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Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey Season Pass Details Revealed

Just about every big game these days has a season pass. After all, there’s a litany of content that developers usually want to add to a game during release or post release to keep players coming back for more. It’s actually rare if a game doesn’t have a season pass and just relies solely on the content provided out of the box if it’s an AAA title. With the release for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey coming up quickly, Ubisoft is already in high-promotion mode for the open-world RPG, and just like all the other big AAA games, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey will come with a fully realized season pass.

In a press release, Ubisoft announced that there are aggressive post-launch content plans for Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, even though the game hasn’t even released yet. There will be brand new episodic content released for the title, alongside free narrative-oriented content that will be available as well. The idea is to keep a “constant flow” of new content dripping into the player’s feed so that they continue to stay engaged with the content long after the release of the game.

As part of Ubisoft’s new live-service initiative, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey will also have regular daily events, weekly events and other in-game challenges taking place for gamers to engage in even if they don’t purchase the season pass or any of the post-launch DLC.

However, if you do decide to purchase the season pass, you’ll instantly gain access to two bonus games, including Assassin’s Creed III: Remastered and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation Remastered. Both games are the remastered editions of the six-year-old outings that originally were made available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, or in the case of Liberations, the PS Vita. The games will feature all of the previously released DLC along with support for HDR and upscaled 4K output on the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. The remastered editions also come with higher texture resolutions and are running on the latest engine that powers the Assassin’s Creed games. I do hope that the team didn’t meddle too much with the actual gameplay content, as Assassin’s Creed III had one of the best combat systems in a game and was thoroughly enjoyable as it was.

The remastered versions of Assassin’s Creed III will be available for season pass holders starting March, 2019 next year. The rest of the live roadmap will consist of two additional story arcs, in addition to the two other Assassin’s Creed titles.

The first story arc will go live in December of 2018, featuring an episodic adventure that details the first hero to unlock the ability to use the hidden blade, as well as a backstory into the formation of the Assassins and why they fight from the shadows. I don’t really understand this in the context of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which already detailed why the Brotherhood was formed and why they fight from the shadows, but maybe they’ll explain it more when the time comes.

The second story arc is called The Fate of Atlantis, and it will see plays confronting ancient Greek mythological gods from the deep sea, as well as uncovering the first civilization. This will be released approximately six weeks after the first story arc, and will arrive at some point in the early part of spring 2019.

Additional details on purchasing the season pass can be found over on the official website.

Nintendo Is Locking Down Account Info Ahead Of Online Service Launch

With the Nintendo Switch Online service nearly ready to go live, Nintendo is encouraging its customers to make sure their accounts are in order before being locked to devices next week. In short, The Big N wants to ensure everything is in order before kicking off its new premium service.

Folks with Nintendo Accounts recently received an email from the publisher explaining that, alongside the Switch Online service, the console will receive update version 6.0.0. When that happens, you will no longer be able to unlink your Nintendo Account from your Nintendo Switch user profile. In the meantime, Nintendo is encouraging folks to make sure their own Nintendo Account and those of their kids are linked to the correct profile. The statement said:

So why is this important? Because the console’s main account will be the one with the authority to manage save data, Nintendo Switch Online membership and eShop content. If you have your Nintendo Account linked to your kid’s profile, they’ll be the one in charge of all of the console’s parental/management features. And what good are parental controls if Little Jessie is the one making all of the rules?

You have until 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 18 to make sure the appropriate Switch users are linked to the appropriate Nintendo Account, and Nintendo has offered a rundown of the process, just in case you need some tips.

After the update goes live, you’ll still be able to unlink your Switch profile from the console, but the process is basically a deactivation. In other words, you’ll only be able to have the account available on one console at a time, thus preventing players from sharing games, saves and the like. Maybe they’ll allow for guest accounts at some point like on the PlayStation 4 but, for now, don’t expect to log in under your own profile on someone else’s Switch.

