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Legion's Season 3 Review: A Delightfully Surreal Premier‎

In the crowded annals of superhero television, Legion is in a league of its own. Less cape-and-cowl crusading and more art house thought experiment, the FX original series has just kicked off its third and final season, paving the way for one last unapologetically unhinged romp through the mind of David Haller, a mentally disturbed mutant telepath who will, supposedly, one day destroy the world.From the jump, fans will recognize that a lot has changed in the space between season 2's finale and this season's premiere. Episode 1, "Chapter 20," opens with an entirely new focus: a brand new character named Switch (Lauren Tsai) who seems locked in a sort of Wes Anderson flavored isolation. She lives with her father, present only as a face on a bulky vintage television set, in a maze-like apartment, and spends her time listening to a sort of guided self-help cassette tape giving "lessons" for time travelers. We never get any real indication of where the tapes came from or why she has them, but it's a good thing she does because as it turns out, Switch is a mutant, and time travel is her power.In any other show, it would seem completely incomprehensible to withhold any familiar cast members from a season premiere for almost half the episode. We don't see a single character we've met before for a full 20 minutes. But in Legion, it somehow works completely, thanks largely to the show's completely magnetic self-confidence. Switch may be a completely new character, but she feels precisely like she belongs in Legion's eclectic blender of sensibilities and styles. What's more, Legion creator Noah Hawley correctly assumes that if you've stuck with the madness for two seasons already, you've become pretty familiar with the rules of the game here, so not even the impromptu musical number that crops up midway through the episode seems even the slightest bit out of place.That aforementioned self-confidence is what carries the episode through the eventual reveal payoff--don't worry, no spoilers, but we do eventually get to see what David's been up to since we last saw him. It's a moment that seamlessly dovetails into an explanation as to why Switch is important in the bigger picture, and why David is interested in time travel in the first place. This episode never quite goes back to "business as usual" (what would "business as usual" even be for Legion, anyway?) but it does glide smoothly back into feeling more familiar with the added bonus of one new main character and a whole slew of new problems.As with all "avant-garde" shows--especially genre-benders like Legion--there's the temptation to write off the surreality and quirkiness as weirdness for the sake of weirdness, but if anything, "Chapter 20" proves that there really is a plan in play here. Sure, it's a plan dripping in eccentricities and camp, but it's a plan nonetheless. This episode epitomizes Legion's strengths: the ability to weave actual throughlines and stories in between disco ball smattered psychedelia and psychological horror, all while deftly staying out of its own way. Once things start happening, they start happening fast. They never get any less trippy--not that we'd want them to--but they do start moving at a healthy clip. By the time the credits on this episode roll, the plan for the final season is not only immediately and abundantly clear, but well on its way forward. All we have to do now is try and keep up.

06:22
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gameSpot

George Clooney's First Netflix Movie Is A Post-Apocalyptic Film‎

Netflix has attracted yet another Hollywood star to make a movie for the streaming service. The company has announced that George Clooney, who has won two Oscars, will direct and star in a new Netflix movie. The untitled film is based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight that was written by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) wrote the screenplay for the film, which is in pre-production.Clooney plays the character Augustine, "a lonely scientist in the Arctic," in the post-apocalyptic film that follows two parallel threads. Here is the full plot description:"This post-apocalyptic tale follows the parallel stories of Augustine (Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to make contact with the crew of the Aether spacecraft as they try to return home to Earth."Production on the film is scheduled to begin in October. No release date has been set, and there is no word on who will star in the movie alongside Clooney."Having known and worked with George for over two decades, I can't think of anyone better to bring this amazing story to life," Netflix movie boss Scott Stuber said in a statement. "The book is powerful and moving, and Mark's adaptation is beautifully written. At its core, this is a story about human nature, and one that I know our global audiences will fall in love with, just like I did when I read it."The untitled Good Morning, Midnight movie is being produced by Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures, which produced the Oscar winning movie Argo, as well as films like Good Night and Good Luck, Leatherheads, and The Men Who Stare at Goats.Clooney also worked on and appeared in the Hulu series Catch-22, but the new Good Morning, Midnight movie is his first feature film for a streaming service.

