Peggy Carter is not just a bad ass. She’s so much more than that.
In the next few months, you’re going to hear a lot of feminists reflecting on if Marvel’s latest dip into television, the mini-series, Agent Carter, is “feminist or not.” With a show that features a woman in the title role and the woman is a tough woman navigating an action filled largely male world, it seems almost inevitable that that feminist critiques will debate how “bad ass” Agent Carter (played by the magnificent Hayley Atwell) is and if she and the series are worthy of the title of “feminist media.” In these days of limited representation of women in the superhero genre, it’s an interesting discussion, but one that entirely misses the point. Peggy Carter is not a bad ass. She’s so much more than that, and that’s where her importance lies.
For actors like Redmayne and Moore, the disability vanishes as soon as they leave the set.
The 87th Academy Awards aired to a lacklustre audience on Sunday—the viewership was the worst since 2009—but it sparked plenty of fireworks, particularly over Patricia Arquette’s incredibly dense comments on women’s rights and equal pay, in which she effectively advocated for the rights of cis white women and nobody else. But there was another controversy buried in this year’s Oscars—or, at least, it should have been a controversy, but no one seemed to pay much attention, other than the disability community.
Let’s get down and dirty for real.
Now that all the hoopla surrounding the film adaptation of E.L. James’ BDSM book for ladies who lunch has died down (or rather tanked if you read the Rotten Tomatoes reviews) let’s get down and dirty real. Long before there were “50 Shades” teddy bears and “50 Shades” cookbooks (“50 Shades of Kale”? WTF?) there were movies that actually dealt with the subject of sadomasochism from a non-“Twilight” perspective. So as a longtime film critic and the author of “Under My Master’s Wings” – an erotic memoir about my time spent as the personal slave to a gay for pay stripper – I feel it’s my duty to offer five cinematic suggestions that go beyond bondage bears and kinky kale.
Catch Backstrom while you can.
Catch Backstrom while you can, because the Fox series about a misanthropic and irascible police detective isn’t likely to last long in the US television landscape. The show is a delight to watch, but the complicated social politics and nuanced storylines are combining to make it a bit of a ratings drag, and many reviewers aren’t big fans either; the show’s currently scoring 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.
Better Call Saul may have nailed the Breaking Bad aesthetic, but it’s not quite there yet in terms of characters and stories that gel together to create a cohesive whole.
How much does a prequel really have to offer audiences? AMC is aiming to find out with Better Call Saul, the story of how Walter White’s shady attorney became…Walter White’s shady attorney. Clearly banking on the Breaking Bad fandom, the show’s aiming to keep viewers coming back to AMC for another go, and this week, the pilot aired over two nights, trying to take advantage of the big audience for the Walking Dead premiere. The question of what happens next is a bit up in the air, not least because ratings dropped by half between the two episodes.
Downton’s not willing to go so far as to depict a socialist character with politics we can take seriously.
Downton Abbey is back in the States, showcasing the winds of change sweeping across upper class British society. The show becomes more flawed with each season, spinning out more and more outlandish plots in an attempt to keep itself relevant, resorting to tactics like rape as plot device, penile sparring between jealous men, and illicit babies. One plot this season, however, is of particular interest: The story of Edith Bunting (Daisy Lewis), the little schoolteacher that could.
Paul Thomas Anderson has made a faithful adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s rambling, stoner-noir novel, “Inherent Vice.”
Private detective, professional hippie and arch dope-fiend, Larry “Doc” Sportello looks like The Wolfman on a bad day or like he’s been swilling around on your dinner plate amongst the gravy and potatoes disguised as a pork chop. He reeks of the 60s, carelessly rolled in a field of weed, booze and free love for the entire decade. Doc is the shaggy dog in this particular story, Paul Thomas Anderson’s faithful adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s rambling, stoner-noir novel, “Inherent Vice.”
While it might seem like an odd thing to say, it’s possible that we have too much TV on TV.
In 2014, the broadcast, cable, and major streaming (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) networks accounted between them for 352 individual original scripted programs — and we haven’t even delved into imports like BBC America, along with the entire lineup of PBS, which has scores of shows running at any given time, not just Downton Abbey. That’s a whole lot of television. Even assuming that most of these programmes have runs between 12-23 episodes per series (and sometimes far fewer as in the case of those like Sherlock), it accounts for hundreds of hours weekly and eats up vast numbers of channels — no wonder even the most basic of cable packages in the US now come with a panoply of channels.
Surprisingly, science fiction frequently confronts readers and viewers with questions about the nature of humanity and the existence of God.
What is the nature of faith? What does it mean to have a belief in a higher power, a resolve that God is ultimately just, and that everything happens for a reason? Why are we here? These are questions people have struggled with for millennia, and they’ve been at the root of countless world religious formed to explain the world surrounding us, from early humans drawing on the walls of caves in France to youth marching in the streets today.
What makes a sniper American, exactly?
What makes a sniper American exactly? Being on the right side of a fight? Stencilling “The Punisher” logo on your equipment like a real life Frank Castle? Wearing a baseball cap backwards whilst you slaughter a mother and her son from long range before they can explode a rocket propelled grenade in front of your buddies? Wasn’t that shot lifted directly from “Full Metal Jacket?” And didn’t that make us hate that 12 year old girl’s guts? The sniper in war movies was always the bad guy, a foreign wraith on the battlefield obliterating our favourite grunts before shifting position like the low down scumbag coward they wished they had the decency to be. How does America square this particularly vicious circle?
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