It's revealed Johnny Depp allegedly tried to get former Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara to fire ex-wife Amber Heard from DC Films' Aquaman. Released in December 2018, Aquaman co-stars Heard in the role of Mera, the princess of Xebel, one of the underwater kingdoms. Heard also appeared in Zack Snyder's Justice League, where she made her debut as Mera, prior to co-starring in James Wan's Aquaman alongside Jason Momoa. Heard was first cast in the role of Mera in early 2016.
Later in 2016, Heard's ex-husband Depp was cast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first of five planned prequel movies set in the world of Harry Potter. It was later revealed Depp would play Gellert Grindelwald, a Dark Wizard who rose to power and would become the Voldemort of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Depp's casting in Fantastic Beasts was controversial from the start, as troubling details had previously surfaced during his and Heard's divorce, including the fact that she was granted a restraining order against him. Those critical of the actor's involvement in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise were vocal enough that author and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling responded to the Depp controversy, stating she entirely supports his casting. Most recently, another detail about Depp and his actions with regard to Heard has come to light.
Now, THR is reporting that depositions relating to Depp's lawsuit against his former lawyer, Jake Bloom, lead to a group of potential witnesses that includes Heard and former Warner Bros. CEO Tsujihara. With regard to Tsujihara specifically, THR reports he may be called to testify about whether he helped "black-list" Heard at Warner Bros. Further, Depp allegedly attempted to get Tsujihara to remove Heard from Aquaman and prevent her from being hired on other Warner Bros. projects.
Heard did end up starring in Wan's DC Comics movie, and Aquaman ultimately grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, becoming a massive success for Warner Bros. It has not yet officially been revealed whether Heard will return for the already slated Aquaman 2, set to release in 2022. However, it would be odd for Heard not to reprise her role as Mera after she was a co-star in the first film. And considering most superhero movie franchises sign actors to contracts that span multiple movies, it's likely she's contracted for the Aquaman sequel.
As for Heard's ex-husband, the latest reports indicate Warner Bros. is worried the controversy surrounding Depp may hurt Fantastic Beasts 3. The third film in the Harry Potter prequel series has already been pushed back. Although the movie doesn't have an official release date, filming on Fantastic Beasts 3 was delayed, as announced in January. Reportedly, the Fantastic Beasts 3 delay was so that screenwriter Rowling and director David Yates could have more time to prep the film and make sure they're ready to start production.
It remains to be seen what becomes of Fantastic Beasts 3 and whether Depp continues to be involved. Neither Warner Bros. nor the creative team involved with the Fantastic Beasts movies have been anything but supportive of the actor. It's unclear if that will change due to the latest allegation that Depp tried to get Heard fired from Aquaman. It may be the case that those who supported Depp before will continue to do so. Meanwhile, those who have been calling for Depp to be removed from Fantastic Beasts will likely maintain their stance with this latest revelation about his alleged attempted meddling with Heard's Aquaman role.
A brand new Avengers: Endgame TV spot features Tony Stark telling Steve Rogers that it would be nice to accomplish their upcoming mission without dying. In a week, Marvel Studios crowning jewel will finally hit theaters all over the globe. Preceded by 21 other movies all somehow connected to the upcoming narrative, the project will be the culmination of everything that has transpired in the franchise for the last 10 years. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo with the script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, plot specifics for the film is still tightly under wraps, but fans are expecting an emotional roller coaster ride with the movie supposedly being the last outing for some of the MCU's founding heroes including its inaugural one, Iron Man.
Kicking off the the superhero franchise in Jon Favreau's Iron Man in 2008, Stark remains the poster boy of the universe despite the influx of all other loveable characters. His first film set the overall tone for the MCU, and while he's stepped back a bit to let new players take the center stage, it's no secret that he's still an integral part of the narrative, particularly this upcoming one. Stark has gone through a lot of ups and downs over the course of a decade, but Thanos winning in Avengers: Infinity War is arguably the lowest point of his life as a superhero as it forced him to live out his worst nightmare. With another chance to defeat the Mad Titan, fans can expect that he, alongside the rest of the remaining heroes, will stop at nothing to avenge the fallen. But, as he says in a new promo clip, it would be nice not dying doing it.
