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Eighth Grade

Why did I wait so long to watch this?

4/5 stars
Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade
© A24

I think it’s difficult to portray young life well in film, but Eighth Grade takes on the challenge. It’s an authentic portrayal of teenage life in so many ways: the anxiety, awkwardness, and uncertainty you feel about yourself are all there, but so are the moments where you learn things about yourself and decide to accept and love them.

A few daydream scenes are backed by great songs, then cut fast and abruptly to bring both the character and audience back to reality. Some scenes are perfectly uncomfortable and just the right bit of long, and it’s those type of bold choices in editing that help tell this beautiful story so well.

Eighth Grade reminds you how mean kids can be, but also how adults don’t really get less mean per se, we just get better about being polite about it. And of course, none of this would be possible without Elsie Fisher’s performance which brings Kayla to life in a genuine way.

I mean, even the fact that Kayla has acne in the movie speaks to how important it was for Bo Burnham to tell this story authentically—not in a perfect, airbrushed, everyone gets along Hollywood way. Eighth graders (and all of us, really) can watch this and see themselves and hopefully learn that it’s ok to be awkward, it’s ok if you haven’t found “your people” yet, and if things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, tomorrow is a whole new day to try again.

Hey Siri, How Does One Regain Trust? 

Matt Birchler writing on BirchTree:

Apple sells themselves on being the company that cares about privacy and they betray that promise by listening to my Siri conversations and not telling me clearly, nor by letting me opt out if I don’t want to be included in making Siri better. Apple has of course said they have discontinued this practice, but trust is built around actions, not responses to bad behavior when you get caught.

Disappointing. This is the type of stuff I trusted Apple didn’t do. I hope it’s only a small road bump, rather than a serious red flag I come to regret.

Disney announces $12.99 bundle for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ 

Julia Alexander writing for The Verge:

Disney will offer a bundle package of its three streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ — for $12.99 a month starting on November 12th, the company announced today.

This is nuts. I’m shocked Disney would price this bundle so low. In fact, I expected Disney to do what Disney does and go with a money-grubbing price. Just the Disney+ content alone looks to be more than worth this price, but bundle in Hulu and ESPN+ and it almost feels like they’re losing money. Of course, that’s absurd and probably isn’t the case, but I’m excited to sign up for this and enjoy all the wonderful content.

Disney-Sony Standoff Ends Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige’s Involvement In ‘Spider-Man’ 

Absolutely ridiculous. This comes down to huge corporations fighting and all of us fans suffer. The situation Marvel is in with Spider-Man is extremely strange, so while I understand that it’s absurd to root for Disney here (a behemoth of a company that now owns almost every fucking franchise out there), it’s crazy to watch them lose such a valuable asset in quite this fashion. After investing heavily in Spider-Man’s involvement in the MCU, I’m baffled Sony would decide to walk away.

Let’s hope these two studios can figure this out.


Holy shit. Can you believe it? Summer 2019 is essentially over. Sure, technically it’s over on the 23rd, but everyone knows that the real end of summer is the cold reality of a hangover the day after Labor Day.

I hope it was good for you. My summer was full of long and warm days at the beach, hours in the pool and/or hot tub, and the best tan I’ve had in a decade. Seriously y’all, I’m sexy AF right now if I do say so myself.

Anyway, I’m dusting off some of these drafts I had before the break, so don’t be alarmed if you see a story that was forever ago.

Good to be back.

Ewan McGregor in Talks for an Obi-Wan Kenobi Series for Disney+ 

Borys Kit writing for The Hollywood Reporter:

The actor, who famously portrayed the masterful Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in three Star Wars movies, is in negotiations to reprise the role in a Kenobi-centered series for Disney+, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

I am so excited they decided to do a series instead of a film. Assuming they do ten episodes, there will be ten hours to explore Obi-Wan, how he learned to become a force ghost, and I’m hoping Darth Maul makes an appearance as well.

