"Brahms: The Boy II" Review

Plot Premise: The Brahms doll in the first film wasn't anything supernatural. The plot twist was that  Lauren Cohan's character Greta was hired to take care of a couple's son, only to find out it was a doll after arriving at the manor. She begins to question whether or not the doll is really alive because of strange happenings but the plot twist is that Brahms is actually a grown man living in the walls/attic of the house and has been sneaking around and gas-lighting Greta into questioning whether or not the doll really is alive. Well, the Brahms franchise owners have decided to Friday the 13th this story by making Brahms an actually supernatural doll possessed by some sort of malevolent spirit. They don't elaborate on anything noteworthy about the lore of the doll. There's a new family that has a less than pleasant encounter with Brahms (the doll, not the man living in the walls).

The Good: Nothing comes to mind.

The Bad: The film is a lacklustre horror sequel that didn't need to exist in the first place. The first film being a financial success is reason enough for a studio to want to commission a sequel but there's nothing interesting, original, entertaining, or compelling about this film. It's too bland to be memorable or leave any sort of noteworthy impression. It reads more like a direct to DVD type of story than a mainstream studio release.

Who This Film Is For: It's difficult to say who would un-ironically enjoy this film. If you have a an affection for bad horror films/sequels and are looking for something to make jokes about, perhaps this will be to your liking.


"The Lodge" Review

Plot Premise: This film is best experienced if you go in cold (that's not just a weather pun, but an earnest suggestion to not look up anything in-depth about the film because there are certain key plot developments that are best experienced without knowing about them beforehand). Richard Armitage plays Richard Hall, a man who brings his two children and girlfriend on a winter holiday to the family lodge in remote Massachusetts.

The Good: The performances are all strong, particularly Riley Keough, but the style of filmmaking and design of scares is the real star of the show. There's a slow burn and gradual escalation of atmospheric dread. Often times viewers of horror films sit with tension for an explosion via jump-scare but The Lodge instead opts to keep that unsettled feeling throughout the entire film. It's relentless without being overbearing.

The Bad: Once you have time to digest the writing and material, one can make the argument that the film doesn't handle the subject matter of mental illness and trauma as well as the subject matter probably deserves. It's important to take the film for what it is (a compelling work of artistic horror), and not an informational guide to understanding the more severe behaviors associated with and causes of mental illness.

Who This Film Is For: Horror fans! If you're passionate about cinema and the art of filmmaking, it's also worth watching for how technically impressive the film is.


"To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You" Review

Plot Premise: Picking up from the events of the first film, Lara Jean is exploring her new relationship (a real one this time) with Peter Kavinsky. However, will the points of conflict established between them in the first film be too much for them to stay together? Perhaps the return of John Ambrose, a recipient of one of Lara Jean's letters, will further drive a wedge between them...

The Good: Lana Condor is always a delight to watch. She's incredibly charming and endearing as a young protagonist in a teen film.

The Bad: The colour grading is shockingly hideous. There is a blueish/greenish tint to every scene to the point of making beige walls and human flesh look sickly and off. Peter Kavinsky does truly awful things in this film to Lara Jean, compounding the awfulness he exhibited in the first film, and is never held accountable for any of it. The film puts forth a truly harmful message to young girls about the type of behaviour they should tolerate and romanticise in the people they date. (For a more specific, spoiler-filled explanation of his behaviour, watch the spoiler review embedded below).

Who This Film Is For: Naive teens that don't know any better. No one with common sense should enjoy this.

Watch the spoiler review here:


SHADOWMAN From Masters of Horror Cullen Bunn & Jon Davis-Hunt Unleashes Terror This May

Promo art by Tony Moore 
New York, NY (February 17th, 2020) –  Horror reaches new heights in SHADOWMAN #1 this May.

