Why Not Everything Is a Reboot (Except Everything Kind of Is)

In his 1996 book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken pauses a story to explain why, contrary to the impending observations and celebrations, the first day of the new millennium would not be January 1, 2000, but January 1, 2001. “The first year of the new century was the year one, not the year zero, so the first year of the new millennium will be 2001, not 2000. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for years, but no one will listen.” He imagines himself in Times Square on New Years Eve, 1999, raining on everyone’s parade, “A thankless job, but someone will have to do it.” It’s a relatable passage, not just because Franken was right (though he was), but because it captures the frustration of feeling like you’re the only person talking sense in the face of an erroneous cultural assumption. The way Franken felt in 1996 about the starting date of the 21st century is how I feel now whenever people label things reboots that clearly, clearly, are not. … Read More

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Spider-Man is Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

In the definitive admission that Jesus Christ those Amazing Spider-Man movies were awful, Sony Entertainment has joined forces with… Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Andrew Garfield

We’re in the homestretch of SNL’s 39th season, and the series makes a lively return with Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield. Real-life girlfriend and Spidey co-star Emma Stone has hosted the show before, but this will be our first opportunity to see what kind of comedic chops Garfield has to offer. The Social Network actor seems ready for anything and is quite likable. The featured players take a backseat in the episode, and SNL invites some new talent to the “Weekend Update” segment. The series has had weeks to refresh its repertoire, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few familiar faces. See what risks paid off, and what didn’t, below. … Read More

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It’s Time to Kill the Spider-Man Franchise

I can’t speak for anyone else, but after spending a total of 665 minutes with him, in five movies over the course of a decade, I think it’s safe to say that I know all I need to know about Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out in theaters Friday, and it will certainly make a bazillion dollars, but after you sit through it — all 142 fucking minutes of it — it’s very hard to work up a compelling reason that it needed to exist, aside from the aforementioned bazillion dollars. It’s not just that it’s clumsily executed, aggressively stupid, and excruciatingly overlong (did I mention the 142 minutes?). It’s that, five films in, they’re still giving us — I’m not making this up — an origin story. Attention, Hollywood: We get it. Shy kid, fights crime, flies around, shoots the webs. We don’t need a Russian novel’s worth of backstory on this character; at this point, I know more about Peter Parker’s youth than the childhoods of people I share a bloodline with. … Read More

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