Trailer Tuesday: Cane Strain

This week, it’s all about a TV tease for an upcoming show I have high hopes for. We’ve all seen movies where fans of the original book have bemoaned the quality of the screen translation, but for Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse’s upcoming FX series ‘The Strain’ a hardcore following in waiting has already devoured a trilogy of books like the bloodthirsty infected. Disappointment may result in a real-life apocalypse.

Although no full trailer has been released yet, the teaser campaign has started with the second clip below going for the enigmatic approach (the first tease was of a Manhattan skyline darkening). A cane descends on a city street and is littered with wrapped candy – the silver-tipped cane can only represent the weapon of choice for vampire plague survivor, Abraham Setrakian, who will be played by John Hurt in the show.

For those who haven’t read the books (and even for those who have), the trail doesn’t reveal much but Cuse’s proven TV chops paired with Del Toro’s original vampiric vision will hopefully result in a gory genre classic. ‘The Strain’ is set to debut for a 13-episode run this summer in the States, so look out for more previews soon.

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‘In Your Eyes’ On Your Screen

Forget Trailer Tuesday, have a whole film! Thanks to Joss Whedon, who follows the quietly revolutionary model in the Radiohead ‘pay what you want’ and Netflix ‘whole series in one day’ vein, you can now view the ‘Buffy’ scribe’s new independent movie, directed by Brin Hill, online now via Vimeo.

I sadly haven’t settled down to watch ‘In Your Eyes’ just yet, but plan to this weekend. And you can’t argue with the £3 rental fee, which is a third of the price of a multiplex ticket and less than a tub o’ popcorn (and hopefully just as delish!).

Not convinced? First of all, surely you’re in the wrong place if you aren’t a Whedon geek. Second of all, the ‘Avengers’ mastermind may just change your mind in the vid below:

ALL HAIL! Viva la Joss!!

Hiya Sia

sia chandelier

Since her 2010 album ‘We Are Born’, kooky Aussie songstress Sia Furler has been lending her distinct vocals to dance chart-fodder (if you’ve heard ‘Titanium’, you’ve heard Sia) and also becoming the Cathy Dennis of the Gaga generation, lending her pop craft skills to hit tracks by Rihanna, Katy Perry, Britney, etc.

Well, get ready for a reintroduction to the lady herself, as 2014 promises to be the year of Sia. Not content with her co-exec producer role on this week’s new Kylie record, Sia is set to release her own new material this year.

First slice of the pie is ‘Chandelier’ below, which is perhaps a more traditional (but hella catchy) pop single than old-school Sia fans may be used to. High hopes for the album then, which is expected to drop during the summer. Say hiya to Sia!

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Live

Kevin Smith fans, rejoice! Kevin Smith fans who worship the director’s cult heroes Jay and Silent Bob, rejoice further – for the ‘Clerks’ helmer is bringing his two most enduring characters to the UK.

Join Smith and Jay aka Jason Mewes on one of five dates in the UK, which will see the duo front a screening of their new animated movie ‘Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie’ then host an onstage Q&A and a live recording of fan favourite podcast, Hollywood Babble-On.

jay and silent bob live

The dates – in Birmingham, London, Bristol, Manchester and Dublin – promise to deliver a riotous evening of laughs for those in attendance, whether hardcore Smith fans or budding independent filmmakers looking to make their own ‘Clerks’-like start in the movie business.

The newly announced dates follow Smith’s tour of UK cinemas in support of ‘Red State’ back in 2011, and are sure to be memorable – so don’t delay, snap up your ticket when they go on sale tomorrow. More info here.

A Little Bit of Lykke Li

Following critical acclaim for her first two albums, which last year resulted in her teaming up with David Lynch for ultimate cool points, Swedish singer-stunner-songwriter Lykke Li is set to return with her third album in May 2014.

To celebrate, this week she dropped a couple of teasers including a full-length video for new track ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone’. It’s raw, it’s stirring, it’s Lykke Li.

Save the Cheerleader, Save the TV Show

In genre-land, you can be the biggest thing on Planet Pop Culture one minute before you’re a property that people are rolling their eyes at the next. Such was the decline of ‘Heroes’, a global phenomenon during its first 2006/2007 season before its superpower steam ran out and it got the axe in 2010. Saving the cheerleader may have saved the world, but it didn’t save the TV show.

Flash forward (remember that show?!) to 2014, where Sylar is Spock and the cheerleader is a ‘Nashville’ country star, and a teaser ad for ‘Heroes Reborn’ drops out of the sky like Peter Petrelli. Looks like we may get to learn what Claire’s fate was following that abrupt cliffhanger after all!

Creator Tim Kring and NBC have confirmed a run of 13 episodes for 2015, but the question of whether any of the original cast will be returning remains. As long as ‘Reborn’ stays away from spooky travelling carnivals, we may have a welcome return hit on our hands.

Glutton for Free Reads? Try Spider Mushrooms

We genre fans like to try new things, so this weekend is the perfect time to indulge in something fresh and exciting and, well, spider mushroomy.

spider mushroom gluttony

The first book in talented author Dawn Marshallsay’s new fantasy series ‘The Spider Mushroom Quest’ is available as a FREE download this weekend from Amazon UK. ‘Gluttony’ is a romp that deserves its title, as by the end you’ll be wanting seconds and thirds.

Embark on the journey of Ivy Slaughter, half-human and half-goblin, sent into the world of man to retrieve the stems of a fabled mushroom that will change her into a full-blooded goblin. Her quest will see her attempt to earn seven stems by helping seven individuals overcome the seven deadly sins, but will she go all the way and risk losing her humanity?

Find out, download the first adventure right here.

The Last of Us News: Left Behind on Valentine’s Day

If you’re not into the dinner-and-a-movie Valentine’s routine, then you’re in luck – that is, if your girl/boyfriend appreciates the fine art of video games.

left behind

Even if they don’t, they may just have got drawn in as you played Naughty Dog’s PS3 epic ‘The Last of Us’, easily one of last year’s best games. Following that game’s gut-punch ending, the prospect of DLC has been something for fans to savour until – or even if – the sequel arises like an infected clicker.

Well, today those fine folk at Naughty Dog have released a full opening cinematic trailer for ‘Left Behind’, which charts an episode of Ellie’s pre-Joel life. For fans of the game, it’s likely this scene between Ellie and estranged friend Riley will develop into a harrowing struggle for survival.

And, what’s that? It’s out Valentine’s Day? So, flowers and chocolates it is for the other half – Friday 14th is reserved. Just make sure you have enough ammo…