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Magazine Dreams review: A volcanic mix of Travis Bickle and Jake LaMotta

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The opening shots of writer-director Elijah Bynum’s brutal new feature film Magazine Dreams, which marked its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival slowly pans out to show a ripped bodybuilder taking centerstage. The lights from the chandeliers are on him, as he stays a little longer, with his head held down. This is a dream, as we will soon realize, that will become his biggest nightmare. (Also read: Shayda movie review: A powerful semi-autobiographical debut for director Noora Niasari)

Jonathan Majors plays Killian Maddox, a bodybuilder whose only ambition in life is to achieve something that will provide him with some sort of legacy. He wants to be remembered. For him, that can happen by a feature on a fitness magazine. For that, he trains day and night, maintains a strict diet, avoids any kind of junk food, injects steroids and participates in bodybuilding competitions. Yet there’s a depth of despair in Killian that stops him from facing the world. The more you want him to sort things out for himself, the more the world turns against him. He is also undergoing court-mandated sessions with a therapist (Harriet Sansom Harris) which tells us that the trouble is lurking right behind the door. Maddox is his own enemy.

Meanwhile he works at the local supermarket where he musters up the courage to ask his friendly coworker (a scene-stealing Haley Bennett) for a date. Their awkward exchange at the inn seems like its the first time he has been able to be away from himself for a while, until he opens up to her about how his father shot himself after killing his mother. Now he lives with his Vietnam war veteran grandfather whom he lovingly calls ‘Paw-Paw’. The scene plays out in tight closeup- Adam Arkapaw’s cinematography is incredible- and by the time he’s done digging into his bodybuilding obsession, she has left through the back door.

Magazine Dreams is an excruciating character study, and will certainly remind you of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Killian Maddox is in many ways, a volcanic mix of Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle and Raging Bull’s Jake LaMotta. Yet Killian Maddox is very much his own pumped up antihero–the abject realities of being a Black man in the current society are clear to him as daylight, as much as he is aware of his deteriorating mental health. He is a man with a tragic past, jobless present and an uncertain future. And the more you want him to get it right, the more he tumbles into an unhinged abyss of despair. He doesn’t want scars on his body, he says to the doctor midway during diagnosis. His innermost scars are enough. A later scene when he finally confronts the ageing old judge who had once criticized his deltoids–is telling in his vengeful ode to those inner scars.

Bynum, who also wrote Magazine Dreams, conjures up an excruciatingly intense character study that is almost unbearably hard to watch at times. More than the violence, its the anticipation of it that powers the narrative, as Maddox’s obsession takes a full swing over him. The last 20 minutes in specific become agonizing to sit through- as Bynum dares the audience to leave his side. It all works because of Jonathan Majors, who gives the performance of a lifetime as Killian Maddox. Just as one begins to wrap their head around the extreme physical commitment Majors brings to this role- he trained for four months, eating over 6,000 calories a day, he astonishes with his acute emotional transparency. There is not a single note that he misses in this selfless, miraculous transformation. Bravo.

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John Legend And Chrissy Teigen Daughter Name Meaning

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So, you probably heard a little over a week ago that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen had welcomed another baby.

Her name’s Esti. She’s super cute.

But when you heard the name, you probably wondered what it meant or where they got it from.

Well, John just shared the answer in an interview published today with E! News.

He told the site that, as “it turns out, [his] great-grandmother was named Esther.”

“It wasn’t intentionally after someone,” John shared, “but once Chrissy told me that idea, I was like, ‘Oh, my great-grandmother’s name was Esther.'”

Not just that: John said there’s also a family connection to Esti’s middle name. “We wanted to already name her middle name Maxine after my grandmother, whose middle name was Maxine,” he said. “So, it’s a lot of my family in the name.”

Aww, I love that! I bet his grandmother and great-gran would feel so honored.

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Jason & Travis Kelce’s Mom Picks a Favorite Ahead of Super Bowl

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It runs in the family!

When the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles face off during Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, Donna Kelce will be in a unique position. That’s because she’s the first mother to ever have two sons—Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce—competing against one another in the big game. And while Donna is proud of both of her boys, she’s not afraid to play favorites.  

“Both fanbases are absolutely amazing and give everything they have on gameday,” she revealed on Today Feb. 1. “I think that Jason would say that I’m going to root for the baby of the family, which is Travis, and I keep trying to tell him, ‘No, you’ve given me grandchildren.’ So, we’ll leave it at that.”

Donna—who sported a custom Chiefs-Eagles Jersey for the appearance—noted that Travis and Jason have both previously won a Super Bowl, but admitted she’s aware there could be some tension during the 2023 holiday season once one inevitably picks up his second. 

“They’ve already got the first win under their belts, so this is gonna be just pure joy,” she shared. “Obviously, there’s gonna be somebody that’s gonna go home heartbroken, they’re not gonna have bragging rights at the Thanksgiving table, but this is gonna be an awesome event and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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When Abhishek revealed facing sexist comments for Cannes outings with Aishwarya | Bollywood

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In a 2012 interview, Abhishek Bachchan was asked if he had ‘ever put restrictions on wife Aishwarya Rai’. The actor had then said that only a man, who was either ‘insecure’ or did not ‘trust her’ would do such a thing. Abhishek had then gone on to speak about how he was often asked about what ‘it feels to walk the red carpet with your wife at Cannes’, adding he found ‘this attitude to be chauvinistic’. Also read: When Aishwarya Rai defended Abhishek Bachchan from ‘unfair’ question on being overshadowed by his father and wife’s fame

Abhishek Bachchan also asked why Aishwarya could ‘attend all his events’, but he could not accompany his wife to support her. The actor slammed people, who thought that since he was the husband, he should not join his wife at her public appearances that were about her. In 2005, Aishwarya became the first Indian to open the Cannes Film Festival; since then she has been attending the high profile event almost every year, and is sometimes joined by Abhishek. Waking the red carpet for the first time after their April 2007 wedding, Aishwarya and Abhishek made an appearance together at Cannes Film Festival in May, 2007.

Abhishek told Filmfare in 2012, “If a man tries to restrain his wife, then there must be two reasons for it. Firstly, he’s insecure. Secondly, he doesn’t trust her. I am a secure person and have complete faith in my wife. Then why should I have any problem? And why just wife, if a man tries to restrain his girlfriend, mother or any girl, then either he’s insecure or he doesn’t trust them. And that’s not how I was brought up. My mother has been an actress and she has always been working. I’ve often been asked how it feels to walk the red carpet with your wife at Cannes. I find this attitude chauvinistic.”

The actor further said, “It means that you are the husband so how can you walk with her? Do you ever ask Aishwarya why she walks the red carpet with me at the premieres of my films? She attends all my events, but I cannot accompany her. That’s wrong. If my wife supports me, then it’s my duty to support her.”

Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai are parents to daughter Aaradhya Bachchan, who celebrated her 11th birthday last year. Aishwarya was last seen in Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan: I (2022), while Abhishek was last seen in Breathe: Into The Shadows season 2 (2022).

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