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Disney dropped a sneak peak of Frozen II at its annual D23 convention in Anaheim on Aug. 24. The scenes involved Elsa being drawn out of her castle by a mystery from her past.
The creators of the film promised that the film will answer questions like, why does Elsa have powers? Where were Anna and Elsa’s parents going when their ship went down? And does “happily ever after” even exist? The movie will hit theaters Nov. 22.
Frozen was a phenomenon when it debuted back in 2013, becoming the highest-grossing animated film ever. Since then, the popular movie about a princess with powers to turn the world cold and her brave-hearted sister have spawned an a Broadway show, a short film, a theme park ride and thousands of imitations and parodies. Now, it’s finally getting a sequel.
Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez will return as the songwriters for the film. Kristen Bell (who plays Anna), Idina Menzel (who plays Elsa), Josh Gad (Olaf) and Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) took the stage at D23 to sing one of their new original songs.
Here’s everything we learned about the movie at D23:
The film will begin in the past
Disney has a tendency to kill off parents. But Anna and Elsa’s parents are coming back in the sequel — for a scene. The movie will begin with a prologue set in the past. The flashback will feature the princesses’ mother, voiced by Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood. In a scene shown at D23, the mother sings to her two young daughters to help them fall asleep. Anna later sings that song to Elsa to comfort her.
That song seems to trigger some memory in Elsa. She keep hearing singing that nobody else can hear. In the footage, Elsa sings a song about trying to ignore her secret siren. But inevitably she is drawn into the unknown to solve the mystery about her past that is beckoning to her. She sings that while she’s surrounding by everyone she loves, there’s a part of her that knows she’s not where she’s meant to be.
We’ll find out how Elsa got her powers
Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (who is also the head of Disney animation) said that the biggest inspiration for the film was the question they heard most from fans: How did Elsa get her powers?
They will go on a quest
Ultimately, Elsa isn’t happy with tranquility. She wants to explore the unknown. This sends the sisters on some sort of journey that likely involves the story of how Anna got her powers and what her parents’ plan was when they ventured away from their kingdom. This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown is also joining the cast as a lieutenant who helps Anna and Elsa in their mission to find answers about their parents.
Kristoff will propose to Anna
At the beginning of the movie, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf play charades together with clues like villain and Elsa. During the game, Elsa hears a sound from afar and suddenly leaves.
With the the room clear Kristoff gets down on one knee and tries to propose to Anna, but Anna doesn’t notice as she tries to go check on Elsa. It’s sure to be a plot point throughout the film.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 24 Aug 2019 | 3:49 pm
New footage of the final entry in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker, at Disney’s annual D23 Conference suggests that Star Wars fans could be in store for an unexpected twist. The new scenes, which director J.J. Abrams introduced, included a shot of Jedi-in-training Rey wearing a dark cloak, hood up, wielding a red double-sided lightsaber like the one villain Darth Maul used in the prequels.
The footage, which appeared at the very end of the trailer, strongly suggests that Rey could either briefly or permanently turn to the Dark Side. However, the footage also showed Rey with her traditional blue lightsaber that she inherited from Luke Skywalker fighting Kylo Ren.
Ren has previously aligned himself with the First Order and general evil-ness and carries his usual red lightsaber in the poster. But lightsaber colors can be deceiving, and it’s possible that the two have flipped sides in the fight for the fate of the galaxy.
Disney also released a poster for the film which shows Emperor Palpatine, who will return in Episode IX, looming over Rey and Kylo. Maybe he will try to influence Rey.
The last time we saw both characters in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kylo was trying to tempt Rey to reject both the Dark Side and the Light and rule with him. Rey quickly rejected the offer, but either could waver in their loyalties. It’s also unclear whether Rey will still find out exactly who her parents are, and whether that revelation might affect her choices about how to use her powers.
All eight Star Wars movies in the main Skywalker saga have focused on the balance between the Dark Side and the Light. And LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said that Episode IX will conclude that particular story. In the last film, Luke Skywalker, a ghost version of Yoda and Kylo all argued for some version of rejecting the old ways in favor of some new order.
Those three have conflicting visions of the future, but all their assertions seem to suggest that this story can only end when the conflicting forces either find balance or a totally new worldview is established. Rey “switching sides” or rejecting sides altogether could be a part of that journey.
J.J. Abrams, one of the creators of Lost, is well known for his twisty plots. Could Rey carrying the red, two-sided lightsaber be a red herring? We won’t find out until the movie hits theaters Sept. 20.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 24 Aug 2019 | 3:09 pm
LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy has repeatedly emphasized that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the ninth and final assignment in the Skywalker family saga. Presumably, that means Episode IX will be the final outing for not just for those who bear the surname like Luke, Leia and Kylo but also other characters who are (allegedly) not related to the Skywalker clan: Rey, Finn and Poe.
Footage shown at D23 of the new movie showed Rey and Kylo fighting each other on a crashing ship and, later, Rey in a black cloak with a red, double lightsaber that looks a lot like the one that Darth Maul used in the prequels. That could be a signal that Rey moves to the Dark Side — or a fakeout.
What, exactly, comes next for the Star Wars universe? Disney won’t stop making movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: After all, the studio paid $4 billion for the rights to George Lucas’ brainchild. But the studio’s previous plan to continue to churn out prequels and spinoffs (like Rogue One and Solo) has been put on hold after Solo delivered disappointing returns at the box office. (It made $392.8 million globally but that proved an unsatisfactory profit for a movie that, after a director shakeup and reshoots, reportedly cost almost $300 million to film.) So, sorry, Boba Fett fans, but an origin story for that particular bounty hunter looks to be scuttled.
