There’s nothing we love more than reading interesting things. Especially on a Friday. That’s why we decided to combine the two. Welcome to the Digitales Digest, where every Friday afternoon, we round up some of the best articles, opportunities and more that we’ve discovered and shared on Twitter and Facebook over the past few days.
What’s caught our attention this week? We’re glad you asked…
Drama | Television Series | 2017
Reviewed by Jennifer
Shadow Moon embarks on a road trip across America with enigmatic conman Mr Wednesday. On their journey, Shadow discovers that Mr Wednesday is one of the old gods, who warns of a war brewing between the forgotten gods of myth and the new American gods of money, technology and media. As Shadow finds himself embroiled in this world of gods among men, he has a choice to make. Should he follow Mr Wednesday into battle and find out more about his own mysterious past or attempt to reconcile with his recently deceased wife, who has now returned from the grave?
1) Did you like it?
Yes. I loved the Neil Gaiman book it’s based on, and have been looking forward to the TV adaptation for a while. I think it was worth the wait, though I’m only about halfway through the series as I write this.
The original book of American Gods is a series of intricately woven, atmospheric, intertwined tales, with a grounding in history, religion and mythology, all held together by the main narrative. Book adaptations are always a bit of coin toss, and this one presents many challenges. But to my eyes, the TV series retains the nuances of the book – due in part, I’m sure, to the fact that Gaiman was involved in the screenwriting process. The characters look exactly the way I imagined, and the whole show is beautiful, visually.
While the decision to create an R-rated show made with online streaming in mind may seem like a cynical attempt by Amazon to compete with Game of Thrones and the swarm of Netflix Originals, I think it was ultimately the right choice. Unlike a lot of screen adaptations (especially of graphic novels), American Gods retains the raw impact of the original story. The sex and violence is in context, and without it some of the characters just wouldn’t make sense.
3) You’ll enjoy this TV series if…
You like the urban fantasy genre – shows like Stranger Things, Grimm, The Dresden Files, etc. If you were a Buffy fan in your youth and are willing to take that extra step further into the darkness, this will probably take your fancy.
4) This TV series made me think about…
The fairly new phenomenon of the R-rated TV series, with cinematic sensibilities. I’m glad I have a projector to watch this one on!
When we sat down to take a look at some of the films and TV shows that are coming out in July to include in our Top Ten New Releases post, the discussion got so animated that we were sorely tempted to throw in a few extras. Maybe even make our Top Ten a Top Twenty!
It took a while, but eventually we managed to whittle our selections down to a final ten. Phew. Decisions are difficult!
In no particular order, here are ten of the new release DVD titles we’re most looking forward to in July…
Classification: PG Audience: Junior Release Date: July 12
A suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy that’s certain to delight.
Starring the vocal talents of Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire – and, of course, Alec Baldwin in the title role, The Boss Baby is Dreamworks’ 34th feature film. Sharp-eyed adults will spot parodies of films from The Hunt for Red October to Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Matrix and beyond. Kids will find The Boss Baby hilarious too! It’s got something for everyone.
Genre: Action, Science Fiction Classification: M Audience: Adult Release Date: July 26
In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a perfect, cybernetically enhanced soldier, designed to hunt down the world’s most dangerous criminals. When a new terrorist threat arises, Major is the perfect choice to stop it – but as she prepares to face her enemy, she uncovers secrets from her past that leave her reeling.
Ghost in the Shell is based on a manga series that dates back to the late 1980s. The 1995 version is widely regarded as one of the greatest anime films of all time, inspiring sequels, a television series and more. This new live action film is an original story, but contains a number of visual and musical references to the classic 1995 version. Plus, it was filmed just over the ditch, in Wellington, New Zealand!
Genre: Action Classification: M Audience: Adult Release Date: July 19
A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific. Venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, they must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Like Ghost in the Shell, Kong: Skull Island is a story with a long history. The original King Kong was released in black and white back in 1933, and formed the inspiration for the physical appearance of Kong in Skull Island. Standing at a staggering 31 metres tall, the version of Kong in this film is the biggest ever. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the trailer. He’s seriously huge.
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Television Series Classification: MA15+ Audience: Adult Release Date: July 26
Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna are back for the highly anticipated sixth and final season of Girls, the award-winning hit comedy/drama series that follows the humiliations and triumphs of a group of friends in their mid-twenties, each facing new challenges in life and love in New York.
