Tag Archives: 2018

My Interview With Millie Manders

Recently I got a chance to put a few questions to my old buddy Millie Manders, a fantastic singer-songwriter who is a force to be reckoned with in the British music scene. When I first met Millie in 2013, I was blown away by her powerful vocal work and intricate lyrics which told such fascinating stories.

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As it’s 2019 and a lot has happened, I saw this the perfect time to speak to Millie and I am happy to share with you now the outcome of that chat…

You had a huge 2018, it was an incredibly busy year for you and The Shutup, what did you see as your personal highlights?
Releasing a new EP after two years was a huge highlight, and seeing the reaction to it was amazing. We got to tour to new towns, we went abroad as a band for the first time, we had more people coming to our shows than ever before… So many highlights….
In 2018 you released the new EP ‘Shutup’ and I loved hearing it over and over. What made this release different to the previous EP’s?
Collaborating as a band for a start was always going to make it different. You then have the cumulative interests and sonic preferences of a group begin to merge making it, in my opinion, more interesting – the previous EP was also a collaboration but with other producers and songwriters. I have always retained topline (melody) and lyrics though, on the most recent EP too.
To answer your question though, the processes were different. George wrote a horn line that became the basis for Right To Life. Brave was a jam session that focussed around the drums and bass. Lolipops was originally a poem I wrote and One That Got Away was a hook I had in my head for days. 
For the first time we went to a professional mixing/mastering engineer who really knew how to craft our vision sonically and made our recordings sparkle beyond measure. Each person involved in creating Shutup is, I believe, very proud of the end result.
Last year I saw a lot of updates from you with your shows and festival appearances. What show was probably the most memorable of last year?
 Rebellion without a doubt. There were some incredible shows – Boomtown, Nice N Sleazy, Bearded Theory were all incredible – the crowds that came and supported us blew our minds, but to be on the Empress Ballroom Stage – a 3000 capacity room at 1:30pm and to see it packing out for a band barely known was one of the most emotional experiences I think any of us have experienced. I nearly cried. I also nearly threw up. Haha!
2019 has just begun, what shows have you already got in the pipeline for fans to come and see you?
We are at Rebellion again this year, plus we have Nice N Sleazy, Camden Rocks and a few others, plus we will be coming to Scotland for the first time since 2014 and a bunch of other places. Loads of shows in loads of places!
With the release of various Eps over the years, have you looked at maybe doing a full album in the future or would you prefer another EP next?
It’s something we want, but it has to be right. I’d love to release an album but I would rather release another EP than release an album with songs I only half believe in. A body of work needs to be as good as you can make it. So yes, but not til it’s right.
I have over the last few years seen you rock the Ukulele. Is there a particular instrument you would love to learn to play?
Sure! Loads. I’d like to pick up my clarinet again. I’d like to learn guitar properly and get better with my sax. I’d love to be able to play the piano. I’d quite like to try learning trumpet….
The mix of ska and punk is very evident in the latest EP. But, I remember when I heard you sing ‘I Feel Good’ live and was blown away by your vocal range. Would a cover album ever be on the cards? Or a recording of that track?
Super unlikely. But who knows?
By the end of 2019, What would you like to see achieved by yourself and the band?
I’d like us to have a heap of new material written if not released. I’d like us to be touring in other territories both in and outside of the EU. I’m always looking to progress musically.
A fun question to finish on. You are stuck on a desert island and you are only allowed one album, one food item and one luxury item. What do you pick?
The album thing is really hard because that’s not something that has ever stayed the same for me. When I was 15 it would have been Dookie by Green Day. At 18 it would have been Stoosh by Skunk Anansie. Two years ago it would have been To The Moon by Popes Of Chillitown. Right now probably I Was Broken When You Got Here by Call Me Malcolm… Tomorrow who knows? But surely no matter how good the album, if you only had one, at some point silence would become more appealing?
One food item?? God this is a horrible question haha! Is there other food on the island?? ummmm……. Vegan Sriracha Mayonnaise. That stuff goes with anything…
One luxury item… Coconut oil. Cheating a bit but its a brilliant moisturiser, healer, hair product and cooking oil. Boom!
Millie, as always, thank you very much. If people want more information on you and the band, how can they do that?
You’re welcome!! Thank you Jonjo!!
Here’s a list:

 

If you have never heard anything by Millie Manders before, here are a selection of her songs for you to get your teeth into!

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Jonjo’s Best Of 2018!

2018 has come and gone! While we have massive events such as Avengers: Endgame, the return of Mr. Robot and the new core Pokemon RPG to make this year an awesome one, this is the perfect time to reflect on what I thought was the best of the past 12 months!

Which film did I most enjoy? What was the best book I read? Which show on Netflix was my go-to binge? What TV show made a massive impact to me away from the online giant? These questions and more are about to be answered in the First Annual Singing Whovian Awards For Excellence And Quality!

