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Not like this, Spider-Man
And Netflix is making us more cultured?
What to know
Shitty bootleg of Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer leaks… The hype around this trailer is getting out of hand, but this isn’t optimal. I understand people’s anticipation and frustration, but a shitty bootleg isn’t good for fans, the movie, Sony, or Marvel. No one wins here except maybe the clickbait sites and YouTubers. Do yourself a favor and don’t seek it out. 🕷
97% of American Netflix subscribers watched a non-English title in the last year… Netflix can be blamed for a lot of negative trends in pop culture — but more Americans watching non-English content, expanding their horizons and getting international perspectives, that’s a very good thing. 🍿
A new Michael C. Hall-Taylor Kitsch show is in Netflix’s Top 10… Have you heard of The Defeated? Netflix U.S. didn’t do much to promote this German series featuring 2 pretty big American TV stars — but domestic audiences found it anyway. Maybe Netflix should lean into hyping its international series at home? Didn’t I just read that 97% of subscribers watch non-English content? 🇩🇪
Black Widow has made $125M on Disney+… Disney revealed the number as part of its efforts to push the Scarlett Johansson lawsuit into a closed-door arbitration. It’s an impressive number, but definitely not as impressive as what the movie could have made in theaters in the before times 💵
Netflix releases first images from John Cho’s live-action Cowboy Bebop series… call the anime fan in your life, they’re excited 🪐
Jurnee Smollett to reprise DC hero Black Canary in HBO Max series from Misha Green… it’s not a second season of Lovecraft Country, but I’ll take it! 🐤
Release date roundup: Succession & Curb set to return in October, How to With John Wilson is back in December, Free Guy hits on-demand in September, and Cruella is free on Disney+ this weekend. 📆
Dropping this week:
Clickbait — Aug 25 Netflix drama series | RT
He’s All That — Aug 27 Netflix teen romcom | RT
Candyman — Aug 27 in theaters horror film | RT
What to watch
It’s easy to write a recommendation for a good movie. It’s a little bit harder when the movie is a genuine masterpiece. Days after witnessing David Lowery’s The Green Knight and I’m still having trouble finding the right words to properly convey its excellence. The truth is I’m still processing its myriad metaphors and richly portrayed themes.
Based on the Arthurian legend and poem, this Medieval fantasy is no mere Game of Thrones riff. While it might scratch that itch for some, Lowery’s ambitions are higher and deeper. Sir Gawain’s well-known journey is deconstructed and put back together in the boldest of fashions. From the disquieting opening shot to the chilling post-credits coda, a knight’s quest becomes a vessel through which we explore honor, duty, environmental ruin, the meaning of life, privilege, and even, no, especially death itself. And yet there is an economy to Lowery’s filmmaking. With epic vision and steady intention, he packs a lifetime into two hours. Not what feels like a lifetime, an actual lifetime. It’s hard to describe.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bestow honor onto every principal creative that Lowery hired. Dev Patel turns in a career-best performance. Cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo paints with color and light. Jade Healy’s production design elicits a worn grandiosity that feels at-once intimate. They should just hand the Oscar to costume designer Malgosia Turzanska right now. And Daniel Hart’s dissonant music combines the ancient and modern into a dizzying, soul-piercing soundscape.
The greatest poems can be broken down line-by-line, their meaning caught in the spaces between words and phrases. If it was Lowery’s intention to create the cinematic equivalent, then mission accomplished. As for me, I still have a lot to chew on. I’m not sure these were all the right words to properly meet this masterwork, but like Sir Gawain, I forged ahead anyway.
The Green Knight is in theaters now and available to rent on demand.