Families of Aurora theater shooting victims ask movie studio to take action ahead of ‘Joker’ release

(CNN)A group of people whose loved ones witnessed or were killed in 2012’s Aurora theater shooting are calling on Warner Bros. to help combat gun violence as the studio prepares to release its rated-R comic book film “Joker.”

“Over the last several weeks, large American employers from Walmart to CVS have announced that they are going to lean into gun safety. We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the letter states.
Specifically, the letter calls on the studio to end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform, actively lobby for gun reform and make contributions to groups that support survivors and aim to reduce gun violence.
    In a statement, Warner Bros. studio acknowledged that gun violence is “a critical issue” and said the company “has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bi-partisan legislation to address this epidemic.”
    “At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues,” the statement continued. “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”
    Igor Volsky, from gun control advocacy group Guns Down America, helped draft the letter on behalf of Sandy Phillips, Lonnie Phillips, Tiina Coon, Theresa Hoover and Heather Dearman.
    Sandy Phillips and Lonnie Phillips founded the organization Survivors Empowered after their daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was killed in 2012 when a gunman opened fire at the midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”
    Shooter James Holmes is currently serving multiple life sentences for the shooting, which killed 12 and injured 70.
    “Warner Bros. — and artists in general — certainly have a right to make the kind of art they want to make, but the argument that we make is that with that right comes a great deal of responsibility,” Volsky, who has not seen the film, told CNN.
    He added: “It’s really based on this notion that at a period of time when the federal government is not representing its constituents on the gun issue, we have to organize powerful voices around the country to help us build safer communities with fewer guns.”
    Legislative efforts to address the country’s mass shootings by way of expanded background checks and firearm regulation continue to be stalled on Capitol Hill.
    Since its premiere on the film festival circuit, “Joker” has found itself on the defense against those who criticize its violent imagery and the movie’s potential to fuel violent behavior.
    In a recent interview with IGN, star Joaquin Phoenix admitted it was “uncomfortable” to think about, but, “I think we all are aware of these issues and we’re concerned, and I think that’s why we talk about it. I don’t think that we can be afraid to talk about it.” (Phoenix later walked out of another interview when confronted by a similar question, according to a journalist from the Telegraph.)
      Director Todd Phillips has also said that the film is, in his view, “about a lack of love, childhood trauma, lack of compassion in the world,” according to IGN.
      “Joker” will be released wide on October 4.

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/24/entertainment/joker-aurora-warner-bros/index.html

      35 Times People Couldnt Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores (New Pics)

      We just love thrift shops here at Bored Panda. Since we discovered the awesome Facebook group ”Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared we have been sharing and sharing, and, as well as the new finds below, you can see previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Oh, and here too! Now that’s a lot of thrift store finds!

      So scroll down below to see yet more weird, wonderful and funny thrift store finds and let’s say it all together: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

      #1

      Griswald Definitely Approves Of This Garage Sale Find

      We know that thrifting is great fun and can be really interesting too, but what are the wider benefits of shopping second hand? With thanks to Unwrinkling, let’s explore some more positive aspects of heading to your local thrift store!

      Environmental impact: Re-wearing clothes reduces waste and pollution. Every garment purchased second-hand means one less new one produced, which is important because regardless of material, the production of clothing is costly to the environment. Producing synthetic fibers like polyester requires lots of energy, as well as crude oil like petroleum; byproducts include toxic gases and chemicals. Sadly, pesticides used on most plants mean that even cotton and linen garments have a negative impact. Transportation-related pollution also decreases when clothing is re-used, as new clothes are much more likely to travel long distances before being sold than are their second-hand counterparts.

      #2

      For Years I Would Look At Craigslist Hoping Someone Would Post Some Of My Grandma’s Things

      Not sure how weird, but more like the universe righting a wrong. My grandmother inherited 2 beautiful bronze statues from her cousin(who was also one of my most favorite people in the world). I always loved the statues and would sit and stare at them as a child when I would go to my grandma’s house. As I got older, I only grew to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that went into making the statues even more. On one visit with my grandma she asked me if there was anything I wanted when she passed on. Not wanting to even think about her passing away, I was hesitant but she brought up the statues cause she knew how much I loved them. I agreed that yes I would love to have them. Through the years I became more distant from my family, except my grandmother. When my grandma died, my family made it very clear that my partner (and support system) was not welcome to come with me. Not wanting to make things uncomfortable, especially for myself, I decided not to go at all and held my own little ceremony for my grandma. Well, I asked about a will but was told there was not one, which I don’t believe and was told that one family sold off all of my grandma’s things to pay off his debts. So no one got anything, again, not sure that I believe all of that. But anyway, for years I would look at craigslist hoping someone would post some of my grandma’s things. Of course I wanted the statues but would have taken anything at that point. 5 years went by and I was giving up hope. I was laying in bed, it was around midnight, and I decided to look on facebook marketplace. I put the location to where she lived and typed in “Bronze statues” and there they were!!! My girls popped up at an antique store. I cried quietly and could hardly sleep. The next morning I got in touch with the store owner and well….Here they are. I sometimes still can’t believe they are in my home. I love them so much!!!!

      #3

      Stumbled Upon This Used Book Arch A Local Couple Kept In Their Barn Outside Pittsburgh A Few Months Ago And Begged My Boyfriend To Let Me Buy It For Our Wedding

      Social impact: Thrift stores make it easier to know where your money is going. To track the money you handed over for that brand-new Old Navy polo, you would need to trace the brand back to the corporation behind it, the assembly factories used by the corporation, their textile providers, and those textile providers’ raw materials suppliers—at a bare minimum.

