From first-time director Juel Taylor (writer of Creed II, Space Jam: A New Legacy and Shooting Stars) is They Cloned Tyrone, a Black comedy conspiracy thriller starring John Boyega (Attack the Block, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Boyega plays Fontaine, a drug-dealer reeling from the loss of his little brother Ronnie who spends his life repeating the same pattern. When his routine is interrupted and he needs to collect his money from pimp Slick Charlie – Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Soul) in a charming, comedic role – he is shot and killed by a rival dealer.
Then the day starts over, Fontaine is back to routine, and still needs to collect his money, leading Charlie to explain what happened the night before. Recruiting Charlie’s prostitute Yo-Yo – Teyonah Parris (Dear White People, If Beale Street Could Talk, WandaVision) – who also witnessed Fontaine’s death, the trio track down the van that took his body. From there a wide-ranging conspiracy unfurls that targets their community.
They Cloned Tyrone is tightly plotted, constantly revealing more about the conspiracy, adding new details and new characters as demanded, and offers some clever reveals. Boyega is able to showcase a wide range – as his various clones are at the centre of the conspiracy and he’s given the opportunity to essentially play several characters – and so provide a strong focal point for the movie. This is perhaps his strongest outing since Attack the Block.
Teyonah Parris is phenomenal throughout – shifting from comedy sidekick to protagonist as the plot is uncovered, and playing off of both Boyega and Foxx perfectly. They Cloned Tyrone also features performances by J Alphonse Nicholson, Tamberla Perry, David Alan Grier and Kiefer Sutherland.
Last weekend was San Diego Comic Con. As a celebration of the event, Prime Video added an hour-long episode of Invincible to its service. This episode – Invincible: Atom Eve – is not actually a continuation of the story from 2021’s first season. Nor is it exactly a showcase for the second season. Debuting in 2021, Invincible is based on the long-running comic book by Robert Kirkman (who along with Tony Moore created The Walking Dead), Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley. The series focuses on the son of the world’s greatest hero, Omni-Man – played by J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Palm Springs, Spider-Man) – who longs to gain his own powers and become a super-hero. Mark Grayson – Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, Beef) gains his abilities just as he learns the truth about the kind of man his father really is.
This episode though is the origin story of Atom Eve – Gillian Jacobs (Community, Transatlantic, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty) – and it’s a dark story. Even at its most optimistic, Invincible is a show that refuses to shy away from violence.
Despite the bright look of the series, and the colourful costumes of its characters, most episodes include at least one bloody fight, or unexpected consequence. As a story, Invincible: Atom Eve is a strong outing for the show, but it’s unlikely to whet appetites for the second season for long.
Futurama has returned for the third time. Originally debuting in 1999, Futurama was the second TV show created by Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Disenchantment) alongside longtime Simpsons writer David X Cohen. The show’s original run lasted until 2003 before being revived for a series of direct-to-video movies (Bender’s Big Score, The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender’s Game and Into the Wild Green Yonder – available in episode formats as season five on Disney+ in 2008.
Futurama was revived again for a set of new seasons in 2010 and ran until 2013.
Now, the show’s returned again – having aired at least three different finale episodes – and picking up exactly where they left off. Once again, Futurama is filled with familiar faces, not just the returning cast – Billy West (who plays Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan and is also known for Space Jam, Ren & Stimpy and more), Katey Sagal (Leela, Married…with Children, Sons of Anarchy), John DiMaggio (Bender, Adventure Time, Kim Possible, Inside Job), Phil LaMarr (Hermes, Pulp Fiction, Murderville) and Lauren Tom (Amy, Friends, Batman Beyond, Ghost of Tsushima) – but also returning writers and directors from the series’ past.
The first episode featured Fry trying to stream every TV show ever – a plot that eerily resembles this article series – and was a welcome return to the world of the future. The story seemed oddly timely as well, with part of its story playing on reboots and the revival of dead actors for classic roles, as well as Bender (a robot) replacing a writer’s room. While past revivals have been hit-or-miss, and much the same can be said of Groening’s Netflix original Disenchantment, Futurama is still a welcome return – able to comfortably continue from its last ending.
New episodes drop on Mondays.