Plugged In Author: Adam Holz

Spider-Man: Far From Relinquishing No. 1

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Another weekend. Another superhero movie on top. Spider-Man: Far From Home faced little real competition during its second weekend in theaters. Oh sure, there were a couple new R-rated films at the multiplex (which I’ll get to in a minute). But they were never going to challenge Marvel’s red-and-blue icon for box-office supremacy. Result? The […]

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Culture Clips: Apple Deletes iTunes

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Once upon a time, we bought CDs. (And before that, cassettes, vinyl records and, yup, even 8-tracks for a hot minute in the mid-’70s.) But that list illustrates an inescapable reality: Music formats eventually become obsolete. CDs, while not technically extinct, have given way over the last two decades to digital music-streaming platforms such as […]

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Movie Monday: Godzilla, King of the Box Office

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For a radioactive lizard who’s now technically eligible for retirement, Godzilla still knows how to get his stomp on. It’s been 65 years since Gojira (as he’s known in Japan) first tore through Tokyo. Thirty-five films later, moviegoers still pony up to see him square off against his always-angry kaiju nemeses. Godzilla: King of the […]

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Entertainment, Media and Mental Health: The Influence of Social Media

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This is the third part of a three-part series examining the connection between our entertainment/media culture and mental health, the latter of which is a growing problem for America’s youth. Last week, Paul Asay unpacked the ways that movies and TV depict characters struggling with mental illness. This week, we focus on what researchers are […]

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Culture Clips: What Do You Do With Your Phone at Night?

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culture clips phones

You’ve finished your day’s tasks. Maybe you’ve relaxed a bit. Your eyes are getting heavy, and it’s time for bed. What do you do with your phone? It’s a peculiarly contemporary question, really. Before the advent of smartphones (and, to a lesser extent, texting) you’d probably only think to keep your phone nearby if you […]

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Game of … Critics?

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Game of Critics

To paraphrase something Bruce Banner once said, “Don’t make the fans angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.” Since the advent of social media, fans have increasingly had an online outlet to express their euphoria in glorious, crowd-pleasing moments—and to vent their white-hot, dragon-fire rage when their beloved franchises veer in directions they deem […]

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Culture Clips: The Surprisingly Long History of Spoilers

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endgame culture clips

Ah, spoilers. Fans of hit franchises and movies with twists hate ’em. And in the internet-connected age in which we live, avoiding them—whether we’re talking about a hit movie like Avengers: Endgame or a hit TV show like HBO’s Game of Thrones—is harder than ever. (Though, that said, The Verge has offered this handy guide […]

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A Plugged In Conversation with Television Advocate Tim Winter

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PTC interview

Few inventions have reshaped culture the way television has. Since its mainstream emergence in the 1950s, television has both reflected cultural values and reinforced them, too. Since 1995, the Parents Television Council has sought to equip parents with information they need to better understand this medium’s influence, especially on children. The PTC has played strong […]

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Culture Clips: Endgame’s Epic Entry

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culture clips endgame

Endings are hard. They’re hard to write. Hard to film. Hard to watch. (Just ask the creators of Lost, for example.) That’s because the more beloved a fictional set of characters is, the more investment we have in them. The more we have at stake. Which brings us to Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 11 […]

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‘What Is Real?’ Reflections on The Matrix 20 Years Later

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The Matrix

Hundreds of new movies come and go each year. Some have theatrical debuts. Some stream online or are released direct to video. All feature stories that someone, somewhere, thought were interesting enough to warrant the trouble of making them. Most of these movies vanish, metaphorically speaking, into our cultural memory. Functionally forgotten, as if they’d […]

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