Associated Press AP

Every Single Outfit Meghan Markle Wore on Her Royal Tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand

Meghan Markle is expecting a baby, but she’s also celebrating another royal first: She and Prince Harry have embarked on a royal tour of the Commonwealth halfway across the globe. From October 16 through 31, the couple will visit Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand, with an education- and serviced-based itinerary centered around environmental conservation, youth leadership, and rehabilitation for servicemen and women. And as we know from previous royal tours, that means there are a lot of photo ops.

With several days of appearances and events lined up, we’re gearing up for two straight weeks of Duke and Duchess of Sussex moments—from PDA to, yes, fashion. And from the moment she touched down in Sydney, Markle has delivered. (Not that we expected anything less from a woman who can wear tuxedo dresses and fast-fashion blouses with equal finesse.) Early outfits have included looks by Karen Gee and Brandon Maxwell, which has only raised the anticipation for the rest of her travel wardrobe. So we’re gathering them all in one place: Check out every single ensemble Markle has worn on her 2018 royal tour so far, with plenty of updates coming throughout the next two weeks.

We bring you the trends. You make them your own. Sign up for our daily newsletter to find the best fashion for YOU.

Undertale Creator Releases Brand New Game For Free

Yesterday, Undertale developer Toby Fox, or more specifically, the Twitter account he surely manages for the game, promised that something was going to happen today. Well, that something has now happened, and it’s a brand new game, and it’s entirely free.

If you head on over to the new website, it welcomes users to the page in both English and Japanese. It warns you that there may be flashing or moving imagery but after taking heed of the warning it says that it’s all in your hands. The page also says there may be security protocols that have to be overrided to use the program. It finishes up by saying that gamers should refrain from discussing Delta Rune for 24 hours. At that point there are links to the English and Japanese download links for Windows and MacOS.

While the following might not be considered spoilers for the new game, based on the previous weirdness that was Undertale, who knows, so consider this a spoiler warning.

The program clocks in at 77MB, so it’s a rather tiny download. Once you install the program you’ll boot it up and it’ll go through some basic dialogue before bringing you to the character creation menu, where you can choose the character’s head, torso and legs.

You’ll then need to choose your favorite food, color, blood type, and what sort of gift you’ll give. After going through the whole creation process the entire thing will be discarded and you’ll end up playing Kris in what looks like a standard Undertale game.

The shock release of the project managed to take social media by storm, causing Toby Fox and Undertale to trend. If you like the 8-bit style designs and the simplistic visuals and gameplay then it might be up your alley. It’s obviously aimed at a younger audience, and it reminds me a lot of Scott Cawthon and the Five Nights at Freddy‘s games.

In fact, Cawthon used to do similar antics with releasing the games, sometimes making cryptic posts or misdirections on Steam only to release the game the next day. A lot of it was done just to mess with entertainment culture and the expectations of linear announcements. Most games, movies, books, or music all usually have release dates rolled out well ahead of time, and in between the announcement and the release there are screenshots, trailers, media packets and interviews all hyping the release of the product.

For indie developers, they don’t have to abide by the rules of standard media practices, and we’re seeing that with projects like the Delta Rune project that Toby Fox rolled out, which appears to be another entry in the Undertale series. What’s more is that it’s completely free. You don’t have to pay a dime to get in on the action… right now.

I suppose that kind of kills the rumors about a character from Undertale making an appearance in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. But I’m sure fans of Toby Fox’s original game are probably happier about getting a brand new game as opposed to a single character appearing in another game.

If you want you some more Undertale, you can grab a free copy of Delta Rune right now from the official website.

5 Times Disney Tried To Launch A Film Franchise And Failed

Disney is one of the best studios when it comes to making film franchises. It’s remarkable how many of the studio’s properties has seen at least one sequel, and how many of those have been remade over the years. There are more Flubber and Love Bug movies than you probably think and let’s not even talk about how many damn Air Bud films there are in the universe. Even these relatively small ideas became bigger franchises over time. Sometimes these franchises come to be because of the success of the first film, but frequently studios go into a project expecting to make more. From the moment Disney added a subtitle to the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it was clear it smelled a franchise.

However, even the best get it wrong once in a while. Sometimes the franchise idea doesn’t work out. There have clearly been times when Disney thought they had the next best movie property, but instead, just had a movie, and a less than successful one at that. Here are five examples of franchises that even the all-powerful Walt Disney Company couldn’t make happen.