      In evaluating all these steps (and the many others involved in the production chain), there are numerous considerations to keep in mind: Was your farmer using environmentally responsible methods? Was your seamstress of legal working age, paid a fair wage to work in a safe factory? Is the corporation behind it the kind you want to support, or one whose views you wouldn’t like to see perpetuated?

      In short, it can be a bit of a nightmare to track the impact of your seemingly trivial purchase. However, with most thrift stores, this burden is greatly reduced. For better or worse, the original purchaser’s money has already supported the whole chain of production that led to your second-hand Old Navy polo. Since most thrift stores in Europe, North America, and Australia rely heavily (if not exclusively) on donated clothing, this means you only have to question one link in the whole chain—the store right in front of you.

      Many thrift stores also directly support charity. It’s no coincidence that in the UK and Ireland, the term “thrift store” doesn’t even exist—they call them “charity shops” instead. In America, the best-known thrift stores are Goodwill and The Salvation Army, organizations which provide services to the unemployed, homeless, and disabled. In Europe, NGOs like Oxfam commonly use thrift stores to raise funds for humanitarian aid. By shopping at these kinds of establishments, your clothing purchase can go from supporting Third World child labor to supporting Third World children’s’ education.

      #4

      Found The Oddest But Most Perfect Leash/Lead For Our Little Dachshund Today In The Local Charity Shop

      #5

      This Sign

      Personal impact: Thrifted clothing offers more room for uniqueness. While it’s not the end of the world to see some other guy sporting the same sweater as you, most of us would choose to avoid such incidents, if possible. Since thrifted clothing infrequently comes in multiples, you’re much less likely to bump into someone wearing the exact same thing. In addition, there’s bound to be lots of clothes that were produced decades ago, or on the other side of the country, or in some other circumstance that makes them different than what the average shopper is buying off the sale rack at the mall.

      Thrift shopping allows for more creativity. Thrift stores are notorious for the wacky and bizarre items they often contain. (Remember Macklemore’s footed Batman jammies?) While these items can be downright eyesores, many just need a person with vision to re-interpret them in a contemporary way. For some, this may mean simply adding the right accessories; others may completely reconstruct their garment with shears and a trusty Singer. Either way, thrifting can allow one to do more than mindlessly mimic what one sees on the display-window mannequin, by providing more varied and interesting materials as inspiration.

      Sources: Unwrinkling, The Ecologist

      #6

      One Of My Favorite Finds! Found In An Antique Store In Florida. Unopened Bottle Of Poison. You Can’t Tell Here But The Pills Are All Coffin Shaped… The Store Had An Opened Bottle As Well

      #7

      Found This Gem And Couldn’t Believe My Eyes. Paid $10 For It, Thought It Was Just His Hammer Till I Saw Those Clasps

      #8

      Teeny Tiny Fully Functional Knife With Mother Of Pearl Handle

      I got this year’s ago at a garage sale and it lives on a shelf next to my bed. You know for protection against leprechauns, gnomes and fairies

      #9

      My 1960 Lee West Alpha Egg Chair Sitting In All Its Magnificent Glory In Our Home! It Has Speakers Inside That Still Work Perfectly And Came With Original Ottoman And Side Table!

      #10

      I Found Some Interesting Things At An Amazing Estate Sale Recently. This One Was The Best ! Only $5,000

      #11

      It’s A Murder Mystery Writers Desk Teapot I Found At Value Village For $10, And I Just Found The Kitchen Sink Teapot At Goodwill For $5 I Think 2 Makes It A Collection, Right?

      #12

      Found This Very Happy Piggy Today! I Couldn’t Resist, She Now Lives With Me

      #13

      I Found The Perfect Item To Celebrate My Divorce From The Husband From Hell In A Few Weeks. Smells Like A Good Night Sleep Knowing I’m Not Being Cheated On

      #14

      This Is The Tiniest Set Of Nesting Dolls I’ve Ever Seen. Brother And I Were Crying In Laughter As They Kept Getting Smaller And Smaller

      #15

      Yup- It’s Coming Home!

      #16

      My Friend Left Me This In My New Bathroom! 4.5 Stars!!

      #17

      This Came Home With Me. It’s Brilliant And Well Crafted

      #18

      Found This Guy On The Side Of The Road. The Elderly Man Getting Rid Of Him Told Me It’s Because His Wife Can’t Stand Looking At It Anymore And It’s Crack In It’s Back

      He was pretty upset over it and mentioned he had this guy for over 35+ years. Currently working on restoring him! Yesterday was dedicated to cleaning, gluing and filling. Today once the filler is done and it stops raining, I’ll be sanding and sealing. Thinking about gifting this guy back to the elderly man

      #19

      Meet “Bubo”! A 1960’s Am Radio From Japan. I Found Him Looking A Little Worse For The Wear And Tagged “As Is” At A Local Antique Mall In Cashmere, Washington

      #20

      Yeah, I’m Impulsive.. But.. I’ve Wanted One For Everrrr! And.. My Birthday Is Coming Up… And.. He Was Only $220! Their Loss

      #21

      Meet Marvin. He Is So Handsome

      #22

      Just Brought Home This Bad Boy From Goodwill. I Absolutely Cannot Wait To Use It At Work On Tuesday

