First look at del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is magically macabre

A master of horror gives a first look at some of the twisted nightmares and violent delights from his new anthology series, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Halloween might be the furthest thing on people’s minds in the dog days of August, but a new first look teaser for Netflix’s new anthology series, Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities—plus the release of several simultaneously gorgeous and horrific images—are putting us in a much more frisson-seeking frame of mind. Nobody does horror quite like del Toro and this anthology very much looks worthy of his reputation.

The series was first announced in 2018 and features eight episodes written and directed by filmmakers handpicked by del Toro. “In this anthology we gave ownership of each episode to the directors,” he says in the first look teaser. “Each of the episodes has a whole world. They present you with different delights. Some are savory, some are sweet. You get a surprise from each of the bites.”

The list of directors includes Jennifer Kent, who directed 2014’s phenomenal The Babadook; her episode, “The Murmuring,” is based on an original story by del Toro and features Babadook star, Essie Davis (aka Miss Fisher). “Dreams in the Witch House,” based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story, is directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown, Twilight).

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#cabinet-of-curiosities, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #guillermo-del-toro, #horror, #netflix, #streaming-television, #trailers

Official Andor trailer shows us what the birth of a revolution looks like

Diego Luna reprises his role as Cassian Andor in the new Disney+ prequel series Andor.

Disney+ has released an action-packed trailer for Andor, the forthcoming 12-episode prequel series set five years before the events of Rogue One, starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor.

As we’ve reported previously, our first look at the series came from a behind-the-scenes teaser in December 2020 during Disney’s Investors Day. We got a short teaser earlier this year at Star Wars Celebration. Andor has been described as a “tense, nail-biting spy thriller,” with Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One, serving as showrunner.

The story begins with the Empire’s destruction of Cassian Andor’s homeworld and will depict his transformation from a “revolution-averse” cynic to a major player in the nascent rebellion who is willing to sacrifice himself to save the galaxy. According to Deadline Hollywood, Luna described Andor as “the journey of a migrant. That feeling of having to move is behind this story—that shapes you as a person. It defines you in many ways, and what you are willing to do.”

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#andor, #ars-shopping, #disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #star-wars, #streaming-television

Sylvester Stallone is a grizzled, disillusioned superhero in Samaritan trailer

Sylvester Stallone stars as an aging superhero long believed to be dead, in Samaritan.

Action legend Sylvester Stallone has dabbled in the superhero genre before, most notably as Judge Dredd (1995), the Ravager Stakar Ogord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. (2017), and the voice of King Shark in The Suicide Squad (2021). (He’s reprising his Ravager role for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.) With his new film Samaritan, Stallone gets to play an aging superhero living anonymously as a garbage man, tormented by his past. Judging by the official trailer, it’s the perfect role for the 73-year-old action star, combining all the best elements of his long, illustrious career.

Samaritan is the brainchild of screenwriter Bragi Schut, best known for Escape Room (2019) and 2011’s Season of the Witch. He first penned a spec script for the film about 10 years ago. But spec scripts can meander through the Hollywood studio ecosystem for years before even being optioned, never mind going into development. So in the meantime, Schut adapted his screenplay into a series of graphic novels for Mythos Comics—the opposite of the usual process these days, with studios competing for recognizable IP to adapt into blockbuster films.

First published in 2014, the comic book version upends the genre’s typical setting of a superhero arriving at a crime-ridden cesspool of a city to take on the bad guys and clean things up. This version depicts the gradual degradation of fictional city of Acropolis after its superhero, Samaritan, is presumably killed in battle against the aptly named superhuman Nemesis inside a burning warehouse. (Nemesis is also killed).

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #mythos-comics, #prime-video, #samaritan, #streaming-television, #sylvester-stallone, #trailers, #united-artists

Helen Mirren is a vengeful goddess in Shazam! Fury of the Gods trailer

Official trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

The DC panel at San Diego Comic-Con highlighted the first official trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to 2019’s Shazam!, both starring Zachary Levi. As a bonus, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) wowed the crowd by making a grand entrance in full costume to introduce exclusive new teaser footage from his (related) upcoming film Black Adam.

The 2019 Shazam! introduced a teen foster kid named Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who has landed in a group home after running away from another one to hunt for his birth mother. He saves his new foster brother, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), from bullies, and when they chase him into the subway, he’s transported to the Rock of Eternity. There, the ancient wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) chooses Billy to be his new champion. When Billy says “Shazam!” he transforms into an adult superhero (Levi); repeating the word returns him to his Billy form. Billy/Shazam defeats a supervillain and shares his power with all his foster siblings, making his own family of superheroes.

The film grossed $366 worldwide and received mostly positive reviews. In his 2019 review of Shazam!, Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Machkovech concluded, “It’s fun. It’s funny. It’s fine,” despite a few nitpicky flaws. “The end result is a superhero film that leans brazenly into an Indiana Jones vibe (complete with a John Williams-caliber score) along with a healthy dollop of Deadpool-for-kids gags about the wider DC Comics universe.”

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#black-adam, #dc-films, #dceu, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #san-diego-comic-con, #shazam, #shazam-fury-of-the-gods

Chris Pine is a wise-cracking bard in D&D: Honor Among Thieves trailer

The beloved tabletop RPG comes (back) to the silver screen with Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

Paramount Pictures delighted D&D fans at Comic-Con with a panel and official trailer for its upcoming feature film, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

The film is a reboot of the film trilogy that launched with Dungeons & Dragons (2000). That film bombed at the box office, earning just over $33 million globally against its $45 million budget. Plus it was savaged by critics for its poor quality especially the cheap special effects), subpar performances, and inept direction. That film still spawned D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005), a made-for-TV standalone sequel; and D&D 3: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012), which had a direct-to-DVD release.

The current reboot was first proposed by Warner Bros. in 2013, but the project’s announcement quickly drew Hasbro’s ire, because Hasbro was developing its own D&D film with Universal Pictures. Hasbro sued and eventually settled, giving Warner Bros. the green light to continue. Eventually, Hasbro moved the project to Paramount, shooting for a July 2021 release, and hired John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein to write and direct. The release was delayed twice, but Honor Among Thieves will finally see the light of day on March 3, 2023.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#chris-pine, #dungeons-and-dragons, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #san-diego-comic-con, #trailers

Dragons are front and center in latest House of the Dragon trailer

Trailer for HBO Max’s new Game of Thrones prequel spinoff series, House of the Dragon.

It’s time for San Diego Comic-Con, and among the many TV shows expected to feature prominently is HBO Max’s House of the Dragon, a spinoff prequel to HBO’s hugely popular Game of Thrones. We had our share of disappointments with that series’ later seasons (especially the series finale) like everyone else, but this new House of the Dragon trailer seems to capture the original tone and spirit that we loved so much about its predecessor.

As I’ve written previously, House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicles the beginning of the end of House Targaryen’s reign. Those events culminated in a civil war and the extinction of the dragons—at least until Daenerys Targaryen came along two centuries later. Miguel Sapochnik—who filmed some of the most eye-popping, complicated battles on Game of Thrones—serves as co-showrunner with series co-creators Martin and Ryan J. Condal. Sapochnik directed the pilot and several other episodes.

