Fragments of a Star: The Myth of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

One of the great muses of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe continues to drive our imagination. Did Marilyn Monroe believe in astrology? In the best-selling novel Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates decided she did. Born June 1, 1926, “The Girl” Marilyn Monroe was an ever-changing Gemini soul. Monroe’s career spanned just over a decade, and in that time she starred in some of the greatest American films of all time, became the first nude cover star for Playboy and had relationships with the most powerful men in the world. At just 36 years old, she died of a pill overdose in an apparent suicide. Monroe’s mysterious life and the artifice of her screen persona have made her one of Hollywood’s greatest myths. Her screen persona blended raw sensuality with childlike innocence. As Norman Mailer wrote, she was “Nana and Joan of Arc exist[ing] in the same flesh.” Or, as it’s laid        …read more

‘Kung Fury’: The Most Absurdist Film Gets a Sequel, and We're Ready

Kung Fury

The ‘Kung Fury’ YouTube short gained cult status almost immediately, and now its filmmakers want to keep the nostalgic callbacks coming with a film starring A-list talent. It’s the kind of polarizing short film you either love or find incredibly stupid. I’m in the former camp, having grown up with ’80s schlock TV and absurd sketch troupes such as Monty Python. The 2015 short Kung Fury, which has 30 million views at the time of this writing, worked as a hilarious throwback to the ’80s. Now it’ll get the feature-film treatment, with high-profile actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Fassbender joining the cast. For the uninitiated, here’s a quick rundown of Kung Fury. David Sandberg, who created and directed the short, stars as Kung Fury, a detective who mastered the art of kung fu and gained superpowers thanks to being struck by lightning and bitten by a cobra. After being paired        …read more

Superhero 101: Deadpool

Deadpool 2

Ahead of 'Deadpool 2,' learn more about the comic book origins of the crass and witty superhero. Deadpool wasn’t the first R-rated Marvel movie to land in theaters (Blade, then Punisher) but it was the first of its kind in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of Deadpool was lauded by critics and gobbled up by audiences. It was a different kind of Marvel movie, one rife with vulgar language and not-so-subtle sexual innuendos. Deadpool joyfully poked fun at superhero movie tropes, all the while becoming another smash hit in Marvel’s long line of box office successes. Those who’ve seen Deadpool know he falls under the X-Men umbrella, but he’s not exactly like the mutants we’ve come to know and love throughout the myriad of X-Men films. We’ll see more of that differentiation in Deadpool 2, as the foulmouthed hero continues to carve his own path by forming        …read more

The Slender Man: The Demon the Internet Created

Ahead of the new Slender Man film, catch up on the creature’s mythology, a product of our time. Much of America learned about the “existence” of the Slender Man through the horrific crime in May of 2014 when two 12-year-old girls stabbed a classmate 19 times in a Wisconsin park. It’s a sad story made sadder by how young the victim and the assailants were, as well as the assailants’ tenuous mental health (one of the assailants was diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after the crime). But what made it more troubling was that the girls who stabbed their friend were sure they were doing it in homage to an internet bogeyman, the Slender Man. The Slender Man film, directed by Sylvian White, is set to release August 24, and for those of you still catching up on the mythology, we’re laying out the backstory of one of the internet age’s        …read more

Summer Blockbusters Are Here! Time to Join Fantasy Movie League


Make this season of movie blockbusters even better with Fantasy Movie League. Sports fans obsess over their fantasy teams. Movie fans obsess over upcoming releases and debate the potential box office success or ultimate failure of a film. With Fantasy Movie League, created by ESPN senior fantasy sports analyst Matthew Berry and other gaming industry veterans, movie fans around the world have a place to take the prediction talk further and get competitive in an online social gathering setting. Fantasy Movie League puts you in charge of a virtual theater and tests your predictive box office skills. The game sounds very simple, but it’s actually a huge challenge and, most importantly, great addictive fun. With the arrival of summer blockbusters, jump into the game now for the exciting ups and downs that’ll keep you coming back for more. Here’s what to expect when you join the hundreds of thousands of        …read more

