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Spring 2016 TV Series Premiere Dates

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

The idea of a mid-season has essentially fallen by the wayside thanks to cable and streaming, with TV launches seemingly occuring every month now. Nevertheless the first third or so of the year has become one of the busiest times not just for the return of network shows after an extended Christmas/New Year break but also new season premieres and new series launches.

Today comes a handy schedule to keep you on track for many popular or intriguing shows both old and new. Amongst the new show highlights there's "11/22/63," "American Crime Story," "Cassius and Clay," "The Crown," "Damien," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," "The Get Down," "Lucifer," "Mad Dogs," "Marvel's Luke Cage," "Outcast," "The Path," "Preacher," "Rush Hour," "Taboo," "Vinyl," & "Westworld"

New seasons of current shows I'm looking forward to include: "12 Monkeys," "The 100," "The Americans," "Archer," "Bates Motel," "Black Sails," "Bosch," "Doctor Who," "The Fall," "Game of Thrones," "Hell on Wheels," "House of Cards," "Line of Duty," "The Man in the High Castle," "Marvel's Agent Carter," "Marvel's Daredevil," "Mr. Robot," "Orphan Black," "Outlander," "Penny Dreadful," "Rick and Morty," "Ripper Street," "Samurai Jack, "Sense8," "Sherlock," "The Strain," "True Detective," "UnREAL," "Vikings," "Wallander" and "The X-Files"

Shows currently through their runs I'll be tuning in for include: "Arrow," "The Blacklist," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Castle," "Elementary," "The Flash," "Gotham," "The Good Wife," "Homeland," "Major Crimes," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Scorpion," "Sleepy Hollow," "Supernatural" and "The Walking Dead". What're you most looking forward to?

NEW SEASON PREMIERES:

January 1st
"Bring It!" (Lifetime)
"Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" (TLC)
"Sherlock: The Abominable Bride" (PBS)

January 3rd
"Downton Abbey" (PBS)
"Galavant" (ABC)
"Long Island Medium" (TLC)
"Newlyweds: The First Year" (Bravo)

January 4th
"Antiques Roadshow" (PBS)
"Make it Pop" (Nickelodeon)
"Telenovela" (NBC)
"The Bachelor" (ABC)
"The Biggest Loser" (NBC)

January 5th
"Dance Moms" (Lifetime)
"Finding Your Roots" (PBS)
"Hollywood Game Night" (NBC)
"Impact Wrestling" (Pop)
"New Girl" (Fox)

January 6th
"American Crime" (ABC)
"American Idol" (Fox)
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FXX)
"Man Seeking Woman" (FXX)
"Mike & Molly" (CBS)
"Nova" (PBS)
"Restaurant Startup" (CNBC)

January 7th
"Child Genius" (Lifetime)
"Lip Sync Battle" (Spike TV)
"Party Down South" (CMT)
"Todd Margaret" (IFC)

January 8th
"Undercover Boss" (CBS)

January 9th
"Mythbusters" (Discovery)

January 10th
"Shameless" (Showtime)

January 13th
"Face Off" (Syfy)
"Younger" (TV Land)

January 14th
"Workaholics" (Comedy Central)

January 15th
"Degrassi: Next Class, Netflix)
"Hell's Kitchen" (Fox)
"Real Time with Bill Maher" (HBO)

January 18th
"Hit the Floor" (VH1)

January 19th
"Marvel's Agent Carter" (ABC)
"The Prancing Elites Project" (Oxygen)

January 21st
"The 100" (The CW)
"Portlandia" (IFC)

January 23rd
"Black Sails" (Starz)

January 24th
"The X-Files" (Fox)

January 25th
"American Dad" (TBS)
"K. Michelle: My Life" (VH1)

January 27th
"Little Women" (Lifetime)

January 31st
"Grease: Live" (Fox)

February 3rd
"Baby Daddy" (Freeform)

February 7th
"The Venture Bros." (Adult Swim)

February 9th
"Tosh 0" (Comedy Central)

February 11th
"Impractical Jokers" (TruTV)

February 12th
"The Amazing Race" (CBS)

February 14th
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" (HBO)

February 15th
"Better Call Saul" (AMC)

February 17th
"Broad City" (Comedy Central)
"Survivor" (CBS)

February 18th
"Vikings" (History)

February 21st
"Girls" (HBO)
"Togetherness" (HBO)

February 23rd
"It's a Manns World" (BET)

February 24th
"This is Not Happening" (Comedy Central)

February 29th
"The Voice" (NBC)

March 4th
"Adam Devine's House Party" (Comedy Central)
"House of Cards" (Netflix)

March 16th
"Schitt's Creek" (Pop)

March 17th
"Gigolos" (Showtime)

March 21st
"Dancing with the Stars" (ABC)

March TBA
"Archer" (FXX)
"The Americans" (FX)
"Bates Motel" (A&E)
"Outlander" (Starz)

April 1st
"Banshee" (Cinemax)

April 7th
"The Odd Couple" (CBS)

April TBA
"12 Monkeys" (Syfy)
"Bloodline" (Netflix)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)
"Orphan Black" (BBC America)
"Powers" (PSN)
"Rectify" (Sundance Channel)
"Silicon Valley" (HBO)
"Veep" (HBO)

TBA 2016:
"Aquarius" (NBC)
"Ballers" (HBO)
"Beauty and the Beast" (The CW)
"Bitten" (Syfy)
"BoJack Horseman" (Netflix)
"Bosch" (Amazon)
"Dark Matter" (Syfy)
"Doctor Who" (BBC America)
"Endeavour" (PBS)
"Episodes" (Showtime)
"Fear the Walking Dead" (AMC)
"Flaked" (Netflix)
"Fortitude" (Pivot)
"Gilmore Girls" (Netflix)
"Grace and Frankie" (Netflix)
"Happy Valley" (Netflix)
"Hell on Wheels" (AMC)
"House of Lies" (Showtime)
"Humans" (AMC)
"Killjoys" (Syfy)
"Line of Duty" (Hulu)
"Masters of Sex" (Showtime)
"Mr. Robot" (USA)
"Mr. Selfridge" (PBS)
"Murder in the First" (TNT)
"Orange is the New Black" (Netflix)
"Penny Dreadful" (Showtime)
"Poldark" (PBS)
"Power" (Starz)
"Quarry" (Cinemax)
"Ray Donovan" (Showtime)
"Rick and Morty" (Adult Swim)
"Ripper Street" (Amazon)
"Samurai Jack" (Adult Swim)
"Secrets and Lies" (ABC)
"Sense8" (Netflix)
"Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" (FX)
"Stitchers" (Freeform)
"Survivor's Remorse" (Starz)
"Switched at Birth" (Freeform)
"The Fall" (Netflix)
"The Fosters" (Freeform)
"The Last Ship" (TNT)
"The Man in the High Castle" (Amazon)
"The Musketeers" (BBC America)
"The Night Shift" (NBC)
"The Strain" (FX)
"True Detective" (HBO)
"Turn: Washington's Spies" (AMC)
"Tyrant" (FX)
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix)
"UnREAL" (Lifetime)
"Vera" (PBS)
"Wallander" (PBS)
"You're the Worst" (FXX)
"Zoo" (CBS)

MID-SEASON PREMIERES:

January 1st
"Love, Lust or Run" (TLC)
"Love at First Swipe" (TLC)

January 3rd
"Family Guy" (Fox)
"The Simpsons" (Fox)

January 4th
"NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)
"Scorpion" (CBS)
"Supergirl" (CBS)

January 5th
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox)
"Chicago Fire" (NBC)
"Chicago Med" (NBC)
"Grandfathered" (Fox)
"Limitless" (CBS)
"NCIS" (CBS)
"NCIS: New Orleans" (CBS)
"Real Husbands of Hollywood" (BET)
"Teen Wolf" (MTV)
"The Grinder" (Fox)
"The Haves and Have Nots" (OWN)

January 6th
"2 Broke Girls" (CBS)
"Black-ish" (ABC)
"Chicago PD" (NBC)
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC)
"Modern Family" (ABC)
"The Goldbergs" (ABC)
"The Middle" (ABC)
"The Mysteries of Laura" (NBC)

January 7th
"Beyond the Tank" (ABC)
"Elementary" (CBS)
"Heroes Reborn" (NBC)
"Life in Pieces" (CBS)
"Mom" (CBS)
"The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
"The Blacklist" (NBC)

January 8th
"Blue Bloods" (CBS)
"Dr. Ken" (ABC)
"Hawaii Five-0" (CBS)
"Last Man Standing" (ABC)
"Love Thy Neighbor" (OWN)
"Reign" (The CW)

January 10th
"Bob’s Burgers" (Fox)
"CSI: Cyber" (CBS)
"Madam Secretary" (CBS)
"The Good Wife" (CBS)

January 12th
"iZombie" (The CW)
"Pretty Little Liars" (Freeform)

January 13th
"Code Black" (CBS)
"Criminal Minds" (CBS)

January 18th
"Fameless" (TruTV)

January 19th
"The Flash" (The CW)

January 20th
"Arrow" (The CW)

January 22nd
"Grimm" (NBC)