The Lone Ranger

How more clear could it possibly have been at the beginning that Disney had big plans for The Lone Ranger. The film brought together the writers, director and star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise for another action adventure summer blockbuster that simply swapped out the classic pirate archetype for the American cowboy. Also, like the Pirates movies, it was all based on a property people had at least heard of before.

In the end, The Lone Ranger was evidence that making lightning strike twice isn’t easy. The movie was incredibly expensive to produce and thus, it struggled financially from the outset. There are many potential reasons for this. Johnny Depp’s over-the-top performance as Tonto is one. The hit-and-miss nature of the modern western is another. The fact that The Lone Ranger, as a name, simply doesn’t resonate the way it once did may be the biggest factor. I didn’t actually think this movie was as bad as many did. The climactic action sequence on the train is actually really good. But there certainly wasn’t enough interest to make a sequel ever happen.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The Lone Ranger thing really should never have happened because Disney should have learned that lesson years earlier. Back in 2010 the studio took the director and the star of the popular National Treasure movies and brought them back to make a film based on another well-known character, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. While the movie has essentially nothing to do with the segment from Fantasia that Disney fans know, save one scene involving brooms, it was an attempt to turn that name into a new action franchise.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice wants to be a franchise so badly it even has a post-credits scene to help set up the future installments that would never happen. 2010 seems to be about the point when Nicolas Cage started to make a transition from Hollywood headliner to “slightly crazy dude that will star in almost anything.” Whether The Sorcerer’s Apprentice lack of box office reception was a cause or an effect of this change isn’t really clear. In the end, the movie just wasn’t very engaging and it’s certainly not the kind of movie that leaves you wanting more.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Generally speaking, if you give your movie a subtitle, and it’s not a sequel itself, then it’s because you expect to be making other films of the same title in the future. The fact that this movie was based on the video game reboot, titled The Sands of Time and not the original Prince of Persia video game from the 1980s is really irrelevant to your movie.

If you remember at all that somebody made a movie based on the Prince of Persia video game series, you still may not remember that the film was made by Disney. While it’s actually one of the better film adaptations of a video game, it certainly didn’t attract enough interest to greenlight another movie. Maybe it’s because they cast Jake Gyllenhaal as a guy who was supposed to Persian? The film had Disney’s worst Memorial Day Weekend box office total to date, and that doesn’t get you sequels.


While Disney’s success turning theme park attractions into successful movies basically starts and ends with the Pirates of the Caribbean series, there has been no end of attempts to make the theme park successful fodder for the movies. Such was the case when Tomorrowland hit the screen.

While Tomorrowland had a familiar name, it was essentially an original project as the area at Disneyland and Walt Disney World from which it takes its name doesn’t have a story of its own. It starred Britt Robertson and George Clooney and imagined a progressive and futuristic city where all of the world’s greatest minds could work together for the betterment of all.

The film was inspired by the futurist ideas of Walt Disney that were exemplified by his creation of Tomorrowland, but the future for the movie itself would be far less optimistic.

John Carter

A corollary to the above rule about putting subtitles in your movies is that if you’re making a movie based on the first book of a long-running series, you’re probably at least aware of the possibility that you might make the other books into movies too. You don’t turn Princess of Mars into John Carter, thinking you won’t continue the story.

I actually like John Carter and wish that the film had done well enough to warrant those sequels, but I’m in the minority in this. While Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars books are some of the most popular science fiction stories of their era, the fact is that they’re just not super popular today, and a movie with the utterly boring title of John Carter isn’t going to draw in those who aren’t familiar with them.

John Carter wasn’t even a terrible flop, making nearly $300 million around the world. If it hadn’t cost so much to make we might have still seen this franchise be born, and there have even been rumblings something could happen with it, but I’m not holding my breath.

How To Train Your Dragon Game Coming Alongside The New Movie

DreamWorks is putting some serious muscle behind its How to Train Your Dragon property, announcing this week that a new game boasting an original story will launch alongside the upcoming third movie. It’s called DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders, and it’s heading to Europe and the U.S. next February.

Hard to believe, but the Dragons series has been going strong for nearly a decade already, including a pair of hit motion pictures, a handful of video games and even a television series or two. The story will continue next year with the arrival of the new film, The Hidden World, which will be accompanied by a new game that actually breaks the traditional film-to-game mold. For starters, Dawn of New Riders isn’t actually based on the movie.

