Jonathan Reed

Jonathan Reed

30 posts on Screen Times since March 2019

Jonathan is the Contributing Editor at Screen Times, contributing reviews, news and much more. Jonathan is also the editor of smallbites.me Twitter: @aylwardreed Email: jonathan@screentimes.net

Twitter: @sigjudge
Jonathan Reed

Season 2 of Dickinson Now Available

The first 3 episodes of Dickinson season 2 are now available to watch on Apple TV+. The subsequent 7 episodes will premiere every Friday.

Hailee Steinfeld stars as Emily Dickinson. Poet. Daughter. Total rebel. In this coming-of-age story, Emily’s determined to become the world’s greatest poet.

This marks the first headline show to premiere new episodes on TV+. Season 2 of Servant premieres Janurary 14th with For All Mankind returning on February 19th. Dickinson is already in production on season 3.

Watch Dickinson season 2.

Jonathan Reed

Defending Jacob, Little America in Top 10 Best Title Sequences by Art of the Title

Credit: Art of the Title
Credit: Art of the Title

In the many end of year lists, Apple TV+ shows have made a few, if not many, appearances. Ted Lasso being the most consistent performer.

However two shows have made it into the top 10 of one particular list.

Art of the Title is an excellent website ‘dedicated to title sequence design in film, TV, and beyond’. Featuring interviews with creators and industry insiders it’s more than worth a visit.

This years top 10 title sequences, as chosen by a panel of experts from within the industry, features appearances from Apple TV+ shows Defending Jacob and Little America.

The full list is worth a look with background info on how many of them were made and why they were chosen.

Jonathan Reed

Apple TV+ Development Round-up 5th Jan

Happy New Year! Welcome back to Screen Times. Later this week we’ll have a look ahead at our most anticipated Apple TV+ content. Until then, here’s your weekly development roundup.

———

Apple TV+ has a lot of shows and movies in development, with new announcements coming quite regularly.

Here’s all the news from the last week:

Olivia Cooke and Jonathan Pryce have been added to the cast of ‘Slow Horses’. They join Gary Oldman, Kristen Scott Thomas and Jack Lowden in the 12 part spy series.

Michaela Conklin has been announced as joining the cast of season 2 of For All Mankind as a new astronaut. The new season begins on February 19th.

Justin Timberlake’s new film ‘Palmer’ has a release date - January 29th. You can watch the trailer here.

Samuel L Jackson is returning to Apple TV+ in the new 6 part series ‘The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’. He will executive produce the show which will be another Apple Studios production.

Ted Lasso looks likely to end after the already commissioned season 3. Speaking on the podcast ‘Fake Doctors, Real Friends’, co-creator Bill Lawrence stated that star and co-creator Jason Sudeikis had mapped it out as a 3 season show.

Prince Harry’s series on mental health with Oprah seems to have been delayed until at least March this for unknown reasons as reported by The Sun.

Jonathan Reed

'Wolfwalkers' Review - The First A+ TV+ Oscar Contender

Wolfwalkers - now available on Apple TV+

There’s a sequence partway through Wolfwalkers where a wolf runs through the forest in a high sensory state as we follow along through this ‘tunnel’. It’s worth pointing out that this is a hand-drawn, 2D animated sequence. As is the rest of the film (with some small digital effects), resulting in what I can say is one of the most beautiful animated films in the last 20 years. I’m honestly struggling to find a film more beautiful. Some of Studio Ghibli's best work manages to be as good, but it would be tough to say which is the better looking.

In an age where 3D animated movies are not just preferred but the default, Wolfwalkers reminds us how stunning hand-drawn animation can be and why, when at the top of their game, 2D animated films can't be beaten on looks.

Wolfwalkers is based around the Irish folklore of people being cursed to live out their lives as wolves. So far, so ‘heard-it-before. However, the movie takes a much different, lighter approach and frames becoming a wolf as becoming the authentic version of yourself.

The main character, Robin, dreams of being a hunter, is proficient with her crossbow and even has a pet falcon. Meanwhile, her father (Sean Bean, all duty and obligation, in a role similar to his one in Game of Thrones) is working under the employment of The Lord Commander to root out the wolves who guard the forest and are hampering the attempts to knock it down. The Lord Commander is, in all but name, Oliver Cromwell, historically a prominent villain and oppressor in Ireland.

Without spoiling too much, Robin meets a 'Wolfwalker’ by the name of Mebh, who can turn into a wolf when she wants and has been raised in the forest. This makes her start to challenge her Father’s and society’s expectations for her as well as beginning to fight back against The Lord Commander’s destructive, oppressive reign.

Robin (Honor Kneafsey) is an immediately identifiable character. Full of life and inner strength while also sensitive and thoughtful. Combined with Mebh (Eva Whittaker), a very talkative and often brash girl, they make a great pairing and engaging to watch. Both young performers are great, but it’s Whittaker who really steals the show. There’s bringing a character to life, and then there’s her performance as Mebh. It’s hard to emphasise how much it brings to the film. Robin is our conduit into the story and the straight character. The only other main characters are Robin’s father and The Lord Commander, and they are very much supporting roles. Mebh could quite easily have been written and performed as an annoying loudmouth, but Whittaker’s infuses her with wit, passion, anger and a touch of sadness to power the story.

The story itself is excellent, yet very simple. While the legend of the Wolfwalker is based in Irish folklore, it’s hardly unique, and the story certainly contains hints of some of Ghibli’s work. The most obvious being Princess Mononoke. However it never feels old and apart from the maybe protracted climax, runs along at a great pace, never treading water.

