“As you probably heard, the onetime juggernaut of a video rental chain formally pulled the plug on most of its remaining retail stores this week. Just think of all those abandoned storefronts where people used to rent ‘Wall Street 2′ or ‘Pain and Gain’ or whatever; just think of what Bruce Springsteen, the bard of economic collapse, might have done with such a…well, I was about to type ‘catastrophic occurrence,’ but..it was more like a sector of the marketplace realigning itself with technological reality after years of denying the inevitable.”
Mowing neighborhood lawns notwithstanding, Blockbuster was actually my first job. And, while I never cottoned to their Republican-leaning ways or their ridiculous drug test policy, it was a pretty good gig for a high school kid, all in all — if you could withstand the same twenty trailers and episode of Duck Tales playing ALL THE TIME. Like I said, ten free movies a week. As an 18-year-old just working to raise beer-money for college, you can’t beat that with a stick.
“Artist Jeff Bennett has invaded the cloying world of Thomas Kinkade with the full might of the Galactic Empire. In a series Bennett is calling Wars on Kinkade, the Painter of Light’s ethereally bland landscapes come under the iron fist of Star Wars storm troopers, Imperial Star Destroyers and Hoth-crushing AT-ATs.” General Veers, prepare your men for a surface attack: The Empire Strikes Kinkade.
“‘Until our country’s funky leaders can resolve this deadlock, U.S. funk leadership, and the booties of all Americans, will remain immobilized,’ said Gregory Tate, domestic motorbooty-affairs reporter for The Washington Funkenquarterly. ‘Unless a compromise can be reached soon, the entire nation’s thang could be in serious jeopardy.’”
“What’s really great about these clips is the way they incorporate classic sprites from the game and put them in a real-world setting. It’s…pretty amazing that technology has advanced to the point where YouTube users can do this stuff without the backing of an entire studio.” An enterprising Youtube user films himself sparring against Mortal Kombat‘s fiercest fighters. Somebody needs to work on their combos.
So…Ben Affleck. He’s not who I would’ve cast, and it’s hard to see how an Affleck Batman would be any different from his portrayal of Daredevil. But he isn’t the worst choice in the world, I suppose. Affleck’s a decent enough actor most of the time, and, in any case, the poorly written, too 9/11y by half Man of Steel was so flawed that his presence can only help at this point. (It’s too bad Affleck isn’t directing.) Besides, I doubt any iteration of Batman, Affleck or otherwise, would cotton to Supes bringing MoS-level destruction to Gotham City, unless there were cookies involved. (Animated gif via here.)
“‘I like going to movies alone, especially during the day when it’s not too crowded,’ said the sad man, who attended the first Red movie by himself three years ago, just last week saw World War Z alone, and, good Christ, made plans with himself to see Before Midnight on opening day last month. ‘It’s relaxing.’”
If you thought JCPenney was having problems at the top — or if pressure cookers were posing problems for the tea-kettle industry — look no further than 405 freeway near Culver City in Southern California, where an innocent stainless steel pot is drawing comparisons to perhaps the least innocent person of all time, spigot salute and all.”
Speaking of Mad Men, I liked Forrest Wickman’s Chevy-is-Vietnam reading of last week’s strange, Dr. Feelgood-enhanced episode. That being said, the agency is starting to lose me — Don’s been spinning his wheels all season, and while it may be true-to-life, it’s not all that compelling to watch the main character become ever more repugnant and self-pitying while making the same mistakes, over and over and over again. (With that in mind, it’s become especially clear this season that Matt Weiner cut his teeth on The Sopranos.)
Also, nothing on the show is dumber or more show-stopping than 30′s whorehouse Dick Whitman. Every time we flash back to that ridiculous thicket of hyper-Freudian backstory, I’m reminded of nothing so much as Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel.
“‘We’ve come up against an unforeseen circumstance…’ said majority leader and Budget Committee chaircat Sen. Creamsicle (D-ND), stretching out to his entire length and repeatedly kneading the chamber carpet. ‘I think I speak for most of my colleagues when I say that, while it is extremely important we continue the legislative work at hand, we must first give this warm and bright beam of light the due consideration it deserves.’”
