There Are So Many Details From Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ You Probably Missed

Photo credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s Eternals is a very different beast to many other MCU movies; directed by autheor Chloe Zhao,  is a slow-paced, meditative story that explores the emotional toll of immortality on a group of extraterrestrials who have lived on the fringes of human society for millennia. This departure from the familiar house style has led many fans to dislike Eternals, but there’s one thing  it does  as well as other Marvel films: hide Easter eggs in plain sight. And now that the film is streaming on Disney+, a new video on the Heavy Spoilers channel just picked up all the niche references and clues.

The first Easter egg appears  seconds into the film: The “six singularities” mentioned in the opening text are a nod to the Infinity Stones, those brightly colored McGuffins who have directed the action for much of the past decade. Following the introductory exhibition montage, as we move to Sersi in present-day London, we see an announcement from the Global Repatriation Council, the organization set up to deal with the aftermath of the Avengers undoing the Snap featured in The Falcon and the Winter  Soldier.

A number of different versions of Captain America’s shield also show up in the movie, first in Kingo’s Bollywood number, and then later on his private plane, where the earliest design is on display. But it’s not just Marvel properties that the movie is alluding to: Eternals includes a couple of nods to DC, with Phastos’ son calling Ikaris “Superman,” and Kingo’s valet Karun being compared to Batman’s butler Alfred.

The Celestial whose “emergence” functions as the movie’s climactic crisis is named Tiamut, which is a reference to an apocalyptic figure from Babylonian mythology. This is especially apt given that ancient Babylon is one of the historical locations where we see the Eternals influencing humanity in the movie.

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Oscar Isaac finally enters the MCU with official Moon Knight trailer

Oscar Isaac plays Steven Grant/Marc Spector, who becomes the conduit for an Egyptian god in Moon Knight.

Fans finally get to welcome Oscar Isaac to the MCU. As promised, Marvel Studios dropped the official trailer for its forthcoming series, Moon Knight, during the NFL Super Wild Card matchup, along with a new poster. Isaac plays the title role: a former mercenary with multiple personalities who becomes the avatar of an Egyptian moon god.

Moon Knight is one of the lesser known characters in the Marvel Comics pantheon. The son of a rabbi, Marc Spector is marked at a young age by the Egyptian moon god Khonshu to be the god’s avatar on Earth. But Khonsu 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 has a bad effect on the young man’s mental health.

Marc develops dissociative identity disorder (DID), eventually becoming a mercenary with his buddy, Jean-Paul “Frenchie” DuChamp. He is hired by the ruthlessly amoral Raoul Bushman for a job, in which the latter kills an archaeologist who has uncovered an Egyptian tomb. Marc saves the archaeologist’s daughter, Marlene, leading to a major fight with Bushman. Marc loses the fight and is left for dead, but the locals carry him into the tomb and leave him in front of a statue of Khonshu. Khonshu revives and heals the dying Marc.

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Review: An archivist gets drawn into a spooky cold case in addictive Archive 81

Dina Shihabi co-stars as Melody Pendras, a documentary filmmaker whose fire-damaged 1994 tapes end up in the hands of archivist Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) in the Netflix series <em>Archive 81</em>. It's loosely based on a podcast of the same name.

Enlarge / Dina Shihabi co-stars as Melody Pendras, a documentary filmmaker whose fire-damaged 1994 tapes end up in the hands of archivist Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie) in the Netflix series Archive 81. It’s loosely based on a podcast of the same name. (credit: Netflix)

A troubled archivist finds himself drawn into the mystery of a woman who disappeared two decades ago in Archive 81, a new horror series from Netflix. Technically, the show belongs to the found footage subgenre of horror, but tonally, this spookily addictive eight-episode series evokes classic supernatural horror fare like Rosemary’s Baby—exactly what one should expect when James Wan (of the Insidious and Conjuring franchises) is among the producers.

(Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

The series is loosely based on the popular found footage podcast of the same name created by Daniel Powell and Marc Sollinger, in which the creators play fictionalized versions of themselves. The podcast tells the story of Daniel Powell, an archivist who goes missing after taking a job with the Housing Historical Committee of New York State. After Daniel’s disappearance, his best friend Mark Sollinger finds hundreds of hours of audio tapes that Daniel had been archiving; the audio features interviews with residents in a high-rise building in 1994. Mark releases the tapes in the form of a podcast. The podcast is now in its third season.

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Raised by Wolves S2 trailer promises another wild, crazy (possibly maddening) ride

Amanda Collin returns as Mother in the second season of HBO’s original series Raised by Wolves.

We finally have the full trailer for the second season of Raised by Wolves, the visually striking, occasionally frustrating sci-fi series created by Aaron Guzikowski, with Ridley Scott serving as executive producer. The series returns to HBO Max on February 3.

(Spoilers for S1 below.)

As I’ve written previously, the series involves two androids serving as Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) figures on a strange virgin planet, Kepler-22b (an actual observed extrasolar planet), after Earth has been destroyed by the outbreak of a religious war. They are programmed to incubate, birth, and raise human children to rebuild the population and set up an atheist civilization to keep the human race from going extinct.

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Prime Video releases red-band trailer for Legend of Vox Machina animated series

The Legend of Vox Machina is based on the hugely popular livestreamed Dungeon & Dragons-based web series Critical Role.

Rowdy misfits-turned-mercenaries become unlikely heroes in the red-band trailer for The Legend of Vox Machina, a new adult animated fantasy series coming to Prime Video.

The series has an inspiring origin story. A group of professional voice actors used to get together to play Dungeons & Dragons, and when actress Felicia Day (Eureka, The Guild) heard about the game, she invited the actors to play in a livestreamed format for her YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry. (Day herself played a guest role as a human wizard named Lyra.) Voice actor Matthew Mercer served as Dungeon Master, and the campaigns took place in a fictional world he created called Exandria. The web series Critical Role was born.

Eventually, the folks at Critical Role formed their own production company and split from Geek & Sundry in February 2019, streaming new shows on their Twitch and YouTube channels and launching a spin-off comic book. Episodes typically run for three to five hours, and between 30,000 to 40,000 people watch live each week. Add in VOD and YouTube, and most episodes garner around 1 million views each week, making Critical Role a bona fide media mini-empire.

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Andrew Garfield says Tom Holland was ‘jealous’ of his Spider-Man suit because Holland ‘had to use his nose’ to work his phone

On the left: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. On the right: Tom Holland as Spider-Man in "Spider-Man: No Way Home
On the left: Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. On the right: Tom Holland as Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” 
Columbia Pictures/Sony; Matt Kennedy/Sony/Marvel Studios

When multiple generations of Spider-Man come together as they did in the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s only natural for the actors behind the mask to compare their different Spidey costumes, with Amazing SpiderMan actor Andrew Garfield recalling the ‘one of his companions. SpiderMen is jealous of a particularly useful item included in his costume. Remembering the first time they were all in their respective costumes, Garfield discussed what it was like on the set of No Way Home with three live SpiderMens.

“[Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and I] talked about what worked for each of us,” Garfield said in an interview with Variety. “[Holland] was jealous because I have little zippers in it. my dress that I can take off my hands  very easily. ”In fact, Garfield recalled how Holland was forced to resort to a workaround  to use the phone while he was dressed, saying,“ So that the phone works, he had to use his nose because he couldn’t access his hands.
Garfield brought back other memories during his time with Holland and Maguire while working at No Way Home, as Garfield discussed what he was  not just as as a SpiderMan fan himself, but as one of the many. Actors who played the character on the big screen. “I think the first time we  all put the costume together,” 

Garfield said, “it was hilarious because it’s just three normal guys who were just actors who had just come outside. But then  you too become a fan and say, “Oh my God, we are all dressed together  and  doing as it says!”We would also have deeper conversations and talk about our experiences with the character.
Garfield recalled other memories during his time with Holland and Maguire while working on No Way Home, as Garfield discussed what it was like not only as a fan of Spider-Man himself but as one of several actors who have portrayed the character on the big screen. 

“I think the first time we were all in the suit together,” Garfield said, “it was hilarious because it’s like just three ordinary dudes who were just actors just hanging out. But then also, you just become a fan and say, ‘Oh my god we’re all together in the suits and we’re doing the pointing thing!’…  We would have deeper conversations, too, and talk about our experiences with the character.”

Garfield summed up his experience with his fellow Spider-Men, as the actor went on the reveal the origins behind one of his improvised lines in No Way Home. “There’s a line I improvised in the movie, looking at [Maguire and Holland] and I tell them I love them,” Garfield said. “That was just me loving them.”

Although it’s been almost a decade since Garfield last donned the Spidey suit in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the actor  recently spoke about returning to the role on a possible future project.
Garfield also spoke about what got him aboard the multiversal cast of No Way Home, including how one scene in particular convinced him to dress up as a WebSlinger again.

Garfield has elaborated further on the initial pitch for the film when he was approached by Sony and Marvel, detailing the concept that would allow him to explore an old character in a new way.


Moonfall trailer is gloriously ridiculous

Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson co-star in director Roland Emmerich’s latest film, Moonfall.

Hello, police? I’d like to report a murder—the sacrifice of credible science on the altar of entertainment, as evidenced in the latest trailer for Moonfall. It’s the latest epic disaster blockbuster from director Roland Emmerich, in which the Earth’s existence is threatened by the Moon getting knocked out of its orbit and into a collision course toward Earth.

Look, I love me some Roland Emmerich. Independence Day (1996) is top-notch entertainment, and while his Godzilla (1998) was widely panned by critics, it featured a world-weary Jean Reno as a French scientist constantly bemoaning the lack of decent coffee in America, which was worth the price of admission alone. But in recent years, the director has pivoted to what can only be called climate-change inspired “disaster p*rn,” with over-the-top films like 2009’s 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Both films made big bucks at the box office, despite mixed critical reviews and dings for their sloppy use of science. In fact, The Day After Tomorrow frequently winds up on people’s lists of most scientifically inaccurate films. That’s not a deal-breaker so long as the film is entertaining. As screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff pointed out at the film’s Berlin premiere, “This is a disaster movie and not a scientific documentary, [and] the film makers have taken a lot of artistic license.” Thus far, Emmerich has shown a talent for pushing an audience’s willing suspension of disbelief to the limit without crossing the line into utter ridiculousness (or at least, audiences will be having so much fun, they’ll cheer on the ridiculous aspects with glee).

