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RIP Herschell Gordon Lewis (1929-2016)

Sep 26 // Hubert Vigilla
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RIP H. G. Lewis photo
The Godfather of Gore has passed away
Herschell Gordon Lewis, the influential exploitation and horror filmmaker who was nicknamed "The Godfather of Gore", passed away today. He was 87 years old. Born in Pittsburgh in 1929, Lewis would become a legend among goreho...

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer getting 4k restoration, 30th anniversary theatrical re-release

Aug 28 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220820:43067:0[/embed] If you've never seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer before, the trailer above will give you an idea of what to expect. What makes the movie so chilling isn't the gore (though it has its share) but rather its worldview. The movie is an upsetting, psychotic nightmare played straight for its duration. Henry feels real, and that's a terrifying thing. Expect a Flixist Cult Club spotlight on Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer in mid-October. Below is a theatrical re-release poster for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Additional screening engagements and Blu-ray release information are currently unavailable. [via Fangoria]
Henry 30th anniversary photo
An underrated and unsung classic
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is one of the best horror movies of the 1980s. Directed and co-written by John McNaughton, the film is an unrelentingly bleak trip into the world of its title character. Loosely based on rea...

Ghost Rider photo

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I've kept up with Agents of SHIELD. I had watched four episodes back in season one before I gave up, but I've been hearing that it got interesting around season two. But the fourth season...

Saw VIII photo

So a few months ago, my roommates and I spent a week watching the seven Saw films. Little things we noticed? Each film was basically the same, each film began and ended with the same cheesy score and "big reveal," and you cou...


Watch Hardy vs. Hardy: The Final Deletion (aka wrestling meets Tommy Wiseau's The Room)

Jul 10 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220650:42981:0[/embed] Guys, that aired on TV somehow. (Given, it was on Pop TV, but still.) Let's get something straight: this was not a good match, it was not a good promo, and it wasn't even that good a wrastlin' short film. And yet there's something about it that's almost badgood. I found it watchable because I couldn't look away. Hardy v Hardy: Dawn of Dilapidated Boat is a sort of minor kitsch masterpiece in the vein of bad 80s action movies and earnestly made but ultimately execrable indie films (e.g., The Room, the work of Neil Breen). I don't like it. I don't love it. I don't know. What do you think about this match? Let us know in the comments, and say hi to the doggy. [via YouTube]
Hardy v Hardy v Wiseau photo
It's an extraordinary xylophone, Lisa!
WWE dominates the wrestling world today, though indie and international promotions like Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, New Japan, and Chikara offer some excellent alternatives. Yet these are relatively niche; even WWE's in...

The new Lara Croft photo
Another Oscar winner as Lara Croft
Alicia Vikander has been cast as the new Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider reboot, which starts a fine tradition of casting Academy Award winners in the role. Angelina Jolie won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Girl, Interrup...

BioShock Twilight Zone photo
A dimension of sound, sight, and of mind
BioShock director Ken Levine is teaming with Interlude to explore the intersection of gaming and film: his next stop is The Twilight Zone. According to Wired, Levine and Interlude are finalizing their deal to use the tropes a...

NYC: 6th Old School Kung Fu Fest showcases the badassery of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Golden Harvest

