Open Thread for March 12, 2010

Overthinkers of the world, unite! You have nothing to open but your threads.

In rap news, Lil’ Wayne began his one-year jail term this week, pleading guilty to attempted weapons possession. The obvious joke is that doing a bid can only help a gangsta’s career, but that actually hasn’t been true. It certainly hasn’t helped Mystikal’s career any, though he only just got out.

Question: what should Lil’ Wayne do with his year off from recording (other than reflect on his crimes, rehabilitate, blah blah etc)?

lil-wayne-jail

Mr. Carter entered the following statement in his defense: I keep it real crisp like Kellogg, stack it like Lincoln Logs, then I drive my Lincoln over your dog, dawg.

Second, have we all taken a moment to let our jaws drop over the Tron Legacy trailer? Because really, wow.

Question: A revanchist Alice in Wonderland; a mature Tron sequel; and even that trailer for The Sorceror’s Apprentice looked a little edgy for a movie inspired by a Fantasia cartoon. Has the success of Pirates of the Caribbean inspired Disney to treat its properties in a more adult manner? If so, what does this suggest for the future?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJHcyGS9tkI

Finally, we doff our bandannas for Corey Haim, who apparently succumbed to a drug overdose earlier this week at the age of 38. Best known for his adolescent attitude in such 80s classics as Lucas, License to Drive and The Lost Boys, Corey had regained some D-list cred by teaming up with Corey Feldman in “The Two Coreys” and a cameo in Crank 2: High Voltage. Fame treats few of us kindly, and young Mr. Haim worse than most.

corey-haim-lala-sloatman

This is how he'd want us to remember him: making out with Lala Sloatman.

Man, Lil’ Wayne doing a bid, Corey Haim dying: does OTI have any good news this week? As it happens, we do! Overthinking It is sending correspondents to PAX East, Penny Arcade’s East coast convention and gamer expo! OTI staff will be wandering the floor, documenting the happenings on the official Overthinking It Twitter account.

“But Perich,” you’re asking, “how will I recognize the OTI crew? Or how can I identify myself as a loyal Overthinker?” Well, you could always buy an official Overthinking It branded T-shirt!

overthinking_it_logo_otis_tshirt

Well, ACTUALLY ...

Are you coming to PAX East? Do you want to catch up with the Overthinking It staff? Sound off in the comments, since this is your … open thread.

10 Comments on “Open Thread for March 12, 2010”

  1. S75 #

    Has the success of Pirates of the Caribbean inspired Disney to treat its properties in a more adult manner?

    Yes, right, they gonna give “The Fox and the Hound” to Michael Mann (win), and the Nolans get to remake “Pinocchio”(gonna get dense there), Wolfgang Petersen gets the Mermaid. nuttin’ wrong with day dreaming I guess; hey!, and perhaps J. Cameron might remake Pocahontas… err… but if any of it was to happen ever I’m sadly certain that we’d get a bunch o flicks by Michael Bay, stephen Sommersa and (yikes) Joel Schumaher.
    Cool.

     
  2. Matthew Belinkie #

    Stop the presses, people. As of today, Pinkberry is retiring their coconut-flavored frozen yogurt, and introducing mango. I asked the counter lady about this two days ago, and she says you’d be surprised how many people will be lined up when the place opens, to get their sticky little palms on the new hotness.

    Yes, I kind of have a thing for Pinkberry.

     
  3. RiderIon #

    Disney has finally figured out that they can try to market to adults as they have gotten mighty fat and happy on kids (Cars, Incredibles, etc.) and tweens (Miley Cyrus and Jonas Bros., etc.). Maybe not even all adults really as so much as young adults 18 to 25 is their new target. As for what edgier take on a Disney property I’d like to see, Pocahantas. It’d be historically accurate tale with John Smith as the lying drunk that he was. I’d also like to see just about every scene featuring a death from an extra as the Jamestown colony didn’t have a very good survival rate.

     
  4. Gab #

    The thing about those more grown-up movies is they’re ripe with potential for kiddy spinoffs and merch *on top* of any adult ones. Think of all of the little Jack Sparrow illustrated books, the cartoon series, etc. They can do that same stuff with this new Alice movie and any other similarly-adult one they come out with in the future. So yeah, I do think they’re “growing up” but not necessarily completely, nor even really in a straight and narrow path. It’s more like they’re becoming worldly while still retaining their “inner child” enough to connect with older AND younger people at the same time.

