Duffers Warn You Might “Damage The Experience” Watching ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Trailer Too Much

It’s one week until we all go back into the Upside Down, and while you can listen to the soundtrack right now, I presume most of us are waiting for the total “Stranger Things” season 2 experience. In the year since the show debuted, it has become a phenomenon, and a merchandising bonanza. This means the marketing has had to step it up a notch, but the magic of season one was that everyone knew very little going in. However, it looks like creators Matt and Ross Duffer are working hard to keep secrets intact for season 2.

Speaking with THR, the duo mused about the roles trailers play in promoting movies and TV shows, and while they’re mostly happy with the promos cut for “Stranger Things,” they warn that the latest trailer is something best viewed one time.

“The first trailer doesn’t show as much as you might think, because marketing only had the first couple of episodes with a few shots from later stuff when they put that together. There were just a few things where we had to be like, ‘No, don’t do that.’ It’s becoming a debate as we move forward. Whether it’s through social media or another trailer, how much do you give away? What can the fans piece together with this information?” Ross Duffer said. “We want the fans to be surprised as much as they can when they actually watch the show. We also want to get new people to watch the show.”

“One reason why season one worked was because it was a discovery for a lot of people. They knew nothing when they started watching. I don’t think many people have even seen that trailer, but I definitely want to be careful,” Matt Duffer added. “I’m not into trailers that tell you the full story. I do not like the approach to trailers, which is like, ‘Let me summarize the entire movie for you before you go in!’ Some people seem to like it. But, to me, it’s like reading the last page of a book before you start the book.”

As for the new trailer, you can reassured that, “…most of the show is not in that trailer. I have a problem with trailers, because I love them too much. I’m one of those nerds that watches them on repeat. There’s a danger to that. I think it’s very safe to watch the trailer through once. If you watch it multiple times, then it can start to damage the experience. But it’s hard for me to scold people for doing that, because I do the same thing,” Ross Duffer said.

So, you’ve been forewarned. Maybe steer clear of all things “Stranger Things” before we all dive back in on October 27th.

‘The Dark Tower’ TV Series Will Be “A Complete Reboot”

Even as summer season flop “The Dark Tower” took major hits from critics, and stories emerged about its fractious post-production, everyone involved put on their game faces. Just days before the critically slammed picture opened, “The Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazzara was hired to work his magic on the developing TV series. The plan before the movie opened was create a cinematic universe (obviously) that would tell Stephen King‘s epic story on both the big and small screen, with everything linking up together. However, it looks like their pivoting a little bit.

Speaking with Vulture, King shared what he thought were the challenges that faced “The Dark Tower” movie, and revealed that the TV show is still brewing, albeit it sounds like it’s giving the franchise a facelift.

“The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages. The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behavior in a fairly graphic way,” the author said. “That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie. The TV series they’re developing now … we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”

There’s no reason why they shouldn’t give “The Dark Tower” another shot from scratch, and frankly, a series probably makes way more sense for that epic material. And if the show were to go into premium cable, there would be no need to worry about violence (remember, King had hoped that a big screen sequel would’ve gone R-rated).

We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s not a big surprise. Everyone wants a piece of King to call their own these days, and the writer is more than happy to oblige.

Claire Foy On Jumping From ‘The Crown’ To ‘Breathe’ And What’s Next [Interview]

The last time I spoke to Claire Foyit was the night before her final day of shooting “The Crown.” She played Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons on Peter Morgan’s acclaimed Netflix series and earned Emmy, BAFTA, SAG Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her performance. The second season debuts December 8, but in the meantime Foy is focused on her burgeoning movie career.

Foy plays Diana Cavendish, the wife of disabled persons advocate Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) in Andy Serkis’ “Breathe.” It’s another impressive, if not period piece turn for the Brit even if the reviews are probably not as pleasant as U.S. distributor Bleecker Street was hoping for. She’ll soon begin filming Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” follow up “First Man” opposite Ryan Gosling. On this day, however, it was almost all about “Breathe.”

READ MORE: Andrew Garfield & Claire Foy ‘Breathe’ Deep For History [Review]

Spoiler alert: There is a vague discussion of a major, final scene in the film.