The new update will go live next Tuesday, Sept. 18, alongside the Switch Online subscription service. That service includes things like cloud save backup, online access, full mobile app support, access to a collection of classic NES titles and additional perks that have not been listed at this point. The pricing plan has not shifted from Nintendo’s original structure of $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months or $19.99 for a year. If you have got multiple users on your console, you can also pick up a family account for $34.99 a year, which covers eight different users.

All of this feels a bit clunky, but it’s also necessary as Nintendo moves one step closer to handling accounts more like we see on other platforms.

How American Horror Story: Apocalypse Did In The Ratings

American Horror Story returned to the small screen with its most ambitious season to date. American Horror Story: Apocalypse is a crossover between Coven and Murder House, combining casts in a way that would have been impossible to pull off for any other show. The Apocalypse premiere was full of moments that ranged from creepy to hilarious, and the numbers are in to tell how many people tuned in for the first episode of the new season. There’s good news and there’s bad news.

The good news for American Horror Story: Apocalypse is that it was by far the top ratings performer of cable TV shows on the night of September 12. With a rating of 1.5 in the key 18-49 age demographic (via TV By The Numbers), it was easily the highest-rated show of primetime cable offerings. Its closest competition was an episode of Black Ink Crew Chicago on VH1, which drew a 0.5 rating in the key demo. Coming in with 0.4 were Property Brothers on HGTV, Forged in Fire on History, and Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

Interestingly, despite smashing the competition in the 18-49 ratings, American Horror Story was not the most-viewed program in Live+Same day calculations. American Horror Story: Apocalypse was viewed by 3.08 million people. It was beaten by Rachel Maddow with 3.36 million viewers and Hannity with 3.24 million viewers. Still, it’s not altogether shocking that AHS was beaten by two cable news mainstays, and the folks at FX should be pleased with how the ratings ranked on Wednesday night.

Then there’s the bad news. Although American Horror Story beat its non-news competition in both viewership and ratings with the Apocalypse premiere, the numbers were somewhat disappointing when compared to numbers for previous seasons of the anthology drama. Last season’s American Horror Story: Cult scored a 2.0 rating with its premiere. In fact, the Apocalypse Live+Same day ratings are the lowest for any American Horror Story season to date.

The silver lining is that the 1.5 is up 0.5 from the rating for Cult‘s season finale, so folks who weren’t enthralled with last season’s arc may have decided to tune back in to check out Apocalypse. Its status as a crossover season certainly has its appeal, and a big question is whether AHS will maintain its premiere measurements in the coming episodes. It’s worth noting that many series see their ratings and viewership drop from season to season, with the notable exception of shows like Game of Thrones. Even cable juggernauts like The Walking Dead see semi-steady drops. Fans (and FX) shouldn’t panic at the ratings for the Apocalypse premiere at this point.

To see what’s in store next in the crossover season of American Horror Story, tune in to new episodes of Apocalypse on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX. AHS is only one of the many shows returning to the airwaves this fall, and there’s a lot to look forward to.

Planned Parenthood Announces Dr. Leana Wen Will Be Its New President

Dr. Leana Wen was a child when her parents fled China for the United States, but her memories of those first months in America are fresh. Her parents worked multiple jobs cleaning hotel rooms and washing dishes at local restaurants first in Utah and then in California, but struggled to cover basic expenses.

“There were several times that we were evicted because we couldn’t make rent,” Wen, 35, says. “We depended on Medicaid. We depended on food stamps. And we also depended on Planned Parenthood.”

Earlier this week, it was announced that Wen, the health commissioner for Baltimore and a former ER doctor, had been named the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She follows Cecile Richards, who stepped down from role in April. Wen joins the institution at a crucial moment—as access to health care (and in particular, access to women’s reproductive health care) is more imperiled than ever under the Trump administration.

