This weekend is the unofficial start to summer, which means we’ve only seen the beginning →
KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
I associate weddings with Game of Thrones. While the series does not have a great track record with the celebration, there is still familiar ground between the two. Both involve elaborate costumes, aggressive family dynamics and intense preparation for the upcoming season.
To continue this absurd analogy to an even more ridiculous assumption, notice both have defined roles for their cast of characters. Tyrion is the drunk. The ring bearer is adorable and unreliable. Cersei is to pure evil. The bride is weepy and the groom is sweaty (at least in my experience.)
With this in mind, we must prepare for our role, whatever it may be, for the upcoming wedding season. Below, you will find my guidelines for each member of the wedding “cast.”
Brides:Since we live in a world A.P (After Pinterest), there has been an insurgence of elaborate weddings. My suggestion for brides is to let some things go. Inevitably, there will be some task that will require more attention than you initially planned. For me, the unexpected project was that my cake-topper resembled an ex-boyfriend and not my husband-to-be. My Mother, Aunt and I spent far too much time crafting a tiny baseball hat to camouflage the offending hair.
You too will find something that will take far longer than you intended to complete. The trick is knowing when to stop. No one will notice. No one will care and if they do, then I hope they got you a fabulous gift.
I don’t have a clue what grooms do during weddings. I think your main objective is to not be overly unpleasant during the garter toss.
The Wedding Party:
Whether you are asked to participate in a Harry Potter themed wedding or A Gatsby Inspired Wedding (don’t they know he dies in the end?), your job it to distract. Distract the bride from the rain. Distract the guests from the inebriated bride. Distract all guests from the overly talkative aunt.
(Usually, wedding parties are good at distraction without needing prompting)
Southern Living knows how to prune a shrub, give you a fabulous hummus recipe and suggest Haint Blue as a hue for your paneled porch ceiling. I rarely doubt Southern Living, until last year they sent out their wedding guest etiquette post. I’ve been stewing about it ever since. All of the advice seems like common sense. Until they write a post that outlines how to politely disagree, I will just have to continue with my unsolicited advice.
My suggestion for guests is to enjoy the celebration and hydrate! Above all else, refrain from comparing the current wedding to your own or a big fat Gypsy wedding or whatever else you have witnessed. You aren’t marrying that nervous-looking groom, so why should you have a say in the décor? Your job is to down, down do your thing during the “Cupid Shuffle” and take countless pictures of the cake topper that looks like the bride’s ex.
Friends, what if I told you that there was a scary rumor about a man with a hook on his hand who was terrorizing Lovers’ Lane, scratching upon windows and breaking in and brutally murdering the young paramours necking in the back seat? You’d probably think it was an urban legend, a story making the rounds, some embellished scuttlebutt around town that you shouldn’t put any stock in, right? Well guess what? You would be wrong, because that man killed some people who live on my street last night. It was pretty awful, really, and in terrilbly poor taste of me to use it as a colorful illustration about believing rumors.
Oh, rumors. True or not, in the off-season the bored tongues of UK fans everywhere get to wagging and before you know it, everything’s seemingly off the rails. Or is it? Today let’s set some records straight in a good ol’ KSR Rumor Watch, where we address all the current chatter and see where the bunk lies. Shall we? We shall.
Rumor: John Calipari is leaving Kentucky for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Status: Not True. A writer in NOLA claims a source “close to Cal” told him Cal was interested in taking the Pelicans job and working with Anthony Davis again, a rumor debunked by Cal himself shortly thereafter in a tweet announcing that he has “no interest in the Pelicans or any other job, adding that “I have a great job and I’m happy at UK.”
Rumor: Willie Cauley-Stein is being considered by the Boston Celtics.
Status: Maybe so. Comcast SportsNet (where you get ALL your sports news) claims that the Celts are considering making a play for our former beloved dunkmaster general. Reporter and, if his on-screen graphic is to be believed, “Celtics Insider” A. Sherrod Blakely says Willie McCauley-O’Stein talked with Boston this week and came away impressed with the chat, also contacting former teammate James Young.
Rumor: Karl Towns may become a Minnesota Timberwolf.
Status: Extremely possible. Both ESPN and DraftExpress (choo choooo! Draft Express coming through!) have predicted Karl-Anthony may be donning the blue and green on Draft Day. I hope he likes lakes because they allegedly have 10,000 of them there. I’m also opening a Kickstarter to send Karl twenty-five cases of mosquito repellent.
Rumor: Karl Towns may become an actual timberwolf.
Status: False. This is not only scientifically impossible but would also make Towns ineligible to play in a human sports league. There’s a reason why these guys are called “one-and-dones” and not “one-and-wolves.”
Rumor: Tom Izzo ended his recruitment of Caleb Swanigan after Swanigan demanded a private chef.
Status: Unconfirmed. It’s believed, however, that Izzo grew offended that Swanigan was rejecting the traditional Michigan diet of Vernor’s Ginger Ale, Maple Syrup, Venison and Frosted Flakes. It was good enough for Draymond Green, dammit.
Rumor: John Robic’s Hair to be retired during Wildcats home game in 2016.
Status: True. A large, very tasteful sepia-toned photograph of assistant coach John Robic’s hair will be hoisted into the rafters during a TBD SEC home game in 2016. It will join the illustrious ranks of Bobby Perry’s 2003 moustache and Keith Bogans’ raccoon-eating-a-basketball-tattoo.
Rumor: Rick Pitino is the world’s first pregnant man.
Status: Possible. We all know how he does his business. And medical science has come a long way. But you didn’t hear this from me.
Rumor: If you go into your bathroom, turn off the lights and say Bruce Pearl’s name three times, he will appear in the mirror.
Rumor: False. But if it wasn’t real then HOW DID THESE TOWELS GET ALL SWEATY?
By Josh Corman on ©May 20th, 2015 @ 3:00pm
I broke a personal vow last week, and it bit me on the backside just exactly as I knew it would. That’s why I’d made the vow in the first place, after all. To, you know, avoid the whole bitten backside scenario.
