Thursday, July 18, 2024

HBO Original Drama Series DUNE: PROPHECY Debuts This November.


Official Second Teaser Released

Photograph by Courtesy of HBO

Emily Watson as Valya Harkonnen

HBO has released the official second teaser for the original drama series DUNE: PROPHECY. Co-produced with Legendary Television, the six-episode season debuts this November on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.


  • Logline: From the expansive universe of Dune, created by acclaimed author Frank Herbert, and 10,000 years before the ascension of Paul Atreides, DUNE: PROPHECY follows two Harkonnen sisters as they combat forces that threaten the future of humankind, and establish the fabled sect that will become known as the Bene Gesserit. DUNE: PROPHECY is inspired by the novel SISTERHOOD OF DUNE, written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. 


  • Cast: Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, Travis Fimmel, Jodhi May, Mark Strong, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Josh Heuston, Chloe Lea, Jade Anouka, Faoileann Cunningham, Edward Davis, Aoife Hinds, Chris Mason, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Camilla Beeput, Jihae, Tabu, Charithra Chandran, Jessica Barden, Emma Canning, and Yerin Ha.


  • Credits: Alison Schapker serves as showrunner and executive producer. Diane Ademu-John co-developed the series and serves as executive producer. Anna Foerster executive produced and directed multiple episodes including the first. Jordan Goldberg, Mark Tobey, John Cameron, Matthew King, Scott Z. Burns, and Jon Spaihts executive produce with New York Times bestselling author Brian Herbert, along with Byron Merritt and Kim Herbert as executive producers for the Frank Herbert estate. New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson serves as co-producer. The series is co-produced by HBO and Legendary Television with Legendary also producing the film franchise that has released two installments to critical acclaim, the first of which garnered six Academy Awards®.

Max Launches 50% Discount For College Students


Max Launches 50% Discount For College Students

Max is now offering U.S. college students a chance to save on streaming all their favorite shows and movies. College students can now take advantage of a 50% discount off the Max With Ads monthly plan, reducing the cost from $9.99 to $4.99 per month.  
Max is partnering with UNiDAYS, a leading verification-enabled platform for students, to confirm students' active status. When verification is complete, users will receive a unique discount code to redeem on This offer will last for 12 months following sign-up, and students can re-verify their status to continue streaming after the 12-month period. See here for full details on the offer.  
“UNiDAYS is dedicated to enhancing the student experience, making it more enjoyable and rewarding, while easing the pressures students face. This collaboration with Max is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with a forward-thinking partner that truly understands the importance of the next generation. We're excited to partner with Max on this incredible opportunity to offer the best original content and most popular shows to over 19 million U.S. college and university students at a more affordable price through a gated student offering,” said Jon Hawley, CEO and Co-Founder of UNiDAYS.
Max is the one to watch for iconic series, hit movies, fresh originals, family favorites, breaking news, and live sports. From leading brands like HBO, Warner Bros., DC, HGTV and Food Network, students can enjoy shows they love like “Friends,” “South Park,” “Rick & Morty,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Gossip Girl,” as well as HBO Originals like “Euphoria,” “The Last of Us,” “Game of Thrones,” and more. In addition, eligible students will have access to Max’s exciting lineup this year, including season two of “House of the Dragon,” “Industry” (season 3 debuting August 11), “The Penguin,” starring Colin Farrell (debuting this September), and “The Sex Lives of College Girls” (season 3 debuting this November). Sports fans can stream NBA, NHL, MLB games, and more in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos via the B/R Sports Add-On, which is included for a limited time with Max subscriptions*.   
*Subject to change at any time.

About Max
Max® is an enhanced streaming platform from Warner Bros. Discovery, available in the US and countries in Latin America and Europe. With a personalized user experience that brings unique and unexpected stories ranging from the highest quality in scripted programming, the best of unscripted, and live sports and news (where available), Max is the destination for HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle, and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and more, all in one place. 
UNiDAYS is the world's leading, verification-enabled, platform for students, with 10 million members in the US. UNiDAYS partners with over 800 of the most loved and respected brands to provide students, graduates and young professionals the opportunity to save, learn and earn during some of the most formative years of their lives. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Kingdom Of The Planet of the Apes Digital Copy Review.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the fourth installment in the rebooted series that began in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes and subsequently followed the story of Caesar’s rise to the l leader of his ape tribe, the fall of humanity due to it’s own hubris in a failed attempt to cure Alzheimer’s disease, only for it to wipe out most of the human race and render the survivors to eventually regress into a feral shadow of themselves. Caesar was a just leader that tried to peacefully coexist with humanity and knows that the war that followed was not only because of the descent of certain humans, but apes in his own community. He died almost like a martyr and in the centuries that followed his death, a megalomaniacal ape known as Proximus Caesar has perverted Caesar’s legacy for his own gain, which threatens the fabric ape society itself and the genocide of any remaining humans if he gets into a vault containing weapons left by humans centuries before.

