CULTURE

Was That Really the Taskmaster in "Black Widow?"

Comic fans were largely disappointed with the screen adaptation of Taskmaster, but chances are we haven't seen the real character yet.

Photo/Marvel Studios

After years of waiting, Black Widow has finally debuted. And although reviews of the film are mixed, there seems to be one common belief amongst MCU fans: Taskmaster was a huge letdown.

But what if the character we believe to be Taskmaster in Black Widow is actually just another intentional misdirection by Marvel, and the fan-favorite on-again-off-again villain Taskmaster has yet to be revealed?

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TV Features

"Cruella" and "Black Widow" Will No Longer Play In Theaters

The move comes as part of a massive announcement from Disney.

Black Widow

As part of a massive announcement from Disney, Black Widow and Cruella will no longer premiere strictly in theaters.

The highly anticipated films will now also premiere on Disney Plus. Cruella will hit the site on May 28, while Black Widow has been pushed back two months, debuting now on July 9 rather than May 7. The "Premier Access" titles will of course cost a $30 renter fee. Kareem Daniel, who is the chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment distribution, reiterated that the announcement "reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences."

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Film Lists

10 Best Female Characters in the MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has not always done justice to women, but recent years have given us some iconic female characters

via Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has not always been kind to women.

The franchise initially focused pretty exclusively on white men and garnered so much success doing so that their argument for not featuring marginalized groups in more prominent ways was their fear of compromising their fanbase.

However, over the past few years, fans and actors have successfully advocated for films that focus on heroes from marginalized communities and feature them in more prominent, complex roles.

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Film Features

Superhero Movies Are Dying in the Age of Coronavirus

We don't need a lone hero to rise up and fight the enemies. We need everyone to collectively stay the f*ck home.

Disney/Marvel

Historically, superhero franchises have always thrived in times of great social turmoil.

Captain America burst onto the comic book scene in the midst of World War II as a metaphorical embodiment of American ideals punching Hitler in the mouth. It's no coincidence that Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man—featuring the young, web-slinging savior of New York City—set the stage for the blockbuster superhero boom so shortly after 9/11. In times of trouble, people love to escape reality though fiction, and superheroes are, at their core, the ultimate power fantasy.

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CULTURE

"Captain Marvel 2" Is Slated to Trigger Low-Performing Dudes All Over Again

Low-performing men are no longer "the real fans" of comic book movies.

Disney

It's impossible to read anything related to Brie Larson's Captain Marvel without tripping over hives of low-performing Internet men.

You know the ones––the kind of men who genuinely believe they're entitled to debates, who pretend to love facts and logic while simultaneously believing everything they hear on YouTube, who couch their racism and sexism in poorly constructed jokes and then rage about how nobody has a sense of humor anymore when everyone else wants them to go away. They're everywhere, swarming the comment sections of every YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook post even mildly related to the character, whining and crying and soiling their britches. It's almost like these low-performing Internet men have nothing better to do than breathlessly scan social media for mentions of Brie Larson so they can regurgitate something akin to, "REEE BRIE LARSON BAD!"

Thankfully, their furor has died down quite a bit since Captain Marvel's release. They still show up in the Rotten Tomatoes Audience Reviews every now and again to leave thoughtful commentary like, "10yrs of a good job destroyed for PC reasons" with no punctuation, but by and large, they've moved on to actively hating other women elsewhere. But as comic books have taught us time and time again, peace can only last so long for a superhero.

Captain Marvel short hair This image really upsets low-performing dudes.Disney

Now that Captain Marvel 2 is officially in development, one thing is certain: Low-performing Internet dudes are going to get triggered all over again.

Collective triggering of the world's least eligible bachelors can largely be traced back to Brie Larson's speech at the 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards (an awards show for women in communications and media). There, Larson spoke out against the lack of diversity amongst film reporters and critics, the majority of whom are white and male.

"I don't want to hear what a white man has to say about 'A Wrinkle in Time,' said Larson. "I want to hear what a woman of color, a biracial woman has to say about the film. I want to hear what teenagers think about the film."

Naturally, the suggestion that their opinions didn't matter––"they" being the specific variety of men who would hear a statement like that and get vein-poppingly red about it––triggered these dudes so hard that their moms probably wished they could get postnatal abortions. These men were so angry that they made it their mission to virtually follow Brie Larson around like the lowest-performing heat seeking missiles, screeching their bad takes whenever and wherever they could.

Brie Larson Speech Women In Film 2018 Crystal and Lucy Awards - Show, Beverly Hills, USA - 13 Jun 2018 Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Of course, Brie Larson was right to say what she said. White men have been the primary cultural tastemakers throughout the entire history of Western media. It's only recently that fresh, non-white, non-male voices have started to gain major traction on such a global scale.

