Big1sm

“Big” and the Body-Swap Movie Renaissance

I had a piece in The Atlantic this afternoon on Big and the other body-swap movies (Vice Versa, 18 Again!, Like Father, Like Son) of the late ’80s. Here is an excerpt: The dominant, lasting image in all these films is that of a grown man acting like a child. In Big, Vice Versa, and Like Father, Like Son, the…

Jack Bauer

The Return of the Right-Wing Action Hero?

Earlier this week, Fox announced that 24 will return next summer with a 12 episode run entitled 24: Live Another Day. Little is known about the show’s return, except that Kiefer Sutherland will be back, of course, as Jack Bauer. The storyline is still under wraps. But the timing of this announcement is interesting, as…

AJudd

Why Ashley Judd Shouldn’t Run

So she will? Or won’t she? Last week, I outlined why an Ashley Judd for Senate campaign makes sense. In summary, she has great name recognition; her celebrity assigns her the aura of leadership; it is a great time for female candidates seeking higher office; and her friends in Hollywood will help her raise a…

Val Kilmer

Why the Homoeroticism in “Top Gun” Matters

When I told my friends I was going to see Top Gun during its brief 3D theatrical re-release (which ends this week), nobody was particularly impressed. When I mentioned that I had never seen it before, their eyes widened, and each put forth some variation of the same question: “How is that possible?” The film…

Arnold

“The Last Stand” is a Tea Party Blockbuster

An early scene in The Last Stand finds three of its characters firing a giant handgun at a huge slab of beef. It’s an apt snapshot of a movie that fetishizes the use of firearms and places little value on human life. At this time when pundits and policymakers are considering the impact of movie…