Things We Saw Today: Honest Trailers Tackle the Oscars Best Picture Nominations

Thank goodness for Honest Trailers to keep us grounded in the year in which Green BookBohemian Rhapsody, and Vice have all made it to the Best Picture nominations and none for If Beale Street Could Talk. Am I bitter? Yes. It goes without saying that with maybe two exceptions, most people are going to leave the 2019 Oscars disappointed by what didn’t win. Still, at least we can enjoy the jokes until the think pieces begin.

I think my favorite has to be the voice bringing up that people have been waiting for a comic book movie to be recognized for Best Picture and now that one finally is, there is all this backlash as to “if this should be the one.” I loved Logan too and yes, it should have been nominated, but to act as though Black Panther wasn’t a huge hit and well regarded despite the third act is just the epitome of nit-picking. I enjoyed Infinity War as well, but let’s not pretend that is a real movie when it’s part one of two.

Anyway, I’m rooting for The Favourite.

(image: Screengrab)

For those who just learned about John Wayne’s old racism, here is a song for you guys.

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Halle Berry and the Double-Edged Sword of Oscars While Black

Halle Berry is—and will be until (possibly) the Oscars after this one, the only Black actress and only woman of color to ever win Best Actress in a Motion Picture. This excellent video from Be Kind Rewind looks at the lack of opportunity for Black actresses and the huge gaps in nominations, highlighting that between 1940 and 1991 no Black woman won an Oscar until Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost for Best Supporting Actress.

The video explores Halle Berry, and I saw someone mention that Halle Berry should have the same career as Charlize Theron, and for some reason, it was the first time that correlation clicked to me. Both are beautiful women who won Oscars in roles that challenged their established beauty queen image. For multiple reasons, Berry’s role in Monster’s Ball has a different kind of response that Theron’s Monster, but what it did do for their public image was tell the world they had talent beyond their glamour.

My feelings on Monster’s Ball are mixed because I do think it plays into a lot of stereotypical Black sexualization. But the bigger problem is that post-Monster’s Ball the conversation about any actual talent Berry had was overshadowed by the shitty movies she was in and having to be in one of the worst Bond movies ever in Die Another Day

Because of her race, Halle Berry is still limited to the kinds of roles she can get because her Blackness cannot be erased. When it comes to Charlize Theron, she can play the Evil Queen in a big budget Fairy Tale movie or the fallen beauty queen or the overwhelmed but fun sympathetic mom or the dystopic Imperator badass because those narratives are exploring feminity through whiteness.

You may not think Halle Berry is a great actress, but there are many, many actresses have been allowed to coast through their beauty into big-budget roles, given multiple opportunities to succeed, and allowed to be mediocre at best through a variety of roles.

Before The Favourite, I’d never really been a huge fan of Emma Stone as a dramatic actress. I enjoyed her in Easy A and in other comedy films, but when I heard about her in this movie I totally expected her to be the weakest link. Yet she, like her co-stars, really shined, and it reminded me what is so important about getting an opportunity. Having the opportunity to do something no one would expect. Halle Berry is likely never going to get a period drama-comedy type movie like that which will push her, really allow her to showcase her talent in a way that Emma Stone did and that sucks.

Viola Davis is doing well post her Oscar win, but she is also being particular about the roles she is taking. She’s spoken about her regrets about The Help, and with Widows and other films going forward, she is looking to move past the limited expectations of an older dark-skinned Black woman. But Viola does walk on the foundation that Halle Berry helped build—they are only one year apart in age (53 and 52, respectively) and while colorism will always be an issue for them, neither is treated as a romantic lead and neither is allowed to exist fully outside of their boxes unless they fight for it.

For Halle Berry, I’m not shocked that as a young actress trying to sustain herself she took roles that may have been sub-par, wanting to put food on the table, even with an Oscar. For Black actresses, like most actresses, the Oscars are not a promise of things to come. They are an encapsulation of a moment, and just like any moment, it can be forgotten. Halle Berry could be a Tully, an Evil Queen, a CEO, a lover to a Queen, she could be many things if given the opportunity. (Just not Storm, but we love you, Halle).

I am enjoying this era of Halle Berry, action heroine with her upcoming role in John Wick 3, but I’m hoping that someone in Big Little Lies casting realizes that there is one underrated Oscar winner they forgot to scoop up.

(image: Getty Images)

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Will Disney Develop More Star Wars Shows for Disney+?

Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Amidst rumors of trailers and rumors of titles, we’re now getting a series of rumors about possible Star Wars shows for Disney+. Recently, the hot thing to do has been to come up with a rumored series that’s being discussed at Lucasfilm, so we now buzz about TV shows for nearly every character under the sun. And while I want a Finn, Poe, and Rose TV show, it’s also time to realize that most of these rumors are probably vague “I heard from a guy who knows a girl who works for Lucasfilm who said…” type things.

Still, some of the show ideas that are being passed around as being in development aren’t bad. A young Leia Organa show sounds like something that would be discussed; it would be a great way to keep Leia’s legacy alive and to explore the roots of a popular character, and wasn’t that the whole point of Solo for Han? However, we’ve covered a lot of young Leia ground with the Claudia Gray book Leia: Princess of Alderaan, so they might skip that one in favor of a different show, as much as I’d love to see young Leia and young Holdo causing mayhem for the Rebellion.

Another rumored idea is Finn, Poe, and Rose either getting their own shows (or one together? It’s very unclear). While I would love more of these characters, it’s unlikely that the cast will be returning so soon after wrapping Episode IX. Unless the series is animated like Star Wars Resistance, which features Poe heavily, the stars might want to move on and find more roles beyond the saga. If they were to draw from sequel characters, it might be a group that hasn’t been explored as much, such as the Knights of Ren (another rumored series).

Lando and Qi’ra from Solo are also being tossed around for possible series, and those I can see a little more. Emilia Clarke is no longer shooting Game of Thrones, and a series in which she’s at the forefront of it all and her arc and growth are not just for Han’s development would be a good way to undo some of the negativity around her character.

Lando could definitely come back for a miniseries exploring him from his origins to nearly up to his appearance in the sequel trilogy so we could have a great look at his character’s growth from Point A to Point B. Plus, he could narrate it and it would be equal parts hilarious and badass.

At this point, the only confirmed shows we know will be on Disney+ are Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, and the untitled Cassian Andor show. It could be that Disney is holding back on any more streaming announcements until Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, or until the sequel trilogy ends so they can have the full reign to reveal any shows that might contain spoilers.

It’s fun to feed the rumor mill, but take everything with a grain of salt until Lucasfilm lets us know the truth. Also, Lucasfilm, if you’re reading this, please bring back Star Wars Rebels somehow because I need to know what happens to (SPOILER) after the series finale.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Things We Saw Today: Aquaman Has Astonishingly Made More Money Than All of These Movies

Aquaman global box office

I liked Aquaman. The movie was a fun time with some impressively trippy oceanic effects and over-the-top theatrics. It’s a step in the direction of lighter, more vibrant DCEU universe that seems to bode well for Warner Bros. But did anyone expect it to become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time?

I’m not the only one astonished by Aquaman‘s mind-bending success; as CBR points out, the movie has “done better at the box office than anyone could’ve imagined.” Over the weekend, Aquaman swam on up to the #20 spot on the list of the highest-grossing movies worldwide of all time. It’s also the highest grossing DC Comics movie worldwide ever. In the process, it passed quite a few movies that may surprise you.

In terms of superhero movies, Aquaman‘s world box office has easily topped the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy, DeadpoolWonder WomanThor: Ragnarok, The Dark Knight(s), The Hobbit(s), Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeVenomSpider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man 3.

In fact, the only superhero movies that have still grossed more than Aquaman worldwide are Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War (which is fast losing ground).

Aquaman‘s numbers have also zoomed past the global box offices for movies you might not expect, like Rogue One, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jurassic Park, The Phantom Menace, The Dark Knight, Finding Nemo, and every Harry Potter film save The Deathly Hallows part 2.

Keep in mind that these are worldwide grosses—domesticallyAquaman is much farther down, at #57, and The Dark Knight and Wonder Woman both best it there, DC-wise. But the worldwide appeal of Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and the haul Aquaman will end up with is eye-opening. There’s little doubt we’ll have a sequel soon enough, as well as a “horror movie spin off” about The Trench that we’re apparently going to see long before we have a Mera movie, because Poseidon was always the worst god and has no sense of justice.

(via CBR, BoxOfficeMojo, image: DC Comics)

  • “How Miles Morales Changed the Spider-Verse” (via The New York Times)
  • Season two of Netflix’s YOU has begun production; Joe Goldberg is headed to L.A. Is it too much to hope that Beck will be back somehow? (via Comicbook.com)
  • A rundown of every new TV pilot that’s coming. It’s a lot! (via EW)
  • Kotaku’s article “Inside The Culture of Sexism At Riot Games” won the Writers’ Guild Award for Digital News. (via Kotaku)
  • En garde in a country far, far away. French fencing authorities have recognized lightsaber dueling as a sport. (via ESPN)

What did you see today, a blessed day?

