Murder Mystery After Dark is Almost Here!

by Ali Cat  | Category: It's here!, What's Going On
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Hi Everyone

Are you eager to finally wear a costume but don’t want to wait another week until Halloween?  Do you want to try out your detective skills before inevitably joining the police force or CSI or starting your own PI operation?  Do you want to hang out with cool people, eat delicious snacks and have a great time?

Well, if you’re between the ages of 13 and 18 then come out to the Pierre Berton Resource Library this Friday at 6pm for our annual Murder Mystery After Dark party.  You can sign up at the information desk on the first floor of the branch this week and choose a character to play during the evening’s murderous festivities.  Our theme this year is Super Heroes! (Cue John Williams!)  Costumes are not mandatory but they are very much encouraged, and there will be food, music and tons of fun!

Please call the Pierre Berton branch if you have any questions.  Hope to see you amateur sleuths there!

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Week of Geek: DC announces 10 new movies. 10 MOVIES!

by Ali Cat  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Super Fan
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So you might have heard already.  I’m guessing you probably have.  But it bears repeating.

DC Comics and Warner Bros Studios finally put their cards on the table and showed the world they ain’t messing around anymore.  That they WILL beat Marvel and Disney’s current world-domination plot by releasing their own interlocking movies over a five year plan.  10 movies were announced in all.  Yeah, the gloves are officially off people.

So what films can we hope to see over the next few years?  Let’s break it down…

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016): Much publicized, much scrutinized and much anticipated, this movie will finally put Superman and Batman in the same picture, and introduce other heroes that will make up the franchise.

Suicide Squad (2016): If you’re unfamiliar with Suicide Squad, it’s a team of super-villains who are forced to do black ops missions for the government (take a gander here).  Right now all we know is that it will be directed by David Ayer and may end up going toe to toe with Marvel/Sony’s own super-villain themed movie Sinister Six.

Wonder Woman (2017): I darn near fell out of my chair when I read about this one.  Finally.  FINALLY! We’re getting a Wonder Woman movie!  Fans have been wanting this for years, there’s been a few false starts (including one project that had Joss Whedon attached to it) and hemming and hawing from studio execs but finally the wheels are in motion.  Gal Gadot will play our favorite amazon after debuting in Batman v Superman.  Hopefully this will open the gate for more female-centered super hero movies (Marvel, I’m looking at you!)

Justice League Part 1 (2017): The first one to bring them all together.

The Flash (2018): Not to be confused with the current TV series, this Flash will star Ezra Miller as the red-wearing speedster.  Apparently DC is not going to go Marvel’s route and incorporate their TV shows with their cinematic universe.

Aquaman (2018): The ruler of the oceans will get his first film, staring Jason Momoa.  Hopefully this will give Aquaman some cred after being the but of many a joke.

Shazam (2019): Again, if you’re not too familiar with this particular hero, we can help you out with that; check out this book to get you started.  Dwayne Johnson has been confirmed for the part of the villainous Black Adam.

Justice League Part 2 (2019): As with the first part and with Man of Steel, this will be directed by Zack Snyder.

Cyborg (2020): A hero who didn’t get a lot of face time until the New 52 relaunched their Justice League comic book, Cyborg will have his own movie starring Ray Fisher after he makes his debut in Batman v Superman.

Green Lantern (2020): Nine years after the first big-screen attempt to introduce the Green Lantern flopped, DC will try again.  Likely though he’ll appear in one of the Justice League movies first.

As if all that weren’t enough, DC/Warner Bros is also scheduling a Batman film staring Affleck and a sequel to Man of Steel.

It’s ambitious, no question.  About two movies a year for 5 years.  And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t totally stoked for some of them (Did I mention Wonder Woman!).  But here’s the thing; DC can’t copy Marvel’s formula outright, so they have to try a slightly different direction.  And that’s where the trouble might start, because it’s becoming a bit obvious that DC is not overly clear on what makes Marvel’s movies so successful.

First of all, Marvel took their time to introduce many different characters over the course of several movies before throwing them together in The Avengers.  DC apparently is saying ‘Nuts to that’ and  is planning on introducing many different characters in Dawn of Justice, including Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Aquaman.  So, if the main focus is on Batman and Superman, when and how are we going to see these other characters for the first time?  For like a split second each?  An overflowing pot of stew leaps immediately to mind.

Plus, if Man of Steel is any indication, DC is planning on going dark and gritty with their films, which is not necessarily a good thing.  A lot of these characters are supposed to be bright and colorful, not just in their costumes but in their personalities.