_____

Gregory Ellwood: So, the last time we spoke you were about to finish shooting “The Crown.”

Claire Foy: Oh my gosh. Was I mental?

No, you were very focused, you were like, “I’m sort of sad.” But anyway, let’s talk about this movie! I was so impressed with both your and Andrew’s performances. People think this is Andy Serkis’ first film, but it’s not.

Oh yeah, we’ve beaten them to the part, “The Jungle Book” is. We’re the first ones [out though].

I don’t know if you’ve worked with first time filmmakers before there’s always that, like…

Yeah.

Was that what it felt like with Andy?

No, I mean that man has a vast amount of experience in this industry. As an actor, as a director – you know he’s directed things before – he lives and breathes it. I think he really really understood that he, Andrew and I all had very different approaches to things. So, we were approaching it as actors and he was approaching as a director and it just became kind of like, three of us throwing everything into the pot together really to be honest. And also he left us alone a lot. He was very very trusting and I think a certain point during the film he suddenly realized that me and Andrew made something between ourselves, that I don’t even know what it is. But it has its own energy and we were communicating. In a short hand, and we were able to be really really close to each other and, you know, be physically really close to each other and it was never awkward or weird. We became really kind of each other really, in a weird way.

Was this a project you where you felt like you had to rehearse before hand? Or was this something, where because you had that short hand, you could just go on set, figure it out?

No, we had to just do it by doing it. We didn’t have much amount of rehearse. We only had six weeks before we started shooting and that was, to do everything, to do all the prep for it. And there was a lot of work in the sense there. You go through it, there were lots of periods of time. There was a lot of makeup. There was all sorts of different things that Andy had to sort out. Me and Andrew just did as much on our end that we could as possible. Andrew was on it all the time, all the time. He put everything into it. He was constantly researching or meeting people or going places. Or you know practicing or rehearsing. And I did as much as I possibly could. And you know we just had to dive in. But I don’t think that it wasn’t until we were actually doing it, that we were able to kind of get that bond in that place.

So you have, if I’m correct, you had two people who were still alive. Your character-

Diana.

Did you meet her beforehand?

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Was there one thing that you took away from meeting here where you thought, “I need to remember this for my performance”?

It was more. I just was like, “My God, I need to be more like her in my life.” The main thing I took away was, “don’t you dare over-sentimentalize.” Don’t you dare kind of go, “If I was there be feeling this” Don’t you dare do that, cause I’d have to step out away. It’s not about me. Diana was there. And she didn’t pay for that. “She had a different set of values and she had a personality and you bloody observed that.” I just had to just constantly think “what would have Diana would have done? ” And you know that was there, but [screenwriter] Will Nicholson already understood her. You can’t act against the dollar and he understood her as well. I was very very lucky. I had, I mean, what more could I ask for really.

And her son was also one of the producers.

Yeah.

Was that weird at all?

It was weird because it wasn’t weird. That’s why this film, I cry my eyes out even thinking about it, because it was the most special, [because] to be allowed into someone’s life like that and to meet someone like Jonathan. And it wasn’t work being with him. And him allowing you to play his mother and father. And know how much they loved each other and be able to relinquish all control over it. And to be able to watch you perform, and not be judgemental over you and not own it. It should’ve been weird, it should’ve really been like, “Oh this uncomfortable oh this is strange.” The only time it was uncomfortable is when Andrew [was around for the] almost sex scene. He was like, “I’m going to see the production manager. And talk about some stuff.”

Wait was that the scene where like you just get in bed with him and it looks like you’re just giving him sort of hug?

Yeah, I mean it’s like tang. But that was too much for him he was like, “Gross gross get off. Stop it.” He couldn’t take it. Hilarious.

So, in context of the movie itself, obviously it’s a historical narrative, a lot of decades are being covered. Did you guys have to jump back and forth during filming?

We did it chronologically, they were really nice.

That’s very rare.

