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Film Codex

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Joins Indiana Jones Sequel, with John Williams Returning to Score

by @holocronGeorge for @FilmCodex

Phoebe Waller-Bridge will join Harrison Ford in the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel, reports Deadline and later confirmed by Lucasfilm.

Waller-Bridge, famous for her award-winning work on Fleabag, will play the female lead opposite co-star Harrison Ford, who will be picking up the fedora and whip for a fifth film in the franchise. Waller-Bridge is no stranger to big franchises, having a scene-stealing role as L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story and co-writing the new James Bond film No Time to Die. No further details about Waller-Bridge’s character are known at this time.

Also coming back to the Indiana Jones franchise is the legendary John Williams. Williams has composed the score of all four previous films in the franchise and is due to return for his fifth go-around with the character.

Not returning (at least in a directorial role) is Steven Spielberg, who vacated the position and handed the mantle to James Mangold. The director of Logan and Ford vs. Ferrari is in the process of rounding out the cast for his Indiana Jones film, with production due to start this summer ahead of its July 2022 release.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm & Amazon

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Marvel Tesseract

Renée Elise Goldsberry to Star in ‘She-Hulk’ Alongside Tatiana Maslany

By @HolocronJosh for @Mar_Tesseract

Renée Elise Goldsberry, perhaps best known for her role in Hamilton, will appear in the upcoming Marvel Studios series ‘She-Hulk’ for Disney+.

Goldsberry earned a Grammy Award and Tony Award for her role in Hamilton, the hit musical from Lin Manuel Miranda. She has also appeared in Altered Carbon, Waves, and The House With a Clock in its Walls.

She-Hulk is described as a legal comedy/drama with 30 minute episodes, similar in length to the recently concluded WandaVision. Maslany plays the title character, Jennifer Walters, who has powers similar to her cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). She-Hulk will be directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia. Jessica Gao is head writer on the series.

No release date has been set for the series. There are several other Marvel projects in active development for Disney+, including Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, What If?, Moon Knight, and more. After The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which is currently airing, the next Marvel series on the streamer is set to be Loki, which premieres this June.

Source: Deadline

Image Courtesy of Backstage

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Film Codex

Box Office Report: Week of 3/31 – ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Heads to Pandemic Record Debut with $48.5 Million 5 Day Opening

By @HolocronJosh for @FilmCodex

Godzilla vs. Kong’ is heading to a pandemic record debut this holiday weekend. The film, which released in theaters and in HBO Max, earned $48.5 Million from Wednesday to Sunday. On Saturday alone, the latest chapter in the monster-verse franchise took in $11.6 million from 3,064 locations.

On these record domestic numbers, Warner Bros. Domestic Distribution Boss Jeff Goldstein stated:

“Monstrous results all across the United States. Audiences are excited to see movies in theaters on the big screen with big sound.”

Goldstein is right: audiences seem to be returning to movie theaters more and more each week, and even though Godzilla vs. Kong can be watched at home, there’s a definite appetite to experience it on the biggest screen possible.

These numbers are impressive for various reasons. For one, COVID-19 cases are rising in many states, an obstacle that could have proven to be too much for this film to have any sort of substantial numbers, yet one that ‘GvK’ overcame. And although LA and New York state theaters have reopened, they are at a limited capacity like most in the country, which could have hindered their box office results. Yet, Godzilla vs. Kong persevered, taking in a massive total that is sure to give studios hope for the future.

Abroad, the film had incredibly impressive numbers as well. From 38 international markets, Godzilla vs. Kong earned $123.1 million. In China alone, the film made $69.2 million. It also did well in Mexico, Australia, and Russia, earning $6.5 million, $6.3 million, and $5.9 million respectively. Again, the film was facing capacity restrictions overseas as well, yet it still managed to take in quite a bit of money.

Elsewhere, Bob Odenkirk’s ‘Nobody’ earned $2.78 million domestically to take its overall tally to $11.5 million. Sony’s horror film ‘The Unholy’, produced by Sam Raimi and starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, took in $2.755 million from 1,850 theaters. ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ made $800,000, and ‘Tom and Jerry’ rounded out the domestic top 5 with $500,000.

