The Handmaid's Tale Spoiler Review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the first season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.)

There’s no denying that The Handmaid’s Tale is powerful. Its story of a distinctly American dystopia in which women’s rights are oppressed and their bodily autonomy is stolen by a totalitarian government is gripping and timely, with more real-world implications by the minute. But it is a TV show, and “powerful” can only take a series so far.

The Hulu show inevitably had to make some deviations from the Margaret Atwood novel upon which its based, transforming The Handmaid’s Tale from a dismal cautionary tale into a more conventional, hopeful sci-fi thriller. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it presents a whole new host of problems for the show to deal with in its confirmed second season.

Spoilers ahead for the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Read More »

Urban Myths Trailer

Just a few days ago, Sky Arts served up the first trailer for Urban Myths, a comedy series dramatizing legends about famous people. While the show features lots of interesting casting, including Ramsay Bolton from Game of Thrones as Hitler and Eddie Marsan as Bob Dylan, the one that got the most attention was Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson. Predictably, people were pissed. 

Predictably, that is, to everyone except for the people involved with that production. Following social media backlash, multiple petitions, and very harsh words from the late musician’s daughter, Paris Jackson, Sky has finally realized that maybe casting a white Englishman to play a black American wasn’t such a hot idea after all and announced that they’re pulling the episode altogether.  Read More »

Urban Myths Trailer

Almost an entire year ago, you might remember the silly news that Shakespeare in Love star Joseph Fiennes was set to play Michael Jackson in a story that follows an alleged road trip taken by the King of Pop and his famous friends Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando from New York to Ohio in an effort to get home after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Since we haven’t heard anything over the past year about the project, which was said to be a half-hour comedy special of some sort, we assumed it was dead. But we had a rude awakening when the trailer for a new British TV series called Urban Myths showed up online overnight. And it turns out the show has more than a few short stories about famous people, including Cary Grant, Adolf Hitler, Bob Dylan, Andre the Giant, Muhuammad Ali, Alice Cooper and more.

Watch the Urban Myths trailer and find out about the various episodes after the jump. Read More »

Joseph Fiennes Playing Michael Jackson

UPDATE: We have been informed that this project isn’t a full TV movie but rather a half-hour comedy special for British television. However, that doesn’t make this sound any better. Our original story follows.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the lack of diversity among the Academy Award nominees this year, so much that The Academy is going to be making some changes to how membership and voting works. You would think that would be enough for filmmakers to start making better casting choices that allow for more diversity, but a certain production outfit across the pond doesn’t seem to care as evidenced by a recent casting decision.

A new report reveals that Shakespeare in Love and American Horror Story star Joseph Fiennes, a white actor, will be playing African American pop star Michael Jackson in a decidedly weird movie that takes place after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Find out more below. Read More »

risen trailer

The problem with almost every “faith-based” film is that they’re too busy delivering a sermon to tell a good story. There is nothing wrong with entertainment being specifically crafted for Christian audiences, but there is everything wrong with recent movies like God’s Not Dead and The War Room, which coddle their audiences by literally preaching to the choir and no one else.

So we’ll say this much about Risen: if you remove it from the faith-based genre, it still has a killer elevator pitch. This is the story of a Roman soldier tasked with tracking down the body of Jesus Christ, which has vanished from his tomb only days after his execution. With Jesus’ followers stirring up revolution throughout Jerusalem, he has to work fast and, as you can guess, he soon learns that things aren’t quite so simple.

You can cast judgment on the Risen trailer yourself after the the jump.

Read More »

Chariots of Fire sequel

I caught the original Vacation on TV over this past weekend, and the scene with the Griswolds arriving at Wally World, constructed as a parody of the beach race from the British film Chariots of Fire, left me wondering about the lasting impact of the great 1981 film.

In 1983, anyone seeing Clark and Rusty Griswold run in slow motion to the tune of a pulsing synthesized score would have recognized the joke, that Clark had elevated his impulsive family vacation to the status of personal myth — a status that the characters in Chariots of Fire earned through real struggle.

Chariots of Fire had been a success both at home and in the US. That synthesizer theme, composed by Vangelis, didn’t just act as a perfect encapsulation of the film’s spirit; it became a hit as a pop single. Now, how many US viewers would link Vacation or any other parody use of the theme to the actual film? As it turns out there might be a chance for a resurgence in visibility for the ’81 film, as a de facto Chariots of Fire sequel is moving towards production, with Joseph Fiennes starring. Read More »

Strangerland trailer

Here’s the first trailer for the tense Australian drama Strangerland which premiered at Sundance this year. Nicole Kidman plays a woman whose children disappear, leading her and her husband into a desperate search. Well, this is the first real domestic trailer; we saw another Strangerland trailer late last year that was quickly pulled. This one is better, so it works out for everyone.

Kim Farrant makes her directorial debut with the film, which also stars Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »

ian-mcshane

Dwayne Johnson has just pulled together a brand new “sand and sandal” gang. Ian McShane (Deadwood), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), John Hurt (Harry Potter) and Rebecca Ferguson are set to join the action superstar in Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner. It’s scheduled for a July 25, 2014 release. Read More »