven society with shocking violence and self-referential humor. Like most of Paul Verhoeven’s films, Robocop was ahead of its time. Many elements of the 1987 film are still relevant today, in fact most of the sci-fi concepts from the original have become reality. This means director Jose Padhila and company had to take a different approach in an attempt to build upon the original story and draw in a modern audience.

The task of rebooting Verhoeven’s R-rated ultra-violent social satire for the modern ages would be daunting to say the least. A large part of the original RoboCop fan-base see Verhoevens’ film as a classic piece of cinema and even mentioning a reboot is considered blasphemy. Lets get something clear. Just because a movie gathers a cult following, does not make it a classic.

Joel Kinnaman (The Killing) steps into the iconic role of Alex Murphy, and although his performance might not be as memorable as fan-favorite Peter Weller, Kinnaman definitely pulls it off. This time around the story focuses a lot more on getting to know who Alex Murphy is, and what he is experiencing as he transforms from an everyday family man to a cutting-edge cyborg. Instead of clever tongue-in-cheek satire we are presented with philosophical questions, primarily focusing on humanity and the increasing use of cybernetic technology in everyday life. At times the film can be a little heavy-handed with presenting these questions and themes, most notably the scenes with Samuel Jackson. Although these scenes are quite enjoyable and arguably help maintain concepts from the original, they feel somewhat forced and prevent the film from fully developing into it’s own original story.

Besides Kinnaman and Jackson, Robocop (2014) has an incredibly strong supporting cast including Michael Keaton, as OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars and Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton, one of the leading minds in the scientific community, specializing in cybernetic prosthetics for amputees. Although OmniCorp continues to develop groundbreaking technology to better humanity and help individuals, their most lucrative market is the use of robotics in security and defense. Basically every country uses OmniCorp products such as ED, EM, and XT security robots to fight terrorism and maintain social order. Every  country besides America. The majority of U.S. citizens oppose legislation that would allow a machine to take charge in life or death situations.  Hell bent on getting the America to accept the use of robotics in everyday life and growing increasingly impatient, Sellars’ convinces Dr. Norton to use his research to help create a robot Americans will accept, by putting a man in a machine.
robocop-2014Besides Kinnaman and Jackson, Robocop (2014) has an incredibly strong supporting cast including Michael Keaton, as OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars and Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton, one of the leading minds in the scientific community, specializing in cybernetic prosthetics for amputees. Although OmniCorp continues to develop groundbreaking technology to better humanity and help individuals, their most lucrative market is the use of robotics in security and defense. Basically every country uses OmniCorp products such as ED, EM, and XT security robots to fight terrorism and maintain social order. Every  country besides America. The majority of U.S. citizens oppose legislation that would allow a machine to take charge in life or death situations.  Hell bent on getting the America to accept the use of robotics in everyday life and growing increasingly impatient, Sellars’ convinces Dr. Norton to use his research to help create a robot Americans will accept, by putting a man in a machine.

roboAt it’s core, this modern day remake shares many similarities with the original film. The story focuses on Alex Murphy, an honest cop in a corrupt society who is critically injured in the line of duty. Murphy becomes the prime candidate for an experiment which would combine man and machine and create the ultimate law enforcement officer thanks to the top of line line tech company, OmniCorp. Excluding the premise for the story, Padhila’s version is significantly different than the original, introducing thoughts and ideas that Verhoeven never really had a chance to explore.

Jose Padilha is given the almost impossible task of appeasing fans of the 1987 original cult classic while adapting the story for modern times. Many seem quick to judge the premise of this remake and the switch to a PG-13 rating. What many aren’t considering is that a remake, good or bad, will draw attention to franchise and suddenly a whole new generation is rushing out to buy the original. Although the final product isn’t perfect, the film succeeds in creating an enjoyable and thought provoking story, and a world I hope they continue to explore.

The post RoboCop (2014) Review also appeared on PCM Reviews.

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