Blade Runner 2049
Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

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In the wake of the first film’s events, the Tyrell line of replicants have been discarded, and a new company run by Niander Wallace has rolled out a “better” model of replicant, one that is more compliant to their human superiors. A Blade Runner named K is one of these and regularly dispatches the older models who have managed to hide on the fringes of society. That is until one case reveals one of the most significant discoveries in humanity’s history, an event that could change the very fabric of society if it got out. K is told to make sure this secret never gets out and goes on a journey to search out the story behind the mystery. This leads him beyond Los Angeles and across the scarred futuristic landscape, ultimately to a truth about himself.

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Lovecraft Country (2016, Harper)
By Matt Ruff

lovecraft countryBlack Army veteran Atticus Turner has come home to 1950s Chicago to find his father missing. Atticus suspects something sinister when he learns his volatile and proud father was seen leaving with a white man. With help from Uncle George and childhood friend Letitia, they travel to a remote village in New England. A conspiracy is uncovered and seemingly resolved in the first chapter. From there, the book is a series of interconnected short stories leading up to a finale where all the spotlighted characters converge for a resolution against the evil throughout the novel.

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A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum (1966)
Written by Melvin Frank & Michael Pertwee
Based on the musical by Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart, and Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Richard Lester

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Pseudolus (Zero Mostel) is a slave in ancient Rome who enjoys gambling and disobeying his masters of the House of Senex. His son of his masters, Hero (Michael Crawford) is in love with a woman he has spied only from his bedroom window at the brothel next door. Pseudolus sees this as an opportunity to gain his freedom and makes this the reward if he is able to get Hero’s dream girl for him. What follows is a farce of class and society filtered through the lens of the satires of Roman playwright Plautus and the vaudeville schtick of Jewish comedians. The whole production is directed by English filmmaker Richard Lester who was hot off of The Beatles’ Help! and British sex farce The Knack…and How to Get It. All of this makes for some very wild cinema.

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The Forbidden Room (2015)
Written by Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk, & Guy Maddin
Directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson

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A bespectacled man hosts an aged and worn instructional film on how to take a bath. After explaining the opening procedures, the camera dives beneath the murky water, and we see a submarine float by. We cut to inside the submarine where the crew is in dire circumstances. They carry onboard an incredibly volatile substance that, if they were to surface, would combust due to air pressure killing them all. They find a portal in one of the dank, humid chambers that should lead them out into the waters, allowing them to abandon ship and swim to the surface. Instead, when they open a door, a lumberjack soaked to the bone tumbles forward. He begins to tell the tale of his quest to save a maiden from a band of cave-dwelling barbarians only to find the maiden is their den mother. In her sleep, the den mother dreams of another life, as a noir nightclub singer…and so on and so on. The Forbidden Room is a Matryoshka doll of short films, one nested within the other, moving up and down the ladder of stories until they become intertwined and lost within each other.

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Wonder Woman by George Perez Vol. 2 (DC Comics)
Written by George Perez and Len Wein
Art by George Perez and Bruce Patterson, various others
Collects Wonder Woman v2 #15-24, Annual #1

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Following the first year and a half arc of the Wonder Woman reboot, Perez settled nicely into his own pocket of the DC Universe. In this volume, Wonder Woman’s fame makes her the target of cybernetic villain Silver Swan, a visit to Greece puts her into direct conflict with the sorceress Circe, and Themyscira opens its gates to the people of Man’s World leading to disastrous consequences. The Maid of Might struggles with the identity the world has assigned her and her own developing feelings for fellow superhero Superman. Her host family, the Kapatelis mother and daughter, Julia and Vanessa are both going through their own personal upheavals. Julia toys with one relationship and ends up with a teacher at Vanessa’s school. Vanessa becomes jealous of Diana when her crush becomes infatuated with Wonder Woman and finally ending up with another girl entirely. She also experiences the sensation of sudden popularity when she and Julia become the first visitors to Man’s World since Steve Trevor.

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mother!
Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky

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Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) rises in the morning, a new day in her beautiful manor home in the middle of the woods. She shares this home with Him (Javier Bardem), her husband, a poet, and they live in solitude together. Then one night a knock at the door and a Man (Ed Harris) is on the steps. He is a doctor who claims he was told this was a bed and breakfast. Mother’s husband lets him in and without consulting her, allows the Man to stay. The next morning a Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives, the wife of the Man and suddenly Mother’s husband becomes obsessed with this family, ignoring her. From there, the litany of guests and violence increases as Mother becomes lost in her own world.

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It (2017)
Written by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman
Directed by Andy Muschietti

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It’s 1988 in Derry, Maine and Bill Denbrough is mourning his brother Georgie who vanished one rainy Saturday afternoon. His group of friends begins to have similar experiences all revolving around a menacing clown called Pennywise. He seems connected to Derry’s history of disappearances, far beyond that of any other town in America. As the Losers, their club’s nickname, investigate further they are led into the very bowels of Derry where the evil waits, eating up their fear and the children of the town.

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