With the Orlando bubble now disbanded, players are back in their home markets and preparing for what could be a short NBA offseason. However, Bucks veteran Kyle Korver was prompted to speak on the topic of how things transpired prior to the decision to sit out the game, and he answered in poignant detail during a visit to his alma mater of Creighton.
Last night Kyle Korver explained the decision for the Milwaukee Bucks to stick together during an intense locker room meeting inside the NBA Bubble, and how it helped bring about change. pic.twitter.com/1wPi4brcyN
Within the video above, Korver describes the situation with Bucks assistant Darvin Ham addressing the team before the scheduled game. Ham has a pair of sons that live in the Milwaukee area, and Korver describes an emotional scene.
“I just sat there in my chair, with tears running down my face,” Korver said. “And I’m looking at my jersey that says Black Lives Matter, and I’m just like ‘What are we doing?’”
It is known that George Hill was the member of the Bucks that first decided not to play. From there, Korver recounts that Sterling Brown joined him, telling the team they didn’t have to sit out. But the Bucks decided to do so at that late hour, with Korver saying there were “like 13 minutes on the clock” before tip-off.
The full video is certainly worth viewing, and Korver provides context and insight for what took place. In addition, he shed light on being an ally in this situation.
“How do I help as a white man? What do I say as a white man in this space? You know what you do,” Korver said. “You stand with the marginalized. And, when you can, you amplify their voice. And you listen to their thoughts. And you listen to their ideas. And you find your way to help out.”
Jaden Smith is using his platform to help underserved communities. The musician announced Monday that he is partnering with Lyft and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation to offer thousands of dollars in free rides to those in need.
Thanks to the new partnership, the rideshare company will be offering access to transportation to a network of citizens in need through a $50,000 ride credit donation. Smith is also working with 501cThree, his organization which helps those in Flint, Michigan get access to clean water, as well as the I Love You Restaurant, Smith’s LA-based charity which provides vegan meals to those experiencing homelessness.
In a statement about the initiative, Smith said: “Proud to be partnering with Lyft on their LyftUp initiative. Together, we’ll be providing rides to communities who need them most. In Flint, these rides will be used so community members can access clean, fresh water through our 501CTHREE.org partners. In Los Angeles, we’ll focus on providing rides to grocery stores, clean water and jobs for the residents of Skid Row through our I LOVE YOU community partners. We believe in the power of transportation, and that access to a ride can mean access to an opportunity.”
Hannah Broadhurst, Culture and Entertainment Manager at Lyft, echoed Smith’s statement: “We at Lyft greatly admire the work Jaden has been doing to better the lives of individuals facing adversities. In partnership with WJSFF, we’re excited to impact these communities through access to rides.”
Britney Spear’s conservatorship status has been the source of public scrutiny since the #FreeBritney movement —in which fans called for an end to the singer’s father, Jamie Spears, being her legal guardian — went viral. Britney has previously expressed support for the movement, but her father has continued to assert that the arrangement is voluntary and due to mental health reasons.
Recently Spears’ lawyer, Sam Ingham, reportedly told an LA judge that the singer lacks the capacity to sign documents expressing her wishes about her conservatorship status, comparing her to a “comatose” patient. Ingham also allegedly said Spears does not want to perform for an audience any time soon. But Jamie reportedly disagrees and is now questioning the lawyer’s statements, hoping that Spears will speak for herself.
According to a report from TMZ, Jamie says Ingham should not be Spears’ “exclusive voice,” clarifying that being a conservatee does not strip her of all her rights, including her right to vote. He also questions Ingham’s statement about Spears wanting to stay off the stage, saying she should be able make that decision on her own.
While Jamie reportedly thinks the singer should come to her own conclusion about performing again, he has previously been against publicizing her conservatorship documents. Spears’ lawyer alleged that the singer wants to make some aspects of her situation public, but Jamie thinks making people aware of her “sensitive medical issues” could be harmful.
Disney entered the streaming wars in a big way with the launch of its own streaming platform, Disney+. But unlike other rookie streaming services, Disney’s already got a vault full of animated classics and superhero blockbusters ready to be unlocked when fans subscribe. There are hundreds — yes hundreds — of movies coming to Disney+, including Avengers team-ups, Star Wars trilogies, and beloved animated throwbacks, so of course you’re going to need help combing through the library to find those must-watch hidden gems. We’ve done the hard work for you and researched the Disney+ lineup to find the films worth subscribing for.
Here are the Disney+ movies that deserved to be watched first.
The epic conclusion to a ten-years-in-the-making story arc, Endgame exceeded all expectations, rounding up the team of beloved superheroes one last time to take on Thanos and undo the destruction he caused in Infinity War. Hats off to the Russo brothers for crafting this masterpiece (and giving us a final glimpse of “America’s a**”). The best thing about Endgame being offered on Disney + though? You can take as many bathroom breaks while watching it as you want.
What can we say about Hamilton that hasn’t already been said? It’s become one of the most prestigious, boundary-crossing musical masterpieces to ever hail from Broadway. It’s impacted the culture in ways we’re still learning about, which makes Disney’s choice to stream the show, complete with its original cast, so groundbreaking. An entirely new audience is being introduced to an art form that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to enjoy. Of course, there’s also the undisputed fact that this musical — a retelling of America’s underrated founding father in hip-hop form — is just unrivaled in its greatness. You won’t really understand the hype until you see it for yourself.
Look, it’s too difficult to pick between the three masterpieces in George Lucas’ original trilogy, so just watch them all okay? You’ll get to follow Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on his journey from becoming a farmhand to a Jedi, teaming up with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to take down an evil empire, and to confront his past in a fight with the all-powerful Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) and we won’t have to wade into the war of which Star Wars film is best. Win, win.
Rob Reiner’s ridiculous fantasy romp never fails to entertain, no matter how many times you re-watch it. It plays with classic fairytale tropes in inventive, increasingly absurd ways without ever sacrificing its story — the quest for true love. Cary Elwes plays Wesley, a farmhand who falls in love with a beautiful maiden named Buttercup (Robin Wright), but a cruel twist of fate separates them, leading him to become a notorious pirate and her to be betrothed to a truly awful king. It’s a bit Monty-Python-esque but with more swoon-worthy moments and, if you can believe it, memorable jokes.