      #23

      Went Through A Box I Inherited Of My Grandparents Knick-Knacks And Came Across This Beautiful Gem. Tiny Little Ceramic Kittys Drinking And Playing In Spilled Milk

      #24

      I Talked My Husband Into Helping Me Bring This Home From Work. He Totally Indulges My Whimsy

      See Also on Bored Panda

      #26

      So This Is A Nifty Little Something I Got At A Thrift Store In South Carolina Several Years Ago For $4.25. It Is A Little Over 11 Inches Tall, Is Made Of Gold And Silver, And Weighs Approximately 1.25 Pounds

      17k

       When I found it, it was covered with what seemed like cigar smoke residue, and it looked like it was made of brass. It is called a “bridal cup” or in german, a “jugendfraubecher”. They are popularly used in japan england, and throughout europe and germany where they originated in 1450 a.d. in nuremberg.  

        The bride and groom can toast their marriage with it and drink from the same cup at the same time without spilling a drop as the legend of the original prescribes. The legend says that the cup was made by an illiterate gold and silversmith who had won the maiden Brunnehilde’s heart. Her father said he could only have her hand if he could make a cup that both of them could drink from at the same time without spilling a drop. The figurine’s skirt is a cup, and she holds a cup on a swivel over her head. The king was won over and his daughter married the commoner and they all lived happily ever after. 

         As it turns out, when I looked more closely at this piece, I realized it was not a production piece with industrial markings, but rather was a one of a kind hand-made piece using incredibly primitive methods. Turns out this piece may actually be the original nuremberg jugendfraubecher of 1450 a.d.  

         The German foreign ministry checked logs of lost and stolen artifacts from the war and we did not find an owner looking for it. Then they had two experts examine photos to see if it was possibly the original and a cultural treasure.  

         The experts agreed that there was no picture or detailed knowledge of the original to ever be sure, but that this one fit the description in every way except that it did not have pomegranates decorating it. Turns out the pomegranates run down both sides of it and they had examined picture from the front and back.  

         I will be taking it to nuremberg germany where I am confident the local chamber of commerce will assist with finding it’s proper place in culture. I am sure it is insanely valuable, but it is not something a person can really own. If it turns out to be a worthy example and possibly the original, it belongs in nuremberg Germany for the world to enjoy. Their local museum has a silver jugendfraubecher from around 1600 when they started to become popularized. 1600 is also when the rest of the industry developed the technology to reliably copy the original.

        This bridal cup was made by fusing curved plates with molten gold and silver, and then the excess was shaved away and polished. The thickness of the sides of the skirt cup varies a great deal, and it looks like parts of the engraving on some of the plates got too hot and softened during the assembly. Up close you can see the handwork and surface engraving around the silver inlays. The figurine in the middle was cast as a single piece and the face and hands of silver were fused onto it.  

        I suspect that the figurine is either gold, or was cast in silver and then hot dipped in gold. A scratch on the back does not show any silver, but perhaps gold dipping or some other crude plating method might have put it on thick.

         The latticework in the hands that holds the cup aloft are obviously solid cast gold, because you can see where somebody cut away some pieces, possibly desperate to raise money to flee germany before the war. I still have a gut feeling this piece left Germany in the 1930’s or early 1940’s.  

         The sides of the cup are a mystery too, because it would only make sense to use silver plates and fuse them with molten gold because gold has a lower melting point. After that the assembled cup could have been gilded or plated crudely. The thing is that the boundaries between the silver and gold parts on the outside of the cup look like they bleed into each other in places, and at others it looks like a sloppy gilding or plating around the silver accents. One fellow who examined it said he thinks the silver was laid into the accents of the curved plates when they were cast in gold, and then the maker cleaned up the worst areas that had bled into the gold by plating over them.  

         Ultimately the gold and silver content do not mean much because it is the crafting of the piece that is miraculous whether mostly silver or mostly gold. If it is from 1450 a.d., then I am told that the gold used is possibly king solomons gold brought back from the crusades. 

         If we can date it with metallurgy or some other technology, that would be our best likelihood of authenticating it as the likely original. It is entirely possible this is an amazing homage to the original from a more recent time, but was apparently never used as a fake, because we would have heard about that in the news of the day, and it would be an insane ammount of money to spend making it and no cashing in.

        As for an estimated value, it might just be an amazing old jugendfraubecher of unknown origin worth several to a hundred thousand bucks or so depending on the age and other factors. If it is found to be the likely original, then it has no price because it was never mine but to be a custodian. If it turns out to be something to sell, I am giving half to the thrift store where I got it, and the other half goes to my favorite charity. That is, after they have reimbursed me for the $4.25 I paid for it.

         At the very least I have been enjoying a great adventure in finding out what it is.

      #27

      This Speaks To Me

      #28

      Original Bob Ross Gold Pan. Paid $10 Because It Was Half Off

      Apparently he painted them when he was stationed in Alaska as a member of the air force. This was an awesome find because my husband was a crew chief in the air force 20 years and I am an artist so it’s a win win

      #29

      Wilhelmina Slater (Aka Willie) Loves Her Chair. I Think She Needs A Couch

      #30

      Maybe Not Weird, But Just Happened To Find This T-Shirt At A Local Thrift Store The Same Day I Was Canning Green Beans! And Only Paid .10 Cents!

