Recognise heteronormativity where it is and where it isn't.
The relationship status of 'Sesame Street' favourites Bert and Ernie has long been questioned, with many now-adult fans convinced that they were in fact a gay couple. A former writer for the show took it upon himself to confirm the rumours recently, but now the Sesame workshop and Frank Oz are contesting this alleged truth and it's even more divisive than before.
Frank Oz at 'The Last Jedi' premiere
Saying that Bert and Ernie are gay has served to both delight and infuriate fans of The Muppets, but that's exactly what writer Mark Saltzman thought while he was working on 'Sesame Street' for 15 years. He admits that the Muppets' relationship reflected his own relationship with partner Arnold Glassman at the time.
Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to animated filmmaking that connects with both adults and children. Intriguingly, this movie will be a very different movie depending on your age, because it explores the point where childish happiness gives way to more complex emotions. The basic idea may not be completely original, but the way director-cowriter Pete Docter (Up) approaches it is inventive, provoking constant laughter and even a few tears.
It's set inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias), where the control room is run by Joy (Amy Poehler), who struggles to keep the darker emotions in check. Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust (Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Louis Black and Mindy Kaling) aren't easy for Joy to manage. And when Riley's parents (Kyle MacLachlan and Diane Lane) move the family from Minnesota to San Francisco, Riley's difficulty fitting into her new environment causes serious turmoil in her mind. Joy and Sadness find themselves lost in the recesses of Riley's memory, and must team up with Riley's forgotten imaginary friend Bing Bong (Richard Kind) to get back to headquarters, where Fear, Anger and Disgust are making a mess of everything.
As expected, the animation is simply gorgeous, combining bright colours and all kinds of textures to create both the real world and the expansive universe inside Riley's head. These things will provide both laughs and thrills, while grown-ups will also engage with an extra psychological layer of meaning, as Joy and Sadness travel through abstract thought to get to the imagination and ultimately to dreams, which are like a full-on movie studio that uses memories to create sleep-time blockbusters. There's also a brief but freaky visit to the subconscious. Through all of this Joy and Sadness discover that they need each other to function, which adds a surprisingly moving kick to everything that happens along the way.
Continue reading: Inside Out Review
Secret Cinema's Star Wars event is a mind-blowing experience of a lifetime for any Star Wars fan. Running in London over 100 nights from June 4th to September 27th, it's more than twice as big as last summer's gigantic Back to the Future project. The epic installation lets visitors live events from Episode IV: A New Hope before an interactive screening of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the best of the six films to date. And with a cast of 400 performers merging seamlessly into the costumed audience, it's an unforgettable evening.
It begins with an evacuation, as earth-based rebels are called to a secret London location. Before arriving, we are given an identity and wardrobe advice (I was Niles Torwyn, galactic explorer) and told to stay low and keep our faces covered. At Earth Cargo Airlines, we are herded into a loading bay and transported through space to Mos Eisley spaceport on the desert planet Tatooine, where we have several hours to walk around the bustling market town, paying for food and drink with galactic credits while engaging with the people around us. Speaking to strangers or walking into doorways will result in quests and training exercises. And among the crowd, there's a chance to interact with characters like Old Ben Kenobi, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and a gang of fast-talking Jawas, but avoid eye contact with the Storm Troopers. There are also special cocktails and music in the busy Cantina Bar before another transport whisks us off to a Rebel Base and the Death Star itself.
Along the way, virtually the entire final act of A New Hope is taking place around us, often in ways that send chills down the spine. It's a thrilling re-creation of a film that transformed our childhood, and there are at least two "wow" moments that are almost overwhelming. This is followed by the next chapter in the story, a bright digital screening of The Empire Strikes Back accompanied by some very cool live action. Originally released in 1980, the film stands up remarkably well with its sarcastic humour, brittle emotions and some very dark drama, leading to a wonderfully maddening cliffhanger ending. Best of all is the way the script remains centred on the characters, twisting and deepening them while allowing Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to further develop their most iconic roles.