In a phone conversation less than 24 hours after the news broke, Wen explains how her mother turned to Planned Parenthood in times of upheaval, knowing she could count on the organization to provide the services she needed. “Later on, I was a patient at Planned Parenthood,” Wen says. Her sister was too. “We got care there just like 1 in 5 women in America. So much of what drives me now is based in what I experienced.” And what happens when a person doesn’t have that access—it wasn’t some abstraction. Wen witnessed it.

“As a child, I watched a neighbor’s son die in front of me because he and his parents were undocumented immigrants, and they were too afraid to call for help,” she remembers. He’d had as an asthma attack. The condition is treatable, but because of his precarious status, he died. The experience was foundational not just Wen’s sense of purpose—it was a “childhood dream” to be a doctor—but also her convictions about health care and who “deserves” it.

“I wanted to provide care to everyone no matter who they are, what they look like, where they happen to be from, and whether they could pay.”

“I saw how so much of what determines people’s health isn’t just about the health care that they receive, it’s also about so much else that’s happening in their lives,” Wen says.

When it came time to specialize after medical school, she knew she wanted to work in the ER. The aim was simple: “I wanted to provide care to everyone no matter who they are, what they look like, where they happen to be from, and whether they could pay.”

That conviction drove her to take the position as health commissioner in Baltimore, a role that proved to her what she’d come to believe was true—that “health care shouldn’t be political, that needing medication for your children isn’t political, that preventing breast and cervical cancer isn’t political.” Once, in the ER, she treated a woman who’d waited months to have a lump in her breast examined. When Wen did examine her, she found the woman had metastatic breast cancer. The disease was fatal, and three children were left motherless. “That’s what happens when women don’t have access to health care,” Wen maintains. And it’s because of cases like that one that Wen has landed where she is now.

As Wen sees it, “The single biggest public health catastrophe of our time is the threat to women’s health. That’s what I want to spend my life fighting about because everything at this moment in history is at stake.” Of course, she’s come to the appropriate address. The New York Times noted in its write-up of the news that Planned Parenthood clinics have closed due to cuts in state and federal funds and that those who had a hand in the search explained that the selection of Wen (who is just the second doctor ever to serve as president) would emphasize the fact that Planned Parenthood serves almost 2.5 million patients, most of whom are low-income and come to clinics not for abortions, but for services like mammograms and STI tests.

But what should excite advocates for women’s healths is the ease with which Wen collapses the artificial divide between Planned Parenthood as a general health care provider and Planned Parenthood as a haven for women who don’t have somewhere else to go. In the same breath, she tells me both that Planned Parenthood “isn’t a political organization” and that it’s not lost on her how “women’s health care is singled out, it’s stigmatized, and it’s attacked.”

“It’s not up to government to tell us where we are in our lives. It’s not up to government to tell us what choices we should be making about our own bodies and our health.”

“Imagine if we said that we should poll people about whether vasectomies should be legal, and then we restricted access to vasectomies,” Wen insists. “Or if the government imposed a gag rule, saying that doctors should follow a specific script in telling people about diabetes and insulin. It would never happen. It’s ludicrous to even think about. That’s why it’s so important for us to emphasize that reproductive health care is health care, that women’s health care is health care and that health care has to be a fundamental human right.”

Once more, Wen frames the battle for the kind of health equities that she intends to stand for in in personal terms: “I’ve been the woman who’s taken a pregnancy test and wished more than anything that it’s not positive. I wasn’t ready to have a baby. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to go to medical school. I wanted to come out of the poverty and circumstances of my childhood and achieve my dreams.” But she adds: “I’ve also been that same woman who at a different point in my life took pregnancy test after pregnancy test hoping that it is positive because at that moment, my husband and I were desperate to start a family. It’s not up to government to tell us where we are in our lives. It’s not up to government to tell us what choices we should be making about our own bodies and our health.”

