Author: Brian Boone

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17 Things You Can (and Cannot) Do With These Isotoner Neo-Noir Gloves They Sent Me To Review for Our Holiday Gift Guide

Give them as a gift to someone who has as many as two hands, and/or up to 10 fingers. Give them as a gift to a person, literally any person, whose hands get cold in the Wintertime, which is everybody. Keep them on while you tap on your smartphone device, which is both awesome and creepy. Put them in a stocking, if you are rich, because these gloves aren’t exactly cheap, and Rich People give each other expensive stocking stuffers. That’s not to say these gloves are prohibitively expensive, either, but they are a bit too high-end to just be an afterthought, to go into a fancy sock with an orange and some candy canes. They’re a perfect thing to bring to your office’s annual Glove Exchange Party. Win a Heisman Trophy for your superior running back performance at USC. (Ugh, we get it. Funny?) Kill two people and get away with it. (Those were Aris Lights, not Isotoners.) Unsuccessfully try them on in a Los Angeles courtroom in 1995. (Come on, we told you. …

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TV on DVD Review: My Little Pony – The Complete Series

This may surprise you, but as a boy child growing up in the 1980s, I did not see a lot of My Little Pony. This was the heyday of Clearly Defined Gender Roles, and as was decreed there were Boy Shows (and Toys) and Girl Shows (and Toys). Most of the shows were Boy Shows—Transformers, GoBots, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Thundercats (Cheetarah was female, yes, but served only to attract the prepubescent male gaze). There were precious few shows that seemed directed at girls, or, at the very least, not to very broad societal archetypes of gender. As such, as said, I did not see a lot of My Little Pony because I was too busy getting indoctrinated into the propaganda of war cartoons. I agreed to take on this assignment because I knew my wife would enjoy revisiting a cartoon she watched when she was a kid, or, as it turns out, seeing the cartoon version of one of her best-loved childhood toy lines, only to discover that she had never seen …

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The 8 Worst Ever Pieces of Rock Merch

Insane Clown Posse’s Literary Classics Reconsidered As anybody down with the clowns knows, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are adherents to the controversial theory that William Shakespeare did not write his own plays. ICP believes that the true author was Sir Francis Bacon. This caused a controversy within the band’s tight-knit fanbase, the majority of which are of the theory that the plays were written by Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford. For that reason, this series of leatherbound editions of Shakespeare’s plays, heavily footnoted by J and Shaggy with literary and historical evidence pointing to Bacon’s authorship, were largely burned and shat upon at ICP concerts.   Drake’s Cakes The packaging for this line of individually wrapped snacks endorsed by the Canadian rapper Drake claimed to be the “best you’ve ever had,” but they confused consumers due to the fact that there was already a line of products called Drake’s Cakes. However, these Drake’s Cakes weren’t cakes. They were fruit pies—in Canada, they call “cake” what we call “fruit pies.”   Slip-Nots …

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C(k)rossfire! Or, Who’s Better: Christopher Cross vs. Kris Kross

The contestants: Christopher Cross is the undisputed king of ultra laid-back, early 1980s soft rock with songs a working-class man’s man could relate to, such as “Sailing.” Kris Kross were teenage rappers who in 1992 wore backwards overalls and with their  hit “Jump” made slightly moving up and down a dance craze. But which one of these acts, Christopher Cross, or Kris Kross, is better? Why do we need to know? Because they have similar names. Really, that’s it. But that’s enough, isn’t it? (Is it?) (It is.)   Round 1: Better Svengali Cross was discovered and championed (and assisted on his first single, “Ride Like the Wind”) by Michael McDonald, Doobie Brother, mustache escort, Mad TV star, and enthusiast of all that which is mellow. Kris Kross was discovered by Jeraine Dupri, songwriter, producer, and head of So So Def  Records. While Dupri used to bone Janet Jackson (Miss Jackson, because he’s legitimately nasty) on a regular basis, introduced Da Brat-a-tat-tat to the world, and may possibly have invented grillz, he is not three-time Grammy Award winner Michael McDonald. Advantage: …