Apr 06 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220479:42891:0[/embed] Enter the Dragon (1973)Starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Bolo Yeung Even though Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) is my favorite Bruce Lee movie, I can't deny the importance of Enter the Dragon. The landmark movie brought Lee international stardom, and it helped kick off my personal martial arts movie obsession. (Ditto Infra-Man.) The film would also help propel the film careers of perennial bad guy Bolo Yeung (Bloodsport) and blaxploitation star Jim Kelly (Black Belt Jones). The set-up is simple: infiltrate an island, punch and kick people really hard, repeat. In addition to one of the most brutal kicks to the head in cinema history and a funky ass Lalo Schifrin score, Enter the Dragon manages to impart some martial arts philosophy amid the mayhem. Sammo Hung makes a cameo appearance, as does Jackie Chan in two blink-or-you'll-miss-him moments while Bruce Lee dispenses of faceless goons. [embed]220479:42892:0[/embed] The Man from Hong Kong aka The Dragon Flies (1975)Starring Jimmy Wang Yu, George Lazenby, Roger Ward, Hugh Keays-Byrne Australian exploitation movies are bonkers in the best possible way. Take The Man from Hong Kong for example. The film stars Shanghai-born Jimmy Wang Yu (Master of the Flying Guillotine, One-Armed Swordsman) as a violent Chinese supercop sent to fight an Australian crime boss played by George Lazenby (James freakin' Bond). The film is recklessly enjoyable. Yu blows up cars, demolishes a Chinese restaurant, blows up buildings, and effortlessly seduces comely Aussie women (whom he apparently detested behind the scenes). Sammo Hung also appears in this movie, as does Roger Ward (Mad Max) and Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max, Mad Max: Fury Road). For more on The Man from Hong Kong and other great Australian exploitation movies, I urge you to watch Mark Hartley's excellent documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! [embed]220479:42889:0[/embed] Pedicab Driver (1989)Starring Sammo Hung, Nina Li, Lau Kar-Leung, Billy Chow Both Enter the Dragon and The Man from Hong Kong are American and Australian co-productions, respectively. Pedicab Driver, on the other hand, is a Hong Kong movie through and through, featuring hard-hitting action, broad Cantonese comedy, machismo, and extreme melodrama. It may be a matter of taste, but I love that histrionic hodgepodge. (Though its gender and sexual politics are definitely of a different era.) The film follows the travails of some pedicab drivers as they look for love and seek justice against an irredeemable crime boss. Pedicab Driver features an exceptional fight between director/star Sammo Hung and Lau Kar-Leung. Lau was one of Shaw Brothers' premiere action filmmakers, which makes his on-screen battle with Hung feel like a generational passing of the torch. Sammo Hung also dukes it out with Billy Chow (Fist of Legend). Both fights typify the fast, fierce choreography that Hung perfected in the 80s. [embed]220479:42890:0[/embed] Rumble in the Bronx (1995)Starring Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Francoise Yip, Bill Tung Jackie Chan didn't break big into the US market until Rumble in the Bronx, which received a major push when Quentin Tarantino championed Chan's work at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards. For most Americans, Rumble in the Bronx was Jackie Chan 101: Introduction to Jackie Chan. While not his best Golden Harvest movie, Chan shows off his prowess as a choreographer, stuntman, and cornball comedian, including a memorable clash with a gang in a hideout full of props. Based on the info listed by Subway Cinema and Metrograph, Old School Kung Fu Fest is apparently screening the longer Hong Kong version of Rumble in the Bronx rather than the American cut released by New Line Cinema. This means you get a better-paced film with the original score and sound effects, and you'll be seeing a version of the movie not readily available stateside.
Old School Kung Fu Fest photo
Celebrating Hong Kong action cinema
This weekend (April 8-10) is the 6th Old School Kung Fu Fest, put on by Subway Cinema and held at Metrograph in the Lower East Side. This year's unifying theme is Golden Harvest. Co-founded by Raymond Chow and Leonard Ho, Gol...

NYC: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opening in Downtown Brooklyn this summer

Apr 05 // Hubert Vigilla
Part of me wonders what the new Drafthouse means for comparable cinema experiences currently in New York, like The Nitehawk in Williamsburg or the newly opened Syndicated in Bushwick. Similarly, the lounge and restaurant at Metrograph in the Lower East Side should finally be opening this month. The more movie-going options, the merrier, at least that's what I hope. All you New York readers out there, how do you feel about finally getting the Alamo Drafthouse in town? Let us know in the comments. For updates on the opening of the Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse, visit drafthouse.com/nyc.
Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn photo
CAN YOU DIG IT?!
It's official: New York City will finally get an Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn this summer. If you live in New York and love your movies, it is now time to do a happy dance of some sort. Go on, do it. Yeah. Nice. Hey!...

RIP Erik Bauersfeld (1922-2016)

Apr 05 // Hubert Vigilla
RIP Erik Bauersfeld photo
The voice of Admiral Ackbar has passed
While you may not know Erik Bauersfeld by name, he's the man behind one of the most memorable moments in Return of the Jedi. As the Rebel Alliance fleet closes in on the second Death Star, Lando realizes the shields are still...