Ryan Coogler’s superhero flick revolutionized the Marvel Universe and with the tragic passing of its star, Chadwick Boseman, what the film was able to accomplish for the Black community feels all the more worth celebrating. The film gives us a fully-realized, otherworldly Wakanda as it follows the trials and tribulations of a newly-minted king, T’Challa (Boseman). While trying to govern his people and embrace his Black Panther alter-ego, he’s also got to fight off a would-be usurper in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, who may just be the best villain Marvel has ever seen.
Say what you will about the sequels and prequels and alternate-timeline takes on this comic book franchise but 20 years later, the original entry in the X-Men universe still works. Not only does it properly introduce a slew of iconic characters like Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellan’s Magneto, it also gave us Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. The special effects may be a bit outdated but the essence of what X-Men (the comic) was is hidden in this movie, a superhero action flick that basically launched the blockbuster era we’re now living in.
When you think of Disney, you think of most of the movies that populate this list — animated comedies, childhood classics, superhero sagas, you get it — but every so often the studio churns out a family-friendly biopic that navigates tricky waters and teaches audiences about our shared history. Remember The Titans (also here) did that well, but this movie, which sees Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson — one of the unsung African-American mathematicians who helped Nasa launch a man into space — does it better, introducing us to a group of Black women (Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae included) who battled racism and sexism in their industry to take a giant leap for mankind.
Brie Larson brings this icon to life on the big screen, marking the first Marvel superheroine to get her own solo movie, a move that many consider to be overdue. It’s a kick a** journey filled with nostalgic ’90s callbacks, comic book references, eye-popping battles, and a de-aged Nick Fury.
James Cameron’s fantasy epic changed the motion-capture game when it was released 10 years ago and while we’re still waiting for those planned sequels, it’ll be nice to revisit the wild, mysterious world of Pandora in the meantime. The story — a paraplegic Marine is torn between completing his mission and being loyal to the people he feels at home with — is meh, but the action and visuals are compelling enough to carry it forward.
Still one of the best Pixar films out there, this early-aughts classic introduced us to a whole new world of thrills and chills when it revealed just how much work goes into scaring the sh*t out of kids every night. The real star here though (besides the exceptional animation) is the voice work from John Goodman and Billy Crystal.
Yeah, Beyonce’s version will eventually land on Disney+, but no offense to Queen Bey, there’s just no beating the original. The Elton John-created soundtrack, the Shakespearean story, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, and Jeremy Irons as a sassy Scar. What’s not to love about this classic?
Five years ago, James Gunn revolutionized our idea of what a superhero movie could look like with this space comedy about a bunch of a**holes sent to save the galaxy. Chris Pratt plays Star-Lord, a snarky everyman who gets caught up in an intergalactic battle and meets some interesting friends along the way. Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, and Dave Bautista also star, but no one gets as much love as Vin Diesel, who managed to put on a masterclass in acting while repeating the same phrase for two hours.
Denzel Washington and Will Patton star in this feel-good football film, based on another true story of a coach who defied a bigoted small town to lead his school’s first interracial sports team to victory. Washington shines as the no-nonsense Coach Boone while Patton plays his reluctant right-hand, Coach Yoast. Squint your eyes and you’ll also see a baby Ryan Gosling out on the field.
The superhero film that launched a franchise, this origin story from Jon Favreau remains one of the better Marvel installments. Robert Downey Jr. introduces us to the wise-cracking billionaire-philanthropist-playboy who we’d all eventually come to love, giving him a complicated, layered backstory and plenty of swagger.
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer star in this family drama based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers. Andrews plays a nun named Maria who leaves her Austrian convent to serve as a governess to a respected Naval officer and widower. As she wrangles his unruly brood and teaches them all how to sing, the Nazis begin their invasion, forcing the family to make difficult decisions about their future.
Disney switched up its formulaic princess model with this icy musical about two orphaned sisters who must work together to protect their kingdom from evil forces. Kristen Bell plays Anna, the perky protagonist and younger sibling to Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), a young woman with extraordinary abilities who must hide her powers from the world. The songs are terrific, the animation is superb, and you can’t tell us that you don’t love Josh Gad as a talking snowman.
This stirring sports drama based on a true story follows Kurt Russell’s Herb Brooks, a legendary hockey coach given the impossible task of whipping a team of rookies and rejects into shape before the 1980 Olympics, where they’d nab a history-making win over a seemingly invincible Russian squad.
Julie Andrews in anything is good, but she feels born to play the role of Mary Poppins in this classic musical about the magical, mysterious British nanny who must shape up the unruly children of a harried London banker and his wife. She’s charming, she’s mischevious, she’s practically perfect in every way. So is Dick Van Dyke, despite, you know, that accent.
Gary Marshall. Julie Andrews. Anne Hathaway. Do we really need to explain why this teenage drama about a nerdy outcast who discovers she’s actually the heir to the throne of a foreign kingdom became a cult classic and one of the most influential films of a generation? No? Okay, good.
Warning: watching this animated flick that personifies the inner emotions of a preteen girl going through the turmoil of a cross-country move will bring out all the feels. Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, and Mindy Kaling lead the stellar voice cast for this one but please, don’t talk to us about Bing Bong. It’s still too soon.
One of the best things about Disney opening its vault for the new streaming platform is fans getting the chance to revisit hidden gems like this ’60s animated classic. It’s a trippy, psychedelic take on the legend of King Arthur, with a forgetful Merlin nearly managing to get the boy king killed before he can pull the sword from the stone, turning him into all kinds of forest creatures and battling an evil witch along the way.
Sorry to Will Smith, but there’s a superior Genie in our book. He’s big, blue, animated, and voiced by Robin Williams. Come for the musical numbers, stay for Williams’ outlandish comedy, and the gorgeous artwork.
There are too many Robin Hoods on film to count at this point, but there’s something special about this take on the masked outlaw, who’s imagined here as a sly fox while the rest of the key players take on other humanoid animal forms.
Having a scientist father who regularly experiments in your house sounds fun, until those experiments end up shrinking your entire family, forcing you to navigate very real household dangers while he cleans up the mess.