I didn’t steal anything. I didn’t hurt anyone, cheat on my wife, abandon my kids, or even tell a lie. No, what I did was really stupid and thoughtless: I got into an argument on Facebook.
I know, I know. It really is the lowest of the low. And though explaining it doesn’t make it any less of an idiotic thing to do, but I might as well explain it anyway.
I saw a link posted to a story about the sale of a Mark Rothko painting. The painting, shown at left, sold for more than 46 million dollars. Yes, I see it too. Yep, it’s a yellow rectangle on a field of blue. 46 million dollars. Anyway, the story was posted, as you can imagine, under the incredulous, ALL-CAPS outrage of the original poster. How, this person wondered, could any moron willingly part with nearly 50 million dollars for something that in his words, “an average eight year-old could have painted?”
The comments that followed were full of pithy mockery of Rothko’s style and diatribes about “real” art and general condemnations about fools who like, enjoy, or appreciate on any level the work of artists that the commenters don’t.
I responded to this litany of insults with a seemingly innocent, tongue-in-cheek comment that I’ll summarize here as “If somebody paid 46 million for it, then that’s what it’s worth. You don’t have to like it, but you don’t get to decide its objective value, because art doesn’t have objective value.”
How could I have failed to see where this road was going to lead?
Long story short, I got into it with a few people who swore up and down that art did, in fact, have objective value (I got Merriam-Webster quoted at me in a particularly juicy moment of condescendence), and assured me that I MUST acknowledge that Rothko’s work did not meet these measures.
All of this insistence that I had gotten it wrong was pretty clearly just folks’ attempts to disguise personal taste and preference as objective reality. This happens all the time. And it’s infuriating.
Put a pin in that for a second, would you?This past weekend, I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road, a movie that I had, until seeing recent trailers coupled with some pretty stellar reviews, very little interest in seeing. The praise it had received was nearly universal (hilariously, some Men’s Right’s Activists boycotted the film), and so I was ready to be wowed.
I was not wowed. Don’t get me wrong: the action sequences were impressive (even more so considering that they were staged and executed without much assistance from CGI), which is what I’d been promised. Besides that, though? Not a whole lot going on. The small matters of narrative, plot, character development, motivation, and general coherence were left untouched, and the film suffers badly for their absence. It added up to little more than an elaborate series of stunts, which, though cool to look at, don’t carry the film far enough to qualify it as enjoyable.
Now, here’s a funny thing: almost nobody agrees with me. Not critics, not people I know who’ve seen the movie, and not the wider online universe. Our own Kalen Kucera raved about the movie just a few days ago, in fact.
So what gives? Who’s right?
Well (and I know this is frustrating), nobody’s right. Nobody’s wrong. That’s not how paintings or films or music or writing work. You or I can like things or dislike them, and we can argue for hours about the merits of almost any of that stuff, but we can’t claim that our (highly subjective) taste is the same thing as what’s “good” or “bad.” It’s foolish to mock others for liking Mad Max just because I didn’t like it, and it was foolish of those I was arguing with on Facebook to dump all over Mark Rothko just because they like their pretty pictures to look a little different than his.
I say that all this is frustrating because we’ve been told something very different. English teachers like me, for example, have been swearing up and down that there’s “literature,” and then there’s mere “fiction.” One is elevated and good and meaningful and important, and the other is drivel, fine for a distraction, maybe, but not to be taken seriously. Not to be considered as equal to the Shakespeares and Hemingways and Brontes of the world. Others established as arbiters of taste have been doing the same for any kind of art or media you can imagine.
And it’s all bullcrap.
Those writers I mentioned may play a bigger role in history than others or have pioneered significant styles or have written works that have proved timeless, but none of that makes them objectively “good.” Again, there’s no such thing. There’s only what you like and what you don’t. What resonated and what didn’t. What you’d go back to and what you’d ignore forevermore. Anybody who tells you differently is likely trying to establish some weird sense of importance or worth related not to the stuff they’re discussing, but to themselves. See, if they like and appreciate what is deemed great by the established hierarchies of the culture, they have good taste, which makes them superior to the peasants running around reading popular fiction and watching horror movies.
Boo that noise. Instead of setting up shop as an authority of what is definitively “good,” and railing at anyone who disagrees, ask questions, both of yourself and those who feel differently. “Why didn’t Mad Max: Fury Road work for me?” “What about it did you find appealing?” “What could have made it better for me?”
Arguing about pop culture is fun. Heck, it’s probably half the fun of pop culture in the first place, but those discussions work so much better if they operate as an attempt to actually figure out what you think more fully, instead of just as an exercise in clubbing your opponents’ heads in with your opinions (even if they’re well-supported opinions).
Try this approach. Please. I promise you it works. And it’s a hundred times more enjoyable than seeing everyone who disagrees with you as a moron.
Just don’t try it on Facebook, where even the best intentions go to die. For the love of God, don’t try it on Facebook.
I’m not a famous person.
There’s no one asking me my thoughts on the leaving of television by game changing late night talk show host David Letterman. As the cavalcade of A-listers have paraded through and paid homage to Letterman on these his final shows, I’ve been fine to sit watching it all on my couch.
But I, like I suspect many of you, have also been influenced by David Letterman. Sure, I’ll never tell Esquire magazine that; no one will ever “pick my brain” to find out from where my sense of humor comes. But in my lifetime there are a very few selection of people or entertainers who I feel shaped me, and at the very top of this list sits David Letterman. He may not have shaped me as some sort of professional comedian, but as a human being I largely credit Letterman for having one of the largest singular influences on my sense of humor — and I’m sure I’m not the only one among us.
So lost in the hoopla of famous faces begging Letterman to stay and top-level reporters clamoring to get a few words from him on his departure — during tonight’s show — is the average midwesterner like me who learned what funny meant by watching Letterman almost my entire life. It began in sixth grade, when I’d stay awake and sneak out of my bedroom and down the hall to turn on our giant Zenith TV in the darkened family room and lay on my stomach, my face and ear inches away from the speaker as not to awaken anyone.