      #31

      Fell In Love With This Cute Chair Today. Totally Nothing Weird About It. Until The First Layer Of Fabric Came Off

      #32

      I Finay Found Something To Share

      #33

      Seen Yesterday At Hartville Flea Market In Ohio. I Did Not Buy It, But Had A Good Laugh!

      #34

      Jabba

      See Also on Bored Panda

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/weird-odd-second-hand-finds/

      Director Joel Schumacher Says He’s Had Sex With Up To 20,000 Partners

      Director Joel Schumacher wasn’t just busy making movies. The man behind such films as “Batman Forever” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” told Vulture he’s had sex with up to 20,000 partners.

      The article’s author, Andrew Goldman, remarked that the figure ― which Schumacher eventually put between 10,000 and 20,000 ― is “really amazing.” To which Schumacher responded, “It’s not for a gay male, because it’s available.”

      “I’ve had sex with famous people, and I’ve had sex with married people, and they go to the grave,” he said in the interview, posted Wednesday. “I’ve never kissed and told about anybody who gives me the favor of sharing a bed with me.”

      Joel Schumacher

      “The Phantom of the Opera” filmmaker said when the AIDS epidemic broke out in the 1980s, he was surprised to test negative and took measures to protect himself. But there were risks.

      “I used condoms,” said Schumacher, who turned 80 on Thursday. “But condoms broke. And there was a lot of drug taking, a lot going on then. It was a way to deal with the loss, I think, of so many people I loved, or liked, or had affection for, or admired.”

      Schumacher’s claim puts him in the company of the late basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, who boasted in a 1991 memoir that he slept with 20,000 different women.

      Troubled former NBA star Lamar Odom recently said he had sex with 2,000 women ― but appeared to use the number as more of a cautionary tale to discuss his downward spiral of drug abuse and infidelity. 

      Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joel-schumacher-20000-sex-partners_n_5d67984ae4b01fcc690f5f88

      Rutger Hauer Of ‘Blade Runner’ Dead At Age 75

      Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, perhaps best known for playing the replicant renegade leader in the sci-fi classic “Blade Runner” opposite Harrison Ford, has died in the Netherlands after an undisclosed illness. He was 75.

      Hauer died July 19. His family requested that the announcement not be made until after his services on Wednesday, his agent told outlets.

      Hauer will be remembered partially for roles in vampire works such as “Dracula 3D” (2012),  the 2004 TV miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie (1992) and the HBO series “True Blood” (2013-14).

      He also had a turn as a corporate villain who knew Bruce Wayne’s father in “Batman Begins” (2005).

      But it was his part as the murderous Roy Batty in “Blade Runner” that proved most memorable. In a famous scene with Ford’s Rick Deckard in the 1982 sci-fi noir, Batty spoke of “tears in rain.” It was an improvised line that at the time irritated the film’s screenwriter, David Webb Peoples.

      Later, Peoples conceded to The Hollywood Reporter that it was a “beautiful contribution.”   

      Hauer starred on Dutch television in the 1960s and made his major American film debut as a terrorist opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Nighthawks.”

      Hauer, who also starred in the 1985 fantasy “Ladyhawke” and 1986′s “The Hitcher,” recently was a regular on the British comedy “Porters” (2017-19). IMDB listed an unfinished work: “A Christmas Carol” TV miniseries.

      Hauer left behind his wife, Ineke ten Cate; and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from a previous marriage, Variety noted.

      Hollywood remembered the actor on social media.

      Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rutger-hauer-dead_n_5d39746fe4b020cd994eff7b

      ‘The Lighthouse’ Trailer Shines In A Dark Way With Robert Pattinson

      Before he plays Batman, Robert Pattinson goes batty in a gripping trailer for the award-winning Cannes Film Festival hit “The Lighthouse.” (See the video below.)

      The isolation and desperation of two 1890s lighthouse keepers (Pattinson and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe) on a remote islet oozes psychodrama in the preview, which dropped Tuesday.

      “How long have we been on this rock?” Dafoe’s Thomas says. “Five weeks? Two days?”

      When people start asking questions like that, the answer can never be a good one.

      “The Lighthouse” opens Oct. 18.

      Watch the trailer below.

      Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-lighthouse-trailer-robert-pattinson_n_5d404d4de4b01d8c9781d749

      The Orange Is the New Black Cast Changed TV as We Know It

      This week:

      • Saying goodbye to Orange Is the New Black
      • A good Taylor Swift song?!
      • About that Big Little Lies finale
      • Surely, this Ben Affleck news is an Onion report.
      • Jennifer Lopez is an immortal goddess.
      Orange Is the New Black Was So Great

      The final season of Orange Is the New Black is really good and more topical than ever. We will tell you more about that next week, as we are so restricted by Netflix in what we can say about the new season that theres honestly no point until then.

      (Listen, theres not much about my job to complain about. HOWEVER. The increasingly ridiculous practice of attaching riders describing spoilers that critics are forbidden from revealing has not only gotten out of handfor Stranger Things 3, we were not even allowed to say that Russians, introduced in the first scene, were the seasons villainsbut has also completely ruined the viewing experience for some of us. Surprise deaths and major plot points for Stranger Things 3, Veronica Mars, and OITNB are just a handful of what we learned in an email before even being allowed to press play on Episode 1.)

      But we can tell you about how this show has completely changed television. On an industry level, it is the series that arguably granted Netflix the prestige it has now. House of Cards had come before it, a drama that could have been on Showtime. But its OITNB that played with tone, structure, theme, pacing, morality, and inclusivity in ways that defined Netflix while shattering the television landscape as we knew it. And its on that latter point we want to focus.