Best Film – Avengers: Infinity War

This was not easy! 2018 brought us such gems as Black Panther, Creed II, Mission Impossible: Fallout and Bohemian Rhapsody which I am sure will all do well when it comes to the award season in the US. But, for me, the culmination of ten years in the MCU being presented in this epic movie could not be ignored.

Beginning with Thanos taking down the Asgardian refuge ship and killing half of those on board, we see him begin his quest to wipe out half of all life as he sacrifices everything to achieve this goal. Iron Man, The Guardians Of The Galaxy and the other Avengers all come out to fight in this film which truly is bigger than any other that has come before it.

Could you get a more sympathetic yet terrifying antagonist than Thanos? Has there truly been a better film series which has managed to bring together such a huge list of characters that fans have loved over the past decade? Anthony and Joe Russo show that Marvel Studios can not only create a brilliant film, but have truly made the biggest shocker since Luke Skywalker found out his Dad was Darth Vader!

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Best TV show – Better Call Saul

Well, who thought this would happen? Could it be possible that the spin-off to one of the most successful TV shows of all time may actually be just as good or maybe even better than its predecessor? The tale of Jimmy McGill took possibly its most dramatic step this year as Jimmy has to deal with the loss of his brother and try to get his licence back to practice law.

With Season Four taking the biggest time jump so far, we see Jimmy and Kim slowly grow apart as the lives they live continue to divide them as the Saul Goodman persona begins to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Kim tries to support Jimmy the best way she can, but can she possibly save him from the man he is destined to become?

While the couple may be on the rocks, we also get to see Gustavo Fring as he begins to grow his empire with the help of the fantastic Mike as he has to deal with the operations and tie up the lose ends. Also, as the series prepares for its fifth season, will we see the show eventually come up to Breaking Bad or even fully embrace a more sequel-based setting? I would like to see the show meet a satisfying conclusion with the chance to tie up all storylines for the man we have come to know as “Slippin’ Jimmy”.

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Best Netflix Film – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

2019 may be the year we will get the new series of Black Mirror emerge on Netflix, but I can’t see many people would have expected this to emerge. A late Christmas present from the streaming giant was definitely welcome when Netflix announced that Bandersnatch was to premiere on the 28th December…but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

When the film premiered, it was later discovered that you could choose the path that the episode was to follow. Whether it was what cereal that central character Stefan would start his day with, what cassette would be blasting from his Walkman or even how you would finish a fight scene, Charlie Brooker has given us yet another classic.

While we may be waiting till later in 2019 for a full Season Five of the hit show, I can safely say that this special will keep many people entertained for hours while they attempt to get all the endings.

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Best Netflix TV Show – BoJack Horseman

Can you believe we have already had five seasons of this fantastic series? BoJack Horseman is the perfect show to blend comedy, drama, speak about everyday issues such as anxiety and depression and also involve anthropomorphic animals who inhabit the world that is so similar to our own. If you’ve never seen the show before, its main star is a Horse-Man who used to star in a sitcom which was a big hit and he now gets by each day as a semi-functioning alcoholic with more mummy issues than Norman Bates.

Will Arnett continues to shine as the troubled star who has to not only deal with his own personal demons, but he also has to get through the loss of his mother in what is possibly one of the finest episodes of TV that I have ever witnessed. The supporting cast all bring their best performances in this season, whether its Alison Brie as Diane begins to deal with her split from Mr. Peanutbutter or even Rami Malek or Stephanie Beatriz for their roles as the workforce behind BoJack’s new series called Philbert.

I honestly could not have thought anything would have beaten season four of this fine show, but Arnett and the rest of the stars are all on top form. BoJack Horseman continues to tackle themes that many other shows would never touch, yet we seem to take it in just as much with these animated creations as we would if the people were real. Bring on Season Six!

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Best Playstation 4 Game – Spider-Man

The PS4 has been possibly the greatest console to come out from Sony, with many games that push the boundaries of what we would consider the standard. In the last few years we have had Bloodborne terrify the masses, The Last Of Us bring people to tears and even the latest God Of War show that it just gets better and better.

Truly, the best of all these in my opinions is Spider-Man! The 2018 game which reinvents all we know about the wall-crawler and provides possibly one of the tightest and most enjoyable gaming experiences ever. The game looks visually amazing and it handles almost as well as a certain caped crusader and his series of games set around the famous prison based in his world.

While not the most original idea brought to the console, the execution of the title character and his world is just stunning. The story is indeed a unique one to any Spider-Man canon that has come before it and I am sure there will be millions of people eagerly awaiting the sequel when it his the Playstation 5 in the future!

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Best XBOX ONE Game – Dragonball FighterZ

This is not a console exclusive, its not the biggest title of the year and it may actually not have sold super well compared to others, but I really really really loved this game. Taking on a more hand-drawn style that reflects the anime has really gone in FighterZ favour to produce the most exciting figher of the year.

While it has come out on the PS4 and also amazed me on the Nintendo Switch too, it is the XBOX ONE which sees it really shine with the 4K visuals on the XBOX ONE X and just bringing back the greatest memories of watching the show. When you get such seemless gameplay and beautiful art design like this, how could you not love it?