With a vote on a new Supreme Court nominee whom she feels certain “could overturn and will if confirmed [overturn] Roe v. Wade” plus momentous midterm elections imminent, she has her work cut out for her. But Wen is not one to waver. And what’s more, she knows what the battle is for. She’s 35. Her son Eli just turned one. The issues that Planned Parenthood counsels its patients on aren’t distant memories. She lives them.

“The future that I want for Eli is a future in which women and men have equal rights and where we don’t deny people access to health care,” she tells me. And then she reaches for a phrase she’s used once before in our conversation. The future that she wants for her son boils down to this: One in which “we as a society trust women.”

Want to Eat Here? First Buy a Multimillion-Dollar Condo

Patricia della Giovampaola d’Arenberg, who owns a two-bedroom condominium at Oceana Bal Harbour, at lunch with Jean-Paul Enthoven in the tower’s residents-only restaurant, Ballerina.
Patricia della Giovampaola d’Arenberg, who owns a two-bedroom condominium at Oceana Bal Harbour, at lunch with Jean-Paul Enthoven in the tower’s residents-only restaurant, Ballerina. Photo: Alexia Fodere for The Wall Street Journal

If you want a $23 plate of gluten-free spaghetti vongole at Ballerina—the restaurant at Miami’s Oceana Bal Harbour—you must first spend several million dollars on a condominium. Tables in the sun-washed Piero Lissoni-designed establishment are exclusively for residents of the tower, where units range from $3.9 million to $19.85 million.

“The food is so good—I’m vegan, no gluten, and always the people are very nice,” said Patricia della Giovampaola d’Arenberg, a philanthropist and former model who bought a two-bedroom condominium at Oceana Bal Harbour in 2014, completed last year.


A Peek Inside Lavish ‘Residents-Only’ Restaurants

To drink and dine at these establishments, you have to buy a multimillion-dollar condo.

Stefanie Nifenecker and Greg Kashe, neighbors at 63 Wall in New York City, have cocktails at The Transcript, the building’s private bar.
Emily Assiran for The Wall Street Journal

To tempt both buyers’ taste buds and their taste for exclusivity, developers are investing in residents-only restaurants, dining clubs and cocktail lounges. Some foodie-friendly condo towers boast eateries helmed by celebrity restaurateurs; others feature robust culinary programs complete with cooking classes, wine seminars and truffle festivals. Some even offer prepped gourmet meal kits that homeowners can cook up in their own kitchens.

In Miami, developers are betting that $22 truffle pasta purses and lamb osso buco can give them an edge in a glutted luxury-condo market. Both are on the menu at Fuel, the private restaurant at the Porsche Design Tower, a 60-story skyscraper that opened last year. Available condominiums are listed from $6.3 million to $32.5 million. At Palazzo Del Sol on Miami’s private Fisher Island—where prices start at $7.3 million for a 3,800 square-foot apartment—residents are served drinks and snacks throughout the day at an oceanfront aperitivo bar, Café Sol. The homemade biscotti, tea sandwiches and aperol spritzes are all included in residents’ monthly maintenance fees, which are assessed at $1.11 per square foot.

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The cost—and risks—associated with an in-house restaurant are considerable. “If the food quality is poor, service is poor or the menu doesn’t have enough variety, the restaurant will not get used much,” said Pete Reeb, a principal with John Burns Real Estate Consulting who advises residential developers. In resort destinations, restaurant usage tends to see-saw dramatically with the seasons. And once developers have moved onto new projects, the restaurant typically becomes the responsibility of the homeowners’ association.

“It is an expensive amenity—to run an operation like this you have to run it right. You cannot be too concerned about the budget,” said Ernesto Cohan, director of sales for Oceana Bal Harbour. Ballerina cost Oceana’s developer, Consultatio Bal Harbour, $1.5 million, he said, and currently operates at a loss. The shortfall is defrayed by owners’ common charges. As more residents move in, Mr. Cohan expects restaurant usage to go up. So far, about 80% of the 240 units have sold.