Stay tuned to Film Codex for next week’s box office numbers, as well as exclusive interviews, reviews, and more.

Images Courtesy of Warner Bros. and Legendary

Categories
Marvel Tesseract

REVIEW: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Episode 3

by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Episode 3

The second MCU series on Disney+ hit its halfway mark this week with an engaging, somewhat choppy installment. The third episode, titled Power Broker, sees Sam and Bucky team up with their former nemesis, turned ally Zemo as they continue their investigation into the super-powered Flag Smashers.

Power Broker is the longest episode of The Falcon and the Winter to date, yet it still feels like the pacing of the series is off. A hell of a lot transpires in this third episode, with a prison interview and breakout occuring only within the five minutes before the title card even appears. The pace is breakneck, which, while it is refreshing relative to the slow pilot, doesn’t leave you with much time to really sit with the unfolding plot and characters’ journeys. The characters often hop from one location to the next and so much plot is contained within the 52 minute episode that it made me wish they slowed things down a bit. At times, this just felt jarring. Questions like “Wait, who are they referring to here?”, “Where are they going now?” and “Why did they do that exactly?” often arose, but there simply isn’t enough time to mentally wrap your head around these questions before you’re thrown into the next scene and, in turn, the next bout of questions. This doesn’t mean The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is confusing or convoluted – the plot is actually very straightforward so far. It just seems that the show still struggles with pacing issues.

Easily the standout of this episode is the return of the excellent Daniel Brühl as Zemo, reprising his role from Captain America: Civil War. Brühl deftly plays the fine line between friend and foe to our titular characters, an unexpected twist given that Zemo was billed as the series’ big bad. Despite a stellar performance, I couldn’t help but think this was a different character than the Zemo we saw in Captain America: Civil War. The Zemo in that film was an extremely logical and reasonable Sovokian soldier, hardened by the loss of his family at the hands of the Avengers’ battle with Ultron. But the Zemo we see in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is different – he’s lavish, arrogant, a wealthy Baron with connections to the criminal underworld. Something didn’t feel quite right with the continuity of Brühl’s character.

Nonetheless, Power Broker played out like a James Bond spy thriller in the best possible way. Identities are concealed as they travel to the underworld of Madripoor to uncover more information about this new batch of Super Soldiers. The production design of the city, streets, and club was beautiful and, when compared to other settings like Louisiana and Baltimore so far, really add to the global, political thriller aesthetic of the series. Seeing Bucky (a little too easily) get back into the mindset of the Winter Soldier was awesome to see, as was the tension while Sam took the phone call from his sister. 

As the plot continues to unfold, we’re introduced to Sharon Carter, played once again by Emily VanCamp. VanCamp always felt a little shortchanged in the films, with appearances in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War before pretty much vanishing from the MCU for five years. It was an interesting twist to see Sharon gone rogue, on the run from the U.S. government and resentful over the consequences of her alliance with Steve. VanCamp also delivers the series’ best action sequence so far as she expertly takes out a myriad of the Power Broker’s goons in true John Wick style.

With the episode winding down, we know a bit more about what’s going on with the Flag Smashers, but not much. Sam and Bucky continue to play detective, picking up crumbs along their way, but not putting the puzzle fully together yet. It seems inevitable that Zemo will turn full bad guy again, while the Flag Smashers will be revealed as well-intentioned. Perhaps the most intriguing moment of the episode was the final moments, featuring the unexpected appearance of Ayo, the second in-command of Dora Milaj played by Florence Kasumba reprising her role from Civil War, Black Panther, and Infinity War. This adds a different spin on things as we’re going to see the aftermath of Zemo’s murder of King T’Chaka. Ayo’s appearance also lays the foundation for a greater exploration of Bucky’s role as the White Wolf. His time in Wakanda has been referenced briefly, but it’ll be interesting to see what effects this sabbatical had on the former HYDRA agent.

