FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of April 12

Check out Laika's stop motion Missing Link and One Direction fan fiction After.

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week we have a new Laika stop-motion feature and some terrible One Direction fan fiction.

WIDE RELEASE:

Missing Link

MISSING LINK | Official Trailer www.youtube.com

When it comes to innovative stop-motion animation, Laika is second to none. I'd trust anything they put out to be good, and this is no exception. Featuring the vocal talents of Zach Galifianakis and Hugh Jackman, Missing Link follows the adventures of the legendary creature and the adventurer who discovers him. While Missing Link seems to be lighter fare than 2016's Kubo and the Two Strings (if you haven't seen it yet, drop what you're doing), it's easily my top recommendation of the week.

Hellboy

Hellboy (2019 Movie) New Trailer “Red Band" – David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane www.youtube.com

Everyone's favorite "dad" from Stranger Things, David Harbour, stars as Hellboy, the titular red demon, in the latest adaptation of the classic comic book series. Harbour has a pretty big hill to climb if he wants to top Ron Perlman's performance from Guillermo del Toro's earlier take on the franchise. That being said, Harbour is a super likable actor in his own right, and it's about time he gets more recognition. The action fare here looks generic, at least judging by the trailer, but it also looks pretty fun. If you're looking for a big, dumb, turn-your-brain-off kind of flick this weekend, check this one out.

Little

Little - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com

Little was executive produced by Black-ish's 14-year-old star Marsai Martin, making her the youngest person to ever hold that title on a major motion picture. That, in and of itself, makes this movie worth seeing if you're a fan of hers or simply want to support the career of a determined young woman in Hollywood. The plot doesn't look super different from things we've seen before, kind of like a reverse take on Big. It seems like a light, fun movie that'll play well across a wide age range, so it might be a good choice for this weekend's family movie night.

After

AFTER | OFFICIAL TRAILER - In Theaters April 12 www.youtube.com

After looks like hot garbage. Emphasis on the garbage. It's based on a One Direction/Harry Styles fan fiction that picked up traction online and landed a book deal. The story is about a bland girl who goes to college and falls in love with a brooding, borderline abusive Harry Styles, except they can't legally call him that, so instead his name is "Hardin." Let that sink in. You're not watching this movie for quality. You're watching it because you want to pretend you're smooching some lithe young teen. Just being clear.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Dogman

Dogman - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

An Italian film from director Matteo Garrone, Dogman follows Marcello, a poor dog groomer and single father who commits petty crimes under the thumb of Simoncino, a local gangster and former boxer. Dogman could be considered an intense character study, and overwhelmingly positive views from its international release suggest it's one worth watching. If you're aiming for a violent, dramatic crime movie this weekend, be sure to check it out.


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


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CULTURE

Nazi-Chic: The Aesthetics of Fascism

Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.

Villains always have the best outfits.

From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.

Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com

But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.

Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.

Oh, right.

Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.

Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com

Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.

As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.

History of Nazi Chic

For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.

The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.

Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it

Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.

The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com

Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.

Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.

Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com

Nazi Chic in Asia

Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.

A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.

In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.

OF COURSE. i.imgur.com

That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.

In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.

Implications

So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?

The answer is not so black and white.

On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.

But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.

Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

Maximize your time by only seeing the movies recommended to you by some guy on the Internet.

WIDE RELEASE:

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part – Official Trailer 2 [HD] www.youtube.com

If you like fun movies and you can only see one this weekend, here's your best bet. The first LEGO Movie was genuinely awesome. If the sequel is even half as fun and creative as the original, then it'll be well worth watching. All your favorite LEGOs return, including Emmett (Chris Pratt), Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), and Batman (Will Arnett). Chris Pratt also voices a new character, Rex Dangervest, who seems to be a LEGO-ized conglomeration of all Chris Pratt's previous action hero roles.

Cold Pursuit

Cold Pursuit (2019 Movie) Official Trailer – Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum www.youtube.com

Stop me if you've heard this one. Liam Neeson is a nice, normal guy―a family man―until a bad guy hurts a person he loves. Now he needs to use a very specific set of skills to kill a bunch of people. No, this isn't real life, and it's not Taken either. This is Cold Pursuit, and Liam Neeson has a snow plow. So if you've liked every other movie Liam Neeson has ever been in, and you're not currently boycotting him, you'll probably like this one too.

The Prodigy

The Prodigy Teaser Trailer #1 (2019) | Movieclips Trailers www.youtube.com

The latest entry into the "Spooky Boy" genre of horror films, The Prodigy asks the age old question: "What do I do if my son is a Spooky Boy?" This kid has it all - an angelic face, an unusually high IQ, a metronome ticker fashioned into a shiv. Will his mom be able to stop him before he engages in some Spooky Boy shenanigans? Does anyone care?

What Men Want

What Men Want (2019) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com

A reimagining of the 2000 Mel Gibson vehicle What Women Want, this version finds Taraji P. Henson cursed with the power to hear Tracy Morgan's thoughts. She can hear other men's thoughts too, but Tracy Morgan seems like a particularly painful person to have around in this scenario. Most of his thoughts are probably things like, "Butts! HAHAHA." I don't know why anyone would willingly subject themselves to that, but if the inner-workings of Tracy Morgan's mind sounds appealing to you, I guess you can see this movie.

LIMITED RELEASE:

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot - OFFICIAL TRAILER www.youtube.com

A movie titled The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot carries some serious expectations. Blood, guts, action, Hitler, "The Bigfoot." Except...The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot actually looks pretty serious. Or at the very least, way more serious than the title would suggest. Academy Award nominee Sam Elliot stars as the titular man who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot. I'm very confused by the contrast between title and tone, but early reviews seem mostly positive, so this might be the weekend's dark horse for best watch.


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



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