New York Times bestselling writer CULLEN BUNN (Venom) and the terrifyingly talented JON DAVIS-HUNT(Clean Room) pull you into the darkness. In this brand-new series, Jack Boniface, a.k.a. SHADOWMAN, faces the terrors that tear at the fabric of humanity's world. Every chapter of SHADOWMAN is a standalone descent into horror while something far more sinister emerges from shadows.

Take a look at Jon and Eisner-winning colorist JORDIE BELLAIRE'S engrossing artwork below.

Art by Jon Davis-Hunt and Jordie Bellaire
"We're taking Shadowman in some directions he's never been taken before," said Cullen. "He's confronting a growing supernatural threat that is popping up all over the world. We are introducing the concept of the Blight, which is a weakening of the veil between our world and the Deadside. And these Blights occur in places of great sorrow and misery and evil." Cullen also teased a new threat that will have a major impact beyond this series. "We're also introducing a new villain who will be changing the face of the supernatural in the Valiant Universe."

Art by Jon Davis-Hunt and Jordie Bellaire

"If you like horror, or action, or superheroes (and certainly if you like all three of those things), then this is definitely the book for you," stated Jon. "If you don’t like any of those things, then this book will change your mind. And did I mention the demon punching? Demons get punched. A lot."

Art by Jon Davis-Hunt and Jordie Bellaire

Editor HEATHER ANTOS says this is the perfect team to craft a frightening new take on Shadowman. "This is a horror comic dream team that looks and feels unlike anything I've experienced before. Everything is just... clicking. Each member of the creative team is a true master of their craft... and their craft this year is horror."

Art by Jon Davis-Hunt and Jordie Bellaire

The terrifying tale starts in SHADOWMAN #1 on May 20th, 2020, featuring colors by Jordie Bellaire, letters by Clayton Cowles, and covers by Jon Davis-HuntRod ReisDave JohnsonTony Moore, and Jeff DekalCheck out Gamespot for more information.



PORTLAND, Ore. 02/14/2020 — Image Comics is thrilled to reveal this show-stopping, electrifying cover by Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine, The Killing Horizon) for the highly anticipated Decorum #1.

Decorum—by bestselling, comics titan Jonathan Hickman (House of X, Powers of X, East of West) and fan favorite artist Mike Huddleston (Middlewest, House of X)—is an all-new, eight-issue science fiction miniseries set to launch this March from Image Comics.

Decorum will blend the high impact, event level storytelling of Hickman’s recent re-envisioning of X-Men with the sprawling, addictive worldbuilding of the recently concluded East of West.

There are many assassins in the known universe. Decorum is the story of the most well-mannered one.

Decorum #1 Cover A by Huddleston (Diamond Code JAN200108), Decorum #1Cover B by Huddleston (Diamond Code JAN200109), and Decorum #1 Cover C by McKelvie (Diamond Code JAN208126) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 11.

Decorum #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit



Image/Skybound Entertainment kicks the action into gear with the return of fan favorite miniseries Dead Body Road by Justin Jordan, featuring new series artist Benjamin Tiesma, colorist Mat Lopes, and letterer Pat Brosseau. The action-packed, six-issue series—Bad Blood—will hit comic shops this May and feature covers by Matteo Scalera and Moreno Dinisio.

In Dead Body Road: Bad Blood, Bree Hale has left a lot behind in her life. Crime. The military. But she can't leave behind her own family, and when the local crime boss puts a hit out on her brother, there's nothing she won't do to save him. Absolutely nothing.

"Well, it's been a couple years, but I am back to crime....writing,” said Jordan. “Crime writing. This is another story about revenge, but this time from the point of view of the person trying to stop someone else from getting it. But should she? Dead Body Road is back."

John Wick meets Southern Bastards in this pulse-pounding action series—set to deliver an explosive tale of revenge like you’ve never seen before!

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 (Diamond Code MAR200042) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, May 20.

