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“In terms of tantalising Sundance prospects, the idea of watching Zac Efron play Ted Bundy has charmed its way to the top, morbid curiosity attaching itself to what screams of flashy stunt casting. The ex-Disney heartthrob graduated from the High School Musical franchise to a spotty adult career, showing comic skills in two sharp Neighbors films but struggling to make dross like We Are Your Friends, Baywatch or Dirty Grandpa feel remotely necessary.
His decision to play one of America’s most notorious and sadistic serial killers in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (named after a courtroom description of Bundy) is a carefully considered turning point, a gruesome gambit aimed at showing hidden depths underneath his Ken doll exterior and a textbook move for an actor whose work has been so closely associated with his appearance. But unlike other depth-plumbing heartthrobs like Jared Leto in Chapter 27 or Charlize Theron in Monster, Efron doesn’t require extreme weight gain or prosthetic teeth to transform, just an as-yet-unseen ability to lean into his dark side.
The film starts by showing us events from Bundy’s fiance Liz’s perspective as a single mother seduced by a charismatic stranger called Ted. The pair’s honeymoon phase is soon brought to an end when Ted is accused of aggravated assault and Liz is forced to decide between a growing stack of evidence and her lover’s dogged insistence that he’s being framed. The decision to keep the viewer similarly in the dark as to Bundy’s involvement in the crimes makes it a mostly bloodless affair and directed by the documentarian Joe Berlinger, it’s also a rather drab one too, betraying a devilish title hinting at wilder, unseen depths.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Have world leaders really got the will to bring peace to Yemen? We hear much about Yemen’s crisis, but far less about the hypocrisy of states fuelling the very conflict they condemn."
"No poll so far in our database has tested Trump against the relatively unknown Weld... Indeed, Weld seems like one of the weakest candidates that anti-Trump Republicans could put up in a national campaign. "
"An initiative by the mayor of Tiberias for the municipality to help provide public transportation on the Sabbath has caused the issue of the social status quo to the forefront of public discussion."
"Like “30 Rock,” “Kimmy Schmidt” obviously slanted leftward, but most always exhibited a similar eagerness to skewer politics more generally than just the GOP."
"Yes, we’re all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggested that the average American’s inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn’t an excuse for not replying."
"... platforms now have a stranglehold over publishers who, individually and even as a group, have little-to-no bargaining power when it comes to algorithmic changes, ad rates, and much else."
"[There's] a subgenre known as National Socialist black metal, which espouses neo-Nazi views and has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as aiming to recruit youth to white-supremacist causes."
"“The Ideas That Made America” by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is an anomaly in the genre. Its brevity is a point of pride, yet it aspires to do a little of everything."
"My wish is to die in my own bed, cared for by people I love—clean, comfortable and relatively free from pain. I hope to have time to say my goodbyes and give my final blessings."
"A diet for fast weight loss is a pipe dream. Many of us want to lose weight without making permanent changes, because we view thinness instead of health as a success."
"Opportunity casts a long shadow over all subsequent Mars rovers, setting a gold standard of JPL engineering. Customized versions of its mobility software are used on the rovers Curiosity and upcoming Mars 2020."
"Biblical scholarship has deepened our understanding of the Torah and at the same time challenges us to consider the implications of our declaring the Torah to be emet. What is emet and what does it mean to say that the Torah is emet?"