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‘Castle Rock’ preview: Four Episodes In and Already Creeped Out

Charmaine Blake

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Who is this mysterious ‘Castle Rock’ figure, played byBill Skarsgrd (who was also Pennywise in ‘It’)?

Image: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

“Imagine trying to fully process a version of The Shining that cuts off right after Wendy Torrance discovers her husband’s “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” writings.

That’s what it’s like trying to talk about Castle Rock right now. I’m four episodes in on the Stephen King collaboration with J.J. Abrams production banner Bad Robot, and the Hulu-exclusive series definitely has me on the hook… but it could just as definitely still go either way.

Castle Rock is an unusual beast. Rather than adapting a single King story, it weaves in and out of familiar locations, characters, and themes pulled from any number of the author’s works.

The series has a story of its own to tell, but that story involves Alan Pangborn, Shawshank State Prison, and the dark history of Castle Rock, Maine (to name a few). The nods to King lore even extend beyond the fourth wall: Sissy Spacek, the star of Carrie, holds a key role; so does Bill Skarsgård, the Pennywise of 2017’s It adaptation.

Castle Rock is, for lack of a better term, the start of a Stephen King cinematic mash-up universe.

Castle Rock is the start of a Stephen King cinematic mash-up universe.

The story laid out in the opening episodes doesn’t hinge on any knowledge of King lore, of course. The nods are hidden in plain sight, but they’re just that: A name. A vague reference. Fans of King will grin  knowingly at the mention of suicidal Shawshank wardens, but familiarity doesn’t make this story clearer.

The opening episodes of Castle Rock follow two main threads that converge more and more as the story unfolds. Shawshank is a primary setting, with the warden’s sudden and unexpected suicide setting of a chain of events that leads to the discovery of a secret inmate (Skarsgård).

The young man is discovered tucked away in a cage built inside some kind of underground tank, only accessible via a locked hatch. He’s apparently in good health, but there’s no record of his incarceration and he doesn’t speak — save for one name: Henry Deaver (André Holland).

The Deaver family has a history in Castle Rock, one that the opening episodes…..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/11/castle-rock-hulu-first-look-impressions/

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‘About Time’ may not be a holiday movie, but it’s perfect holiday viewing nonetheless

Charmaine Blake

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Image: universal

“Each December, we bust out the holiday cheer, from obnoxious Christmas music to Love Actually on a loop. I’m all about this — I usually leave my tree up until my January birthday — but I start with a different movie: About Time.

From Love Actually writer-director Richard Curtis, About Time is comparatively trimmed down, following the life of Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), the young son in a family where the men can travel through time. There are no other sci-fi frills (and probably some plot holes as a result, but who cares!), since as Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) notes, they can’t change anything outside their own lives.

Instead, we watch Tim try to make the most of his existence, not with money or glory but with happiness, plain and pure.

I’ve loved About Time probably since I saw the trailer in 2013. It was the first movie I saw in theaters after moving to New York that fall, with an old friend and diehard movie buff who was seeing it for a second time. We saw it just after Thanksgiving, which gave it a built-in holiday association for me.

As with Curtis’ previous work, what that truly stands out is the writing – specifically the dialogue, which is unique a way that reflects, you know, how people actually talk, but remains memorable in its specificity (“She wasn’t like other mums. There was something solid about her, rectangular”).

Because Tim grew up by the sea in Cornwall, much of the film occupies its own world, and the parts that take place in London are evergreen, unencumbered by technology or pop culture references.

Like Love Actually, About Time has some issues. After a lovely meet cute with Mary (Rachel McAdams), Tim loses her number and has to meet her again for the first time…………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/about-time-watch-of-the-week/

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Jodie Whittaker will be returning for Season 12 of ‘Doctor Who’

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Jodie Whittaker is still The Doctor.

Image: Mike Marsland/WireImage

“God is a woman and so is The Doctor for one more season, at least.

Jodie Whittaker, who’s currently playing The Doctor in Season 11 of Doctor Who, just confirmed that she will be returning to her role of extraterrestrial Time Lord in the legendary BBC sci-fi series for Season 12.

Whittaker told The Hollywood Reporter that she’s definitely not ready to hand over the Doctor Who-baton to another actor just yet.

“It’s such an incredible role,” Whittaker told THR. “It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and I’m not quite ready to hand it over yet.”

Just one previous Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, only lasted for one season (Season 1 in 2005.) The other actors have had between two and six years as The Doctor.

While Whittaker’s performance as the first female Doctor in Doctor Who’s 55-year history has been widely praised by critics, there was a good deal of backlash when Whittaker was revealed as the 13th Doctor last year.

Whittaker seemed pretty chill about it, though. She explained in an interview with the BBC that the character of The Doctorrepresents everything that’s exciting about change.

I want to tell the fans not to be scared by my gender,Whittaker said. “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

Please bring your bad-ass attitude to Season 12, Jodie.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/jodie-whittaker-doctor-who-season-12/

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Jason Momoa goes full action hero in ‘SNL’ promo

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“Jason Momoa is hosting the next episode of Saturday Night Live and things are already looking pretty promising based on this promo.

Momoa, who plays Aquaman in the DC movie universe and previously played Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, doesn’t look like he’ll be shying away from his beefcake-y vibe on SNL.

He definitely looks like he’ll be bringing some good energy to the show on Dec. 8.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/jason-momoa-snl/

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