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‘Disenchantment’: Barkeep, Another Ale with an Elf-Blood Chaser!

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Everyone knows Matt Groening has a singular, unique style of animation he and his company are well known for at this point. It began with The Simpsons more than two decades ago now, continued with the adventures of Futurama, and now we dive deep into the brand new fantasy world of Disenchantment!

Here in the Kingdom of Dreamland, there lies, inevitably, a Princess. There’s a gruff and tumbly King and a wicked-looking stepmother, but this show is all about Princess Tiabini, or Bean (Abbi Jacobson) as she prefers to be called. And Bean is no ordinary Princess, nope, she likes to drink and gamble and hates that whole Princess trap of being forced to marry someone she doesn’t love or even know that well yet, and really dislikes running around in dresses, because yeah, on top of all that Bean is completely graceless too. Expect a belch and a grin in place of a curtsy and a simper, because Bean is the utterly blasé commoner in us all!

Elfo (Nat Faxon) is an elf from, where else, Elfwood, a place where everything is sweet, both figuratively and literally. The elves make sweets and candy and all sugary things to rot your teeth, and they’re so saccharin-sweet to each-other you kind of want to kill them on general principal. In Elfwood, conformity isn’t just a requirement, it’s meant to be a joy too, and Elfo in his little green personhood, just can’t stand how godawful nice they are. He actually wants to experience the miseries and mysteries of life outside Elfwood, and as drunken destiny would have it, he meets up with Bean, on whom he conceives a mighty crush.

King Zog (John DiMaggio) over here, he just wants to rule Dreamland as best he can – he never wanted to be King, he was the brother warrior, good at fighting and killing stuff. But now, he’s managed a marriage alliance with a neighboring swampland kingdom and produced a periwinkle-pale heir to the throne, so what else is there to do but nag Bean day after day into being a proper Princess, whatever that means, and oh yeah, squeeze a ton of elf blood from Elfo, because hey, he’s magical. Elf blood can create the elixir of life y’know, and Zog has a whole bunch of magic-users and shady advisors to help him with that nonsense.

Luci (Eric Andre), and you can easily guess what it’s short for, is a little coal-black demon, that most everyone thinks is Bean’s talking cat. He’s a chain-smoking enabler of a blunt little bastard, always encouraging Bean to drink, carouse, and generally be as bad-decision-making as possible. Very little is known about his background or motivations, other than to tempt Bean to Do Bad Things, yes, but why her? No-one else has a demon attached to them, and one would think some of these moronic wizards attempting magic would’ve made some rather bad choices concerning demons and the like. It seems Luci was actually sent to corrupt Bean, by some very shady characters who want to rain down destruction on the Kingdom of Dreamland and her inhabitants!

Anything more would give the entire rest of the show away, and ‘Disenchantment’ is far too good to do them that disservice. Groening and his animators have really gone all-out for the sets and backdrops of this new show, far beyond even what ‘Futurama’ was regularly known for, and it shows. The first few episodes can be watched out of order if you like, but the latter half of Season One follows a clear pattern and tells an adorable story, full of wonder and enchantment, yes, but also everyday troubles we can all relate to as well.

Go elf and demon hunting with Disenchantment on Netflix now!

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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