Pop Culture Roundup 42
by TeemunnyPublished on Saturday, December 15, 2012
This post, the day, and coming week are dedicated to the town of Newtown, Connecticut, which went through such unimaginable horror that it has rocked everybody to their core. Our site went silent yesterday out of respect to the families affected. We don’t even know where to begin with this gut-punch, it is devastating for sure, as we remain utterly heartbroken. Watching President Obama pausing to catch his tears while addressing our nation about the shooting and the “overwhelming grief” it has caused was extraordinarily tough. We briefly pondered whether we should even mention it here as this is meant to be a trivial, lighthearted weekly column and post. But how can we not mention it? It’s unavoidable.
When the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado happened, in an attempt at levity and gallows humor, I told my friend in conversation, “You know, this could never happen in a city like Portland. People are just too baked or are in a food coma, it’s too mellow.” Fast forward to the shooting at Clackamas Town Center, a mall a couple of miles away from my hometown of Portland. Portlandia, of all places, where the dream of the ’90s is alive. Then to immediately hear of Sandy Hook Elementary, only several days later, was just absolutely soul-crushing. How does one Keep Calm and Carry On?
My first genuine exposure to dealing with a death, in my family, was when my grandmother (there wasn’t a person who I loved more) passed away last fall (2011), of mostly natural causes. Although not as personal and intense, I’m going through a similar mourning process now. You know, that sudden panic attack of tears and paralyzing sadness which you experience on-and-off throughout your day? Dealing with death is surreal as much as it is sad and depressing. It’s all too predictable and tired to project oneself into nightmare scenarios, like Newtown, as our culture has a tendency to revel itself in what I call “tragedy porn”. It’s an odd narcissism which takes place. I don’t know if it’s a coping mechanism but it strikes me as a peculiar phenomenon. Or to borrow a phrase from Kurt Cobain, maybe they miss the comfort in being sad. But this goes beyond melodrama as this massacre might stand as one of the darkest days of our generation.
There is a lot of soapboxing and pontificating going on about what should or shouldn’t happen. And we’re just processing it as noise right now, nothing but white noise. I laugh and thumb my nose at the people who claim they’re going to start packing a gat. A brilliant and genius solution, what a band-aid you have come up with for yourselves. Why stop there? How about you score your own pair of attack drones? Face it, we have minimal control over our fate.
But yeah, things have to change. Really, we all should be ashamed of ourselves. To let this happen, time and time again, in an endless cycle. To let things escalate; the escalation is the worst part. To continually indulge and excuse our gun culture. To tiptoe around and constantly misconstrue the Second Amendment. To make mental illness a taboo subject. To cover and present the nadir of societal events in the manner in which we glorify the murderers, sensationalize, dramatize, edit, and produce the reporting of news as if it was a movie. While I’m at it, to hell with our self-involved, humblebragging, insulated lives.
Shit just got too real. Those people’s scars run so deep; I can’t even fathom their emotional and mental state right now and –forever. We got hit with a psychic sledge hammer. Wrecked. But life goes on, right? Nothing you can do but pick up the pieces? Are there anymore platitudes we’re missing? What do they say? Never forget? Never forgotten. Lord Almighty.
We are saddened by, and sad for, humanity. How very disappointing. Our thoughts will be with these people for a long while.
Anyway, we humbly present this week’s PCR…
Two huge mega-buzz, über-viral teaser trailers dropped this crazy week. First it was the second trailer for Man of Steel, the Zack Snyder steered Superman franchise recharge. Following that monster, pun intended, was the wild giant-mecha-robot-fighting-giant-monsters movie, Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim (official site). Man of Steel (official site) is at the header and the giant fighting robot epic is below (Check for the previous PCR for Star Trek into Darkness and Oblivion). The word ‘epic’ is widely overused, even pointing out its overuse is a cliché in it of itself, but there’s not another term to describe this film. It’s our wildest childhood dreams coming into celluloid reality. The EPIC stars Charlie Hunnam , Sons of Anarchy‘s Jax. By the way, we just found out that Hunnam is a Brit. Mind is doubly blown. Pacific Rims opens in 3D on July 12th, 2013.
- Kotaku: Guillermo Del Toro’s Next Movie Has a Little GlaDOS in It – If you watch the trailer, you’ll recognize a familiar computerized voice. Yes, that’s right, it’s Ellen McLain, the iconic voice of GLaDOS from Valve Software‘s Portal games.
- Collider: 55 Images from PACIFIC RIM Featuring Robots, Kaiju and Some Humans, Too – The site has a series of screen caps from the epic.
