Film Reviews

Against all odds, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm may be the feminist film of the year.

Sacha Baron Cohen's film is about many things. One of these things is an aggressive deconstruction of the state of women around the world—or at least in two places: Borat's heavily satirized homeland of Kazakhstan, and the US&A (as he refers to it).


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Film Reviews

"Trial of the Chicago 7" Is a Cautionary Tale for the "Radical Left"

Aaron Sorkin's new film tells a familiar story of a divided America that takes on new relevance in October 2020.

At one point in Aaron Sorkin's new film, Trial of the Chicago 7, a crowd of protestors round a street corner and are confronted by row upon row of armed forces.

As they face down the police and the military, and someone with a megaphone begins telling them to stand back, I couldn't help thinking of some of the protests I attended in NYC this summer. The scene sent me straight back to a moment when protestors ran out over the Brooklyn Bridge towards rows of police. It's one of the many moments in the film—which takes place in 1968—that feel eerily reminiscent of 2020.

Though it takes place deep in the crosshairs of the '60s, Aaron Sorkin's Trial of the Chicago 7—which debuted on Netflix this weekend—is clearly meant to remind us of today's political landscape. From its underlying narratives about police brutality to its emphasis on the brokenness of the U.S. government and depiction of a fractured so-called "radical left," the film was clearly saved specifically for this moment.

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Film Reviews

The Death of White Escapism in Hulu’s "Palm Springs"

The Lonely Island's new rom-com offering broke Hulu's record for most streams in a debut weekend—but a closer look at the existentially chaotic film reveals overwhelming whiteness in all its ironic obsessions, privileges, and physics-defying problems.

Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg in 'Palm Springs.'

Sundance Film Festival

"Like no place else."

That's the motto of Palm Springs, according to their Bureau of Tourism, which also pridefully advertises the Southern California desert resort city as a balmy oasis with a rich heritage, iconic modernist aesthetics, and an ever-increasing cultural appeal to both hipsters on holiday leave and influencers on business trips.

For a place like Palm Springs, these attractive qualities are not merely marketing angles, but famed truths. The city was established atop land belonging to Native Americans thousands of years before it became a hotspot for Golden Age cinema stars, tourists, and retirees, while its preservation of mid-century modern architecture and design creates a feeling that its visitors are escaping the now and cruising into a sequestered gem of retro charm. And, for its youthful crowd of millennials and early zoomers, there's a bit of everything, from swanky boutique hotels and Airbnb rentals, to art museums, street fairs—and oh, a little music festival called Coachella a short 29 miles away.

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FILM

Is “Hamilton” Sexist?

The hit musical will drop on Disney+ July 3rd.

Lin Manuel-Miranda's Hamilton has taken the theater world by storm since its 2015 Broadway premiere.

A hip-hop musical about America's founding fathers doesn't sound immediately appealing, but Manuel-Miranda's brilliant song writing and diverse casting not only captured the attention of audiences, but proved that major change is possible within an art form as encumbered by traditions as musical theater.

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Film Reviews

"The Old Guard" Is the Most Refreshing Comic Book Movie in a Long Time

The latest Netflix original film makes for the perfect cure to superhero movie fatigue.

Charlize Theron stars in Netflix's superhero movie as an immortal warrior.

Netflix

It's easy to suffer from superhero movie fatigue.

Even as someone who's seen every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at least twice and sat through an entire Nolan Batman trilogy marathon in a theater with a broken AC, it's exhausting to keep up with every sequel, origin story, and blockbuster reboot that get pumped out every year at least. It's gotten to the point where even the slightest deviation from the traditional comic book movie formula immediately earns a movie points for resuscitating what has otherwise become a tired, cookie-cutter genre.

To that end, The Old Guard (directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood) is a shining example of a wildly entertaining origin story that brings something new to the table without sacrificing any of its comic book charm.

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Netflix

When it comes to movies from bygone eras, we often say: "They'd never be allowed to make a movie like that nowadays."

TRIGGER WARNING: Sex crimes and discussion of sexual assault

Perhaps the phrase is cited in relation to the racial humor in Blazing Saddles. Or maybe it's about the "prank" scene in revenge of the nerds that's actually just rape. But no matter how hard any older movie may fail the litmus test of modern tastes (and oh boy, do a lot of them fail), at least we know that those movies were in the past.

The phrase is right. Society progresses, and it's great that in 2020 we've collectively decided that you really can't get away with glorifying rape in movies anymore.

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