January 25th
"American Dad" (TBS)
"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (The CW)
"The Fosters" (Freeform)
"Jane the Virgin" (The CW)

January 27th
"Suits" (USA)
"Supernatural" (The CW)

January 29th
"The Originals" (The CW)
"The Vampire Diaries" (The CW)

February 1st
"Castle" (ABC)

February 2nd
"Fresh Off the Boat" (ABC)
"The Muppets" (ABC)

February 3rd
"Young & Hungry" (Freeform)

February 5th
"Sleepy Hollow" (Fox)

February 11th
"Grey’s Anatomy" (ABC)
"How to Get Away with Murder" (ABC)
"Scandal" (ABC)

February 14th
"Talking Dead" (AMC)
"The Walking Dead" (AMC)

February 15th
"Major Crimes" (TNT)

February 16th
"Rizzoli & Isles" (TNT)

February 29th
"Blindspot" (NBC)
"Gotham" (Fox)

March 2nd
"Rosewood" (Fox)

March 6th
"Once Upon a Time" (ABC)
"Quantico" (ABC)

March 8th
"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (ABC)

March 16th
"Nashville" (ABC)

March 30th
"Empire" (Fox)

NEW SERIES PREMIERES:

January 1st
"The Rap Game" (Lifetime)

January 3rd
"Bordertown" (Fox)
"Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life" (Fox)

January 4th
"Superstore" (NBC)
"Telenovela" (NBC)

January 5th
"Pitch Slapped" (Lifetime)
"The Shannara Chronicles" (MTV)

January 7th
"Angel from Hell" (CBS)
"My Diet Is Better than Yours" (ABC)
"Shades of Blue" (NBC)

January 12th
"Shadowhunters" (Freeform)

January 13th
"Second Chance" (Fox) "Teachers" (TV Land)

January 14th
"Colony" (USA)
"Idiotsitter" (Comedy Central)

January 17th
"Angie Tribeca" (TBS)
"Billions" (Showtime)
"Mercy Street" (PBS)

January 18th
"War and Peace" (A&E)

January 20th
"Kocktails with Khloe" (FYI)

January 21st
"Baskets" (FX)
"DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (The CW)

January 22nd
"Mad Dogs" (Amazon Prime)

January 23rd
"Chelsea Does..." (Netflix)

January 25th
"Lucifer" (Fox)
"The Magicians" (Syfy) "Recovery Road" (Freeform)

January 26th
"Outsiders" (WGN America)

January 28th
"You, Me and the Apocalypse" (NBC)

February 2nd
"American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson" (FX)

February 3rd
"Madoff" (ABC)

February 9th
"Not Safe with Nikki Glaser" (Comedy Central)

February 14th
"Vinyl" (HBO)

February 15th
"11.22.63" (Hulu)

February 26th
"Fuller House" (Netflix)

March 2nd
"Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" (CBS)
"The Real O'Neals" (ABC)

March 3rd
"The Family" (ABC)

March 8th
"Of Kings and Prophets" (ABC)

March 24th
"The Catch" (ABC)

March 30th
"The Path" (Hulu)

TBA 2016
"Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None" (Lifetime)
"American Gothic" (CBS)
"Animal Kingdom" (TNT)
"BrainDead" (CBS)
"Broke" (AMC)
"Cassius and Clay" (FXX)
"Cleverman" (SundanceTV)
"Containment" (The CW)
"Crowded" (NBC)
"Damien" (A&E)
"Dice" (Showtime)
"Divorce" (HBO)
"Flaked" (Netflix)
"Game of Silence" (NBC)
"Good Behavior" (TNT)
"Hap and Leonard" (SundanceTV)
"Heartbreaker" (NBC)
"Hunters" (Syfy)
"Legends of Chamberlain Heights" (Comedy Central)
"Lewis and Clark" (HBO)
"Lopez" (TV Land)
"Love" (Netflix)
"Marvel's Luke Cage" (Netflix)
"Not Safe with Nikki Glaser" (Comedy Central)
"Outcast" (Cinemax)
"Preacher" (AMC)
"Queen of the South" (USA Network)
"Roadies" (Showtime)
"Rush Hour" (CBS)
"School of Rock" (Nickelodeon)
"Stranger Things" (Netflix)
"Taboo" (BBC America)
"The Alienist" (TNT)
"The Crown" (Netflix)
"The Get Down" (Netflix)
"The Last Panthers" (Sundance TV)
"The OA" (Netflix)
"The Powerpuff Girls" (Cartoon Network)
"The Ranch" (Netflix)
"The Young Pope" (HBO)
"Those Who Can't" (TruTV)
"Uncle Buck" (ABC)
"Untitled Bill Simmons Talk Show" (HBO)
"Van Helsing" (Syfy)
"Westworld" (HBO)
"Woody Allen Untitled Series" (Amazon)

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" isn't a perfect movie (none are), but it is a damn good one that delivers the goods. It pay homage to its predecessors, stays true to its source, and opens up George Lucas' creation further possibilities. More importantly, it's something a Star Wars movie hasn't been in three decades: fun.

The set-up is elegantly simple, and mostly known at this point (note: minimal spoilers ahead). Roughly 30 years have passed since the events depicted in Return of the Jedi. The blow dealt to the Empire by the Rebel alliance crippled the regime, but did not finish it — at least not entirely. A successor called The First Order has risen from its ashes, and is locked in a Galactic stalemate with the new Republic and its resistance forces. Luke Skywalker has been missing for many years, and is believed by many to be a mythical figure at best.

A tipping point comes as in the opening scenes when the Resistance's best pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) receives a possible clue to Skywalker's whereabouts, and a stormtrooper, Finn (John Boyega) decides to desert the ranks of the First Order. By chance, an orphaned junk scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) is pulled into the galaxy's great conflict.

Chance is something that seems to drive a lot of the opening act, though when the Force is involved it could be interpreted (or at least explained away) as fate. Much as he did with his Star Trek reboot, director J.J. Abrams keeps the plot moving at a brisk pace that keeps the viewer from overthinking it until after the credits roll, but not so brisk that we can't relax and enjoy the ride.

And what a ride it is. Abrams is a filmmaker who, like many a child of the '70s and early '80s, has Star Wars in his DNA, and co-plotter Lawrence Kasdan was responsible for many of the series' best moments. (Michael Arndt, who wrote the first draft of The Force Awakens, no doubt deserves some credit as well.) Between them, they channel necessary tropes to make it look and feel like a Star Wars movie, while adding more to its universe and expanding its borders.

There are several subtle callbacks to the original trilogy, but they largely stop short of fan service. Yes, there's a gigantic super-weapon, family secrets, et cetera, but thankfully those are details are secondary to the characters, who are the big draw here. This is indeed a torch-passing sort of tale, and both the old guard and the new get their moments. Dameron is the least developed of the three, but Isaac fleshes him out with an energetic performance and a dash of Errol Flynn-esque charisma. Ridley conveys a haunting and wide-eyed innocence tinged with sadness as a lonely young woman waiting on a desolate planet for someone who never come. Boyega plays it large as a reluctant hero who just wants to run until he can't be found. Finn is this series' callow and over-eager youth, and it's a blast to watch him be reigned in by a cantankerous Han Solo (Harrison Ford), much as the latter did with a certain young Jedi.

It's Ford, however, who steals the show as an older but not much wiser Solo, still the over-confident rogue with the rakish charm. Ford is far better served here than he was in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, and given the heavy lifting he gets to do drama-wise it's no surprise the producers were able to lure him back. The onscreen chemistry between him and Carrie Fisher is still there, and the two share the movie's most touching scenes together.

Star Wars has always had fascinating villains to pit against its heroes, and that is no less true here. Adam Driver creates an amazing portrait of self-tortured evil as Kylo Ren, an evil Force user with a zealot's fascination for the late Darth Vader but with less self-control; little more can be said without spoiling key details. Domhnall Gleeson's more restrained General Hux is a fascistic true believer competing with Ren for dominance as well as the approval of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), a murky figure filling the vacancy left by the late and unlamented Emperor Palpatine. Gwendoline Christie's turn as Captain Phasma may disappoint some, as here character isn't developed much yet.

Abrams and company succeed in walking a tricky tightrope with The Force Awakens. There are plenty of parallels and references to the original trilogy, but those seem to be fully dispensed with here, leaving the story in a prime position to stop looking back and start moving forward. Indeed, there are plenty of tantalizing plot threads left untied at the end, giving viewers plenty to discuss and debate until Episode VIII arrives in 2017. It's going to be a long two years.

Review: In the Heart of the Sea

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

Ron Howard's latest may strengthen the cliched argument that 'truth is stranger than fiction,' but it also suggests that it is often more boring too.

Howard and screenwriter Charles Leavitt half-heartedly adapt Nathaniel Philbrick's novel of the same name, itself a fictionalized account of the true story of the ill-fated whaling ship Essex which was the inspiration for Herman Melville's Great American Novel (and bane of English Lit. students) "Moby Dick". The movie goes so far down the rabbit hole (or up its own ass, depending on how you look at it) as to add a clunky framing device involving Melville (Ben Whishaw) interviewing the last living survivor of the ordeal - Thomas Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) - thirty years later.

