In 1943, the now-legendary boxer Harry Haft competed in his first bout. Instead of an audience of cheering fans, he performed for a crowd of sadistic Nazis; instead of competing in an arena, his ring was a Polish concentration camp; rather than fighting another trained boxer, he threw punches at fellow Jewish prisoners until the blows killed them. Haft is one of the integral figures in the cruel and barbaric history of concentration camp boxing. Trained by an SS guard for his own entertainment, Haft was forced to compete in a grim total of 76 fights as a prisoner. But his story doesn’t end there. When he finally managed to escape the camp, Haft used his skills as a boxer to garner national attention by fighting legends such as Rocky Marciano, hopefully earning the notice of his lost—and presumed dead—love. The Survivor, directed by Barry Levinson from screenwriter Justine Juel Gillmer’s take on Harry Haft: Auschwitz Survivor, Challenger of Rocky Marciano, tells the athlete’s stranger-than-fiction story in flashback
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It’s difficult to think of someone with a more bizarre public persona than billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. You know, the guy who claimed that we are almost definitely living in a videogame and smoked a blunt in the same Joe Rogan interview, tweeted that he used to be an alien, and named his and pop star Grimes’ baby X Æ A-Xii—and those aren’t even among the top five weirdest things he’s ever done.
Incidentally, Musk is also largely responsible for the commercialization of modern space travel. In Return to Space, Academy Award-winning documentarians Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin outline the creation of the aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, which Musk founded in 2002 with the intention of eventually colonizing Mars. In the past two decades, SpaceX has lowered the cost of space travel drastically by designing reusable spacecrafts, and has become an integral supplier for NASA because of this. In short, whatever you think of Musk and his wacky antics, without SpaceX, we wouldn’t have our current solution to the vast expenses of space travel, and would be indefinitely earthbound.
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The mysterious machine of stardom is a fickle, unpredictable thing. As long as Hollywood has been around, it has been known to mold and remodel careers in an exceedingly unpredictable manner. Perhaps the most outrageous example of this appears in the form of our beloved Robert Pattinson, whose time in Hollywood has taken the most gloriously erratic turns.
But within a machine as well-oiled as Hollywood, can this kind of bizarre ascension to fame really be a mere matter of chance? In the case of R Patz, one might actually argue that his outrageously capricious career – from Twilight to The Lighthouse to The Batman – actually makes a whole lot of sense.
Read more at Consequence.
Twenty-two years ago, Hollywood was introduced to the glorious cast of characters known as the X-Men, and it hasn’t looked back since. The past two decades has seen a whopping 13 movies based on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s beloved comic series, which range from films about the whole X-Men clan to origin stories for individual characters, like Wolverine and Deadpool.
What’s so great about the X-Men movies is that they all stand pretty well on their own. But, like most franchises, (especially within the MCU), there are also a ton of sneaky little threads that hold them all together and make the X-universe a fairly cohesive one.
Though you really can watch these movies in any order, there is a way to watch the X-Men movies in chronological order. You can witness the characters evolve from when the gang first banded together during the Cold War (“X-Men: First Class”) to the most recent events (for now) in the year 2029 (“Logan”).
Read more at The Wrap.
Partway through The Bubble, Judd Apatow’s new film about a swarm of A-listers banding together to make a blockbuster sequel in the early days of the pandemic, Dustin (David Duchovny) pleads with Sundance-darling-turned-Blockbuster-producer Darren (Fred Armisen) to let him rewrite the script of Cliff Beasts 6 to be smarter and sharper. Darren swiftly shoots down this request, arguing that audiences are dumb, and should be treated as such.
This moment is played for laughs and is largely used to help paint a picture of Dustin as a clueless member of the Hollywood elite who is convinced that he’s doing something important. But this interaction also serves as a meta-comment on The Bubble itself. Indeed, a long-winded comedy about making a movie at the beginning of the pandemic has the potential to say something interesting about celebrity culture, about the way different classes treat crises, about creating art when the world is on the brink of ending. The problem is, Apatow doesn’t seem to think his audience is quite shrewd enough to get it.
Read more in Film School Rejects.
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