05:52
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LeBron James Is Very Excited About Space Jam 2; Steph Curry Confirms He's Not In It‎

Space Jam 2 is coming, and it appears filming is starting soon (if it hasn't already). Star LeBron James, who plays the lead, wrote on Twitter today to talk about how he's really very excited that the movie has finally come together."Man this really just hit me! I'm really shooting Space Jam 2!! This is so surreal and doesn't even make sense to me! Where I come from man and what I saw growing up this doesn't add up to me! I'm truly grateful and beyond blessed. This is CRAZINESS," he wrote.Man this really just hit me! I’m really shooting Space Jam 2!! This is so surreal and doesn’t even make sense to me! Where I come from man and what I saw growing up this doesn’t add up to me!

04:55
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Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Talks About Giving Halo, Forza Teams Extra Time To Make Great Games‎

Microsoft's E3 briefing this year was missing a few things some people might have expected. Forza Motorsport developer Turn 10 did not show its new game, while Microsoft's new studio, The Initiative, also didn't show up during the event. Some also expected to see the rumored new Fable game from Forza Horizon developer Playground's second team.Now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has explained why Microsoft focused more on the games coming out in the closer future than those that could release further out.Spencer told Kotaku that he was proud that 12 of the 14 first-party titles that Microsoft showed off at E3 were shipping in the next year. "We were really able to focus on what's coming now, which I think is awesome," he said. "And then I think about the studios: where was Initiative? Where was [Forza Motorsport studio] Turn 10? Where was Playground's second team?"As you may have heard from the @Xbox E3 briefing moments ago, Double Fine is joining Xbox Game Studios! How did this come about? let’s ask @timoflegend … pic.twitter.com/n6EACVo7OZ — Double Fine (@DoubleFine) June 9, 2019Spencer said it felt "nice" to not have to show all of its first-party games at the show. He said teams like 343 Industries (Halo) and Turn 10 (Forza Motorsport) have been given "time" to come up with new games that really excite people."We gave them time--we did, what, four Halos in four years?--giving them an opportunity to really think and have a creative impact when they launch. Turn 10 is similar. I want to give them time to think through their plans," he said."I love what they do with Motorsport, but you've got to be able to listen to your studios when they need time and they want to focus on more things. And as you have more content, you're able to do that," Spencer added.The executive went on to say that quality for first-party games is "very important." He acknowledged that in the past it "became more difficult" to align the first-party Xbox portfolio of games with release dates chosen years before release. Now that Microsoft owns more studios--it now has 15 owned studios--it's allowed the company to "create room for [Microsoft] to focus on quality.""I feel good about what Rod [Fergusson]'s done [at Gears studio The Coalition], what Bonnie [Ross] has done [at Halo studio 343 Industries], what Alan [Hartman] has done with Turn 10, and what Helen [Chiang]'s been doing with Minecraft."For Halo and Forza Motorsport, the wait is already longer than usual for a new release--and as Spencer says, that's by design. Halo Infinite's release in Holiday 2020 will be around 5 years after the release of Halo 5 in 2015, which is longer than the average interval between the previous mainline releases. Meanwhile, the Forza Motorsport series (not counting Horizon) has been released every two years since the first game in 2005. The latest instalment, Motorsport 7, was released in 2017.Microsoft acquired or set up a number of new studios in the past year, the most recent of which is Brutal Legend studio Double Fine that Microsoft announced in June.List Of Xbox Game Studios Developers343 IndustriesThe CoalitionCompulsion GamesDouble FineMicrosoft Studios Global PublishingThe InitiativeinXileMojangNinja TheoryObsidianPlayground GamesRareTurn 10 StudiosUndead LabsAge of Empires

04:03
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The Minecraft Movie Brings On Frozen 2 Writer‎