For the uninitiated: The Essex set out on its fateful voyage in 1820 with a charter to harvest 2,000 barrels of whale oil. After nearly a year at sea with little to show for it, the vessel ran afoul of a very large, very aggressive white sperm whale on the Pacific side of South America and was sunk. The survivors spent the better part of three months in three rowboats, suffering through dehydration, starvation, and other horrors before being rescued.

Much of the movie unfolds via flashback, told from the viewpoint of Nickerson, a young cabin boy at the time (played by future Spider-Man Tom Holland). We're told that the tale of the Essex is at its core the story of two men: privileged and inexperienced Captain George Pollard Jr. (Benjamin Walker), and hot-tempered working class first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth, rocking a weird Aussie-British-New England hybrid accent).

Pollard was promoted to the position over Chase by virtue of being from an established family of Nantucket whalers, whereas Chase is looked down upon as a landlubber come lately. That's the extent of the friction between the two, and the conflict is perfunctory at best. They're more like the bickering couple you pray you don't have to sit next to on the whale-watching cruise.

Thus, the movie plods along for much of its first half until the whale takes down the Essex and true meat of the story - a mildly harrowing survival tale - begins. By that point we're barely engaged, and the terrible ordeal feels so watered down that the big reveal of how far they went to survive barely registers. There's a great allegory about the unchecked exploitation of the natural world floating near the story's surface, but Howard and Leavitt miss the proverbial boat on that one as well.

The story behind the story is a fascinating one, but Howard and Leavitt fail to tell it in a way that makes the viewer feel involved or invested. The dialogue is dull, and the visuals are so slathered with mediocre CGI that they feel thoroughly phony. Even old Ahab would be aghast at the degree of hubris on display.

Review: Victor Frankenstein

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

In all fairness to screenwriter Max Landis (Fantastic Four) and director Paul McGuigan (Sherlock), finding a fresh spin on Mary Shelley's classic novel is no easy feat. On the surface of it, re-jiggering the story as a mildly demented buddy movie is one of the few iterations left; unfortunately, the execution is lack and Victor Frankenstein is such a poorly realized and half-baked mess that no amount of lightning and movie alchemy in the world can bring it to life. It's biggest shortcoming is that most heinous of cinematic sins: it's deathly dull.

The story is told from the point of view of Frankenstein's lab assistant, Igor (Daniel Radcliffe). Purists will quickly point out that said character never appeared in the novel, or even the movies prior to The Son of Frankenstein (1939); rest assured, that's the least of this movie's problems.

Igor is a self-taught expert in anatomy working as an abused circus clown when Frankenstein (James McAvoy) rescues him. The budding young scientist cleans him up, establishes him with the identity of his absentee roommate, takes him on as his assistant, and gives him access to a larger world.

Igor allows himself to be swept up in Frankenstein's quest to re-animate the dead, though he's more willing to question the implications of such a discovery than his employer is. That and Igor's budding relationship with a young socialite, Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay), causes tension between the two (though the latter shouldn't - it's a tepid romance, even by Victorian standards). Meanwhile, both are pursued by Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott, Spectre), a cop whose instincts are strong but whose investigation amounts to little more than police harassment.

McAvoy seems more than game willing to embrace the story's inherent campiness, and he comes across as downright manic opposite a subdued Radcliffe and reined-in Scott. It's actually Freddie Fox who gives the movie a dose of inspired villainy as Finnegan, the rich dandy classmate who finances Victor's experiments, though a cameo by Charles Danse as the latter's stern father reminds us of what we lost when Tywin Lannister died on the (ahem) throne.

McGuigan and Landis make a lot of story decisions for the sake of convenience that result in a tepid narrative. The movie is told through Igor's eyes, but he has little personality through which to filter the macabre events that unfold; his trademark hunchback is explained away and dispensed with in the first act, an extreme makeover that runs him into a generically pretty Victorian gentleman whose sudden rise in proper society amounts to very little in the way of either plot or pathos.

Frankenstein is a too sympathetic mad scientist who at least gets the interesting backstory that everyone else is denied. Landis tries to have it both ways with dear Victor, making him destructively obsessive and self-centered, and then plays down his ugly side with a wink, a clever quip, and a shit-eating grin. Landis gives him the most half-hearted of moral reckonings, the outcome of which evaporates in the movie's sequel-bait final scene. His ersatz nemesis, Turpin, is a generic Bible-thumping villain with vague motivations involving his late wife. The two are so weakly defined that they fail completely as a metaphor for science versus religion and the hazards of playing God; instead, they come across as sock-puppet caricatures for the extremes of the argument.

The only time the move comes to life (so to speak) is during its climax, when Victor succeeds in bringing his creation to life and must deal with the subsequent rampage and the existential questions he's dodged up to that point. After slogging through 100 minutes of tedium to get there, it's hard to care.

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

Even though the Hunger Games series feels a little tired at this point, it manages to end with a bang - which is a pleasant surprise given the lukewarm dramatics of Mockingjay Part 1. Part 2 is by no means flawless, but it is less uneven and more confidently paced than its ill-conceived first half, a pointless, ham-fisted sidetrip into a pseudo-satirical world of propaganda film-making that didn't mesh with the rest of the series.

The plot still meanders a little, though: The movie picks up immediately after the previous entry, with a bruised and shocked Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, still fully engaged in the role that made her a megastar) reeling from nearly being choked-out by a brainwashed Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). The next 30 minutes involves breezing through much of the Rebellion's campaign against the corrupt forces of President Snow (gleefully evil Donald Sutherland) before getting to the meat of the movie: an assault on the Capitol itself.

It's an unofficial Hunger Game of sorts, a YA Dirty Dozen-meets-Saw mission that sends Katniss, love-triangle-third leg Gale (Liam Hemsworth, finally showing some acting chops), previous Games survivor Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), propaganda film-maker Cressida (Natalie Dormer), her camera crew, squad leader Jackson (an under-used Michelle Forbes), a few redshirts, and Peeta into a virtually abandoned city protected by death traps on every street.

They're supposed to hang back behind the lines and get morale-boosting footage of Katniss to keep the troops motivated, but the teen Joan of Arc has her own agenda. Complicating matters further is Peeta's presence on the team; he hasn't fully recovered his senses and is a danger to everyone around him - as well as a possible indicator of treachery within the ranks of the Rebellion.

Needless to say Part 2 feels like it has a sense of direction that was lost after the first movie, and it's enjoyably more action-heavy. The series' trademark grimness is in full effect here, as foreshadowed events come to a head and more than a few established characters meet their respective horrific ends.

Having so many loose ends to tie up makes it a very busy movie, too, and with so much going on some characters get only a modicum of screen time: Stanley Tucci makes a couple of brief appearances as TV pundit Caesar Flickerman; Elizabeth Banks gets only a couple of scenes as freaky fashionista Effie Trinket, but steals every second; so, too, does an enjoyably mad Jena Malone; and Phillip Seymour Hoffman's final turn onscreen is undercut by his untimely passing. Julianne Moore is intriguing as power-hungry rebel leader Alma Coin, but the character is too opaque.

Most importantly, Lawrence gets to fully engage the material and flex her acting muscle, a nice and much-needed change of pace after having to play a more passive Katniss in Part 1. Alas, it's not a perfect end for one of the greatest heroines in pop culture, who would have been better served by a single two-plus hour epic finale.

Review: Spectre

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

While Spectre is far from bad, it is likely to frustrate many fans, especially given its unenviable position of following on the heels of the near-perfect Skyfall.

The latter flew in the face of expectations and pushed the boundaries of the franchise's formula while paying homage to its rich history and serving as a mini-reboot. Spectre seems content to rest within those boundaries and coast. It delivers on one's expectations, but rarely exceeds them, and the lack of the savage grace and gung-ho ambition of previous installments holds it back.

Super-spy James Bond's biggest struggle these days is to stay relevant in a post-9/11, Bourne-ian world. Spectre cleverly builds that conceit into the story by having a weasely bureaucrat (Andrew Scott, aka Sherlock scoundrel Moriarty) scheme to mothball the Double-0 division and consolidate British intelligence under one massive global surveillance network.

The new M (Ralph Feinnes) is understandably perturbed, and made even more so when Bond makes matters worse by going on an unsanctioned mission in Mexico City during a Day of the Dead celebration. It's one of the best sequences in the series to date, kicked-off with an incredible tracking shot before all hell breaks loose; alas, that energy dissipates during a bizarre title sequence that combines a Roger Moore-era naked lady montage with a touch of almost Lovecraftian soft-core tentacle scored to Sam Smith's tepid theme song, “Writing's on the Wall”.

Spectre works hard to pick up the pace after that, with Bond jetting across Europe and North Africa on the trail of a shadowy cabal lead by the mysterious Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz, less hammy than usual), a man with a connection to 007's past. There's a lot tantalizing clue-chasing involved, but the story too takes side trips into prerequisite skirt chasing (in the form of an underused Monica Bellucci as a crimelord's widow and Léa Seydoux as the estranged daughter of a past enemy) and henchman bashing (via Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, a killer in the Oddjob/Jaws mold) that deliver action beats but don't really propel the story.

