Bleats

Roald Dahl Might've Been The Author Of Your Childhood But He Was A Twit In Real Life

A real life Trunchbull.

Roald Dahl is a name that nearly everyone should know. After all, he “only” wrote some of the most memorable children’s books ever and was basically the author of the entire childhoods of you and millions of people around the world.

But for those who idolised the late Dahl (and still do) due to his work or whatever reason, he’s an example of why you need to pick your heroes carefully. That’s because the man was an outright awful human being who was a fierce antisemite.

Wait, what?

During the 1980’s, Dahl said some truly abhorrent things in interviews and articles about the Jews, such as “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean there is always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.

Hell, just before he died in 1990, he said in an interview, “I am certainly anti-Israel, and I have become antisemitic.” Yeah. There’s absolutely no defending that.

And it’s not something that you can blame on him being an offensive old grandpa either (he was in his 60’s when he said the aforementioned quote) as his early work is sprinkled with antisemitic hints.

In his 1945 short story, Madame Rosette, he described the title character as “a filthy old Syrian Jewess”; his 1948 novel, Sometime Never, had a cowardly pawnbroker who encompassed several Jewish stereotypes; and for his Chitty Chitty Bang Bang screenplay he created the Child Catcher character, who was basically a Jew with Nazi tendencies.

Yep, can’t unsee this now.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Dahl was able to entertain children with his work as no “nice” author could possible infuse such dark and unsentimental themes into their work like he did. In the words of the late Christopher Hitchens, “How else could Dahl have kept children enthralled and agreeably disgusted and pleasurably afraid? By being Enid Blyton?“.

And it’s not like the world isn’t aware of Dahl’s antisemitism either as the UK Royal Mint rejected a commemorative coin of the author in 2018 because of his views.

If there is a silver lining to all of this, it’s that his children’s books are relatively free from his more horrid views and young readers will continue to be delighted without being tainted for generations to come.

He actually did in this case.

So the next time you read one of his stories or watch an adaptation of his work, just remember that Roald Dahl was a great writer but an utter bastard in real life and people need to be very careful how they memoralise him.

We Broke Down The Most Popular Hollywood Cinematic Universes So You Don't Have To

Slow down with all the universes, Hollywood, please.

Ever since Marvel kicked off the whole cinematic universe fad with 2008’s Iron Man, it seems like every Hollywood studio has tried to launch their own shared universe thingy with varying results.

With so many movies seemingly linked together with common characters and recurring plot points, it’s all become a bit of a fustercluck for the average moviegoer to keep up. But fear not as I’m here to break down all the cinematic universes that are popular these days so you know what the lowdown is and what order you should watch all the films.

Now because there have been so many failed and concluded universes, I’m not counting those with only one film entry (sorry Dark Universe), have not had a new entry for ages, or any TV shows that take place in the same universe.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ah the most popular shared film universe that’s the envy of Hollywood studios these days. However, the chronology is absolutely shambolic as not only are there a whopping 23 films and counting, Marvel frequently jump from time period to time period depending on the movie.

So if you want the best Marvel Cinematic Universe viewing experience, ignore all the release dates because this is the chronological order you’ll want to watch all the films:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. The Incredible Hulk
  6. Thor
  7. The Avengers
  8. Iron Man 3
  9. Thor: The Dark World
  10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
  13. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  14. Ant-Man
  15. Captain America: Civil War
  16. Doctor Strange
  17. Black Panther
  18. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  19. Thor: Ragnarok
  20. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  21. Avengers: Infinity War
  22. Avengers: Endgame
  23. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Star Wars

The Star Wars cinematic universe is actually pretty easy to follow since all the main films have a convenient “Episode *insert Roman number*” subtitle. However, it’s the new slate of spin-off anthology films that muddy the waters a bit. Luckily, those fit into the chronological watching order pretty cleanly:

  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  3. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  6. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  7. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  8. Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
  9. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  10. Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  11. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

DC Extended Universe

This one is a bit of a weird one so bear with me. It all started with Man of Steel but things went a bit pear-shaped when the next couple of films got scathing reviews so DC’s plan to launch a Marvel-esque universe took a bit of a backseat. Since then, all subsequent films were all positioned as relatively standalone flicks but still linked to the shared “DC” universe though it seems like they’ve given up on any more “team-up” movies for now.

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster fustercluck to be honest, not unlike the quality of the films actually. Anyway, watch them in this order:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Wonder Woman 1984 (when it comes out)
  3. Man of Steel
  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  5. Suicide Squad
  6. Justice League
  7. Aquaman
  8. Shazam!

MonsterVerse

One of Hollywood’s newest cinematic universes that is directly inspired by all those Japanese Godzilla flicks from yesteryear. Since there’s only been three movies so far, it won’t take you too long to get up to speed, though you’ll want to watch it in this order if you want to do it properly:

X-Men

Good grief, where to begin. There was the initial trilogy of X-Men movies before they decided to soft reboot the series with another trilogy of films. Throw in a bunch of solo Wolverine films and a some inconsistent time travel plot devices and what you get is an absolute mess of watching chronology.

