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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, take a closer look at the recent Rick and Morty season 4 trailer teasing the remaining five episodes. Plus, a video essay explores what is being called the decline of Kevin Malone on The Office, and finally, have your kids gather around for storytime as he reads one of 365 Bedtime Stories for Disney.
First up, ScreenCrush breaks down the most recent Rick and Morty season 4 trailer, teasing the second five episodes. There are plenty of details to notice in the trailer, from some obvious appearances by characters like Snowball to more obscure characters like Tammy, Summer’s best friend who turned out to be working for the galactic government, and has now returned in a lightsaber battle with her old friend.
Next up, since we’re all spending a lot of time watching The Office at home while we also work from home, The Take wanted to call our attention to the fact that Kevin Malone played by Brian Baumgartner started out as a reserved, subtly dimwitted accountant, but then he turned into and overly stupid, cartoonish man that felt like he was from a bad CBS sitcom. How did this happen?
Finally, if your kids could use some nice soothing storytime, let Thor: Ragnarok and Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum read them one of the stories from the 365 Bedtime Stories stories collection from Disney. This one involves Pinocchio and Geppetto, and Goldblum has some kids of his own who enjoy it along with him. You can pick up the book yourself over at Amazon now.
Actress Honor Blackman has passed away. She was 94 years old. Blackman is arguably best-known for portraying Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, along with the judo chopping Cathy Gale on TV's The Avengers. She passed away peacefully on April 5th at her home in Lewes, Sussex, of natural causes, according to her family. Blackman's family released a statement, which you can read below.'She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive, and Toby. As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother. Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent. With an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavors she contributed to some of the great films and theater productions of our times.'
Honor Blackman's acting career spans six decades after starting off in the late 1940s. Her early movie roles included Diamond City and Come Die My Love, while early television shows include Probation Officer, The Vise, and Danger Man. However, it wasn't until she portrayed Elizabeth Taylor's friend in MGM's Conspirator that she started to get some real recognition. From there, her big break came in 1962 when she joined the cast of the British TV series The Avengers as Cathy Gale. This is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics characters. It's here where she learned judo and helped to bring women's self-defense to the entertainment industry.
Honor Blackman's martial arts proficiency was evident from the start, though she says she regretted doing some of her own stunts later in life due to some back issues. After two seasons on The Avengers TV series, Blackman made the controversial decision to leave and become a Bond Girl in Goldfinger. 'Everybody was quite startled when I decided to leave, especially since the program was about to go onto film and into color,' she reflected later. The actress portrayed the iconic villainous femme fatale Pussy Galore in the third Bond installment, which went on to become a global hit. It's during this time that she also scored a hit pop single titled 'Kinky Boots,' inspired by the knee-high boots she wore at the time.
Honor Blackman received acting lessons for her 15th birthday. Later that year, she began her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following graduation, she was an understudy in the West End play The Guinea Pig and In 1947 she appeared in the Patrick Hastings play The Blind Goddess at the Apollo Theatre. When her career finally took off, Blackman was considered to be a real-life goddess by fans.
More recently, Honor Blackman appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary, Color Me Kubrick, I, Anna, By Any Means, and You, Me, and Them. Blackman starred as...
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below:
Marvel's She-Hulk series is reportedly gearing up to shoot this summer ahead of its upcoming release on Disney+, and new details about the show's story and characters have reportedly been revealed. According to The Illuminerdi, the series is on track to shoot its first season between August 2020 through March 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reported by the outlet is that the freshman season will consist of just six episodes, which is in line with other Marvel projects in active development for Disney+.
With a production start date on the board for this summer, the casting process seems to now be underway as producers look for the right players to bring the She-Hulk series to life. As of now, no names have officially been cast, but as previously reported, word is the studio is looking to cast an 'Alison Brie-type' actress in the lead role of Jennifer Walters with Brie herself at the top of the want list. The reported logline of the series describes Jennifer as 'successful in her profession and specifically seeking cases in superheroic law,' suggesting the superheroine will be keeping her day job as an attorney after her transformation into She-Hulk.
It also sounds like the Disney+ series will have a heavier focus on Jennifer's legal drama in court as opposed to nonstop action sequences as She-Hulk. The character description also says Jennifer 'occasionally' fights crime as She-Hulk, suggesting most of her battles will be taking place in a court of law. This creative approach of combining Better Call Saul with The Avengers sounds very much unlike other movies and shows set in the MCU, but that's also exactly what makes it stand out as one of the more interesting upcoming projects. An added bonus is that it opens the door for any MCU character to cameo on She-Hulk as a prospective client for Jennifer Walters.
Information about two supporting characters for She-Hulk have also been revealed. For Jennifer's unnamed 'Best Friend,' producers are seeking an actress aged 26 to 28. No other details are given, but it's speculated that this character will be Jill Stevens, a longtime friend of Jennifer's in the comics who winds up tragically killed by an assailant mistaking her for Jennifer. A second character, 'Meg,' calls for an actress aged 29 to 35. A fellow attorney, Meg is described as 'shrewd, while having a biting wit and humor.' It's possible that this character is an adaptation of Mallory Book from the comics, but as with Jill Stevens, this is only speculation at this time.It's also looking like Mark Ruffalo will be reprising his MCU role as Bruce Banner for the series, as the actor is reportedly in talks to appear on She-Hulk. That would make sense, given that She-Hulk's origin story in the comics involves getting an emergency blood transfusion from Bruce. We'll see if that's how the superheroine comes to be in the Disney+ series as well, but in any case, it seems more than likely Ruffalo will show up at some point...