Ballerina is currently open for breakfast and lunch every day, and once a week for dinner. (It also provides condo service and in-home catering.) The restaurant functions as a social hub for Oceana’s residents, hosting wine seminars and other events. A weeklong black truffle festival in June featured kosher oyster beef with truffle-mashed potatoes. Ballerina’s waitstaff and culinary team keep careful records of residents’ dietary restrictions.

Julie and Jared Freed, shown with their children Hunter and Brooklyn, dine several times a week at Mina at the Tower, a residents-only restaurant in Boston’s Millennium Tower.
Julie and Jared Freed, shown with their children Hunter and Brooklyn, dine several times a week at Mina at the Tower, a residents-only restaurant in Boston’s Millennium Tower. Photo: Bob O’Connor for The Wall Street Journal

“It’s very different than operating a regular restaurant—it’s like we are their own kitchen,” said Tommaso Morelato, whose Toscana Divino Hospitality Group runs Ballerina, along with several popular Miami restaurants and a residents-only restaurant at Oceana Key Biscayne. “These residents can come to eat three or four times a week.”

Residents of Boston’s 60-story Millennium Tower, where resale prices for available apartments range from $1.18 million to $8 million, never have to worry about getting a reservation at Mina at the Tower, a private restaurant on the eighth floor created by celebrity chef Michael Mina. Along with comfort food like buffalo chicken wings and turkey burgers, the menu features signature dishes from several of Chef Mina’s restaurants, including his lobster potpie and miso-roasted black cod, which can be served in a small dining room that seats 24 or in the clubby owner’s lounge.

Using a mobile app, residents at Millennium Tower can order pre-measured, ‘two pot’ versions of the restaurant’s entrée of the month to cook at home, following an instructional video produced by Chef Mina.
Using a mobile app, residents at Millennium Tower can order pre-measured, ‘two pot’ versions of the restaurant’s entrée of the month to cook at home, following an instructional video produced by Chef Mina. Photo: Bob O’Connor for The Wall Street Journal

Now We’re Cookin’

Inside the Food and Wine Issue

Residents of Boston’s Millennium Tower have exclusive dining rights at Mina at the Tower, with fare from chef Michael Mina. But if they feel like cooking, they can use an equally exclusive app to download Chef Mina’s recipe of the month—for September, king salmon with corn succotash and olive oil-poached potatoes—and then watch a video of him preparing it. They can even pick up a prepped “two pot” version of the meal to complete in their own kitchen.

The culinary team hosts frequent events, such as cooking classes, wine dinners and lobster boils. They are also available for private functions.

“If you can dream it up, we can do it—we are doing women’s wine nights, kids’ parties—we trick them out with bags of caramel corn, they’re over the top,” said Chef Mina. “The residents can become ambassadors for your brand if you keep it tight—we’ve got restaurants all over the country, and these are people that travel a lot.”

“We need to have it here or we would honestly starve to death,” laughed Jared Freed, 39, a real-estate lawyer who closed on a two-bedroom home at Millennium Tower for $1.77 million in 2017, where he lives with his wife Julie, a 35-year-old event planner, and their two young children. “When life gets in the way of being able to cook, it is priceless to have the option of a home-cooked meal.” The restaurant functions as an extension of the Freed family’s living space, said Mr. Freed, who also meets clients there. On other nights, the Freeds use a mobile app developed exclusively for residents to have dinner delivered to their door.

In Chicago, wine collectors Kim Rice and Kurt Bonatz have spent over $1 million on a three-bedroom apartment at 1000M, a 74-story high-rise that will be built in the Michigan Avenue historic district. A prime factor in the couple’s decision: Club 1000, a full-service bar and lounge that will occupy the building’s 72nd floor when it opens in 2022.

“We are really excited about it—what better way to meet people than a bar on site?” said Ms. Rice, 50, who owns a consulting firm.

