Split (2017)

M Night Shyamalan’s Split is a remarkable film. A psychological horror – thriller, darkly comic at times and frighteningly intense at others. 

The story of three girls taken captive by a man with multiple personalities, this could have been a torture porn or exploitation film in other hands, but M Night Shymalan raises the tone and crafts something special. Layering flashbacks, subplots and different characters perfectly, Split never loses track of its multiple strands, each one getting it’s time in the light. 

The unsettling opening scene sets the tone for what follows, as we see Dennis, Kevin’s bespectacled, intense personality, systemically take town three girls, whilst remaining so stoic and calm. It’s a frightening statement of intent from a writer director at the top of his game. 

Anya Taylor-Joy, star of 2016’s horror masterpiece The Witch, plays Casey, a withdrawn, damaged girl, who’s deeply upsetting backstory is revealed slowly throughout the film. One of the three girls taken by Kevin, Casey is held prisoner along with Jessica Sula as Marcia and Hayley Lu as Claire, in an unknown location. Taylor-Joy is carving out a career as a modern day horror icon, next appearing in 2018’s X Men horror film The New Mutants as Magik. 



James McAvoy, also formerly an X Man, gives the performances of his career so far here. He plays a man with 23 different identities, each one that were shown is completely distinct. I feel if this wasn’t a horror/thriller, we would be looking at an Oscar nomination for him. From Barry the fashion designer, Hedwig the dopey 9 yer old to Patricia, a stern British woman, McAvoy is unbelievable. Every single personality inside Kevin is fully realised and an individual character in it’s own right. McAvoy really gives a virtuoso performance here, showcasing his talents and proving himself as a top tier talent. What’s more, nothing ever comes across as silly. Even when he’s dressed as a woman, McAvoy commands your attention with his intensity, never appearing anything less than a fully developed character. It’s a stunning achievement. 

The rest of the cast is great too , especially Brad William Henke’s creepy uncle in the flashback scenes and veteran actress Betty Buckley as Dr Fletcher is particularly great. Dr Fletcher’s character drops lots of the information about Kevin’s disorder. Other movies would use her character for exposition dumps and not much else, but Shymalan makes her so compelling and Buckley herself has such a warmth and heart that you can’t help but feel the fear and the compassion yourself.

This being an M Night Shymalan movie, there are two things you’d always expect. One is his gratuitous cameo, and the other is a plot full of twists and turns. Both are present here. Shyamalan’s career renaissance has been impressive thus far, Split only proving his ability to shock and thrill even more. The Sixth Sense was a huge bar to set for himself, so seeing him returning to that level is nice.  It’s difficult to go into detail without spoiling a lot of what makes the movie great. I do feel that while Split’s twists are why it works, that multiple viewings would only improve the film. 

Leaving spoilers out of it, both the ending and credits scene made my jaw drop. A huge talking point for sure and the recently announced sequel sounds very interesting indeed!

Split is a rare thing, a hybrid of genres and influences, ending up as strong as the sum of its parts. Rather like it’s main character. 

9/10

For Fans Of: 

Silence of the Lambs

Unbreakable 

Raising Cain 

10 Cloverfield Lane 

La La Land (2016)

Since becoming obsessed with film as a kid, I’ve always been fascinated with “old Hollywood”. The old studios and their politics, the backlots and the movie stars. Damien Chezelle’s La La Land feels very much like a throwback to that time, an unashamedly proud musical, filled with lush, vivid colours, tap dancing, fantasy sequences and some incredible songs. Why La La Land works so well, is that it grounds itself with a modern flavour while still maintaining that classic movie aesthetic. 

For some reason or another I missed La La Land at the cinema, but recently picked it up on Blu Ray. I knew very little about it going in, other than the actors and that it was a musical. I’d tried to avoid any trailers, as I feel with a musical, knowing the songs ahead of time is a bit of a spoiler. 
Exploding with a huge, colourful song and dance number, atop a freeway overpass in the middle of a traffic jam, La La Land sends a message of intent right away. “Another Day of Sun” is an uptempo, piano driven number, reminiscent of something from West Side Story, causing all the car drivers to leap out and sing and dance. I was instantly in love, before we’d even met either of our main characters. 