Fire and Blood, a fictional history of the Targaryen kings written by George R.R. Martin, begins with Aegon I’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, thanks to the family’s advanced weaponry in the form of dragons. This is followed by a period of relative peace before the inevitable succession crisis. The final two sections of Fire and Blood deal with the fallout of that crisis and serve as the primary source material for House of the Dragon.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #house-of-the-dragon, #streaming-television, #trailers

Catching up with Stranger Things S4 (yes, we have some feels)

Catching up with Stranger Things S4 (yes, we have some feels)

Enlarge (credit: Netflix)

Stranger Things came back from a pandemic-driven three-year hiatus stronger than ever with an ambitious supersized fourth season—so much so that Netflix released it in two parts. Part 1 had a few minor flaws, particular in the earlier episodes, but quickly gained dramatic momentum. The cliffhanger ending deftly set the stage for the epic final two episodes, which featured a visually stunning, nail-biting battle against the denizens of the Upside Down—and some of the most emotionally resonant moments in the series to date.

(WARNING! Some very major spoilers below the galleries in the interest of in-depth analysis.)

Ratings-wise, this was the series’ best season yet, drawing so many viewers when Part 2 dropped over Fourth of July weekend that Netflix actually crashed at one point. S4 Part 1 dominated the Nielsen streaming charts for four straight weeks, and that dominance is expected to continue once Nielsen releases its numbers for the two super-sized finale episodes. (There’s usually about a month’s delay for streaming platform viewership.) Part 1 also received 13 Emmy nominations. Seven years after it debuted, Stranger Things is more popular than ever, even launching two old 80s tunes back onto the charts after they were featured prominently this season.

Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #stranger-things-s4, #streaming-television, #tv-review

Two-minute-plus teaser for LOTR: Rings of Power drops ahead of Comic-Con

Prime Video’s new fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, is adapted from the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and debuts on September 2, 2022.

Hollywood is gearing up for San Diego Comic-Con next week—the first in-person version of the hugely popular and influential convention since the pandemic hit. Prime Video decided this was the perfect time to release a new, nearly two-and-a-half-minute teaser trailer for its upcoming series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. It feels very much in the spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels and Peter Jackson’s classic film trilogy.

The first teaser for the new eight-part series landed in February during the Super Bowl and gave us some eye-popping views of the quality world-building we can expect. Per the official description:

This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

The large ensemble cast includes Morfydd Clark as a young Galadriel, “now a hardscrabble warrior leading the Northern Armies,” who is determined to hunt down her brother’s killer. She ends up adrift at sea with a new character named Halbrand (Charles Vickers). All we know about him is that he is “running from his past.” Charles Edwards plays Celebrimbor, whom hardcore LOTR fans will recognize as the elven smith who forged the legendary rings.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #lotr-rings-of-power, #prime-video, #streaming-television, #trailers

No hope for Hawkins? Trailer for Stranger Things S4 Part 2 is pretty bleak

We’re eagerly awaiting the two-part finale to the fourth season of Stranger Things. Will Hawkins survive?

It was admittedly an odd creative decision to split the fourth season of Stranger Things into two unequal parts. While Part 1 (consisting of the first seven episodes) was a bit bloated, it nonetheless told a compelling story, set up some very real stakes, and left viewers mulling over multiple cliffhangers. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait to see what happens next, and Netflix just dropped an exciting new trailer foreshadowing what we can expect from the final two episodes, each of which clocks in at well over an hour’s run time. And things look pretty bleak for the Hawkins gang.

(Some spoilers for S4 Part 1 below, but we’ve tried to avoid revealing the biggest plot twists.)

Ever since the official trailer for Part 1 dropped in May, we’ve known that this season’s big bad hails straight from classic D&D lore. It’s Vecna, a once-powerful wizard who first became undead and then became a lich. Although Vecna (in the lore, at least) was destroyed, over time he achieved godhood. His left hand and left eye survived his bodily death and became powerful relics.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #stranger-things-s4, #streaming-television, #trailers

It’s the hosts versus humanity in tantalizing Westworld S4 trailer

The fourth season of HBO’s original series Westworld, returns on June 26.

The teaser for the fourth season of Westworld that dropped last month was tonally evocative and visually stunning, but it told us very little about what to expect from the narrative. Now we have the full trailer, and it has made us eager to learn more, as it looks like the show is about to head into some very interesting places.

(Spoilers for prior seasons below.)

As we’ve reported previously, Westworld‘s third season was the first to take place largely outside the tightly controlled environment of the original theme parks. Opening three months after the events of the S2 finale, Dolores (Evan Rachel Woods) had re-created her host body. We learned she was targeting an AI system called Rehoboam, which was developed by a company called Incite. To access the system, Dolores had to take on its creator, Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel), and various other adversaries with their own motives for stopping her—including William, aka the Man in Black (Ed Harris), who vowed to destroy any remaining hosts.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #streaming-television, #trailers, #westworld-s4

Last trailer for Jordan Peele’s Nope finally yields details on the plot

Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star in Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope.

Universal Pictures dropped the final trailer for Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope. We finally learn something about the plot, and yep, it looks like aliens. Maybe. Probably.

As we’ve reported previously, trailers for Peele’s films never reveal too much since much of the pleasure of his movies comes from their frequently bizarre twists. We wouldn’t have it any other way. All we knew thus far about Nope is that Daniel Kaluuya (who was nominated for an Oscar for Get Out), Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Black Panther), and Steven Yeun (Minari, Okja) play “residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.”

The first trailer dropped in February—very moody and atmospheric but offering few details. In April, Universal Pictures marked the start of the NBA Playoffs by dropping a brief teaser featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. There were no new details, and the highly photogenic Curry won’t be winning an Oscar any time soon, but it was a cute meme-worthy marketing move by the studio.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jordan-peele, #nope, #trailers, #universal-pictures

Dwayne Johnson’s Egyptian antihero kneels before no one in first Black Adam trailer

Dwayne John stars as Teth-Adam, future arch-enemy of Shazam, in Black Adam.

It has been 15 long years since Dwayne Johnson first expressed interest in playing Black Adam, a classic DC Comics supervillain dating back to the 1940s. The project was stuck in development hell for years, but the film is finally coming to theaters this fall. And we now have the first trailer for Black Adam, giving us a peek at the character’s origin story and his inevitable encounter with the Justice League of America (JSA).

(Spoilers for some of the comics below.)

The character made a cameo appearance as a villain in the first issue of The Marvel Family comics in 1945. Canonically, he is an ancient Egyptian named Teth-Adam, whom the wizard Shazam chooses to be the latter’s successor. Teth-Adam was presumed to be pure of heart, but once endowed with the powers of Shazam, he became corrupt, killed the ruling pharaoh, and took over the Egyptian throne. Shazam was unable to revoke those powers, so he exiled Teth-Adam to the most distant star in the universe.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#black-adam, #dc-comics, #dceu, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #trailers, #warner-bros

Dreamy first teaser for The Sandman helps kick off Netflix’s Geeked Week

Dreamy first teaser for The Sandman helps kick off Netflix’s Geeked Week

Enlarge (credit: Netflix)

It’s Geeked Week courtesy of Netflix, which means a smorgasbord of new teasers for upcoming series. Most notably, we got some new teaser footage for The Sandman, a teaser for the third and final season of Locke & Key, and a full trailer for the Resident Evil live-action series. There were also teasers for a new series from the creators of the masterful German series Dark, called 1899; Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club; the anthology series Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities; and Wednesday, Tim Burton’s new series focused on a grown-up Wednesday Addams.