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$315M Powerball winning ticket sold at a Sacramento 7-Eleven

Image Credit: (Renee Schiavone/Patch)

The winning ticket for the last Powerball was sold at a  convenience store in Sacramento. According to the lottery site, the ticket was sold at 7 Eleven on Wyndham Drive. 

The ticket price is $315 million. 

The other  winning ticket, which hit five out of five numbers, was sold to a Chevron in South Pasadena. This person made about $1.3 million. Powerball’s last big  winning ticket was sold at an Albertsons in Morro Bay in October, for a price of $685 million. 

This winner was able to choose between the 29-year paid annuity option  or the $ 496 million cash option. Both reward options are subject to tax.


Squid Game’s Hwang Dong-hyuk & Kim Ji-yeon Lawyer Up; Yorn, Levine, Barnes To Rep In All Areas

Image Credit: Agostini/Invision/AP

A competitive chase by representatives to sign the architects of the global streaming hit Squid Game is ending with a surprise. Deadline hears that the law firm of Yorn Levine Barnes Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner Endlich & Gellman has signed and will rep in all areas Squid Game creator, writer-director and EP Hwang Dong-hyuk and EP Kim Ji-yeon and their production company Siren Pictures Inc.

Partners Kevin Yorn, Gregg Gellman and Jared Levine will lead that rep team.T

he phenomenal success of Netflix’s Squid Game came seemingly out of nowhere, catapulting Hwang and the cast to global stardom and making them the hottest commodity in Hollywood. That created a stampede among the major agencies late last yearto sign Hwang and the actors, the vast majority of whom have no Hollywood representation. The courtship got underway when cast and creators came to Hollywood for a big press junket Netflix held. Several of the cast signed with agencies. It looks right now that the Squid Game EP duo will have the attorneys be their sole Hollywood reps, sources said.

Hwang hinted recently at a third season for the show, even before the second season gets the official green light. Season 1 was made on a modest budget, reportedly $2.4 million per episode ($21.4 million in total), while projected to generate $900 million value for the streamer, according to data cited by Bloomberg.

The cast and Hwang had no-frills contracts typical for local-language Netflix productions. Clearly the new reps will be out to change all that and help set up new series and films. “I’m not that rich,” Hwang told The Guardian last year. “But I do have enough. I have enough to put food on the table. And it’s not like Netflix is paying me a bonus. Netflix paid me according to the original contract.”

Source: Yahoo News


The hunt is on for a “new Eden” in Snowpiercer S3 trailer

Sean Bean is back as Mr. Wilford in the third season of Snowpiercer.

We finally have a full trailer for the upcoming third season of Snowpiercer, and the power struggle between Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is heating up in earnest. There is also a glimmer of hope for humanity, as Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) managed to make a map to a rumored “new Eden” before presumably perishing in the harsh environment outside the train.

As I’ve written previously, Snowpiercer is TNT’s TV adaptation of the 2013 film of the same name, directed by Bong Joon-ho, about remnants of humanity trying to survive an ice age inside a 1,001-car train. The train is run by a reclusive transportation magnate named Mr. Wilford, who has separated the passengers according to class and has a nefarious plan to ensure life on the train remains sustainable. The TV series is set seven years after the climate catastrophe that produced the “Freeze.”

S1 ended on a cliffhanger twist: the re-appearance of Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean), along with Melanie’s presumed-dead daughter, Alex (Rowan Blanchard). S2 delved into the complicated relationships, political machinations, and shifting political loyalties that inevitably arose with Wilford’s unexpected return. Bean’s portrayal of Wilford gave the series the charismatic, larger-than-life (human) villain it needed to really raise the emotional stakes.

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HBO Max rings in a raunchy new year with Peacemaker red band trailer

Peacemaker explores the continuing story of the character that John Cena reprises from James Gunn’s 2021 film The Suicide Squad.

It’s a brand new year, and HBO Max has kicked it off with a shiny new red-band trailer for Peacemaker.

As we’ve reported previously, the eight-episode spinoff series is set after the events of Gunn’s 2021 filmm The Suicide Squad—specifically after the post-credits scene, in which we learned that Peacemaker had survived what had appeared to be a fatal shooting. The first teaser dropped in October, showing Peacemaker (aka Christopher Smith) being recruited by Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) for another mission in order to avoid going back to prison.

Once again, he’s basically an assassin, but at least he’s only killing bad people (maybe). He gets assistance from warden John Economos (Steve Agee) of the Belle Reve penitentiary, NSA agent and former Waller aide Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), and new team member Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks). The cast also includes Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) as Peacemaker’s crusty father, Auggie Smith, who thinks his son is a “nancy-boy”; Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase (aka Vigilante), a district attorney who fights crime and has rapid-healing abilities; and Nhut Le as Judomaster

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TV Technica 2021: Our favorite shows and binges helped us combat pandemic fatigue

Ars staffers picked their favorite must-watch TV shows of 2021.

Enlarge / Ars staffers picked their favorite must-watch TV shows of 2021. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Warning: Although we’ve done our best to avoid spoiling anything too major, please note this list includes a few specific references to You, Midnight Mass, Resident Alien, Post Mortem, Snowpiercer, Lupin, His Dark Materials, and Wellington Paranormal, among others.

Months of lockdown in 2020 meant fewer films but more quality TV content than ever before—much of it from streaming platforms rather than traditional broadcast television. Many of those shows were already in the pipeline, however. We feared the inevitable production shutdowns would result in fewer offerings for 2021, as the industry reckoned with rising production costs and the continued fallout from a pandemic that just keeps dragging on. And on.

Fortunately, while there were indeed some hiccups, we still had plenty of fantastic television on hand to take our minds off the grim daily reality, ranging from established franchises and quirky newcomers to imaginative adaptations and several foreign offerings that proved to be surprise breakout hits. With apologies to the many great series we just didn’t have room for on this year’s list, here are our favorite TV watches and binges for 2021, in no particular order:

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Emma watson

The original trio from the Wizarding franchise, Harry Potter, are expected to return to the silver screen next New Years Day in the 20th anniversary special when they return to Hogwarts.

 In the reunion special, two of the movie’s lead actors, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, spoke about how they were on the verge of leaving the series after season five, responsible for his childhood fame during his adolescence.

 Best known for their characters  Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Watson and Rupert Grint made the reveal during the  special Harry Potter reunion show for the 20th anniversary.

“You were considering retiring. I never told you about it, ”Rupert joked with Emma about the days before.

 At that time, she revealed how solemnly she  wanted to leave the character: “Yes. I think she was scared.” I don’t know if you ever felt like it reached a tipping point where you said, ‘This is now forever,’ “revealed Watson.” Fame had finally come home in a big way. 

“At some point there was Grint agrees that he also had his moments of contemplation  where he would insist “what life would be  if I called it a day.” Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, added to the conversation, saying, “Never really.

” He talked about it. I think we had it at our own pace. We were then in the moment. “However, the female lead in Harry Potter believed that” no one had to convince her to stay, “except for the love and appreciation of the fans.


The Rock Rejects Vin Diesel’s Plea For Him To Join Fast & Furious 10

The rock

Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in 2011 (Image via Getty Images/Buda Mendes)

 It’s safe to say that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will not be returning to the Fast and Furious franchise.

 In a new interview with CNN released on Wednesday, December 29, the young rock actor explicitly stated that he was not interested in repeating his role. as Luke Hobbs, even after Vin Diesel launched a public petition in November.

 For those who haven’t followed the saga, Diesel wrote on Instagram last month, “My little brother Dwayne … it’s time. F&F 10 finals As you know, in my house you refer to my children  as Uncle Dwayne. 

There is no public holiday on which you and you do not send good wishes … but the time has come.Diesel moved on to his expense, the deceased Pablo Walker, for his nickname Paul.

“I was firm but warm in my words and said that I would always support the cast and  the franchise always to make it successful, but that there was no chance it would return.” Johnson added that he had also informed Universal Pictures of his decision and “who were all very supportive of their understanding of the issue.”


Sparks fly between Caped Crusader and Catwoman in latest The Batman trailer

Robert Pattinson stars in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne, in The Batman.

Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), aka Batman, must grapple with a taunting serial killer and his family’s potential links to long-standing corruption in Gotham City in the latest trailer for The Batman. But he’s still got time for some heavily flirtatious fisticuffs with Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), which should delight “Bat/Cat” shippers everywhere. The studio has helpfully titled the trailer “The Bat and the Cat,” lest anyone miss the intended focus.

As I’ve written previously, the original plan was to set the film within the DCEU, after the events of Justice League. But as Warner Bros. was rethinking the shared-universe model for its superhero films in favor of standalone films and franchises, Ben Affleck announced he was stepping down as director, and the studio replaced him with Matt Reeves. Affleck would eventually withdraw from the project altogether, following his divorce from Jennifer Garner and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse.

Reeves said that the plot would follow a series of murders, revealing the history of corruption in Gotham and how Bruce’s family is linked to that corruption. The classic bad guys—the Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman—are also in the early stages of their development into full-fledged villains. Reeves has cited Alfred Hitchcock as a major influence on the overall look and feel of his film, as well as Chinatown, The French Connection, and Taxi Driver.

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Santa and the elves aren’t so cuddly in these Nordic Christmas horror gems

(left) A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) battles a mythic/demonic Santa in <em>Rare Exports: Christmas Tale</em>. (right) A young girl named Josefine (Sonia Steen) befriends a strange woodland creature and upsets the delicate balance of a remote island in <em>Elves</em>.

