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KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
Welcome to this weeks edition of the Weekend Media Forecast. I’m your Mediaologist Brad Morris. We’ve come to the official start of Summer with Memorial Day Weekend. Let us all take a moment to remember those who have served and died in defense of our country. The courage it takes to walk into the line of fire is beyond me. So I say a silent prayer for all the fallen.
This weeks forecast takes some liberties on our military history. While several people prefer ACTUAL historical movies, it seems apparent that “Alternate Facts” have been besieged upon us. With that in mind, a couple of selections take different routes than factual happenings, however they entertain all the same. They were also a part of the KSR Movie playoffs, so I thought it best to include them this week.
Netflix: Inglorious Basterds
Why To Watch: I’ll admit that I’ve been smitten with Tarantino movies since the beginning. Reservoir Dogs is in my Top 10 of all time. There is the emphasis on certain scenes, which are all long takes, that put your mind into watching a play. Tarantino has such a vast knowledge of older movies and his appreciation shows.
Inglorious Basterds is the unofficial start of a trilogy of films; Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight were the second and third films respectfully. Set in World War II, the film tells two separate stories in linear fashion, which is rare for Tarantino. If you have not seen IB, be advised it does not follow actual events, and also changes history for the sake of storytelling. It also involves everything a Tarantino movie offers, namely violence, blood, and the F bomb. So enjoy this movie without the rug rats around.
Hulu: Top Gun
Why To Watch: If Inglorious Basterds is too vile for your taste, then how about this patriotic take on USA’s Air Force. Although Tom Cruise was well known in the mid 80’s, his Hollywood fame shot higher than the F-14 his character piloted in the movie.
I recently reviewed the movie for the first time in ages, finding that the dogfights and one-liners still can bring a smile to my face. This could well be the perfect movie for date night. Guys come for the action, girls stay for the romance between Maverick and Charlie. If you believe my thinking is wrong with this pick, it was difficult to write, because I was inverted.
TV: TCM Memorial Weekend War Movie Marathon.
Why To Watch: If you want to relive certain events, and have made it a holiday tradition, Turner Movie Classics is the channel to keep tuned into this weekend. It starts on Sunday with Across The Pacific. While I haven’t yet found where they are showing the classic Midway, selections do include:
Twelve O’Clock High
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Ace of Aces
Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales
Why To Watch: The continuing adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow jump onto the big screen this weekend. From a distance this appears to be nothing more than a quick money cash grab from the studio. However the appearance of Javier Bardem as the nefarious Captain Salazar shows promise for the franchise.
This fifth film of the Pirates also brings back the main players of the first three, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. I’ll also add that you in no way need to have viewed the fourth Pirate film to to know what is going on. No need to bring your brain for Captain Jack, just have fun and don’t forget the rum.
Sports: Indianapolis 500
Why To Watch: The open wheel spectacular returns to race around Beyonce style (to the left, to the left) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of all the races around the world, this is the fastest and most dangerous. Several safety measures have been put into place over the last two decades. The proximity to each others cars still make it a death defying zoom to the finish. If you are attending this year, don’t leave the sunscreen at home.
That’s it for this weekend. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. So salute our fallen heroes, don’t burn the house down flipping cheeseburgers, and remember to buckle up if travelling on the roads. For the Funkhouser Weekend Media Forecast, I’m Brad Morris.
Until this past weekend, I hadn’t binge-watched anything in a very long time. As in, I literally couldn’t tell you the last time I’d watched more than two episodes of any show in less than 12 hours. Part of that is a busy schedule, part of it is simply preference; I like stretching shows out a bit to savor my enjoyment of them for that much longer.
In any case, after hearing too many glowing recommendations to ignore it any longer, I (along with my wife) plunged into the comedic marvel that is Amazon’s Catastrophe. It is, I’m here to tell you, as brilliant as advertised. Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan are as warm and funny as two leads can be, and the show’s population of bizarre side characters (Chris, who talks about his marriage like a grizzled Vietnam vet recalling a horrific warzone ambush, is my favorite) carry the show over the top.
Aside from the sharp writing and performances, something else stands out about Catastrophe. Like its closest spiritual contemporaries, Louie and Master of None, Catastrophe walks the line between drama and comedy in a way that’s becoming the norm among the most creative comedic minds in film and TV.
Louie is probably where all this got started.
I don’t mean that Louis was the first show to mix serious issues and comedy. Obviously, the two have gone hand in hand for as long as comedy has existed. But for decades, TV comedies fit a certain mold, and breaking from that set-up-and-punchline laugh track formula was a death wish. I mean, just think about the first TV comedy you saw where there wasn’t a laugh track. Remember how jarring it was? Now, going back and watching episodes of Seinfeld or Friends feels more foreign than familiar.
But that’s because those shows obeyed the same rules that had been in place since the literal beginning of televised entertainment. We now realize that those rules are arbitrary, but it took a long time for execs to realize that viewers could cope without a laughing live audience to clue them into every joke. Even when sitcoms began tackling meaningful issues (M*A*S*H and All in the Family were trailblazers in that respect), they did so while obeying a comfortable structure that always ended in a punchline. As a result, they were often funny, but never felt particularly authentic.
Which is not to say that all shows without laugh tracks are “authentic.” In fact, I think the reason that shows like The Office, Parks and Rec, and Modern Family are so zany is that the shows are (or were) still desperate to remind you that you’re watching a comedy.
Which brings me back to Louie, Master of None, and Catastrophe. The shows are often funny. I think it’s fair to classify all of them as comedies. But a lot of the time, you could be forgiven for disagreeing with either of the previous two sentences.
Large stretches (and some would argue, seasons) of Louie can pass without an obvious joke (aside from the intercut stand-up bits). Master of None’s best moments are those where Aziz Ansari is tackling some of the most serious issues facing millennials and people of color (and children, parents, friends, etc.). Catastrophe is perhaps more stacked with laughs, but that feels more like a product of the characters being consistently sarcastic, witty people who rely on humor to deal with the confusion of their various predicaments than out of service to any staid ideas about what a comedy has to be.
What I’m wondering is whether or not these shows represent something that’s going to stay true for longer than the time it takes to come up with a hot take about them. Is comedy changing in a lasting way because, thanks to the internet and prestige cable channels, a devoted niche is now more important that broad appeal, which allows our most interesting comedians to follow a vision that doesn’t have to seek the lowest common denominator? Or are these just a few shows just a different sort of passing trend?
I mean, it’s not like The Big Bang Theory is going anywhere, so I don’t expect revolution. But comedians say all the time that the funniest people are those who can see and express the truth most clearly. That makes a lot of sense. But, then, isn’t it likely also the case that those same people might want to see and express the truth even when it’s not funny? Or, at least, when, as in real life, the comedic stuff rubs uncomfortably against the tragic stuff, the mundane stuff, the ugly stuff?