Sure, on paper, Shawn Ashmore is Hilary Duff’s love interest in this comedy about a ditzy teen who gets sent to military school and faces off against a strict drill instructor. But anyone with eyes can see the real chemistry is between the former Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano. Watching these two go at it is all the fun you need.
Another forgotten animated classic, this fantasy film follows a young boy and his group of misfit friends as they race to find a dark, magical weapon before an evil tyrant bent on ruling their world can do the same.
You can create painfully awkward live TV musicals. You can stick Melissa McCarthy in an octopus onesie. But you can’t touch this Disney classic about a mermaid princess who strikes a terrible bargain with a sea witch in exchange for the chance to walk on land and find her prince.
This second installment in the Captain America series follows Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he tries to acclimate to life in the 21st century. He makes friends in Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and finds a tense partnership with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, but when a familiar face from his past returns to wreak havoc, Rogers learns some disturbing truth about the organization to which he’s devoted his life.
Based on a children’s story from Roald Dahl, this imaginative tale of an orphan who befriends a group of anthropomorphic bugs living inside a giant peach marked a breakthrough in animation when it was first released. It’s deliciously weird and fun, and it’s got Tim Burton all over it.
Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, and Kevin Kline lend their voices to this colorful tale of a deformed bell ringer who must fight his guardian, an evil government minister, to help his gypsy friend. There’s talking gargoyles, some great musical numbers, and the animation is breathtaking.
Robin Williams stars in this absurd comedy about a hair-brained professor who invents a rubber-like bouncy substance he calls “Flubber” that quickly grows beyond his control. It’s ridiculous, and the acting is over-the-top, but it’s Robin Williams, so it’s also funny as hell.
Another animated classic, the story of Mulan might be getting a live-action version in 2020, but this animated rendition of a young woman who poses as a man to prevent her father from serving in the Emperor’s army (and defeats the greatest threat to China’s dynasty) is still the standard by which all other animated movies are measured.
There’s so much to love about this cult favorite Disney Channel original. It stars Erik von Detten as Andy “Brink” Brinker, a young skater who shreds for fun with his crew and often squares up against another team of sponsored skaters led by a kid named Val. Brink’s no sell-out, but when his family begins to struggle financially, he joins the opposing team, skating for them to earn some extra money while keeping it a secret from his friends.
In 1999, Disney Channel gave us a moment of true brilliance when it delivered this work of art about a family who moves into a fully-automated dream house controlled by an operating system named PAT, voiced by Katey Sagal. All’s well and good until PAT begins to take control of the family’s lives, holding them hostage in their own home.
Look, Disney usually banks on cute canines to sell movies, but cat people will always have this animated classic about a reckless alley cat who must save a family of Parisian felines set to inherit their owner’s fortune when an evil butler takes matters into his own hands. Jazz-loving cats? Who knew?
The Avatar sequels are some of the only film productions that have been able to continue filming during an out-of-control pandemic. Why? Because James Cameron and team are making them in New Zealand, which has been able to conquer COVID-19, twice, while other nations, like the U.S., couldn’t even do it once. In fact, Cameron announced the first sequel was done filming in late September, with the third film nearly completed. But we’re only now seeing one of its niftiest first-looks: one of its stars, Kate Winslet, underwater.
From Kate Winslet’s recent interview in @THR: “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff.” pic.twitter.com/ZYAmZdNgHS
Granted, this is all pre-CGI, and presumably the sight of the Oscar-winning actress — whose seven total nominations include one for Cameron’s Titanic — in a full-body suit with minimalist breathing equipment will be rather enhanced in the finished film. (Hopefully that cape remains.) We also already knew that she was playing some sea creature — or as the character has previously been described, a “water person” — named Ronal, so this isn’t a total surprise. Even the quote attached to it in the tweet — “I had to learn how to free-dive to play that role in Avatar, and that was just incredible. My longest breath hold was seven minutes and 14 seconds, like crazy, crazy stuff” — is from a Hollywood Reporter profile from August.
Still, even a pre-CGI Winslet underwater, six-plus feet away from an also underwater cameraman, is pretty nifty. And it’s a reminder that Cameron is returning to his TheAbyss days, which he also shot in a massive water tank, forcing his actors to work while submerged. The tales from that shoot are infamous, and he wasn’t even filming during a pandemic.
Anyway, you’ll have to wait another two years, at least, to see “water person” Winslet in action. Even though the first two sequels are almost in the can, those special effects take some time to create. Avatar 2 is due in late 2022.
Election Day is a special occasion where Americans of all walks of life come together to collectively make important decisions about the country’s future. Although we do it together as a community, it’s usually a pretty formal affair.
People tend to stand quietly in line, clutching their voter guides. Politics can be a touchy subject, so most usually stand in line like they’re waiting to have their number called at the DMV.
However, a group of voters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a lot of love on social media on Sunday for bringing a newfound sense of joy to the voting process.
A whole mood! The joyful defiance of dancing in line at the polls in a “f*** 2020” Tshirt is what voting in 2020 lo… https://t.co/MMlocA5FbS
Videos circulating online showed groups of dancers doing the “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper while waiting to cast their ballots. While it looked like an impromptu display by bored voters making the best of the long line, it was actually the work of Nelini Stamp, 32, the director of the strategy for the Working Families Party and the campaign director for Election Defenders.
The nonpartisan coalition’s goal is to help voters stay “staying safe and healthy outside of polling places across the country and bringing them some joy.”
“Because voter suppression has been rampant for years, because there has been so much in the media and so much out there about white supremacists and militia intimidation tactics, we figured that this was a year to make sure that people felt motivated to go vote and not feel unsafe,” Stamp told BuzzFeed News.
“Especially in the middle of a global pandemic,” she added.
The coalition’s work also includes training thousands of people in de-escalation tactics to combat voter intimidation at the polls. Stamp believes that the joyous, calming effect music has on people helps with de-escalating a potentially stressful situation because it “centers the mood in something else.”
📷 IG | selenagomez: Please meet Nelini Stamp (@nelstamp). Nelini is the Director of Strategy for @Workingfamilies -… https://t.co/8cDAUY1zAZ
The viral cha-cha dance was courtesy of Joy to the Polls, a concert put on by the coalition to entertain voters waiting in line. The Resistance Revival Chorus, a group of women and nonbinary activists dressed in white, joined in the festivities by dancing alongside the voters in an adjacent parking lot.
