SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The summer blockbuster train keeps rolling this week with the release of "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts." I grew up with the Transformers animated series (and more than my share of the action figures as well) and while the initial thrill of seeing my robot heroes in a live-action film was immense, the franchise has never really even approached its potential. Where (or even if) “Rise of the Beasts” fits in chronologically in the franchise is unclear, but as a stand alone or spiritual sequel to “Bumblebee” it works well enough to be my favorite of the 7 films.
It's my birthday weekend and I’ll be celebrating by doing absolutely nothing. I’ve had a few remarkable, but energy consuming weekends and it’s time to recover. As such, I expect there to be plenty of “Diablo IV,” and diving into Apple TV+’s “The Crowded Room” and Shudder’s “Brooklyn 45.”
Last weekend I managed to squeeze in ESPN’s “The American Gladiators Documentary” – Wow, everything I expected and a whole lot more.
Studio Synopsis: Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured moviegoers around the world, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" will take audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduce a whole new faction of Transformer – the Maximals – to join them as allies in the existing battle for earth.
Starring: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, and language
Reaction: It’s by no means a masterpiece, but it’s still arguably the best Transformers film yet. [Full Review]
Where to Watch: Theaters
Studio Synopsis: Tom Holland stars as Danny Sullivan, a man who is arrested following his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979. A captivating thriller told through a series of interviews with curious interrogator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny’s life story unfolds, revealing elements of the mysterious past that shaped him, and the twists and turns that will lead him to a life-altering revelation.
Starring: Tom Holland, Amanda Seyfried, Sasha Lane, Will Chase, Lior Raz
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Where to Watch: Apple TV+
Studio Synopsis: This three-part documentary series chronicles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey from the countryside of Austria to the highest echelons of the American dream. In a series of candid interviews Schwarzenegger, his friends, foes, co-stars and observers cover everything from his days pumping iron to his triumphs in Hollywood, his time governing the state of California and both the joys and turbulence of his family life in a tale that matches his larger-than-life persona.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Studio Synopsis: "Never Have I Ever" is a coming-of-age comedy about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl. The series stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi, an overachieving high school student who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations. "Never Have I Ever" is created by executive producers, Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, with Fisher serving as the showrunner. "Never Have I Ever" is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and executive produced by 3 Arts Entertainment's Howard Klein and David Miner.
Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Darren Barnet
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Where to Watch: Netflix
Studio Synopsis: "Flamin’ Hot" is the inspiring story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who channeled his Mexican American heritage and upbringing to turn the iconic Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into a snack that disrupted the food industry and became a global pop culture phenomenon.
Starring: Jesse Garcia, Annie Gonzales, Emilio Rivera, Dennis Haysbert
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13 for some strong language and brief drug material
Where to Watch: Hulu
Studio Synopsis: Noah has to leave her town, boyfriend and friends behind and move into the mansion of William Leister, her mother’s new rich husband. Seventeen years old, proud and independent, Noah resists living in a mansion surrounded by luxury. There, she meets Nick, her new stepbrother, and the clash of their strong personalities becomes evident from the very beginning. Noah soon discovers that behind the image of a model son, Nick hides a life of fighting, gambling and illegal car racing–exactly what she has always run away from. Despite the abyss between them, both begin to feel an irresistible attraction that will soon turn into pure fire and unbridled passion. Neither the ongoing rivalry, nor the opposition of those around them can prevent them from falling secretly and madly in love. But Nick's turbulent present and Noah's stormy past will put to a test both their lives and their forbidden love.
Starring: Nicole Wallace, Gabriel Guevara, Marta Hazas, Iván Sánchez, Eva Ruiz, Victor Varona, Ivan Massagué
Where to Watch: Prime
Studio Synopsis: Friday, December 27 ,1945. Five military veterans gather in the ornate parlour of a Brooklyn brownstone. Best friends since childhood, they’ve reunited to support their troubled host–but when his invitation for cocktails turns into an impromptu séance, the metaphoric ghosts of their past become all-too-literal. Trapped in their host’s lounge, the Greatest Generation now finds themselves put to one final test, with their only route to freedom being more bloodshed.
Starring: Anne Ramsay, Ron E. Rains, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden, Ezra Buzzington, and Kristina Klebe
Genre: Drama, Horror
Where to Watch: Shudder