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Welcome to ‘Blade Runner’ year, now where’s my damn replicant

Charmaine Blake

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A new life awaits you, but when?

Image: warner brothers

The confetti has been swept up, the hangovers have almost faded, and there is nothing before us now but huge swathes of 2019.

Which is, as any nerd knows, the year in which the 1982 classic Blade Runner officially took place. And whatever else may happen in this likely very insane year, it’s safe to say that we have utterly failed to live up to the future we imagined back then.

Oh, sure, we created a generalized dystopian atmosphere of despair. That part was easy; we were already well on our way to crumbling infrastructure and rising inequality in the 1980s. The fact that the movie (sort of) predicted an out-of-control climate is no big whoop either; anyone working at an oil company or paying attention to scientific literature back then knew global warming was about to be a thing.

But the Ridley Scott movie, and the Philip K. Dick short story on which it was based, both anticipated major leaps and bounds in our adventurousness and our technological prowess that compensated for the gloom.

Here was a future where most people have departed years ago for “off-world colonies.” Hence the giant blimp seen advertising a new life in them to the remaining residents of grimy Los Angeles. Not only that, but we had created lifelike artificial intelligence in the form of replicants to help build those colonies. True, that part didn’t work out too well, at least not for the victims of six dying rogue replicants who fled back to Earth. But still, pretty impressive tech there, Mr. Tyrell!

On the one hand, it’s something of a relief that we are not as smart as we liked to think. Best not to have malfunctioning robots running amuck, giving poignant yet snooty speeches about all the things they’ve seen that we wouldn’t believe. On the other hand, it would be kind of nice if somebody would go far off-world and see things so they could come back and brag like a hipster about it.

Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty: replicant, hipster, dove-lover

Image: sunset boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Rutger Hauer, who wrote that space fantasy death monologue himself, has never explained how attack ships off the shoulder of Orion could actually catch fire in the vacuum of space. (Maybe that’s why we wouldn’t believe it.) Nevertheless, I say we build attack ships, send them to Orion, and test his hypothesis! (Spoiler alert: We won’t be visiting Orion………………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/blade-runner-2019/

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Someone recut the ‘Bird Box’ trailer using scenes from ‘The Office’ and it’s too perfect

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“Think The Office is all laughs and lighthearted pranks? Guess again. Drew Boatner proved the beloved NBC comedy can be creepy as hell.

Turns out with a few recuts The Office works perfectly as a Bird Box trailer. Meredith getting hit by a car, Dwight’s fire drill, and Andy punching a hole in the wall can come across as very dark with the right sound effects.

The show also got the Quiet Place treatment back in 2018, which I’m sure made John Krasinski very proud. So maybe instead of a revival fans will entertain the possibility of a Dunder Mifflin horror movie.

There was a once a Scranton Strangler, after all. Who’s to say he can’t strike again?”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/the-office-bird-box-trailer/

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Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ finds the humanity in awkward teen sex

Charmaine Blake

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‘Sex Education’ is all about the dirty, awkward underbelly of sexuality

Image: Jon Hall/Netflix

“The horrors of teen sex are a universal experience. And Sex Education feels like the extended therapy session we needed to work through all that buried, mortifying trauma.

At first, you might be quick to put the new Netflix series in the same category as other racy teen British shows like The Inbetweeners, Skins, or even Misfits. But while Sex Education mines in a similar brazen youthfulness, it strikes closer to home with a realism more akin to Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade.

Otis starts off as your average, introverted, loser high school “everyboy.” A virgin who’s paralyzingly uncomfortable with his own sexuality, his phobias run counter to the openness of his sex therapist mother, played perfectly by Gillian Flynn. But Otis experiences a spike in relevancy when popular bad girl Maeve capitalizes on his untapped skills as a psychologist’s son and turns him into the school’s sex guru.

But that stereotype-laden summary fails to communicate how Sex Education brilliantly subverts the assumptions made through labels like jock, mean girl, dunce, weirdo, therapist, popular, loser, gay, lesbian, slut (or slag), and virgin.

Boy meets bad girl

Image: Jon Hall/Netflix

Each character’s journey, whether a main plot or side story, is an amalgamation of quietly unexpected revelations. Sex Education knows which trope you expect to play out, and instead delivers a story about real people and the complex mess of contradictions that we are.

Sex Education knows which trope you expect to play out, and instead delivers a story about real people and the complex mess of contradictions that we are.

This largely traces back to how it uses physical intimacy as a way to explore rather than exploit its characters. Despite its title, the sex scenes are decidedly unsexy. The most graphic, like the opening scene with a guy faking an orgasm, are cringe-inducing fiascos of mundane reliability. In another, a lesbian couple tries frantically to……………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/sex-education-review-netflix/

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2018 was a fantastic year for horror movies

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Please call her “Jesus Lee Curtis.”

Image: bob al-greene / mashable

“If you despise slasher films, hate any scene that’ll make you toss your popcorn, and flee spooky previews let alone full-length fright fests, then here’s something really terrifying: Hollywood’s horror industry is coming for you.

Whether you’ve heard it called a resurgence, a renaissance, or (ugh) scary movies “getting good,” anyone within spitting distance of a box office knows something is up with the horror genre. In the past few years, a storm of scary films with big name stars and high art aspirations has swept over theaters with support from major studios, awards committees, and mainstream audiences.

From Halloween’s victorious (and lucrative) return to a batch of original nightmares we didn’t know we needed, here’s how 2018 made the elusive, modern-day horror renaissance 100% official.

Looking back on horror history

Let’s set one thing straight right now. Horror did not—I repeat did not—“get good” in 2018. Horror has always been good, but many people are just now getting to the party. (If that’s you, totally cool. Hope you brought chips.)

In very broad strokes, horror, maybe more than any other genre, has tracked our societal anxieties like a culturally keyed in Freddy Krueger. From George Albert Smith’s 1897 short The X-Ray Fiend, depicting the unsettling abilities of then newly-invented technology, all the way to Jordan Peele’s take on racial tension in 2017’s Get Out, year after year we have seen the horror industry bottle our most prominent fears for cinematic success.

Of course, 2018 audiences think contemporary horror is the best—it’s what they’re living. But more than being topical, 2018’s horror lineup has been special because of the innovative, nuanced approaches we have seen creators take towards universal fears………………………………………………………..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/horror-movies-2018/

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