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Ol’ John Cougar’s Holiday Gift Guide

If’n y’all ain’t familiar with what ol’ John Cougar does round here these parts, go back and read some of my col-umms what with to familiarize yourself with the fact that ol’ John Cougar is a good old fashioned down home country boy from a small town making real music for real Americans, but that your boy John Cougar is also an immortal shapeshifting werewolf what can control the Indy 500 pace car with his mind. It’s your good ol’ buddy John Cougar. Now I know I what usually give you advise on your personal problems and sitch-you-ayshuns, but right now I’m here to give you the real whatfor on what sundries and embodiments to get for y’alls progeny and whatnot on yer holiday list. Because be it for such pagan-like festivities like Christmas or Hanakah or Kwanzaa, or if’n yer like ol’ John Cougar and recognize the truth and beauty of the holiday we call Alazkazakz, or “The Great Reckoning,” or “The Final Ascendance of Yr,” y’alls got to buy gifts to show the …

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Review: Cheap Trick – The Classic Albums 1977-1979

Record Store Day isn’t just in the spring anymore. The annual tradition now happens twice a year, once in the spring, and once on Black Friday. Since you’re already out spending enormous amounts of money on enormous electronic devices, seek out your local independent record store and buy some gifts for the music geek, or, let’s be honest, buy it for yourself. Because a box set is the greatest gift in the world. The record labels have put together some impressive, huge, and gift-worthy sets specifically for “Back to Black Friday” (November 29th) this year, including this lovely, limited edition, individually numbered box set featuring Cheap Trick’s first five albums remastered and pressed onto that ultra-thick, luxuriant 180-gram vinyl. (Thank you, Legacy Recordings.) Cheap Trick’s tight pop-meets monstrous rock finally sounds as important as it ought to be in the greater rock pantheon. Cheap Trick’s first five albums, in original packaging, are accounted for: the self-titled, In Color, Heaven Tonight, Dream Police, and, of course, the classic live album At Budokan. Consider for a moment that this band …

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10 Movies For American Audiences About Sports That Aren’t Popular in America (Like ‘Rush’)

I’m sure that the story of famed Formula One car-racing man Rushmore “Rush” Rushingford is an interesting human drama packed with thrilling twists and turns, otherwise an A-list director couldn’t get a movie like Rush made. But still, it’s the sign of some Hollywood hubris to make a big-budget, widely-released movie for American audiences about a sport that most Americans aren’t familiar with, let alone follow or enjoy. Here are 10 other A-level movies about B-level sports. Side Out C. Thomas. C. Thomas Howell. C. Thomas Howell plays beach volleyball, which tends to do well on American TV only when its being played in the Olympics by ladies in sports bras, and not for pretend by C. Thomas Howell. Kicking and Screaming Will Ferrell took a break of playing wacky characters to play a regular guy caught up in the no-stakes and dreary world of soccer. Invictus Most Americans probably don’t know how important of a moment the 1995 Rugby World Cup was in the history of South Africa or the life of Nelson Madela, …

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10 Movies…About The Witness Relocation Program (Like ‘The Family’)

This week marks the release of The Family, another example of Hollywood’s favorite cliché situation: stereotypical Italian-American crime family goes into Witness Protection and they chafe at it. (In reality, Witness Protection is rare; as it turns out the government doesn’t give a shit if you’re a bad guy and other bad guys kill you.) But at least The Family is directed by French film god Luc Besson, who is apparently trying his hand at farce, which the French love as much as Americans love stuff about Witness Protection. Here are 10 more movies about Witness Protection, all of which feel like French movies that were translated into English. The Pacifier Vin Diesel has to find the secret documents and hide out in the suburbs and protect some kids which OMG he’s a MAN! Did You Hear About the Morgans? If you did, in fact, hear about the Morgans, then their Witness Protection detail isn’t doing a very good job of keeping there whereabouts hidden. Man of the House Tommy Lee Jones has to keep …

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10 Movies…With Endearing Strippers (Like ‘Afternoon Delight’)