(Spoilers for prior seasons of Locke & Key below.)

First teaser for The Sandman, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s iconic graphic novels.

The Sandman

Sandman fans have longed for a screen adaption of Neil Gaiman’s iconic graphic novels for decades, and we’re finally getting it, thanks to Netflix, executive producer David Goyer (Foundation), and showrunner Allan Heinberg. Gaiman has been heavily involved as an executive producer and has regularly enthused on social media about his delight about how the series turned out. If this teaser is any indication, we’re inclined to agree. It certainly gets the look and feel of the graphic novels exactly right.

Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #locke-and-key, #netflix, #streaming-television, #trailers

Disney+ drops teasers for Andor and Willow TV series at Star Wars Celebration

Disney+’s forthcoming Andor series will focus on Rogue One‘s Cassian Andor.

Disney+ unveiled two teaser trailers for upcoming series at the Lucasfilm studio showcase panel during Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, on Thursday. The first was for Andor, a 12-episode prequel series set five years before the events of Rogue One, starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor. The other was for Willow, a new series intended as a sequel to the 1988 cult classic fantasy film of the same name, set decades after the events of the original film.

The streaming platform also confirmed that the much-anticipated Star Wars series Ahsoka will premiere in 2023, along with a new kid-centric series called Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, set during The Mandalorian‘s timeline and starring Jude Law. Also, the third season of The Mandalorian will premiere in February 2023, featuring the bounty hunter’s return to Mandalore with Grogu, as well as Katee Sackhoff reprising her S2 role as Bo-Katan Kryze. (Chances are she wants to retrieve the Darksaber that Mando won.)

Andor

We haven’t seen or heard much about Andor after the reveal of a behind-the-scenes teaser in December 2020 during Disney’s Investors Day. Andor has been described as a “tense nail-biting spy thriller,” with Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One, serving as showrunner.  It begins with the Empire’s destruction of Cassian Andor’s homeworld and will depict the birth of the Rebellion. According to Deadline Hollywood, Luna described Andor as “the journey of a migrant. That feeling of having to move is behind this story—that shapes you as a person. It defines you in many ways, and what you are willing to do.”

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#andor, #disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #lucasfilm, #star-wars, #streaming-television, #trailers, #willow-series

Gorr the God Butcher is coming for Thor in new Love and Thunder trailer

Marvel Studios released the official trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

With the film’s release mere weeks away, Marvel Studios finally released the official full trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder last night during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

As I’ve reported previously, Thor: Ragnorak director Taika Waititi signed on for the fourth installment of the Thor films in 2019, adapting elements from the Mighty Thor comic books by Jason Aaron. (He’d read them while making Ragnarok.) That storyline follows Jane Foster being diagnosed with breast cancer and eventually becoming the Mighty Thor. Natalie Portman, who plays Foster in the franchise, has said both those elements will be in the film. (The Internet was abuzz when set photos of Portman leaked in March 2021, showing just how much muscle the diminutive actress had gained for the role.)

Per the official synopsis:

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #thor-love-and-thunder, #trailers

The kids are older and not all right in final Stranger Things S4 trailer

Netflix has dropped the final trailer for Stranger Things S4 (Volume 1).

The fourth season of Stranger Things is almost here—at least the first seven episodes since the release is split in two. So Netflix released a spooky final trailer, chock full of 1980s horror tropes, on the heels of the revelation last month that the season’s Big Bad will be a Dungeons and Dragons villain named Vecna.

We’ve previously reported that David Harbour is returning as Hopper, along with the rest of the main cast. Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), and Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield) all return.

We also know the fourth season is the first to mostly occur outside of Hawkins since Eleven and the Byerses have moved away, and Hopper is in a Russian prison. Maya Thurman Hawke returns as Robin, Brett Gelman is back as Murray Bauman, Cara Buono returns as the Wheeler matriarch, and we’ll be seeing more of Priah Ferguson, who plays Lucas’ sassy younger sister, Erica. Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame is among the new cast members, a nice little nod to classic ’80s horror. Englund plays Victor Creel, the former owner of the spooky Creel House featured in one of the teasers.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#duffer-brothers, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #stranger-things-s4, #streaming-television, #trailers

A time paradox births a “freaking Kugelblitz” in Umbrella Academy S3 trailer

The third season of The Umbrella Academy will debut in June on Netflix.

The Hargreeves siblings return to 2019 only to find themselves caught in an alternate timeline where they were never adopted by their wealthy father in the official trailer for The Umbrella Academy S3. Instead, they must confront their alt-timeline counterparts, the Sparrow Academy, and ward off yet another apocalypse as they try, once again, to return home.

(Spoilers for first two seasons below.)

For those unfamiliar with the premise, in S1, billionaire industrialist Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) adopted seven children out of 43 mysteriously born in 1989 to random women who had not been pregnant the day before. The children were raised at Hargreeves’ Umbrella Academy, with the help of a robot “mother” named Grace (Jordan Claire Robbins) and became a family of superheroes with special powers. But it was a dysfunctional arrangement, marred by the tragic death of one of the children, and the family members ultimately disbanded, only reuniting as adults when Hargreeves died. They soon learned that they had to team up to prevent a global apocalypse.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #streaming-television, #the-umbrella-academy, #trailers

For All Mankind sets its alternate timeline sights on Mars in S3 trailer

The space race shifts to Mars in For All Mankind S3.

The fictional battle for the domination of space between the US and Russia shifts its focus from the Moon to Mars for the third season of For All Mankind. Ars staffers have dubbed this relatively underappreciated gem “Moon Show,” and Apple TV+ has now released the official trailer for the show’s third outing on the streaming platform.

(Some spoilers for the prior two seasons.)

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#apple-tv-plus, #entertainment, #for-all-mankind, #gaming-culture, #streaming-television, #trailers

There’s something seriously wrong with Homelander in The Boys S3 trailer

An uneasy peace will be shattered in The Boys S3.

The Boys is coming back to Prime Video for its third season, and the streaming platform has released the official trailer. Our crew of misfits had arrived at some closure in their battle against the “supes” and gone their separate ways at the end of the second season. But it looks like that uneasy peace is about to be shattered, given the number of exploding bodies and glowing laser eyes showcased in the trailer.

(Spoilers for S2 below.)

As I’ve written previously, the show is based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The Boys is set in a fictional universe where superheroes are real but are corrupted by corporate interests and a toxic celebrity-obsessed culture. The most elite superhero group is called the Seven, operated by the Vought Corporation, which created the supes with a substance called Compound V. The Seven is headed up by Homelander (Antony Starr), a violent and unstable psychopath disguised as the All-American hero. Homelander’s counterpart as the head of the titular “Boys” is Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), a self-appointed vigilante intent on checking the bad behavior of the Seven—especially Homelander, who brutally raped Butcher’s wife, Becca (Shantel VanSanten).

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #prime-video, #streaming-television, #the-boys, #trailers

A different side of time: Hulu drops trailer for The Orville: New Horizons

Seth MacFarlane’s epic space adventure series The Orville: New Horizons returns exclusively as a Hulu original series.

We here at Ars have sorely missed the intrepid crew of the USS Orville. Production on the third season of The Orville abruptly halted in March 2020 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the series is finally coming back with a new home on Hulu, a new name (The Orville: New Horizons), and an entertaining new trailer rife with all the space-based action and buoyant good humor in the face of danger that we’ve come to expect from this sci-fi series.

