On November 1, Team StarKid released Apocalyptour: Live in Los Angeles, a live DVD showcasing one of the three LA dates on the troupe’s national concert tour which took place in May and June of this year.

For Apocalyptour, StarKid released a physical DVD and a digital download of the content simultaneously – a first for any of their productions – meaning that the fans who had to wait days or weeks for the shipping of their SPACE Tour DVDs can access this show immediately upon purchasing. Thanks to this development, you can read our take on the new StarKid DVD below.

It’s still a bit of a jolt to see the faces of Team StarKid in high definition DVD quality, performing on a huge stage in front of a packed house. It feels confusing somehow, almost a little wrong, to see them in a glossier and more professional medium than their homemade videos or admittedly increasingly no-longer-so-grainy YouTube footage taped in small dark theatres, and you start to wonder at the enormity of it all, asking, “Who let them do that? How did this happen? When did StarKid go from this to THIS?”

When something exists primarily on the Internet, it can be difficult to grasp how large a scale it may be affecting, how far it truly reaches. For many people, being a StarKid fan is still quite a small and underground thing, something that isn’t fed to them through filters of PR, advertising, marketing and record labels. But the reality of the situation is that this merry troupe spent the early summer crossing America, selling out venues that most contemporary musicians would be lucky to fill, and being met at each stop with a fan fervour that the stars of Broadway would rarely be met with at any stage door, unless they’re hosting an extra-special celebrity. They may not be household names, but the Internet is bigger than any household, and Team StarKid have grown to become the Internet’s biggest rock stars.

Apocalyptour: Live in Los Angeles differs structurally from 2011’s SPACE Tour DVD in that it presents the Apocalyptour concert in full, from start to finish, as opposed to cutting between musical numbers with talking heads and behind-the-scenes moments. On one hand, the lack of backstage footage is somewhat disappointing. For many fans, the individual personalities in Team StarKid are as big a draw-card as the songs, and when the group goes on tour, fans desire as much personal content as possible – exposure to the antics of their favorite StarKids unguarded in their natural habitat. However, Apocalyptour supplies what SPACE does not in presenting fans with a full run-through of the performance, from curtain up to curtain down, so fans at home may experience the entire set as if they were there in the audience of the Los Angeles House of Blues.

Unlike SPACE, Apocalyptour features a scripted story – written by Brian Holden, Nick Lang and Matt Lang – in which the StarKids have decided to give up singing and dancing to become travelling archaeologists. They uncover an Apocalyptic prophecy and when they accidentally activate it, they are faced with Margaret, the Mayan god of chaos and death. Margaret (played excruciatingly hilariously by a straight-faced and be-skirted Jim Povolo) also happens to be the god of musical theatre, so the StarKids are forced to go back to their singing and dancing ways, performing to save their lives – and the world – from destruction. In the end, the crisis is averted and Margaret herself joins Team StarKid.

The concept is rescued from being cheesy by how self-aware the script is. It’s nowhere near as tight as one of their musicals, because here, the story merely serves as a fuzzy backdrop to get from number to number in a set-list made up of songs created for other musicals, but the humour is full of lamp-shading and self-deprecation. Not a single person could have missed the joke about how an absent StarKid being “consumed by a giant, greedy Fox” was one of the signs of the impending Apocalypse. When a performance from Brian Rosenthal as Joey Richter’s Heart is praised by the others, Joey quips that “he used to be a lot better but then he got cast in a non-Equity production of Young Frankenstein,” referencing A.J. Holmes, the originator of the Heart role in Me and My Dick. When asked by Margaret if the StarKids were criminals, Dylan Saunders offers that he likes stealing from Whole Foods, and Joey pipes up again saying, “and I appeared on the Disney show Jessie, Fridays at 8 p.m.,” before the others clap hands over his mouth and drag him off. Later, when Margaret fails to be impressed by the group, she calls their performance “skimpy and lyrically uninspired,” direct quotes from critical reviews of Starship, by Time Out and the Chicago Reader respectively.

And in classic StarKid style, they never go for the obvious joke. These are people who have a habit of, first and foremost, doing things that they themselves find funny, including playing tricks on the audience. When they perform the title number to Me and My Dick, the group censors themselves, cutting one another off coyly to avoid saying the “D” word. Someone unfamiliar with their wickedness – a parent, perhaps – would pick up the obvious missing rhyme and make the leap that StarKid was attempting to make the show family-friendly, due to the large number of young fans the group has accrued despite the adult material of some of their musicals. It’s a fair assumption. That’s what StarKid want you to think. But the joke is a double-cross, as they end the entire set with a reprise of the “Me and My Dick” chorus, dragging it out to the last minute when they use the actual lyric, in a matter of fact and self-satisfied way.