The climax is probably the only real criticism of the film. Though while it could have done with some trimming, it’s not like it feels laboured at all an is always stunning to look at.

Which brings us to the animation, the real triumph of this film.

Not only are there lush, beautiful and detailed backgrounds but several animated styles are used. The film doesn’t just try to create lots of great styles for the sake of it, though. There is an incredible amount of thought into everything. The Lord Commander’s troops appear in this block style of animation while Mebh and the forest are in this free-flowing, loose style. We have scenes with a deep field of visions like the freedom of the forest.

Conversely, we see scenes of peril or just oppression within the township where backgrounds and the subjects are claustrophobically packed together. There are even small, fun touches like when some sheep are tipped out of a cage, and they keep their square shape for a moment. If you don’t want to go back for the story (you will), you’ll at least want to go back to marvel at the visuals.

Cartoon Saloon are a relatively young studio, still independent and with only a handful of films so far. However, they’ve shown that size is no substitute for talent. I hope they manage to stay independent and keep producing stunning pieces of work like this. There’s no reason to suspect they won’t.

If there is any justice, Wolfwalkers will win an Oscar. In the meantime, this is quite simply the perfect film to sit down to watch at Christmas with all your family. It's beautiful, uplifting, funny, charming, thrilling, shocking and ultimately incredibly enjoyable—a wonderful, well-needed treat to finish off the year.

Jonathan Reed

Apple TV+ Development Round-up 15th Dec

Apple TV+ has a lot of shows and movies in development, with new announcements coming quite regularly.

Here’s all the news from the last week:

Apple has given the green light to a new series starring Julia Roberts based on the upcoming novel ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’. The series will mark another production from Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Hello Sunshine’ production company to arrive on TV+ after ‘The Morning Show’ and ‘Truth Be Told’.

Scott Z Burns (‘The Report’, ‘Contagion’) will produce a new anthology series based around climate change for Apple TV+. It will consist of 10 ‘interconnecting’ episodes.

Apple has commissioned an adaptation of the novel “Dark Matter,” from the author of the novel, Blake Crouch.

Six more cast members have been added to the upcoming Rose Byrne Apple TV+ comedy ‘Physical’.

An adaptation of Carol Burnett’s memoir, ‘Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story’ has gained a director and could well be moving to Apple.

Finally, For All Mankind has been renewed for a third season, ahead of its second season premiere on February 19th.

Jonathan Reed

Apple TV+ Development Round-up 7th Dec

Apple TV+ has a lot of shows and movies in development, with new announcements coming quite regularly.

Here’s all the news from the last week (as I was on holiday):

Apple has ordered a new series about the world of competitive surfing. It will cover the 2021 World Surf League so won’t appear on TV+ for a while.

A new docuseries based on Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’s book ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’ is being made for Apple TV+. It will be hosted by the former senator and her daughter.

Dichen Lachman has joined the cast of the forthcoming drama ‘Severance’ as a series regular.

Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) is joining the Morning Show for season 2 as UBA news anchor Laura Peterson.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Morning Show) is to star in a new thriller ‘Surface’ from ‘High Fidelity’ creator Veronica West and Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine.

Apple has bought another Israeli thriller. Following in the footsteps of Tehran, Losing Alice will premiere January 22nd 2021. From Apple - “Losing Alice follows an aging director, Alice, and her growing obsession with a young screenwriter whose dark, troubling script appears to be more truth than fiction.”

A series based on the movie ‘How to be a Latin Lover’ entitled ‘Acapulco’ has been ordered by Apple. The bilingual series is produced by Lionsgate.

The previously announced film ‘Cherry’ starring Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo (the excellent ‘Wayne’) and directed by the Russo brothers will premiere on Apple TV+ on March 12th. This is 2 weeks after a run in theatres starting February 26th.

Jonathan Reed

Apple TV+ Development Round-up 23rd Nov

Apple TV+ has a lot of shows and movies in development, with new announcements coming quite regularly.

Here’s all the news from the last week:

Awkwafina is joining Glenn Close, Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris in the Apple TV+ Original Film. The ‘genre-bending’ movie will be written and directed by Benjamin Cleary.

Steve Lightfoot (The Punisher, Hannibal) is taking over show running duties on the Apple TV+ series ‘Shantaram’. The series was previously delayed after being acquired by Apple back in 2018. It’s set to star Charlie Hunnam.

Apple has acquired the rights for a film based on the creation of the iconic game ‘Tetris’. Produced by Matthew Vaughn’s ‘Marv’ production company, it’s set to star Taron Edgerton (Rocketman) and begin filming in December.

Jonathan Reed

Apple Reveals Premiere Date for ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’, Exclusive Apple Music Soundtrack

Apple has today announced a premiere date for the exclusive ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’ as well as further details on the show.

Premiering December 4th on Apple TV+, the ‘star studded’ special features Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland and Mykal-Michelle Harris.

Per Apple:

'Faced with a holiday cheer crisis, the North Pole knows there's only one person who can save the day: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Combining musical performances, dynamic dancing and groundbreaking animation, the undisputed Queen of Christmas jumps into action to create a holiday spectacular to make the whole world merry.’

The soundtrack, featuring Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, will be available exclusively on Apple Music from December 4th before appearing on other platforms a week later. Carey will also be interviewed by Zane Lowe on December 7th before appearing on Apple Music Hits for a six hour special Christmas hits run down.