The Hollywood Read
Episode 22: Into the Endgame-verse

Episode 22: Into the Endgame-verse

May 2, 2019

Spoilers ahoy! In a spare-no-spoilers super-sized episode, we dig into Avengers: Endgame, from everything we loved to the few things that didn't quite work out. It's the good, the great, and the not-so-awesome of Marvel's grand "Infinity Saga", including a look forward to what could be next as the OG Avengers, for the most part, walk away. Also, quick programming note: We will be taking a break for the next few weeks. So enjoy this double-wide episode as we work out just what, exactly, Steve Rogers did to the timeline.

Joanna Robinson on Lebowski Thor: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/04/avengers-endgame-fat-thor-ptsd-jokes-controversy

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark

Episode 21: Game of Thrones - The Last Watercooler Show

Episode 21: Game of Thrones - The Last Watercooler Show

April 24, 2019

With Game of Thrones airing its final season, we are on the cusp of losing a long-time tradition: the watercooler TV show. This week, we discuss Thrones--no spoilers, don't worry--and what it means for television and pop culture to lose "watercooler" shows and the communal TV experience. What will replace it? Anything? With streaming bifurcating more than ever, it doesn't seem likely this phenomenon will return for a while. Join us as we discuss the end of a television era and ponder the future of the medium in a post-watercooler world.

Matt Zoller Seitz on the last of watercooler TV: https://www.vulture.com/2019/04/game-of-thrones-the-last-show-we-watch-together.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s1&utm_campaign=vulture

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark

Episode 20: Hollywood’s Digital Beauty Secrets

Episode 20: Hollywood’s Digital Beauty Secrets

April 18, 2019

This week we're talking about one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood: Digital beauty work. The practice of touching up and refining every single image we see on screen is compounding the already complicated relationship Hollywood has with beauty and aging. Technology now makes it possible to produce flawless beings on camera, and more often than not, that power is used to maximize body issues and make everyone feel terrible for not looking as good as the creatures on screen. The not-so-secret truth is, they don't look that good, either. From inflated muscles to skinnier waists to wrinkle-free visages, digital beauty work is taking Hollywood "perfection" to the next level. 

Required reading: "Everyone is altered", by Josh Dickey, the expose on digital beauty work: https://mashable.com/2014/12/01/hollywood-secret-beauty-procedure/#QtmmAEBkwmqW

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark

 

Episode 19: Writers vs. Agents - A Primer

Episode 19: Writers vs. Agents - A Primer

April 10, 2019

It's round two of the writers' strike, maybe, as the Writers Guild prepares to take on talent agencies over something called a packaging fee. What is it? What does it mean? Who's getting screwed? Hint: The writers. This week we explore the looming writers' walk out as writers accuse their agents of acting against client interests in the pursuit of lining their own pockets. We're playing inside baseball with Hollywood business, but don't worry, we also saw that Joker trailer. 

Vulture's handy guide to the issue: https://www.vulture.com/2019/03/wga-hollywood-agents-packaging-explained.html

Read the writers' own experiences with packaging fees here: https://www.wga.org/members/membership-information/agency-agreement/writers-share-their-experiences

Kayleigh twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah twitter: @Cinesnark

 

Episode 18: The Grand Unifying Theory of British Royal Gossip

Episode 18: The Grand Unifying Theory of British Royal Gossip

April 3, 2019

This week we dive into British royal gossip and the rumors of a feud between the houses of Cambridge and Sussex. Wherefore? What happened? What IS the grand unifying theory of British gossip? We get into all of it, jumping off from Nicole Cliffe's tweet about the whole mess and getting into the British press's abominable treatment of Meghan Markle. We speculate wildly and make grand assumptions, so join us for our completely hypothetical discussion about the British royal family and the plethora of gossip stories they produce.