     
  5. Jim D #

    Random OTs from my life as the parent of two preschoolers. If ya feel me out there, opine back.

    1. WordGirl comes from the planet Lexicon, but as Becky (her secret identity), she has normal Earth human parents who don’t know she’s WordGirl. How does that work? Please don’t let the answer involve alien abduction + artificial insemination… this is a PBS cartoon.

    2. “Seven hippos moving west / leave six hippos quite distressed.” That means six of the guest hippos are STILL IN THE HOUSE — and the one left “alone once more” at the end should check behind the shower curtain, in the basement etc. I’m on to you, Boynton.

    Weird enough for everyone? That is all.

     
  6. Martin #

    The Lady Gaga Telephone video came out. Watch the 10 minute version. So much material for overthinking, so forgive me for rambling.

    The product placement first. Lady Gaga is creative director at Poloroid, and one of their cameras features prominently, as does a Virgin mobile phone and a dating website. I think this is totally intentional, because the shots are just so obvious to be otherwise. Maybe it was necessary to whore themselves out to that extent just to pull off this 10 minute extravaganza. It was worth it.

    Again, I think the totally stilted and awful writing/directing was intentional. Beyoncé and Gaga seem to speak in clichés, and stare right into the distance. Not to mention the phallic eating/sharing of the pastry or whatever it was. Not sure what this is meant to mean beyond the surface level.

    I really liked the Grindhouse ‘women in prison’-style first half. The whole video could have been set in prison and it would have been great.

    I really liked the way the video simulated phone voice skipping and repeating, and how the whole song showed how technology is constantly interfering in our personal lives (or with something supposedly artistic, like music, as with autotune).

    The ending of the video was disappointing. Lady Gaga seems to have just reused the themes of a psycho woman getting revenge on patriarchal society (here represented by Tyrese Gibson), very familiar from her other videos. I would have preferred something a little stronger or darker (she already dropped the F-bomb in the extended video), like everyone who dies pukes blood.

    There’s also something disturbing about the way she delivers this message while fulfilling all the stereotypes of music videos, especially when wearing very little clothes. Smoking glasses are stupid.

    From this, I think Lady Gaga could make an amazing pop opera, if she can retain this director/co-writer, but this isn’t it. The story’s neat, but it has no relation to the song, and feels like a bunch of rejected music video ideas crammed together. This is ‘To Be Continued…’, so we’ll see what part two brings. Beyoncé and Gaga on the run? I’m there.

     
  7. Lisa #

    I so very much wish the Sorcerer’s Apprentice didn’t have Nicholas Cage in it. This is a movie I should be squeeing to see (Magic! Cars! Dragons!) but I feel such a loathing for him that I’m not. Alas.

    There was a while when Disney did family movies. Not kid movies, not teen movies, but family movies. Movies the kids and parents could watch and both enjoy. I think part of the reason Pixar is so wildly successful is that they adhere to that formula. Sure, kids love the Incredibles for the powers and the cool sequences and stuff, but the parents also get an important lesson on being true to yourself and a rather daring look at the near-disintegration of a family because of trying to be people they’re not. This isn’t inviting adults to be their inner child for a while. It awakens some of that, but it also lets adults be adults, who have grown-up problems and stresses, and it shows those problems dealt with in a totally kick-butt, save-the-world style.

    Anyway, [ /rambling ]

     
  8. Jon Eric #

    Sure, kids love the Incredibles for the powers and the cool sequences and stuff, but the parents also get an important lesson on being true to yourself and a rather daring look at the near-disintegration of a family because of trying to be people they’re not. This isn’t inviting adults to be their inner child for a while. It awakens some of that, but it also lets adults be adults, who have grown-up problems and stresses, and it shows those problems dealt with in a totally kick-butt, save-the-world style.

