Cinderella

“Cinderella” and the New (Old) Economics

By almost all accounts, Disney’s shiny new adaptation of Cinderella is a successful movie. Director Kenneth Branagh brings a sense of old-world classicism and genuine optimism to a fairy tale genre that has largely skewed towards dark and subversive adaptations in recent years. Financially, those gritty remakes have been a mixed bag: Snow White and…

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Sorry, Millenials: The “Fault” is Ours

Judging by the enormous opening weekend gross of The Fault in Our Stars, there are not a lot of cynics out there among the American teenaged population (or at least, the women). The cancer romance is an unabashed tear-jerker, with nary a drop of irony or detachment to be found among the earnest declarations of…

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How “Divergent” Co-opts the Revolution

The floodgates have now officially opened. The success of Divergent, a Hunger Games knock-off that grossed $54 million in its opening weekend, ensures that we’ll see many more of its kind in the coming years. In fact, we won’t have to wait that long. Later in 2014, The Maze Runner and The Giver will follow…

Captain Phillips

Fall Political Movie Preview: 2013

We might be reaching a saturation point for political entertainment, and I’m pretty sure it’s all Obama’s fault. There has always been a market for movies and television shows with political themes, but when Obama came around and engaged an entire generation of young people in the political process in 2008, network and movie studio…

Katniss

Debating Women in Film

Earlier this week, Jason Bailey of Flavorwire published a piece documenting the drop in speaking roles for women in successful Hollywood movies. He makes an important point: despite the attention paid to movies like Bridesmaids and The Hunger Games, the percentage of female speaking roles in the top 100 grossing movies of 2012 is a…

Stoker

The Subversive Sexual Politics of “Stoker”

Critics seem to be of mostly one mind about Stoker, the English-language debut of famed Korean director Chan-Wook Park. They praise the technical prowess of Park – after all, he’s the kind of revered foreign director that cinephiles are not permitted to dislike – but have little positive to say about the story or its…