When a movie and its tie-in game launch so close together, usually the game is a direct retelling of said movie. Every once in a while, though, a developer gets to weave their own tale. As we’ve seen with games like The Chronicles of Riddick and Wolverine, that typically results in a much better game, so hopefully that’ll be the case with Dawn of New Riders.

While the movie will follow the beloved cast of characters on a new and harrowing adventure into uncharted territory, the game will star characters Scribbler and Patch. Scribbler is a bit of an odd duck and his dragon is no different, as it’s apparently a hybrid creature. We know that the game will boast a new villain, Eir, and that she is somehow controlling dragons in order to carry out an evil plot. That sounds pretty similar to the plot of the first film, making me wonder if Eir is perhaps related to a previous series villain. We’ll just have to wait until February to find out.

According to the announcement from DreamWorks and Outright Games, this new chapter in the Dragons franchise will boast plenty of fan service on top of all of the original content.

Players will get to fly to brand new locations, as well as familiar locales such as Havenholme and Valka’s Mountain. You’ll also meet characters from the movies and television shows along the way. The announcement makes the game sound like it’s going to boast a pretty open world, which would make sense if you’re going to be flying around on a dragon all of the time.

Along the way, Patch will earn new abilities that will come in handy both in combat and while solving puzzles. The game even sounds like it takes a page from The Last Guardian, as players will be able to guide both Scribbler and Patch as they work together to solve puzzles.

Given the fact that Dragons 3 launches on March 3, we wouldn’t be surprised if the game’s story either runs concurrent to or just before the upcoming film. But, again, we’ll have to wait for DreamWorks to reveal more before we can be certain.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots

1. When did boots first walk the earth?
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots
Illustration: Kerry Hyndman

Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator of Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, said that boots arrived in men’s fashion in the 15th century. Early on, they were “skintight,” like a soled sock that crept up the leg. In the 17th century, the heel appeared, a crucial step on the boot’s journey. The 18th century brought the gentleman’s riding boot.

2. I’m sick of clunky boots. Can you point me to some lighter options that won’t kill my toes?
From left: Lawry Chelsea Boots, $2,000,; Handsewn Maine Guide 6 Eye Boots, $594,; Z Zegna Boot, $675, Ermenegildo Zegna 212-421-4488
From left: Lawry Chelsea Boots, $2,000,; Handsewn Maine Guide 6 Eye Boots, $594,; Z Zegna Boot, $675, Ermenegildo Zegna 212-421-4488 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas

There is hope yet for your tired puppies. A wave of airily comfortable options—from feather-light, rubber-soled innovations to sneaker/boot hybrids—mean that putting on a boot no longer has to feel like squeezing your foot into vintage ice skates. Above, three ideas for new cushy kicks.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots
Photo: Getty Images
3. Can I wear boots with a suit?

Depends on the boot. Mr. Taffel of Leffot stressed that the most suitable styles are “functional enough to wear in the weather plus dressy enough to wear in the office.” He recommended solid-colored, cap-toe lace-ups like those from English cobblers Edward Green and Crockett & Jones. The shape is “not too bulky, not too chunky” so that “if you had your pant leg over it, it would almost look like you’re wearing a shoe.” Regarding pants, Mr. Arnold at Mr. Porter noted that “proportion is important.” Tight pants with a boot will make your leg look like “a golf club,” while loose, long trousers are sloppy. A straight-cut suit is your best bet with boots, as shown on the gentleman.

4. Has any guy ever pulled off an Ugg?
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots

Tom Brady (above), the ex-spokesman for Uggs, has worn these shearling-lined slipper-boots for years. So if you’re Tom Brady, or his doppelgänger, go right ahead.

5. When it comes to versatility, are black or brown boots better?

While both have their merits, basic brown has the edge. Black “can either look really dressy if it’s a black dress shoe or, if it’s a work boot, it can be cop-looking, that military look,” said Steven Taffel, owner of Leffot shoe stores in Manhattan and Chicago, which sells more brown than black boots. At Mr. Porter, brown similarly outsells black, and its style director, Olie Arnold, said the retailer has recently found success with boots in oxblood, a rich reddish-brown. “Some of the guys in the office are wearing [oxblood boots] with a winter white denim which looks great,” said Mr. Arnold. “It’s not the usual but adds some sophistication to your wardrobe.”