Dead Body Road: Bad Blood #1 will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play.
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit



PORTLAND, Ore. 02/05/2020 — Bestselling, Eisner Award nominated artist Sanford Greene pays homage to popular Miyazaki film, My Neighbor Totoro, in forthcomingBitter Root #6 by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Greene.

The new story arc of Bitter Root kicks off with issue #6 and will feature the work of new colorist Sofie Dodgson.

In Bitter Root #6, the monster-fighting Sangerye family returns for another adventure. Loved ones once thought lost forever have returned—though the bliss of this family reunion doesn’t last for long. Cullen has changed, and everyone is concerned. But they’ll need all the help they can get, as a new threat has arrived on Earth…

Nominated for multiple awards—including the Eisner and the Ringo—and hailed as one of 2019’s “Best New Series” by Entertainment WeeklyBitter Root is currently in development as a film from producer Ryan Coogler and Legendary.

The Bitter Root series takes place in the 1920s while the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing and follows the Sangerye Family. Once the greatest family of monster hunters in the world, the Sangeryes must move beyond the tragedies of the past, or be forced to sit back and watch an unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Bitter Root #6 is also available for purchase across many digital platforms, including the official Image Comics iOS app, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play. Fans can also subscribe to receive the series delivered by mail within the domestic U.S. on Image Direct.

Bitter Root #6 Cover C by Greene (Diamond Code DEC198586) will be available through Power Comics.

Select praise for Bitter Root:

“Incredibly entertaining.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Historical fiction mixes with supernatural horror, producing a hybrid fantasy world of voodoo spells, mad science, monster Klansmen, and Jazz Age demon hunters wielding steampunk versions of Ghostbusters proton packs... Comics fans will look forward to future volumes of this energetic dark fantasy that effectively mixes thrills and scares." —Publishers Weekly

"Relentless action...a kinetic style." —Library Journal

"The comic is by an all-black creative team and features a predominantly black cast of characters in the 1920s—embracing the black artistic creativity of the Harlem Renaissance but also recognizing the racism of the time." —The Washington Post

"The tragedy and family drama at the heart of Image Comics’ new series Bitter Root may be the most traditional thing about a comic that is, at heart, anything but traditional." —The Hollywood Reporter

“A comic with a clear message, it never feels overtly moralizing, but simply an education as stark and brutal as the rad-as-hell monster-fighting horror that plays out in as the family goes about its work.” —io9

"Puts a monstrous face on bigotry and a beautiful new spin on the Harlem Renaissance." —The Onion's AV Club

"Confident in itself and doesn't need to rely on overwrought high-concept themes. Bitter Root isn't afraid to tackle weighty issues while still having some fun, giving us some new heroes that are much needed in today's world." —ComicBook.com
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has six individuals on the Board of Directors: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and Eric Stephenson. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit


Valiant Brings a Bloodshot Panel to C2E2

Valiant Entertainment is bringing a Bloodshot panel to C2E2!

On Saturday, February 29th, join BLOODSHOT writer TIM SEELEY, Valiant Marketing Manager GREGG KATZMAN, and Valiant Senior Sales Manager JOHN PETRIE for the panel Bloodshot 101: From Comic Book Origin to Feature Film!

Moderated by longtime CBR.com staffer KIEL PHEGLEY, this entertaining panel will feature a first-look at upcoming BLOODSHOT comics, a sneak peek at unannounced titles, and a collectible item that fans can get only at the panel! Whether you're a lifelong Valiant fan or a brand-new fan who can't wait for Vin Diesel's Bloodshot movie, this is sure to be a can't-miss panel that's full of top secret intel!

Bloodshot 101: From Comic Book Origin to Feature Film will be in Room S504 from 1:45-2:45 on February 29th. Check out C2E2's site for more information.

If you spot Gregg or John on the show floor, be sure to say hi! They may have a gift for you if you're wearing Valiant apparel...

See you at C2E2!


Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Valiant Entertainment, and Titan Books Team Up to Bring Fans “Bloodshot – The Official Movie Novelization”

The official movie novelization is based on the Valiant Comic Book and on Sony Pictures’ upcoming film “Bloodshot”

After he and his wife are murdered, Marine Ray Garrison is resurrected by a secret team of scientists. Enhanced with nanotechnology, he becomes a superhuman, biotech killing machine – “Bloodshot” – without any memory of his previous life.
But some things can’t stay buried, and Ray refuses to back down when his memories begin to surface. Haunted by the face of his family’s killer, he will stop at nothing to take his revenge and discovers a conspiracy going deeper than he could have possibly imagined…


Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot is scheduled to rollout worldwide beginning February 2020 and is scheduled to hit North American cinemas on March 13, 2020. Based on the bestselling comic book, the film stars Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly.  But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.

The film is directed by David S. F. Wilson. The screenplay is by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer and the story by Jeff Wadlow. The film stars Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce.

Gavin Smith, who has authored the official novelization, has a strong record of writing successful tie-in fiction and has previously written for properties such as Crysis and Elite.

ISBN: 9781789093087 | February 4th 2020 | Paperback & eBook | 336 pages | $8.99


"Downhill" Review

Plot Premise: The film is a remake of Force Majeure (2014) and explores the marital woes of Billie (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Pete Staunton (Will Ferrell) who are vacationing in the Swiss Alps with their two young children. After an almost-avalanche makes the family believe they are about to die (they were never in any real danger, since it was a controlled avalanche), Billie is angry at Pete for running away when the snow was coming and seemingly leaving her and the kids to get smothered.

The Good: Will Ferrell is mostly known for his high-energy comedy (which often involves a considerable amount of yelling and improv) but he gives a respectable dramatic performance opposite the dramatic powerhouse that is Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Miranda Otto's supporting role as Charlotte, an employee of the ski resort, was the most consistent source of laughs.

The Bad: The loudest critiques of the film have come from those who have seen the original and are loudly proclaiming that it is inferior to the original. By those accounts, the film does not work for those who are purists of the Swedish release.

Who This Film Is For: Fans of lightly melodramatic explorations of middle-aged existential crises who haven't seen the original film.


"Fantasy Island" Review

Plot Premise: Blumhouse's Fantasy Island is a horror reimagining of the television series of the same name. A group of unsuspecting individuals are brought to an island that is supposed to grant them the opportunity to experience their deepest fantasies only to find them go terribly wrong. Michael Peña portrays Mr. Roarke, the overseer of the island who welcomes the guests Gwen (Maggie Q), Melanie (Lucy Hale), Patrick (Austin Stowell), and brothers Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) and J. D. (Ryan Hansen). As fantasies turn to horror, what secrets will be uncovered and revelations brought forth?

The Good: Low-budget horror films are often ruined by trailers that either reveal too much or have overly dramatised sequences that aren't even present in the final cut of the film. In this regard, Fantasy Island is refreshing since there is a considerable amount of depth to the material and character revelations that is not even hinted at in the trailer. The trailer is downright bland compared to what the final product is. The writing explores some interesting concepts effectively and there is a bit more variety in genres than you'd expect to find in what seems like a simple, straight-forward premise. The film also explores more of the emotional layers of the characters than expected.

The Bad: There are some twists that come closer to the end that undermine some of the emotional intelligence that had been otherwise present.

Who This Film Is For: People who like horror, but also want to have a bit of a twist to the genre.


"Sonic The Hedgehog" Review

When the first trailer for "Sonic The Hedgehog" dropped, it was bombarded with backlash from fans of the video game character as well as those who enjoy hopping on the latest angry-bandwagon. The original design for the film's rendering of the titular character was more humanoid, leading to complaints of the latest buzz-worthy phrase in film discourse, the 'uncanny valley'. The film's release date was pushed back several months to give the animators time to redesign the character, and now the film has had a record-breaking opening weekend for a film adapted from a video game.