Even more exciting: All drinks will be on the house. “You can’t serve alcohol and have it be paid for without a liquor license—the only way we could do it is to have the cost included in [owners’] assessments,” said Jordan Karlik, a principal in JK Equities, part of the consortium of developers behind 1000M. Pricing starts at $557,000 for a one-bedroom unit, going up to $8.5 million for a penthouse.

In New York’s financial district, 63 Wall, a high-rise that occupies a circa-1920s bank building, has its own wood-paneled “speakeasy” hidden away on the second floor. Called the Transcript, the elegant wood-paneled room with a brass-and-marble bar under antique chandeliers was created to foster community among the residents, including many young professionals. Rents here range from $2,400 to $6,800 a month.

After throwing occasional events for tenants free of charge, 63 Wall recently obtained a liquor license; the Transcript now serves $12 craft cocktails, as well as wine and beer on tap, exclusively to residents and up to three guests.

Ms. della Giovampaola d’Arenberg and Mr. Enthoven at Oceana Bal Harbour, where prices range from $3.9 million to $19.85 million.
Ms. della Giovampaola d’Arenberg and Mr. Enthoven at Oceana Bal Harbour, where prices range from $3.9 million to $19.85 million. Photo: Alexia Fodere for The Wall Street Journal

More from Mansion

“It’s usually my last stop on the amenity tour. Jaws drop when they see the bar,” said Kei Hyska, a leasing agent for 63 Wall who also lives there. Still, encountering a well-oiled fellow tenant on a bar stool can make one long for the anonymity of the mailroom. “My roommate was like, ‘OK, I’m going in the other room,’ ” Ms. Hyska said, recalling one not-so-happy-hour encounter.

Stefanie Nifenecker, a 26-year-old financial consultant who moved into 63 Wall last year, was in the elevator on her way to cocktails at the Transcript last April, when she bumped into neighbor Greg Kashe. Mr. Kashe, a 28-year-old headhunter, followed her into the speakeasy.

“I was concerned. I thought, ‘I hope this doesn’t turn out to be some crazy guy,’ ” Ms. Nifenecker said.

It didn’t.

“We’ll be hosting our engagement party at the Transcript,” Ms. Nifenecker said.

Buildings With Residents-Only Dining

GREATER MIAMI

Oceana Bal Harbour, a 28-floor condo building with 240 units

Prices: $3.9 million to $19.85 million

Restaurant: Ballerina

Signature dish: Spaghetti vongole with Sardinian bottarga

Porsche Design Tower, a 60-story building with 132 units

Prices: $6.3 million to $32.5 million

Restaurant: Fuel

Signature dish: Braised short ribs with drunken mission fig puree

Palazzo Del Sol, a 10-story building with 43 units on Fisher Island

Prices: $7.3 million to $26.5 million

Lounge: Café Sol

Signature cocktail: Aperol Spritz

BOSTON

Millennium Tower, a 60-story condo building with 442 units

Prices: $1.18 million to $8 million

Restaurant: Mina at the Tower

Best seller: The Tower Burger, a classic double-cheeseburger with caramelized onions and secret sauce, served with crispy duck fat fries

CHICAGO

1000M, a 74-story high-rise planned for construction in the city’s Michigan Avenue historic district

Prices: $557,000 to $8.5 million

Lounge: Club 1000

NEW YORK

63 Wall, a 37-floor high-rise with 807 rental apartments (including 67 Wall, also in the complex)

Rents: $2,400 to $6,800 a month

Lounge: The Transcript

Signature drink: Savage Love

Appeared in the September 14, 2018, print edition as ‘RESERVED For Residents.’

