Category Archives: Foxtel

First Look Review: The Exorcist

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Alan Ruck and Geena Davis in THE EXORCIST. (c)2016 Fox Broadcasting/Jean Whiteside

A dark an eerie take on the timeless cult horror flick pits Geena Davis against a demonic force that has set its eyes on her family.

Joining the ranks of the ‘reboot’ fad, The Exorcist has a more tender ground to tread on than others within the field thanks to its cult fandom background.  Considered to be one of the scariest films of all time, the 1973 movie of the same name produced an iconic film filled with memorable quotes and scenes (a 360 degree head turn anyone?) that have been done and redone so many times that this new incarnation has to be very careful of not to try and out-do or recreate what has been done and done well.

Thankfully, in this new outing for The Exorcist, it leaves little opportunity open for fans and viewers to mock or gripe.

Taking the lead (and bringing in some worthy star power) Geena Davis plays Angela Rance, a religious upper class working mother who is concerned that the noises and strange occurrences happening in her home might be more than just your everyday easy to explain happenings.  Her husband Henry (Alan Ricks) is a former version of himself due to a workplace accident, her eldest daughter Kat (Brianne Howey) is dark and depressed after a tragic accident that killed her best friend while youngest daughter Casey (Hannah Kasulka) is a care-free and easy going young woman with the world at her feet.

Concerned that troubled Kat may be ‘under the influence of a demon’, Angela asks local priest Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) to do a cleansing of her house though Tomas’ spiritual demons find him playing cat and mouse between a concerned mother worried her daughter is possessed and another priest, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) who has very close ties to the world of exorcisms.

What ensues is a stylish and slick tale about religion in the modern day versus the barriers provided by old-school religion.

At an hour long, the first episode doesn’t feel rushed or have too much crammed into it though there lies a problem in that you begin to question how Angela is so convinced there is a demon in her house when we are not actually privy to any demonic activity (the only real signs is through her telling Father Tomas about cupboards and chairs in the kitchen moving about) and the scene where Father Tomas and Father Marcus meet – via demonic children filled dreams is semi-sketchy to say the least but one could say it’s divine intervention from a higher power to bring the two together.

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We do catch a glimpse of this demonic force, though it’s not until the end of the episode and provides one of the best surprise plot twists presented in a pilot in some time and it’s not the series only card up their sleeve.  The big reveal comes towards the end of episode five that will have those who know the movie literally gagging with excitement about what’s to come.

The Exorcist  begins Sunday December 4, 8.30pm on Showcase.

Pilot score: 4.5/5

Pilot Review: Shades of Blue

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Liotta and Lopez struggle with right and wrong on Shades of Blue. (c) NBC 2016

Premiering Tuesday, August 2 at 8.30pm on Universal Channel is a brand new police crime series that sees all-rounder Jennifer Lopez go toe-to-toe with screen veteran Ray Liotta.  Titled Shades of Blue, the series delves into the corruptness within a Brooklyn police department led by Liotta’s Lieutenant Matt Wozniak.

What starts out as a cover up involving a skittish rookie with a touchy trigger finger and a drug dealer playing video games quickly evolves into an all-out undercover operation involving Lopez’s cash strapped Harlee Santos against her tight-knit crew of officers.

Harlee must find the line between protecting those she works with, her own family and giving the FBI what they need.  It’s not an easy task for Harlee as Wozniak is quick on the mark to note a mole within his crew.

As a whole, Shades of Blue doesn’t really bring anything new to the police procedurals that have flooded our screens over the years involving crooked cops but there is enough twisty plot moments within the first handful of episodes that actually keep the show slightly riveting.  Especially with the question of how much information on her crew Harlee keeps to herself and how much she hands out to the FBI while Wozniak is on the hunt for the mole in his crew.  Sadly though, once you’re past episode three, the series begins to stray away from its main story and offer up filler weekly cases and a somewhat unnecessary look into Harlee’s home life and her unruly teenage daughter.

Liotta, playing crooked cop dedicated to his team, is in his element here.  He tears through every scene he appears in, ready to lay some smack down and dole out some tough talking. While it works for Liotta, he is easily outshone by star Lopez…but not in a good way.

