the mandalorian special look

Naturally, there are spoilers for the first episode here.

The Mandalorian is the first live-action television series to spring from the world of Star Wars. Created by Jon Favreau, this first episode is directed by Dave Filoni, the powerhouse mind behind Lucasfilm’s popular (and important) animated shows. It stars Pedro Pascal as a nameless Mandalorian bounty hunter who gets an offer for a job he can’t refuse from another nameless mystery man with Imperial connections played by Werner Herzog. Along the way, he joins forces with an ugnaught voiced by Nick Nolte and a suicidal bounty hunting droid named IG-11 voiced by Taika Waititi.

Ultimately, it’s a classic spaghetti western set-up, taking all the best tropes of Japanese samurai cinema and reformatting them into a western. The show merely takes that one step further by dropping it seamlessly into a galaxy far, far away.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Rick and Morty Season 4 Premiere Review

After a long wait that felt as excruciating as existence does for a Mr. Meeseeks, Rick and Morty is finally back. If you were worried that the story would get old, or that the toxic, riot-causing fanbase would affect the quality of the episodes in any way, you can put those worries to rest. The season 4 premiere is as smart and funny as anything the show has done before, and it paves the way for a confident future – even if it’s just basically more of the same.

Read More »

Star Wars Resistance Season 2 Episode 6

The Colossus sends a shuttle with Kaz (Christopher Sean), Torra (Myrna Velasco), and Flix (Jim Rash) and Orka (Bobby Moynihan) to Flix’s stormy homeworld of Drahgor III. After their run from the First Order back in “The Engineer,” they’re in desperate need of fuel, and Flix’s family refinery could be their salvation. If not, the entire Colossus community will be stranded. But Flix must persuade his snarky estranged and identical cousins to relinquish some fuel. He is incensed to discover that their operation is now engaging in deep-core drilling, warning them that their drilling will disturb some beasts. Kaz barters with Flix’s cousins to fix their drill deep in the bowels of the planet’s core in exchange for fuel. However, they must confront those beasts below.

Read More »

Watchmen If You Don't Like My Story Write Your Own

After three stellar episodes in a row, Watchmen stumbles ever so slightly with episode four, “If You Don’t Like My Story, Write Your Own.” That’s not to say this episode is bad. It’s just the first episode we’ve encountered that feels like, well…filler. Almost everything that happens this week is meant to set up something else further down the road, and while the payoff might be worth it, getting there can be a tad frustrating.

Read More »

She-Ra Season 4 Review

Noelle Stevenson’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is back on Netflix and nothing is the same anymore. Even though Adora (Aimee Carrero) in her sword-wielding She-Ra form and her Rebellion have managed to stop the Horde’s inter-dimensional armageddon, the threat looms closer. Last we left off, season 3 saw the sacrifice and vanishing of Queen Angella, leaving Princess Glimmer (Karen Fukuhara) to ascend to the Bright Moon throne in “The Coronation.” Her friendship with Adora and Bow (Marcus Scribner) is then tested by heated disagreements over how to save their home from the evil Horde.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

Disney Plus costs

Disney+ will officially join the streaming wars in just over a week on November 12. With it comes hundreds of The Walt Disney Company’s movies and television shows from over the decades, but there’s also a wave of original programming along with it. The most anticipated show is undoubtedly the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Unfortunately, that series hasn’t been made available to critics for review, and it won’t be until it bows on the launch day for Disney+. However, the subscription service has plenty more Disney+ original shows to offer, and we’ve seen some of them.

We were given access to early screeners of the first wave of original programming on Disney+, which includes the Disney theme park documentary series The Imagineering Story, the National Geographic culture documentary series The World According to Jeff Goldblum, the high school drama reunion reality series Encore!, the inspirational kid-focused reality series The Marvel Hero Project, and the scripted mockumentary series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Are any of these shows worth watching with a Disney+ subscription? We sampled each of them. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Watchmen She Was Killed by Space Junk

Up until this week’s episode, Watchmen has been devoting most of its time to new characters. But in “She Was Killed by Space Junk”, it’s time for us to check in with a name from the past: Laurie Blake, aka Silk Spectre. As played by Jean Smart (who is having the time of her life here), Laurie’s costumed days are long behind her, and she’s an FBI agent who has grown just as cynical as her late father, the Comedian. As Angela remains mostly in the background, Laurie charges through episode 3 digging up clues, and reflecting on her storied past.

Read More »