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Before Wonder Woman soared, My Super Ex-Girlfriend sank

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On first watch, My Super Ex-Girlfriend seems like it’s building to a subtle visual punchline. Each time mild-mannered art curator Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) transforms into all-powerful New York City superhero G-Girl, she wears a different high-fashion ensemble branded with her signature logo. The potential for social commentary is rich: While famous men can wear the same suit all the time, famous women are expected to be non-stop fashionistas. G-Girl has to do everything Superman does backwards and in (literal) heels. Only it turns out it isn’t a joke at all. As the film’s production notes explain:

[Screenwriter Don] Payne at first envisioned outfitting G-Girl with one iconic outfit, like the classic superheroes. Always with an eye to realism, [director] Ivan Reitman suggested that Jenny have many designer outfits. After all, Reitman points out, “She’s a woman and would want to mix it up a bit.”

Forget “With great power comes great responsibility”; My Super Ex-Girlfriend believes “Women be shopping.”

If superheroes are power fantasies, then the past two decades of non-stop live-action superhero content reveals a whole lot about who our culture wants to see empowered. It wasn’t until 2017 that Patty Jenkins finally delivered our first successful big screen female superhero power fantasy with Wonder Woman. Tellingly, however, a decade earlier 20th Century Fox had been more than happy to green-light a romantic comedy about how terrifying it would be if a woman had Superman’s abilities. When My Super Ex-Girlfriend debuted in 2006, the only prior female-led, major-studio solo superhero films were 1984’s Supergirl, 2004’s Catwoman, and 2005’s Elektra, all of which had been critical and commercial flops. At a time when big-screen female superheroes were already considered laughing stocks, My Super Ex-Girlfriend’s comedy didn’t exactly punch up.

If you haven’t seen My Super Ex-Girlfriend, don’t. And if you have, I’m sorry. The film stars Luke Wilson as Matt Saunders, a dweeby architect who lives the dream of dating a gorgeous female superhero before experiencing the nightmare of having an all-powerful woman as his vengeful ex. The film establishes its comedic sensibility early, with a scene in which Matt’s horndog sidekick Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) muses that if he could have any superpower, it would be the ability to give himself a blowjob. Somehow things only get worse from there. The mid-’00s were a rough time for both superhero movies and romantic comedies, so it’s not totally surprising that combining the two led to such disastrous results. But even grading on that curve, it’s astounding just how much My Super Ex-Girlfriend, well, blows.

What’s especially frustrating is that there’s so much potential in its premise. My Super Ex-Girlfriend could’ve poked fun at male insecurities about powerful women, or deconstructed sexist tropes, like The CW’s brilliant musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend did. But screenwriter and longtime Simpsons staffer Don Payne has no idea how to expand his engaging pitch into a full-length feature. And director Ivan Reitman—the one-time Ghostbusters helmer struggling in the late period of his career—doesn’t seem to understand either of the genres he’s spoofing.

It’s remarkable how little effort My Super Ex-Girlfriend puts into fleshing out its female lead. Though teenage Jenny got her powers from a meteorite that also transformed her from high school outcast to popular hottie, she’s for some reason grown up to be an insecure, maladjusted adult. Given her cruel, possessive, hot-tempered personality, it’s baffling that Jenny has devoted her life to superheroism—an inconsistency the film alternately writes off as “Hey, it’s just a comedy!” and “Women, am I right?” Apparently more of Jenny’s backstory wound up on the cutting room floor, which leaves the final version of the character especially choppy. We never even learn what the “G” in G-Girl stands for, although “G-spot” is tossed out as a potential answer. We do, however, get a close-up of her teenage breasts expanding several sizes when she gets her powers. Priorities!

Matt, meanwhile, is exactly the sort of blank, self-insert character who fits the “Mary Sue” archetype better than the female leads typically saddled with that pejorative. Not even Luke Wilson’s Herculean charms can salvage the material. Asked about his first date with Jenny, Matt condescendingly notes, “Well, she’s a talker.” Yet rather than hold the character accountable for his own flaws in a way that might make his comedic comeuppance funnier to watch, My Super Ex-Girlfriend presents Matt as a blameless hero who unfairly suffers under the wrath of a “crazy” woman. After the titular break-up finally occurs 52 minutes into this 96-minute movie, Jenny launches Matt’s car into space, burns the word “dick” onto his forehead, and tosses a live shark into his bedroom—all of which is more disturbing than comedic. Especially for the poor shark.

