Monday, June 1, 2020

Box office news





Look, another report if you like that kind of thing

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Showgirls: A Non-Perverted Re-Examination

Showgirls was a bomb in theatrical release. When it was
released on home video it made a $100 million profit. I
suppose the audience was more, um, "comfortable"
watching it the the privacy of their own homes.
It may be some form of social-distancing madness setting in, but when Showgirls (1995) appeared on cable last night in lurid HD I watched it all the way through. I realized it was only the second time I have watched this film (excepting the bits and pieces I would run across while channel-surfing). Showgirls was first released when I was in Los Angeles, if I recall at a decent venue, like the Chinese Theater: I was unable to persuade anybody to go see it with me.

Anyway, as this loud, garish anti-bildungsroman played out, I realized I may have a few things to say about it. I’m not actually recommending you to see Showgirls (I did that for you) but if you run across it and decide to take the challenge, I’m offering tools for a fresh re-evaluation.

This re-evaluation starts with an overview of Paul Verhoeven, a very successful director in the 1980s and 1990s, possessed of a very unusual auteur vision. The concepts and values he explores are so strange and unique they energize his films to this day. His major themes:

• 

Commodification - Paul Verhoeven’s films often explore the idea that human relationships are purely transactional, and human life can be converted into various forms of marketable property. RoboCop (1987) is about a person who is transformed into the property of Omni Consumer Products. Total Recall (1990) is about a company that creates pre-packaged memories— the core of human experience— and offer them up for a price, with optional add-ons.



• Corruption - Good government and sound corporate management are not things that exist in Verhoeven films. His films are populated with cutthroat and immoral executives, weak mayors, sociopathic governors and degenerate police detectives. America is shown as a country in deep moral decline. Democratic norms have been replaced by corporate rule and transactional graft.

The only time he shows a functioning governmental organization is in Starship Troopers (1997), which depicts the Mobile Infantry as a force capable of sound leadership, correcting it’s mistakes and achieving victory— however, this depiction is clearly marked as completely unreliable.

• Sexual Fear - I don’t know what happened to Paul Verhoeven when he was a kid (maybe it was some trauma from his childhood in occupied Holland living near a German V-2 rocket base) but something messed him up a little. Sexuality—especially female sexuality— is often depicted as destructive and menacing (Basic Instinct, Fourth Man) or, in the case of Showgirls, omnipotent. Attraction is always balanced with fear and, as mentioned above, weighed as a transaction.

On to Showgirls, which channels every aspect of Verhoeven’s auteur vision in an open, lurid, unsubtle way.

Nomi as we first meet her.
• A Brief Synopsis:  Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkeley), a beautiful young woman with a mysterious past, hitchhikes into Las Vegas. She manages to get a roommate and a job at Cheetahs, a nude club, where she gets the attention of a casino entertainment manager (Kyle MacLachlan) and the star of the casino’s topless show (Gina Gershon). They pull strings to get her a place in the show’s chorus, which begins a story of intense backstage rivalry as Nomi begins her ascent to star status.

And yes, Showgirls is NC-17 and all about titillation, filled end-to-end with nudity and sex acts. But take my word for it: after about 15 minutes or so, the visual spectacle becomes numbing. Women show up nude because that’s their job, nothing more.

Verhoeven protagonists are often new-born characters— ones that really didn’t exist before the start of the film. Nomi Malone enters the film from places unknown, with an unknown past, under an assumed name (“No Me, Alone”), no money, possessions stolen. RoboCop was a synthetic creation that in Act I only existed as an OCP boardroom proposal. Douglas Quade, the nice guy played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall, may be an artificial personality implant. Verhoeven is not afraid to question the bedrock reality of his protagonists— and it’s always a neat way to kick off a movie.

• Las Vegas World - Showgirls is mostly about Las Vegas and what a deeply insane place it is. Founded as a city where any and all vices are accommodated, it is in Verhoeven’s vision the  capital of America, the final embodiment of the values of a corrupted, amoral country.

The system of Las Vegas— money is all-important, ends always justify means— is contrasted against, of all things, culture. Dance, theater, and music are all represented in Showgirls in one form or another— all crushed flat under the weight of the Vegas version of show business. Dance is stripping. Theater is a hugely overproduced topless show. Music is represented by a pop star who is nothing less than a sadistic rapist.