Emma Stone plays Mia, a coffee shop barista struggling to make it as an actress, being humiliated in auditions and overlooked by casting directors. Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian is a serious Jazz musician who wants success, but on his own terms. We’re introduced to them separately, both stories happening in parallel,until they eventually meet, when Seb is unceremoniously fired by a cameoing JK Simmons.

Telling a love story, for our time, in the style of a classic musical, yet making it work on both levels is a hell of an achievement. Whimsical, breezy and funny, it never gets cheesey, or silly which I think is down to the acting. 

Sebastian is a snarky grump, but totally sincere and real, Mia exudes desperation and frustration at her career. When they meet, the chemistry is real and heartwarming. When they argue the pain feels true and cuts like a knife. Gosling and Stone have worked together twice before and they’re probably the closest we get to the classic Hollywood “couples” of yesterday. 

The score and songs by Justin Hurwitz is note perfect. Every song works. The music cues are stunning, leaving the film feeling like a live action Disney movie or a modern Singing In The Rain. City of Stars, the opener I mentioned above Another Day of Sun and Someone In The Crowd stand out and will be in your head for weeks. Mia and Sebastian’s theme will SURELY go down in history as one of the great movie themes. Slow, mournful piano sweeping but with a classical touch and flowing into some quirky jazz, it’s breathtaking.  

Told in seasons, Mia and Seb meet in winter and spend the next year growing together as people and as artists. A very real journey juxtaposed against some very nifty tap dancing and songs. When John Legend shows up as an old colleague of Seb, wanting him to join a band and go on tour you sense the tension between our couple. Mia’s envy of Seb’s success is obvious, which is never good in any relationship. 

I’m going to refrain from ruining the last act , no matter how tempted I am to discuss it in depth! If you’ve not seen the film yet I would hate to spoil it for you. However I will say it floored me. A bold choice that paid off massively. 

The city of Los Angeles is the third main character in the film and looks like the greatest place on earth, from its sunny skies, old theaters and the beautiful Griffith Observatory. An idea we always got from the old movies. Chezelle is clearly in love with this city, showing its beauty and it’s heart. Underneath the business side, is a very real group of people who want to be artists. We all start somewhere. 
For me, La La Land is a masterpiece, full of primary colours, dancing and fantastic songs. Two stellar lead performances and some brilliant directing. Damien Chezelle is our Woody Allen, albeit with a more overtly musical sensibility. 

The last time a film grabbed me like this, it was Mad Max Fury Road, equally bright, but with a little less singing. 

10/10

For Fans Of:

Everyone Says I Love You 

Midnight in Paris 

Singing In The Rain 

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Casablanca 

Wonder Woman (2017) 

It’s no secret that the DC Comics Extended Universe has had a rocky start. Finally, with its fourth film, we have a movie that’s more than just OK, in fact you could say it’s WONDERful. Too much? Yeah too much. 

Patty JenkinsWonder Woman not only surpasses the other DC movies, it manages to outdo a lot of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films too. Epic in scale, this is an origin story that seems fresh, Gal Gadot giving a performance so assured and so measured, she owns the screen every time we see her. Personally, I feel like Gadot has attained the level of Hugh Jackman or Christopher Reeve already. She just is Wonder Woman. 
Wonder Woman’s story is an origin tale, but without too many of the usual tropes. Opening with a scene in the present, Diana recieves a photo from an unseen Bruce Wayne and reminisces about her life. We’re shown the gorgeous Themyscira and the Amazons who live there. Young Diana Is trained to be a warrior by her aunt and life seems to be going great. It did remind me of the start of Moana, and I mean that as nothing but a compliment. 

By rescuing Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), the first man she ever laid eyes on, Diana is thrust into World War I. A German fleet attacks her home and Diana decides she has to stop this war, blaming Ares, the God of War for the atrocities. 