Asked in an interview whether My Super Ex-Girlfriend takes a “pro-male” point of view, Thurman responded, “That’s a really good question because I don’t know the answer. Think about it this way—it’s written by a man and directed by a man, produced by a bunch of men and then there was me. So is it a male nightmare? Or is it a female cathartic revolution to sort of go completely crazy and let him have it?” Facing a similar question, Luke Wilson went with the simpler, “I would say it’s kind of for men.” My Super Ex-Girlfriend was part of a mid-’00s trend that saw the romantic comedy genre—a longtime haven for women’s stories—overtaken by crasser male-centric comedies like Wedding Crashers and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

My Super Ex-Girlfriend occasionally delivers a funny superhero gag, like the scene where Jenny starts to undress in front of Matt only to realize she’s still wearing her G-Girl costume underneath her clothes. But given that the superhero genre has always embraced its fair share of rom-com tropes anyway (Superman and Spider-Man are basically classic romantic leads trying to “have it all” as they balance careers and relationships), there’s not much here that feels particularly new. The film’s biggest innovation is depicting superhero sex in action, although its PG-13 rating prevents Reitman and Payne from delivering the level of raunch they clearly want. Instead we get what amounts to a mid-air rape scene played for laughs because the woman is the instigator.

Among the many elements of My Super Ex-Girlfriend that have aged poorly, two others stand out. One is a running joke about how ridiculous it is that Matt’s boss (Wanda Sykes) adamantly defends her female employees against potential sexual harassment—a truly wild thing to watch in 2020. The other is the fact that Jenny ultimately ends up with her evil archnemesis, Professor Bedlam (Eddie Izzard), who turns out to be the nerdy high school bestie she left behind when she got popular. Bedlam’s years-long attempt to stalk and de-power Jenny is recontextualized as the ultimate romantic gesture—which could potentially work as a satire of problematic rom-com tropes, but My Super Ex-Girlfriend plays it for earnestness rather than laughs. It’s like incel fanfic brought to life. (Matt, of course, gets to end up with his dream “cool girl” love interest, played by Anna Faris.)

My Super Ex-Girlfriend was a creative low point for pretty much everyone involved. Payne would go on to co-write Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer and the first two Thor movies—imperfect superhero films I could mount a far more impassioned defense of. (Sadly, Payne passed away from bone cancer in 2013.) Reitman would next make the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher rom-com No Strings Attached, another flawed film I have a lot of affection for. Luke Wilson atoned for his Super Ex sins earlier this year by playing the ultimate male ally on DC’s Stargirl series.

Thurman has probably had the rockiest career since the film’s release. My Super Ex-Girlfriend was part of her post-Kill Bill focus on comedy, something that also gave us her turn in The Producers and several other lackluster rom-coms. One has to wonder if things might’ve turned out differently if My Super Ex-Girlfriend had positioned Jenny as a full-on supervillain, allowing Thurman to hit some of the deliciously campy notes she’d previously played as Poison Ivy in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. That at least would’ve eliminated the moral inconsistency that makes Jenny such a sexist stereotype.

Though My Super Ex-Girlfriend was a box office bomb and a critical failure, contemporary reviews pulled their punches in strange ways. In his review for the Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum described the film as a “tolerable comedy” and noted that “[t]he movie’s too slapdash to keep its characters consistent, but this has its moments.” Even the negative notices extend a certain generosity that’s not always afforded to more traditional romantic comedies—and especially wasn’t during the ’00s. My Super Ex-Girlfriend has roughly the same Rotten Tomatoes score as Maid In Manhattan and How To Lose Guy In 10 Daysputting it well above the worst rom-coms I’ve covered for this column, even though it should absolutely be considered among them.

Looking back, My Super Ex-Girlfriend stands as both a time-capsule curio and a bit of warning sign. The canon of big screen superhero films starring women is still embarrassingly sparse (and noticeably white), and it’s doubtful we’ll reach anything close to gender parity anytime soon, even with Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow on the horizon. G-Girl certainly isn’t the hero anyone needs or deserves. Yet her existence reveals a whole lot about our culture’s ongoing existential anxiety about powerful women, fictional or otherwise.