Enlarge / (left) A young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommila) battles a mythic/demonic Santa in Rare Exports: Christmas Tale. (right) A young girl named Josefine (Sonia Steen) befriends a strange woodland creature and upsets the delicate balance of a remote island in Elves. (credit: Oscilloscope Labs/Netflix/Sean Carroll)

Western Christmas tradition centers on the jolly figure of Santa Claus and his workshop manned by adorably cheery elves at the North Pole. Fantasy is dominated by figures like J.R.R. Tolkien’s majestic elves in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, inspired by Old English poetry.  But there are other, darker incarnations of elvish creatures in folklore from around the world.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit different for your holiday entertainment this weekend, I highly recommend a Christmas double feature drawing inspiration from Nordic folklore:  Elves, a new Danish series that debuted on Netflix last month, and a delightful 2010 Finnish film called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010).

(Some spoilers below but no major reveals.)

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#christmas-horror, #elves, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #mythology, #netflix, #streaming-television

Benedict Cumberbatch encounters dark double in Multiverse of Madness teaser

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The first teaser trailer for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness debuted in theaters this past weekend as a post-credits addition to Spider-Man: Now Way Home. Marvel has just released it to the general public, and it looks like we’re in for another eye-popping, mind-bending ride.

(Spoilers for prior events in the MCEU below, particularly in Loki, What If? and No Way Home.)

The sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange has been in the works for years, with director Scott Derrickson initially signed on to make the film. Derrickson left the project in January 2020, citing creative differences, although it seems it was a mutually amiable parting. (Derrickson is still an executive producer.) Sam Raimi took over directing duties.

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Don’t Look Up is fiction. Here’s the real science of that doomsday scenario

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence co-star as low-level astronomers in <em>Don't Look Up</em>

Enlarge / Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence co-star as low-level astronomers in Don’t Look Up (credit: Netflix)

Two low-level astronomers discover a “planet killer” comet hurtling toward Earth but struggle to get anyone to pay attention in Don’t Look Up, a new satirical sci-fi from Netflix. Directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short), it’s a mostly amusing, star-studded confection that ably skewers science denial and cynical politicking even in the face of almost certain annihilation.

(Mildest of spoilers for the film below.)

Per the film’s official synopsis:

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#asteroid-tracking, #asteroids, #astronomy, #dont-look-up, #entertainment, #film, #gaming-culture, #physics, #science

Jason Statham does what he does best in Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre trailer

Director Guy Ritchie is back with the action comedy Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, starring Jason Statham.

Jason Statham is back doing what he does best—cracking heads while cracking wise as a badass globetrotting super spy—in a new trailer for director Guy Ritchie’s latest comedy action film, Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre.

Ritchie made his name with early breakout hits Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch (2000), both showcasing his distinctively bold, quick-cutting style to best advantage. Those were also breakthrough films for Statham, who has since become one of the world’s most bankable action stars. Alas, Ritchie hit a slump starting with 2002’s Swept Away, starring then-wife Madonna, which bombed both critically and at the box office. (It has an aggregate 5 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won five Golden Raspberry awards.)

Fortunately, the director found his box office mojo again with 2009’s Sherlock Holmes and the 2011 sequel, A Game of Shadows, as well as Disney’s live-action Aladdin (2019), which grossed over $1 billion globally despite mixed reviews. And that classic Ritchie magic was back in full force by 2020’s The Gentlemen, which was released right before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a global lockdown. It nonetheless managed to gross a respectable $115 million worldwide against its $22 million budget.

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#entertainment, #film, #gaming-culture, #guy-ritchie, #operation-fortune-ruse-de-guerre, #stx-films, #trailers

Neo discovers he still knows kung fu in latest Matrix Resurrections trailer

Official trailer #2 for The Matrix Resurrections.

Not even a full week has gone by since we got an exciting new trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, but with the film’s premiere just two weeks away, Warner Bros. is clearly intent on amping up the excitement. The company released another trailer on Monday, and while new footage is in short supply, everything we’ve seen thus far is finally put into useful context.

The first trailer was released in September and was set to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to drive home the red pill/blue pill theme. We saw Neo in therapy with a smarmy psychiatrist played by Neil Patrick Harris, and it soon became clear that we were in a brave new Matrix-constructed world. People take two blue pills daily, and everyone is glued to their iPhones and tablets—whatever it takes to keep the masses sedated.

Last week’s trailer was aptly titled “Déjà Vu” since it riffed on that key moment from the first Matrix film when Neo saw the same black cat walk past a doorway in the Lafayette Hotel. We learned that the entire preceding “reality”—i.e., the events of the original trilogy—had been changed, but not many other details were revealed.

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Sony drops first look teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)

Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprise their roles as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, respectively, in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One), a two-part sequel to the 2018 Oscar-winning film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony Pictures unveiled a first-look teaser trailer for its upcoming animated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) at the Comic-Con Experience in Brazil this weekend. Yep, it’s going to be a two-part sequel to 2018’s critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning blockbuster, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

(Some spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse below.)

The 2018 film was a mega-hit, grossing over $375 million worldwide against a $90 million budget, and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature—a well-deserved honor. As Ars Technica’s Sam Machkovech wrote in his review, “It’s easily the best comic-nerd film in years to warmly embrace the kinds of viewers who know their comics canon front and back, all without intimidating the inevitable kid and newbie viewers attracted to this incredibly family-friendly adventure.”

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #miles-morales, #sony-pictures, #spider-man-across-the-spider-verse, #trailers

Raised by Wolves S2 teaser reminds us why we loved the series—until the S1 finale

The second season of HBO’s new original sci-fi series, Raised by Wolves is coming in February.

The first teaser for S2 of Raised by Wolves is here, and our feelings are mixed. On the one hand, once again, the visuals are amazing and we’re thrilled that the strikingly androgynous Danish actress Amanda Collin is returning to star as Mother. Her extraordinary performance anchored the first season’s narrative arc and spooky, other-worldly vibe, and that same moody, disquieting viibe is present in the teaser.  On the other hand, we were seriously disappointed in the S1 finale, which has shaken our confidence that S2 will rebound from that fiasco to become the genuinely original and visionary series it initially had promised to be.

(Major spoilers for the S1 finale below.)

The series was created by Aaron Guzikowski, with Ridley Scott serving as executive producer and directing the first two episodes. As I’ve written previously, the story involves two androids serving as Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) figures on a strange virgin planet, Kepler 22b (an actual observed extrasolar planet), after Earth has been destroyed by the outbreak of a religious war. They are programmed to incubate, birth, and raise human children to rebuild the population and set up an atheist civilization to keep the human race from going extinct. It’s a harsh, dangerous environment, even for androids, and only one of their original six children survived: Campion (Winta McGrath).

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New Peacemaker trailer gives us a redeemable villain we might learn to like

John Cena reprises his role in The Suicide Squad in new HBO Max spinoff series Peacemaker.

HBO Max has dropped the official full trailer for Peacemaker, the spinoff series based on John Cena’s murderously entertaining character from The Suicide Squad.

As we’ve reported previously, director James Gunn wrote the series last summer during the COVID-19 lockdown, just for fun, but then DC Films approached him about a possible spinoff series for one of the characters in The Suicide Squad. He picked Cena’s Peacemaker, since he felt audiences never got the chance to get to know the character in the film—where, it must be said, he does some Very Bad Things, even for a member of the Suicide Squad. Gunn wanted to make Peacemaker less irredeemable. HBO Max was sufficiently impressed with Gunn’s take that it ordered Peacemaker straight to series.

The eight-episode series is set after the events of The Suicide Squad, specifically after the post-credits scene, in which we learned that Peacemaker had survived what had appeared to be a fatal shooting. The first teaser dropped in October, showing Peacemaker (aka Christopher Smith) being recruited by Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) for another mission in order to avoid going back to prison.

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#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #john-cena, #peacemaker, #streaming-television, #trailers

Survivors try to stay positive after deadly pandemic in Station Eleven trailer

A limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic saga that follows survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost.

A deadly flu wipes out most of humanity and the survives try to cling to hope in the official trailer for Station Eleven, the forthcoming new series from HBO Max about the onset and aftermath of a global flu pandemic that wipes out most of humanity. The ten-episode series is based on the international bestselling novel of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel.

I won’t re-hash the novel’s entire complicated plot; you can get those details here. It concerns an outbreak of the “Georgia Flu”—a virus that is both highly contagious and deadly—that is sweeping over the world, leaving millions of corpses in its wake. Within a few weeks, the majority of humanity succumbs to the disease. The novel then jumps some 20 years after Year Zero, focusing in part on a group of actors and musicians who travel from  from town to town, staging concerts and Shakespeare’s plays. But not everyone has responded to this new reality with that kind of positive idealism. The troupe soon runs into trouble in a town controlled by a mysterious cult figure known only as The Prophet.

Himesh Patel plays Jeevan a paramedic traineee who befriends a young child actress named Kristen after most of her fellow King Lear cast members die in Year Zero. Mackenzie Davis portrays the adult Kirsten. Gael Garcia Bernal plays doomed actor Arthur Leander (star of the aforementioned production); Danielle Deadwyler plays Arthur’s first wife Miranda; Caitlin FitzGerald plays Arthur’s second wife Elizabeth; and Julian Obradors plays Tyler, Arthur’s son by Elizabeth. Daniel Zovatto is listed as playing The Prophet, which is either sleight of hand on the production’s part or a genuine departure from the novel. (The true identity of The Prophet is one of the novel’s big reveals.)

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#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #station-eleven, #streaming-television

New trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is heavy on the déjà vu

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their respective starring roles as Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Resurrections.

We’re just a few weeks away from the release of The Matrix Resurrections, and Warner Bros. is whetting our appetites with a shiny new trailer.

As we’ve reported previously, series writers/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski didn’t originally intend to make another Matrix film after Revolutions, but rumors about a possible fourth film have been swirling since 2012. Lilly Wachowski went so far as to call the prospect “a particularly repelling idea in these times” in a 2015 interview—a sharp critique of Hollywood’s preference for sequels, reboots, and adaptations.

