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There Are Lots Of Different Reasons Captain Marvel Is Set In The Past

One of the more interesting things about Captain Marvel is its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the MCU has told a mostly chronological story since the debut of Iron Man, the next film in the franchise will drop back in time a couple of decades to the 1990s. It turns out, there actually a lot of different reasons why this decision makes sense. First and foremost, it takes the MCU back to a point when it’s not full of heroes, which will give Brie Larson‘s Captain Marvel the space to shine on her own. According to producer Jonathan Schwartz…

The Marvel Universe has expanded quite a bit on film in 10 years, and there’re now more heroes and villains than we know what to do with. There’s more than one reason to not make Captain Marvel just another face in the crowd as Jonathan Schwartz tells Entertainment Weekly Marvel wanted to do. Being the first female hero to headline her own Marvel movie, it’s nice to be able to give her some space to see what she can do. In addition, the story of the MCU is putting a lot of weight on her to come in and save the day in Avengers 4, which makes her important, another reason to give her separation from the rest.

Of course, that’s not the only reason that we’ve been given as to why setting the movie in the 1990s is important. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige had previously stated an interest in looking at the MCU at a point when nobody, not even Nick Fury, knew that superpowered individuals existed.

Kevin Feige also gave yet another reason for setting the film in the 1990s. It seems that, in addition to taking place there, Captain Marvel will also be something of a throwback when it comes to the film’s action. Marvel seemingly wanted to do something a little different when it came to the storytelling, and by making a movie in the 90s, the studio had an excuse to make a 90s action movie. According to Feige…

While setting Captain Marvel so early in the MCU timeline seemed like an odd choice at the beginning, it’s clear that Marvel has really thought this through and had many reasons for doing so. We’ll see them all plan out when Captain Marvel hits theaters next year.

Warner Bros. Is Absolutely Dominating At The Box Office Right Now

You know, we’ve talked a lot in the last year about Disney/Buena Vista movies dominating at the box office. The studio has had some big grossers in 2018, mostly of the Marvel variety, but also thanks to flicks like Incredibles 2. However, while Disney may have dominated early in the year, right now another studio is taking the cake. Warner Bros. is having a wonderful late summer and is totally dominating at the box office right now thanks to three late-in-the-year wins.

If you’ve been to the movies lately, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a Warner Bros. release. Right now, Warner Bros. has three huge movies in theaters: The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians and this weekend’s big release The Nun. If you’ve been paying attention to the box office numbers of late, you may already know that The Nun overperformed this weekend, bringing a record $53.5 million in during opening weekend (on only a $22 million budget, to boot.) Thanks to those hefty numbers, the movie landed the number 1 slot at the box office. It’s competitors just so happened to be other Warner Bros. films.

In previous weeks, both The Meg and Crazy Rich Asians have been big box office winners as well, with one Warner Bros. movie taking over for another in that first place slot as the weeks wear on and the season begins to change. The Meg won its opening weekend back in August, also blowing estimations out of the water. The following weekend, Crazy Rich Asians hit theaters, just edging out The Meg in the numbers. For three weeks, Crazy Rich Asians led the pack and then this weekend The Nun came out to higher numbers than expected, soundly whupping the book adaptations that came before it. It should be noted that while Peppermint jumped into the #3 slot in terms of box office numbers this weekend, the rest of the top 4 movies were still the aforementioned Warner Bros. titles.

If you’ve been paying to attention to the number of weeks I just listed, this weekend actually is the fifth weekend in a row that a Warner Bros. film has been in first place, at least where domestic numbers are concerned. (The Meg has done considerably better than Crazy Rich Asians worldwide, for example.) Fox News mentions it’s also the first time a studio has held the top domestic movie slots in nearly three decades. Way back in 1989, Universal Pictures had Parenthood, Uncle Buck and Sea of Love out all at once.

