Throwback Thursdays: 1996’s The Phantom

Friends, readers, everyone: did you know that right now, at this very moment, you can go on Ebay and—for the astoundingly low price of three American dollars—purchase yourself an original VHS copy of The Phantom, starring Billy Zane, with a holographic 3D punching action cover? Trust me, it’s worth every penny, for what you will get in return are 100 delectable minutes of Billy Zane’s toned physique, Kristy Swanson and Catherine Zeta-Jones teaming up to kick ass, and some delightfully cheesy (if culturally insensitive) superhero clichés like shark pools, sky pirates, and an ancient gang of evil Chinese dudes.

Bask in its glory

Bask in its glory

Revealing my obsession with male beauty early in life, I forced my parents to rent The Phantom no less than twenty or twenty-five times between the ages of eight and nine. Why they didn’t just buy it for me, I’ll never know, but now that I am an adult with a meager income, this fine piece of cinema is now in my possession, and oh boy did it age like the finest of peanut butters. That is to say, that it’s maybe a little worse but still totally tolerable and safe to consume. Continue reading

Theatre Thursdays: Musical Love Triangles

Love triangles are by no means something that’s unique to the stage—they’ve been part of popular storytelling tradition for centuries. And if you’re anything like me, you’re starting to get sick of being asked which “Team” you’re on every time you consume some new media about a group of three people of differing genders. There are some very famous musical love triangles, though, and I’d like to look at a few of them and discuss why they’re problematic and why they almost always end up being unfair to the women involved.

This production of Aida really got literal with the whole triangle thing.

This production of Aida really got literal with the whole triangle thing.

Continue reading