‘Overlord’ Film Review: Great Video Game Movie That’s Not Based on a Video Game

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Overlord” is one of the best video game movies ever made, and it’s not even based on a video game.

Filmmakers have been struggling for decades to adapt an actual video game story into a great movie, but many films have already successfully adapted the storytelling style of video games to the big screen. Take a look at the checkpoint gameplay mechanics of “Run Lola Run,” and the point-and-click problem solving of “Cop Car.” Consider the daredevil side scrolling of “District B13,” and the destructive fighting-game avatars of “Colossal.”

And now, check out “Overlord,” the ultimate Nazi zombie movie. The genre goes back at least as far as Ken Wiederhorn’s “Shock Waves,” which starred Peter Cushing as a mad scientist building an undead reich on an uncharted island, but it really came to life (pun intended) in video games. By the time the “Wolfenstein” games introduced Mecha-Hitler as a level boss, the idea of supernatural monsters who were already monsters to begin with has been a go-to storytelling device for one game after another.

Watch Video: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell Discover Unthinkable Horrors in First ‘Overlord’ Trailer

“Overlord,” directed by Julius Avery (“Son of a Gun”), tells the story of a squad of World War II soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines and tasked with destroying a radio jamming tower before sunrise. Sounds simple, right? Well, don’t forget: even before the zombies show up, it’s still World War II, so this war is both literal and figurative hell.

Our heroes are Boyce (Jovan Adepo, “Fences”), so innocent he literally refuses to hurt a mouse, and Ford (Wyatt Russell, “Lodge 49”), an explosives expert who’s got a permanent hard stare. Not many soldiers survive the drop, but Boyce and Ford are joined by their commanding officer Rensin (Bokeem Woodbine) and fellow grunts Tibbet (John Magaro, “Marshall”) and Chase (Iain De Caestecker, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”).

Along the way they join forces with a local scavenger, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), and discover that destroying the tower is going to be a lot more complicated than they thought. Because, obviously, mad scientists and zombies.

Also Read: ‘Overlord’ Wins Early Raves at Fantastic Fest: ‘Everything I Wanted From a WWII Nazi Zombie Movie’

The opening of “Overlord” is gigantically horrific. We are shoved alongside our heroes in a giant metal cylinder, flying towards a deadly destination, and when the hatch blows off and bullets burst from the floor, we see an inferno outside. Cacophonies of mid-air explosions, the red skyline of Hades, and as we fall with Boyce down to a lake below, we get a potent, point-of-view sense of vertigo. Even when he lands, he has to emerge from the ghostly cocoon of his wet parachute and venture into a nightmare forest full of inexplicable offal and hateful murderers called Nazis.

It’s a storytelling mechanic that will be familiar to gamers, evoking everything from the “Modern Warfare” series to “Half-Life” and “Bioshock” and beyond. It’s a steady progression into horror, filled with red flags and on-the-nose foreshadowing, and an introduction to the thrilling action that’s nevertheless kept at a distance — for a while. And along the way, the film employs boss level storytelling tropes, survival horror exploration, and climactic chase levels straight out of the original “Halo.”

Also Read: Lando Calrissian Is Pansexual, Says ‘Solo’ Screenwriter

Perhaps the key to making these tropes work cinematically is making them work in concert with others. Avery directs every single scene like it’s right out of an E.C. comic book, somewhere between “Two-Fisted Tales” and “Tales from the Crypt.” The angles are dynamic and jagged, framing the action for maximum shock value. It’s as though the design philosophy for “Overlord” was to try to get banned in the 1950s, and it works. The old adage that “war is hell” is practically literal in “Overlord.”

“Overlord” is overloaded with action, violence, and the maddest of mad sciences, and for the most part, Avery organically graduates to each new level of nightmare. The beginning explodes, and for the next hour the movie pulls itself back together, getting its bearings, and trying to pretend it hasn’t noticed all the tell-tale signs of campfire monstrosities peering behind cracked doors. It moves so organically from action movie to war drama to horror movie that you begin to realize how little difference there already was between them.

The film grows and grows and grows in intensity until we finally get a gruesome sightseeing tour of everything that’s been withheld from us, in a fright house of gory novelties, none of which should be ruined in advance. It’s worth the price of admission alone, and one might never think of their spinal cord quite the same way again.

Where “Overlord” falters is right after this sequence. The audience — all of us primed for escalating action and anxiety — are suddenly expected to take a step back and revert to old school World War II genre tropes, after we just saw some truly unspeakable stuff. Once the vault of horror has been opened, it’s awfully hard to go back. And yet the plot demands it, so we kind of have to soldier through and wait for “Overlord” to get back on mission.

Once it does, it’s glorious. A few hiccups aside, “Overlord” is an impressively huge B-movie, the kind of material that Roger Corman would have whipped out for less than a million bucks back in the 1980s, but now gets the blockbuster treatment. Fortunately, the script by Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”) and Mark L. Smith (“The Revenant”) keeps most of the bugnuts cult-movie weirdness intact, with eccentric characters, extreme emotions and a twisted sense of humor.

If “Overlord” was a video game, it would be a great one. It just happens to be a movie, and it’s a great one of those too. It hits all old-school genre tropes so hard that they make new noises, and infuses cheesy grindhouse thrills with all the “you are there” intensity of a great interactive experience. It may not have much to say, but it says it loud and clear, and more genre movies should follow its ambitious, bloody, fist-pumping, emotionally draining example.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Zombieland’ Sequel to Reunite Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin

State of AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Franchise: Zombie or Still a Hero?

