Because I’m not just a cross-cultural meta-critic but also an assistant buyer in juniors’ activewear, I can explain precisely why The Avengers is such a terrific movie: It’s all about the accessories. Thor, who’s played by that Aussie Viking Chris Hemsworth, smashes bad guys with his magic hammer, as if it were a Birkin packed with bricks. Chris always looks the teensiest bit embarrassed by this, as if he’s holding his wife’s hammer while she’s browsing. Chris Evans, who’s the strong-jawed — in fact, the strong-everythinged — Captain America, has fiddled with his stars-and-stripes spandex for a patchwork, Etsy feeling, but he still protects himself with his round bulletproof shield, which looks like it could also be used to pass hors d’oeuvres at a Fourth of July barbecue. As Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. slips into the world’s most all-powerful outfit, as if it were a jet-propelled, rocket-launching Chanel suit, and the green-skinned Hulk, as played by the adorably dweeby Mark Ruffalo, is pure makeover, switching from rumpled khakis to what the Fashion Police on E! refer to as a pop of color. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Ask Libby (1-9 of 9)
Ask Libby...: Libby Gelman-Waxner answers your questions about the 'Citizen Kane' of male stripper movies
It may still be early May, but after The Avengers smashed the box-office last weekend, it’s officially summer at the movies. Marvel’s superhero mash-up has raised the bar, and there’s still plenty of enormous blockbusters on the way. The Dark Knight Rises. The Amazing Spider-Man. Prometheus. Magic Mike? Not surprisingly, EW’s Libby Gelman-Waxner is highest on Channing Tatum’s star-studded male stripper movie. She explains her excitement for the “Citizen Kane of male stripper movies,” and answers your pop-cultural questions below. READ FULL STORY
A while back, there was a ridiculous debate in the media about whether women could be funny, but then Bridesmaids was a huge hit and people somehow remembered Lucy and Roseanne and Tina Fey, and the whole thing blew over. But having just seen The Three Stooges, I have a more important question: Can men be funny?
Now, The Three Stooges was made with reverence and deep affection, so if you loved the original Three Stooges you will probably worship this movie, and you might also love any of the America’s Funniest Home Videos where a fat guy gets stuck in a kiddie wading pool, and you are probably my husband, Josh. Josh thought The Three Stooges was a riot, which made me want to poke his eye out with a screwdriver and ask, “Wait, so is that funny?” Even as a child I remember thinking that the Stooges looked like the sort of creepy alcoholic janitors who’d end up getting arrested on a morals charge; they’re basically the three least datable guys ever. “But that’s why they’re so funny!” Josh insisted as he kept making that nyuk-nyuk noise and pretending to pull my nose off. “They’re adorable!”
To shut Josh up, I forced him to watch the first episode of the acclaimed new HBO series Girls. Girls was created by and stars Lena Dunham, who’s been both praised as a bold new voice and attacked because she comes from a fancy bohemian Manhattan background, and because her show is about rich young white girls who hug each other and whine about their boyfriends and about how their families don’t give them enough money. “Oh my God,” said Josh, “this show is terrifying. It’s every parent’s nightmare. It’s like The Walking Dead with zombies wearing vintage cardigans and Italian suede boots.” READ FULL STORY
In her most recent column for Entertainment Weekly, columnist Libby Gelman-Waxner tackled the year’s first blockbuster, The Hunger Games, and the year’s most notorious bomb, John Carter: Taylor Kitsch’s nipples were simply no match for Jennifer Lawrence’s curves.
But these two spring tentpoles are just the beginning of the studios’ blockbuster season. The summer is loaded with comic-book heroes, and Libby is eager for more of your burning questions for her next “Ask Libby” column here in PopWatch. A few talking points: (1) Avengers or Dark Knight? (Or Spider-Man?) (2) Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows: Do you like your Johnny handsome or heavily made-up? (3) Lastly, spoilers and the veil of secrecy around filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Ridley Scott. Patience is a virtue or get-over-yourself?
