‘Moana’ and the Evolution of the Princess

Moana is the first “Disney Princess” for whom romance is never mentioned or even hinted at. This is an action-adventure story about a smart, fearless, resourceful and (to use the buzzword) strong girl setting out to single-handedly save the world (spoiler alert: she does), without a single mention of marriage, boyfriends, romance or love of any kind except her love for her island, family and the sea.

Of Monkees, Wonders, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriends

Thanksgiving is coming up this Thursday, and like most of you, I’m thinking about what I’m thankful for this year. And, in a world that’s getting scarier and more infuriating by the day, one of the things I’m most thankful for is all the fun stuff that offers a bit of escape. Which is why this week I’m talking about the Monkees, That Thing You Do!, Adam Schlesinger, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

‘Doctor Strange’ Brings the Magic

Marvel’s Doctor Strange is exactly the kind of superhero movie we all wanted to see back when the ads were promising that we would “believe a man can fly.” The mystic warriors here do a lot more than fly, and it’s all visually stunning. Much more important than the eye candy, however, are the personalities involved, their histories and motivations, and the importance of what they are all fighting for or against. If those things don’t engage us, the amazing effects are just a digital fireworks display.