Culture Feature

Why Should Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively Apologize for Their Plantation Wedding?

America's tendency to romanticize antebellum plantations is at odds with efforts to reckon with our dark past.

Warning: This article contains graphic depictions and descriptions of the horrors of chattel slavery in America.

Planning a wedding is among the most stressful things you can do.

Basically everyone you know will be there, judging your choices of clothing, hair, decor, food, music...napkin rings. Okay, so maybe most wedding guests aren't actually scathing critics looking for your every misstep, but for a day that's supposed to be one of the happiest in your life, there's a hell of a lot of pressure to get things right.

Now imagine that you found the perfect venue—charming and rustic, with beautiful views, and plenty of room for all your guests. Does it even matter what that venue is called? What difference does it make if that perfect spot is called Stinkpile Manor, or Festering Wound Estate, or Boone Hall Plantation…

Boone Hall Plantation

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Culture Feature

7 Times Ryan Reynolds Proved That He's Too Good to Be True

The teddy bear reward is just Ryan Reynolds' latest good deed...but it conceals a dark terrible secret. Scroll to the end to earn the truth.

There's something not quite right about Ryan Reynolds...

It's not his strong jawline, his muscled figure, his quick, self-deprecating wit, or even his singing voice. Those are all pretty great. No, it's the fact that he has all of those things, and also seems to be a loving husband and father who is passionate about helping others and the planet. Like... pick a lane, dude.

He can't be 2010's People's sexiest man alive, and also be a comic book nerd who makes his nerd-dream come true, and also an avid environmentalist, and also a successful entrepreneur, and also one of the funniest actors in Hollywood, with a beautiful family, and Hugh Jackman for a side piece. He can't. It's too many things, and if it doesn't stop soon, we will have no choice but to dig around until we discover the dark, terrible secret that he must be concealing.

Because no one is that good. No handsome, successful, clever man who isn't trying to hide something would do all that. He's too good to be true. Just look at...

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FILM

Michael Bay's "6 Underground" Is Satire—Maybe?

Truly who knows with Ryan Reynolds.

Michael Bay's movies are frustrating reminders that style makes more money than substance.

Regardless, even Aaron Sorkin fans will still watch a movie with big explosions and impressive stunt work; Bay's $430 million net worth testifies to that. But his latest project, 6 Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds, has been called "a new low," "Michael Bay at his Bay-est," or, most impressively, a film that "sucks the joy out of explosions." From afar, 6 Underground is a drunken collage of Bay-isms (flashy cars on fire, attractive women with guns, very bad men with beards and guns, and a brooding All-American action hero with a backstory of lost love) and Deadpool's offbeat nihilism. Up close, the film is...a drunken collage of Bay-isms, plus Ryan Reynolds' meta-commentary on action movies (including an unintentional cameo as himself–gotta do anything for the 'gram!).

Remember the 1979 film Seven, in which seven specialized assassins are assigned to target a very evil drug trafficker by their suave Charlie's Angels-esque overseer? No? That's fine, there are dozens of films just like that now. 6 Underground clearly doesn't care about being another bland iteration. Ryan Reynolds plays the master overseer called One (yes, because nicknames are crucial to any Secret Assassin Action Movie). He's a Elon-Musk-type billionaire who faked his own death to trick the CIA into...not asking him for any more tech, apparently? You'd think he could become a Howard Hughes-recluse or pull a rebellious Tony Stark-when-he's-grumpy kind of move, but instead he jumps straight to faking his own death in a plane crash–because he also flies jets, apparently? This is never relevant to the movie, aside from weak justification why his team (called "Ghosts") meet in an abandoned plane field where the private planes have a rip-off version of the Ghostbuster logo.

