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Pedro Pascal, Denzel Washington, and Paul Mescal’s Thighs: Everything We Know About “Gladiator II”

The first looks at Gladiator II are here — starring Paul Mescal, Lee Pace, Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Joseph Quinn, and more — and we can’t get enough.

Finally, a movie that will unite all genders. It’s like Barbie and Oppenheimer in one: Gladiator II. One of the most anticipated films of the past few years, Gladiator II is a sequel to the 2000 smash hit Gladiator. The original box-office hit was a cultural phenomenon that still resonates in our film landscape today.

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Satire

What Movies Will God Quiz You on When You Get to Heaven?

Apparently God is a major movie buff.

Gods of Egypt Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Gerard Butler, Brenton Thwaites Movie HD

Chances are pretty good that if you...*checks news*...live literally anywhere in the world, you're probably quarantined and maybe dying from COVID-19 right now.

I probably am right now. Sure, some psychologists are saying, "Don't let coronavirus tip society into panic," but panic is a natural response to unseen threats that make us question our survival and why we even exist. So if you're going to be stuck in your bedroom during what very well might be your last two weeks on earth, you might as well catch up on all the movies that God quizzes you on when you get into heaven.

Wait, what? That's right, dear reader, God is a major movie buff, according to a prophetic vision I had last night while quarantined, and let me assure you that I immediately and accurately jotted His favorite titles down so you can ace the test and not be cast into the fiery pits of Eternal Damnation. Remember, if you don't die as a seasoned movie buff, God will not let you in. Look it up in The Bible.

Noah

www.youtube.com

According to God, high-budget Hollywood retellings of biblical stories are His favorite form of worship. So it almost goes without saying that Darren Aronofsky's Noah epic, starring Russell Crowe, made the list. While many of the other Hollywood bible epics take too many liberties for God's liking, God assured me that Noah is a spot-on interpretation, and that Noah's real adopted daughter actually did look a little bit like Emma Watson. God also mentioned that flooding the world was one of the coolest things He ever did, so it was pretty fun to watch on the big screen.

The Passion of the Christ

www.youtube.com

Mel Gibson's poorly received Jesus Christ biopic may be a slog to get through, but honestly, we should have seen this coming. After all, when a guy who vocally hates Jews decides to direct a movie about God's son, you better believe God's going to take notice. The funny part is that God didn't like it either. God made it crystal clear that Mel Gibson failed to capture Jesus' mannerisms and that the main point in having us watch is so we can all make fun of it together from an informed perspective.

God's Not Dead

www.youtube.com

With a paltry budget of only two million dollars, and a very silly cameo appearance from Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson, God informed me that even though He hates to use the term, He couldn't help feeling like God's Not Dead took His name in vain. The movie's premise that God actually cares whether or not some dumb college students believe in Him was deeply offensive, especially when the only thing He actually cares about is whether or not we can pass his cinematic litmus test. He hopes that we can use take this movie as a lesson in what not to do.

Gods of Egypt

www.youtube.com

Straight up, God would not stop praising Gods of Egypt. This is a direct quote from God during my quarantined vision: "Dude, Gods of Egypt is so underrated. Realizing there wasn't going to be a sequel was the exact thing that made me start coronavirus." God clarified that while it's technically a good-bad movie, it's so good-bad that it might actually just be amazing. He's really into good-bad movies, so that's probably a useful thing to keep in mind when you kick the bucket. Also, if you happen to be Tommy Wiseau, he's going to talk your ear off. Like, he loves you, man.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

www.youtube.com

Okay, this was a surprise. It turns out that God's favorite movie, in the history of the medium, is Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He doesn't even like it ironically; he actually thinks it's good. I asked him if he had ever seen the comparisons between Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Neon Genesis Evangelionand, I kid you not, God says, "Who do you think came up with that first?" Admittedly, when God first said that Paul Blart: Mall Cop was his favorite movie, I doubted his taste in film for the briefest moment, but oh God, did God prove me wrong. The dude is absorbing cinema at a whole different level. I mean, this is the same guy who came up with mountains and diamonds and fish, of course He knows what He's talking about. I should never have doubted God, and now I know that when I die from COVID-19, God will be gaining another little film bro in heaven.

Ricky Gervais 2020 Golden Globe Awards, 2020

Photo by Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Let's get one thing straight: Ricky Gervais is an absolute jerk.

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CULTURE

Climate Change Won't Be Solved by Celebrities Flying Coach

At the Golden Globes, Waller-Bridge and Aniston joined a litany of celebrities calling for action in the face of devastating wildfires.