The second half of the film feels less like a superhero film and more like Fury or Saving Private Ryan but with a Greek Mythological twist. Wonder Woman manages to be action packed, thoughtful and universe-building while still maintaining its own tone. The scene in which Diana marches across No Man’s Land, deflecting bullets was breathtaking and powerful and sums up Wonder Woman in one short piece.

The tone and feel is perfect. Yes, it has to fit into the already planned DCEU but Patty Jenkins has managed to make a beautifully shot movie that’s very much it’s own thing. We get an adventure movie that’s so much more than I expected , a new cinematic hero with unwavering sincerity. This film never gets cheesey. It bold and earnest and is proud of what it is. I’d compare it with Captain America The First Avenger,  another period comic book movie, but Wonder Woman is a much more complete film overall.  

Diana’s connection with our world is mostly played for laughs at first, before she realises the horrors of war and what man is capable of. 

By man, of course,  I mean humanity. The recent outcry over a female only screening of this film was both stupid and hilarious. Of course they should do a female only screening, it’s a great publicity event and it makes sense! The irony, however, that men would object  to and criticise this women-only screening of a movie that features a women-only island being attacked by men, is not lost on me. 

 The ensemble cast of Wonder Woman is not overly stacked with A-List names, relying instead on Gadot’s instantly iconic performance and some solid supporting actors. Chris Pine is great as Steve Trevor, a layered character, not just a one dimensional love interest. Following his turns in 30 Days of Night and X Men Origins: Wolverine by playing Ludendorff, Danny Huston’s comic book movie villain streak continues! His snarling warmonger teams with Elena Anaya’s porcelain masked Doctor Poison. The rest of the cast is largely quirky character actors,  Ewen Bremner, Said Taghmaoui and Eugene Brave Rock form Trevor’s diverse band of mercenaries, providing laughs, heart and depth to the film. David Thewlis pops up as Sir Patrick Morgan while Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright play Diana’s Mother and Aunt respectively. I really liked Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. Absolutely hilarious and in fact coming close to stealing the show, shining in all of her scenes. 

Wonder Woman is a film with very few flaws. It’s intelligent, deep, exciting and most importantly FUN. A character filled action romp that takes its self seriously but is never po faced over dour. Proving why the character is the perfect counterpoint to Batman

Thankfully and indeed similar to Marvel’s recent Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, this is a movie in a larger Universe that doesn’t feel the need to serve any other story than its own. Respecting itself and the audience, I’m greatly appreciating that we got a complete story and I was left wanting more. The best DC Movie since The Dark Knight and a fantastic primer for Justice League. Don’t miss this one. 

8/10

Wonder Woman is in cinemas now. 
FOR FANS OF: 

Superman (1978)

Spider-Man (2002)

Captain America The First Avenger (2011)

Gladiator (2000)

Ben Fenlon 

www.supernerdsuk.com 

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, London Olympia May 27th 2017

​My first guest blogger, Melissa Newman, gives her lowdown on the first Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in London. 



I feel like I should start this by making you aware, that I am not what you’d call an  expert on tv shows, movies or comic books.
 I don’t know the in and outs of the business and I’m more just a fan of watching the TV shows. This past weekend I visited Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in London, an event I am extremely lucky to have been able to attend and am so grateful to the SuperNerds UK guys for bringing me along.

Ben introduced me to Arrow when the season one Blu-Ray was released, in anticipation of season two starting. I must admit, the first season didn’t particularly draw me in, and I felt the acting was quite cheesy. I really must go back and watch season one again, because fast forward four years and Arrow is most definitely one of my favourite tv shows, along with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Supergirl is the only one I’m not a big fan of. I still watch it every week with Ben, and I love the crossover episodes, but in general i’m not a fan of her or even Superman (sorry). That’s not to say the show isn’t good, I’m just personally not that into it. 

Watching these programmes is a totally different experience for me compared to comic fans like Ben. Any one who listens to the SuperNerds UK podcast will know that comic books are his speciality. He knows near enough EVERY character, so when they turn up on screen it’s like a HOLY SHIT moment and he’s like a little boy on Christmas morning. I get to know the characters as they appear and I quite like not knowing the history and what they’re about. I also avoid trailers/teasers like the the plague! I like to be surprised by how the seasons unfold. 