The joyous moment showed that with an inspired community organization, even standing in a two-hour-long polling line can be fun. But it also calls attention to a larger problem in American democracy: long polling lines.
“That person should not have to have to wait in line for an hour,” Stamp said.
“However, we wanted to do something good for those people [standing in line],” she said. “And it felt really good that that person and those folks who saw — whether it was the Cha Cha Slide or the Wobble or people doing the Electric Slide, it at least brought them some joy and some relief in a process that wasn’t meant for us, especially Black and brown people.”
Studies show that voters in primarily Black neighborhoods wait for 29% longer than those in primarily white neighborhoods. They are also about 74% more likely to wait more than half an hour.
There will be fewer polling places in Philadelphia this year, compared to most. There are normally 830 open on election day, but this year there will only be 718. Some of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the understanding that more people will be voting by mail.
This mirrors the reduction in polling places throughout the country. Over 21,000 polling places have been eliminated across the country this year. That’s a 20% drop compared to 2016. Vice attributes these closure to “a heavy shift to mail voting, coronavirus-related consolidations, cost-cutting measures, and voter suppression.”
Even though the streaming wars are heating up and every studio/network seems to be building their own platform, Netflix still has, arguably, the best movie library of them all. They’re getting better at categorizing them too, but when you have a film library that big, it’s hard to make sure all of the worthwhile titles get seen. That’s where we come in. Let this must-watch list be your guide to the overcrowded streaming landscape and an end to the mindless scrolling through Netflix’s movie catalog. There’s something for everyone here and it’s all good.
The Indiana Jones franchise has been housed on Amazon Prime for a while now, but it’s finally making its way to Netflix with the streaming platform hosting all four feature films. Of course, nothing beats the original, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and as far as travel and adventure go, this movie has everything you could possibly want. A hero with a love for archeology and whips? Check. An adventure to recover a stolen artifact with destructive powers? Check check. Harrison Ford beating up Nazis while uttering sarcastic one-liners and with a twinkle in his eye? Did movies even exist before this?
Jack Nicholson stars in this dark drama about a criminal who cops an insanity plea to avoid jail time and finds more than he bargained for at his court-ordered psych facility. Nicholson plays McMurphy, a delinquent who hopes to serve the remainder of his prison sentence in a cushy mental hospital. His plans are thwarted by a strict, manipulative nurse in charge of the facility against whom McMurphy actively rebels. He recruits his fellow patients in his plot to cause chaos at the facility, liberating some, dooming others, and ensuring he meets his own tragic fate. The film has been hailed as one of the best of all time, and it’s certainly one of Nicholson’s best performances — both reasons enough to watch.
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this gritty, Oscar-winning drama from Paul Thomas Anderson playing a turn-of-the-century prospector, who risks his faith and his family for oil. Daniel Plainview is a shrewd, callous businessman who adopts the orphaned son of a dead employee to make himself look more appealing to investors. When he hits oil in California, he wages a war with a local preacher and his family who stand in the way of Daniel’s progress. Violence and yes, plenty of blood, follow.
The Oscar-winning animated film follows a young kid named Miles, who becomes the web-slinging hero of his reality, only to cross paths with other iterations of Spider-Man across different dimensions who help him defeat a threat posed to all realities. Mahershala Ali, John Mulaney, and Jake Johnson make up the film’s talented voice cast, but it’s the striking visuals and daring story-telling technique that really serves the film well.
Martin Scorsese delivers another cinematic triumph, this time for Netflix and with the help of some familiar faces. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up (again) for this crime drama based on actual events. De Niro plays Frank Sheeran a World War II vet who finds work as a hitman for the mob. Pacino plays notorious Teamster Jimmy Hoffa, a man who frequently found himself on the wrong side of the law and the criminals he worked with. The film charts the pair’s partnership over the years while injecting some historical milestones for context. It’s heavy and impressively cast and everything you’d expect a Scorsese passion-project to be.
Before FX gave us some spectacular follow-up formatted for TV, the Coen brothers introduced us to the cold, weirdly-accented world of murder and cover-up in Fargo, a thriller continues to stand the test of time. The premise is probably familiar by now: a criminal mastermind’s plan goes awry thanks to the ineptitude and bungling of his henchman and the persistence of a dogged policewoman (the unfairly-talented Frances McDormand). Still, it’s worth a rewatch.
Oscar-winning writer/director Alfonso Cuaron delivers what may be his most personal film to date. The stunningly-shot black-and-white film is an ode to Cuaron’s childhood and a love letter to the women who raised him. Following the journey of a domestic worker in Mexico City named Cleo, the movie interweaves tales of personal tragedy and triumph amidst a backdrop of political upheaval and unrest.
Casino Royale marks Daniel Craig’s first James Bond entry, but he plays the suave MI6 agent like he’s been doing it for decades. The film gives fans of the spy franchise a soft reset, as we’re introduced to the new Bond when he sets off on his first mission as 007. Bond’s tasked with catching a private banker funding terrorist operations by beating him in a high-stakes game of poker in Montenegro, and he’s joined by Vesper Lynd (a terrific Eva Green), an MI6 accountant with a secret that threatens to derail the mission and may cost Bond his life.
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, and Cybill Shepherd star in this Martin Scorsese crime thriller about a veteran with mental health issues who works a night job, driving a taxi around New York City. De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a Vietnam war vet who moonlights as a cap driver to cope with his insomnia. During a long shift, he contemplates assassinating a politician to help out the woman he’s fallen in love with (Shepherd) and killing a pimp after befriending an underage prostitute (Foster). It’s a wild ride, full of darkly comedic moments, and an even more harrowing looks at the consequences of war.
Public scandal often makes for good drama, but that’s not why Todd McCarthy’s biographical re-telling of one of the most shocking cases of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church makes this list. Yes, the film has a famous list of names attached, including Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton. Yes, it’s a true story about a group of Boston Globe investigative journalists, who uncovered decades-worth of corruption and molestation accusations buried by leaders of the church. Yet with McCarthy’s restrained direction, the film rejects the trope of glorifying its heroes and sensationalizing its narrative to instead give us an accurate, detailed, and unbiased look at history.
Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy war epic focuses on a young girl named Ofelia, who grows up during a time of political unrest in her native Spain after a brutal Civil War ravages the country. Ofelia escapes the horrors committed by her stepfather when she accepts a challenge from a magical fairy, who believes her to be the reincarnation of Moanna, the princess of the underworld. If she completes three tasks, she’ll achieve immortality. The film is a play on folklore and fables from Del Toro’s youth, but there’s an undercurrent based in reality — the real cost of war — that grounds this film and makes it even more compelling.
Another Quentin Tarantino classic, this violent visit back in time to America’s era of slavery carries major Western vibes and gives Lenoard DiCaprio a refreshing turn as the film’s big bad, a plantation owner named Calvin Candie. Tarantino favorite Christoph Waltz plays a German bounty hunter who teams up with Jamie Foxx’s Django, a former slave looking to free his wife (Kerry Washington) from Candie’s clutches. There’s a lot of gore and uncomfortable dialogue and over-the-top action, really, everything you’d expect, but DiCaprio, Waltz, and Foxx make it all worth it.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo star in this mystery crime thriller directed by David Fincher. The manhunt for the Zodiac killer — a criminal who committed several murders in the Bay area in the late ’60s and early ’70s — has spawned decades and garnered plenty of media attention, but the film dives deeper into the cost of the search, particularly the toll it’s taken on the men and women reporting on it. Gyllenhaal plays a newspaper cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the case, decoding ciphers sent by the killer and targeting a man he believes could be the Zodiac. Downey Jr. plays a crime reporter who partners with Gyllenhaal on the case and leaks information to the police. It’s a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse fueled by some gripping performances by its male leads.
Spike Jonze imagines a world in which Artificial Intelligence can become something more than just a personal assistant program. Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a depressed introvert going through a divorce who starts up a relationship with an OS named Samantha. Things get serious before Theodore begins to realize that romance with an A.I. is more complicated than he thought. What follows is a thoughtful exploration of love, relationships, and the ways human beings find connection in a plugged-in world.
It’s hard not to watch this Aaron Sorkin-penned, David Fincher-directed masterpiece and have your viewing experience colored by Facebook, and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s, many political misdealings. Jesse Eisenberg plays the boy genius, an outcast whose brainchild is the product of a bad breakup and sexism. He partners with Andrew Garfield’s business-minded Eduardo Saverin and the two create the famous social networking site before Zuckerberg outs his friend and alienates himself. The story isn’t new, but watching it play out is still thrilling, mostly because Eisenberg is just so damn good at being a dick.
A stone-faced Ryan Gosling steers us through the criminal underworld created by director Nicolas Winding Refn in this high-speed thriller. Gosling plays a near-silent stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway man. When he gets involved with his next-door neighbor and her young son, his carefully cultivated life is thrown into chaos, forcing him to align with criminals and take on risky jobs to protect the pair and keep a firm grip on the wheel.
Aaron Sorkin’s star-studded courtroom drama is finally here, and besides carrying some serious Oscar buzz, it’s also delivering a handful of ridiculously good performances from its impressive cast. That cast includes everyone from Succession’s Jeremy Strong to Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, and Watchmen breakout Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The film follows the true story of a group of anti-Vietnam war protesters charged with conspiracy counts and inciting riots during a demonstration at the 1968 Democratic Convention. We heard that Strong asked Sorkin to tear-gas him for this thing so, yeah, it should be an intense watch.
The early aughts action-comedy borrows elements from famous Kung Fu films of the ’70s and pairs them with a completely ridiculous plot and some impressive cartoon-style fight sequences to produce a wholly original flick that we guarantee you’ll marvel at. The film follows the exploits of two friends, Sing and Bone, who impersonate gang members in the hopes of joining a gang themselves and inadvertently strike up a gang war that nearly destroys the slums of the city. Of course, the real draw here is the absurdist, over-the-top comedy that takes place during some of the film’s biggest action sequences. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but only if you check your brain at the door.
It wasn’t over and it still isn’t over… our love for this sticky-sweet melodramatic romance from Nicholas Sparks that is. Netflix knows what the people want — a rain-soaked Ryan Gosling professing his undying love for Rachel McAdams — and the streaming platform is giving it to us. The movie is a staple of the romance drama, and, whether you love it or hate it, Gosling and McAdams have chemistry and talent that’s undeniable. Be warned though, as sweeping as this love story is, it’s also devastatingly heartbreaking, and there are more than a few scenes that require an abundance of tissues as a viewing companion.
Keira Knightley stars in this dramatic adaptation of a beloved Austen novel. Ask any British literature fan, and they’ll tell you the best interpretation of this story is either the ’90s mini-series (with Colin Firth) or this Joe Wright masterpiece. There’s no middle ground. Knightley plays Elizabeth Bennet, an independent, quick-witted young woman, who resents her mother’s schemes to find herself and her group of sisters’ husbands to advance their station in life. She also, ironically, ends up falling for a wealthy, aloof lord named Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfayden), and it’s their contentious, electric romance that fuels much of the action.
Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in this dark, absurdist comedy about a man searching for love under some very strange circumstances. Farrell plays David, a man whose wife recently left him. David is sent to a hotel where he’s told he must find a mate within 45 days or be turned into an animal. While there, David witnesses strange rituals and must follow strict rules in order to find love, but it’s not until he ventures into the woods, where the “loners” live, that he pairs up with a woman (Weisz) who may be his soulmate. It’s weird, eccentric, and the perfect Farrell-starring vehicle.
Edgar Wright’s 2010 action comedy about a hapless boy, who must defeat evil ex-boyfriends in order to win the hand of the girl he loves, is a fast-paced ride that bombards the senses. Michael Cera plays a loveable goof in the titular hero, a young man enamored with a woman named Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to be with his lady love, Scott must fight her evil exes (six guys, one girl), who challenge him to truly strange contests. The film is a cinematic mash-up of Japanese anime and gamer culture, intended for the crowd who grew up on Nintendo and comic books, but it brings plenty of laughs all the same.
Greta Gerwig’s love letter to her hometown of Sacramento, California follows Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf as they navigate the often-frustrating relationship between mother and daughter. Ronan plays “Ladybird,” a young woman attending Catholic school who longs for the culture and change of scenery that New York City promises. Her mother, Metcalf, is overbearing and overprotective, and the family’s lack of money and social standing contributes to a rift between the two. Some hard truths are explored in this film, but watching Ronan manage teenage angst, first love, and everything in between will give you all kinds of nostalgia.