(Spoilers for prior seasons of The Orville below.)

As I’ve written previously, the series is set aboard the USS Orville (ECV-197), an exploratory spaceship in the service of a 25th-century interstellar alliance known as the Planetary Union. Series creator and star Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), who plays Capt. Ed Mercer, was a huge fan of Star Trek growing up, particularly The Next Generation, so it’s not surprising that The Orville has embraced a similar sensibility. As I wrote in my S2 review, “This is a smart series that combines humor and witty dialogue with cutting-edge science, ethical musings, the occasional literary reference, and genuine heart.”

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hulu, #seth-macfarlane, #streaming-television, #the-orville, #the-orville-new-horizons, #trailers

The Man in Black is back to ruin everyone’s perfect day in Westworld S4 teaser

Our favorite killer android, Delores (Evan Rachel Wood), is back in the upcoming fourth season of HBO’s sci-fi series Westworld.

HBO dropped the first teaser trailer for the upcoming fourth season of its visionary sci-fi drama, Westworld, and it looks like we’re in for another wild, convoluted ride.

(Spoilers for first three seasons of Westworld below.)

As I’ve written previously, the titular Westworld is one of six immersive theme parks owned and operated by a company called Delos Inc. The park is populated with a “cast” of human-looking androids, called hosts. The park’s well-heeled visitors can pretty much do whatever they like to the hosts and don’t generally view the hosts as anything more than unfeeling props in their private dramas. But the hosts’ creator/co-founder and park director of Westworld, Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), “awakened” a host named Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) to true sentience. The first season concluded with a bloody massacre, as the reprogrammed hosts rose up to take revenge on the guests.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo, #hbo-max, #streaming-television, #trailers, #westworld, #westworld-s4

Review: Moon Knight is a darkly complex superhero origin story with a soul

Moon Knight in full costume

Enlarge / Oscar Isaac is a tormented man with multiple personalities who becomes the avatar of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu in Moon Knight. (credit: YouTube/Marvel Studios)

Can anything good ever come of gods interfering in the affairs of men? That’s the underlying conundrum posed in Moon Knight, the latest spinoff series in the MCU’s Phase Four, and in the case of the series, the answer is a resounding yes. Starring Oscar Isaac as a tormented man with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the series has more in common with the Netflix Defenders series than with recent Marvel fare like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. But instead of taking place in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, it’s telling a unique superhero origin story rich in symbolism and Egyptian mythology.

(Some spoilers below for the comics and the TV series. Any major reveals are at the very end, and we’ll give you a heads-up when we get there.)

As I’ve written previously, in the comics, Marc Spector (aka Moon Knight) is the son of a rabbi, marked at a young age by the Egyptian moon-god Khonshu to be the god’s avatar on Earth. But Khonshu is a supernatural entity with many aspects to his nature—and also exists out of phase with normal time and space—so forging a psychic connection with the human Marc harms the man’s mental health.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mceu, #mcu-phase-four, #moon-knight, #streaming-television, #tv-reviews

House of the Dragon’s official trailer is all about the pursuit of a legacy

HBO’s new series, House of the Dragon, is a prequel based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood.

Many Game of Thrones fans no doubt view the looming debut of House of the DragonGoT‘s first spinoff series, with considerable trepidation. On the one hand, the 10-episode prequel series is based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, and it’s complete, so there’s no chance of the series getting too far ahead of the source material. On the other hand, the GoT series finale was a crushing disappointment to many (if not most) fans, and HBO has a bit of an uphill battle ahead to win back their trust.

HBO just dropped the official trailer for House of the Dragon, which is visually sumptuous and confirms the likely plot and overall tone. But it will take more than a decent trailer to set those lingering doubts to rest. HBO also unveiled new, appropriately brooding posters for each of the major characters.

As I’ve written previously, House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of its predecessor, chronicling the beginning of the end for the reign of House Targaryen. Those events culminated in civil war and the extinction of the dragons—at least until Daenerys Targaryen came along two centuries later. In addition to co-creators Martin and Ryan J. Condal, Miguel Sapochnik—who filmed some of the most eye-popping, complicated battles on Game of Thrones—serves as co-showrunner and directed the pilot and several other episodes.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #george-r-r-martin, #hbo-max, #house-of-the-dragon, #streaming-television

Opening credits for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds giving us all the feels

The opening credits for <em>Star Trek: Strange New Worlds</em> feature the USS <em>Enterprise</em> voyaging through the universe.

Enlarge / The opening credits for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds feature the USS Enterprise voyaging through the universe. (credit: Twitter/Paramount+)

Paramount+ debuted the official opening credits for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Twitter this morning, and the sequence leans heavily into fan nostalgia. The credits are a visually stunning tribute to the iconic opening credits sequence for Star Trek: The Original Series, showing the USS Enterprise soaring through space, past asteroid belts and clouds of interstellar dust as it searches for the titular new worlds. Even the voiceover dialogue remains the same (except “no man” is now “no one”).

As we’ve previously reported, showrunner Akiva Goldsman has confirmed that Strange New Worlds will return to the episodic structure of classic Star Trekmaking it a rare beast in this era of serialized storytelling and streaming platforms—and will respect existing canon. It will feature Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Ethan Peck’s Spock, who first appeared in Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season.

Babs Olusanmokun plays Dr. M’Benga; Celia Rose Gooding has the unenviable task of filling Nichelle Nichols’ shoes as Cadet Nyota Uhura; Jess Bush plays Nurse Christine Chapel; Melissa Navai plays Lt. Erica Ortegas; Bruce Orak plays an Aenar named Hemmer who is blind in one eye (Aenar are an albino subspecies of Andorians that are generally depicted as blind); and Christina Chong plays La’An Noonien-Singh (a relation of the classic revenge-obsessed Star Trek villain Khan). The streaming platform has already greenlighted a second season, with Paul Wesley (Vampire Diaries) joining the cast as future Enterprise Capt. James T. Kirk.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #paramount-plus, #star-trek, #star-trek-strange-new-worlds, #streaming-television

The doomsday clock is ticking in new Jurassic World Dominion trailer

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion.

Universal Pictures has released a second trailer for Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth installment in the hugely successful franchise, featuring cloned dinosaurs roaming freely on the mainland as human beings face possible extinction.

As we’ve reported previously, the Jurassic World trilogy was always intended to be a complete story told across three films, as opposed to the standalone nature of the original trilogy. Director Colin Trevorrow, who co-wrote Dominion‘s script, knew that he wanted the third film to center on dinosaurs going “open source,” so to speak—portraying a world in which Wu is not the only scientist capable of cloning the beasts. But rather than scene after scene of dinosaurs terrorizing people and destroying cities, he wanted “a world where dinosaur interaction is unlikely but possible—the same way we watch out for bears or sharks.”

Per the official premise:

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jurassic-world-dominion, #universal-pictures

Biologist, elite climber team up to hunt for new species in The Last Tepui

Elite climber Alex Honnold teams up with NatGeo to bring biologist Bruce Means to the top of a massive “island in the sky” in The Last Tepui.