Kevin Durand provides the voice and motion capture of Proximus while Owen Teague portrays Noah, an ape that is the heir to hie clan that has been enslaved by Proximus. Freya Alan portrays Mae, a human survivor with the ability to speak and an agenda of her own.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes marks the beginning of a possible second trilogy with many possibilities left open for future stories. It is a bit long, but overall entertaining nevertheless as well as dark at points in what is implied, which has been the hallmark of all of the Apes films.

The digital copy on the Movies Anywhere platform gives the user the opportunity to view the film not only on the Movies Anywhere app, but also on their preferred provider of choice. I use iTunes. The digital copy is gorgeous with support for DolbyVision and Dolby ATMOS sound with English Subtitles for the Dead and Hearing Impaired encoded as well as Descriptive Audio and French and Spanish Language Dubbed options too.French and Spanish Language Subtitles are presented as options too.

Extra value features includes a behind-the scenes documentary (23 minutes) as well as 32 minutes of deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary by Director Wes Ball, which can also be viewed individually or in succession via a Play All feature. A physical media copy will be released on August 27th, 2024, but you can buy the digital copy of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes now at Movies Anywhere,

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera

All Rights Reserved.

Max’s Summer Movie Watch List


Max’s Summer Movie Watch List
Max is the one to watch this summer, and home to Warner Bros. Pictures films, classics and new favorites from A24, the Studio Ghibli library, and award-winning films spanning multiple genres. The platform is showcasing its vast film library with curated summer watch lists of blockbusters, horror, family friendly films, and more.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune: Part Two, the groundbreaking sequel to Dune, is now available to stream on the platform along with recent hits like Wonka and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which also has an American Sign Language (ASL) version of the film available to stream. Viewers can also find summer favorites like Mamma Mia!Meg 2: The TrenchA Night at the Roxbury, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Horror fans can look to Max for their summer scaries and favorite films from franchises including Saw,Scream, Friday the 13th and Paranormal Activity. Viewers can also enjoy recent fan favorites like MalignantEvil Dead Rise, and The Nun II, as well as classic genre hits including The Blob, Night of the Living Dead, Carrie, The Amityville Horror, Pet Sematary, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and Signs, and so much more.

Max gets movies. See a curated list of films available to stream below:

A Ghost Story (2017)
Dicks: The Musical (2023)
Dream Scenario (2023)
Midsommar (2019)
Priscilla (2023)
Problemista (2024)
Stop Making Sense (2023)
The Disaster Artist (2017)
The Farewell (2019)
The Florida Project (2017)
The Green Knight (2021)
The Iron Claw (2023)
The Witch (2016)
The Zone of Interest (2023)
Uncut Gems (2019)
Aquaman (2018)
Avatar (2009)
Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Barbie (2023)
Barbie (ASL version) (2023)
Barbie (Director’s commentary version) (2023)
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Dawn of The Planet of the Apes (2014)
Deadpool (2016)
Furious 7 (2015)
Joker (2019)
Jurassic World (2015)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Superman Returns (2006)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Batman (2022)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Twister (1996)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Beach Reads (Based on a Book)
Butterfield 8 (1960)
Carrie (1976)
Dune (2021)
Dune: Part Two (2023)
Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
Giant (1956)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Great Expectations (1946)
Lord of the Flies (1963)
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Of Mice and Men (1939)
Oliver Twist (1948)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Color Purple (2023)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Wizard of Oz (1939) 
Family Films 
Agent Cody Banks (2003)
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)
Babe (1995)
Craig Before the Creek (2024)
King Tweety (2022)
National Velvet (1944)
Peter & the Wolf (2023)
Scoob!  (2020)
Spy Kids (2001)
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
Spy Kids: All The Time in The World (2011)
The Smurfs (Movie) (1981)
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004)