I think that’s what we’re seeing from the brilliant comedic voices behind Louis, Master of None, and Catastrophe. I think these super-creative people, freed from the conventions of old-school sitcom restrictions have decided that they want to use their powers of observation to reflect reality as they see it, whether or not everything (or, in some cases, much of anything) they see merits a laugh. I’m all for it, in case you hadn’t gathered that yet. Smart writers and performers trying to tell the truth about the world through their art? Sign me up.
Ultimately, that makes it a lot tougher on viewers. We like the familiar. It’s how we’re wired. And the familiar rhythms of sitcoms have, for generations, led us peacefully through their setups and punchlines. Much laughter (some of it canned) ensued.
But now we’re entering a new era. I have no idea how long it will last, nor what exactly we should call it (I hate the term Cringe Comedy), but I’m glad that we’ve made this stop on the road to wherever comedy is headed next.
Now I’m gonna go finish Catastrophe and complain uselessly when it’s over.
The true-crime podcast genre is beginning to have a very defined structure. The regular notes that hosts hit seem as natural and lived in as the formulaic outline of a Law & Order episode. Convicted, a new podcast that has no NPR connections feels exactly like a Serial-esque production, right down to the ambient noise during conversations. What makes Convicted interesting is the podcast out hipsters the hipsters. Meaning, Brooke Gittings, the show’s host, tackles the story of a man’s innocence without the backing of a large media organization. While podcasting has always been an alternative media, Convicted feels different than all the others.
Broadcasting “Live” from a Walk-in Closet
All closets are not created equal, but sometimes you have to improvise…. pic.twitter.com/JThdKc6Xk0
— Brooke Gittings (@BrookeGittings) May 23, 2017
The amateur feel to Convicted is undeniable. Gittings confesses to recording in her walk-in closet during the first episode. The confession left me smitten. I like the idea of people seeing an injustice and working tirelessly to see the wrong righted. To sacrifice your time, talents and closet space (at the very least) is admirable. There are plenty of excuses to devise that would talk many people out of this endeavor.
The set-up isn’t the only “amateur” move. Gittings is learning as she goes. During her first meeting with her subject, she has a steep learning curve in regards to the prison’s dress code. The requirements are tailored to the way women can dress, right down the wire in their bra. The rule wasn’t even mentioned in the prison’s requirements, but is still something that visitors are expected to know. The underwire rule is one of the many things that had to be learned through trial and error.
The Comment Section
While the beauty of the podcast is that it isn’t over-produced, there is still some room for growth. Some listeners have made comments about Gittings’ voice. I had no issues with her voice. (The premise that someone should alter his or her speech seems ridiculous. What are people supposed to do? Autotune their segments? Hard pass.) What the episodes need is editing. Sometimes, the transitions wander. Where more produced podcasts use musical cues as transitions or more seamless turns, Convicted corners like an 18-wheeler. The story is also paced slower than I would like. In episode one, Gittings promises, “the biggest injustice you’ve ever seen.” I am four episodes into the series and the big injustice has yet to be revealed. For the most part the iTunes reviews are positive. One commenter explains that they “couldn’t handle the high school essay feel.” I wish high schoolers turned in essays this good. The podcast doesn’t have to be perfect to get its point across.
Richard Nicolas is the actual subject of the podcast. Nicolas was found guilty of murder when his two-year-old daughter, Aja, was found dead in his car. Like most podcasts, when you hear his interviews he seems like a perfectly “normal” guy. Gittings addresses Nicolas’ stutter, his past and his relationship with his daughter. There are still a few holes in Nicolas’ back-story that need to be filled. In the first panel episode, Nicolas’ sister explains how she never doubted that her brother committed the crime. While her testimony is compelling it still doesn’t completely explain the defendant’s innocence.
One of the more stereotypical moments in true crime podcasting is the “ride along.” During these segments, the host takes the recorder and drives the alleged route that the convicted took on the night in question. It’s some real, modern day, gumshoe reporting. While Gittings’ post-movie route review isn’t as hard-hitting as Sarah Koenig’s Best Buy adventure, it still hits all the right notes. Nicolas’ steps are traced with the best intentions and as thoroughly as possible.
Questions of Privacy
Throughout the whole podcast, Gittings consistently asks for privacy for Aja’s mother and Nicolas’ daughter. Her plea is ironic. A podcast that spends hours outlining, discussing and evaluating a man’s life is asking for privacy from the audience. When the creators lay out evidence and shine the spotlight on the convicted, there is an inevitable invasion of privacy. The innocent have a right to privacy. I’m not sure if Gittings has the right to ask the audience to not pry into their private lives, even though she is correct.
Convicted is created by a small fish and put in a big pond. There are many true crime fish in the Podcast Sea. More than all the others, Convicted adds another angle where non-professional creators try their hand at the trade. As long as there are stories that need this level of scrutiny there needs to be podcasts to tell their story.
Keep the structure.
Keep speaking in your closet with a coat on your head.
By Matthew Mahone on ©May 22nd, 2017 @ 9:30am
Nostalgia is a helluva drug, and we’re all junkies. The entertainment industry recognizes this and that’s why studios are all too eager to reboot, remake and relaunch the most cherished television shows and films from your childhood. But not everything deserves to, or should, come back from the past. These are the movies that illicit such a traumatic and painful flashback when you stumble upon a random clip, or catch sight of the theatrical poster somewhere, or even when someone simply evokes the title in a conversation. Such movies deserve nothing better than for their 800 foot long, oxide-coated, magnetic tape insides, to rot, forever entombed inside a yellowed, dusty plastic sarcophagus, at the bottom of a soggy, partially disintegrated cardboard box, underneath piles of moth-eaten and silverfish infested sweaters, in the hellish inferno that is your parents’ attic. The Dark Crystal is one such film. Despite rumors of its revival over the years, including a scrapped sequel called Power of the Dark Crystal, and a Robot Chicken parody, nothing has ever materialized—until now. Last week Netflix announced a forthcoming 10-episode series entitled, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a prequel based on the original 1982 film, and just like that, all the horrors of my childhood began flooding back.
Netflix describes the new series as: “Three Gelflings discover the horrifying secret behind the Skeksis power, and set out on an epic journey to ignite the fires of rebellion and save their world.” You do realize how this ends right? It worked for Rogue One I suppose. I’ll never understand how a film like The Dark Crystal achieved its present day cult-classic status, considering it received tepid reviews when it was released, and more importantly, scared the hell out of almost every child who watched it. One critic said that “The Dark Crystal casts its spell from its very first frames and proceeds so briskly that it’s over before you realize it. You’re left with the feeling that you have just awakened from a dream.” Nightmare fuel would be a more effortless description. If you happen to own a VHS copy, or worse the 25th anniversary blu-ray edition, you better be a re-sale store. Rotten Tomatoes currently gives it a 72%, which seems about 36% too high if you ask me. It’s one of a handful of movies that were so damaging to my young psyche, that I have honestly only viewed it no more than a couple of times. Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Crystal is a highly imaginative film in both scope and design, and one that doesn’t rely heavily on CGI, rather uniquely groundbreaking live action puppetry as well as ethereally mystical environments and settings, courtesy of Frank Oz and the genius of the late, great, Jim Henson. Yet unlike Henson’s other beloved projects, The Muppet Show and subsequent movies, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, and to some extent Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal stands alone at its best as a mythological quest, good versus evil, yin-yang tale, which is utterly grim, dark and violent—a pre-pubescent introduction to the horror genre. Billed as a fantasy film, most parents were oblivious to the film’s macabre tones, including my own mom, who took me to see the film when I was seven years old. However, she clearly didn’t want to see it, because after she seated me, she whispered, “remember, if you need me I’ll be across the hall watching Tootsie” and walked out. Before you start judging, this practice wasn’t outside the norm—at least for me—kids were independent and free then, remember this was the 80’s. Also what was rated PG then, would now be considered PG-13 now.