Plot Premise: Sonic The Hedgehog (Ben Schwartz) is an alien from another planet that has been living on Earth since he was very young, in the same small town where Tom Wachwoski (James Marsden) lives with his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) and works as the sheriff. However, when Sonic's existence is at risk of being exposed, evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is dispatched to hunt him down.

The Good: Ben Schwartz voices Sonic with terrific character and charm, endearing him to both old and new fans. Jim Carrey brings the same over-the-top energy and wild physicality to Dr. Robotnik that made him famous in the first place. There's something wonderfully nostalgic about seeing him play this type of character again, in a way that only he can deliver. The visuals are also fantastic, beyond just the look of Sonic as a character. All of the VFX artists that worked on this film deserve promotions.

The Bad: The most 'serious adult' type of film viewer won't like this film. It doesn't take long to look online and find reviews complaining about the film not being 'original' enough in its story and themes. This is a PG-rated film with a CGI protagonist interacting with humans and learning about the importance of friendship so if that's not your cup of tea, don't buy a ticket just to complain about it.

Who This Film Is For: My screening mostly had kids with their parents in the audience, and many of the older kids seemed to be familiar with the source material considering how they would react to particular moments or characters that wouldn't strike the same 'Aha!' response to those going in without any video game background. It's a fun, warm-hearted, family-friendly film that appears to resonate most strongly with viewers who are either fans of the game, middle-school age or younger, or both. Still, it's visually appealing enough and doesn't overly rely on lazy body humour or loud noises so that it can be a pleasant viewing experience for the adults accompanying their young ones to the show.


"Birds of Prey" Review

"Birds of Prey" is a wild, romping ride that must be experienced on the big screen. The technicolour palette seen across the exquisite costumes, sets, and other visual effects are a true feast for the eyes. Harley Quinn is very much the driving force of this project, as is Margot Robbie. Not only is her performance as magnificent as ever, she was a producer and championed for key aspects of the film's story and production including getting women to direct and write and the fact that this is an ensemble of women as opposed to something that only focuses on her.

Harley Quinn is fresh off a break-up from Joker and once the worst criminals in Gotham learn of this, her life is in danger since she is no longer under his protection. The other women/girls that are part of the Birds of Prey are introduced gradually through a non-linear timeline as we come to learn how they fit into Harley's journey as well as their own back stories.

All of the leading ladies are cool and fresh characters, and the villains Roman Sionis / Black Mask and Victor Zsasz (whom I've lovingly dubbed 'Villain Boyfriends') are incredibly charismatic with powerful chemistry that brings the audience something never seen before. The action is largely lead by Harley, Black Canary, and Huntress and it's all incredibly dynamic to watch.

Watch the full "Birds of Prey" review here:


"Gretel & Hansel" Review

You might not know it at first glance, but you're probably more familiar with "Gretel & Hansel" director Oz Perkins than you realise. When preparing to write this review, I clicked on his page only to recognise his face immediately. As it turns out, Oz Perkins is the not only a feature film director but an actor that appeared in Legally Blonde as David, the law student that Elle Woods stands up for when some girls are mocking him.

Perkins shows a strong ability to create picturesque horror imagery and instill an unsettling feeling in the audience. Though some have criticised the pacing of Gretel & Hansel few can deny that the cinematography is very appealing to look at if you are a fan of horror.

This adaptation is a return to form for this classic fairytale, after so many have been watered down considerably to be more commercially viable to a child-friendly market. Gretel & Hansel are forced to leave their home when their mother is no longer to provide for them and is threatening to kill them if they insist on staying. It's an interesting take on the story to have more of a focus placed on the origin of the witch's magic after her character is introduced. Though the story is fairly simple, the slow burn and atmospheric dread combined with the picture-perfect cinematography and mood lighting make for a respectable horror film.