Nonetheless, Warner Bros. officially announced the fourth film in August 2019. Lana Wachowski signed on to direct and co-write the film with novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8). Lilly Wachowski gave the project her blessing but declined to be involved, partly because she was busy with Showtime’s Work in Progress.

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How Foundation preserved Asimov’s big ideas while bringing the story to vivid life

Screenshot from Foundation trailer

Enlarge / The only constant is change in Apple TV’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation (credit: YouTube/Apple TV+)

When showrunner David S. Goyer took on the monumental task of adapting Isaac Asimov’s hugely influential Foundation series of science fiction novels for Apple TV+, he knew it would not be a straightforward matter. As I’ve written previously, the author himself admitted that he wrote strictly for the printed page, and he always refused invitations to adapt his work for film or TV.

But Asimov was more than happy to let others adapt his work to a new medium, and he was wise enough to expect that there would—and should—be significant departures from the print version. In doing so, Goyer had to strike a balance between respecting Asimov’s sweeping visionary ideas without lapsing into slavish reverence and over-pontification. To my mind, he did it beautifully, producing more of a remix than a straight adaptation that is compelling and powerful in its own right.

Another challenge was figuring out how to incorporate science and technology that was reasonably accurate. An astrobiologist and planetary scientist at Jet Propulsion Lab, Kevin Hand had worked with Goyer years before on Krypton, and the two had stayed in touch. So when Goyer needed a scientist with expertise in space, interstellar travel, and planetary dynamics, among other topics, naturally he turned to Hand.

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#apple-tv-plus, #david-goyer, #entertainment, #foundation-tv-series, #gaming-culture, #physics, #science, #streaming-television

David Tennant makes a dashing Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days preview

Phileas Fogg (David Tennant), Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch), and Jean Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma) set out on the adventure of a lifetime in a new TV adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days The series debuts January 2, 2022.

Jules Verne’s 1873 novel, Around the World in Eighty Days, inspired numerous real-life attempts to navigate the globe, as well as various film, TV, and radio adaptations of varying success. The latest TV adaption by the BBC stars a perfectly cast David Tennant as the globe-trotting adventurer Phileas Fogg, and judging from the preview, it looks like a particular entertaining way to kick of the new year.

(Spoilers for the 1873 Jules Verne novel below.)

Fogg is the novel’s main protagonist, a gentleman of modest fortune who gets into an argument with his pals at the Reform Club over a newspaper article about the opening of a new railway section in India,. The article claims this makes it possible to circumnavigate the world in 80 days. Fogg’s colleagues are skeptical, so he makes a wager that he can accomplish the feat. It’s a significant wager, too, amounting to half of Fogg’s fortune, with the other half required to finance his journey. If he doesn’t succeed, he will be ruined. Fogg takes his new valet, Passepartout, with him, departing London by train. Complicating matters is a Scotland Yard detective named Fix, who mistakes Fogg for a fugitive bank robber and tracks the pair throughout their travels.

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#bbc, #david-tennant, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #jules-verne, #pbs, #television

Review: Reimagined Cowboy Bebop largely preserves beloved elements of original

It’s a daunting task to create a live action series out of one of the most trailblazing, influential anime series of the last 25 years. That would be Cowboy Bebop, a stylish, genre-busting neo-noir space western that earned universal acclaim when it debuted in 1998. Count yours truly among its many admirers. So I had some reservations about Netflix’s decision to adapt the original into a live-action streaming series—why mess with perfection?

Diehard purists likely won’t be happy; the new series is a different beast. But I found that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop mostly struck a balance between preserving the most beloved elements of the anime and remixing them in fresh, intriguing ways for a new dramatic format. Is it flawless? Hardly. But it’s still pretty darn entertaining.

(Spoilers for the 1998 anime series below. Some spoilers for the live-action series, but no major reveals—except for one smallish one at the very end. We’ll give you a heads-up when we get there.)

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#cowboy-bebop, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #streaming-television, #tv-review

Review: Ghostbusters: Afterlife sinks under treacly, over-the-top fan service

They ain't afraid of no ghosts. A new generation goes a-busting.

Enlarge / They ain’t afraid of no ghosts. A new generation goes a-busting. (credit: Sony Pictures)

The original Ghostbusters is one of my all-time favorite movies. Ghostbusters II? Not so much. But I enjoyed the 2016 all-female film (especially the extended cut, which let the cast cut loose a bit more), and I am not one of those overly nostalgic sorts who fetishize the films of my youth. So I was truly rooting for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. The trailers were promising, the casting was spot-on, and I loved the kid-centric premise of a new generation picking up the ghostbusting mantle of Bill Murray and the original gang.

There’s much to like about this sequel from Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman, who directed the first two films): great performances, nimble direction, and some humorous callbacks to the original beloved film. Unfortunately, all of that sinks under the weight of a clunky script and a tired, predictable plot that takes the fan service to downright treacly levels.

(Major spoilers below the gallery. We’ll give you a heads-up when we get there.)

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#entertainment, #film, #film-review, #gaming-culture, #ghostbusters-afterlife, #sony-pictures

Visitors from other universes converge in new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.

Sony Pictures teased a new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home yesterday, then dropped said trailer this evening at a global fan event in Los Angeles, featuring a surprise appearance by star Tom Holland. In the trailer, a magic spell gone wrong unleashes a multiverse of villainy on Peter Parker’s world. But fans hoping for confirmation of rumored cameos from Spider-Man actors of the past were once again disappointed.

(Spoilers for  2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home below.)

In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Holland) was grieving the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who perished in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. What better than a summer field trip to Europe to help him process his grief? Then Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) showed up and enlisted Spider-Man’s help in battling a series of Elementals. Peter thought he’d found a new mentor in Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But Beck had his own agenda and betrayed Peter. The two battled it out, and Beck was killed. But he got his revenge by sending doctored footage of the climactic battle to Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle. Not only did Mysterio’s footage frame Spider-Man for his death, but it also revealed Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world.

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The solar system is at war in trailer for final season of The Expanse

The solar system is at war in the sixth and final season of The Expanse.

Fans of The Expanse were devastated several years ago when SyFy canceled the beloved series after just three seasons. Fortunately, it got a second lease on life through Amazon Prime Video, coming back stronger than ever with stellar third and fourth seasons. But all good things must eventually come to an end, even for the intrepid crew of the Rocinante. Amazon just dropped the official trailer for the sixth and final season of The Expanse, and it promises to be the most high-stakes season yet.

(Some spoilers for prior seasons below, especially S5.)

As we previously reported, The Expanse is based on a series of novels by James S.A. Corey (the pen name for writing team Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), exploring interplanetary tensions breaking out all over a Solar System long since colonized by humans (known as Earthers, Martians, and “Belters”). Part mystery, part political thriller, part classic space opera, The Expanse has earned almost nothing but praise from critics and devoted fans alike, not just for its gripping storytelling but also for its use of accurate physics.

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#amazon-prime, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #streaming-television, #the-expanse

Disney unveils first look at Obi-Wan Kenobi, featuring showdown with Vader

Concept art for <em>Obi-Wan Kenobi</em> shows the titular character locking light sabers with none other than Darth Vader.

Enlarge / Concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi shows the titular character locking light sabers with none other than Darth Vader. (credit: Disney+)

We have our first glimpse of concept art for Obi-Wan Kenobi, the six-episode series coming to Disney+ next year, as well as a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel featuring star Ewan MacGregor and director Deborah Chow. There’s no actual footage, but fans are buzzing about the concept art showcasing Obi-Wan and none other than Darth Vader, lightsabers locked in battle. The sizzle reel briefly leaked online yesterday before being pulled. It was unveiled during the streaming platform’s Disney+ Day. (You can check it out on Twitter here.)

We first learned in August 2019 that the rumors were true about a Star Wars spinoff series featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi, with McGregor reprising his role as the iconic character. 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 Hayden Christensen was reprising 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.

“There’s hunger for this character to come back,” MacGregor said in the sizzle reel. “The fans have been waiting long enough, you know?”

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#disney-plus, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #star-wars, #streaming-television, #teasers

Eleven tries to adjust to SoCal life in underwhelming Stranger Things S4 teaser

The fourth season of Stranger Things will debut on Netflix in 2022.

It’s Stranger Things Day, marking the anniversary of Will Byers’ mysterious disappearance  (on November 6, 1983) in S1 of the hugely popular Netflix series. The streaming giant is marking the occasion with the release of yet another teaser for S4—and it’s frankly a bit underwhelming.

Netflix has been trickling out teasers for S4 over the last year or so, and tonally, they’ve been all over the place. For instance, the teaser that appeared in May was classic Stranger Things, ominously hinting at the return of Eleven ‘s (Millie Bobby Brown) childhood tormenter and “Papa,” Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). Brenner was supposedly killed by the Demogorgon in S1, but there have been mentions of his possible survival. We already knew that David Harbour will be returning as Hopper, along with the rest of the main cast: Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, Natalia Dyer, Noah Schnapp, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Caleb McLaughlin, and Sadie Sink.

We also know it will be the first season to take place largely outside of Hawkins, since Eleven and the Byers have moved away, and Hopper seems to be imprisoned by the Russians. Maya Thurman-Hawke returns as Robin, Brett Gelman will be 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. Among the new cast members is Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, which is a nice little link to classic ’80s horror.

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Review: Army of Thieves is a smart, witty, and ultimately poignant heist thriller

A humble, nerdy bank teller with a secret passion for safecracking finds himself taking on the heist challenge of a lifetime in Army of Thieves, a prequel to Zack Snyder’s hugely entertaining Army of the Dead, which debuted earlier this year on Netflix. Army of Thieves is light on zombies but brings the same sly humor and thrilling action to its story, making it a beautifully crafted entertaining romp in its own right.

(Spoilers for Army of the Dead below. Mostly mild spoilers for Army of Thieves, but if you haven’t seen its predecessor, there is one major spoiler at the end. We’ll give you a heads up when we get there.)