Ask yourself, over the past 35 years, have you ever wondered what life was like before the Gelfing genocide? If so, I’m sure you’ll see how it all went down in the most brutal way, in the new series. Let me remind you there are some downright unnerving wtf scenes from the original film. Just imagine your seven year-old self watching as a gentle, podling has its life-force literally sucked out of its body, withering its innocent, teeny, cherubic, muppet-like face, only to become a dead-eyed slave for the menacing, skeletal, vulture-like reptiles, called the Skeksis. Speaking of the Skeksis, how about that dinner table scene, as they drool and masticate loudly, in an almost sexual way, poking and prodding at each other and their revolting food? Ewww. That sword fight scene where they hit the rock was cool, except for when the conniving Skeksis—the one who’s incessantly whimpering—lost the contest and had his ornate, layered robes and clothes, unmercifully ripped from his body, leaving him in tattered rags, barely covering, his once hidden, weak and atrophied body. I’m certain you’ll learn how they became so dehydrated and gross. Have you been wringing your hands to see more puppet junk? If there wasn’t enough glimpses in the original, there’s probably more flashes of well-placed—but tasteful—muppet nudity in one of the upcoming Netflix episodes. Perhaps the new series will rely on a comical trope in the form of a doe eyed, bubbling animal, to provide laughs in between gruesome scenes where butterfly-horse creatures are shredded and devoured by giant beetles. Will that haggish, horned, nipply, grey-haired, mustached woman with three eyes make an appearance in the new series? Will she be played by a more diverse and younger muppet? Lastly, will there be another unexpected and violent stabbing resulting in the death of a major muppet protagonist? Only time will tell.
If Netflix thinks The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will be successful hooking younger audiences, along with nostalgic bingers, think again. The new series sounds just as bizarrely creepy as the original, but maybe that’s the point. The rebooting of treasured films is unavoidable. However resuscitating one that packs such an emotionally unpredictable and mentally damaging trip, like The Dark Crystal, is not what we need right now, nor will we ever.
Welcome to another edition of the Weekend Media Forecast. As always, I’m your Mediaologist Brad Morris. This weeks post is special to me for a big reason. It is the first post I’ve actually been able to headline at the top. I want to thank a few people before we get into the forecast.
First to Tyler Thompson for answering a Facebook message last spring. Its amazing what Game of Thrones can bring you. She was able to get me into the KSR doorway. Secondly to Josh Juckett for being my partner in crime with the Kentucky Deadcast. He and I had a blast with season 7 of The Walking Dead and we look forward to bringing that back this fall for what looks to be an explosive season 8. Thirdly to Nick Roush for editing all of the podcasts I’ve thrown at him for the past few months. And last, but not least, to Chris Tomlin. Chris took a chance on me when he didn’t have any idea if I could do this or crash and burn. With his guidance and advice, I feel like I grow better with each passing week as a writer. So thank you all for letting me into the KSR family.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, we can proceed to this weekends media forecast. This week has a little bit of everything. A serious documentary, a lighthearted film, a speckling of horror, and the joy of sport. So let’s look ahead, shall we?
Netflix: The Keepers
Why To Watch: We start off with some very serious, and mysterious, content matter. In this seven part series, Netflix looks into the murder of beloved nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik. Sister Cesnik was a teacher at a Catholic high school for girls in Baltimore in the late 60’s. On Nov. 7th, 1969, Sister Cesnik went missing. Two months later, her body was found in a bad state of decomposition. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head. Her disappearance and the discovery of her body launched an investigation that remains unsolved to this day.
With all of the controversy gripping the church for the last couple of decades, this is another black stain that refuses to go away. The series screams at a cover up, and fingers are pointed. The only fact that is escaping the audience is who actually did this heinous crime to the much loved nun.
Why To Watch: For all of the original content and TV repeats that Hulu has to offer, a large portion that has been overlooked in the past is its growing library of movies. Everything from James Bond classics to Disney princesses is buried underneath. I have found an 80’s classic hidden deep inside. And it’s appropriate I had to dig, because that movie is Clue. This adaptation of the popular board game may have been the first time the movie industry attempted to make a movie based off of a game, either video or board. And while it may have not had much commercial success, Clue has become a cult classic. Given that it has so many strong actors, you could release it today and it would still be relevant. Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, and Lesley Ann Warren play some of the main culprits. However, this movie is taken from good to magnificent with the great Tim Curry. Playing Wadsworth The Butler, Curry gives a classic performance in leading the murderer(s) throughout the house from the game. If you want to show your teenagers what classic comedy can be, and how you don’t need technology to do it, play the game one night and then show them this. And remember, 1 + 1 + 2 + 1.
TV: Billboard Music Awards (Sunday, ABC, 8:00 p.m.)
Why To Watch: The award show season is almost over with. This one brings together all the stars you love, or hate. Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Demi Lovato, Pink, Rihanna, and Madonna are just a small sampling of the names. Madonna will be leading a tribute to Prince. And while I sometimes dislike tributes from the past, anything that can bring a little Purple Rain back into our lives is a good thing. I won’t be watching since I’m anxiously awaiting to see Mumford and Sons Tuesday night at the Chicken Bucket. Don’t want to spoil my appetite before then.
Movies: Alien Covenant
Why To Watch: I’ll make this confession, I’m not really expecting too much from this addition to the Alien universe. I had such high hopes for Prometheus and was terribly disappointed. Granted the visuals were fantastic, but it came off as too clean. I want my Alien movies to have some grit to them. The original Alien and Aliens were pure terror. Ridley Scott won’t let the franchise die because he wants to keep adding to the mythology of Alien. It actually occurs to me that he seems to be following in the same footsteps as George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels, and we know how that turned out. Let us hope that Alien Covenant is at the very least serviceable and can put us back into the mood of extreme terror that happened the first time you see a facehugger, egg spore, or Xenoporph pop onto screen. If you’re brave enough, then check this out at your local theater.
Sports: The Preakness (NBC, post time aprx. 6:45 p.m.)
