September 22, 2019

Hollywood

"Red pill or blue pill; know your enemy or live in peace; click or don't click. Of all the ideas and images The Matrix sent spiraling into American culture— none has become so entrenched, or so contentious, as this one..."

"As often happens on “The Twilight Zone,” the plot is less brilliant than the premise. The episodes do not prove uniformly coherent, but they do reward close scrutiny. "

"Like its final scene, the show is clipped, hackneyed, and desperate to be empowering. Its simple message is good, and much-needed... Women who don’t fit into factory-size clothing should be unashamed."

"Clint Eastwood was “The Man with No Name,” Steve Martin played “The Man with Two Brains,” but alt-right rogue Stephen K. Bannon—the subject and star of two new documentaries—is “The Man with Two Shirts.”"

"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."

"Us is stranger than Get Out, with deeper philosophical undercurrents flowing through it. The rabbit that greets you at the movie’s start is an invitation. Will you follow, like Alice in her Wonderland?"

"Every character, from political icon Leslie Knope to eternally put-upon Jerry, got their rightful happy ending, proven by glimpses at their lives as far into the future as the 2070s. It was satisfying and, most of all, truly conclusive."

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"20 years ago, if you saw something on TV that offended you and you wanted to let someone know, you would’ve had to get a pen and paper and write, “Dear BBC, I’m bothered.” But you didn’t do it because it was too much trouble."

"“So, I am a fat lady, and I deserve respect,” she said recently, recalling her mindset on this solo mission. “Here’s a list of all the horrible things men have done to me.”"

"Netflix has received credit from many critics for championing diverse content. An assessment of the number of stories by and about Latinos in the United States paints a very different picture."

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show, popularly known as just Ellen, is in its 16th season. It made its debut during the reign of Bush II. It effervesced in the Obama era. It has survived the internet."

"The Bachelor, ABC’s long-running dating reality show, had quite an eventful 23rd season, featuring a highly anticipated fence jump, an outsize fixation on virginity, and an unprecedented twist in its finale."

"...by 1994, Tim Meadows was portraying the singer on SNL as an asexual naïf incapable of relating to adult women—if not necessarily an abuser, at least someone whose sexuality had been permanently stalled in childhood."

"Syed is one of the nation’s most famous murder suspects, thanks to the massively viral success of the 2014 podcast Serial, which took a magnifying glass to the case."

"Us, as soon as you’ve shaken off the chills it leaves you with, will send you off on a Google mission. First, you’ll look up the full text of a particularly apocalyptic verse from Jeremiah."

"Netflix resembles Hollywood in the 1990s, when the local cineplex featured a healthy mix of films: romantic comedies, blockbusters, indie dramas, Oscar bait, and so on. But this is unsustainable for any company that is hellbent on monopoly."

"Captain Marvel may not be the most complex or finely shaded of the MCU protagonists. But given that she’s the first woman to be charged with the duty of saving this cinematic universe, I for one totally support her avenging."

" People have been saying that Perry died too young, and they are right, of course. But what I also heard, in their voices as well as my own, was the realization that something of our younger selves had gone with Perry, too..."

"Almost exactly a year ago, Steven Spielberg made it clear how he felt about Netflix muscling its way into Hollywood's most illustrious event, the Academy Awards."

"As Dan Reed’s HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, caused me to revisit the allegations against Michael Jackson as they were covered at the time, I was unnerved, most of all, by the mothers."

"In 2016, the company expanded to 190 countries, and last year, for the first time, a majority of its subscribers and most of its revenue came from outside the United States."

"...what makes the Israeli series “Shtisel,” currently on Netflix, such groundbreaking television is that the characters are the black-hatted, side-curled men and bewigged women of ultra-Orthodox Judaism..."

"We cannot exist as a pluralistic and diverse society if the price of admission to any American industry is the abandonment of religious faith to conform to the demands of the intolerant."

"And the choice of winners? The usual tossed salad, I would say, comprising the dumb, the deserving, the downright bewildering, and the meh."

"“Green Book” is the worst best picture Oscar winner since “Crash,” and I don’t make the comparison lightly... The differences between the two movies are as telling as the similarities."

"Why attempt something as premature as to predict the 2020 Oscar winners before the 2019 Oscar winners have even been announced? Because the way things are looking, the 2020 Oscars are going to be a doozy..."

"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."

"When H. Alan Scott looked up through the mikvah waters, he says he saw the shadows of his past and present lives undulating above him: Poor Mormon kid. Gay man. Comedian. Cancer survivor."

"This year, the Oscars gift bags will include chocolates infused with THC, CBD skin care, private therapy sessions for “phobia relief,” and, for some reason, a toilet plunger."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Once again, the developed world is feeling the inherent tension between market capitalism and representative democracy. Each institution provides its own mechanisms for allocating society’s resources and distributing the income and..."

"Two hundred years ago, the Founding Fathers made a mistake. They decided that the president of the United States should be elected by a popular vote held among the entire country’s citizens. The results of this flawed system speak for themselves..."

"As alien enthusiasts arrive at a remote patch of the Nevada desert, one young hero has already emerged from the legion people who have pledged to invade Area 51, and finally “see them aliens.” The event, which was given the name “Storm Area 51..."

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""Since the financial crisis, income inequality has garnered increasing attention from economists, politicians, and journalists, and perhaps no income level has been cited more than the so-called 1 Percent. Yet that term can describe a wide..."

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"In the next few days, we will hear a great deal about the need for a national unity government comprising both the Likud and Kachol Lavan (Blue and White) parties, if only because it will prove, yet again, impossible to put together a narrow and..."

"Artificial intelligence is getting smarter, but it isn’t getting cleaner. In order to improve at predicting the weather, sorting your social media feeds, and hailing your Uber, it needs to train on massive datasets. A few years ago, an A.I..."