I’ll preface this token end-of-year review by saying that I too would profess a liking for Seth Rogen and James Franco. The two are often shredded by critics for an overreliance on unfettered profanity and male anatomical gags, but as far as there’s a niche for such a sordid blend of humor, the dudes are easily some of the lowest/greatest in the trade. I for one thought that This Is the End was one of, if not the funniest apocalyptic stoner comedy of all time, which is really saying something. Rogen and Franco’s collaboration is widely celebrated by college students, many of whom relish the opportunity to flex their vulgarity under the pretense of quoting a modern American masterpiece, but the movie’s also noted in larger circles for mercilessly skewering the decadence and narcissism of Hollywood while (probably inadvertently and) most irreverently ridiculing the heresy of buying one’s way into heaven with good works. And who could forget Rogen’s gripping portrayal of Mantis in Kung Fu Panda? Huh huh huh. Mantis pun. Huh huh huh.
(Imperfect, official transcript provided by the White House) “I think that [Sony] made a mistake… We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or news reports that they don’t like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. So that’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about… I wish they had spoken to me first. I would have told them, do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”Not exactly “Give me liberty or give me death!” but we’ll take it for the sake of argument. Where do we even start wading through this great American oratory from our first articulate, clean, good-looking African-American guy? Should we ask why the president is pretending that Sony didn’t contact him about the matter when Sony claims they did indeed speak with a White House advisor and the State Department prior to yanking (and then reinstating) the film? Should we ask why the president thinks it’s any of his concern whether Sony releases their own junky comedy or not? Should we inquire as to why Obama is rallying behind a critically maligned and likely highly offensive Rogen comedy in the name of free expression and patriotism (“censorship is not what we’re about”) after he vocally and relentlessly reviled an unreleased documentary about one of history’s most influential religious figures, also in the name of free expression and patriotism (“anti-Islam Youtube projects are not we’re about – the United States had nothing to do with this video”)?
Sometimes I feel like saying to this guy, “We’re the guys doing our job. You must be the other guy.”
* Why did so many people complain about getting that free U2 album again? It’s pretty dang good. Better than anything they were spending their own money on, at any rate.
* In case you needed further proof that Disney is nothing greater than a pound sign a$$wipe.
* Why does Michael Sam think we need to see him kissing all the time? Is this something normal celebrities or sports players do for the camera? And he wonders why he got pound sign released.
* I love how the Yahoo comments section never shows up in the articles that are total BS. I also love how the advertisement in the video player on so many “news” articles plays automatically even when I don’t want to watch the featured video and just want to read the words that give the exact same information as the annoying narrator or politician in the video is going to read out loud. But most of all I love how the mainstream internet journals dissect their end-of-year highlights lists into galleries you have to click through in order to read one entry and one set of advertisements at a time, rather than just putting all the entries on one page so people can scroll from one to the next without loading a new page. Pound sign first world problems.
* Yeah, Wes Anderson is basically a cult leader by this point. A more tasteful-than-average cult, but a cult all the same.
* Remember the day when you bought something on the iTunes store and the digital file immediately started downloading to your hard drive, from which you could watch it at any time you wanted? Now when you buy something it automatically gets stuck in the “iCloud”, a nebulous mass of suspended water pixels serving no use to you until you successfully establish an internet connection and manually cause digital condensation. Do you also remember the day when you signed it into iTunes on another computer and you didn’t have to wait 70 days to sync all the files you’ve purchased with your money?
* Pitchfork is such a joke of a website. Unless you like boring electronic or rap music.
* 11:45 ABC Time. Taylor Swift is wearing too much makeup and not enough clothes. And man, I hate this Google commercial.
* I thought the Exodus movie looked kind of like this.
* If you’re not yet watching The Librarians on TNT, you ought to be watching The Librarians on TNT. Granted it’s not particularly groundbreaking or thought-provoking fare like Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective on HBO. It also doesn’t have any sex, swearing, cocaine, or graphic violence like True Detective. This is good old-fashioned, often cheesy, always optimistic fantasy adventure led by a cowboy who’s secretly an art history nerd, a British-accented thief with a heart of gold, a Rebecca Romijn kicking butt, and a cute fake-redhead super-genius who waves her arms at holograms like Sherlock and happens to have synesthesia, which means that to her science sounds like music and math smells like food, which doesn’t make a lot of sense the way that she explains it but you probably won’t be concerned with listening to anything she says anyway. You’ll be all like, “I think I got it, but just in case, tell me the whole thing again – I wasn’t listening.” Oh, and she has a tumah.
Aside from a bothersome but predictably Claustian-themed Christmas special, Librarians has an innocence and self-conscious silliness about it that’s rare in television nowadays and deserves a huge shout-out. It’s almost bound to be the next Doctor Who, Orange is the New Black, Big Bang Theory, or whatever else people are into today for no discernible reason, so you should definitely jump on board before it blows up and you look like a pound sign lemming who only enjoys it because everybody else does.
* No, I totally don’t web-search every attractive redhead – pound sign redundant – I see on screen to verify if she’s the real deal or just a poseur wearing make-down in her hair. That’s stupid, and I’ve got so many more important things to do with my time.
Speaking of fake redheads, remember the stupid Emma Stone Spiderman movies I said at the time I didn’t want to watch but got suckered into viewing anyway? Don’t even bother with them. Because she dies.
More Author’s Musings* Putting aside everything I just wrote, why were all the brain-dead media zombies scrambling to show us the ending scene of The Interview, 1) as if it was news, 2) as if they obtained it legally, 3) as if nobody actually cared to see the movie, and 4) as if everybody actually cared to know the ending of the movie.