My parents had loved Johnny Carson and while I understood that, David Letterman was different. Letterman would deliver the absurd with a straight face; he’d deliver terrible jokes with the knowing glint that he knew the joke was not the joke. The joke became the delivery with David Letterman. He conversed with people in a friendly yet slightly unforgiving way. He didn’t suffer fools gladly but celebrated fools who knew they were fools. Letterman’s distinct style, as Esquire Magazine would call it in 1990, was “the new sincerity.” It embraced the idiosyncratic but also promoted a healthy skepticism. And it was all so gloriously insane. Suits made of alka-seltzer. Paint cans thrown out a 44th-floor window onto the street below. Paul Newman shouting complaints at the hose from his audience.
I watched NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman like a sponge; I soaked up the jokes, the beats, the cadence. It seemed like so much of it would be too silly to be on network television, yet there it was, every night — like a class being taught by a professor.
It’s hard for me — and probably many of us — to remember a period of my life when the comfort food, the security blanket of David Letterman wasn’t around. It was something that would just be there forever. His cantankerousness was strangely fond; as he grew older he began to become not just a drinking buddy but a mouthpiece, unafraid to call out the bullshit of politicians or look down his nose at flash-in-the-pan celebrity debutantes. His comic rebelliousness became bolder and wiser. He’d befriended us all those years ago, and he seemed to have come to feel a certain responsibility for us. This was never more evident than his monologue after the horrific events of 9/11, when he broke the “comedy silence” to address the events and let us know we were all going to get through it.
Letterman’s 9/11 monologue wasn’t just a clarion call for comedy, it was an arm around the shoulder of all of us. Our heads were spinning with government speak and terrifying images of wreckage. We needed someone we trusted to let us know everything was going to be okay. So many comedy outlets now have, on their montage reels, the moment they “came back” from 9/11, but it’s important to remember that Letterman was the first. The show, which had always been so wrapped in the identity of a ravaged New York City, would go on.
We aged with Letterman; as we grew, married and had children of our own he would face his own dangerous and mortality-proving open-heart surgery. He was attacked by blackmailers who threatened to expose his “secrets,” which he combated expertly by taking to his own show to admit those secrets and remove all power from his detractors. He interviewed heads of state, political candidates and sitting presidents with the acumen of an interested citizen and the goofiness we expected. He devoted an entire hour to Warren Zevon, who was dying of an inoperable cancer and advised us all to “enjoy every sandwich” — he would be dead within the year. While you’d be demolished by saying so to persons of a certain age and era, while I fully appreciate Carson’s trailblazing and legacy many of us didn’t actually grow up watching Carson. To us, Letterman was our Carson. So tonight we’ll watch Dave Letterman say goodbye with the same touched hearts with which we watched our own parents watch Johnny Carson’s final episode. And, like Carson, I think we all know that it’s a true goodbye — just as Carson before him, Letterman’s notorious reclusiveness means that he won’t be handing out Emmy awards or making a cameo as a screwball professor on The Big Bang Theory. I think we all secretly know that he’ll disappear from our lives, and that makes everything all that more saddening.
I am not a famous person. I am, however, a person whose personality, sense of humor and perspective was forever changed through the presence of David Letterman over the past thirty-three years, and to know that will be going away is difficult. But things go on, and lives go on, and having had it, in the end, is wonderful enough. It will have to be, because there will never be another David Letterman.
In just a few short weeks The Goonies will be 30 years old. That’s right, you’re old, make your peace with it. Released June 7, 1985 The Goonies is one of those classic buddy comedy/adventure/coming of age type movies that you can enjoy at any stage of life. It imparts many great life lessons like how to tie up an older brother with exercise equipment, what to do when confronted with a family of murderous Italians, and that Goonies never say die. Of course what makes The Goonies so great are its characters and how any group of friends can identify with the group from the movie. What better way to celebrate this milestone than to honor the characters by recasting the movie using current UK basketball players! (Spoilers follow for The Goonies. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it right now then come back and read this.)
Mikey is the heart and soul of the Goonies. Mikey’s determination allows him to continue on the path to One-Eyed Willie’s treasure in spite of his asthma, the Fratellis, and the many booby traps along the way. Like Mikey, Ulis is the diminutive member of the gang but he is the unquestionable heart that keeps them going. When things get tough for Ulis, he doesn’t back down and he doesn’t quit. One of Mikey’s most memorable lines from the movie is “Goonies never say die.” Having seen Ulis play through blood, take hard screens, and stare down people twice his size, I believe Ulis has the same mentality. I also like to think Ulis gives pep talks to the team like this one from Mikey…”this is our time”.
Brand is Mikey’s oldest brother and official leader of the group. When someone does something stupid or the group starts to break apart, Brand keeps them together and sets them straight. This will be Poythress’ job for the 2015/16 Wildcats. Coming into his fourth year, Poythress has seen almost everything in his time at UK, and his experience will allow him to lead the group. As the oldest of the bunch, it will be up to Poythress to show the young guys how to stay together in the face of adversity.
A fitting name for his character, Mouth is always armed with a verbal punch. Throughout the movie, Mouth diffuses tense situations with a witty remark or comeback often designed to get under the recipient’s skin. Despite Mouth’s rough exterior, he is a good person and this is demonstrated by his commitment to his friends over the course of their adventure. Throughout his first couple of years Marcus Lee has become a bit of a trash talker on the court, looking for ways to get in his opponent’s head. Lee’s combination of length and talking is enough to frustrate most opposing players, allowing him the upper hand in many situations. Like Mouth, Lee has also demonstrated time and again that he is a good person through his commitment to his teammates, and the community.
Data has a lot of gizmos and gadgets, most of his own invention. In the movie, Data utilizes these to help him out of sticky spots, saving his life on many occasions and providing comic relief when things start getting serious. Another defining moment for Data is the heartfelt moment he shares with his dad at the end of the movie. Derek Willis is the Data of this group. He too has many gizmos and gadgets at his disposal: size, athleticism, a good shot. He just has to figure out how to use them to help this team get out of (or avoid) sticky spots throughout the season. Derek’s dad is also a KSR regular, so the heartwarming father-son combo fits as well.
