Pow! Smash! Punch! Those are expressions that easily come to mind when thinking of a superhero. This is because heroes like Superman or Batman traditionally solve their problems with lots of action, sometimes even with violence. In the CW show The Flash, Barry Allen aka The Flash takes a different approach – he tries to understand the villains’ backstories, and if there’s a possibility for redemption, he takes it. But this series doesn’t stop there – many of its characters display healthy masculinity. So maybe there’s another way to save the day.
Remember “The Truman Show,” the iconic 90s movie starring Jim Carrey who slowly realizes that his entire life is being filmed against his will and broadcast to a mass audience? Well, imagine that, but make it true this time.
Los Angeles. Fourteen people are called in for jury duty. Jury duty is part of America’s judicial system where randomly selected U.S. citizens are required – unless excused – to appear in court and take part in a case’s verdict.
“The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us
anywhere in the world had better be the business of us all.”
Mamie Till-Bradley in Till
The name Till is one that most Americans and many people around the world will recognize from their civil rights history lessons. In 1955, while visiting family, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, was brutally beaten and murdered for allegedly flirting with and whistling at a married white woman near Money, Mississippi. His bloated body was later found in the Tallahatchie River.
I must admit that when I first heard about the film Till, it immediately sparked my curiosity. Yes, I thought. The heinous crime that caused a media frenzy and galvanized the civil rights movement needs to be brought to new generations. But wait. We live in an age of trigger warnings (statements that alert readers or viewers to potentially disturbing content) and audiences with a heightened sensitivity to violence. So how can film director Chinonye Chukwu draw viewers to movie theaters and simultaneously do justice to the brutality of that crime?
It also intrigued me that Chukwu placed Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Bradley, in the film’s center. If she’s mentioned at all in American history textbooks, it’s mainly to recognize the role she played in the decision to show the world what Southern hatred looked like. She was the driving force to ensure an open casket at Emmett Till’s funeral. So what does the film reveal that most history books do not?
FX’s Mayans M.C. is a drama series showcasing a world of guns and drugs around a biker gang in SoCal, right at the US-Mexican border. Can a setting riddled with stereotypes present a backdrop for desirable representation with its principally Mexican American (Chicano) characters? Let’s look beyond the basic premise and find out how Mayans M.C., for all its machismo, tells tales full of life seldom featured, off- as well as on-screen.
Everybody hates Cars 2 – and I just don’t understand why. First of all, let me make a confession: I’m 25 years old and a Disney nerd. I love watching animated movies – as long as they’re well made. And Cars 2, even after more than ten years, is still my all-time feel-good movie.
It has everything you could wish for: Uplifting words, funny jokes, and a world you can lose yourself in. There’s barely anything that’s hateful or triggering, and I love joining the characters on their journey. Yet, most critics have characterized Cars 2 as violent and illogical, calling it the worst Pixar movie ever – and I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could I feel so differently from everyone else?
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Cinderella (Camila Cabello). In the 2021 film, she loves to design dresses and wants to make a business out of it. When the prince (Nicholas Galitzine) announces a ball, her stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel), wanting to protect her from the patriarchal world outside, destroys Cinderella’s dress to keep her from potentially marrying a man she’d just met. The prince, however, is in love with his best friend (Jenet Le Lacheur) but can’t really admit it – not even to himself. Also, he’s not qualified to rule the kingdom. The patriarchy, however, wants him to become king and will never agree to his smart sister (Tallulah Greive) becoming queen.
When Cinderella’s fairy god person (Billy Porter) arrives, they not only turn one of her designs into reality, but they also throw a party at Cinderella’s place. When the prince and his best friend arrive, the presence of the fairy god person gives them the strength to admit their feelings for each other. The prince’s sister becomes heir to the throne, and Cinderella finds a queen with whom to travel around the world and sell her designs. And they all live happily ever after.
Only that’s not what happens.