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PARAMOUNT+ UK Launch Highlights | What Hit Shows Are Coming On Launch Day?

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WELCOME TO PARAMOUNT+ UK

The highly anticipated US streaming service, Paramount+, is finally coming to the UK this month – and we can now reveal more details about the original shows that will be streaming right from the start.

The global digital subscription video streaming service features a mountain of entertainment for audiences of all ages.

HERE’S WHAT WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT

HALO (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Episodes 1-3 Dropping at launch, with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday.

In its adaptation for Paramount+, HALO will take place in the universe that first came to be in 2001, dramatizing an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. HALO will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future. HALO stars Pablo Schreiber as the Master Chief, Spartan-117; Natasha McElhone as Dr. Halsey, the brilliant, conflicted and
inscrutable creator of the Spartan super soldiers; and Jen Taylor as Cortana, the most advanced Al in human history, and potentially the key to the survival of the human race.

THE FIRST LADY (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)

Box Set drop at lauch/ All ten episodes available

Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Gillian Anderson

In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by Artierica’s charismatic, complex and dynamic First Ladies. This serieswill peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy, with season one focusing on Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt. Additional cast includes Kiefer Sutherland as President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford and O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama.

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch, with new episodes released weekly every Wednesday

Based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise, STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS will follow Captain Pike, Science Officer Spock and Number One in the decade before Captain Kirk boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise, as they explore new worlds around the galaxy. The series will feature fan favorites from season two of STAR
TREK: DISCOVERY, Anson Mount as Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romijn as Number One and Ethan Peck as Science Officer Spock.

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)

Episodes 1-3 dropping at lauch, with new episodes released weekly every Wednesday

Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic film starring David Bowie, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH will follow an alien, played by Chiwetet Ejiofor, who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future. Naomie Harris plays Justin Falls, a brilliant scientist and engineer who must
conquer her own demons in the race to save two worlds. Additional cast includes Jimmi Simpson, Rob Delaney, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, Annelle Olaleye, Kate Mulgrew, Clarke
Peters and Bill Nighy.

THE OFFER (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Box Set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available

THE OFFER is based on Oscar®-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’ extraordinary, never-before-seen experiences of making “The Godfather.”After ditching his job at the Rand Corporation for a shot in Hollywood, Al Ruddy wins the job to produce Mario
Puzo’s bestselling novel, “The Godfather” for Paramount Pictures. The series stars Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy, Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, Juno Temple as Bettye McCartt, Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo, Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola, Burn Gorman as Charles Bluhdorn, Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus and Patrick Gallo as Mario Puzo.

SUPER PUMPED: THE BATTLE FOR UBER (PARAMOUNT+ EXCLUSIVE)

Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch, with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday

The series tells the story of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful and most destructive unicorn company, Uber. The season pivots on Travis Kalanick (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Uber’s
hard-charging CEO who was ultimately ousted in a boardroom coup, and his sometimes tumultuous relationship with his mentor Bill Gurley (Kyle Chandler), the plainspoken, brilliant Texan venture capitalist who bets his sterling reputation on Uber’s success – and then has to live with the consequences. Thurman stars as Arianna Huffington, the savvy businesswoman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, who was an Uber board
member.

MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Box Set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available

MAYOR OF KINGSTOWN follows the McLusky family, power brokers and liaisons between prisoners and the community in Kingstown, Michigan, where the business of incarceration is the only thriving industry. Tackling themes of systemic racism, corruption, and inequality, the series provides a stark look at their attempt to bring order and justice to a town that has
neither.

YELLOWSTONE (PARAMOUNT+)

Seasons 1-3 available at launch

YELLOWSTONE follows the Dutton family, led ty John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the country, which is under constant attack by those it borders-land developers, the Broken Rock Indian reservation, and the country’s first National Park. It’s a generational family saga, set against the backdrop of the great frontier, where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold
by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations, where drinking water poisoned
by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news; they are a consequence of living in the
new frontier. The series depicts the best and worst of mankind seen through the eyes of a pioneering family.

1883 (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Box set drop at launch/ All 11 episodes available

The Yellowstone origin story, 1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. In a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty, 1883 sees the family seek a better future in America’s promised land: Montana.