It's very by-the-numbers until roughly two-thirds of the way into its 148-minute running time, when Bond falls into Oberhauser's clutches and gets a peek at his secret scheme, as well as the sack of deranged weasels that is the man's psyche. Director Sam Mendes gives the sequence an unexpected and inspired dose of surrealism that perks things up a little before it slides into a fast-paced but conventional final act.

Craig, droll and unflappable as always, keeps the whole meandering affair together, and he continues to build upon the tortured “blunt instrument” he unveiled in Casino Royale and plumb Bond's cold, wounded depths for hidden pieces humanity. As strong as the rest of the cast is, it's Seydoux who steals the most scenes as a woman who sees Bond for what he is and is willing to fall for him — on her terms.

In the end, Spectre feels like a conciliatory gesture towards the die-hard old-school fans who haven't quite bitching about the change in tone since Craig stepped into 007's tuxedo. There's a certain Moore-era throwback feel to it — albeit far less hackneyed — and a lot of overly familiar Bond tropes. Maybe now that it has taken an unnecessary step back the series will start moving forward again.

Re-Ranking The James Bond Theme Songs

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

With the theme song being released for "Spectre," the twenty-fourth James Bond film, it's time to revisit a list I assembled several years ago. One of the most signature elements of the 007 movies has to be the various opening theme songs which have varied in quality quite considerably over the decades.

Some of the numbers are household names which numerous generations can sing, others are songs one wishes they could forget. On the rare occasion one of the other songs used in the film (either incidentally or on the closing credits) has actually been a better piece of music than what was put up front.

Today I'm ranking those opening themes. The ranking is purely my own personal list at this point in time and done entirely on the songs alone (even though the mini-reviews do cover the title sequences as well). Do you agree with this list? If not, what order would you put it in? Please leave your comments below:

1. "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey from "Goldfinger"
The quintessential Bond theme for the most iconic Bond film ever made. Its brassy horns instantly identifiable, its lyrics known around the world, its composition and unforgettable vocals seared into the consciousness of many a Bond fan. Singer Shirley Bassey and composer John Barry were at their peak here, aided by Robert Brownjohn's opening credits cleverly projecting images onto gold-painted stationary women. It is, however, a 'take it or leave it' song that people seem to either love or hate. I'm definitely one of the former.

2. "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney & Wings from "Live and Let Die"
If there were a challenger to "Goldfinger" it would have to be Wings' similarly iconic "Live and Let Die". While the Bassey number was all about the strong vocals, this is all about the instrumental and has to be one of the most recognisable movie themes of all time. From its soft piano buildup to the dynamic guitar and keyboard surges, it's a great piece of music that just happens to be a James Bond theme. The imagery of the credits, with women's faces spontaneously combusting into skulls, is equally memorable.

3. "Skyfall" by Adele from "Skyfall"
The best Bond theme of the modern era and the only Bond song to win an Oscar, Adele's tune is pretty much spot on in every way - memorable lyrics, excellent composition, a real moody piece that makes great use of her powerful voice. It's a lush number right up there with Bassey and Barry's best. The opening sequence with its crosses, graves, blood and so forth is similarly the best for the series in many years.

4. "OHMSS Title Theme" by John Barry Orchestra from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"
While everyone knows and loves the "Star Wars" theme, you'd be hard pressed to find a 'Wars' geek who didn't love 'The Imperial March' theme as much if not more. The Bond franchise has an equivalent with John Barry's iconic synthesizer-driven instrumental number for this film considered right up there with the original Bond tune. It's music that's both signature Barry and Bond, and the cherry on top of a film that already has an excellent score and several other great songs of its own including "All The Time in the World".

5. "The World is Not Enough" by Garbage from "The World is Not Enough"
One of my all time favourite bands, Garbage, took the challenge of a title that makes for a difficult foundation and turned it into a highly enjoyable and surprisingly rich orchestral rock number. Great lyrics, an excellent vocal by Shirley Manson, and a lush slinky sound straddling rock and synth that's both fitting for the franchise and Garbage's own style. The colourful and oil-themed opening credits are also one of my favourites of the series and fit both the song and the movie perfectly.

6. "A View to a Kill (Dance Into the Fire)" by Duran Duran from "A View to a Kill"
Duran Duran's final song together before their first split, this remains the only Bond theme to crack the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thirty years on it's surprising how well the number holds up whereas so many other tunes from that era have long fallen by the wayside. It has only brief glimpses of the Bond sound in it and is very much of its time, yet the song is strong enough that those issues don't really matter. The opening credits are gimmicky, but the wind machine meets black light effect is still highly impressive.

7. "Diamonds are Forever" by Shirley Bassey from "Diamonds are Forever"
It's not "Goldfinger" but Shirley Bassey's second Bond tune is almost as unforgettable and probably the most famous song about the gem aside from that Marilyn Monroe number from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". The haunting opening chimes, the man-bashing lyrics, the beautiful music and Bassey's less energetic but still stunning delivery are all amongst the franchise's best. Same goes for the opening credits with their clever use of the gems and even Blofeld's cat.

8. "You Only Live Twice" by Nancy Sinatra from "You Only Live Twice"
The first Bond ballad is also one of the best. Kicking off with an instantly identifiable string riff, both the lyrics and composition are interesting and deceptively simple. Sinatra keeps her voice cool and collected which results in a richer song for it. One of the most covered of all the Bond theme tunes, it's a great number that also has one of the best opening credits thanks to a theme blending lava with oriental women.

9. "Goldeneye" by Tina Turner from "Goldeneye"
The most Bassey-esque Bond theme not sung by the lady herself, the song is a love letter to John Barry's work. Brilliant lyrics by Bono & The Edge, beautiful music composition by frequent Massive Attack collaborator Nellee Hooper, and robust vocal work by Tina Turner yield arguably the best post-Moore Bond theme until "Skyfall". If there's a drawback it's that it tries to imitate the familiar Bond sound so perfectly it never quite stands out on its own. An inspired opening title sequence too with its fall of Communism theme.

10. "You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell from "Casino Royale"
If there's a problem with Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name" it's unfortunately Cornell himself. The lyrics and music he and composer David Arnold wrote for the theme are top notch and work perfectly both on their own and within the film itself. The opening credits, with their rotoscoping meets playing card motif, also fit well and actually contain the better version of the song than Cornell's separately released single. Something about Cornell's voice though just doesn't click as well as it should - a shame. Even so it's still a great song.

11. "From Russia with Love (Instrumental)" by John Barry from "From Russia with Love"
The best James Bond film to quite a few people also has one of the lesser songs, but a big part of the problem is two different versions are used. The song heard in the film with Matt Monro's crooning vocals is what comes to mind when one considers the Bond themes and frankly it's not that great - a slow lounge music number with uninspiring vocals and a sluggish pace. In sharp contrast though is this opening credits theme, an instrumental and much more upbeat tempo version of the song which then segues into the familiar Bond theme. It's an excellent and energetic starter with a beautifully simple opening credits involving light projection on a belly dancer - very fitting for this Istanbul-set tale.

12. "Nobody Does it Better" by Carly Simon from "The Spy Who Loved Me"
One of Carly Simon's most famous songs and one of the few Bond theme tunes that's had a real life outside of the franchise, Marvin Hamlisch composed the number which was unsurprisingly a massive hit. With its incredibly catchy chorus and memorable music, its a power ballad but with an upbeat and even cheeky tone at times. It also has probably the singularly cleverest use of a Bond title in the lyrics. The opening titles are a bit more generic with lots of nude female silhouettes, the most notable being one which uses a pistol as a gymnastics bar.

13. "Bond Theme/Kingston Calypso/Three Blind Mice" by Monty Norman from "Dr. No"
Like 'From Russia' above, the opening credits for the very first Bond film are complicated by not being built upon a single theme. Instead it mixes three different tracks starting with Monty Norman's now utterly iconic Bond theme which would easily be On the top position of this list if it weren't weighed down with two inferior tunes. In this case it's a fun if generic calypso dance number to represent the Jamaican locales, along with the jaunty 'Three Blind Mice' which connects with the three assassins who kill John Strangways.

14. "Moonraker" by Shirley Bassey from "Moonraker"
Yes it's the weakest and most somber of the Bassey Bond belters, and it is tied to probably the most derided film of the franchise. That doesn't take away from it being one of the most atmospheric ballads created for the series. The lyrics are generic, but both Bassey and Barry compensate with the haunting music and emotional vocals to make it one hell of a mood piece. Barry's score work throughout the film is also amongst the best of the series ("Flight Into Space" in particular is an amazing work with its eerie vocals and clever orchestration).

15. "The Writing's On The Wall" by Sam Smith from "Spectre"
The credits sequence isn't out yet so we've only the tune to listen to. Smith's voice is beautiful no doubt, even if a bit unintelligible at times, and the song is a strong work on its own with a soft melancholy tone and a great falsetto chorus on top of some nice Bond compositional elements in the music. It takes a few listens to warm up to, but even then the lyrics aren't that good and it has the feeling of a number that will probably age very fast.

