2017 in entertainment updates

Darren Blair | Shop the Insanity

As the saying goes, “discretion is the better part of valor”. So, I’m just wrapping the review up here with a few assorted bits. 
#MeToo – Ever since film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, accusations against other famous individuals, defenses, legal maneuvers, public reaction, industry reaction, and in far too many instances nonsense (such as Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin’s infamous remarks about her not caring if any of the accused are actually innocent) have been flying so fast and so often even I’m having trouble staying on top of the story (and would need multiple columns if I tried). The gist of it, though, is that the world isn’t going to be the same again, but care must be taken to ensure that only the guilty get hammered. Only time will tell what the eventual result will be.
Star Wars – As I type this the fallout from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is still spreading. The film was rather polarizing to say the least, and it would appear that the mixed reviews (fans vs. critics again) and box office take are telling the tale. So I’ll be waiting to handle the retrospective on this one. 
Amy Schumer – I mentioned earlier my surprise at seeing that the live-action “Barbie” movie was still scheduled for release, as last I heard it was stalled out due to comedienne Amy Schumer, who was slated to play the titular lead, bowing out. 
For those who missed the controversy, back in March Schumer’s “Leather Special” comedy show was released as a Netflix exclusive. I’ve seen clips of it, and those clips were every bit as unfunny, shocking, and even vile as the hype said they were. Suffice to say that things she should have been discussing in private with a medical professional were instead said aloud in front of an audience of strangers. Cue the special tanking in the ratings and an effort to accuse online trolls of a mass-down vote campaign in order to deflect from the awful nature of the material itself. 
Schumer’s bowing out happened in the wake of all of this, leading to speculation that Mattel (who owns the rights to the Barbie franchise) might have acted behind-the-scenes. Sure enough, I did miss an announcement from last August that actress Anne Hathaway was the new lead. Oy.
Alamo Draft House – Yep, a venue that generally bills itself as being open to the public can’t suddenly discriminate based on gender. So those women-only screenings of “Wonder Woman”? Indeed illegal. I suspect that this will be a legal precedent somehow. 
Grape-Kun – I also mentioned the internet sensation that was Grape-Kun, a penguin at a zoo in Japan who seemingly fell in love with a promotional cardboard cut-out of an anime character that was put in his enclosure. For a little while, there was something sweet on the internet, as folks tried to follow their unlikely “relationship”. Unfortunately, there’s no happy ending for this story. 
Sadly, Grape-Kun passed away back in October. He was old to begin with, and so this was no surprise. One account I’ve read had it that a worker removed the cut-out from the enclosure and placed it next to him in the infirmary, meaning that it was the last thing he saw. I tell you – based on the timeline of what happened when these last four months, it’s almost like he was the last thing keeping this world sane. 
So yeah – makes you wonder what 2018 will have, doesn’t it? 

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