As summer was giving way to fall, preseason football was giving way to actual football, and Linda Holmes' week was giving way to the Toronto International Film Festival, the Pop Culture Happy Hour gang managed to gather just long enough to look back on a divisive summer full of big, loud, robot-on-robot movies. Our own postmortem can't help but skim past other postmortems — was Man of Steel a hit or a flop? — as we look at box office both domestic and international, the weight of budgetary and audience expectations, the glut (or near-absence) of certain kinds of movies, audience awareness of industry minutiae, and sundry other aspects of summer cinema. And, because we'd neglected to do so already, we weigh in on Batfleck.
Then it's on to Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's much-loved character study about a woman who falls from great wealth into a workaday world she can't navigate. We try to approach it from every angle — in terms of not only Cate Blanchett's nervily committed performance, but also comparisons to A Streetcar Named Desire, Allen's portrayals of the working class, Allen's portrayals of women, and Allen's portrayals of men.
Finally, as always, we close with what's making us happy. I skim across an assortment of beginnings, endings, changes and hopes, while Trey Graham teases a promising Broadway musical. Trey also shares with Glen Weldon an affinity for this article about this cult favorite. And Linda shares my love of waste disposal, Glen's love of a popular podcast, and news about the heightened availability of two of her favorite obsessions.
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