CSS Lists, Markers, And Counters 

Rachel Andrew writing for Smashing Magazine:

The ::marker pseudo-element allows you to target the list marker — separately from the content of the list item. This was not possible in previous versions of CSS, therefore, if you changed the color or font size of the ul or li, this would also change the color and font size of the markers. In order to do something as seemingly simple as having different color list bullets than text, would involve either wrapping the content of the list item in a span (or using an image for the marker).

Can I get a finally? It’s simple stuff like this that makes me empathize with people who complain about CSS. This is a perfect candidate for progressive enhancement, where it’ll fallback pretty gracefully on browsers that don’t support ::marker yet.

(via Piccalilli by Andy Bell)

Regal Cinemas Unlimited Ticket Subscription Program Set To Launch This Month 

Anthony D’Alessandro and Nancy Tartaglione reporting for Deadline:

There will be three tiers of pricing, which work out to $18, $21 and $24 per month, each granting access to unlimited tickets (really). While the monthly price of AMC Stubs A-List movie ticket subscription program varies by state, we hear that Regal’s is based on theater location.

After moving to Oceanside, we had to cancel our AMC Stubs A-List because the nearest AMC theater is thirty minutes away. However, there’s a Regal theater just down the street! There seems to be a catch, though.

…there’s buzz that Regal Unlimited subscribers will have to purchase an entire year in advance for the unlimited ticket program, hence the tier prices respectively would be $288, $252 and $216.

I’m hoping that turns out to be wrong. I understand the different pricing based on location, but paying a full year upfront sounds like a hard sell at those amounts. Also, there’s no mention of a family account, so I’m assuming that price would be doubled for us. I hope more theaters decide to offer a subscription. It led to us going to the theater more, and I have a feeling it’d motivate more Millenials that (according to the article) feel movie tickets are too expensive.

It’s High Time to Rewrite the Hiring Script 

DHH on Signal v. Noise:

At Basecamp, we have no illusions that we’re going to hire “the best”. In fact, even thinking about candidates in such absolute terms is nonsense. The world is full of people who are stuck doing mediocre work in a shitty environment or blessed to do stellar work by virtue of an elevating one. Most people are well capable of doing both!

This paragraph really spoke to me. People seem to think there’s a correlation between big names on a resume and that person’s work ethic or quality.

Marissa Fuchs’s Proposal Was Pitched to Brands 

Taylor Lorenz writing for The Atlantic:

Before the proposal scavenger hunt ever kicked off, marketers at various brands and agencies had received a PDF outlining the future engagement in the context of a potential sponsorship. The multiday stunt would be “a one-of-a-kind proposal experience for a one-of-a-kind female ambitionist,” the deck, which was obtained by The Atlantic, reads.

I realize people are trying to make a living, and there’s nothing fundamentally immoral about doing it this way. But I can’t help feeling disgusted as I read this. Jack Wagner, who’s cited later in the article points out how utterly ridiculous this is:

Jack Wagner, the creator of Like and Subscribe, an online show that skewers influencer culture, said that at this point, parodies like his own are often indistinguishable from reality. “What’s crazy to me is the nature of creating a pitch deck for your engagement,” he said. “What is the price where you’d brand your engagement and sell it away? It’s such a special moment in your life. What is that price that makes it worth it? It’s weird that we’re at a point right now in culture where that’s a question.”


The Instagram Alternative Is Kickstarted 

Jason McFadden:

The initial screenshots look very nice. It begins with a not-so-subtle-red theme, which is a stark yet welcome departure from the blues of Twitter and Facebook.

The name itself, Bokeh, leads me to think that the social site will focus more heavily on photography than on celebrity influencer status – cough, Instagram, cough.

Interestingly, that’s why I went with red. Blue is an overused color in social media apps, and I wanted a color as bright and bold as I am. Bokeh is me, and I want it to be a success or failure by representing my values and my vision of optimism for how the web can be better for all of us.

I’m grateful and excited to see others passionate about this vision too.