|THE MANDALORIANTHRILLINGSEASON 1REVIEW|
Last week, Hasbro celebrated Star Wars Fan Appreciation Day, because every single day is a new chance for the population at large to be marketed to by major corporations. Thankfully, we’re Star Wars fans, and the announcement of new Star Wars Black Series figures is an exciting one, especially when they include a new version of The Mandalorian in Beskar armor, the respected Admiral Ackbar, a fierce Ewok warrior, and a slick carbonized version of a beloved character from The Empire Strikes Back.The Mandalorian Black Series Action Figure
Just before The Mandalorian arrived on Disney+, the first wave of merchandising from the live-action Star Wars series arrived in stores along with the first action figures from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But it seemed Hasbro didn’t properly anticipate demand for the Black Series figures associated with the series, because nearly all of them have been extremely difficult to find, especially Mando himself. But hopefully that will change with this new version of the bounty hunter.
Unlike the first version of The Mandalorian Black Series figure, this one comes with shiny new Beskar armor. It’s a much cleaner version of the character, and he still comes with all the appropriate weaponry. Unfortunately, there’s no two-pack that comes with The Child known as Baby Yoda, but you can still buy the little guy separately.#gallery-3 #gallery-3 .gallery-item #gallery-3 img #gallery-3 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ Admiral Ackbar and Teebo Join the Black Series
Two characters from Return of the Jedi are getting their due diligence as Black Series figures. Admiral Ackbar joins the line, looking like his back has been seriously injured in the promotional photo above. Meanwhile, the Ewok known as Teebo is clearly not in the mood for dealing with any Stormtrooper crap, so don’t mess with that dude.#gallery-4 #gallery-4 .gallery-item #gallery-4 img #gallery-4 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ New Carbonized Boba Fett and Stormtrooper
Finally, after first being introduced on Triple Force Friday last fall, the carbonized variant line of Black Series figures is getting two new additions this year, and they should be infinitely easier to find than that initial wave, especially since they’re both available for pre-order over at Big Bad Toy Store right now.
Boba Fett is easily the...
Taylor Swift needs your approval. She always has. As an artist and a woman, she's been conditioned to do the right thing since she was a child. To live for applause. To measure her worth in pats on the head. “My entire moral code is a need to be thought of as 'good,'” the mega-famous musician confesses at the beginning of Lana Wilson's “Miss Americana,” a safe but sincere and enormously winsome documentary about Swift's long road to self-acceptance. And yet, for someone who's “built their whole belief system on getting people to clap for you,” a single murmur in the crowd can be enough to tilt their world off its axis.
Absurd as it might sound to plebes like us, the Kanye incident at the 2009 VMAs was shattering for Swift. It pierced the thin veil of validation that she needed as a buffer between the diaristic intimacy of her writing and the global popularity of her records, and it precipitated a fraught period of her career where it felt as if the entire planet was trying to boo her off the stage.
Anyone who's paid even a scintilla of attention to pop culture over the last 10 years already knows the words to this song: Every move Swift made was suddenly filtered through the most cynical lens that people could find. Every harmony became a scandal, every chorus became a coded message, and every attempt to rise above the fray only found Swift digging herself a deeper hole. The Grammys —an infallible awards show that has never had any problems whatsoever — didn't even nominate the superstar's hyper-reactive sixth album for the same prizes that her last record had won. Like so many people who powered their way into the public eye, Swift just wanted to be liked. And like so many people who have just wanted to be liked, Swift only trusted the people who made a bloodsport of denying her that satisfaction. “I became the person everyone wanted me to be,” Swift sighs, but when too many people wanted her to be too many things, her most reliable defense mechanism was soured into a recipe for self-loathing.
“Miss Americana” is made with the kind of conditional transparency that we've come to expect from authorized movies about famous musicians Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga have all participated in similar documentaries for streaming platforms, to say nothing of glossy studio biopics like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Rocketman”, and this confectionary portrait definitely functions as a sensational piece of PR. But the decision to hire Wilson — a dignified filmmaker whose “After Tiller” evinced both a deep concern for female agency and an uncompromising distaste for bullshit — suggests that Swift and her team weren't wholly interested in propaganda. As Swift observes in the movie, powerful women are given the almost...
SPOILER ALERT: This post contains details of tonight's The Walking Dead penultimate episode of Season 10, which is the de facto finale for the next little while thanks to the coronavirus crisis.
“You got a whole lot of family,” The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon Norman Reedus tells the now parentless Judith Grimes Cailey Fleming in tonight's penultimate episode of Season 10, that marks the end of the current run, for now.
With AMC having to hit the pause button on the latest season of the zombie apocalypse series due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, “The Tower” may be the last we know of the TWD universe for a while. Still, coming off the departure of sorts of Danai Gurira and her beloved Michonne character just a few weeks ago and now the premature end of the season, TWD tonight wasn't going out without a few surprises.
As a trio of Survivors venture into an empty Pittsburgh that looks like most of the world's big cities right now, the Princess character from the Robert Kirkman-created comics made her unique debut, for better and worse. Also, as Judith comes to terms with losing both her father Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln and Michonne over the past two seasons, script flipping once villain Negan Jeffrey Dean Morgan tries to find a new role for himself with the daughter of Whisperers leader Alpha, who he killed in March 15's “Walk with Us” episode. And then there's the little matter of Alpha's murderous right-hand man Beta Ryan Hurst hearing his dead leader's voice and stewarding a herd of ravenous walkers to our heroes hiding out in an abandoned hospital - with the added “strange” injection, to quote showrunner Angela Kang, that suddenly the world of TWD seems eerily familiar to our own and its health crisis.
Working on Season 11 remotely, Kang chatted with me about the quicker than expected end to TWD‘s Season 10, why there will be no episode 16 for a while, what's coming next year and some urban tales.
DEADLINE: AMC announced on March 24 that next week's proper season finale will not be airing for the time being, where are things at now?
KANG: Obviously, we think everybody did an amazing job on episode 15. Hopefully, it serves a satisfying interim pause to it all, but you know, we were working really, really hard on 16 and cranking away.
DEADLINE: So why aren't we seeing the real finale next week?
For big episodes like that, to deliver them, it's basically about two weeks before air. It takes that long to get all of the post-production effects done and all the final finishing. So, we were about a week and a half out by the time the California governor called a shutdown to stuff because of...
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...