6. How cheap is too cheap for boots?
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots
Illustration: Kerry Hyndman

“We’re talking boots so there’s a bit more material, there’s a bit more to the construction, so I think $200-$400 is a fair range to be in,” said David Mesquita of Leather Spa. Through his work, Mr. Mesquita has seen boots of all kinds and cautioned that cheaper boots can cost you more in repairs in the long run. Still, he is equally wary of expensive “designer boots,” which, despite prices upward of a thousand dollars, may not be waterproof or nearly as durable as their midprice, but less luxe, counterparts.

7. For an obsessive boot collector, what is the Holy Grail?
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots
Photo: Heritage Auctions

You can find a boot crafted of lizard skin or even kangaroo skin for upward of a few thousand dollars, but if you’re really looking for brag-worthy footwear, go for a pair of Muhammad Ali’s ring-worn boxing boots. In 2015, his boots from the “Thrilla in Manila” bout (pictured) sold at Heritage Auctions in Chicago for a whopping $119,500.

8. Will cowboy boots give me a sexy strut?
Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Men’s Boots
Photo: Getty Images

They can, though the heeled boots “might take a little bit of getting used to,” said Mr. Porter’s Mr. Arnold. You want to look natural in them like John Wayne (left), not affected like then-presidential candidate Marco Rubio, who was ridiculed for his high-heeled boots during a 2016 campaign stop in New Hampshire. Worn with dark jeans and sport coats, cowboy boots can even work at the office. As Mr. Arnold reminded us, “confidence is everything.”

9. My boots are wrecked from last winter—shredded soles, dinged toes, the works. Can I salvage them?

In the hands of a good cobbler, just about anything is possible: replacing the sole, fixing a broken eyelet or even swapping out a zipper. David Mesquita, co-owner of Leather Spa, a New York shop that refinishes footwear, advises men to keep an eye on the heel and the tip of the sole; these wear down the fastest but can be a cheap repair. If you have let your boots go completely, he recommended spending no more than 50% of the cost of a new pair on a repair.

10. I’ve heard so many different names for different boots. What do they all mean? And which do I actually need?
R.M. Williams Comfort Leather Chelsea Boots, $495,
R.M. Williams Comfort Leather Chelsea Boots, $495, Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Chelsea Boots

WHAT THEY ARE: Ankle boots with elasticated sides. They emerged in the 1840s (after Charles Goodyear invented rubber) and were popularized by the Beatles in the ’60s.

WHY YOU’D WANT THEM: Marrying a comfy fit with a sleek, rounded toe-shape, it’s the boot that everyone could use this fall.

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Versatile, minimalist Chelseas work well with tapered trousers and wider khakis.

The Earl Boots, $225,
The Earl Boots, $225, Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Roper Boots

WHAT THEY ARE: They share a notched-up heel and bronco-tough exterior with cowboy boots, but ropers are a smidgen shorter.

WHY YOU’D WANT THEM: For a hardy yet handsome Southwestern edge. The cliché holds true: If they’re tough enough for cowboys, they’ll be able to take whatever you toss at ‘em.

HOW TO WEAR THEM: With a plaid shirt and some light denim for the weekend. Yard work optional.

6-inch Moc Boots, $280,
6-inch Moc Boots, $280, Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Work Boots

WHAT THEY ARE: Thick leather stompers with a tough rubber sole.

WHY YOU’D WANT THEM: Whether you’re shoveling snow or hauling lumber, or just hope to appear as if you do, work boots are for you.

HOW TO WEAR THEM: If you are actually wearing them for work, pair with coveralls. But if your “work” is more of the graphic-design variety, go for a navy sweater and straight-legged jeans for balance.

Desert Boots, $130,
Desert Boots, $130, Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Chukka Boots

WHAT THEY ARE: Stout, two-eyelet casual boots, most often made of suede, they’re descended from the boots that British officers wore in Egypt during WWII.

WHY YOU’D WANT THEM: They’re the loafers of fall—a relaxed kick-around shoe that is easy to walk in thanks to the squishy sole.

HOW TO WEAR THEM: Suede fraternizes nicely with textured slacks in corduroy or flannel.

