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Carol Danvers Has A Special Love For Maria Rambeau In Captain Marvel, According To Brie Larson

Before she gained incredible powers and became an agent for the Kree empire, Brie Larson’s version of Carol Danvers, like her comic book counterpart, was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. As we’ve seen in the Captain Marvel previews, she flies planes alongside Maria Rambeau, and we’ve known for a while that these two are friends. However, the way Larson describes it, there’s more than just a simple camaraderie between these two. After Lashana Lynch, who plays Maria, noted that Maria and Carol get along so well because they’re both women in a male-dominated military and share similar personalities, Larson added:

Carol Danvers’ relationship with Maria Rambeau was among several topics discussed during the Captain Marvel press conference that CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg attended. While it doesn’t sound like these two women are involved romantically, Brie Larson’s comment does make it sound like the love that they share with one another fills the gap that would normally be occupied by a traditional romantic relationship in a movie. We don’t know what Carol’s family life is like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but clearly because of their time together in the Air Force and their shared experiences, Carol would go higher, further, faster to protect and help Maria.

Looking at Captain Marvel through that lens, it makes Carol Danvers’ situation at the start of the movie sadder, as when we meet her at the start of the movie, she’s serving on the Kree Starforce team and doesn’t remember her past. Eventually that will change once Carol ends up back on Earth and, during the course of hunting down Skrull infiltrators, learns about her life as a human. One can imagine that whenever Carol sees Maria after being away for so long and remembers her best friend, it will be an emotional reunion.

Let’s also not forget that Maria Rambeau has a daughter, Monica, who has been a superhero in the Marvel Comics universe for nearly four decades. If Carol Danvers is so close with Maria, Monica probably looks at Carol like an aunt. Since Captain Marvel takes place in 1995, that means Monica is an adult in the present day. So even though it hasn’t been revealed yet where Carol’s been since the events of Captain Marvel, it’s also a good bet that despite all that passed time, Monica, like her mom, would be overjoyed to see Carol again. Who knows, maybe Carol being back in Monica’s life again could pave the way for her to embark on her own superhero journey.

Captain Marvel hits theaters on March 8, and Brie Larson will be back as Carol Danvers for Avengers: Endgame on April 26. As for what else the MCU has in the works, look through our handy guide for that information.

No, The Black Widow Movie Was Never Going To Be Rated R

Early this year, a rumor made the rounds about the MCU’s Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson. According to the rumor, at one point, while the film was in development, it was discussed to possibly become the MCU’s first R-rated movie. This was never confirmed and was reported as a rumor, and now we know for sure that it’s just that, a rumor. According to Kevin Feige himself:

There you have it. Black Widow will not break the seal on R-rated films for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will instead almost certainly retain the PG-13 rating that all of the previous films featuring the character have used. Beyond that, Kevin Feige told ComicBook.com that Black Widow was never going to be R-rated.

As Kevin Feige noted, the rumor got started and everyone wrote and talked about it, including us. Such is the nature of the level of interest in these films and the demand for information. If an intriguing rumor is out there, it makes sense to talk about it, as long as it is reported as just a rumor and everyone takes the appropriate amount of salt with it.

It may be possible that someone at some point said “Hey maybe we should make this rated R,” but Kevin Feige made it clear that it was never going to be. Ultimately it was just a rumor. You can see why this gained traction though.

Black Widow as a character would make the most sense of the existing MCU stable to have an R-rated film. If someone said the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming or the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie were going to have that restricted rating, it would not have been given as much digital ink. We also have recently heard that Deadpool will remain R-rated at Marvel, so maybe there is a future for the rating at Marvel, but not with Black Widow.

I have argued that it would have been a ballsy move for Marvel to make Black Widow R-rated and a cool way to do something different in the MCU, yet I acknowledge that it was always an unnecessary move. By giving Black Widow a more blockbuster-friendly rating, the film won’t alienate any of the audiences that have enjoyed Scarlett Johansson’s character to this point.