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I mean look at the first images of the Trinity from Dawn of Justice

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Look at it.  LOOK AT IT!  That is dark people!  Batman I totally get, it’s Batman!  But even the red on Superman’s outfit looks gray.  Dark does not equal good movie!

So yeah, between an overflow of characters and a unyieldingly dark direction there are things to cause concern with DCs plans.  And BTW, it’s being rumored that Robin might be joining Batman v Superman.  Do with that information what you will.  I want to believe that DC will pull this off because I love these characters and I want to see them succeed on the big screen.  But right now, I just don’t know…

Are you guys excited for DCs movie lineup?  Not excited?  Only cautiously optimistic?  Completely cynical about the whole thing?  Post away in the comments.

And in the meantime I think Marvel has movies planned through like 2030.  Let’s hope we can keep all these films straight, amirite?

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And we’re a week away from our Superhero themed Murder Mystery After Dark.  Hope to see you there!

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Month of the Macabre Week 3: Oculus

by Ali Cat  | Category: It's here!
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“Good evening, and welcome to a private showing of three paintings, displayed here for the first time. Each is a collector’s item in its own way—not because of any special artistic quality, but because each captures on a canvas, suspended in time and space, a frozen moment of a nightmare.”

So Rod Serling intoned during many an evening as he walked us through his Night Gallery.  And like those paintings, we have three stories left to tell on Movie Break’s month-long foray into darkness, mystery and all things that go bump in the night.

This week we’re screening Oculus, a newer addition to the Month of the Macabre.  Released just last year, Oculus stars Karen Gillan (an actress I have a major soft-spot for after she starred for two and a half seasons as Amy on Doctor Who) as a young woman trying to exonerate her family by proving that the murders that occurred when they were children were actually committed by a supernatural force.  Of course, it’s just not that easy, as they’ll soon find out.

So if you dare to come out, we’ll see you Friday at 2:45pm in the Teen Area of the Pierre Berton Library.  Halloween is only two and a half weeks away, so let’s get our scares on!  And we’re still signing people up for Murder Mystery After Dark at the first floor info desk.

The moral of Night Gallery is simple: Stay out of art museums at night.  You may not like what you find.

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Month of the Macabre Week 2: The Woman in Black

by Ali Cat  | Category: Movie Madness, What's Going On
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“…We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.”

Sorry, had to set the mood again.  If not now, then when?

Yep, it’s week two of Month of the Macabre at the Pierre Berton Library.  This week we’re screening a MOTM favorite, one that’s become a bit of a tradition as I believe we’ve shown it every year since we began the theme of October scary movies.  That would be Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter follow-up The Woman in Black.  Set in the early 20th century in a creepy isolated village Radcliffe plays a young lawyer who arrives to go over the final possessions and home of a deceased woman.  It goes about as well as you would expect.

That’s Friday at 2:45pm in the teen area.

“We now return control of your television set to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to – The Outer Limits.”

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Week of Geek: Superheroes take over the small screen this fall

by Ali Cat  | Category: Pop Culture, Super Fan
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I came to a rather startling but delightful realization the other night geeklings.  Not only have superheroes taken over the big screen, it seems they’ve made quite a bit of headway on the small screen as well, as evidenced by the seven new and returning series coming to a TV set near you.

As per usual, right now it seems to come down to DC vs Marvel.  But on the small screen at least, DC is elbowing Marvel out of the way a bit with 5 shows on the calendar compared to Marvel’s 2.  But, Marvel has the advantage of tying their TV shows to their cinematic universe.  *rubs hands together* Can’t wait to see how this all pans out and just binge watch one super-powered storyline after the other.  Let’s break it down.

First, the returning shows.

 Photo Arrow (DC), airing on CTV on Wednesdays at 8pm starting October 8th: I used to watch this adaptation of DC comics character Green Arrow during it’s first season, but due to overall business it ended up getting edged out of my regular schedule.  A shame really, because it’s about to air it’s 3rd season, the critics love it, and it has a firmly established fanbase.  Centered around wealthy Oliver Queen, who was thought dead after his yacht sank years ago, Oliver returns to Starling City a changed man.  Having spent those five years on an island just trying to survive has inspired Oliver to become a masked vigilante armed with a bow and arrow to right the wrongs of Starling City.  You can place holds on the first two seasons here and here.  I think I should as well.