Zombie Musical ‘Anna and the Apocalypse’ Marks Orion Pictures’ First Acquisition Since Relaunch

See How ‘Game of Thrones’ Pulled Off an Epic Battle With Thousands of Ice Zombies (Video)

AMC Renews Paul Giamatti-Produced ‘Lodge 49’ for Season 2

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AMC has given its Paul Giamatti-produced “Lodge 49” a second season, the network said on Thursday.

The series, which has had the benefit of airing behind “Better Call Saul” on Mondays, airs its season finale on Oct. 8.

Wyatt Russell will reprise his starring role as Sean “Dud” Dudley. Creator, writer and executive producer Jim Gavin returns as does Peter Ocko as executive producer and showrunner.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln Says He Almost Left in Season 8

“Lodge 49” is a light-hearted, endearing modern fable set in Long Beach, California, about a disarmingly optimistic local ex-surfer, Dud (Russell), who’s drifting after the death of his father and collapse of the family business.

“‘Lodge 49’ tells a funny, wise and meaningful story that immediately and deeply resonated with critics and viewers alike,” said David Madden, president, programming, AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “With a talented cast including Wyatt Russell, Brent Jennings and Sonya Cassidy, along with our strong creative team led by Jim Gavin and Peter Ocko, we are particularly proud of this series from both an AMC network and AMC Studios perspective and are looking forward to a return trip to the ‘Lodge.’”

The second season of “Lodge 49” will go into production and will air on AMC in 2019 with 10 episodes. “Lodge 49” is an AMC Studios production.

“We are immensely pleased and excited to continue exploring the fabulous world inside and outside of ‘Lodge 49,’ guided by Jim Gavin, Peter Ocko and the Luminous Knights at AMC,” said Paul Giamatti.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Dietland’ Canceled After One Season on AMC

Zachary Quinto Cast as Lead in AMC Series ‘NOS4A2’

Chris Hardwick’s Name Restored to Nerdist Website After Reinstatement by AMC and NBC

‘Lodge 49’ Team On Thomas Pynchon And The AMC Show As Peak-TV “Palate Cleanser” – TCA

Read on: Deadline.

The creative team behind AMC’s Lodge 49, in a wide-ranging TCA panel suiting the peregrinations of the series, touched on Thomas Pynchon, the “dread” of Sundays in Southern California and how the show is a “palate cleanser&#8221…

AMC Finally Reveals ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Premiere Date

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

We finally know when you’ll see the next of Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill — and definitely no more of Chuck. AMC announced Thursday that “Better Call Saul” Season 4 will premiere on Aug. 6, with the network’s new Wyatt Russell-led series “Lodge 49” debuting right after.

“Monday nights have become a destination for our character-driven dramas, and we loved the idea of pairing these two series, which are similar in their darkly comedic tone and led by two charming yet complicated characters facing huge life moments,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.

“We’re excited to share the next chapter in Jimmy McGill’s journey towards Saul on one of television’s most celebrated shows, and to introduce viewers to the unfailingly optimistic underdog Dud, who’s looking for his place and his moral purpose in a cynical and confusing world.”

Also Read: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ Among Writers Guild TV Nominees

Here is the official description for the upcoming season of “Better Call Saul,” per AMC:

In “Better Call Saul’s” fourth season, Chuck’s (Michael McKean) death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s (Odenkirk) transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer – and his relationship with Kim (Rhea Seehorn) – in jeopardy. Chuck’s (Michael McKean) death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill.

Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) takes a more active role as Madrigal Electromotive’s newest (and most thorough) security consultant. It’s a volatile time to be in Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) employ, as Hector’s collapse sends shock waves throughout the Albuquerque underworld and throws the cartel into chaos — tearing apart both Gus and Nacho’s (Michael Mando) well-laid plans. While Gus changes course, Nacho finds himself in the crosshairs of deadly forces.

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Star Bob Odenkirk Exclusive EmmyQuickie Portraits (Photos)

The “Breaking Bad” spinoff is executive produced by Peter Gould, Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison and hails from Sony Television.

And here’s the logline for “Lodge 49”:

“Lodge 49” is a light-hearted, endearing modern fable set in Long Beach, California, about a disarmingly optimistic local ex-surfer, Dud (Russell), who’s drifting after the death of his father and collapse of the family business. Dud serendipitously finds himself on the doorstep of a rundown fraternal lodge, where a middle-aged plumbing salesman and “Luminous Knight” of the order, Ernie (Jennings), welcomes him into a world of cheap beer, easy camaraderie and the promise of Alchemical mysteries that may — or may not — put Dud on the path to recover the idyllic life he’s lost.

Jim Gavin (“Author,” “Middle Men”) serve as creator, writer, and executive-producer alongside showrunner Peter Ocko (“Pushing Daisies,” “The Office”). Paul Giamatti (“Billions,” “Sideways,” “Outsiders,” “Hoke”), Dan Carey (“Outsiders,” “Hoke,” “John Dies at the End,” “All Is Bright”) and Jeff Freilich (“Halt and Catch Fire,” “Grace and Frankie”) also executive produce.

“Better Call Saul” will premiere Aug. 6 at 9/8c, with “Lodge 49” debuting at 10/9 c on AMC.

‘Black Mirror’: Every Weird, Futuristic Device From the Show

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Note: This post contains spoilers for “Black Mirror” through Season 4.)

Part of what makes “Black Mirror” so interesting is that its futuristic technology often feels like it might be just a few years removed from the things most of us use every day. And that often makes the frightening, dehumanizing situations the show plumbs for its stories seem all the more plausible. But even though the technology often seems like the natural outgrowth of things we have at our disposal today, “Black Mirror” is still full of imaginative devices that are pretty out there.

Here’s a look at every futuristic device imagined by “Black Mirror” to make life easier and more horrifying.