The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix by composer Don Davis will be released for the first time as a picture disc LP on March 13, 2020, exclusively from Varèse Sarabande Records. Side A features an image of the Matrix’s green code, while Side B shows Neo (Keanu Reeves) in full action mode. The soundtrack album weds Davis' mastery of musical detail and coloration to a largely atonal postmodern concerto that's complex, dark and unrelenting. The vinyl is now available for pre-order on VareseSarabande.com.
After the success of the first film, The Matrix, directed by The Wachowski Brothers, went on to become a billion-dollar franchise, and Don Davis' epic scores propelled the story forward across the trilogy, in which Keanu Reeves plays Neo, a computer hacker who learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. With news that The Matrix will be returning for a fourth installment in 2021, new and original fans are revisiting the film that started it all. 
A native of Anaheim, California, Don Davis is a composer, conductor and orchestrator best known for his work on The Matrixfranchise. He has created numerous television and film scores and is the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on Beauty and The Beast and his rousing, brassy music for Steven Spielberg’s seaQuest DSV. Additionally, Davis contributed a subtle blend of elements for Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story (with Ann-Margret); and his tense, terse harmonies added a creepy ambience to the critically lauded NBC miniseries House of Frankenstein (dir. Peter Werner). Davis has won four BMI Film Music Awards, one for each Matrix film as well as Jurassic Park III
Side A
1.    Main Title / Trinity Infinity (3:51)
2.    Unable To Speak (1:14)
3.    The Power Plant (2:42)
4.    Welcome To The Real World (2:25)
5.    The Hotel Ambush (5:27)
Side B
1.    Exit Mr. Hat (1:19)
2.    A Virus (1:33)
3.    Bullet Time (1:08)
4.    Ontological Shock (3:31)
5.    Anything Is Possible (6:48)
Founded in 1978, Varèse Sarabande is the most prolific producer of film music in the world, releasing the highest quality soundtracks from the world’s greatest composers. From current box office hits and top television series to the classics of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Varèse Sarabande’s catalog includes albums from practically every composer in every era, covering all of film history; from Bernard Herrmann, Alex North and Jerry Goldsmith to Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino and Brian Tyler. Varèse Sarabande is a part of Concord.


Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST and XPRIZE Announce Second Season and Writers/Talent For Wildly Popular Podcast

Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi brand, DUST, along with XPRIZE - a non-profit that designs and operates incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges - announced today that they have partnered to create the second season of DUST’s immersive narrative podcast, “SEAT 14C”. Based on XPRIZE’s science fiction anthology of short stories, “SEAT 14C” is written by iconic, sci-fi writers such as Sheila Finch (The Guild of Xenolinguists), Daniel H. Wilson (The Clockwork Dynasty), Charles Yu (The Third Class Superhero), Kathleen Ann Goonan (Queen City Jazz), Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu) and Justina Robson (Keeping It Real). 
DUST signed on Dan Stevens (Beauty And The Beast, “Downton Abbey”), Danny Trejo (Machete, “Sons Of Anarchy”), Alfred Molina (Chocolat, Magnolia), Keith David (Armageddon, The Princess And The Frog), Reid Scott (“Veep”, “The Big C”) and Suzy Nakamura (“Dr. Ken”, Horrible Bosses 2) as lead voice actors for the upcoming audio series. 

“After overwhelming requests from our audience to give them audio stories, and the success of our first series, we are doubling down on building out our podcast efforts, led by Stephen Michael,” said Floris Bauer, President, Gunpowder & Sky. “Our next season, consisting of multiple mind bending stories by some of the most talented writers in the genre, perfectly exemplifies what DUST is all about.”

Season one of the podcast series, “DUST Horizons,” premiered in October as an anthology of audio stories by classic science fiction literary visionaries such as Philip K. Dick (Minority Report, Total Recall) and Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles), as well as emerging speculative fiction voices such as Alex Irvine (Supernatural: John Winchester's Journal), R.K. Nickel (Guilds and Glaives), Alan O’Doherty and Phoebe A. Xavier. In less than 30 days, “DUST Horizons” hit #1 in Apple’s ‘New & Noteworthy’ section, breaking into the Top 100 Podcasts in the US.  Best-selling author of ‘The Martian’ Andy Weir called the series “superb.”  Most recently, the series was selected for Stitcher’s “Best in Fiction 2019” list. 

