Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Despite flashes of inspiration, this sequel to the unexpectedly compelling Maleficent can't seem to get out of its own way.
Ali Arikan is the chief film critic of Dipnot TV, a Turkish news portal and iPad magazine, and one of Roger Ebert’s Far-Flung Correspondents. Ali’s work has appeared in IndieWire, Slant Magazine, The House Next Door, Fandor, Chicago Sun-Times, Vogue, and The Times (UK). Originally from Ankara, Turkey, he has lived in Cologne, Germany; Durham and London, UK. Ali currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey.
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The destruction of Vulcan, one of the most crucial planets in the "Star Trek" universe, should be at the core of J.J. Abrams’ "Trek" movies. It is the single development that most distinguishes the original series from Abrams’ reboot, an event so boldly imagined that it marks the filmmakers’ new, blank canvas with a hideous dark stain.
A few weeks ago on Facebook -- that sly keeper of family secrets, whose memory seems to have increased incrementally with its new Timeline mumbo-jumbo -- an actor of some repute posted a list of the best Twitter accounts of 2011, as compiled by a wholly forgettable outlet. He had been placed relatively highly, and someone commented that it was a very subjective list. Apart from the fact that taking issue with "a list of the best Twitter accounts of 2011, lol" is by definition absurd, the statement presented a logical fallacy (I am fully aware of the irony of regarding a throwaway Facebook comment in such depth). All lists are subjective: that's why they're lists. Nonetheless, this fairly simple fact gets lost in the year-end frenzy as interested parties start calling for the list-maker's head, like angry villagers wielding pitchforks, if and when their favoured books, albums, films, etc fail to place on a given critic's compilation of the year's best.
An old friend and I reunited for the first time in 13 years in Washington, DC last month, and the talk eventually turned to Facebook, the primary way we've managed to keep in touch, at least recently. I have a particular trait, usually reserved for after a night out on the town, by which friends can easily identify the level of my joviality, when I post videos of classic rock songs. Despite my assertion that a certain amount of fastidiousness should be necessary when it comes to sharing links on Facebook, I tend to disregard my own advice and post widely popular songs by legendary bands, for which I apologized to my friend.
I've always thought Tony Stark looked a bit like a porn star. It wasn't just the pencil moustache, though that certainly helped. It was his aura, his veneer of venal virtue, his lascivious lothario lifestyle. Plus he was a right-wing arms merchant with a dodgy heart and a drinking problem, who spent half his time in a robot suit serving shoe-pie to people in full anonymity. Even in the Marvel Universe, where other superheroes were only occasionally allowed to venture into shades of grey, Tony Stark stood out as a genuinely troubled character.