Grain — “The Entire History of You,” Season 1, Episode 3

The “Grain” device is a small implant that’s inserted behind the ear of the user. It apparently links into the sensory part of the brain and records everything its owner sees and hears, creating replayable memories that are stored in the device. The Grain also lets its users watch those memories, either on their eyes — where no one else can see them — or onto TV screens.

Having instant access to everything that’s happened to you sounds useful, but in “The Entire History of You,” it breeds paranoia in protagonist Liam, and eventually leads him to ruin his marriage. Grains can apparently be removed, but if the procedure isn’t done professionally, it can risk brain damage.

Also Read: Top 25 Best Netflix Original Series, Ranked From Great to Phenomenal (Photos)

Social Media Androids — “Be Right Back,” Season 2, Episode 1

An online service combs through social media to recreate the personalities of loved ones who’ve died. It uses an person’s entire social media history to recreate their personality, allowing family and friends to send texts to the person who died, with a computer impersonating them. The service is also capable of replicating voices with the help of videos and other recordings, which allow the computer to carry on phone conversations as the dead person. And if someone really want to go all in, they can have all that data and downloaded into an android that looks exactly like the person who died, essentially recreating their likeness.

Although the android is similar to the person who died, it of course isn’t the same, with social media and other data from the Internet still seemingly not enough to accurately reconstruct a personality. Later  “Black Mirror” episodes will go even further with the idea, though.

Z-Eye — “White Christmas,” Season 3 special

Another permanent implant in its users’ heads, the Z-Eye is basically a camera in your eyeball. Users are able to broadcast what they see and hear to other people. In the “Black Mirror” special, one person’s experiences are monitored by another person over the Internet, allowing the viewer to help walk the broadcaster through a dating situation.

The functionality of the Z-Eye is like having a smartphone in your head, allowing it users to take photos, make calls, and read text messages. It also has a “block” feature that allows a Z-Eye user to block out another user from their perception, causing that person to appear as a static silhouette. Blocked people can’t communicate with those who have blocked them — when they speak, it comes through as static as well.

Also Read: 35 Streaming TV Shows You Can Binge Watch in a Weekend (Photos)

Cookie — “White Christmas,” Season 3 special

A “Cookie” is a small-scale simulation of a person’s consciousness. The cookie computer chip is temporarily implanted into a person’s brain, where it copies their consciousness, and is then removed and placed in small, egg-shaped computer. It’s essentially an artificial intelligence, but it believes it is the person from whom the cookie was copied, which pretty much makes it a person itself. Cookies are used as personal assistants in smart homes, but in order for them to be effective, their will has to be broken. That’s done by adjusting controls that affect how the AI experiences time, causing the consciousness to be trapped and isolated for what can feel like weeks or years, when only a few seconds or minutes passes in the real world.

Cookies also apparently have other purposes. In the “Black Mirror” special episode, a cookie copy of a person is interrogated in order to coerce a confession for a murder, without the consent of the real person who was accused of committing it.

Ratings — “Nosedive,” Season 3, Episode 1

The ratings technology in “Nosedive” is at least partially implanted. In the episode, social media-like rankings are assigned to everyone in society, and how other people rte you has a serious effect on your socioeconomic status. Users make their ranks by using a smartphone-like device, and their rankings are saved to their implant. The implants also seem to allow users to do a lot of things they might with their smartphones, like share what they can see through social media.

Removing the implant removes the person in question from the ratings system, which effectively takes them out of society. That’s what happens to Bryce Dallas Howard’s character at the end of “Nosedive” after she’s tossed in jail. Assumedly she loses her social media capabilities as well as all the potential benefits her rating offers in the episode, like the ability to rent a car or an apartment.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’ Doesn’t Seem So Bad Next To Trump’s America (Commentary)

Mushroom — “Playtest,” Season 3, Episode 2

The “Mushroom” is a neural implant that works like augmented reality. It alters the user’s perception, adding things to their experience of the world. In the demonstration in the episode, Wyatt Russell’s character first plays a game of Whack-a-Mole with cartoon moles only he can see, thanks to the mushroom implant. Later in the episode, though, the device simulates his entire reality, “Matrix”-style, causing him to think he is walking through a mansion and even stabbed.

The mushroom is not only able to create a simulated reality for its users, it also apparently scans their minds for information. The idea of the horror video game the mushroom is used for is that it plumbs the user’s mind to find out what they fear, and then uses those fears to make the game scarier. In the episode, the device is also easily interfered with by cellular phone signals.

San Junipero — “San Junipero,” Season 4, Episode 3

San Junipero is actually two different pieces of technology. First, it’s a simulated virtual reality people can be hooked into an experience free of their physical bodies. People inside San Junipero can’t die or experience pain unless they wish to, and they inhabit younger versions of their own bodies in the simulation. The simulation also supports multiple time periods, so while the episode mostly takes place in the 1980s, it’s possible to visit different San Junipero time periods as well.

The second technology is a digitizing process that can upload the consciousness of a person into the simulation permanently, outside of their physical body. The idea is that the elderly and dying can be uploaded into the simulation to effectively live forever, even after their bodies have died.

Also Read: TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Right Now, From ‘OITNB’ to ‘Better Call Saul’ (Photos)

MASS — “Men Against Fire,” Episode 5, Season 3

Another neural implant, MASS is a device that affects soldiers’ perception when they’re on the battlefield. Like the mushroom game implant, MASS is an augmented reality device that adds information to the user’s perception. In the episode, though, it can also alter the user’s senses and perception. The MASS gives the soldier information about their surroundings as they fight on the battlefield and allows them to communicate with each other, but it’s also used to change what they see and experience to make them more effective.

