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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, find out how to make Harley Quinn‘s beloved egg sandwich from the man who made it in Birds of Prey. Plus, watch as a fan recreates the Back to the Future theme park ride from Universal Studios at home., and listen to a Star Wars story read by Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein, better known as Ahsoka Tano.
First up, Variety had Bruno Oliver, who plays the cook Sal in Birds of Prey, reveal how to make the eff sandwich that Harley Quinn loves so much in the movie. Now is the perfect time to give yourself the perfect breakfast from the comfort of your home without having to worry about other criminals or police officers ruining it.
Next up, since Disney and Universal theme parks are closed, some fans are taking matters into their own hands by recreating theme park rides from the comfort of their home. In this case, Kevin Bosch recreated Back to the Future: The Ride, a now-defunct attraction from Universal Studios. It’s basically a sweded version of the ride, and it’s a lot of fun. There’s even a gift shop!
Finally, give your kids some storytime with Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice actress Ashley Eckstein, who reads from the Star Wars children’s book The Galaxy Needs You. Not only is it a wonderful way for kids to connect with Star Wars who may be too young for the movies, but it also has a good message in it.
Judging by this trailer, the next episode of Westworld is going to have a lot of action. Explosions, chases, gunfights, and more are all teased here. Also teased: more backstory into Serac, the new villainous character played by Vincent Cassel. On top of all that, it looks like Aaron Paul’s Caleb is going to start questioning his allegiance with Dolores.Westworld Season 3 Episode 5 Trailer
Are you still sticking with Westworld? I am – but that’s because I have to write about it. But if I’m being honest, were I not writing about this season, I might just give up on the show at this point. I don’t think the series is bad, I’ve just lost the interest I once had. This season is trying very hard to take the show in a different direction, and while some of the results have been promising, the series still falls back on old, bad habits.
But this is a cool trailer! It’s very ominous, and loaded with action. It also suggests we’re going to learn a lot more about Serac, a character who has remained mostly cloaked in mystery. We know he’s bad – he murdered a dude in the most recent episode – and we know he’s rich. We also know he wants what’s in Dolores’ head. But beyond that, we still don’t know what his real deal is. The footage here hints at flashbacks to the young Serac – who we glimpsed in a quick flashback moment in the most recent episode.
For more insight into the upcoming episode, let’s turn to the official synopsis, shall we? Those are always helpful!
Season 3, episode 5: “Genre” Debut date: SUNDAY, APRIL 12 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT Just say no. Written by Karrie Crouse & Jonathan Nolan; directed by Anna Foerster.
Oh, right, these are always deliberately vague and tell us nothing. I forgot.
One other interesting detail, at least based on this trailer: it looks like Caleb is already questioning his partnership with Dolores. It seems way too soon for that to be happening – they just teamed-up – but maybe Dolores does something really bad in the next episode. We shall see.
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.
With the coronavirus pandemic growing and social distancing in full effect, there’s no better time to dip your toes into some foreign-language movies and TV shows that you’ve been meaning to get around to. Whether that be arthouse classics like the German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the second seasons of Netflix’s Kingdom or HBO’s My Brilliant Friend, or that weird furry anime on Netflix, Pop Culture Imports is here for all your streaming needs. And goodness knows we’ll be doing a lot of streaming while we’re in self-quarantine.
Let’s fire up those subtitles and get streaming.Best Foreign Movies and TV Streaming Now The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – Criterion Channel
Genre: German expressionism
Director: Robert Wiene
Cast: Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, Lil Dagover, Friedrich Feher, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger, Gilda Langer.
This is stretching the confines of this column a bit as a silent picture, but considering this classic film’s importance to the German expressionism movement, and its part in the easing of foreign film industries’ easing on the import of German films post-Word War I, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari seemed worth a mention. Directed by Robert Wiene, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is just as striking and unnerving as it was 100 years ago, pulling the viewer into an eerie fantasy world that seems to warp and twist with every frame. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tells the story of an insane hypnotist a terrifyingly primal Werner Krauss who uses a somnambulist Conrad Veidt to commit a series of murders. The film’s sharply angular style and abundant use of spirals may call to mind the works of Tim Burton for a modern moviegoer, but Wiene proves with his still-astonishing silent film that the original does it best.
Watch This If You Like: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Frankenstein, Dracula, optical illusions.My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name – HBO Go
Genre: Drama miniseries
Creator: Saverio Costanzo
Cast: Margherita Mazzucco, Gaia Girace, Giovanni Amura, Gennaro De Stefano, Francesco Serpico, Alessio Gallo, Valentina Acca, Antonio Buonanno
When Elena Ferrante published My Brilliant Friend, the first in her four-part series of novels chronicling the intense and fraught friendship of two girls growing up in post-World War II Naples, in 2012, it became a worldwide literary phenomenon. Ferrante fever returned with HBO’s lush adaptation of the first book, which premiered to critical raves in 2018. The first season delicately told the story of two wildly...