Sam Elliot is Shea Brennan, a tough as nails, handsome cowboy with immense sadness in his past. He has the herculean task of guiding a group from Texas to Montana, and he does not suffer fools. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill portray James and Margaret Dutton, the
patriarch and matriarch of the Dutton family.

AMERICAN RUST (PARAMOUNT+)

Box set drop at launch/ All 9 episodes available

AMERICAN RUST is a compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) in a Rust Belt town in southwest Pennsylvania, full of good people making bad choices. When the woman he truly loves (Maura Tierney) sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what lengths he is willing to take to protect him.

YELLOWJACKETS (PARAMOUNT+)

Box set drop at launch/ All 10 episodes available

Equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama, YELLOWJACKETS is the saga of a wildly talented high school girls soccer team
who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern
wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together
nearly 25 years later.

iCARLY (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Box set drop at launch/ All 13 episodes of S1 available

Based on the original hit sitcom, Carly follows Carly Shay, the original influencer, and her friends as they navigate work, love and their family in their 20s. The new iCarly series will feature two new cast members: Laci Mosley as Harper, Carly’s roommate and best friend; and Jaidyn Triplett as Millicent, Freddie’s snarky and social media-savvy stepdaughter. Mosley and Triplett will appear alongside returning original series stars, Miranda Cosgrove, Jerry Trainor and Nathan Kress.

QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE (PARAMOUNT+)

Episodes 1-3 dropping at launch with new episodes releasing weekly every Wednesday

The first-of-its-kind global singing competition featuring the fiercest drag queens from 10 countries around the world. In each episode, contestants will debut a new musical performance, singing live in front of an audience and the “Pop Diva Panel” of judges in the hopes of being crowned “Queen of the Universe” and taking home a $250,000 cash prize.
The series is hosted by Graham Norton, with Vanessa Williams, Michelle Visage, Trixie Mattel and Leona Lewish forming the “Pop Diva Panel” of judges.

JERRY AND MARGE GO LARGE (PARAMOUNT+ ORIGINAL)

Full movie available at launch

Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening star in this inspired comedy following the remarkable true story of how retiree Jerry Selbee (Cranston) discovers a mathematical loophole in
the Massachusetts lottery and, with the help of his wife Marge (Bening), wins $27 million and uses the money to revive their small Michigan town. Additional cast includes Larry Wilmore, Rain Wilson, Anna Camp, Ann Harada, Jake McDorman, Michael McKean and Uly
Schlesinger. The film is produced by Academy Award nominee Gil Netter, Levantine Films and executive produced by Kevin Halloran. Amy Baer also produced via MRC Film’s Landline
Pictures. The film was developed based on the original article by Jason Fagone for The Huffington Post.

BLOCKBUSTER HIGHLIGHTS

Some of the best movies to look forward to this month

SOUTH PARK
POST COVID & RETURN TO COVID

  • STAR TREK II1: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
  • STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY
  • PAW PATROL
  • MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
  • GREASE
  • STAR TREK: WRATH OF KHAN
  • STAR TREK (2009)
  • JACK REACHER
  • TRANSFORMERS:
    AGE OF EXTINCTION
  • STAR TREK: GENERATIONS
  • STAR TREK: NEMESIS
  • TRANSFORMERS:
    REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
  • CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG
    available 24th June
  • FLASHDANCE
  • CASTAWAY
  • MEAN GIRLS
  • PULP FICTION
  • FOOTLOOSE

In the UK, Paramount+ will be available online at

https://www.paramountplus.com/

and on mobile and a wide range of connected TV devices via the Paramount+ app, via broad direct-to-consumer distribution through Apple, Amazon, Google, Roku® and Samsung, with more platforms to be announced in the coming months. Users will be able to sign up to the service for £6.99 per month/£69.90 per annum in the UK, after a free seven-day trial*.   

Paramount+ will launch on Sky platforms in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria in 2022 as part of a new multi-year distribution agreement that also includes the extended carriage of Paramount’s leading portfolio of pay-TV channels. Sky Cinema subscribers will get the bonus of Paramount+ included at no extra cost. 