The concept of being a "Ghost" is an excuse to wax philosophical about how being dead is the only freedom in today's high-tech, plugged in, constantly connected society. At least, that's probably what it was intended to be. Instead it's a cookie cutter formula of an enigmatic, tall, and handsome lead with a heart made of gold under his rough exterior who slowly opens up to his team: his "family," as they sickeningly begin to refer to each other. That saccharine plot line is pushed by the newest member of the team, Seven (Corey Hawkins), a discharged sniper who suffers from PTSD and who "never leaves a soldier behind," which is a jingoistic sentiment that Michael Bay loves to push, as well as the most boring version of Chekhov's gun that makes 72% of the movie's senseless action predictable. There's also French spy Two (Mélanie Laurent, who was sad to see considering her stellar performance in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds), hitman Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), parkour enthusiast Four (Ben Hardy), and a very bland doctor Five (Adria Arjona). The women are given very flattering low-angle shots in knock-out attire (which you'd think would be hindrances in all the one-punch fight scenes they're given) but not much else.

Each member has faked their own death in order to "make the world a little less sh*tty" by assassinating evil men, like the ruthless dictator of Turgistan, Rovach Alimov (Lior Raz). With very little backstory and an understanding of geopolitics that an 8th grader would have qualms with, their mission is to install the dictator's brother, Murat (Peyman Maadi), as Turgistan's leader after instigating a coup d'etat. In typical Michael Bay fashion, he exploits real life Middle Eastern unrest and documented crimes against humanity to create long shots of children being gassed in the street and holding the hand of their dead parent in rictus (yes, that scene is in the film). But wait–the coup itself is soundtracked to Bishop Briggs' "White Flag" while women throw off their burkhas in the street.

But put the political exploitation aside, and you have Ryan Reynolds playing Ryan Reynolds-in-every-movie making quips during peak eye-rolling moments like this. "Who picked this?" he asks with a grimace. Four says, "You're welcome. It's a good song." In another moment, One has to motivate Murat once and for all to stand up to his heartless brother and save his countrymen. So he turns to him with dead seriousness in his beautiful, wholesome Canadian eyes and quotes the opening lines of Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Does his humor ever match the tone of the scene? Never. Does this movie even have a consistent tone? Not even remotely. It's like watching Paul Feig attempt drama: It's cultural rot but so pretty to watch.

As Forbes pointed out, "Michael Bay films are the epitome of what's wrong with movies, of how far we've fallen from the days when auteurs made films that mattered." But that heyday has always been a lie. Men like Harvey Weinstein used to be in charge of Hollywood, Disney owns the world, and the future of the world's 2,604 billionaires (like One) is living on a decaying planet by themselves. Is 6 Underground satire? Who's to say when the film's world is as discordant and callow as our own? So even after watching the full two hours and eight minutes, we suggest you roll over and sleep peacefully tonight, pretending you were in on the joke.

Final Trailer | 6 Underground starring Ryan Reynolds | Netflix youtu.be

CULTURE

Can Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds Just Kiss Already?

They can joke all they want, but we all see the way they look at each other

Vanity Fair

They say that shared trauma binds people together.

So perhaps it was the experience of filming the mess that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine that cemented the strange, sexually charged bond between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds. Certainly Reynolds' appearance in that film as a bafflingly mute version of Deadpool has become fodder for a lot of the comedic jabs between them.



Most recently their love/hate/lust relationship involved Jackman replacing Reynolds in a promotional image for Free Guy and an interview with Australia's Today in which Reynolds called Jackman "an evil person," and worse still, accused him of being Canadian. Whatever the original source of this electric energy, Reynolds and Jackman have been going after each other for years, like the kid on the playground tugging pigtails as an expression of love—except that there are two of them, chasing each other in circles.



Their flirt-feud first came to the attention of the general public in 2015, during the filming of Deadpool. In a post on Jackman's Instagram, Reynolds appeared in full Deadpool makeup and put on a flimsy Australian accent. Claiming to be Jackman, he asked the public to vote for him for People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." Jackman and Reynolds had both already been picked for that honor—Jackman in 2008, Reynolds in 2010—as heavily referenced within the Deadpool films themselves. But the suggestion that Jackman was eagerly seeking to reprise that title—and also that his face is a horrific mass of scar tissue—became the first comedic jab in a back-and-forth that has continued to this day.