In the freshly-released Endgame TV spot, a gray-haired Stark meets Rogers in Avengers HQ and tells him that they're "trying to pull off something damn near impossible and to not die trying would be nice." Fans have already seen a snippet of the same shot in previous promo clips, but this is the first time that its dialogue is revealed. At another video, Tony makes sure that they're getting the whole team together presumably for the same mission. Watch the clip shared on YouTube via Marvel Talk below:
Avengers Endgame "Not Die Trying" New Tv Spot 13 - YouTube
The video overall is a mix of old and new footage and elsewhere in it, there's a never-before-seen shot of Captain Marvel blasting to the skies with her helmet on and seemingly in her Binary form. Meanwhile, another interesting shot is still an older-looking Stark discreetly flicking a shrunken Ant-Man. This particular scene is more likely in connection to that famous leaked set images for Avengers 4 where Stark, Captain America (in his old suit), a fully-transformed Hulk and Ant-Man convene in the middle of rubble. A different batch of photos hinted that Stark may be undercover as a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative during Loki's arrest after the Battle of New York.
Regardless of what Stark and his team's plan is to take down Thanos and restore peace and order in the universe, what's certain is that it won't be easy. Judging by the existence of Spider-Man: Far From Home, it's safe to assume that they will accomplish it in Avengers: Endgame. But that doesn't mean that they won't suffer any losses. Despite his cocky nature, Stark has almost always been willing to lay his life down the line to ensure a win for the good guys, and if he does bite the bullet with this one, at least fans know it's for the greater good. That said, his death will still be very difficult to watch with the future of the MCU forever changed if he's no longer around.
Pulp Fiction was the film that firmly established Quentin Tarantino as one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, so let's revisit the cast and characters. Pulp Fiction was only Tarantino's second film after Reservoir Dogs and told three interlocking locking tales. The film's instantly quotable dialogue, unique structure, shocking outbursts of violence and fantastic cast made it a smash hit in 1994.
Tarantino would follow up with arguably his most underrated film Jackie Brown, and while he's made lots of great movies in the years since like Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction is still considered one of his defining works. The film would also lead to a lot of other filmmakers attempting to copy his zippy dialogue and style, though few could do it as well.
Pulp Fiction is also famous for its sprawling cast, so let's look back on the main characters and the actors who played them.
John Travolta - Vincent Vega
Vincent is a hitman working for crime boss Marsellus Wallace and is partners with Jules. In the opening, the pair retrieve a briefcase for their boss and murder the men who took it. Vincent is dismissive of Jules' spiritual awakening after they survive a shootout, and is later tasked with taking Marsellus' wife out for food, which ends with her almost dying of an overdose. Vincent is later killed in Butch's apartment. Pulp Fiction revived John Travolta's acting career leading to Get Shorty and Face/Off.
Samuel L. Jackson - Jules Winnfield
A hitman working with Vincent but after they survive a close range gun battle, he decides to leave the business. He also imparts some wisdom to a couple robbing a restaurant. Jules would be a star-making role for Jackson, who has rarely stopped working since and recently appeared in Glass and Captain Marvel.
Uma Thurman - Mia Wallace
Mia is Marcellus' wife, a former actress who forms a connection with Vincent after they have dinner and win a dance competition together. Vincent later saves her from a drug overdose. Pulp Fiction would also be a star-making part for Thurman, who re-teamed with Tarantino for the Kill Bill movies and was recently seen in The House That Jack Built.
Bruce Willis - Butch
A boxer who goes on the run from Marsellus after he's supposed to throw a fight - only to end up killing his opponent. Butch risks his life to return home to retrieve his father's prized watch, leading to him shooting Vincent. Butch and Marcellus are later captured by a sadistic pawnshop owner. Willis was already a huge star when he made Pulp Fiction and recently re-teamed with Samuel L. Jackson in Glass, a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable.
Harvey Keitel - Winston Wolf
When Vincent and Jules leave a literal bloody mess in their car, cleaner Winston Wolf is called in to help them fix it in record time. Screen legend Keitel previously worked with Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs and will next be seen in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. He also reprised Wolf for a series of adverts in the UK.
One half of a duo that tries to rob a restaurant Vincent and Jules just happen to be eating in. Jules holds Ringo at gunpoint and explains why he's not going to kill him after his recent day from hell. Roth later worked with Tarantino on The Hateful Eight and plays the lead role in TV thriller Tin Star.
Amanda Plummer - Yolanda
Ringo's girlfriend who doesn't react well when he's held at gunpoint by Jules. Ringo and Yolanda leave the restaurant together after Jules lets them go. Amanda Plummer has also appeared in The Fisher King and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Ving Rhames - Marsellus Wallace
Pulp Fiction's powerful and feared crime boss, who tasked Vincent and Jules with recovering a mysterious object from a briefcase. He and Butch are later taken hostage in a pawnshop, with Marsellus making peace with Butch when the latter saves his life. Ving Rhames is a regular presence on the big screen, recently taking roles in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 and Mission Impossible - Fallout.
To celebrate the release of DC adventure Shazam!, Screen Rant's Ryan George reveals what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for a movie so fun that even its title has an exclamation mark. Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam is the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe, which is currently undergoing a bit of a remodel in order to shake off the grit and make things a little more light-hearted.