Alden Parker Boots, $595,
Alden Parker Boots, $595, Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Officer Boots

WHAT THEY ARE: Formal, cap-toe, lace-up boots, derived from calf-high riding boots worn by soldiers in both World Wars.

WHY YOU’D WANT THEM: Despite their front line roots, leather construction and orderly design make them the pre-eminent dress boots.

HOW TO WEAR THEM: These are the boots for a suit, as long as they’re polished enough to satisfy an actual military officer.

More in Style & Fashion

Justice League’s Ray Fisher Still Wants Zack Snyder To Direct A Cyborg Movie

The DC Extended Universe landscape has changed a lot in the last four years. In late 2014, Warner Bros announced its initial slate of movies for the franchise, and a Cyborg movie was intended to be released in 2020. Fast-forward to now, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Cyborg will arrive in 2020, but actor Ray Fisher is interested in having Zack Snyder helm that standalone movie if it ends up moving forward. In Fisher’s words:

Zack explained what the overall plan for me was at the time and that there was the potential of a Cyborg standalone down the line. Assuming the story would be grounded and compelling, I’d love to do a solo film. I think Cyborg has the potential for a superhero film unlike any we’ve seen before. If Zack were to ever come back to direct another DC film, he’d be my top pick to direct.

Thus far, Ray Fisher has appeared in two DCEU movies as Cyborg, both of which were directed by Zack Snyder. Since Fisher had a good time working with the director, I can’t blame the actor for wanting to collaborate with him again, especially since Snyder had mapped out what was going to happen with Cyborg post-Justice League.

This is certainly an interesting prospect that Ray Fisher brought up during his interview with DC World, but the chances of it actually happening are questionable. Although he’s attached as a producer on various upcoming DCEU movies, Zack Snyder currently isn’t attached to direct anything in the franchise, and as of this past May, he’s expected to work on an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead next. So unless there are some massive shifts behind the scenes of the DCEU, I doubt this will happen, at least anytime soon.

Although Cyborg had ties with the Justice League in the comics pre-2011, for the first three decades of his existence, he was best known as a member of the Teen Titans. But when the New 52 reboot changed the DC universe’s history, Cyborg was established as one of the Justice League’s founding members, a plot element that was retained Justice League: War (the first entry of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series) and the DCEU.

We were introduced Victor Stone in the DCEU through video footage on Lex Luthor’s metahuman files in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There, we watched as Victor’s father, Dr. Silas Stone, tried desperately to rebuild his son after a horrible accident and failing with each attempt. It was only when he merged Victor with one of the three Mother Boxes left on Earth after Steppenwolf first tried to conquer Earth that Silas had any luck, although the transformation was definitely painful for Victor.

When we reunited with Victor in Justice League, he was a full Cyborg, although he subsequently had to hide from the world and grew frightened of his abilities. Victor wasn’t initially interested in working with Batman and Wonder Woman, but after Silas was kidnapped by Parademons, he teamed up with them. With Aquaman, Flash and Superman (at the tail end of the movie), the six of them formed the Justice League, Earth’s new team of enhanced defenders.

Like the rest of its starring heroes, Justice League left Cyborg in a place that set the stage for a standalone adventure. In his case, he’d made amends with his father and adopted a look closer to that of his comic book counterpart’s while exploring what he’s capable of at S.T.A.R. Labs. Had the DCEU evolved as originally intended, we would have gotten Cyborg’s movie in early 2020, followed by Green Lantern Corps a few months later.

As things stand now, there are two DCEU movies scheduled for 2020: Birds of Prey will come out on February 7 and Wonder Woman 1984 will come out on June 5, having previously been slated for November 1, 2019. It’s possible that Warner Bros might release a third DCEU movie in 2020 (although the studio would need to work fast to start production), but judging by the lack of updates concerning Cyborg, it’s unlikely it will fill that slot.

We also can’t forget that what Zack Snyder originally envisioned for Justice League wasn’t what we ended up seeing on the silver screen. During post-production, Snyder stepped down from directorial duties and Joss Whedon, who’d already been hired to rewrite some of the movie’s scenes, was tasked with overseeing reshoots. The end result was a Justice League that felt like a Frankenstein creation, and while Ray Fisher has previously said that Snyder envisioned Cyborg having a “twisted, apocalyptic look,” that was sacrificed for the final product.