Army of the Dead followed Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) and his team of mercenaries as they ventured into zombie-infested Las Vegas to recover millions in cash from a casino vault. Brain-munching carnage ensued. In addition to Tig Notaro’s delightfully cynical pilot and Samantha Win’s martial arts fireworks, viewers loved the dynamic between zombie-killing-machine Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) and the brilliantly nerdy, high-strung German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Not only did the two forge a believable (albeit reluctant) bond, Dieter’s well-timed high-pitched screams whenever a zombie charged was one of several running gags. So naturally Dieter got his own prequel. And you know what? Schweighöfer’s standout character deserved one.

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Station Eleven teaser is intriguing, but will show run afoul of pandemic fatigue?

A major flu epidemic wipes out most of the world’s population in Station Eleven, a new series on HBO Max.

In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its infancy, there was a sudden spike of interest in watching the 2011 film Contagion. Ditto for 1995’s Outbreak. Chalk it up to morbid curiosity. When feeling threatened by an actual pandemic, some people lean in to that fear and uncertainty with their media choices rather than seeking escape—perhaps as an evolved response mechanism for dealing with threats by learning from imagined experiences.

That would seem to bode well for the success of Station Eleven, a forthcoming new series from HBO Max that depicts the onset and aftermath of a global flu pandemic that wipes out most of humanity. HBO greenlit the series—which is based on the award-winning 2014 novel of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel—in the Before Times. The network just dropped an intriguing teaser, along with a few first-look still photographs.

Timing might be a factor here. Granted, there was an uptick in readership for Mandel’s novel last year, in keeping with the morbid curiosity hypothesis. But with COVID-19 cases still sporadically surging around the world and fatigue and frustration mounting, has the taste for apocalyptic pandemic scenarios (other than zombie movies) run its course?

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There are ominous portents of the end of days in The Witcher S2 trailer

The second season of Netflix’s hugely popular sci-fi/fantasy series, The Witcher, returns on December 17.

It’s been two long years for fans of The Witcher, eager for a second season, but that long wait is nearly over. Netflix dropped a new trailer for its hugely popular sci-fi/fantasy series, starring Henry Cavill as a solitary monster hunter with magical powers.

(Some spoilers for S1 below.)

As I’ve written previously, The Witcher is based on the popular books by Andrzej Sapkowski. The series was one of the streaming platform’s top ten shows of 2019, despite boasting a fairly complicated narrative structure: three separate timelines spanning 100 years. It played a little fast and loose with the source material, but that turned out to work quite well.

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Bounty hunter Spike Spiegel is back from the dead in Cowboy Bebop trailer

John Cho leads an ensemble cast as Spike Spiegel in the Netflix live-action series Cowboy Bebop.

The countdown continues for the premiere next month of Cowboy Bebop, the Netflix live action adaptation of the popular anime series. The streaming giant just dropped the full official trailer for the ten-episode series.  As we’ve reported previously, the original anime series premiered in 1998. It’s a space western about a group of bounty hunters on a spaceship called the Bebop. Cowboy Bebop drew critical acclaim and became a cult hit thanks in part to its striking visual style and its strong thematic elements.

André Nemec is the showrunner for the Netflix series, having previously worked as a writer and producer on Alias, as well as the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The director of the original anime series, Shinichirō Watanabe, is a consultant for the new show. Production was delayed in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because star John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castlesuffered an injury on-set, which required him to fly from the show’s shooting location in New Zealand to Los Angeles for surgery.

Cho plays lead character, Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter born on Mars with a history of violent gang activity who is partial to fist-fights. Alex Hassell (Suburbicon) plays Spike’s former partner, Vicious, who is now a power-hungry Capo gangster from the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate. Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) plays Faye Valentine, a bounty hunter and con artist in debt from excessive gambling fees who spent 54 years in suspended animation after a space shuttle accident. Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) plays Jet Black, captain of the Bebop, and Spike’s ex-cop bounty hunter partner who has a cybernetic arm. And Elena Satine (Revenge) plays Julia, a stunning femme fatale who haas captivated both Spike and Vicious as rivals for her affection.

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Apple TV+ releases trailer for South Korean sci-fi thriller Dr. Brain

Parasite star Lee Sun-kyun plays a brilliant brain surgeon who tries to sync his brain with the dead in Dr. Brain.

Fans of the Oscar-winning film Parasite will recognize the star of Dr. Brain, a new sci-fi thriller from Apple TV+. Lee Sun-kyun, who played Park Dong-Ik in Bong Joon-ho’s film, plays a brilliant brain surgeon who seeks to find out the truth about the tragic accident that befell his wife and son.

This is the first Apple TV+ series filmed completely in Korean, and its release coincides with the official launch of the streaming service in South Korea. Written and directed by Kim Jee-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, I Saw the Devil), the new six-episode live-action series is based on the popular Korean webtoon of the same name by Hongjacga. Most Americans are probably unfamiliar with the source material, but South Korean programming has proved to be quite popular in the US, as evidenced by Netflix series like zombie period drama Kingdom and this year’s Squid Game. The latter is currently Netflix’s most-watched series to date, reaching over 142 million households during its first month.

So it’s no wonder that Apple TV wants to emulate that success with Dr. Brain. Per the official premise: “The series follows a brilliant brain scientist Sewon (Lee Sun-kyun) who suffers a horrific personal tragedy when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident. Desperate to uncover what happened, he goes to extraordinary lengths to solve the tragic mystery by conducting ‘brain syncs’ with the dead to access their memories for clues.” The series also stars Lee You-young, Park Hee-soon, Seo Ji-hye, and Lee Jae-won.

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Review: Locke and Key comes back better than ever with action-packed S2

The present generation of Locke descendants—Tyler (Connor Jessup), Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), and Kinsey (Emilia Jones)—still have a lot to learn about the magical keys that are their birthright.

Enlarge / The present generation of Locke descendants—Tyler (Connor Jessup), Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), and Kinsey (Emilia Jones)—still have a lot to learn about the magical keys that are their birthright.

The Locke siblings face a demonic dynamic duo intent on bringing chaos to our world and must defend themselves, armed with only a handful of magical keys, in the second season of Locke and Key. In our 2020 year-end TV roundup, I wrote that Netflix’s adaptation of the comic book series, by Joe Hill and Gabe Rodriguez, successfully brought “the fabled Key House and the darkly fantastical world of the comics to vivid life.” The second season is even better: it’s faster-paced, it has intriguing character arcs, and it delves a bit more into the history and mythology behind Key House and its magical keys.

(Spoilers for season 1 below. Some season 2 spoilers, but no major reveals.)

Longtime fans of the comics can attest to the powerful allure of the basic premise: three traumatized siblings whose father was recently murdered return to dad’s ancestral home, Key House, with their mother and discover that the house is filled with hidden magical keys that “whisper” to the children until they find them. The TV series preserves that allure. Only kids can hear the keys whispering, and any adults who witness the “magic” of the keys in use quickly forget what they’ve seen. There is an Anywhere Key that can turn a door into a portal to anywhere in the world, for instance, and a Ghost Key that lets your spirit leave your body. A Head Key provides access to one’s inner self, and an Identity Key allows you to change your appearance.

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Tom Holland is a dashing young fortune hunter in Uncharted trailer

Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg star as fortune hunters in Uncharted, an origin story for the hugely popular video game franchise.

Sony Pictures has released the official trailer for Uncharted, its long-awaited adaptation based on the hugely popular action/adventure video game franchise of the same name. Movies based on video game franchises can be hit or miss, even when the games themselves are awesome. And this one has been stuck in development hell since 2008, with multiple shifts in writers, directors, and cast members. But the finished film also stars Tom Holland and is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who gave us Zombieland and Zombieland: Double Tap. And the trailer has plenty of action and humor, so color us intrigued by Uncharted.

(Some spoilers for the games below.)

Created by Amy Hennig and developed by Naughty Dog, the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune debuted on PlayStation 3 in 2007. Several more games followed, all receiving critical acclaim, and the franchise has sold over 41 million copies worldwide to date. The main protagonist is professional treasure hunter Nathan Drake, who claims to be a descendent of English explorer Francis Drake. The other primary characters are Victor “Sully” Sullivan, a former US Navy officer who becomes Nate’s mentor and father figure; investigative journalist Elena Fisher, who becomes Nate’s romantic partner; and Chloe Frazer, a reckless adventurer who serves as a foil to Elena.

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A Sinister Six Movie Should Copy Spider-Man: No Way Home & Bring In Miles

Sony’s upcoming Sinister Six movie should take some inspiration from Spider-Man: No Way Home and introduce a new version of Miles Morales. Sony has had plans for a Sinister Six film since The Amazing Spider-Man film franchise was in progress. The second film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, ended with a clear setup for the villain team, with the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) and The Gentleman (Gustav Fiers) equipping allies (and possibly members) of Oscorp with advanced weapons and devices. The plans, unfortunately, never came to fruition, but Sony’s new villain-focused Spider-Man universe, which began with 2018’s Venom, has led to new plans for the iconic team.

Miles Morales – whose comic debut was in 2011’s alternate universe Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man – is his reality’s second web-slinger, taking Peter Parker’s place after his apparent death in a final confrontation with the Green Goblin. Miles and his stories were well-received, quickly growing in popularity among readers, and he made his cinematic debut in 2018’s animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. As the star of numerous comics, an animated film, and a recent video game, it won’t be long before Miles has his long-awaited live-action debut.

Related: Spider-Man Will Fight The Multiverse Sinister Six In No Way Home – Theory Explained

With Sinister Six reportedly being the endgame of Sony’s Spider-Man films, it’s reasonable to assume that the movie will be a crowd-pleasing epic with more than one payoff. Sony will reportedly work alongside Marvel Studios to tie their film in with the MCU, meaning that Tom Holland’s classic Peter Parker Spider-Man may face off against the six villains. Although Spider-Man was often on his own against the six in the comics, the film can easily justify introducing a second Spider-Man to even the odds and give viewers a live-action Miles Morales simultaneously.

Not only is Sony and Marvel Studious working together on the Sinister Six film, but the multiverse will be unleashed in the upcoming No Way Home. While the Miles Morales who appears in the Sony film could be their iteration, he might alternatively be from the MCU, creating a new kind of character dynamic for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who’s typically mentored by characters like Iron Man or Doctor Strange.

