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Black Narcissus Review: FX Series Stars Gemma Arterton and Diana Rigg

In retrospect, it may have been a mistake to watch the original Archers film production of “Black Narcissus” before screening the limited series “Black Narcissus,” produced for FX and BBC One. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1947 take on Rumer Godden’s novel is a cinematic landmark of its era, leaning on saturated colors, dramatic music cues and performances so pointed they threatened to draw blood. It’s dated but deliberate, tense and taut with simmering lust. This 2020 update, from writer Amanda Coe and director Charlotte Bruus Christensen, is careful to state that its primary source material is Godden’s book rather than the Archers’ film, and as such, should have more room to play with and develop the story. In practice, though, not even having three hourlong episodes versus a movie less than two hours long quite gives the series much of a personality of its own. Too much of FX’s

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‘Ma Rainey’ review: The film, starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman, is ‘a gut punch’

Get ready for dramatic fireworks.

Get ready for dramatic fireworks. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” the engulfing film version of the great play by August Wilson — the late Pulitzer Prize-winning “theater poet of black America” — means to shake you. And does it ever, using humor, heartbreak, betrayal and sudden savagery to do it.

Catch “Ma Rainey” on Netflix and you’ll see Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman give the performances of their lives. This you do not want to miss.

Count on their artistry to keep you riveted from start to finish. Davis plays the real-life Ma Rainey, the Georgia singer dubbed the Mother of the Blues. Boseman invests body and soul into Levee, the hot-headed trumpeter who dares to lock horns with Ma in a shabby Chicago recording studio

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‘Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square’ Celebrates the Holiday as Only Dolly Parton Can: TV Review

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Dolly Parton’s no stranger to being the center of attention, a place she’s determinedly, deliberately put herself throughout the decades of her legendary career. In recent years, though, the conversation surrounding Parton has become one spoken in awed wonder about just how thoroughly she’s charmed people from all walks of life — and more impressively, how little that’s changed even now with the country so intensely divided that getting anyone to agree on basic facts has become its own infuriating game of politics. Parton is, as Lauren Michele Jackson recently wrote for “The New Yorker,” “loved for being loved, and loved transcendentally…A Dolly Parton concert is like a local census, bringing together peoples across lines of race, gender, sexuality, and, miraculously, political affiliation.”

In bringing a Christmas musical to Netflix, a streaming network that reaches nearly 200 million subscribers across the world, Parton’s

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Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square Review: An Earnest Netflix Film

Dolly Parton’s no stranger to being the center of attention, a place she’s determinedly, deliberately put herself throughout the decades of her legendary career. In recent years, though, the conversation surrounding Parton has become one spoken in awed wonder about just how thoroughly she’s charmed people from all walks of life — and more impressively, how little that’s changed even now with the country so intensely divided that getting anyone to agree on basic facts has become its own infuriating game of politics. Parton is, as Lauren Michele Jackson recently wrote for “The New Yorker,” “loved for being loved, and loved transcendentally…A Dolly Parton concert is like a local census, bringing together peoples across lines of race, gender, sexuality, and, miraculously, political affiliation.”

In bringing a Christmas musical to Netflix, a streaming network that reaches nearly 200 million subscribers across the world, Parton’s cannily universal brand goes into holly jolly

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The Flight Attendant review: Kaley Cuoco Stars in Fizzy HBO Max Drama

The first few minutes of “The Flight Attendant” are as vivid and glamorous as the life Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) projects to the world as she travels it. She hops from one blurry night out to the next, trading cities and men with practiced abandon. But when she wakes up in Bangkok after a blurry one-night stand to find her date (Michiel Huisman) horribly murdered, she does what most every rational human would do: she panics. Thousands of miles from home, with no memory of the end of her night, Cassie doesn’t know what else to do but clean up what she can and tear the hell out of there. As her entire life looks ready to collapse in front of her eyes, the camera tilts, the music becomes unbearably sharp, and the focus shifts just enough to let us know that things are about to get very bad, very

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BWW Review: LES MISERABLES – THE STAGED CONCERT: THE SENSATIONAL 2020 LIVE RECORDING

BWW Review: LES MISERABLES - THE STAGED CONCERT: THE SENSATIONAL 2020 LIVE RECORDING

Today marks the release of Les Miserables – The Staged Concert: The Sensational 2020 Live Recording. In its 35th year, the musical remains as electric as ever.

