Guardian.UK: Raising eyebrows – how evolution gave us expressive faces.

I suppose this is one of the bigger annoyances with modern television and movies. Actresses (mostly; men now do Botox too) who cannot raise an eyebrow. They look blank during crises. They look blank during emotional distress. They look blank when they are bored.

Arm flapping and shrieking doesn't really add anything to entertainment value. IMHO.

Go back about a dozen years, and observe foreheads. I'm serious - take the time. You'll be astonished. Try to imagine Mommy Dearest with Botox. Just try.

NY Review of Books: The Question of Hamlet.

It’s hard to think of another work whose interpretations so uncannily identify what the play calls the “form and pressure” of “the time.”

Related to this, another link: Atlantic, How Roseanne Divides the Left. Do you not remember the "Dukes of Hazzard", "Carter Country", etc.? Television shows throw us programming in what they decide is the flavor of our culture, as channelled through the stereotyped personality of our Presidents. Some have pointed to things like Trip Tucker's resemblance ["Star Trek: Enterprise"] and accent to George W. Bush.

Thinking about the re-release of "2001: A Space Odyssey" ...

You know, after watching that film (I was around nine years old), I had a hunger for more space films. But what I received, barring Silent Running, was space westerns. Gun/laserfights. Battles. When what I wanted was more about the great silent mystery of space, the beauty, the immensity.

The only visual that's come close to what I wanted then, is that shot from Guardians of the Galaxy where the Milano enters the giant alien construct in space.

I could watch that scene on repeat for hours. I think we all missed a cue, y'know?

Watched 'Wind River' last night.

Had a hard time understanding Jeremy Renner sometimes, even with the sound turned up - he has a similar issue to mine, a lower timbre that sort of dissolves into a baritone/bass garble if not mic'd to perfection. Powerful film, well-paced. Perhaps a little too much snowmobiling. The final screens, right when you think you can relax, kick you solidly in the chin. You walk away thinking, and that's what a good film should do. Recommended.

Jalopnik: Smokey And The Bandit Will Change Your Life.

Writer's too young to know the synchronicity with the election of Jimmy Carter, and the enshrining of all things 'country' for a few years. Remember "Carter Country"? A little while later, the US grew disillusioned with their hayseed populist. I think it was the bare feet on the White House conference table. Carter straightened up and became more formal. There was even a feint at an FDR 'fireside chat', complete with cardigan, if my memory serves.

New Yorker: The Chaste Optimism of “Love, Simon”.

... surely teen-aged viewers, who otherwise lose themselves in queer fan-fictions on Tumblr, who march on the street for their rights, could have handled a bolder artwork, one that captured something of gay love rather than making a statement about the straight acceptance of it?

Okay, hold on a second. Have you looked at this stuff on Tumblr? I've had the teeth practically shocked right out of my mouth. Sure, teens can handle more. But can the rest of America, is the question. The producers went *safe*. And I can't really blame them. This is more of a test, on their part. Pushing at the boundaries, see if they get poked back.

Youtube: Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War - Official Trailer.

Second trailer is out. The Russo brothers, if past trailers are any indication, throw chronological continuity out the window in trailers and love leading us to conclusions that are ultimately false. This trailer hints heavily at Thor, Strange, Stark and Rogers meeting ends here; which to me indicates the truth is not this. It's human nature to try to construct meaning out of such things. In this case, don't. Wait for the movie. And simply enjoy the spectacle.

[Day later: Okay, okay. I'll succumb to human nature. I keep hoping that instead of killing Cap, Thanos sends him back in time. Cap marries Peg, and lives out a normal life in his original time. Of course, another time-rip could bring him back at any point; and that IS the point. Problem with this theory - Thanos hasn't got the Time stone in his gauntlet yet. So I suspect, with the Power stone, he'll take Cap's supersoldier serum benefits, leaving him 'normal'. He'll leave in the next film, Avengers 4. But that's a guess, just like any other.]

NY Times Review: ‘Tomb Raider’ and the Perils of Blockbustering.

... she often seems to be trying too hard; at times you can almost see her thinking about the marks she needs to hit. You see the strain, not the play.

I had my doubts about the casting after the first trailer. (Previously.)

Later: Given all the noise online, I felt I should clarify. This critique has nothing whatsoever to do with boobs; it's about casting Lara Croft with a young lady who looks like someone's kid sister. Like casting a young Ron Howard to play Indiana Jones. Keira Knightly could have pulled off Lara more believably, if you're in the 'kid sister' sort of vein. I'd prefer the arch of ironic eyebrow, every so often. More in keeping with the character. But that's me.