I'll be the judge of that.

DOPE Digest Vol. 33 – Beauty & the Beast, Charli XCX and MORE!

DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

Beauty and the Beast (trailer)

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BK: The most popular trailer in the world had to make our list this week, and I will admit that I got a little tingly once that piano played over the opening shot of the 3D Magic Kingdom. This movie is guaranteed to be a global hit, and there is the chance it might even be objectively good. Emma Watson is as charming and lovable an actor as there is in Hollywood, and that Dan Stevens really looks like one helluva beast! (You may remember Dan Stevens from his excellent, Ryan Gosling-lite work in The Guest, one of the biggest controversies in syvology history.) And of course we have Luke Evans as the hyper-masculine buffoon Gaston – I swear if he doesn’t sing about eating 5 dozen eggs I will walk out of the theater stage a protest. (more…)

Who Matters? Watching Westworld with Philip K. Dick and Jean-Luc Picard

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This article originally appeared at Splice Today.

HBO’s new series Westworld begins with a clever narrative twist. We’re shown a handsome man named Teddy (James Marsden) on a train as he approaches a wild west theme park populated by androids. We follow him after his arrival, and he is cautious of his harum-scarum surroundings as he navigates the coincidences and chance desires that constitute the lifeblood of human experience. (more…)

Get In Touch With Reality: Winter 2015-Spring 2016 Reality TV Report

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The Bachelorette (Season 12, ABC)

ABC’s reactionary response to Kaitlyn Bristowe was an early failure. Conservative niceguy Ben Higgins turned in the most boring season in recent memory. Fearing a loose canon, producers found themselves with a block of wood. (more…)

Is the DC Comics Identity Crisis Finally Coming to an End?

 

Over the last week or two, a discreet corner of comic book fandom has been abuzz with news of the latest round of refurbishments to the DC Comics Universe. The locus of these changes was a one-shot issue aptly titled DC Universe Rebirth. Penned by DCU life coach Geoff Johns and penciled by a handful of the company’s absolute best artists, Rebirth was a clear example of an honest attempt by DC at putting its best foot forward. (more…)

DOPE Digest vol. 32 – Snowden, Charli XCX, Rihanna & More!

DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

 Snowden (movie trailer)

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BK: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nic Cage in the same movie? It’s like Christmas coming early!

I’m not a huge Oliver Stone fan and I’m even less of a fan of the voice that JGL uses throughout the trailer/movie, but I love a good crime thriller (even if it seems a bit too soon for this particular story) so I’ll definitely be seeing this one. The only thing that really bothers me (besides that damn voice) is the fact that Edward Snowden always seemed like kind of a squirrelly loser of a dude, whether or not you think of him as noble or a traitor. The fact that he gets to be portrayed by JGL makes me jealous and angry, but I guess I wouldn’t be seeing it if they cast Paul Dano or something so I can’t blame Mr. Stone for that. I’m in.

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How Daredevil Succeeds Where Batman vs Superman Failed

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BvS has the surreal quality of systemic, top-down incompetence; virtually every scene, every plot beat, every line of dialogue–there’s something logically “off” about all of it. But in addition to what amounts to an ocean of individual isolated idiocies, there is a much bigger problem with the movie. The big problem was in its structural plot dynamics; somehow, the filmmakers*  here botched the whole concept from the very beginning. (more…)

DOPE Digest vol. 31 – Fassbender, Vikander, Gerwig, Hardy, and more!

DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

 

The Light Between Two Oceans Trailer

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BK: Fassbender. Mustache. Vikander. Lighthouse. Babies-floating-weepily-to-shore. I mean, come on! This is cinematic gold!

This trailer pretty much made me cry, so I can only imagine the heartstrings the full movie will be pulling. I am psyched to see Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander acting together (and they are a couple too?! Damn, there’s some serious marketing potential. And talented baby potential.)  I think they will bring the necessary weight to a story that might otherwise be a little cheesy. (more…)

DOPE Digest vol. 30 – Dallas Housewives, Lana Del Rey, Pussy Riot & MORE!

 DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

Real Housewives of Dallas Trailer

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syvo: It almost feels to me like Bravo is starting to panic that it’s Housewives empire is starting to go the way of all great empires, approaching the historical inevitability of decadence, decline, and dissolution. As key sub-franchises in Orange County, Beverly Hills, and Atlanta seem deflated and strangely distracted (an entire season about faked cancer, convenient sudden preoccupation with the OJ trial), New Jersey has been on hiatus following Thersa’s incarceration, it seems reasonable to conclude that these shows’ best days are behind us. (more…)

Dope Digest vol. 29 – Pee-Wee, HBO’s Animals, Primal Scream & MORE!

 DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday Teaser

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syvo: This should be interesting, but I’m not totally sold on Apatow here. It’s easy to forget that Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985) was actually Tim Burton’s feature debut as a film director, and I’m puzzled to think of a creator further from Tim Burton than Judd Apatow. (Apatow is only producing here, but whatever, you know what I mean.)

While Burton’s Pee Wee was an comic oddity contemporaneous of the garish, frivolous 1980’s, Apatow’s involvement is just as likely to mean a potent dose of standard nostalgia, a self-aware de-interpretation sourced principally by overly-fond memories of Reagan-era childhood. (more…)

DOPE Digest vol. 28 – Savages, Neck Deep, The VVitch and more!

 DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

 

Savages – “Adore” Video

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Julia: This is my first favorite single of 2016, it is so great. The composition is basically perfect – it builds so dramatically, like the best Arcade Fire anthem – but is also super dark and coolly ironic. I would like to sing this in a car. (more…)