I’ve never been to a strip club, not just because they’re degrading to women, but because they’re degrading to everybody. A red-lit room with “college students” sadly gyrating to a Warrant song doesn’t sound great. And Hollywood has spoiled me on strippers—I am to presume they all are plucky, have hearts of gold, and/or enjoy taking their clothes off for weirdos with too many small bills. Like Juno Temple in this week’s Afternoon Delight, here are 10 other movies with happy-go-lucky softcore sex workers. Flashdance Sort of like how your grandpa uses old-timey words (like “breeches” instead of “pants”), back in the old-timey days of the 1980s, they called “stripping “flashdancing,” and it was a good way to supplement your income as a steel worker and/or dance student. Closer Nothing gets me hotter than when a stripper discusses gender identity and psychosexual politics during a lapdance. #notouching(becauseweareallofusemotionallyimmature) The Full Monty It’s charming, because the guys are nobody you would want to see naked, and they do it to earn money because they lost all their …

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10 Movies That Took Forever to Get Released (Like ‘You’re Next’)

For most major movies, it takes about a year from the time filming begins to opening in theaters as a means to get you to buy corn. But for a variety of reasons, studios will often sit on a movie for years at a time, suddenly skittish about earning back their investment on films they had no problem funding and producing. This week, the horror movie You’re Next opens…more than two years after making the rounds on the festival circuit. Here are 10 other movies that people had to wait forever to see. Blue Sky This movie was barely released in 1994 and won Jessica Lange an Oscar for portraying the mentally ill wife of a military guy. Had this film been released in 1991, when it was completed, Lange may have lost that Oscar to Jodie Foster for The Silence of the Lambs. Blue Sky sat in a vault for three years until the bankruptcy of its studio, Orion Pictures, could be settled. The Fantasticks The Fantasticks is one of the best, most gentle, …

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10 Movies…About Awesome Businesspeople

This week marks the release of Jobs, which stars Ashton Kutcher, the inventor of prankism, as Steve Jobs, the inventor of the computer and the MP3 who ultimately became the wealthiest man in the history of the world. Here are 10 other movies about brave Americans who made money and fought back against a society that wants to see them fail and to punish them for being enterprising. Superman An allegorical film about how immigrants (Superman) are hell-bent on destroying everything hard-working American businessmen (Lex Luthor) have built up. It’s a Wonderful Life Mr. Potter did live a wonderful life—nobody ever said you were going to make friends in the banking industry. But you know what he did make? Money. Mildred Pierce Mildred should not have let her wayward children and loathsome husbands get in the way of what really mattered: building a chicken-and-waffles empire. Thank You For Smoking This movie makes me want a cigarette, which I know is bad for me, which shows you the inspiring power of public relations. It also makes …

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CD Review: Smashing Pumpkins’ “The Aeroplane Flies High (Deluxe Edition)”

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was one of the most popular (and epic) rock albums of the ‘90s, but it still feels kind of underrated. It was a double-disc, but it wasn’t bloated. It’s not really a concept album in that a clear story isn’t telegraphed, but it does bring the listener from one place to another, at least emotionally, or possibly metaphysically. It’s not just a collection of songs is what I’m saying; there was meat to it. As Smashing Pumpkins were the perfect ‘90s band – a mixture of grunge and shoegaze – Mellon Collie likewise produced five disparate singles—the grungy, verse-chorus-verse, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” the synth-poppy “1979,” the hard rock “Zero,” the orchestrally proggy “Tonight, Tonight,” and the tender, near-shoegazy “Thirty Three.” Mellon Collie was so sprawling, there could have been more singles. Still, it never felt quite done, which was alleviated somewhat with the physical release of those singles. It was the end of the maxi-CD era, and each single completed the Mellon Collie experience with unused tracks, covers …

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TV on DVD: The Best of ‘Fridays’