Scary Summer!
Carrie (1976) 
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead Rise (2023)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
It Comes at Night (2017)
Malignant (2021)
Midsommar (2019)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
Pet Sematary (1989)
Pet Sematary Two (1992)
Saw (2004)
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Saw V (2008)
Saw VI (2009)
Signs (2002)
Scream (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 4 (2011)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Blob (1958)
The Nun II (2023)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Witch (2016) 
Studio Ghibli Collection
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Earwig and the Witch (2021)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
My Neighbor Totoro (1990)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (2000)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, 2016
Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru) (1993)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Pom Poko (1994)
Ponyo (2008)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Spirited Away (2002)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
The Cat Returns (2002)
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
The Wind Rises (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Summer Romance
A Star is Born (2018)
An Officer and A Gentleman (1982)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brooklyn (2015)
Casablanca (1942)
City Lights (1931)
Don Jon (2013)
Father of the Bride (2022)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Her (2014)
In the Mood for Love (2001)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Legally Blonde (2001)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Sex and the City (Movie) (2008)
Shakespeare in Love (1999)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Summertime (1955)
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
Trainwreck (2015)
Up In The Air (2009)
West Side Story (1961)

Monday, July 15, 2024

True Detective: Night Country Blu-ray Disc Set Review


The fourth season of the HBO/MAX original anthology series, True Detective is a mixed bag, but still the best season of the show since the acclaimed first season. The original first series is widely considered to be one of the best television mystery dramas ever and has even been described as being perfect. I have to admit that the first season was for me anyway, perfect. It just hit all the right points like a kind of alchemy that sadly for the seasons that have followed have not equalled and I have come to believe that perhaps one should not compare it to anything else to it since each season is it’s own crime mystery drama with little to no links to the first series. This now addressed on it’s own, True Detective: Night Country is the best season to broadcast and stream since the original to the point that the subtle attempts to link it to the first one actually brings True Detective: Night Country down, when it could have stood better if it were simply it’s own thing. Taking over for Nic Pizzolatto is Writer and Showrunner and Director Issa Lopez and considering the amount of work, responsibility and location shooting in Iceland, I think she did a good job though there are a few elements that don’t work at all and unfortunately due to the spoiler factor there is one I cannot address here at all. Aside from one poor attempt to link the fourth and first seasons that for those unfamiliar with the cultural significance resulted in unintentional laughter, the problem I can address is the fact since it tries to link itself to the first season while being a largely unrelated story is that the series fails to balance the allusions to possible supernatural elements in such a way that can also be explained away by rational explanations like the original show. The series really hooks the viewer into the mystery too and I really do think if it dropped the references, True Detective: Night Country would not draw as much comparison to the original and one could be a little more forgiving if it simply remained it’s own thing. 

The other area I found questionable was the depiction of people with mental illness. Without giving away too much, the series irresponsibly equates psychological and emotional problems to inevitable suicide, which is terrible for anyone who is afflicted or has a friend or family member that is living with mental illness because it presents stereotype that for decades, people, who do live with this problem, have long struggled to not be stigmatized by it.

All of the episodes are presented their 1080p full HD aspect ratio of the original television exhibition with a clear, but somewhat underwhelming English DTS-HD MA Soundtrack. I think they should have gone with Dolby True HD. English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired are included along with Subtitles in German, Netherlands, Ceske, Dansk, Suomi, and Norwegian among others that are encoded onto both Blu-ray Discs as options. All of the extra value features can be found on the MAX streaming platform and in fact there are a couple I think that did not make the transition, should have been included such as the podcast because it gives great insight into the culture of the indigenous people of Alaska along with great conversations with the on screen and behind the scenes talent associated with the series.

What you get are short featurettes like Meet The Detectives (2:56) with Jodi Foster and Kali Reis. A short EPK style interview with Showrunner, Writer and Director Issa Lopez (2:59), the two leads discussing their interpretations of inkblots (3:13), the indigenous themes explored (4:43), the setting (2:17) and and the six episode recaps that run between 45 seconds and 59 seconds respectively. The interactive menu is a standard still picture design. True Detective: Night Country is available now on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, but sold separately courtesy of Warner Brothers Discovery Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera

All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, July 11, 2024

Max Brings HBO Original, THE PENGUIN To San Diego, Turning The Gaslamp Quarter Into Gotham Takeover Includes Immersive Fan Experiences, A Cast Panel, Global Trailer Debut, Partnerships, And More.