Jennifer Anniston

Photo by Laura Cavanaugh (UPI-Shutterstock)

Russell Crowe wanted the world to know that he wasn't at the Golden Globes because his country is on fire.

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Netflix Logo

Photo by David Balev - Unsplash

The race for the 2020 Emmys already has impressive contenders. On Netflix's Unbelievable, the trio of Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, and Merritt Wever should not only receive nominations but win for their moving performances.

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TV News

Former Fox Employee Sues Showtime Over Roger Ailes Mini-Series

The lawsuit offers salacious details of Ailes' behavior—and the measures Fox News employees took to cover for him.

THR News

via youtube.com

Former Fox News employee Laurie Luhn is seeking $750 million in damages for how she anticipates being portrayed in Showtime's upcoming Roger Ailes mini-series.

The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Larry Klayman (and published by Deadline), names as defendants Showtime, Blumhouse Productions, and Gabriel Sherman, whose book the series is based on. Klayman currently also represents Judge Roy Moore in a fraud case stemming from his appearance on Showtime's Sasha Baron Cohen-led series Who Is America?, as well as former sheriff Joe Arpaio in a defamation case against several media outlets.

Luhn worked at Fox News for almost 15 years, beginning at its very inception, and she was both one of Ailes' most valued employees and one of his most frequent victims. Luhn's assumption that the series will portray her as an enabler of Ailes' predatory behavior stems from the fact that it uses Sherman's 2014 book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, and a subsequent 2016 New York magazine article as sources—both of which pulled from 11 hours of audio of an interview with the writer that Luhn alleges she was "cruelly lured into." She also alleges that the article "contains several false, misleading, and defamatory statements and innuendos."

Fearful of how she would be portrayed, Luhn, via Klayman, reached out to production and offered to act as a consultant to ensure the accuracy of her parts of the story. (Luhn will be physically portrayed by Annabelle Wallis.) They say that the defendants "arrogantly refused" all attempts to resolve Luhn's complaints. The lawsuit also claims that Sherman never informed Luhn that her initial interviews may be used in other works and that he used her likeness and story without permission to "line his own pockets."

It is unclear how prominently Luhn will be featured in the series, which stars Russell Crowe as Ailes and Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson. Sherman interviewed over 600 people for his book, and the series, according to Showtime, will feature multiple points of view in its telling of the CEO's spectacular ousting from Fox News. Ailes resigned in disgrace amid a litany of sexual harassment accusations in 2016. He died one year later.

While Sherman, Showtime, and Blumhouse are the defendants of the case, Luhn and Klayman also implicate many other notable names. They allege that Ailes enlisted a network of his Fox News employees in his effort to conceal his inappropriate behavior and silence his victims with gaslighting and threats to their professions. Among those they claim to have covered for Ailes were current Fox News COO Suzanne Scott and Bill Shine, his former "top deputy." According to claims in the lawsuit, in 2011 Shine forced Luhn to move out of her Los Angeles home and convinced her she was unsafe (Luhn had a stalker in 2006, and had been forced to move from Washington). Ordering her to move into relative seclusion with her parents in Texas, Shine also made her see a psychiatrist who allegedly manipulated her into believing she was mentally unstable and threatened to admit her to a psychiatric facility. At the same time, rumors about Ailes' behavior were floating around media circles, and it had recently been revealed that he'd told his former employee, Judith Regan, to lie to federal investigators during an unrelated 2006 investigation. Shine's sequestering of Luhn was, according to Luhn and Klayman, an effort to keep Ailes' other misdeeds under wraps. Shine is the current deputy Chief of Staff of the White House communications department.

Then, of course, there are the actions of Ailes himself. The 20-page filing details decades of sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of the extremely powerful political operative and media mogul. Luhn claims that she was often forced to "thank" her employer for promotions by performing oral sex. He made her wear a "uniform" of black stockings and garters and manipulated her into having sex with other women on multiple occasions. He also allegedly bragged about his ability to control her, convinced her that George Soros and Hillary Clinton were trying to kill her, and made her "spy" on other Fox employees and report to him who might not be loyal. He kept illicit photos as blackmail, and in turn he used other employees in his communications department to keep tabs on Luhn.

The large sum in damages sought by Luhn is "to punish and impress upon defendants the seriousness of their conduct and to deter similar conduct in the future." Without seeing a script, it's hard to determine how much merit the suit has. Yet with the revelation of the extent of Ailes' depravity, it's certainly a shame he's no longer around to be named in the case.


Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.



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