The Minecraft movie has been in development for years already, and now it's reached another stage of production. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has hired Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures, Frozen 2) to write the newest script.She's just the latest writer for the Minecraft movie. Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers) wrote an earlier draft, while Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs wrote the draft before that. Schroeder earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing Hidden Figures. She also co-wrote the Winnie the Pooh movie Christopher Robin and the upcoming Frozen 2. It's also been revolving door for the Minecraft movie when it comes to directors. Warner Bros. hired Stranger Things director Shawn Levy, but he dropped out. The company later brought on It's Always Sunny star Rob McElhenney to direct, but he left the project, too. Peter Sollett (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist) is now attached to direct. According to Minecraft developer Mojang, the Minecraft movie will focus on a teenage girl and her "unlikely group of adventurers." They must defeat the evil Ender Dragon and save Overworld. It's not clear, however, if any of these plot details have changed now that Schroeder has been hired to write a new draft. "We want to make the movie--just as we make the game--for you," Mojang said. "We're inspired by countless things, but none as much as the incredible stuff our community creates in Minecraft every day."The Minecraft movie is scheduled for release in theatres on March 4, 2022. There is no word yet on if it will be animation or live action, or a hybrid, nor do we know who may star in it. At one point, Steve Carell was apparently connected to the project, though it's unclear if that's still the case.

03:15
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Legion Season 3: Is David Haller Redeemable After What He Did?‎