Why To Watch: The second leg of the Triple Crown is in Baltimore, Maryland tomorrow afternoon. Always Dreaming is the odds on favorite to win, with his chief competitor being Classic Empire from the Kentucky Derby. New challengers await the champion thoroughbred. Cloud Computing and Conquest Mo Money are just two of the nine other horses Always Dreaming will have to hold off. Let’s see if he can keep his jockey’s silks as clean as they were with the Derby.
That brings us to the end of this weeks edition of the Weekend Media Forecast. I’m hoping this weekends weather forecast doesn’t turn out to have as much rain as is currently predicted. That would be a funny way of keeping our kids cooped up on their first weekend out of school. God’s little irony perhaps? However, we have plenty of material to view as well. So grab the popcorn and enjoy. Until next weekend, I’m your now OFFICIAL Mediaologist Brad Morris. Cheers.
Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.
Anatomy, Grey’s — Actress Jerrika Hinton who, in the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, escaped a rapist, saved a child and blew up the hospital, has decided to leave the show. Audiences still have yet to receive the news, as they left the show seasons ago. ZING!
Cornell, Chris — Sad news I know you’ve heard by now: Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell passed away after a Detroit show Wednesday night, which the Wayne County, Michigan police now believe to be the result of suicide by hanging. Cornell was an amazing talent, this is very sad, and if you at home have EVER have thoughts like this I urge you to talk to someone. Please. Do it today.
Crash News Dancing, Car– What happens when a car crashes and someone tells you that the parking lot outside your office is being aired live on TV by an overhead news helicopter? I hope you’ll do what this guy did, and get out to that parking lot and get busy. Carpe diem, Scottsdale guy. Carpe Diem.
Keith, Toby — President Donald Trump is preparing to head to Saudi Arabia and, as the Associate Press has announced, conservative country music singer Toby Keith is going with him to perform a concert only for men. I guess that means…guys, I’m tired. Just…so…tired…I can’t. I just can’t anymore. Forget it.
Not Hot Dog — Silicon Valley fans, take heed; Jin Yang’s fictional “Not Hot Dog” app, which informs you if the food you’re looking at is a hot dog or not, is a real app from something called “SeeFood Industries” and is available in the Apple/Android app store. You know, in case you have any use for it.
Roseanne — In these trying times, it’s good to know that great things can still happen to you. Like, you remember the other day, when you were at work talking to your friends and you were all “You know what show I wish was back? Roseanne. I miss that show every day of my life.” Well guess what, Keith? It IS! DREAMS COME TRUE, KEITH!
Tambor, Jeffrey — Oh man, you guys are gonna LOVE this. When Arrested Development and Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor recently appeared on Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s show (I don’t know what it’s called now, because whatever), Ryan Seacrest mistakenly told Tambor he always remembers the Emmy-winning actor because he “was the scary guy in Ghost.” Oops. That’s like your girlfriend telling you “I love you so much because you remind me of Meat Loaf.”
By Josh Corman on ©May 18th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Recently, I’ve been listening to a (very funny) podcast called Craig’s List, wherein the host, comedian Craig Cackowski, and his wife Carla watch one of Craig’s 100 favorite movies and then discuss it. Their tastes are fairly divergent, and since they’re both seasoned improv comics, they’re able to milk the conflict for all it’s worth. It’s tailor-made for a list-obsessed movie buff like me.
But the show’s host said something in a recent episode that got me thinking. Typically, Craig withholds mention of the upcoming movies on his top 100 list, because he wants listeners to look forward to the reveal at the end of each episode. He has let slip, however, that Woody Allen has a whopping seven films that appear on his list. If you somehow didn’t know, Woody Allen has been accused by one of his adopted children of molestation, and, in any case, had an affair with and later married the adopted daughter of his one-time partner, Mia Farrow. Yuck.
Now, one of the things that I really like about Craig’s List is that both Craig and Carla are unafraid to confront some of his favorite movies’ more problematic elements. Consistently, though, Craig finds ways to justify the inclusion of movies that have a lot of issues (Gone with the Wind is probably the best example), while Carla often takes a more critical view. This makes sense, given that it’s his list. It’s hard to cut ties to things we love.
Which is fine, of course. We’re allowed to like what we like, and if what we like contains some questionable elements, then we should acknowledge those and consider how those portions of our favorite things might have been handled differently.
But what Craig’s List has pushed me to think about isn’t just how I relate to problematic movies from a bygone age, but whether or not there are some pieces of art that I shouldn’t relate to at all.
Now, listen, I know that this isn’t a new conversation, and my intent here isn’t to reach a hard and fast rule about separating art from the artist who creates it. I’m not sure there can or should be a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to this kind of thing, but I am sure that everyone of us should know where we stand. And that knowledge begins with asking some hard questions, including, “Am I making excuses for myself so that I can continue to enjoy this director’s/actor’s/musician’s/author’s work without thinking about what, exactly, I’m supporting.
Because, see, it’s hard to argue that, when you support an artist by paying for the privilege of enjoying their work, you’re sending them a signal of approval. If you give your dog a treat after he poops on your floor, don’t come complaining to me about the carpet stains.
We don’t treat artists like our pooping dogs because, almost all of the time, they’re not pooping in our house. Woody Allen’s alleged molestation of his children happened a long time ago, and it seems remote and unconnected to Annie Hall or Crimes and Misdemeanors. Casey Affleck’s alleged sexual assaults seem like they’re a world away from his award-winning performance in Manchester by the Sea. I could go on like this for a while. There’s Mel Gibson. There’s Roman Polanski. There’s Bill Cosby. There’s Chris Brown.
In each of these cases, it’s possible to say, “The awful things these people have done or been accused by multiple people of doing are terrible, and they should be punished to whatever degree the criminal justice system deems appropriate,” and then go right along watching and listening to their stuff, which puts money in their pockets or at least increases their cultural footprint. It’s possible, but it takes some curious mental gymnastics to ignore the conflict such an approach should take.
But like I said, it’s hard to cut ties with the things we love. And beyond that, even if we agree that we should cut those ties with a given artist, where, specifically, is the line? How serious does the transgression need to be before we swear someone off? Obviously (I would hope) charges of rape, sexual assault, and unrepentant bigotry will do the trick, but beyond that?
I think it’s a worthy question, and one that, given some thought, each of us could probably answer for ourselves. I don’t however, think that it’s an easy question to answer, which is why most of us don’t bother asking it in the first place. I’m not letting myself off the hook here. I’ve wrestled with this whole art vs. the artist conundrum for years, and only recently have I began to actually change my viewing, reading, and listening choices as a result of what I learn about some artists.
At one time, I would’ve simply refused to deny myself something enjoyable simply because a person involved in its creation was an asshat. It’s not my fault, I would’ve reasoned, so why should I be punished for their bad deeds?
But in the end, that was just a way for me to have my cake (loudly condemn artists’ horrifying actions) and eat it too (still consume their work).