Attending the event, as well as The DC/CW cast members were stars from Constantine, Gotham, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America. 
Saturday the 27th of May had a 4:45am wake up call. I’ve barely slept, but this is a common occurrence for me and especially for such a big event. Tim picked us up around 5:30am and we head for the fan fest. Five hours on the road, and a McDonalds breakfast later, we arrived at the Olympia in London ready and eager to get inside and find out what was what. Ben was due his first interview not long after we arrived so we quickly needed to find out where we need to be. Walking in the first person I spot is Robbie Amell.

GASP! “Oh mahhh gahhhhhd there is Robbie Amell!” known for playing Ronnie Raymond on The Flash. He is adorable, and I love that he was sharing a booth with his wife, Italia Ricci, who played Silver Banshee in Supergirl. 

Moving on, we walk past the stage for the panels and there is John Barrowman… in a dress! First of all, who doesn’t love John Barrowman? And second of all, who doesn’t love John Barrowman in a dress? I loved it! He sure does know how to put on a show. Thinking back i’m really gutted that we didn’t get there early enough to sit down and watch his panel. 
Ben and Tim rush off to find out where they need to be. I have a walk around the room and spot their first interviewee, Shantel Van Santen, absolutely STUNNING in person. You should all be excited for to hear the interview because it’s a good one, it will be on their next podcast, here’s a behind the scenes photo! 

I go upstairs to meet back up with the two nerds, and who is up there…? Stephen Amell! The Green Arrow himself. On the outside i’m cool, calm and collected. But on the inside my brain is fangirling and screaming “STEPHEN I LOVE YOU!!!!” We actually have two guinea pigs at home named Ollie and Diggle. So you’d rightly guess that we are big fans in our house! 

 I follow Stephen on social media and as well as his  looks *drool*, and his great acting ability, he seems so genuinely sweet and grateful for where he is and what he has. 
Back with the guys and they’re about to interview, unfortunately I was unable to sit in for this one so I left them to it and made my way downstairs again. I see that Matt Ryan, of Constantine, is about to do a panel and I walk around and question sitting down for it. I look at the queue of people waiting to be told they can sit down and i’m thinking should I join the end of the queue? Suddenly I remembered, I have a press pass. Nervously, I walk over to the front of the queue. “Excuse me, I have a press pass. Can I go straight in?”. You bet your arse I could go straight in, and I could sit on the front row ‘designated press area’. Soon after the guys join me and sit down for the panel. Matt Ryan had been the only actor SuperNerds have announced they have interview with at the time and it was happening straight after. Matt was so lovely, and he answered all of the moderator and fan questions so well. At one point a fan asked “do you believe in demons?” To which he replied “I know a few people who could be demons!”. The crowd laughed in agreement, but the fan questioning really pressed him wanting to know if he does believe in actual demons. I can’t remember the full answer that he gave, but basically he doesn’t. John Constantine is a character, Matt Ryan is the person playing the character. 

The panel has ended and we head back upstairs and wait to be told to set up for the next interview. I set up the recording equipment for this interview, and get to meet an actor that I really admire. I was so nervous, alls I could think and say was “my hands are so sweaty and he is going to come in and shake my sweaty hand!”. We set up and waited for him to arrive. 

He walks in. 

“Hi guys!”. 

I shake his hand, and my mouth says “nice to meet you, i’m Melissa” while my head is shouting I AM SO SORRY THAT MY HANDS ARE SWEATY !!! The interview was fantastic. I am so honoured that I got to sit in and enjoy it first hand. 

Not to get all soppy, but I am truly so proud of Ben! The guy is a natural at meeting people and holding a conversation. I was in complete awe of how well he handled interviewing such a well known actor and someone he really respects. I would have been a spluttering mess, but he was perfect. I hope many more of these amazing opportunities come along for him. 
We walked out of the room on a high. The day is going so well and there is still one more interview to go. We mill around the room and get a glimpse of everyone signing autographs. The excitement of being in the same room as all of these people is crazy! Seeing big names and faces all around me like Michael Rooker, Hayley Atwell and Stanley Tucci was so surreal. I’m standing here, and they’re just over there. It’s amazing! 