The Sinister Six’s villain roster can be comprised of characters from multiple realities as well. In addition to introducing the first live-action iteration of Miles Morales, the film can bring back actors like Alfred Molina, Jamie Foxx, and Willem Dafoe for yet another performance. With No Way Home bringing the iconic villains back, Sony could take advantage of their fan-favorite status, adding to the already crowd-pleasing introduction of Miles.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be the first live-action Spider-Man movie to use the multiverse for crossovers. In addition to bringing back characters from bygone film eras, they’ve also allowed for interaction with Sony’s Spider-Man universe. If Sony intends to make the Sinister Six film their franchise’s endgame, they’d make it an even more effective grand finale by bringing in Miles Morales.

Next: Dafoe’s Green Goblin Could Cause The MCU’s Spider-Man A Huge Problem

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How Supergirl Revamped Superman IV’s Story And Made It Work

Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Supergirl season 6, episode 15, “Hope For Tomorrow.”

The Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow” enhanced the story of the Superman movie Superman 4: The Quest For Peace in every respect. The final movie to star Christopher Reeve as Kal-El of Krypton, Superman 4 is widely considered to be the worst of the classic Superman films. Given that, it would be all but impossible for Supergirl to revamp The Quest For Peace and not improve it, but the episode “Hope For Tomorrow” successfully addressed nearly every common complaint about the movie.

The central storyline of the second half of Supergirl season 6 found Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) competing with the exiled 5th Dimensional Princess Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of seven magical totems, tied to the seven cosmic forces of Hope, Love, Courage, Humanity, Dreams, Destiny and Truth. Each totem required its wielder to pass a test proving their mastery of each force. The Test of Hope in the Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow” proved particularly difficult, as it required the victor to “inspire a hope that burns longer and brighter than the sun.” While this might ordinarily have been an easy task for Supergirl, this test came at a time when nuclear war seemed imminent between the nations of Kaznia and Corto Maltese and hope was in short supply.

Related: Arrowverse Makes Diggle’s Green Lantern Future More Confusing

The story of Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, was likewise based around the fear of nuclear war and Superman acting to end the threat after receiving a letter from a concerned boy. Sadly, the movie did so poorly it sunk any chance of a Superman 5. While the story of Superman 4 made a noble effort to tackle a serious issue, the film suffered from budget cuts and editing issues that eliminated most of the film’s more thoughtful moments in favor of recycled flight scenes and nonsensical padding. The Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow” takes most of the story elements from Superman IV and builds upon the base concepts to create something far better.

Roughly halfway through the Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow,” Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) asked the same question as the worried boy in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace; why can’t Supergirl just take away all the nuclear weapons and throw them into the sun? Kara gave the same basic answer as Superman in the movie, saying that she was “forbidden from interfering in human history.” However, Kara further explained to her friend Lena Luthor that human nations needed to be free to determine their own destinies without some all-powerful alien imposing their beliefs on them. Kara also pointed out that even if she could get rid of all the nuclear weapons in the world, it wouldn’t solve the conflicts that lead to war. (Ironically, Kara did wind up having to throw several nuclear missiles into the sun before the episode’s end.)

This point was driven home by another scene, in which the United States diplomat overseeing the peace talks between Kaznia and Corto Maltese asked J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) to use his telepathic powers to make the leaders of the two delegations sign a peace treaty. The Martian Manhunter refused, saying that while he was glad to use his powers to pacify the two leaders after Nxyly used the Totem of Courage to make them afraid of looking weak during the negotiations, he refused to directly control their actions. Both of the Supergirl scenes did a far better job of showing why heroes have a responsibility not to use their powers than every speech Superman made regarding that point in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace.

The Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow” featured a subplot that centered around Esme, a foster child adopted by Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly Olsen/Guardian (Azie Tesfai), and the Super Friends’ efforts to help the young girl get acclimated to her new home. A victim of an abusive situation in her previous foster home, Esme was shy and fearful of being sent back to the group home she had been in. Restoring Esme’s hope in the future went beyond being a test of Supergirl’s ability to inspire hope and became a test for the whole team, as well as a central part of the theme of “Hope For Tomorrow.” By contrast, despite being the inspiration of Superman’s effort to bring an end to nuclear war in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace, the boy who wrote to Superman disappeared from the movie after Superman took him to the United Nations to hear him speak.

Related: Arrowverse’s Martian Manhunter Reveal Makes Him A More Tragic Hero

Originally set up as a romantic interest for Kara Danvers in Supergirl season 5, reporter William Dey (Staz Nair) has been one of the more divisive characters created for the Arrowverse, with many fans finding the character annoying and wondering what purpose he served after he and Kara agreed to be just friends in Supergirl season 6. Comparisons could be drawn between William Dey and Lacy Warfield (Mariel Hemingway) whose only purpose in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace was acting as a hostage and pushing an unconvincing love triangle between herself, Lois Lane and Clark Kent. However, the Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow” redeemed William, who was far from a passive figure after being taken captive by Nyxly. Indeed, it was William’s quick thinking that enabled the Super Friends to take the Totem of Courage away from Nyxly.

While Superman 4: The Quest For Peace saw legendary actor Gene Hackman return as Lex Luthor, his role in the film was far from extensive. Apart from creating the monstrous Nuclear Man, Luthor had surprisingly little to do with the action of the film and most of his scenes were comedic non-sequiturs. By contrast,  the Arrowerse Lex Luthor does not appear on camera in the Supergirl season 6 episode “Hope For Tomorrow,” but nevertheless had a major impact on the episode’s final scene.

As “Hope For Tomorrow” came to a close, Supergirl elected to throw the Totem of Hope into the sun, knowing that Nxyly needed all seven totems as part of her scheme to defeat Supergirl and the Super Friends. Shortly after Nxyly learned what Supergirl had done, a box fell through a portal in front of her. The box contained a watch and a note from a secret admirer telling her not to “lose hope.” When Nyxly put on the watch, it formed one of Lex Luthor’s trademark armored Lexo-Skeletons around her, revealing the identity of her mysterious new ally in a clever fashion. It was certainly more subtle than most of Gene Hackman’s scenes trolling Superman in Superman 4: The Quest For Peace. This, coupled with the other connections throughout the episode, highlight how Supergirl was able to successfully revitalize the failed film’s story arc.

More: What Night Batwoman & Legends Of Tomorrow Air Now (New Time Slot Explained)

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The Flash Trailer Confirms Batman Will Have A Bigger Role Than We Thought

The latest The Flash trailer suggests that Michael Keaton’s Batman has a bigger role in the film than many initially assumed. Ezra Miller makes his DCEU return as the Scarlet Speedster after starring in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Directed by Andy Muschietti, The Flash‘s first trailer was released at DC FanDome 2021, offering a sneak peek at what to expect from the standalone flick.

It’s no secret that The Flash was in production limbo for quite some time with a few director changes. But, the movie finally kicked into production in 2021 and is currently filming. Specific plot details are still scant at the moment, although a few pertinent details have been confirmed. That includes the return of Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and the introduction of Sasha Calle as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El. Barry Allen is also joined by two Batman variations: the first one being Ben Affleck’s and the other one being Michael Keaton’s. Obviously there’s a lot of excitement surrounding their involvement, but there’s heightened anticipation about Keaton’s Batman iteration simply because this is the first time he will reprise the superhero role in two decades.

Considering the fact that it’s the Flash’s solo outing, it was initially unclear how involved Keaton would be in the film. Set photos revealed him back as the Bruce Wayne persona, and the actor’s personal interviews confirmed that he’s indeed wearing the cape and the cowl again. Still, with very little known about the movie’s plot, there were questions about the extent of his appearance. Some argued that it wouldn’t be anything more than an extended cameo, with the primary focus on Barry Allen instead. This makes sense since he is the movie’s headlining character. However, The Flash‘s trailer suggests that Batman’s role in the film is going to be more prominent than initially perceived; much of the trailer focuses on him, including both versions of the Flash visiting Tim Burton’s Wayne Manor and then, his Batcave. It even ends with the tease of the 1989 Batmobile reveal.

Interestingly, despite all the references to Keaton’s Caped Crusader, the hero doesn’t properly appear in The Flash trailer. Instead, there’s only a shot of his iconic cowl looking outside the Batcave. But, the fact that he provides the narration for the majority of the trailer further indicates the extent of his appearance. At one point, it seems like the two Barry Allens and Supergirl recruit him for a mission, and it’s safe to say that he at least considers joining his fellow DC heroes in the movie. It’s worth noting that The Flash appears to be an adaptation of the Flashpoint storyline from the comics. Barry’s time-traveling likely fractured space-time which has had ripple effects in other universes, including that of Supergirl and Keaton’s Batman. The voice-over dialog is Bruce Wayne making sense of everything that’s happening.

The question now is, how does Affleck’s Batman fit into all of this? Based on what’s known about The Flash production, the actor didn’t start to film his scenes until the middle of principal photography. Some theories suggest that Affleck’s Batman dies in the movie, and that it could serve as motivation for Barry’s time travel. Furthermore, many are also curious if Affleck’s version of the hero will cross paths with Keaton’s Caped Crusader. Fans will likely have to wait for the movie’s debut to find out.


How Bulletproof Is Pattinson’s Batsuit In The Batman?

Robert Pattinson’s Batman takes multiple bullets to the chest in the latest trailer for The Batman, indicating how bulletproof his version of the Batsuit is. Although he lacks superpowers, Batman fights crime in Gotham City with superlative fighting skills, a genius-level intellect, and state-of-the-art gadgetry. A common piece of equipment for live-action Batman adaptations is a Batsuit made of bulletproof material. Not all the Dark Knight’s costumes have the same level of protection, so how does Pattinson’s suit compare to the others and the comic source material?