Verdict: 8/10

Choppy pacing and odd in-universe continuity aside, Power Broker is a thoroughly entertaining, tension-filled, and globe-trotting installment of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Reintroductions to Zemo, Sharon Carter, and Ayo add interesting new angles to explore as the show really embraces its political thriller and spy film roots. 

Images courtesy of Marvel Studios and Disney+

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

Del Rey Announces Star Wars Essential Legends Collection with New Releases of Classic Novels

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

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Del Rey announced today that, in celebration of Lucasfilm’s 50th anniversary, a collection of essential and beloved Legends novels will launch in unique, new formats later this year. The collection, which launches on June 15, 2021, will feature new trade paperback editions of Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn, and Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. Each release will sport fantastic original cover art, with Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard, and Jeff Manning behind the new book covers. The old/new content won’t stop there, though, as Del Rey will continue to add classic titles to their Essential Legends Collection throughout the rest of 2021.

Legends holds a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans. The first Legends, or Expanded Universe, novel was Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. Ever since then, Legends was an avenue to expand the Star Wars universe in new, creative ways through novels, comics, video games, and more. While Legends’ place in canon always remained ambiguous, Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm saw a rebranding of canon content outside of the theatrical films. Nonetheless, Legends continues to leave a footprint on modern canon. Projects like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian, for instance, have leaned into core elements and plot threads from Legends projects. 

The three Legends novels to kick off Del Rey’s Essential Legends Collection are some of the most beloved works in the Expanded Universe. Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire was the groundbreaking debut of Grand Admiral Thrawn in a story set 9 years after the Battle of Endor and the ‘fall’ of the Empire. The Clone Wars, Rebels, and The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni once said of Zahn’s novel, “”You couldn’t have grown up a Star Wars fan without encountering Thrawn in Heir to the Empire. It was a dark time when there weren’t any more movies, and it blew our minds that there could be more.” Indeed, Heir to the Empire was a brilliant reintroduction to the Star Wars universe after so many years without a film. With Thrawn appearing in Star Wars Rebel and being name-dropped in The Mandalorian, fans are speculating the upcoming Disney+ crossover event teased by Kathleen Kennedy will delve into territory explored in Heir to the Empire.

Also on the horizon is Drew Karpyshyn’s Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. Darth Bane is easily one of Legends’ most infamous characters, yet he has only appeared briefly in an episode of The Clone Wars. Karpyshyn’s novel is a fantastic entry point to the villainous Sith Lord as we see the power of the dark side of the Force 1000 years before the Battle of Yavin.

And, finally, Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover hits bookshelves in a new format later this year. Shatterpoint was originally released in 2003 and marked the first novel in the Clone Wars multimedia project at the time. The story follows Mace Windu, following the Battle of Geonosis, on a journey to rescue his former padawan Depa Billaba. Star Wars fans will also be treated to a new audiobook edition of Shatterpoint, narrated by Sullivan Jones.

Stay tuned to Star Wars Holocron for more news on Del Rey’s Essential Legends Collection.

Book cover art by Tracie Ching, Simon Goinard, and Jeff Manning

Images courtesy of Del Rey

Categories
DC Motherbox

‘New Gods’ and ‘The Trench’ Not Moving Forward at DC and Warner Bros.

By @HolocronJosh and @HolocronGeorge for @DCMotherbox

Two previously announced DC films will not be moving forward at Warner Bros. Ava Duvernay’s ‘New Gods’ and James Wan’s Aquaman spin-off, ‘The Trench’, are not part of the upcoming DC films slate, the studio confirmed Thursday:

“As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.”

DuVernay had been developing New Gods since the announcement of the project in 2018, and was penning the script with comic book author Tom King. Meanwhile, The Trench was set to be a horror spinoff of Aquaman and centered around the dangerous and monster-like sea creatures seen in the Jason Momoa led film in 2018. Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald had written the script with James Wan set to produce.