Based on Disney’s release schedule, it looks like audiences will get a break from the Star Wars universe for a few years — at least on the big screen. The studio has offered Last Jedi director Rian Johnson the opportunity to make a trilogy of new movies based on the Star Wars universe but populated by entirely new characters and creatures. They’ve also handed over another non-Skywalker trilogy to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones.
Meanwhile, the Star Wars universe will live continue on the small screen: Disney has announced at least two Star Wars TV series, one centered on a Mandalorian who hails from the same planet as Boba Fett, and another centered on Rogue One character Cassian Andor. And the animated series Clone Wars will finally get a conclusion on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+.
Here are all the Star Wars TV shows and movies in the works.
Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on a new trilogy
LucasFilm announced that Rian Johnson would work on three new Star Wars films before Last Jedi was even released. The studio has remained mum on the plot for the series or when it might hit theaters. And a racist, misogynist, troll-fueled Last Jedi backlash called into question whether Johnson’s new films would move forward. But in August of last year, the director confirmed that, yes, the movies are still in the works.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 29, 2018
A Star Wars trilogy from the creators of Game of Thrones (TBA)
Hot off a controversial Game of Thrones finale, creators Benioff and Weiss are headed to another fantastical world. The two will create yet another Star Wars trilogy that has nothing to do with either the Skywalker family or whatever characters that Johnson is dreaming up. Thus far, Star Wars has largely mined audience’s nostalgia for success. The creators are not always successful (see: Solo), but what’s even riskier is placing bets on a whole new set of characters utterly unconnected to the battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Johnson, Benioff and Weiss will all test the limits of Star Wars fans’ excitement for new stories.
The Mandalorian (Nov. 12, 2019)
Jon Favreau has become something of a Disney staple: After he directed 2008’s Iron Man, launching the massive Marvel franchise that Disney would go on to buy, Favreau has helmed The Jungle Book and The Lion King for the studio. Now, he’ll try his hand at TV. Favreau is creating and writing the first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian. It will star Pedro Pascal, the actor who won over the hearts of Game of Thrones fans as Oberyn Martell.
Pascal plays a lone gunfighter who hails from Mandalor, Boba Fett’s home planet (and they wear similar armor). He is operating at the far reaches of the galaxy sometime between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. The full cast includes Werner Herzog, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Taika Waititi, Gina Carano and Nick Nolte.
A Rogue One prequel will premiere on Disney+ (TBA)
Diego Luna will reprise his Rogue One role as Cassian Andor for this new spinoff series about his character. Spoiler alert: Cassian and his Rebel compatriots all died at the end of Rogue One. So we know where this series is headed. But before Cassian bravely met his fate, he was a spy, and the new show will be an “espionage thriller” that follows Cassian on missions to destabilize the empire. Alan Tudyk will also return as K-2SO.
A Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show
Ewan McGregor took the stage at Disney’s D23 conference to announce that he will reprise his role as the Jedi in a spinoff TV series that will premiere on Disney+. Kennedy and McGregor said that the scripts are complete, and while there isn’t a premiere date set for the show yet, it will begin to film in 2020.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith (Episodes II and III), ran from 2008 to 2014 but was cancelled before it got a proper ending. Disney has revived the series for its streaming service, Disney+ and Creator Dave Filoni is making 12 new episodes to wrap up the story. Lucas has maintained for years that the animated series is, indeed, canon.
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Disney debuted the first trailer for its highly anticipated Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian, during the D23 convention on Friday. The show will focus on a bounty hunter, played by Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal, operating at the outer edges of the galaxy between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The series will be available as soon as Disney’s forthcoming streaming service launches on Nov. 12.
The trailer teased shots of Pascal taking on Storm Troopers and a hint of someone frozen in carbonite, a la Han Solo. The series was created by Jon Favreau (who helmed Iron Man and Lion King) and boasts a famous cast that includes Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Nick Nolte, Taika Waititi, Gina Carano and Werner Herzog.
Favreau compared the show to old Samurai movies or Westerns. “I pitched Kathleen Kennedy on a show that takes place after the Empire has fallen, and everybody is celebrating,” he said on the D23 stage. “Except there’s no central government, so everything falls into chaos.”
Here are the major takeaways followed by a thorough analysis of the Mandalorian trailer:
The Mandalorian is a bounty hunter
We don’t know much about Pascal’s character except that he is a bounty hunter that hails from Mandalor (the same planet as fan-favorite character Boba Fett, hence why their armor is similar). Much is made of that armor in the trailer: We never see Pascal’s face, but we do see him putting on armor we’ve come to associate with an amoral — if not outright villainous — character in Boba Fett.
Likely, the character will be an antihero or else a more morally ambiguous protagonist (somewhat like Han Solo, or at least the version of Han Solo who shot first).
It will be eight episodes and premiere on Nov. 12
Disney is hoping to attract the huge swath of Star Wars diehards to its streaming service with The Mandalorian. The show will premiere Nov. 12, the very first day that the streaming service launches.
LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy said at D23 that all the Star Wars TV series — including The Mandalorian, a series based on Rogue One hero Cassian Andor and a newly-announced Obi-Wan Kenobi show — will be just as high-quality as the Star Wars films, in terms of effects, scripts and cast and crew. The Mandalorian boasts many high profile directors, including Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa and Deborah Chow.
It’s a new story, but with possible callbacks to the original films
Favreau emphasized during D23 that the show takes place during a time we have not seen on the big screen and focuses on characters we have not seen in the films. So don’t expect any Luke Skywalker cameos. As such, the show can be a gateway drug for newbies who don’t know much about Star Wars but can get caught up in the Wild-West version of its world.