Including some great multiplayer options and a story mode from original creator Akira Toriyama is indeed the greatest strength of this game. It takes what has come before from titles in the Budokai and Xenoverse series and really puts you into the action in a way that has never been possible before.

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Best Nintendo Switch Game – Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Was there any other choice? Octopath Traveler was a deep tale with some of the best music in video game history, the Bayonetta 2 port was so much fun to play through and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu was a fun nostalgic trip to Kanto and I loved throwing all my Meltan into the park. While these games scored high for me, I got my biggest joy from bashing buttons as I took either Kirby or Richter Belmont to victory against the 70+ challengers over them 100+ stages.

When this game was first announced, my only experience in the Smash realm was with the Wii edition in the late 2000’s. But with each Nintendo Direct, the excitement just kept getting higher. The idea of throwing these characters from countless franchises to see them fight it out on these wacky stages shouldn’t be so appealing, but it does work well.

Whether you play alone, with friends or with that pro online who kicks your arse every single time, you can’t help but love this game. It’s simple and complex at the same time. It is visually beautiful and straightforward to play.

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Best Book – The Walking Dead Vol. 30: New World Order

I will admit, I haven’t read a lot of books that actually came out this year. The Walking Dead comic series has got a book edition every six months and never fails to succeed in terms of storytelling, intrigue and character development. For a comic that has been going for over 15 years, the concept is still as fresh as ever and the latest chapter has been indeed ambitious.

As Eugene leads the group to Ohio, the survivors are invited to a community that has many people within its walls, approximately 250,000. While the gang begin to learn about the people in Ohio, Michonne discovers that her daughter has come to this settlement and may still be alive.

Like any Walking Dead story, you find that it is the living characters that are dangerous and unpredictable. Where the story will surely only develop further in the next volume, it is good to see more characters enter the fray such as the unhinged ‘Princess’ and the Commonwealth’s governor Pamela Milton (not another Governor!!!!!). Bring on book 31!

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That was my list, did you agree with any of my picks? Are you upset that I didn’t include Red Dead Redemption 2 on my list of games or that I left Venom out of the running? Let me know.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Black Mirror – Bandersnatch. REVIEW

Netflix, how do you do it? You bring back possibly my favourite show on your platform with the choose-your-own-adventure format and I admittedly had a great time watching this epic. With many choices, both seemingly meaningless but fun and the more tough and game-changing decisions blend well to create a tale which is as fun to watch as it is to play.

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We are taken to 1984 in this film/special when we meet Stefan, a programmer who is attempting to make a video game of Bandersnatch, a book that allows its reader to choose the path they take. While Stefan looks to take this idea to the video game company Tuckersoft, he also begins to develop a friendship of sorts with creator extraordinaire Colin Ritman. While the story starts off fairly relaxed, the mystery and the intrigue behind the characters and the world they live in slowly takes you as your choices truly shape the world you see.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but even from the first mundane decision you make, it will impact on what you are seeing from that very moment. From choosing the music you hear and even the way you deal with some big revelations is just hard to think you are actually making a right decision. This film is possibly best described as in the same vain as a release from Telltale Games, most notably The Walking Dead and Batman: The Enemy Within.

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While the storytelling method may be unconventional, it does keep you hooked throughout. Though Charlie Brooker’s writing is as sharp, funny and terrifying as ever, you can’t ignore the impressive cast involved. Fionn Whitehead impresses as Stefan and the ever-fantastic Will Poulter really does a great job in a role I wish I could describe more. Also, Craig Parkinson (one of the greatest actor’s in Britain and awesome in ‘MisFits’) takes the role of Stefan’s Dad and his story also can be made dependent of what you decide.

The episode is also crammed with easter eggs and references to the past, with more than a few mentions used in the video games presented and even a couple of images that will be familiar to fans who have stuck around since the beginning. Similar to the episode ‘Black Museum’, the episode likes to remind you of the show’s past and not cram it down your throat.

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While we may not have Season Five just yet, this is the perfect taster to prepare us for the next lot of episodes that will be unleashed upon the world in 2019. But until we get this next lot, I will happily keep that tape cassette playing that certain band and I look to see every option that is possible.

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

 

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CREED II. FILM REVIEW

Technically the 8th film in the Rocky franchise, a sequel to the 2015 ‘Creed’ and a follow-up to the fantastic ‘Rocky IV’! This sequel needed to do so much to entertain both old and new fans as well as create a story which felt like a natural progression of everything that we had seen before. Luckily, the movie is crammed with unforgettable performances and so much drama!

As Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) continues his reign as Heavyweight Champion, he is eventually challenged by boxer Viktor Drago. Why is this opponent so significant? He is the son of Ivan Drago, the man who killed Apollo Creed in the ring over 30 years ago. While Adonis is certain he can take on Viktor, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) says he will have no part in this match and refuses to see his protégé possibly suffer the same fate as his father.

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Just like ‘Creed’ and the other Rocky films, the fights inside the ring can sometimes be as hard-hitting as those outside of it. This time, we see the relationship of Adonis and Bianca (Tessa Thompson) continue to grow as they begin to consider the life they will have together. The two go through some upsetting times, but will they be there for each other in the end?

