Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Week's Links

From the Village Voice:
Horsedreams Is Addicted to Cliche

We’ve seen the anti-drug cautionary tale many times before, in prestige dramas and cheeseball PSAs and all points in between. Whether it can be done without simplification and sermonizing in the post-“Just Say No” era is a question left unanswered by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s new production Dale Orlandersmith’s HORSEDREAMS. It is an earnest work-—painfully, almost embarrassingly so. And it’s mostly free of nuance or complexity; the whole thing is about as subtle as a hammer to the head.

From Flavorwire:
Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’: Will Kids Respond to Cinema 101?

The most surprising thing about Martin Scorsese’s new film Hugo (out Wednesday) is how much more there is to it than has been indicated in the ad campaign, which presents the picture—probably wisely, from a mass-market standpoint—as a standard children’s adventure with a dose of magic and a dash of slapstick, all in 3D (of course). To be clear: it is all of that, though done with a skill and intelligence that puts most “family movies” to shame.

A Look Back at Our Favorite Muppet Movie Moments

We’re going to do our best to keep from setting you up for a disappointment by overselling The Muppets (out in theaters tomorrow). Seriously, we’re going to try. But the fact of the matter is, it’s utterly delightful—a charming, witty, and frequently heartbreaking little gem. If we’re responding to it with more enthusiasm than it deserves, so be it; we grew up loving the Muppet movies, and this new effort somehow manages to summon up the spirit of (to borrow the Star Wars parlance) the “original trilogy” while also existing as its own wonderful addition to the Henson canon. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll leave singing "Mahna Mahna." So, in celebration of the franchise’s return to form, we’d like to pause and enjoy a few of our favorite moments from the earlier Muppet movies; add your own in the comments.

Flavorpill’s Zagat-Style Guide to TV’s Best Thanksgiving Episodes

Thanksgiving is upon us, and it’s high time to enjoy all of our favorite yearly traditions: the turkey, the stuffing, the pumpkin pie, the awkward family encounters, pretending to care about football… and, most of all, that venerable standby of episodic television, the Thanksgiving show. As best as we can determine, the first weekly series to do a Thanksgiving-centered episode was The Burns and Allen Show, back in 1951; Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, Make Room for Daddy, and Mr. Peepers quickly followed suit, realizing that a Thanksgiving show offered plenty of fodder for conflict, resolution, and warm holiday cheer. We’ve selected ten of our favorite Thanksgiving episodes—and in the culinary spirit of the holiday, we present them in the ever-popular Zagat’s dining guide format, because why not? Check ‘em out after the jump and add your own in the comments.

Staff Picks: What Flavorpill Editors Are Thankful for This Year

I don’t often write about music here on the site, due to being grossly underqualified and hopelessly unhip (my big-dollar music purchase this fall was the 20th anniversary vinyl reissue of U2’s Achtung Baby, if that gives you an idea of how tightly I’ve got my finger on the pulse of what’s hot musically these days). But few things on this earth have given me as much pleasure this year as the utterly marvelous throwback video for Cee-Lo Green’s “Cry Baby.” Already my favorite song on the record (it runs circles around “Fuck You”), the Hi Records-style pop confection is given a candy-colored visual rendering, complete with backlot-style set design, retro group choreography, and Jaleel “Steve Urkel” White stepping into the role of Cee-Lo. It’s a beautifully executed, joyful clip with a sense of humor—a reminder of how great music videos can still be (if you can find them).

Trailer Park: Holiday Leftovers

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 five new trailers for your post-turkey consumption this week; check ‘em out after the jump.

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