But the geekiest of Star Wars fans shouldn’t fret: The trailer is full of easter eggs and callbacks to the Star Wars films. The trailer opens with a bunch of Storm Trooper helmets in a pile to indicate that the Empire has fallen. It also flashes to someone frozen in Carbonite, just like Han Solo was at the end of Empire Strikes Back.
We broke down every second of The Mandalorian trailer
Here’s what we gleaned from a close look at the Mandalorian trailer, moment by moment:
0:02 The Empire has definitely fallen. This show is set after Empire when Luke, Leia and Han defeat the Emperor and overthrow his government. These Stormtroopers either died or abandoned their armor on a sandy planet.
0:07 Yep. Those Stormtroopers are definitely dead. These are probably meant as a warning sign to Empire loyalists who try to enter this city’s walls. We see what we can assume is the titular Mandalorian walk by the spiked heads, seemingly indifferent. Again, he’s probably someone who is neither good nor evil and doesn’t care about the force.
0:17 We get a first look at the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razorcrest, flying over a bountiful planet.
0:21 The Mandalorian seems to operate across the galaxy. We can expect plenty of ship action and fights in the air. Here, he docks in a town that looks like it got caught in the crossfire between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. That structure directly in front of the Mandalorian looks to be in ruins.
0:27 Here is Carl Weathers as Greef Carga, a man we know works with the Mandalorian. He’s probably either offering him a job or paying him for one. They exchange something.
0:33 This seems like the type of TV series that fans are going to want to watch on their TVs rather than their laptops or phones: LucasFilm seems to have spent as much on effects to create gorgeous shots like these as they usually do on their films.
0:38 The Mandalorian puts on his armor. The armor is heavily emphasized in the footage and we never see the character’s full face. The message: He has no identity outside the armor.
0:39 Gina Carano plays Cara Dune. We know that she fought with the Rebel Alliance to restore the Republic.
0:40 This is a humanoid creature called an Ugnaught. They’re native to the planet Gentes, so it’s possible that’s where the Mandalorian is in this scene.
0:41 This woman is a Twi’lek. (Bib Fortuna was the first Twi’lek to appear in the Star Wars films as one of Jabba the Hutt’s steward.)
0:45 A scared woman holds a child while presumably in hiding. This scene is somewhat reminiscent of the beginning of Rogue One when a young Jyn Erso goes into hiding on a similar looking planet.
0:46 A shot of Death Troopers, an elite group within the Stormtroopers known for their stealth. Apparently even though the Empire has fallen, they survive.
0:49 Giancarlo Esposito confirmed during D23 that he plays someone who serves the Empire, which is currently in shambles after the fall of Palpatine. It’s unclear whether he answers to a new emperor or whether he has gone rogue with his own cohort of Stormtroopers in the absence of a real government.
0:57 The Mandalorian on a swooper bike. This is the closest we get to seeing the Mandalorian’s actual face.
1:00 There are lots of shots of fighting and chaos that we’re not including because the upshot is: Luke’s victory hasn’t exactly ushered in an age of peace in the galaxy. Ships are shooting other ships. Bad guys are attacking good guys. Children are crying. Here, the Mandalorian seems to have teamed up with a droid, likely the one voiced by Taika Waititi, IG-11.
1:07 IG-11 is great at fighting! This shoot-out looks to be taking place on the wartorn planet where the Mandalorian landed his ship earlier in the trailer.
1:06 The Mandalorian is outnumbered against four Stromtroopers but doesn’t seem worried about it.
1:15 It’s difficult to tell from this screenshot, but the Mandalorian uses a grappling hook to trip this guy he’s fighting. Here, he has just shot the buttons next to this door such that the door shuts on this person and cuts him in half. It’s a move that elicited a visceral “oof” from the crowd at D23 and felt like a very Star Wars action moment. Werner Herzog’s character intones at this point: “Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.” No kidding.
1:18 Han Solo isn’t the only man or creature who has ever been frozen in Carbonite. Here we see an alien suffering a similar fate.
1:19 Werner Herzog’s character continues his monologue from before: “Don’t you agree?” We don’t yet know the character that Herzog is playing, but it’s Werner freakin’ Herzog, so it’ll probably be great.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 10:25 pm
Obi-Wan Kenobi is back. LucasFilm announced at Disney’s D23 conference on Aug. 23 that Ewan McGregor will return to his role as the legendary character for a show set to premiere on Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+.
The show will join two other Star Wars series already in the works: The Mandalorian, which will premiere on the service Nov. 12, and a show based on the Rogue One character Cassian Andor, which will drop next year. At the conference, LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy said that the shows that premiere on the streaming service will be of the same high quality as the Star Wars movies, and a trailer for The Mandalorian seemed to confirm that.
After teasing those new shows on the D23 stage, Kennedy surprised fans by bringing McGregor out in person. “Kathleen, ask me if I’m going to play Obi-Wan again,” he asked her. She complied and he simply smiled and said, “Yes.”
McGregor, who played a younger version of Luke’s mentor in Episodes I, II and III said that he had spent years dodging questions from friends (and reporters) about whether he would return to the role.
It’s welcome news for Star Wars fans who were growing unsure about the future of the franchise after the stories of Rey, Kylo, Luke and Leia wrap up this year. Solo: A Star Wars Story performed below expectations, and sequels were put on hold. A long-rumored Boba Fett movie never came to fruition. And as of now, the big screen future of Star Wars is uncertain.
But Star Wars will try to draw fans into their new television fare by returning to a fan favorite character. Kennedy did not provide a premiere date for the movie, but she said that LucasFilm plans to begin filming next year.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 8:59 pm
During Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced that Marvel would launch a new slate of live-action TV shows on Disney’s forthcoming streaming service Disney+: Loki, WandaVision, Hawkeye and the animated show What If…? will all premiere in the next several years. But on Aug. 23, Feige surprised fans at D23, Disney’s annual conference, with three more Marvel shows: She Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight.
Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She Hulk, is a lawyer by day, green superhero by night. The popular Hulk spinoff has long been a fan-favorite comic. In the comics, Walters is a cousin of Bruce Banner and receives her powers after getting in an accident that requires an emergency blood transfusion from Banner. No word yet on whether Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk will show up in the series.
Ms. Marvel, Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, will star in her own television series before she joins the Marvel superheroes on the big screen. Kamala Khan was introduced to the comic books recently: She’s a teenager living in New Jersey who can stretch and contort her body. She’s also a huge fan of Captain Marvel and will likely vie for a spot as her sidekick in future Captain Marvel films.
Moon Knight centers on Mark Spector, a mercenary left for dead in Egyptian desert. During that time he may have gained the powers of the Egyptian moon god Khonshu — or he may be delusional. Feige described the high-concept show as a break from the traditional MCU formula.
Disney didn’t set dates for the TV shows, but said that Ms. Marvel will premiere first, followed by Moon Knight, followed by She Hulk.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 8:14 pm
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Lover, Taylor Swift’s seventh album, has arrived — as of midnight Aug. 23.
Featuring 18 tracks — Swift’s longest album to date — with singles “Me!”, “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover,” it’s a pop tour de force that, as she has shared in promotional interviews, is her most romantic work yet — and potentially her personal favorite. “There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning,” she told Vogue in a September cover profile. “This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.” Working with a heavy-hitter lineup of songwriters and producers, including Jack Antonoff and Joel Little, with assists from the likes of Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent), Cautious Clay and Frank Dukes, Swift even features the Dixie Chicks.
Swift has long had a playful relationship with fan theories about her work and the messages she hides; she openly admits to lurking on Tumblr and has been known to engage with fans and their ideas online. For that reason, Swift scholars analyze every song and every lyric in an effort to open the window into Swift’s world just a little wider for the rest of us. As an artist, she’s sure to take liberties as she crafts her narratives and tells the stories she sees fit to share; fans and critics should be wary about drawing conclusions about her personal intentions. But the universe she has built over a decade-plus career is rich with its own legends. That’s why she’s consistently one of our most potent pop stars, after all.
With that in mind, here’s our breakdown of every Lover song, from the early singles “Me!,” “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover” to the rest of the highly-anticipated project.
1. “I Forgot You Existed”
Bright, light and bubbly, “I Forgot You Existed” sounds like Swift’s final rejoinder to the darkness of the Reputation era. “I Forgot That You Existed” is an album opener with a purpose: to show she’s moved on, which she says in no uncertain terms. “I forgot that you existed and I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t / And it was so nice, so peaceful and quiet… It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference,” she shrugs, sing-talking her way through the tune, even throwing in a laugh.
2. “Cruel Summer”
Driving and synth-forward with co-production from Jack Antonoff and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, “Cruel Summer” paints the picture of an emotional rollercoaster of a summer — new love and its uncertainties mashed up against the challenges facing pop stars in the public spotlight. “And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar, said, ‘I’m fine,’ but it wasn’t true / I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you,” she recalls, showing some of the rawness of her feelings in a way that calls to mind the vulnerability of Reputation‘s “Delicate.”
As the album’s title track, “Lover” shows off Swift at the intersection of sing-song acoustic pop and folksy storytelling. In turns intimate and chipper — and topped off with a faux wedding vow as the bridge — Swift harkens back to the sweetness of “New Year’s Day,” amped up with newfound bliss and confidence. “Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover” is as good a moment of self-aware joy as anything a pop artist in the public eye could say. Still, she revels in the security of her relationship with a “magnetic force of a man.” (Swift fans have suggested that it’s an ode to Joe Alwyn, her boyfriend.)
4. “The Man”
Here’s an anthem for anyone who’s felt blocked by sexist double standards. Swift knows a thing or two about being treated differently in the music industry. As a woman in the public eye, she’s repeatedly stood up for herself against mistreatment by men, whether in the courtroom or through her music. In “The Man,” written with her frequent collaborator Joel Little, Swift reimagines that history in the form of a bombastic, empowering bop. “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man,” she complains. “Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man.”
5. “The Archer”
Released as a promotional single, “The Archer” shows a more introspective side of Swift over a skittering synth line. Coproduced with Jack Antonoff, it has some of the more 80s sensibility that their previous work together (like “Getaway Car” and “Dress”) has also showed off. “I cut off my nose just to spite my face,” she sighs intimately. “I hate my reflection for years and years.” And while her lyrics are all fairly oblique, fans of Swift will surmise that when she says “I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey” she’s talking about how she has been cast in different lights at various times over her years in the pop culture discourse.
6. “I Think He Knows”
Over a snapping rhythm, Swift gets playful on “I Think He Knows.” “He got that boyish look that I like in a man,” she talk-sings with rapid precision: “He’s so obsessed with me, and boy, I understand.” There’s a refreshing self-awareness and sense of humor to this first-crush love song, which is laced with references to Nashville and descriptions of infatuation. But more than anything, Swift gets to play with her attitude, dropping in signature vocal quirks over the toe-tapping beat, backgrounded by a chorus of dramatic sighs.
7. “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince”
Since breaking out in her teens as a rising country star, Swift has been consistently associated with the hallmarks of the American high school experience: homecomings and football teams, proms and cliques. But in “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince,” she seems very ready to graduate from that scene. It’s one of her most layered songs on the album, and recalls the echoing, unhurried melodies of Halsey and Lana Del Rey as she mixes a love song with a subtle social critique: “American stories burning before me, I’m feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed, boys will be boys then, where are the wise men? / Darling, I’m scared.” It sounds like teen angst, sure, but maybe also something bigger.