Season two of the series, “SEAT 14C”, revolves around the tales of passengers on an ANA flight that mysteriously lands in San Francisco 20 years in the future. The written anthology was created and spearheaded by Eric Desatnik on behalf of XPRIZE and All Nippon Airways (ANA). Produced in partnership with The Invisible Studios, “DUST Horizons” is available on all major podcast platforms.

Following season one’s success, DUST also announces that Stephen Michael has been appointed Head of Audio. Prior to joining DUST, Michael was a Producer for Gizmodo Media Group, creating content across their numerous sites, including Gizmodo, Earther, The Root and Deadspin. Prior to Gizmodo Media Group, Michael served as Producer for Fusion Media Group where he wrote and produced breaking news, political satire, and evergreen videos for Fusion TV and their digital properties. He began his media career as an Executive Producer at Bare Knuckle Media managing a discretionary fund for acquiring intellectual properties for development in TV and Film.

The launch of DUST Audio comes on the heels of DUST’s channel expansion across OTT platforms, including its recent launch on ‘The Roku Channel’. DUST is in more than 50 million U.S. households and has continued to expand globally, reaching audiences in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Holland on Samsung TV+. In September, DUST Studios announced that they acquired U.S. rights to filmmaker Neasa Hardiman’s critically-acclaimed Irish sci-fi/thriller SEA FEVER following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The company will release the film theatrically in the U.S. in early 2020. 

Gunpowder & Sky is a fast-growing independent global entertainment company creating premium content unrestricted by format, as well as genre-specific destinations for the streaming generation.

Since its inception in 2016, Gunpowder & Sky has released more than 30 feature films and series, as well as hundreds of short films theatrically, on TVOD as well as in partnership with leading platforms such as HBO, Netflix, MTV, Hulu, Sky, Showtime, DirecTV, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, and soon Quibi and HBO Max.

With in-house development, production, marketing and distribution capabilities, the company operates as a full 360-studio and oversees a library of more than 1500 titles. Notable films and series include The Little HoursCamHearts Beat Loud, Lords of Chaos, Her Smell, Tragedy Girls, Summer of 84, Villains, Hounds of Love and “Drawn and Recorded”. Gunpowder & Sky has announced several upcoming series including; “Survive”, “50 States of Fright” and “The Drop”.

With an audience of more than 50M monthly unique visitors, Gunpowder & Sky’s current streaming networks include DUST, a sci-fi brand that presents thought-provoking visions of the future; ALTER, a new horror brand that explores the human condition through warped perspectives; and CUT, an unscripted comedy brand that is home to “Truth or Drink” and “Grandmas Smoking Weed”. DUST, ALTER and CUT are presently distributed on HBO, Vizio TV, Comcast FLEX, Roku, YouTube, Facebook, AT&T, DirecTV, Sinclair, Samsung TV Plus and Instagram.

Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York and London, Gunpowder & Sky was founded by Van Toffler and Floris Bauer, in partnership with The Chernin Group and AT&T.

DUST, a division of global content studio Gunpowder & Sky, is the first premium sci-fi entertainment brand that reaches fans across all platforms, giving voice to both emerging and established filmmakers.

DUST presents thought-provoking science fiction content, exploring the future of humanity through the lens of science and technology. From timeless classics to cutting-edge movies, series, short films, and podcasts, DUST acquires, produces and distributes all content types.

In 2018, DUST released the Zach Strauss directed short film Bad Peter at Tribeca - a cautionary tale about an overbearing AI assistant - starring Golden-Globe nominee Frankie Shaw ("SMILF"). DUST also premiered the feature film PROSPECT starring Pedro Pascal (“Narcos”, “Game of Thrones”, Equalizer 2), which recently debuted in the U.S. on Hulu, and internationally on Netflix.  