For Aquaman, that meant hiring Pitbull to record a remix of Toto's "Africa," but for Shazam it means casting adult child Zachary Levi in the title role. The movie follows rebellious foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as he moves into the last foster home in Philadelphia that he hasn't already fun away from or been kicked out of. After saving his new foster brother Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) from bullies (who like to run down disabled kids in their car, steal their crutches, and then kick them while they're down - you know, the normal bully stuff) Billy gets rewarded with a set of superpowers to rival even Superman's.
Unfortunately, Billy was sort of a last resort when it came to handing out these powers, and he isn't immediately inclined to use them for the greater good. Instead, his first instinct is to try and figure out how he can use his newfound abilities to steal money and buy beer. Billy's career as the world's first busking superhero is cut short by the arrival of bad guy Sivana (played by perennial bad guy Mark Strong), who has already obtained the power of the Seven Deadly Sins and would now like to add Shazam's powers to his set as well.
He might be a newcomer to the DCEU, and one that most people had never heard of before, but Shazam has a long history in the comics and once upon a time (back when he was still called Captain Marvel, before that name got complicated), he was so wildly popular that his comics were outselling even Superman's. The rivalry was reignited when Shazam and Superman met for the very first time in DC Comics... an immediately got into a big fight. That's why you shouldn't do Red Kryptonite, kids.
Though Shazam may not be one of the DCEU's biggest heavy-hitters at the box office, the movie's modest $100 million budget means that it's already broken even after just a couple of weeks in theaters. In fact, the wheels are already turning on Shazam 2, with screenwriter Henry Gayden returning to work on the sequel's script. Hopefully the sequel will help explain to casual moviegoers why that evil worm with a robot voice showed up at the end.
Outlander first debuted in 2014, and ever since then, fans haven’t been able to get enough of the historical time travel show, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon of the same name. Perhaps the most appealing part of the show is the heart-wrenching love triangle. The story follows Claire, a former WWII nurse, as she mysteriously finds herself 200 years in the past.
Before travelling to the past, Claire had already gotten married to Frank Randall, a handsome army veteran and historian. After being separated for five years because of the war, the newly reunited couple go to Inverness, Scotland for a vacation. It’s there that Claire is then transported back in time. During her adventures in the past, Claire unexpectedly falls for someone else: Jamie, a tall and dashing Highlander. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the two ended up having to get married, but it doesn’t take them long before they fall in love.
Granted, fans of the show already know who Claire ends up with (and if you don’t, then stop reading because this article has spoilers!). But the hard part about this love triangle is that both Frank and Jamie make excellent partners for Claire. It’s painstakingly clear just how much both of them love her, which is why many fans are divided over who they think is her best match. Keep reading to discover five reasons Claire belongs with Jamie and five reasons why she belongs with Frank.
10 Jamie: He Married Claire To Save Her Life
Given that it happened all the way back in season one, many fans might forget the real reason Jamie and Claire got married in the first place.
Captain Randall had told the Highlanders they had to deliver Claire to British troops since she was a British citizen. But Dougal knew Randall’s reputation and that Claire would be in danger in his hands, which is how he came up with the bright idea for her to marry one of them (they wouldn’t have to turn her over if she was a Scot).
Dougal then explains to Jamie what must be done, and being the heroic character he is, Jamie doesn’t bat an eyelash before saying ‘yes.’ Claire later thinks her lack-of virginity might be a deal breaker. But Jamie kept fans swooning by telling her he couldn’t care less.
9 Frank: Believed Claire When She Said She Time Travelled
Fans weren’t sure how things were going to play out between Frank and Claire come the beginning of season three. The previous season, Claire had time travelled back to the future after her life was put at risk in the past. But she wasn’t sure if she’d have a husband to come back to or if he’d believe her incredible story.
The fact that Frank not only listened to Claire’s entire tale but subsequently believed her shows just how much he loved her. He trusted her enough to believe that time travel was possible, despite having no proof other than his estranged wife’s word. He was also surprisingly okay with the fact that Claire had married someone else while she was away.
Alright, “okay” might not be the right word. But the fact that Frank wanted to pick up where they left off despite everything that had changed was a testament to how deep his feelings really ran for Claire.
8 Jamie: He Didn’t Care About Claire’s Infertility
Having kids is a big deal now. But it was an even bigger deal in the 1800s when having a son was even more important to produce an heir to carry on the family name. Claire thought she was infertile after years of trying with Frank to start a family but with no success.
Our hearts broke for her when she told Jamie her secret during an emotional scene. However, it was Jamie’s reaction that was the most memorable. Rather than getting upset or feeling bad, he told Claire that it was fine and all that he ever could want was her.