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Are You Team Abigail or Team Sarah in The Favourite?

Rachel Weiz & Emma Stone in The Favourite (2018)

I had the pleasure of being able to re-watch The Favourite this weekend, and it is without a doubt one of my favorite (lol) movies this year and the movie I’m personally backing for Best Picture.

Still, as I rewatched the film I felt my feelings go back and forth between which character I enjoyed more, Abigail or Sarah. For most of the movie, I found it to be a fairly even split until the very end, but I wanted to ask you, dear readers, which lover to the Queen did you find yourself rooting for in the end—Abigail Hill, the fallen lady turned Machiavellian schemer, or Lady Sarah Churchill, the war-hawk true Bestie of the queen?

The Case for Abigail Hill:

Emma Stone in The Favourite

“My life is like a maze that I continually thought I’ve gotten out of. I need to find another, corner, right in front of me.”

When the story beings, Abigail is left penniless and destitute due to the machinations of her father’s gambling, followed by his subsequent arson which destroyed their home. She comes to work for her cousin, Sarah Churchill.

From the moment she arrives in the film her life is a disaster: a man jerks of in front of her and then grabs her ass as she tries to escape a carriage, causing her to fall in the mud. When she arrives at the palace, the servants troll her, introducing her to Sarah while she’s covered in mud instead of giving her a chance to clean up. Sarah puts her nose up at her and sends her to go work as a housemaid, where the servants abuse her and she is forced to live that sweet, tragic Dickensian life. That is until she creates a paste that helps soothes the Queen’s pain and Sarah decides to take Abigail on as her maid.

However, seeing how precarious court life is, much like good manipulative sis Scarlett O’Hara, Abigail vows to never be hungry again and begins orchestrating herself to replace Abigail by targeting the Queen’s insecurities and playing up her own compassionate nature in responses to Sarah’s cool nature.

In the movie, Abigail is a manipulator who doesn’t truly love anyone and uses her feminine wiles and education to create a sense of security that is all her own. All of this we stan and could forgive. But, Abigail … almost killing Sarah. That is unacceptable. Even if she did make her even more rogueish and attractive with the eye-patch/scar.

The Case for Lady Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough:

Rachel Weisz in The Favourite (2018) 2

“Some days I’m quite lovely though. Let’s think on them!”

Lady Sarah Churchill begins the movie in full control. She is a confidant of the Queen, runs the royal household, and pretty much runs the government. With her marriage to the Duke of Marlborough, who leads the armies, she is pro-war with France and has a cool demeanor. Still, she loves Queen Anne and that love comes through with her honesty and tact, which with the frail Anne becomes a flaw that Abigail later extorts. She is also manipulative and scheming, working Anne to ensure she keeps the government set in a way where she can prosper.

However, Sarah crosses the line when she attempts to extort Anne with their intimate letters if Anne doesn’t do as she wishes. It is a cruel betrayal and even though Sarah regrets it, that is still a line that should never have been crossed. Sarah, with her gorgeous hair, fantastic outfits, and biting snark is definitely easy to root for. But we mustn’t forget that she had no problem ruling with an iron fist when she had the power. The main difference is that Sarah does care about others, while Abigail is looking out for number one.

The Verdict:

Can we really trust a person who would squish a bunny, which represents for Queen Anne the spirit of one of her dead seventeen children? Also, bunnies have very weak hearts and can suffer trauma so that bunny will never be whole again!

Emma Stone The Favourite

I think not.

I fall onto my sword for Sarah.

Who was your personal favourite between the two ladies? Or do you, like Queen Anne, love them both for different reasons?

(image: 20th Century Fox)

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Don Cheadle Brought Powerful Political Fashion Choices to SNL

Host Don Cheadle wearing a fantastic suit during the Saturday Night Live monologue

Saturday Night Live is no stranger to politics (to state the extremely obvious). This is a show that can have Donald Trump rage-tweeting within hours. But in this weekend’s episode hosted by Don Cheadle, the strongest political moments came outside of the sketches themselves, thanks to Cheadle’s own wardrobe choices.

When introducing musical guest Gary Clark, Jr., Cheadle wore a shirt that read “PROTECT TRANS KIDS.”