Also, we get a lot of focus on Drago (Dolph Lundgren) and his son Viktor as we see the former fighter has since been disgraced and even pushed away from his home country of Russia. Ivan and his son have kept up a rigorous training regime in the hopes that they can return to their home and earn back their pride. Did I honestly feel some emotion towards the man who killed Apollo Creed? I did. Damn it!

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The fight choreography in this film is as good as it has ever been. Every punch hits the audience almost as hard as it does to each fighter, the boxing is indeed as epic as ever and the stakes are possibly at the highest in this franchise since the 1980’s. Steven Caple Jr. is the man in charge behind the camera this time and he makes sure that Ryan Coogler’s hard work continues to pay off. Also, with a script co-written by Stallone, the man who created this world, you know you will get the best from both Rocky Balboa and Lundgren’s Drago.

The shadow of what has come before always looms throughout this film. We know that Adonis is always trying to break out of the shadow of his father, and I say that this is the film where we reach that turning point where the torch has truly been passed on to the next generation. Saying that, the past and the future perfectly collide within this sequel and propels the franchise to heights that many would never have had expected it to touch ever again.

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With a number of cameos which will be a treat to lifelong fans, an emotional dent that is delivered by Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson that will bring a tear to your eye and the breathless boxing match which ultimately sees the second generation of Creed and Drago fight both for themselves and for their fathers.

Truly one of the best films to come out in 2018 and personally for me the best Rocky film since 1985!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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WHO I WANT TO SEE IN THE SUPER SMASH BROS ULTIMATE DLC!

On 1st November 2018, we had the final (finally!) Nintendo Direct dedicated to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Masahiro Sakurai presented the all the news that we needed before the game is released, this includes the full list of characters now revealed and the various game modes which will be present in the upcoming release.

With Ken from Street Fighter, Incineroar from Pokemon Sun and Moon and even Piranha Plant from Super Mario are all about to make the advance to battle as the final confirmed fighters for the main game. BUT…this isn’t it! The Direct also confirmed that DLC would be released for the game in five parts! Each DLC will see a new character, a new stage and various music. We have around a year of updates to come and it could be almost anyone that could make the roster of playable characters. But who is gonna come to the game?

I have thought about this over the last few weeks, having a small discussion or two with friends over who would be perfect for the new game and why they would fit in perfectly. Without any further delay, here are the five fighters who I hope will join the Ultimate line-up!

Earthworm Jim – Earthworm Jim

Let’s be honest, Super Smash Bros is mostly known for throwing almost anyone together for possibly the craziest and most fan-pleasing roster in existance. Earthworm Jim is just a superb character who could hold his own against any challenger. Where as he could use his worm body as a whip, use his suit for strength and super jumps and maybe a final Smash which involves his trusty blaster? I would just love for this character to be taking on Ken and Ryu in a good ol’ fist fight!

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Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

I will be honest, this one is possibly the most unlikely to make the DLC, but I have got a good point to make. Before this series of games, would you believe Solid Snake would be interacting with Wario or that Sonic and Pikachu could share the same stage? Lara Croft is perfect in forms of agility, she could make weapons throughout the battle and how about seeing her twin pistols play a part in her final Smash? Also I want to make it clear, Lara Croft from 2013 onwards would be the character. But maybe a skin of the 1996 original.

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Crash Bandicoot – Crash Bandicoot

With the release of Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy coming to the Nintendo Switch a few months ago, wouldn’t it be a great time to bring the former Playstation mascot to the battle? Sure he is mostly known for spinning around and jumping on things, but he could definitely be a force to be reckoned with if he dons the Aku Aku mask. Final Smash, Aku Aku blasting someone into space! Oh, how about throw in Tiny or Ripper Roo as well?

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Chun Li – Street Fighter

If you say Street Fighter to someone, they will possibly remember Ryu and either say “Hadouken” or “For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday”. For me, Chun Li is just the best character to come out of this franchise. We may have Ken now too in the game, but Chun Li is just a whole different experience and someone who would be so cool with some powerful kicks and a final Smash that probably involves her famous thighs causing some big damage.

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Waluigi – Super Mario

FOR F**K SAKE! JUST PUT WALUIGI IN THE F**KING GAME!!!!!

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Sorry about that, but number five I think is reflected in the Smash community to quite the appropriate level. I had to really think which characters could possibly work well as new fighters, but I then came to the realisation that almost any video game character could make the cut.

What do you think of this list? Do you have any particular character you would love to see in the game? Let me know in the comments.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out on Friday 7th December!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

FIVE REASONS WHY NETFLIX AND MARVEL WILL DO ‘HEROES FOR HIRE’!

Oh Netflix, you are indeed a cruel beast. Just mere days after cancelling the much-improved ‘Iron Fist’ after a rather well made second season, we now learn that ‘Luke Cage’ will also not get a third run. Now, I have to be honest, I did much prefer the other Marvel/Netflix shows over these two. With the exception of The Defenders, the other shows in their pool were consistently entertaining and were perfect to stand on their own two feet.