8. “Paper Rings”
Then she kicks things up on “Paper Rings,” which is a toe-tapper from the get-go, filled with tambourine jingles and old-school background shouts. With the “uh-huhs” and the “that’s right’s” and the turned-up finishes to her line delivery, this is Swift’s let-down-your-hair song on Lover — a happy-go-lucky bit of rollicking fun. “Darling, you’re the one that I want,” she insists (which feels of a part with Grease and that famous Sandy-Danny duet), “and I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this.” “This,” of course, is happily paired up — a state she seems to relish.
9. “Cornelia Street”
Swift cut her teeth on storytelling, and that background shines on “Cornelia Street,” which alludes to a Manhattan neighborhood and the beginning of a love story. Her refrain — “I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends / I’d never walk Cornelia Street again” — packs a punch of relatability; some places just become too drenched in difficult memories to handle our traffic after heartbreak. “Cornelia Street” isn’t a ballad, but it is filled with bittersweetness over a lush synth base.
10. “Death by a Thousand Cuts”
“Death By a Thousand Cuts” is ostensibly a sad song, but it’s one of her prettier and more fast-paced Lover songs anyway, a sweet melody interspersed with a tinkling piano section that adds gravity to her melancholy lyrics. “You said it was a great love, one for the ages / But if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?” she wonders at one point — and then documents the ways she tries to get over heartbreak (“I get drunk, but it’s not enough,” “Tryna find a part of me that you didn’t touch”) with resigned resilience.
11. “London Boy”
By the time “London Boy” rolls around, though, Swift is back to having fun. “They say home is where the heart is, but God, I love the English,” she insists as she name-checks spots around London and British traditions that she’s discovered for herself. It’s a happy-go-lucky bop with a minimal, looping melody that puts the focus on her lyrics as she calls out her “American smile” and the way she “fancies” someone new. It also features writing credits from Cautious Clay and Sounwave, collaborators that don’t pop up elsewhere on Lover — which might explain its distinctive flavor.
11. “Soon You’ll Get Better” feat. Dixie Chicks
A sweet country lullaby, “Soon You’ll Get Better” sees Swift teaming up with her longtime idols the Dixie Chicks for an acoustic ballad about illness and hoping for health. “In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared,” she recalls. “You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal.” But ultimately the song is a kind of prayer: “Soon you’ll get better,” the phrase she keeps repeating, functions more as a plea than a proclamation, an uncertainty that the song’s delicacy echoes.
13. “False God”
“False God” sees Swift dabbling in more sultry territory, opening up with a subtle saxophone riff and then moving into a slow-burning R&B jam. “We’d still worship this love,” she repeats, getting breathier on every take even as she bemoans relationship challenges (“Hell is when I fight with you”). No need to worry, though: “You still do it for me, babe,” she says. This is Swift the true romantic, claiming that “heaven’s a thing” because “I go there when you touch me, honey.” It’s a shift from the tone — and sound — of much of Lover, but sees her slinking into what is perhaps her most sensual take yet.
14. “You Need to Calm Down”
Bright, bubbly and unabashedly vying for earworm status, “You Need to Calm Down” comes out swinging. It’s a colorful clapback (“Don’t step on our gowns!”) that works as a warning to homophobes, trolls and bullies, according to Swift. (“But snakes and stones never broke my bones” is as close a callback to Reputation‘s darkest moments as we get in this album.) With a juicy, unhurried synth beat, it sees Swift sing-talking her way through a series of quotable lyrics. (“You need to take several seats” / “Shade never made anybody less gay”… and the list goes on.) With its cascading chorus echoes and simple construction, it’s Swift at her most pop-forward on Lover.
Swift returns to her songwriting team from “I Forgot You Existed” (Louis Bell and Frank Dukes) for “Afterglow,” which is a pretty straightforward apology power anthem, grounded by a slow bass and propelled by Swift’s unabashed contrition. “Hey, it’s all me, in my head, I’m the one who burned us down,” she explains, “but it’s not what I meant.” Luckily, she has a solution: “Meet me in the afterglow.”
16. “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie
“ME!” leans into a marching band drumline as its backbone, but the star is Swift’s celebratory confidence. Sugar-sweet and destined for school sing-a-longs (“Hey kids, spelling is fun!” must be a hit with the teachers), Swift veers away from her normally specific songwriting to instead offer up an anthem of self-love. “I’m the only one of me, baby that’s the fun of me” is about as universal as it gets. While it doesn’t hit the emotional notes of her most memorable work, it makes a strong statement.
17. “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”
With a children’s choir and a plinking piano to begin with, “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” feels like an about-face for Swift. It’s a story — of a childhood pair who end up as bride and groom — and there’s an unadorned innocence both to the ballad structure (with trumpets in the bridge, no less — a Beatles-y moment that perhaps takes a cue from her idol Paul McCartney) and the content. “School bell rings, walk me home” turns into “church bells ring, carry me home” by the end of the song, condensing the arc of a relationship into just a few minutes of careful songcraft.
With a slow build to a smooth, rich pop melody, “Daylight” echoes the dawn of a new consciousness for Swift. “I don’t want to look at anything else now that I saw you,” she sings, content: “I’ve been sleeping so long in a 20-year dark night, and now I see daylight.” Throughout Lover — and her other albums — color plays an important role in Swift’s lyrics; there are mentions of blue eyes, pink skies, neon walls, and here, golden daylight. She ends with a spoken outro: “I just think that… you are what you love.” It comes across as a benediction.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 7:39 pm
The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be losing Spider-Man, but they are gaining the (former) King of the North. Fresh off the final season of Game of Thrones, Jon Snow actor Kit Harington is set to star in The Eternals, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced at Disney’s D23 Conference.
