Soundtrack to the end of the world: A world post-pandemic, part 1

For this last column, I asked my friends to share a bit of what they’re looking forward to as a post-pandemic world starts to come into focus. They sent me songs of rumination and rest and, most of all, celebration.

2021 Oscars disappoint in more ways than one

Any great film needs a good ending, and this was the 93rd Oscars’ greatest downfall. In a typical year, the ceremony ends with the climactic award for best picture. This year, however, the order was switched, with best picture being presented third to last, followed by best actress and then best actor. The clear suspense that was built up for the best actor category led to much speculation that the night would end in the powerful and emotional announcement that the late Chadwick Boseman had won for his exceptional performance in "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" (2020). So it was no surprise that the real winner, Anthony Hopkins, was quite a letdown.

Inspirational and aspirational fashion at the 2021 Oscars

This year, only about 170 people were granted the honor of attending in person, as even the golden lights of Hollywood are not immune to the lurking threat of COVID-19. Thus, the pressure was on for designers and attendees alike to stun, wow and create a memorable Oscars “moment.” This challenge was, of course, met in true Tinseltown fashion. 

Comfort Cartoons: Quirky and smart ‘Phineas and Ferb’

I would consider myself a quirky kid (as pretentious as that sounds). I had a strange sense of humor that came from being the youngest in a big family and often had to find ways to keep myself entertained. “Phineas and Ferb” was my best friend during those years, a show that made me feel less alone. Now, with every re-watch, I’m reminded of just how lucky I was to grow up with the triangle-shaped kid and his quiet British brother.

‘Nobody’ has the action, lacks the pace

“John Wick” (2014) ran so that “Nobody” (2021) could … walk? In recent years, the creative talent behind the “John Wick” franchise (2014–) have found their way into many different films. “John Wick” co-director David Leitch went on to direct “Atomic Blonde” (2017), “Deadpool 2” (2018) and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” (2019). […]

‘Geiger’ #1 is explosive fun

“Geiger #1” feels like the beginning of something huge, a cutting-edge blend of superhero comics, science fiction, fantasy and post-nuclear fiction that manages to excite, depress, thrill and intrigue. Plus, it's stitched together by some of the biggest and best names in comics. The book also cements Image Comics as the premier destination for creator-owned books and larger-than-life ideas. 

Hot Take: ‘Barry’ is the new ‘Breaking Bad’

It’s equally hilarious, terrifying and heartbreaking, which is a rare (and difficult) combo to achieve. And considering the fact that it’s about a hit man, it has some of the wildest cold opens that I’ve ever seen on TV. These cold opens do not only set the tone for how each episode will play out, but also point out the ridiculous nature of it all — that we’re essentially rooting for a hired killer to succeed, find love and be happy. The concept is ridiculous, but when it takes place in a world that's as ridiculous to the characters as it is to us, you find yourself in the unique position of relating to a hit man.

The Aria collection celebrates Gucci’s 100th anniversary

Wow. One hundred years of Gucci. While some would party with champagne and fireworks, Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele celebrates with his Aria collection (2021): a presentation of Gucci’s brilliant historical craft with a touch of modern creativity. Michele vehemently asserts, “Gucci’s long history can’t be contained within a single inaugural act,” and his work certainly reflects the brand's multitudinous inspirations: founder Guccio Gucci’s “horse wear”; former creative director Tom Ford’s hedonist aesthetic; and Michele’s own chic style.

Soundtrack to the end of the world: If I can’t have good times and bad times in the summer in the city

I write this on an abnormal day — white builds up in the corners of windows that should be refracting April yellow-red-orange glow —  but I know these days of light and sunroof-down drives with Spotify are near. My weather app says so. The return of the sun will clear the sinuses of snow, as summer hovers on the horizon. Play these songs as you learn to live again. 

Weekender: Predicting the 2021 Oscars’ main categories

"Nomadland" is the current top contender for best picture, as projected by many media outlets, but I still think "Minari" has a chance. Although "Nomadland" is well-acted, has a distinctive cast and tells a beautiful story, the easily comprehensible and well-acted "Minari" has greater complexities that drive its narrative.