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The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Mark Strong, will open the BFI London Film Festival on October 8th, according to Variety.

The movie is a biopic of genius mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing, who was recruited during World War II to break secret German codes.  He is also credited with being a pioneer in computer science.  Prosecuted in the 1950′s for his sexual orientation, he was chemically castrated but committed suicide two years later.  He received a posthumous pardon from Queen Elizabeth last year.

The film opens on November 21st in the U.S.  It has already received a lot of buzz from those who have seen it, including buzz of the Oscar kind.  From the trailer below, it looks like it could be a contender.

Marvel Release Dates

marvel_logo_wallpaper_via_screenrantMarvel has announced release dates for their films through May of 2019 on their website.  The dates are:  July 28, 2017; November 3, 2017; July 6, 2018; November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019.  These are the dates for the so-called Phase 3 of the MCU.

Cryptically, they didn’t want to name which films will be filling those dates, but Den of Geek has some pretty good guesses.  We know there will be Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dr. Strange, Ant-Man, and a third Captain America film.  That would seem to pretty much fill the dates, but what about Guardians of the Galaxy 2?  Thor 3?  Another Iron Man is a possibility, but I’m less sure about this one.  And what about the rumors that there will be a film with a female superheroine lead?

Guess we’ll have to keep our ears pinned to the ground to find out.

Marvel logo image via screenrant.com

GOTG_Bus-Shelter_RonanMarvel has dropped three new character posters for Guardians of the Galaxy, this time for villains Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou).  Ronan is shown on this post, you can see all three at IGN here.

And CinemaBlend.com has info (original source Stitch Kingdom) on Nathan Fillion’s cameo in GoTG, which is said to be the character “Monstrous Inmate.”  Other appearances will be made by Stan Lee, Rob Zombie and director James Gunn.  If you want more info (spoilers may be included) hit this link.

To add to their latest shuffling of characters in the comic world, Marvel announced that Steve Rogers will no longer be Captain America.  Rogers loses his powers (and his youthful good looks) after a fight with Iron Nail.  Strapping on Captain America’s shield instead will be The Falcon, played in the latest Captain America film by Anthony Mackie.  Rogers will still be inhabiting the Captain’s muscled frame for the films, though, as Chris Evans has several Marvel movies left on his contract.

Guardians TV Spot #7

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn tweeted this pic of Lee Pace (Ronan) at the controls of Star-Lord’s ship the Milano.

There will be not one, not two, but three soundtracks released, including Awesome Mix Vol. 1, the tape in Quill’s Walkman created by his mother:

1. “Hooked on a Feeling” Performed by Blue Swede

2. “Go All the Way” Performed by Raspberries

3. “Spirit in the Sky” Performed by Norman Greenbaum

4. “Moonage Daydream” Performed by David Bowie

5. “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” Performed by Elvin Bishop

6. “I’m Not in Love” Performed by 10cc

7. “I Want You Back” Performed by Jackson 5

8. “Come and Get Your Love” Performed by Redbone

9. “Cherry Bomb” Performed by The Runaways

10. “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” Performed by Rupert Holmes

11. “O-O-H Child” Performed by The Five Stairsteps

12. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Love The Raspberries, but why, oh why, did they have to put in The Pina Colada Song??

The soundtracks will be released on July 29th.

… and here’s another TV spot for GoTG, explaining why Gamora and Drax aren’t big fans of Ronan.  You’re welcome.

 

Here’s an extended spot with some new footage.  They just keep comin’ now that we’re only a couple of weeks out.

 

Big Changes for Thor

MarvelThorWomanHold on to your panties, comic book fans – Marvel has just announced that Thor will now be… a woman.

In the comics, anyway.  Seems that Thor has screwed up badly somehow, and is no longer worthy of wielding the power of Mjolnir.  Here is the official press release:

Marvel is excited to announce an all-new era for the God of Thunder in brand new series, THOR, written by Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder, Original Sin) complimented with art from Russell Dauterman (Cyclops).

This October, Marvel Comics evolves once again in one of the most shocking and exciting changes ever to shake one of Marvel’s “big three” – Captain American, Iron Man and Thor – Marvel Comics will be introducing an all-new THOR, GOD OF THUNDER. No longer is the classic male hero able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, a brand new female hero will emerge will who will be worthy of the name THOR. Who is she? Where did she come from and what is her connection to Asgard and the Marvel Universe?

