Utah Ordered to Pay $475K in Deadpool Case

The Free Press WV

A judge has ordered the state of Utah to pay more than $475,000 in legal fees after it lost a court fight over a law that banned serving alcohol during the racy, foul-mouthed superhero film Deadpool. US District Judge David Nuffer handed down a strongly worded decision denying state arguments that the price was too high, the AP reports. “The political judgment of the state that it will enact a statute contrary to existing law and risk payment of legal fees is a legitimate choice, but it has consequences,“ he wrote. Lawmakers and the governor in the conservative state had backed a law that’s largely aimed at strip clubs, but also prohibited serving booze during films with simulated sex or full-frontal nudity.

The Brewvies movie theater in Salt Lake City sued in 2016 after regulators threatened to fine it up to $25,000. The state defended the measure in court, calling liquor and sex an “explosive combination.“ Nuffer struck down the law last year as a violation of First Amendment rights, ruling the theater is not an adult-oriented establishment and Deadpool is a mainstream movie. The theater’s attorney argued that the law was so vague it would apply to Michelangelo’s “David.“ His office was awarded about $475,000 in attorneys’ fees and an additional $3,800 in other legal costs. Nuffer deducted $22,000 in proceeds from an online fundraiser that attracted a donation from Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.

Lady Gaga Is a ‘Complete ‘Revelation’ as an Actress

Who needs to see yet another remake of A Star Is Born? You do, say the critics, thanks to director and star Bradley Cooper’s bold decision to cast Lady Gaga as his co-star. The film has a strong 93% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences are bit less enthusiastic at 83%. A sample of what the critics are saying:

  • Gaga’s “disarming, naturalistic presence is crucial to the movie’s force,“ writes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times. “She has been stripped down here, her mask removed. You can see her skin, the flutter in her veins, which brings you close to her, and can make both the actress and her character feel touchingly vulnerable.“
  • “Cooper has managed to do the impossible,“ writes Mark Daniell in the Toronto Sun. “He’s put together an instant movie classic that will have audiences falling in love with his brand new creation.“ Cooper’s own strong performance may not be a surprise, but Gaga’s? We knew she could sing, “but as an actress, she’s a complete revelation.“
  • Pay attention early, advises Ty Burr in the Boston Globe. “The opening 45 minutes of A Star Is Born are as good as mainstream moviemaking gets in the 21st century, and the rest is only slightly less impressive for being so familiar.“ As for Gaga: “The role of Ally is so meta as to cast doubt on whether Lady Gaga can play other kinds of parts; the performance is so galvanizing that you don’t remotely care.“
  • Gaga has done some crazy things on stage, writes Johnny Oleksinski in the New York Post. “But her biggest transformation occurs in the new film A Star Is Born. In it, she becomes an Oscar-worthy actress.“ Gaga shows “brilliant restraint,“ and Cooper shows a deft hand as a director, especially in the stage scenes. It’s simply “the best film of the year so far.“

SNL: GOP Celebrates Making ‘Women Real Worried Today’

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th Supreme Court justice on Saturday Night, and Saturday Night Live wasted little time in kicking off its latest episode with an imagined celebration of the Senate Republicans (and Democrat) who put him on the bench, reports the Washington Post. As Heidi Gardner’s Dana Bash reported from the GOP locker room, noting that a lot of pacemakers were “being put to the test,“ a parade a jubilant senators had words for the camera. A sampling, also via NPR:

  • Kate McKinnon as Lindsey Graham: “We made a lot of women real worried today, but I’m not getting pregnant so I don’t care!“
  • Beck Bennett as Mitch McConnell: “Republicans read the mood of the country and we could tell that people really wanted Kavanaugh. Everyone’s pumped—from white men over 60 to white men over 70.“
  • Cecily Strong as Susan Collins: “The last thing I wanted was to make this about me. That’s why I told everyone to tune in at 3pm. So I could tell all my female supporters: Psych!“ Further, “Listen, I think it’s important to believe women, until it’s time to stop.“

Over on the losing side, Alex Moffatt played Chuck Schumer, saying, “The Dems lost another one. We thought this time would be better than the Anita Hill hearing because Dr. Ford was white, but turned out Brett Kavanaugh was white, too.“ The show was guest-hosted by Awkwafina, with Travis Scott as musical guest. More video highlights are in the gallery.

Jeopardy Contestants Apparently Don’t Play Video Games

It was the end of a round of Jeopardy and none of the questions in the “Video Games” category had been attempted. When the contestants had no other choice than to give those questions a try, the reason why became clear. In what GameSpot calls a “cringe-worthy” and “hard-to-watch clip,“ the players struggle to get the right answers—or even to answer at all—as host Alex Trebek lobs questions about Fortnite, Skyrim, and more. “They saved the category for last for a reason, and by the last two clues they had the good sense to not even try to guess,“ Digg notes.

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