"We always knew that Legion is technically a villain character," Aubrey Plaza said. She was speaking to journalists on a phone call just ahead of Legion's Season 3 premiere. We had visited the FX show's set at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, we'd seen several of the third season's episodes, and one question hung over it all: Can David Haller be redeemed after what he did in Season 2?"Up until now, we've sympathized with his character, and we've understood why he does the things that he does," Plaza continued. "I think that this season is a little bit more about kind of showing the David Haller in the comic books--the character that we've been waiting for, in a way."A show's protagonist turning into its villain is nothing new in a post-Breaking Bad world. But David's turn in Legion Season 2 had the uniquely tragic air of a self-fulfilling prophecy; there are dozens of points throughout Legion's first two seasons where, had things gone differently, David may have never reached this point. Yet here's where we are at the start of Season 3: David is alienated from his friends, having sexually assaulted the woman he loves, and, we're led to believe, is going to destroy the world. Is it possible to come back from what he did and avoid that terrible fate?"That's a good question," Dan Stevens, who plays David Haller, told journalists during the visit to Paramount Studios. "I mean, again, the nature of Legion, the character, is that he is both the hero [and the] anti-hero figure. And there's a sort of diabolical sense of mischief through the comic book storylines that you find with him. And that's what makes him such a treat to play, is that dichotomy. Whether I think he can be redeemed--or should be--is not really for me to say. I think he wants to--he wants to see if he can sort of unpick this unholy mess that he's created."That's where Season 3's main new character, Switch (Lauren Tsai), comes in. She's a time traveling mutant who David recruits in the Season 3 premiere to help him undo the bad things he's done. "Which is one way of attacking the problem," Stevens said.But given what show we're talking about, it won't be nearly that easy."Syd confronts him with this very sophisticated element, I think, of like, 'Yeah, you can go back and you can change all these things, but does that really change who you are as a person?'" Stevens continued.In Season 2, David essentially slipped Syd (Rachel Keller) a psychic roofie, erasing her bad memories of him, and then had sex with her. She technically consented to the sex, but only because David had erased part of her mind--without his interference, she would never have consented. Therefore, she wasn't really capable of giving informed consent at all. David clearly didn't look at it that way--he still doesn't view himself as the villain--but to Syd, and to anyone looking at it objectively, what David did to her was rape."We're dealing with the truth of people, and what they're capable of doing," Rachel Keller told GameSpot during a one-on-one interview on the show's set. "What I've really enjoyed this year is that kind of self-reflection, and the full range of experience that someone goes through after something violating like that. There's anger and doubt and shame and regret," Keller said."If there's a love story in there for her, it's her own forgiveness, and taking the responsibility for where she's at," she continued. "That's the love story for her. I don't know what you're supposed to do with sick egotistical men. I'm not sure. It's a big question. I feel like we're asking it. Do they deserve to heal and forgive themselves? Maybe. I hope so. Yeah, we'll see. I don't know."Some SuperheroNoah Hawley, Legion's creator, doesn't think David's actions can be so easily distilled."He has these abilities, but because he's at 20-odd years hearing voices and seeing things that he didn't know if they were real or not, he built a personality disorder around those abilities in a way that really hindered his ability to function," Hawley told journalists during the set visit. "He filters the world through his own sense of injustice, and he really felt like, as he said, 'I'm a good person. I deserve love.'"Amahl Farouk, aka The Shadow King, emerging as the show's villain during Season 2 gave David a focal point for his growing hero complex, fueling his belief that he was the victim of the story and that he could do no wrong--even as Farouk influenced the rest of Division 3 against David."[He] bought himself time," Hawley explained. "He feels like deep down, she really loves him, she's just confused. So he uses his powers to make her forget, and then because he just feels like he loves her so much, he goes to her in the night and has sex with her, and just tries to feel that feeling that he's so desperate to feel. Of course, when she realizes what's happened, it's a huge betrayal, because he took away her consent."Season 3 won't shy away from the consequences of that act, but it also won't paint these characters--people who we've grown to empathize with and understand--as caricatures of heroes and villains."It's not an accident that we told a sexual assault storyline in the show," Hawley said. "Telling the adult version of a comic book show involves dealing with complicated issues, and what I was interested in looking at is not 'Good vs. Evil' in capital letters, it's the things that we do to each other--the way that people are together--and that it turns out you can extrapolate out the larger evils of the world. That idea, that David would do something to Syd where he literally removed her consent and then had sex with her--in his mind, it was a romantic act. And obviously, an objective and rational person wouldn't see it that way, but part of it was to show the audience how ungrounded David was in reality--that he could still perceive that as a romantic act--as a clear sign of his mental illness.""It's not an accident that we told a sexual assault storyline in the show.""What's driving David is not mustache-twirling, supervillain, destroy the world things--he's being driven by this very human desire to feel loved," Legion's creator continued. "In order to achieve that feeling, he's doing some things that are hard to root for, but I think what's interesting is to kind of challenge the audience to say, well, are you with him still?...I think the fact that this show is built around a love story, that there is this very human desire for love stories to work out, and I think that's part of what drives the story here, is to figure out: Is there any way for these two people, if not to be in a relationship together, than at least to get to the other side of what David has done to her?"The Full SpectrumTime travel may allow David to change the events of the past, but it won't let him change who he is on the inside. The character's extreme narcissism will be front and center this season; as Stevens put it, "Could David go back and prevent the holocaust? Sure, but he doesn't--you know, because he thinks he's got more important things to do.""A lot of what Rachel and I talked about was that idea that if we were going to tell the sexual assault story, we were going to tell it," Hawley explained. "We were going to deal with it, we weren't just going to gloss it over. And because we have this time traveler, David births this idea: Maybe he just goes back and makes that not happen. He can go back in time and then not do that to her, and what she says is, 'Yeah, but then what would happen is you would still be the person who was capable of doing that. I just wouldn't know.'""Could David go back and prevent the holocaust? Sure, but he doesn't."That's hard for David to understand, but not for Legion's other characters. Navid Negahban, who plays Amahl Farouk, told journalists that the former Shadow King actually cares deeply for David--in his own way. David carried Farouk around as a passenger in his head for most of his life, and Farouk identifies with David more than the other characters do. In Season 3, Farouk genuinely tries to save the world, but he also believes he can save David--whether or not David is capable of being saved."That's one of those questions that makes you think about what's good, what's bad, who's the villain, who's the hero?" Negahban said. "The Shadow King, even if you go back and look at his journey, in his mind, he has always been a hero."Bill Irwin, who plays the male half of the being that comprises both Cary and Kerry Loudermilk, told GameSpot he believes that every actor has to "think of one's own character as good." Amber Midthunder, who plays Cary's female counterpart Kerry, said that's one of the central questions everyone in the show will ask themselves in Season 3. "Everybody has a different scale of what is right and wrong, and what crosses the line and what's forgivable," she said. "I think the thing about this year is that we're we're watching each character wade through [those questions]. I think as an audience, you're going to be wading through a sea of questions." At the center of David's quest to redeem himself--or at least to undo some of the bad things he's done--is Switch, the time-traveling new character played by Lauren Tsai. "I think that's going to be a very fun thing for the viewers to experience, is this uncertainty of what is good and what is bad, and just how complex we all are," Tsai told GameSpot during a one-on-one interview on set. "You can understand. You can feel the human, the imperfection that lives within all of us, and the regret, and what comes of all of that."Stevens said one of the big questions Season 3 will ask is one of the big questions of existence: nature vs. nurture. In other words, "how much you can attribute unspeakable acts to a disturbed childhood and how much is your own volition." Among many other things, Season 3 will introduce David's parents, Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) and Gabrielle Haller (Stephanie Corneliussen)."That's a massive part of David's struggle, and by keeping it selfish and keeping it to that thing, we get to really examine somebody who's struggling with that question," Stevens described. "How much was it Farouk sitting at the helm of this thing wreaking havoc, and how much of it was inherited from his parents?"Hawley said David's complex characterization is one of the things that drew him to Legion in the first place. "It just seemed like a fascinating character to me to explore at the center of a show--someone who clearly has legitimate complaints," Hawley explained. "He does and did have a profound psychiatric issue. He was in a psychiatric hospital. He did try to kill himself. He did have addiction problems. He's not, at heart, it seems, a bad person--he's not malevolent toward others. He's just kind of a raw nerve, and we meet that guy in the first hour, and he falls in love, and we want that for him."We want there to be something positive for him, and he goes on this journey with [Syd] of self discovery, and part of that self discovery, for us, is to realize he's actually much more damaged than we thought he was. There's part of it for me that's about--it's always about empathy, it's always about challenging the audience on some level to care about people who aren't like them, and also maybe over the course of the story to realize that there are some people who can be saved, and there's some people who can't be saved--and to try to learn to tell the difference."Which type of person David Haller is, we'll have to watch to find out.Legion Season 3 premieres Monday, June 24 on FX.