In “Men Against Fire,” the MASS implant is used to alter soldiers’ perceptions so they see enemy humans as snarling monsters. The creatures are referred to as “roaches” in the episode, but they’re actually people who are victims of a genocidal campaign to “keep the human bloodline pure.” The MASS also suppresses the user’s sense of smell in the episode in order to make them less responsive to the smells of death they encounter. The approach is meant to make soldiers more effective and less likely to feel pangs of conscience when they fight the enemy.

Autonomous Drone Insects — “Hated in the Nation,” Episode 6, Season 3

Autonomous Drone Insects, or ADIs, are small robots meant to function as replacements for dying bee populations. The drones are programmed to pollinate flowers and are used throughout England for that task. They’re programmed by their creator, the company Granular, and are encrypted and can only have their programming adjusted by specific devices, in order to protect against hacking. ADIs can self-replicate by using 3D printing technology in their hives, allowing them to spread and repopulate their colonies at a rate similar to bees.

In addition to their functions as insects, ADIs are also used for clandestine domestic surveillance by the British government. They include facial recognition technology that allows them to identify people specifically. When they’re hacked in “Hated in the Nation,” this technology allows the drones to be used to commit murders by flying them into people’s ears.

Infinity — “USS Callister,” Season 4, Episode 1

Infinity is a virtual reality simulation game similar to what’s seen in other “Black Mirror” episodes like “Playtest” and “San Junipero.” Users access the game through neural devices that take their consciousness straight into the game. They then feel like they are living in the virtual world while their physical bodies are shut down and unresponsive. Unlike other versions of the tech in “Black Mirror,” though, there doesn’t seem to be the need for a physical implant into the brain for Infinity to work.

Another aspect of Infinity is that it seems possible for a consciousness to get trapped in the game world, and for issues with the interface to actually damage the brain of or kill a user.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’: All 9 of the Black Museum’s Callbacks to Previous Episodes (Photos)

DNA digital scanner — “USS Callister,” Season 4, Episode 1

In “USS Callister,” Jesse Plemons’ character uses a specialized DNA scanner to recreate actual people in his personal version of Infinity. The scanner can gather DNA off just about anything, it seems, a replicate a person inside the simulation perfectly. It also includes their memories up until the point the copy is created in the game, effectively making them an exact digital copy or clone of the real person.

Arkangel — “Arkangel,” Season 4, Episode 2

Another brain implant, Arkangel is a technology used in children that connects their senses and vitals to an external monitoring tablet. The implant is able to tap into the child’s senses to broadcast what they are seeing and hearing, which can be monitored on the tablet, and their senses can be altered with “parental controls.” The controls blur out anything the child sees that might cause a spike in cortisol levels in the brain. Arkangel also monitors vital signs and other bodily functions, like hormone levels, and acts as a GPS tracker to keep the child from becoming lost.

Corroborator — “Crocodile,” Season 4, Episode 3

The Corroborator is a brain-scanning device that doesn’t require physical implants to work. Instead, it uses small scanner devices that are specifically able to scan memories. The scans are fed to a nearby screen that visualizes them for someone else to view. Because memories are subjective and can be altered by their owner, the people using Corroborators generally try to gather many people’s memories in order to get a consensus of an event. But apparently Corroborators can be used on animals as well as people, and they’re useful enough that they can lead investigators to the perpetrators of crimes.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’: 14 Times Season 4 Referenced Other ‘Black Mirror’ Episodes

The System — “Hang the DJ,” Season 4, Episode 4

An elaborate dating system meant to determine users’ perfect match, the System is a technology that takes into account all of a user’s data and choices in order to find compatible relationship partners. The system dictates how long people will be together and puts them into relationships, then gauges their reactions to these relationships and uses that information to make better matches in the future.

As it turns out during the “Black Mirror” episode “Hang the DJ,” the System is actually an elaborate virtual simulation, and the people within it are digital recreations of their real-world counterparts. The System uses the reactions of the simulated people in a Tinder-style system to determine how good of a match they are in real life. The simulated world is apparently pretty elaborate, as are the simulations — they may as well be copies of the real people themselves. The System determines compatibility matches for people in the real world by running two thousand simulations of each potential couple.

Dog — “Metalhead,” Season 4, Episode 5

The dog is a military like robot, apparently designed to hunt down and eliminate its prey. It is able to detect elements like blood and distant electronic signals in order to track enemies, and attacks them with claws and a gun mounted in one of its legs. It also carries explosive, shrapnel-dispensing shells. Each piece of shrapnel is equipped with a tracking device that allows the dog to continue to pursue its prey even if it escapes. The dog is capable of interfacing with machinery in order to operate it, including cars, which it can drive. The dog runs on solar power and goes into a dormant state in order to recharge.

Sympathetic Diagnoser — “Black Museum,” Season 4, Episode 6

A two-part system, the Sympathetic Diagnoser is mainly a brain implant that receives sensory information from a transmitter. The information is confined to sensations — pain, specifically, but also pleasure and fear. The transmitter is a brain scanner that another person wears on their head. When another person is wearing it, the Diagnoser allows the person fitted with the receiver implant to feel the pain (or pleasure) of the person wearing the transmitter. In “Black Museum,” the system was used to help a doctor identify the ailments of his patients by allowing him to feel them himself.

Also Read: ‘Black Mirror’ Easter Egg: Was This Character Involved in Collusion With Russia to Hack the U.S. Election?

Consciousness Transfer — “Black Museum,” Season 4, Episode 6

The consciousness transfer technology mentioned in “Black Museum” downloads one person’s consciousness into another person’s brain, allowing the two people to share the same body. The transferred person’s original body becomes an empty husk that’s euthanized, The person into whom the consciousness is transferred still maintains full control of their body, with the new person their brain basically becoming a passenger within their body. The consciousness transfer is said to be similar to the one in “San Junipero,” in which people are downloaded into a computer system instead of another person.