Ben and Tim go off for the last interview, Michael Rowe (Arrow’s Deadshot) so I decide to sit down for the last panel. Mehcad Brooks, known for playing Jimmy Olsen on Supergirl. Straight in again, same seat. Earlier on I mentioned that Supergirl really isn’t my favourite of the DC shows so I felt a bit apprehensive about watching the panel in case I didn’t enjoy it. I could not have been more wrong. He was incredible! He is most definitely an entertainer and really got the crowd going! Such a fun way to end the day. During fan questions, a girl who I would say was about thirteen thanked him for what he was doing for the people of Manchester in light of the recent attack after Ariana Grande’s performance at the Manchester Arena earlier in the week. She got upset and we all cheered for her. 

Mehcad held up his microphone “Can I ask you a question? Are you from Manchester?” She replied yes. He jumped off the stage and said “Come over here” and hugged her at the front of the crowd for a good few minutes. What a beautiful person! It was such a heart warming moment and we all sat cheering with tears in our eyes. Once he was back on stage he preceded to inform us that anyone from Manchester can get a free signed picture from him if they come up to his booth. What a guy! So much respect. 

After the panel we went to the car and made our way back up to Liverpool. All in all it was a fantastic day. There was no point where I felt it was dragging and that I wanted to go home, if anything it had gone too fast and I wasn’t ready for it to be over! The staff were awesome and it was so well organised. The event was sold out but not overcrowded. I can’t fault it, in any way. It was brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, to attend and pay for photo ops and autographs, it is not a cheap do! As much as I would have loved to meet the likes of Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards, we recently bought a house and we have a lot “grown up” responsibilities so the price to pay for us is not justifiable right now.

For me, this whole event was so enjoyable because I am an avid viewer of these shows and I got to experience then in a way that some people would do anything for. You can see that everyone around you are true fans and for most this opportunity was once in a life time. I went to the toilets before we left and a woman cosplaying The Green Arrow was brushing her hair, annoyed that it didn’t look right for her picture with Stephen Amell. We laughed about it and I told her it looked fine and she would treasure the moment regardless. She laughed and said she’s just happy that she got to meet him and be in his company. As I was walking away she shouted “Hang on!! I know!!! I can be Ollie on the island, that’s what i’ll say!”. Perfect. 
Massive thanks to all the HVFF London staff and management who worked so hard to keep us safe and everything running so smoothly too. 

Melissa Newman


The full interviews with Shantel VanSanten,  Matt Ryan and Michael Rowe are all on our next podcast, dropping this coming week on supernerdsuk.com 


Baywatch (2017)

Baywatch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, is a turd of unparalleled proportions. I didn’t expect high art, I didn’t even get decent dick jokes. 

Sadly, this film simply doesn’t work. The jokes don’t land, the soundtrack is achingly contemporary and absolutely hollow. It’s a shame, because the concept could have been a smash hit in the right hands. Instead it just comes across as if the creative team had a few drinks watching 21 Jump Street on Netflix and thought “fucking hell, this is easy, I could do this!”  

It’s the almost the exact same story as Jump Street too, with similar reveals and “twists”. Except where that film was clever, sharp and extremely funny, Baywatch falls flat nearly every time. 
Trying to catch drug dealers operating in the bay, Mitch ( a clearly embarrassed Dwayne Johnson) is forced to team up with unwanted new recruit, Brody (an excessively muscular Zac Efron).  Brody is a douchey ex-Olympian who can’t work as part of a team and is forced to work as part of a team, because he needs to work as part of a team. 

You can clearly see where this is going. Unfortunately the film thinks we are idiots and has to spell this out for us every five minutes. Neither of the two leads is likeable which really hurts the film, as you’re just not engaged or invested in any of these characters. A two hour movie that loses you in the opening 10 minutes, is a brutal chore to endure.