Stef- Isaiah Briscoe
Stef, along with Andy, are newcomers to the group. She helps balance out the group and provides a voice of reason among the chaos. Her introduction doesn’t change the dynamic, but it strengthens the group and provides a change of pace. Isaiah Briscoe is one of the newcomers to this upcoming UK team and has a similar skill set to Stef. Briscoe will be expected to strengthen the group, but does not have to be a dominant presence. His skill set will provide a change of pace from Ulis and keep opponents off balance and confused.
Andy joins the group with some trepidation and uncertainty at first. Once she has committed to the Goonies though, she comes through in the clutch, saving their lives with her piano skills. Skal Labissiere is the Andy of the ’15/16 UK team. Though some questions still linger regarding his eligibility, once Skal is confirmed that he’s good to go he will be the pick me up UK has to have. His offensive skill and length on the defensive end will be crucial to UK’s success, perhaps saving the Cats when the going gets rough and the pressure is on.
Chunk knows how to spin a good yarn. Throughout the movie Chunk constantly gets himself in trouble with his mouth whether by talking too much or not saying the right thing. Imprisoned by the Fratellis, Chunk befriends Sloth and ultimately comes to his friends’ rescue. Like Chunk, Cal often draws a lot of heat because of his mouth. Whether he’s coining a new phrase, completely ignoring a question to give a recruiting pitch, or just regularly answering a question, Cal is always being criticized for what he says. Ultimately, though, when the chips are down Cal finds ways to help his guys. I just hope we don’t see Cal do the Truffle Shuffle.
Sloth is one of the most loveable characters of the Goonies. He has a distinctive appearance and his relationship with Chunk is one of the great bromances in all of film history. The pair save the day for the Goonies with their dramatic rescue from the Fratellis and ultimately allow the Goonies to save Astoria. Robic and Cal are the Sloth and Chunk of college basketball. The videos of Robic hitting halfcourt shots and pumping up the team is his equivalent to “hey you guuuuuys” and “Ruth, Ruth, Ruth, Baby Ruth”. Let’s not forget Robic’s distinctive look either, his immaculate hair.
Mama Fratelli-Pat Forde
Jake Fratelli- Rick Pitino
Francis Fratelli- Jeff Goodman
The Fratellis are a murderous group of criminals bent on stealing One-Eyed Willie’s gold. They go so far as to even threaten the Goonies with walking the plank and drowning them. At every turn they are thwarted by the heroes, ultimately being defeated and landing in jail where they belong. The combo of Forde, Pitino, and Goodman form the most recent band of foils to our heroes. These three often take jabs at the Cats in interviews, stories, or on social media in an attempt to derail them. They always end up on the wrong end though.
Sunday night is probably my favorite night of TV. Gearing up for another week while winding down from the weekend- the only thing I want to do is be parked on the couch in front of TV dramas. Last night TV was buzzing about several shows and events all airing in the same time slot. In case you are like me and didn’t even have enough DVR space to catch up, here are the Sunday night events that had viewers most engaged.
1. Mad Men Series Finale
Well it was a long time coming. They’ve been talking about this day for a year now, which is really typical Mad Men fashion- slow and drawn out. The 1960s that aired for 8 years on AMC delivered a finale that showed Don Draper finding- or at least trying to pursue- a life with more meaning, with last shots of Draper meditating at a California retreat, but as the scene went on the 1971 famous Coca-Cola ad plays in the background/his head, foreshadowing his ultimate career success to come. Always left to interpretation, you are left feeling Draper’s struggle with identity led him to the retreat and then back to New York to create the most successful ad in not only his career, but ever.
2. Billboard Music Awards
It’s Taylor Swift’s world and we are all just living in it. Swift cleaned up once again taking home eight awards including Top Artist, premiered her new star-studded music video for “Bad Blood” and even showed some PDA with her newish boyfriend DJ Calvin Harris. Ludacris and adorable Chrissy Teigen hosted the show, with other highlights being One Direction including Zayn in their acceptance speeches, Britney Spears makes a comeback performing live with Iggy Azalea their new song “Pretty Girls,” Meghan Trainor’s duet with John Legend and Kanye West finished off the night with this bleep filled songs “All Day” and “Black Skinhead” from his recently re-titled album, Swish. Whew, I failed to mention several performers but if you heard anyone on the radio this year they were there and probably performed.
3. About Bruce
As a follow up to the Diane Sawyer interview and a prequel to his new reality show, the Kardashians produced part 1 of a two part special delving into how the Kardashian family is coming to terms and accepting Bruce Jenner’s transition to female. While there were plenty of shocking moments revealed by ABC, there were still moments of surprise in how each girl learned about their father and has approached the situation. We learned that Kim has known about his cross-dressing for a decade after catching him dressed up in the garage and Kendall and Kylie had found make-up years ago and thought he was having an affair. We also learned that Bruce has already made the doctors appointment to fully transition to female, which involves consent from both medical and mental physicians after at least a year of living on hormones and as a women. We also learned Bruce has stolen Kim’s outfits before. Part 2 airs tonight and I’m sure it will dive into more of what Kris Jenner thinks as she wasn’t included much in part 1.
So what did you watch last night? What is your favorite Sunday night TV show? Will you miss Mad Men? Tell me in the comments!
Movie trailers lie all the time, they show the funniest bits, the most action-y scenes, preludes to the only dramatic moments and then the movies themselves tend to be big let downs. The trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best trailers ever released, so the jaded movie goer probably wouldn’t have been blamed for wondering if maybe they had seen the best parts of another underwhelming action movie. Happily, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the fastest moving, most beautifully shot, imaginative, disturbed, bad-ass pieces of kick-you-in-the-ass film making ever released. IT’S REALLY F-ING GOOD.
Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) is captured right off the bat by a fanatical group known as the War Boys who follow a lunatic tyrant known as Immortan Joe. After a failed escape attempt, Max is set up as a ‘blood bag,’ basically an unwilling donor, for a War Boy called Nux (Nicholas Hoult) who is suffering from some sort of illness. At the same time, Immortan Joe’s wives–he calls them ‘breeders’ at some point–are freed from captivity by one of the leaders of the army Joe has built, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). So begins what has to be one of the most harrowing, non-stop chases in movie history.