The audience could tell by Jamie’s face that he was disappointed. But the fact that he went out of his way to comfort and reassure Claire was testament to just how much he loved her.
7 Frank: Raised Claire’s Daughter As His Ownvia mashable
If you didn’t think Frank believing Claire’s time travel story was proof of his love for her, then this certainly is.
Along with admitting she’d married Jamie while in the past, Claire also told Frank that she was pregnant with his child. This would’ve been even more difficult for Frank to accept given that he and Claire had tried to have their own child but with no success.
Still, despite what a shocker this must’ve been for Frank, he didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to raise the child with Claire as his own. Frank stayed true to his word, and the couple raised Brianna as their own child. It was clear just how much Frank loved Brianna, despite her not being biologically his, and that was only possible because of how much he loved her mother and wanted a family with her.
6 Jamie: Gave Himself To Randall To Protect Claire
Our skin still crawls when thinking of the things Black Jack Randall did to Jamie when he had him locked up in season one finale. For a time, it appeared Claire and her friends were on the path to save Jamie. During one scene, Claire finds Jamie in his cell and is about to unlock him just as Randall walks into the room.
Despite having already been tortured by Randall, Jamie agreed to give himself fully to the Captain in return for the safe release of his wife. Randall stayed true to his word and released a defiant Claire before coming back to the cell and having his way with Jamie.
Season two explores the difficulties Jamie had in getting over what Randall had done to him, which shows just how much he sacrificed to ensure his wife’s safety.
5 Frank: Never Gave Up Hope She Would Returnvia elite daily
Many fans wish we could’ve seen more of Frank’s life during the years that Claire was in the past. The brief moments we did see showed him travelling around Scotland trying to get answers about his wife’s disappearance.
One thing we love about Frank is that he never gave up hope Claire would return. It’s not just the fact that he didn’t move on with someone else. It’s that he was adamant something happened to her. When the police told him their theory was Claire ran off with another man, Frank couldn’t believe his ears. He knew his wife didn’t leave him willingly, which was the truth.
4 Jamie: Forced Claire To Go To The Future To Protect Her
If you thought season one had a gripping finale, then you clearly haven’t watched season two. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes from the show, Jamie takes Claire to Craig na Duhn ahead of the Battle of Culloden, which they knew they weren’t going to win thanks to Claire’s time-travelling ways.
In the scene, Jamie tells Claire that the only way he can guarantee her safety is if she went through the rocks and back to the future. Claire then starts protesting and tells Jamie she’s pregnant, to which he replies by saying he already knows. He says this is why it’s even more important for her to go, which she ends up doing.
The fact that Jamie could send pregnant Claire away, knowing he might never see her or their child again, shows how much he loves her. Time and time again he’s proven he’d do anything to ensure her safety.
3 Frank: He Never Moved On From Claire
One of the most appealing qualities about Frank was how loyal he was to Claire. Whether it was when they were separated due to the war or because she travelled back in time, Frank never moved on from Claire while they were apart.
He waited five years during World War II until they were reunited and couldn’t wait to pick up where they left off. Even during the years Claire was missing, Frank never remarried or had another love interest. He was completely consumed with trying to find out what happened to his wife.
Unlike Frank, Jamie did end up moving on when he and Claire were separated. Mind you, most fans could accept that given that they were apart for decades if he didn’t end up marrying Claire’s arch nemesis. Yep, we’re still not over that twist.
2 Jamie: Things Went Right Back To Normal After Decades Apartvia MTV
You know a couple is a solid match if things can go right back to normal after so much time apart!
Many fans were curious as to if things would be awkward between Jamie and Claire when they eventually reunited after two decades apart. But one sign that this couple is meant to be together is how easily things went back to normal after all that time away.
It wasn’t a question for Jamie if he would take his wife back (even though he technically had remarried). The two lovers were back in each other’s arms just like old times. We loved seeing Jamie hear intently about his now-grown daughter, and him telling Claire about all of their friends that she hadn’t seen in years.
1 Frank: Tried To Give Claire Her Own Space
It was painful watching Claire and Frank’s marriage play out in the third season. All we wanted was for her to be reunited with Jamie and finally have happiness again. Likewise, it was difficult watching Frank be so miserable knowing how much he’d wanted a family with Claire, only to be disappointed when it came true.
However, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Frank knew how much Claire loved Jamie and he tried to do his best to give her space, especially when they first moved to the States together. He had no problem with his wife pursuing a medical career, despite that being against the norm for the time.
Even though we know how unhappy Claire was with Frank, he’s not the bad guy in this situation. He did everything in his power to make things work between them. It wasn’t his fault her heart belonged to someone else.
