Sunday, 19 May 2019

Sunday, Sunday (110, 111 & 112)

image credit: netflix

image credit: hulu

Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel written by Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower "is based over 500 interviews with key players around the events of 9/11" as Stylist reports and stars Jeff Daniels, Wrenn Schmidt, and Peter Sarsgaard. Originally broadcast on Hulu, the show is already garnering critical praise for its "pacy and gripping plot," which began airing on BBC Two last Friday. 

The series is also available to watch in full on Amazon Prime, which is pretty promising considering it's a Hulu show. The American streaming service seems to take a notoriously long time to bring their shows across the pond, with UK viewers still waiting to see their latest original series The Act. Maybe the success of The Looming Tower and The Handmaid's Tale on British shores may encourage the streaming service to make it available in this country as well.

This probably isn't like important news to talk about, but it sure is interesting for those who are familiar with America's fascination with UFOs and extraterrestrial life. As Politico recently reported, the U.S. Navy are changing the rules regarding pilots reporting UFOs and encouraging them to do so more. "There have been several reports of unauthorised and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years," the Navy told Politico in a statement. "For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report."
"And as part of this effort, the Navy is updating and formalising the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in draft." 
Note that throughout that statement, the Navy doesn't refer to these unidentified objects as UFOs. As The Atlantic reports, it seems that while the Navy are encouraging pilots to share their stories without fear of being stigmatised. They are trying to stay clear from pandering to the Hollywood depiction of UFOs (even though the acronym was conceived by Project Blue Book director Edward Ruppelt) by, well, referring to them as "'unexplained aerial phenomena,' 'unidentified aircraft,' and 'suspected incursions'."

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Yeah, I think it may take a while for those descriptors to stick. 

Who'd have thought that 2019 would be the year that my love for the Jonas Brothers would resurface? When I was 12/13, I was absolutely in love with the Jo Bros, but that love soon died down as I grew older. It looks like Joe, Nick, and Kevin have too, and I'm totally digging the new sound they've found.

I've been sort of aware of their careers since they went on hiatus (especially Joe's thanks to my love for DNCE), but it will be cool to not only hear new music from the Jonas Brothers, but to also see how they got started, nearly parted ways, and then got together again in this documentary their releasing on Amazon.

image credit: conde nast traveler

Travelling to Japan has forever been on my bucket list, and one day I will tick it off. For now, though, I'm living vicariously through a recent itinerary published by the National Geographic. From exploring Tsukiji Market, marvelling at the fast and efficient Tokyo train system, and visiting the numerous cat cafes littered throughout the city, Nat Geo's Mickey Rapkin has made me want to go to Japan even more than I already did.

If you're lucky enough to be planning a trip to the beautiful country, you can also use Rapkin's itinerary as a basis for your own as he recommends places to eat, visit, sleep, and shop.

image credit: hbo

The first trailer for Damon Lindelof's Watchmen has finally dropped, and it looks like it's going to live up to expectations. It also reveals that this series is actually a sequel rather than another adaptation of the original comic (unlike Zac Snyder's 2009 film).

As Digital Spy reports, a release date has yet to be announced but it will be on screens this fall, and UK viewers will be able to watch the series on Sky Atlantic.

I should probably stop adding books to my (neverending) reading list since I haven't got through the ones on my bookshelf yet, but in due time that'll come to an end, and I'll need some new books to consume. There are a lot of excellent recommendation lists out there, but this one recently compiled by Good Housekeeping has a great balance of thriller, drama, and romance — perfect for you to read while relaxing on the beach or in the back garden.

They're all books that were released this year as well, so you'll be able to have a lot of deep conversations with fellow bookworms.

I was already sold on this film when Randall Park appeared (I have such a crush on him atm thanks to Fresh Off The Boat) but when a certain actor appeared in the last scene, I absolutely lost it. I won't spoil it, but I'm positive that you will freak out as much as I did.

image credit: paramount pictures

Update: Thanks to the amount of disbelief surrounding the first trailer, director Jeff Fowler took to Twitter to reassure fans that Sonic will be redesigned. "The message is loud and clear... you aren't happy with the design & you want changes," he wrote on Twitter. "Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be... #sonicmovie #gottafixfast"

Those who will be working on the redesign will only have five months to change Sonic's appearance throughout the film (it comes out on November 8), so hopefully, they can make Sonic marginally better than what we saw in the trailer.

Earlier: When Detective Pikachu was first announced, I don't think I was the only one that felt a little sceptical as to how Warner Bros. would pull of integrating Pokemon into a live-action setting. But when the first trailer dropped (and the subsequent interviews and other clips were released), I was pleasantly surprised by what had been created, and am actually looking forward to seeing the next incarnation of Pokemon begin.

So when Paramount announced that they would be helming the Sonic live-action adaptation, it wasn't too unusual that the same feelings of scepticism arose again. However, this time when the trailer dropped my mind was full of nope, nope, nopity nope. Whoever signed off on that design has some explaining to do because this beloved Sega mascot has been desecrated.

