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Open Channel: Spider-Man, Nightmare Alley, and The Witcher Edition

There were Witchers and werewolves, but were there ways home? No.

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Promo image for The Witcher season 2 featuring Geralt, Ciri with a sword, and Yennefer in the background.
Image: Netflix

It was a pretty big weekend for movies, gang. Or rather, a particular movie: Nightmare Alley, the neo-noir psychological thriller from beloved horror darling Guillermo del Toro starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. The adaptation of the 1946 William Lindsay Gresham novel has seen mostly positive reviews, though it hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire, box office wise. What it excels at are things that del Toro movies tend to always excel at: excellent music and design, great casting, and direction that makes everything look so enchanting even when it veers into some truly messed up territory. Though we didn’t review it, we did see how it compares to del Toro’s earlier work and found it to be in the upper tier of what’s a really good track record overall.

Then again, given how the pandemic has suddenly taken a sharp turn so bad that even SNL had to run on a skeleton crew and hope this weekend, you probably opted to kick back at home. If you didn’t choose to catch up on Hawkeye before the finale on Wednesday, maybe you decided to open Netflix and toss a view to your Witcher, Henry Cavill. Season two hit, and it’s apparently a stronger, less chronologically confusing adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fantasy novels. It’s just as well, too, since Netflix is going all in on this property: along with a third season and that pretty good Nightmare of the Wolf movie from earlier this year, they’re doing a prequel with Michelle Yeoh, and a kid-focused spinoff is in the works. (Yeah, for real.)


Those sound like two pretty good ways to spend your weekend, and we do want to hear about them. (Mark spoilers if you got em on the brain, as always.) Going into 2022, I think Open Channels are going to be split between specific topics like this, and a broader “what pop culture did you consume” at the very end of the month, like what we did towards the end of November. If that sounds like a sound strategy, sound off about that in the comments below as well.

Oh, and tell us what you think about that Spider-Man movie. Heard that a lotta people think that it’s pretty dang good.


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