The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Could Save Us From the Homogeny of Modern Cinema


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Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

When The Dark Crystal first premiered in 1982, it fueled the dreams and nightmares of many children, but it also represented a dream of Muppets-creator, Jim Henson—to bring puppetry into new and darker creative realms, recognized as an art form that could be used in complex storytelling. While The Dark Crystal was a modest box office success, 1986’s Labyrinth didn’t recoup its budget, and Henson’s death in 1990 slowed the company’s forays into projects of such scale. The Jim Henson Creature Shop continues to do exemplary work in its creation of puppets for film and television, but productions that truly rely solely on puppetry for visual effects remain few and far between.

Given the state of things, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is perfectly poised to remind us all of what we’re missing.

Though it receives cult classic status by many metrics, The Dark Crystal suffered as a film ...

Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

“No One Belongs Here”: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Finale and Season 4 Predictions


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The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions is June dead

“June did this,” an emotional Rita whispers to Luke upon their first meeting at an airport in Toronto, after stepping off a plane filled with fifty-odd escapees from Gilead. The entire third season of The Handmaid’s Tale, with its weird stop-and-start pace, summed up in a single line, and yet I couldn’t help having a similar reaction to Luke: OK? So why isn’t she here with them?

Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season 3.

The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions Rita "June did this"

Screenshot: Hulu

Maybe that was me reading into O-T Fagbenle’s face acting, but it’s clear that at the very least Luke is disappointed. Neither June nor Hannah materializes in this scene that manages to make even an airport reunion dystopian. (“Rebecca?” Cue the tears.) No amount of secondhand praise will make up for the fact that June decided, once again, to stay behind in Gilead. More and more, he is presented with ...

The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions Luke
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions Aunt Lydia flashback
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions Commander Lawrence Bradley Whitford
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions
The Handmaid's Tale season 3 finale season 4 predictions Serena Joy Nichole

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Finale: Here We Go Again!


This post is by Alan Brown from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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We’ve reached the grand finale of Season Six for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and once again, the fate of the world stands in the balance. The season so far has been a lot of fun, with the cast and the writers all very comfortable in their roles. We’ve enjoyed plenty of action, intrigue and some great fight scenes. The appearance of a Coulson-like character, who appeared to be a villain, added an intriguing element of mystery to the show. We got some exciting and often-humorous space adventures. And now, only our intrepid agents can save humanity from serving as unwilling hosts to a race of malevolent alien spirits—not to mention the army of angry space aliens intent on destruction.

Only Agents who are cleared to observe SPOILERS should proceed beyond this point!

This episode brings the sixth season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H....

Pennyworth Is Best When It Commits to Crazy


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I want to be fully onboard with Pennyworth because it is, in the parlance of our times, batshit. Sometimes the erratic, overstuffed plot works beautifully, as when young Alfred Pennyworth earns his pay with some troublesome night club ruffians. Other times, as when young Alfred Pennyworth attempts to romance a Posh Girl, things are a bit bumpier. But even then, there are dirigibles floating over London? There are shadowy conspiracies afoot? There is a chance meeting with a certain gentleman named Wayne?

Overall, if you like Gotham, you like British spy stories, you like terrifying female villains, you just really like the Batman mythos a whole lot? You’ll find a lot to love in Pennyworth, and so much insanity that even the stuff that doesn’t quite work goes down like a skillfully-shaken martini.

The idea of not just giving Alfred a backstory, but fleshing it out in the ...

Stranger Things Season 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Horror


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Strange Things, season 3

Stranger Things season three arrived on Netflix for the Fourth of July holiday, and the Hawkins, Indiana crew came back to suffer more torments at the hands of the Upside Down. But how did this season hold up compared to the previous two? Let’s separate it out….

 

The Good

  • The relationships between female characters were given a bit more than a passing glance this year, and they all had more to do in terms of the plot. Eleven gets to have a friendship outside of the original DnD quartet! She and Max have a fun shopping montage! Nancy spends time actually speaking to her mother and they bond! Women are aware of each other’s existence and they help each other and talk to each other! Why did it take so long for the show to get here, again?
  • 1980s legends continue to pop up all over the place, but ...