Batman v Superman: Wonder Woman could have been more heroic if the guys weren't such meatheads (MAJOR SPOILERS)

Mar 28 // Hubert Vigilla
In the climactic final battle of Batman v Superman, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight set aside their differences because their mothers have the same first name. (Yes, it's silly, I know.) These BFFs now have to do battle with Doomsday, who was created by Lex Luthor because of some flimsy third-act motivation. Wonder Woman shows up to help out, having spent most of the movie as a side character who appears at high society gatherings. Why does she do this? The screenwriters really don't care and instead distract you with wanton violence and revealing evening wear. Wonder Woman is a highly capable warrior. She dukes it out with Doomsday like a Greek hero of old. All grace and aplomb, she barely breaks a sweat. When Doomsday hits her halfway across an uninhabited island, Wonder Woman gets up, grins, and then goes back to fighting. She's unfazed, and she even relishes the challenge before her. Finally, after two hours of watching brooding dudes brood, we see a superhero who likes being heroic and acts like a superhero. Doomsday is only weak against kryptonite, and Batman has used most of his kryptonite gas bombs in his fight with Superman. The last bit of kryptonite is a kryptonite spear that Batman made. Lois Lane nearly drowns trying to retrieve the spear from the bottom of a pool, though how she knows Doomsday is weak against kryptonite is anyone's guess since she's not in the thick of battle. (She also threw the spear in the pool earlier. Whoops. Yeah, it's silly.) Superman saves Lois Lane and gets the spear. While Wonder Woman has Doomsday restrained with her lasso, Superman charges at Doomsday, stabs him with the spear, but gets stabbed back in the process. Superman dies. If you're like me, your're probably asking this: Why didn't Superman ask Wonder Woman to use the kryptonite spear? (You're also probably asking why they'd kill off Superman in just his second movie. Yeah, it's silly.) Given, Superman in these Snyder DC movies is a big, dumb meathead, but surely he saw how Wonder Woman was able to go toe-to-toe with Doomsday and not get hurt much. Surely he noticed she has melee weapon training using a sword and a shield; she even chopped off one of Doomsday's arms. Most importantly, she looks like she's not weak against kryptonite. Superman, by contrast, holds that kryptonite spear with a look on his face that says, "I think I have food poisoning." It just makes sense for Superman to take 10 seconds and say, "Hey, this spear tip is that monster's only weakness. I'll hold this lasso while you go kill him. Thanks. I'm Clark, by the way." But no, instead he decides to sacrifice his life for the planet because Jesus complex. What a perfect movie for Easter weekend. Or, alternatively, Superman could have also thrown the spear. But again, Superman is a dummy in these movies, which makes sense since it seems like Snyder and his screenwriters kind of hate Superman. They love Batman the homicidal maniac, though. The way Wonder Woman is semi-sidelined in this fight seems totally shortsighted on the part of her brothers in arms (and the screenwriters), but it's par for the course if you're a female character in Batman v Superman. For the most part they're props that help move the plot along. Lois Lane is a constant damsel in distress. She's pretty much helpless any time she gets into trouble, and always relies on Superman for help rather than being able to do anything herself. Part of the reason that Batman and Superman fight each other is because Lex Luthor has kidnapped Clark's mom. Superman saves Lois Lane every time he hears her in trouble, but for some reason he doesn't hear his own mom getting kidnapped by goons in SUVs. Keep in mind that this is the same Superman who went into a murderous rage in Man of Steel when Zod threatened his mom and he heard her scream from halfway across the country. (Yeah, it's silly.) Here's another damsel in distress. In Batman v Superman, women typically have to be saved rather than do any saving themselves. So Wonder Woman shows up and her first act in full costume is to save Batman from being burnt to a crisp. She then proceeds to outclass the boys in the combat department. She's so good at what she does that Max Landis will probably put out a video calling her a Mary Sue this week. If Superman gave Wonder Woman that spear, it seems like she would deal the deathblow to Doomsday in 15 seconds and do it like she's Legolas in Lord of the Rings. But no. She's maybe the most heroic person in the movie, but she can't be the person who saves the day. To be fair, Wonder Woman doesn't have her name in the title, but still, you know what I'm getting at. Batman v Superman is a movie about men so obsessed with the glory of their blunt violence that they can't even think straight for a second. Superman wants to hold his spear until the bitter end rather than let a girl hold it. Come to think of it, a man dumbly holding his spear is probably the best image I can think of to represent this movie.
Wonder Woman v Meatheads photo
Wonder Woman v Meatheads
If you read our review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you know I didn't like the movie. There were many problems with structure and pacing, and while the performances were generally good for what they were, I didn't l...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice makes $424 million worldwide [UPDATED]