And Nomi fits right in: she is the trash princess of a trash city. She has no values outside of purely transactional ones. The value-free system that rules Vegas rewards her, over and over. Nomi Malone is a rags-to-riches success story, a Horatio Alger story with G-strings.

• Nomi the Verhoeven Protagonist - Nomi Malone is extremely unlikeable. She shares this unlikely protagonist quality with Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct (1992) and Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man (2000).

Nomi is selfish, vain, deeply ignorant (“I love Ver-sayse”) and has a hair-trigger temper. About half the one-on-one scenes Nomi has in the film end with an angry physical outburst. Part of the fun of Showgirls is how it reproduces the queasy feeling of being around someone with mental issues: you don’t know moment to moment what will trigger them, which keeps you on your toes.

Reviewer Mick LaSalle described Showgirls as a film that,
like most of the characters, puts on lipstick well past
the natural borders of the lips.
• The Narrative Synthesis. Here’s the part that makes this a truly weird, very telling Verhoeven film: Every other character loves Nomi Malone. Her roommate adores her, James the dancer is in love with her, and she manages to charm the entire staff of the Stardust Hotel and Casino. The star of the topless casino review she is in and the casino’s entertainment director compete for her affections.

This is the insane, coked-up, glitter-coated heart of Showgirls: one messy scene after another, all mismatched emotions and screaming and throwing things and storming out of rooms. The other characters watch her go, eyes wide in love and lust, eternally forgiving.

This isn’t some example of bad writing—though overall, it's not very good. Joe Eszterhas got $2 million for the script, and it ended his superstar career. It is not poor direction either. Paul Verhoeven is… hanging a lantern on it. For all his quirks he is a very capable director, and he would not have crafted such jarring interactions without a purpose. He WANTS you to notice how weird and off-putting it is to have every character in Showgirls sucking up to a horrible, vindictive person like Nomi Malone, who would just as soon spit in your face than thank you for a lovely dinner.* Why?



Why do people put up with Nomi’s shit? Because Nomi is America. She is the embodiment of Late Capitalist American values. Everyone else is simply trying to appeal to her to get ahead, much as Americans have to buy into the system, deal with corrupt corporations and no unions and no health coverage, to get ahead. We are all prepared to be screamed at, spat on, be thrown down the stairs.

Nomi succeeds because in Las Vegas sexuality is a commodity. She proves to everyone she is the most skilled at leveraging her sexuality to ascend the ladder of success. Everyone is constantly trying to figure out how to attach themselves to her success so they can succeed as well. It may look like love or lust but it's pure, heartless transaction.

Nail polish is another major thematic detail; it serves
as a metaphorical battleground between Nomi and
Cristal (Gina Gershon). Weird but effective.
One of the most telling details I noticed in this screening is one that only a director could add: Nomi’s eating habits. Burgers and fries, burgers and fries, burgers and fries. When confronted with a menu at a respectable restaurant (respectable for Vegas: it’s still laminated) she confesses “I don’t know what all this is,” and admits to, in the past, have been content eating dog food. This is a huge character tell. Nomi is Verhoeven’s perfect American: uncultured, selfish, amoral and ignorant— but also self-possessed, confident, and recklessly aggressive.

That’s the realization. Showgirls wasn’t just 131 minutes of tits and screaming in a hideous neon Las Vegas hell-scape: There’s a message in the middle of it, a sharp indictment, and in recent years it has only become more apparent it was a prescient message. In the 25 years since the premiere of Showgirls all the emotionally unstable trash people, the ones that swim in the muck of vice as if it was the River Jordan, moved out of the trash capitals and into our real one.

*There was as similar complaint voiced about the dramaturgy of Starship Troopers, that it was filled with incompetent, flat acting and childish relationship dynamics. It was called “Archie, Betty and Veronica in Outer Space.” Again, this style was chosen very much on purpose. We are supposed to notice how silly and clich├ęd the narrative elements were, because it’s a propaganda film from the future. The movie we’re seeing is not a movie: it’s a government-engineered work of fiction, designed to increase enlistments and validate a fascist military government. None of it was supposed to be “real.”

Monday, April 27, 2020

Box office news





No news is the new normal

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Nobody Knows Anything, For Real This Time

William Goldman’s famous Hollywood aphorism “Nobody Knows Anything” has never applied with as much profound depth it does now.