And in any case, there’s just so much great stuff out there to watch, listen to, and read, so I’m not really denying myself anything by choosing not engage with art made by terrible people. I’m really just freeing up space to reward not-so-terrible people for the good work they’ve done.
That’s where I’ve ended up after a lot of thought, but what say you? Where do you draw the line that separates art from the artist?
This past Sunday, I spent my Mother’s Day watching The Handmaid’s Tale which turned out to be an odd choice. The Hulu series is based on the dystopian novel of the same name. In this new world, not all women are fertile. Those that can have children are forced to have children with their “Commanders.” It is literally the worst programming you could choose to watch on Mother’s Day.
Or maybe it isn’t. The Handmaid’s Tale is gorgeous. The jewel tones of the wives and the handmaid’s uniforms are the perfect hues of ruby and turquoise. The set is interesting too. Set in the New England fall, the houses look like that homes that the fiscally irresponsible buyers on House Hunters consider even though it is obviously out of their budget. I find myself being distracted from my potential dystopian future by ornate chair railings and crown molding.
But it’s not all intricate mitered wood in this tale, Elizabeth Moss’ performance as Offred is phenomenal. While the word “Phenomenal” gets thrown around a lot in regards to acting, her performance actually deserves the praise. The audience can easily read what is on her mind by the look in her eyes. Audiences are also completely aware of her thoughts through her voice over. Offred cusses like a sailor (and rightfully so) and her explicit narration offer a perfectly timed F bomb to keep the dark story for reaching rock bottom.
The story is depressing. There are many opportunities to dwell of how terribly pessimistic our future can be. What the show does is mask the grim realities with a dash of hope. The easiest way to keep the audience from feeling mired in sadness is to add a few songs that remind you to “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum.”
For example, the first episode ends with the Leslie Gore song “You don’t own me.” Although the song used to remind me of Bette Midler from The First Wives Club, it is now less playful and more of an anthem. Offred has had everything taken from her. She lost her daughter, her husband, her job and her name, but she still has her thoughts. “You don’t own me” blaring over the closing credits lets the audience know that Offred isn’t going to quit. That resistance is all I needed to stay invested in the story.
In episode 2, Offred makes eye contact with her driver, Nick, and immediately the Simple Minds jam, “Don’t you (forget about me)” starts. Even though the song is almost completely synonymous with The Breakfast Club, the song carves out its own space in The Handmaid’s Tale. Is it possible that this is the most pop culturally relevant song? If so, it’s the perfect fit for Offred’s story. The song reminds me of the 80s. Therefore, the song reminds of a time that really happened. Ergo the story of The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a place where The Breakfast Clubbers club. The song furthers the thought that this is a dystopian story could happen in the not so distant future.
While there are many songs that you will easily recognize , the score itself does the heavy lifting. Similar to Inception, the songs rely on loud, heavy and distorted chords. The bending melody sounds like dilated pupils coming into focus. Without the refreshing burst of pop culture earworms, the heavy plot and depressing score would be too much to bear.
The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t meant for binge watching on a Mother’s Day afternoon for many reasons. One is that it isn’t meant to be binged at all. The subject matter is to dense and demanding for one sitting. Hulu knows this. That’s why there is one episode released each week. The creators knew this, that’s why there are catchy and carefree tunes laced throughout each episode. I look forward to dreading each episode before viewing and appreciating the tale once I’m through.
This week is Upfront week for the big television networks. Upfront week is when the television networks pitch their upcoming fall shows to viewers and, more importantly, advertisers in an effort to gain ad commitments. This comes on the heels of last week’s news regarding the fates of some shows, most notably the cancellation of Last Man Standing, New Girl’s final season, and the cancellation/subsequent renewal of Timeless. Announcements will pour out over the week and the hype trains will start rolling out with reckless abandon. As we await official announcements from the networks, here are five shows which should be picked up for the fall slate:
Squat to the Top (NBC)
Alex Diaz (Mario Lopez) is a down on his luck personal trainer in Santa Monica. After recently getting kicked out of his apartment, Diaz takes up residence as a squatter in a high class district where he meets former star turned struggling actress Samantha Monroe (Kirstie Alley). Monroe wants Diaz’s help to get back in shape so she can land the role of a lifetime. Diaz wants to make a name for himself as a personal trainer for the stars. Can they work together to…squat to the top?
I’m a Better Singer than You Are (Fox)
Are you tired of seeing reality talent shows where the competitors are just too nice to each other? If so then IABSTYA is the show you’ve been looking for. Contestants will have to not only sing well for our panel of expert judges (Gloria Estefan, Huey Lewis, and one of Pharrell’s clones), they will also have to try to psych out their opponents with smack talk which will be judged by smack talk experts Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Garnett, and Chad Johnson. Who has the skill and the mental toughness to endure the most vicious talent show on Earth?
A Chicken, a Bear, and an Alien (Fox)
Seth MacFarlane’s newest animated hit comes to tv this fall with A Chicken, a Bear, and an Alien. Featuring characters from other well-known MacFarlane shows, CBA follows the adventures of a chicken (voiced by Bill Hader), a bear (voiced by Carl Weathers), and an alien (voiced by Richard Dreyfuss). Together search for El Dorado, try to solve global warming, and try to invent the perfect no-bake cookie. A chicken, a bear, and an alien walk into a bar…who knows what will happen next.
The Nursing Home Murders (CBS)
Callie Adams (Alyson Hannigan) was one of the brightest detectives on the force before one case hit a little too close to home. A series of nursing home murders where the only clues left behind are bingo numbers has baffled authorities. Adams reluctantly returns from her hiatus to try to stop these heinous crimes. As the investigation deepens, some old ghosts revisit Adams and the fate of nursing home residents everywhere hang in the balance. Can she stop the killer B4 they strike again?
Fly Me to the Moon (ABC)
Fly Me to the Moon is Shonda Rhimes’ latest addition to ABC Thursday nights. Earth is quickly becoming uninhabitabl and it’s up to a division of NASA experts, known as the Crater Crew, to find a way to save humanity. Led by Vanessa Blackburn (Gabrielle Union), the Crater Crew must overcome one obstacle after another to figure out how to make life sustainable on the Moon. It’s up to Blackburn and her team to solve this ultimate problem…and the clock is ticking.
(The following is written by Funkhouser guest featured writer Brad Morris.)
Welcome to another edition of the Media Weekend Forecast. I am your Mediaologist Brad Morris. While the last few days have been soggy weather wise, this weekend we can make up for it Media wise. I searched the platforms we all love to watch, and I think you’ll find some interesting choices are in the palm of your hand.