Deep in the Amazon jungle, magnificent rocky tabletop towers rise abruptly from the foliage, often cloaked in thick clouds. They’re called “tepuis” (“house of the gods”), and their plateaus, or mesas, are completely isolated from the forest below. That makes them a tantalizing potential source for exotic new species. National Geographic is marking Earth Day with the release of a new documentary, The Last Tepui, featuring renowned biologist Bruce Means teaming up with elite climber Alex Honnold and a veteran NatGeo team to become the first people to summit one of these remote structures.

(Some spoilers below.)

Anyone who has seen the Oscar-winning 2018 documentary Free Solo will be familiar with Honnold. He emerged seemingly out of nowhere in 2007 with a free solo climb of Astroman and the Rostrum in Yosemite National Park and soon became a dominant force in climbing. Free Solo documented Honnold’s quest to become the first to complete a free solo climb of El Capitan—not without controversy, given the very real risk of Honnold dying in the attempt. (Spoiler alert: He survived, completing the climb in 3 hours and 56 minutes.)

Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#biology, #disney-plus, #documentaries, #ecology, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #national-geographic-tv, #national-geographic, #rock-climbing, #science, #the-last-tepui

Buff Thor is back and trying to find himself in Love and Thunder teaser

Taika Waititi directed Thor: Love and Thunder, part of the MCU’s Phase Four.

Marvel fans have been loudly clamoring for something, anything, in the way of a trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, given that the release is just a few months away. Their wish has now been granted. Marvel just dropped a long teaser for the Taika Waititi-directed film.

Waititi signed on for the fourth installment of the Thor films back in 2019, adapting elements from the Mighty Thor comic books by Jason Aaron. (He’d read them while making Ragnarok.) That storyline has Jane Foster being diagnosed with breast cancer and eventually becoming the Mighty Thor. Natalie Portman, who plays Foster in the franchise, has said both those elements will be in the film.

We haven’t really seen Portman’s Foster since 2013’s The Dark World. The character was always among the least interesting, to be honest. But Portman agreed to reprise her role after meeting with Waititi, who promised a fresh take for the character, and having her wield Mjolnir would definitely qualify. (The Internet was abuzz when set photos of Portman leaked in March 2021, showing just how much muscle the diminutive actress had gained for the role.)

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-cinematic-universe, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #taika-waititi, #thor-love-and-thunder, #trailers

Steph Curry stars in new Nope teaser airing during NBA playoff games

Jordan Peele’s upcoming film Nope aims to reimagine the summer movie.

The NBA playoffs kick off today! Universal Pictures marked the occasion by dropping a new teaser for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming new film, Nope, featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

As we’ve reported previously, Peele has cemented his status as the current master of thought-provoking horror, starting with Get Out, his surprise box office hit that earned more than $250 million and snagged Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay—the first time the award has gone to a Black recipient. Get Out is a subtle exploration of racial tensions that quietly reveals its horrifying premise and builds to an inevitably bloody conclusion. In Peele’s 2019 follow-up, Us, the theme wasn’t so much racial tension—it was exploring, in Peele’s words, the myriad ways in which “we are our own worst enemies.”

The first trailer dropped in February—very moody and atmospheric but offering very few details. (There might be aliens involved, or Peele wants us to think there are as a bit of misdirection.) Trailers for Peele’s films never reveal too much, since much of the pleasure of his movies comes from their frequently bizarre twists.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jordan-peele, #nope, #steph-curry, #universal-pictures

Stranger Things goes full-on Lovecraft in S4 trailer, and we’re here for it

Netflix has released the official trailer for the fourth season of Stranger Things.

It’s been a long wait, but the official full trailer for the fourth season of Stranger Things is finally here. The trailer is set to Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” and it brings full-blown Lovecraftian horror vibes. We get a spooky house with a mysterious grandfather clock, spontaneous levitation, an eyeless old man, and a brief glimpse of a grotesque humanoid figure sprouting the oozing tentacles that serve as the calling card of the Upside Down. Yep, we’re here for it.

(Spoilers for the first three seasons below.)

Netflix has been releasing various teasers for the last two years, each markedly different in tone—classic Goonies, Scooby-Doo, all those ’80s John Hughes movies—so it has been difficult to get any real sense of what S4 will be like, both tonally and in terms of plot. We’ve previously reported that David Harbour is returning as Hopper, along with the rest of the main cast. Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson), Joe Keery (Steve Harrington), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), and Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield) all return.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #stranger-things, #stranger-things-s4, #streaming-television

Russian Doll S2 trailer is a trippy time-traveling delight

Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett (return for the upcoming second season of the Netflix series, Russian Doll.

A mysterious portal through time opens up in the New York City subway in the first trailer for the second season of Russian Doll, Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning sci-fi dramedy that was an Ars Technica favorite in 2019. Co-stars Natasha Lyonne and Charlie Barnett (reprise their roles, and this time they face a different kind of supernatural phenomenon on their existential journey.

(Spoilers for the first season below.)

Co-created by Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, the season one plot centered on a chain-smoking game developer named Nadia Vulvokov (Lyonne), who died repeatedly the night of her 36th birthday party and kept looping back to the host’s funky East Village bathroom.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #russian-doll, #streaming-television, #time-loops, #trailers

13th Doctor teams up with a pirate queen in Legend of the Sea Devils trailer

Jodie Whittaker’s time as the Thirteenth Doctor winds down with Legend of the Sea Devils, second of three Doctor Who specials in 2022.

We’re counting down to another regeneration on Doctor Who, although exactly who will replace Jodie Whittaker to become the Fourteenth Doctor remains a tightly guarded secret. (No, it’s not Tom Holland.) But the BBC this weekend dropped a teaser for Legend of the Sea Devils, one of three special episodes airing this year to mark Whittaker’s final days as the Thirteenth Doctor.

As previously reported, the recently concluded 13th season was particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (That’s the 13th season since the franchise restarted in 2005, not the 13th season since the show debuted the day after the Kennedy assassination). Instead of the usual 13 episodes, S13 only planned for eight because of the pandemic. Ultimately, showrunner Chris Chibnall decided to cut the season down to just six episodes, with a complete narrative arc rather than the episodic structure that has been more typical of the series. (The decision is not unprecedented, however. The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 was also one complete narrative.)

Collectively, the six-episode arc was given the subtitle Flux. In it, the Doctor and her companions encountered a universe-ending anomaly intent on killing the Doctor. The crew also faced a smorgasbord of classic Whovian alien races: the Ood, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, and the Weeping Angels. While some critics found the narrative arc confusing—almost inevitable when the Weeping Angels are involved—and the finale disappointing, it was generally a solid season.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#13th-doctor, #bbc, #bbc-america, #doctor-who, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #jodie-whittaker, #television, #thirteenth-doctor, #trailers

Phasers locked: Paramount+ releases official trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount, center), Number One (Rebecca Romijn, left), and Spock (Ethan Peck, right) are getting their own prequel spinoff series: Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, debuting May 5, 2022, on Paramount+.

Interplanetary adventures, political intrigue, and a spot of romance are in store for the crew of the USS Enterprise in the official trailer for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The spinoff prequel series debuts on Paramount+ next month.

As we’ve reported previously, one of the highlights of Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season was the appearance of classic original series (TOS) characters Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck). All three reprise their roles for Strange New Worlds.

