October 15, 2019

Hollywood

"Movies like Gemini Man are usually ideal airplane viewing. Take a formulaic plot about spies and cloning, then add dialogue so predictable that getting interrupted by pilots’ announcements and turbulence and your seatmate’s need to get up and..."

"For me, Star Wars movies are a lot like dental appointments: I feel obligated to go at regular intervals, but I always get a little nervous as the date looms. The series is a cultural juggernaut, especially on the internet. You can't escape the..."

"I’ve been getting death threats. Not a lot of them. Probably because I gave Joker a lukewarm score of 2.5 out of 5. Also, it’s extremely unlikely any of these people has seen Joker since it doesn’t open in theaters until October 4. That hasn’t..."

"Deeply caustic and supremely confident, Bill Maher is the kind of satirist who causes even his many admirers — his HBO talk show “Real Time” draws more than four million viewers per episode — to throw up their hands now and again. Avoiding the..."

"For many stars, the road to Oscar nominations has, in recent years, led them to play stars of previous generations—and now that road is paved with yellow bricks. In the new bio-pic “Judy,” Renée Zellweger stars as Judy Garland, in a story that..."

"What can we glean from the fact that so many of this year’s best dramas are based on relatively recent tragic events? HBO has already given us “Chernobyl” and “Our Boys,” about the 1986 nuclear disaster and 2014 murder of Palestinian youth..."

"After the Academy Awards successfully proceeded without a host earlier this year, the 2019 Emmys decided to do the same thing, a move that suggested the awards-show host, as a concept, might be officially dead and buried. After Sunday night’s..."

"A lot happened in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell, the Iron Curtain crumbled and a young political theorist named Francis Fukuyama announced that with Western liberal democracy’s triumph, we had reached “the end of history.” Also that year, the pilot..."

"It’s a formula that we turn to again and again to affirm the value of inclusion, especially in the realm of popular culture: the importance of people who “look like me.” The actor Eva Longoria, who appears in the film “Dora and the Lost City of..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Streaming is the future of TV. But for now a big part of the streaming business revolves around old TV shows. Latest case in point: Netflix is paying a lot of money for the rights to show Seinfeld to its 150 million subscribers around the world..."

"A few years ago, I was given a Muppet Show Season 1 DVD. My expectations—or, rather, recollections, since I first met the Muppets back in 1977—was that I’d see a puppet-based variety show that had aged well in some ways and poorly in others. As..."

""The Goldfinch" has a painting at its center, but despite a classy palette of ingredients conjures a lifeless, disjointed picture. Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the movie represents a transparent bid to bring the book's prestige..."

"About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second..."

"My friend Molly had her first baby about a month ago. She watched Friends in the hospital during labor. Then she took her baby home, where she watched more Friends—the entire last five seasons, to be exact. I was baffled. Not because I thought..."

"Let’s get one thing straight: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not a biopic about Fred Rogers. The man who millions of children grew up knowing as Mister Rogers, their TV “neighbor,” was the subject of a strong (and very successful)..."

Todd Phillips’ dark comic book film “Joker” won the Golden Lion Award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival on Saturday and cemented its place as a legitimate contender for the rest of the awards season.

"In the early ’90s, Nick at Night played hours of Mary Tyler Moore reruns each evening, which I looked forward to throughout my childhood with the fervor most kids saved for Saturday morning cartoons. Long before I understood the jokes..."

"There’s something novel, if not quite unprecedented, about the cultural space Jeremy Renner is inhabiting right now. Fresh off a sizable role in the highest grossing movie of all time, Renner is at least partly all of these things: an outdoor..."

"Emily Nussbaum has been meaningful to me, personally, not just because she takes television seriously, but because of what within television she has been willing to take seriously. It’s true that she is a striking prose stylist, fierce and chummy.."

"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."

"Few men in America are as popular among American men as Joe Rogan. It’s a massive group congregating in plain sight, and it’s made up of people you know from high school, guys who work three cubicles down, who are still paying off student loans..."

"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."

"It all started with the ear. In retrospect, there couldn't have been a more fitting note for Quentin Tarantino to begin his career on. Horrified contemporaneous reviews of his 1992 debut Reservoir Dogs queasily attempted to tip-toe around..."

"When the noxious fanboys who howl about movies being too "PC" and "woke" inevitably revved up after the recent announcements of a female Thor and a potential female 007, I did what I always do: roll my eyes. There will always be an element of..."

"The Great Recession has, in many ways, defined American life for the past decade. The economic wounds continue to fester, particularly among a citizenry so accustomed to pining for precisely the sort of wanton excess that the Recession’s..."

"Game of Thrones’ ending left many fans disappointed with what they viewed as lazy or misguided storytelling, or sloppy writing that abandoned many of the show’s longstanding plot threads. Among the most hotly debated, even confusing choices the..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions after glimpsing December’s film adaptation, whose trailer pounced upon an unsuspecting and baffled nation this..."

"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."

"Befitting Stranger Things’ loving ode to the ’80s, the golden age of merchandising, there sure is a lot of Stranger Things crap for sale. Need a copy of Hopper’s Magnum P.I.–inspired Hawaiian shirt for your own date night? Provided you’re not...."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Kurds have been staunch allies in America's struggle against ISIS. Without them, America would have paid a far steeper price in blood and treasure to defeat the brutal outfit. That's why President Trump's move to pull U.S. troops out of..."

"For the first time since President Richard Nixon refused to turn over the White House tapes, the United States is facing a genuine constitutional crisis. To be sure, Donald Trump had already created a crisis in the presidency by abusing the..."

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"I sat on my childhood bed, surrounded by 52-year-old stuffed animals, with a smartphone lodged between my ear and shoulder. My father had died unexpectedly the day before, and I was jotting down notes as my rabbi back in Ohio described various..."

"In August, it was SoulCycle and Equinox. The month prior, Home Depot. Back in 2017, L.L.Bean. These are only a few of the companies to ignite the collective ire of progressive consumers over corporate ties to Trump. In the case of the boutique..."

"Movies like Gemini Man are usually ideal airplane viewing. Take a formulaic plot about spies and cloning, then add dialogue so predictable that getting interrupted by pilots’ announcements and turbulence and your seatmate’s need to get up and..."

"It’s still unclear whether Israel’s next election will be in four years or four months. But either way, if the center-right wants a better outcome, it needs to learn the lessons of September’s election. So here are two: First, while center-right..."

"Smart homes, bountiful oceans and casual sexism: the future as envisaged from 1967 ‘Yes, life will be richer, easier, healthier as space-age dreams come true.’ In 1967, the Ford Motor Company (then known as Philco-Ford) released the short film..."