The cast of the Dwayne Johnson-led DC comic book movie Black Adam just found its newest addition. Sarah Shahi, a very busy actress with numerous television and film credits to her name, has joined the ensemble. But unlike most of the other newcomers to the cast, it sounds like she won’t be playing a superhero in this superhero movie.

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The upcoming action comedy Free Guy is built around a wild high-concept premise: what if an ordinary person living in a chaotic world learned that their reality was a video game and they were simply a background character within it? And what if that outrageous concept was really a metaphor about taking control of your existence and learning to connect with others?

That was the key takeaway during an online press conference for the film, where director Shawn Levy, stars Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, and several others all assembled over Zoom to talk about the movie. Here are the key takeaways.

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Unmatched, the board game series where characters from myth, legend, literature, and pop culture all clash in the nerdiest battle of all time, is heading to Sunnydale. Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a standalone game that lets players fight it out as Buffy, Willow, Angel, and Spike using detailed miniatures and cards featuring stunning artwork from Heather Vaughan. And naturally, it can be combined with past editions, so the Slayer and her crew can take on Bigfoot, Bruce Lee, and yes, even Dracula.

/Film is pleased to debut an exclusive first look at the game components. We’re even more pleased to reveal that the game is available for pre-order online right now before hitting retail shelves in mid-November.

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The Series: The Venture Bros.

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: What if a raunchy parody of Jonny Quest and other old school adventure cartoons grew into one of the richest, funniest, and most human shows on television? What if two pop culture geniuses and their tiny crew spent 17 years and seven seasons crafting a show that quickly grew tired of making fun of its world and instead chose to invest in it with layered mythology, complex characters, and fascinating mysteries? What if the crude animation of the early seasons evolved into quietly beautiful work, showcasing stunning action, brilliant character designs, and a downright cinematic framing? The Venture Bros. was the quiet miracle of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line-up, an always-evolving magic trick that was never content to sit still. A silly cartoon that learned to let its characters, and stakes, matter.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: They’ve done it. The bastards did it. The Venture Bros. has been canceled before its eighth season, leaving its cast of dozens and their overlapping narratives dangling. And while we wait to see if someone, anyone, will rescue it and give it more a second life, all we can do is look back on one of the greatest achievements in American animation.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: You know, it’s only the sequel to one of the greatest Hollywood blockbusters of all time. And you know, it’s only a Steven Spielberg movie, his first after directing Schindler’s List and winning the Academy Award for Best Director. But The Lost World: Jurassic Park is the kind of stunning act of mediocrity that disappointed at the time but fascinates over two decades later. This is what a genius, with all of the resources in the world, produces when he just doesn’t care.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: So, why do I recommend revisiting a movie that most people have recognized as just not being very good? A movie that Spielberg himself has described as “inferior”? Because sometimes it’s valuable to examine a failure and see what we can learn from it. And by taking a look at The Lost World, we can better and more fully understand why its predecessor is such a masterpiece.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The MovieClass Action Park

Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max

The Pitch: For an entire generation of Americans raised in the New York and New Jersey area, Action Park was the wild and crazy amusement park where the lack of rules and safety regulations forced you to grit your teeth through injuries as you endured water slides designed by maniacs. For another generation, it’s become one of the internet’s most astonishing urban legends. This place wasn’t real, was it? Everyone was exaggerating, right? The new documentary Class Action Park, from directors Chris Charles Scott and Seth Porges, gathers former employees and visitors to tell their stories, alongside tons of astonishing footage from when the park was open. And it turns out Action Park was as nuts, and as dangerous, as you’ve heard.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: The COVID-19 pandemic means most of the world is unable to visit theme parks or water parks right now. And Class Action Park does a fine job of making “staying in your home and not doing anything at all” feel like a great choice. The film’s look back at this monstrous, unregulated amusement park is both hilarious and chilling, a portrait of a terrible park that could have only existed in one time and in one place. Even when the film missteps, it’s impossible to deny that the footage shown and the stories shared will leave your jaw on the floor.

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Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League

After redefining the modern superhero video game with Batman: Arkham Asylum and its two sequels, Rocksteady is returning to the DC Universe. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League puts players in control of several members of “Task Force X,” the team of supervillains tasked with saving the day when traditional heroes can’t get the job done. And they may have their toughest job yet: some kind of alien menace has taken control of the world’s greatest superheroes and someone has to take them down. Watch the big reveal trailer below.

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Gotham Knights Video Game

Batman is dead. So it’s up to you now.

Thankfully, “you” are Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and the Red Hood, Batman’s extended family of allies who have fought on the streets of Gotham alongside him for years. And in the new Gotham Knights video game, you get to get to take control of these supporting characters as they step into the spotlight to save the day following their mentor’s sudden demise.

Gotham Knights was unveiled at the DC FanDome event today, which showcased the first trailer and some extended gameplay. You can watch it all below.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The SeriesThe World’s Toughest Race

Where You Can Stream It: Amazon Prime Video

The Pitch: What if Survivor…but without the game show structure? What if The Amazing Race…but actually physically grueling and mentally punishing? What if Man vs. Wild…but with 66 teams, many of them fascinating and relatable men and women who put themselves through hell for personal, frequently heartfelt reasons? You can see the DNA of The World’s Toughest Race spread across other reality shows, but I don’t think there’s ever been a reality competition series this harrowing, this massive, or this ambitious.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: You don’t have to be familiar with the niche sport of “Adventure Racing” to enjoy The World’s Toughest Race, a 10-episode series that follows the contestants of the 2020 Eco-Challenge race in Fiji. Hundreds of contestants representing dozens of nations race from one end of the island nation to the other, hitting various checkpoints and following certain physical disciplines, but otherwise given an astonishing amount of free rein to get from one point to the next. Over the course of 11 grueling days, some teams triumph, some of them fail, and each and every one of them struggles, pushed to the physical and mental limit by the elements and by one another. And goodness gracious, it’s thrilling stuff.

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The One and Only Ivan Director Interview

The One and Only Ivan is a movie defined by its kindness. Sweet and often sad, it’s a tale of animals in captivity that understands why these creatures need to be free while also empathizing with the human desire to be close to these animals in the first place. It’s a delicate balance for a family movie, and one that director Thea Sharrock pulls off.

Ahead of the film’s release on Disney+ later this week, I spoke with Sharrock over Zoom about creating the CGI animal characters, making a film where the main motivation of the “villain” comes from a place of love, and why she intentionally left green out of the film’s color palette.

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