Hollywood as a collective definition is composed of several large interlocking systems, all designed to create, produce and distribute entertainment content. Most are being crushed by the coronavirus lockdown. Going through the process beginning to end:


• Pre-production is still going strong. TV writer’s rooms are staffed via video conference, and scripts are still being optioned. Projects are still being greenlit, and everyone is positioning for the days that will follow COVID-19.


• Productions are dark. Thousands of film and TV show production companies are shut down, crews on furlough, sound stages empty, equipment unrented. Film and TV Production are collective endeavors, ones that require a lot of close contact (for example: during shooting, an average cinema camera rig has three sets of hands on it) so it won’t be safe for a long time. News and some forms of reality TV have the edge here: “American Idol” is experimenting with a remote contestant format, which is better than nothing.


• Live theater is utterly dark. Hamilton is playing at precisely zero venues worldwide.



• Streaming services and cable are doing incredible business right now. Industry leaders are worried about the medium-term health of this sector: If the astounding level of unemployment continues, subscriptions to streaming services and full-service cable will start to dwindle as people find them increasingly unaffordable.

• The big hit to Hollywood: Film Exhibition. Movie theaters are closed, and the prospects of movie-going returning to prior levels any time soon is increasingly uncertain. In fact the very survival of movie theaters is in doubt: AMC may be looking at bankruptcy protection (something they do once a decade or so, but still).

Movie-going has been derided constantly in the age of streaming as a dinosaur, a relic of the pre-television industry. This is what most of this post is going to concentrate on, because I do not think people really grasp how absolutely vital the movie theater ecosystem is, and how losing them will profoundly affect almost every other aspect of the entertainment industry.

Studios operate on a “tentpole” model: big, well-publicized films released to thousands of theaters worldwide and provide revenue through box office sales for other productions. To turn a profit for these films, which are generally budgeted over $100 million, huge theater capacity is required, hundreds of thousands of butts in seats. Marvel, the newest large studio, operated on the tentpole model 100%. Others operate downmarket, packaging independent films made on modest budgets.

But all this machinery has stopped.

I’m offering two prognostications for the future of the motion picture exhibition industry, both on the extremes.



FULL RECOVERY SCENARIO


A seating diagram programmed to create a safe space around each sold seat.
A mix of singles, 2s, 3s and 4s shown. Nobody is placed in the middle of a row
so they do not have to pass close to anybody else. Capacity is reduced 75% to 80%.

When the states start slowly opening up theaters again, social distancing guidelines can be put into effect to assure patrons who are going to be VERY VERY NERVOUS about going into a darkened windowless room full of strangers.

The way I came up with (which no doubt the theater chains are implementing) is centered around the fact that most theaters are based on reserved-seat ticket sales. When a block of seats is purchased, the seats around them are condemned for the screening to maintain a 6-foot defensive space. If strict contact rules are allowed— two parties per row to eliminate close passing for the aisle, which is always ass-to-face— theaters can be filled about 25% of capacity. This does not allow for full sellouts, but it is at least equal to a modest weekday crowd.


During these first few weeks or months people will likely be treated to low-budget fare. Independent films, genre comedies, horror films: films with modest budget and the possibility of getting a return even in lower-capacity venues. Studios can and will reserve their large-budget tentpole films until they can get enough screening capacity to make releasing them a worthwhile risk. (a lot of big-budget films are frozen in post-production as well: visual effects houses are not operating, and a film the scope of something like Avengers: Endgame can’t be finished off on somebody’s iMac at home.)

Once the curve is safely flattened theaters can go back to full capacity, though it remains to be seen if people will feel confident enough to pack themselves into sellouts for quite a while. Some late-summer big-budget releases— the sequel to Wonder Woman being an example— are sticking to their release dates, betting the huge audiences are just waiting for the all-clear.




Bravely sticking to a mid-August
release date. Notice it's already
been moved down from June.
COLLAPSE SCENARIO

Major chains, empty but still paying huge rents for their their multiplexes, go out of business. Theaters that survive see persistent poor box-office as people, still spooked by COVID-19, stay away.


Without a way to recoup investment for big-budget films, the studios release them streaming at a loss. Streaming and on-demand represent a revenue source, but compared to theatrical release box office it’s tiny, ancillary, in the old days a way to slightly round up the numbers.