Why To Watch: This is an interesting documentary that I came across this week in looking out for the Forecast. It is about the infamous Tower shooting on the University of Texas campus in Austin, which took place on August 1st, 1966. For those of you in your early 40’s and beyond, school shootings have been rampant in our country ever since Columbine. However it’s the mass murder in Texas that was the first to happen. Charles Whitman took a small arsenal of weapons to the tower and began firing on people below from the 27th floor, killing 17 and injuring 31. In the process he killed his wife, his mother, and the unborn child of Claire Wilson. What makes this documentary fascinating for me is the use of animation. They use the typical on scene, grainy, black and white news footage, but they enhance it with animation based on interviews and the post mortem of the event. They also show the people involved in cartoon form then, and as they are now. I was not expecting to enjoy it, but it was great view into a portion of our past that often gets overlooked. The pain and suffering of any school shooting is unfathomable to comprehend, and it’s a wonderful insight to the largest school shooting in US history up to that point.
Hulu: The Golden Girls
Why To Watch: If you’re a millennial and haven’t been introduced to the Florida retirement home occupied by Rose, Sophia, Blanche, and Dorothy, we need to correct that mistake right now. And for those of you who are older, what better way to relive the past than with the Golden Girls. National Treasure Betty White plays the dim-witted Rose, often the butt of the jokes for her simple minded ways. White plays her role to perfection. Bea Arthur’s Dorothy was the straw that stirred the drink. She was the level headed woman whose wit was so dry it seems as if sand is coming out of her mouth with her delivery. Rue McClanahan plays the (phrase not coined yet) Cougar of the group, searching and lusting for men in every episode. You’d think with that description her character would be one note, however McClanahan plays it with such aplomb that you’re in stitches. And last but not least, Estelle Getty plays the mother of Dorothy, Rose. Often telling stories of how things were in her native Sicily, Rose had more comebacks than Michael Jackson and Tupac combined. It’s easy to get lost in the rhythm and flow of the shows laughter, but when Rose spoke it would sometimes send me into side splitting tears. So catch up on some great 80’s TV. And thank you for being a friend.
TV: Saturday Night Live
Why To Watch: This may be the most anticipated SNL in recent memory. Whatever you think of this current administration, the one thing that can not be argued is that it has brought comedy to the forefront. Political satire seems to have ebbs and flows with each President that we have. With “He Who Shall Not Be Named” in office, the gold mines are open again. And with all that went down this week in D.C., having Melissa McCarthy on this week is the perfect storm. Her impersonation of Sean Spicer is like getting drunk on laughter imho. She’s already been seen riding around the streets of New York behind a podium in full Sean Spicer makeup. So at the very least we can expect a great pre taped digital short. And this could also be a huge week for Weekend Update. So set your DVR, or stay up to not miss anything “Live, from New York! It’s Saturday Night!!!”
Why To Watch: This week its more like what not to watch? I can not in good faith recommend the two big releases, King Arthur or Snatched. The reviews for Snatched are that it’s garbage, which makes me sad. I was hoping the combination of Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn would be perfect, and it turns out it’s a hot damn mess. If you want the classic story of King Arthur flipped on its head, I guess you can see it, but I’m just not a huge Charlie Hunnam or Jude Law fan. If you want laughs, Boss Baby is still in theaters, and if you want action then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is definitely worth a second viewing. So tread lightly at the movies this week.
Sports: NBA and NHL Playoffs (cont.)
Why To Watch: We’re down, almost, to the final four in each sports respective playoffs. In the NBA, Golden State will do battle with San Antonio in the Western Conference. Over in the East, Cleveland awaits for whomever wins the Boston vs Washington series. I’m pulling for John Wall to make it to the Conference Finals, both as a fan and so we can shut Colin Cowturd up. I still believe we’ll see a Golden State vs Cleveland finals, but these next two weeks should be more entertaining than the first two rounds.
Meanwhile, the NHL playoffs have been highly entertaining. Multiple overtime games have kept fans on the edge of their seats. In the West the Anaheim Ducks are hosting Tyler Thompson’s Nashville Predators for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. In the East, and believe me this is hard as hell to type, The Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Ottawa Senators. It’s hard to type because for me the Pens are like Louisville, Indiana, and Duke all rolled into one. And since this is a forecast, I’ll be avoiding this series like the plague. So tune in, or out, for some time on the ice.
I hope this forecast gives you enough viewing options this weekend. I know its almost summer time, so get the lazy days in while you can. Pretty soon it’ll be beaches and Disney World, or whatever you and your family does in the summer. Until next week, I’m you Mediaologist Brad Morris. #Smashville #GoPredsGo
As you know by now, Coach John Calipari has teamed up with TimeSet, an app no one really has ever heard of, and by doing so has released his bucket list, because the TimeSet app is for bucket lists and chores and goals or something. No one really understands.
The point is that by now you’ve all seen Cal’s bucket list, which includes multiple championships at UK, $50 million for the Calipari Foundation and six consecutive 30-win seasons. But I was searching around TimeSet for some others’ goals, chores and bucket list items — and you’d be surprised at what I found. The app is much more popular than perhaps we thought.
Malik Monk’s Goals
- Get drafted in NBA first round
- Consult with financial manager on invesments
- Purchase home in new city
- Be a part of NBA Championship-winning team in 5 years
John Robic’s Morning Routine
Mark Emmert’s Friday Schedule
- Closely look into Division II women’s archery recruiting rules adherence
- Answer emails
- Welcome session for newcomers
- Try to figure out how to get back into heaven
- Make residents 7,356,000-12,875,000 push a rock up a hill for eternity
- Refuse to slake thirst of pile of writhing tortured soles
- Organize Luke Bryan concert
Bruce Pearl’s To-Do List This Week
- Write note to President Gogue apologizing for ruining couch
- Write note to assistant apologizing for ruining passenger’s side seat of car
- Write note to Great Clips apologizing for ruining barber’s chair
- Repack tank tops for attic storage
Papa John’s Personal Goals
- See Louisville athletics cleaned up from scandal
- Better Ingredients
- Better Pizza
- Whatever the equivalent of the Fast and the Furious cars is, for helicopters.
Avery Johnson’s Chores Today
- Find a spool of thread
- Balance spoon on spool of thread
- Toss rock onto one end of spoon
- Catapult self onto kitchen counter
- Answer telephone
Rick Pitino’s Bucket List
- Kim (red hair)
- Kim (blonde hair)
- That girl who works at the library
- That one lady I saw bending over at the Shell Station
- Mannequin in women’s fitness section at Kohl’s
- That watermelon in the refrigerator with the hole in it
Many of the cultural touchstones of my childhood are sports-related. I was (and still am) very much sports-obsessed, so it makes sense that I’d fall hook, line, and sinker for just about any book, movie, TV show, or video game that leveraged my fandom in any way. Space Jam, Rookie of the Year, The Sandlot, Little Big League, The Mighty Ducks movies, Happy Gilmore, middle-grade books about young athletes overcoming familiar hurdles (sometimes literally) to work out their family issues. There are more, but these are still right there at the top of my mind.