The person who receives the transfer can apparently be given controls over the new person in their body, and the consciousness can be transferred into other computer systems. In “Black Museum,” a consciousness is transferred into a storage space inside a talking toy monkey, but it still is limited in its ability to interact with the outside world.

Conscious hologram — “Black Museum,” Season 4, Episode 6

Using the same consciousness-copying and downloading tech as seen in other “Black Mirror” episodes and discussed earlier in “Black Museum,” the conscious hologram is an actual copy of the person’s entire personality. The technology scans through the person’s brain to exactly duplicate them as a simulation. In “Black Museum,” the consciousness is then simulated in a physical space as a hologram. The hologram is still able to feel pain through the simulation, however, and full copies of the consciousness can be placed in other storage devices, just like the talking monkey doll.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Black Mirror’: All 9 of the Black Museum’s Callbacks to Previous Episodes (Photos)

‘Black Mirror’: 14 Times Season 4 Referenced Other ‘Black Mirror’ Episodes

‘Black Mirror’ Easter Egg: Was This Character Involved in Collusion With Russia to Hack the U.S. Election?

‘Black Mirror’: No, ‘Hang the DJ’ Is Not the ‘San Junipero’ of Season 4, EP Says

‘Black Mirror’: You May Have Missed These Two Big Celebrity Cameos in ‘USS Callister’

‘Black Mirror’: All 9 of the Black Museum’s Callbacks to Previous Episodes (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoiler alert: You may not want to read until you’ve watched the “Black Mirror” season 4 episode “Black Museum” — and perhaps other episodes from this and past seasons.) 

The Black Musem was a fun place to visit at the end of season 4 of “Black Mirror,” perhaps because it was basically a house of references to previous episodes from the season. While the exhibits in the museum are probably just meta-jokes rather than evidence of a shared universe, it’s still fun to look at what’s inside.

This puppy we know well as one of the mechanical bees from the season 3 episode “Hated in the Nation.” These things murdered a whole lot of people in that episode.

This distinctive costume you’ll probably remember as being the uniform of the hunters on the weird “justice”-focused reality show in the season 2 episode “White Bear.”

In the background here you can see what looks an awful lot like the virtual reality headset from the season 3 episode “Playtest,” in which a man (Wyatt Russell) died while playing a game that was constructed to prey on his greatest fears.

This notorious box we saw earlier in season 4 — it was used by Robert Daly (Jesse Plemons) to upload people’s DNA into his computer so he could create AIs based on them inside a video game. The lollipop was used to create a digital version of a character’s (Jimmi Simpson) son — which Daly immediately tossed out an airlock in order to get the other the Simpson AI to behave.

This tablet you’ll recognize from the season 4 episode “Arkangel,” in which it was used as a way for helicopter parents to spy on their children. This particular tablet was used by the child (Brenna Harding) to beat the mother (Rosemary DeWitt) nearly to death.

This bathtub is from “Crocodile.” A man was murdered in it. There’s not really anything techy about it. It’s just a bathtub.

Aside from the items in the museum itself, the episode contained a couple verbal references to past episodes as well. The two episodes referenced are reference “San Junipero” (“like when they upload old people to the cloud?”) and the “White Christmas” holiday special (mention of copying consciousness using “cookies”).

Bonus: while not in the actual Black Museum, one of the stories Rolo Haynes (Douglas Hodge) tells Nish (Letitia Wright) involves this shot of a character reading a graphic novel based on the season 1 episode “15 Million Merits.”

Seann William Scott Embraces Stifler-Like Roles: ‘I Don’t Care About Being Typecast’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Seann William Scott plays a character in “Goon: Last of the Enforcers,” who is similar to Stifler, the role he made famous in the “American Pie” franchise. But the actor, now 40, embraces the fact that he plays the stereotypical Idiot often, and says he doesn’t care about being typecast.

“I did four of those movies, so I clearly embraced it,” Scott told TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell of his “American Pie” appearances. “I love that character so much and I don’t really know if I set out to play those kinds of guys. But as I was reading scripts or I got offered parts early on, I thought, ‘I don’t care about being typecast.’ Those characters are so much fun. I’d rather be that guy than more of, like, the straight guy. So, maybe I typecasted myself. I don’t really care.”

Scott is back to star as Doug Glatt, a physically superior jock who is not the brightest guy, in the sequel to the 2011 sports comedy film. Directed by Michael Dowse and written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, this time around, Baruchel made his directorial debut with the film. Why the team decided to make a sequel is an easy answer for Scott.

Also Read: ‘Goon’ Review: Comedy – and Brutality – on the Ice

“Because it’s awesome?” he said. “I think the first movie was a huge opportunity for me. Even though the character is an idiot — which is similar to the characters I’ve played, but [it was a] very different part for me… When we were thinking of doing a sequel, we were thinking, ‘we have no reason to do this.’ It’s not like the first movie made $100 million, and the studio is like, ‘we gotta put a sequel out right away.’ We love the characters, we felt we could tell another story, and we could tell it the way we wanted to and Jay Baruchel and his writing partner Jesse Chabot wrote a really cool story.”

What’s in store for fans?

Also Read: Cannes: Seann William Scott to Star in ‘Guidance’ for Myriad, Depth of Field

“Coming back, fans of the first movie will be really surprised because typically sequels aren’t very good — and I prefer this to the first movie. If they haven’t seen the first movie, then they should just shut up.”

“Goon: Last of the Enforcers” stars Liev Schreiber, Alison Pill, Elisha Cuthbert, Wyatt Russell and Kim Coates. It hits theaters on Friday.