It was so important. We had to because the aging makeup took Andrew 5 hours [to put on]. Andrew was up at like 3 o’clock in the morning having his prosthetics put on. It really helped cause we were never ahead of the story and we were always in it and there and not going “What’s happening? What’s gonna happen?” But the final [few] weeks when we were in the house and I knew what was gonna happen I was absolutely aside myself. Like just ridiculous. I just I couldn’t give myself a stern talking to. There was no help for me. I was just gone.

Andrew-Garfield, Claire-Foy, Breathe

How hard was that final scene?

It was just hard cause I was. I couldn’t act it out on screen so therefore off screen I was just a mess.

Because she didn’t then?

Yeah. Jonathan seen his mother cry once.

Really?

[Mm-hmm] and it wasn’t about anything to do with that. It was about Christmas presents.

Well, let’s circle back to your career. You’re done with “The Crown.” This movie is coming out. Do you know what you’re doing next?

Yeah, check this out I gonna go have dinner with Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling. And then I’m going to break both my legs and have some bad fortune. Because otherwise it’s ridiculous. That’s what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be in “First Man,” it’s about Neil Armstrong.

So, who are you playing in it?

Janet Armstrong.

Oh my.

Unless I just made that up, I just feel like maybe that’s just too ridiculous.

[Publicist]: You know nothing.

You know nothing.

I know nothing, yeah.

“Breathe” is now playing in limited release.

Get Freaked Out By A New Trailer For ‘Killing Of A Sacred Deer’ With Colin Farrell

Compared to his previous films, Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster” was a pretty tame affair — there was only the occasional blinding or dog-kicking, with a rather sweet love story and some bone-dry humor the dominant notes. But expect the balance to be redressed, as the title might suggest, with his new movie, “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer.”

Reuniting the Greek helmer of “Dogtooth” with star Colin Farrell (with Nicole Kidman and “Dunkirk” breakout Barry Keoghan joining the cast), Jess described it in Cannes this year as “a film of clean hands, cold heart, and near-Satanic horror,” and also as being “absolutely fucking brilliant.”

While it revolves around the intrusion of Keoghan’s malevolent teen into the life of Farrell’s surgeon, it doesn’t paint the character as a pure villain. “We didn’t set out to create such a specific association or atmosphere — it was mostly about trying to make this young boy, this teenager, feel both as a young, innocent boy and as someone who’s very mature, with tremendous power over other people,” Lanthimos told the Atlantic. “We’re trying to create a balance, which you don’t find every day in life. We didn’t want him to appear as evil or naïve; we wanted an ambiguity, with elements that you understand. Up to a point, you go with him, and you identify with him and his pain.”

And you can get more from the movie, which is also screening at TIFF this week, thanks to a new trailer released by A24 today. We can’t wait, and the best news is we’ll be getting more Lanthimos in 2018, with his period drama “The Favorite,” starring Emma Stone and Olivia Colman, already in the can.

Read the official synopsis, and see the trailer for “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer,” below. The film opens on October 27th.

Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljian) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss.

Talking Cinematic Treasures ‘Blade Runner 2049’ & ‘The Florida Project’ [Adjust Your Tracking Podcast]

Things are tough out there. At least it’s a good time to be going to the movies…

On this episode of Adjust Of Your Tracking, Joe and I gush about two wildly different movies and find solace in simple pleasures, like enjoying weird movie days (Joe explains on the show), the genius of Roger Deakins, and remembering that even played out songs like Kool & The Gang‘s “Celebration” can sound amazing again with just the right amount of cinematic verve thrown over the track.

Though I’ve already talked in depth on The Playlist Podcast about Denis Villeneuve’s decades-later sequel, “Blade Runner 2049,” I just can’t get enough of this movie. And so, we start the show there, with lots of praise for the film’s many strengths while we also lament its weak box office performance last weekend. On the back half of the podcast we also go nuts for Sean Baker‘s “The Florida Project,” a film so teeming with life and infectious energy and truth that it’s almost overwhelming. Except you’re having too much fun while also being deeply moved. It’s another home run for A24, which continues to support superb filmmakers with strong visions and give them a proper home at cinemas. Listen in to hear us blab about these great movies.