When it comes to horror classics, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is bound to be mentioned within the first sentence. It’s a creepy, unnerving, deeply engaging cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s beloved novel. And, while King himself was not a fan of Kubrick’s film, feeling that it failed to capture the spirit of the book (even comparing the difference between the two works to fire and ice), it is a brilliantly crafted movie. It might not be a faithful adaptation of King’s book, but it just might be the finest horror movie of all time on its own merits. Here are 10 Reasons Why The Shining Is The Greatest Horror Movie Ever Made.
10 Using Fictional Horrors To Explore Real Horrors
Scary things in movies can be split into two categories: fictional, like werewolves and zombies, and real, like death and violence. The Shining uses fictional horrors (the supernatural ghostly presence in the Overlook Hotel) to explore real horrors like murder and child abuse. The real-world horrors are hidden in the subtext. Jack tells a conflicting story to the imaginary bartender about the time he hit Danny, while the more sensual scenes appear as they would in a child’s mind, suggesting a history of further mistreatment. There are some very grim hidden meanings in the movie that make it more truly horrific than any other scary movie.
9 There's No Fat On Its Bones
Every scene in The Shining needs to be there. It’s not a slim movie with a running time of around two and a half hours, but not a second is wasted by Kubrick’s unscrupulous filmmaking eye. As great as fellow horror classics like Halloween and Rosemary’s Baby might be, they do have scenes that drag on a little bit or don’t necessarily need to be in the final cut. The Shining has nothing like that. This is partly due to the studio cutting down the movie to make it more marketable, but either way, we ended up with a streamlined horror masterpiece that may well be the genre’s finest work.
8 Beautiful Visual Style
Most horror directors don’t take their movie’s color palette or framing or the sequencing of their shots into consideration, but that’s not Stanley Kubrick’s style. All of his unforgettable haunting imagery, like the elevator doors letting out a tidal wave of blood, is now considered iconographic.
This is a result of Kubrick making The Shining like a real movie, not “just a horror movie.” As soon as a filmmaker rests on the crutch of horror cinema’s low expectations, the movie fails. But Kubrick planned and designed The Shining just like he would any other movie, and the result is a masterwork.
7 Ominous Score
A horror movie is nothing without a good score. Images alone aren’t as scary without a foreboding soundtrack to create the tense atmosphere and keep viewers on the edge of their seat. That’s exactly what Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind did with their score for The Shining. They wrote far more music than what ended up in the final cut because Kubrick had them score dozens of scenes that he didn’t know he was going to exclude, but this gave the composers more time to find the movie’s distinctive sound, and the rewards of that are obvious. The soundtrack also includes some non-original tracks; a bunch of freaky modernist takes on classical music styles.
6 The Perfect Pace
The pacing of The Shining is slow, which some viewers might find off-putting, but that was the perfect way to tell this story. It’s a movie about an isolated and frustrated man’s sanity slowly slipping away. A fast pace would’ve botched that. A lesser filmmaker would think, wrongly, that the faster a horror movie races through its plot, the better it will be. But Kubrick—just like Ridley Scott working on Alien—realized that the best way to unsettle an audience and tell a spooky story is to eek through the terror at a snail’s pace. Kubrick reels in the audience slowly, and it makes the climax much more effective.
5 Meticulous Attention to Detail
This was Stanley Kubrick’s M.O. throughout his whole career. Nothing was in his shots that he didn’t want to be there. Every small detail in the set design, the costumes, the actors’ facial expressions, the camera movements – it was all very carefully planned out across reams of notes to achieve Kubrick’s very singular vision for each of his films. The Shining may be a horror movie, but it’s no different. Kubrick gave every cut the same care and thought that he did for 2001 and Barry Lyndon. There’s a lot to unpack in the movie, essentially, which makes it endlessly rewatchable.
4 It Has Influenced Many Of Today's Great Horror Filmmakers
The Shining is unquestionably one of the most influential horror films ever made, with almost every horror filmmaker working today citing it as one of their inspirations. Many allusions to The Shining’s techniques can be seen in Jordan Peele’s movies, Get Out and particularly Us.
Tim Burton has acknowledged the movie as a visual influence and even referenced it in his Alice in Wonderland movie. Additionally, the movie’s influence can be spotted in the works of Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, and Ben Wheatley. Even Martin Scorsese included The Shining on his list of the scariest movies of all time.
3 Jack Nicholson's Incredible Performance
The whole cast of The Shining gives terrific performances, from Shelley Duvall’s frightened wife/mother character to the sounds of Scatman Crothers’ soothing voice in his performance as Dick Hallorann. Even Danny Lloyd, who was just eight years old at the time, is captivating in his role. But it’s Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance’s slow descent into madness that really sells the film. The villain isn’t a masked, machete-wielding serial killer or a horde of zombies. It’s just a guy, so the whole success of the movie rests on Nicholson’s performance, and with only his facial expressions and line delivery, he creates a monster scarier than any amount of makeup or costume design ever could.