There are still many DC films and projects in development, with four set to release next year: The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, and Aquaman 2. Shows are also in active development and set to air on HBO Max, such as James Gunn’s Suicide Squad spin-off series centered on Peacemaker (John Cena), along with Matt Reeves’ Gotham PD series.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Images Courtesy of DC and Warner Bros

Categories
Star Wars Holocron

‘Lesser Evil’, the Final Chapter in the Thrawn: Ascendancy Trilogy, To Release November 16, 2021

By @HolocronJosh for @sw_holocron

In recent years, Grand Admiral Thrawn has become a fan favorite character in the Star Wars galaxy (if he wasn’t already). His role in Star Wars Rebels and subsequent name drop in The Mandalorian season 2 excited fans, as has the Thrawn: Ascendancy trilogy of novels, which highlight his rise up the ranks to become the feared Admiral we see later on. Today, the final chapter in the Ascendancy trilogy was announced, and will release on November 16.

Titled Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil, this novel, once again written by the legendary Timothy Zahn, is described as the end of the villain’s origin story, set at a time when “the Chiss Ascendancy — rulers of Csilla — [are] fractured, with Thrawn caught in the middle”.

Also released was a cover for the novel and an official synopsis:

The fate of the Chiss Ascendancy hangs in the balance in the epic finale of the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.

For thousands of years The Chiss Ascendancy has been an island of calm, a center of power, and a beacon of integrity. Led by the Nine Ruling Families, their leadership stands as a bulwark of stability against the Chaos of the Unknown Regions.

But that stability has been eroded by a cunning foe that winnows away trust and loyalty in equal measure. Bonds of fidelity have given way to lines of division among the families. Despite the efforts of the Expansionary Defense Fleet, the Ascendancy slips closer and closer toward civil war.

The Chiss are no strangers to war. Their mythic status in the Chaos was earned through conflict and terrible deeds, some long buried. Until now. To ensure the Ascendancy’s future, Thrawn will delve deep into its past, uncovering the dark secrets surrounding the ascension of the First Ruling Family. But the truth of a family’s legacy is only as strong as the legend that supports it. Even if that legend turns out to be a lie.

To secure the salvation of the Ascendancy, is Thrawn willing to sacrifice everything? Including the only home he has ever known?

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil will release on November 16, 2021.

Images courtesy of StarWars.com and Del Rey Books

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Star Wars Holocron

What’s New in Star Wars – April 2021

by @holocronGeorge for @sw_holocron

On the eve of the highly anticipated Bad Batch series, Star Wars fans are spoiled with new (and old) looks at iconic characters and eras. Along with new adventures of Doctor Aphra, Darth Vader, and the Jedi of the High Republic, a slew of classic Star Wars content is dropping on Disney+ this month, not to mention the excellent second installment of the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. It is important to note all of these release dates are subject to change. Below includes a list and description of upcoming Star Wars projects in the month of April:

April 2 – Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure

A massive segment of Star Wars fans will, for the first time, be exposed to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a wacky made-for-TV movie from 1984. Directed by John Korty from a script by Bob Carrau and story by George Lucas, the film follows a family of humans who become shipwrecked on the forest moon of Endor. After the parents are kidnapped by the Gorax, their kids team up with the local Ewoks on a journey to save them. 

April 2 – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor

The sequel to Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure also drops on Disney+ this month. 

April 2 – Ewoks

Ewok overload! Yes, we’re getting even more Ewok content this month with Ewoks, an animated television series that ran in the mid-1980s. Ewoks was broadcast on ABC and ran for two seasons, following the adventures of the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village prior to the Battle of Endor.

April 2 – Star Wars: Clone Wars

Perhaps the most anticipated of the upcoming Disney+ content in the month of April is Genndy Tartakovsky’s woefully underrated Star Wars: Clone Wars series. The series aired on Cartoon Network from 2003 to 2005 and featured 25 brief, largely action-oriented and heavily stylized episodes showcasing different aspects of the war between the Republic and Separatists. 

