Sci-fi Drama Queen

Film, TV and random ramblings, often sci-fi related

Avengers 2: first-look pictures

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It’s not due for release until May 2015, but with little-to no plot details Marvel is teasing us with what is to come from the next phase of its gang of ultimate heroes in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Here are a few of the images that have been released. Don’t you just love how both Black Widow and Thor both have new hair dos for every movie?!

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Image sources: cinemablend.com

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Ding-a-ling! Almost time for the return of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

We’ve known the new season of Downton Abbey was fast approaching, what with those dodgy promo pictures with a modern bottle of water sat on the fire place (see above). But now the trailer has arrived and it does look like we are in for an exciting season at the Downton residence.

It appears the servants are stepping out of their quarters and getting a life!

Downton Abbey returns to ITV on 21 September 2014 in the UK and January 2015 in the US.

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

4000050-guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie-poster-wallpaper-1920x1200I was lucky enough again to get to see a preview of the latest Marvel film thanks to the lovely people at Skype Moments. I wasn’t around for the Captain America: The Winter Solider screening (gutted as my collection of Skype Marvel memorabilia and T-shirts is now not complete) but I did manage to make it this time round to the Guardians of the Galaxy screening.

I’ve been really excited about this screening as it is the first outing from Marvel Studios for an area of the Marvel Universe that I’m not familiar with. Plus from the end credit teasers at the end of the Avengers movies I get that it is loosely linked as they are trying to keep the connection between the Marvel Universe close, whilst launching these other franchises from the page to screen. I have to say this film didn’t disappoint. Where I thought Avengers Assemble was funny, this made Avengers  look serious. It is full of humour, it is completely an action comedy but still has that Marvel comic feel as per the other films. I think it links in perfectly but equally stands alone so well.

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Chris Pratt is just brilliant as Star Lord. And the opening scene (where we first see Chris, not young Star Lord) is brilliant. From that moment I knew I would be heading to iTunes to purchase Awesome Mix Volume 1.

I am Groot

But back to the film itself. I love all of the characters. Who would have thought that “I am Groot” would not get boring?! Bradley Cooper’s voice is barely recognisable as Rocket – although my theory in this is that Chris Pratt sounds very similar so I think they had to lower Bradley’s voice a bit – I’m sure I’m wrong and he is just talking that way as the character but hey-ho.

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I also, (don’t judge me as this proves I’m not as much of a geek as everyone thinks) didn’t realise that Thanos (who appeared at the end of Avengers Assemble) would appear in Guardians of the Galaxy and that he was voiced by Josh Brolin. I guess this is the first comic-film that I haven’t read up on. I didn’t know much on the storyline, I’d only seen the trailer and I decided to keep my knowledge that way. And it paid off as I am more excited by this film then I have ever been of the others. Not necessarily in advance (although the 17 minute preview I saw did help) but coming out of the cinema I have never been so excited to want to go back in and watch it again.

I could go on, but I think I have given you the idea that this is a film worth watching. I will be going back to the cinema to watch it as we didn’t get the end credit teaser (they didn’t want it leaked) so I need to go and see that now.

Guardians of the Galaxy is in cinemas nationwide now.

Image sources: comicvine.com / screenrant.com / screencrush.com

Review: Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler

Marty Reisman

It’s not often that my passion for film collides with my work, and lucky for me this month it has. I’ve been working with U-Dox on the launch of a new documentary directed by Leo Leigh (son of Mike Leigh) – Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler. Don’t be fooled by the title, it is not about a ping pong hustler, it is about an eccentric character who happens to be a ping pong legend and hustler. The film is directed by Leo Leigh, the son of Mike Leigh who directed one of my favourite films Abigail’s Party.

Fact or Fiction: Ping Pong hustler

The film is about Marty Reisman, who won the US championship twice and then went back and won again when he was the ripe old age of 67. In the 70s he was a true legend. He made ping pong cool, his was known for his extravagant fashion and his ‘beautiful stroke’ to quote the man himself. But at aged 80, he could walk down the street and no one knew who he was. If he went to Spin he was a legend, but day-to-day his is lost in the crowd. During the three years the crew followed him you can see this is a man that wants to hold on to the legend he was, as he is getting closer to death he wants to continue the memory, the man that he was. Having a documentary made about him seems to give him some hope, some evidence to show to those around him that he is still of importance in this world.

Ping Pong Hustler

I found this film really gripping, the guy is funny. Although I felt like I was laughing at him at times, I think he was making us laugh. There is also a touching moment too, when he talks about his beloved wife.

I would have loved to have met Marty, and it’s a shame he sadly passed away before the film was released, I think he would have been proud to see his story being told.

Fact or Fiction: The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler is out now on iTunes. Check out the trailer below.

Fact or Fiction : The Life and Times of a Ping Pong Hustler [TRAILER] from UMI on Vimeo.

50 Shades of Grey trailer

50 Shades of Grey trailer

At last. The trailer for 50 Shades of Grey has arrived. Apparently its too raunchy for TV, but fine for the internet. I think the trailer looks good, I really hope that the film lives up to it. We also get to see a look inside the red room and some of Mr Grey’s ‘tools’. So it seems this film is going to be very close to the book, compared to the five minute clip that was shown earlier this year (not for general release), which was reported to focus on the love story. The last few seconds of this trailer are obviously answering the prayers of those that were disappointed with what they had seen before.

Image source: express.co.uk

Singapore Airlines Canary Wharf F1 experience

11 Singapore Airlines Simulator

I’ve been working on something pretty cool this week in my day job. Singapore Airlines is the sponsor of the Singapore Grand Prix, and to celebrate we headed down to Canary Wharf with an F1 simulator car to give Forumla 1 fans a chance to get behind the wheel and race the Singapore Night Race track. One lucky person will be heading off to Singapore to enjoy the Grand Prix in September.