Next time: Dirty Dancing gave us all the time of our lives.

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How Las Vegas became the world’s casino capital

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These days, it’s impossible to think of Las Vegas without the image of the lights on the strip and glamorous casinos coming to mind. But the Vegas we know of 2020 wasn’t always that way; and it took a long, long time to get its reputation for being the world’s casino capital. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and get to the root of how Las Vegas became the city that never sleeps.

A historical journey

It’s hard to believe these days, but the Las Vegas region was once an abundant marshland stock full of rich vegetation. That is, until the marsh receded, and the waters disappeared, transforming the landscape into a desert, with the trapped water underground sprouting life and forming an oasis.

It was during the 19th century that the explorer Antonio Armijo from Mexico foraged the way from New Mexico to California on the first commercial caravan. It was a member of the group, Rafael Rivera who rode west to find water and venture through the desert, setting his eyes upon Las Vegas Springs. Las Vegas was therefore named ‘the meadows’ after the grasses found growing there.

Years went on and both Mormon and Mexican settlers began to filter through. In 1890 it was decided by railroad developers that Las Vegas would serve as a spot along the San Pedro, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles railroad route as well as connecting to major cities along the Pacific Coast. From there on, Vegas boomed with stores, boarding houses and saloons popping up around the area. This was the beginning of the Las Vegas as we know it — with railroad workers and ranchers enjoying the gambling and drinking through illegal speakeasies and bootleg casinos operating despite the ban on gambling in Nevada in 1910.

In 1931 gambling once again became legal in the state, with new casinos and showgirl venues opening up along Fremont Street to entertain the thousands of workers who flocked the city during the construction of the Hoover Dam. The first hotel, El Rancho Vegas, opened up in 1941 along Highway 91. Its success inspired others to open up their own hotels along the highway which would one day become the strip. Tourists began to flock to the city over the next few decades to enjoy the casino scene and see incredible artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra perform.

The birth of the mega resort

It was in 1966 the businessman Howard Hughes purchased the Desert Inn hotel; this was followed by over a dozen more hotel purchases, pushing out the mobster-owned hotels that had previously dominated Las Vegas. The concept of the mega hotel came about in 1989 when Steve Wynn opened the Mirage as the first hotel resort in the city. By 1994, Las Vegas was the home of more than 86,000 hotel and motel rooms with 13 of the 20 largest mega resort hotels in the world. It was during this era that the Strip became populated with more hotels and casinos, with developments inspired by the iconic cities and countries of the globe including Egypt, Paris, New York and Rome.

Las Vegas in the 21st century

The Las Vegas of today is well and truly established as a home for entertainment and casinos — which remain the biggest source of income for the city. However, there’s no doubt that Vegas faces more competition than ever before from the virtual world, with more people than ever before opting to play at an online casino, rather than play in the old fashioned way, but Vegas will always have the advantage. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime trip that an online casino can’t replicate, but do the online equivalents help to increase interest in Vegas?

The bright lights of Vegas is attracting billions of dollars in investment as many try and get a slice of the revenue that the sector has to offer. During 2019 over 42.52 million people came to visit Las Vegas from all around the world. Domestically, it was shown to be the second most popular destination for U.S. traveller’s dream spots after New York.

These days, Las Vegas continues to thrive and be a source of entertainment for millions of visitors from around the world looking to experience what the city has to offer. With new generations becoming interested in casino games — and some incredible musical residencies continuing to be announced — Las Vegas surely will continue to be one best places to go for a unforgettable dream destination for many.

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Land-Based Casinos

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What can people find at some of the biggest land-based casinos in Canada? From Niagara Falls to Toronto, there is something for everyone at casinos in Canada, including table games, slots, roulette, blackjack, and other games. There are also many poker and blackjack tournaments held throughout the year and it is easy to find jackpots or slots with free spins at the casinos. Many casinos also have hotels, bars, and numerous restaurants which are perfect for players seeking some comfort. A relaxing casino experience for all ages can be found in many different places in Canada. Choose one from below.

Choosing a casino depends on your tastes and location within Canada. Do you want to experience the grandeur and splendour of nature while placing a bet? Then head to Niagara Falls. Do you want to see a show? Choose a casino with a show that will be perfect for you. If you are looking for pure relaxation, then check out some of the casinos with spas and world-class dining. Entertainment is also a large part of the casino experience in Canada. Musicians, bands, comedians, and other types of entertainment continue to be found at all of the biggest casinos.

