Showing posts from November, 2023

Recent Movie: The Marvels

The Marvels is the first movie that makes me think the MCU might actually be over. Not because it's bad—it is, in fact, quite charming and enjoyable, solidly mid-tier Marvel, and near the top of the pack for a post- Endgame movie. And not even because it has been a box office disappointment—though in the conversation surrounding this underperformance, not enough has been said about how it represents less a reaction to the movie itself, and more the accumulated fatigue of an audience burned out by Eternals , Ant-Man 3 , and a slew of underwhelming Disney+ shows. No, the reason I think The Marvels might be the beginning of the end is that, beyond litigating its dismal box office performance, no one is talking about it. And there is, to be clear, a lot to talk about here. As little as five years ago I think this movie would have unleashed the kind of discourse tsunami that we saw in the wake of Winter Soldier , Age of Ultron , Civil War , or the first Captain Marvel . But now, cric

Recent Reading Roundup 59

As the year approaches its end, I've ensconced myself in my reading nook to avoid thinking too hard about everything happening outside of it. This batch of reviews—once again, comprising mostly 2023 publications, including some of the most intriguing and anticipated books of the year—covers books read over the last few months.  Girlfriend on Mars by Deborah Willis - Kevin, a sad-sack aspiring screenwriter turned professional film extra, is dismayed when his girlfriend of fourteen years, Amber, announces that she's joined a reality show competition for one of two spots on a mission to colonize Mars. A former gymnast and evangelical who is at loose ends in life—she has a master's degree in environmental science but her only employment options are with companies she considers unethical, and she and Kevin make a living growing quasi-legal marijuana, of which they partake liberally—Amber sees the show, and Mars, as a chance to not only find meaning, but to make a new world with