We’re back and we’re catching up on the Cannes Film Festival, John Wick Chapter 3, and Aladdin, and we are divided on the merits of Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation. We also talk Avatar, and what its potential is in a changed blockbuster landscape where every movie looks like, well, Avatar. Plus, there is a bonus detour into true crime and why there isn’t a Chernobyl-style retelling of the Romanov and/or Black Dahlia murders. It just wouldn’t be The Hollywood Read if we didn’t end up somewhere dark and macabre.
Spoilers ahoy! In a spare-no-spoilers super-sized episode, we dig into Avengers: Endgame, from everything we loved to the few things that didn’t quite work out. It’s the good, the great, and the not-so-awesome of Marvel’s grand “Infinity Saga”, including a look forward to what could be next as the OG Avengers, for the most part, walk away. Also, quick programming note: We will be taking a break for the next few weeks. So enjoy this double-wide episode as we work out just what, exactly, Steve Rogers did to the timeline.
With Game of Thrones airing its final season, we are on the cusp of losing a long-time tradition: the watercooler TV show. This week, we discuss Thrones–no spoilers, don’t worry–and what it means for television and pop culture to lose “watercooler” shows and the communal TV experience. What will replace it? Anything? With streaming bifurcating more than ever, it doesn’t seem likely this phenomenon will return for a while. Join us as we discuss the end of a television era and ponder the future of the medium in a post-watercooler world.
This 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.
It’s round two of the writers’ strike, maybe, as the Writers Guild prepares to take on talent agencies over something called a packaging fee. What is it? What does it mean? Who’s getting screwed? Hint: The writers. This week we explore the looming writers’ walk out as writers accuse their agents of acting against client interests in the pursuit of lining their own pockets. We’re playing inside baseball with Hollywood business, but don’t worry, we also saw that Joker trailer.
This week we dive into British royal gossip and the rumors of a feud between the houses of Cambridge and Sussex. Wherefore? What happened? What IS the grand unifying theory of British gossip? We get into all of it, jumping off from Nicole Cliffe’s tweet about the whole mess and getting into the British press’s abominable treatment of Meghan Markle. We speculate wildly and make grand assumptions, so join us for our completely hypothetical discussion about the British royal family and the plethora of gossip stories they produce.
After a short break, we’re back talking Captain Marvel, from the movie itself to The Discourse surrounding it, as well as Steven Spielberg’s efforts to change Academy rules so Netflix finds it harder to win Oscars. We cover the best and worst of the modern movie-going experience, the inevitable and almost complete superhero domination of the multiplex, and why Spielberg’s effort is too little too late. Join us as we reluctantly defend a corporation against a billionaire, accidentally walk into a pit of despair, and look to Carol Danvers to get us through a very weird time in cinema history.