DC Comics gets serious in its rivalry with Marvel Studios in this impressively dark and threatening origins show; Batman the Early Years eschews the teen soapy Smallville to import Chris Nolan’s Batman movies and repeat the dark aesthetic of Arrow. Don’t forget your flashlight and moral compass.
Beginning with the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents, Gotham‘s opener is less about the strange introspective child who will grow up to be Batman and all about rookie detective Jim Gordon (the excellent Benjamin McKenzie – The OC, Southland).
In a city so corrupt it makes Sin City look like Teletubbies, you can already spot many of Batman’s proto-villains; stalker Catwoman, a child Poison Ivy, the Joker as a failing stand-up, the nerdy Riddler in the forensics lab; best of all is a superbly grotesque physical performance from Robin Taylor (Another Earth) as the Penguin. Continue reading
Not all leaders are managers, and not all managers are able to lead. Leadership ability doesn’t necessarily arrive with a training course, and it’s nothing to do with age. It’s about personal credibility and charisma; that certain something that gives you the ability to inspire and encourage others to want to follow and achieve.
Three key traits for the successful leader: Continue reading
Impressive visuals can’t hide the lack of originality behind this “Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies” franchise opener. And with the long shadow of Lost cast front and centre, you know you can’t trust a thing that anyone says or does from start to finish.
Just as well The Maze Runner‘s Lost Boys are fine young performers to make this CGI-laden behemoth bearable; with Brits Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie-Sangster a cut above.
Emerging lost and terrified from a supply elevator, supposedly 16-year-old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) has no memory bar his name of who he is or where he came from – but the thirty or so Lost Boys of The Glade quickly fill him in; they are at the centre of a massive, industrial maze which shifts nightly; no one trapped there after dark survives the Grievers. This is clearly some twisted adult’s idea of a science experiment, but to what end? Continue reading
Welshman of the moment Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Immortals) cuts a dash as the anguished and clearly misunderstood Vlad (the Impaler) Dracul, historical Transylvanian prince of legendary cruelty. Clearly a revisionist text, this sets up the politically dubious clash of Westernised, peace-loving Christian Transylvanians versus the tyrannical Muslim Turks. Hmm. Continue reading
Grotesquely violent, sweary, nuts-and-bolts action flick Olympus Has Fallen, starring and produced by gruff Scottish lump “THIS IS BUTLER!” Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen), makes uncomfortable viewing.
Not for it’s graphic terrorist attack on Washington, bloody and uncompromising as it is; but for the dire poverty of script and ideas in this cynical money-making behemoth which plunders the worst excesses of Die Hard and Under Seige.
You know you’re in trouble when the PR people call the director ‘visionary.’ Especially when the ‘visionary’ is Antoine Fuqua (King Arthur, Training Day), a blind man who couldn’t direct traffic. Continue reading
When you stand up to speak in public, the first impression the audience have of you is visual, and it will take them those first few seconds to make up their minds about you.
Because any audience needs to trust you, to like you and to understand you, if that first impression is not a positive one, you’ll find it difficult to win them over. Continue reading
Despite an over-long, four-act structure, disjointed flashbacks and an over-reliance on vast swathes of CGI carnage, Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) delivers a surprisingly super-heroic epic on a grand scale. Boy, do you get a lot of movie for your money.
Choosing homage to Christopher Reeve’s Superman I and II over the DC Comics source material, it stays the course thanks to throroughbred writing from David S. Goyer (Batman, Blade trilogy) and the firm guiding hand of producer Christopher Nolan (Batman, Inception).
While Henry Cavill and Amy Adams prove a well-matched Lois and Clark, Russell Crowe deadens every scene, and none of them can match Michael Shannon’s righteous fanatic, General Zod. Continue reading
Now for the seriously weak link – you.We busy little bees rush in, skim-read, ignore warnings, know better than everyone else, are highly suggestible, insatiably curious and when on-line, generally risk-blind.
And that’s on a good day. The rest of the time we go skipping through the online minefield with gay abandon and the kind of blasé wilfulness that would get us killed crossing the street. Continue reading
The malware, also called Dyreza, designed to bypass SSL and steal login credentials, is prompting sofware vendors to email clients a “not us, guv” denial.
The Dyre banking trojan which was reported at the start of the Summer (source article: Security Researchers Warn of New Dyre Banking Trojan (eSecurityplanet) by Jeff Goldman, June 20, 2014) appears to be gathering pace such companies such as Salesforce this week felt compelled to mass-mail customers to tell them there is no specific vulnerability in their software.
Rather the Dyre or Dyreza trojan is designed to bypass SSL protection and steal banking credentials. Continue reading