There are times during the year that are primed for moviegoers, which is why we often get tentpole movies midsummer and family and awards releases around the holidays. However, in recent years, studios have looked for other spaces in the schedule to try to make movie work. Disney and Marvel have experimented with late winter releases, with Black Panther hitting theaters and totally dominating in February of this year. For Warner Bros. late summer has worked out this year, despite Warner Bros.’ Jeffrey Goldstein revealing the studio landed “a fair amount of criticism” for holding all of its big movies until late summer.

Currently, Disney still leads the cumulative box office, with Universal in second place, but Warner Bros. is definitely on a hot streak and the studio still has quite a few hotly anticipated movies hitting the schedule in 2018. This includes the likes of A Star is Born, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aquaman. You can look into those with our full movie premiere schedule.

Black Actors Won All Four Guest Star Emmy Awards for the First Time

The 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony won’t be happening for another week, but four actors have already made history. They are Tiffany Haddish, Ron Cephas Jones, Samira Wiley, and Katt Williams, who swept the four guest actor categories during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday. In addition to this being all four actors’ first Emmy wins, according to CNN, this marks the first time all four awards have been won by black actors.

The best guest actor and actress in a comedy series awards went to Katt Williams for his role as Uncle Willie in Atlanta and Tiffany Haddish for her Saturday Night Live episode last November, respectively, according to Complex. Meanwhile, the corresponding drama awards went to Samira Wiley for her performance as Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale and Ron Cephas Jones as William in This Is Us, according to Deadline.

“I’d like to thank my higher power because without her I wouldn’t be here,” Wiley said during her acceptance speech, according to Deadline. She also thanked her wife, Lauren Morelli, who “every day shows me what real passion is for your work and every hour gives me a reason to bring it,” and gave a shout-out to costar Elisabeth Moss, a.k.a. “the most amazing scene partner a girl could ask for.”

Meanwhile, Cephas Jones thanked his daughter, agent, and This Is Us cast in his acceptance speech, as well as This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman “for giving me the opportunity and being in the room where it happens,” per Deadline. “God bless my mother,” he added. “I know you’re looking down on me.” According to Deadline, backstage, he talked about researching the works of August Wilson and James Baldwin to inspire his performance as William, whom he described as a “flawed man with a checkered past.” “It would have been difficult,” he said when asked if a character like William could have existed “years ago,” according to Deadline. “We are moving forward and moving ahead.”

According to Deadline, neither Haddish nor Williams were present to pick up their awards.

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Meryl Streep’s Facial Reactions at the U.S. Open Have Spawned the Best Memes

Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning face has just created a whole new batch of memes. After becoming immortalized in the hallowed halls of meme history for cheering on Debbie Reynolds at the 2015 SAG Awards (a moment she recreated at the 2018 Oscars), not to mention the countless Miranda Priestly GIFs that rule Twitter with an impeccably-manicured fist, the iconic actress has once again spawned another meme—this time from the U.S. Open.

According to Time, it all went down during the men’s final on Sunday between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martín del Potro. The cameras zoomed in on Streep’s face during their super-intense match, and the results are absolutely priceless. ESPN and SB Nation described it best: Gasping with the suspense of it all, hands pressed against her cheeks, she was pretty much the IRL embodiment of the scream emoji (😱). Naturally, the Internet couldn’t get enough, and it pretty much took over Twitter for the duration of the match. (According to HuffPost, Streep soon became aware of herself becoming a meme in real time, and cracked open a cold one just for the cameras.)

Celebrities Attend The 2018 US Open Tennis Championships - Day 14

PHOTO: Getty Images

Below, here are some of the best memes created from Streep’s reactions:

Remarkably, this isn’t the only Streep meme from this year, or even over the past month. Back in August, a picture from the Big Little Lies season two set took the internet by storm. Truly a work of art, it features Reese Witherspoon (in character as Madeline Martha Mackenzie) tossing a massive ice cream cone at Streep (who’s playing Perry’s mother). Oh, Meryl. Never stop.