But, is this really the end for both characters? Not by a long shot. There is something quite intriguing going on and the answers to the next step are all in plain sight. With both ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Luke Cage’ seeing their sophomore efforts garnering more positive buzz than their first and bringing conclusions to their arcs in some way, they also delivered a massive cliffhanger for both to ensure they weren’t ready to go yet. Even better, the two may soon be coming together to form a Heroes For Hire series in 2019!

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So, what are these five reasons I hear you say? Well, as much as I can hear you while I type this up on my laptop while listening to some Morrissey? Let me go through my “facts” and discover why these two heroes will be back soon!

ONE: THEY HAVE CROSSED OVER MULTIPLE TIMES!

‘The Defenders’ gave us our first interaction in the Netflix slant of the MCU between Mike Colter’s Cage and Finn Jones’ Rand! ‘The Defenders’ may have been less than stellar throughout its eight episode run, but many agreed that seeing the Immortal Iron Fist and Power Man together on screen was so much fun.

Following the crossover, ‘Luke Cage’ played host to Colleen Wing as she continued her training with the now one-armed bad-ass Misty Knight! Also episode 10 saw Danny Rand come to Luke’s aid and the two got to show how good their chemistry can actually be. Many critics did see Jones’ performance of Rand as much improved in this guest spot and its fair to say that he did only get better from there.

Also, ‘Iron Fist’ season two also saw Simone Missick’s Misty as a series regular to further plant the seeds of a crossover between the two shows. Also, how cool would it be to see Misty Knight and Colleen Wing become the “Daughters Of The Dragon” and have their own show too? Yeah, that would be awesome. Colleen Wing actress Jessica Henwick has proven over three separate shows that her and Simone Missick have a great bond with each other and it is crossovers like this that proves this new show needs to happen.

TWO: THE CROSSOVER HAS BEEN HINTED TO OUTSIDE OF THE SHOW!

While many would think the idea of these two shows coming together as one may just be seen in a number of on screen easter eggs and choice in dialogue, it is actually a real topic that has come up amongst the staff in various interviews. While Marvel has famously delivered more fan service than Currys during the massive heatwave over the summer, they are not too shy to discuss potential plans going forward.

Cheo Hodari Coker, the showrunner for ‘Luke Cage’, was quoted in an article on Cinemablend discussing the possible ‘Heroes For Hire’ series by saying “It’s something that’s in the air…”. Also he mentioned “Internally at Marvel Television, everybody knows there’s a part of that combination that is inevitable…” saying also that “It feels right. It feels good.” When mentioning the crossover.

When Luke Cage actor Mike Colter was asked about the potential show, he told Empire TV that the question was “Above my pay grade” but also seemed to be happy at the idea of merging the shows, while being rather cagey (sorry) about it actually happening.

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THREE: THE CLIFFHANGER ENDINGS! *SPOILER TERRITORY*

Ok, if you have not seen the ending of either ‘Luke Cage’ or ‘Iron Fist’ season two, you may want to go catch-up on Netflix and see what you are missing…but if the rest of us are all good, I can continue.

The last time we saw Luke, he had just taken over Harlem’s Paradise following the death of Mariah Dillard. While Luke Cage believes he will assume the role of “Sheriff of Harlem”, Misty Knight believes that this could possibly end very badly for her friend and believes Cage could possibly be just as bad as the club’s predecessors. Luke Cage arguably needs someone to pull him back to the good side.

Misty Knight spoke more about her fear for Luke in ‘Iron Fist’ and kept her distance from him since he acquired the club. But, Danny Rand also had his own issues to deal with. He willingly passed the mantle of the Immortal Iron Fist to his partner Colleen, and yes she is bloody awesome with that fist (get your minds out of the gutter!) and that glowing katana. But, wait a sec, how did Danny suddenly get TWO glowing fists? And how can he seemingly transfer that energy into weapons? Yes, Iron Fist has a lot to answer for!

The two leads are seemingly worlds apart at this point, so a combined show could see both cliffhangers resolved and set up the team up we all want. While it looks like Colleen and Misty are already the partners we all want, Cage and Rand coming together officially has got to be icing on this already much filling cake!

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FOUR: THERE IS ONE MISSING CHARACTER WHO CAN BRING THEM TOGETHER…AGAIN!

Before ‘The Defenders’, we had one link throughout all four of the original series that helped sew them all together and help establish them all as part of one big world (or one big New York!). That person, is Claire Temple! Following Luke Cage’s actions in his second season, Claire was then absent and didn’t even show up to support her friend Danny in his latest fight with Davos.

Understandably, Claire was left frightened by Luke after his action saw him punch through a wall in their home as he refused to listen to his partner. To see Claire return to the Marvel/Netflix world is more a matter of when than if, Claire was the glue that helped bring the world together and it would be a great step to see her reunite Danny and Luke just as she helped them form a friendship in the first place.

