Saturday, 12 June 2021

Invasion this Halloween on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is carving out a niche for glossy genre fare beginning with For All Mankind, a reboot of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, Servant and the upcoming Foundation based on Isaac Asimov's Hugo Award-winning book series.

Invasion, not to be confused with ABC's short-lived but excellent sci-fi series from 2005, arrives on Apple TV+ in time for Halloween. It's a modern riff on The War of the Worlds.

From Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy Award-nominated producer Simon Kinberg (The Martian) and David Weil (Hunters), Invasion is a sweeping, character-driven sci-fi drama series that follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world.

Set across multiple continents, Invasion stars Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna.

After availing myself of an extended free annual subscription to Apple TV+ (included with the purchase of an iPhone SE). This August, I’ll be switching to Apple One as it bundles Apple TV+ with Apple Arcade and Apple Music. The latter now features Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no extra cost. And I'll benefit from iCloud+ (announced at this week's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)) when it launches later this year.

Invasion will debut with the first three episodes on 22nd October followed by new episodes weekly, every Friday.

Are you looking forward to Invasion on Apple TV+? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 11 June 2021

Masters of the Universe at Netflix’s Geeked Week

An official teaser trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation dropped during Netflix Geeked's first-ever Geeked Week.

Unlike She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Kevin Smith’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation is a continuation of the original Filmation animated series that ended in 1985.

Read the official series synopsis:

“After a cataclysmic battle between He-Man and Skeletor, Eternia is fractured and the Guardians of Grayskull are scattered. And after decades of secrets tore them apart, it’s up to Teela to reunite the broken band of heroes, and solve the mystery of the missing Sword of Power in a race against time to restore Eternia and prevent the end of the universe.”

The upcoming series has a star-studded cast filled with fan-favourites:

Chris Wood as Prince Adam/He-Man
Mark Hamill as Skeletor
Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela
Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms
Stephen Root as Cringer
Diedrich Bader as King Randor/Trap Jaw
Griffin Newman as Orko
Tiffany Smith as Andra
Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops
Alan Oppenheimer as Moss Man
Susan Eisenberg as Sorceress
Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena
Justin Long as Roboto
Jason Mewes as Stinkor
Phil LaMarr as He-Ro
Tony Todd as Scare Glow
Cree Summer as Priestess
Kevin Michael Richardson as Beast Man
Kevin Conroy as Mer-Man

The Masterverse toy line (affiliate link) is released on 15th June. Fans of all ages will be able to play with action figures whilst watching the 5-part series from Mattel Television.

Masters of the Universe: Revelation premieres on Netflix on 23rd July.

What did you think of the Masters of the Universe: Revelation teaser trailer? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

War of the Worlds invades Star on Disney+

With the impending closure of the Fox channel in the UK, the second season of War of the Worlds will stream exclusively on Star on Disney+ this July.

When we went into the first lockdown due to the global pandemic in March 2020, Fox's Anglo-French reimagining of H.G. Wells' classic alien invasion story-cum-essay on cultural imperialism had already started on Fox.

It was certainly no seminal sci-fi mini-series. However, I stoically stuck with it, unlike the much-maligned BBC adaptation, which wasn't helped by being scheduled after the superlative His Dark Materials in the run-up to Christmas 2019.

Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) played Emily Gresham who regained her eyesight whenever near an alien invader. For a while, War of the Worlds was a fun post-apocalyptic romp in the style of The Walking Dead until it became patently clear we weren’t going to see any tripods trampling humans on a scale comparable to Steven Spielberg's big screen adaptation or even the BBC's early eighties series The Tripods! Le sigh!

Here’s hoping there are tripods this time.

Series showrunner Howard Overman (Misfits) commented: “It was always my intention in the first series of War of the Worlds that the intricacies of human relationships would be at its heart. Watching these complex characters brought to life by such a fantastic cast of actors was a joy, and it’s been a thrill returning to their stories for Season 2.”

Edgar-Jones reprises the role of Emily following her award-winning turn in Normal People. She'll be joined by returning cast members Gabriel Byrne, Léa Drucker, Natasha Little, Stéphane Caillard, Adel Bencherif, Ty Tennant, Stephen Campbell Moore, Bayo Gbadamosi, Aaron Heffernan and Emilie de Preissac.

Season one is currently streaming on Star on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to the second season of War of the Worlds? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Loki Wednesday

Marvel Studios' live-action spin-offs WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored grief and loss in the wake of the Thanos Blip on Disney+.

Enter Loki, an alternate timeline variant of the God of Mischief, played by Tom Hiddleston, who sacrificed himself in Avengers: Infinity War. During the time heist in Avengers: Endgame, this younger Loki stole the Tesseract and escaped only to be captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA), Marvel Comics' answer to Doctor Who's Time Lords...

