Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

April 20 2015 9:29 PM

Christopher Reeve and Adam West Star in the Retro Trailer for Batman v Superman

The first trailer for Batman v Superman was unrelentingly dark, confirming that Zack Snyder’s movie will be a grim and gritty affair despite its comical presumption that a laser-eyed, super-strong alien will have any difficulty disposing with a billionaire clad in a bat suit.

Thankfully, YouTube user Bobby Burns has imbued this superhero showdown with some much-needed levity, recutting the trailer to feature clips from the older, more playful Batman and Superman movies. It’s good fun to see Adam West and Christopher Reeve pitted against each other, but perhaps the funniest takeaway from the video is just how much has changed, tonally, in our depictions of caped crusaders.

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April 20 2015 6:27 PM

Please, HBO, Don’t Ruin High Maintenance

It was perhaps inevitable that High Maintenance—the sensational web series about a weed dealer from Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld—would make its way to HBO. The appeal for the network is clear: High Maintenance is low-key and likable, arty without being alienating, just the right brand of millennial-bait to dangle in front of viewers taxed by the improbable shenanigans of Girls. Still, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of trepidation that HBO could ruin exactly what makes this show so good.

April 20 2015 6:04 PM

Why Is TV’s ’90s Reboot Boom Ignoring All the Great Black Comedies of That Era?

This article originally appeared in Vulture.

If you’re starting to feel bombarded by the ’90s nostalgia set to invade TV over the next few years, you’re not alone. Already in 2015, reboots have been announced for The X-Files, Full House, The Magic School Bus, The Powerpuff Girls, Coach, and, if Showtime gets its way, a David Lynch–led Twin Peaks. Meanwhile, horror-film franchise Scream will be rebranded as an MTV show. None of this should come as a surprise. BuzzFeed can generate millions of clicks off milliennial-centric recycled topics like “32 Pictures That Will Give You Intense Elementary School Flashbacks,” Tumblr is clogged with ’90s nostalgia porn, and fashion staples from that decade are back in style (see: Kylie Jenner’s nude lip-liner). To put it plainly: We’re all suckers for that “warm-and-fuzzy feeling [we get] at the mention of certain titles,” as Vulture’s Josef Adalian described the phenomenon.

April 20 2015 5:28 PM

The Trailer for The Overnight Accurately Promises Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice & Full Frontal

One of my favorite movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was The Overnight—and not just because of its free and open embrace of male full-frontal nudity. Patrick Brice’s raunchy comedy features a great cast—Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling, and Judith Godrèche—and plenty of genuinely funny moments, while also flipping the script on Hollywood gender norms.

The official trailer is here, and if it leads you to think of it as a modern-day twist on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, you wouldn’t be too far off base. 

April 20 2015 4:38 PM

If Pixar Made Furious 7

The Furious franchise is best known for testing the limits of physics and the suspension of disbelief. But could the central set piece from the newest movie, now the most popular entry in the blockbuster franchise, actually come from Cars?

This video mash-up by IGN, which overlays footage from those animated kids movies with audio from the Furious 7 trailer, suggests, among other things, that Furious 7 director James Wan could have drawn some unlikely inspiration from Pixar’s own car-driven franchise. At the very least, Pixar beat him to the punch when it comes to parachuting cars out of airplanes. 

April 20 2015 2:51 PM

This English-Language Trailer for The Little Prince Is As Heartwarming As It Is Adorable

The Little Prince trailer has finally arrived in English, as what appears to be an extended cut of the French-language version released last year. The trailer is full of life and color, with two juxtaposed animation styles—a smooth, CGI approach for the frame story about a little girl and her mother, with a rougher, more playful stop-motion approach for the prince’s narrative. A star-studded cast of voice actors will bring Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s sweet novella to life: The list includes James Franco, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Jeff Bridges, Benicio del Toro, Paul Giamatti and Ricky Gervais. The film will premiere at Cannes, but there’s no word yet on when the movie will make its debut in U.S. theaters.