2 It's Wide Open To Interpretation
The Shining isn’t just open to interpretation; it’s way, way open to interpretation. It’s so open to interpretation that, after all this interpreting, we still don’t know what this movie is about. It’s been almost 40 years since The Shining was released, and in that time, countless essays and books have been written about it with the intent of deciphering the meaning, and we still haven’t fully figured out what it all means. That keeps us on edge while we watch it over and over again, because we still can’t ease into it, and because we’re still discovering things we didn’t spot the first hundred times.
1 It Does An Ambiguous Ending Right
The original cut of The Shining included a hospital scene at the end in which Danny and Wendy are told that Jack’s body was nowhere to be found. This is a typical horror movie ending where the rug is pulled out from under an audience that feels safe and has been done by every hackneyed horror director in the book. Kubrick realized this and had the scene physically removed from all prints after they’d been shipped to theaters, and the result is a much more satisfying ending. It’s still ambiguous, but it’s ambiguous in the best way. Has Jack always been at the Overlook? Was he sucked back in time after he died? Did the whole thing actually take place in Wendy’s head, or Danny’s? It asks way more questions than the standard “The killer is back on the loose” horror ending, and, as a result, it leaves more of an impression. It keeps viewers talking about it on the drive home from the theater and then keeps them up that night. That is effective horror at work.
While the return of Game of Thrones is taking all the attention these days, there is another 6-episode television adaption of a beloved novel you should be aware of. This week saw the release of the first episode of PBS Masterpiece’s Les Misérablesminiseries.
Though the story doesn’t contain dragons, ice zombies or fighting over the Iron Throne, it is a sweeping and tense period drama that is well worth your attention. Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, this latest take on the heartbreaking and compelling story promises to be an entirely new adaptation. If you’re looking for something outside of Westeros for your television viewing, see why the Les Misérables miniseries is worth watching.
8 The Story
Certain stories seem to resonate with any audience at any time. It doesn’t matter how old the story may be, the themes and conflicts remain universe for all generations and all people. That is certainly the case with Hugo’s Les Miserables. First published in 1862, the French novel explored such powerful subjects as injustice, morality, and redemption.
The story follows Jean Valjean, an ex-convict attempting to start a new life. It expands across several years, connecting different characters from different walks of life before reaching the climax set against the Paris Uprising of 1932.
7 New Look At A Classic
Hugo’s novel is one that has been adapted a number of times, most recently with the Oscar-winning musical version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway. However, there is always excitement in seeing some of these classic stories brought to life again and again as we get to see a new version of the story we know so well.
Once again, we are treated to a new telling of the story of Jean Valjean and the world of Les Misérables. We get to see how the filmmakers adapt the complex work. We get to see new takes on famous characters and how the actors portray them. We get to see how this version is unique.
6 The Leads
Even those who are not totally familiar with the story of Les Miserables will no doubt be intrigued by the amazing cast they have assembled for this miniseries. In particular, the miniseries boasts two big names in the leading roles.
Dominic West stars as Jean Valjean, a man trying to put his life together and avoid his past from defining his future. West is best known for television roles in The Wire and The Affair, showing he can bring the necessary intensity. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Javert, the obsessive police inspector who hunts Valjean. It should be a real thrill to see these two go head-to-head onscreen.
5 The Supporting Cast
If Dominic West and David Oyelowo weren’t exciting enough, they are backed up by a slew of amazing actors in supporting roles. Lily Collins will be playing the role of Fantine, the story’s tragic figure who helps Valjean on his path to redemption.
In other iconic roles from the story, Adeel Akhtar (The Big Sick) will play Monsieur Thénardier, the dishonest (but still master of the house) landlord. And, in a bit of perfect casting, recent Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) plays Madame Thénardier. Add to that veteran actors like David Bradley and Derek Jacobi, and it’s a pretty enticing cast.
4 Behind The Camera
While there is certainly a lot of star power and great actors in front of the camera, in order for this miniseries to be a success, they need quite a bit of talent behind the camera as well. Luckily, they seem to have found the perfect people for the job to pull off this ambitious production.
The series was written by Andrew Davies, a writer best known for his BBC series House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice. He has also adapted several high-profile period miniseries including Pride & Prejudice, War & Peace and Vanity Fair. Directing the series is Tom Shankland, a veteran television director on shows like The Leftovers, House of Cards and The Punisher.
3 Expanded Storytelling
As with most novels, something inevitably gets lost when you adapt it into a two-hour movie. To make a complex story like that fit into the constraints of a feature film means that some things are going to need to be cut. Sometimes this can be done effectively, other times it ruins the adaptation.
