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The Good Liar Review

The Good Liar is the latest entry in a slowly expanding subgenre best known as They Don’t Make Movies Like This Anymore dramas. In a time of infinite intellectual property, of franchises and sequels and reboots, The Good Liar is a small oasis in a cinematic desert where once there was more frequent life. This literary adaptation is a nasty little thriller, anchored by two elder-statesmen performers whose presence alone likely willed this film into existence. It’s not without its flaws, but The Good Liar has enough charm and is fresh enough by dint of being so different from what the rest of the multiplex has to offer.

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The Mandalorian's Real Name

Much of the marketing behind the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian has really been pushing the idea of this masked bounty hunter without a name. People around the galaxy refer to him as The Mandalorian or just Mando for short, but in an official interview promoting the arrival of the series on Disney+, the man under the helmet, Pedro Pascal, gives up the real name of the character without hesitation or concern. Read More »

The Mandalorian Spoiler Review

It feels strange to review The Mandalorian at this point in time. The next big chapter of Star Wars — an in-between-quel bridging Return of the Jedi (1983) and The Force Awakens (2015) — has technically begun, but it’s unavailable to 95% of the world. Then again, I’m sure fans outside the U.S. won’t have trouble dusting off their digital eye-patches; the other option is waiting until Disney+ arrives locally, anywhere between next week and 2021 depending on where you live. 

The Mandalorian, like all Star Wars under Disney, trades on nostalgia. I imagine anyone allured by a helmet evoking Boba Fett already knows he isn’t part of the series, so the imagery alone appears to be a selling-point. In its brief forty-minute premiere (directed by Dave Fliloni of The Clone Wars fame), the show introduces us to a “Mandalorian,” a phrase that holds little meaning to those not already immersed in Star Wars books and comics. This nameless, faceless bounty hunter is meant to be the story’s emotional core. Pedro Pascal plays him with reserve (as he ought to; this Mandalorian keeps to himself), but what we learn about him comes from what little body language he’s allowed to express. A Mandalorian, as the show goes on to reveal, never removes his mask. 

Spoilers for the first episode begin here.

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Friends reunion

It turns out HBO Max is the one that will be there for us. The forthcoming WarnerMedia streaming service is working hard to bring the cast of Friends back together in an unscripted reunion special. This would be the first time the cast of the hit sitcom, which has found new life as one of the most lucrative streaming titles on the market, would reunite onscreen since the show wrapped up its 10-season run in 2004.

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There’s an old episode of The Simpsons, from its ninth season, that I’ve been thinking a lot about this fall. It’s called “Lisa’s Sax”, and is intended as an origin/flashback of sorts dedicated to Lisa’s beloved musical instrument. The episode is largely set in 1990, and one of the pop-culture references intended to root the episode in that year occurs when we see Homer on the couch watching the David Lynch-created TV drama Twin Peaks. We hear a man compliment the “damn fine coffee” in Twin Peaks, before he begins dancing seductively with an anthropomorphized horse. Homer, watching, says to no one in particular, “Brilliant! …I have no idea what’s going on.”

This is the part where I tell you that this preamble is leading into an essay all about the experience of watching Watchmen, the HBO drama developed by Damon Lindelof that is ostensibly an adaptation, or a remix, or a floor wax and a dessert topping, of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel of the same name. I’ve arrived at the new Watchmen with only so much awareness of the source material. In an act I immediately came to regret, I paid money to see the Zack Snyder film based on the graphic novel, which mostly served as a very effective deterrent to me ever wanting to read the graphic novel. (I understand that it’s apparently different, and better, than the film. But still.) 

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Hobbs and Shaw Honest Trailer

The Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw closed out the summer with a lot of ridiculous action. It was too long for some, didn’t have enough “family” for others, but you really can’t say that it was anymore stupid than the rest of the Fast and Furious movies that have slowly become superhero movies with cars. However, it did somehow manage to have even more testosterone than any of the other films in the franchise while simultaneously having an overwhelming amount of flirting.

Watch the Hobbs and Shaw Honest Trailer below to see how they break it down. Read More »

Star Wars Skywalker Saga Trailer

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, watch a powerful Star Wars trailer for the entire saga using the music from the most recent The Rise of Skywalker trailer. Plus, see how Last Christmas cast members Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and more feel about certain holiday favorites like Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life, and see if Tig Notaro can figure out who Kaley Cuoco is in a new edition of Under a Rock. Read More »

Justice League - Ray Fisher - Snyder Cut

Does Ryan Reynolds really support the release of The Snyder Cut of Justice League? Who is petitioning to have Amber Heard fired from Aquaman 2? Which comic art is being sent to space? What does James Mangold have to say about Martin Scorsese‘s Marvel comments? Want to see what Baby Thanos would have looked like? How did Nebula originally die in an earlier draft of Avengers: Endgame? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

point horror anthology series

Point Horror, a series of young adult horror books penned by authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, is headed to the small screen. HBO Max is developing a Point Horror anthology series. Each episode of the show will be inspired by one of the original books, complete with a “nostalgic nod to the 1990s” – the era in which the books originated.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

carnival row season 2

Amazon is fully invested in Carnival Row, the dark fantasy series that is one of many shows vying to take the empty spot left by Game of Thrones. Even before the Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne-led series aired its first season, Amazon renewed the original series for a second season. Now, mere months after the first season dropped on Amazon Prime Video, Carnival Row season 2 has already begun production. To mark the start of production, the cast teased new plotlines and characters that will be introduced in the fantasy series in a video below.

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