Pop Culture

V for Vendetta

I enjoyed V for Vendetta yesterday. The Wachowskis’ commentary on the Bush regime is obvious, whereas in the Matrix movies, the philosophy is garbled and multifarious. What’s equally interesting is the reviewers’ commentary. You can tell who is conservative and who is liberal by their take on the movie. In any event, one reviewer made a very disheartening comment: But…

The Skeleton Key

I don’t like scary movies, but the Skeleton Key was fun to watch because it was based outside of New Orleans. What a fabulous cast — Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Kate Hudson. The movie wasn’t terribly scary, thank goodness. I love Gena Rowlands, so that made it entertaining. I agree with the Tomato Meter’s 39 rating, but I think some…

On Mira Nair’s Films

Mira Nair’s films evoke the feeling of lush reds and yellows. That is such a prevalent visual theme in the four films I’ve seen by her: Mississippi Masala (1992) Kama Sutra (1997) Monsoon Wedding (2002) Vanity Fair (2004) I saw Vanity Fair last night. It was better than expected, and better than the critics rated it. But then, I LOVED…

Los Lonely Boys

When Rolling Stone heavily promotes a new group or singer, something suspicious has gotta be going on. They liked Avril Lavigne’s new album, right? So when they went ga-ga over Los Lonely Boys, well… CMT played their video, showing a group of three Mexican-American men, one with long hair and sunglasses. Now, that is not something you see very often…

Clear Channel in Baton Rouge

The latest Rolling Stone (my main news source these days, it seems) has an article on Clear Channel. Here is what Clear Channel owns in Baton Rouge: Radio Stations: 96.1 The River 102.5 WFMF 1150 WWJBO News Radio 1210 AM The Score 1380 AM Talk Radio 101.5 WYNK The only one on my dial is 102.5. That will be changing…

Cynthia Fuchs on Catwoman (2004)

The women on either side of the imaginary moral divide are both gorgeous and potent, both capable of cruel violence, and both dedicated to their own desires. And both understand themselves as victims of masculine oppression. The stakes of their conflict have to do with a derivative, Joker-style gimmick in the toxic makeup (as the deadmeat doctor who cooks up the cream puts it, “I can’t live with turning people into monsters”). Even the final showdown between Laurel and Catwoman is staged so they throw each other through giant images of beautiful models. Got it: the beauty industry is bad. But if it can help you look like Berry or Stone, or even better, pay you like it pays them, well, its faults might be intermittently overlooked.

Cynthia Fuchs’ review of Catwoman

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Badassss and Hip-Hop Leadership

From an interview with Mario van Peebles on the film Badasssss in Campus Circle: [Van Peebles] recalls a dinner party he had about five years ago with director friends, including John Singleton (Higher Learning), F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) and Reggie Hudlin (House Party), during which they all reached the same conclusion: They were filmmakers who were being heavily…

The Days – Postmodern Television at its…

Hype around a new summer replacement show called The Days attracted me to the interesting storyline, so I watched the first twenty minutes of the show. Promoted as unique, edge, and unexplored, the show was disturbingly flat. The failure caused me to reflect on hyperbole, and its consequences for contemporary panic culture. Consider this review from Zap2It.com (A Tribune Media…