If Claire was to appear again in this section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this has to be ideal show. Rosario Dawson is a fantastic actress and arguably one of the best to be involved in this realm. Please Netflix, make it happen. But, if Dawson’s casting wasn’t enough to convince you, how about this…

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FIVE: THE CAST AND STORY COULD BE…SUPER!

In addition to Finn Jones as Rand and Mike Colter as Cage, the cast for this series could potentially be the best one yet! With both shows boasting a great roster of characters, there are many possibilities over who could join in the fun. In a slight change to format, I will make a list of who should be involved in the show:

Luke Cage…Mike Colter/Power Man

Finn Jones…Danny Rand/Iron Fist

Simone Missick…Misty Knight

Jessica Henwick…Colleen Wing/Iron Fist

Tom Pelphrey…Ward Meachum

Jessica Stroup…Joy Meachum

Gabrielle Dennis…Tilda Johnson/Nightshade

Sacha Dhawan…Davos/Steel Serpent

Theo Rossi…Hernan “Shades” Alvarez

Carrie-Anne Moss…Jeri Hogarth

Elden Henson…Franklin “Foggy” Nelson

I think that could be an epic cast right there, definitely an impressive list if they could pull it off. My understanding is that you could maybe have a team up with villains such as Davos and Shades, something I don’t believe exists elsewhere. But as these two characters have got a deep background, they could maybe form an allegiance with Tilda who could officially take on her Nightshade persona to help form a Marvel version of an Injustice League! Also, I would like to see characters like Bombshell and maybe Mr. Fish to help bring more obscure characters to this crossover.

In regards to the story, we could see a reflection of the comics where Jeri Hogarth actually is the founder of “Heroes For Hire” and with the funding of Rand Industries, could see the team consist of Danny, Colleen and Misty with them at first fighting Luke. Following this, they could then be bringing him to their side to complete the original duo. Also, to see a massive fight between Heroes For Hire and maybe Villains for Hire (Davos, Shades, Nightshade, Bombshell, Mr. Fish) would be just amazing. We will have to wait and see how this goes.

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MARVEL…NETFLIX…the power is in your hands! Clench that fist and make it happen!

What do you think? Do you believe this could work as a show? Do you think there is anyone that should also be included? Please let me know!

‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Iron Fist’ are both available to watch on Netflix.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Ant-Man and The Wasp! Review!

Ok, let’s get this over with. Arguably, this is the weakest Marvel film of 2018 so far! But, is it a bad film? Definitely not!

Set some time after Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is near the end of his two-year stint under home arrest. While he has reconnected with his family, Scott has not been in contact with Hope or Hank since his actions in assisting Cap in Germany. But, when the scientists begin work with the quantum realm, it isn’t long until the former con is back in the fold.

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Ok, I will do a more in-depth look at the film at a later time. There is a lot to take from this movie, first of all is the humour. While Avengers: Infinity War was a more intense and serious affair, Ant-Man and The Wasp is definitely the perfect tonic to the higher stakes we have already experienced. With the comedic timing of Paul Rudd and the unbelievably talented Michael Pena as he gives us some more fantastic improv to bring tears of laughter to the eyes of the audience. Also, the size jokes continue to be a thing…a great, funny, silly over-the-top THING!

The film is not all about Rudd and Pena; though they could honestly do a 2-hour feature with just the pair of them and I would be sold! Evangeline Lilly is indeed a highlight portraying the titular Wasp, it marks a great progression from her first MCU appearance as the feisty Hope looking to fill the boots of her mother (and doing a damn good job). Michelle Pfeiffer’ Janet is great and I hope someone we will see more of in Phase Four! Also, could Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost be one of the most conflicting antagonists to come so far? Also, wasn’t Walton Goggins fun? How about I just say the whole cast was fantastic (Abby Ryder Fortson is just so adorable as Scott’s daughter, you just really hope she wasn’t subjected to that infamous snap!).

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The film, much like the first, does relish in its smaller scale. Whereas Infinity War and Black Panther had worldwide repercussions, this was a more personal story filled with as many Easter eggs as a supermarket the day after Christmas! If you love some comic goodness or just an affiliation with a certain British musician, this will be right up your street! The special effects reflect well with this and again provide many size related spectacles and gags which again mostly all land. Seeing a GIANT Ant-Man in the water was in one way truly amazing and cheesy in equal measure. Also the car collection, why did that work so well?

If I had a critical point to make, it is within the post-credit scenes (yes, we get two!). While the first clip gives a great tease of what is to come, the second feels like it could have done with maybe a bit more substance. The second actually gives a great hint of what to expect in the future, but it feels almost wasted for a laugh which barely made a chuckle in the packed cinema screen.

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Overall, I have to say I really had a lot of fun. It’s not the best MCU film of this year and would barely scratch my top 10, but there is an appreciation for this segment of the established universe and I do have a particular love for the lead characters. While this sequel may be the most important, it’s fair to say that a potential Ant-Man 3 would make more than perfect sense considering where we conclude!

