December 23, 2015

The Short: 'The Force Awakens is a prime example of Hollywood’s nostalgia problem'

by Peter Suderman

"Indeed, as many others have already pointed out, The Force Awakens is practically a beat-by-beat reworking of the original, complete with a third-act X-Wing trench run, a planet-killing superweapon used to destroy a peaceful society, and a diminutive droid carrying secret plans to help the hero Rebels fight what’s left of the Empire. Even the movie’s newest, freshest element — its trio of appealing young leads — feels like a mix-and-match creation built from the various personality traits of the original characters."

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The Long: 'Cuban Baseball Crisis'

by The Economist

"So baseball fans gather in speakeasies like this decrepit flat, whose owner has managed to acquire an illegal satellite broadcast signal and hook it up to his 1980s Japanese television.
The group try to keep quiet, lest the neighbours snitch to the local Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (a network of government informants in every town). But they are rooting for the Royals because of the team’s first baseman, Kendrys Morales, who fled Cuba on a raft in 2004 after serving several stints in jail for his seven previous failed escape attempts."

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