The ‘real’ problem with Shades of Blue is in fact Lopez herself.  It’s not that she is a bad actress or over-acts or anything like that because actually Lopez does hold her own against Liotta and fast talking Drea de Matteo (as officer Tess Nazario).  It’s that..well…it’s Jennifer Lopez.  Curves in all the right places, her perfectly tousled bob flowing effortlessly in the breeze as she totes her gun and flashes her badge in gritty and grungy NYC.  If anything, Lopez is basically one big distraction through no real fault of her own.

You’ll like it if: You enjoy serialized cop dramas with a gritty feel and some interesting plot twists.

You’ll hate it if: You enjoy heavily fleshed out police/crime dramas that delve deeply into character development while maintaining a steady pace to the main story line.

Shades of Blue begins  Tuesday, August 2 at 8.30pm on Universal Channel .

Wentworth Fourth Season Premiere Date Announced

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Mark your diaries people – Wentworth’s fourth season premiere has finally been announced and it’s coming to SoHo on Tuesday, May 10th!  I’ll just start with the reveal trailer….

 

Season four will see Bea and the inmates return to Cell Block H after the destructive fire that tore through the prison in the third season finale but not all is as it seems with another inmate looking to take Bea’s top dog position within the jail.  There’s also a confirmation that Frankie Doyle (Nicole da Silva) and Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) will be back with Frankie now free from Wentworth trying to adjust to life outside the walls of Wentworth and ‘the freak’ aka Joan Ferguson is still around, albeit spending some time wrapped cozily in a stylish white jacket!

New faces to this season includes Sigrid Thornton as Sonia Stevens, a wealthy cosmetics entrepreneur, recent entrant into Wentworth and murder suspect.  Bernard Curry as Corrections Officer Jake Stewart and Kate Jenkinson as another new inmate Allie Novak.

So once again, remember, Season four begins Tuesday, May 10th on the SoHo channel on Foxtel!

Foxtel Opens Up Harry Potter Pop Up Channel

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In a first for Foxtel Movies, all eight Harry Potter movies will be screened back to back on a dedicated pop-up channel through Foxtel giving fans the ultimate Harry Potter binge marathon session over the Easter long weekend.

Starting 6am Friday March 25th and running right through to ‘the early hours’ of Tuesday March 29th, the eight movies will be screened in chronological order on channel 400 starting with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and ending with 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

A global phenomenon, the Harry Potter franchise has garnered fans of all ages for over a decade and made house hold names out of it’s stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

The Harry Potter Pop-up channel will be available to Foxtel Platinum and Foxtel Movies subscribers on channel 400 from 6am March 25th.

SoHo Teases First Wentworth Season Four Look

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Push our buttons why don’t you SoHo!  Yesterday, via the SoHo Channel Facebook page, a small and soundless snippet of a trailer was posted with the words

“Your patience has been rewarded…
Wentworth Season 4 – COMING IN MAY!
#Wentworth #Season4 #SoHoTVAU #Foxtel

That’s it.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Not even an exact date in May!!!  As we’re now in mid March, this is the longest we’ve ever had to wait for any information on the upcoming season of Wentworth (bypassing the new cast members) and this snippet is sure not to be the last before the May premiere date.

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So now it’s a waiting game as SoHo relentlessly tease us with these meager flecks of information!

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Are you excited for the new season of Wentworth?!  Sound off in the comments above!

Wentworth Season 4 Air Date Revealed?!

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One thing is for sure, Wentworth, the top-notch Aussie based prison drama from Foxtel’s SoHo channel, sure know how to keep fans waiting!  While seasons three 2015 premiere date was revealed on Christmas day 2014, the only information us eager fans have been treated to is the casting of Bernard Curry as corrections officer Jake Stewart, Kate Jenkinson as new inmate Allie Novak and Sigrid Thornton as inmate Sonia Stevens.

But, is it possible we’ve finally been given the news we’ve all been waiting for?

Wentworth’s official twitter page has been oddly dormant since Jan 12th, Foxtel’s have been very silent on anything Wentworth and SoHo’s is the same applies to all three’s other social media accounts including Facebook pages.  Wentworth star Danielle Cormack though posted to her Instagram account attempting to set the record straight on the date

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The 25. 04. 2016 date falls into line with Wentworth’s usual premiere dates for an April start, so until official word comes through, as per usual, it’s a waiting game for us all!

 

ANTM Cycle 22 is Full of Crowns, Boobs and Blokes.