16. "Thunderball" by Tom Jones from "Thunderball"
Welsh immortal Tom Jones was pulled in at the last minute to record this, easily the weakest song of the Connery-era. Rushed into production after United Artists ditched John Barry's superior "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", the result is a bit of a mess. Tedious lyrics, not helped by "Thunderball" being a hell of a difficult title to form a song around, it often sounds like Jones' vocals are squabbling with Barry's mix of trumpets and Bond motifs. It's still a solid opening number, but Jones is the wrong fit and the theme overall too slapshot.

17. "All Time High" by Rita Coolidge from "Octopussy"
It has been dismissed by the artist herself as being an "unfinished work", and was memorably made fun of in "Ted". Yet something about this still works as it hangs around in ways other Bond themes have not. Trying to come off as sultry, Coolidge surprises in that her voice actually takes on a somber tone - singing not as if she's giddy in love but rather wistfully looking back at times long gone. When you consider the way Bond pumps and dumps women, that perspective adds a whole other dimension to the song. The last of the real melancholy Bond themes until "Spectre".

18. "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton from "For Your Eyes Only"
Easton's Oscar-nominated ballad, created by Bill Conti rather than series regular John Barry, isn't particularly distinctive. Yet it's a simple and moody piece built upon Easton's clean vocals, solid lyrics and some brief but fascinating musical riffs that fit perfectly with the water-heavy opening credits. The result is what a power ballad should be in many ways. Easton herself appears in the opening credits, the only artist to have done so in the series history.

19. "The Living Daylights" by A-Ha from "The Living Daylights"
While Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" has aged well, Norwegian pop band A-Ha's turn at a theme isn't so robust. There's some interesting synthesiser work here and a couple of good hooks (like the brief flute bursts), but otherwise there's simply too much going on and not enough direction. Added to that the lyrics that make no sense along with a god awful opening credits make this a fairly unremarkable number. It's a shame considering this first Timothy Dalton outing is one of the more under-rated of Bond films.

20. "Licence to Kill" by Gladys Knight from "Licence to Kill"
Like the film itself, there's a small but loyal contingent who adore this song and I can't fathom why. It's not that the song is bad, rather it's the incredible genericness of it - a bland 80's pop number without any real signature sound. Knight's style is fine but the lyrics are awful and the photo-themed opening credits are arguably the worst in the series. I'm more curious to hear what the original song, a new instrumental version of the theme by Eric Clapton and Vic Flick, would've sounded like.

21. "Tomorrow Never Dies" by Sheryl Crow from "Tomorrow Never Dies"
One of the most famously hated of all the Bond songs, the truth is... it really is weak, but not a complete wash. Sheryl Crow's lazy beach sound is an unexpected choice that doesn't work, and the lyrics aren't much chop either. That said the sound is distinct from previous Bond themes, the accompanying music is strong, and the credits with their circuit board women are interesting if flawed. k.d. Lang's closing credits number "Surrender" - which was originally going to be the opening song - is a far stronger piece and one of the more under appreciated Bond songs. Hell, Moby's Bond theme tune remix done for this film was also a lot better.

22. "The Man with the Golden Gun" by Lulu from "The Man with the Golden Gun"
Lulu, sounding like a bop girl with sinusitis, tries to out brass John Barry with this energetic upbeat go-go number replete with double entendres and heavy guitar. Barry considers this film his worst work on the series and this remains the only Bond song not to chart in the U.S. or U.K. - one can understand why. The lyrics are childish, but at least the credits are outright soft porn.

23. "Die Another Day" by Madonna from "Die Another Day"
Sales wise it is one of the most successful themes and films in the series. However, like the movie itself, ol' Madge's electrosynth dance track definitely belongs right near the bottom of the list. Playing much like a house remix of an actual Bond theme, it's certainly different from every other entry in the series. That doesn't make it work though and it's the kind of music that essentially ages overnight. This is in contrast to the opening credits themselves which cleverly tell part of the film's story - specifically Bond's 14 month incarceration at the hands of the North Koreans.

24. "Another Way to Die" by Jack White & Alicia Keys from "Quantum of Solace"
Jack White is a strong songwriter, Alicia Keys a great performer, surely this should've come together. Instead we get a sound like two horny cats raping each other to try and drown out the trumpets that are over the top brassy, even by Bond film standards. The point of a duet is for both talents to compliment each other, instead the pair are such a contrast it sounds horrifically off-key. The primitive CG of the sand and space-themed titles does nothing to distract either. The musical equivalent of a car alarm.

Review: The Walk

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

Biopics are often tributes to eccentrics with grandiose - and often unusual - obsessions. In the case of "The Walk," veteran filmmaker Robert Zemeckis ("Back to the Future," "Forrest Gump") has found a subject with a curious fixation indeed, and while the movie stumbles a bit early on, it (ahem) never falls.

The subject here is Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a French daredevil who decided in 1974 that he absolutely had to sneak onto the rooftops of the World Trade Center towers, string a high-wire between them, and then walk across it. Repeatedly. For almost an hour.

Petit was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary "Man on Wire," which focused primarily on the man himself. Zemeckis borrows that film's heist movie aesthetic, but also widens the scope a bit and throws in a touch of whimsy.

The movie opens with Petit/Gordon-Levitt standing on the torch of the Statue of Liberty as the distinctive New York City skyline, Twin Towers included, shine in the background. From this perch, Petit relates the story of his entry into wire walking and ultimate decision to perform his art on the grandest stage imaginable. It's a framing device that Zemeckis uses throughout the film, albeit judiciously, keeping it playful without running the conceit into the ground.

The first half of the film is basic biopic fare, relating Petit's childhood fascination with tightrope walking, juggling, and street performing; his acquisition of a mentor Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley); and his meet-cute with young love Annie (Charlotte Le Bon). Zemeckis does his best to perk up the standardized material with some visual and technical flourishes, mainly involving green-screen backgrounds, black-and-white cinematography, and some CGI flair. It' showoffy, but then so is Petit.

Once Petit finds his inspiration in the form of the Twin Towers (which were in the final stages of completion at the time), the movie finds its momentum and becomes more of an adventure. Petit begins organizing "accomplices" for the operation, which he dubs The Coup; they include a mathematician with a fear of heights (Cesar Domboy), an NYC electronics dealer (James Badge Dale), and a couple of sketchy stoners (Ben Schwartz and Jason Deline).

Not all the characters register as fully formed, though Dale and Kingsley give strong, stand-out performances. Gordon-Levitt has to carry the film on his own, and he does so remarkably, occasionally verging on hammy (though this is arguably required for the character) and walking a dangerous line with a French accent which he spent a lot of time on.

As with the recent "Everest," the tension is palpable throughout, even though we know how the story ends. Zemeckis recreated the tops of the Towers via a combination of large soundstage sets and green-screen photography, which allowed him and cinematographer Dariusz Adam Wolski to create some breathtaking, vertigo-inducing images. Petit saw his walk as performance art, and Zemeckis and Gordon-Levitt succeed in finding the poetry in it. For him, and the viewer by extension, it's an experience verging on an altered state.

"The Walk" is as much a tribute to the Towers themselves, and ultimately the people who built as well as those who lost their lives in them fourteen years ago. The latter hovers over the film like a spectre, and is something that the film silently but powerfully alludes to at its conclusion. however, rather than focus on what was lost, Zemeckis and company choose to remind of the positives: the accomplishment represented in their construction and in Petit's unique christening of them.

Review: Sicario

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

"Sicario" is the moral-grey-zone crime drama for those of us who felt burned by season two of "True Detective". There are few heroes and even fewer clearly defined villains in this taught, gruesome, and disquieting narco-thriller written by Taylor Sheridan and directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners).

Unlike other films that posit the need to go to extremes to win an unwinnable situation, "Sicario" drives home the reality that the muck and the blood doesn't simply wash off one's hands afterward.

Emily Blunt stars as FBI agent Kate Mercer, whose team uncovers a "house of horrors" after busting a drug den in suburban Arizona and finding far more than expected. She is quickly recruited to an anti-drug task force led by Matt (Josh Brolin), the oddly chipper yet tight-lipped agent of an unspecified government agency. She's given next to nothing to go on in terms of the team's mandate, told that their job is to "stir the pot" and to watch and learn, advice undercut by the assertion of enigmatic Mexican adviser Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) that very little of what she encounters "will make sense to your American eyes".

They travel to the relatively quiet city of El Paso, Texas, and from there descend upon less idyllic Juarez, Mexico (which resembles 1980s-era Lebanon without the nostalgia) to transfer a mysterious prisoner across the border via an armed motorcade that would make the average Secret Service detail blush.

Kate has no idea what their mission is and feels superfluous to the team, and the details of the operation are divulged to her in carefully composed spoonfuls designed to string her along. Both she and the audience descend deeper into the rabbit hole of crime, corruption, and bent and broken laws until she's in too deep for her own good.

The film is visually and aurally stunning, with Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins ("Skyfall"), and composer Johann Johannsson heightening the unnerving elements of the story by embedded it a discordant world; the scorched Southwestern landscapes are punctuated by inky black shadows and foreboding nightscapes, while a thrumming and often dissonant soundtrack plucks at the viewer's nerves. Deakins somehow manages to give night-vision POV an almost ethereal quality.