      The acting on OITNB, most of it done by women in their first major television roles, has been the most impressive on TV during its seven-year run. Tour de forces by veterans like Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Laura Prepon, and, in Season Two, Lorraine Toussaint built the show a solid foundation. A mesmerizing, undersung turn by Taylor Schilling as one of TVs trickiest characters made it exciting. But the breakout turns by Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Yael Stone, Selenis Levya, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Diane Guerrero, and so many more made watching the show a thrill.

      But its Danielle Brooks work as Taystee that I want to talk about. It might be my favorite performance of the last decade. A bubbly scene-stealer has become the shows most tragic figure, and through it all Brooks has remained towering. She has such a command not just of every frame, but of Taystees darkness as well, that its almost hard to breathe when shes on screen.

      Taystees appeal is her strength. Her relatability is her vulnerability. Her tragedy is her loss of hope. I cant believe she never got an Emmy nomination. But shes won the more prestigious award: MY HEART!

      Finally, a Good Taylor Swift Song

      I frankly dont have the energy anymore to keep up with whats going on with Taylor Swift, whether we like her or not, why we like her or not, or attempting to figure out who Scooter Braun is. I am, however, very concerned with whether or not she is giving us bops. Friends, she has not been. She has been giving us some garbage. Me! You Need to Calm Down. No! And rude!

      This week, Swift finally released a song off her upcoming Lover album that is legitimately good. (At least, I wont change the radio station immediately when it comes on.) The Archer is a soft, synth-heavy ballad that has Swift dialing back the brassy attention-seeking of her last two singles for something more introspective. I like it!

      Im getting Cyndi Lauper vibes and Donna Lewis vibes. Some pretty blatant Lana Del Rey and Carly Rae Jepsen appropriation, but Im not mad about it. The lyrics are simplistic and relatable, returning to the fairy tale motifs that earned her legions of young fans. She quotes the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, bless.

      This is Taylor Swift, so its still petty AF, with the song boasting analogies in which she is both the hunter and the preymore meta commentary on her personality. But for a change of pace, it doesnt seem indulgent.

      Listen to it here.

      A Big Little Lies Finale Hangover

      Well, that was underwhelming. I mean, not the season as a whole. Remember those brighter days of Big Little LiesSeason Two, Episodes 1 through 3when we were going crazy over Meryls scream, Laura Dern screaming pussfuck! and Amabella having an anxiety attack over climate change?

      That gave way to utter narrative nonsense, total plot stasis, and the sad realization that our initial suspicionsmaybe there shouldnt have been a Season Twowere correct.

      Dont get me wrong, the show was still a blast to watch. Reese Witherspoons Madeline Martha MacKenzie is still iconic, even if they forgot to write her a plot this season. That courtroom scene between Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep featured badass acting, as far as the worlds most outlandish legal proceeding goes. But the way it ended, you were kind of just like, what was the point? Oh well. Im still going to use those GIFs forever.

      Cant Get Over This Affleck-Damon Nonsense

      So far, 2019 has taken a giant, steaming dog shit on our ability to feel joy and hope, so I try to keep this newsletter positive and enthusiasticyour very own pop-culture pooper scooper, so to speak. But nah, not with this.

      Projects coming from the Affleck brothers were both in the news this week, providing a brain aneurysm to polish off your rage stroke. First it was announced that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are reteaming to write a new screenplay. Great! We like Good Will Hunting. Nicole Holofcener is working on it with them. A dream! Shes a goddess among shitty men.

      The plot takes place in the 14th century, centering on two best friends, one of whom goes to war and learns that the other raped his wife. No one believes her. The court exonerates the rapist. The friend is angry. Im sorry… what?!

      Lets recap: When the #MeToo movement began, Damon sparked controversy for asinine comments urging for more attention to be paid to the men in Hollywood who arent sexual harassers and rapists, worrying that we were unfairly conflating all bad behavior. And Affleck? Video resurfaced of him groping actress Hilarie Burton.

      Should you have mistakenly thought that with these last few years of near-constant talk about gender disparity, safety, responsibility, and accountability in the wake of #MeToo, that everyone in Hollywood stopped sharing one hummingbird-sized brain, this should settle that for you. How is THIS the project these assclowns decide to embark on?

      As fathers of daughters, youd think theyd be concerned about YET ANOTHER project in which a womans rape is a plot device.

      But just in case you have a mouthful of coffee youre looking to spit out at your computer, heres a screenshot of a tweet describing Casey Afflecks (read about that guy here) next movie:

      J. Lo Just Turned 50

      And I recently purchased Rogaine.

      What to watch this week:

      Orange Is the New Black: It really sticks the landing.

      Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Honestly, just see it so that you dont have to listen to film bros tell you why you need to see it. Just looking out for you.

      Honeyland: Support independent film!

      What to skip this week:

      Pennyworth: Batmans butler, Alfred, is basically a young James Bond. Maybe that sounds interesting to you. It does not to me!

      Lights Out With David Spade: What 2019 definitely needed was a late-night show hosted by David Spade.

      Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-orange-is-the-new-black-cast-changed-tv-as-we-know-it

      A Journey Through The Past Via My Facebook Friend Suggestions

      The High School Sweetheart

      You remind me of fresh-cut grass before soccer games and of bright-white football-field Friday night lights.