The War Boys are called to action to chase down Furiosa’s rig and get back Joe’s wives. Max is strapped to the front of Nux’s rig so that he can continue to give blood. He, of course, is freed at some point and the chase continues in earnest. There are amazing battle scenes all on the move, there are some of the most bizarre movie villains you’ve ever seen, and there is seriously show stopping cinematography as the film barrels along. Max, Furiosa, and the others eventually have to figure out how to survive the onslaught of Joe and his troops and the results are truly spectacular.
The plot aside (which I won’t spoil any more of for you!), there are a couple of factors that really separate Mad Max from other recent action movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron. One is that George Miller doesn’t feel the need to set up an extensive background story, and it’s incredible how refreshing it is not to bog down the story with it. How many times in Avengers did the story feel entrenched because some character was launching into a tirade of exposition trying to explain why they became who they are? Often enough to lend credence to the saying that actions speak louder than words. In Mad Max the audience is dropped into a fully formed world, with fully formed characters who don’t have to explain who they are but rather simply act the way they do and bring the viewer along for the ride. The world surrounding them and the way that it came about is left almost exclusively too the imagination.
Additionally, nothing about the plot or the script feel formulaic at all. Maybe that’s because it feels like driving down the interstate at 150 mph after drinking Red Bull laced with cocaine while giant explosions race you on each side of the road and Arnold Schwarzenegger screams “AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!” directly into your brain. You don’t get (Villain X) using (Mystical Item Y) to destroy (City/Country/Universe L), who needs be stopped by (Pick Any 5 Characters!). No you get badass ladies on motorcycles shooting sniper rifles at a dude who does nothing but shredding on an effing guitar that shoots out fire on a giant guitar truck, all while rambling on at 200 mph. It’s awesome. It’s well acted, well scripted, and just damn cool.
If you’re looking for action that isn’t cookie cutter, that is something new that you probably haven’t seen, and something that will really make you RAGE you HAVE to go see MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. It has everything you could want in a film, and is so incredibly well done that it’s almost impossible not to enjoy. What a lovely day indeed!
If you are honest with yourself, then you can admit that you love 1996’s best action/thriller movie, Twister. Everyone loves watching cows fly across the screen and hating the storm chasing team that had black vans and the fake Dorothy alert system. (I would like to make a motion that we always refer to the competing system as “Faux-Orthy”) The meteorological apocalypse film genre is fruitful: The Day After Tomorrow, Volcano, Deep Impact, 2012, Dante’s Inferno, et.al. Any student who has sat through the last two weeks of science class has watched these movies. After next week, science teachers will have another movie to put into the rotation.
San Andreas follows the trail that Twister blazed through Oklahoma and creates the same drama along the fault lines of California. Here are three ways San Andreas is the same as Twister:
*Note: There are no San Andreas spoilers, all the info comes from the trailer. There could possibly be some Twister spoilers, but if you haven’t watched the movie by now, I feel like that’s on you.
Movie Must#1: Man v. Nature
The real star of the film isn’t Helen Hunt’s quirky aunt who makes windmills that look like murder weapons, the star is that cow. In 1996, that cow looked real. The whole movie seemed real. Now, when you rewatch the movie on TBS, everything looks fake. It looks like the Twister is drawn by a Squiggle Writer. Regardless of the believability of the danger, the movie is centered on Bill Paxton’s ability to foresee a tornado’s path and save everybody. It is Bill Paxton vs. The Twister, his sassy fiancé and Helen Hunt’s resentment.
The same applies to San Andreas. I can’t glean a lot from the trailer, but this I can tell you, the movie is centered on Dwayne Johnson’s ability to fly a helicopter and save everybody. It is The Rock vs. the fault lines, his wife who’s always in the wrong spot and his daughter with legs that are entirely too skinny. I can’t wait until 2034 when I rewatch San Andreas on the future’s equivalent of TBS and the scene above looks like it is filmed inside a bathtub.
Movie Must #2:
No Flex Zone
If nature is going to destroy the world around you, you might as well flex on her as you go. It is a prerequisite for all action movies to look like a gym for people who know what they are doing, and both movies fit the criteria. Twister doesn’t rely on Paxton’s muscles, they let Hunt’s wife beater do all the work. The rock plays to his strengths in San Andreas. It is what we, as viewers, have come to expect from the genre.
Movie Must #3: Improbable Shots
I highly doubt that a helicopter can fly through a crumbling city without a rouge piece of concrete sending it to the ground. I also highly doubt that two people can belt themselves to a pipe, hang out IN a tornado and live to make out afterwards. I have seen what happens to my headphones when I don’t store them properly, this is what I imagine would happen to belted Paxton and Hunt. These scenes have even the most gullible person saying, “no way.”
This is why we love these weather movies. No one can predict the weather. No one can say what will happen. No one can tell you to put on a properly fitted shirt and no one can tell you to not enjoy the story.
By S.E. Shepherd on ©May 15th, 2015 @ 8:00am
It’s finally here, folks. What is likely to be the best movie of the summer — Mad Max: Fury Road — debuts today. And if you thought this remake/reboot/re-whatever couldn’t hold a candle to the original, then you are in for a giant kick in the face. Fury Road currently boasts an out-of-this-world 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and nearly every advance review of the flick anoints it as director George Miller’s masterpiece. As good as you think this movie is going to be, it’s going to be even better. Kalan Kucera, our resident Funkhouser anti-Garfield (because he straight up LOVES Mondays) will provide the definitive review, but in the meantime, here are the five GIFs you most likely will need to express your reaction to the movie over the weekend.
1. Excitement: Don’t lie; you’re pumped for this movie. Show everyone you know just how excited you are with this perfect Stephen Colbert GIF.
2. Face Melting: Most critics agree that Fury Road is a face-melting good time. And this is the best face-melting GIF known to man. It’s a match-made in heaven.
3. Exploding Head: By all accounts, your head will likely explode when you see Fury Road. And this Scanners GIF is the definitive exploding head GIF, so share it with all your Twitter followers after you exit the theater.