April 20 2015 10:53 AM

Star Wars: Rogue One Is About Stealing the Plans for the Death Star. Here’s the Teaser.

On Sunday, for the last day of the Star Wars Celebration gathering in Anaheim, fans got their first look at Star Wars: Rogue One, a spinoff slated for December 2016. The new movie will take place between the original trilogy and the prequels, a panel including director Gareth Edwards announced, and it will chronicle how the rebellion stole the plans for the Death Star that were used to destroy it in A New Hope.

They also showed a brief teaser, which (since they haven’t started filming yet) doesn’t show much: a shot of a forested planet, with a looming Death Star, and voiceover from Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. “For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic,” Kenobi says. “Before the dark times, before the Empire.”


This line might initially seem like an odd choice to introduce the first movie that won’t focus on the Jedi, but it correctly pinpoints how the movie will take place between end of the old order of Jedi Knights and their return with Luke Skywalker. Felicity Jones has already been cast, giving some fans hope that this could also be the first female-led film in the Star Wars universe.

April 20 2015 9:28 AM

John Oliver Made a New Doomsday Video to Reflect All Mankind’s Greatness/Folly

A few months ago, a former CNN intern posted the footage Ted Turner had produced to play when the world ends. The video was very somber, showing simply a marching band playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” the hymn that was supposedly played during the sinking of the Titanic.

That would be an honorable way to go, but Last Week Tonight has produced a new video—with the help of Martin Sheen—that better sums up mankind’s greatness and folly. If it all comes to an end, I know which doomsday reel I’d rather be watching.

April 20 2015 8:02 AM

This Week’s Worst Person in Westeros: Daenerys Targaryen

After each episode in Game of Thrones Season 5, we’ll be discussing a crucial question: Who is currently the worst person in Westeros? This week, Slate assistant editor Miriam Krule is joined by Slate editorial assistant Laura Bradley.

Miriam Krule: Laura! Thanks so much for joining me to discuss “The House of Black and White.” I was so excited when this week’s episode opened with Arya and not Cersei. Having her run through her list of names again made me feel like I was finally back in Westeros, though I guess Arya is technically now in Braavos. It also made me realize that the best people on Game of Thrones are the little girls. My favorite scene from the episode was when Princess Shireen Baratheon—literally the only redeeming part of this dreadful Baratheon plot (seriously, does anyone think he’ll sit on the Iron Throne?)—following her attempt to teach Gilly to read, is reprimanded by her mother. “You have no idea what people will do. All your books and you still don’t know.” I couldn’t help but think that was a meta jab at book readers who think they know what’s coming. Did you have a favorite scene? Better yet, a least favorite one?

Laura Bradley: I did have a favorite scene, Cersei’s! She’s my second-favorite character on the show (Sansa has been my favorite since the beginning.) I love that she’s both strong-willed and short-sighted—and that the show so often exposes what a terrible combination those two make. So in this scene, she’s sitting there in Joffrey’s stead, trying to boss everyone around, and no one is having it. But the best part is how little she allows it to faze her. Love her or hate her, she’s very sure of who she is and where she wants to be in the world, and Lena Headey clearly has such fun playing her—and showing just how far she’ll go to hold onto her power.

April 19 2015 11:50 PM

What Does Slavery Represent in Game of Thrones?

Arya Stark may not know it, but entering the House of Black and White connects her to a millenia-old struggle against slavery, one that Daenerys Targaryen is learning takes more than a few pretty words to win. For the second episode of House Slate, hosts Marc Faletti and Amanda Marcotte dive into the history of Braavos and unpack what role the cityand the House of Black and Whiteplayed in the fight against slavery.

How long has the slave trade been going on in Essos? How is Daenerys Targaryen’s fight to free the slaves breaking from her family’s history? Who are the Faceless Men Arya wishes to join? And what killed off all the dragons? All these questions, and more, are answered in the video above.