Watch the interview above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jay Baruchel on ‘Man Seeking Woman’ Season 3 Reboot: ‘This Is the Season We’ve Earned’

Jay Baruchel Comedy ‘Man Seeking Woman’ Renewed for Season 2 by FXX

FXX Cancels ‘Man Seeking Woman’ After Three Seasons

‘Ingrid Goes West’ Review: Aubrey Plaza Stalks Elizabeth Olsen in #Blessed Satire

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Let’s start by acknowledging the biggest irony regarding Matt Spicer’s social media satire, “Ingrid Goes West”: As soon as you see it, you’re probably going to post/text/tweet to your friends/family/followers, just to let them know how much you liked it.

And how could you not? Spicer and his co-writer, David Branson Smith, know you. They know all of us, with our perpetually typing fingers and updated emojis and Instagrammed avocado toast. (Don’t pretend you hate avocado toast just because it’s over.)

It wouldn’t be fair to say that twentysomething loner Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) is an everywoman, since her story is, technically, a 21st century update on “Single White Female.” In the film’s introduction, we learn that she’s an emotionally damaged stalker who can’t tell the difference between being befriended and being “friended.”

Watch Video: Aubrey Plaza Stalks Elizabeth Olsen in Trailer for Sundance Hit ‘Ingrid Goes West’

But she’s also suffering, having recently lost her beloved mother. She’s not just isolated, but utterly alone. Every day she sits in her mom’s darkened house, burrowing into an online rabbit hole of beautiful people’s beautiful pictures. Her thumb is constantly moving, scrolling, clicking, liking. There’s a whole world out there, and she’s desperately trying to find a way to join it.

Granted, most people wouldn’t go to the same extremes Ingrid does. When she comes across the enviable Instagram posts of a willowy L.A. photographer named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), Ingrid uses her inheritance to impulsively move across the country.

She rents a room in Venice Beach from wannabe screenwriter Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr. of “Straight Outta Compton,” oozing charm) and engineers an “accidental” meet-cute with Taylor. Soon the two of them are BFFs, floating into gallery openings and getting high in Joshua Tree together. For a brief, shining moment, their very existence is a hashtag.

Watch Video: ‘Ingrid Goes West’: Neon Founders Discuss Sundance Bidding War for Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen Instagram Stalker Pic

Any mom with a Facebook account could tell Ingrid that nobody really lives the way they post. But she buys right into the illusion, into all of Taylor’s effusive superlatives and of-the-moment passions. She trades fast food for vegan salads. She wears belted boho maxi dresses instead of sweatpants. And she totally believes Taylor when she off-handedly calls Ingrid her “favorite person ever.” So when a new friend — a hipster designer with lots of social media followers — catches Taylor’s interest, the cold-water shock of reality does not sit well with our deluded heroine.

Plaza deftly keeps us off balance throughout, daring us to relate to Ingrid even as we’re repelled by her. Her rage isn’t spurred by villainy so much as an alienation that feels almost inevitable. But it’s the impeccably cast Olsen who makes the sharpest points, by playing Taylor as a sort of flawlessly-curated hologram. She doesn’t need to actually read Didion or Emerson to post the appropriate pull quotes, and when she enthuses about her leopard-print Clare V. clutch, you can be sure she was paid to do so.

What’s most striking of all, though, is how fully invested she really is. She’s not only selling a faux lifestyle to her fans, but to herself as well. Real problems are pushed out of frame, swiftly replaced with buyable beauty. To quote her quoting everyone else quoting Jimmy Buffett, it’s always five o’clock in Taylor’s life. The worst thing you could ever call her, of course, is what she is to her very core: basic.

Watch Video: O’Shea Jackson Jr. on How His Batman Obsession Landed Him Role in ‘Ingrid Goes West’

We don’t need Taylor’s name or initials to remind us that there are, in fact, real people with millions of real followers enacting the same game of aspirational #SquadGoals right this very minute. But while Spicer’s impressive debut is an undeniably timely film, it also taps into a timeless dilemma.

Because it’s 2017, Taylor is an #Instagoddess. But she might as well be a cheerleader, or a Mean Girl, or a Queen Bee, or any other eternally unattainable embodiment of repressive popularity. Her brother Nicky (an unsettling Billy Magnussen) would be considered a sociopathic monster anywhere else. But between his perfect abs, oversized personality, and the LA setting (plus the impossibly apt fact that Magnussen played Kato Kaelin in “American Crime Story”), he might as well be a reality producer’s dream.

Taylor’s struggling artist husband, the preposterously-named Ezra O’Keefe (Wyatt Russell), is defined primarily by his ostentatious Luddite stance and casual man-bun. So why are these people the epitome of cool? Why is Ingrid so desperate to impress near-strangers who are obscenely entitled and egregiously uninteresting at best?

It’s a good question, and one that most people could probably ask themselves at some point in their lives. Spicer is, of course, pointing out the absurdity of Kardashian Kulture. But really, who wouldn’t be tempted by Taylor’s world, where every blissful, politically-ignorant day is framed by gorgeous desert sunrises and firelit poolside parties?

And how quickly should we rush to judge Ingrid, for wanting to connect with this Pinterest-perfect fantasy? Does she deserve our contempt, or pity, or empathy? Before you decide, count how many seconds it takes to pull out your own phone once the movie ends and the lights come up.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Annabelle: Creation’ Set to Topple ‘Dark Tower’ at Weekend Box Office

‘Annabelle: Creation’ Review: Horror’s Bad Doll Gets a Sinister-Stuffed Origin Story

Inside Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner’s ‘Wind River’ LA Premiere (Photos)

‘The Little Hours’ Review: Aubrey Plaza and Alison Brie Are Saucy Sisters in Convent Comedy

Aubrey Plaza Stalks Elizabeth Olsen in Trailer for Sundance Hit ‘Ingrid Goes West’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Aubrey Plaza is a crazy stalker in the first official teaser for the dark comedy “Ingrid Goes West,” which received a strong response at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

In the red-band trailer, we see Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) crash a wedding and pepper spray the bride after it becomes clear she wasn’t invited. The film centers on Ingrid, a mentally disturbed woman so obsessed with a social media star (Elizabeth Olsen) that she relocates west to stalk her.

