Culture Feature

On Transgender Day of Remembrance: 5 Iconic Trans Men From History

While we memorialize victims of transphobia, we should take the time to remember the historic contributions of trans men.

Philanthropist Reed Erickson

November 20th is known as Transgender Day of Remembrance.

First marked in 1999, it's now part of Transgender Awareness Week, and an occasion to memorialize victims of transphobic violence who have died in the course of the year. Trans women of color in particular have long been disproportionately targeted by violent transphobes.

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TV News

Why TNT's "Snowpiercer" Marketing Is a Tone-Deaf Train Wreck

Or: Why I Won't Even Watch the First Episode of TNT's Snowpiercer

TNT

Even before Bong Joon-ho took Hollywood by storm with Parasite, fans of his work were already well-aware of his unparalleled knack for illustrating class warfare.

As a huge fan of violent action thrillers, and also anti-capitalist ideologies, Snowpiercer ranked among my favorite movies of the last decade. Parasite is inarguably more polished and subtle, but there's something refreshing about the blunt relentlessness of Snowpiercer's take on literal class warfare. Therein, Snowpiercer—a futuristic, high-speed train with cars corresponding to social class, carrying the last human survivors through an arctic, post-apocalyptic wasteland—is an outright metaphor for capitalism and the protagonist, played by Chris Evans, is an oppressed worker-turned-revolutionary who lives in the back of the train, where the working class are relegated, and decides to make his way to the front, where the social elite live in opulence. Finally, upon seeing the worst of humanity and reaching the engine, he realizes that the only moral choice, if he wants to end the class struggle, is to derail the train entirely.

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Film Reviews

"Alita: Battle Angel" Meets All the Hype and Is Worth Your Money

Deadly mercenaries, David-and-Goliath robot fights, and a bit of romance—what more could you want from a big-budget sci-fi movie?

Geektyrant

No one knew anything about Alita: Battle Angel when the teaser first dropped in late 2017, but this is apparently a project James Cameron has been planning since as early as 2000. Was it worth the wait?

Answer: heck yes.

Slashfilm

Set five hundred years in the future, Dr. Dyson Ido (played by Christoph Waltz) finds a disembodied cyborg in a scrapyard with a human brain inside. He takes the cyborg home and rebuilds her, finding when she awakens that she has no memory of who she was before. As Alita learns to navigate her new life, Ido makes efforts to shield her from her mysterious past.

Rosa Salazar (Birdbox) plays the naive young cyborg, a dynamic character who mixes intense enthusiasm with youthful lightheartedness. Alita, while talking to Hugh, her human love interest opens her mechanical chest and pulls out a beating metal heart, telling him she'd literally give it to him if he wanted. When he tells her she doesn't have to do that, she puts it back. There's an awkward pause. Then, in a moment of levity, she breaks into a smile and goes: "Woo! That was intense, huh?"

The story gets a little confusing in the middle, mainly because there's so much world building that gets dumped on us. Fans will be pleased that the plot and characters stay true to the source material, but for newer viewers it might seem convoluted. Still, if you're interested in Alita's journey, you'll be able to forgive the exposition—there are plenty of robot brawls to make up for it.

When you see Alita for the first time, you'll notice how seamless and effective the computer-generated effects are. She's supposed to be a cyborg, something that resembles a human but isn't 100% there, so the Uncanny Valley effect actually helps the narrative. When we're watching her move through the scenes alongside Christoph Waltz and Jennifer Connelly, she doesn't look out of place or distracting.

Speaking of Jennifer Connelly, she does a pretty alright job. The same goes for Mahershala Ali, who is pretty much just playing himself. Honorable mentions go to Jorge Lendeborg Jr. and Lana Condor, who do a phenomenal job as the BFF sidekicks. It's a rarity to see side characters in an action movie give such honest performances. Look out for them.