This is the first produced screenplay by Sheridan, better known as Sheriff Hale on the first two seasons of "Sons of Anarchy," and it's an impressive debut. His exploration of the blurred morality of the billion-dollar drug trade and law enforcement's collective failure to put an end to it offers no pat explanations or unrealistic solutions, only sun-bleached shades of grey.

Review: Black Mass

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

James "Whitey" Bulger was a real-life bogeyman in Boston during the 1970s and '80s. A vicious, possible psychotic, and seemingly untouchable criminal kingpin, his name commanded varying degrees of fear and grudging respect among cops and crooks alike.

It is ostensibly an ensemble flick, though so much has been made of Johnny Depp's performance and appearance as Bulger. While the makeup job is occasionally distracting, it is nevertheless effective, especially as filmed by Carter and cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi. Depp as Bulger often looms over his scenes like some sort of urban ghoul, or the Max Shrek of crime dramas. He also gives his best performance in years.

The story is a complex one with a lot of moving parts, which Carter keeps ticking cleanly along without oversimplifying, although some details could have been fleshed out more. The story begins in 1975, as Bulger makes a push to consolidate his criminal influence in the insular blue collar neighborhood of South Boston. John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) is a rising FBI agent tasked with cleaning up the neighborhood, and as such he's conflicted: Connolly grew up with Bulger, and blood is thicker than water, even when the two sides of law are involved.

Bulger's brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch), a squeaky-clean and ambitious state senator, is also conflicted. Connolly tries to have it both ways by striking a deal with Bulger that turned the latter into an informant in order to take down their common enemy, the Italian mafia, while turning a blind eye to Bulger's own criminal activities. It's one shaky house of cards, with Connolly lying to himself about the lines he's crossing, Bulger lying to himself about being a rat, and both lying to everyone around them in order to keep their asses covered.

It's that last little bit that forms the meat of Black Mass. While the movie is ostensibly a true crime biopic about Bulger and Connolly, it's the people caught in their wake that are the most compelling aspects - and often bring about the best performances - in the movie.

David Harbour stands out as Connolly's milquetoast partner, especially during a tense dinner scene late in the film; and Rory Cochrane brings barely checked inner turmoil as Bulger's right-hand man, Stephen Flemmi, who is arguably more cold-blooded than his boss. Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, and Peter Saarsgard shine in smaller and more limited roles; their female counterparts - Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, and Juno Temple, are given less to do but still wring a lot out of their scenes. (One can't help but wonder what was left on the editing room floor, especially given that a subplot featuring Sienna Miller as Bulger's girlfriend was completely excised.)

All that chopping highlights the main - though not fatal - flaw in Black Mass. As with most biographies and true stories put on celluloid, only so much can be folded into a feature-length film. Black Mass represents the middle years of Bulger's grotesque and complicated story, and boils them down to consumable fare. Details are glossed over and the pacing isn't always consistent. It's a familiar formula - most crime movies are these days - but in this instance it's well-done formula.

Review: Everest

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

Spectacle film-making with a purpose, "Everest" is a welcome throwback to the testorone-heavy adventure flicks of past decades. Based on the true story of the tragic May 10-11, 1996 excursion to the summit of the world's highest peak that resulted in the deaths of eight mountaineers, it's an epic man-versus-nature story that reminds us of what happens when human hubris collides with the full force of Mother Nature.

The incident occurred during a curious growth spurt in the field of what is sometimes called "nanny mountaineering", in which deep-pocketed wannabe-adventurers can pay experienced climbers to guide them safely to the summits of the world's tallest mountains and back down. Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) was pioneering the concept, with competition from others such as Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhall).

To be fair, the climbers in their care aren't exactly novices: Texas pathologist Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), mailman Doug Hansen, Japanese businesswoman Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), and journalist Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly) had each crossed some of the world's most demanding peaks off their to-do lists.

Their journey is doomed by a cascading series of events, big and small, that coalesce into a disaster: Russian guide Anatoli Boukreev doesn't used bottled oxygen and doesn't believe in packing it either; the Sherpas are alarmingly competitive; Fischer pushes himself to absurd extremes; Rob holds too close to his well-meaning but ultimately fatal promise to get each of his clients to the top.

Possibly the biggest danger leading to the incident is the most banal: the bottlenecks and "traffic jams" caused by having dozens of climbers competing for a narrow window of opportunity on the mountain at one time. The blizzard that hits is the spark that lights the fuse.

Director Baltasar Kormákur ("The Deep") and screenwriters William Nicholson ("Unbroken") and Simon Beaufoy ("127 Hours") are slow out of the gate (there are many details to and players to set in motion), but once in motion they deftly unfold the perfect storm of bad weather, miscommunication, and fateful decisions that led to the tragedy in a way that sneaks up on the viewer much as it does the characters.

However, they sometimes telegraph the foreshadowing, so that even if one hasn't read any of the half-dozen or so firsthand accounts written by survivors of the ordeal, one can still get a pretty good idea of who will and will not survive early on. There is still plenty of tension, mostly in the form of people in places that shouldn't sanely be: crossing chasms on bridges of lashed-together ladders, navigating narrow ledges, and steep slopes.

Kormakur seamlessly mixes location footage, digital effects, and some soundstage work into a convincing whole. The movie also benefits from Salvatore Totino's breathtaking cinematography - his best to date, full of sweeping landscapes and vertigo-inducing vertical shots that make it a rare film that truly needs to be seen in IMAX 3-D.

The casting is strong enough that the mostly thinly sketched characters are fleshed out, especially Brolin and Clarke. Keira Knightley and Emily Watson stand out as Rob's wife and his business partner, respectively. Still, the movie isn't an actors' showcase, and at times they, like their real-life counterparts, are overwhelmed by the mountain.

Fall 2015 TV Series Premiere Dates

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

As Summer enters its final weeks, the new Fall TV season is set to kick off shortly with series both old and new set to be launched in the United States over the next few months.

With so many show on it can prove a bit confusing as to when specifically each of these shows will premiere. Today comes a handy schedule to keep you on track. The list has been divided into four - returning show season premiere dates, and new show pilot airdates both in 2015 & 2016 each.

The returning shows I'll personally be tuning in for before the year's out: "American Horror Story," "Arrow," "The Blacklist," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Castle," "Da Vinci's Demons," "Doctor Who," "Elementary," "Fargo," "The Flash," "Gotham," "The Good Wife," "Hell on Wheels," "Homeland," "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Q.I.," "Scorpion," "Sleepy Hollow," "Supernatural," "Vicious" and "The Walking Dead".

I'll also tune in for "The 100," "The Americans," "Archer," "Bates Motel," "Black Sails," "Bosch," "Daredevil," "The Fall," "Game of Thrones," "House of Cards," "Luther," "Marvel's Agent Carter," "Orphan Black," "Outlander," "Penny Dreadful," "Rick and Morty," "Ripper Street," "Sherlock," "The Strain," "Teen Wolf," "True Detective," "Vikings," "Wallander" and "The X-Files" when they return in 2016.

Of the new shows premiering I'm considering giving "11/22/63," "Agent X," "American Crime Story," "Ash vs. Evil Dead," "The Bastard Executioner," "Cassius and Clay," "Childhood's End," "The Crown," "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," "The Expanse," "Fear the Walking Dead," "The Last Kingdom," "Lucifer," "The Man in the High Castle," "Marseille," "Marvel's Jessica Jones," "Marvel's Luke Cage," "Minority Report," "The Muppets," "Narcos," "Preacher," "Rush Hour," "Scream Queens," "Supergirl," "Vinyl," & "Westworld" a go, and maybe one or two others if the reaction is good.

There's no shortage of good shows on right now, amongst the shows I still haven't gotten around to as yet and am ashamed to be behind on are the likes of "The Affair," "Banshee," "Bloodline," "Downton Abbey," "Empire," "Fortitude," "Girls," "Happy Valley," "Kingdom," "The Knick," "The Leftovers," "Line of Duty," "Longmire," "Louie," "Manhattan," "Masters of Sex," "Orange is the New Black," "Peaky Blinders," "Rectify," "Transparent," "Unbreakable Kelly Schmidt" and "Veep".

