I Am Mother Robot

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 as Adam Savage goes behind the scene at Weta Workshop to take a closer look at the robot from the Netflix movie I Am Mother. Plus, Shazam! star Zachary Levi has an encounter with The Tethered from Jordan Peele’s Us, and a video goes behind the scenes of some classic sketches from Nickelodeon’s original iteration of All That. Read More »

New Blu-ray Releases Us

In this week’s Blu-ray round-up, Jordan Peele’s latest horror masterpiece comes home. Along with that we have a gorgeous stoner comedy, two comedy classics, a horror-comedy showcase for Tom Atkins, and a neo-noir that’s sure to develop cult status sooner rather than later. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

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Us behind-the-scenes

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: Jordan Peele’s Us explains itself too much and that’s a big problem.)

Note: Us hits Blu-ray and DVD today, but this article assumes you have already seen it. Spoilers ahead.

Mysteries are hard to write. A good mystery needs a compelling opening hook and a satisfying or shocking conclusion, but more importantly, it needs to parcel out the right amount of connecting information, at the right pace. Can the audience follow the story? Do they get ahead of the characters, or solve the clues right alongside them? Do they get confused? Is that intentional or unintentional?

Jordan Peele’s Us is horror first and social commentary second, but it contains more than a little mystery. Opening with young Adelaide discovering a “mirror” version of herself, it continues to puzzle the audience with the years-later appearance of Adelaide’s complete mirror family. Mirror Adelaide, labeled Red in the credits, calls these people the Tethered, and her exact origins and motivations are revealed over the rest of the film. Twists abound.

Us’ script is structured in a way that seems designed specifically for today’s age of YouTube explainer videos, “Things You Missed” articles, and Reddit fan-theory boards. And yet, even understanding that the film demands active, participatory thought from its audience, the film’s story is missing clarity. But Us’ issue isn’t that it doesn’t explain itself enough.

Rather, Us explains itself too much.

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Us blu-ray giveaway

Jordan Peele‘s twisty, mysterious horror hit Us arrives on Blu-ray next week. In honor of the impending home media release, we’re giving away Us and Peele’s first film, Get Out, on Blu. Here’s your chance to own two of the best horror movies of the 21st century, together.

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Us behind-the-scenes

Jordan Peele‘s Us was a film that many viewers spent countless hours trying to dissect. Peele employed symbolism, mystery, and more to create one of the year’s most unique films – the type of movie people can get downright obsessive about. Us is now on digital and headed to Blu-ray later this month, bringing with it several special features. In three Us behind-the-scenes clips below, Peele breaks down some of the film’s many secrets. Beware of spoilers if you still haven’t seen this movie yet.

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Jordan Peele's Us Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra and OnDemand

Even though everyone is talking about Avengers: Endgame after the sequel’s record-breaking opening weekend, let’s not forget about Jordan Peele‘s Us. Not only did the original horror movie break box office records of its own, but it was a buzzworthy movie worth talking about extensively. Now we’ll be able to dive even deeper into the film as Us hits Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD and OnDemand in June, and it comes with an underground bunker’s worth of special features. Read More »

In the ‘60s, the author Kurt Vonnegut spoke about what he called the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts. In a speech to American Physical Society, he said, “This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever.”

It’s a useful prism to think about art that tries to tell us something and something I thought of often as I watched Jordan Peele’s Us. Us is a movie with a lot to say. I wouldn’t dare to presume that I knew what it was trying to say, or what underlying lesson Peele wanted me to learn for certain, but I can tell you what it told me. If you’re reading this, I can presume you’ve seen Us. You know that it’s about a world of shadowy “tethers” who are linked to us down below. You know that these reflections of us have nothing and are down below for reasons we can’t begin to fathom. You know that the only thing these reflections want, at least one of them in particular, is a better life for themselves. When you throw in a healthy dose of horror and film’s final twist, you have something that’s equal parts Twilight Zone and Mark Twain.

Spoilers for Us lie ahead.

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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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us twist ending explained

You’ve seen Us by now, right? It’s been out for a couple of weeks, and people can’t stop talking about all its twists and turns. Still, if you’ve yet to see Jordan Peele‘s mind-bending horror film, and have also managed to avoid spoilers up until now, you might want to turn back this instance. For everyone else, continue on to hear Peele’s own thoughts on why the Us ending had to happen the way it did.

Spoilers follow.

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Dumbo Box Office

When Disney brings a new movie based on one of their classics to theaters, you can bet they’re going to take the top spot at the box office. That’s especially true when the only real competition is holdovers from the previous weeks. But in this case, even though Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo soared to the top spot with $45 million, it didn’t quite match the expectations put forth by the studio and analysts.

Meanwhile, Jordan Peele’s Us and the Avengers: Endgame predecessor Captain Marvel are still riding their own waves of box office success.  Read More »