Nicole Cliffe's inciting tweet: https://twitter.com/nicole_cliffe/status/1112104131550822400

Kayleigh on Twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah on Twitter: @Cinesnark

Episode 17: Disney takes over, and Dev Patel for Bond

Episode 17: Disney takes over, and Dev Patel for Bond

March 27, 2019

This week we dive right back into the pit of despair with the Disney-Fox merger, which has officially closed and four thousand people are already out of a job. Then, to try and climb back out of the pit, we discuss why Dev Patel should be the next James Bond. Three words: He got hot. Also, his latest movie, The Wedding Guest, is basically an audition for Bond, and we get into all the reasons a Southeast Asian Bond would make for a fresh start for a fifty-year-old character. Don't believe us? Check out the trailer for The Wedding Guest and come back when you've fixed your life. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO0BDQEslwQ

Kayleigh on Twitter: @Ceilidhann

Sarah on Twitter: @Cinesnark

Episode 16: College Scammers and James Gunn Rehired

Episode 16: College Scammers and James Gunn Rehired

March 22, 2019

This week we return to the pit of despair to talk about the college admissions scandal and all the ways it's offensive and gross. We're talking celebrities who are not immune to the status race, the celebrity kids who just don't care, the particular combination of dark humor and rage this scandal ignites, and the broken system that has turned higher education into a status symbol. We also dive into James Gunn being rehired by Disney months after he was sacked for bad tweets, and what it means for the culture war that he now has two high-paying franchise gigs. Join us as we work through a lot of residual feelings about the cost of our college experiences, and laugh at the spectacular way in which the James Gunn hit job backfired. 

Episode reading:

The affidavit outlining the college admissions scandal: https://www.justice.gov/file/1142876/download

Kevin Tsujihara's sexting scandal: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/i-need-be-careful-texts-reveal-warner-bros-ceo-promoted-actress-apparent-sexual-relationship-1192660

And for fun:

Kayleigh's work on the SYFY Fangrrls "Forgotten Women in Genre" series: https://www.syfy.com/tags/forgotten-women-of-genre

Episode 15: Captain Marvel soars and Steven Spielberg yells at clouds

Episode 15: Captain Marvel soars and Steven Spielberg yells at clouds

March 14, 2019

After a short break, we're back talking Captain Marvel, from the movie itself to The Discourse surrounding it, as well as Steven Spielberg's efforts to change Academy rules so Netflix finds it harder to win Oscars. We cover the best and worst of the modern movie-going experience, the inevitable and almost complete superhero domination of the multiplex, and why Spielberg's effort is too little too late. Join us as we reluctantly defend a corporation against a billionaire, accidentally walk into a pit of despair, and look to Carol Danvers to get us through a very weird time in cinema history.

Here is Kayleigh on the ethics of de-aging: http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/deaging-actors-has-gotten-better-in-movies-but-it-remains-an-ethically-complicated-issue.php

Here is Sarah's Captain Marvel review: https://www.laineygossip.com/captain-marvel-movie-review-starring-brie-larson/52157

And a bit of shameless self-promotion, here is Sarah's Decider article on Julia Roberts' gossip history: https://decider.com/2019/03/07/julia-roberts-fellini-summer/

 

Episode 14: The 91st Academy Awards done and dusted

Episode 14: The 91st Academy Awards done and dusted

February 27, 2019

The 91st Academy Awards have come and gone, and all that's left is to pick up the pieces and make sense of a very up and down, back and forth show. On the one hand, the no-host experiment paid off. On the other: Green Book won Best Picture, which will almost instantly age into a poorly remembered choice. This week, we dive into the Oscars, the good, the bad, the Bohemian Rhapsody of it all. The show was not a disaster, but some retrograde winners reveal a divided Academy pushing back against the recent membership inclusion effort. Join us as we break it all down and get into what worked, what didn't, and just why it is that Green Book will soon be joining the ranks of worst Best Picture.

Here is Kayleigh on the ignominy of Green Book's win: https://screenrant.com/green-book-worst-best-picture-oscar-winner/

And here is Sarah on anonymous voter "Chet": https://www.laineygossip.com/this-years-anonymous-oscar-voters-reveal-no-consensus-pick-for-best-picture/52030

Episode 13: The Rom-Com Revival

Episode 13: The Rom-Com Revival

February 22, 2019

Last year, romantic comedies came back in a big way, fueled by the success of Crazy Rich Asians and Netflix's "summer of love". This week, we take a look at the rom-com revival and how this once-great staple of the cineplex is now fodder for streaming platforms. We dig into how Netflix fueled the revival by releasing several rom-coms within a few months, the landmark success of Crazy Rich Asians, and how streaming rom-coms are propping up a new generation of young stars. But we also get into the limits of the genre and wonder how long Netflix can really keep it up before they kill rom-coms just like traditional studios once did. Roll into Oscar weekend with a comparatively light-hearted episode about the one genre of film dedicated solely to making you feel good.

Here is Lana Condor in Cosmopolitan talking about how she's too busy to be thirsty: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a26029103/lana-condor-cosmopolitan-cover-march/