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IDW Announces Live-Action Pantheon TV Series and Kill Shakespeare Board Game

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IDW Announces Live-Action Pantheon TV Series and Kill Shakespeare Board GameBack in April of 2010 we announced the first issues of IDW Publishing’s Kill Shakespeare and Pantheon, and coincidentally this week some news involving both properties has arrived with one becoming a board game and the other being adapted as a TV series.

Kill Shakespeare Board Game Description:
IDW Games has signed J.K. Woodward and Dave Dorman to be the art team for its launch title, Kill Shakespeare. Woodward’s work has been a mainstay at IDW since 2005, where he helped relaunch Fallen Angel before moving on to various Star Trek series, including last year’s bestselling Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who maxi-series. Dave Dorman is an Eisner Award-winning artist known for his extensive work in the fantasy genre, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and much more.

“We’ve long respected the art that both J.K. and Dave have produced over the years,” said IDW CEO Ted Adams, “and having them both be a part of the initial offering from our IDW Games division only gives our coming Kill Shakespeare game that much more individual style and excitement.”

Woodward has been brought on to create the art that will be featured on the playing cards for the game while Dorman will paint an original piece for the Kill Shakespeare box’s art. This debut title has a planned release date of June 2014.

“We’re excited to lead off the games division,” said Kill Shakespeare writer and co-creator Conor McCreary. “The lore we’ve created for Kill Shakespeare is incredibly deep, and we think our fans will enjoy spending more time with the characters and world we’ve created for them.”

Kill Shakespeare Comics Synopsis:
What Fables does for fairy tales, Kill Shakespeare does with the greatest writer of all time. This dark take on the Bard pits his greatest heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Othello Falstaff) against his most menacing villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) in an epic adventure to find and kill a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare.

IDW Announces Live-Action Pantheon TV Series and Kill Shakespeare Board Game IDW Releasing the First Issues of Four New Comic Series This Month

“Pantheon” TV Series Description:
Michael Chiklis has joined forces with IDW Entertainment to develop and produce his comic series Pantheon as a new scripted live-action television series. IDW Entertainment will fund the development of the project, and it will be co-produced with Circle of Confusion.

While the story of “Pantheon” the series is under wraps, it involves Greek gods returning to the present day.

Slated as direct to series, “Pantheon” will boast Chiklis, Ted Adams, and David Ozer of IDW Entertainment and David Alpert and Rick Jacobs of Circle of Confusion as executive producers. Co-created by award-winning actor Chiklis, it was originally released as a five-issue comic book series by IDW Publishing.

Pantheon Comics Synopsis:
Earth in the near future is a place where the only gods worshiped are money and power. When black market artifacts dealer Hamilton Finch stumbles upon a cache of ancient treasures, he does not expect to come face-to-face with Zeus himself! Is it true? Do the gods walk among us? And what event has caused them to show themselves after so many millennia?

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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

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Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – First Trailer and Artwork!

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As a fan of flicks like Mad Monster Party, I was surprisingly pleased with the last two Hotel Transylvania affairs. For my money you can put the classic monsters in just about anything, and I’ll watch it happily, and these animated features feel like a natural progression of the 1967 Rankin and Bass classic. Which is why I’m looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and if you are too, check out the film’s new trailer and poster.

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who co-wrote the film with Michael McCullers, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, and Mel Brooks.

Look for it in theaters on July 13, 2018.

Synopsis:
In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans.

But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

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New Beyond Skyline Poster Invades the Internet

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The unlikely sequel to Skyline, the 2010 alien film that starred Eric Balfour and Donald Faison, entitled Beyond Skyline (review), is well on its way. To help it along over the finish line we have the third official poster for it.

The film stars Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy, The Purge: Election Day), Bojana Novakovic (Drag Me to Hell, Devil), Jonny Weston (Under the Bed, Project Almanac), Iko Uwais (The Raid), Callan Mulvey, Antonio Fargas, Pamelyn Chee, Yayan Ruhian (The Raid), Jacob Vargas, Valentine Payen, Betty Gabriel, Jack Chausse, and Kevin O’Donnell. It was directed by Liam O’Donnell.

Grillo plays a tough-as-nails detective who embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son from a nightmarish alien warship.

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