“The inscription on Thor’s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well it’s time to update that inscription,” says Marvel editor Wil Moss. “The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute – she’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!”

Series writer Jason Aaron emphasizes, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”

THOR is the latest in the ever-growing and long list of female-centric titles that continues to invite new readers into the Marvel Universe. This female THOR is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and aims to speak directly to an audience that long was not the target for Super Hero comic books in America: women and girls.

I’m assuming that Chris Hemsworth is in no danger of being replaced in the films, at least not yet.

You can see more official artwork here at TheMarySue.com.

Marvel has released nine new stills from Guardians of the Galaxy, including a new one of Lee Pace as villain Ronan the Accuser.  You can see them on the Facebook page for the movie here.  Click on this link to see all 9.

Right now they’re predicting GoTG will have a $60 million opening.  Guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks how accurate that figure is!

In the meantime, two short new spots have come out, courtesy of ComicBookMovie.com, and they are below:

thorin-and-thranduil_inhisfaceTheOneRing.net (TORn) has found the official synopsis for the third Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies, and had it translated from German (German?  Yeah, I don’t know, either.)

So here it is – it will be an epic battle between dwarves, elves, men and some very evil supernatural forces:

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

Image: Richard Armitage as Thorin and Lee Pace as Elvenking Thranduil

missmarple_juliemckenzieAs reported earlier, the BBC will again have rights to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, taking over from iTV.  The Beeb doesn’t have any plans for more Miss Marple episodes in the near future, instead going for Tommy and Tuppence stories.  However, there were three episodes of Julia McKenzie’s Marple that were made by iTV that have not aired here in the U.S.  PBS is going to air those episodes this fall on Masterpiece Mystery, so we will get to see the final three episodes made starring Julia McKenzie.

The series includes A Caribbean Mystery (previously done by Joan Hickson as Marple) on September 21, Greenshaw’s Folly (also September 21 following A Caribbean Mystery) and Endless Night (September 28).  I think PBS may have errors in this schedule, however, since all of these are 90-minute episodes and they’re showing Greenshaw’s coming at 9 ET after Caribbean, which starts at 8.

This series (labeled series 6 in the U.K., series 7 on PBS) is also available on amazon.co.uk.  This would, of course, be region 2, so if you’re in the States you’ll need a multi-region DVD player if you go that route.

Image: Julia McKenzie as iTV’s Miss Marple

 

The latest movie star to get a television series is Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four).  Gruffudd stars in a new series on ABC this fall called Forever.  His character’s name is Henry Morgan (Henry?  He’s definitely not a “Henry,” but I digress…) and he’s a medical examiner who also happens to be a 200-year old immortal.  He’s searching for the answer to his inability to die while solving the murder of the week.

Forever will be airing Tuesday nights on ABC.  This is not Gruffudd’s first rodeo with ABC – he guest-starred on Castle this past season and gave Rick plenty to worry about when it came to his relationship with Beckett.

Not sure if this is going to be a hit, but hey, it’s Ioan Gruffudd so I’ll tune in and check it out to see.

E! Online has an article here, and here is the official website.  Below is the trailer.

Here’s a new, extended international trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy with some new footage, particularly of main villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).  And we hear him speak for the first time!  Yep, I think Ned the Piemaker has left the building.

Oh, and there’s finally a tiny glimpse of Michael Rooker as Yondu.

Those lucky folks who were able to see the 17-minute sneak peek of GoTG have been raving about how good it is.  As if we were worried.

Enjoy, y’all –

MissFisher_blackandwhiteMiss Phryne (pronounced FRY-knee) Fisher (Essie Davis) is a P.I.  In the 1920′s. But if you have her pictured as a starving private eye with a dingy office over a Chinese restaurant, you’d have it all wrong.  She’s a very independent, very rich and fashionable woman who takes cases that somehow invariably end up with at least one someone being murdered.  And murder, of course, means the police must be called in, namely Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page, who looks like a doppelganger for Ioan Gruffudd), and Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt).

Phryne has a flirtatious relationship with the married-in-name-only Inspector, while her maid Dot (Ashleigh Cummings) has a soft spot for Hugh.  The remainder of the cast includes the butler, appropriately named Mr. Butler (Richard Bligh), and cabbies Bert and Cec (Travis McMahon and Anthony Sharpe), who moonlight helping Phryne with her investigations.

