What ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Tells Us About the Future of Sex

Blade Runner 2049 warns us of a future of artificial humans and artificial sex—but that reality has already begun. The movie premiered last weekend to great critical acclaim. And although many of the reviews focused on its vision of a dystopian future, it also offers a bleak commentary on the state of relationships and sex … Continued

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A Dystopian Movie with a Surprisingly Pro-Family Message

We never tire of dystopian plot lines, or so it would seem from the abundance of books, movies, and television series that feature oppressive, futuristic regimes. According to the Encyclopedia for Science Fiction, dystopian stories point “fearfully at the way the world is supposedly going in order to provide urgent propaganda for a change in … Continued

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In Defense of HGTV

A recent article in New York magazine by Caitlin Flanagan—”The Ugliness Behind HGTV’s Never-Ending Fantasy Loop“—argues that HGTV is ruining the country by foisting a whitewashed, unrealistic, chauvinistic, tacky version of American life on an unwitting public that is unwittingly marching toward another housing bubble. Norman Rockwell, meet Noam Chomsky: HGTV was the third-most-popular network … Continued

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Mel Brooks is Right About Everything, Including Political Correctness

Mel Brooks, the comic genius behind The Producers, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety, shared what should be an obvious thought in a recent interview. He said Hollywood wouldn’t dare make his 1974 comedy, Blazing Saddles, today. Why? Political correctness would stop it dead in its tracks. The film traffics in racist characters, uses the “N-word” … Continued

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Darren Aronofsky and the Dangers of Pretentious Allegory

Darren Aronofsky’s latest film, Mother!, released on September 13, has been loathed by nearly all the critics. “[T]wo hours of pretentious twaddle,” was the kindest phrase in New York Observer movie guru Rex Reed’s scathing assessment of Aronofsky’s symbolism-overloaded phantasmagoric horror-yarn about a pregnant young wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and her ego-devoured poet-husband (Javier Bardem). Reed … Continued

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What ‘Fixer Upper’ Taught Us About Marriage

In their years on HGTV’s show, Fixer Upper, hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines achieved far more than merely getting Americans to embrace open floor plans and shiplap; they made marriage look fun again. The Texas couple’s decision to end the show after soon-to-be-aired Season Five ensures it won’t devolve into them simply playing certain roles, … Continued

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Could ‘Fatal Attraction’ Get Made in 2017?

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of a film that unleashed a torrent of feminist criticism, scared untold numbers of husbands into avoiding marital infidelity, and became the world’s highest-grossing movie of the year. Three decades later, Fatal Attraction remains a cultural touchstone. Back in February, for example, Saturday Night Live parodied the 1987 thriller … Continued

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Seinfeld Shows It’s Not Easy Being Clean

About half-way through watching Jerry Before Seinfeld, the comedian’s new special on Netflix, I had a revelation. There was no need to wait until my children went to bed to turn this on. I’m not the first person to note that Seinfeld is a family-friendly comedian. As Mark Oppenheimer wrote in Tablet last week, “When … Continued

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