April 2 – The Story of the Faithful Wookiee

And, finally, the original Star Wars Holiday Special gets some much needed attention with the Disney+ release of The Story of the Faithful Wookiee, an animated short story that aired during the infamous special. The short is notable in being the first appearance of Boba Fett and also features Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, and James Earl Jones all reprise their roles from the saga films. 

April 6 – Doctor Aphra

Also dropping this month is the script adaptation of Sarah Kuhn’s terrific Doctor Aphra audiobook. We recently had a chance to review the script and found it to be a terrific examination into the mind of Doctor Aphra in a unique format that will appeal to fans of Dooku: Jedi Lost.

April 6 – Star Wars Vol 2: Operation Starlight

Issues 7-11 of Charles Soule’s Star Wars comic series are published in this paperback compilation. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Commander Ellian Zahra has been tasked by the terrifying Darth Vader with the job of tracking down the remnants of the Rebel Fleet, scattered across the galaxy since the Battle of Hoth. From the bridge of her fl agship [sic], the Tarkin’s Will, her goal is to eradicate all resistance. But her secret goal is to destroy Leia Organa!”

April 6 – Skywalker: A Family at War

One of our most anticipated releases in April is Kristin Baver’s Skywalker: A Family at War. Published by DK, the book is an in-universe biography of the Skywalker family. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “No group of characters has had more impact on the Star Wars saga than the Skywalker family. In fact, it could be said that without the Skywalker clan and its mystical connection to the Force–both for good and ill–there would be no Star Wars at all. The Skywalkers: A Family at War explores every twist and turn of the turbulent story of the Skywalker dynasty, from Shmi Skywalker’s immaculate conception and the slow seduction to the dark side of her son, Anakin, to the heroics of his son, Luke, and the twisted motives of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s offspring, Kylo Ren. The Skywalker story has everything: passion, intrigue, heroism, and dark deeds. Leaving no stone unturned in tracing the dynasty’s trials and tribulations, this definitive biography of Star Wars’ first family is a must-buy for all Star Wars fans.”

April 7 – The High Republic 4

Cavan Scott’s impressive run in Star Wars continues with the fourth issue of his High Republic series for Marvel Comics. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE JEDI TURNED AGAINST EACH OTHER?! AVAR KRISS and her band of brave JEDI helpless in the clutches of a traitor in their midst. STARLIGHT BEACON under attack from an insidious foe. Danger from an age-old enemy. Who is really pulling the strings on the distant planet of SEDRI? Plus: The secret history of the terrifying DRENGIR revealed.”

April 7 – The High Republic Adventures 3

More High Republic content drops this month with the third issue of Daniel Jose Older and IDW Publishing’s The High Republic Adventures. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “In the glory days of the Republic, the Jedi stand as guardians of galactic peace—until a powerful new adversary called the Nihil arrives. Zeen accompanies the Jedi to the Starlight Beacon, a glowing symbol of the Jedi and Republic. where she learns what it means to be a Padawan. Meanwhile, Krix and the Nihil fight their way through a Republic blockade to safety, and Krix begins to wonder who this strange man who helped him really is.”

April 13 – The Star Wars Book of Monsters, Ooze and Slime

A fun new children’s reference book featuring illustrations from Katie Cook is due to release this month from DK. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “The strangest and yuckiest secrets of the galaxy. What does the Zillo Beast feast on for breakfast? Does slimy Jabba the Hutt ever have a bath? What are the three yuckiest things he eats? Take a trip on the wild side and discover the weirdest facts in the Star Wars galaxy! From gross creatures and strange bugs to dangerous deserts and sinister Sith, this icky picture book is the perfect gift for young readers.”

April 13 – LEGO Star Wars Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas

The publisher’s summary of this LEGO reference book is as follows: “With Jedi Master Yoda as your guide, visit the incredible planets of a brick-built galaxy far, far away. Take a tour of 25 fascinating worlds, from desert planet Tatooine to remote ice world Hoth. Head off the familiar tourist track to Crait, or explore Yoda’s own swamp hideout on Dagobah. Discover the must sees. Check out reviews and what to pack. Find out who you might bump into along the way! The exclusive Yoda minifigure comes with four accessories – a staff, a backpack, a camera, and a map of the galaxy – everything Yoda needs for his adventures.”

