Sunday, February 12, 2012
This Week in Links
Parsing the President's Spotify Playlist
Until now, the music-streaming service Spotify served two primary purposes: providing a cheap and easy way to find and sample songs you would never actually buy, and allowing a peek into the terrible musical tastes of your Facebook friends. (Seriously, you guys, lay off the Hall and Oates.) And now we have a third: to get a look at what our president is listening to these days. Or, more likely, what he’d like you to think he’s listening to.
From The Atlantic:
Know Your Evil Movie Cops
Rampart, Owen Moverman’s tough urban drama featuring Woody Harrelson as a somewhat less than principled L.A. police officer, goes into limited release tomorrow (following a brief Oscar-qualification run in December), and while the movie itself is pretty good, we must take some exception to its bold poster and trailer tag line: “The most corrupt cop you’ve ever seen on screen.” Well, that is a might tall claim. After the jump, we’ll run down ten previous movie cops who could give Harrelson’s Dave Brown a run for his money.
Close-Reading the Clint Eastwood Super Bowl Ad
In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, we witnessed the usual chatter and previews of the high-dollar car ads for the big game: a Ferris Bueller-channeling Matthew Broderick for Honda, the return of Volkswagen’s Darth Vader kid, Audi’s teen vampire killer, etc. But the game’s most memorable—and thought-provoking—ad came at halftime, as an American movie icon fronted a Chrysler spot that was part car commercial, part pro-Detroit PR clip, and part political campaign ad. We’ll take a closer look at what it says (and doesn’t say) after the jump.
Video Essay: “Being Denzel Washington”
Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington teams with one-time Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds in this week’s Safe House, the latest of his midrange action movies. His recent output has been so heavy on popcorn flicks like Unstoppable and The Book of Eli that it’s easy to forget his wide range and occasional risky projects, so we decided to make Mr. Washington the subject of a video essay, spotlighting some of his more interesting (and less widely-acclaimed) films and performances. Watch it after the jump.
The Best Made-For-TV Movies of All Time
Folded in among today’s DVD releases, presumably overlooked amid your Twilight sequels and Harold and Kumar 3D yuletides and “Shakespeare didn’t write his plays!” screeds, is one of 2011’s best films: The Sunset Limited, written by Cormac McCarthy, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, starring Jones and Samuel L. Jackson. Wait, you might be thinking. (You might be!) What a fine pedigree! What an excellent cast! I would have gone to see that! Did it not play at my local art house or multiplex? No, hypothetical reader, it did not. It was made for HBO, and since Sunset Limited, based on McCarthy’s play, is primarily a two-handed conversation piece about race, class, mortality, and despair, it’s probably not surprising that it found a home on a pay cable network rather than at a Hollywood studio. But this is nothing new; dialogue and intellect-driven efforts like this migrated to television long ago, as studios lost interest in telling small stories.
Trailer Park: Of Spies and Spider-Men
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 eight new trailers for your Friday viewing enjoyment; check ‘em all out after the jump.