WB Discovery merger strikes down “nearly finished” live-action Batgirl film

We hardly knew ye, feature-length live-action film version of <em>Batgirl</em>, and perhaps we never will.

Enlarge / We hardly knew ye, feature-length live-action film version of Batgirl, and perhaps we never will. (credit: Aurich Lawson / Warner Bros)

In response to mounting reports and rumors, the creative teams behind the upcoming straight-to-HBO-Max films Batgirl and Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt confirmed this week that both had been canceled and locked away to apparently never be released in any way, shape, or form.

The bizarre news began unfolding on Tuesday thanks to a report from the New York Post, which alleged that Batgirl, a feature-length, live-action reimagining of the DC Comics superhero that began production last year, would be outright shelved and hidden away in the wake of test screenings. The nearly complete film, which had a budget exceeding $70 million and co-starred Michael Keaton as the character of Batman for the first time in nearly 30 years, was reportedly “unspeakable” on a quality basis.

Two inevitabilities: Death (of possibly decent DC films) and taxes

Shortly after that report went live, well-placed industry rags blamed Batgirl‘s cancellation on a different issue: accounting and taxes. Deadline pointed to a limited-time opportunity for new WB corporate owners Discovery, which initiated its $108 billion acquisition of Warner in May 2021, to write off both Batgirl and the CGI animation feature Scoob 2: Holiday Haunt as a “purchase accounting maneuver.” The outright cancellation would have to happen by “mid-August,” according to Deadline; any other attempt to commercially release either film in any way (streaming, theatrical runs, VOD sales) would nix the accounting move.

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#batgirl, #dc-comics, #dc-films, #dc-universe, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #scooby-doo

‘The Last Movie Stars’ Review: The Complicated Story of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Ethan Hawke’s HBO Max documentary “The Last Movie Stars” examines two great actors in their own, and many of their friends’, words.

#documentary-films-and-programs, #hawke-ethan, #hbo-max, #newman-paul, #television, #the-last-movie-stars-tv-program, #woodward-joanne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Spoilers for prior seasons below.)

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

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

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

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

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

(Spoilers for first three seasons of Westworld below.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerrod Carmichael Wears the Truth in His HBO Comedy Special

The comedian’s latest HBO special, which explores family secrets and sexual orientation, is as much a therapy session as a stand-up show.

#carmichael-jerrod, #comedy-and-humor, #hbo-max, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #murphy-eddie, #pryor-richard, #rothaniel-tv-program

Discovery Closes In on Acquisition of WarnerMedia

The blockbuster merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia is expected to close as soon as Friday, putting many of the biggest names in movies, TV and news under one roof.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #att-inc, #cable-television, #cnn, #discovery-channel, #hbo-max, #media, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #movies, #news-and-news-media, #television, #warner-media-llc

‘Tokyo Vice’ Review: Another American in Translation

A young Midwestern journalist comes of age on the mean streets of Tokyo in an HBO Max drama based (very loosely) on a real story.

#elgort-ansel, #hbo-max, #kikuchi-rinko, #mann-michael, #television, #tokyo-vice-tv-program, #watanabe-ken

‘Tokyo Vice’ Revisits a Faded Underworld

This cross-cultural crime thriller, which recalls a time when the yakuza ruled Tokyo’s red-light districts and back alleyways, traced a twisty path to TV.

#adelstein-jake-1969, #elgort-ansel, #hbo-max, #kikuchi-rinko, #mann-michael, #poul-alan, #rogers-j-t, #television, #tokyo-vice-tv-program, #watanabe-ken

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to HBO, Hulu, Apple TV+ and More in April

Every month, streaming services add movies and TV shows to their libraries. Here are our picks for some of April’s most promising new titles.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-tv-plus, #disney-plus, #hbo-max, #peacock-services, #television

Jerrod Carmichael Comes Out in ‘Rothaniel,’ but It’s About More

In “Rothaniel” on HBO, the stand-up grapples with secrets that defined his upbringing, the toll silence has taken and the price he’s paying to break it.