RETURNING SERIES - 2015:

Saturday, August 22nd
"Survivor's Remorse: Season 2" (Starz)

Sunday, August 23rd
"Vicious: Season 2" (PBS)

Monday, August 24th
"Switched at Birth: Season 5" (ABC Family)

Tuesday, August 25th
"From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 2" (El Rey)

Monday, August 31st
"Awkward: Season 5" (MTV)
"Faking It: Season 2" (MTV)

Tuesday, September 1st
"Drunk History: Season 3 (Comedy Central)

Tuesday, September 8th
"The Awesomes: Season 3" (Hulu)

Wednesday, September 9th
"The League: Season 7" (FXX)
"You're the Worst: Season 2" (FXX)

Thursday, September 10th
"Longmire: Season 4" (Netflix)

Friday, September 11th
"Continuum: Season 4" (SyFy)
"Z Nation: Season 2" (Syfy)

Sunday, September 13th
"Doll & Em: Season 2" (HBO)
"Project Greenlight: Season 4" (HBO)

Tuesday, September 15th
"The Mindy Project: Season 4" (Hulu)

Wednesday, September 16th
"South Park: Season 19" (Comedy Central)

Saturday, September 19th
"Doctor Who: Series 9" (BBC America)

Monday September 21st
"The Big Bang Theory: Season 9" (CBS)
"Castle: Season 8" (ABC)
"Gotham: Season 2" (FOX)
"NCIS Los Angeles: Season 7" (CBS)
"Scorpion: Season 2" (CBS)
"The Voice: Season 9" (NBC)

Tuesday September 22nd
"Fresh off the Boat: Season 2" (ABC)
"NCIS: Season 13" (CBS)
"NCIS: New Orleans: Season 2" (CBS)

Wednesday, September 23rd
"black-ish: Season 2" (ABC)
"Empire: Season 2" (FOX)
"The Goldbergs: Season 3" (ABC)
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Season 17" (NBC)
"The Middle: Season 7" (ABC)
"Modern Family: Season 8" (ABC)
"The Mysteries of Laura: Season 2" (NBC)
"Nashville: Season 4" (ABC)
"Survivor: Season 31" (CBS)

Thursday, September 24th
"The Blacklist: Season 3" (NBC)
"Grey's Anatomy: Season 12" (ABC)
"How to Get Away with Murder: Season 2" (ABC)
"Scandal: Season 5" (ABC)

Friday, September 25th
"The Amazing Race: Season 25" (CBS)
"Blue Bloods: Season 6" (CBS)
"Hawaii Five-O: Season 6" (CBS)
"Last Man Standing: Season 5" (ABC)

Sunday, September 27th
"Bob's Burgers: Season 6" (FOX)
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3" (FOX)
"Family Guy: Season 14" (FOX)
"The Last Man on Earth: Season 2" (FOX)
"Once Upon a Time: Season 5" (ABC)
"The Simpsons: Season 27" (FOX)

Tuesday, September 29th
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3" (ABC)

Wednesday, September 30th
"Chicago PD: Season 3" (NBC)
"Criminal Minds: Season 11" (CBS)

Thursday, October 1st
"Bones: Season 11" (FOX)
"Sleepy Hollow: Season 3" (FOX)

Sunday, October 4th
"The Affair: Season 2" (Showtime)
"CSI: Cyber: Season 2" (CBS)
"The Good Wife: Season 7" (CBS)
"Homeland: Season 5" (Showtime)
"The Leftovers: Season 2" (HBO)
"Madam Secretary: Season 2" (CBS)

Tuesday, October 6th
"The Flash: Season 2" (The CW)
"iZombie: Season 2" (The CW)
"Finding Carter: Season 3" (MTV)

Wednesday, October 7th
"American Horror Story: Hotel" (FX)
"Arrow: Season 4" (The CW)
"Supernatural: Season 11" (The CW)

Thursday, October 8th
"Haven: Season 5, Part 2" (Syfy)
"The Vampire Diaries: Season 7" (The CW)
"The Originals: Season 3" (The CW)

Friday, October 9th
"Reign: Season 3" (The CW)
"Undateable: Season 3" (NBC)

Sunday, October 11th
"The Walking Dead: Season 6" (AMC)

Monday, October 12th
"Fargo: Season 2" (FX)
"Jane the Virgin: Season 2" (The CW)

Tuesday, October 13th
"Manhattan: Season 2" (WGN America)
"Chicago Fire: Season 4" (NBC)

Wednesday, October 14th
"Kingdom: Season 2 (DirecTV)
"Star Wars Rebels: Season 2" (Disney XD)

Thursday, October 15th
"Nathan for You: Season 3" (Comedy Central)

Friday, October 16th
"The Knick: Season 2" (Cinemax)
"Please Like Me: Season 3" (Pivot)
"Satisfaction: Season 2" (USA)
"Truth Be Told: Season 2" (NBC)

Friday, October 23rd
"Hemlock Grove: Season 3" (Netflix)

Saturday, October 24th
"Da Vinci's Demons: Season 3" (Starz)

Friday, October 30th
"Grimm: Season 5" (NBC)

Sunday, November 1st
"The Librarians: Season 2" (TNT)

Monday, November 2nd
"Legends: Season 2" (TNT)
"Major Crimes: Season 4, Part 2" (TNT)

Thursday, November 5th
"Elementary: Season 4" (CBS)
"Mom: Season 3" (CBS)

Friday, December 4th
"Transparent: Season 2" (Amazon)

Fall 2015
"2 Broke Girls: Season 5" (CBS)
"Marco Polo: Season 2" (Netflix)
"Person of Interest: Season 5" (CBS)

RETURNING SERIES - 2016:

Sunday, January 3rd
"Downton Abbey: Season 6" (PBS)

Sunday, January 24th
"The X-Files: Season 10" (FOX)

January 2016
"12 Monkeys: Season 2" (Syfy)
"The 100: Season 3" (The CW)
"The Americans: Season 4" (FX)
"Archer: Season 7" (FXX)
"Banshee: Season 4" (Cinemax)
"Black Sails: Season 3" (Starz)
"Episodes: Season 5" (Showtime)
"House of Lies: Season 5" (Showtime)
"Marvel's Agent Carter: Season 2" (ABC)
"Mr. Selfridge: Series 4" (PBS)
"New Girl: Season 5" (FOX)
"Shameless: Season 6" (Showtime)
"Sherlock: Xmas Special" (PBS)
"Suits: Season 5, Part 2" (USA)
"Togetherness: Season 2" (HBO)

Early 2016 TBD
"American Crime: Season 2" (ABC)
"Aquarius: Season 2" (NBC)
"Bates Motel: Season 4" (A&E)
"Beauty and the Beast: Season 4" (The CW)
"Better Call Saul: Season 2" (AMC)
"Bitten: Season 3" (Syfy)
"Bloodline: Season 2" (Netflix)
"Bosch: Season 2" (Amazon)
"Dark Matter: Season 2" (Syfy)
"Fortitude: Season 2" (Pivot)
"Galavant: Season 2" (ABC)
"Game of Thrones: Season 6" (HBO)
"Getting On: Season 3" (HBO)
"Girls: Season 5" (HBO)
"Grace and Frankie: Season 2" (Netflix)
"Happy Valley: Series 2" (Netflix)
"House of Cards: Season 4" (Netflix)
"Humans: Season 2" (AMC)
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 11" (FXX)
"Killjoys: Season 2" (Syfy)
"Lost Girl: Season 5. Part 2" (Syfy)
"Luther: Season 4" (BBC America)
"Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2" (Netflix)
"Mike & Molly: Season 6" (CBS)
"The Musketeers: Season 3" (BBC America)
"The Odd Couple: Season 2" (CBS)
"Outlander: Season 2" (Starz)
"Poldark: Season 2" (PBS)
"Powers: Season 2" (PlayStation Network)
"Rizzoli & Isles: Season 6, Part 2" (TNT)
"Silicon Valley: Season 3" (HBO)
"Teen Wolf: Season 5, Part 2" (MTV)
"TURN - Washington's Spies: Season 3" (AMC)
"Twin Peaks: Season 3" (Showtime)
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2" (Netflix)
"UnREAL: Season 2" (Lifetime)
"Veep: Season 5" (HBO)
"Vikings: Season 4" (History)

Late 2016 TBD
"American Dad: Season 13" (TBS)
"Ballers: Season 2" (HBO)
"BoJack Horseman: Season 3" (Netflix)
"The Brink: Season 2" (HBO)
"Broadchurch: Season 3" (BBC America)
"Endeavour: Season 3" (BBC America)
"The Fall: Series 3" (Netflix)
"Hell on Wheels: Season 5, Part 2" (AMC)
"The Last Ship: Season 3" (Showtime)
"Line of Duty: Series 3" (Hulu)
"Masters of Sex: Season 4" (Showtime)
"The Missing: Season 2" (Starz)
"Mr. Robot: Season 2" (USA)
"The Night Shift: Season 3" (NBC)
"Orange is the New Black: Season 4" (Netflix)
"Orphan Black: Season 4" (BBC America)
"Outlander: Season 2" (Starz)
"Penny Dreadful: Season 3" (Showtime)
"Pretty Little Liars: Season 7" (ABC Family)
"Power: Season 3" (Starz)
"Ray Donovan: Season 4" (Showtime)
"Rectify: Season 4" (Sundance Channel)
"Rick and Morty: Season 3" (Adult Swim)
"Ripper Street: Season 4" (Amazon)
"Secrets and Lies: Season 2" (ABC)
"Sense8: Season 2" (Netflix)
"Stitchers: Season 2" (ABC Family)
"The Strain: Season 3" (FX)
"True Detective: Season 3" (HBO)
"Vera: Series 6" (PBS)
"Wallander: Series 4 (BBC America)

Renewals Still Undecided
"Chasing Life," "Clipped," "Defiance," "Dominion," "The Fosters," "Graceland," "Married," "Murder in the First," "Olympus," "Proof," "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll," "Switched at Birth," "Tyrant," "The Whispers"

NEW SERIES - 2015:

Sunday, August 16th
"Show Me A Hero: The Mini-Series" (HBO)

Saturday, August 22nd
"Blunt Talk" (Starz)

Sunday, August 23rd
"Fear the Walking Dead" (AMC)

Wednesday, August 26th
"The Carmichael Show" (NBC)

