We've learned that Ian Livengood is the teacher of the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class. I guess this puzzle is a sort of final project. Just thought you might like to know.
After a slow start, the puzzle fell in fits and bounds. Got both 15s when the crosses made them obvious. Had no idea that DJANGOUNCHAINED was an "36A: Oscar-nominated film featuring a dentist-turned bounty hunter," but 8D: "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat" duo (CALVINANDHOBBES) rang a distant bell.
NAOH (30A: Caustic soda, chemically) and OTOH (43A: Contrarian's abbreviation) both looked unpleasant, but one's scientific and one is solidly current, so one can't really complain. Also, they're symmetrical, which, I feel, shows a certain understanding that both share a certain "odd" status, and I like that. Had DADST_BE (36D: Some Lamaze assistants), and briefly despaired, not knowing OBOTE (58A: Leader of Uganda's independence movement), but slowly the proper parsing became clear.
My favorite of the stacked eights that ran around the grid was MASTHEAD (14D: Who's who in publishing?). We finished up in that difficult NE quadrant. STS (10D: E, F, and G in D.C.) took forever! I was forever expecting something musical. And TILLY (11D: Jennifer of "Bound") was purely a guess. Her name sounded remotely familiar. I'm sure others who are more attuned to current cinema and/or the regular world had less difficulty with that one than we did. And REDSCARE (13D: Cause for some blacklisting) came at the blacklisting from a different place - we were thinking of things like "being a communist," but I suppose no one would have worried about being a communist if the "Red Scare" weren't already a thing. I mean, I'm sure there are communist sympathizers living today, but who cares, really, because the scare is over.
Loved METER (48D: What stress may be good for), and EST (59D: What means the most at the end?).
Didn't love it, but it was a decent Friday challenge.