emma stone

‘Cruella’ Doesn’t Deliver the Evil Villain We Have Come to Hate

Forrest Hartman

Stone and Thompson are great talents when they have solid material to work with, but Cruella never finds sound footing. The allure of a classic-villain backstory is – presumably – to show fans how the person they’ve despised for all these years became so despicable. Questions abound. Were they born the epitome of evil, like Damien in The Omen, or were they overcome by all-consuming power, like young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise? The answers to such questions are often ridiculously satisfying. The problem, of course, is that they can also be frustrating, especially when -- as happens in Cruella -- the filmmakers don’t pay proper homage to story canon.  

‘Battle of the Sexes’ -- Then and Now

Lynn Sherr

That scene, in Battle of the Sexes, the smartly engaging and depressingly relevant new movie about the match starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, is a blast from the past loaded with lessons for the future, an eerie reminder that today’s rebloom of sexism is a scary echo of decades — actually, centuries — of innate and cultural misogyny. And it’s a handy playbook to get through our current crisis. Crises.

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

As Peter swims through personal problems, his city faces a series of new threats, the most serious being an attack by Electro (Jamie Foxx), a supervillain capable of absorbing electricity and using it as a weapon. “Spider-Man 2” deliver’s Electro’s backstory while laying the groundwork for the appearance of two more Spidey villans: the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and the Rhino (Paul Giamatti). 

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