Men in Black: International review a galactically gormless fall to earth

This latest outing for the government agents tasked with policing pesky space invaders is a charmless and pointless affair Its time once again for what must now be called the Meh in Black, making another intensely tiresome and pointless reappearance, now with Chris Hemsworth on exceptionally charmless animatronic form in their dark suits, like Tussaud dummies with a contractual obligation to appear in a bad film. They are equally dead-eyed with or without the dark glasses. The MiB franchise based on Lowell Cunninghams 1990 comic book series about secret government agents battling aliens was looking pretty moribund at the time of the third film in 2012, when Josh Brolin gamely joined the familiar duo of Tommy Lee Jones and Will …

Goodbye X-MenYou Flawed, Frustrating Cinematic Revolution

The 1990s were a weird time if you liked comic books. A speculation boom and subsequent bust wiped away shops and publishers alike, and even Marvel—yes, Marvel—filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Yet the 1990s were even weirder if you wanted to see comic books on the big screen. Dick Tracy. The Rocketeer. The Phantom. Spawn. Judge Dredd. Jim Carrey in The Mask. Wesley Snipes as Blade. Even the Batman saga, which Tim Burton had kicked off with such promise, sputtered into garish weirdness. By 1999, moviegoers looking for something adapted from sequential art had their choice of exactly one film: Mystery Men, an ensemble comedy with a peripheral connection to an oddity called Flaming Carrot Comics. Graeme McMillan 5 Comics …

Rebecca Solnit: ‘Every protest shifts the world’s balance’

Two hundred years after the Peterloo massacre, which led to the founding of the Manchester Guardian, protest is shaping our political moment. Where do we go from here? Scale it up and its revolution; scale it down and its individual non-cooperation that may be seen as nothing more than obstinacy or malingering or not seen at all. What we call protest identifies one aspect of popular power and resistance, a force so woven into history and everyday life that you miss a lot of its impact if you focus only on groups of people taking stands in public places. But people taking such stands have changed the world over and over, toppled regimes, won rights, terrified tyrants, stopped pipelines and …

WIRED’s 14 Must-Read Books of Summer

Can you feel it? Summer is upon us! You know what that means: Plenty of time to soak up the sun, go to barbecues, and watch sports! Or, if you're a bookworm like your friends at WIRED, spend those long, lazy weekends with your nose in a book. Now is the perfect time to start plowing your way through an ambitious summer reading list, and we couldn't be more ready to help. Below are WIRED's picks for some of the best tomes coming out in the next few months. There's a little bit of sci-fi, a little bit of internet culture, and a lot of smarts on this list, so fire up the Kindle and get cracking. Troll Hunting: Inside …

From Agatha Christie to Gillian Flynn: 50 great thrillers by women

In response to a list of the 100 best crime novels that had only 28 female authors, Ann Cleeves, Val McDermid and Dreda Say Mitchell and other leading writers nominate some alternatives When the Sunday Times picked its The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey A teenage war orphan accuses two women of kidnap and abuse, but something about her story doesnt add up. The Field of Blood by Denise Mina The first in the Paddy Meehan series sees the reporter looking into the disappearance of a child from his Glasgow home, with evidence pointing the police towards two young boys. A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine Writing under her pen name, Ruth Rendell tells of the discovery of a woman …

Never mind the quality, feel the ‘woke’ Green Book, The New Negro and white guilt

The best picture Oscar and the Pulitzer for biography have been bestowed on problematic and inferior works on race Art highlighting the marginalized, blacks, gays and others, is more fashionable than ever. For the gatekeepers of culture, however, it is not authenticity but stories that celebrate a superficial idea of progressiveness which exert the greatest appeal. Narratives exhibiting how woke we are resonate most. As long as a work captures how accepting whites are of blacks, how understanding straights are when encountering queerness, success is assured. Some blacks and empathetic whites get it. Seeking reparation for racist inequality by any means necessary, they reason, makes it time for diversity, any diversity. If the best and brightest black candidates are unavailable, …

Watchmen trailer: HBO reveals first look at superhero series

The network hopes to follow the end of Game of Thrones with another blockbuster series, an adaptation of the cult graphic novel The final Game of Thrones episodes might be bringing HBO record ratings but they are also the last gasps of the networks biggest show, leaving a rather worrisome hole in need of filling. While projects within the same universe are in development, HBO is hoping that a swifter replacement might be found in the shape of Watchmen. The graphic novel, previously adapted for the big screen in 2009 by Zack Snyder, has been reimagined for the small screen by Damon Lindelof, whose shows include Lost and The Leftovers. The newly released trailer showcases a dark, anarchic tone and …

