Divergent and Insurgent Review

Criticize after dinner's DIvergent and Insurgent review

Returning to our key tween demographic, we had a conversation to explain the ins and outs of Divergent and Insurgent, for both the hardcore fans and those who’ve wisely skipped these movies. The trilogy they came from is almost a response to Hunger Games, though despite a strong female lead, these movies miss the mark on questions ranging from gender to class to identity. So join in to see if the erudite & candid Alexis and amiable & abnegating Chepe can set aside their identities and come to some agreement on this dystopic young adult series for the all-too-easily entertained Reagan fan club.

You can also listen to our Insurgent review on Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Divergent and Insurgent on iTunes.

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Selma Review — An Organizer’s Movie

criticize after dinner reviews selma

In our Selma review, we discuss this movie from the perspective of those who organize for social change. We also examine the movie’s relationship with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other organizing in Jim Crow Alabama. And we take on some historical inaccuracies (but not the ones white liberals have been complaining about), like the fact that SNCC’s James Forman was actually older than Dr. King, and that Diane Nash isn’t depicted as a member of SNCC. We offer context to SNCC’s base-building in Selma, the armed self-defense of Black people in neighboring Lowndes County, and Johnson’s less-than-reputable “legacy.” Most of all, we look at Selma as a dynamic narrative about often complementary strategies to achieve victories for popular struggles.

You can also listen to our Selma review on YouTube, Stitcher or iTunes.
You can rent or buy Selma on iTunes.

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Birdman Review — Fame, Brands, Self-Absorption (E04)

In our Birdman review, we look at the film’s treatment of women, discuss its take on consumerism and commodification, and ask if the film is anti-consumerist, anti-elite, anti-intellectual… or something else entirely. We examine the film’s ending, its quoting of Macbeth, and ask what the film has to say about the quest for attention and fame under capitalism.

You can also listen to our Birdman review on YouTube, Stitcher or iTunes.

You can rent or buy Birdman at iTunes or Amazon.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Review — Protest Songs and Radical Symbols

The Podcast Criticize After Dinner reviews "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1"

In our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, we examine the role of song in the film as a tool for dissent, the role of heroes and radical symbols, and how Katniss fits into that. We also explore how District 13 uses mass media as a revolutionary strategy, and discuss the different ways the Capitol and District 13 wage war. Finally, we talk through how Mockingjay gives us a stark, real-world look into what it’s like to be a refugee, what real-world regions we’re reminded of as we learn more about District 13, and how…boring and artless District 13 seems, and why that disappoints us.

You can also listen to the show on iTunes, on Stitcher, or YouTube.

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Gender, Race, and Revolution in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (E01)

Criticize After Dinner Reviews the Hunger Games: Catching Fire

We discuss “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” exploring the film’s treatment of race, look at Katniss’s gender dynamics with Peeta, and take a critical look at the different districts, and what we think they represent.

Also discussed: How District 13 are like the Zapatistas, Plutarch as the 5th column, can you repress your way to a revolution, and is the Hunger Games just Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome, but times 12?

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