Did I mention this is an Australian television show?

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is adapted from the novels by Kerry Greenwood, and two series have been completed.  A third series was just commissioned.

I happened upon these only because they were in my list of suggested shows on Netflix.  Here in the U.S. we can also see it when/if it airs on PBS, through an Acorn British TV subscription (which, if you have Netflix, is redundant for the most part) or by waiting for the downloads or DVD’s to show up.

I’ve gone through only a few episodes, but I love them already.  It’s witty, fun, occasionally serious (such as when it delves into controversial-for-its-time areas like interracial marriage), and is well-written and acted.  One of the best parts, outside of the flirting between Phryne and Jack of course, are the clothes.  Phryne has some of the most gorgeous outfits you’ll ever see (I’m particularly fond of her hats).  Last year the show’s wardrobe team very deservedly won the AACTA award for Best Costume Design in Television.

If you need some summer reading material, you can also download the Kerry Greenwood novels.  I have one of those sitting on my Nook, but haven’t gotten to it yet.  If the television series is anything to go by, though, spending some reading time with the spunky Miss Fisher will definitely be worth my while.  Right after I’m done watching all the episodes on Netflix, of course.

Check out this interview with star Essie Davis on tellyspotting.org.

sherlock_series3_castThe BBC has announced that Sherlock will be back — beginning with a special that will air at Christmas, 2015.  A fourth series of three episodes will follow.

Getting the actors together for three months to film a series is becoming more and more difficult with the schedules of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman perpetually full, but it looks like they will start filming the special beginning in January.

No word on when the three episodes will air.

Co-creator and Mycroft Holmes portrayer Mark Gatiss does say that the series will take Holmes and Watson “into deeper and darker water.”  Deeper and darker than the last one??  Personally, I’d rather see them get back to solving crimes and keep Sherlock and Watson out of mortal danger for a while!

Christie_ATTWNJust saw this, which was reported back in February in The Mirror.  I was poking around hoping to find that Julia McKenzie would finally be doing another series of Miss Marple stories for iTV, however, it looks like the BBC will once again take possession of Agatha Christie’s spinster amateur detective, as well as Hercule Poirot and her other characters.

Your webmistress has been a little under the weather the last few days, so of course when one feels like crap there’s nothing better to cheer you up than a good murder, so I’ve been binge-watching Agatha Christie stuff on Netflix.  I have the DVD’s of the series starring Julia McKenzie (in one episode of which, Murder is Easy, Benedict Cumberbatch played a detective), but I hadn’t seen the ones with Joan Hickson.  I loved them!  Hickson was a wonderful Miss Marple, even if it did look like she was somewhat frail.

Anyway, I was hoping that there might be some news about Christie’s stories coming back to TV, but I didn’t expect to see this.  It looks like the BBC won’t be bringing Miss Marple back, at least not in the near future; they will instead have a series starring Christie’s private eye couple Tommy and Tuppence.

But first, apparently, will be a Christmas, 2015 three-hour movie adaptation of my favorite Agatha Christie novel, And Then There Were None, which I happen to have just started re-reading.  It was originally titled Ten Little Indians, but the title was evidently changed at some point to be more PC.  The premise of And Then There Were None is similar to the locked room conundrum, except this was a locked island instead.  Ten people are taken to an island under false pretenses.  The island is then cut off by a storm, and one by one everyone on the island is killed.  No other people are on the island, and no — in case you were thinking it — an animal is not the culprit.

I’ll keep an eye on what happens with the Christie stories.  Maybe we’ll be lucky enough that PBS will pick them up for their Masterpiece Mystery series.

GoTG_VonSpears_visits_RonanGuardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has released a pic of his dog, Von Spears, and he’s not sitting in just anybody’s chair.

He’s sitting in the seat of none other than main villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), aboard his ship The Dark Aster.  The pic does give us a good view of the inside of the big bad’s spacecraft.

Proof that cats may well be smarter than dogs.  After all, you don’t see Emily Monster anywhere!

If you want another view of Pace as Ronan, go here to sciencefiction.com.  As mentioned there, James Gunn thinks Ronan is an evil devil, but that Pace may be the nicest guy he’s ever worked with.  Awwww!!

Photo by James Gunn, via comicbook.com

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