So now, although not official, we basically know the rating for Black Widow, or at least know what it won’t be. We still don’t know when this movie is hitting theaters but the rumor and expectation is that it could be one of Marvel’s 2020 films. Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland and will star Scarlett Johansson, who may be making a pretty penny for the film. The rest of the cast and any firm plot details remain a mystery for now.

Black Widow may have been the MCU’s first heroine, but her solo film will not be the MCU’s first female-led movie. That honor goes to Captain Marvel, which hits theaters next month. After that we’ll see Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow when Avengers: Endgame opens on April 26.

Check out our 2019 release schedule to see the biggest movies headed to theaters this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.

A Fighting With My Family Sequel? Here’s What Paige Has To Say

While most biographical movies tend to take a one-and-done approach to their storytelling, there’s obviously plenty of story left by the time Fighting With My Family ends. So obviously, fans of WWE Superstar Paige are probably going to wonder if anyone involved with the film has approached the idea of a follow-up that jumps into the further depths of her career’s development. Well, as far as Paige herself is concerned, she seems game for another film, but as you’ll see below, she’s focused on the here and now:

That’s certainly not a stone cold confirmation of any sort of a Fighting With My Family sequel, as the current film is just opening in theaters this weekend. However, with Paige on board and the movie ready to try and win the hearts of both wrestling loyalists and non-wrestling fans alike, it’s only a matter of time before someone starts to try and figure out just how to make another installment happen.

Paige’s career ran about a good four years or so past the events of Fighting With My Family, leaving a lot of history uncovered by the Stephen Merchant written/directed film. So unlike your typical biopic, the structure of this film focuses on a more intense portion of time, leaving a lot of material to be covered in another film.

Not only does that material include the ever-evolving role of female wrestlers in the WWE, but there are also subjects such as various scandals and setbacks that cropped up during Paige’s career, as well as her eventual retirement due to injury and a surprise Scoliosis diagnosis. Any one of those subjects, should they be approached in the same way as Fighting With My Family, would only follow in the footsteps of the first film’s approach to Paige’s life.

As her story is far from the standard of underdogs winning the day, and having perfect careers until their retirement, Paige’s story is one that is just as human and affecting as the moments we saw in Fighting With My Family. Certainly not one to shy away from moments such as those, you can see how excited the WWE superstar is about tackling such a project, in the video from our conversation during the film’s recent press junket.

With Fighting With My Family bringing Paige’s origin story to light in a manner that appeals to both fans and non-fans, there’s a possibility that this weekend’s grosses will tell a tale of a public wanting more. And so long as Paige and Stephen Merchant are ready to team up again, there’s a good chance that they’ll get exactly that.

Of course, as the lady herself has pointed out, Fighting With My Family needs people to see it before there’s any chance of a sequel. The film is now in theaters, ready to fight a ladder match with your heart.

Why Marvel Hasn’t Announced Its May 2020 Title Yet

Back in late 2014, Marvel Studios made a splash when it held a special event announcing when all of the Phase 3 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would come out. Naturally there were some changes to the slate in the years afterwards, but for the most part, we knew what was coming and on what dates. With Phase 4, however, while some of the upcoming MCU movies have been officially announced or reported on, no specific release dates have been revealed yet, and according to Kevin Feige, we shouldn’t expect to learn what Marvel movie will follow Spider-Man: Far From Home until after the Web-Slinger’s adventure is released. When CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg asked what the game plan is for Marvel movies in production, the Marvel Studios president responded:

There you have it. Rather than clue fans in on what’s coming to the MCU in 2020, Kevin Feign and the rest of the Marvel brain trust would rather our attention be focused on what’s coming this year. This is similar to the approach Marvel took last year with waiting to reveal the title for Avengers: Endgame; Feige and the gang didn’t want to divert focus from the fallout of Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

And make no mistake, 2019 is a big year for the MCU, as Captain Marvel will wind the clock back to 1995 to tell Carol Danvers’ origin story, Avengers: Endgame will conclude Phase 3 by having its heroes fight to undo Thanos’ genocide and Spider-Man: Far From Home will kick off Phase 4 by having Peter Parker fight Elementals alongside Mysterio in Europe. Whew, that’s a lot!