LISTEN: Super Dark Times’ at the Cinema, Plenty to Recommend on Streaming [Adjust Your Tracking Podcast]

All episodes of Adjust Your Tracking are part of The Playlist Podcast Network and can be found on iTunes,Soundcloudand Stitcher. You can stream or download the podcast via the Soundcloud embed below or up top. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get them on the regular. Leave us a review and rating there if you’re so inclined and help spread the word on our podcast.

As always, thanks for listening!

‘Last Flag Flying’: Richard Linklater Tackles Middle Age In Bittersweet Road Trip [NYFF Review]

“Shadows are falling and I’ve been here all day,” Bob Dylan laments wearily in “It’s Not Dark Yet.” “It’s too hot to sleep,” he cries, “And time is running away.” It’s a melancholy dirge reflecting on one’s impermanence, reflecting on how much time you have left before you shuffle off this mortal coil. Yet, there’s also a life-affirming quality to the song. I’m still here, the spiritually bruised track says, but you haven’t gotten rid of me yet.

The tune from Dylan’s famous and influential Time Out Of Mind plays over the closing credits of Richard Linklater’s latest drama, “Last Flag Flying,” and like the title of the movie, the song embodies the summation of the director’s thoughtful and autumnal consideration of hanging on as the last man standing.

Based on novelist Darryl Ponicsan’s “Last Flag Flying,” his belated sequel to “The Last Detail,” which was adapted into the seminal 1973 drama by Hal Ashby about two vulgar Marines ordered to bring a young offender to a military prison. Linklater’s movie picks up with the these three Vietnam vets thirty years later, but it’s fair to say it a very loose “sequel.”

last flag flying linklaterThere’s the incorrigibly coarse and defiant Sal Nealon (originally played by Jack Nicholson, now Bryan Cranston), Richard “The Mule” Mueller (Otis Young, now Laurence Fishburne) the gruff and blasphemous Marine now turned reformed reverend, and lastly Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Randy Quaid, now Steve Carrell), the kid the men took to the brig thirty years ago. Once reunited, Doc asks a sudden, life-disrupting favor of his former friends — accompany him to the funeral of his son killed in combat in the Iraq War.

Compelled by a sense of guilt and duty, the pair reluctantly agree and what ensues, after the solemn shock of this request, is a funny, sad and profane travelogue across the Southeast where old friends bicker and bond, while tasked with one last somber detail.

As a buddy road trip movie, playing not unlike Linklater’s version of “Grumpy Old Men,” “Last Flag Flying” isn’t always grave. It’s quite funny or at least it tries to be. Comedy is where the movie is at its least convincing and there’s a lot of groan-worthy dad jokes. One crucial scene where the gang, loosened by alcohol, fall into a reminiscing about their Vietnam days and revel in drunken nostalgia is never as comical as it hopes to be.

Uneven as the humor is, there’s strong introspective qualities. Swinging between garrulous and jocular recollections, to more wistful considerations of the past, its scars, their regrets and the ever-dwindling road that’s left to travel, “Last Flag Flying,” is at its best when its mediating on death and the light that dims near the winter years of life.

last flag flying carrellCharacteristically loose, occasionally tedious, as Linklater is wont to do, the shaggy and rambling ‘Flag’ tends to wander in an Altman-like exploratory way; this is a far cry from the tightly-scripted Robert Towne story of “The Last Detail.” Yet it’s marked by its economy of filmmaking. There’s a premium placed on long takes that marinate in the actor’s performances. Exuding a clear affection for his characters, the director just wants to hang out with these guys and hear their stories, and Linklater hangs back and listens.

Speaking of those performances, while Lawrence and to a lesser degree, Cranston, deliver admirable turns (the “Breaking Bad” star is a little too hammy at times), it’s Steve Carrell that steals the show as the sad and lonely Doc trying to mask his grief with an amiable, albeit hound dog-faced front. Yul Vazquez gives an excellent turn as no-nonsense Colonel who butts heads with Doc and attempts to convince Larry to bury his son at a military cemetery with full honors. And the legendary Cicely Tyson provides a moving cameo appearance in one of the movie’s most critical scenes about the moral obligations to the truth versus the notions of letting sleeping dogs lie.