The cast, however, is actually pretty good, Alexandra Daddario as Summer doesn’t get much to do but does it well.  Kelly Rohrbach takes the Pamela Anderson role as CJ. You’d never be able to recast someone as iconic, so I didn’t mind the decision to make her into an Anna Faris style slightly goofy character. Jon Bass as Ronnie was funny, but seemed to be doing a Josh Gad impression the whole time. I guess Gad was busy or too expensive. Or maybe he read the script. 

The Get Down’s Yahya Abdul-mateen II plays the long suffering cop forced to deal with these rogue lifeguards.  He is one of the few in the film who manages to come out of the film with his reputation unscathed. I look forward to seeing him as Black Manta in next year’s Aquaman movie. 
One thing I liked was that the cast was racially diverse and the villain was an Asian lady, Leeds, played by Priyanka Chopra, again not given much to do but, shining nonetheless. 



Baywatch, the TV show, while not being entirely realistic, at least managed to remain sincere. I feel the movie tried to both laugh at and nod to this unflinching sincerity, yet failed in the process. None of the meta jokes about Baywatch worked. None of the slow mo stuff was funny. At one point they even make the same “We’re based on a far fetched old TV show”  joke from 21 Jump Street and THAT doesn’t work. 

I wanted to like Baywatch, I’d have even liked to have said “it’s worth a watch”  but it isn’t.  It’s a total piece of shit, brand damaging for all involved. It managed to make comedian Hannibal Buress come across as boring and flat, a feat so spectacular it should win some kind of award. 

Seth Gordon, who made King of Kong and the first  Horrible Bosses, is usually a quality director, so I was shocked to see some terrible editing, ADR additions and woeful camera angles. There are so many over the shoulder conversation shots where mouth moments don’t sync and Zac Efron’s fringe changes position. I would not be shocked if news of reshoots or extensive editing came out. Something felt off. 

So don’t waste your time or money. Wonder Woman is out soon, go see that instead!

2/10 
For Fans Of:

The Dukes of Hazard 

21 Jump Street 

The House Bunny 

Ben Fenlon 

supernerdsuk.com 

Heroes and Villains Fan Fest London

Saturday, May 27th saw me head down to London Olympia for Heroes Villains Fan Fest, a convention and celebration of superhero TV shows and films. Like a comic con, just with guests that people really want to see. 

Largely covering The CW’s superhero shows, as well as Gotham, HVFF London had guests from Guardians of the Galaxy ( Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn) and Captain America ( Hayley Atwell and Stanley Tucci) 

I know that this is usually a movie or TV review page, but hear me out, HVFF London had enough film and TV stuff to warrant a mention here. I’ve never seen a level of fan interaction, like we saw here, before.  The panels were genuinely hilarious and you could tell the guests as well as the crowd were having a lot of fun.

 Early on in the day, John Barrowman strutted out in drag and then got changed on stage, while doing what can only be described as stand up comedy. Multi tasking at the highest level from Mr Merlyn. Barrowman had the crowd in the palm of his hand, a true showman, it actually left me wanting a John Barrowman stand up tour.
All of the panels were great, Mehcad Brooks’ SuperGirl panel especially getting huge praise from the audience. Having to fly solo onstage after the last minute cancellation of Melissa Benoist, Brooks nailed it. Showing huge charisma and making the audience laugh, a million miles away from Superman’s Pal James Olsen!

I was lucky enough to be granted interview time with Shantel VanSanten ( Patty Spivot from The Flash), Michael Rowe ( Deadshot from Arrow) and Matt Ryan, the erstwhile John Constantine from, well, everywhere Constantine appears these days.  The full length interviews will be on supernerdsuk.com in the coming weeks!  

I’ll also be uploading a full length guest written blog soon in the next few days, so keep an eye out for that!

We would highly recommend attending HVFF if you’re a fan of these shows. The level of interaction is second to none, the guests genuinely love what they’re doing and the overall vibe is just fun, like a community. The event management and staff were some of the best I’ve ever encountered, including my years playing music, so extra special thanks to them for running such an amazing event and keeping everyone happy and safe.