Stranger Things Season 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Body Horror


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Strange Things, season 3

Stranger Things season three arrived on Netflix for the Fourth of July holiday, and the Hawkins, Indiana crew came back to suffer more torments at the hands of the Upside Down. But how did this season hold up compared to the previous two? Let’s separate it out….

 

The Good

  • The relationships between female characters were given a bit more than a passing glance this year, and they all had more to do in terms of the plot. Eleven gets to have a friendship outside of the original DnD quartet! She and Max have a fun shopping montage! Nancy spends time actually speaking to her mother and they bond! Women are aware of each other’s existence and they help each other and talk to each other! Why did it take so long for the show to get here, again?
  • 1980s legends continue to pop up all over the place, but ...

Black Mirror Season 5’s Standout Episode Addresses Black Male Queerness Through Virtual Reality


This post is by Natalie Zutter from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Black Mirror season 5 "Striking Vipers" review Anthony Mackie

In the world of Black Mirror, the greatest tragedy occurs because of a moment of boredom. A man recounts driving down an unending stretch of road late at night—”and it’s boring,” he groans of that long, unbroken road, devoid of any stimulation or variety. It would be harsh, not to mention inaccurate, to call the latest season of Black Mirror boring, because a peek inside Charlie Brooker’s brain will always be amusing. However, five years into his dire predictions about humanity and technology, it’s getting harder and harder to be surprised.

In part it’s because we’ve seen the same narrative beats, presented more compellingly, in past installments: virtual reality as a space of freedom for queer identity; tragedy refracted and disseminated through social media; digital copies that assert their uniqueness even over their flesh-and-blood predecessors. But also this season’s three offerings, even the ones that skew more outlandish, ...

Black Mirror season 5 "Striking Vipers" review Anthony Mackie
Black Mirror season 5 review "Rachel Jack and Ashley Too"
Black Mirror season 5 "Smithereens" review Andrew Scott

The Good Omens Miniseries is a Love Story, and I Will Never Recover From It


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Good Omens, Prime Video, trailer, Aziraphale and Crowley

I have been a devotee of Good Omens for the majority of my life. It is among my favorite books… ever? I’m going with ever. I was deeply entrenched in the fandom in college, and never miss an excuse to drag out my copy and read bits aloud. And in all the time I’ve been enamored, there have been rumors about this and that adaptation. Films and treatments and whispers and rumors and actors ranging from Robin Williams to Johnny Depp and beyond. The eventual audio drama. And then, finally, after years of waiting, we received what we deserved.

It’s the end of the world, my dears. And who could have predicted how delightful it would turn out to be?

As a translation of the book to television, the show works gorgeously. Finding that middle ground between being too slavish to the original or driving off the map entirely is ...

And Now Her Watch Is Ended: Writing 8 Years of Game of Thrones Reviews


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Millions of fans watch Game of Thrones like it’s their job, but when you review television, it is in fact your job.

All the recent articles looking back on the early days of Thrones might have you reminiscing about what was going on in your life when the show first started, and everyone in your circle was eagerly awaiting the same pop culture mega-event.

For me, there were colleagues who joined me in ducking out of work early to stalk the Game of Thrones’ food trucks; my BFF helped create themed cocktail recipes for crowded viewing parties; and there were so many knowing looks passed between two strangers both reading ASoIaF books on the subway.

This was before people started ducking out on the show because of lack of time, general boredom, or because they didn’t like the amount of violence on display, especially sexual violence. Then there are ...

Game of Thrones Series Finale Discussion Thread


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




How ready are we for the last episode of Game of Thrones ever?

I’m still processing my feelings about last week’s episode, so I’m a bit conflicted. Like, I’m wearing my Lady Olenna T-shirt and I made lemoncakes, but I’m also thinking about fear of female power, corrupt rulers, and men who fail upward. It was really hard not to dwell on these aspects of the show, over the course of this very long week.

