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It comes as no surprise that the entertainment industry was one of the hardest–hit industries throughout the COVID–19 pandemic. Worldwide shutdowns and theater closures forced filmmakers and studios to delay countless releases. While many utilized streaming services in their release models amidst the pandemic, others held out on releasing films until theatrical releases could be reintroduced to the general public.
The following contains spoilers for Season Two, Episode Six of ‘The Mandalorian.'
Creator of the Star Wars franchise George Lucas once said that “the sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie.” Films have been paired with musical performance since the beginning of cinema, where silent films were screened alongside musical performances in the form of orchestras or pianos. The sound of a film is essential for complementing the visual elements; sound can convey information, themes, or emotions and moods to the viewer.
Editor's Note: The following article contains spoilers for season two, episode five of 'The Mandalorian.'
In August of 2018, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and DreamWorks Animation co–founder Jeffrey Katzenberg created the video startup NewTV. The startup aimed to create “snackable” short content for smartphones, quickly receiving over $1 billion in funding from big names like The Walt Disney Company and WarnerMedia before any content had even been announced.
Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 4 of 'The Mandalorian.'
It was recently announced that one of Tom Holland’s next projects was a film adaptation of the popular "Uncharted" video game franchise. A prequel story to the popular tale of adventurer Nate Drake, the film is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters summer 2021, with Mark Wahlberg as Sully, the franchise mentor to Nathan Drake. This decision is part of a larger initiative regarding the stories of Playstation games, with Sony’s newest production unit focusing on adapting games for film and television production.
The Mandalorian continues to impress audiences with every passing week. On Nov. 13th, Disney+ released “Chapter 11: The Heiress,” episode three of their hit original series’ second season. After last week’s horror–esque episode, where thousands of spiders put the safety of Mando, Baby Yoda, and Frog Lady at risk, this episode takes us to the estuary moon of Trask, where Mando hopes to finally reunite with fellow Mandalorians. Written by showrunner Jon Favreau and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, this episode keeps viewers on the edge of their seats for the entire runtime, despite clocking in on the shorter end at 35 minutes. This episode really ups the tension, proves the strength that lies in numbers—all while providing some deeper Mandalorian history and introducing key characters into the Star Wars universe.
You'd think that chess is a pretty weak source of on–screen entertainment, but Netflix’s latest original series flips that notion on its head. The Queen’s Gambit, a fictional story based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis, was released on Oct. 23rd. Written and directed by Scott Frank, an Academy Award nominated screenwriter known for films like Out of Sight (1998) and Logan (2017), the show has remained #1 on Netflix’s US Top 10 list since Oct. 25th. The seven–episode limited series tells the life story of Elizabeth Harmon, a young orphan who escapes from her everyday struggles in Cold War era Midwestern America through her natural gift for chess. The drama is Netflix’s newest masterpiece, and it absolutely amazes in just seven episodes. Through the attention to detail within production and the character development of the series’ lead character, The Queen’s Gambit keeps viewers engaged and entertained with the young prodigy's inspiring story.
Editor's Note: The following contains some spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of 'The Mandalorian.'
Between COVID–19 and the presidential election, 2020 has been full of surprises. The past few months have been full of troubles and anxiety, from the transition to online learning and election concerns to health scares surrounding the coronavirus. Suddenly, 2020 delivered another surprise: Borat Margaret Sagdiyev.
Editor's Note: This article contains spoilers for Season 1 of 'The Mandalorian,' and some minimal spoilers for the Season 2 Premiere.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions to stay indoors and completely reimagine their daily operations. The entertainment industry in particular has been flipped on its head, with nearly all live performances and large venues being shut down, including movie theaters. The coronavirus has halted some of the most highly–anticipated film releases—like Wonder Woman: 1984 (2020) and Dune (2021), just to name a few. With no timetable for the return of American movie theaters, some companies are opting to release their films directly to Video on Demand (VOD) or streaming services as opposed to a classic theatrical release. Disney did this with their live–action reboot of Mulan, and other studios are following suit.
Over the years, the DC Extended Universe has had a rather interesting history. DC Films and Warner Bros. have produced a series of underwhelming releases such as Justice League (2017), Aquaman (2018), and Suicide Squad (2016). However, after the overwhelming success of Joker (2019) on both critical and commercial fronts, DC looks like it’s heading in a better direction, employing A–List Hollywood directors to elevate the quality of their films. At their virtual DC FanDome event, DC revealed a series of upcoming films that got fans excited. The most notable of these films? The highly anticipated The Batman (2022), directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson.
With spooky season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some great horror movies. While the coronavirus pandemic has turned Hollywood on its head for the majority of the year, there are still some solid releases to watch this Halloween. One of these is Blumhouse Productions' The Invisible Man (2020), the recent reboot of The Invisible Man (1933). The original film, based on HG Wells’ 1897 novel of the same name is a classic horror movie produced in the Golden Age of Hollywood, exposing audiences to effects they had never seen before.
Ratched, director Ryan Murphy’s original prequel–adaptation of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ was recently released on Netflix in mid–September. Set at St. Lucia Hospital in Monterey County, California, the series follows the backstory of Nurse Mildred Ratched, the psychiatric nurse who was transformed into a symbol of monstrousness and institutional power abuses in the 1975 film. Murphy is known for creating the popular American Horror Story anthology series, and Ratched follows a similar framework—a compelling story full of chills, thrills, and grotesque yet delicate violence. Despite being widely consumed, the series has received mixed to negative reviews in terms of its story. But I thought the series was terrific: Sarah Paulson was spectacular in her portrayal of Mildred Ratched, and I was immersed in each chapter of Nurse Ratched’s dark origin story.
It was recently announced that Jamie Foxx would be reprising his role as Electro in the upcoming Spider–Man MCU film. Last time Foxx played the voltaic villain was in Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), a film that was less than critically acclaimed in the world of Spider–Man movies. While a title has not yet been revealed, this upcoming film will be the third solo Spider–Man film within the MCU, and it will be released within Marvel’s ‘Phase 4’ slate of films and productions.
Scooby–Doo holds a strong spot in my heart as my lifelong favorite cartoon character. Hanna–Barbera’s iconic Great Dane has been around since 1969 when the animated series, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! started airing on Saturday morning television. Since the inception of the crime–solving Great Dane and his iconic human companions, there have been numerous adaptations of Scooby–Doo on a variety of mediums. While some adaptations are more interesting than others (including the most recent atrocious adaptation, SCOOB!), they all find a way to put their own unique twist on the classic crime–solvers of Mystery Incorporated.
The Tribeca Film Festival recently announced that they’d be elevating their focus on video games at next year’s festival in New York City. Opening up submissions for the first "Tribeca Games Award," the festival is accepting games that “demonstrate artistic excellence in storytelling.” The decision for a world–renowned film festival to recognize video games for award considerations might strike some as odd. However, the creative potential for storytelling in the virtual plane is unmatched. In fact, this change is long overdue, and the importance of video game storytelling should not only be recognized, but emphasized across all levels of entertainment as we prepare to enter the next generation of gaming.
"Based on a true story..."