That message—of wanting to protect children—is one that that shouldn’t have to be seen as “political” but the reality is that trans children and organizations that offer them support are under attack and have been for far too long. Cheadle’s silent message of support was a powerful one.

In addition to that incredible shirt, Cheadle was also wearing a hat with the logo of Sleeping Giants, an activist organization that fights to get advertisers to drop bigoted programs or entire outlets like Breitbart.

Then during the show’s sign-off, Cheadle was wearing a Soviet hockey jersey. When he turned around, you could see it was emblazoned with Trump’s (or rather, TЯUMP’s) name and the number 45.

Subtlety is overrated. Don Cheadle is perfection.

(image: Will Heath/NBC)

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Things We Saw Today: Disney+ May Be Planning Several Shows Set in the Star Wars Universe

Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian

With Disney’s streaming platform Disney+ set to launch soon, rumor has it that the streaming channel will feature additional series that take place in the Star Wars universe. We already know all about Jon Favreau’s highly anticipated series The Mandalorian starring Pedro Pascal. In addition, a prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been announced, which follows the adventures of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna).

Now, the gang from Solo: A Star Wars Story may be hitting the small screen as well. While the film received mixed reviews and underperformed at the box office (only a Star Wars movie could be considered a flop with a worldwide gross of $392 million), it left several opportunities for continuing stories.

While it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever see a Solo sequel, ther eis talk of developing spin-off series for two of its co-stars: Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra and Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian. Both characters could potentially topline their own series (although give me an Enfys Nest series please and thank you). The only thing standing in their way is that both Clarke and Glover are at the peak of their careers. Would they abandon creative freedom to replay their Star Wars characters, considering they both have the clout to do whatever projects they wanted?

Although, Disney+ could always recast the roles and continue with those stories. We’ll have to wait and see what the stars hold.

(via We Got This Covered, image: Disney)

  • Watch Magneo put on his helmet in slow motion in this new tease from X-Men: Dark Phoenix. (via CBR)
  • Star Wars keeps posting cryptic tweets, just spit it out already! (via io9)
  • The Pokémon Go trespassing lawsuit has settled, will hopefully keep those damn kids off your lawn. (via Polygon)
  • Here’s a rundown of the coolest toys at this year’s Toy Fair. (via SyfyWire)

Happy Sunday, Mary Suevians! Did you do anything fun? I adopted this ridiculously cute puppy!

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Delicate Flower Donald Trump Whines on Twitter Over His SNL Portrayal

Last night, Saturday Night Live brought Alec Baldwin back to reprise his role as Donald Trump. Baldwin recreated Trump’s rose garden speech declaring a national emergency to build the wildly unpopular border wall. The declaration comes after congress refused to grant the president $5 billion for the wall.

What’s wild about our current political moment is that its ridiculousness almost transcends satire. SNL was game to give it a try, poking fun at the president’s broken syntax, his rambling speech, and his tangent about China’s death penalty. Baldwin said, “We need wall, because wall works. Wall makes safe. You don’t need to be smart to understand that, in fact it’s easier to understand if you’re not that smart.” He followed up by saying, “you can all see why I gotta fake this national emergency, right? I have to because I want to.”

Baldwin followed up by imitating Trump’s singsong version of the national emergency going to courts, getting struck down, and finally hitting the Supreme Court. He said, “And the ruling will not go in my favor. And then it’ll end up in the Supreme Court. And then I’ll call my buddy Kavanaugh. And I’ll say, it’s time to repay the Donny. And he’ll say, ‘New phone, who dis?’ And then the Mueller report will be released. Crumbling my house of cards. And I can just plead insanity. And my personal hell of playing president will finally be over.”

It was a solid cold open, skewering Trump and his national emergency. One person who was not a fan of the skit, was Trump himself. The president took time out of his busy national emergency golf weekend at Mar-a-Lago to tweet his feelings:

This isn’t the first time that Trump has mocked SNL, a show that he has hosted twice. But while it’s easy to make fun of Trump’s thin skin, it is also disturbing that he refers to SNL‘s political humor as “collusion.” Complaining about your portrayal in press and popular culture is something that authoritarian dictators do. The long-running series has criticized every president in office, yet Trump is the first one to complain about it.

Trump’s favoritism of dictators and censorship is nothing new, but it remains alarming and anti-democratic. For a man who loves insulting others, Trump can dish it but he sure can’t take it.