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Streaming & TV

‘Knuckles’ Review | A Warrior’s Journey of Self-Discovery

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This review was made possible by advance screeners of all six episodes of Knuckles. All episodes of Knuckles release on Paramount+ on April 26 and April 27 in the UK.

Paramount+ has made a triumphant return to the Sonic the Hedgehog universe with their latest event series, “Knuckles,” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the beloved character this year after his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 back in 1994. Knuckles the Echidna, portrayed brilliantly by Idris Elba, truly gets his time to shine in this six-episode streaming series that I thought truly delivers a fresh and captivating take on the iconic Sega character. Plus It’s only fitting that Paramount’s version of the character should get a chance in the spotlight, and boy do they deliver. 

This series stands out as one of the best interpretations of Knuckles we’ve seen thus far, capturing his stoic and proud nature while also infusing moments of comic relief. Throughout, the six episodes seamlessly weave an original narrative while simultaneously staying true to the essence of Sonic’s world, and the Paramount franchise offers a cohesive and visually striking continuation of the previous two Sonic movies. 

Paramount

The second installment of Sonic the Hedgehog found Knuckles (Idris Elba) choosing to remain on Earth and guard the master emerald. The Paramount+ series begins with Knuckles getting used to life in Green Hills and is ultimately tasked with mentoring the bumbling sheriff’s deputy Wade Whipple (Adam Pally). Knuckles takes on the role of a guide and leader as the series takes them both on a hilarious and action-packed road-trip journey of self-discovery as he agrees to train Wade (Adam Pally) as his protégé and teach him the ways of the Echidna warrior. The series takes place between the films Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3. However, despite Knuckles being the title of the show, Wade Wipple plays a significant role, adding to the dynamic and charm of the storyline as a beloved character from the previous movies.

Paramount

Wade is on a journey from zero to hero in a tale of self-discovery. Whipple is an underdog in every sense of the word, and while he has a good heart, he’s significantly lacking in skills and self-confidence. The dynamic between him and the lovable Green Hills deputy Wade Whipple, portrayed by Adam Pally, adds depth and humour to the storytelling. Pally’s portrayal of Wade as an underdog on a journey of self-discovery brings a refreshing and endearing touch to the series, balancing the comedic elements with heartfelt character development.

While Sonic is cheerful and embraces Earth’s pop culture, Knuckles is a lot more dis-trusting and judgmental. Meanwhile, Wade’s pretty much a Sheriff’s deputy and fits none of the cop cliches. He’s nothing resembling a warrior, and he’s underestimated by every single person in his life. Knuckles and Wade are both remote in unique ways, and that’s the key to the series’ success. Both Pally and Elba are outstanding but as a result, Pally ends up stealing the show. By adding layers to the character and driving the narrative with humour and heart. The series is arguably more about Wade than it is about Knuckles, but Idris Elba does get some moments to shine another favourite of mine was Stockard Channing as Wade’s Mum, Wendy Whipple. 

Director Jeff Fowler expertly reintroduces familiar faces like Sonic, Tails, and Maddie Wachowski, grounding the series in its established universe while creators John Whittington and Toby Ascher explore new depths for Knuckles and Wade. The offbeat and unpredictable dynamic between the two leads sets the series apart, offering a fresh perspective on the Sonic universe that fans will appreciate.

Paramount

Idris Elba’s portrayal of Knuckles shines, showing a different side of the character. Ultimately, the incorporation of comedy, action, and heartwarming moments kept me engaged throughout the series. With warming themes on finding ones home, it is apparent that Knuckles is the last remaining member of his species, and from the beginning, it is evident that he holds the belief that “an echidna warrior has no home.” Therefore, it is expected that by the conclusion of the season, we will witness his transformation as he embraces a newfound sense of belonging. Whipple is instrumental in facilitating this change by providing Knuckles with the support of a loving family, complete with Stockard Channing, as I’ve mentioned being a standout in the role of his mother, who introduces him to the comforting embrace of their Jewish-American customs.

Paramount

We also witness the family and sibling dynamic, especially at the dinner table between Edi Patterson’s Wanda and Pally’s Wade, which is delightfully juvenile and petty. Though they both portray cops in this, she gets to one-up him a bit as an actual FBI agent, rubbing that in her brother’s face. The Whipple family, I found, brought further depth and entertainment to the series, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Episode three is a firm favourite.

