Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend! Keep reading »
“Divergent,” which opens today, has been hailed as either the next “Hunger Games” or as a massive “Hunger Games” ripoff. It is both, but where it leaves its source material (“Harry Potter” included) is in the religious proselytizing throughout. Teenagers are born again in all YA fiction, in a sense. But in the Divergent books it is a specifically Christian moral imposition and major reason the series fails. Keep reading »
I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I feel about today’s announcement that ’80s cartoon favorite, “Jem & The Holograms,” is being made into a live-action movie. Mostly because three dudes who could not possibly understand the cultural significance of “Jem” are making it. They are: Scooter Braun, who manages, or attempts to manage, Justin Bieber; the producer of the “Paranormal Activity” movies; and the director of “G.I. Joe.” I mean, it would make more sense for, say, Drew Barrymore’s company, Flower Films, to reboot the classic, which is about a professional woman named Jerica who moonlights as a rock star named Jem. Well, whatever. It’s happening. The producers are looking for casting suggestions, and while I’m not entirely sure who I would like to see in the various roles, I whipped up a few badly photoshopped renderings of Jennifer Lawrence as Jem and Taylor Momsen as Pizzaz from The Misfits. Side note: How good does J. Law look with cotton candy-colored hair? Truly outrageous, no? [MTV]
Actress and filmmaker Kristine Gerolaga is sick of the way periods are portrayed in the media, so she set out to make a film of her own that challenges stereotypes and shows us just how unique periods can be. Gerolaga has written and will star in what is currently called ”The Untitled Short Film About What It’s Like to Be On Your Period,” and backers for the project on IndieGoGo will get to contribute ideas for a new title. The short film will star two female leads (when do we ever get to see that happen?) and aims to personify “that time of the month.” To offer support, visit the project’s IndieGogo page!
I’ve been waiting for Lois Lowry’s YA novel The Giver to be made into a movie ever since I was a kid reading the book 100 times. It’s not until my adulthood that I got my wish and I have to say, judging from today’s trailer, disappointment. I know it is just a trailer, but the setting, the costumes and the music look pretty indistinguishable from a lot of the big blockbusters aimed at teens and tweens, like “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games.” They’re all dystopian YA fiction, but The Giver was the original. (And what is Katie Holmes doing there?! Is she really old enough to be Jonas’ mother?!) The presence of Meryl Streep can improve a lot about a movie, so let’s hope she does. Take a look at the trailer and let me know if you agree. [YouTube]
It seems Hollywood has learned nothing from the barrage of criticism for casting straight actor Jared Leto in his (ultimately Oscar-winning) role as a transgender woman in “Dallas Buyers’ Club” or casting Johnny Depp, a white man, as the Native American Tonto in “The Lone Ranger.” Once again, an actor has been cast in a role that could have been more authentically portrayed by someone with the actual experience of the character: Entertainment Weekly confirmed last week that Rooney Mara, who is white, will be Native American princess Tiger Lily in the Peter Pan remake/prequel called “Pan.”
Of course, acting is “acting” and any actor could hypothetically play a character of any race or gender. The problem is that Mara’s casting is an example of Hollywood’s longtime problem with whitewashing — take, for instance, white, blonde Jennifer Lawrence’s casting as olive-skinned, dark-haired Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games.” Hollywood could have easily found a Native American actress to play Tiger Lily. There are numerous Native American actresses who have appeared in other films about Native Americans, including Q’orianka Kilcher, who starred as Pocahontas in “The New World, ” or Irene Bedard, who was in “Smoke Signals” and voiced Pocahontas in the Disney cartoon. Or, since the character of Tiger Lily is supposed to be fairly young, the role could have gone to a new, up-and-coming Native talent. Keep reading »
Before she transcribed this interview, our intern told me that she wasn’t entirely sure who Anita Hill was. I could hardly blame her. Even with a segment on the Anita Hill testimony during a gender studies class in college, I didn’t know too much about Anita Hill myself.
The new documentary,”ANITA,” revisits Anita Hill’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 after she revealed that her former employer, Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. A quiet law professor in Oklahoma, Hill had privately revealed the sexual harassment she suffered under Thomas, which was then leaked to the press. Immediately thrust in the public eye, she was asked to publicly testify against Thomas and decided to go for it. Sexual harassment laws were on the books, but this was the first time in many people’s memory that a woman subordinate to a very powerful man had spoken out. Not at all surprisingly, Hill was repeatedly asked to repeat graphic testimony about Thomas’ behavior; she was accused of being a liar or a “scorned woman”; and worst of all, treated as if it were her character that was under consideration. That both Hill and now Supreme Court Justice are both Black only added another layer of pressure to her decision to speak up. Thomas famously accused the 14 all-white men seated on the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating Hill’s allegations of conducting a “high tech lynching.” (He later blamed “pro-choice liberals” for going after him.) Eventually, Thomas was narrowly confirmed by the Senate. Keep reading »
The most memorable part of Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar acceptance speech, for me anyway, was when he confidently made the neither scientific nor factual statement, “It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” The second most memorable part of McConaughey’s speech was that he, for the millionth time this awards season, quoted his “Dazed and Confused” character’s famous line, “Alright, alright, alright.” But it turns out that Matthew actually came up with Wooderson’s catchphrase himself, explaining its origins on “George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight.” I know this is going to come as a shock, but it turns out he was … high.
“I get in the car, I’m nervous, (it’s my) first scene on film. Right before we’re about to shoot, I’ve got friends in the car … and I’ve been listening to this live Doors album, and in between two of the songs, Morrison goes ‘alright, alright, alright, alright.’ So right before we’re about to go, I’m like, what is Wooderson about? He’s about four things: He’s about his car, he’s about getting high … he’s about rock and roll, and picking up chicks. And I go: I’m in my car, I’m high as a kite, I’m listening to rock and roll – action! — and there’s the chick.”
And the rest is history. I’m guessing that “It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates” came about the same way. [National Post]
The 1996 Coen Brothers movie “Fargo” is coming to the small screen next month, and FX has released teaser trailers! From the looks of it, not too much of the tone has changed between the film and the TV series. Nobody captures the barren, Midwestern winter quite like the Coen Brothers, so I can’t wait to see how things play out in the series.
The show has a limited 10-episode run, and will star Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Molly Solverson. The main characters, while different from the film, seem to be loosely based on the roles that William H. Macy and Frances McDormand made famous back in the ’90s. See all 11 teasers here, and get excited for that Minnesota accent. [Screen Rant]