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Is this related in any way to the movie Us?
THEM Stars, EP Urge Horror Lovers to Watch Before Drawing 'Us' Comparisons

The comparisons being drawn between THEM, Amazon Prime’s upcoming terror anthology series and Us, Jordan Peele’s 2019 deadly doppelgangers flick, are inevitable...but Little Marvin, who created the streaming series and executive-produces it alongside Lena Waithe, hopes that true horror fans will hold off judgement until they actually watch THEM Season 1 (when it premieres Friday, April 9)

“I’m not on Twitter and I don’t really know about any of that. And I’m choosing not to know,” Little Marvin emphatically tells TVLine in response to Us and THEM comparisons. “Yes, it’s inevitable. But I also think it’s unfortunate only in the sense that there are so few of us doing this and that’s the reason why these comparisons are being made. There are 150,000 white stories that come out everyday that are almost interchangeable. And nobody ever says, ‘That’s like that'...

 

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"There are 150,000 white stories that come out everyday that are almost interchangeable. And nobody ever says, ‘That’s like that'...
I get the point he's trying to make, but in all fairness whenever a new big-budget fantasy series comes out now, it's invariably compared to GOT. And whenever a high-concept network show comes out, it's compared to Lost. And whenever a sci-fi/space opera comes out, it's compared to BSG. I only bring that up because I find it to be lame and lazy writing by critics, akin to the comparisons being made of Them to Us by writers who've only seen a handful of popular TV shows and movies with a predominantly Black cast.
 

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“Yes, it’s inevitable. But I also think it’s unfortunate only in the sense that there are so few of us doing this and that’s the reason why these comparisons are being made. There are 150,000 white stories that come out everyday that are almost interchangeable. And nobody ever says, ‘That’s like that'... "

Now that is just plain disingenuous. Everything is compared to everything all the time. Even where not explicitly stated. We all experience audio/visual entertainments, and each one then falls into our comparative reference mental libraries. Each new thing then is unavoidably set against that relief. THEM will be compared to so-called "white" entertainments as well, whether consciously or unconsciously.

But the real tell to inviting comparison is the title. As in US versus THEM, US and THEM. To me, this was clearly to cast the effort alongside the Peele film by the filmmakers themselves. Another factor being that if I like a particular something, and something else new comes along that is like that, chances are that I will like the new thing as well. So comparisons are perfectly in order and welcome.

That said, I look forward to THEM, whatever it has to offer. I expect to like it even -- looks good.
 

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Also I might add that when I saw the trailer to THEM, I immediately was reminded of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY -- not at all surprising. Just saw the latter, and really liked it. So here comes THEM -- good deal, anxious to see it.
 

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“I’m not on Twitter and I don’t really know about any of that. And I’m choosing not to know,” Little Marvin emphatically tells TVLine in response to Us and THEM comparisons. “Yes, it’s inevitable. But I also think it’s unfortunate only in the sense that there are so few of us doing this and that’s the reason why these comparisons are being made. There are 150,000 white stories that come out everyday that are almost interchangeable. And nobody ever says, ‘That’s like that'...
I only asked if they were related because of the whole Us and Them words. Nice of him to assume it's about race. :rolleyes:
 

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Naomi Watts to Lead Amazon’s Remake of Cult Hit ‘Goodnight Mommy’ (EXCLUSIVE)

By Matt Donnelly

Naomi Watts is set to star in and executive produce the English-language remake of the hit Austrian psychological thriller “Goodnight Mommy,” set up at Amazon Studios.

The streamer will mount the remake with indie prestige label Animal Kingdom and production company Playtime. Released in 2014, the original film became a cult classic and was selected as the Austrian entry for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.

Matt Sobel (“Take Me To The River”) is directing from a script by Kyle Warren. David Kaplan, Joshua Astrachan, Valery Guibal and Nicolas Brigaud-Robert are producing. In addition to Watts, the original film’s directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz will serve as executive producers.

Playtime acquired the remake rights and developed the new film with Playtime. Amazon is financing and releasing worldwide.

“Goodnight Mommy” follows twin brothers who, when sent to stay with their mother, are surprised to find her swathed in bandages from a recent procedure. As her behavior grows increasingly erratic and unusual, the twins become convinced she is an imposter. Their suspicion sets off a roller-coaster of emotional mind games and misunderstandings between mother and her children, that eventually explodes with irreparable and heartbreaking consequences.

“My favorite films are those that invite the audience to step inside their protagonist’s journey. In our re-imagining of Goodnight Mommy, fear of abandonment — and the dreadful realization that those close to us may not be who they seem — create an immersive nightmare, with visceral sensations front and center. I can’t wait to create this heart-stopping story with Amazon and the peerless Naomi Watts,” said Sobel.

