On a whim, 2018 five-star wing Keldon Johnson decided to take an unofficial visit to →
KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
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.
***Written for Funkhouser by Brad Morris. You can follow Brad on Twitter @BHMDeadcast***
Do you smell that scent in the air? If its drifting from Louisville, then it must be time for the run for the roses. This of course means that Spring is in full effect and Summer is right around the corner. With summer comes the biggest time for the movie studios. I’ll never forget the summer that Independence Day came out. My dad and I walked out of the movies right at dusk on July 4th and were pumped to go watch fireworks after Will Smith blew up the silver screen. It seems that every summer since then movie studios have tried to put more and more of their biggest money makers, or at least potential money makers, in between the first weekend of May and run through the last weekend of August.
With all of this in mind, we at Funkhouser decided to look ahead at what is going to be on the menu for the summer of 2017. And parts of that menu look juicy. Let’s look at the appetizers of May.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
The sequel to the surprise hit opens up today. Every time a new Marvel character or group gets introduced, the critics continue to say this is the Marvel movie to fail. GotG was not well known outside of dorks like me. What the first movie did was show that great storytelling and good acting can make believers of us all. The inevitable sequel has high expectations, both from fans and critics.
If the first movie was about bringing the team together, Vol 2 is how that team works after some time together. Having watched an advanced screening, I can firmly say they do a good job. Once again the characters are the story and not all of the CGI. And this edition of the gang is surprisingly emotional. It’s a story of family, or what you can consider family, because even those we have no blood relation to can become family. Also, the music is spot on. Suicide Squad tried and failed miserably to copy GotG, but GotG Vol 2 once again gives us the right tunes at the right time. And finally, there are plenty of surprise cameos and Easter eggs to keep an eye out for. As always, stay in your seats through the credits.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
It feels like every year there is an English legend reimagined and regurgitated to bring in money for the studios. It usually flip flops between Robin Hood and King Arthur. This year, its King Arthur’s turn. What does this one give us that others haven’t? Guy Ritchie. The British director has a much different style of movie making. My favorite he’s made is Snatched, a British comedy hit. I’m looking forward to his take on Arthurian lore and also what kind of crazy action he can bring to the dark ages.
One of the actresses that I admired growing up was Goldie Hawn. Her comedy is well known to anyone over the age of 40. Thanks to Amy Schumer we get to see Goldie back on the big screen. After being dumped by her boyfriend right before an exotic vacation, Schumer convinces her mother, played by Hawn, to go with her. High jinks ensue once they arrive. I’m looking forward to seeing two different generations of comedians come together. The potential for laughing your butt off is high, so be careful eating your popcorn and have your drink ready.
Look, Prometheus was a let down. I think those of us who fell in love with Ripley in Aliens will always have a hard time moving onto the next stories. Prometheus was thought to change that feeling. Instead it enhanced it. Now it seems that Ridley Scott is trying to get the franchise back on course. Covenant is a direct follow up to Prometheus, following in the footsteps of Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s android David. A crew of colonists find out what happened to Shaw and David, and also stumble into a mess of face huggers. There is always a lot of stumbling around in Alien movies. With a diverse cast of victims, I mean colonists, hopefully this is the movie to get the franchise back on track.
Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Before you roll your eyes at another Pirates movie, hear me out. I went back and watched the first four this past week. It’s hard to remember this summer movie franchise started out as a ride at Disneyland and DisneyWorld. And it’s target of summer popcorn lovers has worked. It has been a fun ride with Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swan. It made a star out of Keira Knightly. And Johnny Depp found a cash cow he could’ve retired on. Instead they have pushed forward with his not quite right Captain Jack. The fourth movie didn’t use Will and Elizabeth and this lead to it being not quite as fun. Granted it still made money, but I would have given the movie a solid “meh”. DMTNT will be the final voyage for all the original characters, and a few new ones as well. I’m looking forward to Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar as the bad guy facing off against Captain Jack. As Cotton’s parrot would say, “Ready to sail.”
What? You thought there were more movies to go over? Like Wonder Woman, The Mummy, or Transformers? Well, you’re right. There are more movies to go over. But that would take half a day to go over with you, so let’s remember that what you read above this paragraph is only what’s coming out in MAY! So let us have this first preview as the appetizer for the summer. We’ll go over the soup and salad course of June with the next portion of the menu. Which movies are you looking forward too the most this summer? Let us know in the comments section. Until then, have fun at the movies! I’ll see you there.
Do you love horses but find it incredibly intimidating to put on nice clothing and watch a bunch of them running in a pack? Want to make a lot of money in about two minutes but don’t know how? The Kentucky Derby is a great way, each year, to grow more comfortable with both horses and gambling. But knowing the ins and outs of the event is key, especially if it’s your first time at the Derby. Here, then, are some Tips & Tricks to fitting in (and winning big) at the Run for the Roses. You’re welcome.