Twitter

The most unexpected thing in the entire movie, however, is that Christoph Waltz feels surprisingly miscast. Waltz's iconically pedantic speech pattern clashes with his role as a nurturing and protective father figure. His performance is genuine, and the chemistry between his character and Alita is convincing, but he comes off more like a stiff professor than a warm parent.

In a film like this, the acting can only be as good as the writing, which is pleasantly competent. James Cameron, who wrote the original script, manages to pack dense world-building with lots of believable character development. It runs into some pacing hiccups just past the halfway point, but if you can ignore the fake-out endings you'll be satisfied with the sequel bait at the very end.

The New York Times

That being said, this movie feels like it needed to be at least an hour longer. There are so many elements that get very small amounts of screen-time but carry a lot of heft in the overall narrative. The great war that plunged the city into ruin, the last sky-city of Zolem and its impact on the surface world, and what the heck happens to the food Alita eats if she has a robot body? Does she have a mechanical digestive system? These are things that could have been fleshed out, so here's hoping for an extended edition when the blu-ray drops.

Overall, this film is brimming with action and computer-generated spectacles, featuring arguably the best special effects since Avatar. It's got heart, and doesn't compromise on characters and story. Watch it on the biggest screen you can afford to. You won't be disappointed.

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡⚡


Ahmed Ashour is a media writer, tech enthusiast, and college student. He has a Twitter: @aahsure


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Jennifer Connelly, 44, has announced that she will never have plastic surgery, despite all the plastic surgery she's had over the years.

Perhaps she means, I will not have plastic surgery, going forward...but that isn't what she said.


Speaking to More magazine, Connelly says:

We equate beauty for women with youth, and that's sad. It's a shame it's so hard for so many of us to appreciate the beauty of an older woman and to accept it in ourselves. I don't want to erase my history on my face.

The thought is nice, isn't it? Why should we have to erase the history on our faces?

But even though Connelly rules out plastic surgery for herself, ahem, she magnanimously refuses to judge those women who cave in and have it.

I don't judge; every woman has to make her own choice. But for me it's more beautiful to see the person.

Why do celebrities insist on lying about plastic surgery?

Can't they just refuse to discuss it?

Taking a public stand against plastic surgery when you are practically a poster child for plastic surgery seems so silly! But it's Jennifer's story and she's sticking to it, god bless her.

Whatever. Jennifer Connelly is a babe, even after the breast reduction and nose-job and hairline raising. Just don't expect her to be brutally honest.

The Jim Henson Company is working on a sequel to Labyrinth!!!

Yes, 28 years after the cult movie starring David Bowie and a luminous Jennifer Connolly first came out, plans are in place for another.

That is literally ALL the info out there - the only reason anyone even knows about this is thanks to a tiny part of a Variety article about Billy Crystal joining the production of Which Witch?.

Here is the exact line from Variety:

"It’s also working on a quartet of legacy titles in the Henson library — a 'Fraggle Rock' movie that’s been in development at New Regency; a sequel to 1982’s 'The Dark Crystal'; a sequel to 1986’s 'Labyrinth'; and a movie based on the Emmet Otter character."

HOLY SHIT THEY ARE MAKING A SEQUEL TO THE DARK CRYSTAL TOO?!?

Back to Labyrinth - there's no word yet if Bowie is on board or not, but it just won't be Labyrinth without him and his infamous Goblin King crotch bulge.

Seriously, that magical bulge was responsible for the sexual awakening of an entire generation of girls (and boys!). It's an integral part of the movie and cannot be omitted from the sequel! MAKE IT HAPPEN JIM HENSON COMPANY!

Babysitter for hire!

 

 

Just because they are rich, famous and have extensive access to the hottest designer duds, doesn’t mean that Hollywood’s hottest have good taste when it comes to their clothes.

From the big ticket movie and television show premieres to the most stylish, celebs like Cameron Diaz, Katy Perry, Emma Stone and Rita Ora were dressed to rock and shock this week.

Find out who were the style winners and sinners in Popdust’s weekly photo feature.

PHOTOS: Check Out The Past Week's Celebrity Best Dressed Winners And Sinners