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Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5 Review

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Nine Perfect Strangers episode 5 titled Sweet Surender definitely answers some of the questions that were posed in previous episodes of the Hulu/Amazon series. It also shows the aftermath of Masha (Kidman) who’s moving to the next stage in her mysterious plan. 

The guests are also now struggling to tell the difference between reality and their hallucinations, thanks to the higher dosages in their smoothies, some of these sequences were hilarious but also some were truly heartbreaking. 



Birthdays are a time to celebrate and in this episode Zoe Marconi (Grace Van Patten) celebrates her 21st birthday. It’s bittersweet as she shares her birthday with her late brother, however Zach (Hal Cumpston) appears during this episode thanks to Zoe hallucinating. They talk, mainly about her lying and saying to the other guests that she and Zach were not close.

It’s the first time that Zoe truly has expressed her grief, she’s constantly in denial so it was emotional and heartbreaking watching her admit how lonely she’s been. 

In the morning, Napoleon enters the room and puts on a John Travolta performance from Grease. He starts dancing in his underwear as Smoothies are being prepared. The family are getting more along at their stay in Tranquillum but is it a facade or not. 

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

The gang of strangers all join together and discuss their odd dreams with each other. Napoleon discusses how he dreamed of being a member of the Beatles though Carmel is triggered by the song and forcefully plunges her fork straight into the table. 

Lars also confesses that he dreamed of giving birth whilst all the residents were there to see it all happen. Lars remembers the dream so vividly that he remembers that Tony happened to be the father and was uncontrollably crying. 

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Frances also has a visitor, Paul arrives too apologise. However this is all one big dream sequence as Frances collapses into her oatmeal and passes out. This provides such an intimate moment later on between Frances and Tony as he’s the only one she feels able to share the most with. Tony encourages her to keep writing.

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

Masha also has some moments, as the episode begins with a flashback when she lost one of her residents at Tranquillum. Still on the the hunt for her mysterious stalker she confides in Deliah and apologises for what happened in the past. Unexpectedly Delilah leans forward and kisses Masha.

The episode then takes a trippy and psychedelic turn as both Yao and Delilah share some intimate moments together.

The day goes ahead with cliff dives for the Marconi couple as they get their shot of adrenaline by jumping straight into the water. While this is going on Lars heads to a secret spot and phones his contact letting them know that he’s been drugged. 



Regina Hall does some phenomenal acting in this episode especially as she sees Benjamin and Jessica make love in the hot springs. This unfortunately sends her to the boiling point as she becomes erratic. that moment reminded her of her ex husband and his new woman, as it’s discovered that Carmel hid all her anger and rage by putting on a brave face for her children. 

Overall Nine Perfect Strangers episode 5 has me questioning what is real and what is imaginary. The cast are also compelling to watch as they go further into treatment. That night as they all join back at Tranquillum to celebrate Zoe’s birthday, Zoe notices Zack standing by the pool as she stares in his direction. Masha notices surprised and hurries over to only whisper in Zoe’s ear that she is the key to what’s happening. But what exactly does she mean and will we eventually get to figure this mystery out. 

Vince Valitutti/Hulu

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Apple TV+

Matt Damon and Casey Affleck to Reunite for Heist Film, ‘The Instigators’ at Apple

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After previously collaborating in the Ocean’s trilogy and Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon (The Martian, The Departed) and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea, Gone Baby Gone) are set to lead another heist film for Apple titled The Instigators. According to an exclusive from Deadline, the two actors will star in the film as two thieves who must go on the run with one of their therapists after a bank robbery gone wrong. It truly sounds like a mixture of the heist elements of the Ocean’s films with some therapeutic elements reminiscent of Good Will Hunting along the way whilst on the run.

While there are no casting details on who will be the therapist this time around, we can confirm that Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) will direct the film. The package was highly coveted by multiple streamers with Apple putting up the cash to make the deal happen and bring in even more star power to their Apple Original Films banner. It’s a good relationship to get started as Damon and Casey’s big brother, Ben Affleck recently announced their new production banner, Artists Equity with The Instigators being announced as one of their first projects in development. Chuck MacLean, who created the recently cancelled Boston-set cop drama, City on a Hill, will write the script.