After Justice League received mixed reviews and underwhelming at the box office, the DCEU went through restructuring and Snyder’s future plans were set aside, including presumably what was supposed to happen with Cyborg. Had Snyder’s original vision remained intact, supposedly Justice League would have been the third movie in a five movie run (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice being the first two), and his future plans included Darkseid coming into play and killing off Batman.

So even if we were still traveling down this path, Zack Snyder likely would have been keeping busy with the Justice League sequels rather than working on Cyborg’s movie, thus requiring someone else taking the creative reins. But as mentioned earlier, things have changed and now the DCEU is adopting a more standalone approach with its movies.

As for Ray Fisher, despite some of Cyborg’s material being cut out of Justice League, he was happy with how the movie turned out and is obviously still interested in Victor Stone getting the spotlight to himself, even though he’s admitted that would be a costly endeavor. Both Fisher and Joe Morton, who plays Silas Stone, have kept the Cyborg movie conversation going, and who knows, maybe down the line Warner Bros and DC will decide that a Cyborg movie is worth making after all, even if Zack Snyder isn’t the one who directs it.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest updates concerning Cyborg and the rest of the DCEU. If you’re interested in learning what else this franchise has in development, look through our DC movies guide.

Blended From Around The Web


The Best Way To Play Red Dead Redemption 2

Arthur Morgan is propped against a rock as Red Dead Redemption 2 loads my most recent save. Nestled on the outskirts of camp, he’s either dozing or deep in contemplation. He only stirs when I grab the controller and make him move, joining the lazy hum of activity going on around him.

I check my map for a refresher on what missions I currently have available, opting to meet up with Hosea at a ranch to the southeast for a new “business opportunity.” I stroll through camp at a leisurely pace, chatting up members of the Van der Linde gang along the way. I stop off at the stew pot for a meal and grab some supplies before hitting the trail. I ran out of bullets during a recent misunderstanding in Valentine and don’t want to make that mistake a second time.

Sable is waiting for me at the hitching post, playfully digging her hoof into the dirt. I feed her a carrot and give her a good brushing before mounting up, exiting camp through the trees and remembering to give Bill a holler as I pass.

In most games, I would have likely carried out the above actions in a matter of moments, possibly working through a series of menus rather than moseying to various tents in a sleepy camp. The polite conversation, which adds a subtle but wonderful bit of depth to the NPCs of my cowboy family, would likely be completely absent.

If I was playing Assassin’s Creed or Spider-Man, I would be moving from location to location at a breakneck speed. When I arrived at my destination, a fast and furious fight would end with a results screen or a quick break to gather resources from my fallen enemies, at which point I’d be sprinting or swinging on to the next bit of action peppered across the map. While there’s nothing wrong with this sort of gameplay loop, I’ve discovered that Red Dead Redemption is a much more methodical game that actively wants the player to take their time. It’s utterly gratuitous in its leisurely pace, and it’s a better game for it.

The mathematical part of my brain treats most games like a checklist. A mission on the map is a box that needs to be stamped with a “Complete” label and my job as the hero is to blow through as many of those encounters as quickly as possible. Part of that is due to the pacing the developers have purposefully built into the game and, coupled with my own desire to stay current or “part of the conversation” with as many new games as possible, I usually fly through them one after the other.

In a weird sort of way, Rockstar has figured out how to disable my desire to see Red Dead Redemption 2 through to its conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely want to see how this story unfolds, I’m just in no particular hurry to get there.

In RDR2‘s opening hours, the Van der Linde gang finds itself all but stranded in the frozen north, practically crawling through knee-high snow on a quest for literally greener pastures. Whether you’re riding a horse or trudging through fresh powder, almost every action must be made at a slower clip. I think those opening hours helped prepare me for the game ahead, getting me used to the idea that Red Dead 2 is not an experience made to be sprinted through. While it’s certainly possible to play the game faster than I’m managing, it feels almost vulgar to do so.

Back to the mission at hand, I don’t bother to mark my next objective on the map. I’ve only been riding through these hills for about a dozen hours at this point, but I’m starting to learn the breathtaking landscape by heart. And while I could get to my destination more quickly by spurring Sable into a full gallop, I instead wind my way down the trail at a casual trot, keeping an eye and an ear out for unexpected opportunities or danger. Along the way, I may decide to head into a muddy patch to help a stranger repair their wagon. Hell, I might decide to steal it from them afterward, making a break for a nearby stable I know will pay me good money for a quality cart. If the mood catches me, I might stroll off into a tangle of trees to hunt small game or fish. I might even notice a small shack I haven’t spotted before and decide to do a little exploring, potentially digging up yet another mission along the way.