Following the good times college comedy of “Everybody Wants Some!!,” Linklater’s latest effort, will feel like a left turn palate cleanser that works in a very different key. Unlike that movie, the hip Annapurna Pictures is unsurprisingly not distributing the film, with Amazon Studios picking up the reins, and younger audiences looking for a cool Linklater movie have come to the wrong place.

last flag flying, richard linklater‘Flag’ possesses unexpected cultural relevancy as well. With all the current talk of flags, anthems, knees taken, and what this means about fealty and respect to country, ‘Flag’ could bridge the gap between warring factions and their interpretations of patriotism. Because as a heartfelt, humanist drama about friendship, sacrifice and service, even with its very complicated, even resentful relationship to patriotism and love of country, ‘Flag’ features a universality of prideful emotion that could transcend and speak to both sides.

A bittersweet, earnest contemplation of growing up and growing old, “Last Flag Flying” is a crossroads film about the wistful glow of the past and the unknown path that lies ahead. Given his boyish looks and fresh-faced spirit, you’d never guess that Richard Linklater is 57 years old, but it makes sense that a man approaching his ‘60s would craft a drama this plaintive about taking stock of life.

Throw in a dolorous dash of Levon Helm, the charming, sweet rootsiness of Neil Young and a soulful farewell from Warren Zevon and you’ve struck the musical chord of “Last Flag Flying” in song form. In its deeply affecting final moments, where Linklater beautifully folds the movie’s threads and themes, “Last Flag Flying” coalesces into a poignant portrait of honor, the bonds of brotherhood and coming to terms with mortality. It’s not dark yet, the movie intones, but it’s getting there. [B]

Follow along with all our New York Film Festival coverage here.

  • cirkusfolk

    What other songs are in the movie?

Bob Weinstein Accused of Sexual Harassment, Harvey Weinstein Resigns From The Weinstein Company Board

“I know him on a personal level better than anyone. It’s hard to describe how I feel that he took out the emptiness inside of him in so many sick and depraved ways. It’s a sickness but not a sickness that is excusable. It’s a sickness that’s inexcusable,” Bob Weinstein said last week about his brother Harvey Weinstein in an extended interview with The Hollywood Reporter. However, ever since he tried to separate himself from his brother, there are many who have suggested Bob Weinstein has his own demons, and now it looks like they’re coming to light.

READ MORE: ‘Beautiful Girls’ Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg On Harvey Weinstein: “Everybody-F**king-Knew”

Amanda Segel, an executive producer of “The Mist,” has accused Bob Weinstein of sexual harassment, in a story that sounds not unlike something from Harvey Weinstein’s odious playbook. Segel shared her story to Variety, some of which we’ve excerpted here:

Segel’s discomfort with Bob Weinstein began in June 2016 when he invited her out to dinner in Los Angeles, at Dan Tana’s restaurant. Segel had been told by coworkers that Bob Weinstein had inquired with them whether she was single. She agreed to go to dinner with him in an effort to establish a professional relationship with the head of the company behind “The Mist.”

During the dinner, Weinstein asked Segel highly intimate questions and made romantic overtures to her, according to Segel. He wanted to know her age because he told her he didn’t want to date anyone younger than his daughter. He told Segel that he was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel because his daughter was staying at his home in Los Angeles.

About halfway through the dinner, Weinstein asked Segel if she would drive him back to the hotel so that he could let his driver go for the night. Segel agreed. When she took him to the Sunset Boulevard hotel, he asked her to come up to his room. She declined.

After that night, Weinstein began sending emails to Segel with questions that were outside the scope of work on “The Mist.” He said he wanted them to be friends. She said that was possible but in a non romantic way, and reiterated that she was not open to dating.

In a scenario that echoes some of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Segel asserts that during this period Bob Weinstein invited her to a house he’d rented in Malibu for a party. When he called Segel to tell her the address of the house, she gathered that it was not a party but an invitation for the two of them to be alone. She did not attend.

