The Substandard Oscars Draft

On the latest episode of the Substandard podcast (to which discerning individuals can subscribe here), we wanted to do a preview of awards season movies. As everyone knows, the studios release everything intended to be consumed by adults in the months of October, November, and December. These films generally turn out to be the Oscar …

No, Secret Russian Agents Probably Aren’t Behind ‘The Last Jedi’ Hate

The Last Jedi

Some people don’t like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This won’t come as surprise to many of you: the film currently has a “Rotten” audience score on RottenTomatoes despite good critical reaction, indicating that at least 100,000 people went to site specifically to complain about a Star Wars movie. The Free Beacon‘s in-house critic didn’t like the movie. But evidently, the loud and public backlash to the movie was actually a Russian plot!

Our Affectionate Uncle Barry

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on the new book! It’s so great to see you back in print, comforting the afflicted in these dark times. And my, what a pleasure cruise this must be for you: To Obama, With Love, Joy, Anger, And Hope, by New York Times bestselling author Jeanne Marie Laskas—you didn’t even have to lift your famous pen and phone to make it happen.

Mere Creature of the State

It all starts with a good dose of anti-Catholicism. In 1922, voters in Oregon passed a referendum that banned private education. Supported by such Protestant organizations as the Orange Order and the Ku Klux Klan, the new law included in its reach an Oregon military academy and a few non-Catholic schools, but the statewide campaign for the referendum concentrated on the perceived Catholic danger to the American way.

‘The Sisters Brothers’ Review

Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix, respectively) announce themselves early on in The Sisters Brothers. The camera focused on a stretch of dark prairie land, we hear them announce themselves (“We’re the Sisters Brothers!”) before demanding that those holed up inside toss out whoever it is they’re hiding unless they want violence to commence. Violence, of course, commences, and the brothers Sisters kill everyone inside.

A Man of His Time

Imagine you had to pick one person to represent a certain era. Who would you choose for the 1920s? The 2000s? The 1780s? It’s an interesting thought exercise, and in Arthur Ashe: A Life, Raymond Arsenault presents a compelling case for why Ashe, more than anyone, lived a life that most reflected his time. A black man coming of age during the Civil Rights Movement, a soldier during the Vietnam War, a leading anti-apartheid activist, a victim of AIDS during the early days of awareness of the disease—at nearly every turn of his life, Ashe was front and center with some of the most important issues facing the nation.