Everyone knows a few particular things about certain things. Pluto is not a planet. Lincoln and Kennedy had many similarities. And Fridays was that Saturday Night Live clone that ABC put on in the early ’80s, and Kramer was on it. Yes. And no. By 1980, SNL had been dominating late night TV, and American sketch comedy, for five years. But by 1980, SNL’s original, legendary cast was gone, and replaced with new people. Ratings and respect dropped as it settled into the first of its periodic “building years,” by which I mean it was terrible. It was good business and good art for ABC to try to put something else on the air. And they did it on Friday nights, which meant they weren’t just challenging SNL (because really, you could watch both), they were challenging Johnny Carson. It was a scrappy upstart, a hungry show full of hungry, young performers who would be part of the ’80s comedy revolution not content to rest on their laurels, like the competition. Fridays has taken on …

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10 Movies…That Are Spinoffs, Not Sequels, Of Popular Movies (Like Disney’s ‘Planes’)

Spinoffs are the new reboot. Big studio movies are usually part of a franchise at this point, and they are going to become even more assembly lines, what with new, constant Star Wars and Marvel movies every year or so. A spinoff is not a sequel to a movie, merely set in the same universe, and maybe or maybe not a character, major or minor, from the original movie off doing their own thing. It usually works about as well as TV spinoffs work out, which is to say, not very well. Here are 10 movie spinoffs. Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) In the original, Jason Segel’s character was left by Kristen Bell’s character for a sleazy British rock star, played by Russell Brand in his introduction to America. The spinoff, Get Him to the Greek, marked the beginning of the selling of the Brand brand in earnest. It fleshed out the supporting character nicely, and has some wickedly funny moments. The Scorpion King (from The Mummy) The Rock had slightly …

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10 Movies…That Co-Starred a Former Adult Film Star (Like ‘The Canyons’)

So the troubled B-movie-homage-that’s-also-a-B-movie The Canyons is finally coming out this week, starring Lindsay Lohan and James Deen. I think at some point we all thought that porn would lure in legitimate actor Lindsay Lohan, but instead, Lohan lured porn actor James Deen into legitimate movies. It is very unlikely, but not impossible, for Deen to cross over to mainstream film success; many have attempted, and a few have succeeded, although ever became what one would call a movie star. And often they get pigeonholed (pun intended) into roles that require nudity or simulated intercourse. But hey, the pay is good, you get a SAG card, and no penetration! Here are 10 movies that included among their casts a former adult film professional. Zack and Miri Make a Porno Porn star Katie Morgan plays a girl who helps Zack and Miri…make a porno. She’s actually pretty funny as a character with which she is intimately familiar. Cry-Baby Notorious adult film star Traci Lords wasn’t actually an adult when she made her adult films, but camp …

10 Movies…That Had Better Titles In Pre-Production (Like ‘The To Do List’ Had)

A lot can happen from the time a script is turned in to a studio to the time the film actually goes into production. Actors are cast and then recast, shooting locations may change, the script gets rewritten a bunch of times, and even the name of the damn movie might end up getting tweaked. Such is the case with this week’s The To Do List, which, subtly and playfully gets across the point that the movie is about a girl racking up sexual experiences before she leaves for college…but it’s not nearly as raunchy, or absolutely unmarketable, as the original title, The Hand Job. Here are ten other movies that chickened out and went bland and familiar instead of evocative and bonkers. Last Action Hero This ultra-meta parody of extremely violent action movies was supposed to be called…Extremely Violent. Scream This ultra-meta parody of scary movies was supposed to be called…Scary Movie. (That title was then, ironically, used for a series of horror movie parody films.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Yeah, The Texas Chainsaw …

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You’re Dead to Us…The Miniseries

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads. “This week our regular programming will be pre-empted so that we may bring you a special television event.” Such was how you knew you were in for something big in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s – a sweeping epic harkening back to the days of grand movie experiences like Gone With the Wind or Doctor Zhivago, except even longer, and on your TV screen, but for free, and with way, way higher production values, budgets, and star power than the usual fare of CHiPs and One Day at a Time. And you simply had to tune in, because it was event television, and events happen and then fade into history and you can’t catch them again because VCRs weren’t invented yet (or they cost $2,000, same difference) and everyone at work would be talking about it, and maybe even at school, because …