The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Comic Adds Some More Insight Into Luke Skywalker’s Death

It’s been 10 months since Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters, and the movie is still provoking conversation among the hardcore Star Wars fanbase, which isn’t likely to die down until Episode IX arrives. That being said, as we’ve seen with past Star Wars movies, the movie itself isn’t the only way to experience the story’s events. Like its predecessors, The Last Jedi was adapted into a novelization, and following behind the previous Disney Star Wars movies, it was most recently turned into a comic book over at Marvel. Naturally the Last Jedi comic book hit the same main beats as the movie, but there was also room to expand upon the material. When it comes to Luke Skywalker‘s death, the comic book adds some insight by showing the Jedi Master’s internal monologue before he departed the mortal plane.

Just like in the theatrically-screened Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker dies in the comic book adaptation when the toll of Force projecting himself to Crait proved to be too much. In his last moments, Luke looked to Ahch-To’s two suns on the horizon. It was clear to longtime Star Wars fans that this was calling back to the scene in A New Hope when farm boy Luke gazed at Tatooine’s twin suns, and as the last issue of The Last Jedi comic book (via ScreenRant) showed, this is exactly what Luke was thinking: “And so it ends as it began. By the light of two suns.” Fans will also remember that in A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke aboard the Millennium Falcon that he took his first steps into a larger world, and that how Luke views his demise: not as dying, but as taking the first step on a new journey.

With this internal monologue, Luke Skywalker’s death in Star Wars: The Last Jedi can be viewed more similarly to how Obi-Wan Kenobi fell in A New Hope. Granted, Luke did tell Kylo Ren that if he struck him down, he’d always be with him, echoing when Obi-Wan told Darth Vader he would become more powerful than he could possibly imagine. Nevertheless, this comic book issue hammers the point home further that Luke is now one with the Force, just like Obi-Wan, Yoda, his father and Qui-Gon Jinn before him. And like the others, Luke can still interact with the living as a Force ghost, which is likely how he’ll fit into Episode IX next year, offering Rey some final pieces of advice and perhaps showing off incredible new abilities.

We’ll see Luke Skywalker for what sounds like the final time on the big screen when Star Wars: Episode IX is released on December 20, 2019. Don’t forget to also look through our Star Wars movie guide to learn what else Disney and Lucasfilm have in the works for the space opera franchise.

Cole Sprouse Wishes His ‘Love’ Lili Reinhart Happy Birthday With an Artistic Topless Photo

I think it’s safe to say that Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart are dating. The two Riverdale stars kept their rumored relationship tight-lipped for months, but after making their red-carpet debut at this year’s Met Gala, they’ve been more relaxed when it comes to talking and posting about each other on social media. If you want proof of this, look no further than Sprouse’s birthday message to Reinhart (she turns 22 today), which features a topless photo of her.

“Both the birthday and the gift. My little muse, happy birthday my love,” Sprouse wrote in an Instagram caption on Thursday (September 13). Alongside it is a grainy photo of Reinhart staring into a mirror. Check out the post for yourself, below:

Reinhart posted an equally-as-sweet post for Sprouse on August 4 (his birthday). “It seems as if the world would still be a stranger to me, if not for you. I’m so thankful that our paths intertwined to form this beautiful adventure~Happy birthday, my love,” she wrote on Instagram, adding a photo of Sprouse in a white tank top and shorts.

News that Reinhart and Sprouse were an item first broke last summer, but neither commented on it for the longest time. In fact, Reinhart wrote a Tumblr post last October criticizing the way fans and the media pick apart her personal life.

“It’s horrifying how invested some people are in my love life. Emphasis on ‘my.’ It is mine. It is private,” she wrote. “If a stranger’s love life is causing you anger, frustration or anxiety…please reevaluate your priorities.”

If anything, it seems the two of them are no longer afraid to share their affection for one another. Happy birthday, Lili!

Related Stories:

Well, Cole Sprouse Is Now Blatantly Flirting With Lili Reinhart on Instagram

Lili Reinhart Watched Friday’s Blood Moon With Rumored Boyfriend Cole Sprouse—and Chronicled Every Last Minute

Estelle and Mistah F.A.B. Are Living Their Best Lives On ‘TRL’

Decades of talent walked into the TRL studio in Times Square this morning, as Estelle and Mistah F.A.B. sat down with host Sway Calloway.

