Released in 1998, Star Trek: Insurrection received mixed reactions ranging from fun and comfortable to underwhelming and tedious. Insurrection is a great reunion for the beloved TNG cast that brings some top-quality pre-production work, while also missing the mark on some Star Trek films and The Next Generation staples in the narrative and production. Although seen as mediocre and forgettable, Insurrection certainly still has some creative chops to satisfy most Star Trek fans, if only in the format of a movie-budget episode of TNG.
Originally a stage musical written and composed by Terrance Zdunich and Darren Smith, Repo! The Genetic Opera is a 2008 futuristic gothic horror rock opera directed by Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw fame and featuring a soundtrack produced by Japanese rock legend Yoshiki, Repo! promises to deliver an amazing movie experience, but trips over the weight of its influences and film conventions of the time.
Despite debuting at #1 in the box office, National Treasure: Book of Secrets—released in theatres in 2007—was met with a cold critical response and chided for its unbelievability, absurd plot, and similarity to its predecessor. However, behind the extremely unlikeable protagonist, ridiculous clues, and complete lack of a target audience, lies a fantastic study into liberal propaganda and the means by which reactionary forces and capitalist giants collaborate to maintain the status quo.
Nostalgia is something almost all of us have felt. A warm childhood, a “better time,” or a beloved memory can be a potent coping mechanism leading to positive individual growth. A common era for nostalgia in much of the world is the 1980s—the childhood for many Millennials. The legacies of the decade are explored in the electronic music genre synthwave; blending hazy memories of the visual art and movies of the time period with modern music software. However, even seemingly harmless nostalgia can be co-opted and weaponized by the far-right as a rallying symbol, a means of recruitment, and a method of spreading hate.
The alienation and rejection that Dani experiences and the folks with not-so-great intentions she befriends in the psychedelic-slasher ‘Midsommar’ might seem eerily familiar to queer audiences, and it’s kinda the best.