So per Kevin Feige’s update, that means the soonest we could learn which Marvel movie will occupy that May 1, 2020 spot is sometime in the latter half of July, after Spider-Man: Far From Home has had a couple weeks to attract audiences. However, don’t be surprised if Marvel decides to wait even longer to announce when the next MCU movie is coming out, delaying that reveal until August or sometime in the fall. Ideally the company doesn’t wait too much longer than that to announce the big news. After all, as popular and successful as the MCU is, Marvel can still benefit from starting promotion as early as possible.

If I had to guess, I’d say that the Black Widow movie will end up taking that May, 1, 2020 release date. It has a director attached, filming is expected to begin later this year and if it’s anything like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it won’t require as many visual effects as your average Marvel movie. That means it would be easier to get Black Widow ready to go by May 2020 compared to something like The Eternals, which is also planning to shoot in 2019. Whether this is a correct guess or not, we have at least five months to go to learn the answer, if not longer.

Rest assured, once the release date for the next MCU movie comes out, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. In the meantime, the MCU will pick back up with the release of Captain Marvel on March 8, followed by Avengers: Endgame on April 26 and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5. If you’re interested to learn what the superhero franchise has in development, look through our handy guide.

How E.T. Inspired The Ending Of How To Train Your Dragon 3

Be warned, this article contains SPOILERS! So if haven’t yet cried over How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, turn back until you have!

Go out to the movies, we’ll get together, we’ll have a few laughs… and then a beautiful ending like How To Train Your Dragon’s hits. The last installment of the animated trilogy centering on a village of Vikings and a boy and his dragon has finally been released in theaters, and it’s a tear-jerker.

I’d say the director achieved all of this in the latest installment! The final scenes of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World include some of his wishes fulfilled, including Hiccup and Astrid’s marriage and a touching goodbye reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. Since the franchise explores similar themes of a boy’s unlikely friendship with a creature typically cast out and misunderstood by his society, DeBlois turning to the classic makes a lot of sense.

Toothless helps Hiccup grow and flourish through their friendship, much like Elliott and E.T’s story goes. Originally an awkward misfit, his journey with Toothless gives him the courage and strength to be a part of something and ultimately become the leader of Berk.

Once Toothless started to find his way home in the “Hidden World” and with the Light Fury, Hiccup must say goodbye to his friend and allow them both to fly on their own. Much like E.T’s phone home, which has Elliott saying goodbye to his closest friend, who helped him get out of his shell and fight for something.

DeBlois also pointed to another classic film as an inspiration for the end of How To Train Your Dragon. In his words:

The most emotional and gratifying scene in The Hidden World is when the timeline jumps forward to a time when a bearded Hiccup, Astrid and their children are on a boat together and they come across Toothless and the Light Fury. The dragon couple has had dragon children of their own.

The two families share a touching moment where they acknowledge each other, happy in their own environments, and get some gratification that everything turned out okay separately, just as the classic story does with the adopted lion cub sent back into the wild.

Dean DeBlois’ inspirations for the end of How To Train Your Dragon are spot on and, in my opinion, made for a satisfying conclusion to the franchise. Let us know what you thought of the ending in the comments below.

I Got a HydraFacial and It Totally Changed My Skin

A few months ago, I met a friend for dinner. “Your skin looks amazing,” I said, leaning closer. It looked radiant and freakishly smooth, like that of J.Lo at two months old.

“I got the HydraFacial,” she replied.

I was sold on the spot. What also intrigued me was that it doesn’t hurt. My pain threshold is lower than the Mariana Trench. (I whined for a full half hour after getting the flu shot.) You’re not going to find me signing up for a fractionated laser session anytime soon, which is why a treatment that could deliver results without me breaking into a cold sweat has obvious appeal. Where do I sign up?

For those unfamiliar, the HydraFacial is essentially a peel, microdermabrasion, and hydrating mask in one. But unlike the facials an aesthetician would usually perform by hand, it’s done using a medical-grade device that pulls debris out of your pores, while also moisturizing and exfoliating. (You’ve probably heard of some variations of it called a “pore vacuum.”)

