Category Archives: Foxtel

How Wentworth Survived After Killing Its Queen Bea.

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It’s a risky move for a television show with such a staunch world wide fan base to kill off one of its main characters in an attempt to shake things up and introduce fresh blood and fresh stories yet oddly enough, despite the hark from fans claiming they’ll never watch again, the bold move usually works.  Homeland, House of Cards, Grey’s Anatomy, M*A*S*H and 24 are just some of success stories where killing off main cast have worked in their favor.

Wentworth, is the most recent entry into this world with the murder of main player Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) at the end of the shows fourth season and questions quickly began to flit about how this show could survive without the driving force that Wentworth sprouted itself from.

The tour de force that was Bea Smith and the story around her propelled the show from a generic Prisoner remake into a modern day drama-come-love-story with an incredibly dedicated fan base, devastated their “Queen Bea” had been mercilessly slaughtered at the hands of series villain Joan “The Freak” Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) leaving her girlfriend Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) to pick up the pieces and exact her revenge.

This death, so surprising and utterly shocking, risked putting Wentworth fans off-side with the belief the show was supposed to be a telling of Bea’s entrance into prison and her rise to ‘top dog’ status and while, in point, we did get that tale, the killing off of a main character is still none the less a gusty move for any show.

What we didn’t notice however was the growing importance and build-up of the other characters within the show, each getting story lines that played quietly along the Bea Smith/Joan Ferguson/Allie Novak main story arc, all ready to take effect when the time was needed.

These stories involving Vera’s (Kate Atkinson) battle to maintain control of her governor position, Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) struggling to develop a healthy life outside of the Wentworth with girlfriend Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner), the buddy buddy snitch snitch relationship between Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton) and Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) and current top dog Kaz Proctor (Tammy MacIntosh) feeling her grip loosen on her top dog status were all slowly bubbling along and came to flourish and hit the ground with both guns blazing when the time was right.

This move not only forced us to move on after Bea’s death but implemented a newer relationship with these characters on the back of strong writing and even stronger acting from the cast, allowing the show to thrive in a time of viewer devastation.  The fact that this death wasn’t used as a way to end an ugly love triangle or to move on a story arc that just wan’t working is even more testament to the writing on the show.

Bea’s death was personal but it was also a propeller, not just for the show but for each an every character within the world of Wentworth.  Killing off a Queen Bea can be dangerous but when done right, breathes new life into an already fascinating and intense show.

Wentworth continues Tuesday nights on Showcase and will see production begin this month on season six.

Foxtel Brings X-Men Pop Up Channel for Easter

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In a first for Australia, Foxtel are bringing the entire X-Men movie catalog to its dedicated pop-up channel (channel 400) for fans to binge on X-Men goodness over the Easter break.

Starting from 6am on Good Friday with 2000’s X-Men, nine movies in total will screen back to back ending with 2016’s Deadpool on Monday April 17th.

From characters including Storm, Psylocke, Nightcrawler and Magneto, the mega movie franchise has raked in just shy of 5 billion dollars in wold wide ticket sales and doesn’t appear to be slowing down with the majorly anticipated Deadpool 2 due later this year and the next installment for the X-Men, which is due to be announced sometime soon.

From Foxtel’s press release, the run will see the following movies shown:

X-Men (2000)  Born into a world of prejudice are children who possess extraordinary powers under the tutelage of Professor X, the outcasts learn to harness their powers to protect mankind from the evil Magneto.

X-Men 2 (2003)  Following a shocking attack on the President, the X-Men must stand united with their deadliest enemies to combat a menace that threatens every mutant on the planet – and possibly all of mankind.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)  In this 3rd installment of the X-Men Trilogy a cure is found for mutancy, threatening to alter the course of history. Opposing viewpoints of the mutant leaders trigger the war to end all wars.

X-Men: First Class (2011)  Two young men discover their superhuman powers for the first time, working together in a desperate attempt to stop the Hellfire Club and a global nuclear war.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)  When Sentinels created to hunt and kill mutants begin to target humans too, Wolverine is sent into the past to stop a war that will end with no victor.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)  The X-Men must battle the original and most powerful mutant – Apocalypse, when he is set free after being entombed for several millennia.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)  The story of Wolverine’s violent and romantic past, his complex relationship with Victor Creed, and the ominous Weapon X program.

The Wolverine (2013)  Out of his depth in an unknown world Wolverine faces his ultimate nemesis in a life-or-death battle, confronting not only lethal samurai steel, but also his struggle against his own immortality.

Deadpool (2016)  A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.

 The franchise features a stellar lineup of Hollywood’s best actors across the nine films, including Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, James Marsden, Ian McKellan, Jennifer Lawrence, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Stewart, Olivia Munn and Australia’s own Hugh Jackman in his iconic role as ‘Wolverine’.

Oddly enough, the run of movies only seems to ‘sort of’ hit in chronological order versus release date order with 2009’s Wolverine Origins movie and the subsequent The Wolverine from 2013 showing after 2016’s Apocalypse film.

Home to a series of successful movie marathons (Harry Potter and Star Wars) Channel 400 is available to Foxtel Movies and Foxtel Platinum subscribers only.

The back-to-back binge starts Friday April 14th at 6am with X-Men on channel 400.

 

Wentworth Season 5 – What We Know and What Could we Expect?

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We’re only a few short weeks away from finding out what the fallout is following Bea Smith’s (Danielle Cormack) death at the hands of former prison warden and current inmate Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe)  in the new season of Wentworth starting April 4th on Showcase.

While most of us are hoping for some miracle, it’s no secret that those involved with the show have been very vocal in letting us all know that Bea is in fact very dead and that Cormack is off perusing other projects. That said, the impact of Smith’s murder will play heavily into this upcoming fifth season affecting inmates and prison staff alike.

Foxtel have confirmed that contrary to earlier suggestions, there will be no time jump between the end of season four and the start of season five, with this new season picking up right after Bea’s death with the focus heavily on the theme of revenge as shown in various teaser promos released by Foxtel.

So what do we know so far about season five?  Kaz Proctor (Tammy McIntosh) cements her role as the new top dog within Wentworth but will her ‘no violence’ policy react negatively with the inmates when it comes to the punishment of Ferguson – especially with that of Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) whom unbeknownst to Ferguson, survived her lethal hot shot.

 

Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) continues her top secret mission with  Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) to get Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton) to confess her crimes though has Sonia cottoned on to what Liz is doing?

Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) continues to support Maxine (Socratis Otto) through her battle with breast cancer.

Franky (Nicole DaSilva) and Bridget’s (Libby Tanner) relationship outside the walls of Wentworth continue to go from strength to strength but will Bea’s murder push Franky to do something that will send her right back?

Jake Stewart (Bernard Curry) deals with the consequences of his actions with Ferguson that led to him murdering the key witness in Ferguson’s trial and the smuggling in of the drugs used to give Allie the not-so-lethal hot shot.  This begins to put stress on his relationship with Governor Vera Bennett (Kate Atkinson) who is still blind to his unlawful actions.

All will be revealed when the fifth season of Wentworth begins April 4th on Showcase.

 

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.