4. SWAG: I have a feeling you are going to walk out of this movie with an otherworldly amount of swag. And anyone who tries to pretend like Fury Road isn’t the best movie of the summer deserves a face full of shade.
5. Begrudging Respect: Mel Gibson is a certifiable creep, but he’s also the original Mad Max/Road Warrior/Thunderdomer, so let’s make sure we at least nod in his general direction. We never have to acknowledge him again now that Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are on the scene, so consider it your final act of mercy for a dude who deserves to never be heard from again.
It’s that time of year again. Graduation ceremonies are happening across the country, and inspirational messages are being delivered everywhere. Being selected as a Commencement speaker comes with a lot of responsibility. You’ve got to come up with some wise words to deliver to graduates while somehow trying to be original. It can be a lot of pressure, and not everybody can pull it off. The following transcript, obtained after another round of graduations this weekend, shows just how badly some speakers can fail. It may just be the worst commencement address ever.
Dear Graduates, Parents, Faculty, Staff, Catering Service, Student Loan Officers, and Bored Younger Siblings Wishing They’d Downloaded a Better Game from the App Store Before Getting in the Car,
Welcome. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, your gowns and hats haven’t yet begun to itch, and on this day, you will turn the final page on an immensely valuable and, ironically, ridiculously costly chapter of your lives. That was a metaphor. Your life isn’t really a book, see, but I used the comparison to illustrate… never mind. If you’re an English major, just explain it to the robots from the Engineering college. I’ll give you a second.
Thanks for helping me out with that.
Anyway, it’s a great day. And as you look forward to what comes next, I’d like to offer a few contractually obligatory words of advice. Unfortunately, I have to start with some bad news. Most of you have probably wasted a huge amount of time and money over the last four years. That horrifying statistic you’ve probably heard about how student loan debt has outpaced credit card debt in the U.S.? Congratulations! You fine folks have led the charge. Well, you and the gluttonous maniacs running this institution who’ve convinced themselves that an Art History degree is worth the $150,000 they asked you to pay for it. On the plus side, your money is being put to good use, paying part-time adjunct faculty who live in constant fear of being replaced by cheaper labor to teach classes formerly led by tenured folks with fancy doctorates.
But alas, the truth is that many of you will end up working in fields only tenuously connected to your degree, fields that you likely could have entered into years earlier, learned from the inside out, and actually ended up being further along in mastering than you are today. But all of you should not despair. For many of you, your four-year degree is the key to being able to spend even more money on a Master’s degree, law school, or medical school. And for that, the university’s coffers would like to thank you.
Now, you may be thinking that, no matter the cost, college has been worth it. And I want you to know that I salute your misguided optimism.
These have been the times of your life, you say? Irreplaceable and deeply meaningful friendships have been forged? Wisdom and self-possession you couldn’t possibly have imagined have been conferred upon you during your time here? Ha! I can’t think of anything sadder than a person who has peaked at age 22. It’s all downhill from here, and not in the good way where that expression means things get easier, but in the bad way where it means that things will only get worse. Wait, why is that used both ways? Can we get a ruling on which is correct? We can’t? You fired all the linguistics professors and replaced them with disgruntled mall cops who teach criminal justice instead? Great.
In any case, a good deal of you will spend the rest of your twenties and most of your thirties pining in vain to recapture the spontaneity and freedom of your college days, only to fail at every turn and be woefully disillusioned when your attempts to feel young again end in frustration and embarrassment. You’ll put off marriage or having kids or both because you don’t wan’t to be trapped, only to end up bitterly regretting your desperate attempts to remain untethered. Well, either that, or in your rushed attempt to “get real life started,” you’ll settle down too quickly and worry endlessly about what might have been if you’d taken that year to travel.
I’d like you to do something for me. Look to your left. Now look to your right.
Both of those people are probably going to be more successful than you. I mean, look at his chin. Do you think the Sales Manager at the company you’re both applying to are going to care that your GPA is half a point higher? Have you ever asked a salesman what grade they got on their Western Classics final? Didn’t think so. Seriously, look at that chin. Like it’s chiseled out of marble.
And her? She wanted to finish in the top 3% of the class so badly that she developed a pretty serious pill problem to manage the stress and reduce her needed amount of sleep to three hours a night. Meanwhile, you posted up on the ratty couch outside the house you rented with nine other people four nights a week, pounding cheap beer and arguing about your favorite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movies. Sorry kid, but you’ve got no shot.
Uh, hold on. I’ve lost my place here. Crippling debt, unending regret, imminent failure: check, check, and check. Oh, here we are!
Yikes. These next few cards are as bleak as the first bunch.
Wow, I was gonna do a kind of good news, bad news thing; you know, start off with something that sounds bad but is actually a blessing in disguise, but I see now that I’ve just kind of dug us into a pretty dark hole here, huh?
All right. How to turn this around? Uhh, let’s see… I mean, I’m sure that there’ve been some benefits to your time in college. Like, if you were in a fraternity or sorority, you probably got to see some pretty gross stuff, plus you’ll have formed connections that you can unfairly leverage into job opportunities that those of you who worked harder, learned more, and were better students in general will never have.
Oh, boy. This positivity stuff is harder than I thought. Uhh, better wrap it up then.
In closing, just let me say that the future is in front of you. Not there for the seizing, so much as there for the panicked navigating, but, you know, it’s there all the same. So go into it. Boldly, carefully, frightfully, I don’t really care.
Maybe that’s the positive lesson I can teach you. That most people are as unconvinced of your ability to make something of yourselves as they have been of any group of young people in history. So the good news is that you’ve got a goal. Prove them wrong.
But like I just said, I don’t really care. So if you do end up proving them wrong, you might be the only one who notices. I hope that’s good enough. It has to be.
By C.M. Tomlin on ©May 13th, 2015 @ 8:20am
As a young child in the late seventies, some of my earliest memories of laughter were watching the original Muppet Show with my father; the jokes were cornball and silly, straight out of Vaudeville — or more likely the Catskills — and full of great puns. Sketches like “Veterinarian’s Hospital” or “Pigs in Space” were packed to the gills with classic jokes both groanworthy and clever, and the program existed as the original example of family programming parents could enjoy as well as children — a gimmick Pixar and other outlets have mastered in the new millennium.
