Tag Archives: Shane West

Lucy Lawless To Recur On WGN America’s Salem!

SALEM_THRONE

Lucy Lawless, Stuart Townsend, Joe Doyle and Oliver Bell have joined the cast of WGN America’s Salem – Doyle and Bell as regulars.

In Season Two, Witch War, Lawless will play on of the few survivors of a long line of ancient German witches, Countess Marburg. Doyle will play the countess’ charming, cultured son, Baron Marburg.

Townsend is Samuel Wainwright, an aristocratic English doctor who seeks to discover the secrets of Salem while fiercely guarding his own. Bell reprises his role as the long lost son of Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery).

Season Two of Salem will premiere in April. For further details, follow the jump.

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Creepy Trailer: Salem: Mercy!

SALEM_THRONE

The quality of Mercy is oft-times strained. Especially when it’s ‘time for war!’

Check out the new teaser for season two of Salem – featuring a not particularly merciful Mercy – after the jump. Salem returns to WGN in April, 2015.

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NIKITA Makes an Outstanding Thursday Return

Gamechanger.  NIKITA returns tonight after several weeks’ hiatus to an explosive (literally) and truly outstanding episode titled “Covenants” that can easily be labeled a ‘gamechanger’ among many other positive adjectives.  Even if you have not been following this new Nikita very closely, you can easily treat yourself as a viewer to a most entertaining, emotional, and exciting hour.  All elements come together adeptly and beautifully: the writing, directing, production, action, and filming.  And the twists, turns, and revelations move the story forward in a frenetic yet satisfying manner.

Those of us attending WonderCon this past weekend had the pleasure of seeing the full episode a full week before tonight’s official return.  One thing that gave me particular joy was seeing the auditorium nearly full.  Sadly, that was not due to everyone’s interest in Nikita, but to their desire to secure a seat for the “Doctor Who” panel to follow.  But this gave me joy because all those people now  had  to see Nikita.  And if they were not regular viewers before, then this episode would no doubt have made them into viewers now.  Yes, it was  that  good!  It would truly be a crime if the new incoming CW President does not renew this series for a Season Two.  Excellent writing, compelling characters, talented and charismatic actors, outstanding action sequences… what more could you ask for other than a few more ratings point perhaps.

Comments and spoilers after the jump.  And dare I say it for all the die-hard fans? … “Mi-kita” alert!!

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Television: Sneak Peek At Tonight’s Episode of Nikita S1.04 Rough Trade

 

NIKITA

Nikit continues to heat up the Thursday night ratings for the CW Network and win rave reviews from critics and viewers alike, and with good reason. Nikita is action packed and intelligently written. The main character, played with ultimate cool by Maggie Q is a strong and resourceful woman who can hold her own.

In S1.04 Rough Trade, Nikita revisits a past assignment where she posed as a nanny for an influential government official and decides to right the wrong of his death.  During the mission, Michael (Shane West) comes to Nikita’s rescue and begins to doubt Percy’s (Xander Berkeley) motives.  Back at Division, while undergoing basic training, Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca) suffers from a panic attack which prompts Amanda (Melinda Clarke) to break her of claustrophobia.  Aaron Stanford, Tiffany Hines and Ashton Holmes also star.  Nick Copus directed the episode written by Carlos Coto .

Check out the sneak peek provided by the CW Network and then tune in tonight at 9 PM EST to catch the newest episode of the CW Network’s newest hit series, Nikita.

Continue reading Television: Sneak Peek At Tonight’s Episode of Nikita S1.04 Rough Trade

Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

Nikita

On Thursday, September 9th at 9PM EST (Supernatural’s old time slot), The CW Network is set to offer up their re-imagining of the 1997 USA Network series Nikita which starred Peta Wilson. That series was in itself an adapting of the 1990 French film, Le Femme Nikta.

While the blue eyed blonde Wilson has been replaced by the darkly exotic beauty of female action star Maggie Q (Mission Impossible 2), the basic plot remains the same. When Nikita was a deeply troubled eighteen year old accused of murder, she was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division. They trained her as a spy and assassin.  Nikita was their top agent until she broke the cardinal rule of never getting close to someone and fell in love. Because of this, Nikita was betrayed by the only people she thought she could trust and the man she loved was murdered by them.  Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former boss, Percy (Xander Berkeley, “24”) and her former friends Michael (Shane West, “E.R.”) and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford, “X-Men: The Last Stand) that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.

The majority of the pilot for Nikita, which was directed by Danny Cannon and written by Craig Silverstein, spends a lot of it’s time giving the audience the exposition on title character’s back story. The exposition is interspersed with action sequences to show the audience what a kick ass, strong woman Nikita is.