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10 Movies…That Are, Surprisingly, Based on True Stories (Like ‘The Conjuring’)

This week the “found footage”-style horror movie fades briefly and unexpectedly into oblivion like a spooky ghost girl in favor of The Conjuring, a horror movie with a traditional narrative form. Those found footage movies work so well because they introduce an extra, meta level of fear – this shit isn’t a movie…it’s real! And it looks real, because it looks like home video footage. The Conjuring, while a regular narrative-style film with a high budget and known actors like Vera Farmiga and Lili Taylor, also boasts that real-life fear factor, as it is based on the accounts of the Peron family, who hired paranormal investigators to check out their supposedly haunted Rhode Island farmhouse. Believe of that what you will. But here are 10 other movies that, believe it or not, are also based on true stories…extensive artistic license notwithstanding. Up Close and Personal Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, of all people, wrote the screenplay, using as their source the book Golden Girl, the sad and salacious biography of NBC News anchor Jessica …

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10 Movies…With a Replacement Actor in the Sequel (Like ‘Grown Ups 2’)

The big news surrounding Grown Ups 2, other than the fact that it’s yet another cynically-conceived way for Adam Sandler to hang out with his friends at a waterpark for two months, is that Sandler crony Rob Schneider is not returning from the first film. Replacing Schneider, who reportedly wanted more money, is Sandler crony Nick Swardson, who gets a bigger role than he usually does. Here are ten other movie sequels that Darrin Stevensed us and replaced an actor with another actor and hoped we wouldn’t notice. Iron Man 2 Evidently Terrence Howard was the first major actor to sign on for the first Iron Man, before it was a known entity as a franchise, and as such was the highest paid actor. In negotiating for the sequel, his pay was cut, Howard’s agents said no, and Don Cheadle was cast as Rhodey. The Dark Knight With her long courtship, marriage, and be-childing with couch-jumping Tom Cruise generating a certain amount of unwelcome tabloid attention happening in between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, …

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You’re Dead to Us…Blockbuster Greatest Hits Albums

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  In the ‘50s and early ‘60s, the singles market and the albums market were two separate entities and rarely did they meet. Logically, singles (or 45s) were cheap, and directed at teenagers, because teenagers don’t have much money. Albums cost more, and directed at adults. That’s why Elvis Presley had #1 hit after #1 hit, while Harry Belafonte and Broadway cast albums dominated the album chart. Today, singles essentially serve as a taste of an album – they’re promotional tools. Like the single you heard on the radio, or YouTube, or Spotify? Then you’ll love the rest of the album, which will have that leadoff single on it. That wasn’t a universal in the middle of the 20th century. An artist released singles, and then they released albums of completely different material. In 1958, some evil genius at Columbia Records had a brilliant …

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10 Movies…That Are Reboots Of Really Old Pop Culture (Just Like the New ‘Lone Ranger’ Movie)

A new big-screen version of The Lone Ranger comes out this weekend, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow as Tonto. It looks less like a faithful adaptation of the Western saga that thrilled your great-great-grandfather as a little boy in front of the magic sound box, and more a vehicle for Johnny Depp to act goofy and the delight the fuck out of everybody once again. That’s because rebooting The Lone Ranger, which premiered on radio in 1933 and TV in 1949, is a hard sell. Yeah, Hollywood is reboot crazy these days, but they tend to go after known entities from the last 20 years or so (Man of Steel is a rare exception, but that’s SUPERMAN, you guys). Here are 10 other movies that paved the way for Disney’s cautious attempt at a modern, big-screen update of a popular franchise that began in radio, comics, film serials, or pulp novels in the early 20th century. The Legend of the Lone Ranger Clayton Moore was deeply associated with the role of John Reid/the Lone …