Why we are addicted to conspiracy theories

The long read: Outsiders and the disenfranchised have always embraced the existence of wild plots and cover-ups. But now the biggest conspiracy-mongers are in charge In January 2015, I spent the longest, queasiest week of my life on a cruise ship filled with conspiracy theorists. As our boat rattled toward Mexico and back, I heard about every wild plot, secret plan and dark cover-up imaginable. It was mostly fascinating, occasionally exasperating and the cause of a headache that took months to fade. To my pleasant surprise, given that I was a reporter travelling among a group of deeply suspicious people, I was accused of working for the CIA only once. The unshakeable certainty possessed by many of the conspiracy theorists …

The minefield of fame: how accurate do biopics need to be?

Screen adaptations of the lives of the famous must tread a fine line, as a new film about Tolkien shows Where did all those hobbits, ents and orcs really spring from? And what inspired the powerful bond of fellowship that carries little Bilbo and Frodo along their paths? The many fans of the work of JRR Tolkien will soon have a fresh answer to ponder because the new biopic about the authors young life, starring Nicholas Hoult, suggests his schoolboy experiences were the source of all that creativity. The argument of the film, directed by a Finn, Dome Karukoski, has not gone down well with the Tolkien family or with his literary estate. They have stated they did not approve …

Literary Twitter calls out Dzanc Books for Islamophobic, racist novel

for releasing a book that includes inaccuracies about the Middle East and racist narratives about Islam. WriterNathan Goldmandescription The book description immediately stirred up a conversation on Twitter, with many saying the language in the description was blatantly racist and Islamophobic, as well as an inaccurate portrayal of Iran as an Arab nation, which is . This is clear from the copy’s misidentification of Iran as an Arab nation, the stated premise of a broad multinational Islamic conspiracy to wipe out the Jews, the use of the pejorative spelling ‘Moslem,’ the link drawn between the ‘Moslem armies’ and Nazis, and the promise of fun and humor in justified Israeli retribution against Muslim oppressors, Goldman said in an email. I found …

El Norte review: an epic and timely history of Hispanic North America

Carrie Gibson has written an exhaustive corrective to historians who seek to whitewash a story of settlement and conflict The subtitle of Carrie Gibsons book is The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America. El Norte lives up to it. These 437 pages are an important correction to centuries of American history which have mostly neglected the vital role of Spanish pioneers (and Native Americans) in favor of settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland. As the author quotes Walt Whitman, Americans long ago tacitly abandoned themselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands which is a great mistake To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of …

Shortest Way Home review: Pete Buttigieg as president in waiting

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana has written the best political autobiography since Barack Obama Imagine waking up on 4 November 2020 to discover America has elected has never slept with a porn star, and who married the very first person he fell in love with. And imagine this is someone whose spouse just happens to be a man which, as Stephen Colbert pointed out Barack Obamas Dreams from My Father. Buttigieg is the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Brimming with midwestern authenticity, he captured a large portion of CNNs audience earlier this month in his first threshold of 65,000 individual donors which governs qualification for the forthcoming debates. The son of a Notre Dame professor whose family …

‘I’m not a gay writer, I’m a monster’: did James Purdy foresee Trump’s America?

At first he was feted. But then his novel about a handsome, Yale-educated serial rapist made him an outcast. Ten years after his death, has the scabrous authors time finally come? On 6 August 2015, the American author and playwright Cabot Wright Begins. A scabrous satire about three of New Yorks sacred cows publishing, politics and psychiatry the novel concerns the battle for the biographical rights of the titular Wright, a handsome, Yale-educated stockbroker and serial rapist. New York Times book critic Orville Prescott called it the sick outpouring of a confused, adolescent, distraught mind. A counter-attack from Susan Sontag hailed it as a bravura work of satire, but the damage was done. If my life up to then had …

Siri Hustvedt: Im writing for my life

She has spent her life carving out a career as a writer of intellect in a world still dominated by men. Here, Siri Hustvedt talks about magic tricks, why you cant trust an author and seeing herself as ridiculous Siri Hustvedt is laughing. I feel so much urgency, she says, her long legs folded beneath her on an armchair. We are on the ground floor of the Brooklyn brownstone she shares with her husband, Hustvedt, who has just published her seventh novel, Memories of the Future, is figuring out which of her many projects to tackle next. I want to write another novel, but I also want to write this philosophical book, and I have many, many essays now that …