#burnham-bo-1990, #carmichael-jerrod, #comedy-and-humor, #hbo-max, #homosexuality-and-bisexuality, #rothaniel-tv-program, #saturday-night-live-tv-program, #television

‘Julia’ Review: Mastering the Art of Playing Julia Child

The celebrated British actress Sarah Lancashire follows in the footsteps of Dan Aykroyd and Meryl Streep in a biographical dramedy from HBO Max.

#child-julia, #hbo-max, #julia-2022-tv-program, #lancashire-sarah-1964, #television

‘Raised by Wolves’ Is TV’s Wildest Hallucination

This strange but transfixing HBO Max sci-fi series takes an act of faith to enjoy.

#collin-amanda-1986, #fimmel-travis, #guzikowski-aaron, #hbo-max, #raised-by-wolves-tv-program, #salim-abubakar, #television

‘Minx’ Reveals That All Nudity Is Not Created Equal

Even at a time when naked men have become more commonplace on TV, a scene in the pilot of this HBO Max comedy stands out for its variety and realism.

#hbo-max, #johnson-jake-m, #lovibondophelia, #minx-tv-program, #rapoportellen, #television

Leslie Jones Gets Revved Up by Vinyl, Live Tweeting and ‘Euphoria’

Sometimes even Leslie Jones doesn’t want to be Leslie Jones. That’s why her new comedy series, “Our Flag Means Death,” checks all of the boxes.

#actors-and-actresses, #content-type-personal-profile, #hbo-max, #jones-leslie-1967, #our-flag-means-death-tv-program

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

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

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

(Some mild spoilers for the comic books below.)

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

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

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to HBO, Hulu, Apple TV+ and More in March

Every month, streaming services add movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of March’s most promising new titles.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-tv-plus, #disney-plus, #hbo-max, #hulu-com, #television

‘Euphoria’ Star Angus Cloud Offers Hints About Season Finale

The actor plays Fezco, the kindhearted drug dealer who watches over Rue.

#actors-and-actresses, #cloud-angus, #content-type-personal-profile, #euphoria-tv-program, #hbo-max, #television

‘Euphoria’ Is Hard to Watch. Why Can’t Viewers Look Away?

It’s one of the most popular shows on television right now. But sometimes even the fans need to calm down after an episode.

#anxiety-and-stress, #coleman-zendaya, #drug-abuse-and-traffic, #euphoria-tv-program, #hbo-max, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #television

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘The Gilded Age’ Is Depicting Black Success. More TV Should.

Let’s hope this doesn’t draw woke criticism.

#anderson-marian, #baranski-christine, #belafonte-harry, #fellowes-julian, #hbo-max, #internal-sub-only-nl, #race-and-ethnicity, #television, #the-gilded-age-tv-program

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isabel Torres, Actress Known for ‘Veneno’ on HBO Max, Dies at 52

Ms. Torres was one of three transgender performers to play Cristina Ortiz Rodríguez, a beloved Spanish television personality, in the eight-part streaming series.

#actors-and-actresses, #canary-islands, #deaths-obituaries, #hbo-max, #la-veneno-cristina-ortiz-rodriguez-1964-2016, #television, #torres-isabel-1969-2022, #transgender-and-transsexuals, #veneno-tv-program

‘KIMI’ Review: Sure She’s Paranoid, but Something Really Is Out There

Zoë Kravitz stars in the latest from Steven Soderbergh, a story that plays with genre, triggers your anxieties and shreds your nerves.

#hbo-max, #kimi-movie, #koepp-david, #kravitz-zoe, #movies, #soderbergh-steven

English Is a Living Language — Period

The use of quotation marks for emphasis is an innovation, not a corruption.

#buzzfeed-inc, #grammar, #hbo-max, #internal-sub-only-nl, #signs-and-signage

‘And Just Like That,’ the Show Is Over

In an interview, creators of the “Sex and the City” revival discuss the show’s reception, middle-age miseries and why Chris Noth was edited out of the season finale.

#and-just-like-that-tv-program, #hbo-max, #king-michael-patrick, #rottenberg-julie, #sex-and-the-city-tv-program, #television, #zuritsky-elisa

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to HBO, Hulu, Apple TV+ and More in February

Every month, streaming services add movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of February’s most promising new titles.