 Damon has always been very active in the film industry, but his upcoming slate is one that would excite almost any movie fan. First, Damon will appear in the Christopher Nolan atomic bomber biopic, Oppenheimer, where Peaky Blinders star, Cillian Murphy plays the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer. Damon is just one of the stars of the remarkable ensemble that has been assembled by Nolan which also includes Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck and Rami Malek, just to name a few. Additionally, the first project announced for the Artists Equity production company, is Air Jordan, a film in which Ben Affleck and Damon play the shoe salesmen who helped lure Michael Jordan to Nike. The latter will be the first feature directed by Affleck since his gangster flick, Live by Night back in 2016.

On the other hand, Casey Affleck, who won the Academy Award for Lead Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea has mostly floated under the radar since then. The younger Affleck does have a two-hander music biopic, Dreamin’ Wild in the can co-starring with Zooey Deschanel that is awaiting wide release. He’s also set to lead the next Joe Wright film, Stoner and star alongside Laurence Fishburne in the sci-fi film, Slingshot.

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Apple TV+

Taron Egerton to Re-Team with ‘Black Bird’ Collaborators for AppleTV+ Series, ‘Firebug’ based on Famous Arsonist

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Big day for news at Apple as it appears that Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Rocketman) will re-team with his Black Bird team returning to AppleTV+ for a new crime series, Firebug according to an exclusive from Deadline.

Firebug will bring Egerton back into the fold as Dennis Lehane (Black Bird, The Outsider) will reunite to create this series in which the actor will star as John Leonard Orr. Orr was an infamous investigator of arson and former firefighter, and the series will see Egerton following two serial arsonists trying to take down the fiery culprits. Lehane has written many novels based on some of the more famous and well-renowned drama features of modern times such as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. Egerton will be joined by another detective who has yet to be cast in the chase for the two arsonists committing the crimes. 

Black Bird just garnered two Critics Choice Awards nominations for Paul Walter Hauser and the late Ray Liotta, who portrayed Egerton’s father in the series. Within the series also based on true events, Egerton plays Jimmy Keene who goes to jail for drug possession before cutting a deal with the FBI to befriend a suspected serial killer (played by Hauser). Additionally, Egerton will also star in the upcoming feature film, Tetris: The Movie for Apple and appear in the Netflix film, Carry On alongside Jason Bateman in 2023.

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Apple TV+

Jake Gyllenhaal Sets Streaming Debut in J.J. Abrams ‘Presumed Innocent’ for AppleTV+

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Many stars are currently pivoting to more TV and streaming work as AppleTV+ is becoming one of the more prestigious streamers to attract stars. Harrison Ford, Henry Cavill, Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Edward Norton are just SOME of the names coming to the service or already appearing in projects for AppleTV+ and they’re about to add another Oscar nominee to their ranks. 

According to Deadline, Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Brokeback Mountain) is set to lead the dramatic limited series, Presumed Innocent for AppleTV+. He will also act as an executive producer on the project alongside J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) and his Bad Robot banner. Additionally, David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Practice) will write and act as Showrunner on the series for the streamer. Presumed Innocent is based on a 1987 novel that was also adapted as a feature film in 1990 starring Harrison Ford telling the story of an awful murder that stirs controversy within the Chicago Prosecution Office as there is a presumption that one of their own committed the crime. 

Gyllenhaal will play Rusty Sabich in the series who is described as a passionate prosecutor who is accused of killing a close colleague when evidence begins to point to him as the premiere suspect. The series being reimagined by Kelley, will explore obsession, sex, politics and the limits of love as the accusations start to tear apart Rusty from his family. 

The Oscar and Tony-nominated actor most recently voiced the lead character in Disney’s Strange World and will next appear in Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant alongside Antony Starr and Emily Beecham. Additionally, Gyllenhaal has a ton in the works including the video game film adaptation of The Division for Netflix which is based on the famous Tom Clancy franchise. However, none may be more highly anticipated than the remake of Road House. The latter will star Gyllenhaal filling the role originally played by the late, great Patrick Swayze. Road House will be helmed by Doug Liman and also star Daniela Melchior, Billy Magnussen and mark the big-screen debut of MMA superstar, Conor McGregor.

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