In his first comic book appearances, Batman wore no armor, using a simple, lightweight, and flexible costume with an intimidating appearance instead. One of the earliest uses of an armored Batsuit comes from the first standalone Batman book in 1940, in which the Caped Crusader survives a gunshot wound from The Joker thanks to a layer of armor underneath the main suit. Modern comic iterations of Batman wear fully armored Batsuits, offering significant protection against gunshots; partially inspired by the various film adaptations and their many shout-outs.

In the latest trailer for The Batman, Robert Pattinson’s Batsuit is put to the test multiple times. While fighting a gang of criminals in clown makeup, Batman is shot point-blank with a handgun, but he shrugs this off rather quickly and continues fighting. Later in the trailer, Batman walks towards a group of assault rifle-toting assailants, who pepper him with gunfire. Batman walks through the hail of bullets mostly unimpeded before counterattacking. This indicates that Pattinson’s Batman uses an extremely durable material that can withstand more gunfire than most versions of the Dark Knight.

While Adam West’s Batman wore no armor, Michael Keaton’s iteration in the Tim Burton films had a highly durable suit that could take direct gunshots. However, as shown multiple times in Batman and Batman Returns, while the suit kept gunfire from proving immediately lethal, the force often knocked Batman off his feet and left him winded on some occasions. Pattinson’s gear provides more protection, allowing him to remain in fighting condition even when shot numerous times.

Christian Bale’s first Batsuit in Batman Begins also offered protection from gunshots, though Lucious Fox explicitly advised against taking direct hits. While protective, the suit proved to be too restrictive, so Bale’s Bruce wore a modified` suit in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bale’s second Batman suit offered far more flexibility, though it was even more vulnerable to gunfire, which Bruce learned firsthand when facing off against Two-Face.

The only live-action Batman iteration whose suit provided similar levels of protection to Pattinson’s is the DCEU Batman. As shown in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck’s Batman wears a light and flexible suit that allows him to take gunshots to the head at point-blank range with little impediment. The suit has some vulnerable points, as evidenced by an assailant’s knife puncturing the suit near the shoulder, but this may have been a lightly-armored area for the sake of articulation. Ben Affleck’s Batman armor, like Pattinson’s Batsuit in The Batman, is fully bulletproof, protecting Batman from gun-toting enemies.


What Katey Sagal Has Done Since Sons of Anarchy Ended

Katey Sagal played one of the most important characters in Sons of Anarchy, but what has she done since the show came to an end? In 2008, Kurt Sutter took the audience to a small town in California to meet a motorcycle club and all the drama in their daily lives in the TV series Sons of Anarchy. The series premiered on FX in 2008 and lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014. Sons of Anarchy got positive reviews throughout its whole run, with most praise going towards the themes it addressed (such as corruption and racism) and the performances of the main cast.

Sons of Anarchy tells the story of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), VP of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in the fictional town of Charming, California. The series kicks off when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John “JT” Teller, one of the founding members of the MC. In it, JT shared his plans and vision for the club, which were very different from those of the current President and Jax’s stepfather, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). Reading his father’s ideas and seeing how different the club was, among other events, send Jax on a personal journey that leads him to question his path, role in the club, relationships, family, and more. Sons of Anarchy also introduced the audience to Gemma Teller-Morrow (Katey Sagal), Jax’s mother and the matriarch of the club, who even though wasn’t a member of it, had a lot of influence in it and the town in general, but she was also a very dangerous woman.

Katey Sagal’s role as Gemma in Sons of Anarchy was one of the most praised elements of the series, and she was one of the few characters from the first season who made it to the final one, though not to the series finale, as she was killed by Jax in the second last episode. Gemma Teller has become one of Sagal’s most memorable roles, but it definitely isn’t her most famous one, as she has played a variety of characters before and after Sons of Anarchy. Prior to living in Charming, Sagal did a lot of voice work in film, such as in Recess: School’s Out (playing Mrs. Flo Spinelli) and the Futurama movies, voicing Turanga Leela. In TV, she became known for playing Peggy Bundy in the sitcom Married… with Children from 1987 to 1997, and other notable roles include Edna Hyde in That 70’s Show and Cate S. Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

While working on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal continued doing voice work, most notably in Futurama, and once the show came to an end, she explored other genres in TV. Sagal played Annora of the Alders in The Bastard Executioner, Penny’s mother in one episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Lanie Schultz in This Is Us. Sagal reprised her role as Gemma in one episode of Mayans M.C, the spinoff series of Sons of Anarchy, and after that, she went on to play Dr. Ingrid Jones in Shameless, Louise Goldufski in The Conners, Teresa Williams in Grand Hotel, and Eleanor Hale in Dead to Me. Her most recent work is in the legal comedy-drama Rebel, inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, and in which she plays the lead role of Annie “Rebel” Bello. On the big screen, she played Lee Ann in There’s Always Woodstock, Katherine Junk in Pitch Perfect 2, and Louise Pazienza in Bleed for This.

In addition to an incredible acting career that has covered almost every genre, Katey Sagal has a musical career and released her first solo album in 1994, and she also contributed with at least one song per season in Sons of Anarchy. Katey Sagal is a woman of many talents, and while many will always remember her as Gemma Teller-Morrow, it’s definitely worth checking out her other works in both film and TV.


Dark Souls 3 & Bloodborne DLCs’ Final Bosses Fight Each Other In New Mod

A new mod for Dark Souls 3 pits the final boss of the game’s last DLC against the final DLC boss from fellow FromSoftware title Bloodborne. FromSoftware has developed a reputation for challenging bosses over the past decade and seems to be continuing that trend with the upcoming Elden Ring, which fans have been awaiting eagerly for some time now following its initial reveal at E3 2019. A more in-depth trailer released at Summer Games Fest earlier this year revealed many of the hallmarks fans have come to expect from the upcoming title.

Another unique aspect FromSoftware titles have cultivated over the years is a dedicated modding community that still puts out content for installments as far back as the original Dark Souls. As with other communities, the mods cover a wide range of changes and additions, including one that brings sports into Dark Souls 3. Thanks to the work of the modding community, one fan was recently able to answer a unique question: who is the ultimate final DLC boss?

YouTuber Garden of Eyes started their channel at the end of 2020 with the focus of pitting Bloodborne bosses against one another. Since then, however, that goal has expanded to encompass more FromSoftware titles, and their latest fight features Dark Souls 3‘s Slave Knight Gael from “The Ringed City” DLC against Bloodborne‘s Orphan of Kos from “The Old Hunters.” The video consists of three bouts between the two bosses, featuring an updated version of Orphan of Kos from a mod named “Call of the Abyss.” Each fight takes place in a different boss arena from Dark Souls 3. Despite a victory in round one, the Orphan of Kos ends up losing to Slave Knight Gael in the following two rounds, culminating in a neck and neck competition in the finals.

Watch Slave Knight Gael and the Orphan of Kos do battle on YouTube here.

Boss vs boss battles are not the only FromSoftware content Garden of Eyes posts. Sometimes the fights feature NPCs or notoriously difficult mini bosses taking on the actual bosses as well as one another. The channel also features some unique FromSoftware mods such as a Bloodborne first-person camera mod. It goes to show how much creativity can be found in the gaming industry, even in the player base of such a brutally difficult franchise as Dark Souls.

There is an undeniable appeal in watching Dark Souls and Bloodborne bosses savagely beating each other instead of a helpless player. It comes from a shared struggle every player of From Software’s games has had at some point, particularly when going through these titles for the first time. It also helps that the bosses themselves are imposing figures, and make for thrilling adversaries when turned against each other. Elden Ring will likely add more notable bosses that will not only make seasoned players feel right at home, but bring a new generation of players into the fold that have not yet taken on the FromSoftware experience. Until then, however, players can continue to fight against what came before and, if ever things become too difficult, watch the likes of Gael and the Orphan smack each other around for a change.

Source: Garden of Eyes/YouTube


The Supergirl “Stunt” That Made Mon-El Actor Dislocate His Jaw

Mon-El actor Chris Wood recalls the silly “stunt” that resulted in him breaking his jaw while filming Supergirl. The Arrowverse series has enjoyed a long run, but it will be coming to an end very soon. Supergirl, which stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, started out on CBS before moving to The CW for season 2. During the show’s 6-season run, Supergirl has faced countless enemies and teamed up with fellow Arrowverse heroes like The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Batwoman (Ruby Rose). The sixth and final season is currently airing and will conclude in November.

Supergirl has featured a wide and eclectic group of characters over the years, but some are more memorable than others. One of the most controversial is perhaps Mon-El, a Daxamite prince who joined the series in its second season. Mon-El initially hid his royal heritage from Kara, but after they formed a romantic relationship, he came clean. Wood remained a series regular on Supergirl for 2 seasons before departing, though he’s come back several times as a guest star. He’ll even be among those returning for the series finale, along with Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott) and Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen).

During this weekend’s DC FanDome event, Supergirl received a special farewell panel featuring the entire cast. When looking back on some of the wildest stunts from the show, Wood mentioned a scene from season 2 when he had to bite into 10 pancakes at once. His castmates were quick to laugh, but Wood pointed out that it wasn’t all that funny because “my jaw sort of dislocated a little bit.” The Supergirl cast also teased him for deeming it a stunt, but he defended the qualification. “It was a big stack of pancakes and I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be so funny,’ and then my jaw went like,” Wood said before demonstrating the painful moment.

Injuries on the set of a superhero production aren’t uncommon, and the Arrowverse itself is no stranger to these kinds of incidents. Before departing Batwoman, Rose had to get emergency surgery after sustaining a neck injury on set. When considering that example, Wood’s Supergirl experience isn’t as drastic. However, a dislocated jaw is far from fun, and to have it happen during an innocuous kitchen scene probably came as quite a shock.

While Supergirl‘s end is bittersweet for the fans and those who worked on the show, there are some reasons as to why this is the perfect time to conclude it. Kara has been on quite the journey over these past 6 seasons, and hopefully she’ll go out on a high note. For her part, Benoist admitted during the DC FanDome panel that she will miss playing a superhero, though she’d said before that she will not be sorry to leave Supergirl‘s flying scenes behind. This cast has endured plenty of bumps and bruises, but now they can rest and content themselves with a job well done.

