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EW Must List: Westworld, Amanda Knox, Deepwater Horizon

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John P. Johnson/HBO

Westworld

The wait is finally over. After years of delays (the project was originally announced in 2013 for a 2015 premiere date), HBO debuts its long-gestating series Westworld, based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, this weekend. 

Featuring an all-star cast that includes Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, and Thandie Newton, Westworld, from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, and Lisa Joy, is a must-see epic revolving around a futuristic land inhabited by lifelike robots. The first reviews for the series have been overwhelmingly positive, with Games Radar’s Patrick Goss calling it “the next big thing.” 

Westworld debuts Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. 

Amanda Knox

The pop cultural wave of true crime documentary projects keeps getting bigger. Following the success of its Making a Murderer series, Netflix once again rises to the occasion with the release of Amanda Knox, a thorough examination of the woman who was once the No. 1 suspect in the 2007 Meredith Kercher murder case. 

Amanda Knox dives deep into the curious case of Knox, a U.S. student studying abroad in Italy who was accused of killing Kercher, her 21-year-old roommate. Knox was convicted of the crime and served time in an Italian prison, but was ultimately acquitted by the country’s highest court. 

The Netflix feature, which screened to positive reviews the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, showcases interviews with Knox, now 29, her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and Giuliano Mignini, an Italian prosecutor. The film’s unique promotional campaign featured two distinct trailers; one, titled “Believe Her,” makes the case for Knox’s innocence; the other, called “Suspect Her,” leads viewers to believe she might have actually killed Kercher. Whatever your views on Knox, the documentary about the incident that continues to define her life is as fascinating a cinematic experience as it is a chilling look at a disturbing reality.  

Amanda Knox is available to stream on Netflix beginning Friday, Sept. 30.  

Deepwater Horizon

Mark Wahlberg’s latest action-drama has roots in reality. The Peter Berg-directed film, which also stars Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez, and John Malkovich, revolves around the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit and the resulting oil spill, which sent nearly 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The film had its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 13, where it received positive reviews from critics praising Berg’s direction and the film’s spectacular take on harrowing real-world events in particular.

Deepwater Horizon opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, Sept. 30. 

“Starboy” by The Weeknd 

After cutting his teeth in the indie music scene across three mixtapes released throughout 2011, Toronto native Abel Tesfaye, otherwise known as The Weeknd, shot to superstardom three years later with a string of successful mainstream singles, including the Oscar-nominated Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack cut “Earned It” and the No. 1-charting “I Can’t Feel My Face.”

Now, the 26-year-old singer is back with “Starboy,” the lead single from his upcoming LP of the same name. The track features renowned French electronic masterminds Daft Punk, who, along with fellow producers Cirkut (Kesha, Rihanna, Katy Perry) and Doc McKinney (Florence + the Machine, Drake), give the smooth R&B cut a pop-infused kick. 

“Starboy” is available now on Spotify and iTunes. The single’s parent album will be released Nov. 25.

Buffering the Vampire Slayer 

The Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring TV show might have aired its final episode over 13 years ago, but the titular character’s legacy lives on through podcast hosts Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo.

With each new installment, the duo discusses a different episode from the long-running Joss Whedon WB/UPN supernatural drama, with each edition of Buffering the Vampire Slayer also featuring an original song with lyrics tailored to themes from specific episodes of the cult classic.

Subscribe to Buffering the Vampire Slayer on iTunes

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