Last night’s Community recap. I do love that show, but I think it does a pretty uniformly awful job with guest stars. Both Katharine McPhee and Jack Black were really disappointing one-offs.
The Gorillaz new video for “Stylo,” is gorgeous, just beautifully shot and rendered. And maybe it’s just me, but does the smoke being look a little like Dream of the Endless?
There are a lot of things that are really corny-looking about the trailer for Just Wright, Queen Latifah’s upcoming romantic comedy with Common and Paula Patton:
But you know what? I’m going to see it, and this is why:
1. Queen Latifah’s character has a job, and is very, very good at it. I like that this is a romance of equals. Obviously, rehabbing an injured NBA player isn’t the Most Important Thing of All Time, but the fact that they fall in love while working together at least qualifies as having something else at stake than the question of whether Common can possibly love her.
2. She eats, and there doesn’t appear to be a subplot where she gets skinny (and stops wearing an awesome Nets jersey) so Common will love her. The jokes about her eating appear to be much more about vitality and a kind of sensuality than about her being a Cheery Fat Girl. I like that she and Common probably kiss for the first time over a plate of cookies. I know it sounds like I’m harping on a little thing. But romantic comedies, whether the female lead is skinny, or curvy, or actually heavy, tend not to treat eating as one of the great sensual experiences and one of the great tools of seduction, even though it is. There are exceptions, of course, the movies that are all about food, like Eat Drink Man Woman and No Reservations. But in general, romantic comedies do a poor job of integrating food into the courting process, even though going out to eat or to drink is one of the most common things people do on dates.
3. She’s a sports fan. There are not enough female sports fans in movies. I totally empathize with her.
4. I have real mixed feelings about the ways they’ve set up Paula Patton’s character here, as a frustrating, materialistic, judgmental gold digger. But I do like movies that engage with the idea that women beat each other and themselves up over men in ways that are completely counterproductive and idiotic. And I like that she’s got a movie role where she isn’t playing a literal or metaphorical saint.
Lady Gaga’s video for “Telephone” is up, and while it’s definitely epic, I’m not sure it’s much else. As I write in The Atlantic,
I think one of the reasons the video doesn’t work as well as some of her previous efforts lies in an internal contradiction in her image. Both “Telephone” and the video for “Paparazzi” were directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who seems unusually invested in flattening her expressions into a mask (and depicting her as a poisoner). But in her other videos, whether playing peek-a-boo in “Poker Face,” flirting and fooling around in “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)” or nakedly grieving in “Bad Romance,” there are moments when the mask seems utterly gone. In the contexts she sets up, that genuineness seems like a shocking act. So much of Lady Gaga’s act is based on artifice, but sincerity might actually be one of her strongest assets.
Check it, and the video out here.
I’ve been informed that some of your workplaces have been blocking this blog on the grounds that the there’s too much sexual content on it. To which I say if blogging about Michael Chabon’s novels and Ghostface videos is wrong, I really hope never to be right. But on a practical level, I’m told by some of those same people that even though the site is blocked at their offices, they can read the posts in Google Reader or other RSS readers. So, give that a shot.
If, in fact, we are going to get a Wizard of Oz movie, can the Scissor Sisters sign on as creative consultants?
I’m not saying the movie should literally be an allegory about crystal meth, but the imagery and emotional resonance as powerful. I’m increasingly convinced by the idea that if we’re going to resurrect old franchises, like Alice in Wonderland, studios shouldn’t try to reintroduce these worlds entirely. Having an audience that’s generally familiar with the material is an advantage, an opportunity to deepen our engagement with those worlds and those themes. And it’s a chance to avoid pandering and slavish faithfulness to a sacred text, freeing up writers and directors to show respect for their source material while moving beyond it. Instead of having Dorothy come back to Oz six months later, make it ten years. Have her stumble back into that lost world after leaving Kansas for, say, Chicago. Oz is different when we see it as children and as adults: Dorothy could be a conduit for that vision. And unlike Susan Pevensie, so cruelly shut out of Narnia simply for growing up, Dorothy ought to get to go back–as all of us should.