Friday, October 21, 2011
Your Friday Link Machine
Mangella Logs on to 78th Street
The Drilling Company and Project Theater’s Mangella is an odd piece of work. The first act of this sci-fi/comedy/cyber-thriller is both clever and inexplicable: mixing inventive set pieces and pure oddity, it entertains yet sorely lacks in cohesion. But the second act draws the disjointed elements together ingeniously; it’s a high-wire act you keep expecting to turn disastrous, yet somehow does not.
Your Flavorwire Guide to Facebook Etiquette
Here’s an uncontroversial opinion: I like Facebook. (Really going out on a limb for you guys today.) My affection for the social network is primarily one of laziness—I like the fact that I can just post stuff there instead of having to bother to, y’know, keep in touch with relatives and old friends. Saves hours of awkward telephone conversation. But it’s not just a question of practicality; there are wise and witty Facebook users out there (maybe you’re one of them!), people who’ve formulated the proper elixir of macro and micro, sharing thought-provoking links and posting charming photos and compositing wry and pithy status messages.
But some people are, simply put, doing it wrong, and the situation is getting out of control. It’s time we get together and agree on a few common sense rules of the online road, some little irritants that are becoming more commonplace and threatening, as my teachers used to say, to ruin it for everyone. The soul who speaks up to voice these complaints risks being called a curmudgeon (as I was when formulating this piece—thanks again, wife!) and sounding like some kind of Millennial Andy Rooney. So be it. I’ll take the hit. After the jump, a few not-unreasonable “requests” (hey, see what I did there?) for Facebook etiquette.
The Creepiest “Family Movies” of All Time
The fine folks at Warner Brothers are taking the opportunity today to release their umpteenth home video version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—this time in an elaborately packaged “40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition” deluxe Blu-ray set. Included in the $65 box, according to Blu-ray.com, are “a 144-page book featuring color photos and notes, a Wonka Bar pencil tin with scented pencils and eraser and a Wonka Bar box with archival production letters.” What, no chicken and butcher knife?
Yes, Willy Wonka may be going on 40 years as a beloved family classic, but it also contains tiny indentured servants, a kid transmogrifying into a giant blueberry, and an out-of-left-field sequence of sheer terror that has haunted the nightmares of generations of kids. We’ll take a look at that scene, and nine more family classics that are similarly creepy, after the jump.
The Best Ensemble Casts in Movie History
Margin Call, a fact-based thriller concerning the beginning of the financial crisis, opens tomorrow with a stellar ensemble cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanely Tucci, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker, and Mary McDonnell. (And Demi Moore. Hey, can’t win ‘em all.) Throw in last month’s Contagion (featuring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Cranston, Marion Cottilard, and Elliot Gould) and December’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (with Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, and Mark Strong), and this is starting to look like the Season of the Ensemble. In celebration of these smart, adult movies flush with Oscar winners and fine character performers, we’ve assembled some of our favorite big-cast ensemble movies after the jump—check it out, and throw in your own in the comments.
Trailer Park: Sex, Screams, and Sequels
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got seven new trailers this week, mostly of the artsie-indie breed, though there’s a couple of genre picks in there as well. Check ‘em out after the jump.