-Get there early for the secret race. The little known “Breakfast Stakes” is a secret race which runs promptly at 8:15. Only two horses run in this race and you can bet on it if you’re there early enough. If the ticket window isn’t open yet, find any Churchill Downs worker who will take your bet as anyone who works at the facility is licensed to accept wagers. Then, after the race, go find that employee to collect your winnings.
-Know the slang. Sure, you know the difference between a “trifecta” and a “trifecta box.” You may even know that a “mudder” is a horse skilled on a muddy track. But knowing some extra racing slang will give you the extra edge. Try betting the “octofecta” if you think you can guess which eight horses will come in (in order) and if you want some extra gambling action ask the teller to “put some squirts on it.” Don’t worry! He or she will know exactly what you mean! Example: “I’d like the six horse to place, and put some squirts on it.” Most people won’t tell you about this secret, but I will. Because I want you to succeed.
-If you don’t know how to bet, when you wait in line to get to the teller be sure to ask him or her to explain everything about betting to you. That’s what they’re there for! Don’t worry if a line gathers behind you; everyone will be totally friendly. A teller will glady spend as much time with you as needed as you learn all about the racing form, and those behind you will respect your thirst for learning.
-Ask to ride one of the horses. In all the pomp and circumstance of the Kentucky Derby, few people realize that all you have to do to ride one of the horses in a race is ask! It’s a Derby memory you won’t forget, and you might even win the race! Good luck, Keith!
-As you continue to win, tuck all the money noticeably into your hatband. You may have noticed, at Keeneland, individuals walking around with cash sticking out of their hats – there’s really no better way to show off your winnings and it looks super cool. You might even make some rap friends!
-Choose your horse based on a hilarious inside joke you share with a friend and text that friend that you’re going to be wagering on that horse based on that inside joke. Your friend will be pleased and find it humorous that not only is there a horse that shares a facet of the inside joke, but that it’s possible your inside joke could bring a monetary windfall! Also, explain this inside joke to your friends there who don’t yet know the joke, so everyone can enjoy the uncanny fortuitousness of your wager!
-Tell your friends from out of state that they need to buy a mint julep and that everyone in Kentucky loves them. This is the greatest joke in the history of our Commonwealth. As they pretend to enjoy it, point at them and laugh. Suckers!
-See how many hats you can collect. It’s hard for women to run in heels!
-Work hard and believe in yourself and maybe you’ll rise up out of the infield and be somebody. If you start out determined in the morning, even though everyone tells you you’ll never amount to anything, refuse to quit. It won’t be easy, but don’t let yourself be defined by your ticket. By three o’clock you could find respect and by five o’clock you might even change the world. Go get ‘em!
-Enjoy yourself. Remember, the opportunity to stand out in the rain in a linen suit while pressed against two hundred thousand people watching TV only comes once a year, and it’s our heritage. Make the most of the day! Sorry about all the money you will lose.
The 2017 KSR Movie Bracket is drawing to a close, but one final matchup remains. While the guys spend some time preparing to cast their final votes we decided to let the movies duke it out amongst themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Funkhouser Fight Club. If this is your first visit to the FFC, here’s how it works: combatants square off in five categories to determine who is victorious. The first three rounds are Box Office Success, Critical Response, and Awards. The fourth and fifth rounds, if needed, are Most Quoteable and Who Would Win in an Actual Fight. Stepping in the ring tonight are Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction. Without further ado, let the battle…begin!
Round 1: Box Office Success
Forrest Gump: $329,694,499
Pulp Fiction: $107,928,762
Analysis: Since both of these movies came out in 1994 this breakdown is really simple. Gump finished number one at the box office in 1994. That is impressive in its own right, however, what makes this even more impressive is that the number two movie it beat was The Lion King. Disney animated movies during this period were box office gold. The Lion King, at this time, was the best performing Disney animated film at the box office. Gump not only beat it, but beat it by nearly $20 million.
Round 1 Winner: Forrest Gump
Round 2: Critical Response
Forrest Gump: Rotten Tomatoes 72, IMDb 8.8, Metacritic 82
Pulp Fiction: Rotten Tomatoes 94. IMDb 8.9, Metacritic 94
Analysis: Pulp Fiction was a critical masterpiece in 1994, which is why many felt Pulp was snubbed when Gump won Best Picture (more on that later). Pulp Fiction was director Quentin Tarantino’s third feature film and came after his first big hit, Reservoir Dogs. Critics were still trying to figure out this guy who seemed to love cuss words and random explosions of gore. Though Tarantino today feels a bit repetitive, Pulp Fiction was the masterpiece that really introduced us to his madness.
