week in vulture

10 Pop-Culture Questions Answered by Vulture This Week

Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we wrote a lot about Thor, enumerated the reasons why men should watch Scandal, and wondered if Hollywood is ever going to make movies about black people that aren’t total bummers. You may have read some of these stories below, but you certainly didn’t read them all. We forgive you.

Q: Is the second Thor movie better than the first?

A: Critics are pretty mixed on Thor: The Dark World, but they are all definitely obsessed with Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki. David Edelstein, however, thinks that Chris Hemsworth “holds his own.” He writes, “I’ve been guilty of underrating him; he no longer seems like an overdressed lifeguard but an actor at one with his mythic accoutrements and worthy of his hammer.”

But if you see the movie, make sure you stay until the end of the credits. What does it all mean?!

Q: Wait, who’s Chris Hemsworth? Is that Thor?

A: Yes. Apparently playing a superhero doesn’t bring in the fame like it used to.

Q: Chris Hemworth’s hair is so long and luxurious in the Thor movies. Was there ever another leading man who had such luscious locks?

A: The Fug Girls try to answer that very question.

Q: What else is in theaters?

A: Edelstein says that The Armstrong Lie, a documentary about Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, can be “confusing” but “never not fascinating.” Bilge Ebiri writes that Saoirse Ronan, who stars in How I Live Now, is “easily, her generation’s finest actress.” Ebiri also says that The Book Thief, a film about Nazi Germany is “serviceable, sleek, and stodgy.”

Q: The score in 12 Years a Slave was really affecting. Who composed it?

A: That would be the work of Hans Zimmer, who has scored over 100 films and received eight Oscar nods including one win. Zimmer talks to Kyle Buchanan about his work on a range of movies including Inception and My Beautiful Launderette.

Q: Why are all the movies about black people so depressing?

A: Roxane Gay wonders the same thing, writing, “Filmmakers take note of this and keep giving Hollywood exactly what it wants. Hollywood showers these struggle narratives with the highly coveted critical acclaim. It’s a vicious cycle.”

Q: Are there any interesting exhibitions?

A: The Guggenheim is doing a retrospective of Christopher Wool’s blocky, stenciled paintings. Jerry Saltz says it’s a “risky” move considering how when Wool’s work is hated, “it’s hated hard.” But, according to Saltz, “Wool captures the ways New York looks, sounds, and smells in our time.” As for the Thomas Eggerer show at Petzel Gallery, Saltz writes that Eggerer is “way out of gas” and that his paintings are “pointlessly big, physically unoriginal, and aimlessly narrative.”

Q: I love American Horror Story: Coven. Is there any swag I can get?

A: Maybe you can print out these tarot cards on your laser jet and add them to your deck?

Q: I think my brain is rotting from all of the television I’ve been watching. Maybe I should pick up a book instead?

A: Fear not. We have paired books to your favorite TV shows (as cozy as food and wine).

Q: Dude, I’m a dude. I wear a beer hat and scratch my crotch. Why should I watch Scandal?

A: Torture scenes, POTUS is like Don Draper, and basically, everyone is a power-hungry sociopath.

The Week in Vulture: November 4–November 8