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Here Are All the Details on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s First Royal Tour

In just over a month, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will embark on their very first royal tour together, and now we have all the exact dates and stops on their trip. Kensington Palace announced the details early Monday morning with a set of tweets and a post on the royal family’s official website, revealing that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting Australia, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and New Zealand from October 16 to October 31.

“The programme across these four Commonwealth countries will focus on youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts – including the dedication of several new Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy projects – and the recovery and rehabilitation of servicemen and women through the Invictus Games Sydney 2018,” the post reads.

Based on the itinerary, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will start in Sydney, Australia, where they’ll reportedly stay in a super fancy, Infinity pool-and-wine-cellar-stocked mega-mansion called the Villa del Mare four days before the start of the Invictus Games, which opens October 20. From there, they’ll hit Fraser Island in Australia, before leaving for Suva, Fiji. Then, on October 25, they’ll visit Nadi, Fiji and Nuku’alofa, Tonga, before visiting Sydney again on the 26th after concluding the Tongan leg of their tour. They’ll wrap things up in New Zealand, with stops in Wellington, Abel Tasman, Auckland, and Rotorua.

According to Kensington Palace, more details will be announced in “due course.”

The full dates and stops are below.

Tuesday 16th October: Sydney, Australia

Wednesday 17th October: Dubbo, Australia

Thursday 18th October: Melbourne, Australia

Friday 19th October: Sydney, Australia

Saturday 20th October: Sydney, Australia

Sunday 21st October: Sydney, Australia

Monday 22nd October: Fraser Island, Australia

Tuesday 23rd October: Suva, Fiji

Wednesday 24th October: Suva, Fiji

Thursday 25th October: Nadi, Fiji and Nuku’alofa, Tonga

Friday 26th October: Nuku’alofa, Tonga and Sydney, Australia

Saturday 27th October: Sydney, Australia

Sunday 28th October: Wellington, New Zealand

Monday 29th October: Wellington and Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Tuesday 30th October: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday 31st October: Rotorua, New Zealand

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At the U.S. Open, Serena Williams Demanded the Apology All Black Women Deserve

When Naomi Osaka was in the third grade, she chose the subject of her class report carefully, settling on her idol before coloring her paper. It was Serena Williams, already a powerful force in the tennis world, already the type of athlete Osaka dreamed of being. And on Saturday, the world watched as the young woman finally faced off with Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open Finals. It was a full-circle moment—when Osaka was just a toddler, Williams was taking home her first Grand Slam title in 1999.

More than being a special moment between two women who love the game, it was also a rare show of diversity in the exclusive, male-dominated world of tennis. The world would watch a young Japanese-Haitian-American woman take on a black woman from Compton who rose up the ranks to be one of the sport’s fiercest competitors. It is what dreams are made of; the moments that fill women of color with pride because we know just how unique and improbable they can be.

Instead, what we witnessed were the insidious prongs of sexism and racism: How the world often doles out injustice and insult on women of color, expecting them to accept it gracefully, and when they don’t, chastise them for the rage they instigated.

That’s exactly what happened. Osaka’s win was overshadowed with guilt and anger after Williams was given a controversial series of game code violations. First, a warning because chair umpire Carlos Ramos believed coach Patrick Mouratoglou was in violation of secretly coaching Williams. As an athlete who has never called for on-court coaching or used dishonest measures to win, Williams took offense. “I don’t cheat to win,” she told Ramos. “I’d rather lose.” Understandably angry that her character and integrity had been called into question, Williams received a point penalty for smashing her racket. The game penalty came as a result of Williams calling Ramos “a thief” for the point penalty. (As watchers of the sport have pointed out, this was much less than what men of the sport have shouted out from the court). Sure, tensions were high. Here was Williams, after coming back to the game ranked lower, having literally fought for her life post-childbirth, being accused of cheating. What came next wasn’t a meltdown. It wasn’t “un-serene.” It was simply what anyone being unfairly accused would do.

