Legion, Loving, and More – The Weekend Chill

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Legion, Loving, and More – The Weekend Chill
Highlights
  • Legion season one consists of eight episodes
  • Loving has a nomination in one Oscar category
  • Nioh is exclusive to PlayStation 4

There were a lot of new trailers this week, mostly thanks to the big football (not the soccer kind) game during the weekend. We got a first look at Stranger Things season two, another glance at the characters that make up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and a lot more – Logan, The Fate of the Furious, Ghost in the Shell, the fifth Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, The Handmaid’s Tale, Life, and John Wick: Chapter 2. It’s all in our Super Bowl trailer round-up.

The trailer train continued in the week, with Marvel providing one for its fourth Netflix show – Iron Fist. The new series, which brings the final character leading into The Defenders, stars Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, and Rosaria Dawson among others. Marvel’s Iron Fist hits Netflix on March 17.

'Danny Rand Is No White Saviour,' Says Marvel's Iron Fist Showrunner

Last one for the week was The Lego Ninjago Movie, which will be the second spin-off to the much-loved The Lego Movie. It seems to be continuing the blend of self-aware humour, and signature Lego animation that made it popular, so that’s good news. The Lego Ninjago Movie arrives September 22.

The Han Solo standalone film has begun filming, as we reported here last week, but it seems casting is still going on. Variety has learned that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is currently in talks to play a key CGI-driven role in the new movie, something along the lines of Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO, or Alan Tudyk’s K-2SO in Rogue One. The untitled movie is scheduled for a May 25, 2018 release.

On Thursday, there was word of a new Netflix original series, based on the video game franchise Castlevania. Adi Shankar will serve as producer, and he’s made a bold claim that “it will end the streak and be the western world’s first good video game adaptation”. After the litany of failures on our hands, let’s hope this one indeed proves otherwise. The first season lands this year.

Lastly, we got premiere dates for new seasons of returning shows. The Americans season five will begin March 7, Veep will start its sixth season on April 16, Catastrophe’s third season drops April 28, Orange is the New Black returns on June 9 with more episodes, and the fifth and final season of Orphan Black is scheduled to begin June 10.

That’s all the entertainment news for this week. Welcome back to The Weekend Chill, your one-stop destination for what to watch, play, or listen to this weekend. Here are the best picks:

TV:
Legion
When Noah Hawley – creator and showrunner on Emmy-winning anthology series Fargo – announced back in 2016 that he’d be taking on a character from the X-Men universe, there was genuine excitement. Hawley’s direct influence on the Fargo TV series had allowed it to grow out of its Coen brother film inspiration, paving the way for some fantastic writing and performances in two seasons.

He settled with the character of David Haller aka Legion, whom he found quite interesting owing to the mental illness, and how that gave them room to explore a unique mindset. You see, Haller (Dan Stevens) was diagnosed as schizophrenic as a child. When we meet him in the first episode, he’s institutionalised, and is following a fixed routine.

All that changes with the arrival of a new patient, in ‘Syd’ Barrett (Rachel Keller), which leads to a visually inventive series premiere that goes beyond anything that’s come out of superheroes on TV. It’s mind-bending, and a trip, in the best sense of those words. And it could well become a series to beat.

How to access: FX
Time commitment: 1 hour, for eight weeks

Movies:
Loving
Starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga – the latter of those up for Best Actress at this month’s Oscars ceremony – as Richard and Mildred Loving, the film is a celebration of the real-life courage, love, commitment, and fight for the interracial couple who got married, but then had to spend nine years in the court, for the right to live as a family. The case, Loving v. Virginia, would go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Jeff Nichols – know for 2013’s Mud with Matthew McConaughey – wrote and directed Loving, and it’s his understanding and focus on human relationships that powers the movie’s success. Instead of putting the spotlight on the court case or the national attention it drew, Nichols stays on the couple at the heart of it.

The Lovings did win, and their story has become an inspiration for couples since. The Blu-ray contains a making-of featurette, and a profile of the real-life case that inspired the movie.

How to access: Amazon US, Amazon Video US, or iTunes US
Time commitment: 2 hour and 3 minutes

Cameraperson
Cameraperson, in a way, is a self-portrait. The documentary, directed by Kirsten Johnson, is a mix of footage shot by Johnson over her 25-year career as a documentary cinematographer – charting boxing in Brooklyn, New York, life is Bosnia after the war, or the day-to-day routine of a midwife in Nigeria.

“Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative,” the description reads on the Blu-ray.

Johnson creates a narrative through it, talking not just about her personal journey, but also delving into what it means to be a camera-person. And despite its subject nature, it’s somehow accessible to audiences unfamiliar with the particular world, or even her work.

How to access: Amazon US, Amazon Video US, iTunes US, or Google Play Movies
Time commitment: 1 hour and 42 mintes

Other mentions:
Into the Wild, the Sean Penn written-and-directed adventure drama about the life and travels of Christopher McCandless, based on Jon Krakauer's 1996 book of the same name, is now available on Prime Video.

Also on home media this week is Otto Bell’s documentary on a Kazakh tradition, called The Eagle Huntress. The film follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. Get it from Amazon on Blu-ray or digital, or straight from iTunes.

Video games:
Nioh
It’s been in development for a long time – Team Ninja’s Nioh started life as a traditional Japanese role-playing game in 2004, before changing course towards a hack and slash thing. The final release is again different, which seems to have taken inspiration and now resembles a hard-core action game such as Dark Souls.

In Nioh, the player is an Irish sailor named Willaim who ends up in an alternate history version of feudal Japan, the Sengoku era, and becomes a samurai. Yeah, it’s a bit weird. The period was marked by near constant military conflicts, and that displays itself in the game in an even more absurd fashion. Dark, malevolent forces are taking over the land, and it’s up to you to drive them away, relying on hand-to-hand combat, swords, axes, spears and even war hammers.

The captivating part of Nioh is the gameplay, and the depth its various combat mechanics bring to it. It’s like Dark Souls with some enrichment, and it will have you glued to the screen for dozens of hours.

How to access: PlayStation 4
Time commitment: 70 hours

Music:
Process by Sampha
On his debut full-length release, British singer-producer Sampha navigates a variety of genres – from a down-tempo ballad of love on Incomplete Kisses, to the electronic beats on Reverse Faults and Blood on Me. It’s a testament to his prowess as a musician that Sampha feels comfortable in almost everything.

The album itself is cathartic, focusing on the pains that people hide inside very well. Primary among those across the songs is the process of bereavement, and how we channel what comes with the death of those closest to us. Along the way, Sampha touches upon living with guilt, hiding from his fears, and tracing the love for music.

There’s something deeply haunting and emotional about his music, especially on the album highlight (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano, where Sampha uncovers disturbing memories, and grief in an eloquent fashion.

How to access: Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, or Google Play Music
Time commitment: 40 minutes

What are you planning to do this weekend at home? Tweet your suggestions to us @Gadgets360 with #WeekendChill or let us know via the comments.

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Akhil Arora Akhil Arora covers entertainment for Gadgets 360, interviewing stars such as Christian Bale and Anurag Kashyap, covering series premieres, product and service launches across the globe, and looking at American blockbusters and Indian dramas from a global socio-political and feminist perspective. As a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, Akhil has reviewed over 150 movies and TV shows in over half a decade at Gadgets 360. When he is not completely caught up with new film and TV releases, Akhil ...More
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