This is a true quote #PreAndPostOp
This is a true quote #PreAndPostOp

To be fair, I, for the life of me, cannot remember the last cycle of America’s Next Top Model that I actually watched.  I’m pretty sure the cycle number was in single digits, Twiggy/Janice Dickinson/Paulina Porizkova along with Miss Jay’s were judges, Mr. Jay was dealing with photoshoots and Nigel Barker was there too.  I don’t know why I stopped watching, but it might have something to do with the shows constant failure to actually produce a next top model (unlike our Aussie version – Aussie Aussie Aussie!)  So there, in my email sat the first two episodes for cycle 22 and I reluctantly pressed play…

So, to my shock horror, it turns out, Cycle 22 is waaaaaay different from the last thing I remember watching.  I don’t know how long this change has been in effect ( I could Google but really….) but silver haired Mr.Jay is gone, no haired Nigel Barker is gone and what’s this?  There’s men now in this competition?!

Men?!

Men?!
                                              Alright, who broke Bello’s crown?!

For the most part in cycle 22, there are men, and then there are those more determined to discover what happened to their crown…(just saying).  So on the topic of men, it turns out a bloke won cycle 21 (who knew?) which is making these new bitches even more douchier thirstier than ever before to take home their very own ANTM crown, plus a NEXT Model Management contract, an editorial in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 deal with Zappos (here’s their site in case you have no clue like me)

If one thing is still the same, it’s the varied range of crazy models that end up on this show…some of which are of course purposely kept to get under our skin.

Of the ‘men’, there’s Devon who is an unusual creature and claims to be signed to “six agencies” at the time of his casting to the show…

NO ONE!
NO ONE!

There’s shy Mickey who relies on his hair and literally jumps into testosterone filled puberty by episode two..

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There’s also Bryant…but i’ll let the following GIF do the talking about him –

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Among the girls this cycle is Ava, your token Jesus lovin’, bible fearing gal

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There’s Hadassah, a pageant girl looking to make the move into modelling cause’ she’s not here to make friends..

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and we already got to meet Alexa and her twins right at the beginning of this post.

To say I was getting more of a ‘MTV’s REAL WORLD’ vibe from this show would be an understatement.

So the problem with me and these kinds of shows it that while I originally might be less than enthusiastic to watch, when I do, I become very invested, and very quickly and I always tend to root for the one that’s always in the background or the one that somehow manages to get to fifth place or the one where you ask ‘whats her name again?’ or “is she still even in the show?” like Gage, below, who has literally 20 seconds of screen time by end of episode 2 and who i’m pretty sure is still in the show…

Zac Effron anyone?
Zac Effron anyone?  btw – this is all anyone see’s of Gage after two episodes…

You have to give it to Tyra and her model search empire though.  22 cycles in and this show, just like Tyra, is showing no signs of ageing or slowing down.

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22 begins Thursday night, August 20th, 7:30pm on FOX8.

The Freak is out in THAT Wentworth Season Three Finale

Crazy is as crazy does.  Wentworth went out on a fiery high.
Crazy is as crazy does. Wentworth went out on a fiery high.

I’ve said it the past two seasons and i’ll say it again – Wentworth is nothing short of incredible (Australian) television and Tuesday night’s season three finale only cemented that fact bringing a close to a multitude of story arcs and opening up some brand new ones.

Warning – if you have not seen the season finale – do not continue!  Spoilers beyond!

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The season three finale included the death (booooo) of inmate and she-of-the-eepy-creepy-eyes Jess Warner (Georgia Chara) who finally revealed her true freak and why she found herself in Wentworth, who met an untimely end at the hands of Ferguson (Pamela Rabe), who, herself had a mighty fall from grace as her past indiscretions came to a head and the release of Frankie Doyle (Nicole da Silva) into the waiting arms of former prison counselor Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner).

So now the big questions remain for season four – that sneak peak at the end of the credits featuring a heavily disheveled Ferguson sporting a rather snug straight jacket while sitting in a padded cell – surely that means her story line will continue into season four.  Will Karen Proctor’s (Tammy MacIntosh) entrance into Wentworth prove trouble for Bea (Danielle Cormack) considering Ferguson set Bea up as the informer who tipped the police off to Karen’s involvement with the Red Right Hand vigilante group?  Will Vera (Kate Atkinson) step up as the new governor?  And the biggest of them all – Surely Frankie and Bridget can’t be really gone right?