- A host of goodies at the Facebook Fanpage
- Los Angeles Times: ‘Pacific Rim’ exclusive: Del Toro’s ‘blue-collar’ Jaeger Gipsy Danger
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
TRAILERS, TEASERS and FEATURETTES
After Earth – A crash landing leaves teenager Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his legendary father Cypher (Will Smith) stranded on Earth, 1,000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher critically injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help, facing uncharted terrain, evolved animal species that now rule the planet, and an unstoppable alien creature that escaped during the crash. Father and son must learn to work together and trust one another if they want any chance of returning home. In theatres June 7, 2013, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
Quentin Tarantino rocked a Kangol and a Wu Wear hoodie on a national broadcast of the 12-12-12 Benefit Concert. NEVER FORGET. QT looks like he had to wear someone else’s clothing because he accidentally shot his friend Marvin in the head. He looks like a…dork. Dude has about as much fashion sense as Michael Jordan.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (TV Spot 11)
Gandalf Playing Bagpipes and Riding a Unicycle in Portland – The Unipiper – Oh, Portlandia…
We actually caught The Hobbit on opening day. Here’s my snarky, quick take. It’s true, the mediocre reviews are accurate, it’s visually impressive but a forgettable film. The best part of The Hobbit was when Andy Dick was one of the dwarves (Seriously though, the dwarf Ori is a spitting image of Andy Dick. This had us silently rolling throughout the viewing in the theater.). Three hours of HFR 3D (48 fps) was like being trapped in a Thomas Kinkade painting on crystal meth (that’s not a compliment). Catch the 24 frames-per-second, 6-hour version of the movie (that’s a joke). The color, lighting is off and the speed is off-putting to your eye, it’s not natural, I need that motion blur. It’s similar to watching the best video game ever…for 3 hours. There’s not much of a story to boot. Wait for beta..
The Lone Ranger (Official Trailer 2)
Jack Reacher (Clips) – People on the street are not giving this film a chance because it looks like another ordinary action flick and people are burnt out on Cruise. But it’s clocking an 86% at Rotten Tomatoes.
Les Misérables (Feaurettes)
The Last Stand (60 Second TV Trailer)
Shameless (Season 3 Trailer, Season 3)
Dude. Did anybody watch the Hipster Simpsons episode with Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Patton Oswalt that aired this past Sunday? The Day The Earth Stood Cool, Episode 7 of Season 24 was perfect. Most of the references: Portland, Voodoo Donuts, Food carts, Neutra, “I have a graduate degree in Mid-Century Kitsch,” West Ham United, TV-less households, The Onion, AV Club, Japanese Anime, Manga, Skull jewelry, Seatbelt belt buckles, iPads, Exotic pets, Composting, Breastfeeding, Amoeba Records, David Cross, Korean Gangster Film Festival, Neck scarves, Wallet chain, Performance Art, Handmade presents, Factory parties, Tattoos, Body piercings, Milk circles, Denim painting, Bowling shoes, Tumblr, Vintage cameras, iPhones, Lost in Space toys, DJs, Vinyl collections, Midnight bike rides, Moustaches, Goatees, Wes Anderson, Chunky eyeware, dwell Magazine, Humblebragging, Toe shoes, LEED, American Apparel, Farmers markets, Marijuana dispensaries, Taschen bookstores, Charter Co-ops, The Decemberists, Pretense, Irony, Dive bars, PBR, Aziz Ansari, Manchego cheese, Modernism, Daft Punk, Vintage clothing, Keep Portland Weird, Burlesque shows, Homebrewing, Hatmaking, Silkscreening, Shadow puppetry, Foreign movie posters, Locally sourced vegetables, Organic food, Bro-hugs, Being played out, Colin Meloy. Lurved it. On Demand it now.
MASHUPS and SUPERCUTS
BANE OUTTAKES (Auralnauts extended edition) – We usually dismiss these dubs because they’re lazily done and not funny. But this one is spot on and hilarious. It had us rolling on the floor, actually.
The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 3: IN LEGO
What if The Dark Knight was a Romantic Comedy? Awful.
SPOILER: Everything Wrong With The Amazing Spiderman In 2 Minutes Or Less
National Lampoon’s Vacation (Horror Re-cut Trailer)
Animator Rob Ashe: This animated short film features the trials and tribulations of the silhouetted characters from the opening of CONAN on TBS. All they want is to go home and watch some tv. The short was created using Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and a little Cinema 4D. I hope you enjoy it. Special thanks of course goes to teamcoco.com
Cinemageddon: 2012 in Movies (details)
Filmography 2012 by Filmographile
Well, that’s it for this week. Hope we provided you with an escape for an hour or so. Go and hug it out with a loved one. Peace…