Bob Weinstein persisted in trying to get Segel to join him for dinner, and she agreed on one other occasion, bringing “The Mist” executive producer and writer Christian Torpe with her. Eventually things escalated to a point where Segel, through her lawyers, established an agreement with The Weinstein Company executives that she never be in the same room or on the same call as Weinstein. And if “The Mist” was picked up for a second season, she would have the option to leave her contact (the series was not renewed).

Bob Weinstein has denied that any inappropriate behavior took place.

READ MORE: Producers Guild Of America Votes To Oust Harvey Weinstein

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein — after being fired from The Weinstein Company — has now formally resigned his position on the board. THR reports that Colony Capital continues to look at buying at The Weinstein Company, and notes that the “plan is to keep current management in place — minus Bob Weinstein, perhaps.” I imagine today’s news might factor into that decision. However, it should be noted that even if Harvey Weinstein still has no executive power, he owns 20% of The Weinstein Company shares, and could still wield his influence on the future of the studio.

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is the Show Fans Have Been Waiting For [Review]

Less than five minutes into “Star Trek: Discovery,” we’re pips-deep in technobabble, Klingon dialogue, and a callout to Kahless. This show isn’t afraid of going geeky and pleasing fans at the exclusion of outsiders, but it also looks as good as the big-screen blockbusters that draw opening weekend crowds in the millions. Most of those millions didn’t know Drax the Destroyer from Ronan the Accuser before flocking to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and they may give “Star Trek: Discovery” the same benefit of the doubt if their knowledge of Gene Roddenberry‘s universe doesn’t extend past J.J. Abrams‘ big screen reboots, aka the Kelvin Timeline. But will the more casual fan care enough to pay for a subscription to CBS All Access, where the show will live exclusively after its premiere?

The CBS show is set about 10 years before the original series (in the Prime timeline), and Spock’s father Sarek (James Frain) shows up in the premiere as the adoptive father of our human protagonist, Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). She is first officer on the U.S.S. Shenzhou, serving under Captain Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh). Though the episode “The Vulcan Hello” begins with the Shenzou on a standard mission, they’re quickly pitted against the Klingons. “Battle is not a simulation,” Captain Georgiou says, as her crew faces the possibility of war. “It’s blood and screams and funerals.”

Star Trek: Discovery

The premiere and its follow-up, “Battle at the Binary Stars,” are focused more on war than on exploration, but ‘Discovery’ still exhibits the franchise’s trademark sense of wonder at space and solid special effects that leave the audience in as much awe as the characters on screen. These two episodes also stay true to progressive politics and diverse crews of “Star Trek.” ‘Discovery’ continues the previous series’ commentary on our contemporary Earth, with the Klingons’ desire for unity and cultural purity sounding far too familiar to anyone who has watched the news lately. We still haven’t met most of the show’s cast, but even the glimpse we get here puts the show in line with its predecessors, with even more to come.

Though it’s exciting in itself to see an expensive sci-fi show led by a black woman, show creators Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman and showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts haven’t given Burnham that characterization of her identity and stopped there. Raised by Vulcans, she’s a fascinating blend of logic, precision and risk-taking. There’s plenty of action in these early episodes, but Martin-Green is just as adept with fight scenes as she is with the moments of big – and little – emotions. *minor spoiler ahead* She also has a moment of serious conflict with another Starfleet officer (historically a no-no in Roddenberry’s creation), which shouldn’t work this early on in the show, given these characters’ newness to the audience. But thanks to the work that the actors and writers’ room does, we buy not only the seriousness of this rift, but also the close relationship that it arises within. *end spoiler*

Michelle Yeoh, Star Trek: Discovery

While “The Vulcan Hello” is a solid episode that balances nuanced character development, gorgeous special effects and some laugh-out-loud dialogue from Fuller and (gulp) Akiva Goldsman, “Battle at the Binary Stars” seems unsure of how to fill its time outside of the titular fight. There’s a filler scene or two, and it ends so abruptly at 40 minutes that I wondered if there was an issue with the app (nope). The cliffhanger is likely engineered to hook audiences who used CBS All Access’s free trial to watch the first two episodes and keep them coming back for more. The show couples pure “Star Trek” spirit and references that will make fans grin, but it has enough action and compelling characters to draw in people who don’t know the difference between the Kelvin and Prime timelines. However, the question remains if there are enough of them to sustain such a costly show on a standalone platform. [B]

  • rayg

    Yes, I had been waiting for the premiere of this series. As I was watching it, my mind just kept going: “Wow! This is really boring.”