Babs Olusanmokun plays Dr. M’Benga; Celia Rose Gooding has the unenviable task of filling Nichelle Nichols’ shoes as Cadet Nyota Uhura; Jess Bush plays Nurse Christine Chapel; Melissa Navai plays Lt. Erica Ortegas; Bruce Orak plays an Aenar named Hemmer who is blind in one eye (Aenar are an albino subspecies of Andorians that are generally depicted as blind); and Christina Chong plays La’An Noonien-Singh (a relation of the classic revenge-obsessed Star Trek villain Khan).

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #paramount-plus, #star-trek-strange-new-worlds, #streaming-television, #trailers

Obi-Wan Kenobi shifts premiere date, will air first two episodes at once

Incoming transmission from Obi-Wan Kenobi… Actor Ewan McGregor has some important news.

Disney+ originally picked an auspicious date for the premiere of its new Star Wars series, Obi-Wan Kenobi: Wednesday, May 25, the same date that Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977 (back when it was known simply as Star Wars). That film celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. But the streaming platform announced today—via a video featuring star Ewan McGregor—that it is shifting that premiere date to Friday, May 27, right before Memorial Day weekend.

We might have to wait a couple of extra days, but at least Disney+ will simultaneously release the first two episodes. As Deadline Hollywood pointed out, May 27 is also the premiere date for the fourth season of Stranger Things (Part 1), so our holiday weekend viewing is pretty much sorted.

We first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi. That’s also when we learned that Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels, would reprise the role. The actor made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a showcase presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney’s annual fan extravaganza. Then came the big news that his co-star Hayden Christensen would return as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy called it “the rematch of the century” at the December 2020 Disney Investors Day.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#disney, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #obi-wan-kenobi, #star-wars, #streaming-television

Daniels brings the multiverse to madcap life in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—collectively known as Daniels—are the directors of the new sci-fi action/dramedy <em>Everything Everywhere All at Once</em>, starring Michelle Yeoh.

Enlarge / Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—collectively known as Daniels—are the directors of the new sci-fi action/dramedy Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring Michelle Yeoh. (credit: A24)

The incomparable Michelle Yeoh plays a harried Chinese American laundromat owner facing an IRS audit in the new science fiction action comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once. Evelyn Wang is just trying to sift through a mountain of paperwork and crumpled receipts to keep her life from falling apart when she unexpectedly gets pulled into an epic battle across multiple timelines. And the stakes couldn’t be higher: the very survival of the entire multiverse is on the line.

Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—collectively known as Daniels—are known for their ability to straddle genres, deftly blending comic absurdity and outré weirdness with moments of gut-wrenching poignancy. Everything Everywhere All at Once is only their second feature film together, but you’d never know it by the assured hand Daniels brought to bear on the project, somehow bringing a chaotic jumble of disparate elements together into a coherent whole that both surprises and delights. The two creators said they found inspiration while they were writing the script in classic kung-fu films, as well as The Matrix and Fight Club.

“I fell in love with those movies,” Kwan said. “I was like, man, if I could just make something half as fun as The Matrix, but with our own stamp and our spirits, I would just die happy.”

Read 27 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#a24-studio, #daniels, #entertainment, #film, #gaming-culture, #multiverse, #science-fiction

A misfit teen’s dream of being a superhero comes true in Ms. Marvel trailer

Iman Vellani stars as Kamala Khan in the upcoming new MCU miniseries, Ms. Marvel.

Marvel Studios has released the official trailer for its latest MCU spinoff series: Ms. Marvel, starring Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. Created by Bisha K. Ali and consisting of six episodes, the miniseries will air on Disney+ and help set up the upcoming film, The Marvels, next year.

Ms. Marvel is a relatively recent addition to the world of Marvel Comics, with the distinction of being the first Muslim character to have her own comic book storyline. She appeared briefly in the background of Captain Marvel #14 (2013), and the solo series Ms. Marvel debuted in February 2014. That first volume won a Hugo Award for best graphic story in 2015, and the rapid success and high popularity of the character is what inspired Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to introduce Ms. Marvel into the MCU Phase Four.

Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, is a teenage Pakistani American who lives in Jersey City. She’s a major comic books fan, worships Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, and fantasizes about becoming a superhero herself one day. And then that day arrives. Her powers stem from the Terrigen Mists, released globally in a crossover storyline, the “Inhumanity.” The mists activated dormant Inhuman cells in several people, Kamala included.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #iman-vellani, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #ms-marvel, #streaming-television, #trailers

Jim Carrey’s megalomaniac Robotnik steals the show in Sonic 2 final trailer

Our favorite blue supersonic blur is back in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was a surprise breakout hit early in 2020, even though Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Mackovech deemed it mediocre. It was “somewhere above The Angry Birds Movie, somewhere below Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” he wrote.

And now we have the final trailer for its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, once again featuring the voice of Ben Schwartz as Sonic.

In the first film, Sonic teamed up with local town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to stop the sinister mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Robotnik wanted to catch and experiment on the hedgehog, and if he could also frame Tom as a domestic terrorist, even better. Sonic the Hedgehog had the good fortune to premiere before movie theaters shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the mixed reviews, it posted the biggest opening weekend yet for a film based on a video game and eventually earned $319.7 million worldwide.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #sonic-the-hedgehog-2, #trailers

Check out the first five minutes of Showtime’s Man Who Fell to Earth

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as an alien who comes to Earth in hopes of saving the people on his home planet in Showtime’s new series The Man Who Fell to Earth.

SXSW attendees this weekend were treated to the world premiere of Showtime’s new sci-fi series, The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as an alien who comes to Earth in hopes of saving the people on his home planet. The network followed up that premiere by releasing a sneak peek at the pilot episode’s first five minutes.

As we reported previously, the new TV series is based on the classic 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, which already spawned an iconic 1973 film adaptation featuring rock star David Bowie as the titular alien. Developed and written by Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet, it began as a project for Hulu before moving to CBS All Access (which has since been absorbed into Paramount+). Showtime will air the series in the US, with Paramount+ carrying it internationally. Per the official logline, “The Man Who Fell to Earth will follow a new alien character (Ejiofor) who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.”

The TV adaptation introduces some clear deviations from the source material, starting with Ejiofor’s character, an alien named Faraday. Bill Nighy plays Thomas Jerome Newton, the character Bowie played. (He even sports a similar dashing hat.) Naomie Harris co-stars as Justin Falls, described as “a brilliant scientist and engineer who must conquer her own demons in the race to save two worlds.” She has a young son who bonds with Faraday. The cast also includes Westworld‘s Jimmi Simpson as Spencer Clay; Rob Delaney as Hatch Flood; Sonya Cassidy as Edie Flood; Joana Ribeiro as Lisa Dominguez; Annelle Olaleye as Molly Falls; Josh Herdman as Terry; and Kate Mulgrew as Drew Finch.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #man-who-fell-to-earth, #showtime, #streaming-television, #sxsw

Butcher gets his own super-powered laser eyes in The Boys S3 red band teaser

Prime Video’s hit series The Boys returns for a third season on June 3.

Prime Video unveiled a new red band teaser for the third season of its hit series, The Boys, during a SXSW panel on Saturday. The show is based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. There are a couple of new faces among the cast, plus a scene in the teaser that definitely takes place in THAT infamous storyline from the comic book series.

(Spoilers for the first two seasons below.)

