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      Godzilla roars his way onto Apple TV+ in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters teaser / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 21:53 · 1 minute

    Apple TV+'s new original series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters , picks up where 2014's Godzilla left off.

    Major film franchises expanding into streaming television is officially a trend: Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Universe, and now Legendary Entertainment's MonsterVerse , which brought together Godzilla, King Kong, and various other monsters ( kaiju ) created by Toho Co., Ltd into the same fold. There have been four feature films thus far, with a fifth slated for a 2024 release, plus the animated series Skull Island , which debuted on Netflix earlier this year.  And now we've got the first teaser for Apple TV+'s Monarch: Legacy of Monsters , which picks up where the 2014 film Godzilla left off.

    Set 15 years after a nuclear disaster in Japan, the 2014 Godzilla reimagined the classic monster's origins and featured the titular beast battling giant winged parasitic creatures called MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) that feed off nuclear energy and waste (and also warheads). San Francisco suffered quite a bit of major property damage as a result. That film also introduced us to Project Monarch, a secret organization established in the 1950s to study Godzilla and other kaiju —after attempts to kill Godzilla with nuclear weapons failed.

    Monarch: Legacy of Monsters will further explore the history and aftermath of those events. Per the official premise:

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      A time-slipping Loki struggles to fix the timeline(s) in new Loki S2 teaser / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 September - 17:38

    New teaser for Loki S2 provides new footage ahead of the season's October premiere.

    Anticipation is mounting among Marvel fans for the October debut of the second season of Loki , starring Tom Hiddleston as everyone's favorite Norse god of mischief. We now have a new teaser showcasing a time-slipping Loki seemingly caught in an endless cycle of shuttling between the past, present, and future as he tries to restore order to the multiverse.

    (Spoilers for S1 below.)

    As I wrote in my review , the first season of Loki was "an excellent mix of action, surprising twists, canny exposition, and intimate character moments, all leading up to the final reveal: what is the TVA's true nature and purpose, and is there someone (or something) else behind the scenes pulling the strings of the sacred trio of Time Keepers?" The puppet master turned out to be none other than Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors, who reprised the role for this year's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ) —or rather, a Kang Variant known as He Who Remains.

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      Zack Snyder unveils extended teaser for his Netflix sci-fi saga Rebel Moon / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August, 2023 - 22:06 · 2 minutes

    The first part of director Zack Snyder's epic space opera Rebel Moon is coming to Netflix in December.

    Years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until it became Rebel Moo n , a two-part film for Netflix that Snyder and the streaming giant hope will launch a new franchise. Snyder unveiled the first extended teaser at Gamescom in Germany.

    Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said that his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially The Seven Samurai and The Dirty Dozen . He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by a ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee), and the rebel moon of the title is called Veldt. Per the official premise:

    When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

    Kora knows something about the oppressive nature of the Imperium, since she used to be an Imperium leader, and now seeks redemption from her past. The band of allies that Kora assembles includes a former Imperium general named Titus (Djimon Hounsou); her farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman); Tarak (Staz Nair), a blacksmith who can bond with animals to rally them to a fight; a cyborg sword master named Nemesis (Doona Bae); a warrior named Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher) and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman); a spider warrior named Harmada (Jena Malone); and Jimmy, the last of a race of mechanical knights from a fallen kingdom, voiced by Anthony Hopkins. Ed Skrein plays Admiral Atticus Noble, right hand to the tyrannical Regent, and Cary Elwes has also been cast in an as-yet-unnamed role.

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      Catching up with Foundation S2 as the Second Crisis unfolds / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 25 July, 2023 - 12:52 · 1 minute

    Lee Pace in long blue rob wth plunging vee neck

    Enlarge / Lee Pace as the latest incarnation of Brother Day, one of a trio of ruling Cleons in Apple TV's Foundation . (credit: Apple TV+)

    We're now two episodes into the second season of Foundation , Apple TV's epic sci-fi series adapted— or remixed , per showrunner David Goyer—from the seminal series of stories by Isaac Asimov, and it's shaping up to be even better than its first. Goyer took great pains in S1 to carefully set up his expansive fictional world, and the scope has only broadened in the second season.

    Goyer describes the new season as more emotional and romantic, with a bit more humor—or at least moments of levity—and faster paced now that the main characters and their key relationships have been well established. "Now it's a bit like jazz," he said. "We can riff on our creation and start to move the chess pieces around and create alliances or unusual pairings that didn't exist last season. Audiences have a certain expectation of how things are going to unfold, and part of the fun is subverting those expectations." The narrative is also more linear, with fewer time jumps forward and back—just the occasional traditional flashback.

    (Major spoilers for S1 below. Some minor spoilers for S2 but no major reveals.)

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      Review: Exquisite Drops of God brings the world of elite wine down to earth / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 July, 2023 - 16:12 · 1 minute

    Asian man, red-haired woman in ties facing each other

    Enlarge / Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita) and Camille Leger (Fleur Geffrier) must compete to be the sole heir of a globally renowned wine critic in the limited series Drops of God on Apple TV+. It's based on the hugely popular manga series of the same name.