Boublil and Schonberg’s iconic show has been immortalised for album format numerous times, many of which I own. The crowd’s reaction to this particular all-star cast and 65+ orchestra successfully captures the epic, impactful nature of the piece and gives it additional fire.

Recorded live at the Gielgud Theatre last year, the DVD was also released earlier in the month, so both companions are now covered! Having both watched and listened to the concert now, I can vouch that the emotions seen on your TV screen more than translate to the ears when solely listening to the recording.

The cast appearing on the album include Michael Ball as Javert, Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine,Matt Lucas as Thénardier, Rob

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‘The Real Right Stuff’ Review: A Movie Still Waiting for Liftoff

Project Mercury’s mission to blast the first American astronauts into space was fastidiously undramatic. NASA’s founding administrator T. Keith Glennan — still introducing the agency by its initials like a proper debutante — aimed to send his seven pilots up and down in a metal pillbox that even a chimp couldn’t crash. From engineering to public relations, there was no room for human malfunction. It took two decades for the journalist Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff” to reveal the frizzed wires underneath the capsule’s smooth exterior: the ego clashes, the stress and depression, and the wives who took tranquilizers so they could serve cheery can-do-isms to Life Magazine.

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Disney Plus Docuseries ‘Marvel’s 616’ Takes a Compelling Dive Into the Archives: TV Review

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Disney Plus is barely a year-old streaming service, but it already has cornered a particular sub-genre of unscripted programming that should surprise no one. Shows like “Inside Disney, “One Day at Disney” and “Marvel’s Hero Project” offer in-depth looks at the creative minds behind the Walt Disney Company and its extraordinary impact on the world, pairing inspirational stories with swelling triumphant music to underline just how fantastic Disney’s multi-billion dollar conglomerate truly is. “Propaganda” is probably too strong a word, but it’s not altogether wrong, either. The purpose of these shows, first and foremost, is to underline Disney’s unique place in entertainment and publicize its most heartwarming effects. So when I first turned on “Marvel’s 616,” I figured I knew I’d be in for — but was only halfway right.

The new docuseries, compromised of eight episodes, dives into Marvel’s history and speaks

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Marvel’s 616 Review: Disney Plus Docuseries Dives Into Marvel Archives

Disney Plus is barely a year-old streaming service, but it already has cornered a particular sub-genre of unscripted programming that should surprise no one. Shows like “Inside Disney, “One Day at Disney” and “Marvel’s Hero Project” offer in-depth looks at the creative minds behind the Walt Disney Company and its extraordinary impact on the world, pairing inspirational stories with swelling triumphant music to underline just how fantastic Disney’s multi-billion dollar conglomerate truly is. “Propaganda” is probably too strong a word, but it’s not altogether wrong, either. The purpose of these shows, first and foremost, is to underline Disney’s unique place in entertainment and publicize its most heartwarming effects. So when I first turned on “Marvel’s 616,” I figured I knew I’d be in for — but was only halfway right.

The new docuseries, compromised of eight episodes, dives into Marvel’s history and speaks with those artists and fans who have

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Hulu’s ‘Animaniacs’ Reboot Runs in Circles Trying Old Tricks in a New World: TV Review

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The new “Animaniacs,” premiering on Hulu 27 years after it first debuted and in a world where the iconic WB water tower recently got an HBO Max makeover, is well aware of what its preemptive critics might think of it. In one of the first new episodes, for instance, Warner brothers Yakko (Rob Paulsen), Wakko (Jess Harnell) and their Warner sister Dot (Tress MacNeille) sing a peppy song about Hollywood’s conveyer belt of reboots that ends with them all sitting on a giant pile of cash while the Hulu logo blares behind them in bright neon. In the tweaked opening credits, one of TV’s most enduring theme songs gets pointed lyric updates advising mad nerds to remember that the “Animaniacs” “did meta first,” and assuring the audience that this reboot is appropriately “gender neutral” and “ethnically diverse” for its new era. (Sure.) So

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