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To kick off this event we took British F1® driver Max Chilton and Sky Sports presenter Natalie Pinkham to meet fans and race themselves. I of course had to get my picture taken with them :-) I think after working with Max and his team Marussia F1 on a previous project I am going to have to keep routing for Max and the team!

Marussia F1 fan

The 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Experience in London’s Canary Wharf is running until this Friday 18 July – so there’s still time to enter.

07 Singapore Airlines Simulator

Check out this video of Max and Natalie talking about the Singapore Grand Prix. Max shares what it’s like to drive the Marina Bay Street Circuit at the premier night race, why street circuits are popular amongst fans around the world, and how the current F1® season is stacking up – including who he thinks will walk away with the drivers’ championship, Rosberg v Hamilton.

For more information on Singapore Airlines and the Singapore Grand Prix visit the website www.singaporeair.com/f1canarywharf.

And for the real F1 geeks, here are some fun facts for you.

F1 infographic

Guardians of the Galaxy preview

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-team

I was lucky enough this evening to be invited to a preview of 17 minutes of the new Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy movie. I never knew much about these comic book characters and thought the original trailer was funny, but didn’t really tell me much about what the film was about.

Then I saw the teaser scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and got excited that this new film could possibly be connected to the Avengers franchise.

We mainly got to see a couple of scenes from the line up (that appears in the first trailer) onwards, as they are all stuck in a prison with an eclectic mix of inmates. This teaser gave us a taste of the characters. I’m wondering if Groot says more than “I am Groot”, as Vin Diesel must have got paid a heck of a lot to say three words!

I was lucky enough to see these scenes on the new IMAX screen at the Empire in Leicester Square. This is a film made for the IMAX. It was also in 3D, and I know I like to rant about my disappointment in the lack of amazing 3D shots in these Marvel movies (Captain America and Thor just don’t play on throwing the shield and hammer at the audience as much as I would like), there were a couple of shots that had me flinching in my seat, so I have hopes that the rest of the film will have more.

From what I saw, this film has great action, great performances and spot on comedy timing – alone with some great quotable moments. I really can’t wait to head to the cinema at the end of the month to see this.

We also got to see this new extended trailer which was released earlier today, you can see if below – tells you a lot more than the first trailer.

Image source: comicbookmovie.com

 

Nakd snacks review

nakd bars

I was recently sent a box of delicious Nakd snacks to try out for my mid afternoon treats from the lovely people at Natural Balanced Foods. Now normally when you want to buy some snacks you have to buy a box of on flavour, or perhaps one that comes with a variety of about three. What was great about the box that I was sent is that you can get a complete mix. I had such an amazing selection, really something for everyone – they went down a treat with my pod mates at work. From ginger bread and cocoa mint to pecan pie and rhubard & custard. These all feel like a naughty treat, but they are all gluten, wheat and diary free and made from raw fruit and nuts.

They are a little high on the calories, but don’t let that put you off, as the calories are coming from natural foods, so much better than tucking into a Mars bar! Not all of them were for me. I’d rather have a piece of fruit. But I really love the nutty and chocolate based ones.

Boxes start at £7.99. For more information head to www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/mixed-boxes.

New Batman V Superman image released

Batman V Superman first look Superman

Ok, Superman, aka Superman is looking hot in this picture. Whilst the previous image of Ben Affleck as Batman was black and white and didn’t really give us that good a look at him, this now shows Superman standing in the rain, and not looking happy.

How long till we get to see Wonder Woman I wonder?

Message in a ‘Bells’ Bottle

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Last week I was invited to the Bell’s Whisky ‘Message in a Bottle’ contemporary art exhibition, at Display Gallery, Holborn. This exhibition was launched to mark Armed Forces Day and celebrate Bell’s partnership with Forces’ charity, Help for Heroes, in which Bells has raise £1m for the charity.  Using an array of sensory cues, the exhibition uniquely recounts the inspirational tales and humbling experiences of Armed Forces’ veterans and people pivotal to their recovery.

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The instillation was created by artist Sebastian Kite, in partnership with creative studio Jotta, and brings to life the stories of over 45 former servicemen and women, their families and supporters. It is an incredible exhibition, bathed in reflective light from 600 glass surfaces, a central beacon of light is suspended from the steel structure above a pool of whisky, which is heated to gently fill the room with gentle malted barley aromas – yummy!  I love the fact that my nose and taste buds are enjoying an exhibition as much as my eyes!

Sebastian Kite

Kite commented on the exhibition:  Message In A Bottle has been an inspiring project to work on.  After immersing ourselves in the veterans’ experiences, we wanted to honour the individuals through the materials and mediums used in the artwork to communicate the journey of recovery. The reflective and restorative properties of light incorporated into cyclical structures represent the regenerative and positive outlook expressed through each tale.”

Sebastian Kite through the Bells bottles

It was great to meet some of the servicemen and women too. I myself have worked with a Forces’ charity before (BLESMA) and have to say, the courage and strength these men and women have is truly incredible. Among the former servicemen and women that attended was Simon Brown, a former British Army Soldier. He was injured during his second tour of Iraq, when he was hit by sniper fire while recovering six colleagues whose vehicle had broken down.  The bullet destroyed his left eye, permanently damaged his right – leaving him with only 19% vision – and shattered both cheekbones.  Help for Heroes gave Simon vital support whilst he rebuilt his life, offering him the opportunity to take part in challenges so he could prove to himself what he could achieve.

Thanks Bells!

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