Some Big Casinos Near Nature

Casino Niagara is located in one of the most beautiful places in Canada and the world. People from all around the globe come to experience the best of both worlds at Casino Niagara. Players have access to beauty and scenery while spending time at one of the biggest casinos in Canada. The casino has two floors with over 1200 slot machines, poker, and other table games. There are also many different restaurants and even a comedy club. The sports bar and casino was refurbished back in 2017, meaning that it has not lost any of its charm and shine.

ST Eugene Golf Resort: Casino of the Rockies is a golf and nature lovers’ paradise. The location could not be any more splendid. People can find the casino between the Rockies and Purcell Mountains. Furthermore, the casino has an interesting history after it was converted from an Indian Residential School. It was then opened in the early 2000s. St Eugene has table games, electronic roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. There is also a golf course, restaurant, bar, spa, and hotel that is highly rated in Canada. Overall games are limited so most people come for golfing and betting fun.

Caesars Windsor is famously located on the riverbank in Windsor, Ontario. Visitors from both Canada and the States frequent the casino and hotel. Players can see the Detroit and Michigan skyline from the area. There are two floors of slots, table games, and plenty of poker tables. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are also available at the casino. It has beautiful restaurants, a gym, bars, slots, and live sports. Check out the Titan 360™, a 10-foot tall slot machine with 5800 pounds of wins at the click of a button. It’s the largest slot machine in the world and great fun.

  • Enjoy the size of Casino de Montreal and Hard Rock Casino
  • Enjoy the big and beautiful Casino Niagara or ST Eugene Golf Resort
  • Enjoy High Culture at Elements Casino Brantford

River Rock Casino Resort – In Transit

Are you passing through Vancouver Airport and have a long transit? Hire a cab and spend some time enjoying slot machines at River Rock Casino Resort. There are slots galore and the different themes make it an enjoyable visit for all. There is even a Dungeons and Dragons slot for gamers. A fourteen-table game room can be found at the casino and international poker tournaments are held regularly. Other features include a VIP area, spa, live music, 24-hour food and drink, as well as other entertainment. Richmond is also worth a quick visit, especially for some delicious seafood.

Casino de Montreal – The Big Gun

Casino de Montreal is 526,488 square feet of casino excitement. The casino has around 20 thousand visitors each day and is one of the biggest casinos on the globe. If you are still unconvinced about the size of the place, then imagine five floors of slots and table games. 3,000 machines and 111 table games make the casino seem even more mammoth. Casino de Montreal games can be played in a smoke-free environment and many players comment on the user-friendly games and helpful staff. Complimentary drinks and top-rated gourmet food is all part of the experience at Casino de Montreal.

Hard Rock Casino – Another Big One

Hard Rock Casino is another large casino located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The casino is over 80,000 square feet, making it a big one in Canada. Hard Rock has gaming tables, slots, baccarat and a poker room. The casino includes 70 casino tables and 1,000 slots. Private rooms and high roller areas are also available. However, the Hard Rock name is known for excellent food and this is what people love about this casino. Many players comment on the quality of the food here. It even has a 1,000 seat theatre, making it great for dining and a show.

Elements Casino Brantford – Enjoy High Culture

Elements Casino Brantford is a historical gem for culture in Ontario. It is a charity casino that was established last century. It includes the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, which is a high society entertainment venue in Ontario. The centre is well known to performing arts enthusiasts in Ontario and Canada. Players come to see a show, enjoy some gourmet food and a game. The casino also has plenty of slots, table games, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, three card poker, roulette, and other games. There is also a 14-table Texas Hold ‘Em poker room. Enjoy all the excitement.

River Cree Resort and Casino – Sports Lovers

River Cree Resort and Casino is a sport and gaming venue located in Edmonton that should not be overlooked. It has 39 tables of various money limits and over 1,000 slots. There are also a few different places to dine while enjoying a bet and other things to experience. There is a fitness centre, spa and a 200 room resort. However, the most interesting feature of this casino is the two hockey rinks, which are often used by the Edmonton Oilers for practice. It is possible to watch the team practice and go for a meal and some gaming fun.

For the ones who fancy playing online we recomend visiting canadiancasino.org!