No matter what I do, I know that there will be a process involved; a process that’s typically missing from other games because, let’s face it, most of us are impatient. But Red Dead Redemption 2 is a game that demands a certain degree of patience from the player and even rewards those who are willing to settle in and slow things down even further. Just about every act has a detailed animation and, while I can certainly understand folks getting frustrated with how that slows the game down, I find myself appreciating it more and more for the fact that it’s keeping me in such a contemplative state of mind. Everything has a process, and working through the motions of those processes is proving to be exceptionally rewarding.

There are few ticking clocks in Red Dead Redemption 2. When a mission appears on the map, it’ll be waiting for me whenever I’m ready to tackle it. At this point in my playthrough, even those missions seem to lack a sense of urgency while they’re unfolding. Some folks might holler at me to “hurry it up,” but taking longer to search a cabin for useful resources doesn’t actually bear a penalty. Even shootouts are less bombastic than you might expect from a third-person action game. I know things will amp up as I progress further into the campaign but, for now, my pistol is pretty slow to fire and my enemies aren’t especially eager to take advantage of the fact that they’ve got me outnumbered and surrounded. Instead, I get to take them out one at a time while enjoying some good-natured banter with my cohorts. Even in these life or death scenarios, nobody seems interested in picking up the pace.

Not a lot of games are able to put me into this kind of mindset. When I sit down to play Red Dead Redemption 2, I’m not thinking about how many missions I’ll be able to knock out in the next couple of hours. Its narrative is strong, but it isn’t grabbing me by the ear as if to say “I am the most important thing and you must pay attention to me until I am done with you.” The world is clearly the star here and, so far, I’m in no hurry to leave it.

Blended From Around The Web


Vanderpump Rules Season 7 Trailer: Watch Here

Were you worried now that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal tour is over there might be a pop-culture hole in your life? Or perhaps the stress of the upcoming midterms is weighing you down? Don’t worry, because Bravo is here to save the day with a glorious new trailer for the upcoming seventh season of Vanderpump Rules.

It’s truly got everything you could ever want from the reality series: a look inside Brittany and Jax’s engagement, the opening of Tom Tom, screaming fights that include acrylic nail pointing, tears, and copious amounts of alcohol. The core S.U.R. gang is all back, including Jax, Britt, Sandoval, Ariana, Schwartz, Katie, Kristen, Stassi, Lala, James, and their boss/surrogate mother Lisa Vanderpump. And it looks like we’ll be seeing more of James’ girlfriend Raquel and Stassi’s new man, who Bravo describes as “eccentric” in a press release accompanying the trailer. I cannot wait to find out what that means. But given that he utters the quote, “It’s like you dick-punched my heart!” in the clip below, I think he’ll fit in just fine.

Take a look, below:

I am being 100% honest and transparent when I say that Pump Rules is, to me, the very best drama on television. The meltdowns are always epic, and that clip of Kristen falling over a table will become a GIF that I use endlessly. Even better than the fall? Lala’s response, “That’s SO trashy.”

But the season promises some serious stuff, too. Per Bravo’s press release, Katie “takes a stand for the women of SUR and delivers an ultimatum to Lisa that sends reverberations throughout the entire restaurant.” Meanwhile, Lala will be dealing with the sudden death of her father, and James seems to have one of his crying fits that is almost certainly due to him getting fired from his DJ gig at S.U.R…again. As for Scheana, her “obsession” with the restaurant’s newest employee gets the gossip mill going that she hasn’t changed at all when it comes to relationships. In other news, Ariana and Tom are battling—oh, and we might be getting a villainous Kristen back when she drops an “explosive rumor about James” that will affect the entire group.

Bring. It. On. The new season starts on December 3 at 9 PM ET. Until then, we’ll be watching the preview above on a loop.