Marvel is entering “Phase Four” of its cinematic universe, after Avengers: Endgame wrapped up the storylines of some of the franchise’s most recognizable heroes. New superheroes will have to replace the likes of Iron Man and Captain America as the leaders of Marvel’s super-team. Plus, Marvel is reportedly losing the rights to use Spider-Man in future films, which means the studio will be even more eager for recognizable faces to usher fans into their new era of films. Harington fits the bill.
The star-studded Eternals features Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry and Harington’s fellow Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden as an immortal race called the Eternals. (Madden played one of Jon Snow’s doomed brothers, Robb Stark.) Harington will play a non-Eternal character according to Feige, which means he could be the film’s villain.
Harington will be well-prepared to join a massive movie franchise. After all, he just spent the last decade as the star of the world’s biggest TV series.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 6:26 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 23 Aug 2019 | 4:55 pm
At long last, Lover is here. Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album — clocking in at a meaty 18 tracks, her longest album yet — arrived Aug. 23 to satisfy her legion of fans and give listeners plenty to stew over as they parse through the insider references, Easter Eggs and lyrical twists that make the Swiftian universe a richly textured world of its own.
Here’s our rundown of the many, many references Swift drops, from mentioning her history as a tabloid target to aligning herself as an LGBTQ+ ally to calling out bullies and trolls. But above everything, as Swift has continually mentioned, the album “is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos.” Let’s dig into the Lover references.
This album is very much a celebration of love, in all its complexity, coziness, and chaos. It’s the first album of mine that I’ve ever owned, and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m so excited that #Lover is out NOW: https://t.co/t7jK7XmEqa pic.twitter.com/NMgE7LTdGZ
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 23, 2019
1. “I Forgot That You Existed”
Swift kicks things off with a light mission statement of sorts: insisting that she’s moved on — whether it’s from an ex or a feud remains a mystery. She does, however, borrow a turn of phrase from rapper Drake when she sings that she was “In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah,” calling back to his hit song “In My Feelings.” “Got out some popcorn as soon as my rep started going down,” she also accuses an unnamed foe — a possible clapback at her critics. (She also wore a Drake pin on her jacket in her Entertainment Weekly cover profile — a move that’s now clear.)
2. “Cruel Summer”
Swift’s summers used to be all about her annual celebrity-studded Fourth of July party at her estate in Rhode Island. But in “Cruel Summer” she suggests the season has taken a turn for her as she tries to conceal a new love interest: “I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you.” Some speculate that’s a line that could be drawn from experiences with her current boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn. One chorus lyric — “Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes” — will be familiar to fans who kept a sharp eye in her music video for “Lover,” where it appeared as the name of a board game, too. And she’s been wearing small dice insignia during her promotional tour on her clothes. Plus, in the “You Need to Calm Down” video, Ellen DeGeneres got a “cruel summer” tattoo — foreshadowing the title.
Put out just a week before the album release as her third single, the title track “Lover” is an acoustic, folksy tune that is, yes, a love song. It also hides some important references to her body of work and current self: on Reputation‘s “New Year’s Day,” she waxed poetic about an after-party scene. In “Lover,” she’s back to the house party, but this time it’s cozier. “We can leave the Christmas lights up til January,” she suggests, like she’s already preparing for the big soiree to come. “This is our place, we make the rules.” In her bridge, which takes the tone of a singsong wedding vow, Swift hides even more hints: “Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover,” she says, a possible wink at the tabloid fodder of her past that have become part of her public profile. Then there’s the music video, which not only takes place in a snow globe (a reference to a lyric from 1989) but also includes a board game called “King of Hearts” (there’s a “King of My Heart” song on Reputation), features a painting of her new kitten and even has a New Year’s party scene.
4. “The Man”
In “The Man,” Swift makes a statement about sexist double standards around her choices. “They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to, and that would be okay for me to do,” she sings — referring to the ongoing coverage of her public life around the people she’s chosen to date. (Thanks to her popularity, her supposed romantic interests have made headlines.) She also mentions people questioning “how much of this I deserve, what I was wearing, if I was rude” — all criticisms that have been leveled at her, but which don’t find targets in male stars of similar status in the public eye as often. “I’d be just like Leo in Saint Tropez,” she goes on in the lyrics. It’s hard to imagine that’s not an overt nod to Leonardo DiCaprio, who’s well-known for his luxe yacht parties in Mediterranean locales. These different standards are a subject she addressed directly in an interview with radio host Elvis Duran. “A man does something strategic. A woman does the same thing? Calculated. A man stands up for himself. A woman throws a tantrum,” she explained. “You can go on and on. A man is confident, a woman is smug… where we need to continue talking about gender equality as a whole subject is, it starts at perception.” This song seems like an open continuation of that conversation.
5. “The Archer”
“Track five is sort of a tradition,” Swift shared in an Instagram live stream before releasing “The Archer.” “Instinctively I was kind of putting a very vulnerable, personal, honest emotional song as track five.” She also admitted to dropping hints along the way: “There were cupids playing in the band in the ‘Me!’ video, there have been arrows pretty much everywhere… and the most obvious Easter egg, my friend Hayley was kind enough to unveil that,” she said, describing the moment in the “You Need to Calm Down” video where fellow pop artist Hayley Kiyoko shoots an arrow into a bull’s eye emblazoned with the number five.