Check out their website here and search the HashTag #HVFFLondon on social media and check out some of the amazing fan photos.

Twin Peaks: The Return (3 and 4) (2017)

Episodes 3 and 4 dropped online immediately after the premiere of Season 3 aired on television , so how does Twin Peaks fare after that spectacular return? Does the quality remain or do we see a slump? Spoilers abound, so beware. 

Filmed as one 18 hour piece by David Lynch and edited down into episodes afterwards, this series feels much more of a singular work than TV usually does. Lynch’s endgame is already known to him and he’s getting us there at his own,very deliberate pace. 

The second pair of episodes started off surreal and nigh on incomprehensible, with Dale Cooper trapped in non-existence, in an otherworldly Sci Fi sequence that will surely haunt my dreams for a while. Unseen, presumably monstrous creatures are heard banging on doors and the tension is cranked as we await Coop’s return to the world. Yet, as The Arm said, the doppelganger must go back to the Black Lodge for Coop to be freed. We find out that the doppelganger has created a double of his own, Dougie Jones, to take his place in the Black Lodge. It’s slightly silly but Kyle McLachlan knocks all three characters out of the park. He’s clearly having a whale of a time here, his performance(s) all brilliant. 

I feel the main arc of Season 3 will be Coop vs Evil Coop, but, I may be wrong , this is Twin Peaks after all. Evil Coop (I’m sure he has a better name but this is fun) has to be the big bad right? Unless Someone else is yet to arrive. Original Coop’s amnesiac stumble around the casino made me chuckle and his traditional American family set up with Naomi Watts felt like the wacky Peaks of old in a way. It’s good to see Watts here, the cast in general is incredible. 

Episode 3 and 4 were more of a return to the traditional Twin Peaks feel, with Episode 4 in particular having some incredible sequences. Finding out that former bad boy Bobby Briggs has become a Sheriff’s Deputy was a nice surprise, seeing him react to Laura Palmer’s photograph and burst into tears as Laura’s theme from the original series played was perfect, beautiful television. A callback filled with genuine emotion. This was followed by the introduction of a new character, someone iconic and odd, who would have fit so well in the original show. 

Wally Brando

Michael Cera‘s casting seemed an odd one, most of us surely guessing (correctly) he would play Andy (or Dick Tremayne) and Lucy’s baby, now fully grown . None of us saw Wally Brando coming. Cera is channelling Marlon Brando in The Wild One, complete with motorcycle and leather jacket. In this less goofy series, Wally is a welcome addition, genuinely hilarious, earnestly flanked by his dim witted parents, while the new Sheriff Truman (Robert Forster) politely listens to his bizarre ramble. It was a glorious, vintage Twin Peaks moment, filled with the fun and spirit that made us fall in love with this weird show in the first place. 

David Lynch himself returned as FBI boss Gordon Cole, accompanied by Miguel Ferrer‘s crotchety zen master and forensics expert, Albert Rosenfield as well as the stunning presence of longtime Lynch collaborator, Chrysta Bell as FBI agent Tamara Preston. Informed of (Evil) Coop’s incarceration, but not knowing he’s actually (Evil) Coop they head to see him in a South Dakota prison, but not before meeting Denise Bryson, now high up in the bureau, still played by David Duchovny.  Denise implies Cole just surrounds himself with attractive women. Surely Lynch making a joke about his own habit of casting stunning women in each of his projects! This new “Blue Rose” case calls back to Fire Walk With Me and ends episode 4 on a cliffhanger. 

Both episodes finished with a musical performance in The Bang Bang Bar, gives the show a nice wind down over the credits, not wasting a single second of its air time.

I’m fully invested in Season 3 and still with 14 hours left, I’m already feeling anxiety about it ending too soon! 
My interview with Twin Peaks star David Patrick Kelly is up now on the Supernerds UK Podcast, available on iTunes, podomatic and Supernerdsuk.com now! You can also read my review of the first two episodes here.