“This movie could star a bag of rice and it would still make a zillion dollars. There’s literally no reason a diverse, woman-friendly action movie doesn’t get made four times a year.”
It’s hard for us, in these enlightened days of 2023, to remember how dark the future once looked for the state of stupid action movies. Even as late as 2014, those of us who enjoyed our movies loud, stupid, and full of explosions (also spaceships; spaceships were always good) were faced with a depressingly homogenous slate of options.
One wouldn’t think that baking — such a sweet, friendly, lovely activity — would be so cutthroat, but you’d be wrong.
The BBC’s Great British Bake-Off is back for another season, much to the delight of those of us who have an odd fascination for food-based reality TV competitions. One wouldn’t think that baking — such a sweet, friendly, lovely activity — would be so cutthroat, but you’d be wrong, especially when it’s airing on the BBC, where the combination of British restraint and reality-show greed clashes absolutely beautifully. The judges aren’t afraid to get ugly, and the same goes for many of the contestants, who are focused on the big prize and aren’t afraid to knock each other aside to get there.
What we really remember are the moments when Robin Williams’ career collided with our own lives.
When someone so iconic, so imprinted on the DNA of our popular culture and personal memories like Robin Williams dies we automatically think that the professional obituary writers remember every movie, every stand-up show and every television appearance in precise detail. When it comes to movie stars, rock idols and novelists they are blessed by god with the omnipotent power to pluck out the most obscure gesture or throwaway line the deceased has ever uttered.
We’re mad about Max for so many reasons.
“My name is Max and my world is fire and blood.” Oh boy if that line doesn’t get the gasoline flowing into the old V8 engine and have you reaching for the American Football shoulder pads, crossbow and leather chaps, then nothing will. Just in case you hadn’t noticed the new trailer for “Mad Max: Fury Road” staring Tom Hardy was unleashed on an unsuspecting public a couple of weeks ago and they went nutzoid batshit for the 2 minutes and 44 seconds of motorized mayhem.
The first thing you have to understand about The 100 is that it is absolute trash television.
The CW’s The 100 has become bizarrely compelling for me in a way I totally didn’t expect. Every time a new science fiction show crops up on the horizon, I quiver with excitement, hoping that it will be the one, and then my joy fizzles out, leaving behind only the cracked remnants of my dreams. I’m fervently hoping that doesn’t happen in this case, and I think I might be case, for one simple reason: My expectations of The CW are not very high. (This is, after all, the network that runs Reign, one of my unabashed total cheeseball pleasures.)
NBC is once again venturing into musical territory with a production of Peter Pan, and the internet is abuzz over the casting of actress Allison Williams in the title role. She’s certainly got the skills for it, as demonstrated from [...]
NBC is once again venturing into musical territory with a production of Peter Pan, and the internet is abuzz over the casting of actress Allison Williams in the title role. She’s certainly got the skills for it, as demonstrated from her acting and singing on Girls, and she comes from a long-line of experienced television performers and broadcasters, but some aren’t convinced she’s a great choice. Suggestions of nepotism, Hollywood celebrity dynasties, and more have been flying around since the casting announcement (and one wonders if such criticisms would be dealt out to a man in a similar situation).
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is being billed as a “different” kind of Marvel movie. In many ways, that’s true: It takes place in a distant part of the galaxy, and a fictional reality that’s only loosely linked to any of [...]
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is being billed as a “different” kind of Marvel movie. In many ways, that’s true: It takes place in a distant part of the galaxy, and a fictional reality that’s only loosely linked to any of the existing Marvel franchises. It’s also looser and less self-serious than any of those franchises: The cosmic bombast of Thor, or the grim 70s thriller vibe and real-world politics of Captain America 2, are missing here. This is a silly comic-book movie which pauses, at several points, to make fun of itself for being a silly comic-book movie. It’s also refreshingly free from the expectation that, as a summer blockbuster, it has to be kid-friendly: Characters flip people off, joke about their spaceships being covered in invisible jizz stains, and call each other “batshit crazy.”
A film adapted from an adaptation about an adaptation is an interesting conceit and one at which Polanski excels.
We’re stalking down a smart Parisian street flanked by trees. Thunder and lightning rip through the night sky like the by-product of a supernatural visit. We veer off the street towards a theatre, alone, slightly dishevelled and dropping its aitches. Now we creep purposely through the double doors, down the stairs and through into the theatre proper like a regal Sam Raimi raiding a deserted log cabin.
Now for the surprise: Maleficent felt like a credible anarchafeminist fairytale.
[Trigger warnings: rape.]
I was surprised by Maleficent. I was expecting to be sorely disappointed, given the predictability of mainstream media that leaves us low bars like, ‘a single strong female character’! After the joyfulness of the first few minutes I almost wanted to walk out of the cinema before, I thought, everything inevitably came crashing down into the usual mess of Disney fairytales.
As usual, the judges want to tell us that this a longlist of ambition, breadth and depth, but this year more than most, that seems like a disingenuous claim.
This year’s Man Booker Prize, in its first outing since the controversial rule change, was widely tipped to be The Coming of the Americans writ large. Previously open only to novels by Commonwealth authors, this year the Man Booker is open to any book published in the UK in the relevant period – hence, USian authors are eligible, and were expected to dominate. On the eve of the longlist announcement, many pundits were tipping a longlist that was over half or even two-thirds American-authored, and some big name American writers were being touted as shoe-ins.
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