Charlie Kaufman’s latest film is based on a book of the same name and stars Chernobyl’s Jessie Buckley as a young woman meeting her boyfriend’s parents for the first time, which normally would be a happy event except she’s secretly been planning to break up the with the guy. That guy is Jesse Plemons, who seems to be in everything these days, and along with Toni Collette and David Thewlis who play his parents, they make for hellish dinner mates. There’s a sinister vibe permeating everything about this straightforward plot so if you think you know how this ends, let us be the first to tell you: You don’t have a clue.
Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight will always be remembered for winning the Academy Award for Best Picture after a mix-up that initially named La La Land as the winner. But that’s just an asterisk attached to a momentous coming-of-age story set over three eras in a young man’s life as he grows up in Miami, grappling with the sexuality he feels will make him even more of an outcast while searching for guidance that his drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) can’t provide. The film is both lyrical and moving and won justifiable acclaim for its talented cast, including a Best Supporting Actor award for Mahershala Ali as a sympathetic drug dealer.
Noah Baumbach’s star-studded divorce drama is pure Oscar bait, but in the best way. The film takes a look at messy breakups with Scarlett Johansson playing an actress and mother named Nicole, who is intent on separating from her stage director husband Charlie (Adam Driver). Laura Dern and Ray Liotta play their hard-hitting lawyers, who don’t help in diffusing the tension and resentment building between the pair when Nicole moves herself and their son across the country. It’s an intimate look at the emotional wreckage of a divorce and the struggle to put a family back together again, and it’s carried by some brilliant performances by Driver and Johansson.
This adventurous mindf*ck starring Adam Sandler finally landed on Netflix, and our only advice before watching this criminally-good romp is this: prepare yourself for a wild, over-the-top ride. Sandler gives one of his best performances, and the Safdie Brothers prove they’ve got a knack for crafting thrillers textured with grit and a realness that just can’t be beaten.
This time-hopping drama set in the backwoods of West Virginia is basically an excuse for director Antonio Campos to assemble his own Avengers-style squad of Hollywood A-listers. Seriously, everyone’s in this thing — Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgård, Eliza Scanlen, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, Riley Keough, Jason Clarke, Haley Bennett, that kid who played Dudley in the Harry Potter franchise. The whole gang’s living in shacks and picking up hitchhikers only to murder them later and speaking in tongues and falling victim to generational trauma. It’s a heavy watch, and there’s not really a happy ending, but boy does Pattinson deliver a batsh*t crazy turn as a perverted preacher.
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet star in this sci-fi romance about a couple reliving their romance following a painful break-up. The movie stars Winslet as the free-spirited Clementine, who decides to have her memories of a past relationship with beau Joel (Carrey) erased. Once Joel learns of this, he too decides to erase their time together, and the film is a reverse narrative of their love story, charting their break-up and all the things that led up to it. It’s a quirky romance, one that ends on a hopeful note and has just enough futuristic tech to feel worthy of the genre.
Before he scored his own MTV show, filmmaker Nev Schulman was exposing cons on the internet in this documentary, that basically introduces the term “catfish” to the cultural lexicon. The film captures Nev’s growing online-only friendship with a young woman and her family, exposing the secrets and lies they’re keeping along the way and reminding us all: you really can’t trust people.
This beautifully animated French fantasy film follows the story of a young man named Naoufel, or rather, his hand which has been severed from his body and spends most of the film escaping labs and trying to get back to its owner. The film flits between the past and present, watching Naoufel’s life unfold from a young orphan to an accidental carpenter’s apprentice — which is how he lost his appendage — all while exploring themes of love, loss, and destiny.
Any Spike Lee joint is worth a watch, but this genre-bending thriller about a group of black Vietnam War vets returning to the battlefield decades later feels especially timely. That’s because Lee manages to shed light on a little-known part of our shared history: the way our country treated Black soldiers returning from the war, but he also raises the stakes with a subplot that includes a buried treasure hunt and a heartwrenching mission to retrieve the remains of a fallen comrade. The cast, which includes Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman, is brilliant, the story is gripping, and you’ll probably be seeing more talk of it come awards season, so go ahead and watch it now.
After a stint in Hollywood, Alfonso Cuarón returned to Mexico for this story of two privileged high school boys (Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) who road trip with an older woman (Maribel Verdú) in search of an unspoiled stretch of beach. In the process, they discover freedom like they’d never imagined — and maybe more freedom than they can handle. Cuarón’s stylish film plays out against the backdrop of Mexican political upheaval and plays with notions of upturning the established order on scales both large and small, all the while suggesting that no paradise lasts forever.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this truly bonkers crime thriller from Dan Gilroy about a con-man who muscles his way into L.A.’s crime journalism scene and very quickly becomes the star of his own reporting. Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a petty thief who stumbles his way into the stringer profession — photojournalists who chase crime scenes to sell the footage to local TV stations. As Lou begins to record more exciting crimes, demand for his work grows and he starts staging scenes, obstructing police investigations, and inserting himself in high-speed chases to get the best shot. It’s a twisted, depressing look at the ethics of journalism and the consequences of consumerism, and Gyllenhaal has never been better.
Netflix spent much of 2017 trying to establish itself as an alternative to movie theaters as a place to find quality new films. The results were mostly strong, and none stronger than Mudbound, Dee Rees’ story of two families — one white and one black — sharing the same Mississippi land in the years before and after World War II. Rees combines stunning images, compelling storytelling, and the work of a fine cast (that includes Jason Mitchell, Carey Mulligan, Garett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, and Mary J. Blige) to unspool a complex tale about the forces the connect black and white Americans and the slow-to-die injustices that keep them apart.
Matthew McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer Club is a searing look at how the world failed the LGBTQ community during the devastating AIDS crisis. McConaughey stars as Ron Woodruff, a man diagnosed with the disease in the 80s during a time when the illness was still misunderstood and highly stigmatized. Woodruff went against the FDA and the law to smuggle in drugs to help those suffering from the disease, establishing a “Dallas Buyers Club” and fighting in court to the right to aid those in need. The story is all the more powerful because it’s true and McConaughey delivers one of the best performances of his career as Woodruff, a man who changes his entire outlook on life after being dealt a tragic blow.