      You remind me of sneaking out past curfew and listening to cicadas by the beach in the thick August heat.

      You remind me of pointing out stars, of just starting to figure out who we are.

      You remind me of times when I laughed more and worried less.

      You remind me of when I didn’t feel stress or care about the way we dressed.

      You remind me of school dances and second chances.

      You remind me of first love.

      You remind me of everything I once was.

      You remind me that childhood love has something no future love does: It lived and breathed while we grew up.

      It was the love that grew with us.

      And then, it was the love we grew apart from.

      The Classmate Who Died

      Only the good die young, or so the Billy Joel song goes. You look so happy in your picture. I think about how, unlike the rest of us, your face will never know the wrinkles of time. You will never age past this photo of you laughing. I wonder what you were laughing about. I wonder who you would have been today.

      Would you have finally discovered your dream job? Or would you have discovered that your dreams had changed? Would you have settled back in our hometown, taking your children to the same places we went when we were kids? Or would you have refused to settle until you had traveled around the world and redefined what the meaning of “home” really is?

      You are gone now, yet still, here you are. The Internet has become a modern-day mausoleum of people who have left us. Maybe this helps us keep them alive. Maybe seeing their faces and old messages together in one place helps us remain feeling close to them, helps us believe that they are still just one click away.

      The Former Best Friend

      There are tears trickling streaming pouring out of your eyes down your face and you say how could you do this and I say I don’t know and you say I don’t believe you and I say I don’t know I don’t know and there’s salt water everywhere it’s blinding my eyes now burning them so you look warped like I’m seeing you through thick coke-bottle glass like we used to drink from when we were young carefree innocent before we got older and lines rules boundaries started to blur and everything is blurry I don’t know whose tears are whose but I do know the more we cry the further we are falling away from each other and I want to hold you I want to make it better but you are looking at me like I am a stranger now there is ringing in my ears now everything is muted now except for the sound of two hearts breaking now and that is when I know.

      We will never be the same again. There is nothing like the pain of a breakup between best friends.

      The Father Of My Gay Best Friend

      When your son first came out to me, I remember my mouth dropping open in shock the way I’d only seen in movies but never experienced. I had no idea. But it didn’t change a thing. If anything, I grew to love him more. I felt a newfound desire to protect him.

      I remember being afraid, so very afraid. He was a best friend with an even better heart, and the world can be so cruel and unyielding to that which it does not understand. Growing up is already hard. To be gay was adding an additional, more complex layer of challenges for him to navigate. I could not bear the idea of anyone harming him.

      He told me before he told you. But did you already know? Was there some part of your paternal instinct that had known all along?

      There are many people who question the validity of love between two men. They define “manly” the way Merriam-Webster does: Virile, strong; the provider. The patriarch to the stereotypical family a man creates with a woman.

      I need you to know this about your son: When he was knocked down, he stood up taller than before. When he was afraid to fail, he tried, and he tried again. When he knew he was playing against the odds, he risked it all in the name of truth and happiness anyways.

      And when I was at my absolute weakest, he lifted me up. When I lost my faith, he gave me hope again. When I did not know where to go, he led me home. He grasped my face in both hands and looked me in the eyes and said, “You are amazing. You can do this. I believe in you. I love you so much.”

      Your son embodies the strength of a man more than most men I know. Thank you for his existence. He is a gift to the world.

      The Landlord Of My Summer Beach Share House

      If only those walls could talk.

      Your house built for five would tell you how it became a home for 20. It would describe to you the ways in which a group of almost strangers formed their own little family, forging bonds of friendship with the strength of steel.

      The trails of sand embedded between the wood flooring would recall our days spent at the beach, laughing, always laughing, with the sun coaxing tawny hues from our skin and the ocean spraying its sweet salt water into our hair. Beer foam flowing from coolers and cheeseburgers flipping charring sizzling over the smell of burning charcoal.

      You would hear about love lost and love found. Secrets shared and promises broken. Personal growth. So much growth. You would understand how much every square inch of the shag carpet and every splinter from the seaside back deck meant to us. You would know how much letting us live there during those summers meant to us. One of us even wrote a book about it. It’s his story of coming out one summer, in that very house. Did you know that? Your house that was our home meant so damn much to us.

      If only those walls could talk.

      The Girl An Ex Cheated With

      There is a savage beast named Anger that lurks in the depths of the darkest parts of our souls. It silently feeds on ugliness and atrocity and betrayal; every time the heat rises within us, it grows stronger. Eventually, if we are not careful, Anger will turn into Hate.

      Anger in white hot rage hurts no one but ourselves, so I close my eyes, I take a deep breath and I pray. I call upon Love and Faith and Courage to come tell the beast to go away. I refuse to feed the hurt today.

      The New Girlfriend Of The Cheater

      Your couples photo would be just like any other if I hadn’t once been the girl on his arm. I don’t know you, but I do know that I was you once. I hope that you will not become me. No one deserves to be broken like that. But if it happens, I hope you know that you will be okay. The cracks are where the light gets in. Scars are tissues that grew back stronger than they were before.

      The Almost-Boyfriend Whose Heart I Broke

      You didn’t deserve to be an in-between. You didn’t deserve to be a maybe. You deserved to be a boyfriend. You know that, right? But you deserved to be someone else’s boyfriend. Not mine.

      I am so sorry. I wasn’t ready. And the thing about people who aren’t ready is that they need to be selfish before they can be selfless. They need to take the time to really, truly figure out who they are, what they want, where they are going—before they can share that time with another.

