Open Thread for May 19 2011

Hey kids! How about a nice, refreshing glass of Open Thread?

What goes on this week? Christopher Nolan began filming The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding entry in his Batman trilogy. The hip hop community mourned the murder of M-Bone from the Cali Swag District (of “Teach Me How To Dougie” fame). And you’ll already know who won American Idol, though we won’t by press time. SPOILER ALERT: Randy Jackson thought they were a little pitchy.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s also the finale of The Office, the continued success of Bridesmaids, the inexplicable Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and Lonely Island’s new album Turtleneck and Chain. So don’t go to sleep yet.

Comment of the Week: corbmac on Lee’s Statistical Analysis of Movie Title Lengths:

while there’s no correlation apparent in the first graph, there definitely appears to be a frontier ie the longer your title, the lower the highest gross for films at that length.

i banded the films by length in multiples of 6 letters (initially did it with multiples of 5 letters but avatar was distorting the results) and the correlation coefficient with the max gross for films in that band was -0.91.

Following up on another researcher’s work is good Overthink – and good academic practice. Can I presume you’re a grad student? I’m going to go ahead and presume that. Presumed.

Could Captain Jack Sparrow steal the show from an SNL digital … wait, no, that already happened. Can you come up with a better pop-culture mashup? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

6 Comments on “Open Thread for May 19 2011”

  1. Steven #

    FFFFFIIIIIRST! Really, there’s a sense of pride in doing that? Anyway, here goes. Can Captain Jack Sparrow rise (in a dark way) to give Turtlenecks and Chains to Kristen Wiig? Or was there something I missed?

    I pretty sure no one will read this.

     
    • Mark #

      No, I read it, just to see who left the first comment on the longest empty open thread ever. Congratulations, Steven, you earned your ‘first’.

      I’m not really interested in pursuing this, but I just saw ‘Priest’ and had a couple thoughts:

      1) In the film, the Church wants to deny the vampire threat to keep the people calm. Do real authoritarian regimes ever do that? Based on my limited knowledge of history, it seems like governments are much more likely to over-state external threats in order to consolidate and maintain their power, not the other way around. It’s only in fiction (i.e., the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter) that authorities try to pretend that real threats (at least those that can be embodied by an external individual or group) aren’t real.

      2) Was this film entirely contracted out? In the credits, there are at least a dozen different visual effects companies listed. It’s like the military-industrial complex method of movie making.

      3) I think they left out a reel; like, the one that had the part where they made me want to side with the humans. At the end I thought the vampires were a lot more sympathetic. The bad guys were really the Church; is that the main theme of the original comic?

      4) The 3D added absolutely zero (-273 oC) to the film.

      5) The cross weapon thing was a lot less cool than it was built up to be.

      If you couldn’t guess, I didn’t like it that much.

       
      • Gab #

        I didn’t see it, but I’m sad you didn’t like it, since I was interested. It’s based on a Korean comic, which I thought may be a little different from, and hopefully better than, some of the manga adaptations I’ve seen (like Blood: The Last Vampire: terrible, terrible movie); and I was hoping it could help Paul Bettany make up for Legion (which wasn’t the worst thing ever, but certainly had the potential to be much more), being another pseudo-religious horror flick. Darn.

         
      • Steven #

        Thanks Mark. And great comment. To add to the discussion, I actually had no real intention to see Preist.

         
  2. Trevor #

    First off, much respect to the Macho Man, a staple of my late-Eighties wrestling-obsessed youth who taught me how to truly enjoy a Slim Jim, among other things. His cameo as Space Ghost’s grandad is truly one of the greats.

    Second, to the point about governments over-emphasizing dangers, there’s a whole body of films and other works in which this is the case: 1984, Brazil, Star Wars (you could argue that the Rebel threat is minimal until Luke Skywalker blows the Death Star to kingdom come), ET. In the universe of “The X Files” and post-Watergate government thrillers, of course, the all-powerful government usually restricts or suppresses threats to its status (and feeds the paranoid delusions of usually right-wing anti-government types who refuse to acknowledge that government bureaucracy is usually more to blame for the absence of documentation rather than a malicious plot). You can see either as being grossly unrealistic, I know for me the mythology of the X Files became so overwhelming that, as a fan of the more contained, hour-long plots, I lost interest in the overarching conspiracy.

     
  3. cat #

    I know very little about anything in this week’s Open Thread except to ask…how would we already know who won American Idol? They’ve just narrowed it down to two people… Do you know something we don’t, perich?

    Instead, I assume other people are finishing the academic semester so to them I say, you know you’re an overthinker when you have nothing to do and you’re devoting your free time to writing an extremely long (essay-like) blog post about a poorly rated fantasy miniseries about fairytales. Also, I should probably get to work on this stack of books I keep telling myself I’m going to read (reference to that one podcast a while back…I can’t recall which one specifically off the top of my head but I assume at least some of you will get that).