Chris Evans stars in this sci-fi thriller from auteur Bong Joon-ho. The film, set years into the future following a devastating ice age caused by mankind, follows Evans’ Curtis who lives in poverty on a train that continuously circles the Earth and contains all that remains of human life. Curtis is part of the “scum” that the people relegated to the back of the train while the “elite” enjoy the privilege of wealth and status that comes with living in the front. Curtis sparks a rebellion that ends in bloodshed and a devastating reveal when he makes it to the train’s engine room and discovers just how the elite have been fueling their operation. It’s a dark, grimy action piece that should give fans a new appreciation for Evans’ talent.
This documentary, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, is based on the unfinished manuscript, Remember this House, by James Baldwin. The author and civil rights activist recounts the history of racism in the United States through personal observations and his relationships with friends and leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a beautifully-shot, sobering reminder of how far we have yet to go when it comes to equality.
Writer/director Trey Edward Shults followed up his unnerving family portrait in 2015’s Krisha with a look at another family under the most desperate of circumstances. After an unknown illness has wiped out most of civilization, a number of threats — both seen and unseen — come for a family held up in their home out in the wilderness. It’s a subtle, dream-like tale that stars Joel Edgerton and Christopher Abbot as two patriarchs intent on keeping their families safe, no matter the cost.
Michael Sheen and Frank Langella deliver award-winning performances in this biopic from director Ron Howard. The film covers the series of post-Watergate TV interviews Nixon (Langella) did with British talk-show host David Frost (Sheen) and how they served as a public trial of sorts for the world’s once most powerful man. Frost is the empathetic underdog here trying to score the story of his career while Langella plays Nixon with a cheeky, knowing authority that makes you glad you aren’t in Sheen’s shoes.
Salma Hayek turns in an inspired performance of the famed revolutionary artist Frida Kahlo in this early aughts biopic. Hayek plays the visionary in her later years, as she navigates a tense, passionate marriage with fellow artist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and works to define her voice amidst crippling health problems. There’s plenty of joy to be found in her triumphs, but Hayek is at her best when the film asks her to display her emotional range, focusing on Kahlo’s lowest moments to paint a full portrait of a woman who would one day make history.
Robert De Niro and Nick Nolte star in this Southern crime thriller about a convicted rapist who’s release from prison after serving a 14-year sentence and decides to use his newfound freedom to stalk the family of the lawyer who convicted him. Nolte plays Sam Bowden, a lawyer and family man who made sure his client Max Cady (De Niro) was convicted for his heinous crimes. Cady comes back with a vengeance, using his knowledge of the law, knowledge he gained while in prison, to hunt down those closest to Bowden in order to get revenge on his former attorney. De Niro plays a particularly nasty bad guy, but Nolte is more than up for the challenge here.
It seems almost perverse to think about watching The Hateful Eight at home, given how big a deal Quentin Tarantino made of its 70mm format at the time of its release. And while it looks great on the big screen it’s not like that’s an option right now. And, in some ways, the film feels just at home on the small screen, since it’s at heart a chamber mystery that brings together a collection of unsavory characters (Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh among them) as mystery and murder unfold in their ranks.
When a punk rock group accidentally witnesses the aftermath of a murder, they are forced to fight for their lives by the owner of a Nazi bar (Patrick Stewart) and his team. It’s an extremely brutal and violent story, much like the first two features from director Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin and Murder Party), but this one is made even tenser by its claustrophobic cat-and-cornered-mouse nature. Once the impending danger kicks in, it doesn’t let up until the very end, driven heavily by Stewart playing against type as a harsh, unforgiving, calculating character.
Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce play off each other in this fictionalized comedy about two of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church. Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI near the end of his tenure as he struggles with the disillusionment of his role and his faith. Pryce plays Cardinal Bergoglio (who would later become Pope Francis) who’s also going through a crisis of faith and wishes to leave his post. What follows is two hours of two of the greatest actors paling around with each other, delivering some laughs as they get deep about the philosophical leanings of these two great men.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in this drama that’s equal parts rom-com and a harrowing look at mental illness. Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a former high school teacher who recently completed a stint at a mental institution. Things aren’t going well for Pat. He’s moved back in with his overbearing parents (a wickedly-funny Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), his now ex-wife cheated on him, he doesn’t get along with his therapist, and he’s operating under the delusion that if he gets fit and gets his sh*t together, he can get his wife back. Lawrence plays Tiffany, a young woman with problems of her own. She’s depressed after the death of her husband and prefers sex with strangers to drown the pain. The two strike up a friendship that pushes both to their mental and emotional limits. It’s a messy, complicated love story, which makes for a nice change of pace if sappy-sweet rom-coms just aren’t doing it for you.
Carey Mulligan stars in this 1960s coming-of-age drama from screenwriter Nick Hornby. Mulligan plays Jenny, a bright, gifted young woman with plans to attend Oxford University after completing her studies. She meets and falls for an older man named David (Peter Sarsgaard) who treats her to the finer things in life. Believing him to be a man of taste and means, her parents allow Jenny to travel with David, even become engaged to him before the truth about his past is revealed. As disappointing as the ending of this film is, it’s an interesting look at a young woman’s introduction to the world and to love.
Walking Dead alum Steven Yeun stars this psychological thriller from South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong. Yeun plays Ben, a rich millennial with a mysterious job who connects with a woman named Shin Hae-mi on a trip to Africa. The two journey back home together where Ben meets Shin’s friend/lover Lee Jong-su. The three hang-out regularly, with Lee growing more jealous of Ben’s wealth and privilege while he’s forced to manage his father’s farm when his dad goes to prison. But it’s when Shin disappears, and Lee suspects Ben’s involvement, that things really go off the rails.
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams take on the planet’s most-watched singing competition with this campy comedy about an Icelandic duo named Fire Saga, who are set on achieving glory on the world’s biggest stage. Ferrell and McAdams play Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, artists chosen to represent their nation in the Eurovision Song Contest, a real competition that features musicians from all over the world, who are often performing in wild get-ups. Dan Stevens almost steals the show while Pierce Brosnan and Demi Lovato make appearances. We’re calling it now: “Volcano Man” is going to be a bop for the ages.