Well, now nothing’s getting done. From a few years ago, Cat Congress Mired in Sunbeam. “Our lawmakers were elected to serve the common cat, not their own self-interests,” Big Stripey said. “With over 6 percent of the population stray, millions more going hungry or only getting dry food, and the dogs next door developing a very real litter of puppies, we need action now for the sake of our kittens and our kittens’ kittens.”
Or for a longer but equally goofy answer, see Louis Menand in The New Yorker, circa 2002: “The Cat in the Hat was a Cold War invention. His value as an analyst of the psychology of his time…is readily appreciated: transgression and hypocrisy are the principal themes of his little story. But he also stands in an intimate and paradoxical relation to national-security policy. He was both its creature and its nemesis — the unraveller of the very culture that produced him and that made him a star.”
“I’m a HUGE fan of Arrested Development. Once I heard that each episode in the new season was going to focus on a different character, I thought it would be fun to create a series of art doing the same.” In anticipation of Season 4, artist Josh Cox creates a series of Arrested Development throwback album covers. I probably would’ve more explicitly riffed off this for the above one.
“Sources indicated that upon seeing the balloon disappear behind a line of trees, Tremont began to grapple for the first time with the same feelings of irreversible loss and guilt that will eventually prevent him from enjoying activities he once loved and cause him to become utterly despondent in the face of a seemingly hostile world.”
In the Moment of Zen department, a geriatric sea otter takes up basketball. Nice inside moves — and I don’t want to be a jerk about this — but given the way the game has evolved, Eddie probably needs to work a little harder on his midrange jumper if he wants to get some run. (Also, try not to get traded to Bright Water.)
“This series is an experiment where a dictator, a psycho, a murderer (sometimes they are the whole package) or even a suspicious figure from real life is mashed with a comics bad guy – strangely related some way or the other with his counterpart.” Brazilian artist Butcher Billy’s Legion of Doom, by way of Normative.
“Basically, Django Unchained is a B movie. A damn fine B movie, but still a B movie…Despite its slavery setting, Django Unchained isn’t an exploration of the subject. It offers no critical insights into the circumstances, no nuances exploring the political realities (as Lincoln does). In the end, slavery is a prop to excite audience emotion and motivate the action.”
All is Lost (9/10) Thor 2: The Dark World (6.5/10) Ender's Game (7/10) The Counselor (4/10) The Fifth Estate (3/10) 12 Years a Slave (10/10) Captain Phillips (8.5/10) Prisoners (7.5/10) Enough Said (7/10) Gravity (9/10) The World's End (9/10)
Drinking Buddies (6/10) A Single Shot (7.5/10) Kick-Ass 2 (5.5/10) Blue Jasmine (6/10) Closed Circuit (5/10) Elysium (6/10) Monsters University (7/10) This is the End (7/10) The Wolverine (6.5/10) Pacific Rim (5/10) Now You See Me (3/10) World War Z (6.5/10) Man of Steel (5/10) Before Midnight (9/10) Stories We Tell (4/10) Star Trek: Into Khan (4/10) The Great Gatsby (7.5/10) Iron Man 3 (8.5/10) Oblivion (6.5/10) To the Wonder (3/10) Pain and Gain (4/10) The Bling Ring (5/10) Spring Breakers (7.5/10) The Place Beyond the Pines (6/10) Oz the Great and Powerful (4/10) Side Effects (6/10) West of Memphis (7/10) Gangster Squad (4/10) GitM BEST OF 2012 GitM Review Archive
Gone Baby Gone, Dennis Lehane
Sacred, Dennis Lehane Darkness, Take My Hand, Dennis Lehane A Drink Before the War, Dennis Lehane Cycles of Time, Roger Penrose The Fiery Trial, Eric Foner Art of Racing, Garth Stein 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill Hidden Cities, Moses Gates What It Takes, Richard Ben Cramer