I would imagine that there are lots of twenty- and thirty-somethings out there who can say the same thing, which is why it’s a little surprising that the current re-boot-a-mania sweeping Hollywood hasn’t translated to a few more sports-classic throwbacks. Yes, we’re supposedly getting a new Space Jam, but where’s the Netflix-produced, eight episode sequel to The Sandlot featuring the kids of grownup Benny and Smalls putting together a rag-tag travel team that loses in the final game of the LLWS? Actually, uh, give me a minute while I loudly declare COPYRIGHT! like Michael Scott declares bankruptcy on The Office.
Yes, the lack of attention given to the sports-centric properties of my youth is puzzling.
Well, some of it is puzzling. The absence of one in particular, though, is enraging. Seriously, where the hell is my modern-day NBA Jam remake?
Be honest; if you’re between the ages of 30 and 40, you can probably name at least half the NBA Jam team rosters, which will, of course, include your exasperated shake of the head at having no Michael Jordan on the Bulls and no Shaq on the Magic (damn you, licensing feeeeesss).
The last edition of NBA Jam came out in 2010, which came on the heels of the excellent 3-on-3 basketball series, NBA Street. With its disappearance from the video game landscape, a whole lot of years of over-the-top, arcade-style basketball action came to an end.
It’s easy to theorize why. Gamers get bored easily, for one, and as much fun as the NBA Street games were, there wasn’t a lot of year-to-year innovation to keep devotees satisfied while bringing new players into the fold. But the bigger reason is probably the growth of the NBA 2K series, which has exploded over the last several years to become the go-to basketball game for everyone from casual gamers to actual NBA superstars. Since console technology has finally gotten to the point where a 5-on-5 basketball sim actually plays like a game of basketball (the sport has always been the hardest to digitally replicate), it’s easy to argue that the theatrics of games like NBA Jam are no longer needed to make basketball games fun.
But that’s stupid. Just because Gran Turismo has fully and accurately mapped the physics of hundreds of real life automobiles to make their racing sim as realistic as possible doesn’t mean that Mario Kart is no longer fun. The 2K series is great, but its excellence doesn’t mean there’s no place for half-court dunks, flagrant 2 steals, and fireball three pointers raining down on your opponents’ heads.
The fact is that we’re in the middle of an NBA renaissance. The league’s popularity is soaring, the quality of the talent on the court is unbelievable, and there’s no good reason to deny us the endless hours of fun we’d no doubt be having if we could run 2-on-2 versions of the NBA’s biggest rivalries and superstar matchups. The Greek Freak and Jabari Parker’s ACLs vs Porzingis and Melo. Towns and Wiggins vs The Brow and Boogie. Russ and whoever gets to stand out there while Russ does everything vs Harden and whoever gets to stand out there while Harden does everything. LeBron and Kyrie vs Wall and Beal. Steph and KD vs Kawhi and whatever’s left of Tony Parker’s aging body. The possibilities are tantalizing.
The game should, of course, feature all-time teams (’84 Celtics vs ’96 Bulls, please!) and online play and all the other features today’s gamers expect. If they did it right, it would be a hit. The world is ready. My aching sense of nostalgia is ready.
Bring back NBA Jam. For the kids. I promise I’ll let my seven year-old play too.
I mean, I’ll crush him, but I’ll let him play.
I swear that while I was writing this, I learned that a game called NBA Playgrounds, a 2-on-2, arcade-style game, will be released for PS4 and Xbox 1 next week! Early reviews are promising, although its relatively limited feature set suggests that it may be a kind of test entry for a more fully-realized game down the road. In any case, let this be a lesson to you: complaining like a grumpy old man about things is the only real way to accomplish anything.
The release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 was more anticipated than its predecessor. The 2014 movie required you to talk people into seeing GOTG, Sr. Now we are living in a post-baby Groot world and his herb-y little face is all that people can talk about. You can even scroll down to read Brad Morris’ review of the film. If you haven’t seen the sequel yet, just imagine if Ally McBeal’s dancing baby and an big-eyed koala had a plant child.
Now imagine that it’s more cute than that description.
Groot went from a towering side kick with a limited vocabulary to a marketable character in this iteration of the films. The opening sequence is a playful dance between a toddler-like plant and a battle set in the sky. The fight is exposition for the story but it doesn’t matter. What matters is how adorable dancing shrubbery can be. Ten minutes in, the price of admission is justified. (This would be a good time to add that I am easily entertained.) While many will argue that Groot is a cheap attempt to win over an audience, I’d argue that Groot is the character we need but don’t deserve. He’s literally too good for this galaxy.
No Vocab Necessary
A characters with a limited vocabulary isn’t anything new. You can look to the Minions, Hodor, Beaker, Tinker Bell or any Ewok you find in the forrest to tell you that an extensive vocabulary isn’t necessary to be a lovable character. Once an audience is aware that a character is good natured, innocent and a little dimwitted they are yours forever. The limitations of only having a three word lexicon makes inflection and timing even more important. While there are times that “I am Groot” approaches being over used, it never quite reaches the threshold of overuse.
One way to tell if a character is well loved is to see what kind of chintzy crap people will buy just because it reminds them of the character they love. I’d like to coin the phrase “the happy meal toy factor.” The moment the idea of Groot was conceived, he was meant to be nestled beside a flat cheeseburger with soggy fries. He has that happy meal toy “It” factor. People love Groot paraphenalia. Here’s some of the best items money can buy:
Groot costume for your baby Groot
Actual Retail Value: $95.00 …yikes
Description: Not actual tree bark *hat not included
Groot Rag Doll
Actual Retail Price: $15.00
Description: For those who like to explain what Groot actual looks like
Crochet Pen Cozy Groot Head Pen Cover
Actual Retail Price: $13.00
Description: “Fits most disposable pens!”
Groot Cosplay Costume
Actual Retail Price: $2,000
Description: Made to order.
*Which means some 5′ 2″ person could dress up as a slightly shorter than average Groot.
He’s impossible to hate
Sort-of. In this article, Vulture argued that Groot is “too perfect.” McHenry argues that Groot is used as a crutch. He goes even further to say that Marvel movies have a tendency to bend “toward the unicorn-flavored lowest common denominator.”
McHenry got a two-for-one Starbucks/Groot diss. It’s easy to read Groot as a cheap joke for easy targets (like me!) but the alternative is horrifying. The cuteness keeps the movie light. There are plenty of superhero movies that are depressingly dark. I distinctly remember watching Superman destroy an entire city during one fight. That scene needed something cute and fluffy. Movies that don’t take themselves too seriously are needed. We don’t deserve Groot, but we do need his precious face to keep storylines from slipping to the dark side.
***The following post was written by Brad Morris. You can follow Brad on Twitter @BHMDeadcast***
I have a confession to make. This is the third time I’ve started this review of GotG Vol 2. The first I started after an advanced screening. I quickly deleted it after realizing it was a rush to get something out. The second one was after seeing it in theaters with my kids. I couldn’t decide the correct way to go about it, and after several false starts I had half of it done. The problem was it was half fanboy and half personal history. So into the trash it went. Now, I think I’ve found my footing after seeing it a third time, but this time I saw it with the right person, my Dad.
