In a time where old franchises are dug up from the grave, we now have Blade Runner 2049: the latest movie we never asked for but then Alcon Productions fought for the rights for 12 years and here we are. Because after all, there’s always money in nostalgia.
The superhero genre is slowly expanding its insular universe with Wonder Woman and the highly anticipated Black Panther. Though just a drop in the bucket compared to white male superheroes, such images can significantly impact audiences who have never seen themselves portrayed as (s)heroes. Recently at Comic-Con in San Diego, one Asian American girl, Ashley Keller, teared up when she met Gal Gadot (aka Wonder Woman) in a video that went viral, demonstrating the real-life impact of on-screen role models:
So this weekend Doctor Who regenerated for the 13th time and is now a woman. Jodie Whittaker is replacing Peter Capaldi as the iconic Timelord.
As with all things speculative fiction and social justice, social media has been lit, to put it mildly with everyone expressing opinions for and against the new Doktah.
I have a thoughts on the new casting as well. Hence me writing this piece and you reading.
As is customary whenever a new Star Wars film is about to come out, Vanity Fair runs a special edition with gorgeous photographs by the renowned Annie Liebovitz. The Last Jedi is no exception since the magazine just released four special variant covers to this year’s Star Wars issue. They’re all great, but one photo definitely stands out the most for us nerds of color:
Hell yes. Fellow Trekkies, rejoice. The first-look trailer for the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery has dropped, and the latest foray into the final frontier looks pretty damn awesome, not least because of one badass looking starship captain in the form of one Michelle Yeoh. MICHELLE FRICKIN YEOH.
Byron Yee, a first-time filmmaker, grew up in Oklahoma, moved to San Francisco to pursue stand up comedy, and later headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Getting tired of waiting for Hollywood to create interesting roles for someone like him, Yee decided to write his own film. His new release, The Aliens, is a film about a UFO believer who must choose between the aliens above he has never seen or the mysterious guide who appears at his campsite week after week.
I just wanted to let you know about my new e-book (paperback version will drop in a week), Parables, Vampires, and Pregnant Men: The Narrative Resistance of Octavia E. Butler. Adapted from my graduate work, this little volume refutes C.M. Kornbluth’s assertion that science fiction is unable to work as social critique.
I’m really not at all interested in reviewing or analyzing Sense8 again, but I would like to get mah nerds into a discussion about the ENORMOUS plot holes, and the weird turns this in-spite-of-it-all-compelling show has taken. So let’s just launch in, shall we? In no particular, but very SPOILERY, order:
by Shannon Gibney and Lori Askeland
Hulu’s reboot of The Handmaid’s Tale opens with a car chase: the protagonist (Elisabeth Moss), who will later be called “Offred,” is racing with her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and daughter Hannah (Jordana Blake) in their faded, old model Volvo through a frozen landscape, sirens of their invisible pursuers wailing.
The decision to introduce us to Offred as a member of an interracial family revealed an obvious break from the overwhelmingly white world of the novel and 1990 movie. Many reviewers construed that fact — and the powerful presence of Samira Wiley in the role of Offred’s badass lesbian friend, Moira — as undeniable evidence that the series would be more intersectional in its approach to feminist themes than the novel had been. (“There’s intersectionality, too, with Moira, a lesbian, played by a black actress, Ms. Wiley,” was the breezy quip of the New York Times’ Katrina Onstad.) But sadly, bodies of color alone do not a liberatory racial narrative make. Indeed, a deeper look at the series shows the uncomplicated, and therefore, problematic effects of this “colorblind” casting.
I watch, I drink, I spit hot fire. Yup, you guessed it, spoilers ahead.
Colossal checked off a lot of boxes for what I would theoretically enjoy in a movie. Directed by Nacho Vigalondo, it is often funny, surprisingly dark, and an inventive new take on kaiju movies. I like all those things. The lead, Gloria, is easy to root for as played by star Anne Hathaway. And Jason Sudeikis impresses as Gloria’s friend and eventual foil, Oscar. For about half of the movie, I found this all very enjoyable.