Mar 28 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220446:42876:0[/embed] The supposed worry on the part of Warner Bros execs may extend to the creative end of things. Without getting into spoilers, Batman v Superman sets up a lot of story threads for the 2017 and 2019 Justice League films. The movie teases a major threat that puts the heroes of the DC universe in great peril, and also a major problem that potentially puts the DC heroes at a disadvantage. Justice League starts shooting on April 11th with Snyder on to direct parts 1 and 2. It'll be interesting to see in what direction they take this story. If Dawn of Justice tries to do two or three movies worth of stuff in 2.5 hours, the Justice League films may similarly be trying to put four or five movies worth of material into just two films.  Batman v Superman also makes me wonder about Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, two of the nine slated DC movies coming out through 2020. I wonder how the stories in those films will touch on the various elements that Dawn of Justice introduces. Ben Affleck may also be working on a solo Batman movie with writer Geoff Johns, and it makes me wonder what that will be like given the characterization of Batman in this film. It might be a couple years away given how crowded the DC movie schedule looks at the moment. Did you see Batman v Superman over the weekend? What did you think? Let us know in the comments. [via Coming Soon]
Batman v $uperman photo
Biggest superhero opening of all time
[UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, the total worldwide gross is actually $420.1 million. The final domestic gross for opening weekend was $166.1 million, slightly lower than the original gross estimate.] Batman v S...

Old School Kung Fu photo
Eight classic kung fu flicks
There's nothing like a good kung fu movie to make me smile. When done right, they're almost like musicals, just with more kicking in the face. If you live in New York and love kung fu films, you're in luck. The 6th Old School...

Japan Sings! April 8-23 photo
Check out the Japan Sings! series
Japan Society is a great place to catch Japanese cinema here in New York. If you're around in April, you'll definitely want to check out Japan Sings! This film series (curated by Michael Raine) runs from April 8th to April 23...

JGL leaves Sandman photo
Sandman is back in development hell
Neil Gaiman's Sandman is one of the most celebrated comics of the 90s. It's also one of the most difficult to adapt. It seemed like there was some hope for the project (that's long been in development hell) when Joseph Gordon...

Pacific Rim 2 photo
That was unexpected
Last year we reported that Pacific Rim 2 was delayed indefinitely, part of some industry drama between Legendary Pictures and Universal. Well, looks like kaijus are back on the menu, guys. Pacific Rim 2 is moving forward with...

Justice League movie photo
With a behind-the-scenes photo
Last week we mentioned the rumors that Warner Bros is worried about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Early reactions to the film have been divisive, and given the hefty price tag of the movie, studio suits are wondering ho...

Depp as Trump photo
This is a yuge, luxurious parody
This is a pleasant surprise. Funny or Die just dropped The Art of the Deal: The Movie, a 50-minute mockumentary that lampoons Donald Trump's general douchebaggery. Starring Johnny Depp as The Donald, the parody also features ...

RIP Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

Jan 14 // Hubert Vigilla
RIP Alan Rickman photo
One of the greats
UK stage and screen actor Alan Rickman has passed away after a fight against cancer. He was 69 years old. Rickman was one of the most admired actors working today, and not just for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter ...

RIP David Bowie (1947-2016)

Jan 11 // Hubert Vigilla
RIP David Bowie photo
There's a starman waiting in the sky
David Bowie passed away yesterday after an 18-month battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. It's unreal to write those sentences, and it's enough to bring tears to my eyes, but David Bowie is dead. This is just days after th...

RIP Angus Scrimm (1926-2016)

Jan 10 // Hubert Vigilla
Phantasm's Tall Man has p photo
Phantasm's Tall Man has passed away
Angus Scrimm, the actor best know for portraying The Tall Man in the Phantasm films, died yesterday in Los Angeles. He was 89 years old. Phantasm director Don Coscarelli emailed the following statement to Entertainment Weekly...