Now for me to properly give the correct review, just maybe not the right one, I do have to get personal for a New York minute (Go Rangers!). When I was I born, I was fatherless. My father had died before I entered the world. The woman who had me made the bravest decision one could ever make and gave me up for adoption. That decision gave me the Dad I’ve had since he and my mom picked me up two weeks after I was born. He was the first to hold me, the man I played catch with, the man who chased me around in the backyard and forced chocolate pudding in my mouth (which I spit out). He has been with me every step of my life and I don’t know if there are enough words or money in the world to ever repay him for what he did for me.
How does this lead into a movie review? Simple. GotG Vol 2 is everything a sequel should be: larger, louder, more characters, the works. The problem with most big budget sequels is that the story gets lost in the shuffle of trying to expand on the original, and in this case its tougher given the success of the first. Add on the pressure of this being a Marvel movie, and disaster loomed ahead. Fortunately James Gunn, the writer and director, wrote a beautiful family drama and slipped it into this summer movie. It has sibling rivalries, teenage parental drama, and the bad influences of the outside world.
At the heart of the movie is the relationship between Star-Lord Peter Quill and his biological father Ego The Living Planet. I’m staying clear of any spoilers, but if you’re asking how a planet could father a human baby, Drax the Destroyer asks that question with hilarious results. Ego hired Yondu, the always amazing Michael Rooker, to bring Quill to him when his mother had died. Going against Ego’s orders, Yondu kept Quill and raised him with his group of pirates and outlaws. In the first movie Yondu was shown as someone who hated Quill and wanted him dead at one point. We find out in the sequel this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Quill has a unique reunion with Ego, and appears to side with him for a time. However, over the course of the movie we see that the Father he had been looking for his whole life was already right beside him. Yondu may have been unorthodox, but he was the right man for the job. It takes the circumstances of the plot for him to find this out for his own knowledge, and almost too late. Quill has had the antihero strut in both films, and its a little bit nature. He has also had selflessness and sacrifice that is a little bit nurture. The combination of the two makes him the Star-Lord we know.
I won’t expound on the other relationships of the movie. Gamora and Nebula. Drax and Mantis. Rocket and Yondu. Groot, still in baby form, and everyone around him. It gives too much of the story away. It could also give away the great cameos that are littered throughout. As always, stay all the way through the ending credits for multiple scenes that expand on the Guardian’s universe. I’ll give you this advise for viewing it: expect the big set pieces of a big budget movie, laugh at the jokes, sing along to the music, but sink your teeth into the story that Gunn wrote. It is unexpected and totally worth it.
As for why I was able to get through to get through this review finally? That’s because the man that sat beside me today. Pop laughed and tapped his foot to the music. My favorite thing he asked was if this was an old movie. Why did he ask? You’ll have to see that for yourself. As far as a thumbs up or thumbs down, I’m going to refrain from that. This isn’t the place for me to tell you if you’ll like it, love it, or hate it. All I can say is it was a fun afternoon with the Dad I’ve always known, the only one I’ll ever know, and the one I’m proud to call my Dad.
By Matthew Mahone on ©May 08th, 2017 @ 9:00am
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 14 ,and naturally you should honor that special someone in your life in some thoughtful way. There’s no secret recipe, just a special blend of words and deeds that’ll guarantee to show your mom that she’s the most important person in your world. Love is a verb so show it with a simple phone call, acts of service go a long way too—you can vacuum the house for once. Or how about brunch, some technology, say a Kindle perhaps, or some catchy music—may I suggest my mom’s personal favorite, the disco-infused Bette Midler album Thighs and Whispers. Lastly, you can never go wrong with a heartfelt, handwritten card, paired with a bouquet of beautifully fragrant flowers served in a nice vase. Understandably, you don’t want to have to spork over a lot of money, and that’s where KFC can help. KFC? While they’ve been in the Mother’s Day game for a while, this time they’re serving up something unusually spicy, but not in the way you’re probably thinking.
Colonel Sanders is a bonafied pop culture icon. He’s been hawking his greasy, tasteless, viscous vittles for nearly 65 years, even from beyond the grave. We all know the Colonel is a thigh man, more than likely a breast man, but one thing’s for certain, he’s definitely not a wing man—he’s a regular steal yo girl kinda guy. He’s a lover, and not a part-time one either. That’s right, just in time for Mother’s Day, KFC has released a 96 page romance novel entitled Tender Wings of Desire, featuring White Pepper, aka the man in the white suit and string tie, wooing a young, betrothed English chickadee named Madeline. While the novella’s a page turner, it’s not exactly finger-licking good, primarily because it only comes in an eBook format downloadable for free on Amazon.
The book’s dedication reads:
For mothers everywhere
I dedicate this to you—a brief escape from
motherhood into the arms of your fantasy Colonel.
Whoever he may be.
Most of y’all won’t bother reading the novella, however I did, and I’ve compiled some of the juiciest moments from the book.
“He was tall, dressed like a sailor with the striped linen shirt and woolen peacoat crusted with sea salt. His hair was light and fair, framing his head in airy curls, and the eyes that stared back at her were almost the exact same color of the sea, perhaps darker, but not by much, and they hid behind glasses with dark frames. And for a moment she felt hot and cold at the same time.”
“His accent sounded too cultured for an American farmer.”
“Once again she felt that dizzy, sick feeling of being both hot and cold at the same time, and as she walked to him she felt as if her knees were screwed too loose, that she might trip and fall at any moment. If that were to happen, she both desperately wanted him to catch her and also could not stand the idea of him touching her.”
“There was such a gentleness and his voice that she looked up at him in alarm. He seemed sad, a little frustrated, a little sick of himself, and the way he looked in the moonlight was so striking that Madeline ended up closing the distance and pulling him in for a kiss.”
“It was electric. It was everything, and whatever sickness Madeline believed she had from her infatuation with him melted away at the touch of his lips. Her entire body felt as though it were on fire, her heart beating wildly in her chest. He felt so warm, and his arm circled around her waist to pull her closer.
“Yes, I’m a Colonel. Yes, I’m fabulously rich. I’m a magnate of the restaurant industry, my dear, the king of an empire that I built with my bare hands. I took such a sabbatical from my duties in order to see the world, see what else could possibly be out there, and on the course of my journey I found what I was looking for.”
“I would burn everything to the ground if it meant that you would still love me as much as you did when you thought I was a simple sailor.”
Shew, sure is getting hot in here! Although the writing is clever and lighthearted, it’s a little too bland for my taste. But more importantly, the image of the Kentucky darling getting busy with some random has already deep-fried my brain. But your mom might be into this sort of thing. Who knows?!? Remember this ain’t about you—this is her day. This book may be just the kind of heat your mom’s looking for, making her special day a particularly memorable and an emotionally satisfying one to say the least. If not, then, well, do what you always do, buy her a card from Walgreens and take her to Malone’s I suppose.