agents of shield season 2 poster 107286 PhotoMarvel’s Agents of SHIELD (Marvel, natch), airing on CTV on Tuesday nights at 9pm: Another show I started watching when the first season aired last year but couldn’t keep watching since I got busy on Tuesday nights.  Around the time I stopped I had come to the conclusion that Agents of SHIELD was a good show but not yet a great show.  But then Captain America: The Winter Soldier happened, and that caused the whole second half of the first season to kick into high gear.  Now I’m waiting to watch the rest of season one but have seen the first two episodes of season two and I’m liking where this is going.  Plus, this year we get to meet Mockingbird!  Agent Coulson (who, BTW, I have a bobble head version sitting on my desk as we speak) and his team of agents continue to keep us safe from otherworldly threats using good old fashioned espionage.  Check out the first season here.

Now, for some new shows…

 Photo Gotham (DC), airing on CTV Mondays at 8pm: As the tagline says, “Before there was Batman, there was Gotham”.  Featuring Detective Jim Gordon and taking a look at the early years of such famous faces as Harvey Bullock, The Penguin, Catwoman and The Riddler, Gotham features the city that will eventually create so many masked sociopaths that masked vigilantes will also emerge and try to stop them.  Don’t expect to see Batman yet, as Bruce Wayne is still a boy in this, but it’ll be interesting to see how everyone evolves from petty criminals to costumed lunatics.  Good luck Jim!

the flash poster thecw Photo The Flash (DC) airing on CTV Tuesdays at 8pm starting October 7th: I have to admit, of all the new shows coming out this season this is one of the shows I’m most excited about.  I also have to admit that I’m not too familiar with the Flash, outside of appearances is event comics that I’ve read.  But watching the trailers and reading the synopsis this small screen version sounds like a lot of fun.  The show is a spin-off of sorts from Arrow and Barry Allen, who will become the titular superhero, was introduced last season working with Oliver Queen.  Now, it’s his time to shine as he goes from nerdy geek we can all relate to, to the fastest man alive after a freak storm.  Run Barry run!

constantine poster 600x818 Photo Constantine (DC), airing on Global Friday nights at 10pm starting October 24th: Now John Constantine I’m familiar with.  One of the best examples of an anti-hero in comics, Constantine is a cynical, deadpan English con artist with a bad attitude and worse habits.  He’s also an extremely powerful mage (he’s often referred to as a Working-Class Magician) who has grappled with more demons than he cares to remember.  If you’d like to read more, I’m afraid you have to be 18 and up to read the original Hellblazer series but give the New 52 Constantine series a try and then watch the premier on October 24th (after Murder Mystery After Dark; more on that in a minute).

iZombie The CW poster season 1 2014 Photo iZombie (DC), to be released mid-season later this year: Based on the Vertigo series of the same name, iZombie will feature Liv Moore, who was a med student until she was caught in a Zombie attack.  Now she works in a morgue in order to eat brains and keep her zombie tendencies at bay, but eating people’s gray matter gives Liv abilities and memories from the recently deceased, which she uses to help solve crimes.  If that summary makes you a tad nauseous maybe give this one a skip, but I for one am all “Bring on the crime solving zombies!”  We don’t have a trailer for it yet but here’s a quick montage of all of the CW’s new and returning shows, featuring a couple of clips of Liv.

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Marvel’s Agent Carter (Marvel), will air sometime in January 2015: Though we’re still a few months out for this one, this also tops my list of shows I’m most excited for.  Featuring Agent Peggy Carter, first seen in Captain America: First Avenger, the series will take place in the late 1940s and feature Carter and company founding SHIELD and running missions while Carter also deals with being marginalized as a woman after the war and dealing with personal loss.  I’ve said before that as much as I love the Marvel cinematic universe, I often feel the spotlight isn’t on the female characters as much, and this will give one of the best a chance to be front and center.  There’s no trailer for this show yet either but there is a clip from the Marvel One-Shot that inspired the series (you can watch the whole short film on the Iron Man 3 blu ray).

So yeah, exciting stuff.  And they recently announced that CBS is hoping to create a series around Supergirl too, so watch out for that.  The evidence is irrefutable; the viewing public love the capes.

And while we’re on the topic of capes, I gotta give a bump to the Murder Mystery After Dark party happening at the Pierre Berton Resource library on October 24th.  This year’s theme is…you guessed it…SUPERHEROES!  YAY!  So if you’d like to come out in costume for a night of murderous mayhem, fun and snacks, come and talk to us at the information desk on the first floor and we’d be happy to fill you in.

And enjoy the fall, TV shows and leaves and all.