10 Movies…With Amusing Fictional Presidents

As Americans we like our president to be some combination of likable and better than us. Our last two presidents got in this way, albeit in very different ways — Obama shoots hoops and cracks jokes, but he also used to be a Harvard Law professor. George W. Bush was a guy you could get a beer with (nonalcoholic) but he was also from a dynastic political family. It’s a delicate balance to maintain — be an American while also being the Best American — and this weekend, Jamie Foxx gives it his best attempt in White House Down. He’s the president in need of help of getting to safety, so he’s the audience surrogate. But he also has to help Channing Tatum kick some terrorist ass. Go president! Here are 10 other memorable (fictional) movie presidents. Idiocracy I wish the real president was sponsored by Mountain Dew and wore the presidential seal around his neck. I mean, again. That’s how FDR got re-elected three times. Dr. Strangelove Of Peter Sellers’ 14 roles in probably …

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You’re Dead To Us…Wacky and Explicitly Descriptive TV Theme Songs

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  Like most people who have taste and are also pretentious, I loathe The Big Bang Theory. There’s so much innovative comedy going right now, so much breathtaking work—30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Veep, Girls, Family Tree, Arrested Development—and yet this show with the broad characters and the easy jokes and the braying laugh track is the most popular comedy on TV, by far, is The Big Bang Theory. Even two-hour blocks of repeats on cable bring in more viewers than Parks and Recreation. In my city, reruns come on after The Simpsons every night. Whenever my son and I watch that, he always wants to stay on for the first few minutes of The Big Bang Theory. I was worried he actually liked the show (but at least he’s seven – what’s your excuse, AMERICA?). He doesn’t. He just really likes the theme …

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10 Movies…That Are Unnecessary Prequels (To Prepare You For ‘Monsters University’)

Once Disney took a more draconian handle on Pixar, it was inevitable that they’d make the tiny, massively-gifted studio start churning out sequels and prequels to their most marketable hits. A couple years ago, they made Cars 2, which focused on Mater, the character that sold the most toys, and later this year we’ve got an offshoot called Planes. But first, Monsters University, in which we get to see the monsters from Monsters Inc. learning the job skills they’ll need to one day land a job at Monsters Inc. Here are 10 other unnecessary prequels. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd You want to know how Harry and Lloyd met? They met in high school. Where the hell else were they going to meet? Oz The Great and Powerful All about how Professor Marvel made his way to Oz and how everything went to shit before Dorothy showed up. However, the entire premise of this movie doesn’t make any sense, because Oz was dreamed up by a little girl in a dream and didn’t …

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10 Movies…In Which People Play Themselves (To Prepare You For ‘This Is the End’)

This is the End looks funny, and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are excellent screenwriters, and it stars a great cast which consists of every notable comic actor and institution of the last 10 years. However, everybody in it plays “themselves,” which is both so ironic it’s so longer ironic and almost as self-indulgent and oblivious to the audience as one of those movies where Adam Sandler dicks around Hawaii for 90 minutes. It’s been done before, of course, actors playing themselves. No cameos here, though. I’m not talking Mike Tyson in The Hangover or Lance Armstrong in Dodgeball. I mean real-life stories portrayed by the person who actually lived them. Alternately, it’s silly and fun to have an actor play against type, and even more fun if they play that character as “themselves,” as if that wacky character is their real, off-screen persona. The Jackie Robinson Story When the first filmed take on Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier was made in 1950, it was kind of cheesy to cast Robinson as himself. …

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You’re Dead To Us…Medleys

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads.  In the late ’70s in the Netherlands, most disco music came in bootlegged medleys on 45, in which popular dance songs were strung together with a cohesive beat, or the music of one band, say, the Beatles, was remixed with a generic 1-2 drum beat and some synthetic hand claps. Dutch music publisher Willem Van Kooten got wind of this trend when he heard a mix that included a danced-up version of “Venus,” of which he owned the copyright. He decided to record a legit dancebeat-assisted disco medley, using “Venus” as well as some Beatles songs as recorded by studio musicians who he thought sounded like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. (They didn’t.) Because of copyright reasons with the Beatles’ songs, Van Kooten and Stars on 45 had to list the name of every song in the medley in the song’s title: “Intro”/“Venus”/“Sugar, …