The Boys is set in a fictional universe where superheroes are real but are corrupted by corporate interests and a toxic celebrity-obsessed culture. The most elite superhero group is called the Seven, operated by the Vought Corporation, which created the supes with a substance called Compound V. The Seven is headed up by Homelander (Antony Starr in a career-making performance), a violent and unstable psychopath disguised as the All-American hero. Homelander’s counterpart as the head of the titular “boys” is Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), a self-appointed vigilante intent on checking the bad behavior of the Seven, especially Homelander, who brutally raped Butcher’s late wife.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#amazon-studios, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #prime-video, #streaming-television, #the-boys, #trailers

Paramount+ drops enigmatic first teaser for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Anson Mount stars as USS Enterprise Capt. Christopher Pike in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Two major science fiction franchises went head-to-head today by dropping high-profile teasers. First, Disney+ dropped the first teaser for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the latest spinoff series in the Star Wars universe. Not to be outdone, Paramount+ has introduced the first teaser for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the latest spinoff series in the Star Trek franchise that serves as a prequel to The Original Series.

As we’ve reported previously, one of the highlights of Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season was the appearance of classic Original Series (TOS) characters Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck). The actors reprise their roles in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, created by Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, and Jenny Lumet. Set in the decade before TOS, Pike and his crew will navigate the USS Enterprise through the galaxy, exploring new worlds along the way.

The show’s executive producers and key cast members were on hand last month for a virtual panel discussion as part of the 2022 Winter Television Critics Association (TCA) meeting. In addition to unveiling the poster art, Goldsman confirmed that Strange New Worlds will return to the episodic structure of classic Star Trek—making it a rare beast in this era of serialized storytelling and streaming platforms—and will respect existing canon.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #paramount-plus, #star-trek, #star-trek-strange-new-worlds, #streaming-television, #trailers

Rosario Dawson hunts for her son as Second Civil War rages in DMZ trailer

Rosario Dawson stars in HBO Max’s new miniseries, DMZ, based on the comic book series of the same name.

Rosario Dawson stars as a woman hunting for her missing son in the dystopian ruins of Manhattan in DMZ. The new miniseries is based on the comic book series created by Brian Wood and illustrated by Riccardo Burchielli. Part of the show will premiere during SXSW this month before landing on HBO Max. The official trailer just dropped, and it seems to be equal parts Escape from New York and FX/Hulu’s Y: The Last Man.

(Some mild spoilers for the comic books below.)

Published from November 2005 through February 2012, Wood and Burchielli’s comic book series is set in a near future in which the US has been devastated by the Second American Civil War, and Manhattan has turned into the demilitarized zone of the title. Only about 400,000 people remain on the island, mostly people too poor to evacuate, snipers associated with various factions, and stubborn holdouts who just refuse to leave. (The comics are very New York-centric, inspired by Wood’s experiences living in NYC in early 2003—i.e., the aftermath of 9/11 and US invasion of Iraq.)

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#dmz, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #streaming-television, #trailers

Review: Bigbug is a sparkling comedy that lifts the spirits and dazzles the eyes

Household robots lock a group of bickering suburbanites in a house to protect them from an android uprising in Bigbug, a new film from visionary French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

There’s been a fair amount of controversy in Hollywood about streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Hulu shifting from merely showing films to actually producing them. I generally think the development is a positive one, especially for innovative mid-budget films that might otherwise never see the light of day. Case in point: Without Netflix, I might never have had the privilege of watching the delightfully quirky Bigbug, the latest film from visionary French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

(Some spoilers below but no major reveals.)

Any new film from Jeunet is an unequivocal treat. I’ve been a fan ever since his brilliant debut feature film, the 1991 post-apocalyptic (very) dark comedy, Delicatessen, co-directed with Marc Caro. The inhabits of a rundown tenement in France must rely on a butcher named Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), who runs the shop on the ground floor, for meat because food is in such short supply. The source of that meat? Clapet hires desperate men as cheap labor, then kills and butchers them.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#bigbug, #entertainment, #film, #film-review, #gaming-culture, #jean-pierre-jeunet, #netflix, #streaming-television

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays an alien named Faraday in Man Who Fell to Earth trailer

Bill Nighy, Naomie Harris, and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Showtime’s new series based on a 1963 novel.

Showtime has released the official trailer for its upcoming new sci-fi series, The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as an alien who comes to Earth in hopes of saving the people on his home planet. It’s a bold move, considering that the series is based on the classic 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, which already spawned an iconic film adaptation featuring rock star David Bowie.

(Spoilers for the 1963 novel and 1976 film below.)

Tevis’ novel tells the story of a humanoid alien from a planet called Anthea, which is suffering from severe drought. Going by the name Thomas Jerome Newton, the alien travels to Earth in hopes of transporting the remnants of his people to our soggy orb. Thomas patents a bunch of advanced alien technology from his own planet and makes a fortune, with plans to use that wealth to construct spaceships for his people. He finds a friend and ally in a fuel technician named Nathan Bryce.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#david-bowie, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #man-who-fell-to-earth, #paramount-plus, #science-fiction, #streaming-television, #trailers

Review: Space Force S2 retains the comedic magic, but it’s starting to lose its luster

(l-r) Ben Schwartz as Tony Scarapiducci; Tawny Newsome as Angela Ali; Steve Carell as General Mark Naird; Jimmy O. Yang as Dr. Chan Kaifang; Don Lake as Brigadier General Bradley Gregory; Diana Silvers as Erin Naird; and John Malkovich as Dr. Adrian Mallory.

Enlarge / (l-r) Ben Schwartz as Tony Scarapiducci; Tawny Newsome as Angela Ali; Steve Carell as General Mark Naird; Jimmy O. Yang as Dr. Chan Kaifang; Don Lake as Brigadier General Bradley Gregory; Diana Silvers as Erin Naird; and John Malkovich as Dr. Adrian Mallory. (credit: Netflix)

The Netflix absurdist comedy Space Force was an Ars favorite in 2020, easily winning a spot on our annual list of best TV shows. We loved the show’s wickedly sly humor, absurdist set-ups, and unexpected heart. It’s finally back with a second season, and while much of the old magic remains intact, it’s starting to lose its luster just a bit—perhaps because we only got seven episodes instead of ten (thanks, never-ending pandemic).

(Spoilers for S1 below.)

As we’ve reported previously, the series was created by Steve Carell and Greg Daniels (who also created Parks and Recreation and Upload). Space Force was inspired in part by the Trump administration’s announcement that it would establish a national Space Force. Carell plays four-star general Mark Naird, a decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #space-force, #streaming-television, #trailers

Review: We had our doubts, but Peacemaker is a cheeky, irreverent delight

John Cena shows he has some dramatic chops as well as comedic timing in <em>Peacemaker</em>.

Enlarge / John Cena shows he has some dramatic chops as well as comedic timing in Peacemaker. (credit: HBO Max)

We had our doubts about Peacemaker, the HBO Max spinoff series based on John Cena’s character from 2021’s The Suicide Squad. But I’m happy to report that those doubts were entirely unfounded. Series creator James Gunn has successfully taken a seemingly irredeemable character and sent him on an emotional journey that made us love him—all framed in a blood-soaked, action-packed, cheekily irreverent main story that makes for top-notch entertainment.

(One big spoiler for The Suicide Squad below. Some spoilers for Peacemaker, but no major reveals.)