Related Content:

How Kyle Chan Became the Unofficial Jeweler to the Bravo Stars

Even Rihanna Loves Vanderpump Rules

One Flash Star Is Temporarily Leaving The Show For Medical Reasons

The Flash has introduced many mysteries in Season 5 thus far, but it hasn’t revealed much about one character many fans are talking about. What’s going on with Joe West? The character has been seen sitting through most of the early episodes this season, and was just recently seen leaning up against a doorway in “News Flash.” Now The Flash has laid all speculation to rest by explaining Jesse L. Martin injured himself and will be temporarily leaving the show for medical reasons.

Apparently, The Flash has been making sure Joe West doesn’t have to move a lot due to a back injury Jesse L. Martin suffered over the hiatus. A studio rep explained that the injury will keep Martin off of The Flash, but did not say how long or when he’ll disappear. There was also no explicit confirmation by the rep to TVLine that The Flash would address why Joe would be absent, although it is being reported it will be mentioned.

It’d be ideal if The Flash addresses Joe West’s absence, rather than just have him disappear for an undisclosed amount of time. Jesse L. Martin has been such a presence in past seasons that fans were quick to pick up on the fact something was up when he was just seated through many of his Season 5 scenes. Removing him completely will definitely have an impact on the drama, but hopefully it will be what Martin needs to better heal.

If The Flash does explain Jesse L. Martin’s absence, it will be interesting to see what leads to his exit, however temporary. Joe could say he’s leaving Central City with his family until things die down. The Flash could also just get meta and have Detective Joe West suffer from the same back injury Jesse L. Martin has. Either would put him out of commission and allow Martin to relax while the rest of The Flash cast presses on filming Season 5.

If ever there was a time for Jesse L. Martin to get fewer scenes in The Flash, Season 5 would probably be it. Between Iris and Barry dealing with Nora, Cisco being sad, Caitlin trying to figure out if her father is alive, and Ralph and Sherloque Wells tracking down Cicada, there’s a lot to cover. Joe’s second round of fatherhood is cool and all, but I think it’s safe to surmise fans want to spend more time on the aforementioned things than that.

It’s also worth mentioning we don’t know how many episodes Jesse L. Martin filmed before taking medical leave. The Flash could have 2-3 more scenes of West strategically positioned for maximum comfort and pretending everything is fine and he’s always been a fan of sitting. Even if he is going away, at least fans can lay to rest any theories that Joe was secretly a villain in disguise who wasn’t great at standing.

The Flash will roll on while Jesse L. Martin is on the mend, as Season 5 airs on The CW Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at the other television shows popping up over the next couple of months, be sure to visit our handy fall premiere guide.

Sarah Jessica Parker Doesn’t Remember Much Of Hocus Pocus

Today is Halloween, with all the candy and costumes that come with the occasion. But there’s also plenty of Halloween-focused content to watch, with perhaps the most popular of all time being Disney’s Hocus Pocus. The 1993 classic was a box office failure when it debut in theaters, but it’s since become a cult classic— and one that is an annual part of the Halloween experience.

The true stars of Hocus Pocus are the wacky and musical Sanderson Sisters, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. The latter plays delightfully dumb witch Sarah Sanderson, but it turns out that the Sex and the City icon doesn’t remember much about the actual movie. As she recently divulged to Stephen Colbert,

Well, that’s interesting. Despite the cultural impact Hocus Pocus has had on generations of kids, Sarah Jessica Parker is surprisingly blasé about it all. It’s just one of the actress’ many acting credits– and she probably isn’t watching it every year like the rest of us.

SJP’s Hocus Pocus comments come from her recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Her casual affection toward the Kenny Ortega movie is in stark juxtaposition to the adoration Hocus Pocus gets every October. The movie gained its cultural impact by being played on syndication for the past few decades, and many cinephiles are able to quote every line Sarah Sanderson says throughout the campy comedy. Sarah Jessica Parker just can’t do the same.

While Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t seem to remember the plot and events of Hocus Pocus, she does have fond memories from her time on set. During her same conversation on The Late Show, Parker expressed how much she loved flying throughout the course of the movie. During action sequences, comedic beats, and even her brief song, Carrie Bradshaw was up in the air– and she brought along some reading material.

The harnesses and wires needed to make movie and TV characters fly are usually referred to as slightly torturous and painful, but Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t have the same experience. Because rather than being brought down to the ground in between takes, she was happy to stay in the air and read The New York Times. Perhaps she needed some mental stimulation after playing a dumb witchy blonde in Hocus Pocus.

Hocus Pocus is probably on TV at this very moment, so check your local listings. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.