his dark materials the idea of the north review

I’m not usually one to encourage people to stick around with a show because “it gets good later!” But if newcomers to His Dark Materials were uncertain about this series after the intriguing but confusing first episode, then the second episode may be the one to hook them. Not that “The Idea of the North” is any less mystifying or provides any more answers to the many mysteries that it’s juggling. But with its mid-episode reveal — which comes as a surprise even to longtime book fans — it dramatically opens up the world(s) of the HBO fantasy series.

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The War of the Worlds Review

H.G. Well’s seminal sci-fi tale of an alien invasion has captivated audiences for over a century. Orson Welles, Byron Haskin and Steven Spielberg all famously adapted The War of the Worlds and gave it a contemporary (and American) setting in order to make the aliens a stand in for anything from mass media to the 9/11 attacks. But now, the story finally returns to its English roots, with a BBC series serving as the first adaptation of the story as a period piece, and it mostly works.

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his dark materials lyra's jordan review

His Dark Materials wants you to take it seriously now. And with the first episode of HBO and BBC’s TV series adaptation of Philip Pullman‘s beloved fantasy adventure novels, it achieves just that — albeit to both positive and negative effects.

Long tucked away in the children’s sections of libraries and bookstores, the His Dark Materials novels have legions of fans who have desperately wished for Pullman’s twist on Milton’s Paradise Lost to be taken seriously as a smart, even times philosophical, fantasy adventure story. In its first episode, “Lyra’s Jordan,” it’s clear that His Dark Materials TV series is most definitely “made for adults.” Prestige director Tom Hooper bestows upon the series a muted color palette and lots of shadowy corners for the whispered schemes to take place, while Jack Thorne‘s script crafts a vast web of intersecting storylines that are much more complicated than that of the book’s original adventure story revolving around the bull-headed orphan Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) on a quest to rescue her friend. But by shifting the focus away from Keen’s fiery little heroine, we never get to really know “Lyra’s Jordan” or the rich, vibrant world that Pullman created — the first episode is a little too heavy on table-setting and a little too fixated on those shadowy corners.

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his dark materials review

We do not speak of the 2007 feature film The Golden Compass. Chris Weitz’s botched adaptation of the acclaimed Philip Pullman fantasy novel came at the tail end of a string of Harry Potter knock-offs, and suffered from being reduced into a typical children’s fantasy adventure without all the religious themes and dark undertones that made Pullman’s epic inversion of Milton’s Paradise Lost so great. But I’m inevitably going to draw comparisons to that nonsensical disaster of a film in this review of His Dark Materials, HBO and BBC’s lavish, enthralling, and infinitely more successful adaptation.

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BBC War of the Worlds Trailer

Steven Spielberg had the aliens from H.G. Wells classic sci-fi invasion story War of Worlds tear through Boston and the rest of the modern world back in 2005, which feels like a lifetime ago. Now the BBC is giving the story a new adaptation in the form of a miniseries, but as the War of the Worlds trailer shows, this one throws the invasion back to Edwardian England, bringing the British people of the early 1900s face-to-face with technology the likes of which they’ve never seen before, truly a nightmare from another world. Watch the BBC War of the Worlds trailer below. Read More »

fleabag season 3

There were a lot of winners at last night’s 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, but none won bigger than Fleabag. Phoebe Waller-Bridge‘s razor-sharp dark comedy series about a grief-stricken, sexually promiscuous woman trying to survive in modern London was a sleeper sensation this year, earning critical acclaim and awakening many a fan’s love for Hot Priests.

But the series came to a definitive end with the bittersweet second season, with Waller-Bridge ruling out a possibility of a Fleabag season 3. And that’s how it will stay, Waller-Bridge confirmed to reporters, clutching her many trophies in hand at the 2019 Emmy Awards.

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peaky blinders season 5 trailer

Cillian Murphy has played crime lord Tommy Shelby for four seasons now, but in Peaky Blinders season 5, he’s going to have to defend his crown. The BBC/Netflix series has documented Tommy Shelby’s rise from crime lord to member of Parliament, but with the aftermath of the great financial crash of 1929, the former crime lord is thrust into a world in chaos. Watch the Peaky Blinders season 5 trailer below.

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dublin murders trailer

How many chilling crime dramas centering around a series of small-town deaths can you have? Never too many, as the Dublin Murders trailer proves, delivering to us yet another crime drama filled with resolutely creepy imagery and lots of woods. The Starz crime drama follows two detectives as they investigate the mysterious death of a young girl on the outskirts of Dublin, which may be connected to a series of unexplained child murders. Watch the Dublin Murders trailer below.

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his dark materials voice cast

You can’t have your epic atheist fantasy series without your requisite talking animals. And the His Dark Materials voice cast for its furry friends, and a few furry enemies, is quite impressive. HBO and BBC announced the voice cast for animal counterparts, or daemons, of His Dark Materials which include the likes of Helen McCrory, David Suchet, and more.

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his dark materials cast

You’ve met Hot Priest, now meet…Hot Mystery Character That We Can’t Reveal Too Much About Yet. But either way, Andrew Scott will be making much use of his brand of hot dishevelment as the newest addition to the His Dark Materials cast for the second season of the HBO/BBC fantasy series.

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