April 14 – Bounty Hunters 11

Ethan Sacks’ Bounty Hunters series continues with terrific cover art by Mattia de lulus. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “THE GREAT HUNT OF MALASTARE! BOSSK awakens to find himself as the hunted instead of the hunter on the forest planet of MALASTARE. But who is the mysterious figure behind the hunting party stalking the infamous TRANDOSHAN? A special solo adventure starring the most savage bounty hunter of all!”

April 21 – Doctor Aphra 9

More Doctor Aphra in the month of April! Yes, Alyssa Wong’s fantastic Marvel Comics series continues with this ninth issue. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “LOST TECH! CRIME SYNDICATES! ASSASSINS! DOCTOR APHRA and SANA STARROS’ search for the NIHIL HYPERDRIVE gets deadlier as GENERAL VUKORAH and THE UNBROKEN CLAN enter the race for possession! What powerful secrets of the HIGH REPUBLIC era could the lost technology hide? Meanwhile, JUST LUCKY and an old flame are forced to work together — and walk straight into an ambush!”

April 21 – Star Wars Adventures 5

The fifth issue of the Star Wars Adventures comic series from IDW Publishing and authors Kati Cook and Casey Gilly drops this month. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Padme and Anakin have grand plans to have a romantic night celebrating a recent victory. But before they get a chance to get together, Anakin is Jedi-napped by a group of outlaws with their sights on a holocron in the Jedi temple! Now it’s up to Padme [sic] to use all of her cunning to infiltrate the outlaw base and rescue him.”

April 27 – The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Author Amy Ratcliffe guides readers through a collection of concept art from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in this upcoming book.

April 27 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle!

Jason Fry is delivering a new canon reference book highlighting all of the great characters from The Clone Wars series. The publisher’s summary from the DK project is as follows: “Meet more than 350 incredible clones and droids from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  What is Clone Force 99? Who inducted Ahsoka Tano into the Jedi Order? Where does General Grievous keep a secret lair? Why does Captain Rex mutiny against his Jedi General on Umbara? Have to know the answers to these questions? Look no further than Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! Written by Star Wars expert Jason Fry, this illustrated encyclopedia features more than 350 incredible characters and teams, including Anakin Skywalker, Maul, Bo-Katan Kryze, and Clone Force 99. Perfect for fans of all ages, Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! will enthrall readers for hours on end.”

April 27 – Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good

Our most anticipated project of the month, Timothy Zahn returns with his sequel to Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising. The second installment in The Ascendancy Trilogy will be published by Del Rey. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: The Ascendancy Trilogy from bestselling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn’s latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been extinguished. Their foes do not send threats or ultimatums, or mass ships on the edge of the Chaos. Their weapons come cloaked in smiles and generosity—gifts offered freely, services granted unconditionally. Across the Ascendancy, seemingly inconsequential events could herald the doom of the Chiss. As Thrawn and the Expansionary Defense Fleet rally to uncover the enemy plot, they discover a chilling truth. Rather than invade Chiss capitals or pillage resources, this mysterious enemy strikes at the very foundation of the Ascendancy by widening the rifts between the Nine Ruling Families and Forty Great Houses below. As rivalry and suspicion sow discord among allies, each warrior must decide what matters most: the security of their family, or the survival of the Ascendancy itself.”

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi and The Tiny Book of Sith

Insight Editions are coming out with two, small-sized reference books highlighting the light and dark sides of the Force.

April 28 – Darth Vader 11

And last, but not least, the adventures of Darth Vader continue with the 11th issue of Greg Pak’s Marvel Comics series. The publisher’s summary is as follows: “EXEGOL UNLEASHED! As punishment for his rebellion, DARTH VADER was broken by THE EMPEROR, his limbs shattered, forbidden to use THE FORCE. But after surviving OCHI OF BESTOON, THE EYE OF WEBBISH BOGG and the horrors of THE RED NEBULA, Vader stands on the verge of uncovering the Emperor’s greatest secrets. But will the revelations on EXEGOL empower Vader — or his master? And what new doom awaits LUKE SKYWALKER as a result?”