      You, on the other hand, were already selfless. You had the kindest heart. You knew who you were, what you wanted, where you planned to be. When you gave me your love, I accepted it because I thought I was ready. When I realized I couldn’t give my love to you, I ran because I wasn’t.

      You were perfect for someone, but I would not have been perfect for you.

      The Guy Who Ghosted Me

      Well, well, well. We meet again.

      Why is it that every time I Google something on my desktop, it later appears as a sponsored Facebook ad on my phone—yet Facebook lacks the courtesy to hide the people who have ghosted me from its seemingly intelligent list of suggested friends?

      Oh, technology. You are so smart. But you really could use a lesson in emotional intelligence.

      The Player I Couldn’t Quit

      You poured verbal kerosene deep within my kindling heart and yet after I handed you the match to strike I was somehow still surprised when my chest went up in flames.

      I wanted to be with you in the honesty of daylight, but I listened when you told me fire burns most brightly untethered in the darkness of evening air.

      I believed you because I wanted a mad kind of magic, the same way Jack Kerouac described Roman candles exploding across the sky.

      You let me because you liked knowing you could make another person burn.

      The Mother Of My Favorite Ex

      If he and I had dated longer, perhaps you would not be a suggested friend, but rather, a real friend. When I met you, I knew you were someone I would like to call a friend. After all, you raised your son, and he was my best friend. He made me want to be a better person. He made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted to do and succeed. I knew that some of the things I loved the most about him were the kind of things one only learns from a mother who loved them deeply. I knew that the way in which he loved you so deeply in return meant that he was capable of one day bestowing that same kind of love upon another woman.

      Time slowly revealed that that woman would not be me. But time will never erase the fact that you gave life to a good man. You did a more than good job. I hope that you are proud.

      The Mother Who Doesn’t Use Social Media

      Hello? You there? Hi! It’s me again. Remember how I told you at Thanksgiving that you keep rejecting my friend requests? Yes, I know it’s by accident—I’m not mad. It’s just kind of funny. After all, here you are in my queue of suggested friends as if you’re a shade below “acquaintance,” yet you’re the person I talk to more than anyone else. Maybe you secretly don’t want to know what I’m up to. If it’s any consolation, I promise it’s nothing bad.

      I know you worry a lot, but I promise I’m doing okay. I know that I’ve had my fair share of screwups, but I promise I’m still trying to do my best. I promise that even though I’m an adult now, I will forever be your little girl. Don’t let photos fool you. I still love Batman. I still want to be someone you are proud to call your own. I still want to be the kind of mother who will teach their child the kind of things only a mother can. I still want to grow up to be like you.

      Oh, and Mom? You don’t have to sign off every text with a signature. I know it’s you. I love you so much. Love, your daughter.

      The Person Who Will Be My Future

      I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. I have this recurring daydream where I’m walking up to you on the most perfectly temperate summer day, at the magic-hour moment when the sun is beginning its golden descent into dusk. You look at me as yellow rays are slanting across your eyes at just the right angle, and solar flares eclipse straight through my chest.

      When you tell me you love me, I believe you. When you tell me I am the most beautiful girl you have ever met, I know that you are describing my heart and my mind.

      We go camping under the cool New England foliage with its seamlessly transitioning leaves in shades of crimson orange gold, like I did every autumn as a child. I challenge you to a marshmallow roasting contest, carefully rotating the white cloud of sugar as methodically as possible above the glow of the burning embers. We throw our heads back in laughter as the end of my stick goes up in flames.

      On rainy Sundays, we sprawl out across the couch separately yet with our ankles intertwined. You read the news aloud to me from white grey black crackling papers, while I tell you stories from my love-worn, dog-eared books. It feels safe in this space between us. If home is where the heart is, then I need no geographically appointed location whenever I’m with you.

      One day when we talk about making a home for a family of our own, you brush your hair back from your eyes and I remember the time I first saw your face in the pixelated thumbnail of your profile photo. I remember how Facebook suggested we become friends, and we laugh at the twisted path of clicks that got us to the place where we finally clicked.

      Maybe Facebook was suggesting a stranger. Maybe Facebook was suggesting someone I had already met.

      Related

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/kirsten-j-robinson/2019/07/a-journey-through-the-past-via-my-facebook-friend-suggestions

      Sun’s out, flops out: what’s the worst movie summer ever?

      After a string of disappointments, analysts are calling 2019s summer season one of the most disastrous on record but there have been far, far worse

      This summer might have started with a bang, thanks to the Avengers finally reaching their Endgame, but its set to go out with more of a shrug, thanks to pretty much everything thats come since. Godzilla: King of Monsters; X-Men: Dark Phoenix; Men in Black: International, Shaft, The Hustle all loathed by critics and shunned by audiences. Animated sequels Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2 are far from flops but theyre both performing way below expectations. Aladdin might be a hit but its the second Disney live-action remake to have scored rotten reviews this year. Its the summer that Hollywood cant seem to figure out and its already had many calling it one of the worst on record.

      But its a precarious claim given the seasons tendency to disappoint and looking back to years prior, it looks like 2019 is far from the coldest summer on record.