    • swell

      whereas Encounter at Farpoint was TNG’s finest hour. Clearly.

      Show is off to a pretty solid start… glimpse at where it’s heading at the end of the 2nd episode was pretty damn cool.

      Also, the show is going to get tweaked visuals and presentation. It’s over 50 years old. I’m old enough to remember the non-stop bitching about both the early seasons of TNG and DS9 (and the utter indifference to Enterprise and Voyager). Perspective.

  • rayg

    “an expensive sci-fi show led by a black woman” I think that show is called Killjoys on SyFy.

    Question: why does every new iteration of Star Trek have to change the appearance of Klingons? Trying to figure out how they go from what is in this show to what was in the Original Series set 10 years later to Worf in The Next Generation. If they continue the movie series with the alternate timeline, there is no telling what they will look like.

    • swell

      yeah, Killjoys. That budget buster.

    • MikeDK

      Agreed.

      And on a sidenote, I am pretty sure most casual viewers will find Klingon characters hard to watch. I was really annoyed with the amount of Klingon spoken so far. Give it a rest.

      And they are just really boring antagonists.

  • ziplock9000

    “‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is the Show Fans Have Been Waiting For” You might want to take a closer look at what the fans have been saying. A large percentage have reservations with continuity or lack thereof. Which is more important to Star Trek than just about every other franchise out there.

  • Fernando Almeida

    Good thing that Netflix will air it here in Brazil

  • MikeDK

    “Raised by Vulcans, she’s a fascinating blend of logic, precision and risk-taking.” – No she isn’t. In the first 2 episodes, that character could have had any backhistory you could think of. There is nothing inherently Vulcan about her character. A fascinating blend. You should really get out more, if you find that “fascinating”.

    It was a fine 90 minutes, but lets not go overboard. The writing and acting was mediocre. Only really positive thing was Doug Jones’ character. I like him.

    • Philip R. Frey

      The writer clearly *wants* to be fascinated and so is. I doubt she’s an actual Star Trek fan or she’d know that very little in this show is what Star Trek fans were looking for.

      It reeks of another alternate reality to me. They should just say that it is and then do their thing. Then I can ignore it completely, like I do the Kelvinverse.

  • James Orr

    Can’t say I agree with that heading at all. As a TV show, its not bad. As a Star Trek series, its awful. It doesn’t encapsulate anything about the series ethos whatsoever. It also completely disregards any sense of continuity or in-universe lore. It might as well be taking a big ‘ol dump on the name Star Trek.

Liam Neeson Decides To Keep Punching People In Movies After All

Liam Neeson, who stars in this weekend’s Very Important and also Very DullMark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House,” recently announced that he was putting away his special set of skills. The actor, who has seen a late career resurgence thanks to punching people in the “Taken” movies and punching people movies directed by his bud Jaume Collet-Serra (“Run All Night,” “Unknown,” “Non-Stop,” the upcoming “The Commuter“), declared he was done punching people. Well, that resolution hasn’t lasted long.

Perhaps realizing that no one is going to see ‘Mark Felt’ this weekend and that all we want to do is see Liam Neeson punch people, the actor has wisely announced his glorious return to punching people.

“It’s not true, look at me! You’re talking in the past tense. I’m going to be doing action movies until they bury me in the ground. I’m unretired,” he told Variety.

Well, that makes sense given that he’s still got the snowy revenge movie “Hard Powder” on the way, and probably keeps getting scripts on his desk which require him to kill someone using only a Bic pen or something. Either way, Neeson’s bread and butter lately has been severely disabling bad guys on the big screen, so it looks like he’s going to tap that well until its dry. And hey, who can blame guy?

“The Commuter” rolls into the station on January 12, 2018.