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10 Movies…That Are Adaptations of Young Adult Novels (To Prepare You For ‘Tiger Eyes’)

Despite being the Frank Lloyd Wright of young adult fiction (in that she’s the towering, influential force, and the first name that comes to mind for her respective discipline), there has never been a big-screen adaptation of a Judy Blume book until now. Tiger Eyes, a bit darker and more brutally adolescent-centered than stuff like Superfudge and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, opens this week. Here’s a look at 10 other movie versions of classic YA novels. Prepare for the weepiest, angsty “10 Movies” column ever! The Outsiders Do it for Johnny! While the book and movie both took place in “the present day,” the whole endeavor always seemed kind of dated—it felt like the ’50s, what with all the talk of Socs, Greasers, girls named Cherry Valance, and cars, cars, cars. Then again, I can’t think of a better movie that explains the intractable bond between close male friends, written with such knowledge by teenage author S.E. Hinton. (It’s also nice to see C. Thomas Howell not in blackface.) The Sisterhood of …

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10 Movies…About Magicians (To Prepare You For ‘Now You See Me’)

I’m not sure Now You See Me is a real movie—I’m pretty sure it’s part of the massive viral marketing campaign for last weekend’s huge Arrested Development revival. Evidence: it stars Michael Cera look-alike Jesse Eisenberg, new A.D. cast member Isla Fisher, and the plot concerns both the theft of money and cheesy, Vegas-style magic—I mean illusions. (“A trick is something a whore does for money. Or cocaine.” — GOB Bluth.) Here then are 10 certifiably real movies about magic anyway. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone If they’d made that Arrested Development movie, and it was solely about GOB and his rival magician, Tony Wonder, this would be that movie.   Scoop The ghost of a man played by a notable actor hamming it up (Ian McShane) helps a cute young girl (Scarlett Johansson) and her bumbling friend (Woody Allen) solve a mystery. Fun fact: Woody Allen wrote this in 1971 as a Scooby-Doo spec script.   Hugo It’s about movies, and magic…but really the “magic” of “movies.” Awww….   The Geisha Boy Jerry Lewis stars …

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10 Movies…About Really Fast Cars (To Prepare You for ‘Fast & Furious 6’)

Programming note: this week’s “10 Movies” column was written/dictated by a discerning expert who knows and appreciates race-car cinema far more than I: my four-year-old nephew, Jaden. Driven They’re at a big party and then the race car goes by through the city! And then the man gets in the other race car and chases the first racer and they go really fast and then there’s all this stuff blowing away! Stroker Ace He has a mustache and he’s really nice and he races on the racetrack and smashes the car. VROOOOOOOM! The Cannonball Run I liked this movie because Stroker Ace is in it, but he’s not on the race track he’s on the highway and he drives fast like my dad! GRRRRR! VROOOOOOOM! ZOOOOOOM! Talladega Nights Mommy says I’m not allowed to watch this but I don’t know why. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift It’s like regular Faster Furious, but the cars so sideways and go screeeeeeech and they’re in the street and I like Pokemons, too but cars mostly. Herbie …

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You’re Dead To Us…Cop Movies

The other day on the Popdose email thread, as one is wont to do, we started spouting off old cop movie cliches for some reason—”I don’t play by the rules!” “Chief is gonna have your ass!” “Turn in your badge and gun!” That sort of thing. These are extremely familiar, instantly recognizable cultural touchstones, so much so that The Simpsons was able to milk it for years with its series of fake McBain movie clips. But you know what we don’t really have any more? Cop movies. These used to be a common, subgenre at the movie theater. More or less B-movies, they were predictable and formulaic, usually invovled a super-evil drug dealer, were shot in an especially seedy or dirty looking part of Los Angeles or New York, had a synth-heavy dramatic soundtrack, cops dressed in bad suits, and lots and lots and lots of superfluous, bloody violence and property-damaging car chases. A bunch of these came out every year as quick and easy vehicles for action stars, many of whom spoke poor English, …