Friday, August 28th
"Narcos" (Netflix)

Tuesday, August 25th
"Public Morals" (TNT)

Friday, September 4th
"Hand of God" (Amazon)

Sunday, September 6th
"Arthur & George" (PBS)

Tuesday, September 15th
"The Bastard Executioner" (FX)

Wednesday, September 16th
"Moonbeam City" (Comedy Central)

Monday September 21st
"Blindspot" (NBC)
"Life in Pieces" (CBS)
"Minority Report" (FOX)

Tuesday September 22nd
"Limitless" (CBS)
"The Muppets" (ABC)
"Scream Queens" (FOX)

Wednesday, September 23rd
"Rosewood" (FOX)

Thursday, September 24th
"Heroes Reborn" (NBC)
"The Player" (NBC)

Saturday, September 26th
"Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" (Disney XD)

Sunday, September 27th
"Blood & Oil" (ABC)
"Indian Summers: The Mini-Series" (PBS)
"Quantico" (ABC)

Tuesday, September 29th
"Grandfathered" (FOX)
"The Grinder" (FOX)

Wednesday, September 30th
"Code Black" (CBS)

Thursday, October 1st
"Benders" (IFC)

Friday, October 2nd
"Dr. Ken" (ABC)

Sunday, October 4th
"The Widower: The Mini-Series" (PBS)

Wednesday, October 7th
"Casual" (Hulu)

Friday, October 9th
"Red Oaks" (Amazon)

Saturday, October 10th
"The Last Kingdom" (BBC America)

Monday, October 12th
"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (The CW)

Friday, October 23rd
"RocketJump: The Show" (Hulu)

Monday, October 26th
"Supergirl" (CBS)

Tuesday, October 27th
"Wicked City" (ABC)

Saturday, October 31st
"Ash vs. Evil Dead" (Starz)

Thursday, November 5th
"Angel from Hell" (CBS)

Friday, November 6th
"Master of None" (Netflix)

Sunday, November 8th
"Agent X" (TNT)
"Flesh and Bone" (Starz)

Tuesday, November 10th
"Chicago Med" (NBC)

Sunday, November 15th
"Into the Badlands" (AMC)

Thursday, November 19th
"The Art of More" (Crackle)

Friday, November 20th
"The Man in the High Castle" (Amazon)
"Marvel's Jessica Jones" (Netflix)

Monday, December 14th
"Childhood's End: The Mini-Series" (Syfy)
"The Expanse" (Syfy)

TBD 2015
"And Then There Were None" (BBC America)
"London Spy" (BBC America)
"Marseille" (Netflix)
"The One Percent" (Starz)

NEW SERIES - 2016:

Thursday, January 14th
"Colony" (USA)

Sunday, January 17th
"Billions" (Showtime)
"Mercy Street" (PBS)

Tuesday, January 26th
"The Magicians" (Syfy)

TBD 2016
"11/22/63" (Hulu)
"Anonymous" (TNT)
"American Crime Story" (FX)
"Baskets" (FX)
"Bordertown" (FOX)
"Cassius and Clay" (FXX)
"The Catch" (ABC)
"Coach" (NBC)
"Containment" (The CW)
"Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" (CBS)
"The Crown" (Netflix)
"DC's Legends of Tomorrow" (The CW)
"The Family" (ABC)
"Flaked" (Netflix)
"Fuller House" (Netflix)
"Game of Silence" (NBC)
"The Get Down" (Netflix)
"Heartbreaker" (NBC)
"Hot and Bothered" (NBC)
"Lady Dynamite" (Netflix)
"Lewis and Clark" (HBO)
"Lookingglass" (FOX)
"Love" (Netflix)
"Lucifer" (FOX)
"Marvel's Luke Cage" (Netflix)
"Montauk" (Netflix)
"The OA" (Netflix)
"Of Kings and Prophets" (ABC)
"People Are Talking" (NBC)
"Preacher" (AMC)
"Quarry" (Cinemax)
"The Ranch" (Netflix)
"The Real O'Neals" (ABC)
"Recovery Road" (ABC Family)
"River" (BBC America)
"Rush Hour" (CBS)
"Shades of Blue" (NBC)
"Shadowhunters" (ABC Family)
"The Shannara Chronicles" (MTV)
"Superstore" (NBC)
"Taboo" (BBC America)
"Titans" (TNT)
"Uncle Buck" (ABC)
"The Way" (Hulu)
"Westworld" (HBO)
"Vinyl" (HBO)
"You, Me and the End of the World" (NBC)
"The Young Pope" (HBO)

Dark Doctrine: "The End of A Golden Age"

Dark Horizons - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm

The golden age of television may have hit its saturation point according to one of the key players in the industry.

John Landgraf, the CEO of FX Networks, told reporters at the Television Critics Association on Friday that the growing volume of original scripted series programming will begin to decline after next year. Why? Because: "there is simply too much television."

Last year saw 352 original scripted comedy and drama series on primetime and late-night TV - of those 129 were on broadcast TV, 199 on cable, and 24 on streaming services. To give you an idea of the difference - in 1999 there were only 26 scripted cable series and no streaming series, and even as recently as 2009 there were only 87 scripted cable series and no streaming.

Landgraf predicts that number will pass 400 by the end of this year and rise again in 2016 before the decline begins - and when it happens it will be brutal. Landgraf says we are: "in the late stages of a bubble. We're seeing a desperate scrum - everyone is trying to jockey for position. We're playing a game of musical chairs, and they're starting to take away chairs."

The problems are beginning to increase. The fracturing of the audience across a greater number of shows, and the instant access to an array of older series that streaming offers, means many new shows are failing to garner an audience at launch as people are overwhelmed by the sheer volume. Second chances are out, slow builds are rarely offered and when they are audiences often won't stick around for them.

The pool of skilled talent that can manage a series is shrinking fast, and measures of success are changing as viewership is spreading out chronologically over time due to DVR, VOD and streaming which has seen first night viewing often replaced by windows from three days to four weeks after broadcast.

Then there's the rise of the commercial-free environment of SVOD platforms and on-demand viewing which customers are preferring and is rendering ad-supported television obsolete. With people scheduling TV around their lives, rather than the other way around in the pre-DVR days, the old business models are dying and advertising is going to have to radically change and be more targeted and less intrusive if it expects to survive.

"It's going to be a messy, inelegant process" says Landgraf, but he adds you shouldn't count out the big conglomerates: "It's a bumpy, rocky transition, but it's not a transition that leads to a valueless future for Disney, Time Warner and 21st Century Fox and only Netflix (succeeds). Brands are increasingly important as mediating filters for an overwhelmed public."

Landgraf has seen the change in the past decade since he took over - FX's advertising has dropped from 55% of its revenue to 32%, and the shortfall has only been part made up by content licensing - a number that is continuing to grow fast as the channel's production units grow.

Content production is where revenues will grow in the near future, and only those with large and relevant portfolios of original shows will survive - which is why many networks are choosing to green light shows produced and developed entirely in-house.

The comments come following a week in which giant media conglomerates were hammered on the stock market over concerns about cord cutting, concerns that saw their share prices lose $60 billion in value in just two days before they stabilised. They have every right to be concerned as well it seems as Variety reports that the second quarter of 2015 saw the largest quarterly subscriber declines to date with 566,000 subscribers cutting the cable - compared to 321,000 a year ago.

The number of pay-TV households is now shrinking at an annual rate of 0.7%, up from 0.1% a year ago, and that comes as U.S. household numbers increase which means the drop is steeper. Cable vision Systems CEO James Dolan has downplayed the fears saying that he predicts it'll be five years for 10% of the market to move, and then another five for 30%.

What will the industry look like in a decade? Right now, no-one seems to have a clue.

Project Legion Dead; DUST 514-Inspired PC Shooter Planned

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
A post on the DUST 514 Forums has early details on CCP's plans for an Unreal Engine 4 shooter for PC based on DUST 514 (thanks DSOGaming). This is actually from last week following the news that the...

Dark Souls III Intro Cinematic

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
BANDAI NAMCO offers the introductory cinematic from Dark Souls III, the next installment in FROMSOFTWARE's action/RPG series. Here's word on what this shows: In venturing North, the Pilgrims discover...

Street Fighter V Trailer

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
CapCom Unity now offers a full-length CG trailer from Street Fighter V, the upcoming Vth installment in the brawler series. Here's the accompanying update, sung to the tune of the Rolling Stones'...

ARK: Survival Evolved Update Adds Grappling Hook

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
A new update on Steam for ARK: Survival Evolved updates the early access survival game to build 235, adding new content, including the Phorusrhacidae Rapidesultor, aka the terror bird, and the...

Valhalla Hills Free DLC

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
Sand of the Damned, the first DLC for Valhalla Hills, is now available on Steam as a free download for owners of this Windows, Linux, and OS X strategy game. This trailer offers a look, and this post...

Evening Patches

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
Forgotten Hope mod for Battlefield 2 updated to version 2.5. Thanks Task.

On Sale

Blue's News - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 6:04pm
Day 3 of the Steam Lunar New Year Sale. FPS Heroes 2 Bundle on Bundle Stars. League of Legends Champion and skin sale- 02.09 - 02.12.
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