In 1949, DC Comics created this Superman art for textbook covers distributed to public schools by the National Social Welfare Agency which presented the simple yet beautiful reminder that, Hey kids, racism is un-American.
My article “Wonder Woman was Fine but It Shouldn’t Win an Oscar” is now available at Eyes Wide Open:
The summer movie season is undergoing the usual August agita. That’s when industry watchers and studio execs wring their hands over what’s going wrong with the business. Traditionally, the swelter of summer was when people turned off their brains, went to the multiplex, bought tubs of popcorn, and luxuriated in the air conditioning while watching Michael Bay blow things up with subwoofer-shredding thunderousness. That’s less and less the case, and the empty-seat summer of 2017 is an object lesson in what has gone wrong. There are a few reasons for this…
The Scarlett Johansson live-action remake of the classic 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell hit DVD and Blu-ray this week. My review is at PopMatters:
For a movie ostensibly about uniqueness and what makes us human, Ghost in the Shell doesn’t make a strong argument for either. This is a story in which the technology fascinates and the people bore. Sense memories of other movies proliferate until you forget quite what it was you were watching in the first place. That’s the sort of thing bound to happen when the star (Scarlett Johansson) is playing a role she can sleepwalk through and the story was only groundbreaking when first filmed over 20 years ago…
Here’s the trailer:
The summer movie season is already started, thanks to The Fate of the Furious. But now it gets going in style, with the sequel to James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy hitting theaters next Friday.
My review is at Film Journal International:
The anticipation couldn’t be higher for Gunn’s sequel, a movie that depends on being nimble on its feet. Those expectations are met, and then some, in a bigger, bolder outing that locks the audience in from a credits sequence in which Baby Groot (a computer-modulated Vin Diesel) boogies ever so cutely to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” while barely avoiding being squished by the multi-tentacled monster fighting the Guardians in the background. The choice of starting a summer blockbuster by focusing on the teeny dancing sentient tree instead of the monster battle with jet packs and lasers taking place mostly off-screen might seem odd to some. But, as is said later on in, Baby Groot is just “too adorable to kill”…
Here’s a trailer:
So, now that Christopher Nolan has left Batman in the Affleck’s hands, we’re left with no new movies about the Caped Crusader. Oh wait, they would never let a franchise like that lie moribund for more than a year.
So, The Lego Batman Movie is finally upon us. My review is at PopMatters:
A sugar high of self-conscious product placement and satirical mock-epic, The LEGO Batman Movie strip mines Batman’s mythology for all its comic potential. Voiced by Will Arnett (reprising his role in The LEGO Movie), this Batman is part Christian Bale’s Dark Knight and part reality-show star, a showboater who loves saving the day but won’t let anybody steal his light or get close to him. Yes, there is a lesson here. But after three Christopher Nolan efforts and lord knows how many Zack Snyder bores, Batman could use a little therapy that doesn’t involve punching people…
Here’s the trailer:
On this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, let it be clear that John Lewis is an American patriot. Trump’s attacks on him further confirm it.
Now, go and buy yourself the March trilogy of graphic historical novels that Lewis co-wrote.