Reflections on Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman (2017)


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Some will argue that without certain heterosocial tropes——dress-buying with witnesses, slow dancing, melting with some man into a softly-lit chamber——Diana of Themiscyra could not realistically grow her long-term interest in defending human innocents. For my part, a hero driven to joy and follow-through by something like Kant’s sense of duty is feasible for Wonder Woman, and worth wishing for.

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Joseph Spece — Berfrois

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Stan Lee Breaks His Silence: Those I Trusted Betrayed Me


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Lee’s legacy has long been solidified. In his time as the president and chairman of Marvel Comics in the early to mid-1960s, he co-created superheroes including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Iron Man, the X-Men and the Avengers, characters which now dominate pop culture and headline multi-billion-dollar film franchises. The Marvel Cinematic Universe alone has grossed nearly $18 billion globally while turning Lee’s creations—and Lee himself—into household names. The comics’ legend, who pocketed $10 million in Marvel’s $4 billion sale to Disney in 2010 and cameos in almost every Marvel blockbuster, is estimated to be worth between $50 million and $70 million. He is an icon, as revered among comic-book geeks as the fictional crusaders he helped invent. He was also a regular, reliably charismatic fixture of the convention circuit until the aforementioned bout of pneumonia that sidelined him earlier this year.

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Mark Ebner — The Daily Beast

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Living Our Own Truman Show


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To me it does seem like we are getting closer and closer to living The Truman Show.

One (real-life) reviewer described the series Teen Mom 2 similarly, writing “The show doesn’t resemble a show. It’s more like boring old life, strenuous and unyielding.” The Teen Mom franchise, which follows very young women raising children with limited support, has millions of viewers. It has even been granted qualified praise by some scholars for possibly reducing teen pregnancy rates. Several of the Kardashians—famously described by Kim to Barbara Walters as “famous for being ourselves”—have also given birth and raised children on their shows. And of course, there is our president, a former reality star who sets himself against “fake news” and whom no one seems to be able to stop watching. In a number of ways, including our desire to watch “real people” and our willingness to see the lives of infants and young children unfold on camera, we have accepted the morality of The Truman Show.

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Devorah Goldman — Public Discourse

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Juliet, Naked Is Everything a Mainstream Rom-Com Should Be But No Longer Is


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It’s an irresistible premise: an increasingly intimate intercontinental relationship between a superfan’s idol and his own girlfriend. It’s a Platonic cuckolding. Juliet, Naked is based on a Nick Hornby novel that funnels a lot of Hornby’s fanboy impulses — including his self-loathing, paranoid ones — into a single breezy vehicle. Duncan, his dark alter ego, is insufferable bordering on pitiful. When an acquaintance looks at a photo of the young Crowe and pronounces him “gorgeous,” Duncan says, “Thank you,” beaming. Of Crowe’s critics, including Annie, he says, “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, however un-nuanced” — a line I should use more often when people disagree with me. He does not know as yet that Crowe’s opinion is similarly un-nuanced.

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David Edelstein — Vulture

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Did Stephen King’s Son Just Solve a 44-Year-Old Murder Mystery?


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It wasn’t your typical jump-scare, no image of a hungry Great White Shark attacking a beachgoer. Instead, it was a scene in which a crowd boards a ferry on the Fourth of July, a seemingly innocuous moment in Steven Spielberg’s iconic masterpiece. In the shot, a female extra wearing a blue bandana over her auburn hair caught Hill’s attention. She was “almost a twin of the figure” in a forensic recreation image he recently saw of the Lady of the Dunes, the still-unidentified murder victim discovered in Provincetown in 1974—the very same year Jaws was filmed on nearby Martha’s Vineyard.

How I Broke, and Botched, the Brandon Teena Story


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The story that inspired “Boys don’t cry”.

For years, I have wanted to apologize for what I now understand, with some shame, was the article’s implicit anti-trans framing. Without spelling it out, the article cast Brandon as a lesbian who hated “her” body because of prior experiences of childhood sexual abuse and rape. (One of Brandon’s acquaintances had told me he’d said he was “disgusted by lesbians,” and several friends said Brandon had said, “I can’t be with a woman as a woman. That’s gross.”) I saw this youngster’s decision to lead a life as a straight man as incredibly bold — but also assumed it was a choice made in fear, motivated by internalized homophobia.

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Donna Minkowitz — The Village Voice

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SHIA LABEOUF IS READY TO TALK ABOUT IT


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The unpredictable Shia LaBeouf.

Yes, LaBeouf is the guy who was handed a golden ticket and promptly lit it on fire. But too often we forget that everyone screws up on their path toward becoming an adult; and that few do so under the gaze of the public eye; and that by embracing the kind of capital-A Acting LaBeouf aims to do, we nourish the same spark from which his bad behavior stems. Tom Hardy, who worked with LaBeouf on 2012’s Lawless, points to the paradox central to their work. “A performer is asked to do two things,” he tells me. “To be disciplined and accountable, communicative and a pleasure to work with. And then, within a split second, they’re asked to be a psychopath. Authentically. It takes a very strong human being to sustain a genuine sense of well-being through that baptism of fire.” Then: “Drama is not known to attract stable types.”

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Eric Sullivan — Esquire

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