It can treat just about any skin condition, which is ideal as I’ve been feuding with a forehead breakout for months now. “What I love about HydraFacial is how customizable it is to each patient’s unique skin concerns,” says Deanne Robinson, M.D., the co-founder and president of Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut, and member of The Women’s Dermatologic Society. “It’s a great treatment for all ages and skin types, from oily, acne-prone teenagers to more mature skin battling fine lines and pigmentation problems.” The only exceptions to this are an active rash, sunburn, or rosacea flare-up, she notes.

“Every patient benefits because it’s not only using targeted serums to help with hydration and breakouts and pores, but it’s also doing a vortex fusion of exfoliation and sucking out the dead skin,” says Graceanne Svendsen, the senior aesthetician at New York’s Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center. She finds the treatment especially valuable during the change between seasons as well as before weddings, since it’s like giving your skin a hard reset.

There’s nothing spa-like about the experience, so don’t expect to hear Enya or fall asleep on the bed. Instead, the HydraFacial device is a huge machine with various attachments that whirr and suck and spin. First, Svendsen cleansed my skin twice, because the foundation I’ve been wearing is apparently comedogenic (meaning it clogs pores). The first was a foamy cleanser, which she then followed with a vitamin C enzyme mask. “The enzymes open up your pores to help release the makeup so I can get your makeup off, and the hydration is going to keep it from over-drying your skin,” she told me. (Yes, I have switched foundations since.)

Once my skin was clean for what must have been the first time since birth, Svendsen embarked on the hydro-dermabrasion portion of the treatment—which is, essentially, hydration plus the microdermabrasion-style exfoliation. “It spins serums out [of the device] and drags in dead skin,” she says. The first is what she calls a “deep pore-cleansing step,” in which she used a small wand to sort of scrape my skin—going lightly over problem areas. Then she buffered back over everywhere with a serum.

The next step is a gentle acid peel, with 7.5% glycolic acid and 2.5% salicylic acid. As a glycolic acid stan, I was delighted to feel the familiar tingle.

Afterward, Svendsen used the device to do extractions. Unlike the medieval torture of typical extractions, the HydraFacial method uses the wand, but with a new attachment, to suction gunk out of your pores. It felt so good; I wish I could hold it over every single one of my zits like a face vacuum. This suctioning action is multifaceted: It not only removes grime, but also boost circulation and stimulates the lymph system, which removes toxins from your face.

Why Walt Disney World’s Tower Of Terror Could Be In Trouble Because Of The New Twilight Zone

This week, we got a new look at Jordan Peele’s take on the classic TV series The Twilight Zone. The only place the Twilight Zone name has been regularly seen over the last several years has been at Disney theme parks attached to the popular Tower of Terror attraction, like the first one built at Walt Disney World for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. One might think that renewed interest in the TV series would be nothing but good news for the nearly 25-year-old attraction, but the truth is it could actually spell the end of the ride by making The Twilight Zone too popular and too expensive for Disney.

The first version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1994. Three other Tower of Terror attractions were built at Disney parks in California, Paris and Tokyo, and two of those used the Twilight Zone brand.

The thrill ride itself is fairly simple: it’s a drop ride that pushes a car full of guests into the air, before dropping them in free fall (it actually pulls the car down, so you fall faster than you actually would if only gravity was acting on the ride vehicle). Then the car slows, goes back up, and does it again, causing several thrilling drops per ride.

While simple, the ride certainly built its share of fans. The popularity of the attraction was made clear when it was announced that the version of the attraction at Disney’s California Adventure would be replaced by Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout. While the attraction’s thrill would remain essentially the same, everything would be re-themed to match the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes. As popular as Marvel is, many were unhappy to see the Tower of Terror go.

This led various people to wonder what the future of the other Towers was, especially the original one at Walt Disney World. While nothing has ever been officially announced by Disney to imply the attractions are going anywhere, the impending brand-new Twilight Zone series could actually spell the end of the existing attraction.