(via Slate, image: screencap)

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Things We Saw Today: The New Hanna Series Promises a Closer Look at the Teen Assassin

The 2011 Joe Wright thriller Hanna, which starred a young Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) as a teenage assassin, is getting a small screen reboot. Amazon Prime will be airing the series, which stars Esme Creed-Miles in the titular role, alongside Joel Kinnaman (Altered Carbon) as her father Erik and Mirielle Enos (The Catch) as CIA agent Marissa Wiegler.

Hanna was a cult hit, but left plenty of unanswered questions regarding its heroine. Is Hanna human or genetically enhanced? And what becomes of the teenage assassin once she’s left to fend for herself in the real world? There is a lot to explore here, especially with regards to Hanna’s interior life and her backstory.

Creator David Farr (The Night Manager), said of the series, “[Hanna’s] strength and power as a trained fighter doesn’t preclude her from navigating the awkwardness of her burgeoning sexuality, changes in her body, relationships and other challenges that remind the audience that, underneath Hanna’s grit, is a young woman who ultimately yearns to feel normal.”

The trailer features an intense, taut energy that that gives us high hopes for the series. Whether or not you like Amazon’s original series, there is always something unique and cinematic to them that keeps you coming back.

Hanna hits Amazon Prime on March 29th.

(via io9, image: Amazon Studios)

  • LEGO just revealed their new builds for Avengers: Endgame, which could reveal who else is joining the film. (via CBR)
  • Word on the street is Margot Robbie will likely be returning for James Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2. (via io9)
  • Here’s a nice long read on the many loves and lives of Spider-Man‘s May Parker. (via SyfyWire)
  • The Black Widow solo film is getting a new script from writer Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby). (via Collider)

What are you up to this Saturday, Mary Suevians?

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Help, This Meghan Trainor Press Release Is Haunting My Nightmares

daryl sabara and meghan trainor on the red carpet for the Grammys

As writers for a pop culture website, we get plenty of press releases designed to promote the latest film/television series/video game. But sometimes, you receive a press release that is so over the top, so desperate to seem hip and relevant, that it becomes something else entirely. This happened with Thinx underwear’s deranged series of press releases, which used phrases like “Hey squirrelfran” and “astronaughty booty” in an effort to sell period underwear. No thank you.

But a new press release may be ursurping Thinx in the Hall of Ridiculousness. The release for Meghan Trainor’s song “All the Ways” features a TMI look at her marriage to former Spy Kid Daryl Sabara, and reader, it is upsetting. This is bonkers from the very first sentence”

“Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re planning on smashing bae’s junk to smithereens or making out with a pint of Phish Food, you need some fresh Valentine’s Day bops to get you in the mood for L♡VE.”

michael scott noping gif from the office

(image: NBC)

“You know you want it. And you can freakin’ get it b*tch. On all digital platforms right HERE.”

Okay press release, you don’t know me well enough to call me bitch. That’s reserved for close friends, work associates, and anonymous Twitter trolls who hate my articles on Elon Musk. Take it down a notch.

“We know you want to hear songs about all the hot newlywed sex Meghan and Daryl Sa-BAE-ra are having (did you see what we did there?). Which is why you’ll love the banging’ single “All The Ways.” Billboard was wet for “All The Ways,” calling it “another fun, danceable track to fall in love with.” And would Billboard lie to you, girl?”

lisa kudrow as phoebe on friends my eyes gif

(image: NBC)

Correction: I do NOT want to know about all the hot newlywed sex Trainor and Sabara are having. And yes, I saw what you did there. It’s nothing to be proud of. Also, Billboard was wet? WET? Barfing forever. Are we to presume that Billboard magazine, which is again, a MAGAZINE, has a vagina capable of being aroused? What’s next? “This song gave Rolling Stone a raging boner?” I can’t believe I even have to type this in 2019 but please don’t assign genitals to trade magazines?

Here’s the thing: as someone who has worked both in PR and as a journalist, I know the challenges inherent in writing a solid press release. You want to keep things brief, get the salient information in there, yet remain entertaining enough to keep the attention of the reader who is going through dozens of press releases per week.

Before reading this press release, my knowledge of Meghan Trainor was limited to A) knowing she’s all about that base and B) knowing that she married Sabara. Now I know WAY too much about her sex life.

I wish I could unsee this. I wish we lived in a world where we were spared such a linguistic monstrosity. But we don’t. And because I had to suffer through this, I’m making all of you suffer as well. I’ll let the press release wrap it up, the only way it knows how:

“Choo choo betch! The Love Train is leaving the station and you better get on board.”

Choo choo betch, indeed.

(via Paper Magazine, image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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