Your Favorite Celebs Read Boring Books

But don’t worry, some stars have good taste

LOS ANGELES, CA. November 01, 2022: Harry Styles at the premiere for "My Policeman" at the Regency Bruin Theatre.

Paul Smith-Featureflash via Shutterstock

Your favorite celebrity has it all: beauty, talent … and brains? In most cases, just like in real life, two out of three will have to do. But some celebs just need you to know there’s something going on up there in those pretty little heads. Performative intellectuality — we all do it. Celebrities just do it more obnoxiously.

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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

Marvel Cinematic Universe

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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"Men in Black: International" Has Everything But Jokes

They can do anything they want in visual effects now, but they can't write a funny script.

Will Smith made his last Men in Black film in 2012.

Since then, there have been lots of ideas for how to continue the franchise. The best idea was to recruit Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum from 21 Jump Street to become Men in Black. They couldn't work that out, but the idea of Men In Black lends itself to a new pair of agents having their own adventures. It wouldn't even preclude them from meeting Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) one day. Not the agents from Men in Black International, though. We don't ever want to see them again.

In 2016, Agents H (Chris Hemsworth) and High T (Liam Neeson) battled The Hive on top of the Eiffel Tower. Or rather, they're green screened into the scaffolding of the Eiffel Tower. 20 years ago, Molly saw her parents get neuralyzed, but she avoided the memory wipe herself and helped an adorable alien escape. She's spent her life looking for the Men in Black, and she'd be qualified as an adult (Tessa Thompson) if any of the government agencies like the FBI or CIA knew the Men in Black existed.

Molly's ambition could add to Men in Black: International a different dynamic than what J and K had. She finds the Men in Black herself and convinces them to make her Agent M. They can always neuralyze her if it doesn't work out. Then she impresses H and makes herself indispensable to him. In previous movies, Agent J mocked the whole operation, which worked for Will Smith, but M is a good role model to have in a 2019 Men in Black movie. Men In Black: International isn't really interested in M's ambition, and she and H just become generic buddy cops.

Men in Black International forgot to give H and M a dynamic. Oh, I just got that they're H & M. The movie doesn't play that up either. It's cast right; on paper, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson should work. But they're not playing off each other. Agents J and K were the basic clown and deadpan straight man, because that's a comedy formula for a reason.

Instead, H is smug and swaggery, which Hemsworth can certainly play, but that's not a personality. Maybe if M kept up her ambition and got under H's skin, that would be something, but they ignore that once they're on the case. H razzes the alien Vungus (Kayvan Novak), but it's all made up insults about an alien physiology we've never seen before. How can we laugh about something they've just made up?

The only funny character is Pawny (Kumail Nanjiani), and he doesn't even show up until over an hour in. There are no zingers like, "I make this look good" or "It's raining black people." The name High T is a decent pun, and there are new celebrities identified as secret aliens, but you can only ride that joke so long. Agents M and O (Emma Thompson) have some amusing banter about the outdated gender norms of the name Men in Black, which almost goes somewhere and feels like dialogue Thompson probably punched up herself. When she's not in the scene, the movie is on its own.

At least Men in Black: International delivers on the international part. The movie goes to New York, London, Paris, and Marrakesh. This is the longest Men in Black movie, and it feels as long as its hour and 54-minute runtime. It tries to lead you to suspect H for so long when it's totally obvious which character you should really suspect.

They can do anything they want in visual effects now, but they can't write a funny script. Men in Black: International is loaded with more aliens, MIB gadgets, and firepower, but there aren't any jokes. When you don't have Will Smith to make up funny lines, you have to actually give the actors funny things to say.

In 1997, Men in Black had to be selective with its visual effects, so we probably only got to see the best ideas make it to screen. Now that Men in Black: International can have as many visual effects as a Marvel movie, it goes to show that Men in Black wasn't ever supposed to be a tentpole action franchise. Men in Black: International has a lot more set pieces, but none are anything we haven't seen before.

H and M have a gunfight with Alien Twins (Les Twins Laurent and Larry Bourgeois) wherein they shoot bigger guns, but it's the same destruction of a city block we see in every movie. H has a hand-to-hand fight in which he does the same flip over his opponent that every action hero does in every mainstream movie. They have high speed vehicular chases on green screens like the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi. Men in Black: International has nothing to add to the action/sci-fi genre.

What the Men in Black franchise had was comedy. It doesn't take a big budget to write comedy, but it's probably harder work. If Men in Black: International thought it could distract us from the lack of jokes, it was wrong. We noticed that we weren't laughing.

Culture News

Let's Talk about Bisexuality

Twitter embraced YouTuber and comedian Lilly Singh after she shared she was bisexual. Meanwhile, Rami Malek is an Oscar-winner with a heart of gold who still upset people with his acceptance speech.

Lilly Singh

Photo by Tinseltown (Shutterstock)

Twitter showed its supportive side over the weekend, when Lilly Singh, YouTube comedian and New York Times best-selling author, received an outpouring of support after she expressed her bisexual pride for the first time.

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Of all the movies to come out in 2018, from Alfonso Cuaron's poetic Roma to Yorgos Lanthimos's biting The Favourite, only two stood out as truly mind-blowing.

One was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a blend of extraordinary animation coupled with the best superhero script to-date. It was so good that even pervasive superhero movie fatigue couldn't hinder its buzz. Of course it got nominated for Best Animated Feature.

The other was Sorry to Bother You, the directorial debut of rapper Boots Riley. Watch the trailer below. Then we'll chat.

The story takes place in an alternate version of Oakland and follows Cassius 'Cash' Green (Lakeith Stanfield), an African American telemarketer who discovers that using a "white person voice" makes him extra-successful with sales.

That's all you should know going in. Anything beyond that could ruin the surprise.

But trust that we're talking about the most original movie in years — one with a strong, angry, passionate political viewpoint that never speaks down to its viewers. It's a movie that puts you directly into the shoes of a young, poor black man struggling to make his way against the myriad disadvantages heaped on him by white society, all while maintaining an outrageous sense of humor and visual oomph. It's a movie that transcends category, at once comedy, drama, socio-political commentary, and horror, rife with magic realism.

Sorry to Bother You absolutely deserved a Best Picture nod. Lakeith Stanfield deserved a Best Actor in a Leading Role nod for his turn as Cash. But most of all, Boots Riley deserved nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Boots Riley has stated that he's not bothered by the Academy's decision not to nominate because he "didn't actually run a campaign." While that may be true, it's still bullshit.

The Academy Awards are meant to be a celebration of the best movies in a given year, not the ones that spent the most on their Oscar campaigns. A movie like Sorry to Bother You getting left off a "Best Feature" list that includes Bohemian Rhapsody calls the entire endeavor into question.

If one of the best original movies in years doesn't get nominated for any Oscar, why the hell should we care about the Oscars at all?

Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at

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I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the uncanny metaphor both films explore, that is, the way black and brown bodies are seen as disposable and, as Riley's ending scene shows, mutable.

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