“You owe me an apology,” she repeated, her finger pointed at the man who ruined both Williams’ comeback and Osaka’s introduction to the U.S. Open. And he did. Ramos exerted his power in an otherwise straight-forward match because he could. And when he couldn’t get his way…when he couldn’t take the heat Williams was giving him, he took the game (and Osaka’s win) away.

The fragility of the male ego does not have room for any woman—much less a Black woman—demanding an apology. Nevertheless, Williams persisted in her pursuit of one. She is tired, and rightfully so. From the moment the world was introduced to Serena Williams the tennis star, her existence on the court has been met with the disapproval that only racism and sexism can allow. Refusing to abandon her beaded hair style, Williams didn’t conform to the right kind of black girl for tennis. As she continued to dominate the sport, she has been subjected to unwarranted drug testing. Her body remains the subject of scrutiny, so much so that officials changed dress code policies around her, despite Williams’ health concerns that warrant specific attire. And what could only be viewed as the peak of sexism, Williams returned to the game only to be ranked lower due to childbirth.

2018 US Open - Day 13

PHOTO: Michael Owens

Every attempt is made to discredit her success and minimize her legacy. For years, it seemed that tennis wanted Williams to simply be grateful for her space in the room. How dare she demand to be treated equally? After all, she gets to play and, for someone like her, that should be enough.

Black women knew why Serena was angry. We know all too well what it means for someone else’s [perceived] errors to be made our own. We know what it is like for our passionate responses to be read as antagonistic. Even U.S. Open commentators defended and chastised her at the same time, suggesting her tone was inappropriate and that the umpire should have reprimanded her “like a child” to get her to calm down. If Williams, a black woman of considerable wealth and status, experiences this without reprieve, those with fewer resources are left completely unprotected. When she told the umpire, “you owe me an apology,” it was for all of us.

Black women deserve apologies for every time our self-advocacy was viewed as threatening and antagonistic. We deserve apologies for all the times we expressed ourselves and were told we could have said it differently. We deserve apologies when we were not believed and the worst was assumed of us. We deserve apologies for consistently telling this country what was in its political best interest and being ignored. Black women are owed apologies for our daily navigation of spaces that require us to be anxiously preoccupied with how our actions could be viewed by others.

US Open Tennis Tournament 2018

PHOTO: Tim Clayton – Corbis

Serena Williams comforts Naomi Osaka after the 20 year old’s U.S. Open win.

Apologies matter. They signal that the offender recognizes their actions were wrong and caused harm. Yet, an apology isn’t the final step. Corrective and restorative actions must be taken. The match may be over, but tennis must reckon with the deeply sexist and racist politics that were at play. Williams deserves better treatment all around and she’s demanding it.

In her post match interview, Williams said “I’m here, fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff … Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.” And the fight is a necessary. We saw this no more clearly than when Naomi Osaka tearfully apologized for winning. Girls and women of color are taught to apologize for the space they take up in this world. They are to be invisible and, when they are noticed, it is their fault. But the apology wasn’t on Osaka to deliver. Systems that believe women of color cannot be victims are the only guilty parties.

Though it will not erase what was stolen from them in this moment (and how Williams, like so many black women before her, was made fixer of the moment when she publicly celebrated a tearful Osaka post-match), I hope these two professionals get another chance to face each other on the court. And I hope the moment is beyond what Naomi thought possible in the third grade, a moment in which tennis recognizes what an honor it is that Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka choose to play this game, when they could have taken their magic anywhere else.

As Gillian B. White writes for The Atlantic: “Being the best may not be enough to take home the Grand Slam trophy, but Williams is winning at something much more consequential.” For challenging the status quo in that way, Williams will always be a winner in the eyes of women of color, who too are owed apologies from society.

We’re waiting.