Then there’s the lyrics: followers of the many perspectives on Swift’s public persona will know that when she sings “I’ve been the archer, and I’ve been the prey,” she’s most likely referencing the headlines in which she’s been a central figure in public feuds or associations with other celebrities, as well as the ways that she’s been able to own her narrative and maintain her dominance in the pop landscape.
6. “I Think He Knows”
“I Think He Knows” is the love song you write in the first flush of a big crush, that much is clear. Hidden in plain sight are a few important references: one to a mysterious 16th Avenue, which is actually a street in Nashville’s Music Row. (Swift keeps a home in Nashville.) And then there are the “indigo eyes” of her love interest. (Some wasted no time before speculating there’s an Alwyn connection who, for the record, has blue eyes.)
7. “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince”
Throughout her musical career, Swift has played on classic American high school tropes — marching bands, football teams and cheerleaders, prom queens. In “Miss Americana,” Swift seems to be done with the so-called cool kids and ready to move on to other pastures, calling herself the superlative “most likely to run away with you.” But first she’ll play some Easter egg games with her past work. “You know I adore you, I’m crazier for you than I was at 16, lost in a film scene,” the song begins. That’s a reference to the song “Crazier” she performed in 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie. Then there are the “homecoming queens, marching band playing” that evoke high school (the marching band, in particular, has been a running theme for Swift, who often dresses up as a bandleader and included a marching band in the “Me!” music video). “Now I’m feeling hopeless, ripped up my prom dress, running through the rose thorns” keeps up her play on words; Swift held a prom-themed party back in 2008 at which she was queen after her hit “Our Song” reached the top chart spot. (Swift missed her own high school prom during high school.) And on “Blank Space” she sings about “Rose gardens filled with thorns.” There’s also another mention of dice — this time, “the whole school is rolling fake dice.”
8. “Paper Rings”
So apparently Swift really, really likes someone — enough to forego the “shiny things” she likes for more mundane “paper rings.” The song is a breathless, rock-tinged ride, but it sneaks in some callbacks to specific Swift moments: “I want to drive away with you,” she sings, recalling her songs like “Getaway Car.” “I want your dreary Mondays,” she adds, which sounds like a follow-up to the “I want your midnights” of Reputation‘s “New Year’s Day.”
9. “Cornelia Street”
“Cornelia Street” sounds sweet and whimsical as a song title, but it’s actually also a real place: an iconic street in New York’s West Village where she has a history. (There’s also a Cornelia Street in North London, although Swift hasn’t been spotted there.) This isn’t Swift’s first New York-centric song (“Welcome to New York,” anybody?) but it adds a new element to her connection to the city. “We were a fresh page… filling on the blanks as we go” seems like an update on the lyrics of “Blank Space” (“I’ve got a blank space baby — I’ll write your name”), this time with an earnest romance in the tone. She’s also vocal about being an avid journal writer, documenting her emotions in her diaries. And she’s mentioned drinking with her lover before; on 2017’s “Delicate” she asked them to make her a drink. Now they’re “drunk on something stronger than the drinks in the bar.” And then there are the Cornelia flowers she’s been using to decorate promotional performances lately, which now are clear references to this song.
10. “Death by a Thousand Cuts”
One of the album’s sad songs, “Death by a Thousand Cuts” sees Swift in pain. “You said it was a great love, one for the ages / But if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?” she sings. Pages and journals are a recurring motif across the album and lately for Swift, who has been handing out blank journals to fans at listening sessions. “Paper cut stains from my paper-thin plans” could be taken many ways — in one interpretation, maybe those paper rings from a few songs ago aren’t holding up so well. And a number of her other lines in “Death by a Thousand Cuts” call back to other songs and imagery from her oeuvre, from “Gave up on me like I was a bad drug” (see: “Don’t Blame Me”‘s “Lord save me, my drug is my baby”) to the boarded-up windows of “Call It What You Want” that are reiterated here.
11. “London Boy”
If you’re confused by this song opening up with the distinctive voice of Idris Elba, who’s talking about driving someone around on his scooter, it helps to know that Elba is a costar of Swift on the upcoming film adaptation of the musical Cats. And the voice clip is from an appearance Elba made on James Corden’s show (Corden is another Cats actor). Beyond that, people online were quick to note that Alwyn happens to be British. As for the song’s content: “London Boy” is basically a litany of British references — from “uni” (the U.K.’s term for college) to “best mates” (best friends) to places like Camden Market, Highgate, the West End, Bond Street, Brixton, Hackney, the Heath and Soho (there’s one in London, too). Then there’s her shout-out to Stella McCartney, the British designer with whom she became friends while in London and collaborated with on a new fashion collection.
12. “Soon You’ll Get Better,” feat. the Dixie Chicks
For her only song featuring other artists on Lover, Swift tapped country royalty the Dixie Chicks for a tender lullaby of a tune. Their appearance was hinted at in the music video for “Me!” — that showed a framed photo of the Dixie Chicks on the wall while she sang “There’s a lot of cool chicks out there.” But “Soon You’ll Get Better” is perhaps the album’s most tender track, in which Swift sounds close to tears. Fans theorize the subject is her mom, Andrea, who has battled cancer. In an essay for Elle published in the spring, Swift opened up about her family’s struggles with the disease: “Both of my parents have had cancer, and my mom is now fighting her battle with it again. It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else. My mom’s cancer is a real problem,” she wrote then. In the song, she echoes that sentiment: “This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was / It’s been years of hoping… soon you’ll get better,” she sings. Swift is known to be close to her mom, making the song especially poignant.