On a scale of Dexter (the worst) to Six Feet Under (still the gold standard,) where will Game of Thrones rank on the series finale continuum?

I’m predicting this episode will fall somewhere above Lost but far below Breaking Bad. Maybe somewhere around Battlestar Galactica, where I can still stand rewatching the show, but stop before seeing the final season again.

I’m less about hating the Mad Queen development for Dany, but still don’t ...

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Six Premiere: But He Looks Just Like Coulson!


This post is by Alan Brown from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are back! During the last season, the team traveled to a dystopian future on the fragments of a destroyed Earth, but they were able to return to the present and prevent the catastrophe. Agent Coulson is dead; the Tahiti treatment that brought him back to life finally wore out, and he spent his last few days on a tropical island with Agent May. Fitz had not traveled to the future with the team and instead waited out the years in suspended animation on a spaceship with the mysterious alien Enoch. Enoch died in the future, and Fitz died when they returned to Earth—but due to the magic of time travel, the team is back in a time where Fitz and Enoch are not dead yet, and can be rescued from space before their future deaths happen. And of course the team ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Discussion Thread


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Do you have your tissues handy?

This is it, people! The penultimate episode; the true end is in sight. Who will sit on the Iron Throne…and do you even care anymore? It’s easy to feel like you know exactly where this show is going, but Game of Thrones still manages to bust out some real show-stopping surprises when you least expect it.

As this is the very final stretch of the very final season, we’re going to keep the ravens flying with an open discussion thread. Come join us in drinking even more Cersei haterade (i.e. even more wine), mourning the beloved characters who’ve fallen this week, and placing bets on how the very last episode will pan out.

As always, all spoilers for show episodes that have aired on HBO, as well as the published books, are fair game in the comments—this does not include leaked information and ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4 Discussion Thread


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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…You mean we still have more Game of Thrones left after the Battle of Winterfell?!

Oh right, the most hated couple in all of Westeros are still alive. Just look at those smug faces, with their fancy velvet clothes and well-rested armies. This aggression will not stand, man.

As this is the very final stretch of the very final season, we’re going to keep the ravens flying with an open discussion thread. Come join us in drinking the Cersei haterade (i.e. wine), and don’t forget to wear your sunglasses because after last week, your eyes might need to adjust to all this daylight.

As always, all spoilers for the show and books are fair game in the comments, and we ask that you keep our commenting guidelines in mind and keep the conversation constructive and civil—otherwise, go nuts!

What we’re still talking about a week later:

  • Keep basking in ...

American Gods Season 2 Review


This post is by Alex Brown from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Look, I didn’t love the second season of American Gods. I’m not even sure I liked it all that much. I definitely didn’t actively dislike it, although that’s not saying very much. The first three episodes of the second season were mostly disappointing, and the rest of the season is, with a few big exceptions, more of the same. Although there was much to enjoy—I want a whole webseries set at Al Grimnir’s Regius Theater—the overall experience was mediocre at best, and downright aggravating at worst.

Spoilers ahoy.

What American Gods does well is tell stories about stories. Quoth Mr. Ibis, “Stories are truer than the truth,” and that might as well be the show’s tagline. No “coming to America” opening tales this season means that all the stories-about-stories have to be inserted directly into the main narrative. With Wednesday, we have learned to expect a thick layer of lies ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: “The Battle of Winterfell” Discussion Thread


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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This is a very tense weekend for fans of people named Stark.

And the Avengers aren’t even the only ones having an endgame this weekend. What a weekend for ginormous battle sequences.

We know people are eager to talk about this week’s big “Battle of Winterfell” episode—HBO isn’t even releasing the names of the episodes in advance this season—so we’re doing things a bit differently this time, like we did for the infamous Red Wedding episode: Feel free to jump into the discussion below with thoughts and reactions, and we’ll update the post with the usual review as soon as possible.