      2001

      Ben
      Ben Affleck failed to charm audiences in Pearl Harbor. Photograph: Allstar/BUENA VISTA/Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar

      The rotten eggs: Pearl Harbor, The Mummy Returns, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Jurassic Park III, Planet of the Apes, Evolution, Atlantis The Lost Empire, Swordfish, Rush Hour 2

      There was so much that was wrong with 2001s crop of summer hopefuls and in so many different ways that its almost hard to know where to start. But easily the seasons biggest misjudgment was Michael Bay trying to retell the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor through the lens of someone whod seen Titanic multiple times. The disastrous romantic disaster movie did solid, if un-Cameron level, box office but was critically reviled, deservedly picking up six Razzie nominations thanks to its banal love triangle between the pretty yet pretty unengaged trio of Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale as well as a questionable grasp of history. It was the worst kind of blockbuster in that it was staggeringly useless trash that thought it was necessary art but there were no such pretensions with the other missteps of the season. When it came to sequels, no one expected much from The Mummy Returns or Rush Hour 2 but there was hope attached to Jurassic Park III, hope that soon faded when the film crash-landed onto screens cursed with a quickie script assembled just five weeks before production began. The summer also saw Tim Burton return to the summer scramble for the first time since Batman Returns with the utterly atrocious Planet of the Apes remake (his first of many shambolic event movies to come), a forgettable stumble from Ivan Reitman who failed to conjure any Ghostbusters magic in the sci-fi comedy Evolution, Disney lose to Dreamworks as Shrek received all of the acclaim and box office that their charmless Atlantis The Lost Empire lost out on and Oscar winners Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie coasting in Swordfish and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

      2009

      Angels
      Angels & Demons, starring Tom Hanks and Ayelet Zurer, was the clunky follow-up to The Da Vinci Code. Photograph: c.Sony Pics/Everett / Rex Featur

      The rotten eggs: Angels and Demons, Year One, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator: Salvation

      In the time between summers, franchise fever had changed the season for the worse with less gambles being taken yet more films being released. They werent all bad this year (JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot and the sixth Harry Potter adventure were notable exceptions) but they were mostly bad, a clunking collection of studio products, with colon-heavy titles, ringing in a new era of dull, risk-averse film-making. Critics loathed The Da Vinci Code and Transformers but audiences turned up regardless, leading to sequels for both but ones that appeared to have learned nothing from their predecessors mistakes with Angels and Demons and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen managing to be lesser follow-ups in every way imaginable. There was also an attempt to refresh the X-Men franchise, after 2006s execrable Last Stand, with prequel X-Men Origins: Wolverine which again was even worse than what came before (it would take another attempt, 2011s First Class, to get the series back on track) as well as McGs rubbishy robot reboot Terminator: Salvation, only worth remembering for star Christian Bales sweary on-set rant. Elsewhere, an unwanted new franchise was born in the shape of GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra while another descended further into the trash with Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

      2010

      Jake
      Jake Gyllenhaal realised he might not be an action hero after all in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Photograph: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP/Publicity image from film company

      The rotten eggs: Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, The A-Team, Knight and Day, Shrek Forever After, Sex and the City 2, Jonah Hex, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Last Airbender, The Sorcerers Apprentice

      Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the multiplex, 2010 drunkenly barreled into view, spewing up arguably the worst line-up summer audiences had ever endured, a crop so crappy that it made 2009s warmer months look like awards season. It was the year that saw Jake Gyllenhaal realise that he might not be an action hero after all, lost as the miscast lead of bland video game adaptation Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. On the adaptation front though, it was a masterpiece compared to the Razzie-nominated comic book mess Jonah Hex or M Night Shyamalans Razzie-winning The Last Airbender, based on an animated series, the fans of which gave the film an enthusiastic middle finger. There was also a rare stumble from Marvel with the flabby, unexciting Iron Man 2, a film that still sits at the bottom of ranked lists of their cinematic universe offerings but it was by no means the summers worst sequel, a title bestowed on Sex and the City 2, a film so aggressively, punishingly awful that it made even the most hardened fan wonder what they saw in the show in the first place. Elsewhere, Ridley Scott discovered that audiences had no interest in another Robin Hood retelling, Fox found out that there was a reason it had taken so long to bring The A-Team to the big screen, the combined star power of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz couldnt make Knight and Day seem worthwhile and another Twilight sequel was released or something.

      2017

      No
      No one cared about Tom Cruise in The Mummy, unless he had been performing death-defying stunts. Photograph: Allstar/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

      The rotten eggs: The Mummy, Baywatch, Despicable Me 3, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Dark Tower, The Emoji Movie, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Hitmans Bodyguard, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

      Anyone claiming that film fans are suffering this summer need only think back just two short years to remember a season packed with even more brazen emptiness. It was another bad summer for Tom Cruise, whose latter day box office has shown that the only thing people now want from him is to see films where he performs stunts so dangerous that he might conceivably die on screen. No one cared about The Mummy and in turn, Universals shameless attempt to start a Dark Universe of interconnected monster movies. There was similar disinterest across the board with audiences and critics showing apathy for Guy Ritchies lads on tour take on King Arthur, a dumb-but-not-in-a-fun-way reboot of Baywatch and a long-gestating adaptation of The Dark Tower, a proposed franchise-starter than was a resounding franchise-killer instead. There were also commercially successful, yet critically disliked, sequels to Transformers, Despicable Me and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as Luc Bessons wild and wildly misjudged Valerian, a film that performed so badly it led to huge staff layoffs at production company EuropaCorp.

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/27/suns-out-flops-out-whats-the-worst-movie-summer-ever