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Top 8 Online Games That Kids Can Play Without Much Parental Supervision

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The gaming industry has been quite widespread since its inception. With the advent of globalisation and technology, this industry is reaching new heights. Kids these days are more inclined to the internet than they are to books. 

The internet has more information about everything than anywhere else and is very easily accessible. This further makes some parental control necessary. Most parents are worried about their kids playing violent video games that can further affect their mental health. 

Nevertheless, you cannot stop a kid from finding ways to log in to the internet, nor can you keep them away from playing video games. You can always supervise them on their media consumption. But that also gets tiresome after a point. This is when it gets necessary for you to introduce them to games that are not only kid-friendly but are also of their liking. 

If you are in a similar situation, looking for a way out, this article will surely help. Further mentioned are a few games that you can let your kid play while you concentrate on your work and well-being.  

1. Gummy Drop

Finding games that you can let your kids play without supervision is quite a task. With games like Gummy Drop, you do not have to worry one bit. With beautiful graphics and interesting gameplay, it does not take long for your kid to get hooked to the game. 

With new cities and interesting content being added almost every day, this 3 puzzle game is a good choice for your kids to play. It also connects to your Facebook account, letting you play with your other friends. It is also a nice way for your kids to improve their general knowledge and problem-solving skills. 

2. Skribbl

If you were a fan of Pictionary when you were growing up, you should definitely introduce your kids to this game. While the rules of Pictionary remain the same, this game improves on the visual aspect. With all of their friends in the same server, your kid can easily get hooked to this game. 

Easy and fun to play – once the server is set up, each player will get a word that they have to draw on the screen. The motive of the game is to help the other players guess your word. Each round chooses players at random. While it is advised that you use a tablet and a stylus to play this, you can always sketch with your finger. 

3. Ludo Supreme

A classic in every sense of the word, online ludo needs no introduction. There are some new features that are added in the game version of this app. It lets you connect to your Paytm account and earn real money while playing the game. 

Along with such amazing features, you can also play it for fun with your family or friends. It has other versions as well that come in different languages, especially in India, given the diverse nature of the country. You can download the LUDO for your android phones

4. Houseparty

There is no doubt that Houseparty has been one of the most popular downloads this pandemic. This is a networking app that lets you add as many as seven friends and play different games face-to-face via video calls. 

The novel approach of phone gaming made this a very widely chosen app. While playing games with your friends is always fun, this app lets you see and talk to them as well. Some of the most played games in this app include Heads Up!, Chips and Guac, Trivia and Quick Draw. With such amazing features and games, this is a worthwhile download for your kid. 

5. Monopoly

Monopoly is a very interesting game, which you can get your kids. Along with being fun, it can be played by any age group and is always stimulating your brain. This board game is an all-time classic that is now available on mobile platforms. 

The good thing about it being on the phone is that now your kids can play it with their friends as well, and all from the convenience of your home. 

6. Rocket League

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to play soccer but with cars, this game is exactly that. You get to pick a car at the beginning of the game in an oversized field with an oversized ball. Then start the five-minute matches where you have to score goals against them. 

To make it even more fun, this game allows the player to add up to three friends on the same server. It also has options where you can choose between casual play and ranked online play. Nevertheless, in both gameplays, you can earn new cosmetic looks for the car and get a chance to score more goals. 

7. UNO

Another all-time classic, UNO has been a very celebrated game all these years. The original company of UNO came out with the online version that is available on both iOS and Android devices. Since they are the copyright holders, you already know, the gameplay cannot get any better than this. 

Nevertheless, since it is a multiplayer game, you can play it both against your friends or strangers. It’s fun aesthetics, and new rules make it more interesting. It now has different modes of play and tournaments as well. You can also partner up and play 2v2 to win together. With servers available all around the world, you can connect to anyone you know. 

8. Guess The Word

Very obvious from the name itself, this game is known to be one of the most popular downloads in this list. It not only helps your kids spend some unsupervised time with themselves but also ensures that they learn new things in the process. 

The game contains different levels which get harder as your kid progresses, further making it more interesting and attractive. If you have some free time on your hands, you can also jump in and play with your kids.

Final Thoughts

So, these are the 8 games that kids of all ages can play without any tension. Above all, parents don’t have to panic or keep an eye on them all the time. 

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