Source: DC


Star Wars: How The Knights of Ren Are Different From The Sith

The Sith are the primary antagonists of the Star Wars saga, but they’re largely absent from the sequel trilogy, having been seemingly replaced by a different dark side religion: The Knights of Ren. All conflicts in the Skywalker Saga lead back to the Sith sooner or later, specifically their deadliest and most brilliant Dark Lord, Darth Sidious, aka Palpatine. The Sith seemingly died with Palpatine in Return of the Jedi, but The Emperor survived, and, thus, the Sith Order did, too. With Sith influence remaining behind the scenes yet again, the Knights of Ren became the new face of the galaxy’s dark side menaces, with their leader, Kylo Ren, being second in command of the Galactic Empire’s successor state, the First Order.

Although the Jedi are the galaxy’s most effective and famous Force users and the Sith the most powerful dark side users, the two are hardly the only Force religions in the franchise. The Sith created a splinter group, the Inquisitors, as a means to use corrupted Jedi as Imperial agents. Star Wars: The Clone Wars included a significantly reimagined version of the Legends-era Nightsisters, who use the dark side in the form of spells. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story introduced the Guardians of the Whills, a Force-using religion separate from the Jedi who guarded the Kyber crystals on Jedha. Considering how many Force-using religions exist in the Star Wars franchise, the sequels’ introduction of a dark side group other than the Sith was fitting.

The Sith orchestrated the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars in the Star Wars prequels, paving the way for Palpatine to replace the Republic with the Galactic Empire with Darth Vader at his side. With the Sith seemingly gone at the end of the original trilogy, the sequels introduced Kylo Ren, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, as the successor to Vader and the leader of the Knights of Ren. The Knights had only a brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a small role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but their origins and philosophies were expanded on in the four-issue comic miniseries Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren.

Thousands of years before the events of Star Wars‘ Skywalker Saga, a group of fallen Jedi formed the Sith Order on Moraband. Although they began as a Jedi splinter group, the Sith Order has a fundamentally different outlook on the Force and the galaxy than the Jedi. Using the corrupted power of the dark side rather than the Force, the Sith believed in dominating the galaxy from the shadows and imposing their absolute rule over all other beings. The Sith also developed the Rule of Two as a means to keep the order alive and reduce in-fighting. The Rule of Two, created by Darth Bane, kept the Sith two only a master and apprentice, each trying to replace the other.

The exact origins of the Knights of Ren are unknown, but at some point a gang of dark side-using marauders established themselves in the galaxy’s Unknown Regions, terrorizing the people of the galaxy. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren had a far more passive philosophy and use of the dark side. While the Sith sought to control the dark side and use it to control the galaxy, the Knights of Ren followed the dark side, following its pull wherever it took them and stealing, pillaging, and murdering wherever their travels brought them. Unlike the Sith, the Knights of Ren didn’t limit their members, but given their dark side use, only the strongest and most ruthless could join their ranks.

While the Sith and the Knights of Ren have fundamentally different philosophies, the two do share some commonalities. Aside from using the dark side of the Force, both organizations also used similar weapons, in some cases. The signature weapon of the Sith is the red-bladed lightsabers, which they created by corrupting Kyber crystals with the dark side and making them “bleed.” While the Knights of Ren use various scavenged weapons, their leader also uses a red-bladed lightsaber, though theirs tend to be different from Sith weapons. Ren, the earliest known leader, built a self-destruct mechanism into his weapon, and Kylo Ren modified his weapon with a cross-guard to vent the unstable blade’s excess energy.

Two of the Star Wars sequel trilogy’s main villains, Snoke and Kylo Ren, are not Sith. Kylo Ren, despite worshipping his Sith Lord grandfather, never became a Sith himself. After leaving Luke’s revived Jedi Order, Ben Solo joined the Knights of Ren, eventually killing their leader and taking his place as their new master, Kylo Ren. As a Knight of Ren, Kylo wore body armor and a fearsome mask, which served multiple functions. In addition to protecting his head and indicating his knighthood, the mask also allowed Kylo to feel more like his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.

Snoke wasn’t officially part of any dark side religion, Sith, Knights of Ren, or otherwise. Snoke was an unaffiliated dark side user and the Supreme Leader of the First Order, though he did mentor Kylo Ren, serving as his dark side master, which gave him a degree of authority over the Knights of Ren. Snoke was, ultimately created as a proxy for Darth Sidious, so despite his free will and incredible strength in the dark side, Snoke was yet another tool of the Sith Order, and his betrayal by Kylo Ren followed the Sith Rule of Two perfectly.

Despite never having joined the Sith, Kylo Ren became an ally of the order in The Rise of Skywalker. Working with Palpatine, Kylo combined the First Order with the Sith Eternal, forming the Final Order. The Knights of Ren followed Kylo Ren into this alliance as well, continuing to serve Palpatine after Kylo became Ben Solo once more. This was a fitting move for the Knights of Ren since they follow the dark side, rather than rule over it. With Palpatine, the galaxy’s most powerful dark side user, growing in strength, it makes sense that the Knights would follow his incredible dark side power and serve him. The key difference between the Sith and the Knights of Ren in Star Wars is revealed in their names. The Sith Lords rule over the dark side of the Force in the Star Wars saga while the Knights of Ren serve the dark side.


Pokémon Unite: Best Pikachu Build (Tips, Items, & Moves)

Using a combination of moves and items, players can maximize Pikachu’s build in Pokémon Unite. Players will need to fight both wild Pokémon and those on the opposing team to score points and win. As an Attacker Pokémon, a well-built Pikachu can work great for an offensive, ranged strategy.

With 5-on-5 matches between trainers, and wild Pokémon in each stage, a well-rounded, carefully built team will be vital for success. Players just getting started in Pokémon Unite may need to test different skills in order to find the best build. Having a strong offensive Pokémon will help players knock out their opponents and collect their Aeos energy to score points. As Pikachu gains experience, more moves will become available, and it can become a powerful fighter.

Each Pokémon in the game, such as Pikachu or Gengar, has an ideal build. Pikachu is a Ranged Attacker class in Pokémon Unite, so it can deal high damage but has low endurance. Focusing on moves and items that maximize damage and utilize Pikachu’s stun abilities will create the best build for this character. Players can also equip items that compliment or increase Pikachu’s strengths and damage output.

There are two ways for players to obtain Pikachu in Pokémon Unite: they can either choose it as their first Pokémon upon completing the tutorial or purchase it from the Unite Battle Committee. Pikachu costs 6000 Aeos coins or 345 Aeos gems. Once obtained and leveled up, players can focus on using the right moves and items to capitalize on Pikachu’s offensive potential. Pokémon can have two moves active and three items equipped at a time. The best options for Pikachu appear below.

Pikachu’s Best Moveset

  • Thunderbolt: Charge and shoot a bolt of lightning that stuns and damages opponents in the area. Upgrade Thunderbolt to increase the damage dealt.
  • Electro Ball: Throw an electric orb that damages and stuns enemies in the area of effect. Missing HP will increase damage to opponents. Electro Ball can be upgraded to increase damage.

Best Held Items for Pikachu

  • Wise Glasses: Increase Special Attack
  • Choice Specs: Increase the damage of moves
  • Buddy Barrier: When using the Unite move, Pikachu and the nearby ally with the lowest HP will gain a shield
  • Alternative – Float Stone: Increase movement speed when Pikachu isn’t in combat

Best Battle Items for Pikachu

  • X-Attack: Boost the damage of attacks and special attacks
  • Alternative – Potion: Restore a Pokémon’s health.

Using a strong combination of moves and items will help players gather Aeos energy and score points. While using Pikachu, players should focus on dealing as much damage as possible while being aware of their health loss. Since Pikachu is also a Ranged Pokémon, it’s recommended that players keep their distance when possible to avoid being knocked out. Pikachu can stay near a Defender Pokémon for extra protection and stun enemies that come within range.


Sylvester Stallone & Dolph Lundgren Reunite in Expendables 4 Set Photo

Dolph Lundgren shared a photo of his reunion with Sylvester Stallone from the set of The Expendables 4. The new film in the ensemble action franchise comes almost a decade after The Expendables 3, which was released in 2014. The film is being directed by former stunt coordinator Scott Waugh with an eye toward a 2022 release. Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Randy Couture are all reprising their franchise roles along with Expendables newbies Andy Garcia, 50 Cent, Tony Jaa, and Megan Fox.

In the Expendables franchise, Dolph Lundgren plays Gunner Jensen, a chemical engineer with a wild streak, a reference to the fact that the Swedish actor has a degree in chemical engineering in real life. Jensen is known for his crass jokes, and is an original member of the Expendables team, having appeared in all three previous films. He has worked under Stallone’s character Barney Ross for years, though he can’t always avoid butting heads with him.

Although Stallone has wrapped shooting on The Expendables 4, Dolph Lundgren shared a throwback photo from the set on his Instagram. It’s a black and white shot of him and Stallone relaxing between scenes. In his caption, Dolph expresses his gratitude that the film was being shot in London at the same time as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, in which he will be reprising his role as King Nereus. It looks like he will be keeping Nereus’ long hair in the Expendables film as well, unless they put him in a wig before rolling the camera. Check out the post below:

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The Expendables is the second action franchise to unite Stallone and Lundgren. Lundgren originally rose to prominence in the Stallone vehicle Rocky IV, in which he played Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Lundgren’s casting in the original Expendables was certainly due to this connection, given that the series’ intent was to gather as many classic action stars as possible into one explosive film. Given the fact that Stallone himself directed and co-wrote the film, Lundgren was an obvious choice for the character.

With both The Expendables 4 and Aquaman 2 gearing up for release next year, it’s going to be a big 2022 for Dolph Lundgren. To add to his busy promotional schedule, he will also be appearing in the World War II thriller Operation Seawolf and the animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru. His renaissance on the silver screen is well-earned, considering that the actor has devoted himself to entertaining audiences, appearing in nearly 100 titles across his career.

Source: Dolph Lundgren