In 2019, DUST released ZERO, a post-apocalyptic story of survival and hope, directed by the Brothers Lynch and starring Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”).

With more than 15M monthly uniques, DUST operates its own channels that are available on multiple platforms including YouTube, Facebook, VRV, Pluto, Xumo, Samsung Plus, Sincalir’s STIRR, Sinclair’s TBD, NBC Watchback, and Vizio. Through its partnership with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, DUST premiered the George Lucas 1967 short film, “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB”, followed by premieres of legendary filmmaker Robert Zemeckis’ 1972 student short film “The Lift” and ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi” filmmaker  Rian Johnson’s student short film “Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell”.

DUST also hosts podcasts and special events such as “The Future Is Female” screening that celebrates female sci-fi directors in film, as well as 'Represent: Diversity in Sci-Fi', an art show and panel celebrating and examining multicultural voices in the sci-fi genre.

On August 18th, 2018, DUST launched DUSTx on Roku, a new sci-fi channel featuring timeless movies such as A Scanner Darkly, Bill & Ted's Excellent AdventureStar Trek: First Generation, Paycheck, and The Running Man, as well as series such as “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, “Ray Bradbury's Science Theater”, “Beyond Westworld”, and the original “Roswell”; in addition, DUST 500+ short films by the talent of tomorrow, including Rise, Jonah, and Automata.

On August 19th, 2019, DUST launched the DUSTmobile app on both iOS and Android, with a launch on AppleTV soon to follow.

XPRIZE designs and operates multi-million-dollar, global competitions to incentivize the development of technological breakthroughs that accelerate humanity toward a better future. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, and the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE. For more information, visit xprize.org.


"The Rhythm Section" Review

"The Rhythm Section" is currently being estimated to lose Paramount Pictures as much as 40 million dollars. It's an unfortunate projection, to say the least. What went wrong, exactly?

The film stars Blake Lively as Stephanie Patrick, a woman whose life goes off the rails when her family is tragically killed in a terrorist attack. The plane explosion is one she harbours considerable guilt over particularly when she later reveals that her family changed their flight so she could come on holiday with them but ultimately decided she didn't want to.

Like many spy/action thrillers, revenge is a key part of the story. Stephanie wants to find the man responsible for the terrorist attack and seeks out Iain Boyd (Jude Law) to train her to do exactly that.

What sets The Rhythm Section apart from other spy or action thrillers is how deeply human Stephanie is. There is no air of invincibility or super-human action/stunt sequences. Some critics have called her 'inept' as a spy, but that is an unnecessarily harsh description. This is a more emotionally driven story that focuses more on the emotional devastation Stephanie continues to experience over losing her family.

I like a flashy, super-human spy film more than most. The spectacle of seeing people do incredible, dare I say impossible things in fight scenes is both entertaining and awe-inspiring. However, this film's merits come from the focus on Stephanie's emotional character arc far more than her physical one. She does reclaim ownership of her body again after spiraling down a path of drug addiction and prostitution, but the emotional healing is the driving force behind the physical one.

The best guess I can make about the film not being able to properly find its audience is down to the marketing. The trailer gives away the climactic action piece of the film, so anyone watching it and hoping that it's just a teaser for bigger brawls yet to be revealed will end up disappointed. It also uses the song played at the very end of the film to signify Stephanie reaching the peak of her journey, so viewers may feel unprepared to see such a physically and emotionally vulnerable protagonist for so much of the story. The trailer would have been better off taking a more a honest approach by previewing how Stephanie lost her family and must go through the grueling process of training herself physically and doing considerable emotional labour to find the strength to find the person responsible for their deaths. False advertising is a very short-term strategy, and as evidenced by these numbers, it didn't pay off.


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