Karen Gillan

John Cho and Karen Gillan in Selfie

I came very close to shutting off Selfie in the first few minutes. The new sitcom, which debuts on ABC at the end of September, is currently previewing its pilot episode on Hulu, and that could be a mistake. Watching TV on the Internet allows viewers to judge something super quick, and I foresee a lot of others being turned off by the opening scene, which introduces one of the most obnoxious characters ever to hit the small screen — and that includes a lot of awful reality TV stars. But anyone able to get through the first few minutes without closing their browser and throwing their computer out the window will find something genuinely charming and maybe even a little socially important. One episode in, Selfie is far from being a good show, but it has a cultural relevance that’s not unlike The Newsroom. Similar to Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama, the new sitcom, which was created by Emily Kapnek (a producer on Hung and Parks and Recreation) is founded in a great idea that unfortunately has to work too closely with the very thing it’s derisively commenting on. Here it’s social media addicts who can’t look away from their phones for a moment, and who don’t have any real friends or true social experiences despite their popularity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Karen Gillan plays such a person, and it’s interesting that this new role is being unleashed the same week that her last series, Doctor Who, is kicking off […]

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Oculus-Tims

Normally I would wait until the end of the year to start the For Your Consideration posts, but the campaign for Oculus could use the extra time. The challenge isn’t so much the fact that horror movies are rarely recognized by the Academy and other major awards groups as it is that imperfect horror movies don’t stand much of a chance at all. Oculus is really good, enough to make me recommend it, and I’m known for being very, very picky with the genre, but it’s no Psycho or The Exorcist. It doesn’t deserve a Best Picture nod, nor one for Best Director. It’s not outstanding enough in any categories, really, except for editing. And many other critics are noting this quality, albeit not so much with kudos in mind, so let me be the first to recommend it be nominated for the Oscar. Even this far in advance, I’m doubting the likelihood of rallying enough support for this cause. Even if I could, it probably wouldn’t matter anyway. This isn’t the sort of film that the Academy honors. If it were, it’d still have to have some other things going for it. Better writing, noteworthy performances, a director with more prestige, these would all help it but they’re just not there. It won’t have the box office success to lift its notoriety, either. It’s pretty rare these days for any movie to be nominated for Best Editing without being represented in some other top tier categories, and usually Best […]

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Karen Gillan in OCULUS

Editor’s note: Our review of Oculus originally ran during this year’s SXSW, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in theaters this weekend. Tim Russell (Brenton Thwaites) is getting out of the mental hospital because he’s finally been cured. He no longer believes an evil mirror possessed his parents when he was a child leading to his father (Rory Cochrane) murdering his mother (Katee Sackhoff) before being shot down by little Timmy’s own hand. He knows better now and agrees that his dad simply went nuts. His sister Kaylie (Karen Gillan) has stated as such all along and went on to grow up, find a career, and fall in love. But when she picks him up Kaylie makes it clear that the two of them can now put the revenge she’s been planning into action. She’s found the mirror, she’s tracked its deadly history across the centuries, and she has a foolproof plan to prove to the world that their parents were victims of this cursed piece of glass. The only problem with a foolproof plan is that somebody has to play the fool, and in this case it just may be Kaylie. Oculus is “mirror horror” with a bit of an initial twist in that our characters know all there is to know about this wicked antique before the movie starts. They’re prepped and prepared, and the film’s first act is a setup that includes her plans and a litany of the mirror’s past evil deeds. The […]

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Karen-Gillan-in-Oculus-2013-Movie-Image

On Doctor Who, Karen Gillan played Amy Pond, known as “the girl who waited.” That label stemmed from her first episode of the British sci-fi series, in which the title character showed up in her backyard with his TARDIS — a time machine in the form of an old, blue British police box — and invited a 7-year-old Pond to be his traveling companion. But then he didn’t return to pick her up for over a decade. The actress has had better luck with her own promise of travel and adventure, starting out as a model before landing roles on UK television straight out of drama school, including that prime gig on the internationally popular Doctor Who program. From there, she didn’t have long to wait before a movie career whisked her away to Hollywood. And as it turns out, her initial means of coming to America also involved a man with something resembling an old, blue British police box. “I was in my childhood bedroom in Scotland,” she explains about her first Skype meeting with Mike Flanagan, who directed her in her first gig in the U.S., the creepy, cleverly edited new horror movie Oculus. “And he took a swig of coffee out of a TARDIS mug, which made me realize I had a good chance of getting it.”

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Oculus Movie 2014

Creepy children and poetry. Few things are more terrifying, and the Oculus teaser trailer makes full use of them, although the end result isn’t exactly scary. More off-putting. A mild irritation. The movie from Mike Flanagan is a feature-length extension of his short of the same name. Both deal with a mystery mirror, but the new film seems to have dropped the clinical POV style for something that more resembles the Big Scary House of Insidious. That they share a producer won’t be a surprise. So, same mirror, different story. In this one, Karen Gillan stars as a woman trying to get her brother off the hook for a crime by proving to the authorities that a demon mirror did it. A lot of potential here (particularly because critics at Sundance praised its originality and clever hooks), but it may not be revealed until we get a full trailer.