Look, I tried my best with this one so don’t @ me:

  1. X-Men: First Class
  2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Here’s where the timeline splits into two. For timeline A, the order is:

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X-Men
  • X2: X-Men United
  • X-Men: The Last Stand
  • The Wolverine

For the second timeline (which we’ll call “B”), the order is:

  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • Deadpool
  • Deadpool 2
  • Logan

Not if it works, Wade!

Spider-Man/Amazing Spider-Man/Venom/Whatever Sony are doing

We’re getting into weird territory here so let me quickly explain. Sony initially had the rights to Spider-Man, which is why they made the first few Spider-Man movies (starring Tobey Maguire) instead of Marvel. But after an unsuccessful reboot attempt, Sony struck a deal with Marvel and that’s how Spider-Man: Homecoming came to be. That being said, Sony are still making their own Spidey cinematic universe independent of Marvel’s. In conclusion, it is messier than a high school break up.

Luckily, there aren’t too many movies to sort through so the watching order is pretty simple. When it comes to quality though, well, that’s another article altogether.

  1. Spider-Man
  2. Spider-Man 2
  3. Spider-Man 3

The universe was then rebooted with Andrew Garfield as Spidey and we got two awful movies:

  1. The Amazing Spider-Man
  2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The reboot flopped and so Sony rebooted its universe again but this time with Venom as the main character. Yeah, I don’t get it either but whatever:

  1. Venom
  2. Morbius (still to come, whenever it comes)

Is it though?

Planet of the Apes

The Apes franchise has had a storied history over the decades but the one we’re interested in is the most recent iteration of the universe, which were arguably the most critically-acclaimed entries of the entire series.

Not counting the old movies, there are only three films (so far) in the rebooted universe but all have titles that are exactly the same save for one word, which can make things confusing. Don’t worry though, I gotchu:

  1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  3. War of the Planet of the Apes

Them’s the eyes of a great film trilogy.

Pixar

There was a theory that every Pixar film takes place in the same universe, which is incredibly convincing though unconfirmed by the studio. But seeing as how familiar characters and Easter eggs pop in for cameos in every movie, I’m assuming this is a cinematic universe until Pixar tell me otherwise.

While you can watch nearly any Pixar film in any order and it’ll still make sense, the chronological order is something wildly different to the release order:

  1. The Good Dinosaur
  2. Brave
  3. The Incredibles
  4. Incredibles 2
  5. Toy Story 
  6. Toy Story 2
  7. Finding Nemo
  8. Finding Dory
  9. Ratatouille
  10. Toy Story 3
  11. Toy Story 4
  12. Up
  13. Inside Out
  14. Coco
  15. Cars
  16. Cars 2
  17. Cars 3
  18. WALL-E
  19. A Bug’s Life
  20. Monster’s University
  21. Monster’s Inc
  22. Onward (assumed)

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Is Still The Best Film In The Series Thanks To One Epic Scene

The best film in the franchise. Don't @ me.

If you were to ask a room full of Harry Potter fans what their favourite film is, chances are you’ll get a heap of arguments for why each of the eight films are a good candidate for the number one spot. The Fantastic Beasts films don’t count because they’re spin offs and they, well, suck.

But with Prisoner of Azkaban turning 15 this year, I’m here to make the case that it is the best Harry Potter film and every other entry doesn’t hold a candle to it.

Not this time though. I’m being Sirius.

Prisoner of Azkaban was the point where the story takes a much darker turn and it was fitting that the producers got Alfonso Cuarón to direct the adaptation. Not only did he keep the narrative relatively streamlined (it is the shortest film in the series) while still conveying all the necessary information, he introduced a new visual aesthetic that sweeps the floor with what we had seen in the previous films.

But the thing that elevates Prisoner of Azkaban from “very good” to “best of the franchise” is the scene where Hermione punches Draco in the face.

After two and a half movies of seeing that blonde weasel be all slimy and irritating, it was incredibly satisfying to see him get his just desserts with a fist to the nose. Hell, the film could just be two hours of Hermione smacking Draco around and it’ll be ranked in my top three.

So satisfying.

But beyond Hermione slugging Draco and the technical wizardry introduced by Cuarón, it is all the little things he does that makes Prisoner of Azkaban really stand out.

Details like the expanded Hogwarts ground, the singing choir at the start-of-term feast, Harry riding Buckbeak, and having students wander around in casual clothes rather than wizard robes go a long way into making the film feel, well, magical.

I’m flying, Jack!

Valid arguments can be made for why any of the eight Harry Potter films can be considered the best but let me ask you this: besides Prisoner of Azkaban, does any of them have a scene involving Hermione punching Draco really hard in the face?

I rest my case.

Happy 15th anniversary, sweet prince.

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