    The heady world of fine wine is often justly skewered as being hopelessly elitist and pretentious, where rare bottles sell for tens of thousands of dollars, their flavors and aromas described in florid, over-the-top language that readily lends itself to satire. (The sommelier in last year's delightful The Menu described a pinot noir as having "notes of longing and regret.")

    That's the pop culture caricature, at least. If you yearn for something that brings this rarefied world firmly down to earth and celebrates wine's role in forging human bonds and shaping culture at large, I highly recommend Drops of God , a limited miniseries that debuted on Apple TV+ in April. It is based on the popular and influential manga of the same name . This is a series that sticks with you, its most memorable moments lingering in one's mind the way a good wine lingers on the palate.

    (Some spoilers below but no major reveals.)

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      Lee Pace’s Brother Day is front and center in first teaser for Foundation S2 / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 May, 2023 - 17:43

    Apple TV+ has dropped a teaser for the second season of its epic sci-fi series, Foundation .

    It has been too long since we binged all 10 episodes of Apple TV's 2021 epic sci-fi series Foundation , loosely adapted from Isaac Asimov's hugely influential Foundation series of novels. We're finally getting a second season this summer, announced with the release of the first teaser.

    (Some spoilers for S1 below.)

    As I wrote in my review , Asimov's Foundation series is notoriously difficult to adapt to the screen. The author admitted that he wrote strictly for the printed page, and he always refused invitations to adapt his work for film or TV. But Asimov was more than happy to let others adapt his work to a new medium, and he was wise enough to expect that there would—and should—be significant departures from the print version. That's just what showrunner David S. Goyer ( Dark Knight trilogy, Da Vinci's Demons) set out to do with Foundation , describing it as more of a remix than a direct adaptation. Reviews of S1 were mixed, but I personally found the first season to be:

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      Review: Netflix’s exquisite The Sandman is the stuff dreams are made of / ArsTechnica · Monday, 29 August, 2022 - 15:35 · 1 minute

    Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted.

    Enlarge / Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted. (credit: Netflix)

    Like many nerds of a certain age, I have long adored Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series; it was an enormous influence on my younger self. So I was thrilled to hear of Netflix's planned adaptation when it was announced in 2019 —but I also experienced some trepidation given the past misguided efforts to bring the story to the screen. That trepidation was unwarranted because The Sandman is a triumph. It's everything I had hoped to see in an adaption, and it has been well worth the wait.

    (Warning: Some spoilers for the original graphic novels and the Netflix series below.)

    The titular "sandman" is Dream , but he is also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of seven entities known as the Endless. (The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and Death.) Gaiman's 75-issue revival of the DC character is an odd mix of mythology, fantasy, horror, and history, rife with literary references and a fair bit of dark humor. There really is nothing quite like it, and the series proved to be hugely popular and enduring. One standalone story , "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ( The Sandman No. 19) even won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, the only time a comic has been so honored.

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      Michelle Gomez is a time-traveling Madame Rouge in Doom Patrol S3 trailer

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 1 September, 2021 - 22:29 · 1 minute

    Michelle Gomez is always a welcome addition to any series, whether playing the Master on Doctor Who or Madame Satan on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina . So we were thrilled to learn she was joining the cast for the upcoming third season of Doom Patrol . And now we have our first good look at her portrayal of Madame Rouge in the official S3 trailer.

    (Spoilers for S2 below.)

    A S3 teaser dropped a few weeks ago , largely focused on the lingering plot line from the pandemic-curtailed S2: namely, Dorothy Spinner's (Abigail Shapiro) confrontation with The Candlemaker. Dorothy, as fans will know, is Caulder's (Timothy Dalton) daughter, who has a special ability to bring imaginary friends to life. That's not so bad when it was a friendly giant beast named Manny or Herschel the giant spider. But The Candlemaker is linked to a tribal curse and is a far more insidious creature. He emerges whenever Dorothy makes a wish, and widespread slaughter is usually the result. In the S2 finale, Dorothy got her first period, marking her transition into womanhood, and The Candlemaker's powers began to manifest in the real world.

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      Our fave gentleman thief is back for revenge in trailer for Lupin part 2

      Jennifer Ouellette · / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 18:55 · 1 minute

    Omar Sy is back as Assane Diop, a modern-day gentleman thief who models himself on the classic French fictional character Arsène Lupin, in part 2 of Lupin , coming to Netflix on June 11.

    The Netflix French original series Lupin proved to be an unexpected hit when it debuted earlier this year, purportedly racking up views in 70 million households in its first month. And there's good news for those frustrated by part 1's cliffhanger ending: we'll soon find out what happens next, as Netflix just dropped a full trailer and release date for part 2 of the saga. Alas, the trailer is dubbed in English— quelle horreur !—which means we miss out on star Omar Sy's dulcet tones. (Dear Netflix: it's OK to have subtitled trailers for your foreign fare. In fact, it's far, far preferable to bad dubbing.)

    (Some spoilers for part 1 below.)

    As I've written previously , Arsène Lupin is the creation of Maurice Leblanc , who based the character partly on a French burglar/anarchist . Relentlessly pursued by a detective named Ganimard, Lupin is captured stealing a woman's jewels while on board a ship. Although he is imprisoned, he ultimately escapes before standing trial and goes on to pull off many other colorful heists.

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