Are you ready for a ‘Barbenheimer’ sequel?

A cheerful woman drives a car with a serious-looking man in the back seat.
Might Oppenheimer be saying, “Barbie, you can drive my car”?
(Photo illustration by Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Times; Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures)

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s hot out there.

So hot that I actually took a peek at this great guide my Times colleagues put together titled: “Cool off in 14 of L.A.’s hottest pools with day passes.” Which, back in the day, I used to do all the time, except then a “day pass” consisted of waiting for a hotel guest to leave the pool area and then slipping in the gate. Or hopping the fence when no one was around. But, admittedly, that was a long time ago, all the way back in nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say “dickety” ’cause the Kaiser had stolen our word “twenty.” I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles ...

I’m Abe Simpson ... er, Glenn Whipp, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Pull up a chair, turn on the misting fan and let’s see what’s happening this week.

‘Barbenheimer’ the sequel set for the weekend

One way to cool off would be to head to the movies, sit in an air-conditioned theater and check out “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” for the first time, or maybe the third time. They’re pretty addictive. And it’s so freakin’ hot outside that you might not even mind the 30-minute barrage of commercials and trailers before the movie starts. Bonus time in a cool, dark place. What’s not to like?

My colleague Brian Contreras writes that both movies are expected to continue doing robust business — as they have during the week. So, go, get into the spirit and put on some pink or don an exaggerated porkpie hat. You won’t be alone in your enthusiasm.

Cillian Murphy wears a hat as he walks down the street in a scene from "Oppenheimer."
Cillian Murphy in “Oppenheimer.”
(Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Pictures)

Ken’s ‘sweet kind of rebellion’ in ‘Barbie’

That’s how my pal Mark Olsen described Ken’s journey in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” as he discovers this thing called the patriarchy — and that he loves it — and then brings those ideas back to Barbie Land to rechristen it his “Ken-dom,” refashioning Barbie’s dream house into his “mojo dojo casa house.”

Of course, he does all this simply because he just wants Barbie to notice him.

Mark spoke with Ryan Gosling, who plays the movie’s main Ken, and Greta Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote “Barbie,” not too long ago about the movie, their collaboration and, yes, Gosling’s uproariously straight-faced performance of the 1997 Matchbox 20 song “Push,” which, as Mark writes, gets to the “emotional manipulation underneath the song’s lyrics.”

“When you put on Greta Gerwig glasses, you start to see,” Gosling says. “I heard that song my whole life, but I had never heard that song really until she pointed it out.” (I was always more partial to “3AM.”)

"Barbie's" Ryan Gosling and director Greta Gerwig.
Ryan Gosling and director Greta Gerwig take a paired selfie with a pink Polaroid camera.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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Christopher Nolan goes deep on ‘Oppenheimer’

Meanwhile, my old friend Kenny Turan sat down with Christopher Nolan, enjoying — what else? — freshly brewed cups of Earl Grey and some good conversation about Nolan’s extraordinary new movie, “Oppenheimer,” an absorbing look at J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father of the atomic bomb.”

“More than anything,” Kenny writes, “Nolan is intent on honoring his subject’s often contradictory impulses, neither fleeing from nor fudging the ruinous difficulties he got himself into, in the scientific arena and in personal and political matters as well.”

“We don’t want to judge him, we want to be him, we want to be swept up in his life, to see the world through his eyes,” Nolan says. “In film we don’t often get the opportunity to drill down on these particular moments. Do we know exactly why we do things? Oppenheimer was an extreme form of what we all do.”

Me ... I’m drinking margaritas from a blender right now ... and I know exactly why I’m doing it. It’s scorching out there! See you next week.

"Oppenheimer" filmmaker Christopher Nolan.
(Joe Pugliese / For The Times)


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