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Welcome to GEEKchocolate

Gotham

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When it was announced that there was to be a television series about Bruce Wayne before he became the Batman there was an understandable fear that it would be a rehash of Smallville, the ten year behemoth which starred Tom Welling as the young Clark Kent, although Welling was three years older than Brandon Routh when Superman Returns was made as Smallville finished its fifth season. Originally conceived as a series based around the young Master Wayne, Smallville was later reconceived as the Teenager of Steel, and the show achieved a ridiculous amount of success over the following decade, but now the pendulum has swung back to Gotham City, fears that the show would be full of teenage angst of a melancholy Bruce Wayne are unfounded, at least as far as can be told from the pilot.

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The ’Burbs

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Director Joe Dante first made his name as a director of horror served with a twist of humour with Piranha (1978) and The Howling (1981) before embracing comedy more directly on two episodes of Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad (1982) then splicing the two together in what became his breakout feature Gremlins (1984), grossing $153 million worldwide. Science fiction beckoned next with Explorers (1985) and Innerspace (1987), but it was in 1989 that Dante returned to the comedy/horror genre and the smalltown feel of his greatest hit as he paid a visit to The ‘Burbs.

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space

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A change of career is something everyone should consider, and within the film industry the most common direction is towards the director’s seat as frequently demonstrated by actors as diverse as Jon Favreau, George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Ryan Gosling, but also from more technical backgrounds such as cinematographer Wally Pfister, costume designer Joel Schumacher, animator Tim Burton, visual effects designers David Fincher and Patrick Tatopoulos or special effects experts such as the late Stan Winston and the Chiodo Brothers, Stephen, Charles and Edward, who having crafted the eponymous animatronic puppets for Critters in 1986 helmed their own long gestating dream project with Killer Klowns from Outer Space, released in 1988.

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Rob Drummond: Wallace

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Rob Drummon: WallaceThe Scottish independence question is one on which this site maintains a neutral positision. Being based in Scotland, however, many of our contributors have a vote and an opinion, and it would seem remiss not to cover at least one of the many arts events happening around the country to celebrate this great flowering of democracy in our home country.

So when we received an invitation to attend a preview of Rob Drummond: Wallace, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Rob Drummond: Wallace is part of the Arches' EARLY DAYS festival, looking at that Scottish question from a variety of points of view and with a selection of unique interpretations.

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Outlander

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The bold and vibrant career of Ronald D Moore has largely been built upon television shows originally devised by others, as a staff writer on Star Trek The Next Generation, a supervising producer on Star Trek Deep Space Nine then executive producer on Daniel Knauf’s Carnivàle before developing the new version of Battlestar Galactica from Glen A Larson’s original vision. It is regrettable that the two original shows which Moore created, Virtuality and 17th Precinct never moved past pilot stage, but recently he has acted once again as executive producer on Cameron Porsandeh’s Helix, and once again developing a show based on the premise of another, with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander it seems he may have yet another cross-genre hit on his hands.

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Half a King – Joe Abercrombie

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The wind is harsh in Thorlby, capital of Gettland on the western shore of the Shattered Sea, and the news carried on the wings of the messenger birds is most often bad. Younger son of King Uthrik, Yarvi has never sought power nor the glory of battle: born with a deformed hand, his family have never forgiven him his infirmity which is why he was trained to enter the Ministry where his only friend is his ancient teacher Mother Gundring.

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Lucy

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Luc Besson, a director known in equal measures for his genius and notoriety, has been around for a long time. His influence on the last twenty five years of cinema can be felt mainly in the action genre, but even films not associated with him have had his Gallic touch applied. With only a cursory glance at the filmography of the accomplished writer, producer and director, films such as Nikita (remade first with Bridget Fonda as The Assassin and then twice for television), Léon aka The Professional and The Fifth Element spring to mind as examples of his great films with strong female protagonists who mostly leave the lead men floundering behind them, so Lucy, starring current leading lady of the action genre Scarlett Johansson is bound to bring us another classic character. Malheureusement, non.

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High Moon

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While some writer/producers can be relied on to consistently deliver viewing which is in equal measures challenging, demanding, compulsive and rewarding, Bryan Fuller alone channels a quirkiness into all his creations which has made him one of the most unique voices in modern television, through Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies and Hannibal. His next major work will be the long anticipated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, set to debut in 2015, but in the meantime he has also served as executive producer on a loose adaptation of The Lotus Caves, a 1969 novel by John Christopher, author of The Tripods and The Death of Grass.

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Monsters: Dark Continent trailer - reaction

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Gareth Edwards came out of nowhere with Monsters. Released in late 2010 after touring the festival circuit, it was truly guerilla filmmaking, made for less than half a million dollars and grossing five times that amount while racking up critical acclaim and nominations, winning three categories at the British Independent Film Awards. Edwards himself was lured to Hollywood, first to unleash Godzilla and then with an assignment to expand the Star Wars universe with one of the three announced spin-off films. As to the world he first created, Vertigo Films are preparing to release a sequel, scripted by Misfits director Tom Green and scripted by Jay Basu. While the original film had a unique voice and vision which will be hard to duplicate, Edwards remains as executive producer, as does original star Scoot McNairy, though he does not appear in this sequel. Instead Game of Thrones' Joe Dempsie, Last Days on Mars' Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Sofia Boutella and Kyle Soller, soon to be seen in Poldark, star. The first trailer has been released and the team are generally excited...

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The Causal Angel – Hannu Rajaniemi

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It begins with The Thief and the Last Battle, a misdirection from the opening chapter which lays the groundwork for what is to come. After two books of uphill setup in The Quantum Thief and The Fractal Prince, this is the coast downhill, gathering momentum and trying to maintain balance as layers of crystalline plot suddenly become an avalanche of tumbling event as Hannu Rajaniemi’s trilogy of Jean le Flambeur novels comes to an explosive conclusion.

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The Girl With All The Gifts – M R Carey

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It begins in a classroom, what should be a benign place of safety yet is anything but, the students marshalled by armed soldiers. Strapped to her chair, Melanie adores Miss Justineau beyond all the other teachers and loves to read Greek mythology, associating herself with Pandora, “the girl with all the gifts,” a blessing and a curse as Melanie’s curiosity drives her to look beyond what is presented and ask why none of the children live with their parents like the families in their storybooks, why she cannot even remember her parents.

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Doctor Who - Deep Breath

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Half a century is an incredibly long time in television terms. When many shows fail to even have their pilot episode broadcast or struggle to be granted a second season despite critical acclaim and core audience devotion when the background noise of makeovers, game shows and reality television suck up viewers averse to the intellectual investment that quality entertainment demands, that Doctor Who returns for its eighth full season since it’s return in 2005 almost fifty one years after the broadcast of An Unearthly Child in November 1963 is astonishing.

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