It’s time to say goodbye to the characters you’ve loved (and maybe even sometimes hated?) since 2012. The final season of Girls is set six months after season five, and sees Hannah and her friends embarking on new adventures that will carry them through the rest of their lives. It’s been a journey, and this is a fitting end.
Genre: Documentary Classification: M Audience: Adult, Young Adult Release Date: July 5
Growing up isn’t easy for anyone – but it’s especially tough for Zach, who is making the transition from boy to man in both the modern world and his ancient culture. Pressures from his loving, but staunch father, the temptations of city life and the ever-present spectre of racism all take their toll. Ultimately Zach must embrace the traditions and knowledge of his ancestors and awaken the warrior within.
Zach’s Ceremony is an extraordinary, feature-length documentary captured over ten years that explores family, connection, and what it means to be a modern man belonging to the oldest living culture on earth. It’s a must-watch for all Australians.
Genre: Television Series, Fantasy, Drama Classification: R18+ Audience: Adult Release Date: July 19
On a road trip across America, Shadow Moon discovers that his companion, Mr Wednesday is one of the old gods brought to this country by settlers long ago. He warns of a war brewing between the forgotten old gods of myth and the new American gods of money, technology and media. As Shadow finds himself embroiled in this world of gods among men, he has a choice to make. Should he follow Mr Wednesday into battle or attempt to reconcile with his recently deceased wife, who has now returned from the grave?
Based on the bestselling novel by Neil Gaiman, American Gods features an impressive cast, including Emily Browning and Gillian Anderson. The series was created by Bryan Fuller – the writer/director behind Hannibal and cult favourites, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. It’s no wonder this series has everyone talking…
Six scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form – the very first evidence of life beyond Earth. However, they eventually realise that this life form caused planet-wide extinction on Mars – and now it’s threatening not only the crew, but all life on Earth. It’s up to them to stop it.
Life was inspired by the original Alien film, released in 1979. The film’s release date was actually moved forward to avoid premiering around the same time as Alien: Covenant. There’s also a weird fan theory circulating that Life is actually a prequel to Venom – a Spider-Man spin-off film that’s due for release next year. Only time will tell…
Genre: Drama Classification: M Audience: Adult, Young Adult Release Date: July 5
In the dead of night during the scorching summer of 1969, Charlie is woken by mixed-race outcast, Jasper Jones outside his window. Jasper leads him deep into the forest and shows him something that will change his life forever, setting them both on a dangerous journey to solve a mystery that will consume the entire community. In an isolated town where secrecy and gossip reign, Charlie faces family breakdown, finds his first love, and discovers what it means be truly courageous.
Finally, one of Australia’s most beloved novels comes to the screen. Written by Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones is considered an Australian classic, tackling racism and small town bigotry head on. It’s a gritty, hard-hitting story, with incredible humour and characters you won’t forget.
Genre: Drama Language: Swedish, with English subtitles Classification: M Audience: Adult Release Date: July 19
59-year-old Ove is the block’s grumpy man. Several years ago, he was deposed as president of the condominium association, but still looks over his neighbourhood with an iron fist. When pregnant Parvaneh and her family move into the terraced house opposite Ove and accidentally back into Ove’s mailbox, it’s the beginning of an unexpected friendship.
It seems to be a month for book adaptations! Before it was a hit movie, A Man Called Ove was a book by Fredrik Backman – a bestseller not only in Sweden but around the world. It’s been translated into 25 different languages. A Man Called Ove was nominated for two Oscars, including Best Foreign Language Film, and it’s the third most watched Swedish film of all time.
Genre: Drama Language: French, with English subtitles Classification: M Audience: Adult Release Date: July 5
Set during the turmoil and despair of World War II, A Bag of Marbles is the remarkable tale of two young French Jewish boys, as they attempt a perilous journey to the southern Free Zone to escape the impending Nazi occupation. With the aid of a helpful priest the boys are driven to step out of the shadow of evil and use their wits and charm to remain one step ahead in order to survive.
A Bag of Marbles is a true story, based on Joseph Joffo’s autobiographical novel, published in 1973 to critical acclaim. This is the second time A Bag of Marbles has been brought to the screen: it was first adapted for film back in 1975. The new version, directed by Canadian, Christian Duguay, brings this moving, epic story of friendship and survival to a new audience.