Max will bring Gotham to life in San Diego to celebrate the highly anticipated upcoming HBO®Original series THE PENGUIN, starring Colin Farrell, debuting this September. Starting Thursday, July 25, THE PENGUIN will begin its takeover with an exclusive experience by recreating Gotham’s famed Iceberg Lounge, deploying a Gotham Ice truck in front of the San Diego Convention Center, and partnering with local businesses for bespoke giveaways. Additionally, Max will host a panel in Hall H featuring the cast and executive producers of THE PENGUIN, where the official trailer for the series will premiere.
“We are incredibly excited to tap into the rich and passionate fanbase in San Diego this year by introducing them to our new series, THE PENGUIN,” said Pia Barlow, Executive Vice President, Originals Marketing, HBO and Max. “With our in-world activations, fans will have the chance to engross themselves in the underground world of Oz Cobbs’s Gotham, picking up where we left off in Matt Reeves' 'The Batman,' as we look to generate excitement for the series premiering this September.”

Full details on THE PENGUIN takeover can be found below: 
  • On Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, Max, in partnership with Giant Spoon, will transform the Bloom Nightclub into Gotham’s famed Iceberg Lounge. Upon arrival at “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience, guests will enter the “Iceberg Descent,” created in partnership with BUCK and VT Pro Design, an immersive experience filled with special effects, haptic technology, interactivity and exclusive content displayed on Samsung big screen TVs. This multi-sensorial, subterranean descent drops users into Gotham’s notorious Iceberg Lounge lobby to navigate through the wreckage left by The Riddler at the end of The Batman (2022) film to reach the party deeper within.
  • Fans will party with Oz’s crew by venturing through the dark corners of the club for a chance to be inducted into the Penguin’s inner circle… if they dare. This multi-room experience offers complimentary drinks, live DJ sets, exclusive giveaways including a Jefferson’s Bourbon tasting, and photo opportunities including Oz’s iconic purple Maserati — giving partygoers an unprecedented glimpse into Gotham’s criminal underworld. By exploring the main club, guests can discover a password that will give them access to the inner sanctum, 44 Below, the club within the club, diving deeper into the world of THE PENGUIN.
  • Max is providing 21+ adult fans with three ways to get a chance to receive an invitation to “The Iceberg Lounge” from today through Saturday, July 27:
  1. Fans can now register on for an exclusive invitation to Gotham’s hottest nightclub, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. From Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, Max, in collaboration with Map 360 Collective, is partnering with select local establishments to offer specialty cocktails, bespoke swag and a chance to attend “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience through a limited number of scratch-off tickets. Below are the partners and their locations: 
  • Gaslamp Pizza | 505 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday10:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
    Friday – Saturday10:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.

  • The Butcher’s Cut 644 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Friday – Saturday4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

  • Osteria Panevino 722 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Friday – Saturday4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

  • Prohibition 1920 548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Monday – Sunday8:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
  1. From Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, the Gotham Ice Truck located in Downtown San Diego (exact location to follow) will offer free Slush Puppies to beat the heat. The cups will feature a QR code, providing a chance to receive an invitation to “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience, revealing the truck’s true inspiration in the spirit of Oz Cobb’s dealings himself: guiding patrons to The Penguin’s exclusive nightclub.
  • On Saturday, July 27, Max will host “The Penguin Panel” at the San Diego Convention Center in Hall H from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.Panelists will include Colin Farrell (Oz Cobb aka “The Penguin” and executive producer – virtually), Cristin Milioti (Sofia Falcone), Rhenzy Feliz (Victor Aguilar), Matt Reeves (executive producer), Lauren LeFranc (showrunner and executive producer), and Dylan Clark (executive producer). The highly anticipated official trailer for the series will be released during the panel, which will be moderated by Josh Horowitz, host of MTV and the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast.
  • From Sunday, July 21 through Saturday, July 27, THE PENGUIN will take over the @TheBatman social accounts. The “7 Days in Gotham” content series will chronicle Oz’s journey towards becoming Gotham's next kingpin and his impending takeover of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Launching Thursday, July 25, Max and Snapchat are partnering to introduce a revolutionary augmented reality (AR) lens throughout San Diego. This exclusive AR lens transports Snapchat users into the dark, atmospheric underworld of Gotham City.
“The Iceberg Lounge” Experience Location:
Bloom Nightclub (Iceberg Lounge) 21+ only
919 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

“The Iceberg Lounge” Experience Hours:
Friday, July 26: (Press Preview): 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, July 26: General Admission 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, July 27: General Admission 7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Gotham Ice Truck
Location: Downtown San Diego (location to follow)

Gotham Ice Truck Operating Hours:
Thursday, July 259:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 269:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 279:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

For more information about THE PENGUIN and to stay up to date, follow on social at @TheBatman @DC @StreamOnMax.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

WETA Workshop’s Sauron Miniature Statue Review.


Click On The Photo Above To View The Review.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.