The loose plot uses throwaway lines to lead into musical numbers. Brian Holden, having a moment of insecurity about their situation, is told by the others to man up and shut up, which prompts his rendition of “Guys Like Potter,” A Very Potter Sequel‘s song about Snape getting bullied. Other songs are grouped thematically, such as a collection of scheming villain songs from several StarKid productions, and a section of the set dedicated to various duets. Given that only nine of the thirty-something people involved in Team StarKid appeared onstage at the Apocalyptour, the songs were all rearranged for different soloists and groups by StarKid’s musical director, Clark Baxtresser. Some, such as Joe Walker and Brian Rosenthal’s Voldemort/Quirrell duet “Different As Can Be,” remain almost identical to their original performance, but the award for most creative new arrangement would have to be a tie between the jazzed up, up-tempo redesign of “Guys Like Potter,” and the duet between Dylan Saunders and Jaime Lyn Beatty on a mash-up of “Sami” from Little White Lie and “Harry” from A Very Potter Musical. Originally the same song, written by Darren Criss, it was transferred from one production to another before StarKid had any audience to speak of.

Other musical highlights include the beautiful harmonies on Starship‘s “The Way I Do,” some of Criss’ finest work as a composer; Joey Richter and Lauren Lopez on “Granger Danger,” which was genius the first time we saw it and still holds up – in fact somehow keeps improving – after three and a half years; the build-up from solo to group number on Holy Musical B@man’s “Dark, Sad, Lonely Knight,” and the impossibly infectious “Super Friends” from the same production. StarKid also seemed to draw inspiration from their prodigal son, as their rendition of A Very Potter Musical‘s “Not Alone” – also a Darren Criss trademark solo number – features a strong solo by Jaime Lyn Beatty and gospel choir-style backing vocals, an arrangement that seems to echo Criss’ performance of the number at the 2010 Trevor Project Live event. “Not Alone” is also the only performance on the DVD where the sounds of the crowd singing along are turned up in the audio mix, and the effect is haunting.

All in all, Apocalyptour: Live In Los Angeles is an enjoyable watch for any StarKid fan. Despite the caricature of slap-dash mediocrity Team StarKid humorously paint of themselves, the performances are skilled and solid, and the entire production demonstrates the growth of this group of people – who, never forget, basically fell into this – both as artists and as businesspeople. The desire to keep improving and produce professional quality work for an audience initially drawn in and made loyal by the grassroots, DIY dynamics of your operation must be a delicate balance to maintain; yet maintain it StarKid do, and in doing so, they continue to create something that the world has never quite seen the likes of before.

Apocalyptour: Live in Los Angeles is available now at Team StarKid’s web-store. For those still craving behind-the-scenes content, the physical Apocalyptour DVD features an exclusive video diary chronicling the day leading up to the tour’s final show in New York City. Apocalyptour: Live In Los Angeles includes performances by Dylan Saunders, Joey Richter, Joe Walker, Brian Holden, Brian Rosenthal, Jim Povolo, Meredith Stepien, Lauren Lopez and Jaime Lyn Beatty. Apocalyptour featured songs by A.J. Holmes, Carlos Valdes, Darren Criss, Mark Swiderski, Nick Gage and Scott Lamps, music direction by Clark Baxtresser, tour direction by Julia Albain, and was filmed by Liam White.

DCOM marathon schedule: See full list of movies and when they air

The mega marathon begins Friday, May 27 and runs into June!

10:00 am EDT, May 27, 2016

The highly-anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie marathon began Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m. eastern and runs through the holiday weekend. See the complete DCOM marathon schedule here!

When Disney Channel says they’re running a DCOM marathon, they mean it. The network will be airing 51 DCOMs from Friday to Monday ahead of this summer’s release of their 100th DCOM, Adventures in Babysitting (debuting June 24). Who needs Memorial Day festivities when you can sit inside and enjoy Disney Channel classics all weekend?!

After Monday they’ll continue to air a couple more movies every night until they eventually air all 100 DCOMs. That’s right! Every single one of ’em is returning to television between now and late June.

Below is the complete list of DCOMs airing from Friday, May 27 into the middle of June. Since many are airing in the overnight hours, you’ll probably want to set up your DVR. Or in case you want to watch them again. And again.

DCOM Marathon Schedule

Friday, May 27

10:00AM Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
11:20AM Read It and Weep
12:55PM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
2:40PM Jump In!
4:15PM Lemonade Mouth
6:15PM Zapped
8:00PM High School Musical 2
9:55PM The Cheetah Girls 2
11:45PM Zenon the Zequel
1:25AM Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
2:55AM Twitches Too
4:25AM Alley Cats Strike!