Continue reading: Secret Cinema Presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Review
The Rebel Alliance struck a terrific blow to the Galactic Empire with the destruction of the Death Star. But now, with the Emperor's right hand man, Darth Vader, on the hunt for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the Alliance are going to have more difficulty fighting them off. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is reluctantly still fighting alongside the Alliance, although his smuggling past and loner demeanour still rub wrongly with Leia Organa (Carry Fisher), who finds him to be nothing more than a stuck up, scruffy-looking Nerf herder. But their petty squabbling will have to be put aside when the Empire comes in search of Luke.
Continue: Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back Trailer
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. A trade dispute on the planet Naboo has led to a full-scale invasion of the planet. Two members of the of the honourable Jedi Order, Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) travel to the Trade Federation flagship to negotiate an end to the blockade. While they are there, however, they uncover a secret invasion of the entire planet which threatens to endanger millions of lives. Their quest to save the planet and keep the peace will lead them to a young boy with incredible potential. And the fate of the entire galaxy will be thrown into danger.
Continue: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Trailer
After five long years, the Clone Wars are still raging across the galaxy. Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), the Separatist leader and his minion, General Grievous, have captured the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are tasked with his rescue. Once the chancellor is saved and Dooku is defeated, the location of General Grievous is discovered. If the Jedi can send a strike force to capture or kill Grievous, then they will be able to end the war entirely. But there is a darkness growing within Anakin, and the Jedi Order are slowly starting to become aware of it. But as the power of the Chancellor continues to grow, and his hold over Anakin grows too, leading to a revelation which will forever change the galaxy, and lead to a greater, more destructive war.
Continue: Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith Trailer
Discontent is spreading across the galaxy. A separatist movement, led by the fallen Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) is challenging the Galactic Republic for power. Now the Jedi Order are forced to do all they can to keep the peace in the galaxy, all the while knowing that war is brewing on the horizon. When former Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a senator for the planet, is caught up in a failed assassination attempt, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) must seek out the source of the attack, and do all they can to prevent the war that is coming to the galaxy.
Continue: Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones Trailer
The Rebel Alliance has fallen into an incredibly dark time. With the destruction of their base in the Hoth system, they have suffered numerous setbacks and defeats across the galaxy. It has been a crushing time for the heroes of the Rebel Alliance as well, as Han Solo (Harrison Ford) has been captured by the ruthless Darth Vader and sent to the vicious crime boss Jabba the Hutt. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has suffered greatly, too. Not only has he learned the truth about Vader being his father, but he has lost his hand in a battle with the dark lord of the Sith. Luke must first rescue Han, and then face up to his destiny and battle Vader for the fate of the galaxy.
Continue: Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi Trailer
Mike and Sulley haven't always been the best of friends that we know they were working at Monsters Inc. When they were amateurs and roommates both majoring in 'scaring' at the Monsters University, there was constant competition between the pair as Mike struggled to keep up with Sulley's natural big, hairy monster persona; Mike and his small physique and rather unscary retainer made him the favourite subject of mockery by Sulley and his friends despite their being in the same fraternity. It soon becomes clear, however, that they are better off together than alone while Mike has the brains and Sulley has the brawn.
Continue: Monsters University Trailer
A recent poll put together to celebrate the release of the board game Stratego Sci-Fi has found that the late Christopher Reeves as the Man of Steel is the public's favourite sci-fi star to grace the silver screen.
Reeves battled off tough competition from Star Wars’ Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Yoda (Frank Oz), who placed second and third respectively, and Star Trek's James T Kirk (William Shatner) and Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), who placed seventh and tenth in the countdown.
Perhaps the most unusual choice for the top ten was Will Smith's Agent Jay character from the Men In Black trilogy, who made it all the way to number five in the countdown, whereas one of the more natural choices - David Tennant as Dr Who - was pushed all the was down to number twenty.
Continue reading: Christopher Reeves' Superman Is The Greatest Sci-Fi Star
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