Also Read: ‘Ingrid Goes West’ Acquired by Neon at Sundance

Matt Spicer’s film also stars Angelica Amor, Megan Griffey, Andrew Horschak, Wyatt Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Pom Klementieff.

TheWrap’s Steve Pond called the film “part black comedy, part psychological melodrama and part examination of the perils of social media,” in his review out of Sundance.

See Video: O’Shea Jackson Jr. on How His Batman Obsession Landed Him Role in ‘Ingrid Goes West’

“Ingrid Goes West” opens in select theaters August 4.

Watch the trailer above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Ingrid Goes West’ Sundance Review: Aubrey Plaza Is a Social-Media Stalker to Relish

Neon Acquires Sundance Hip Hop Biopic ‘Roxanne Roxanne’

Aubrey Plaza Talks Rubbing Her ‘Stink’ All Over Her ‘Legion’ Dance Scene

‘Legion’: Aubrey Plaza Tells Us Whether Lenny is Human

JJ Abrams’ D-Day Thriller ‘Overlord’ Enlists Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot jointly announced today that Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell will lead the cast of producer JJ Abrams’ D-Day movie “Overlord.”

The supernatural thriller takes place during World War II.

Directed by Julius Avery (“Son of a Gun”), the Bad Robot production is produced by J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber, and written by Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”) and Mark L. Smith (“The Revenant”).

Also Read: Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams Team for Female Syrian Refugee Drama (Exclusive)

On the eve of D-Day, a group of American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there is more going on in this Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation.

The film will begin shooting this May in the U.K.

Most recently Adepo starred opposite Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Paramount’s Oscar-nominated drama, “Fences.” He can currently been seen as a series regular on HBO’s “The Leftovers.” He is repped by Gersh and Powerline Entertainment.

Also Read: Stephen King, JJ Abrams Project ‘Castle Rock’ Coming to Hulu (Video)

Wyatt Russell recently starred in “Black Mirror” and Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!”

He will next star in the lead role of AMC’s highly anticipated original series, “Lodge 49.” He will also be seen in “Folk Hero” and “Funny Guy,” “Blaze,” “Goon 2” and “Ingrid Goes West” which premiered at Sundance. Wyatt is repped by UTA.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams Team for Female Syrian Refugee Drama (Exclusive)

Stephen King, JJ Abrams Project ‘Castle Rock’ Coming to Hulu (Video)

JJ Abrams, HBO Team Up for Space Drama ‘Glare’

‘Table 19’ Review: Great Cast Tries To Liven Up One-Joke Premise In Slight Wedding Comedy

Read on: Deadline.

We’ve probably all been to weddings where, like the other strangers at your table, you have a marginal connection to the bride and groom. That is essentially the premise of the new comedy Table 19in which a disparate group of wedding guests who don’t know each other — and barely seem to know either half of the newly married couple — find themselves at the worst-placed table at the reception.
One person, Eloise (Anna Kendrick), is the catalyst of the plot, having…

‘Table 19’ Review: Anna Kendrick Wedding Comedy Is Uneven, But Avoids Crashing

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Being a guest at a wedding is more than just an opportunity to celebrate a hopefully happy couple; it’s a chance to find your place in the bride’s or groom’s pecking order of intimacy and importance. The invitees relegated to the “who are they” corner of the party are the subject of “Table 19,” a low-key romantic comedy.

For a good while, the film threatens to be as forced as an unwanted attendee, and as forgotten as the types of guests it focuses on, until it rallies toward the end with an easy sweetness and comedic warmth it had been lacking for too long. In a way, that makes it not terribly unlike the trajectory of many weddings, save the most common reason those rites become enjoyable: alcohol. (That’s not a suggestion, incidentally, for how to see this.)

Writer-director Jeffrey Blitz has shown a fondness for misfits before, in both his Oscar-nominated spelling bee documentary “Spellbound” and his fiction feature debut, the 2007 debaters-in-love indie “Rocket Science.” The latter brought to moviegoers’ attention a flinty, funny newcomer in Anna Kendrick.

Also Read: ‘Trolls’ Sequel in Works With Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake

Ten years later Kendrick is front and center of Blitz’s “Table 19” as Eloise, a young woman whose churning indecisiveness about attending her oldest friend’s wedding is such that she checks off, crosses out, and re-checks the “accept” and “decline” boxes enough times that she ultimately decides to light a match to it. Before blowing it out, that is, and sending it off anyway.

This is followed by brief peeks into the lives of who we assume will be the guests at the titular table (labeled in a close-up of the seating chart as — ouch — “Randoms.”) Jerry (Craig Robinson) and Bina Kepp (Lisa Kudrow), are divorce-adjacent, squabbling diner owners who know the groom’s father through business. Friendly senior Jo (June Squibb) is a retired nanny absolutely sure the bride remembers her. Distant cousin Walter (Stephen Merchant) is on leave from a prison stint and nervous about that news getting out to total strangers. And friend-of-the-family teenager Renzo (Tony Revolori, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) is by himself, sexually inexperienced, and hoping to change that.

