I had an opportunity to talk with my friend’s 15 year old son this weekend and discovered something fairly disturbing: Many heroes from my childhood have been forgotten, or now live in a bastardized version of their former glory. Replacing them now are the internet memes that have exploded in popularity thanks to sites like Youtube.
Gangnam Style? Check. Harlem Shake? You betcha. Epic Meal Time? “Oh man that’s hilarious”. And then out of curiosity, I asked him about Popeye, the barely coherent sailor that parents used to con their children into eating spinach. A confused look followed quickly by a resounding “Who?” took me by surprise.
Here was an individual who had never experienced the jovial spinach powered sailor that was most likely the victim of a stroke or two and his wacky adventures. When it seems like everyone over the age of 12 has a smartphone, internet memes are passed around like antibiotics at a college clinic. Unfortunately this means that without a painful reboot (I’m looking at you He-Man) classics are fading into obscurity.
It’s not all bad. With Youtube being one of the most popular sites on the internet, old clips that once lived on a worn VHS in someone’s basement are now available for the world to see. Want to find that awkward cartoon you saw in 7th grade human sexuality? You might be surprised to find it available. It also might say something about you that you’re trying to find that cartoon in the first place. It’s also becoming harder to hide that from your friends.
Self-proclaimed “social media experts” have been pushing companies to increase integration across services. This means that websites are encouraging you to sign in with your Facebook log in information, which it then in turn uses to advertise itself on your profile automatically. For those who click “agree” faster than rise and fall of an MTV star, this often means they are surprised to see what applications or services have been posting on their activity feed.
Things are quickly becoming more invasive as Facebook begins to roll out its new system to charge fees to send messages to people you don’t have any connections with. It makes you wonder whether or not we were better off relegated to watching reruns of the spinach swilling sailor when it came on the TV.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve logged on to Netflix or Hulu searching for a movie you know you’ve seen only to have it disappear and become unavailable. I was pleased to find out that this Houdini effect wasn’t early onset Alzheimer’s but the fairly common practice of video streaming websites cycling content out that wasn’t proving to be popular.
Enter Moreflicks. This site lists the new releases and about to expire items on most popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Fox, Crackle and BBC’s iPlayer. Searches can also be performed by region for Netflix and Crackle for those living outside the US.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Having been deeply disappointed by promising trailers for awful horror movies (I’m looking at you VHS) I approached Mama with a bit of trepidation. My hesitance was increased by the decision to see this movie over Identity Thief starring the usually hilarious Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy.
The story revolves around two girls who are found in the woods raised by a mysterious guardian known as “Mama” and then adopted by their uncle and his girlfriend. Mysterious events begin to occur to the family, initially explained away as the girls were thought to be living in the woods by themselves, but quickly begin to spiral out of control (much how I imagine the Kardashian household). I was pleasantly surprised by not only the overall story (and an ending I didn’t actually see coming) along with solid acting from the cast. It was also nice to finally see an original story set it self from the revolving door of Hollywood remakes.
While not a movie that has endless replay value for me (like The Ring) I can happily say I made the right choice to see Mama over Identity Thief.
Starring: Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis
Based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Stockett, The Help is set in the American south at a time where segregation was, unfortunately, alive and well. It tells the story of Skeeter (Emma Stone) trying to find her way as a writer eventually giving voice to the African American maids that dote on the families, the children in particular, of the community’s families. What stands apart for this movie is the outstanding performances given by the ensemble cast. You’d never recognize Jessica Chastain from this year’s Zero Dark Thirty, and it’s easy to forget that Emma Stone was in Superbad years prior.
If there are any criticisms of the film, it’s in the length. Clocking in at a healthy 2 hours and 20 minutes, the film moves along nicely enough, but there are times where the length is noticeable. Potential bathroom breaks aside, now that this movie is available on multiple platforms, it’s a must watch for any movie fan.
For whatever reason, I can’t seem to kick apathy out of my bed. It’s like the call that you always want to make at 2am, and after you do you immediately regret it. Ok, I need to stop trying to sound smart. The truth is that I’m just very, very lazy. I’ll go for walks and think about what I’d like to write, and as soon as I get home, find anything else to do but write. It’s been over a month since I watched Django Unchained and I’ve written most of a review, but I haven’t actually touched it in weeks. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve and so on. Ok, enough of the whiny platitudes.
The superbowl has come and gone, and the most interesting part was someone apparently tripping over a cord and causing a power outage for a good 30 minutes. Being free of the smothering nonsense of the CRTC I was able to experience all the “big game day ads”. Sadly, they barely caught my attention. Canadians really don’t have it that bad.
Time to pay attention to “Flight”, which really isn’t as good as people have been saying. It’s probably another instance of hype inflating my expectations disproportionately to the delivery. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea. Actually, speaking of tea, that’s probably more interesting right now.
Seriously. I feel like Hellen Keller would give me shit for the colour scheme. And yes, I spelled it colour. I am Canadian after all.
In the next week I’d like to get some groundwork on the site down. Reviews for Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and Crashmo (for the 3DS). As well as possibly explain why my musical tastes may be confused with a 13 year old girl. What can I say, some people like big macs, I like the musical equivalent; delicious during consumption, but leaves you with a gross feeling accompanied by the runs.
Finding a home in Minnesota isn’t much different from moving back to Alberta. The only big difference is the money. Far more bills, far less change. But for whatever reason, despite being neighbors, short of paying someone to get married getting permanent residence will prove a challenge.