#apple-tv-plus, #hbo-max, #hulu-com, #movies, #peacock-services, #television

‘Gomorrah’ Review: The End of TV’s Sleekest Italian Import

The final season of a gangster saga that combined brutal realism and high style arrives on HBO Max.

#damore-marco-1981, #esposito-salvatore-1986, #gomorrah-tv-program, #hbo-max, #television

How I Cut My Family’s Cable and Streaming Bill by $170

After I realized we were paying more than $400 a month, I knew I had to do something. Here’s what I learned.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-tv-plus, #cable-television, #content-type-service, #disney-plus, #hbo-max, #hulu-com, #netflix-inc, #paramount-plus, #personal-finances, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #television, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #web-original-programming, #youtube-com

The real-life gentleman pirate behind HBO Max’s new series Our Flag Means Death

A nervous man in 18th-century garb.

Enlarge / Rhys Darby stars as gentleman pirate Stede Bennett in the upcoming HBO Max comedy series Our Flag Means Death. (credit: YouTube/HBO Max)

It’s no secret that Ars staffers are big Taika Waititi fans. He always brings his distinctly quirky sensibility to his projects, from What We Do in the Shadows, Wellington Paranormal, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, to JoJo Rabbit, Reservation Dogs, and Thor: Ragnarok. After filming wrapped on Thor: Love and Thunder last year, Waititi somehow found time to develop a new period comedy series for HBO Max.

It’s called Our Flag Means Death, and HBO just dropped the first teaser. The series is about an aristocrat who abandons his comfy life to become a “gentleman pirate.” Even better: the main character, Stede Bonnet (played by Rhys Darby) is based on a real person who sailed with the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard (played by Waititi in the series).

The real Stede Bonnet was born on the island of Barbados in 1688 to a wealthy English family and inherited a 400-acre estate when his father died in 1694. By some accounts, he was a bookish sort, and his early life was unremarkable. He married, fathered three sons and a daughter, and briefly served in the military as a major, although there is no record that he engaged in active combat.

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#blackbeard, #entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #history, #pirates, #stede-bonnet, #streaming-television, #taika-waititi, #trailers

Netflix cites “more entertainment choices than ever,” raises prices again

Netflix cites “more entertainment choices than ever,” raises prices again

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

On Friday, Netflix confirmed plans to raise prices for its video-streaming services in North America for the seventh time in 11 years.

Unlike many previous Netflix price hikes, this year’s bump hits all three subscription options. In the United States, the “basic” tier, which is capped at 720p and includes other limits, receives its first increase in three years, jumping $1 to $9.99 per month. The 1080p “standard” tier goes up $1.50 to $15.49 per month. And the 4K “premium” tier jumps $2 to $19.99 per month. Canadian customers can expect similar jumps in prices for all three tiers as well.

Netflix says the price increases will roll out in phases to existing customers based on their billing cycles, and all customers will get no less than 30 days’ notice before the higher prices go into effect. Brand-new customers must begin paying the higher prices immediately.

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#disney, #disney-plus, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #hulu, #netflix, #video-streaming

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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#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #raised-by-wolves, #ridley-scott, #streaming-television, #trailers

Finding Joy Through Art at the End of the World in ‘Station Eleven’

Emily St. John Mandel talks about the pandemic novel she wrote years before Covid-19 and the HBO Max adaptation that some viewers have found oddly life-affirming.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #hbo-max, #mandel-emily-st-john, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #station-eleven-book, #station-eleven-tv-program, #television, #writing-and-writers

For One Last Season, Alia Shawkat Is the Life of ‘Search Party’

On this dark and demanding satire, whose final episodes arrive Friday on HBO Max, Shawkat learned that she was more than capable of holding her own.

#bliss-sarah-violet, #content-type-personal-profile, #early-john, #hbo-max, #search-party-tv-program, #shawkat-alia, #television

HBO Max and HBO Hit 73.8 million Subscribers, Topping Company Forecast

The announcement represents a vindication of the strategy to release the entire Warner Bros. 2021 film slate simultaneously in theaters and on streaming.

