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The peculiar victory of self-destruction in Hollywood

Mickey Rourke in Tiger (2018). Photo: R3M Productions

Nowadays, Mickey Rourke resembles an old, beaten-up pit bull. He’s ragged, physically deformed, but still standing. Come boxing, alcohol and drug abuse, mental demons, and more than a decade of loneliness, nothing could knock out the once sexiest actor on the planet.

But, to get to the level of self-knowledge…

For some men, honesty and sharing are harder than kicking a drug habit

Patrick Melrose crying
Photo: Showtime/Sky

It only feels right to dedicate a Theme of the Month to “vulnerability” if your publication is called Vulnerable Man. I’m a few months late with this essay, but it’s better now than never. December always makes me emotional, anyway — the snow, the missed holiday meals, the unavoidable nostalgia…

It’s a fun flick if you appreciate bottom-shelf jokes

So much beauty in one picture. Photo: Netflix

Love Hard is a Netflix Christmas movie. There’s an important distinction, though: it’s also an Instagram Christmas movie. Meaning: there are way-too-attractive people everywhere in it (if we don’t count the male lead. Sorry, Jimmy). Almost everyone and everything shines as if they’ve been shot with a Clarendon filter.

The…

Showtime’s crime drama indulges in its bleak small-town depression

Jeff Daniels as sheriff Del Harris is bleeding in American Rust.
Photo: Showtime

The first season of Showtime’s crime drama, American Rust, indulges in its own bleak small-town depression. Violence, adversity, and drugs are the foundations of this tiny Pennsylvanian place called Buell and its people. This is white-trash country, ladies and gents, there’s no doubt about it.

The plot revolves around an…

The sequel is more than just a superhero movie

Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2.
The coolest pole dancer? Artwork by the author. Original: Sony

As rumors have been flying around for months about a possible multiverse meeting — reuniting all three Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home — I’ve decided to revisit Sam Raimi’s classic trilogy. This is Chapter Two. You can read Chapter One here.

Sometimes when the stars align in Hollywood, they…

The dopest show of the year features the veteran actor at his best.

Michael Keaton confesses in Dopesick.
My name is Sam. “Hello, Sam.” Photo: Hulu

When we first see Dr. Finnix (Michael Keaton) in Hulu’s new TV show, Dopesick, he’s in a courtroom — testifying before a grand jury in 2005. He looks sick: pale, sweaty, worn out. He’s visibly on the verge of crying. He’s about to answer a question posed by prosecutors: “Dr…

From a loser nerd to be a celebrated icon

Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man.
Artwork by the author. Original: Sony

As rumors have been flying around for months about a possible multiverse meeting — reuniting all three Spider-Men in Spider-Man: No Way Home — I’ve decided to revisit Sam Raimi’s classic trilogy. This is Chapter One.

When I was a kid, I’d been so obsessed with Spider-Man that I programmed…

Akos Peterbencze

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