Plus any other movie matter that’s been rattling around that head of yours. As always, if you don’t have something nice to say about an actor or a movie, though… come sit next to Libby. Just tap the “Ask Libby!” button to submit, then check back soon for her next column.
Libby Gelman-Waxner Answers Your Questions...on theater etiquette and the evolution of Jennifer Aniston
No one likes to sit near a person who insists on texting during the movie, but even the most self-righteous filmgoer has probably sent off at least one instant message, even if it was during the coming attractions. Just be thankful that Libby Gelman-Waxner wasn’t two rows behind you. EW’s columnist is a theater vigilante and her approach to movie etiquette might scare you straight:
So glad to have you back! We all know how much you love the movies, so there is no way that you are one of those rude people who texts in a dark theater. Since that bright blue light must annoy you as much as it does any other rational adult, what is your strategy to get people to turn off their devices? Stare, shush, or launched projectile to the head, and if so, what works best? Thank you.
Thank you for both your kind words and for figuring out another wonderful way to spell “Susan.” As for texting, first, I politely hover over the texting person’s shoulder and I whisper, “Everyone hates you, and not just because you’re texting in a movie theater. Everyone hates you because of your attitude, your aroma and because of everything you’re wearing. Your parents hated you, especially your real parents. Maybe if you stopped texting right now, it would be a first step towards rebuilding your sad, wasted life.”
If this doesn’t work, I announce to the entire theater, using a louder, more assertive tone, “Please, everyone, try to understand. This person is texting his parole officer, because the red light on his ankle bracelet has just started blinking. As human beings, we must demonstrate compassion, even to registered sex offenders.”
If the person still won’t stop texting, I quietly remove a revolver from my purse, and I place the cold, hard barrel against the texting person’s neck. Then I murmur, “You have three seconds to stop texting. 1…2…” Before I get to 3, I blow the texting person’s head off, and then I wail, “I’m sorry! I should never have bought a used gun!”
Hey Libby. What’s good?
Anyways, recently, under the influence of some friends, I partook in the smuggling and consumption of some alcohol at the movies. And this isn’t some high-class theater that serves alcohol; it’s illegal to sneak in Milk Duds from the gas station and six-packs of beer. So I guess my question is: Do you think it’s okay to bring some alcohol to the theater? Not to dark dramas where it’s really serious but more like 21 Jump Street or This Means War? Inappropriate? Immature? Encouraged?
I completely understand the desire to drink heavily while watching most movies. When I saw The Lorax, there wasn’t a sober child in the theater. They were all guzzling vodka out of their juice boxes, and I noticed that one toddler’s M&Ms included Percocets. But still, I can’t really encourage anyone to drink at the movies, because you can end up missing so much, like the 3,083 penis jokes during the first five minutes of 21 Jump Street. As an adult, I believe that you have to look reality in the face and ask yourself, wait, which Jason Segel movie am I watching?
Jonah Hill: fat, thin, fat. What’s the deal with his weight?
I think Jonah Hill is adorable at every weight. Watching stars expand and contract is the great American pastime; I feel sorry for Meryl Streep, because unlike Kirstie Alley, she’s never hawked her own Organic Liaisons diet plan on QVC. I’ve also loved tracking Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy, because I think she’s giving birth to a Jeep Cherokee. Jessica is currently a panelist on that new show Fashion Star, and she’s much more fun, and seems smarter, as a plus-size than she ever was as a skinny singer.
I have a question concerning rom-coms. Why do they continue to put Jennifer Aniston in rom-coms when she’s too old to even be a soccer mom? She’s over. Accept it and get rid of her. She plays the same person in every film.
I’m begging you to have a little patience with Jennifer. It’s always tricky for a star to make the transition from ingénue to young mom to playing, say, George Clooney’s dead wife in a flashback. I don’t think that Jennifer’s too old for rom-coms, but she may be too rich. Whenever I see her, all I can think about are those syndication checks, and it’s just really hard for a zillionaire to remain waifish and cuddly, although of course, Warren Buffett is still awfully winsome.