Saturday, May 28

6:25AM You Wish!
8:05AM The Proud Family Movie
9:50AM Quints
11:25AM Horse Sense
1:10PM Cow Belles
2:50PM Twitches
4:30PM The Even Stevens Movie
6:15PM Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie
8:00PM Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
9:50PM Princess Protection Program
11:30PM The Cheetah Girls: One World
1:05AM Zenon: Z3
2:40AM Halloweentown High
4:20AM The Thirteenth Year

Netflix DCOMs High School Musical

Sunday, May 29

6:00AM Right On Track
7:45AM Full-Court Miracle
9:35AM Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
11:20AM Brink!
1:10PM Double Teamed
2:55PM Rip Girls
4:35PM Motocrossed
6:20PM Cloud 9
8:00PM Teen Beach 2
9:55PM Bad Hair Day
11:40PM How to Build a Better Boy
1:20AM Pixel Perfect
2:55AM The Other Me
4:30AM Genius

Monday, May 30

10:00AM Stuck in the Suburbs
11:30AM Halloweentown
1:05PM Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
2:55PM Smart House
4:25PM High School Musical
6:15PM Camp Rock
8:00PM Descendants
10:05PM Teen Beach Movie
11:55PM Cadet Kelly
1:50AM The Cheetah Girls
3:35AM Johnny Tsunami

Camp Rock DCOM

After Memorial Day Weekend, Disney Channel will air two more DCOMs each night. Here’s the schedule so far (again, set your DVRs because these air late!)

Wednesday, June 1
12:00AM Return to Halloweentown
1:40AM Can of Worms

Thursday, June 2
12:00AM Going to the Mat
1:40AM Miracle in Lane 2

Friday, June 3
12:00AM The Suite Life Movie
1:40AM Ring of Endless Light

Saturday, June 4
12:00AM Invisible Sister
1:40AM Now You See It…

Sunday, June 5
12:00AM Girl vs. Monster
1:40AM Phantom of Megaplex

Monday, June 6
12:00AM Tru Confessions
1:40AM Tiger Cruise

Tuesday, June 7
12:00AM Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
1:40AM Under Wraps

Wednesday, June 8
12:00AM Den Brother
1:40AM Go Figure

Thursday, June 9
12:00AM Avalon High
1:40AM Jett Jackson: The Movie

Friday, June 10 and beyond
As of right now Disney Channel hasn’t released the schedule beyond June 10.

Which DCOMs do you plan to watch during the Disney Channel Marathon?

Next week we’ll be launching a fun new game here on Hypable where we’ll seek your help in ranking every single DCOM in the history of DCOMs. It’s probably a good idea to watch as many of these as possible so you can brush up on your knowledge base and rank them accurately!

James Cameron’s Battle Angel adaptation has found its lead in Maze Runner standout Rosa Salazar.

According to Collider, Salazar has been officially confirmed as the lead in Alita: Battle Angel, beating out Maika Monroe and Zendaya for the titular role. The manga adaptation was developed by James Cameron, and will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.

Battle Angel Alita is a manga series by Yukito Kishiro, which takes place in the 26th century and follows a cyborg girl with amnesia. Designed with spectacular martial arts skills, Battle Angel becomes a bounty hunter, who makes a living tracking down violent criminals.

As Brenda in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Lynn in Insurgent, Rosa Salazar is already well-known in dystopian YA circles. She’s also had recurring roles in Parenthood and American Horror Story, and you can currently catch her in FXX’s Man Seeking Woman.

alita

James Cameron has been tinkering with this project for a while, but his extensive and all-consuming work on the Avatar sequels led him to hand over directorial duties to Robert Rodriguez last year. Rodriguez previously served as showrunner on From Dusk Till Dawn (after directing the movie of the same name in 1996), and his versatile directorial resumé includes Sin City, Spy Kids and The Faculty.

When Cameron picked Rodriguez as Battle Angel director, he said in a statement, “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel. He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.

“This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”

Alita: Battle Angel has no release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Here’s the official synopsis from IMDb:

“Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to continue Harry, Ron and Hermione’s story. Downside: The characters that survived Deathly Hallows are suddenly no longer safe!

Details about Cursed Child, the Harry Potter play opening in London next month, are being kept tightly under wraps.

But one teaser J.K. Rowling did let slip? It’s designed to make you cry.

Answering the Twitter question, “Will the Cursed Child make me cry?” Rowling strongly implied that the answer is yes — “or we’ll be checking your vital signs.”

Bombarded with worried follow-up questions, Rowling (randomly) chose to answer “why are you like this” by reminding fans of what she believes her primary responsibility is as an author: To make us feel things.

Of course there’s no reason to assume the “OMG RON IS DEFINITELY DYING AKSDJFSHFJ” position (even if that is the first instinct of this writer), but it is an indisputable fact that for many authors — Rowling included — evocative storytelling is synonymous with, “I’m going to make you love something, and then I’m gonna kill it.”

Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. Not only are there many elderly characters we might reasonably fear for (including McGonagall, Hagrid, and Molly and Arthur Weasley), but J.K. Rowling’s Potter series has set a strong precedent for killing off parental figures to usher in a new generation of characters.

Related: England’s biggest bookstore announces first Cursed Child midnight release party

On the other hand, we could just be traumatized by the original Potter series, and everything is actually gonna be fine. Maybe J.K. Rowling simply expects us to cry tears of happiness because we get to return to the fantastic, magical world she has created.

What do you think? Is someone we love dying in Cursed Child, or will the plot make us emotional in other ways?