Plugged In Author: Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Culture Clips: Fall of a Hollywood Kingpin

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Harvey Weinstein

The bigger you are, the harder you fall goes the old cliché. But in Harvey Weinstein’s case, that seems to be true. Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most successful kingmakers, was summarily ousted from his namesake movie distribution company after The New York Times revealed that the producer had been the subject of several sexual harassment […]

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Television Learns That It’s Nice to Be Nice (And It Makes Money, Too)

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the good doctor

We’re in the heart of the new television season, and I’ve noticed something a little odd about it. It’s trying to be nice. Strange, right? For the last several years, television has been besotted with undoubtedly gripping, unbearably grim prestige TV. HBO’s Game of Thrones revels in its episodic cruelties, both physical and political. Hulu’s […]

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Blade Runner Runs Into Trouble

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Blade Runner 2049

Picture a landscape filled with amazing technological advances, but one that feels curiously depressing—something teeming with simulated life, yet strangely lifeless. The Los Angeles megalopolis from Blade Runner 2049? No, I’m talking about the box office from this weekend. Blade Runner 2049 zoomed into theaters with a strong pedigree, lots of ooh-ahh special effects and […]

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IT Rises From the Grave

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IT kids

Here’s the problem with supernatural, undying beasties. They are, by definition, really difficult to finish off. It’s pretty much a horror-movie cliché: Monsters only look dead until you kill ’em three or four times. Contenders for this weekend’s box-office crown discovered that to their detriment this week, as two-time champ IT—which last week had sunk […]

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Culture Clips: Emmys Put on a Red Shawl

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The Handmaid's Tale

Back in the day, television was considered something of a cultural unifier—the very definition of mass entertainment that would serve as a focal point for familial, communal, and even intergenerational gatherings. Yeah, about that. The Emmy awards—from the tone of the show to the awards themselves—illustrated a certain cultural divide. “In an age of hyper-polarization, […]

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IT Still a Hit

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It little boy peering into storm grate

After a second-straight week at the top of the box office, one thing should be abundantly clear: IT ain’t clowning around. The high-grossing (and kind of gross) horror flick scared the willickers out of its competition and officially became the largest September release ever. IT dragged an estimated $60 million into the sewers. That pushes […]

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The Great Television Content Rush Gets a Bit … Purer

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Hitting the Breaks

Way back yonder, folks came out West to find a new life, raise families and … well, who am I kidding, get stinkin’ rich. They’d travel to the gold fields of California or Colorado or the Yukon, visions of shiny yellow metal flashing in their nugget-hungry noggins. Some of them indeed struck it rich. Many […]

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Culture Clips: Hey, Siri! Can You Tell Me How to Pay for You?

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new iphone

Apple unveiled its nifty new iPhone yesterday—one that weighs in at a delicate 6.14 ounces and costs a hefty $999. What do you get for that kind of moola? A phone with a wall-to-wall screen (sans home button), better cameras, a wireless charging system, and … well, some other cool stuff, apparently. And while some […]

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Culture Clips: Clowns Taking It On the Red, Squeaky Nose

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Pennywise the Dancing Clown

It’s not even October yet, but already our Culture Clips blog is taking on a rather frightening hue. First up: clowns. The World Clown Association is bracing for the release of IT, a horror flick featuring a diabolical clown. The association, still reeling from last year’s spate of scary clown sightings, has put together a […]

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Hitman’s Bodyguard Threepeats During Drowsy Labor Day Weekend

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Hitman's Bodyguard wins again

It’s a bit fitting that the weekend’s only major “new” release was the 40-year-old Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Given the woefully slim box-office receipts, this was a distinctly retro weekend. The top 12 movies collectively cashed a paltry $51.5 million, making it the worst extended Labor Day weekend in 17 years. That’s right: […]

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A Lesson From the Game of Thrones. (No, Really.)

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Sam Tarly Game of Thrones

HBO’s Game of Thrones wrapped up its seventh season last Sunday, gearing up for a frenetic, likely salacious sprint to the finish next year. But for all its many weaknesses, the show sometimes offers—albeit unintentionally—a kernel of truth. And I found one this week. Despite all the criticism for its penchant for titillation and its […]

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Culture Clips: The Dragon and the Swift edition

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Game of Thrones dragon

On Sunday night, two television titans squared off against each other in a clash of old and new, awards-show glitz against prestige-TV glam. It wasn’t even close. Despite going head-to-head against MTV’s once-vaunted Video Music Awards show, HBO’s salacious sensation Game of Thrones set yet another high-water ratings mark, drawing 12.1 million viewers for its […]

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