01:16
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The Most Popular Pokemon According To The Internet‎

The Pokemon series may have begun with only 151 monsters, but there are now more than 800 species of Pokemon to date, and that number will only continue to grow with the impending release of Pokemon Sword and Shield for Switch later this year. The sheer variety of monsters in the series has birthed the adage "every Pokemon is someone's favorite," and that is what one Reddit user set out to test.Reddit user Mamamia1001 recently created a survey asking people to vote for their favorite Pokemon, with the intent of discovering whether the saying was actually true. More than 52,000 people participated in the survey, and out of all those responses, four Pokemon received zero votes: Silcoon, Gothita, Eelektrik, and Yungoos. Considering the sample size, that only four monsters didn't receive any votes certainly seems to lend some weight to the saying.The survey also gave us a look at who the most popular Pokemon are, at least among those who responded to the survey. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen 1 Pokemon dominated the top 10. Topping the list was Charizard, which received 1,107 votes. Following behind it was Gengar with 1,056 votes, while Arcanine rounded out the top three with 923 votes. You can take a look at the top 10 below, while the full results can be found here:Charizard -- 1,107 votesGengar -- 1,056 votesArcanine -- 923 votesBulbasaur -- 710 votesBlaziken -- 613 votesUmbreon -- 607 votesLucario -- 604 votesGardevoir -- 585 votesEevee -- 581 votesDragonite -- 551 votesThe aforementioned adage has been in use a lot recently following the news that Sword and Shield won't feature every Pokemon. At E3 2019, series producer Junichi Masuda confirmed that players won't be able to transfer all of their old monsters from Pokemon Home to the Switch games--only those that are available in the Galar Pokedex, a decision that has lead to a public outcry from fans.Pokemon Sword and Shield launch for Nintendo Switch on November 15, while the Pokemon Home service will go live for Switch and smartphones in early 2020. We learned a lot more about the games back at E3, including how their new Dynamax battle mechanic works. You can read more about the titles in our Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order guide.