First up, Mistah F.A.B.–who Sway calls one of the best freestyle rappers right now–proved that exact title. In the first ever Flash Freestyle, Sway dropped words and phrases for Mistah F.A.B. to include in his impromptu bars, which he executed with perfection. Mistah F.A.B. wound up shouting out Serena Williams, Colin Kaepernick and incorporating some Bay Area slang.

After Flash Freestyle, Estelle came through ten years after dropping her major hit with Kanye West, “American Boy.” The singer is still going strong, just releasing her second independent album Lovers Rock, a name which points to the rocky relationship of her parents throughout her life. See how Estelle glows talking about the music she’s making now below. TRL airs on weekdays at 8:00am ET.

A Simple Favor Review

Moviegoers love a good mystery/thriller. The genre is known for keeping audiences glued to their seats, hopefully with twists and turns that keep one guessing throughout. But rarely do these types of projects also make you belly laugh. It’s that juxtaposition that Paul Feig lives within for his new movie A Simple Favor, based off the novel of the same name. Because while the main story follows a mysterious disappearance and possible murder, Feig also allows the room to deflate, as the likes of Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively riff, giggle, and sip martinis throughout the brisk 117 minute run time.

A Simple Favor largely follows the character of mommy vlogger Stephanie, played by Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick. A stay at home mom who doesn’t seem to interact with adults much, Stephanie’s life seems about as isolating and boring as can be. That is until she meets the mother of another boy at school, Blake Lively’s mysterious and stunning Emily. The two start a friendship, which quickly turns into a game of cat and mouse when Emily suddenly disappears, and Stephanie ends up harboring feelings for her husband.

There is certainly a palpable sense of danger in A Simple Favor, even during the film’s lighter moments in the first act. Something just isn’t right about Emily, and Stephanie’s growing infatuation of her new bestie seems startling as well. This suspicion is felt through small glances during the film, as it becomes clear that the audience can’t trust anyone — not even Stephanie.

But given Paul Feig’s penchant for awkward comedy, there are also tons of laughs. Feig brings back the same sensibility that made Bridesmaids a massively successful hit, and his TV series Freaks and Geeks such a cult comedy. Despite a life-or-death situation, there are still plenty of awkward moments — mostly from Anna Kendrick’s bumbling Stephanie. And while Blake Lively’s Emily comes off a bit more sinister, her laissez-faire outlook on life and marriage allows for some harsh and funny exchanges with the rest of the cast.

While Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick certainly carry the movie, there’s a strong supporting cast at work as well. Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding continues having the best month ever playing Emily’s husband, whose intentions are never really clear. Girls star Andrew Rannells also plays local parent Darren, chewing the scenery with every brief appearance on screen. Paul Feig even enlists help from Freaks and Geeks actress Linda Cardellini for a brief role, which should be an exciting scene for fans of his career.

A Simple Favor is framed through the use of Stephanie’s mommy vlog, which allows Anna Kendrick the opportunity to directly address the camera and narrate the story. Kendrick shines here, displaying the personality that makes her so popular in late night TV interviews. Indeed, both Kendrick and Lively seem a bit similar to their characters’ in the way that they speak, no doubt helping the actresses pull of such strong performances.

While Paul Feig was met with a ton of hate over Ghostbusters, the director has a welcome return to form in A Simple Favor. The project has all of his charm, humor, and style, but also isn’t the typical Feig comedy fare. It’s still very much a thriller, and the final confrontation in the third act has more twists and turns than you can shake a gin martini at. The leading ladies get to show off a variety of layers, proving while they’ve kept working all these years. All of these factors make A Simple Favor anything but simple, resulting in a surprising, thrilling, and funny theatrical ride.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
4.0/5

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