Us and Twilight Zone Comparison

“The past is past,” a severely stressed-out man says to himself, staring in a cramped bathroom mirror. “The past….is past.” In spite of being encouraged to say this mantra by his therapist as a way to calm himself, it doesn’t work. That’s in part because the past is what you carry through to your present whether you like it or not. The notion of the past hovering over you as an inescapable force is a theme that runs rampant in a new film and a new TV show, both of which share the same creative mind: Jordan Peele.

First, there’s his gripping new horror film Us, and then there’s the revival of The Twilight Zone, on which he serves as host and executive producer. Though the opening mantra, “The past is past”, comes from one of the new Twilight Zone episodes, it’s just as applicable to what happens in Us.

This post contains major spoilers for Us and minor spoilers for the first several episodes of The Twilight Zone.

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Mickey's Philharmagic

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic is coming to Anaheim.
  • Disneyland has announced a new, Pixar-themed…parking lot.
  • A new fireworks show is coming to the Magic Kingdom this Halloween.
  • Disney Springs is introducing a new sports experience.
  • And more!

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dumbo trailer

Some stories are best left as they are. This is a fairly unavoidable takeaway from Tim Burton’s unnecessary live-action/CG remake of the Disney animated classic Dumbo. Though not remotely as noxious and garish as his 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland, Burton has not solved the puzzle of figuring out a halfway decent creative reason for this film to exist. An A-list cast, high budget, and all the other trappings of a modern blockbuster can’t get this thing off the ground.

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Disney Parks Spider-Man suit concept art

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Details of the new Spider-Man attraction heading to Disney California Adventure are available.
  • Epcot is bringing a brand-new film to its park.
  • The PeopleMover at Disney World is the source of a new lawsuit.
  • And more!

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Harry Potter theme park ride

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Universal has announced details of its new Harry Potter attraction, including an opening date.
  • Walt Disney World ticket prices have gone up again.
  • The family of a boy who suffered an injury on Universal’s E.T. ride is suing.
  • The Indiana Jones stunt show is getting an update.
  • And more!

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Five Feet Apart Trailer

Haley Lu Richardson has “up-and-coming movie star” written all over her, from her innate charm to her high-wattage smile, which she puts to excellent use in the sappy star-crossed romance Five Feet Apart. Richardson, who established herself with her impressive work in The Edge of Seventeen, Columbus, and Support The Girls, has an undeniable charisma that ensures her performance here is something truly special. The film surrounding Richardson, unfortunately, ends up being so mawkish and contrived that it’s more likely to elicit groans than tears.

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Splash at 35

(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises.)

1984 was a transitional period for Hollywood. You don’t have to be deep in the weeds of film history to know this is the year when the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating, a response to frustrated parents who felt that the PG-rated films Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were far too inappropriate for their children. But while the PG-13 rating had, and continues to have, major ramifications on the industry and the types of films it makes, 1984 was a transitory year for the Walt Disney Company too. This month marks the 35th anniversary of a major step forward for the company as a whole: the release of Ron Howard’s Splash. Read More »

star wars galaxy's edge concept art-1

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has a confirmed opening date, but there’s a catch.
  • Disney has filed for demolition of Innoventions in Epcot.
  • Cook like you’re in the Mos Eisley Cantina with a theme-park-flavored cookbook.
  • And more!

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star wars galaxys edge

In this edition:

  • Disney has unveiled a lot of exciting new details about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
  • Are they going to charge guests to buy a FastPass for the new rides in Disneyland?
  • Universal is introducing a nighttime light-projection Harry Potter show.
  • And more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

I Am the Night

One of the hallmarks of Peak TV – the era in which we live where there’s just so much good TV, too much for any one person to watch – is the presence of people you typically only associate with the big screen. Certainly, some of the agreed-upon best TV shows of the 21st century are able to tell longer-form stories than any film, or even series of films, could. But shows like The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and others also stand out either because they looked as impressive as films or because they featured people from the world of film on a small screen, no longer thought of as slumming it.

Of course, the downside of the migration of cinematic talent to the world of TV is that it’s no longer automatically remarkable to see an A-list movie star on a TV show, or a big-name director behind the camera of such a show. Timing, as they say, is everything, and timing is part of what makes the TNT limited series I Am the Night something of a letdown. It ought to be a big deal — the director and one of the stars of last year’s zeitgeist-y superhero film Wonder Woman have reunited for a period-piece crime drama that incorporates both fictionalized elements as well as the infamous Black Dahlia Killer to tell the story of a young woman whose past is far more sordid than even she realized. Instead, I Am the Night is a show that feels out of place in 2019.

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