Give yourself a laugh this summer and remember that we had to wait 4 more weeks in the UK because they thought this film would tank during the World Cup…I waited and I can’t wait for my second viewing.

Final rating: 8/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Marvel Studios ANT-MAN AND THE WASP..L to R: Wasp/Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd)..Photo: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

James Gunn FIRED from Marvel! And Why I Am Conflicted!

First off, I do not want to show myself in defence of the words that James Gunn has been known to deliver on his Twitter account between 2008-2011. The comments are disgusting, horrific and beyond comprehension. Twitter has been seen as a dangerous medium for many users who have experienced a “bump” in their career because of what they have contributed to the social media site. Roseanne Barr saw her sitcom swiftly cancelled following the message she put out about a former advisor of Obama, why she thought a racist post would be OK on such a much used site such as Twitter is just insane and I am glad she felt the repercussions.

While Gunn was indeed apologetic for his comments that he made well in advance and must had been aware to Disney and Marvel before his hiring, the company has in the last 24 hours made the decision to eject Gunn from both Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 and out of Disney altogether. This leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the fans and doubts over the future for the film in question.

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The sacking of James Gunn is indeed a strange case, while I feel that anyone who jokes about paedophilia and rape should be taken extremely seriously and punishment should be delivered to that individual, is it right to punish someone after all these years? As mentioned earlier, I don’t see how Marvel and Disney could not have been made aware of these comments before. Why is it only when he made a comment about Trump, which many have done before, did the historical messages come to light?

The Daily Caller; a website you may not be too familiar with, has also shown their loving support to President Donald Trump in recent years. Not only with the slams against Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but also co-founder Tucker Carlson has seemingly supported Trump over many of the noteworthy articles to fill the papers and the news sites over the last few years.

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As a British citizen, I will admit I don’t dabble in US politics and I also do not have an opinion over what is right or wrong with the political climate of the United States. I write this article more as a piece to consider, James Gunn was exposed by this site and then had members share the historic tweets over the internet. Gunn has in my opinion served his penance and we are talking about the words (not actions) of a man from nearly a decade ago! If the world is able to allow someone to become a world leader after making comments about grabbing women inappropriately or even letting the MCU’s very own Robert Downey Jr. make a comeback after some very dark days, how is this really any different?

Before I finish this, I want to bring forward just one more person…Frankie Boyle! Frankie is a comedian who has possibly created the most disgusting excuses for jokes I have ever seen or heard in my life. Boyle has made jokes about The Queen, Rebecca Adlington, Katie Price’s son Harvey and even mocked those with Down’s Syndrome after performing a supposed 5-minute skit. But, the so-called comic has been allowed to continue with not only his routine, but still regularly features in his own headline TV shows after repeated offences on those who do not deserve the horrid missiles from this awful excuse of a human being.

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Again, I do not accept James Gunn’s comments as the norm and am sickened with the idea that this guy who brought together two fantastic MCU films would have made these words for all to see. I would only say that for so many people who seem to continue to sicken the public with comments and actions are allowed to stay relevant but one man who made a mistake years ago and apologised for it back then has now suffered!

To all the fans of Disney, Marvel, Guardians Of The Galaxy and of Gunn himself, I would ask not to let this incident ruin what you have enjoyed of his work. I admit I can not see the Director/Writer in the same way as I did before this came up, but I do think the work he has done shouldn’t be tainted by what has been revealed. People will always look to hurt someone for one reason or another, and surprise surprise we all make mistakes that will probably bite us in the arse one day!

In the words of The Five Stairsteps…”O-o-h Child, things are gonna get easier. O-o-h Child, things will get brighter!”

Written by a rather disappointed Jonjo Cosgrove

The Five Animated Shows YOU Need To Watch In 2019!

Animation has always been a funky medium, the cartoons of today are all varied and different with many stand outs amongst the crowd. While we may have only just reached the half way point of this year, 2019 looks set to be a goldmine for those shows that will give you entertainment over the 12 months of that year. While we have many shows confirmed from the new year and beyond, here are the five shows you need to watch!

Castlevania – Season 3

At the time of writing this, season 2 hadn’t yet debuted on Netflix, but we have been promised that the show will continue into next year after the ball was dropped by star Richard Armitage. It’s no secret that Castlevania was indeed popular and it’s short 4 episode debut was barely enough to whet the appetite of its viewers. With a promised 8 episode drop coming this Halloween, 2019 will certainly be exciting for fans of this gripping video game adaptation.

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Carmen Sandiego

Netflix again for this next entry, and this one will be exciting for many. First of all, Gina Rodriguez (The star of Jane The Virgin, not the other Gina Rodriguez that appears when you type the name into Wikipedia) is set to take the title role in this 20-part series for the streaming service. If a series wasn’t enough, Rodriguez will also be playing the role in a live-action film for Netflix too! Educational as well as entertaining, this will be one for kids and parents next year!