From a fake truce involving commercials for each other's brands to a political attack ad and a complex, deeply sexual bromance-triangle with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jackman and Reynolds clearly want to be the sexiest men alive all over each other. But for some reason, they seem to be permanently stuck in the middle part of the rom-com where they tease each other lovingly, but aren't quite willing to acknowledge their true feelings. Stop holding back, guys!


ryan reynolds and hugh jackman Now lean in...


Two ripped, charming dudes with killer jawlines should not be kept away from each other by society's expectations or, you know, committed, loving relationships with their wives. It's time for the world to call upon Blake and Debora-Lee to sanction this holy union. It's time for Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman to finally make out, and for the angels to rejoice.

FILM

Best Full Frontal Male Nudity in Movies

These leading men bare it all, completely naked on the silver screen.

20th Century Fox

Let's hear it for the boys!

After all, sex sells. But more than that, humans just like seeing other humans naked. Nakedness shows us in our most natural forms, and it makes sense that we'd want to see the most attractive people among us without clothes on. So Hollywood delivers, giving us beautifully composed shots of beautiful people in their most natural states of beauty.

But also, they give us schlongs—a surprising number of schlongs, extensive schlongs. And that's what we're really here to discuss. Have you ever wondered what movies contain Hollywood's best weiners? Wonder no longer.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Jason Segel

forgetting sarah marshall jason segel Universal Pictures

While most movies use full frontal male nudity for shock value or comedic effect (and let's be frank, weiners are very funny), Forgetting Sarah Marshall takes their dick imagery a step further by using it for narrative impact. When protagonist Peter Bretter's (Jason Segel) long-term girlfriend of five years breaks up with him out of the blue, it's a massive blow to his self-esteem. He feels raw, completely unprepared, and fully exposed, both figuratively and literally, because she does this while he's not wearing pants.

The Hangover - Ken Jeong

mr chow hangover Warner Bros. Pictures

2009's The Hangover did more than just skyrocket Bradley Cooper's and Zach Galifianakis's careers. It also gave the world Ken Jeong, who practically stole the movie with his turn as ruthless mob boss Mr. Chow. And no scene better embodies the sheer masculinity of Mr. Chow than the one where he bursts out from a car trunk completely naked, crowbar in hand (and by that we mean a literal crowbar, not a euphemism for his penis), and jumps on Bradley Cooper's face. What a crowbar! (This time, we do mean his penis.)

Watchmen - Dr. Manhattan

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan may have transcended his humanity after being caught in a nuclear explosion, but he still retains his human anatomy. This means that he has fluorescent blue skin and a fluorescent blue weiner, which he displays in the cafeteria of his former workplace in all its big blue glory. He also begins dating his fellow superhero, Silk Spectre II, because of course big blue penises are somebody's fetish.

Shame - Michael Fassbender

michael fassbender shame FOX Searchlight Pictures

Shame is a serious drama about a sex addict. As such, it's not exactly aiming to portray sex as sexy, but as compulsive, addictive, and borderline disgusting—except it kind of fails, because the sex addict is played by the very sexy Michael Fassbender, and in the name of realism, he can't exactly be clothed. Multiple times through the movie, Fassbender displays his fast bender, and while “fast bender" might be a nonsensical term for his weiner, you still knew exactly what it meant.

It Follows - It

it follows man on roof RADiUS-TWC

While Michael Fassbender and Ken Jeong are certainly fine male specimens, nobody even comes close to the creature from It Follows, a monster that can take the form of any person as it just kind of leisurely walks towards you. So while it could presumably take the form of Michael Fassbender or Ken Jeong, it chooses instead to take the form of a naked old dude and stand on a residential rooftop, with its old dangling penis flapping in the wind. This is probably especially disturbing to the protagonist, Jay, as the old man in question happens to be her grandpa. And if there's one thing nobody wants to see, it's grandpa weiner.