This coming-of-age indie is based on a beloved book, but if fans were worried that the story of a depressed teenager who finds friends and a sense of belonging in a group of lovable misfits wouldn’t translate on screen, they shouldn’t have been too concerned. Stephen Chbosky wrote the novel, but he also penned the screenplay and directed this flick, which sees Logan Lerman play Charlie, the social outcast, and Emma Watson play Sam, the alt-pixie-dream girl he falls for. Everyone’s good in this, but it’s Ezra Miller’s Patrick who really stands out.
Kali Uchis returned with a surprise EP in April, hoping to hold fans over until she releases her next full-length project. The singer has yet to reveal the details around her upcoming project, but she’s already shared a couple of tracks, debuting her Rico Nasty collaboration “Aquí Yo Mando” alongside a cinematic video where the two pull off a series of mischievous stunts. Now she’s showing off her lustful side in the sensual video to “La Luz.”
Directed by Uchis herself, the video opens with the singer texting her crush about date plans. The two eventually link up and proceed to have a steamy night in the singer’s room. Collaborator Jhay Cortez appears on screen for his verse and gets a voyeuristic view of what’s going on behind his collaborator’s closed door.
Offering a bit of behind-the-scenes information about the shoot, Kali answered a few of her fans’ questions on Twitter, in which she said that she filmed the video in LA on a day so hot that someone on set passed out from heat exhaustion.
15hours! it was the hottest day in LA HISTORY 120° & the only air con broke someone actually passed out onset https://t.co/Hab3e69CEx
In our continuing quest to find you underhyped, excellent-value, very affordable bottles of whiskey, we looked to the experts for a little guidance. We asked 10 well-known bartenders to tell us their favorite underrated whiskeys in the $20 range. Some of their answers are classics but they definitely surfaced a few fun expressions that had fallen off our radar.
Best of all, they were honest — freely admitting that these picks are great for the price, but still unable to hang with top-shelf expressions.
Everything about Hell-Cat Maggie – which sells for a very reasonable $18 per bottle — makes it a criminally underrated Irish whiskey.
For starters, it’s named after a legendary Five Points gangster who filed her teeth into fangs and wore brass claws into battle. If that, combined with the retro tattoo flash label on the bottle, doesn’t scream “awesome cheap whiskey,” I really don’t know what does.
Hellcat Maggie is deceptively smooth, pleasantly nutty and spicy, and mixes exceptionally well in cocktails. Much like its namesake, this whiskey packs a stronger punch than its weight class might suggest.
Old Crow has always been my standby for a budget bottle. It packs a punch on its own but can also work out in a last-minute old fashioned or another cocktail. Though, to be fair, these cocktails may be best for a camping trip rather than a dinner party.
Blake Jakes, director of beverage for The Kennedy Bar in Pensacola, Florida
Mellow Corn or Heaven Hill White Label. They are both fantastic — whiskeys where people would have no idea that they cost less than $15-20.
Mellow Corn is bonded, so it’s 100 proof. But man, is it still smooth. Heaven Hill clocks in at 80 proof, I believe. I’ve taken this to whiskey tastings and it’s been blind-picked as the favorite more than once.
Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis
Coming in at around $15 a bottle, J.W. Dant BIB is my pick in the “bang for your buck” BIB bourbons. One of the few rye’d bourbons finished with a touch more malted barley than rye grain. The nose is punchy — honey and corn and oak dominate. Up front, it’s a lot of caramel and cornbread, a touch of spice and sour tannin wave goodbye as it finishes.
A solid, low tier expression from a family with rich bourbon history — it’s rumored Dant’s first still was made from a hollowed tree stump. Enjoy it neat or in your hot toddy.
I’ve ended many a night with a shot of Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon. Call it nostalgia or routine, but it is my go-to for “bottom shelf” whiskey. After working in this industry for a while, you get to taste a myriad of different spirits at all different price points and believe me, the difference is obvious. However, with Heaven Hill, you really get a bang for your buck. The price point is very reasonable and during these uncertain times when we all have to pinch pennies, its good to know that you can get a bottle of good, clean-tasting whiskey for under $20.
I recently changed my favorite cheap bourbon because the prior favorite raised its price. Now it’s Ancient Age, from Buffalo Trace. Same #2 mashbill as Blanton’s and Elmer T. Lee, but younger and cheaper.
The 2020 NBA Draft is still more than three weeks away but, with reports circulating that the league and its Board of Governors are angling toward a late December start for the 2020-21 campaign, the basketball calendar is building to a potential frenzy. While there are clear reasons to speed up the process, ranging from financial considerations to the “reset” of the league’s usual schedule, there is also potential downside. One potentially negative repercussion would involve teams that made deep runs in the 2020 postseason being forced into a (very) quick turnaround, and the world champion Los Angeles Lakers would fit that bill as much as any single franchise.
To that end, Lakers wing Danny Green joined Raja Bell and Logan Murdock of The Ringer to discuss the potential for a pre-Christmas return. Within the interview, he was fairly candid about the potential for veteran players, headlined by LeBron James, to miss the start of the new season, even if healthy.
Lakers guard Danny Green on the proposed Dec. 22 start to next season:
“If we start in December, I think most guys [are like] ‘I’m not going to be there… to have that quick of a restart, I wouldn’t expect [LeBron] to be there for the 1st month of the season.” pic.twitter.com/NYqNxzNEmZ
Though Green wasn’t necessarily speaking in absolutes, it absolutely makes sense that older players might not be thrilled about this kind of timeline. For a bit of perspective, the Lakers were grinding at the highest levels well into October and, with a proposed start date of Dec. 22, training camp would presumably have to open in early December. That means less than a two-month offseason and, given the rigors of the bubble environment, a shortened break might seem even more laborious.
The Lakers, as Green notes, are one of the older teams in the league, and that certainly matters in this discussion. Beyond that, teams like the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks have been on the sidelines since March, and they might not object to the new calendar with such vigor. Still, the potential for a draft on Nov. 18, a speedy free agent period and training camp before a Dec. 22 start could be seen as overzealous for players, and the potential for veterans on playoff squads, including stars like LeBron James, to sit out the beginning of the campaign is certainly worth noting and something the league will have to take into consideration.
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