House of the Dragon is still the show to watch every weekend on HBO Max, but with October rolling around, there’s other entertainment to check out. Gotham has moved on from Netflix to find a new home at HBO Max, along with its fellow DC shows that have already made their place on the platform. There are also numerous indie films that feature high-profile actors at their best. With plenty of brand-new content, HBO Max subscribers can’t complain about there being nothing on the streaming service.
Gotham Expands the Gritty World of Batman
Netflix subscribers were scrambling to catch up on Gotham last weekend as it was leaving the platform. But rest assured; if they’re also subscribed to HBO Max, they can pick up where they left off. Every season of Gotham has migrated to HBO Max, where most DC properties have been living for a while. Now that Gotham is over here, it’s time to admit that it’s one of the best interpretations of the Batman comics, with its heavy focus on the city known for its crime.
Gotham takes a step back from the typical Batman origin story to tell a different one: a young Jim Gordon is in the spotlight for this series, showcasing how important his work is to Gotham City and how influential he was in the early years of Bruce Wayne. But along with Bruce are an array of other iconic faces in the Batman mythos. Selina Kyle takes center stage, along with the Penguin, the Riddler and Alfred Pennyworth. Don’t forget Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska, whom Gotham is too afraid to name “Joker,” but everyone knows who they’re really supposed to be. It might seem like an overload of Batman characters on the surface, but, at its core, Gotham designs a grittier and grounded side to the city that is so rarely seen in other directors’ visions of the superhero’s home.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? Creates a Game Out of Improv
Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a place where actors go to shine — but only actors who specialize in improvisation. Hosted by Drew Carey, four performers improvise throughout the episode to create characters and scenes on the spot. To make it a “game show,” Carey gives points to the performers, but they never mean anything, and it’s never explained why he awards certain people points. The games vary from episode to episode, with many being brought over from the original UK version of the show. For those absolutely obsessed with the original series hosted by Carey, they can catch Season 9, which drops this weekend on HBO Max.
Juno Is a Timeless Story About Teenage Problems
Before Elliot Page was the violinist Viktor Hargreeves in Netflix’s superhero series The Umbrella Academy, he was known for his versatile work in indie films in the 2000s. One of them earned him an Academy Award nomination for Juno, which arrived this month on HBO Max. Page stars as the teenaged titular character faced with an unplanned pregnancy while also tackling an awkward teenage romance. Thrown into the mix are the adoptive parents of Juno’s baby, played by Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman, whose troubled marriage forces Juno to confront adulthood much earlier than expected.
While dealing with such a heavy topic, the film’s witty humor adds a light-hearted layer to it that creates a healthy balance. Diablo Cody’s comedic yet emotional script is the true standout performance of the film, with Page, Michael Cera and the rest of the star-studded cast adding their own flare to it. After its initial release, the touchy subject sparked critical conversations, but it was still regarded as one of the best movies of 2007.
The Witch Proves Why Indie Horror Is Superior
The Scarlet Witch might be everyone’s favorite magic-wielding witch nowadays, but before her came this folk horror film’s interpretation of witchcraft. The Witch features Anya Taylor-Joy in her first film appearance, making her mark as a truly remarkable force to look out for. The film is set in the 1630s and follows a Puritan family who encounters dark evil in the woods that captivate Taylor-Joy’s Thomasin.
The Witch is also Robert Egger’s feature film directing and writing debut and sparked the beginning of the folkloric theme often found in his movies. With the age-old concepts of witchcraft and an elegant style, The Witch bypasses all the modern tropes of witchcraft that are most associated with Marvel’s version of magic. It’s obsessed with the horror aspect of black magic and possession that, of course, A24 is not afraid to portray on the big screen.
Nightcrawler’s Psychological Thrill Is an Adrenaline Rush
In between making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home and making Taylor Swift fans mad for never returning the scarf, Jake Gyllenhaal keeps adding impressive performances to his résumé in the indie film genre. One of these performances is in the underrated thriller Nightcrawler, which was directed and written by Dan Gilroy.
Nightcrawler follows Gyllenhaal as Louis “Lou” Bloom, who finds work as a freelance videographer filming violent crime and other events in Los Angeles. His obsession with the job takes a dark turn and speaks heavily on unethical journalism. Through many twists and turns, viewers might want to turn away from the questionable imagery on-screen — but they can’t help but watch as Gyllenhaal steals the screen as the chilling and desperate stringer on a mission.
Call Me By Your Name Creates a Striking Love Story
Bones & All is one of the most anticipated films of 2022, but it’s actually Timothée Chalamet and director Luca Guadagnino’s second collaboration. The first was Call Me By Your Name, which made Chalamet a household name and earned him an Academy Award nomination. A controversial yet beautiful love story makes up Call Me By Your Name — a coming-of-age story about two men experiencing a summer fling in northern Italy in 1983. The age difference between them received mixed reactions from fans and critics, but the visuals of picture-perfect Italy combined with a not-so-picture-perfect relationship unanimously create a cinematic masterpiece. After the brilliant direction Guadagnino brought to Call Me By Your Name, Bones & All has a tough act to follow.
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