The six-part spin-off series begins today exclusively on Disney+. New episodes will drop every Wednesday.

Have you watched Loki on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

LEGO Star Wars: Mandalorian Starfighter

LEGO has announced another amazing Star Wars set for release this August.

The Mandalorian Starfighter set includes fan-favourite Bo-Katan Kryze, Gar Saxon and a Mandalorian Loyalist from Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+.

The LEGO Group has been recreating starships, vehicles, locations and characters from the Star Wars universe since 1999. LEGO Star Wars has become its most successful theme with wonderful sets to delight fans of all ages.

The Mandalorian Starfighter set is available from LEGO AU, UK and US (affiliate links).

Will you be adding LEGO Star Wars: Mandalorian Starfighter to your collection? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Worlds of Star Wars and Indiana Jones collide

The 40th anniversary of Indiana Jones is the ideal moment to share this award-winning Star Wars fan film approved by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.

Read the official synopsis:

“Star Wars: Origins takes a unique look at where it all began. A thrilling action-adventure film drawing inspiration from both Star Wars and Indiana Jones to tell an epic story based on Earth during WWII. Behind what is possibly the most expensive fan film ever made are award-winning team, and life-long Star Wars fans; writer/director Phil Hawkins filmed on location in the Sahara Desert, Morocco, Star Wars: Origins is a self-funded not-for-profit project and the culmination of three years work.”

The movie stars Marie Everett (What Happened To Monday), Jamie Costa (Han Solo: A Smuggler’s Trade), Hadrian Howard (The Mummy) and Philip Walker.

On his ambitious love letter to George Lucas’ beloved sagas, writer and director Phil Hawkins said, “I’ve been lucky enough to make five feature films in the past — which were released by the likes of Sony Pictures and Netflix — but I could see a great divide from the low-budget films I was making to the scale and ambition of the films I’d like to make. Those films I grew up watching. Star Wars: Origins is hopefully a piece of work to help cross that divide and show the studios what I can do.”

Hawkins' fan film takes its inspiration from the Star Wars Easter eggs in Raiders of the Lost Ark and captures the essence of both beloved Lucasfilm franchises with aplomb.

If you have a Star Wars fan film you'd like to share, please contact me.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

40 years of Indiana Jones

As production begins this month on Indiana Jones 5 in the UK, Lucasfilm is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark with a new 4K UHD Blu-ray disc collection.

George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's homage to the Saturday morning matinees they grew up watching became one of their greatest cinematic achievements with the help of Hollywood composer John Williams.

Inexplicably, Raiders of the Lost Ark passed me by at the time of its original release. Kenner's toy line never reached UK shores and I was too busy playing with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back toys to notice. Instead, I remember watching Clash of the Titans during the summer of 1981.

I want my THX... It wasn't until the movie's home video rental release that 'the man in the hat' would capture my childhood imagination. Incidentally, it was the first time I would hear a movie in stereo with Dolby NR on an uncle's state-of-the-art VCR connected to a hi-fi system - igniting a lifelong passion for home cinema.

Pre-order the Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection (affiliate link).

What are your memories of Indiana Jones? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Avengers Campus opens at Disneyland

The Avengers Campus opens today in Disneyland. You can watch the opening ceremony of Marvel Studios' answer to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

"Inside the fully immersive Avengers Campus, you will be invited to team up with the Avengers and their allies and live out your Super Hero dreams. Encounter the likes of Iron Man, Black Panther, Black Widow and more. Sling webs on the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature Spider-Man. Fuel up on shareable bites, inventive entrees and sweet treats."

Park guests will be able to interact with fan-favourites Black Widow, Captain America and many more.

"It's the first time we are celebrating all of these heroes and bringing them together in one place," said John Mauro, portfolio executive producer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Plus, there'll be plenty of merchandise for fans of all ages.

Will you be attending the Avengers Campus in Disneyland? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Special look at Black Widow

Marvel Studios has released a special look at Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson as the titular character and features Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

Here's the official synopsis:

“In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller ‘Black Widow,’ Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.“

Black Widow will be in cinemas and available exclusively on Disney+ with Premier Access on 9th July.

Are you looking forward to Black Widow? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Indiana Jones 5 begins filming soon

The fifth instalment in the Indiana Jones franchise finally begins filming in the UK next week. This almost seems too good to be true following delays and a worldwide pandemic.

Harrison Ford reprises the iconic role with director James Mangold (Logan) at the helm after Steven Spielberg decided to pass on directing 'the man in the hat' this time.

After the abysmal Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - its only saving grace was Hollywood composer John Williams' superlative soundtack. Here's hoping the latest adventure will be an improvement at Disney.

Indiana Jones is expected in cinemas on 29th July 2022.

Are you looking forward to Indiana Jones 5? Let me know in the comments below.