Watts is a two-time Academy Award nominee, for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s “21 Grams” and, later, Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible.” She can currently be seen in the TIFF-selected family drama “Penguin Bloom,” the Netflix original based on the true story and best-selling book about a mom coping with the aftermath of a harrowing accident. She will next be seen in Phillip Noyce’s “Lakewood” and is currently filming the thriller “Infinite Storm” for Bleecker Street. She is a producer on both films.

Watts is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Sobel’s “Take Me To The River” premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. He is repped by WME, Cinetic Media and Sloane Offer Weber Dern. Franz and Fiala are repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman. Kyle Warren is repped by Writ Large.

Playtime is a Paris-based hybrid finance, sales and international production company active since 1997 and committed to giving a voice to talents from around the world. It has been a key enabler for movies by Céline Sciamma, Jacques Audiard, François Ozon, Robin Campillo, Naomi Kawase, László Nemes, Claire Denis, and many others. Recent successes include the Oscar-winning “Son of Saul,” Cannes winner “BPM,” and Berlin winner “By The Grace of God.”

Founded in 2012, Animal Kingdom has been responsible for some of the most distinctive and acclaimed American independent cinema of the past near-decade, including: “Short Term 12,” “It Follows,” “Paterson,” “It Comes at Night,” “Beach Rats,” and “The Dead Don’t Die.” The Brooklyn-based company’s mission is to elevate singular voices, challenge convention and to make vivid, beautiful and original work.

 

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Amazon Adapts ‘The Great British Bake Off’ In Spain As ‘Celebrity Bake Off España’
By Jake Kanter

Amazon Prime is getting into the baking game in Spain by adapting Love Productions’ hit television show The Great British Bake Off.

The streaming service has ordered 10-part original series Celebrity Bake Off España, in which 12 famous faces will compete each week to be crowned best celebrity amateur baker.

The Spanish version of the show is licensed from BBC Studios and will be produced by Boxfish TV. Boxfish previously adapted the regular version of Bake Off for Mediaset-owned Spanish broadcaster Telecinco in 2019. Edi Walter and Mariano Tomiozzo are executive producers.

The Great British Bake Off is a cultural phenomenon and we’re delighted to be bringing a new celebrity version exclusively to Prime Video in Spain,” Georgia Brown, head of European originals for Amazon Studios.

Bake Off has been licensed to 35 territories across the globe including Brazil, Kenya, Thailand, and France. The UK’s The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer is currently airing on Channel 4 featuring stars including Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy.

 

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‘Them’ Is an Unconvincing Examination of American Horror: TV Review

By Daniel D'Addario

The fissures racism has carved into American life, and American lives, are so surreally deep that to convey them, artists must use the tools of exaggeration that genre provides. This strategy has been deployed several times over in recent years: Notable entries on television include “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft Country,” a superhero serial and a horror saga that narrate the legacy of hate in 20th-century America.

In their wake arrives “Them,” a limited series for Amazon Prime Video created by Little Marvin and executive produced by Lena Waithe. In the first season of what Amazon is calling an anthology, Marvin shows us a Black family moving from North Carolina to Los Angeles as part of the great migration of the 1950s, punished upon arrival by a racism that they couldn’t have imagined. As played by Ashley Thomas and Deborah Ayorinde, parents Henry and Lucky Emory refuse to be victims, even as the world around them seems committed to dragging them to hell. (Their daughters, played by Shahadi Wright Joseph and Melody Hurd, face terrifying troubles of their own.) Haunted by memories of the past they sought to escape back East — a time when the family suffered a graphically depicted act of racist violence committed by a deranged character, wildly overplayed by Dale Dickey — the couple are bonded in old trauma and new struggle. At one point, Lucky hallucinates her younger daughter’s hair lit on fire by a hot comb, while Henry envisions an apparition of a blackface performer. The terror visited on the Emorys over the course of their first 10 days in their new home in Compton is both of the sort committed by humans and of the sort that can only be explained in supernatural terms.

This represents a problem for “Them,” one that comes to a head in the form of a character played by Alison Pill. The self-appointed head of the welcoming committee, Pill’s Betty Wendell becomes an avenging devil when she sees the race of her new neighbors. She fumes and fulminates over the presence of Black people in her community; at one point, in a rage, she tears the paper off the walls of her home. “If a dog bites, you put it down!” she shouts at a confidante, urging violent action against people she sees as little more than animals. Such prejudices are all too real, but “Them” can’t resist giving Betty a backstory that implies her fury originates from a kind of dissociation, one with sinister and vaguely incestuous undertones.