Review: Very Semi-Serious

Dec 14 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220186:42734:0[/embed] Very Semi-SeriousDirector: Leah WolchokRelease Date: November 20, 2015 (limited); December 14, 2015 (HBO premiere)Rating: NR While Very Semi-Serious isn't wholly obsessed with the process of creation and failure (it's just semi-serious, after all), that process is just one of many small hooks that make the movie a light, funny, and enjoyable watch. Maybe it's lighter, funnier, and more enjoyable if you're already a reader of The New Yorker, or if a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the magazine and its editorial process is of interest to you. Wolchok spends a good amount of time focusing on Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff. A celebrated cartoonist himself, Mankoff is writing a memoir while sorting through new work by past contributors and up-and-coming artists. Humor is a matter of taste, and most of the cartoons are the kinds of things that appeal to Mankoff and ultimately to New Yorker EIC David Remnick. Sometimes he laughs at a gag and then dismisses it. "This is beneath him," he says as he rejects a cartoonist he likes. There's a gentle mentorship to Mankoff, who's picking and choosing magazine content but also finding ways of encouraging an artists' sensibilities. Their work may not be right at the moment, but there's talent worth cultivating and he encourages them to try again, fail again, and to fail better. Two of those young artists that Mankoff takes a liking to are Liana Finck and Ed Steed. Their quirky styles are closer to contemporary web comics rather than the droll New Yorker style, and it fits with their personalities. Steed speaks in a perpetual whisper that masks his comedic talent, and Finck is like a weird but lovable heroine in an indie film. Mankoff probably sees a bit of himself in each of them, and gives them the gentle push they need to keep doing their work. Before getting their work looked at in the New Yorker offices, the artists mull around with other cartoonists, almost all of them socially awkward and none of them speaking to one another. It's a nice visual gag. Very Semi-Serious covers a lot of ground, and does pretty well for its scope. There's the history of the cartoons, little nods to famous New Yorker cartoonists of the past like James Thurber, 9/11, Mankoff's life at home, and The New Yorker's recent move from Times Square to One World Trade Center. Nothing can be lingered on too long, so Wolchock juggles the elements that are important, presenting them and then passing them off with a certain light deftness. There's also the question of diversity. The New Yorker's cartoonists tend to be white and male. Even the handful of women cartoonists (Finck, Roz Chast, and Emily Flake) are white. During the scene of cartoonists waiting to be evaluated, I don't recall a single person of color, and I wonder if that will change, and if so when. Though maybe it says something about The New Yorker. Part of me wants a longer chronicle of a few New Yorker cartoonists given how long they've been in the industry and how it's changed. Cartooning can't be done full-time anymore, for instance, so the craft winds up a passion pursued on the side. I'm not necessarily expecting something like Terry Zwigoff's Crumb, but nearly all of the cartoonists are such characters themselves with stories to tell. (A documentary on New Yorker covers and cover artists could be interesting as well given the wide array of artists and subject matter.) Chast, for instance, has such a great on-screen presence. She's one of the few (if not only) women who contributed cartoons to The New Yorker decades ago and still contributes today. In archival footage, Chast slips through the background of the tuxedo-clad boys' club. It's funny and telling and smart the way Wolchok contextualizes the clip. It could have been a New Yorker cartoon--all three captions kind of work too.
Very Semi-Serious photo
More to it than "Christ, what an a-hole"
There's a joke about the cartoons seen in The New Yorker: pretty much all of them can be re-captioned "Christ, what an a**hole." It works surprisingly well about 90% of the time. (The other two evergreen captions for New York...

National Board of Review names Mad Max: Fury Road best film of 2015

Dec 01 // Hubert Vigilla
Best Film: Mad Max: Fury Road Best Director: Ridley Scott – The Martian Best Actor: Matt Damon – The Martian Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone – Creed Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight Best Adapted Screenplay: Drew Goddard – The Martian Best Animated Feature: Inside Out Breakthrough Performance: Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room Best Directorial Debut: Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul Best Documentary: Amy William K. Everson Film History Award: Cecilia De Mille Presley Best Ensemble: The Big Short Spotlight Award: Sicario for Outstanding Collaborative Vision NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Beasts of No Nation & Mustang     Top Films Bridge of Spies Creed The Hateful Eight Inside Out The Martian Room Sicario Spotlight Straight Outta Compton   Top 5 Foreign Language Films Goodnight Mommy Mediterranea Phoenix The Second Mother The Tribe   Top 5 Documentaries Best of Enemies The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution The Diplomat Listen to Me Marlon The Look of Silence   Top 10 Independent Films ‘71 45 Years Cop Car Ex Machina Grandma It Follows James White Mississippi Grind Welcome to Me While We’re Young
Mad Max is the best! photo
Shiny, chrome, and the best of 2015!
The National Board of Review has named Mad Max: Fury Road the best movie of 2015. Oh hells yes! The post-apocalyptic feminist action movie was previously named the best movie of the year by the International Federation of Fil...