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MOOMIN

Moomin (or Moominvalley) is an upcoming show based on the works of Tove Jansson and will see a blend of 2D and 3D animation techniques coming together. An all star cast including Taron Egerton, Kate Winslet, Richard Ayoade and many more come to voice the white hippo creatures and the other inhabitants of this world we will be visiting. Originally crowdfunded through Indiegogo, the project blew up exponentially and will be anticipated by many in 2019!

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Young Justice: Outsiders

2010 saw the debut of Young Justice, an animated DC show which featured many sidekicks to the superhero roster and saw Robin, Miss Martian, Kid Flash and others make themselves stand out as heroes in their own right. While Teen Titans established the lesser known characters could be intriguing, Young Justice saw them really stand out and even steal the limelight from mainstays such as Batman and Wonder Woman. If any Superhero show needed to come back, it was this one!

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Rick and Morty Season Four

The bad news: Rick and Morty will not be on in 2018! It is a fact we need to live with. But there is some good news as the show will be coming back for a 70 episode order! Season four looks set to debut in the later half of next year and will see the show firmly place itself back where it belongs as one of the most important animated series in years! Just be prepared for a long wait and a handsome reward!

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Which of these TV shows are you looking forward to? Is there any other animated delights that take your interest?

Let me know in the comments

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Avengers: Infinity War. REVIEW (non-spoiler)

Marvel has been building this Cinematic Universe for a decade now and we have very much seen the culmination of an 19-movie arc result in possibly the grandest film spectacle of all time!

With this film following on from Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: Civil War and several other previous releases, we are immediately thrown into the action as Thanos immediately makes his presence known after finding the Asgardian refugee ship in 2017’s Ragnarok! Without giving too much away, this interaction is then what helps connect The Avengers to the other MCU characters who have yet to come together.

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Back on earth, we catch up with our heroes who are just going through everyday life. The threat of Thanos and his hunt for the Infinity Stones is enough to rally earth’s mightiest heroes to protect the planet and prepare for a climactic showdown. In a film which has SO MANY CHARACTERS, there is never a moment where a presence or personality is out of place or not required.

The cast is rich with MCU favourites, and when you see Doctor Strange and Iron Man in one quadrant and Thor kicking it with the Guardians Of The Galaxy in another, I just straight away thought this is the first true COMIC BOOK film. Watching this movie not only flits between these difference characters with ease like in a comic, but the tone and look are all perfectly complimented for each character and the image we represent them with.

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Looking at the newer cast members, we are introduced to the Black Order or “Children Of Thanos” in Infinity War. While we probably don’t get to learn a lot about them, they are all formidable fighters and more than a challenge for the heroes. If I could point out a particular favourite, it would possibly be Ebony Maw who specialises in telepathy and telekinesis. This character also makes himself sound like a preacher who is happy to honour his “god” Thanos and do all he can to fulfil his plans.

The pace of the film is consistent throughout its 2-and-a-half-hour runtime, we are constantly on GO and there is never a dull moment. At the same time, there is almost no opportunity to reflect on what happened 10 minutes previously as you feel like you are living through this film. When I reached the end, there was this weird feeling of joy and delight mixed with frustration and upset, but that’s what you needed when you got to this point. The ending rallies up a number of emotions and I can honestly say I have never experienced a film like this before. Because of the MCU and its rich history over the last decade, that is why I felt this mix of emotion. Can I just say, this was the perfect ending for the movie and perfectly sets up what is to come in the next 12 months.

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While writing up this review, I really wanted to say which character I thought was the best performed or the highlight of the movie. I would probably have to say Thanos is the star and actor Josh Brolin makes the mad titan one of the more satisfying villains in comic book movie history. While Kilmonger in Black Panther made the audience sympathetic and Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming saw a family man doing all he can, Thanos is doing what he honestly believes is the best for all of existence.

In a film with such a bloated cast, there is very little to complain about in terms of characterisation and enjoyment. Everybody plays their part and no single cast member is wasted. Some characters do get more screen time than others, but maybe this will be balanced out in Avengers 4 next year. The special effects are all top-notch and every little detail is presented perfectly. The BIGGEST congratulations though must go to directors Anthony and Joe Russo who took the reigns from Joss Whedon and have created The Avengers film that we needed. There isn’t a lot of films that can take pre-established characters and throw them together into a situation with worldwide implications, but Avengers: Infinity War shows the stakes are at their highest as every corner of the MCU is pulled into this adventure which will forever alter the cinematic Universe that we have come to know.

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The humour is still fantastic throughout, the laughs do still come in great supply and it never throws us off on the emotional scenes and no death is ever underplayed! The action is unparalleled and breath-taking. Plus, how many films will you see Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy…you get the point! As long as you know some background knowledge on the film franchise, you can enjoy this film thoroughly. If you have been with the Marvel Cinematic Universe since day one, I will give you an air high five as we celebrate what is definitely the pay-off for ten years of dedication to this cultural phenomenon we have lived through.

Well done to The Russo Brothers, THIS was the comic book film to beat them all!

So we still have a year to wait for Avengers 4? I may need to watch Infinity War a few more times before that…and so will you!

Final rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Look out for my future article where I discuss in detail more plot points and theories for the next film!

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