For the first time ever, the story of Les Misérables will be told in the expanded format of television. While six hours might still not do justice to Victor Hugo’s entire novel, this version will no doubt go further in depth than any of the previous adaptations.
2 Production Values
Production values can make or break a period production. In order to feel that you are, in fact, experiencing something from another time period, the production needs to look entirely convincing. This can be rather expensive and too much for certain productions to take on. But if it ever feels false it can take the audience right out of the story.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case with this miniseries. There appears to be no expense spared in recreating 19th century France. There is a scale to the production that really helps to capture the grandeur of the story without being overwhelming.
1 Not A Musical
Most people will only know of Les Misérables as the musical. Hugo’s novel was adapted for the stage in 1980 and from there it grew in popularity, was translated into various languages and was adapted into the aforementioned big screen version in 2012.
However, this latest adaption will be of the original novel, not the stage musical. While the musical certainly has plenty of fans, it is refreshing to see a more grounded and straightforward take on the story that could help introduce it to a whole new audience.
When the dragons appeared on-screen in the past, viewers could expect a classic Daenerys moment. But that all changed with the Game of Thrones season 7 finale and the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere. The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere includes numerous comedic moments, including Drogon’s menacing and/or jealous facial expression. By providing Rhaegal, Drogon, and Viserion with distinct personalities, Game of Thrones has doubled down on the drama for the remaining episodes.
Jon learns that Rhaegar Targaryen is his real father in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere. He also rides Daenerys’ dragon Rhaegal for the first time. Of course, Rhaegal is named after Daenerys’ brother Rhaegar, Jon’s father. Unsurprisingly, Jon comedically struggles to process the physical act of riding an actual dragon. Subtextually, this Game of Thrones sequence aligns Jon with the theme of fire, along with his Targaryen bloodline. Though Jon clumsily rides Rhaegal, the act itself is telling, as only Targaryens ride dragons. There’s a sparkle in Daenerys’ eye as she watches the events unfold, and Rhaegal even shows off by swooping over Winterfell. When the dragons land, Jon' unofficially initiated into the family, and Rhaegal seems more than pleased.
Drogon's Facial Expression Reveals His Personality
When Jon and Daenerys smooch in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, Drogon’s unforgettable facial expression creates more narrative balance. On one level, it’s a meme-worthy moment, one that fans interpreted differently and immediately discussed on social media. Is Drogon jealous? Is Drogon purely happy? Is Drogon the reincarnated Khal Drogo? After Jon bonds with Rhaegal, Drogon’s behavior reinforces the central theme of fire, and further creates a sense of balance between the two human characters, and the two dragon characters. They’re now a family.
But Drogon’s smile also hints at the underlying and unresolved conflict. Jon will soon learn that he’s actually a Targaryen, and Daenerys will be presented as a villain. Samwell Tarly learns that not only did Daenerys execute his father and brother, but that she also didn’t reveal that information to Jon. Crucially, Jon learns about his true bloodline in the Winterfell crypt, a location that has been connected to ice; the place where winter fell. How will Drogon react when Jon and Daenerys inevitably clash? Drogon’s Mona Lisa smile is cryptic, and also crucial to Game of Thrones season 8.
Now, the pieces are in place for the Battle of Winterfell. Drogon trusts Daenerys; however, the North doesn’t quite trust the Mother of Dragons, at least not yet. As for Jon, he’s now formed a bond with Rhaegal, but his dragon’s brother - Drogon - is obviously keeping a close eye on the rightful heir to the throne. One of these dragons, including Viserion, may represent the wild card within the inherent game. If Game of Thrones is a song of ice and fire, who's the odd man out? Whatever happens, Game of Thrones has effectively transformed Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion into proper characters. Anything is possible moving forward, maybe even some dragon warging.
A YouTuber has created a music video montage of all the big summer blockbusters coming up in 2019. The year 2019 is jam-packed with notable films, with the blockbuster season alone including massive hits like Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King live-action remake.
Along with the Disney movies, this summer will see the release of a new Men in Black, called Men in Black International, and the third installment in the John Wick series. For the first time, Pokémon is getting the live-action treatment in next month's Detective Pikachu. Fox's X-Men series is coming to a close with Dark Phoenix. In July, Spider-Man: Far From Home introduces Mysterio to the cinema for the first time. Later that same month, Quentin Tarantino will release his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There's also the Fast and the Furious spin-off, Hobbes and Shaw. Of course, there's also Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which will be one of the biggest movies of May, if not the whole year.
YouTuber AMONymous combined scenes from publicly released footage of all these movies to get moviegoers hyped for the summer blockbuster season ahead. The song used is "Superhuman" by Campfire. As you'll see, the music is synced perfectly with the different pieces of footage. Watch the video below.