Force Awakens clip photo
16 seconds of Star Wars 7
Here is 16 whole seconds of Star Wars: The Force Awakens for your viewing pleasure. It features Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and BB-8 (himself) running away, and there's also explosions and some repartee. Eat thes...

Hausu director in NYC photo
Largest US retrospective of the director
Nobuhiko Obayashi's Hausu (House) is a favorite here at Flixist. (Alec did a great Cult Club piece on it a few years back.) It's a bit like the fever dream of an imaginative child who's really into Scooby-Doo and Mario Bava. ...

MST3K Kickstarter photo
"It stinks!"
If you're a dork of a certain age, you probably watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Comedy Central and later the Sci-Fi Channel. You probably have fond memories of the show and quote it around other MST3K fans. ("Shell! T...

The Modern Ocean photo
The biggest Shane Carruth movie
Writer/director/actor Shane Carruth has made two (cult) classic films: the micro-budget time-travel mind-bender Primer and the haunting low-budget masterpiece Upstream Color. (I was so obsessed with Upstream Color I...

Ash vs Evil Dead preview photo
Ash puts his hand to good use (NSFW)
Listen up, you primitive screwheads! Ash vs Evil Dead premieres this week, and you can now watch the first four minutes of the first episode online. This first episode was directed by Sam Raimi, and it catches the audien...

#BoycottStarWarsVII: Dumb nerds claim The Force Awakens promotes white genocide

Oct 19 // Hubert Vigilla
While the hashtag derp could be written off as an isolated incident involving fedoras and neckbeards, it's part of nerd culture's dark side. We saw it in Gamergate, where any grievances over ethics in games journalism were overshadowed by the movement's pervasive misogyny, threats of violence against women, and a total lack of self-awareness or sense of humor in those who identified with the hashtag. It was there in the Mad Max: Fury Road boycott, in which a badass feminist action movie left MRA's feeling emasculated and threatened simply at the idea of the story. And here it is again, with a strange lashing out by racist, insular Star Wars nerds at the mere appearance of a black person. Maybe this all ties into a larger sense of global xenophobia and sexism. I'm thinking of the uptick in Islamophobia throughout the United States and Europe, or the Christian right's fight against gay rights, or the insensitivity some have towards the transgendered. It's as if the ethnic, cultural, religious, or gendered "other" is a threat to white male hegemony and homogeneity. Wesley Morris wrote in The New York Times that this was the year we obsessed over identity, and here in these various incidents are a series of pushes against the tide of change in order for a culturally dominant group to maintain control rather than cede some. But you know what? The future is going to be more diverse, and that's good for everyone. Leaving aside a larger cultural conversation about the changing demographic makeup of the world and how women, people of color, queer individuals, and transgendered individuals are finding new roles in society and greater acceptance, let's just come back to Star Wars. All films wind up being a reflection of their time, and what is the 21st century (or at least the possibility of the 21st century, especially in this decade) if not a more open and inclusive world, a continuation of the better parts of a tumultuous and violent 20th century. It's harder to overcome a regressive mindset in the real world, but at least we can do it in our art and entertainment--you've got to start somewhere. Kathleen Kennedy is at the creative helm of the series rather than George Lucas. We're looking forward in the story rather than backwards, with new perspectives on the mythos and new talent taking the reins. There's a more diverse cast for the new Star Wars trilogy as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and we'll likely see the same casting approach to the other two Star Wars anthology films in development. Kennedy has apparently lobbied for a woman to direct a Star Wars film. While this hasn't come to pass for a variety of reasons (at least not yet), six of the eight people who are instrumental in the development of these new Star Wars films are women. We'll have to see the films first to figure out if they're any good, of course, but there's something hopeful about this approach that makes this #BoycottStarWarsVII nonsense seem smaller and pettier than it already is. This is the 21st century, and there's only one thing to say to the angry, racist nerds using this dumb hashtag. To quote Star Wars star John Boyega: "Get used to it." [via The Mary Sue]
#BoycottStarWarsVII derp photo
The derp is strong with this one
Oh nerdom, not again. Earlier this year, some silly men's rights activists called for a boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road for being "feminist propaganda." Now some angry, racist nerds are calling for a boycott of Star Wars: ...

Angry Birds trailer photo
Ugh... seriously... UGH
I bet everyone was just clamoring for an Angry Birds movie, right? Can't even get crickets to chirp over this. Well, there is now a trailer for The Angry Birds Movie, and it's like every bad animated movie cliche in one wretc...


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