00:59
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Annabelle Comes Home Review: Night At The Conjuring Museum‎

The Conjuring universe is undoubtedly one of the most consistent franchises in horror movie history, and the latest entry, Annabelle Comes Home, doesn't break that trend. The third Annabelle spin-off is reliably scary, brimming with tense atmosphere and jarring jump scares, with excellent performances from its small cast and several intriguing additions to Conjuring lore. For those who enjoy Conjuring movies, Annabelle Comes Home is yet another predictably fun, popcorn-throwing scare fest.The third Annabelle movie takes place after the first two (2014's Annabelle, a spin-off/prequel to the first Conjuring movie, and 2017's Annabelle: Creation, which was a prequel to that). Where exactly this movie falls within the larger Conjuring timeline--before or after the main Conjuring movies, for example--isn't made totally clear in the film itself, but it doesn't exactly matter, either.In its opening scenes, Annabelle Comes Home revisits the moments from the first Conjuring movie that spawned the whole spin-off series, when Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising their roles as horror's most wholesome couple) take possession of the Annabelle doll from the young women it had been terrorizing. The movie takes several moments here to clarify exactly what the doll is capable of: Annabelle isn't evil herself, or even possessed by a spirit or demon; the doll is simply a "conduit" or "beacon" to which evil is drawn.The scares begin in the opening scenes, although ACH is also self-aware enough to play with audiences' expectations, sometimes sidestepping obvious jump scare opportunities, often to inflict them with double the impact a few moments later. But after a brief introduction to the Warrens and the twisted lore of Annabelle herself, the familiar characters and elements take a backseat as the film enters its main act.If you're expecting a movie all about the Warrens, you might be disappointed to learn that Annabelle Comes Home actually primarily follows their daughter Judy (Mckenna Grace), her babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), and Mary Ellen's mischievous friend Daniella (Katie Sarife). The Warrens leave Judy in Mary Ellen's care, but when Daniella arrives to snoop around their infamous artifact room--well, you can probably figure out what happens, if not from the trailer then simply from knowing how these things play out.Annabelle Comes Home is hopelessly predictable, but that's not a bad thing here. Like the rest of the Conjuring series, it's simply incredibly well made horror movie comfort food. It doesn't challenge your expectations or throw in any shocking twists; it simply sets up various monsters, ghosts, ghouls, and other threats, throws them at the characters, and relishes in their terror. The centrifuge of its setting is a literal room full of evil objects--what else could it be besides Night at the Conjuring Museum? The endlessly repeated setup goes something like this: 1. Object moves on its own, 2. Character tip-toes around as slowly as humanly possible until a suitable amount of tension has been built, and 3. The threat is finally revealed, and it's all-out horror for a few moments. And it's so predictable that, should you watch ACH in a theater with a lively audience, the crowd's shrieks will usually be half laughter as well. There's undeniable fun in the knowledge of what's coming when floorboards start creaking and glasses of milk hurl themselves to the ground, not to mention catharsis in the payoff.It's almost a prerequisite for Conjuring movies to introduce various spooky threats that might someday be spun off into their own franchises, from Annabelle herself to The Conjuring 2's Nun and Crooked Man. Annabelle Comes Home adds to this tradition with The Ferryman, whose funereal coins seem to pile up all over the Warrens' house, the haunted Samurai armor seen in the Warrens' artifact room in prior movies, and more--I won't spoil them all. Annabelle Comes Home works largely due to its smart writing and skilled direction from Gary Dauberman (writer of the previous Annabelle movies, The Nun, It and It Chapter 2, the unfortunately just-canceled Swamp Thing show, and more). But the movie's three lead actresses really carry the whole thing on their shoulders. The young Grace plays her often sad role with subtlety and skill--she's bullied at school due to her parents' profession, and the actress perfectly conveys the pain of being a kid at that age who doesn't fit in. Iseman is the iconic innocent horror movie teenage girl, all bubblegum and shrieks. Sarife's Daniella could have easily become a frustrating force in the plot, as her role is mostly to make bad decisions like infiltrating the artifact room and opening Annabelle's case. But thanks to smart writing and Sarife's complex performance, Daniella is a sympathetic character whose actions make sense, even if they're not well-thought-out.Annabelle Comes Home has just the right mix of horror and humor, predictable structure and shocking jump scares, terrifying ghouls and relatable characters that a scary summer blockbuster should. It doesn't break the mold--Midsommar, this is not--but it's not trying to. And if you're a fan of the Conjuring series, you'll walk out of the theater satisfied.