The biggest problem for a lot of the men who are angry at Brie Larson is that they've spent their entire lives massively overestimating the value of their own opinions. To be clear, even the most entitled, low-performing Internet men are welcome to hold whatever opinions they want on absolutely anything. But many of them, for the first time ever, are being faced with a collective cultural dismissal of the value those opinions hold. In other words, these men are facing the same exact thing that they've been telling underrepresented people since the beginning of time: Nobody actually cares what they think.

And it's true. The opinions of angry Internet men, especially the ones who have a tendency to refer to themselves with phrases like "the real fans," don't matter nearly as much as they used to. Captain Marvel was the 9th highest-grossing movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the 11th highest-grossing superhero movie ever made. Regardless of whether or not these men made good on their words and stayed home from the theaters (if they would have even gone in the first place), Captain Marvel was an objective box office hit.

Captain Marvel 2 Disney

As marketing efforts for Captain Marvel 2 begin to ramp up, so too will the vitriol of low-performing dudes. But at some point, assuming they really do love facts and logic as much as they claim, they'll need to stop denying reality and face the truth. Captain Marvel 2 will be another hit for Marvel because low-performing men are no longer "the real fans" of comic book movies. They're just voices screaming into a void like everyone else, and their box office dollars are insignificant to the brands they once worshipped.

Like it or not, their opinions have already been canceled.

MUSIC

Unconfirmed Albums We're Hoping for in 2020

Kendrick Lamar, Justin Bieber, Charli XCX, and more.

We've already been over a handful of the new albums 2020 will definitely have in store for us, but there's surely plenty more where those came from.

In addition to the plethora of albums we know for sure are coming out in the new year, many artists have given subtle hints that they plan to release new records. None of these have been confirmed, but we've compiled clues to round-out our list of probable records we're dying to hear.

Justin Bieber

The Biebs has confirmed JB5 is coming in 2020, although the details still remain under wraps. We can predict that the album will feature the song "Yummy," a new single expected to drop January 3. It'll be his first LP since 2015's Purpose.

Haim

Sister trio Haim have released a steady stream of new singles this year, including "Hallelujah." All signs are pointing to a new album in the new year. It would mark their first full-length since 2017's Something to Tell You.

HAIM - Now I'm In It www.youtube.com


Soccer Mommy

Sophie Allison became an unignorable force in indie rock upon the release of her debut album as Soccer Mommy, Clean. She's released a couple of new singles, including "yellow is the color of her eyes," and it seems a new record is on the horizon.

Soccer Mommy - lucy (Official Audio) www.youtube.com


Hinds

Spanish rockers Hinds released their second album, I Don't Run, in 2018, and they're due for a follow-up. They released a new song this month called "Riding Solo."

Hinds - Riding Solo www.youtube.com


Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis dropped one of the best R&B albums of 2018 with her debut LP, Isolation. She just treated fans to a new song, "Solita," which leads us to believe that a new album might be imminent.

Kali Uchis - Solita (Official Video) www.youtube.com


The Weeknd

The Weeknd recently released two new singles, "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights," and it seems a follow-up to 2018's My Dear Melancholy might be on its way.

The Weeknd - Heartless (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Charli XCX

2019 saw the release of Charli XCX's third studio album, Charli, but it appears she's ready to dive right back in. "i think i want to release 2 albums next year... or at least MAKE 2 albums next year," she tweeted in November. "i feel very inspired at the moment."

King Krule

UK experimental rocker Archy Marshall, better known as King Krule, released his magnum opus The Ooz back in 2017. He just recently followed it up with a short film he wrote himself called "Hey World!" that features four new original songs.

Hey World! www.youtube.com


Kendrick Lamar

If you ask us, Kendrick is one of the decade's defining artists. If the rumors are true, it looks like he'll be starting the 2020s on the right foot. Fans are speculating that the accomplished rapper will release his follow-up to 2017's DAMN. in the new year.

Iron Maiden

Clues have circulated suggesting that the heavy metal legends will return with their 17th studio album in 2020. Their latest, The Book of Souls, was released in 2015.

Sky Ferreira

OK, so maybe this one's a long shot. Sky Ferreira has been promising a follow-up to 2013's Night Time, My Time for so long that it almost seems like a lost cause at this point, but 2019 saw rare festival performances from her and even a new single, "Downhill Lullaby." We won't hold our breath, but we can still dream that SF2 is on its way.

Sky Ferreira - Downhill Lullaby (Audio) www.youtube.com