13. “False God”
“False God” sees Swift at her most downtempo as she compares her relationship with a religion of its own, raining metaphors down on her listeners. (“I know heaven’s a thing / I go there when you touch me, honey / Hell is when I fight with you / But we can patch it up good / Make confessions and we’re begging for forgiveness / Got the wine for you.”) She also flicks at a transatlantic relationship (“We were stupid to jump in the ocean separating us / Remember how I’d fly to you?”) and New York again (“You’re the West Village/ You still do it for me, babe”). And there’s the line “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this,” which Swift said in French in the opening for the “Me!” music video.
14. “You Need to Calm Down”
In “You Need to Calm Down,” Swift doubles down on her lyrical and visual references. The music video features everything from a cat face on a watch (she loves cats) to a phone case that spells out “Lover” to a back tattoo that shows off a snake metamorphosing into a cloud of butterflies (a nod to her evolution out of the Reputation era and into the Lover one). There are star cameos from the likes of Laverne Cox, the men of Queer Eye, Hayley Kiyoko (who appears as an archer and shoots a target with the number five — which, as it would turn out, is a nod to the fifth place track position of “The Archer”), Ciara, Adam Rippon, Billy Porter and many more. There’s a protest march that Swift later explained is a reference to protesters who regularly bother her fans during shows. There’s a drag queen pageant in which the ladies are dressed up as the many faces of pop today (Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Beyoncé among them), alluding to the way the media often pits female stars against each other. There’s Katy Perry herself as a hamburger (like she dressed as for this spring’s Met Gala after party) giving a hug to Swift, in a French fries costume — officially quashing their perceived feud. And there’s the lyrics themselves, which are rife with references to LGBTQ+ rights (“Why get made when you could get GLAAD?”) and brush off haters and trolls (“Don’t step on our gowns.”)
“Afterglow” is an apology song — “I don’t wanna do this to you… it’s all me, just don’t go, meet me in the afterglow.” It’s also filled with Swift’s favorite metaphors, particular the color blue — which pops up regularly throughout the album — as well as the lyric “Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves,” which conjures up memories of her battle-ready “Bad Blood” phase.
16. “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie
As her re-introduction following the Reputation era, “ME!” came across as a pointedly bright, positive next step for Swift. She kicked things off in the music video with a snake transforming into a cloud of butterflies as an allusion to her own evolution from one album (and persona) to the next. And then came the subtle hints: more cats (which she loves — enough that she’ll even be appearing in the upcoming film adaptation of the musical Cats), a wall of paintings featuring literal chicks and the country icons the Dixie Chicks (which foreshadowed their feature on the album), lots of rainbows (nodding to her more public status as an ally), cinematic flicks at works like the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Mary Poppins, Singin’ in the Rain and Moulin Rouge!, her new kitten and a heart-shaped kaleidoscope (a reference to lyrics from her older song “Welcome to New York”). Lyrically, the song is a little more oblique. But fans will know that her singing “I know that I went psycho on the phone” is a wink to a line from Reputation‘s “Look What You Made Me Do” (“The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead!”), while the rest of “ME!” is primarily an affirmation of self and a show of newfound confidence.
17. “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”
Light and plinking, “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” echoes one of Swift’s early songs — “Mary’s Song (Oh My My)” from her 2006 debut album, about childhood friends who grow up to get married. That’s also the fate of the protagonists in “It’s Nice to Have a Friend,” who go from “School bell rings, walk me home / Sidewalk chalk covered in snow” to “Church bells ring, carry me home / Rice on the ground looks like snow” in the space of a few verses. There’s also a mention of the “pink sky, up on the roof” — pink being another of the colors that Swift has tied this album to visually, and the roof being another place she mentions across different songs.
Swift finishes things off on a bright note. “I once believed love would be burning red,” she sings, “but it’s golden, like daylight.” That’s a direct throwback to her album Red. Other lyrics on “Daylight” were hinted at in her promotional materials, like the “love letters” she shared on Spotify that included the lines “Luck of the draw only draws the unlucky… I wounded the good and I trusted the wicked / Clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke.” In a live stream ahead of the album release, Swift said that the project as a whole “felt aesthetically to me very daytime, very sunlit fields,” which becomes abundantly clear on “Daylight.”
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 3:13 pm
Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 23 Aug 2019 | 1:07 pm
Taylor Swift has been busy. The singer who just released her seventh album, Lover, on August 23, has been promoting her work, playing Central Park, releasing videos, and leaving clues for her fans across the Swift universe.
Swift famously likes leaving hints for her fans to follow, and her latest album is no different. Not only did she leave a few tell-tale signs in the video for her many of her songs like “Archer”, but it turns out the singer has been leaving little Easter Eggs dropping hints about nearly every track on the album for months now.
Now that the album is out, fans are going back and recognizing the little hints that Swift left for them. While some of the clues were incredibly subtle, eagle-eyed fans are finding them. For example, back in May, Taylor appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly wearing a jacket adorned with pins and badges, including a badge featuring a picture of Drake. As Buzzfeed notes, at first fans speculated that Drake might appear on a track, but when Lover dropped, there was no such collaboration on the album. After a few listens to the album, though, fans cracked the case buried in the lyrics on the first track on the album.
It turns out thosee pins and badges weren’t just for looks. The first track on the album, “I Forgot That You Existed” includes the lyrics: “I couldn’t get away from you / In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah.” That just may have been the answer to the clues that Swift was leaving, especially since she quoted Drake’s “In My Feelings” in her essay about pop music for Elle magazine back in February.
Source: Entertainment – TIME | 23 Aug 2019 | 11:06 am
Source: BBC News - Entertainment & Arts | 23 Aug 2019 | 10:17 am
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Source: Reuters: Entertainment News | 23 Aug 2019 | 5:28 am
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