The buzz surrounding this latest iteration of The Twilight Zone is strong. Jordan Peele is acting as producer and host of the show, and that association alone has people excited. What was Get Out, if not the best feature length episode of the Twilight Zone ever conceived? The Twilight Zone name is poised to be bigger than it’s been in decades, and that has to be good news for a theme park attraction that holds the name, right?

But that’s exactly the problem. The Twilight Zone is owned by CBS and Disney pays the company a licensing fee for use of the name and the elements of the classic series. Now, I don’t pretend to know how much Disney is currently paying to license the name, but it stands to reason that if the brand new series is a hit, the next time the deal comes up for renewal, the price tag to Disney could be a lot higher than it has been in the past. It could be so much higher that Disney isn’t interested in paying for it.

Disney has all the money in the world, especially these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s always interested in spending it. Next door to the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World is the Rock N’ Roller Coaster, featuring Aerosmith. Originally, Disney wanted it to feature the Rolling Stones, but the group wanted too much money to license its music.

The only reason I can conceive that the Twilight Zone licensing deal won’t get a lot more expensive is if the new show somehow doesn’t succeed. If the show bombs, then CBS won’t be in a great bargaining position. However, that causes its own problem, as a bad show would damage the brand as a whole and potentially make Disney less interested in continuing with it.

I don’t think the show will fail. I think it looks amazing.

Of course, if the new show is a massive new hit, there could be problems in the other direction. If the show becomes really successful there could be a call to see elements of it incorporated into the attraction. While Walt Disney World purists as well as classic Twilight Zone fans would probably lose their minds at the idea of Rod Serling being replaced by Jordan Peele, the average tourist may not care so much.

Of course, this would increase the cost of Disney that much more, as the park would need to not only pay for the new licensing deal, but also pay to re-skin the attraction.

Even if I’m right, it doesn’t mean the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will be gone tomorrow. Details on exactly what the licensing deal between CBS and Disney looks like are hard to come by; these sorts of deals usually aren’t made public. It’s barely possible that the deal between the two has no expiration date or set plan for renewal. Maybe Disney was able to get CBS to agree to a fixed renewal price for as long as Disney wants to continue with the attraction. It’s unlikely CBS would have agreed to that.

What’s more likely is that every few years CBS and Disney meet to renegotiate the deal. If the last renewal took place a couple of years ago, then the Tower of Terror might be safe for quite some time. If the deal is coming up for reconsideration soon, however, things could be changing a lot faster.

Of course, the loss of the Twilight Zone name doesn’t mean that the Tower of Terror is doomed. If a re-theming is required, the general concept can be kept while simply removing the Twilight Zone related elements. The version of the attraction at Tokyo DisneySea has existed for over a decade with no ties to the Twilight Zone at all. Still, those elements are part of what give the Walt Disney World attraction its unique mood and feel. Losing them would still be a major blow.

Walt Disney World’s Tower of Terror likely won’t be transformed into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout, if only because a Guardians of the Galaxy themed roller coaster is currently under construction at Epcot. But as popular as the Tower is, it seems that the deck is stacking against the attraction’s future.

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The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better

DIMINISHING RETURNS? The sizes of the Light Phone, Palm and Punkt constrain how much you can do with a phone. But that’s the point.
DIMINISHING RETURNS? The sizes of the Light Phone, Palm and Punkt constrain how much you can do with a phone. But that’s the point. Photo: F. Martin Ramin/ The Wall Street Journal

LISTEN, iPhone, it’s not you. It’s me. You’re great, really. I just think it’d be healthy if we took some time apart. For years, I’ve been hopelessly seeking something a little smarter, a little sexier—more vibrant, nice curves, strong communication skills. Now it’s time I stepped back and decided what I really need from my soul mate.”

That’s what runs through my head, more or less, during Apple’s annual new-device announcements. My roving eye has even been known to wander flirtatiously over to the latest Google Pixel—I’m only human! But recently I’ve been more seriously seeking a little distance from my smartphone, and from the people who use it to find me at all hours, in all locations. What’s piquing my interest are “card phones,” a fresh category of wee mobile devices about the size of an AmEx expressly designed to do less and inspire something of a digital detox.