00:16
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Hearthstone Retiring Two Original Cards, Introducing 10 More‎

Blizzard has announced some big changes slated for the next major Hearthstone update. The collectible card game will add two more cards to the Hall of Fame, which makes them ineligible for Standard mode play, and at the same time it will introduce a whopping 10 new cards.In an update on the Hearthstone Blog, the team explained how it tries to define class identity, and outlined what it sees as the core strengths and weaknesses of each class. The studio has concluded that two Basic cards don't fit the theme of their classes' identities, and so they'll be retired into the Hall of Fame: the Rogue card Vanish and the Priest card Mind Blast. Both will still be playable in Wild mode.Vanish is a spell that returns all minions to their owners' hands, but Blizzard feels the efficient board clear is counter to one of its intended weaknesses. Mind Blast allows Priests to do a lot of damage to their opponent in a pinch, especially with spell damage boosts, while Blizzard intends the class to be limited in its direct damage. Those two will be replaced by two new cards, Plaguebringer and Radiance.In addition, Blizzard is introducing ten new cards to the Classic set, which will be obtainable through Classic packs or crafting. It says it wants to steadily introduce new Classic cards to maintain a "healthy amount of easily-obtainable cards" through Standard games, as it rotates some out into the Hall of Fame. The studio said these cards will be coming in the next major update, but didn't announce a date.Hearthstone has traditionally introduced a handful of new expansions per year with only minor balance changes in-between. This season the game has been noticeably more active in filling the months between major expansions with other in-game events and changes. After the latest expansion launched in April, its single-player component began rolling out in May, and in June the game issued its first-ever batch of card buffs alongside a brand-new card. You can still claim that card for free by logging in by July 1.

00:04
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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Potions Guide - Master Notes List, Where To Get Ingredients‎