    Well, speaking as an adult myself, The Incredibles appeals to me for the reasons you mentioned, but also because, unlike a lot of “for-kids” programming, the characters are round, and feel real, and the dialogue rings true. When Bob and Helen argue (about whether Dash’s “graduation” is really a graduation; about which highway exit while careening towards the big bad at the end), they sound like real people. And even though that’s not necessarily a hallmark of “adult” appeal, for a lot of people it’s the first hallmark of a well-told story.

     
  9. Trevor #

    When Disney gives “Snow White” over the Jean-Luc Godard to remake as part of his deconstruction of cinema, then we’ll talk about Disney going more “adult”.

    The death of Corey Haim hasn’t been confirmed as a drug overdose per se, but chances are that it’s pretty much a given he didn’t die of natural causes (few thirty-eight-year-olds with drug abuse issues do). The pills he took were allegedly prescription, which brings up an interesting question: when in the past stars OD’d, it was on illegal drugs like heroin or cocaine, but what does it say when two high-profile stars like Brittany Murphy and Corey Haim OD on prescription pills that (until it’s proven otherwise) could be obtained legally? Is the traditional definition of what a celebrity OD is (illegal narcotics) being superseded by prescription drugs? It seems like BM, Haim, MJ,and Anna Nicole die at the hands of drugs that you or I could obtain with a simple doctor’s prescription. I’m sure there have been other cases of this, I’m just blanking on them. But think about John Belushi and even Chris Farley a little over a decade ago: those were clear cut cases of illegal drug consumption leading to premature ends. Now the stuff in your medicine cabinent could take down a celebrity if they get addicted enough to it.

     
  10. Gab #

    I’m not arguing against you, Trevor, but I think your wording implies that this sort of thing doesn’t happen to everyday people. The stuff in my medicine cabinet could take ME down, too- celebrities aren’t the only ones.

    But, I do think the celebrity cases may help bring this problem into the limelight a bit more, and in a positive, although yes, quite sad, way. Last month, for example, Dr. Conrad Murray, MJ’s doc, had charges of involuntary manslaughter put up against him by the D.A. in L.A. And damn well he should, imo: it’s a doctor’s responsibility to recognize abuse by their patent of the drugs they’re being prescribed- that’s why the drugs are given by prescription only in the first place, after all. If they WEREN’T potentially dangerous, the signature wouldn’t be necessary. Even insurance companies use it as an excuse not to cover (and although I doubt it actually comes from an impetus to care for its clients, it still acts as a barrier): quite often, they’ll deny a refill if there hasn’t been enough time since the last one. (I’m also thinking of Octomom, here, too, but I sha’n’t digress too much…)

    What I’m getting at is celebrities are real people, too, no matter how much we idolize them- they’re still humans. As such, they’re at least as prone to addiction as everybody else, if not more so because of the kind of pressures they’re under, being in the public eye and all. The differences are that it’s a lot harder for an everyday person’s family to go after a doctor for over-medicating someone in their family because that sort of thing is so expensive; while at the same time, a celebrity could probably have an easier time shopping around for multiple doctors or using different names with the same one to get the amounts they want. (Also, I find it likely that there are lots of settlements that go unreported because the moment there is threat of a lawsuit, the hospital/office/company/whatever goes into back rooms with the plaintiff and strikes a deal to keep things hush-hush.) So my hope is cases like Haim, Murphy, etc., can get this type of addiction talked about more and thus produce more sources of help for EVERYONE addicted to controlled substances, not just celebrities. Not everybody can afford to go to those clinics and rehab centers, after all- but maybe if the general public was made more conscious of the problem, easier access to recovery programs, support groups, etc., could result. And it could also result in better accountability for doctors and caregivers. Then, celebrities AND civilians can get the help they may need and deaths like the ones you mentioned and the myriad that go UN-mentioned because the deceased isn’t famous will occur less often (or, in a perfect world, no longer).

    ::end rant::

    You brought up Murphy, though, and while I didn’t watch, I read a couple articles about how a number of celebrities got left out of the In Memoriam reel during the Oscars. Her, Bea Arthur, and Farrah Fawcett, among others. Interesting- she was definitely another young-actor-taken-too-early, sort of like Heath Ledger. No, probably not as talented, but still. He’s another example of a celebrity death brought about by prescription drugs, too. So to restate my point, deaths like theirs and others should serve as an impetus to look harder at the problem.