|DOCTOR SLEEPSTEPHEN KINGTHE STORY|
Brace yourselves, my friends – this week’s Blu-ray column is packed. There are so many movies here that you probably want to block out your entire day just to read this. Go ahead, clear your calendar. Call in sick from work. Lock all your doors, draw the blinds, and feast your eyes. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Parasite
Fresh off its triumphant run at the Oscars, Parasite is now available on Blu-ray, and it’s just as special as you’ve heard it is. If you’ve managed to avoid Bong Joon-ho‘s latest so far, and want to know what the hell all the hubbub is about, here’s your chance. This twisty, brilliant look at class and capitalism follows two sets of families: One obscenely wealthy, the other destitute. Through a serious of events, the have-nots manage to take up residence with the haves. And that’s when things start to get really weird.
It might sound like a cop-out to say, but the less you know about Parasite, the better. And while the film is obviously popular right now, there are still many who have yet to catch it. So I won’t spoil it here. I will say this: What makes this film so unique is the way it never limits itself. Bong is a filmmaker who loves to blend genres, and Parasite is one of the best examples of this – it’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s a thriller, it’s a mystery. It’s all these things, and more – hell, it’s almost unclassifiable. It’s the exact opposite of a Hollywood movie, in all the best ways.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
There’s a reason everyone can’t stop talking about Parasite and it’s big Oscar win: It’s the movie of the moment. It feels like something of a sea change that something this dark, this weird, this unconventional ended up scoring Best Picture. With all that in mind, you’d be a goof to pass this one up. While it would’ve been nice to bless this flick with a 4K release, we’re not there yet. Will there be a double-dip? Perhaps. For now, though, this is the best it gets, and you shouldn’t pass it up.
Special Features Include:Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho Roma
Who would’ve thought the day would come when a Netflix movie would join the Criterion Collection? That day is today, because Roma, Alfonso Cuarón‘s gorgeous, deeply personal film from 2018, is now part of the collection. Drawing on memories of his own childhood, Roma follows housekeeper Cleo Yalitza Aparicio, phenomenal, and deserving of many more roles as she lives and works in early-1970s Mexico City.
Roma doesn’t have a traditional plot, and some may find that a bit off-putting – I distinctly remember several people complaining that...
Stephen King is now using The Stand to issue warnings about the coronavirus. The author originally did not like when social media started making comparisons between his 1978 novel and COVID-19, but that was before the CDC deemed it a worldwide pandemic. King is not being alarmist in his tweets, he is simply trying to get people to pay attention and practice social distancing. To prove his point, he posted a passage from The Stand.
At the beginning of March, Stephen King tweeted, 'No, coronavirus is NOT like The Stand. It's not anywhere near as serious. It's eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.' This tweet is a lot different from what he posted over the weekend, though he again downplayed the severity of coronavirus when compared to his book.
When posting Chapter 8 of The Stand, he said, 'This is how it works. Heed. But remember COVID-19 is not as lethal as the super flu.' He then tweeted out a very simple and clear message: 'Keep your distance.' You can read the passage from the novel below.'Joe-Bob felt fine. Dying was the last thing on his mind. Nevertheless, he was already a sick man. He had gotten more than gas at Bill Hanscombe's Texaco. And he gave Harry Trent more than a speeding summons. Harry, a gregarious man who liked his job, passed the sickness to more than 40 people during that day and the next. How many those 40 passed it to is impossible to say - you might as well ask how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
If you were to make a conservative estimate of five a piece, you'd have 200. Using the same conservative formula, one could say those 200 went on to infect a thousand, the thousand five-thousand, the five-thousand twenty-five-thousand. Under the California desert and subsidized by the tax payers' money, someone had finally invented a chain letter that really worked.'
As you can read in the passage above, Stephen King is illustrating just how easy something like the coronavirus can spread. Most of the world has been practicing social distancing and remaining indoors, but in Southern California and Vancouver over the weekend, where the weather was nice, there were droves of people out in the sun, clearly not practicing social distancing. Parks and beaches will likely be the next things to get shut down.
In The Stand, Stephen King writes about 'Project Blue,' the intense superbug. That strain of influenza was weaponized by the American government and then accidentally released by a soldier who flees the lab where it was developed. After he escapes, he starts to spread the disease until it ultimately kills of 99% of humanity. So yes, coronavirus is bad, but it is not 'Project Blue,' so one can understand why King wanted to keep his distance from that comparison.
The Stand is fiction and a form of entertainment, though it might not be the best thing to read or watch at this very moment. There are plenty of other Stephen King...
[Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “Westworld” Season 3, Episode 2 “The Winter Line.”]
No, your eyes did not deceive you. That was a dragon in the belly of the Parks.
“Westworld” Season 3’s second episode finds the unlikely team of Bernard and Stubbs making their way through the treacherous labyrinth of behind-the-scenes testing and staging rooms. At one point, the action cuts away from the two series regulars to focus on two other men weighing some dark choices for the fire breather coiled up in the room next to them.
Of course, these schemers were played by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the real-life co-creators and main duo behind fellow HBO behemoth “Game of Thrones.”
Much like a writers room joke about Hemingworld eventually set Warworld in motion, this week’s quick cameo came from another source very familiar to “Thrones” fans.
“George R. R. Martin had long joked about wanting a crossover between ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Westworld,'” series co-creator Lisa Joy told IndieWire. “Somehow, he must have incepted that idea in our heads, because when it was time to explore, to have Stubbs and Bernard run through this world, we knew that we had to have fun with it.”
For a show that seems based on meticulous, intricate plotting across multiple timelines and realities, bringing Benioff and Weiss into the fold had more casual origins. While the two were in post-production on the final season of “Game of Thrones,” some catch-up time with Joy and Jonathan Nolan set the plan in motion.
“Over a beer we pitched them a silly idea and they very graciously said yes. It was really more an excuse to hang out on set together,” Nolan said. “They’ve been very kind to us over the years. We could not be making our show if they had not blazed the trail of gigantically ambitious cinematic television.”
“The idea of taking these great pals and humiliating them in these white suits, and to bring their little pet over to play was too good to pass up,” Joy said.
This isn’t the first time the show has brought in real-life creators for on-camera recognition. Season 2 enlisted composer Ramin Djawadi to pose as an in-park townsperson and pluck away at a guitar. This week’s episode has another string instrument player — Nolan confirmed that wasn’t Djawadi but joked, “We’ll get him back next season!” As with the Benioff and Weiss scene, that cameo came from a long evening of filming.
“We like to take our good friends and traumatize the shit out of them with night shoots and make them stay up all night,” Joy said with a laugh.
For more thoughts on the rest of Sunday’s episode, read Ben Travers’...