Also Read: Anna Kendrick In Talks With Disney to Play Female Santa

So why is bright, attractive Eloise with the charity invites, all of whom the script saddles with unfunny getting-to-know-you chatter in their initial scenes together? Blame a bad breakup two months prior with best man Teddy (Wyatt Russell, “Everybody Wants Some!!”), the bride’s brother, who dumped Eloise by text, necessitating her demotion from maid of honor to a seat in Siberia. (Making matters worse: the new maid of honor, played by Amanda Crew of “Silicon Valley,” is also Teddy’s rebound romance.)

Driven by hurt, jealousy and, it’s later revealed, a truly pressing personal issue, Eloise is the kind of tough-but-vulnerable bundle Kendrick and her expressively downturned mouth were born to play, even if the script initially doesn’t do justice to her comically tense situation beyond having her flirt with a handsome crasher (Thomas Cocquerel), bicker with Teddy, and create a cake mishap. (At the least, it’s a step up for Kendrick in marriage wingding movies from last year’s execrable “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.”)

Though Blitz is smart economically to skip the ceremony and get straight to the ballroom location, the first third of the movie is strained and weak. It’s hard to ramp up concern for Eloise emotionally when the details of her relationship to the wedding party are doled out in bits and pieces, and time is awkwardly spent elaborating on the humorless eccentricities of her tablemates.

See Photo: ‘Logan’: First Look at Stephen Merchant’s Caliban

Of course, the script’s plan is to turn the outcasts into united allies for the cause of Eloise, and eventually each other, once humanizing tidbits about each of their lives come to light. And this does pay dividends, thanks to having actors as gifted as Robinson, Squibb and Kudrow around. (Only Revolori’s aggressively horny, unfunny nerd is a complete washout.) It just takes a while to get there.

When “Table 19” tries to be a goofy humiliation comedy, it’s barely engaging. (The pratfalls are numerous and laugh-free.) But when it settles down into something like an indie ensemble about disappointment and the comfort of strangers, Blitz finds a more effortless tone, and even manages a few well-played surprises that bring genuine heart to the uptick in Eloise’s fortunes.

Part of this has to do with the tricky role Russell has, and ultimately sells. But a lot of it is on Kendrick’s shoulders, and she comes through with her special brand of brittle delivery and appealing sensitivity. One imagines the many less-skilled actors who wouldn’t be able to pull off locating the touching and droll movie inside the initially ill-at-ease and ordinary one. “Table 19” is fortunate Kendrick not only showed up for the party but also came to play.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox Reunite for ‘Friends’ Trivia Match (Video)

Taylor Swift, Lisa Kudrow Sing ‘Friends’ Classic ‘Smelly Cat’ on Stage (Video)

All 45 Marvel Movies Ranked From Worst to Best, Including ‘Logan’ (Photos)

Duplass Brothers to Produce HBO Comedy Anthology Series ‘Room 104’

Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn & Others Join Ethan Hawke’s ‘Blaze’

Read on: Deadline.

Sam Rockwell, Steve Zahn, Wyatt Russell, Kris Kristofferson and Richard Linklater are in Ethan Hawke’s drama BlazeHawke, who also co-stars, produced and directed and even co-wrote the story based on Sybil Rosen’s memoir Living In The Woods In A Tree, about Rosen’s real, life-long love Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
Newcomer Ben Dickey, an accomplished songwriter and…

‘Ingrid Goes West’ Acquired by Neon at Sundance

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

After a number of competitive bids Tom Quinn and Tim League’s new distribution banner, Neon, have acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Sundance breakout, “Ingrid Goes West,” following the world premiere on Friday night.

Directed by Matt Spicer and starring Aubrey Plaza (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Parks and Recreation”) and Elizabeth Olsen (“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene”).

Based on a script by Spicer and David Branson Smith, the dark comedy also stars O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen, and Pom Klementieff.

Also Read: Power Outage at Sundance Fest Theater, Screenings There Cancelled

“Ingrid Goes West” follows Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza) a mentally unstable young woman who becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Olsen), a social media “influencer” with a seemingly-perfect life. When Ingrid decides to drop everything, and move to the west coast to befriend Taylor in real life, her behavior turns unsettling and increasingly dangerous.

“Ingrid Goes West” marks Spicer’s feature directorial debut. He recently co-wrote Flower, along with Max Winkler who will also direct. The film is a twisted coming-of-age comedy starring Zoey Deutch, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn and Tim Heidecker, which Spicer will also produce alongside Rough House Pictures and Diablo Entertainment. Along with Winkler, Spicer will write the recently announced Rocketeer sequel for Disney.

Star Thrower Entertainment and 141 Entertainment financed and produced.

Producers include Jared Ian Goldman, Star Thrower Entertainment’s Tim and Trevor White, 141 Entertainment’s Adam and Robert Mirels, and Aubrey Plaza.

Also Read: Buzzy Sundance Doc ‘Step’ Follows High School Squad’s Rise Above Odds (Video)

Mary Solomon, Rick Rickertsen and Allan Mandelbaum executive produced.

CAA represented the US rights and negotiated the deal.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Lily Collins Anorexia Drama ‘To the Bone’ Strikes Raw Nerve at Sundance

Power Outage at Sundance Fest Theater, Screenings There Cancelled

Buzzy Sundance Doc ‘Step’ Follows High School Squad’s Rise Above Odds (Video)

‘Folk Hero and Funny Guy’: Alex Karpovsky-Wyatt Russell Comedy Finds a Buyer

Read on: Variety.

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the worldwide rights to the comedy “Folk Hero and Funny Guy,” starring Alex Karpovsky and Wyatt Russell. The film premiered in April at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and scored 100% “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes. Jeff Grace made his feature directorial debut with a script he wrote about a successful singer-songwriter, played… Read more »