However, hot on their tails are Agents Mason (Scott Mescudi, AKA Kid Cudi) and Willoughby (Ellie Taylor), who are in close pursuit, revealing the underlying tensions within the narrative. I found the Team Rocket-like dynamic of the G.U.N agents particularly engaging. However, I found some of the antagonists lacking in intrigue, especially when compared to the compelling portrayal of Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik in the previous films. The goals of these antagonists felt derivative, echoing a familiar yet diluted plot from the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The Knuckles trailer, featuring the iconic 1990s rap song “Knuck if You Buck,” showcased Rory McCann in a mysterious villain role. Known for his role as the Hound in Game of Thrones, McCann’s talent feels underutilised in this series. The character of The Buyer is disappointingly underdeveloped. However, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi) and Ellie Taylor deliver enjoyable performances as the antagonists, bringing a sense of fun and charisma to their roles. While their motivations are not deeply explored, their association with G.U.N. provides enough context for their menacing presence. Despite the lack of character development, the actors’ performances elevate the portrayal of these antagonists.

Paramount

As a fan of Sega’s iconic Hedgehog and the games I found that the series is enriched with thoughtfully placed Easter eggs and references, catering to fans like myself with a keen eye for detail. To my amazement, Knuckles undergoes a surprising transformation into a rock opera midway through, featuring spectacular needle drops and a soundtrack. The choice of the ’80s rock anthem ‘The Warrior’ by Scandal is a stroke of genius. It elevates the narrative and sets the tone for the action-packed adventure. The animated credit sequence features rewritable CDs organised in a binder, adds a unique touch to the overall presentation.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, “Knuckles” masterfully incorporates humour, action, and heartfelt moments, providing a captivating portrayal of the beloved Sonic character. The series excels in storytelling, performances, and hidden gems, ushering in an exciting new chapter for the Sonic The Hedgehog Cinematic Universe and leaving audiences eagerly anticipating more. Adam Pally delivers a standout performance in the six episodes alongside Idris Elba’s Knuckles. This lighthearted and entertaining series strikes a perfect balance between adventure and emotion, making it a hit with families.

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Comic Book Movies

The Penguin | Official Teaser — HBO Max

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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Genre:

Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Release Date:

2024

Director:

Craig Zobel

Cast:

Colin Farrell, Cristin Milioti, Rhenzy Feliz

Plot Summary:

Following the events of ‘The Batman,’ Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin, makes a play to grab the reigns of the crime world in Gotham.

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Action

‘Warrior ‘ Cancelled After Three Seasons

Netflix has acquired the rights to ‘Warrior’

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Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji) has fought his final fight over at MAX, as the beloved martial arts show, Warrior, has been cancelled after just three seasons. However, fans may be happy, and hopeful to learn that streaming giant, Netflix has recently acquired all rights to the three seasons of the show set to start streaming February 2024. Does this mean we could get a fourth season after all? Well as we’ve seen with previous shows like Cobra Kai, one of Netflix’s biggest successes’, if Warrior does become a successful addition to the Netflix catalogue, then a fourth season is all but guaranteed. But only time will tell.

Starting its journey on Cinemax for its first two seasons, before landing an temporary place on MAX for its recent third season, Warrior now finds its third home in four years. Its first season premiered in 2019 on Cinemax through to 2020 before the the network announced the cancellation of all original programming. A year later, in 2021, MAX announced a third season of the show which premiered this summer.

Still from Warrior (MAX)

Series creator Jonathon Tropper shared in an exclusive article from Deadline that “Warrior is a show that simply refuses to die. Through platform and regime changes, the writers, producers, cast, crew, and our stunt team continued to make something powerful, relevant, and wildly unique. And now, thanks to Netflix, we’ve been given yet another lease on life, and I’m thrilled for everyone involved that millions more viewers around the world will discover it”.

Based upon the writings of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, Warrior follows Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy from China, who immigrates to San Francisco and a hatchet man for the most powerful Tong in all of China town.

For now though, Warrior is still available to stream on MAX

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