2011’s film reboot of the Muppet universe under Disney’s watch was a fair success; self-referential and funny and, above all, still at its core very a children’s movie. The film focused on Kermit’s efforts to save the Muppet Theater from a corrupt oil baron, and it did a nice job of returning the franchise to its roots as a variety show. The follow up sequel was perhaps even funnier and, once again, further cemented the Muppets’ return as a cavalcade of sketch performers and singers.
Having effectively returned the Muppets to their right places, then, it was exciting news a few months back when ABC announced it would be returning the Muppet Show to primetime. After all, the meta-ness of the original Muppet Show would still hold up today; a return to that winking comedy is ripe for the picking in 2015.
Then the trailer arrived yesterday.
ABC has recreated The Muppet Show for adults. No no, that’s not just me evaluation what it looks like; Kermit himself says in the trailer that they’re doing a “Muppet Show for adults.”
Here’s the problem with that: The Muppet Show doesn’t need to be for adults. It needs to be for kids. It doesn’t need to be for a bunch of 30-to-40 year-olds. What’s bizarre is that Disney spent all this time carefully rebuilding the Muppet brand for families and now they’re going to just toss that all to Modern Family-ize the entire franchise. Fozzie Bear is having trouble with his relationship with a human woman! A frustrated Kermit, sitting in traffic, exclaims “I hate the 405!” Ha, ha! Priceless! It’s funny because it’s true, and also because he’s a frog that you loved when you were six.
But watching this trailer really denotes a bigger problem in American entertainment these days — adults who feel such a need to have children’s programming be something hip they can enjoy that they’re legitimately ruining these things for children. A “Muppet Show for adults?” Great! Now what can my 5 year old son, a child who loves the Muppets, watch on television? Back to the toothless Henry Hugglemonster or Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, junior. You can watch the Muppets when you’re an adult, like the rest of the desperate thirtysomethings who demand a movie about the Incredible Hulk be accurate and mature and just exactly like it is in the comic books.
Congratulations, everyone. Hope you enjoy Curb Your Enthusiasm starring Miss Piggy. Me, I’ll stick with “Veterinarian’s Hospital” re-runs, thanks.
As spring winds down and summer begins to set in, networks across the land are deciding which shows to renew and which to axe. Some networks finely craft their fall lineup to allow shows to compliment each other. Others (Fox) hire monkeys to throw darts at a dart board to determine their programming lineup. Either way, this time of year is often filled with the sad passing of some shows and the joyful relief that others are gone. Let’s look at some of the most high profile shows which will vacate their time slot.
It was time…about five years ago. I could write a lot of words about why this is a good thing and should be celebrated. I will take the high road and choose to remember the positive impact of American Idol. Legitimate stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood got their starts on American Idol. The show revitalized careers for Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Tyler and introduced American audiences to Simon Cowell. The best thing about American Idol though were the contestants that had no shot to win.
Kevin Bacon brought some big screen cred to the small screen in this cult killer crime drama. The premise of the show was solid for the first season and even the second kept some if the magic alive. Ultimately the story of Joe Carroll dried up for audiences and Fox executives so they pulled the plug. (Minor Spoiler Alert) You can only keep bringing back dead characters so many times before the novelty wears off.
Ah, Constantine. In this age of comic book mania, NBC tried to cash in on the fad with Constantine. Based on the graphic novel series Hellblazer, the titular character is a demon hunter reconciling his seedy past by performing acts of good for redemption. The premise is somewhat generic and the production was incredibly mediocre so it’s not exactly surprising that the show got cut after one season.
Parenthood was allowed to go out on its own terms. On the fence after their fifth season, NBC brought Parenthood back for a final run and to close out the series so that the fans could get closure. I wasn’t a committed viewer, but my wife was and I experienced many of the shows storylines through ancillary viewing. It never quite hooked me but anything that combines cast members of Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, Con Air, Punk’d, Coach, and was created by Ron Howard gets a thumbs up from me.
Never saw an episode.
Again, never saw an episode but heard a lot, mostly from middle aged women. At only four seasons, this show felt like it’s been on a lot longer. Based on the commercials I believe someone gets slighted and develops an elaborate plot to get back at a bunch of people. Sounds familiar.
Two and a Half Men
It’s over! It’s finally over. The fact that this show lasted as long as it did and was supposedly as popular as it was shakes my faith in humanity. While this show will surely continue in wretched syndication, it’s good to know that there will no longer be new buffoonery of this magnitude. The only good thing brought about by Two and a Half Men was the Charlie Sheen meltdown. Adonis DNA and tiger blood forever! P.S. Sorry the song is stuck in your head.
Parks and Recreation
Definitely the show I’ll miss most out of this group. Parks and Rec built on the pseudo-documentary brand of sitcom popularized by The Office and became NBC’s premiere comedy in its last couple of years. Another show which came into this season knowing it was the end, Parks and Rec wrapped up its run with a very satisfying conclusion. If you haven’t watched Parks and Rec, I suggest you make like Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle and “treat yo’self”. I could sit here and wax poetic about Leslie Knope, Andy Dwyer, and Lil Sebastian, but I think I’ll let Ron Swanson bring it home for me.
By Richmond Bramblet on ©May 12th, 2015 @ 8:00am
In just a few short days, on Sunday, May 17th, the chronicles of ole’ Dick Whitman come to an end in the series finale. There will be many things that I miss from the show: Fat Betty, Roger’s little quips to Don, Harry’s ever changing, and increasingly worse clothing style. However, what I (along with Seth Meyers) will miss most from the program is the “Next Week on Mad Men” endings. How could anyone ever forget the quick snippets of the next episode, that led to understand absolutely nothing about what was to come in seven days time. So with the help of Late Night With Seth Meyers, a salute to the best of “Next Week on Mad Men”:
It’s not uncommon for actors to want roles where they play against type, where the actor/actress can show their range and play a different kind of character than the ones they’ve played before. Directors and studios seem to love it too because it’s a good marketing tool to say, “You’ll never believe what [BLANK] does in this movie! Only in theaters this weekend!” There are tons of examples of this working. There are lots more where it does not (you’re the best Keanu!).