With Detective Pikachu, it's clear that the designers behind the Pokemon took the time to ensure that the CG characters looked like their 2D counterparts, but also fused familiar textures and animal species so audiences could suspend their disbelief that these fictional creatures are actually interacting with real humans, but could also relate and recognise them from the games. They retain a cartoonish quality while simultaneously fitting into a real-world environment.

The same cannot be said for Sonic, though. He sits so comfortably in the uncanny valley thanks to his humanoid appearance (he literally looks like a teenager in a bodysuit), and don't even get me started on the face. Sure, Sonic's original eyes are not realistic at all, but it's what makes his character. One look at those eyes and you recognise that blue hedgehog instantly. But here, all that's been stripped away leaving a knock-off Sonic that you'd find in a bargain bin. Hell, even Yuji Naka (who created the character) didn't like the rendering, who was shocked that Sonic wasn't wearing gloves and that his "bare hands are white." Now that's saying something.

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The only saving grace at the moment is Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. I'm still not entirely sure where they're going in terms of him transforming into his iconic look, but Carrey's humour more than makes up for it. And to give Paramount credit, they've got the chimes of the rings and Sonic's speed boost spot on. Let's just hope that the studio is aware of the current backlash and do something about it. There have been so many amazing corrections of the design made by artists and fans on Twitter — it's actually insane that these weren't the base ideas for this Sonic in the first place.

And at least Warner Bros. decided to release another Detective Pikachu trailer to cleanse everyone's eyes. You can literally compare the scenes of these characters in the cars — Sonic looks like he's been photoshopped into the seat, whereas Pikachu is literally strapped into a car seat giving Psyduck a foot massage and it looks ten times more believable.

For any fan of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, it can be a hard task to pick your favourite episodes. It looks like it's a similar problem for the actors (and writers), but Glenn Howerton managed to whittle down some of his personal favourites in an interview with The Today Show. Trust me, you won't be disappointed with what he's picked.

image credit: warner bros. pictures/new line cinema

Blinded By The Light may not be a traditional biopic, but it does highlight the significance of Bruce Springsteen's music and the impact of his lyrics. Directed by Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging) and based on Safraz Manzoor's memoir Greetings From Bury Park, the book "chronicles [Manzoor]'s experiences as a British Muslim boy growing up in 1980s Luton and the impact Bruce Springsteen's lyrics had upon him."

The Boss gave his blessing for the film at the premiere of his 2010 documentary The Promise, and as is mentioned in Bend It Network's synopsis he spoke with Chada and Manzoor and told them that "he had not only read, but admired the book".

I won't even try to explain my love for Springsteen here (that's for another day), but I can totally relate to the way his words touch a nerve like no other musician I've ever listened to.

I knew that I would enjoy Detective Pikachu regardless of whether the movie was good or bad, but I didn't expect to experience that much joy while watching it. I literally felt like a little kid again, grinning at every Pokemon introduced on screen and just marvelling at seeing all these characters that I've grown up with for literally my whole life.

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I will probably write a more detailed insight into the film at another time but for now, just know that I absolutely adored it and I'm so happy that the first live-action adaptation in the Pokemon universe wasn't a mess.

Ever wondered how Cops became the longest-running primetime show in the U.S.? Well, Vox has the answer. In a short but extremely in-depth video, the news outlet explores how the show's gritty, raw style captured audiences when it first premiered and how the relationship between the show and the featured police departments attributed to its longevity.

image credit: netflix

While I still may not be over Netflix cancelling Santa Clarita Diet, it seems there might just be an answer as to why it happened. In a statement, Digital Spy featured in a recent article, show creator Victor Fresco and producer Tracy Katsky Boomer shared their collective disappointment. "Like our audience, we were all-in on Shiela and Joel," Fresco said. "Their relationship, in the face of incredible adversity, was inspiring to write and watch. Mostly, they were funny, which in a comedy is important."

"Netflix took the chance on this odd show and for that we will always be grateful. They were supportive, ever positive, and appreciative of our work. Until about noon today. Still, they were just one phone call away from being a perfect studio. Not bad. Everything ends. This was a thing. And so it ended."

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Ugh. Like, I wouldn't be as mad if Netflix cancelled the series after a fourth season. To cancel it on a cliffhanger like that is such a low blow and, to be honest, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Digital Spy also points this out, referring back to a statement made by Netflix's Head of Original Content Cindy Holland in March, where she explained that certain shows were cut short based on audience numbers. "If the audience doesn't show up, we think about the reason to continue to invest in something that doesn't do as well as we had hoped."

Judging by the fact that nearly 15,000 fans have signed a petition to get the show renewed (and that's not the only one), I'd say that the show had a pretty substantial audience backing it every step of the way.

It's no secret that Billie Eilish is an Office superfan, but this video of her answering trivia questions by none other than Rainn Wilson is an absolute joy to watch. I'd be freaking out too, man.

Keanu Reeves answering question surrounded by puppies? Um, yes please.  


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