Maybe Jen needs to head back to TV, or do a play, or just get the hair out of her eyes. Or maybe she can follow the paths of various male stars as they get older, and she can become either a dull Hollywood elder statesman, or an alcoholic wreck with multiple mug shots. And then she can play a grizzled police officer who, during the week before she’s about to retire from the force, gets assigned to one last case, and gets partnered with a sexy young hothead. But even if a studio made a big-screen version of Cagney and Lacey, the leads would probably go to Ben Stiller and Channing Tatum.
In her most recent column for Entertainment Weekly, columnist Libby Gelman-Waxner tackled a trio of romantic-comedies that experienced varying — and surprising? — degrees of success at the box office. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd reunited for Wanderlust, but moviegoers yawned at their yuppies’ adventure to a hippie commune. Rudd’s How Do You Know co-star fared a little better in This Means War, where Reese Witherspoon doubled her pleasure by dating two jealous government agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy). Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum have been the biggest winners in the rom-com sweepstakes; their amnesiac love story The Vow is the biggest non-Lorax movie of the year.
But Libby is eager for more of your burning questions for her next “Ask Libby” column here in PopWatch. Is the romantic-comedy dead? Are you ready to go back to Titanic… in 3-D? And what are some of your movie theater pet peeves? Whatever’s on your mind. And remember: If you don’t have something nice to say about an actor or a movie, come sit next to Libby. Just tap the “Ask Libby!” button to submit, then check back soon for her next column.
Libby Gelman-Waxner Answers Your Questions... on how to spice up the Oscars, and the daydream appeal of George Clooney
Do you really think The Descendants is deserving of the Oscar praise or is it just because George Clooney is in it and the Academy is scared/infatuated with him?
Dear PJ –
Like everyone else in the world, except maybe for a few Republicans, I worship George Clooney, especially because he’s so suave and sexy, but in The Descendants he’s playing a regular person, a lawyer in Hawaii. The movie was directed by Alexander Payne, who also did Sideways and About Schmidt, and who clearly believes that you can’t have too many movies about depressed middle-aged white guys. READ FULL STORY
First of all, I would just like to say that I am totally thrilled to be answering questions from my devoted readers, who are simply the most culturally aware, emotionally available, and physically attractive people on earth. I’m not claiming that people who read other critics are small, misshapen creatures with wasted lives, but only because, like my readers, I have perfect manners.
Hello Libby — I see every new release that comes into theaters, I love cinema, but for the life of me, I cannot understand the love of Hugo. Sure, it was shot beautifully, but I felt it was choppy, as if a multitude of stories were being told at once, with no single thread coming to an acceptable conclusion. Am I crazy?
I enjoyed Hugo, especially because it was set in the most gorgeously art-directed, turn-of-the-century Parisian railroad station; it was like an enchanted French food court, from a time before Pinkberry. Hugo himself was such an adorably tousled waif that for a second I thought he was Amelie’s kid sister, but he got to live in the train station and keep all of the station’s clocks running on time, which is a perfect form of child labor for a cinematic fairy tale. Was the movie choppy? I would say the film was a touch leisurely, but even when the plot took a hairpin turn and began depicting the birth of cinema, I was happy, because I knew that the director, Martin Scorsese, was blissing out. READ FULL STORY
You may recall Libby Gelman-Waxner’s genius, hilarious If You Ask Me column in Premiere magazine years ago.
The deeply shallow and somewhat mysterious Libby was billed as “America’s most beloved and irresponsible critic.” (She called Wall Street “an illustration of all the terrible things that can happen to a person who wants to date Daryl Hannah.”) Well, Libby is back! In addition to her monthly column in Entertainment Weekly magazine, starting today, LGW is taking your burning questions for a recurring Ask Libby column here in PopWatch.
She will tackle all things pop culture, though we like to think her first love is film — or as Libby calls it, “an important arena of expression, as well as a wonderful excuse to drink Diet Coke.”
Tap the “Ask Libby!” button to submit, then come back in two weeks for her first column.
Also make sure to click over to her inaugural magazine column, and pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly for her second installment, which tackles the image of modern womanhood as it’s presented on-screen.
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