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Dr. Who signing - Glasgow

What is Casting Couch? A list of the weekend’s casting news, headed up by various Guardians of the Galaxy castings, but also including news on what’s up with Judd Nelson. The cast of Marvel’s space adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy, is getting so extensive, and so many actors appearing in it have been described as having a “lead role,” that it’s starting to get pretty confusing as to how all this stuff is going to fit into one movie. We’ve got intergalactic superheroes, intergalactic police, bounty hunters, liaisons to government agencies on Earth, and who knows how many other players introduced at this point. Nonetheless, Heat Vision has a report that the film has now cast its “lead female villain,” and the lady they’ve got to play the role is Doctor Who’s beloved companion, Karen Gillan. As if this balls crazy movie didn’t have enough geek cred already.

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Dredd Concept Art

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that doesn’t always have something to say. But when it does, the geeks of the world listen. We begin this evening with some great DREDD concept art found by the folks at Comic Book Movie, picked up via Germain Lussier’s ever-excellent Superhero Bits column. The excitement I have for this, one of Fantastic Fest’s big name films, has gone through the roof as more reactions come in, including that of our own Nathan Adams at TIFF.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column dedicated to movie news and notes that is beginning to think that they Comic-Con hangover is in full-effect. It’s all Dark Knight out there. We begin this evening with a shot of Ben Wishaw in Skyfall as gadgetmaster Q, a photo that’s been out for a bit but somehow we missed covering it. It’s a very youthful take on Q, but one that will benefit from Wishaw’s chops, as seen in films like Layer Cake.

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Paramount

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of things, movie related and otherwise, that will entertain you, astound you and most likely give you that much needed late-night push toward deep, restful sleep. We begin tonight with the new logo Paramount Pictures has released for their 100th anniversary celebration. I caught it this evening on a massive IMAX screen in front of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which was quite awesome. But more on that later. Up first, some trivia: Did you know that the original Paramount mountain was based on a doodle by W.W. Hodkinson and that the live-action logo is based on Peru’s Artesonraju? Wikipedia did.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly conglomeration of movie news and editorial links that doesn’t see color. It just sees people. Because it’s people that matter. Tonight’s top story: Great Caesar’s Ghost! Lawrence Fishburne will play Perry White in Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman reboot. He will be the first non-white version of the Daily Planet editorin any film, comic or television show. It’s a bold choice, no matter how you slice, adding further intrigue to what Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan have in-store for Kal-El.

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Editor’s Note: The following recap discusses things that happen in the first act of “The Impossible Astronaut” that are played for surprise. While it’s not a spoiler per se, you are probably better off having seen the episode before reading any further. Over the course of their first season at the wheel of the TARDIS, new Doctor Matt Smith and wheelman Steven Moffat have presented us with one common theme: anything and everything is on the table for The Doctor and his faithful companions. Be it the explosion of the universe or the erasing (and subsequent reestablishment) of a character from the whole of human history, they are not afraid to take the adventure in unexpected and sometimes joyously mad directions. But the idea presented to us in the first ten minutes of “The Impossible Astronaut” is an even more interesting one. There in the middle of the picturesque American frontier, we see what might be the end of The Doctor’s journey. And while we know it’s only the beginning, there’s a bigger question looming: will he go through with it? Everything we know about the show up to this point — 48 years rich in history — tell us otherwise, but it does stand to reason that he’s been playing this game from the start. After all, he isn’t afraid to go where no Doctor Who showrunner has gone before.

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Doctor Who Amy

When we talk about The Doctor, we’re usually talking about the tawdry quirks and a personality that exists on the exterior. That’s one of the things we love about Doctor Who, it’s a decades-old tale built around a character who, even after said decades of narrative, remains a mysterious intergalactic gunslinger with excellent taste in suits. But with “Amy’s Choice” we are seeing something new.

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Doctor Who Matt Smith

It’s been two weeks since I reviewed an episode of Doctor Who. It’s the slacker inside me that has taken over. However, that hasn’t stopped me from watching several episodes right alongside the other Whovians among you. It’s time to catch up.

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Doctor Who

Everyone’s favorite Time Lord has come back. And he hasn’t just come back for the hell of it. He’s back with a sort of energy and with that will soon take Doctor Who to the next level.

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Exactly does Steven Moffat have planned for his take on Doctor Who? Sitting down with him yesterday, I tried to get an idea of what surprises he might have in store for us, as well as exactly what time period it is that new companion Amy Pond hails from.

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Doctor Who

I have a review in the works of the Doctor Who premiere which will hit BBC America later this month. It’s already debuted in the UK and fans have already begun reacting. They are saying it’s sexier, and they’re right. The question is: why is that a bad thing?

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Doctor Who Matt Smith

Here’s a magic trick. In 55-seconds, I will get any Doctor Who fan excited for the upcoming fifth series, starring Matt Smith as the new Doctor. This new extended trailer, released by BBC for audiences in the UK (note the date and time, which doesn’t apply to BBC America) is the most exciting spot we’ve seen yet.

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Matt Smith Doctor Who

Even though we’re still finishing up our coverage of this year’s SXSW film festival, it is nice to be back in the regular swing of things and on the hunt for the latest news. Exciting things are happening, all around the world of entertainment. One such exciting thing is the return of Doctor Who to BBC America.

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BBC America announced today that the new era of Doctor Who will make its U.S. premiere on Saturday, April 17, 2010, soon after the UK broadcast. This announcement comes much to the delight of American audiences, including yours truly. The upcoming new season, which will star Matt Smith as the eleventh incarnation of the famous Time Lord known simply as ‘The Doctor’ and Karen Gillan as his enigmatic travel companion, Amy Pond.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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