As always, all spoilers for the show and books are fair game in the comments, and we ask that you keep our commenting guidelines in mind and keep the conversation constructive and civil—otherwise, go nuts!

From the Blackwater to the Battle of the Bastards, seeing the White Walkers come ...

Do Yourself a Favor and Binge the First Season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power


This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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She-Ra and the Princesses of Power opener

The first season of She-Ra is available to binge on Netflix—the second season goes live tomorrow—and you really wanna set aside some time for this one. Even if you’ve held out this long, the two-part opener should be enough to hook you…

She-Ra begins with with “The Sword: Part 1 and 2,” and for fans of the original cartoon, a lot of the basic beats are still there. Adora is an orphan (as far as we know) raised to be a member of the Horde. She’s promoted to Force Captain only to find the Sword of Protection in enemy territory and learn that she can transform into She-Ra, Princess of Power. She ends up joining the opposing side of the war she was once fighting, creating a rift with her old comrade Catra (promoted here to a true friend in Adora’s life as opposed to the aggressive antagonist of the ...

We Need More Roswell, New Mexico in Our Lives


This post is by Alex Brown from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Hot take: Roswell, New Mexico is the greatest show ever made. I’m in love with everything about it. It’s absolutely perfect even when it kinda sucks, and I need a dozen seasons please and thank you.

The basic premise of this series is loosely based on the Roswell High books by Melinda Metz, but like the original Roswell television show, Roswell, New Mexico establishes itself early on as its own unique thing. Liz Ortecho (Jeanine Mason) returns to her hometown a decade after her troubled sister Rosa (Amber Midthunder) killed herself and two other girls in a drunken car wreck. The town never forgave the Ortechos—a lesson Liz learns the hard way when an angry bigot shoots up her father’s alien-themed diner. Liz is caught in the crossfire but is saved by Max Evans (Nathan Parsons), former high school friend and current hunky sheriff’s deputy and secret alien. Max, his ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


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Arise, arise, riders of Théoden Tyrion!

We’re not quite at the big battle for Winterfell, but we are one very full hour away from it beginning. How would you spend your last night in Westeros? Some people like a warm fire, good wine, and better conversation. Some people choose to do something even more life-affirming.

And some people are not people, but Bran.

Squick-inducing spoilers after the cut. Be aware that book spoilers are allowed, but we are so far beyond Martin territory now, you’ll probably be fine on that front.

I kinda love that next week’s episode is likely going to be one giant battle sequence, so we get a lot of time dedicated to the characters actually talking. It builds suspense for next week and it makes me even more curious and invested in who will survive.

I have no doubt some of these characters won’t get to ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Arise, arise, riders of Théoden Tyrion!

We’re not quite at the big battle for Winterfell, but we are one very full hour away from it beginning. How would you spend your last night in Westeros? Some people like a warm fire, good wine, and better conversation. Some people choose to do something even more life-affirming.

And some people are not people, but Bran.

Squick-inducing spoilers after the cut. Be aware that book spoilers are allowed, but we are so far beyond Martin territory now, you’ll probably be fine on that front.

I kinda love that next week’s episode is likely going to be one giant battle sequence, so we get a lot of time dedicated to the characters actually talking. It builds suspense for next week and it makes me even more curious and invested in who will survive.

I have no doubt some of these characters won’t get to ...

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Review: “Winterfell”


This post is by Theresa DeLucci from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The beginning of the end is here.

And if you somehow missed that this was the final season, you must have been living in a cell under the Red Keep because I don’t think I’ve ever seen such intense anticipation for a pop culture event since, well, the final season of Breaking Bad. But Game of Thrones is even more epic and last night was the height of can’t-miss-TV.

But was the episode worth the insufferably long wait, or are we just too emotionally invested to be completely objective, at this point?

Major spoilers ahead: In addition to talking about the latest episode, comments about the content of George R.R. Martin’s ASOIaF books are also fair game, but please no snark about the pace of his writing, etc.

“Togetherness” was certainly the theme of tonight’s episode.

You’d think with all of the massive amounts of death on this show, ...