The Hollywood Read ep. 20

THR LogoThis week we’re talking about one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood: Digital beauty work. The practice of touching up and refining every single image we see on screen is compounding the already complicated relationship Hollywood has with beauty and aging. Technology now makes it possible to produce flawless beings on camera, and more often than not, that power is used to maximize body issues and make everyone feel terrible for not looking as good as the creatures on screen. The not-so-secret truth is, they don’t look that good, either. From inflated muscles to skinnier waists to wrinkle-free visages, digital beauty work is taking Hollywood “perfection” to the next level.

Required reading: “Everyone is altered”, by Josh Dickey, the expose on digital beauty work: https://mashable.com/2014/12/01/hollywood-secret-beauty-procedure/#QtmmAEBkwmqW

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark

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The Hollywood Read ep. 17

THR LogoThis week we dive right back into the pit of despair with the Disney-Fox merger, which has officially closed and four thousand people are already out of a job. Then, to try and climb back out of the pit, we discuss why Dev Patel should be the next James Bond. Three words: He got hot. Also, his latest movie, The Wedding Guest, is basically an audition for Bond, and we get into all the reasons a Southeast Asian Bond would make for a fresh start for a fifty-year-old character. Don’t believe us? Check out the trailer for The Wedding Guest and come back when you’ve fixed your life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO0BDQEslwQ

Kayleigh on Twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah on Twitter: @Cinesnark

The Hollywood Read ep. 16

THR LogoEpisode 16: College Scammers and James Gunn Rehired

March 22, 2019

This week we return to the pit of despair to talk about the college admissions scandal and all the ways it’s offensive and gross. We’re talking celebrities who are not immune to the status race, the celebrity kids who just don’t care, the particular combination of dark humor and rage this scandal ignites, and the broken system that has turned higher education into a status symbol. We also dive into James Gunn being rehired by Disney months after he was sacked for bad tweets, and what it means for the culture war that he now has two high-paying franchise gigs. Join us as we work through a lot of residual feelings about the cost of our college experiences, and laugh at the spectacular way in which the James Gunn hit job backfired.

Episode reading:

The affidavit outlining the college admissions scandal: https://www.justice.gov/file/1142876/download

Kevin Tsujihara’s sexting scandal: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/i-need-be-careful-texts-reveal-warner-bros-ceo-promoted-actress-apparent-sexual-relationship-1192660

And for fun:

Kayleigh’s work on the SYFY Fangrrls “Forgotten Women in Genre” series: https://www.syfy.com/tags/forgotten-women-of-genre

We NEED to laugh

I’ve been thinking about something since watching Nanette. Hannah Gadsby makes the point that laughter is not the medicine, that stories are the really important thing, the thing that creates empathy and invites understanding. She’s not wrong. Laughter doesn’t cure society’s ills. It won’t solve any problems or offer solutions. Jokes are simple, and laughter, however cathartic, is not understanding. This is all true.

But this is also true: We NEED to laugh. Continue reading “We NEED to laugh”

Let’s Fight: The Most Important (Fake) Dead Parents

There are so many orphans in pop culture. Seriously, if you want to be a hero or a chosen one, you basically have to be orphaned first. And so, inspired by a delightfully time-wasting Twitter conversation, I’ve created a March Madness-style competitive bracket, beginning with a round of 32, to determine the Most Important (Fake) Dead Parents. Continue reading “Let’s Fight: The Most Important (Fake) Dead Parents”

Ray Rice and why I just can’t care about football anymore

Over the last couple years, I’ve soured on football. I come from a football family—my mom had to reschedule her wedding around a Texas/OU game—and football is a big deal where I come from. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost my taste for football. It wasn’t one specific thing that did it, but more the accumulation of years of bullshit at both the college and pro levels, but things have really gone south over the last couple years. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit B2. Exhibit C. Exhibit D. Exhibit-Fucking-E. You get the picture.

Loki face palm

Continue reading “Ray Rice and why I just can’t care about football anymore”

The end of an era, Roger Ebert 1942-2013

The first exposure I had to thinking about movies as more than just pure spectacle was watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert flay each other over who liked what movie and why on their weekly television show, Siskel & Ebert. The cultural impact of Siskel & Ebert is enormous–just think of how saturated “two thumbs up” is in our pop-culture lexicon–but Roger Ebert had a more personal resonance to me as a film writer working on his turf in Chicago. Continue reading “The end of an era, Roger Ebert 1942-2013”