After barely hanging on through the new zombie film Maggie, from director Henry Hobson, it’s clear that Arnold Schwarzenegger should never, ever play against type. Without a bazooka in his hands, flying a helicopter into a jungle dense with aliens trying to kill him, while some ex-soviet spies kidnap his family and force him to fight through a Mortal Kombat style tournament Arnold seems lost. Not that he’s given an awful lot to work with here either. Maggie is the most self-serious, needlessly dramatic, over wrought piece of junk to grace the screens (mostly those at home; thanks VOD?) in a long time.
Here are the basics. The movie begins in a post disease era where a sickness called “Necroambulis” has taken over human and plant alike. In humans this turns the subject into a ravenous zombie. In plants, they wither and can’t reproduce meaning all farmers have to burn their crops. Arnold is one of these farmers (strike one) who goes to rescue his petulant teenage daughter from the hellscape of Kansas City and then brings her home with a zombie bite in tow. See, in this universe the medical people have decided that because the Zombieitis is a slow moving disease (6-8 weeks for incubation), folks who are bitten should be allowed to stay at home with their families before they have to voluntarily come back in for quarantine (strike two). Of course, NOOOOOO one sees any way in which that could go wrong.
What follows for the next solid hour is his daughter, the eponymous Maggie, having depressing conversations about her deteriorating state with everyone in town. She also yells at her stepmom, kisses a boy who has the zombie bite too, and generally sits around looking sullen and wearing sunglasses. There is so much action here. Like when the family SITS AT THE TABLE TO EAT DINNER. Or how about when Arnold gets to QUIETLY CONTEMPLATE HIS ACTIONS. Woo, not sure I can take much more. Oh, well how could I forget the TEENAGERS SITTING QUIETLY AROUND A CAMPFIRE DISCUSSING THE ETHICS OF REOPENING SCHOOL DURING AN EPIDEMIC. (Strikes 3-6, that’s 2/3rds of an inning guys. They’re out.)
There are, ostensibly, scenes of import in this movie. There are neighbors who attempted to keep their family from quarantine to almost disastrous results; not that Arnold notices the irony in that before he attempts to do the same. There are a couple of rendezvous with the police who tell him (rather intelligently) to get his infected and ever sicker daughter to quarantine. There’s even a gun that Arnold gets to fire one time at, of all things, a wounded fox his daughter tried to eat. All of this is centered around writing more grim than anything the visual effects team could come up with. Seriously, if I wanted more self-serious conversations about a zombie apocalypse around a campfire I would still watch The Walking Dead. This movie was exhausting and slow, like waiting to be run over by a road roller.
Every interaction between characters ends tepidly and for a supposed “thriller drama,” there are absolutely no stakes in this film whatsoever. When there are no stakes, the landscape is bleak, all of the teen protagonists are whiny self-important dolts, and you force ARNOLD FREAKIN’ SCHWARZENEGGER to stand around trying to act without any explosions, predators, or even a tiny twin around, why even make a movie at all?
KSRFunkhouser on Facebook
Moms have been crushing it for centuries. It seems like these past couple of weeks, moms have been ramping up their game. Beyonce is serving up see-through fierceness at the Met Gala. The iconic Baltimore Mom became one of my all-time personal favorites and Princess Kate gave us another baby to fawn over. Moms are pretty cool. They trick us into eating things that are green and they worry about us regardless of if we are eight or twenty-eight.
This weekend, we get to celebrate our moms. We get to thank them by waiting in line for brunch and pretending to clean the kitchen. Mom finally gets to be the star and in honor of our moms’ new found celebrity, take our quiz to find your mom’s TV equivalent.
1. What does your typical meal look like?
a. A fabulous meal prepared by your private chef
b. Some questionable leftovers found in the back of the fridge
c. Takeout brought home by your adoring husband
2. What is your ideal workout?
a. Pilates followed by a quick Soul Cycle session and finally a private workout with your trainer named, Sven
b. Exclusively working out the muscle found only when crunching up from a lying position to dip a chip
c. Lifting antique barn doors and using them as a partition for a room
3. What is your ideal handmade gift?
a. Anything you can Instagram with the hashtag: #2Blessed4Drama
b. ALONE TIME!
c. Enough hand drawn pictures to create a feature wall in my living room
4. If you didn’t have your current profession, what would you be?
a. I would create my own brand of wine and be the face behind the brand
b. Do I have to work?
c. I’m currently happy with my profession
5. Who is your celebrity idol?
a. Kris Kardashian, the ultimate mom-ager
b. Shelly Long
c. Martha Stewart, but cooler and with less jail time
6. What is your dream vacation?
a. A couples only retreat to St. Barts
c. Bringing the whole family to a cabin in the mountains
7. What is your go-to article of clothing?
a. Whatever my personal stylist picks out
b. Something comfortable that may or may not have a stain on it
c. Versatile and subtly stylish brown boots
If you picked mostly A’s, then you’re a Real Housewife Mom!
Sure, the camera might catch your child climbing on the counter and eating a brownie when you told them not to, but you look fabulous, darn it! While some of your co-stars evoke Mommie Dearest, you are the one who has it together. I applaud your pursuit for perfection and look forward to creeping on your instagram later!
If you picked mostly B’s, then you’re a Frankie Heck (from The Middle)!
While the Heck family might be one of the most pitiful families on TV, they remind me the most of my family. I think we all know an Axle and I’m almost positive my mom was Sue growing up. I fear this makes me the Brick of the family. I’m really into fonts.
If you picked mostly C’s, then you’re a Joanna Gaines!
Congratulations! You’re a pretty cool person! If I was to pose beside a goat, it would look like a person standing by a goat. But, look at how cool she is! I’m jealous. You can accessorize an end table with a collection of rusty thimbles and string from an old barn. Your children have just the right amount of disheveledness and your husband is a sweetheart. Way to go! Now, go turn some random silos into a stunning work space!