Like the Wizarding World of the Harry Potter books and movies, there are a lot of characteristics of magic at play in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. One of them is the creation of potions, which can give you a serious edge in battles against wizards and magical creatures, speed your progress through the game, or help you capture the most difficult Foundables (we've got lots more Harry Potter: Wizards Unite coverage on that stuff, too). You'll get lots of potions as you play the game, but like any Hogwarts student, you can also brew your own.Brewing potions is pretty simple at first--if you have the ingredients, you just push a button to start cooking. But there are actually a few nuances to the system that aren't immediately apparent. If you know what you're doing, you can make sure you get the right ingredients to make every kind of potion without having to rely too much on random chance. You can also brew your potions more quickly, with a little extra care.Here's everything you need to know about potions, including how to get the right ingredients and all the Master Notes.Ingredients: Find Them, Pick Them, Grow ThemIngredients are the essential part of your potion-brewing process, obviously. There are lots of locations where you can find ingredients out in the world of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. First, you'll find plenty of ingredients spawning out on the map around you as you walk around playing the game, and you can just pick them up by tapping on them.Using a Greenhouse presents a more reliable way of getting the specific ingredients you need. Tapping on any Greenhouse takes you inside, where you can interact with the building and get a random supply of ingredients (you also get a chance at some Spell Energy), more or less just like an Inn. You're presented with three potted plants in a Greenhouse, and pulling out one of the plants gives you some smattering of potion-brewing stuff. You won't know what you'll receive until you get it, which makes planning difficult.If you need an ingredient in particular, you can use a Greenhouse to grow your own plants. You do that with Seeds and Water, which you'll also find spawning on the world map. Tap into the Greenhouse and flip to the tab in the bottom right corner of the screen. There, you can use your seeds and any water you've found to start growing something. You'll have to return when the seed is fully grown in order to claim your ingredients.Stir It UpOnce you start a potion, you're stuck waiting for it to finish brewing--usually at least a couple of hours. You can speed up that timer, however, if you know the Half-Blood Prince-like secrets to master potion-brewing. There's a system of stirs and taps that, like in the Harry Potter movies and books, is not immediately apparent to the novice potion maker, even in the game.When you brew a potion, tap the wooden spoon sticking out of the cauldron once the recipe has been started, when the liquid is swirling in place. You should get a closer, top-down view of the potion as it's cooking. This is when you can start your master brewing. In order to speed up the recipe, you'll need to try various touch gestures on the potion. These include things like a clockwise stir, a counter-clockwise stir, tapping on the potion, shaking your mobile device, and drawing vertical or horizontal lines.You'll need to do all the gestures for the potion in order, but once you find the correct one, it'll be revealed in the Master Notes at the top of the screen. Brew the Master version of the potion correctly three times, and you'll get the Master Notes unlocked automatically, so you won't have to try to remember the gestures you used. Master Notes only speed up your brew times, so don't expect better version of your potions just because you're a Snape-level potions master. We've got the full list of Master Brewing notes below.Use Potions For EverythingPotions are very useful in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The ones you'll use most often are probably the Healing Potions, which can keep you alive during battles and Wizarding Challenges in Fortresses, and the Exstimulo Potions, which make your spells more effective against Confoundables and in battles. But there are a bunch of other kinds of potions as well, which can increase your Focus in battle, raise your experience gains as you play, and help you keep Confoundables from fleeing when you try to catch them.You can only carry 50 potions at the start of the game (you can buy more space with Gold if you like), and you'll quickly fill that up with potions you get from leveling up and completing Achievements and other objectives. Especially as you get further into the game, you'll face harder challenges that will require potions--but they're easy to come by, so don't save them up. Use them, and keep brewing more.Master Brewing NotesHere's a rundown of the Master Brewing notes for each potion recipe.Exstimulo Potion: Vertical line, vertical line, clockwise stir.Invigoration Draught: Horizontal line, vertical line, vertical line, zoom out gesture.Baruffio's Brain Elixir: Clockwise stir, pinch gesture, vertical line, vertical line, zoom out gesture, shake.Healing Potion: Zoom out gesture, clockwise stir, tap, pinch gesture.Strong Exstimulo Potion: Vertical line, vertical line, counterclockwise stir, clockwise stir.Potent Exstimulo Potion: Vertical line, horizontal line, vertical line, counterclockwise stir, clockwise stir, counterclockwise stir.Dawdle Draught: Shake, clockwise stir, counterclockwise stir, counterclockwise stir, pinch gesture.Strong Invigoration Draught: Horizontal line, vertical line, vertical line, vertical line, zoom out gesture, zoom out gesture.Wit-Sharpening Potion: Zoom out gesture, vertical line, vertical line, tap.Bountiful Brew: Tap, tap, clockwise stir, vertical line, vertical line.Draught of Perception: Shake, clockwise stir, counterclockwise stir, counterclockwise stir, pinch gesture.Felix Felicis Potion: Clockwise stir, pinch gesture, horizontal line, horizontal line, zoom out gesture, shake.Memory Potion: Tap, zoom out gesture, horizontal line, clockwise stir.Scintillation Potion: Clockwise stir, pinch gesture, horizontal line, horizontal line, zoom out gesture, shake.Wideye Potion: Clockwise stir, shake, counterclockwise stir, counterclockwise stir.

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