While all of this was slickly presented and mildly entertaining, the biggest problem I had was this: Yes, Maggie Q is as deadly graceful and skilled as an action hero should be in all the fight sequences. However, her Nikita comes across as too remote and coldly detached from the angst surrounding her character to create any spark or screen presence to connect to outside of her fighting prowess. I do have to say that this remote detachment does help the character keep a sense of dignity around her during the scenes in which Nikita must run around scantily clad. On the up side, that kind of dignity is a welcome change from the usual “sex it up” mentality that often comes along with a series which revolves around a female spy . It certainly makes Nikita more intimidating. On the downside, the issue I had with this is that, unfortunately, there is no heat of any kind whatsoever in those scenes nor in the action sequences. To me, the action sequences of a series like this is where the character’s passion for her cause should be most revealed. I just didn’t feel Nikita’s passion for her crusade.

Continue reading Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

Television: CW Network Goes For the Cheers & The Spy Action – Adds New Series Hell Cats and Nikita to Their Line UP

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Wednesday night get pumped-up with the cheerleader drama “Hellcats”.  Then on  Thursday nights, get ready to delve into the new action-packed drama “Nikita.”

On Thursday, May 20th 2010, Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW Network, unveiled the schedule for the CW’s 2010-2011 season at a presentation for advertisers, affiliates and national media in the Theater at Madison Square Garden, where singer Katy Perry rocked the house to open the show.

“After just four short years as a network, The CW will premiere our strongest schedule ever this fall, with a combination of hit shows and exciting new series giving us all-original programming five nights a week for the first time. We’ve been growing this network one hit at a time and we’re poised for a great 2010-11 season.” Dawn Ostroff told the audience.  

“This year ‘The Vampire Diaries’ was a smash out of the box for us, and another freshman show, ‘Life Unexpected,’ also opened strong and began building an intense, loyal following. On the heels of breaking ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘90210’ the last two seasons and the enduring popularity of ‘Smallville,’ ‘Supernatural,’ ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ we had more strong program development and believe we have the goods once again with ‘Nikita’ and ‘Hellcats,’ two shows that are fun, fast and loud, and will enable us to make noise in the marketplace this fall,” Ostroff said of the two newest additions to the CW Network line up.

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BLU-RAY REVIEW: Echelon Conspiracy

echelonconspiracy

These days Hollywood doesn’t like the term Direct to Video, one PR person told they prefer the term “DVD Premier,” but here I’ll coin the acronym HTR – meaning Home Theatrical Release.  Technically it’s not an HTR, because the film was released in overseas.  Echelon Conspiracy is the first HTR that I’ve seen released onto the old Blu-ray disc. Most studios wouldn’t take a chance because producing Blu-ray product is generally cost prohibitive.  But I have to say, Echelon Conspiracy is one quality production.  This tight little conspiracy film falls along the lines of Enemy of the State and the recent Shia LaBeouf’s recent Eagle Eye.  Where an NSA Super Computer goes all wonky in the name of National Security. This film is a low rent version of last year’s big budget Eagle Eye, but I think it worked a lot better – other than the ending.

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DVD REVIEW: What We Do Is Secret: Biographical Film Tackles Legendary Punk Band!

The Germs, created and fronted by Darby Crash [formerly Bobby Pyn, born Jan Paul Beahm] was simultaneously one of the Los Angeles area’s most loved and hated bands. Their raw energy and apparent self-destructiveness drew crowds, but the bands antics frequently led to club damage and brawls. Their fans loved them – and their one and only album was picked as album of the year by at least one prominent critic – but owners of clubs refused to book them.

What We Do Is Secret Box Art

What We Do Is Secret tracks The Germs – and Crash – from Beahm’s decision to create a punk band that would be genuine, and make all the poseurs look like the frauds that they were. If they made a little cash from the venture, then, cool. So, we get on board from the moment that Beahm begins making over a group of friends with names like Bobby Pym, Pat Smear, and Lorna Doom – not only before they learned to play their instruments, but before they even had instruments!

From their first gig – where they couldn’t play – to their final reunion gig – we see the band become extremely good and the individual band members go through the ups and downs of a pink band in the late seventies. In a final irony, Crash and his friend, Casey Cola, attempt suicide [Cola survives] the night before John Lennon is killed – once again managing to remain below the radar on the national scene.

The film, directed by Rodger Grossman from his own script, is a lean, anarchic piece that vibrates with life and actually achieves a “you are there” feel. Shane West is spot on as Beahm/Pyn/Crash and the rest of the cast – especially Bijou Phillips as Lorna Doom, Rick Gonzalez as Pat Smear, Noah Segan as Don Bolles, Azura Skye as Casey and Missy Doty as Amber – totally buy into their characters. At virtually no point does What We Do Is Secret feel like a movie – it’s more like a fly on a wall actually watching these people go through their lives.

Shot in both black and white and color, the film crackles with the energy The Germs’ music and the sense of futility that seemed to follow them like a dark cloud. Crash was twenty-two when he committed suicide – and probably the only place to see film of the band in action is in Penelope Spheeris’ 1981 documentary, The Decline of Western Civilization – the filming of which, as shown in What We do Is Secret, required Spheeris to rent a space in which they could perform [they’d been banned from all the local clubs, remember?].

What We Do Is Secret gets it right: the vitality of the L.A. scene; the unique genius of Crash and his five-year plan for success, and especially, the music.

The screener from which this feature was written contained no bonus features.

Final Grade: What We Do Is Secret – A-