Either way, I didn’t do too badly in my 8 Wentworth Season Three End Game Suspicions post!  Nailed Jess, Ferguson, Frankie and Karen’s end-games!

Tell me your thoughts people!  What did you think, what do you think and what do you want for season 4?!  Sound off in the comments below!

Wentworth returns to SoHo in 2016 (awww man!!)

Pilot Review – Wayward Pines on FX

WAYWARD PINES:  Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke.  @2014 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Liane Hentscher/FOX
WAYWARD PINES: Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke. @2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Liane Hentscher/FOX

“Do not try to leave. Do not discuss the past. Do not discuss your life before. Always answer the phone if it rings. Work hard, be happy, and enjoy your life in Wayward Pines!”

How does one describe Wayward Pines?  A Murder-mystery with plot twists and turns?  A homage to the 90s classic Twin Peaks?  A drama filled with bat-shit crazy characters?  After watching the pilot episode of Wayward Pines, it’s easy enough to state that all of the above apply though the show itself becomes difficult to truly describe without delving into spoiler territory.

Based off the novels by Blake Crouch, produced by M. Night Shyamalan and developed by Chad Hodge, Wayward Pines, more than anything, plays as a very tight, well done and intriguing shout out to David Lynch’s cult series where the ‘who killed Laura Palmer’ mystery is replaced with ‘two missing secret service agents’.

In this ten-part series, Matt Dillon stars as Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke who, following a car accident, awakens to find himself in the sleepy town of Wayward Pines, Idaho.  His phone and wallet are missing, his wife Theresa (Shannyn Sossamon) isn’t returning his calls and no one is able to provide him with answers regarding the two missing secret service agents he’s been sent off to look for.

Well no one except for barmaid Bev (Juliette Lewis) who seems to be the only of-sound-mind resident in this creepy town and secretly leads Ethan to both missing agents…one dead in an abandoned shack, the other, Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino) claims she’s been living in Wayward Pines for 12 years even though Ethan knows he was with her 5 weeks ago.

Instead of making us wait for answers regarding Ethan’s sanity, it’s made very clear early on that all this ‘crazy’ is not in his head and in fact, even after a severe car accident and subsequent beating, Ethan is actually in a proper frame of mind. During the first few episodes, we learn that surveillance equipment is everywhere, and that the townspeople live by a strict set of rules which forbids them from discussing the lives they had before coming to Wayward – but the bigger question remains – who is listening in?

The first four episodes don’t seem to offer much in the way of variety with each one feeling just as similar as the the previous but for those who stick around, the pay-off comes from episode five on when everything ticks into place and sets the wheel going for a crazy season back end.

It’s not far along into the pilot when that familiar Twin Peaks feel kicks in with Pine’s cast of wayward characters (played by an A-list roster) begin to be introduced.  Toby Jones as psychiatrist Dr. Jenkins, Melissa Leo as Wayward Pine’s head nurse Pam and Terrence Howard as ice-cream loving Sheriff Arnold Pope are just some of the questionable residents of Wayward Pines we meet in the first episode.

Check out the trailer below:

For this first outing, Wayward Pines is one to watch and easily become involved with.

Wayward Pines premiere’s Thursday  May 14th 8:30pm on FX (Foxtel)

Showcase to Marathon OITNB Season 3

Ruby Rose joins the cast of Orange is The New Black's third season
Ruby Rose joins the cast of Orange is The New Black’s third season

Showcase are bringing us the entire run of Orange is the new Black’s third season in one marathon event at the same time the show premiere’s in the US – Jan 12th!

It’s great news for fans of the quirky prison drama (who have access to Showtime via Foxtel) as the channel is also planning a seasons one and two marathon prior to the onset of season three.

So what can we expect for season three?  Netflix are keeping most details hush hush but we already know that local Ruby Rose has joined the cast and that Jason Biggs will not be returning (for season three at least).

Veteran actor Mary Steenburgen will appear playing Pornstache’s (Mendez) mother but how exaclty that will play out considering his current imprisonment and that actor Pablo Schreiber who plays Mendez is a series regular on another show (The brink) and Laura Prepon’s Alex Vause will return as a major player again after being somewhat absent for most of season two.

So mark your calendars – June 12th for the entire third season of Orange is the new Black on Showcase!