The Lion King review deepfake copycat ain’t so grrreat

Disneys reboot of its much-loved 1994 animation is a plausibly real retelling of the story of prince Simba and his struggle against wicked uncle Scar After 25 years, during which it gained classic status as the last Disney picture in the old style that Walt himself would have endorsed and enjoyed a long afterlife in theatres all over the world with Julie Taymors staging and costumes, the 1994 animation The Lion King has been remade as a quasi-live-action digital movie. This is an anthro-leonine deepfake of impressive proportions, but the new Lion King gains in shock and awe while losing in character and wit. These are walking, talking animals that are realer than real and whose facial/speech patterns are eerily …

Stranger Things 3: a flawless finale but what a slog to get there

The ending is spectacular and beautiful TV, but before that, we had to endure Stranger Things: The Soap Opera for hour upon mind-flaying hour The end of Stranger Things 3 is tremendous. Its a blockbuster in every sense of the word; exciting, spectacular, funny and so unbelievably affecting that I cried for about 15 minutes after it ended. The final episode of Stranger Things 3 is a flawlessly executed, truly beautiful piece of television. But theres a problem. To watch the final episode of Stranger Things 3, you first have to watch the preceding seven episodes of Stranger Things 3. And, oh boy, are those a slog. Im starting to get the feeling that nobody expected Stranger Things to last …

Game of Thrones’ Indira Varma: ‘All I was being offered was women undressing’

She was ruthless Ellaria in the TV epic. As she appears in a Nol Coward comedy, the actor talks about her dreams of returning to mime and why sticking with her name may have hurt her career People always talk about that scream, says Indira Varma over salad and strawberries at the Old Vic theatre. The actor is recalling the howl she lets out in season four of Game of Thrones, after her lover Oberyn has his eyes gouged out by a hulking brute called the Mountain. Splatter flies and we cut to her character, Ellaria, who gives a blood-curdling screech. What personal demons, I wonder, was Varma summoning to produce that? It was the last thing they shot that …

Have podcasts sold out?

They used to be the Wild West, DIY and free for all, but now the big boys have arrived and theyre pushing us to pay. Heres how podcasts went from punk to mega bucks All you need to make it in podcasting is an idea, a laptop and a microphone. At least, thats been the received wisdom since the medium began its current boom six or seven years ago: its an inherently amateur, democratised means of communication, with the vast majority available for free. But is all that changing? Last week saw the launch of Luminary, a podcast platform with $100m of venture capital funding behind it, and deals already signed with Malcolm Gladwell, Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah and Conan …