UnREAL hasn’t always been tidy in its storytelling, but the messy quality of its characters — specifically Quinn and Rachel — are part of what makes the Lifetime series so painfully relatable and endearing. Unfortunately, Season 2 was just plain painful to watch as the show transformed into an ouroboros of melodrama, blatantly manufacturing its shocking twists and ultimately becoming the very thing it originally set out to deconstruct: An exploitative feat of narrative engineering. Spoilers to follow.
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The box-office records it demolished over the weekend aren’t the only broken parts of Suicide Squad. For all its admittedly impressive financial success, the movie’s story is shockingly incoherent, and that’s when the film has a story at all. Sure, Will Smith was great and Margot Robbie made an impressively committed Harley Quinn. But in much the same way the Suicide Squad is held hostage in Midway City by sinister bureaucrats, Smith, Robbie, and company are trapped in a movie that gives them very little play and makes even less sense.
There’s almost no such thing as a surprise anymore. We’ve become saturated by a surplus of information, a culture obsessed with being in the know, constantly living in anticipation of an arrival. Not a day goes by when you don’t see a new movie trailer online, pass a TV show poster on your morning commute, or see a musician promote their upcoming album in a viral late night clip. We’re always informed of what’s up next, an awareness of the impending future that has driven the element of surprise to near extinction. But in 2016 something different happened in the entertainment world.
This looks like a job for Superman. Too bad he’s dead.
Ever since WB released the first teaser for Suicide Squad, one thing has been abundantly clear: Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the star of David Ayer’s DC super-villain ensemble piece. But for those unfamiliar with The Joker’s occasional sidekick and love interest, the beautifully bonkers and charmingly crazy villain is a bit of a mystery. To help you out, we’ve created a brief primer for The Dark Knight’s most delightful baddie, revisiting some of the character’s most notable moments and tracing her history from breakout Batman villain to Suicide Squad.
The Jason Bourne franchise has always operated as a sort of response to the James Bond series. Right as Bond hit one of his lowest and silliest depths in Die Another Day in 2002, The Bourne Identity arrived on the scene as a sort of corrective; serious, dark, morally tortured. The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum followed, and so did 007, whose Casino Royale and especially Quantum of Solace aped the style and tone of Bourne.
The entire marketing campaign and dialogue around Star Trek Into Darkness — not to mention most of the runtime of the actual movie — was about the mysterious identity of its villain. Who was this guy Benedict Cumberbatch is playing? Was he an old character from an earlier movie? Could he be Khan? Oh, no, he’s “John Harrison.” Wait, who the hell is John Harrison? Why all the secrecy around a nobody named John Harrison? Are we sure he’s not Khan? No, J.J. Abrams insisted he wasn’t Khan and he wouldn’t straight-up lie to our whoops no never mind he straight-up lied, he’s Khan.
You’ll find something in this year’s summer movies that has never happened before: two gay couples in two major franchise films. Considering the scarcity of LGBTQ characters in Hollywood, that’s a pretty big deal.
There is something missing from Comic-Con this year, and it ain’t just the free wifi. Looking over the Comic-Con website I keep wondering: Where are all the movies?
This year marks the 25th anniversary of two very special Keanu Reeves films: Point Break and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. But what makes this particular anniversary so significant is that these movies weren’t released within a few months of each other — they were released just seven days apart. It may very well have been the weirdest and most wonderful week in new movie release history, and one that hasn’t really been replicated since.