“The last thing the world needs is another smartphone app,” said Joe Hollier, co-founder of the ultra-minimalist Light Phone. “My happiest time is when I leave my phone at home to go skateboarding. There used to be a divide when we were online and offline. I want to encourage people that we can turn off.” As I learned, each type of card phone brings something different to this low-key relationship—not all good.

‘It’s made my everyday life better—because of what it doesn’t do.’

For instance, the tiny new Palm ($350, plus $30 activation, verizonwireless.com) remarkably mimics much of what big smartphones can do, including email and SMS text, music, internet, navigation and a shockingly impressive 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, great for snapping a sunrise mid-run. Its “Life Mode” function helpfully quiets all pings when its screen is dark, letting you use it on your terms. But you might be better off downloading detox apps to your main device. At not quite 2 inches wide, Palm’s screen won’t distract you like the attention-grabbing behemoths, but with a tiny 800 mAh battery to match its frame, doing just about anything burns out the Palm’s energy supply; sending a quick email and scanning sport scores online, even with the screen’s brightness at the absolute lowest setting, killed about 10% of the battery in minutes.

Worse, this Verizon exclusive won’t work as a stand-alone phone. It must be synced to your primary device and number for a monthly $10 fee, adding to its expense. And, ironically, it wasn’t comfortable in my palm. Typing on it took two hands, if only to keep the slippery little thing from tumbling to the ground—probably why they sell a lanyard-style case. Though, given how often I dropped the phone, the Gorilla Glass seems very sturdy.

If you want to shun any hint of smartphones—and much of modern society—for a long weekend there’s the Light Phone, a nifty device built for phone calls only. No texts and definitely no Facebook , Twitter or Tinder, though it can keep the time nicely and store up to nine of your most important numbers. Christian Madsbjerg, co-founder of ReD associates, a New York-based “human science” company that consults with brands to determine how products and tech might help people, recently tested the Light among a host of other card phones as a personal experiment with aims of avoiding the constant buzz of email on his Apple device. “I’m probably breaking the rules by just calling people. They might find it intrusive but I kind of don’t care,” he said. Mr. Madsbjerg eventually rejected the Light Phone because of its call quality, which uses antiquated 2G networks. “The thing it should do, it doesn’t do.”

The improved Light Phone 2, due out this summer ($300 for preorder, thelightphone.com), will keep the same thin design and handsome matte finish but upgrade to modern 4GLTE networks, the same as most smartphones. It also adds an e-ink screen, a la Amazon’s Kindle, along with Bluetooth, a bigger battery and a crisp suite of “tools” so you can send basic texts, enjoy music, navigate your way home or maybe hail an Uber—Mr. Hollier said the final list is still in the works—but still reject pesky news and social feeds.

Until then, the Goldilocks option seems to be the new Swiss-designed Punkt MP02 ($349, punkt.ch), which similarly streamlines a device down to its basics; the clever brand name is German for “full stop.” The call quality is superb and if need be you can send a taxing T9 text, where each letter corresponds to a number on the keypad, in case you have pangs of nostalgia for an old Nokia .

“My messages often end up being ‘OK’ or something like that. It’s not elaborate, it’s not eloquent, but it works,” said Mr. Madsbjerg. “I’ve had it for three months now. And it’s made my everyday remarkably better. And not because of what it does, but what it doesn’t do.”

He ultimately bought one for his 9-year-old daughter, too. “She can text me and ask ‘When are you coming home?’” Mr. Madsbjerg said. “But she can’t go hunting for likes on some social platform.”

Along with its minimal capabilities, the Punkt operates on 4G, helping it double as a Wi-Fi hotspot to get your laptop online. It also works as a stand-alone, is a touch bigger and supremely satisfying in hand, averages more than four days of average use per charge and connects to wireless headphones via Bluetooth, just in case, like me, about 87% of your calls are made while standing over a sink of dishes.

After flirting with all three, I have my eye on the Punkt, too, a nice mix of sexy, smart and stable. Low maintenance, no fuss. No, I’m not yet ready to settle down—but it’s probably time to have a serious heart-to-heart with my iPhone.