How 6 Top Futuristic Movies, Shows & Novels Imagine Our Interplanetary Life

futuristic movies

We’re fast approaching the final frontier. These futuristic movies, TV shows and books envisioned what it might be like when we get there. Imagining interplanetary life is a hot topic, and rightfully so. At some point in the not-too-distant future we’ll no doubt be left with little choice but to up sticks and leave ol’ Mother Earth to her own devices. Either that or face certain destruction at the hands of an Amazon delivery drone revolution. Personally I’m quite attached to my two-day shipping, so colonizing a bunch of aliens is an ethical fence I’m willing to hop over if push comes to shove. And perhaps it won’t be so hostile? Who knows — maybe one day humans, Martians and the android birds and bees will shack up together in some 22nd-century robot-hippie lovefest, introducing a trans-species of flesh-droid Klingon into the next millennium. A (posthu)man can dream… …of electric        …read more

5 Reasons to Get Excited about 'Tully'


For Charlize Theron’s performance and more, ‘Tully’ is a must-see film with a deep and sincere respect for motherhood. As Marvel’s Infinity War signals the arrival of summer blockbuster season, a bunch of movies worth seeing will slip under your radar if you’re not careful. Tully is one of them, and it’s set for a nationwide release May 4. Listed below are five reasons it’s worth your attention. 1. Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody are back together again Tully is directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody, and it will mark the third time this dynamic duo has collaborated. Their partnership began in 2007 with the indie darling Juno, a heartwarming film about teenage pregnancy that garnered four Oscar nominations and one victory, as the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay went to Diablo Cody. The pair didn’t wait long to work together again, as they reprised        …read more

Superhero 101: The Avengers

Avengers Infinity War, Avengers movies, Avengers cast

Ahead of ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ brush up on the Marvel squad’s comic book origins. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one superhero group brings an assortment of popular superheroes together. No, not the X-Men, who sadly cannot participate in the epic Marvel universe due to licensing issues. We’re talking about the Avengers, who allow Marvel’s ambitious cinematic efforts to feel like one large and ever-expanding group. By now, you’ve probably seen at least a few Marvel flicks in recent years. They are everywhere, after all. If so, you’re already at least somewhat familiar with the Avengers. Chances are you’ve even seen a dedicated Avengers movie…or two. Soon you can see the Avengers in action in their third movie. Avengers: Infinity War comes to theaters April 27. If you watched 2012’s Avengers and its 2015 sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’re probably well-versed on the team that brings some of Marvel’s most        …read more

5 Must-See Audrey Hepburn Movies

Audrey Hepburn movies

These Audrey Hepburn movies make it abundantly clear why she’s a legend. When legendary fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy died at 91 on March 10, the photos that accompanied his obituaries featured Audrey Hepburn, his most devoted famous fan, who wore his clothes by special request in her movies. Here was a man who’d spent decades in the fashion industry, and he was most famous for dressing one specific woman. Audrey Hepburn, fashion icon, humanitarian, actor and legend, was born in 1929. Taken far too young by cancer in 1993, she is one of the few classic movie stars, along with John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, whose image is still recognizable even by younger people who may have never seen her films. There was, of course, much more to Hepburn than her appearance. An actor of deep feeling, she emerged in the early 1950s, when the cinematic acting style shifted        …read more

Your Kids Might Not Cry Watching 'Paddington 2' but You Will

Paddington 2

‘Paddington 2’ has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its message is even more important for adults than it is for kids. Paddington 2, which comes to Blu-ray and DVD April 24, has 100% fresh reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I walked into the theater to see Paddington 2 in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, expecting to laugh along with the few other people who cleared their schedules to watch a movie about a talking bear in London. I laughed plenty, as writer-director Paul King and his team have mastered the understated comedy used in the first movie. But as the film’s final shot ended and the credits began to roll, I was overcome with emotion by its moral message, even if it is supposed to be simple enough for children to grasp. Paddington Brown — the adopted bear originally from “darkest Peru” — is selfless, even when he’s introduced        …read more