If the financial downturn continues and people cancel subscriptions, even this outlet will become even more problematic. Without a path to profit studios will eventually stop green-lighting big-budget films entirely. For movie geeks who hate comic-book movies this sounds heavenly, but remember that big films finance small films. The Lord of the Rings trilogy financed a decade’s worth of modest-budget New Line films.



Without theaters, the theatrical distribution system will collapse. This will create chaos: non-chain theaters that managed to stay open will have nothing to screen. Drive-in theaters, the only healthy subsection of the exhibition industry, will collapse as well when they run out of films to screen.



This bleak scenario ends on your TV: Streaming, on-demand and TV will be the only outlet for scripted entertainment. The big franchises will likely be broken up into series and miniseries. Cable and premium, already increasingly turning to series to attract viewers, will start to shrink: many of the add-on premium channels show endless theatrical films, and with that source of content gone add-ons like Starz Action and Showtime Comedy will start vanishing.



The other problem is the eternal conflict: Hollywood versus The Internet. If the theater industry collapses, the Internet wins— and never forget the old hacker battle cry: “The Internet wants to be free.” People naturally EXPECT films to be cheap or even free when they’re on TV. Additionally, any film put out on streaming is available for torrent download within hours. In my job as a post-production profession I’ve always advised indie filmmakers to only put your films on streaming platforms when all other revenue streams— festivals, optical media— have been exhausted. Once it’s online, you’re done making money off it.

 But with all the eggs in the TV screen basket we’re back to the ability of people to pay for these services. If hard times persist, many of them will end up cancelling, which will drive revenue even lower.

Well, those are the extremes. I think the reality will be somewhere in-between: some chains will close, some big-budget films will be canceled, and it’s going to be tough to make a living in Hollywood for a while.

But really: nobody knows anything.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Movie News





Never give up, never surrender

Monday, March 16, 2020

Box Office News



https://www.buymeacoffee.com/xPZE1jC

The link above.. if you like this stuff, send me some scratch.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Movie box office figures


The magic of cinema, and groovy lights.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Weekend Box Office



A movie with a dog as the main character.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Weekend Box Office


I didn't mention it but it was Oscar Weekend. Exhausting.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Weekend box office

Gretel, Hantzel, schnitzel

Thursday, January 30, 2020

2019 Best Picture Nominees: Place Your Bets

For the first time in a long time, I actually saw all nine of the Best Picture nominees this year. Here’s what I found notable about them, and a stab at prognostication

FORD V FERRARI
– It’s been called a “Dad Movie” and it is: A Boomer story about the one thing Boomers really care about: cars. In this film you can see the humble origins of all the obnoxious high-performance supercars currently being driven around by midlife-crisis millionaires and decadent oil-money royal nephews: Ferrari, Shelby, McLaren, etc. Feels like a fill-in nominee, but Christian Bale has a slim chance to score a win.

THE IRISHMAN – A Netflix offering from Martin Scorsese. I’d argue that, like JOKER, it's an imitation of a Scorsese core cinematic offering, despite the fact he directed it. Really more of a Robert De Niro film: he was instrumental in packaging the deal and bugging Joe Pesci 20+ times until he came out of retirement to participate. It’s overly long, which has a lot to do with the production oversight methods of Netflix (more below) then actually having three hours of story to tell. Look at a few acting nods, but not a Best.

JOJO RABBIT – This is the one film that I consistently forget is in the running. Not that it’s forgettable: it’s such a singular, unique film that it doesn’t fit into the mental framework of Oscar movies. It’s a comedy / drama about 10-year-old Hitler Youth member during the last months of World War II. His imaginary friend is Adolph Hitler, and his core beliefs are challenged when he discovers a Jewish girl hiding in the attic of his house. So it’s a strange setting for a comedy, but a very worthy film-- one that I’m afraid will get passed over because stories like this make some people queasy.

JOKER – Perhaps the first superhero movie (or rather a supervillain movie) from either major imprint to get a Best Picture nod. It may well take the big prize: JOKER has a polished look with solid art direction. It’s also a nihilistic story that is centered on explaining away the creation of a murderer as a product of hard times. It does not quite justify him, though, which is where Joaquin Phoenix’s remarkable performance comes in, pushing against the amoral narrative. It may well take the big prize.

LITTLE WOMEN – This is a fine film, filled with great performances and meticulous art direction (it will get Best Costume because, as we all know by now, Best Costume always goes to the movie where actors wear clothes that look like costumes). The story was given the Tarantino script-blender treatment, transformed from a time-linear narrative to a flashback / flash forward style that breathes a considerable amount of surprise and energy into the familiar tale. Great Gerwig did not get a Best Director nod, which usually means it won’t take the big prize.

ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD – QT really mended some fences with me with this film, which luxuriated in the sunny universe of Hollywood in 1969. It will appeal to Academy voters ‘cos it is a very flattering look at their own industry, giving it the standard glossy take as a creative, glamorous place where dreams come true. However the gory, historically inaccurate, needless ending will sink this film.

MARRIAGE STORY – Another Netflix joint. The performances by Scarlett Johansen and Adam Driver are electric, riveting and devastating. I get the feeling one or both will be rewarded. The film itself was… fairly good? It felt like a TV movie, and it suffered from the same problem most Netflix features have: it’s sloppy, underbaked, feeling a lot more like a first edit than a final cut. This has a lot to do with how these films are financed: Netflix is not trying to sell movie tickets. These films are made to generate buzz for a streaming service, which is trying to increase subscriptions. Absent the need to compete one-on-one, Netflix does not insist on one more script polish, one more effects pass, one more edit. Look at the downstream offerings on Netflix and you can really see this oversight philosophy in action.

PARASITE – This is, hands down, the best film of 2019. Enormous creative energy in the direction, photography and design, the acting is superb, and the story is both timely and utterly unique. It tells the story of a poor family which figures out a way of gaining the employment of a rich family through deception and clever thinking. Unfortunately it a Korean film in Korean: there are a certain percentage of film viewers who simply do not like reading subtitles. I HOPE it gets best picture, so I’ll just make it my personal pick.

1917 – a visually and technically superior gimmick film that is staged as one long continuous take. It tells the story of two young soldiers on a perilous mission to deliver a message behind enemy lines. The problem with gimmick movies is the gimmick overwhelms everything else, like story or acting performances. So even though it is a visual spectacle, 1917 is an emotionally static affair. I spent most of my time looking for the parts where they hid the cuts— when a tree is in the foreground or when the scene enters darkness. This film already took some significant pre-Oscar industry awards, and Hollywood may well reward it: they do love their bright, shiny objects.

In a few weeks, we’ll see how I did!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Weekend box office

Here it is! Thanks to ALEXIS KILEY for the good advice.

Weekend Box office report teaser



Concept by Alexis Kiley

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Harley Motherf***ing Quinn

[Warning: adult language and situations. No spoilers, though.]

Harley Quinn, voice supplied by "The Big Bang Theory's"
Kaley Cuoco. So less of the insane Brooklynite attitude from
previous iterations, more of a scary SoCal girl.
I don’t review TV shows that often, animation almost never, and I’m not a comic book fanboy. But I chanced upon a review on io9 that was so intriguing I had to check it out— and I was not disappointed.

“Harley Quinn” is a comedic adult animated web-based show now streaming on DC Universe, behind an $8-a-month paywall. It tells the story of Harley Quinn, the Joker’s lover and sidekick, as she dumps him and tries to invent herself as an independent person and supervillain in her own right. She does this with the help of her best friend / roommate Poison Ivy (Lake Bell, a wonderfully dry voice performance), and her crew of minor villains who I would know if I actually read comic books.

Harley and Poison Ivy, roommates. These two characters
may be the most 'shipped couple on the internet. So far
they are depicted a just close friends, but the season
is not over yet.
The dynamic between Harley Quinn and Joker has been well-documented, and they’re even going to make it big deal out of it in the Margot Robbie-starring live-action film coming out next month. Her character has been described as suffering from dependent personality disorder: in her former life she became so obsessed with Joker while treating him in Arkham Asylum she abandoned everything to become his often-abused sidekick. As a super villain origin stories go it may be the most mundane one ever: Harley was a victim of abusive, manipulating partner, a trauma untold thousands of people are suffering every day in the real world. It has given her character a special resonance with fans: even though Harley is a supervillain, her personal emotional issues have a human scale and her efforts to break free of her abusive partner make her even more relatable. The show does not shy away from this unhealthy dynamic, and in fact it casts most of her personal growth as an anodyne to Joker, her romantic obsession transformed into professional competition. Harley a fun character, given considerable depth: she is "a bad guy, but not a bad person," and her story arc probably has her headed to antihero status.

