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Pop culture fiend. Self-proclaimed expert playlist maker. Perpetual word nerd and advice dispenser. Five cents, please.

Marvel Studios’ WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier delivered the right themes when we needed them most

Nobody pulls off the “quarantine-style staycation” look like Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff. (via YouTube)

If you’re a Marvel fan, chances are good that many of your Fridays this year have been dedicated to your new appointment viewing with Disney+. Phase Four of the MCU initially met us in our living rooms instead of in theaters — thanks COVID, you raggedy jerk — and while we’re all eager to hear the rapid-fire chords of the Marvel titles in a big, dark room with dozens of other nerds, it may be for the best that we’ve been relegated to our couches to experience Marvel’s newest stories.

We’ve been spoiled in terms of superhero film content for…

Disney’s newest live-action film is here to sate your need for a wicked revenge romp — and in heels, no less.

(via TSG Entertainment/Disney)

“I‘m about what goes through people’s minds, the stuff that people don’t want to admit or face up to. The shows are about what’s buried in people’s psyches.”

— Alexander McQueen (1969–2010)

This is why I feel giddy about any film that claims to be fluent in the language of style: Even when it’s not aiming to say anything particularly deep about its characters or the world around them, it’s still saying a little something of substance without having to open its mouth. Well-crafted style can do all of your dirty work for you.

And my god, there were stitches…

Emerald Fennell’s debut feature film is a dark comedy-thriller about women’s rage and the culture that continues to pat it on the head.

Carey Mulligan as Cassandra “Cassie” Thomas. (via YouTube)

FYI: There’s no way for me to properly discuss this film without mentioning spoilers — I’ve consolidated the big ones to two paragraphs towards the bottom, which I’ve bookended. Proceed with caution.

In the final episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark explains why she became a prosecutor. She relays that she was raped as a teenager, and that her first rape case as a lawyer not only unearthed the pain of that experience, but made her purpose in the practice crystal clear: “I have something — this thing in me that wants…

FYI: Embarrassingly, there’s a long list of iconic movies this former film major and pop culture nerd has never seen. Retro Reviews are my attempt to fill in the blanks. Spoilers abound.

It’s hard not to have expectations about a movie that people have spent years hyping you up to watch. Upon my mention of 1982’s Blade Runner, friends have lit up and said things like, “Ooh, you’d love it. It’s an essential. Total sci-fi masterpiece. Badass.” There also happens to be a Blade Runner-inspired bar here in Atlanta; I remember my first time there, thrumming a little at how…

Trent Reznor during Nine Inch Nails’ “Tension” tour in 2013 (via YouTube)

When terrible things happen, we tend to reach for something soothing. A bowlful of our favorite comfort food. The movie you saw when you were 14 that still — without fail — makes you cackle like a hyena. The album you play to level-up your mood while you’re getting ready to go out (remember when going out was a thing?).

These are all excellent methods of coping — they can work wonders at distracting and calming us when we’re in the midst of anxiety, panic, and depression.

But, uh… counterpoint:

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their…

Photo by Zhu Hongzhi on Unsplash

I don’t like being in “recovery” mode. I know it’s necessary for the mind, body, and soul — it’s a period of growth and restoration — but it’s also, by nature, a transitional period. And I like my transitions to be quick.

Unfortunately, the thing I’m still recovering from is being ill with coronavirus in May. As it’s August, and I keep having to stop to catch my breath after performing labor-intensive tasks, you can imagine how frustrated I am. I feel well 95% of the time, but I struggle hard not to get angry with the other 5%. …

I have strong opinions about pop music. I was born in ’88 and grew up in the 90s, so my basis of modern pop tunes is everything from Mariah and Michael and Sheryl to Britney and Ricky and J.Lo. Jock Jams. Now That’s What I Call Music! I remember hip-hop sliding itself into the Top 40 in a huge way during the turn of the millennium, and alternative rock struggling to stay mainstream if it was anything less than catchy.

As of 2020, popular music has hedged in more directions that I can count. Between the 90s bubblegum pop surge…

“THIS IS FINE.” | Photo by Mindspace Studio on Unsplash

If you’re anything like me, you have a list of projects you’d like to accomplish sooner rather than later. I’m not talking about your average daily errands— I’m talking Big Picture stuff. The things you can see being a reality when you visualize your future self: things that will further your quality of life, round out your career, feed your interests, or simply make you happier. Big goals.

Maybe you’ve never considered yourself a goal-oriented person before. I definitely hadn’t… Disciplined and detailed, maybe, but never the person who woke up in the morning thinking about affirmations and habit-building and…

Legit my reaction during the back-half of the film.

FYI: This is a spoiler-free review. (That’s hard to do for this film, so forgive my vagueness here.)

I’m late to this party, but to be fair, I hadn’t heard much at all about writer/director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite until the past month. Then I saw it pop up on everyone’s year-end Best lists — and even a few decade-end Best lists — and that’s something I can’t ignore.

Fortunately, that also means that I walked into the theater to see this under my favorite circumstances: Knowing absolutely zilch about this movie.

The trailer is an accurate feel of what…

Shining, it turns out, is not all it’s cracked up to be.

FYI: This is a spoiler-free review.

ALSO: Although I’m a massive Stephen King fan, The Shining and Doctor Sleep are two of his works I’ve never read. So this review will be referencing their film adaptations only.

To understand what Director Mike Flanagan accomplished with his adaptation of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, we need to cozy up to some context.

As one of the most prolific writers of modern history, Stephen King’s approach to storytelling is so distinct and organic that it’s inescapable in modern horror and suspense works. It bleeds through in new horror literature, and it feels weirdly…

Nikki Davis

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