Gunn wrote the series for fun during his downtime in 2020 and ended up pitching it when DC Films approached him about a spinoff series for one of the characters in The Suicide Squad. HBO Max ordered Peacemaker straight to series. When the first teaser dropped last year, I admitted to being a bit skeptical. Cena’s performance in The Suicide Squad was terrific, but he wasn’t exactly a sympathetic character—or a particularly complex one. On the other hand, Gunn clearly felt there was more of the character’s story to tell, and that instinct proved correct.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #james-gunn, #john-cena, #peacemaker, #streaming-television, #tv-reviews

Taika Waititi is diabolically funny as Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death trailer

Rhys Darby and Taika Waititi star as Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, respectively, in HBO Max’s new comedy series, Our Flag Means Death.

HBO Max has released the full official trailer for Our Flag Means Death, the streaming platform’s new period comedy, featuring Taika Waititi’s hilariously deadpan portrayal of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard.

As I’ve written previously, the series is about an aristocrat who abandons his comfy life to become a “gentleman pirate.” Even better: the main character, Stede Bonnet (played to effete perfection by Rhys Darby), is based on a real person who really did sail with Blackbeard for a period. (You can read a bit about the actual pirate here, and/or listen to this episode of the wonderful Footnoting History podcast.)

The first teaser for Our Flag Means Death dropped last month and won us over immediately with its fish-out-of-water premise. Clearly, the series is unlikely to attempt much in the way of historical accuracy, which is entirely the right decision. Tonally, it evokes something along the lines of Hulu’s extraordinary period comedy series The Great, which takes historical characters and facts and embellishes them, complete with the odd deliberate anachronism. Per the official premise:

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #pirates, #streaming-television, #taika-waititi, #trailers

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power teaser is here, and it’s spectacular

The first teaser trailer for Amazon’s new original series Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is here.

The Super Bowl brought us our first eye-popping teaser for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon Studio’s prequel fantasy series. Until late last week, Amazon had kept pretty much every detail about the new series tightly under wraps. But the dam has now burst, beginning with a big Vanity Fair exclusive with first-look images and in-depth interviews. The article is also full of casting information.

(There are some spoilers for those unfamiliar with the LOTR mythology below.)

The idea of making a spinoff series from Peter Jackson’s visionary Lord of the Rings film trilogy dates back to 2017, with Amazon Studios, Netflix, and HBO all vying for the rights. Amazon won out, in part because then-CEO Jeff Bezos was a major Tolkien fan. Amazon paid a whopping $250 million for the rights and committed to what is believed to be a five-season run. Hollywood insider gossip hints that the show could cost between $100 to $150 million per season, adding up to well over $1 billion for all five seasons.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#amazon-prime, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #jrr-tolkien, #lotr-rings-of-power, #streaming-television

New Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer is a psychedelic treat

Benedict Cumberbatch travels across realities in the forthcoming film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness\.

Marvel Studios dropped a spectacularly psychedelic new trailer for the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just as the Super Bowl was getting underway.

(Some spoilers for prior installments in the MCEU below.)

As I’ve written previously, plot-wise, we know the film is set after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, WandaVision, and the first season of Loki. The latter introduced us to the Time Variant Authority (TVA), with our mischievous protagonist encountering multiple versions of himself from various different timelines, including a female incarnation named Sylvie (Sophia di Martino). The finale featured a confrontation with a variant of Kang the Conqueror, who had been controlling the Sacred Timeline—until an impulsive act by Sylvie unleashed more timelines than the TVA could prune, destabilizing the multiverse.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four

Tantalizing first trailer for Jordan Peele’s Nope leaves us eager for more

Jordan Peele is out to re-imagine the summer movie with his new horror film Nope, coming to theaters July 22.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, when Hollywood traditionally drops several high-profile trailers for upcoming major films and TV series. This year, the marketing frenzy kicks off with the first trailer for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming horror feature, Nope, which dropped unexpectedly at 3 AM Eastern this morning. We at Ars Technica are totally on board for this film.

Our confidence is pretty well-placed. Peele has cemented his status as the current master of smart, thought-provoking horror, starting with Get Out, his surprise box office hit that earned more than $250 million and snagged Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay—the first time the award has gone to a black recipient. Get Out is a subtle exploration of racial tensions that quietly builds to reveal its horrifying premise and inevitably bloody conclusion. In his 2019 follow-up, Us, the theme wasn’t so much racial tension—it was exploring, in Peele’s words, the myriad ways in which “we are our own worst enemies.”

Peele also co-wrote, with director Nia DaCosta, last year’s electrifying sequel (of sorts), Candyman, which transformed the singular 1990s slasher known as Candyman into an ageless malevolence whose curse reverberates through time. Then there’s Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone and the various films showcased in the anthology series Welcome to the Blumhouse, and the myriad other projects he’s had a hand in with Blumhouse Productions.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #horror-films, #jordan-peele, #nope, #universal-pictures

Review: The Book of Boba Fett is lots of fun but it’s really The Mandalorian 2.5

Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen (supposedly) star as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, respectively, in <em>The Book of Boba Fett</em>.

Enlarge / Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen (supposedly) star as Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, respectively, in The Book of Boba Fett. (credit: Disney+)

When The Book of Boba Fett was still in production, creator Jon Favreau jokingly dubbed the spinoff series “The Mandalorian season 2.5.” It turns out that wasn’t really a joke. I mean, we knew beforehand The Book of Boba Fett would take place in the same timeline. I just didn’t expect that four episodes into a seven-episode season, the focus would abruptly shift from Temuera Morrison’s iconic titular character—i.e., the supposed star of the series—and the next two episodes would be spent mostly catching up with our favorite characters from The Mandalorian.  

It was (ahem) an interesting creative choice that generated considerable Internet discussion (and more than a few mocking memes). The good news is that, on the whole, The Book of Boba Fett is still a hella entertaining Star Wars adventure. And it closed the season with an action-packed, crowd-pleasing hour-long action sequence in which Boba and his various allies took on the nefarious Pyke syndicate in a climactic battle—with a squee-worthy heartfelt reunion for good measure.

The bad news is that the series never really figured out whose story it wanted to tell, essentially squandering the promise of the first four episodes by failing to develop its supposedly main character in any meaningful way.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#book-of-boba-fett, #disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #star-wars-expanded-universe, #streaming-television, #tv-reviews

May the 25th be with you: Obi-Wan Kenobi poster, premiere date revealed

Promotional image for upcoming Star Wars spinoff series.

Enlarge / Ewan MacGregor stars in the hotly anticipated spinoff series Obi-Wan Kenobi, debuting on Disney+ on May 25, 2022. (credit: Disney+)

Disney+ has dropped new poster art and announced a release date for its highly anticipated Star Wars spinoff series Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first episode will drop on the streaming platform on May 25, 2022. We can’t wait.

And yes, uber-fans, May 25 is the same date Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in 1977 (back when it was known simply as Star Wars). That film celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, and Obi-Wan Kenobi will debut the night before Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California.

As reported previously, we first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi. That’s also when we learned that Ewan McGregor, who played Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels, would reprise the part. The actor himself made a surprise appearance at the tail end of a showcase presentation at D23 Expo 2019, Disney’s annual fan extravaganza. Then came the big news that his co-star Hayden Christensen would reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy called it “the rematch of the century” at the December 2020 Disney Investors Day.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#disney-plus, #entertainment, #ewan-mcgregor, #gaming-culture, #obi-wan-kenobi, #star-wars, #star-wars-expanded-universe, #streaming-television