Altered Carbon Guide

Altered Carbon has finally been adapted for television and the entire first season hits Netflix this Friday. It’s impossible for many folks to watch the trailers, which depict a colorful, futuristic cyberpunk adventure, and not immediately think of Blade Runner, but this show is based on a novel and that novel is very much its own beast.

Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon surprised everyone upon its release back in 2002, with a story that combines a future aesthetic with some incredible action sequences and a decidedly noir atmosphere. It doesn’t hurt that this sci-fi world is just familiar enough to our own to make us curious about what’s changed…and what people have become.

The basic plot is this: an ex-con named Takeshi Kovacs is brought back from jail to find out who was responsible for the death of one Laurens Bancroft. Standard stuff, right? But there’s a cyberpunk twist. The jail Kovas is brought back from is actually a stack of servers where his consciousness was being stored, and the man who hires him to solve the case is none other than Bancroft, the very same man who was killed.

Whoa.

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Michael Haneke TV Show

After 44 years of work, director Michael Haneke has mastered the art of making you feel drained and defeated over the course of an agonizing two-hour movie. And I mean that as high praise! The director of Funny GamesCaché, Amour, and The White Ribbon is the master of feel-bad cinema, telling stories that are generally free of hope and easy answers…and are made all the more powerful for it.

Now, the 75-year old German filmmaker is looking to make you feel a lingering sense of dread in the pit of your stomach for a much longer period of time. He’s bringing his skill sets to television with a new show titled Kelvin’s Book.

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what's past is prologue review

After watching the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode, “What’s Past is Prologue,” consider me mad.

Me being mad is actually a good thing! Once again, I’m irritated we have to wait a full seven days for a new episode to come out. The writing is just that tight! This episode concluded with me holding my breath again. I can’t take the stress anymore! But before I get ahead of myself, let’s establish one clear outcome of this episode…

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Will Ferrell Hosted Saturday Night Live

Even though Will Ferrell is one of the most popular Saturday Night Live cast members in recent memory, he’s only returned to host three times before. But this past weekend he came back to Studio 8H for his fourth time as host, and the Step Brothers and Anchorman star reminded us why he’s one of the best cast members to ever come out of Saturday Night Live.

Let’s run through the best and worst sketches from the Will Ferrell hosted Saturday Night Live below.

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Star Wars Rebels Final Episodes

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Dave Filoni breaks down the new trailer for season 4 of Star Wars Rebels
  • The fempire strikes back with a de-meninized edit of The Last Jedi
  • Rian Johnson shares a BTS clip of John Williams conducting The Last Jedi
  • Porg high-tops!
  • And much more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

critters the new binge

Warner Brothers Digital’s Blue Ribbon Content announced a web series based on the horror-comedy Critters film franchise. Jordan Rubin will write and direct Critters: The New Binge for the digital platform that also has Daphne & Velma, Good Girls Get High, Golden Revenge and animated shows Vixen, The Ray and Constantine. 1986’s Critters was New Line Cinema’s answer to Gremlins, following a group of alien fur balls as they terrorized a family with their poison porcupine darts. Critters 2: The Main Course opened in 1988, but Critters 3 and 4 went straight to video.

Rubin spoke with /Film after Blue Ribbon Content’s presentation to the Television Critics Association. A writer on The Man Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Rubin co-wrote and directed the horror comedy Zombeavers in 2014. He’s just turned in the script for Critters: The New Binge, so hopefully, we’ll interview him again when the series drops online.

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michael shannon the little drummer girl

In this edition of TV bits:

  • Sneaky Pete season 2 debuts a new trailer.
  • Altered Carbon shows off some impressive fights.
  • Michael Shannon joins AMC’s Little Drummer Girl.
  • Helen Mirren joins HBO Catherine the Great.
  • Sister Maggie is coming to Daredevil season 3.

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Damien Chazelle apple series

Damien Chazelle, the jazz aficionado filmmaker behind Whiplash and La La Land, is going to take a bite out of Apple’s foray into original TV programming with a new series. Chazelle, who also has a series in the works with Netflix, will write and direct a drama that will reunite him with La La Land producers Jordan Horowitz and Fred Berger.

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The Crown Season 3

Update: THR now reports that Paul Bettany has a scheduling conflict and will not star in The Crown season 3. So the hunt is on for a new Prince Philip. Our original story continues below.

All hail Prince Paul Bettany. As Netflix’s The Crown jumps forward in history, the original cast is being replaced with slightly older actors to show the passage of time. The latest actor in talks for a lead role: Paul Bettany, who may be next in the royal line to succeed Matt Smith in the role of Prince Philip in The Crown season 3.

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best cult movies

Tonight, the Paramount Network premieres the first installment in a six-part miniseries about real-life cult leader David Koresh and the tragic siege of his compound in Waco, Texas. Waco stars Taylor Kitsch as Koresh and Michael Shannon as FBI agent Gary Noesner, and will dig into the complexities of Koresh’s spiritual sect, the Branch Davidians, including their strange living conditions, and their leader’s penchant for marrying and sleeping with preteen girls. It’s the second fictional portrayal of Koresh in the last few months: Evan Peters’ also briefly tackled the part in an episode of American Horror Story: Cult late last year.

Koresh is having his day in the sun, but public fascination with cults and cult leaders is nothing new. There’s something inherently compelling and cinematic about the mass mania that permits these institutions. It’s a goldmine of character development and analytics, of drama and personal spectacle; a way of lifting the hood on human psychology and playing with the gears.

As cults rage on as potent storytelling devices, we’ve compiled a list of the best-ever depictions of cults and cult mentality in narrative film, documentaries, and television.

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