It’s a full-out nerdgasm today as we just start with one of the most famous underground comics characters and a Predator prequel, and over a dozen new pieces of content beyond.
The Sandman [Netflix]
I find the teaser surprisingly underwhelming–and perplexing, why does Morpheus look like Edward Cullen?–and I’ve soured a bit on Neil Gaiman, and yet–and yet!–I cannot turn away from The Sandman emerging from development hell and into our small screens via Netflix. Gaiman’s beloved graphic novel series stars Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Patton Oswalt, Vivienne Acheampong, Gwendoline Christie, Charles Dance, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, John Cameron Mitchell, Asim Chaudhry, Joely Richardson, and Mark Hamill. Sturridge stars as Morpheus, one of the seven Endless, and the Sandman, who hopes to restore his kingdom after a 70-year-absence.
This one is such a brilliant idea that it almost guaranteed to be worth a watch. The Predator is on Earth for his first hunt. The targets? A group of Comanches. Yes, this story takes place 300 years before the first film. Comanches don’t have guns, but they do have cunning and deep connection to the land. will it be enough?
Thirteen Lives [Amazon Prime]
Ripped from the headlines of the rescue of a cave-trapped Thai soccer team, Ron Howard imagineers his own story of how the story ended and brings in an impressive acting trio of Joel Edgerton, Viggo Mortensen, and Colin Ferrell.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- Whooooa, this could go either way. The Blumhouse-made, Peacock-airing horror film They/Them is titled that for the reason you might think. The terror comes both from the usual mysterious slasher and the head of the pray-away-gay conversion camp where this movie is set. To its credit, it’s got a borderline-A-list cast boasting Kevin Bacon, Anna Chlumsky, and Carrie Preston.
- It’s such a busy day that the second season premiere of an uproarious comedy starring Stephen Merchant and Christopher friggin’ Walken–a show that multiple editors here loved–The Outlaws not only does not get a staff recommendation, it does not even get a photo among the also-rans. Sigh.
- A yacht is hijacked by three terrorists and its party girl owner is in peril and viewers will be confused who to root for in the AMC+ flick Stowaway.
- Over on Apple TV+, an unlucky teenage orphan is led by a panini-loving cat into the land where her fortunes might change in the new, big-ticket animated joyfest Luck. It’s helmed by an ex-Simpsons animator (that’s good!); that animator is sex offender John Lasseter (that’s bad!); it does not come with free toppings (good!) which contain potassium benzoate (bad!). The girl is voiced by Tony-winner Eva Noblezada and the cast is great (even after people like Emma Thompson dropped out to avoid working with a monster) including Simon Pegg and Lil’ Rel Howery, but the reviews are less than inspiring. A lighter story: famous tree-feeder and puppetmaker serenader Tanya Donnelly was originally hired to do the score.
- Sticking in animation that we have mixed feelings about: The LEGO Star Wars: Summer Vacation special debuts on Disney+ today. We’ll wait for LEGO George Lucas to try to disappear it, for nerdy LEGO collectors to trade LEGO VHS recordings, for LEGO Paul Scheer, LEGO Jason Mantzoukas, and LEGO June Diane-Raphael to make fun of it, and then to find it in a corner of LEGO YouTube.