The creators of “Harley Quinn” made a strange but ultimately transformative decision: As it is not a broadcast show there are no real restrictions to language and content, so they decided to make a show for adults. It's a bit of a shock. To give a feel for the dialog:


Harley (to Joker, in a subconscious confrontation): “You think you created me, but no one did. My fucked-up parents didn’t create me. Neither did Jessica Sarner when she lied to the whole fucking camp and said I lost my virginity to a horse! A HORSE!” (applies baseball bat to Joker’s crotch: he doubles over) “Neither did those cops who questioned me for hours about what happened to Jessica Sarner! And YOU sure as hell didn’t fucking create me, Puddin’!”

And the sexual innuendo is of the single-entendre variety:


Bane (to Joker on phone): “Harley is at Penguin’s nephew’s Bar Mitzvah.”
Joker: “She crashed the stupid thing?”

Bane: “Yeah. Seems like she’s doing pretty well. Brought a tiger. Pretty cool!”
Joker: “What? Anyone can buy a tiger. You know she has HPV, right?”
Bane: “Most sexually active adults do.”
Joker: “Shut up!”


Dr. Psycho, after the second time he called someone a c**t.
Yeah, the filter is off and this makes it for fairly exhilarating viewing. There are some limits: no female nudity (yet*), but lots of pixelated male crotches. The show even has a line, and one character crosses it: Dr. Psycho, one of Wonder Woman’s nemeses, is blackballed out of the Legion of Doom for calling her, in the heat of battle, a c**t. (it’s the only profane utterance bleeped on the entire show.)

I know adult-oriented animated series are not exactly a new phenomenon: “South Park” is 20+ years old, seriously raunchy, and the movie was legendary in that regard. Every episode of the immensely popular Adult Swim series “Rick and Morty” is filled end-to-end with bleeps and blurred-out genitalia.

What makes “Harley Quinn” exceedingly unusual is the fact it is camped dead center in the DC Universe. It is not a sidecar, like the way Deadpool— the foul-mouthed, violent antihero from Marvel— is a sidecar, peripheral to the X-Men universe (several X-Men make an appearance in the sequel) and completely walled off from the big-money Avengers universe. Deadpool will never crack dick jokes with Captain America. (Professor X, maybe.)

In her show Harley regularly interacts with the big hitters, Batman and Superman and the like. The iconic superheroes they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make movies about. And by “interact,” I mean when Harley meets The Batman in the first episode, she adamantly insists he is called that because he fucks bats.

Wonder Woman, eating her own brand of breakfast cereal,
realizing all the ground rules have changed.
This juxtaposition turns an amusing series into a surreal one. What we have is a series which has IP-critical superhero guest cameos— and they basically stand in inhibited silence while a collection of supervillains dance around them, calling them out with ripe curses and sexual innuendo. The decision by DC and Warner Bros. to execute this vision is mystifying.

The other exhilaration that comes from ”Harley Quinn” is how this adult theme remakes every character anew. All the profanity and frank sex talk draws attention to the eroticism that rushes like a deep undercurrent under all superhero stories.The supervillans and superheroes depicted in the blockbuster movies are (mostly) extensions of their juvenile, sexless origins as juvenile, sexless comic-book characters, still hewing to a long-gone 70-year-old Comics Code. Not on “Harley Quinn:” on that show, everyone depicted are People Who Fuck.

People Who Fuck are all around us: it is the normal state of the human race. The great majority of DC and Marvel movies and TV shows still depict their intellectual property as non-existent from the waist down, like Muppets. This is my biggest peeve with the MCU: missing the normalizing dimension as People Who Fuck, for all the significant kisses and long, lingering gazes they’re all just cardboard simulations of real people.

This is the liberating synthesis of “Harley Quinn,” the result of the thesis of comic book characters mixed with the antithesis of real-world People who Fuck. Even though they are set in an unbelievable, unrealistic universe of magic and superpowers, the characters depicted within seem more real than any version of them that came before.

*One of the most confounding things about Adult or R-rated entertainment of late: no problem with profanity and verbally describing sexual situations-- but nudity is increasingly rare. I think, in the case of this show, the influence of the internet is the major deciding factor. If the showrunners ever decided to show Harley Quinn running around with her tits out, every fanboy image server on earth would promptly explode. So that will never happen.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Weekend Box Office

I got laryngitis, so this week just read it yourself.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Weekend box office





what am I, a leprechaun?