#att-inc, #company-reports, #hbo-max, #home-box-office, #kilar-jason, #movies, #television, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #warner-media-llc

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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#entertainment, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #james-gunn, #peacemaker, #streaming-television, #trailers

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to HBO, Hulu, Apple TV+ and More in January

Every month, streaming services add movies and TV shows to their libraries. Here are our picks for some of January’s most promising new titles.

#apple-tv-plus, #hbo-max, #hulu-com, #peacock-services, #television

Review: Matrix Resurrections has just enough of the old magic to delight fans

Keanu Reeves returns as Neo in <em>The Matrix Resurrections</em>

Enlarge / Keanu Reeves returns as Neo in The Matrix Resurrections (credit: Warner Bros.)

After nearly 20 years, moviegoers finally have the change to revisit the imaginative cyberpunk world of 1999’s The Matrix with the fourth installment in the sci-fi franchise: The Matrix Resurrections. It’s not a perfect film, but there’s enough of the old magic to delight longtime fans. The stars still radiate chemistry, there are plenty of cameos and sly nods to the franchise throughout, and the familiar themes have been subtly updated to make them more relevant than ever.

(Some minor spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

As I’ve written previously, it’s difficult to overstate the deep cultural impact of The Matrix. It redefined the sci-fi film genre and shaped an entire generation of fans—plus, it raked in $460 million worldwide, garnered multiple Oscars, and sent star Keanu Reeves’ already healthy career into the Hollywood stratosphere. Cyberpunk author William Gibson called The Matrix “an innocent delight I hadn’t felt in a long time,” and he named Neo as his all-time favorite sci-fi action hero.

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#film-review, #film-reviews, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #keanu-reeves, #the-matrix-resurrections, #warner-bros

Chris Noth Is Dropped From ‘The Equalizer’ Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

The actor’s ousting from the show came days after The Hollywood Reporter wrote about encounters with two women, one in 2004 and the other in 2015.

#and-just-like-that-tv-program, #cbs-corporation, #hbo-max, #hollywood-reporter, #laworder-tv-program, #noth-chris, #sex-and-the-city-tv-program, #television, #the-good-wife-tv-program, #universal-television

Chris Noth Peloton Ad Pulled After Sexual Assault Allegations

The online ad, a response to the “Sex and the City” reboot, was removed after The Hollywood Reporter published an article in which two women accused the actor of sexual assault.

#and-just-like-that-tv-program, #hbo-max, #hollywood-reporter, #home-box-office, #noth-chris, #online-advertising, #peloton-interactive-inc, #sex-and-the-city-tv-program, #sex-crimes, #sexual-harassment, #television

Review: In ‘Station Eleven,’ the World Ends, Beautifully

Don’t let the pandemic premise chase you off. This is the most uplifting post-apocalyptic show you’re likely to see.

#davis-mackenzie, #hbo-max, #lawler-matilda, #station-eleven-tv-program, #television

Mackenzie Davis Catches Fire

In the new HBO Max series “Station Eleven,” Davis plays the lead as a tough but vulnerable survivor of a pandemic. She had ample experience to draw from.

#davis-mackenzie, #hbo-max, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #station-eleven-tv-program, #television

Can Peloton Sue Over Its ‘And Just Like That’ Appearance?

A Peloton stationary bike played a pivotal role on the new HBO Max “Sex and the City” revival, whose premiere preceded a drop in the company’s stock price on Friday.

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How Samantha Jones Was Written Out of ‘And Just Like That’

Here’s how the “Sex and the City” revival wrote out Kim Cattrall, who has been publicly critical of the star, Sarah Jessica Parker. Plus: A roundup of the best reviews of “And Just Like That.”

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Review: ‘And Just Like That,’ It All Went Wrong

The “Sex and the City” revival is part dramedy about heartbreak, part awkward bid at relevance.

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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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‘And Just Like That’: The Shoe Must Go On

In the ’90s, “Sex and the City” celebrated single women. Can a new, more nuanced version make a comedy of middle-aged ones?

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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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