“Them” centers on racism in a manner whose reliance on overstatement winds up feeling surprisingly unimaginative. If we are to have a story about hatred in 1950s America, horror elements might be potent instruments in rendering the seeming powerlessness and frightening isolation of Black characters. (Indeed, the fact of Compton’s restrictiveness about allowing in Black families in the immediate postwar era is depicted, through scenes spent with a dissembling real estate agent, with a creepy tension that suits the material.)

To use the supernatural as an explanation for the hate said characters face, though, lets the show’s more realistic malign elements off the hook a bit. Treating Betty as a monster means not having to investigate the idea that prejudices like hers exist within humans too.

The series gets a great deal right: In visual style and in the performances of the actors playing the Emorys, it captures a recognizable 1950s of the mind. A striking early sequence sees the family in integrated settings, being assisted by white employees at an appliance store and a soda fountain. The point is made, elegantly, that the Emorys have left behind the explicit bigotry of the American South for a place where the horrors are more insidious. Thomas and Ayorinde never evince a sensibility that is too modern for what “Them” is trying to do. Their characters feel of their time, and the show’s focus on the specifics of their situation allows the viewer to see how certain facts of American life persist through the decades.

But as the actors are overtaken by the animus against their characters, those characters get lost; we learn much more about what Henry and Lucky Emory must overcome than about who they really are. They’re the victims in a horror story — and there’s nothing wrong with that but for the potential insights that it leaves unfulfilled. Portraying the worst sorts of American bigotry such that we might learn from them is an interesting goal; doing so at punishing length without a clear endgame or compelling ideas arrives in a place of trivialization. The Emorys suffer terribly because they are Black and, after they move, because they have the audacity to take up space in a white neighborhood. But their suffering, as it stretches over 10 episodes (with an episode-long break, late in the series, for an austere look at an earlier instance of anti-Blackness in American history) reaches a point of excess that serves this project’s impulses as a genre show more than as one with something to say.

“Them,” with performances as Grand Guignol ludicrous as Dickey’s and Pill’s, and as vexed by pain and punishment as Thomas’ and Ayorinde’s, leans too hard on scariness at the expense of what truths those scares are meant to show us. Though it doesn’t lose sight of racism exactly, the show’s mind seems more firmly placed on the ways in which it might make us jump than make us think or feel. It’s an unfortunate reversal of the way series that look like it use genre to investigate race: “Them,” in the end, takes the far less interesting path of using race to investigate genre.

“Them” premieres on Amazon Prime Video on April 9.

 

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Loudermilk Season 3 Finds Stateside Home on Amazon Prime

Distributor Sony Pictures Television has announced that Seasons 1 and 2 of the comedy (20 episodes in all) will land on Prime Video this Friday, March 12, while the U.S. premiere date for Season 3 (which Canada got dibs on back in December) will be determined soon...

Two (2) episodes in and I have laughed out loud more often than I have for most full seasons of other comedy series I regularly watch and enjoy. Glad Season 3 is eventually landing on Prime Video also. (y)
 
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Discovery Plus Ad-Free Tier Now Available Amazon Prime Video Channels

By Todd Spangler

Discovery Plus, the cable programmer’s fledgling nonfiction streaming service, is available on Amazon Prime Video Channels in the U.S. — although for now, Prime members are able to sign up only for the higher-priced version with no ads.

Discovery Plus launched Jan. 4 in the U.S. on most devices and services, including Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs. The initial launch on Prime Video Channels comes a week after Comcast added Discovery Plus as an option for Xfinity Flex broadband-only subs (with plans to bring it to X1 set-tops in the next few weeks).

The ad-free version of Discovery Plus is now available on Prime Video Channels for $6.99 per month and the ad-supported version ($4.99 per month) will be available “in the coming months.” Amazon’s Prime members can subscribe to Discovery Plus — and more than 100 other channels — through the Prime Video Channels service.

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Amazon Prime has released a trailer for 'Borat Supplemental Reportings Retrieved From Floor Of Stable Containing Editing Machine', a multi-part special featuring never-before-seen footage from 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm'...

Borat Supplemental Reportings- Official Trailer | Prime Video

 

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Sabrina Carpenter, RJ Cyler Star In ‘Emergency’ Comedy From Amazon Studios & Temple Hill
By Amanda N'Duka

EXCLUSIVE: Sabrina Carpenter, RJ Cyler, Donald Watkins, and Sebastian Chacon have been tapped to star in Emergency, a comedy thriller that hails from Amazon Studios and Temple Hill. Filming is currently underway with Carey Williams directing the film from the screenplay by KD Dávila, which landed on the 2020 Blacklist.

The pic is based on a short film of the same title. The short picked up the Special Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Awar at 2018’s SXSW Film Festival.

The plot centers on a group of BIPOC college students, ready for a night of partying, as they weigh the pros and cons of calling the authorities when faced with an unusual emergency.

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