Round 2 Winner: Pulp Fiction
Round 3: Awards
***Methodology alert. Awards are measured by a scoring system I created using the LA Times’ most prestigious awards list from this article last year. Scoring is as follows: Academy Awards: Win- 8 pts, Nomination- 5 pts; Golden Globes: Win-7 pts, Nomination- 4 pts; Screen Actors Guild: Win-6 pts, Nomination- 3 pts.
Forrest Gump: 135 points (6 Academy wins, 7 Academy noms; 3 Golden Globe wins, 4 Golden Globe noms; 1 SAG win, 3 SAG noms)
Pulp Fiction: 74 points (1 Academy win, 6 Academy noms; 1 Golden Globe win, 5 Golden Globe noms; 3 SAG noms)
Analysis: Many think Pulp Fiction was robbed of the Best Picture Award, which it lost to Forrest Gump. Though not the most egregious Best Picture snub (looking at you Saving Private Ryan), there is a case to be made based on the critical evidence. What cannot be denied, though, is Forrest Gump’s absolute domination on the awards scene which makes it the very clear winner of round 3.
Round 3 Winner: Forrest Gump
Round 4: Quoteability
“My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re
“Stupid is as stupid does”
“Run, Forrest! Run!”
“But you ain’t got no legs, Lieutenant Dan”
“The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m tryin’, Ringo. I’m tryin’ real hard to be the shepherd.”
“Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.”
“Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.”
“Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you…”
Analysis: First and foremost, due to this being a family friendly site I am not able to post the best Pulp Fiction quotes, at least not in their entirety, and for that I apologize. However, even with all the best quotes from Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump is easily the most quoteable between the two. From succinct life lessons to fun little quips, the ease of delivery for many of the famous line make it easy to use in casual conversation. Anytime I want to get ice cream I simply look at my wife and say “Lieutenant Dan, ice cream”. How many times have you said any of the four quotes listed above? Odds are you’ve said them at some point. I will now defer to Drew Franklin to regale us with quoting Forrest Gump in its entirety.
Round 4 Winner: Forrest Gump
With a score of 3-1 through only 4 rounds the winner in this Funkhouser Fight Club showdown is Forrest Gump. Those of you rooting for Pulp Fiction, I hear you, and I was rooting for it to win too. Facts are facts, however, and even though facts are usually optional they show a pretty clear winner here. Now let’s celebrate with some ice cream!
In a year of alt facts, the documentary Casting JonBenet is focused on identifying alt truths. Casting JonBenet strives to tell the story of the murder of the young beauty queen through alternative means. The director, Kitty Green, doesn’t use news segments or grainy pageant footage. Casting JonBenet uses the auditioning actors’ memories of the murder to tell the story. It is a documentary created out of hearsay. Green, uses these alt truths to weave together the public’s perception of what truly happened in December 26, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado.
A few minutes into the film you figure out what the documentary is trying to do. There have been many articles written about this specific aspect of the story. But, the overall thesis of these articles is that public perception shapes the collective truth that we believe. Regardless of their connection to the crime, the audience will create their own narrative about what happened. The new story now becomes the truth in their mind.
The actor’s new narrative is what makes the documentary worth being discussed, but what makes the documentary memorable is the actors themselves.
Surprisingly, JonBenet isn’t one of these memorable actors. Although JonBenet is the subject of the murder investigation, she is not the main subject of the casting call. After our initial introduction, the part of the toddler is played by a white blanket. The producers seem to focus on showing the different portrayal of Patsy and John, but are not too concerned about the different types of JonBenet. Casting JonBenet explains that the public is truly enamored with the murder, not the murder victim.
For me, the part of Patsy Ramsey is the most interesting. These moms are creepy. The black blazer with the white piping is the perfect costume for a serial killer. If the actress’s hair is disheveled she looks overwhelmed and crazy. If the actress is perfectly put together she looks obsessive and crazy. The Patsys seem dead-set on portraying the mother as legacy-driven and overbearing. Through their speculative process, the actresses have found that their character could have killed her daughter because of bedwetting or she never would have killed her because she was carrying on her “pageant legacy.”
It’s an open ended conclusion that you can sit with because the film doesn’t try to solve the murder.
The casting call also shows how people assume police communicate. Green highlights the moment when the police chief calls about JonBenet’s autopsy. Initially, the actor’s ad-lib is gloriously awful. To convey the idea that the police chief is thoughtful and meticulously focused, the actor peppers his convo with “ummmms” and “uhhhhhs.” It’s funny till you realize they are ad-libbing a murder investigation with cheesy chitchat. The casual response of “How’s your wife and kids” is jarring. It shows the gap between what would actually happen and what we assume would happen in our Law & Order tainted pop culture brains.
Casting JonBenet shows that everyone approaches a story with his or her own speculation. One of the mothers said “just watching her made me angry.” There’s a lot of watching. In the Meta sense, we are watching actors who watched the real victims who act like they are being watched at every moment. Watching the actors’ explanation is fascinating, as long as you ignore the gruesome scenario from which it sprung.