There are lots of positive things to say about Christopher Nolan’s new war epic (or, rather, avoidance-of-war epic) Dunkirk: Nolan has constructed a dignified tribute to his home nation of England, he’s successfully reproduced the chaotic intensity of combat on the cinematic plane, Harry Styles has really great hair, etc. etc. But all the rightfully earned praise notwithstanding, there’s no getting around the fact that this movie has a whole lot of white dudes. It is almost entirely white dudes, in fact, and as with all movies dominated by white dudes, everyone else has begun to ask where everyone else went.
In the idyllic planned community of Suburbicon, everything appears to be in its right place. Apple-cheeked kids race home from school every afternoon, white picket fences outline immaculately manicured lawns, and a cheery mailman greets you in the same way at the same time every day. But there‘s trouble brewing in this homogeneous paradise. Is that a drop of blood?
Our children won’t believe us when we tell them that there used to be doubt over whether a female-fronted superhero movie would work at the box office. Even at present, the days of studio executive hand-wringing over whether audiences would deign to shell out their precious $11.75 to see a film in which a woman — who was not a man — did superhero things feel favorably remote. For director Patty Jenkins and her marble-carved star Gal Gadot have proven beyond all debate and rage-choked internet commenting that women are perfectly capable of making a whole mess of money during blockbuster season. And now it’s official.
When young Jews hit that magical age of 13, they go through the coming-of-age ceremony known as a bar mitzvah (for boys) or a bat mitzvah (for gals). There’s music, dancing, and food, you receive lots of money for bravely keeping a straight face while assorted relatives pinch your cheeks, and if you’re really lucky, a major late-night personality will bless your entry into the world of adulthood with his virtual presence.
Lily James cannot fight the music. In the title role of 2015’s handsome Cinderella rework, her beautiful singing served as a plot point, attracting a suitor to her like a sailor drawn in by a siren’s song. She’s gotten another bump in visibility as the female lead of Baby Driver, another film fundamentally oriented around music. (The swooningly romantic scene in which she and her crush Baby share a pair of earbuds at a laundromat is already a fan-favorite.) Now she’s taken her next major role, and it’s sure to put her vocal cords through their paces.
Rough day to be Ben Affleck, the kind of day that makes you just wanna get away from it all by sneaking into your car and having a quick sad-vape. His performance as Batman has begun to emerge the fanbase’s most-loathed, and to add insult to injury, he was ousted from the director’s chair on upcoming solo film The Batman. Now, even more insult has been added to that injury, as replacement director Matt Reeves has begun to clean house and get himself comfy in a new franchise.
The Wonder Woman sequel train has pulled out of the station, and even with Patty Jenkins’ crossover superhero hit still playing in theaters, it’s already begun to pick up steam. Star Gal Gadot will return for the second solo project for the indestructible Amazon, they’ve landed writer Geoff Johns (who co-produced the Green Lantern movie, so, yikes) to handle the script, and while Jenkins has yet to put her Jane Hancock on the dotted line for another film, details of plot are now solidifying. For Wonder Woman, Diana battled those no-good fascists in World War I, and the sequel will reportedly plop her down in another historical era to intervene in a real-life global crisis. This time, the Rooskies will be the ones shaking in their boots.
Ryan Gosling is about to play himself. (In the DJ Khaled sense, not the Being John Malkovich sense.) The actor’s been on something of a roll recently, scoring critical plaudits for The Nice Guys and La La Land last year — the latter of which ended up a surprise blockbuster and less-surprise Oscar hoarder — and continuing on into 2017 with this past spring’s Song to Song. He’s got Blade Runner 2049 on the docket for this fall, a likely smash that may earn him admiration among nerd circles, the last niche demographic he has not yet charmed. But with the world at his feet, Gosling’s now making moves to dash all the goodwill he’s recently built up.
Shia LaBeouf gets arrested a lot. And not “a lot” relative to law-abiding namby-pambies like you or me, I mean “a lot” relative to a street-level Adderall dealer. There was the incident in 2005, where he got an assault with a deadly weapon charge after threatening his neighbor by driving directly into his car, the 2007 arrest outside a Chicago Walgreens, the 2008 drunk driving accident and subsequent license suspension, the 2011 bar fight, the 2014 disorderly conduct charge outside Studio 54, a public intoxication arrest in 2015, and then a minor harassment violation back in this most recent January during an anti-Trump demonstration. That’s quite the rap sheet, but it’s like the old judicial system proverb goes: “Seven strikes and you’re out, unless you’re famous and wealthy, in which case just try to be more careful next time.”
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
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