Candice Benbow is a writer and the creator of The Lemonade Syllabus, whose work focuses on faith, feminism and pop culture.

Childish Gambino Pays Tribute To Mac Miller At His Live Show: ‘He Just Loved Music’

Mac Miller’s untimely death at 26 last week has ushered in a torrent of support, love, and memorializing from his peers in the music world and beyond. Notable moments came from his ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande, who posted a striking photo of Mac over the weekend, as well as fellow rappers like Chance, Kyle, Wiz Khalifa, Post Malone, and more.

At a tour stop in Chicago, as The Fader points out, Childish Gambino offered his take on Miller’s death as well, pausing the show for a heartfelt musing on how the two complemented each other through the years. As the fan-captured video below shows, Gambino began with a simple declaration: “I’m a very sensitive person… but this Mac Miller shit got me fucked up.”

“He was so nice. Y’all don’t know, like, he was the sweetest guy,” he continued. “A lot of critics were like, ‘Yo, this corny-ass white dude,’ just like they’re like, ‘Yo, this corny-ass black dude.’ And we used to talk, and this kid, he just loved music.

“We should be allowed to be sad about that. Like, my heart was broken. And I feel good about being sad because it tells me that he was special, that I had a special moment.”

Gambino used Miller’s rise, which was concurrent with his own, as a reminder that people don’t have to be beholden to the narratives and expectations and definitions that other people place on them. “We’re all way too complex to be a narrative,” he concluded, before telling Miller he loves him and dedicating his song “Riot” to him.

Check out Gambino’s sweet tribute in the clip above.

In ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls,’ a Key Player Pipes Up

One of the stars of Universal’s fantasy movie “The House With a Clock in Its Walls,” coming out on Sept. 20, has a storied Hollywood history. The veteran performer has played a role in such films as “Empire of the Sun,” “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” “The Sound of Music,” 1959’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “The Abyss” and “Die Hard.”

It is a Wurlitzer Opus 1967 pipe organ, whose commanding tones run through the new movie’s soundtrack.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review

While reboots of established franchises are fairly common these days in the arenas of movies and television, the world of video games hasn’t seen them as much. However, the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider series has to be viewed as a completely successful attempt at doing just that. The game gave Lara Croft all the benefits of modern console hardware, but took the character back to the beginning, showing a young woman who gets in over her head and has to find the necessary strength to survive. Lara’s origin story actually required a full trilogy to tell completely, and that story has now come to an end with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. A fitting, and fun, if an uninventive end to the story.

The previous game in the story brought Lara the revelation that her father had not committed suicide as she had believed, but had instead died at the hands of an organization called Trinity, which she herself ran afoul of in that story. Shadow of the Tomb Raider starts with Lara and her friend Jonah in a race against Trinity for another powerful ancient artifact, this time in South America. Lara doesn’t know much about what she’s after, beyond the fact that if Trinity wants it, it must be bad news, but in getting there first Lara inadvertently sets off a series of cataclysmal events which can only be stopped via the use of another ancient artifact, so it’s off to the races once again, to locate the lost city where the object was last seen, and fix the problem she started.

While the Lara Croft of the first Tomb Raider game had to learn how to overcome her circumstances, the one in the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, having succeeded previously, thought she was a superhero. We see Lara start in that place in Shadow, but she quickly is forced to swallow her pride after making a big mistake. At least, that the story the game wants to tell in the cutscenes. The gameplay itself is mostly still Lara as superhero, taking down bad guys from the shadows like a jungle-based Batman. It feels like there’s a bit of a disconnect between the story the game wants to tell and the one the gameplay actually tells.

If you’ve played either of the previous games in this version of Tomb Raider, most things will be familiar to you. Lara has a collection of standard weapons and other items at her disposal, the classic character’s twin pistols being replaced with a bow and arrow as the basic weapon of choice. Each weapon is upgradeable, as is Lara herself. The skill tree is divided into three sections. Warrior aids you in combat, Seeker aids you in collecting and using natural resources while Scavenger aids in the man-made resources that can be used to upgrade your items and create your outfits.

