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Daily Reads: Movie Monsters That Look Like Genitalia, Why It Feels Like There’s Too Much TV and More

Daily Reads: Movie Monsters That Look Like Genitalia, Why It Feels Like There's Too Much TV and More

Criticwire’s Daily Reads brings today’s essential
news stories and critical pieces to you.

1. Movie Monsters That Look Like Genitalia. Sometimes a horrifying alien is just a horrifying alien, and sometimes it looks like a penis. BuzzFeed’s Alison Willmore found 19 movie monsters that look like genitalia. 

There’s never been better proof of how disturbing warped sexual imagery can be than H. R. Giger’s famous “Alien” designs. In their adult form, the xenomorphs have long, phallic heads and mouths dripping with fluid (an effect reportedly achieved with generous amounts of K-Y Jelly) from which an equally phallic set of inner jaws protrudes. What better look for a creature that, as the film’s screenwriter Dan O’Bannon put it in the Alien Evolution doc, is bent on “alien interspecies rape,” forcing other organisms to gestate its young until they are ready to burst, horribly, from their hosts’ abdomens? Read more.

2. The Fall” as TV’s First Misandrist Classic? “The Fall” leans into the suggestion that all men are capable of terrible things, but that’s part of what makes it fascinating. Alyssa Rosenberg of The Washington Post writes about how it looks at the violence in men.

But there’s a subtlety to “The Fall” that prevents it from becoming some sort of railing stereotype. The second season looks hard at what Paul means to his family, particularly his daughter, and the ways in which the skills that make him a killer also make him a good, encouraging father to her. Humans succumb to their worst desires and impulses sometimes. But we also sometimes succeed in overcoming them. Read more.

3. Clickhole Mocks “American Sniper” Thinkpieces. There have been so many “American Sniper” thinkpieces that at this point the film is more talking point than movie to many. Clickhole came up with 20 fake thinkpiece titles to “tell you exactly how to think.”

“What Seth Rogen Gets
Wrong About “
American Sniper,” What He Gets Right About “American Sniper,” What I Get Wrong
About “
American Sniper,” What I Get Right About Seth Rogen, What Michael Moore Gets
Right About “
American Sniper,” And What Seth Rogen Gets Wrong About Michael Moore” (by
Michael Shapiro).
 Shapiro manages to distill a controversial subject to its essence. Read more.

4. Historical Film Facts and Fiction Always Collide. Selma” and “American Sniper” are getting all sorts of criticisms about accuracy, but this is a constant criticism with historical films. Cara Buckley of The New York Times wrote about how historical films’ facts always collide with fiction.

Amid all these controversies, it’s useful to note film’s tremendous power to impart information, searing it in a viewer’s brain in a much more indelible way than, say, history books can. But it is at the point of urging people to not see the film and Academy members to deny it their votes that some feel sticklers cross a line.“The idea that an alteration invalidates the movie, that’s a huge mistake,” said Mark Harris, a writer for Grantland. Read more.

5. Why It Feels Like There’s Too Much TV. Having trouble keeping up with TV? You’re not alone, and Vulture’s Joe Adalian explains why.

But it’s clear cable is behind the scripted surge: As a whole, cable telecast 180 different scripted comedies, dramas, and limited series last year — more than its broadcast and nonlinear rivals combined. Perhaps more stunning is how rapidly original content has multiplied. As the chart below reveals, the number of first-run scripted cable shows has doubled in just the past five years, tripled since 2007 (the year “Mad Men” premiered), and grown a staggering 683 percent since the turn of the century. Read more.

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