on the basis of sex review

There’s a scene in almost every teen TV drama where the teacher describes the theme of the episode that will come to pass over the next 45 minutes. The majority of On the Basis of Sex is like that.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic stars Felicity Jones as the trailblazing lawyer who later becomes one of our foremost Supreme Court justices and only the second female Supreme Court justice in history. But On the Basis of Sex focuses on Ginsburg’s first landmark case that launched her career as the premiere advocate against gender discrimination. Which would be fine if that were actually the case. Instead, the first half-hour of the film plays like a checklist of Ginsburg’s early life, peppered with winking moments to the time period’s retrograde perspective on women. Ruth enters Harvard and shoots to the top of her class: Check. Ruth balances raising a child and caring for a cancer-stricken husband (Armie Hammer) with her studies: Check. Ruth literally does everything her husband Martin does, backwards and in heels, and still gets denied a career as a lawyer: Check.

All throughout her struggles, Ruth maintains her noble disposition and perfectly coiffed hair, simply raising her chin at the injustices with the implied knowledge that she is destined for greater things. For the first half-hour of the film, On the Basis of Sex is too caught up in its label as an important film, breathlessly recounting the life story of an icon of female empowerment while a soaring score briskly carries the story along and fills in its gaps. But if you skip that first half-hour, you may find a powerful and affecting film.

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american horror story season 8

American Horror Story season 8 is unleashing Apocalypse, and not a moment too soon! The upcoming season of Ryan Murphy‘s frequently over-the-top horror show how has a title: American Horror Story: Apocalypse. It also has some appropriately creepy artwork, which you can see below.

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Jessica Chastain Xavier Dolan Movie

Don’t expect to see Jessica Chastain in Xavier Dolan‘s new movie. Donlan’s upcoming film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan has a phenomenal cast, but Jessica Chastain is no longer among them. Dolan recently revealed that after much deliberation, he’s has cut Chastain and her character out of the film.

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Disjointed season 2 trailer

Netflix has so many shows now that it’s hard to keep track of them. For instance: were you aware of the series Disjointed, featuring Kathy Bates and a whole lot of 420 jokes? It’s a real show, and it’s coming back for a second season! The Disjointed season 2 trailer has arrived to signal the series’ return, with all the broad humor you can stand.

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Blu-ray releases 1128

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to what’s new on Blu-ray and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

Before we kick November to the curb, there’s a slew of great Blu-rays you might want to snap up for your viewing pleasure. As always, we encourage you to remember that while there’s plenty of digital media out there, physical media is still an essential part of a balanced entertainment diet. You can’t beat something tangible, folks. Or maybe you can. But I’m going to hold onto this stubborn belief as long as humanly possible!

This week’s Blu-ray roundup features Kathy Bates breaking a leg (or two), a killer Santa Claus, Kirsten Dunst getting high, a goofy yet inventive space adventure, the best performance of Robert Pattinson’s career, and Jeff Goldblum doing his Jeff Goldblum thing. Here are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

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Disjointed teaser

To celebrate 4/20, Netflix announced the premiere date of Disjointed, a “half-baked” drama starring Kathy Bates as the proud owner of a cannabis dispensary. Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and the former head writer of The Daily Show, David Javerbaum, co-created the series, which is available to stream starting this August.

Below, watch a Disjointed teaser.

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feud teaser

Hitmaker and storyteller Ryan Murphy‘s next series, Feud: Betty and Joan, stars Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford. The two iconic actresses worked together on What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and feuded famously for years. The series, which premieres in March, shows their relationship during the making of the 1962 film.

Below, watch the Feud teaser.

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Bad Santa 2 Trailer

Just earlier this week a new red band trailer for the long-anticipated Bad Santa 2 arrived, and before that another raunchy trailer showed us the vulgarity in store for us from Billy Bob Thornton‘s return to the red suit. But for those who can’t watch those kind of trailers at work, or will be waiting for this movie to his basic cable, a new Bad Santa 2 green band trailer teases the comedy without any of the fun, naughty language or sexual content. But believe it or not, even without the R-rated details, it’s still a pretty funny trailer.

Watch the new Bad Santa 2 trailer after the jump. Read More »

Bad Santa 2 trailer

The original Bad Santa did such a great job of balancing salty, sour, bitter, and sweet that it almost looked easy. But with the arrival of Bad Santa 2 this fall, we may get a better look at just how difficult it can be to pull off that trick.

There’s some key talent returning in front of the camera. Billy Bob Thornton returns to star as safecracker / mall Santa Willie Soke, along with Tony Cox as Willie’s partner in crime Marcus and Brett Kelly as Willie’s young friend Thurman Merman. Behind the camera, though, there are some major changes. Mark Waters steps up to the plate as director this time around, replacing Terry Zwigoff who helmed the first film, while Shauna Cross and Johnny Rosenthal step in for Glenn Ficarra and John Requa as screenwriters.

Can they replicate the foul-mouthed hilarity and surprising tenderness of the first film? Watch the NSFW Bad Santa 2 trailer below and judge for yourself.  Read More »

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Bad Santa 2

Since 2003, Bad Santa has become a sort of holiday classic for people who don’t like holiday classics. This pitch-black comedy is everything Christmas movies aren’t supposed to be — crass and mean and completely twisted — which makes it all the more admirable that it manages to be kinda sweet as well. It’s a tricky balance, but one director Terry Zwigoff and writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa pull off with aplomb.

So what happens when someone tries to recapture that magic 13 years later, without the writers or director who made it work the first time? Well, we’ll find out in just a few months. This fall’s Bad Santa 2 brings back Billy Bob Thornton as self-loathing screwup Willie Soke, along with Tony Cox as his erstwhile partner and Brett Kelly as his young friend. But the director this time is Mark Waters, of Mean Girls fame, and the script comes from Shauna CrossDoug EllinJohnny Rosenthal, and John Phillips. Take a peek at the NSFW Bad Santa 2 trailer below.

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