Summer 2019 Blockbuster Montage - YouTube
A video like this surely gets people pumped for the summer blockbuster season. AMONymous masterfully edits everything together, from the splicing of footage to the music, and using Dr. Emma Russell's narration from Godzilla: King of the Monsters' first trailer.
It is interesting to think about which of these summer blockbusters will come out on top in terms of box office and critical reception. Avengers: Endgame has a good chance at being the highest grossing film of the year, and The Lion King has potential to match the popularity of 2017's Beauty and the Beast. Films like Men in Black International and Hobbes and Shaw are also interesting to consider. It remains to be seen if the Men in Black brand is still strong, and whether a spin-off of the Fast and the Furious series can do as well as the main films. Meanwhile, Detective Pikachu is releasing at just the right time to capitalize on Pokémon's popularity. This film has a great chance to break what has been dubbed the "video game movie curse."
No matter how well these films do, there is definitely something for everyone this summer blockbuster season. From giant monster mayhem in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, to an all-ages adventure in Toy Story 4, it's a great time for fun at the movies.
Hell is Other Demons mixes fast-paced action against a demonic horde with a gorgeous neon aesthetic but its graphics and bugs cause gameplay issues.
Hell is Other Demons is a retro fast-paced action game for Mac, PC, and Nintendo Switch that involves playing as a lone demon facing off against the hordes of the underworld in small areas while also surviving against the harsh environment and trying to avoid swarms of bullets.
The best part about Hell is Other Demons is its visual design, with the underworld being realized using a pixel art style that combines bright neon colors with dark and gloomy backgrounds. The demonic hordes are also made using this same style, with tiny demons that wouldn't look out of place in an NES game, to huge boss monsters that dominate most of the screen. Hell is Other Demons is one of the best-looking retro aesthetic games of all-time.
The music in Hell is Other Demons is also a treat, with brooding synthwave tracks (created by Rémi Gallego of The Algorithm) accompanying each level, which adds to the atmosphere of being trapped in an 8-bit underworld.
The 2D side-scroller gameplay of Hell is Other Demons involves selecting a loadout of equipment (which act as passive buffs) and weapons before being thrown into a small area and having to survive against waves of enemies. Hell is Other Demons is a bullet hell shooter where attacks can come from all sides.
There are two main gameplay modes in Hell is Other Demons - Arcade and Campaign. Arcade mode is an endless procedurally generated mode where the player can choose from multiple characters (after unlocking them) and must survive for as long as possible while using random equipment and weapons earned from battle.
The Campaign mode in Hell is Other Demons is light on the story, as you go through a world map made up of short levels that involve fighting hordes of enemies in small arenas. The Campaign mode isn't very long, but there is a lot of content packed into what is there. The player can earn extra points by finishing a stage without taking a hit, without using an Ultimate weapon (which are activated by power-ups dropped by the enemy), or by not using weapons at all and defeating enemies by stomping on their head, Mario style.
The graphics of Hell is Other Demons are actually one of the biggest issues with the game in relation to the gameplay, as many of the visual effects in the game (your bullets, the enemies bullets, explosions) use the same color scheme, regardless of the level, which can make it very difficult to differentiate between things that can harm you and things that can't. The fact that there is often a lot of effects going off at once and that each level is so small means that it's very easy to die and not see what caused it, as an enemy bullet can blend in with the explosion of another enemy as it croaks. These issues are magnified when playing in handheld/tabletop mode on the Nintendo Switch, as the smaller screen makes it even harder to tell things apart.
The small size of the arenas is also a problem, as there isn't much room for the enemy to spawn and it's easy for the player to dash right into an enemy as it's appearing, giving no time to dodge out of the way. The game could also have benefited from longer invincibility frames after being hit, as it's easy for the player to die from a flurry of blasts without being given a chance to move out of the way. It's possible to extend the invincibility frames using items, but you can only have so many of them equipped in each battle.
Hell is Other Demons also suffers from technical issues at launch, with slowdown and dropped frames cropping up in levels when things get too busy. There are also a few bugs that force a stage reset, as the item a boss monster is meant to drop didn't spawn, as well as minor bugs where the player or the enemy would fall through the bottom of the stage.
There are great ideas presented in Hell is Other Demons that are hamstrung by some design flaws and technical issues, the latter of which will ideally be fixed in updates. There is a lot to enjoy in Hell is Other Demons for fans of fast-paced action games and for those with a love of 8-bit retro aesthetics, but the difficulty of the game might be off-putting to those looking for a fair challenge, rather than having to play Where's Waldo? with the enemy's bullets.
Hell is Other Demons is available for Mac, PC, and Nintendo Switch on April 18, 2019. A digital code for the Nintendo Switch version of the game was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.