“I don’t give a fuck about your horse”

Somewhat stranded in a different country (Mexico) and a different state (uncertainty), plagued by flaming assholes of both the literal and metaphorical variety, caught in the crossfires of ongoing dick-measuring contests and consistently reminded that no one considered him a threat in this regard, Robert Vaughn was tasked with embodying an emasculated dandy. And, seemingly unfazed by any of the above, he went about his work and played the absolute hell out of him.

This essay about the cast of “The Magnificent Seven” spraying diarrhea from their butts and insecurity from their egos is dang near perfect. It’s funny as hell and gets right to the hollow core of the cultural golden calves we’ve constructed to worship an era and an ideal that never existed.

Snowpiercer is the Sequel to Willy Wonka

Normally this kind of fan theory stuff ranges somewhere from uninteresting to mildly annoying for me. I can’t tell you how tired I am of my son bringing up that Darth Jar-Jar thing. But this is delightful.

It also stands as a good example of what analysis of pop culture can do if it’s done right and isn’t just The Church of Bazinga. The sequel theory itself is clever and diverting, but under the surface of this video lurks a really perceptive critical analysis and comparison of what these two films say about the world in which they were made.

Also: HUGE spoilers of Snowpiercer, which, if you haven’t seen it, you should, and if you didn’t like it, you were of course wrong.

You had one job.

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This is the man who broke Black Panther’s perfect Rotten Tomatoes score. That’s a shame.

You might think it weird that a person who gets paid to have opinions about art would gig a movie for an insufficient number of jumpings and beatings, but I draw strange comfort from knowing that such unique musings came from a man named Ed Power.

Two things:

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  1. That tie and collar are not Poirot-grade. That shit is fastidiousness kryptonite. There better have been a kerfuffle.
  2. I am really tempted to try that moustache.

Chewie. We're home.

Today is the 40th birthday of Star Wars. I am not exaggerating when I say that I think this should be a national holiday.

It has become popular to throw rocks at George Lucas. Lord knows I've thrown my share, and if there ever was anything in human history that suffered from founder's syndrome, then the Star Wars saga was it. But to say that Star Wars "captivated a generation" is an insult. Star Wars became part of our consciousness. It created culture. You and I will never do what George Lucas did. We won't come close.

Thank you, George. I can't tell you what Luke and Leia and Han meant to me. They and you are partly responsible for the man I am today.

May the Force be with you.

...To Fly?

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I was invented the same year as the modern Hollywood blockbuster. To celebrate this, I have taken a notion to watch the top 3 grossing films from every year of the first decade of my life. Some points worth considering here:

  • The question of going by total worldwide vs. domestic box office. Domestic means I can do "Animal House" instead of "Jaws 2" and "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "The Amityville Horror" instead of "Moonraker", but I'm having a hard time justifying missing "Alien".
  • I have seen a lot of these. Science dictates that I must do it again.
  • Star Wars. The movie is called Star Wars. I don't give a good goddamn what George says.
  • Related: I will only watch the despecialized editions.
  • Wow, there's a lot of Stallone here. Can any one man process that much?
  • Raiders, the movie that proved that it's okay not only to punch Nazis but also melt their faces off of their skulls, will be watched in black and white. I may do the actual Soderbergh silent cut. WHY NOT BOTH?

KAFKA // Aesthetics

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One of my all-time favorite movies. Just gorgeous and weird and full of crazy-gigglin'.

More than half my life ago, the video store on Campbell Avenue ran a going-out-of-business sale on their entire inventory. I realized they had a rental copy of "Kafka", which was no longer being produced on VHS. You couldn't buy it anywhere. Even rental places couldn't order it anymore.

I adored this movie. It's one of two films in my life that I watched for the first time, wondered what the hell was that, and started over immediately.

So I ran out there, and awash in a sea of $5 gently-used rental copies of "Pumpkinhead" and "Night of the Comet", there it was. Marked for the bargain price of $70.

I didn't have $70. So I walked away, freshly educated in the truth that sometimes nerdery is for people with money.

Seeing lighting this good makes me a little sad. Feels like a dying art, like watchmaking and hand-engraving.

The Dark Side of the That's-No-Moon

The first eight minutes of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" synced with Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". They say the whole movie works. Of course, they also say that Slender Man is real.

This is the best one of these I've seen since they did it with "The Wizard of Oz", which is a better thematic fit if you think marijuana is great. As many Slender Man people do.

We talk about story beats, particularly in sequential art stories like movies and comics, and it's not just a metaphor. Language itself is inherently musical, regardless of whether you speak a tonal language, and stories themselves are often most satisfying when they have a musical-ish structure. On the flip side, even "Add It Up" by the Violent Femmes feels like a three-act play to me.

So while I don't think there's anything grand lurking here, there is probably something in our instinctive pull towards certain rhythms and changes in stories and conversations just like in music, the way most popular music was built on a handful of chord progressions.

If I had fuck-you money and an attention span worthy of the name, I'd start randomly pairing concept albums with movies just to see how often I get a decent hit. I bet it would be statistically significant, but then again something this subjective just screams confirmation bias.

There is crazy magic in our stupidly repetitive and predictable brains. Hell, sometimes even I think Slender Man could be real.