Degrees of Digital Detox

The extent to which four card phones, from smart to dumb, can limit your addiction.

The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Small but Smart

Palm’s “Life Mode” helpfully disables notifications when the screen is off, but it’s still brainy, so the onus for detoxing is mostly on you.

The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Uber? Yes. Twitter? No.

Light Phone 2, due this summer, will let you hail an Uber and enjoy distractions like music and texts but frees you of email and social media.

The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Text Your Kids

The Punkt MP02 is just for calls and short texts. But its built-in modem lets you turn the featureless phone into a hotspot for your laptop in a pinch.

The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Call Your Mom

The original Light Phone limits you to calls. No text or email, no camera, no internet, no sharing. But it has a clock, so at least you’ll be on time.

Cellphone Ups And Downs
The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Illustration: Chad Hagen
The Beyond-Basic Phone that Made an Exec’s Life Better
Illustration: Chad Hagen

The Motorola “brick” that Michael Douglas wielded along the beach in 1987’s “Wall Street” was a substantially sized, substantially priced block of battery and antenna that was big, bold, meant to be seen. Phone sizes have yo-yoed during the ensuing decades, driven as much by fashion as by technology. After the brick, the less-is-more aesthetic of ever-shrinking flip phones came into vogue. Then with smartphones, designers began testing the limits of what hands (and pockets) could hold. At the apex came “Phablets,” outsize devices never meant to be talked into. But in 2016, the pendulum swung back, with Apple introducing its iPhone SE, the company’s smallest—and according to many cognoscenti—best model ever. Now with card phones, this shrinking trend continues.

The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.

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Appeared in the February 23, 2019, print edition as ‘It’s Not-Quite-All In the Cards.’

Charlize Theron Is Doing A Comic Book Movie For Netflix

With recent news that the remainder of Netflix’s Marvel shows Jessica Jones and The Punisher have been cancelled as the studio’s partnership with Marvel soon comes to an end, the streaming giant will be running a bit low on original content to appeal comic book fans. The studio is now turning to an adapt the Image Comics series The Old Guard into a feature film starring Charlize Theron.

The comics are penned by Wonder Woman and Black Magick writer Greg Rucka and illustrated by Leandro Fernández. It’s an action series is about a band of immortal soldiers whose existence and powers become exposed to the public. According to Deadline, Rucka will write the screenplay for Netflix, Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct the film lead by Charlize Theron and If Beale Street Could Talk star KiKi Layne Sounds badass!

Gina Prince-Bythewood is known best for her directorial work on The Secret Life of Bees, Beyond the Lights and for the pilot for Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger television series. She was previously attached to Sony’s Silver and Black film, that would have focused comic book heroines Silver Sable and Black Cat teaming up, until plans to split of the films in separate origin stories was announced. The Old Guard is an exciting move for the director if she’s no longer attached to the DC property.

Charlize Theron is well-known for showing strength on screen, with her characters and is no stranger to starring in action flicks such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde and The Fate and the Furious. With The Old Guard, Netflix users will get to see her play a soldier who has been around since ancient times and can bleed, break and experience pain, though cannot die – it’s quite reminiscent of Wolverine’s story.

So far, she will be joined by KiKi Layne, a 26-year-old actress who has only starred in Barry Jenkins’ Oscar nominated Moonlight follow-up. Layne will soon star in sci-fi thriller Captive State from Rise of the Planet of the Apes director and in Sundance drama Native Son. It will be exciting to see the actress as she takes on more roles and her involvement in The Old Guard is especially interesting.

Theron joins the likes of Hollywood biggies such as Sandra Bullock, Jake Gyllenhaal and Alfonso Cuarón, who have recently been a part of Netflix projects as the streaming service continues to expand their original content.

Besides The Old Guard, Charlize Theron is set to play Megyn Kelly in an untitled project about her and other woman who stood up to Fox News executive Roger Ailes’ sexual misconduct allegations. She will soon star in a rom-com with Seth Rogen called Long Shot about sparks between a president nominee and her speech writer who she once babysat, coming to theaters on May 3, 2019.