For reference, a condensed list of upcoming projects in April without descriptions is included below:

April 2 – Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure 

April 2 – Ewoks 

April 2 – Ewoks: The Battle for Endor 

April 2 – Star Wars: Clone Wars 

April 2 – The Story of the Faithful Wookiee 

April 6 – Doctor Aphra 

April 6 – Star Wars Vol 2: Operation Starlight 

April 6 – Skywalker: A Family at War

April 7 – The High Republic 4 

April 7 – The High Republic Adventures 3 

April 13 – The Star Wars Book of Monsters, Ooze and Slime 

April 13 – LEGO Star Wars Yoda’s Galaxy Atlas 

April 14 – Bounty Hunters 11 

April 21 – Doctor Aphra 9 

April 21 – Star Wars Adventures 5 

April 27 – The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Character Encyclopedia – Join the Battle! 

April 27 – Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Jedi 

April 27 – Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith 

April 28 – Darth Vader 11 

Images courtesy of Disney+, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, Del Rey Publishing, LEGO, DK

Categories
Horror Necronomicon

REVIEW: Godzilla vs. Kong

by @holocronGeorge for @FilmCodex

If you watch Godzilla vs. Kong to see (as the title suggests) Godzilla fight Kong in a movie full of unhinged destruction and mayhem, you’re likely to enjoy the newest installment in the Monsterverse. Buildings are destroyed, punches are thrown, Titans butt heads, plots don’t really matter, and human characters don’t do much in a film that, at best, looks stunning and feels epic, yet, a worst, is a dull and semi-interesting crossover event.

The Monsterverse has been met with mixed reception after its three initial films. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was an unexpectedly nuanced film, gorgeously shot by Seamus McGarvey, but disappointed some for its titular character’s lack of screentime. Godzilla: King of Monsters addressed this criticism by pitting Godzilla against King Ghidorah, Rodan, and more. Unfortunately, the gorgeous looking film was marred by messy plotting and disposable human characters. Kong: Skull Island marks this burgeoning cinematic universe’s high-point so far as Jordan Vogt-Roberts delivered a lavish project that was the perfection, uncanny intersection of a monster flick and Vietnam War film. So, needless to say, the Monsterverse has been a mixed bag so far and, for better or worse, that pattern continues.

Godzilla vs. Kong sees Godzilla unexpectedly wreaking havoc on the world and Apex Cybernetics assembling a team, including Kong, to combat this threat by traveling to Hollow Earth. The vast majority of film is split in two halves, as we follow the team of scientists carrying out the mission (Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall) and, on a separate mission, Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison join forces with a friend and a conspiracy theorist to investigate Apex’s duplicitous plans. It’s a shame that, ultimately, the human characters in this universe continue to be a weakness. No one is particularly charismatic or likable or interesting, with Kaylee Hottle’s Jia being a rare highlight. Now, I know no one goes into a film called Godzilla vs. Kong to be consumed by the human characters’ arcs. That being said, Adam Wingard’s film spends an excessive amount of time with these characters in many scenes that mindlessly drone on as we eagerly await the next battle between Titans.

And it’s the battles between Titans where Godzilla vs. Kong really excels. Adam Wingard expertly handles these action sequences, making them the best of the Monsterverse so far. The lighting of a Hong Kong city or ships on the ocean are stunning. Unique camera decisions, like placing the audience’s view on the side of a Titan’s arm as he throws a punch, add an epic, visceral feel to the film. And epic is a perfect way to describe these fights. They are grand, loud, and high-stakes, so much so it makes it difficult to watch without a massive smile on your face. As I said, if you want Godzilla vs. Kong, you will not be disappointed.

