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Posts Tagged With ‘ scarlett johansson ’

 

A Death Without a Body

December 16th, 2019

If you’re currently married or you were ever married, I’ve got news for you: your marriage is insane. I hate to be the one to tell you, but there it is. People you know, people you love, will take stock of your relationship and life choices and say, “They’re cuckoo banana-pants. No doubt about it.” Luckily, you aren’t alone. Everybody’s marriage is insane—yes, including mine. From the outside, they’re nearly impossible to understand. From the inside? Well, it ain’t much easier. Some days you can feel an almost religious degree of closeness to your partner, while during others... Read More

A Comedy of Terrors

November 3rd, 2019

Anything can be funny, right? There are two schools of thought, there. The first is the theory that anything has the potential to be amusing. Comedy is all about puncturing bubbles of pretention, going after targets that deserve skewering. As long as the joke teller is punching up instead of punching down, the only limitation is their imagination. The other school of thought is that some subjects are too sacrosanct to be mocked and to even attempt them is, at best, in poor taste. We wouldn’t dream of making fun of the Nazis, right? Ah…as a matter of fact, we would! There’s a long and... Read More

The End Is The Beginning

April 28th, 2019

“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.” That quote comes from the under-loved Avengers: Age of Ultron. Upon its 2015 release, we were 11 films deep and there were two schools of thought about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a sprawling epic of interconnectivity. Eager nerds like myself were excited. Comic book creators and imagination machines like Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Steve Ditko used these characters, perhaps unwittingly, as a kind of modern mythology. There were lessons of tolerance, justice, decency. You could take something of real value away from the adventures of a bunch of... Read More

Deus Ex Moronica

April 2nd, 2017

What do we mean when we talk about whitewashing? It’s a practice that’s been around since the beginning of cinema, and it’s the practice of casting white actors in roles that were either originated by non-white actors or should have been played by non-white actors. Maybe when you hear that term, you think of older films from a less enlightened time.* Examples like whites in blackface in Birth of a Nation, Mickey Rooney’s breathtakingly racist portrayal of a Japanese man in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or Natalie Wood playing a Puerto Rican teen in West Side Story.... Read More

It Always Ends In A Fight

May 8th, 2016

With a few exceptions, nobody sets out to make a bad movie. Whether the filmmakers are confident or delusional, they start out with good intentions. But here’s where it gets tricky. In order to make a good movie, you need a compelling story, interesting characters, and a way to bring the two together organically. Sounds easy, right? It gets even harder when we move into the world of blockbuster filmmaking. You have to factor in massive budgets, the desire of nervous executives stifling risk in order to maximize profits, and inexperienced directors getting swallowed up by their project.*... Read More

The Bare Necessities

April 17th, 2016

Every week before I see the movie I end up reviewing, I talk to my kid about it. He’s 8 years old, bright, and possesses a goofy sense of humor. Sometimes he’s interested in what I’m going to see. Other times, his attention is captured by more lofty subjects.* I mentioned offhandedly to him that I was considering seeing The Jungle Book, the latest version of Rudyard Kipling’s venerable collection of stories. With the speed of a feral man-cub, he grabbed both sides of my face, leaned in close, and hissed, “I’m coming with you.” Having barely escaped a... Read More

Lights, Camera, Abduction

February 7th, 2016

For anybody who likes movies, especially those of us who are approaching or have already reached a certain age, there’s a temptation to drag out the hoary old chestnut of, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” That statement is the rhetorical equivalent of Schrodinger’s Cat, where it is both true and false at the same time. Please allow me to explain. On the one hand, as long as there have been movies, the majority of them have been garbage. Jump onto your favorite search engine and plug in any year you care to name. You’ll see that no matter the... Read More

Avengers Assemble

May 10th, 2015

  In 2008, the fledgling Marvel Studios released Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. Before the release, there were rumblings that the film would fail, and fail big. How could it succeed? It was a movie about a superhero that only hardcore nerds like me had heard of. Plus, Downey was best known not as a phenomenally talented actor, but as a drug addict. The guy was a huge risk to headline a summer blockbuster. But with a worldwide gross of over $580 million, Iron Man was a gigantic hit, and it guaranteed two things. First, it created the birth of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) which... Read More