Yes, I said outfits. One of the new mechanics in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the addition of different clothing that offers different bonuses for Lara. Tops and bottoms can be mixed and matched in order to give your Lara the combination of bonuses that works for your gameplay style. The other major new mechanic is an herb crafting ability that allows Lara to heal as well as gain other capabilities, though I have to say I didn’t use them much.

One nice change is that your play style can be a bit more variable in Shadow of the Tomb Raider than it was in the previous titles. While the two earlier games were heavy in the combat, Shadow is a bit more of an even split between the three pillars of combat, puzzles, and traversal (platforming) to the point that each pillar has its own difficulty setting. This is a fantastic new addition to the game’s accessibility that will help anybody play the game they want to play. If you love the combat you can amp up the difficulty while dropping down the difficulty of the puzzles so they don’t get in your way. Up the traversal difficulty and the game won’t tell you where to go, drop it down and the path forward is obvious.

If you’re a fan of puzzles, there are plenty. Numerous tombs and crypts litter the map to be found and explored. each one rewards the player with new abilities and items, making them worth finding. Odds are you won’t find them, or all the various collectibles, on the first play through, giving you a reason to return to the game after completing the story.

One of the things the new Tomb Raider games have done better than almost all action games in recent years is create beautiful set pieces. There are sequences in the games that feel like they could be part of your favorite action movie, the recent Tomb Raider film even borrowed one from the 2013 game. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is no exception. Parts of the game are absolutely exhilarating to play through. While the final boss battle left a little something to be desired, the sequence that gets you to the fight makes up for it in a big way.

Once you’ve completed the game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider provides a new game plus option, a first for the series, so if you had enough fun, you can go back. If you enjoyed the two previous games in the series, you almost certainly will want to play through again, as it’s unclear that this particular story will continue now that the origin story has come to a conclusion.

The biggest “problem” with Shadow of the Tomb Raider is that, even with the new mechanics and the new setting, it still feels, ultimately, a lot like the previous games in the series. That’s not a bad thing, as the previous games have been good, but because of that my expectations for Shadow of the Tomb Raider were high, and I feel like it came up a bit short in that department. Of course, I also just wanted a new, fun, Tomb Raider game, and I certainly got that.

This review was completed with an Xbox One version of the game provided by the publisher.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
4.0/5

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Miss Michigan Called Out the Flint Water Crisis During the Miss America Pageant

Last night, Nia Franklin of New York was crowned the latest Miss America, but it is Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma, who is making headlines thanks to her short introduction during the broadcast.

Instead of using the moment to highlight her achievements or qualifications—she graduated with a degree in women’s studies and works to support survivors of sexual violence—Sioma instead chose to call attention to the continuing water crisis in Flint, MI. “From the state with 84% of the United States’ fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma,” she said.

The city’s water problems have been ongoing since 2014 when it was found that the water in the city’s pipes was contaminated with high levels of lead and other toxins.

Social media users were quick to praise Sioma for her bold move with one writing this was “clearly not your mother’s Miss America pageant.”

Another said, “Been rolling my eyes all weekend that Miss America is still a thing but MISS MICHIGAN FOR PRESIDENT.”

This is surely the type of positive attention that the Miss America organization is looking for as it continues to rebrand and attempts to focus more on the intellect of its contestants. Back in June, board of trustees chairwoman Gretchen Carlson announced that the pageant would no longer include its famous swimsuit competition. “We are no longer a pageant,” Carlson told Good Morning America at the time. “We are a competition. We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge.”

“Who doesn’t want to be empowered, learn leadership skills, and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul,” she continued. “That’s what we’re judging them on now.”

While Sioma didn’t even make the final 15 in the competition, her message was most definitely heard.