Without delving into spoiler territory, Godzilla vs. Kong makes several intelligent narrative decisions that really further the film. The battle between Godzilla and Kong doesn’t seem thrown together, but, rather, each Titan’s place in the story is meaningful and understandable. Although the film struggles with some of the convoluted world-building it attempts, the final conflict is brilliantly crafted and helps take your mind off some of the dull moments and characters in the film.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Godzilla vs. Kong more than lives up to its title with fantastic action sequences brilliantly crafted by director Adam Wingard. Although the film is hampered by dull human characters and convoluted attempts at world-building, the fourth installment in the Monsterverse is a thrill ride that won’t disappoint fans of these classic characters.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment and HBO Max

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Film Codex

REVIEW: Godzilla vs. Kong

by @holocronGeorge for @FilmCodex

If you watch Godzilla vs. Kong to see (as the title suggests) Godzilla fight Kong in a movie full of unhinged destruction and mayhem, you’re likely to enjoy the newest installment in the Monsterverse. Buildings are destroyed, punches are thrown, Titans butt heads, plots don’t really matter, and human characters don’t do much in a film that, at best, looks stunning and feels epic, yet, a worst, is a dull and semi-interesting crossover event.

The Monsterverse has been met with mixed reception after its three initial films. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was an unexpectedly nuanced film, gorgeously shot by Seamus McGarvey, but disappointed some for its titular character’s lack of screentime. Godzilla: King of Monsters addressed this criticism by pitting Godzilla against King Ghidorah, Rodan, and more. Unfortunately, the gorgeous looking film was marred by messy plotting and disposable human characters. Kong: Skull Island marks this burgeoning cinematic universe’s high-point so far as Jordan Vogt-Roberts delivered a lavish project that was the perfection, uncanny intersection of a monster flick and Vietnam War film. So, needless to say, the Monsterverse has been a mixed bag so far and, for better or worse, that pattern continues.

Godzilla vs. Kong sees Godzilla unexpectedly wreaking havoc on the world and Apex Cybernetics assembling a team, including Kong, to combat this threat by traveling to Hollow Earth. The vast majority of film is split in two halves, as we follow the team of scientists carrying out the mission (Alexander Skarsgård, Rebecca Hall) and, on a separate mission, Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison join forces with a friend and a conspiracy theorist to investigate Apex’s duplicitous plans. It’s a shame that, ultimately, the human characters in this universe continue to be a weakness. No one is particularly charismatic or likable or interesting, with Kaylee Hottle’s Jia being a rare highlight. Now, I know no one goes into a film called Godzilla vs. Kong to be consumed by the human characters’ arcs. That being said, Adam Wingard’s film spends an excessive amount of time with these characters in many scenes that mindlessly drone on as we eagerly await the next battle between Titans.

And it’s the battles between Titans where Godzilla vs. Kong really excels. Adam Wingard expertly handles these action sequences, making them the best of the Monsterverse so far. The lighting of a Hong Kong city or ships on the ocean are stunning. Unique camera decisions, like placing the audience’s view on the side of a Titan’s arm as he throws a punch, add an epic, visceral feel to the film. And epic is a perfect way to describe these fights. They are grand, loud, and high-stakes, so much so it makes it difficult to watch without a massive smile on your face. As I said, if you want Godzilla vs. Kong, you will not be disappointed.

Without delving into spoiler territory, Godzilla vs. Kong makes several intelligent narrative decisions that really further the film. The battle between Godzilla and Kong doesn’t seem thrown together, but, rather, each Titan’s place in the story is meaningful and understandable. Although the film struggles with some of the convoluted world-building it attempts, the final conflict is brilliantly crafted and helps take your mind off some of the dull moments and characters in the film.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Godzilla vs. Kong more than lives up to its title with fantastic action sequences brilliantly crafted by director Adam Wingard. Although the film is hampered by dull human characters and convoluted attempts at world-building, the fourth installment in the Monsterverse is a thrill ride that won’t disappoint fans of these classic characters. 

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment and HBO Max