All right, Overthinkers, packs up and line up near the door. When this light turns green, this thread is gonna open up!
Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire opens this weekend to pretty positive reviews. Bruce Springsteen debuted his angry new single, “We Take Care of Our Own,” with a tone that will be harder to misinterpret this time. Entertainment Weekly premiered some exclusive photos of Katniss and Peeta’s parade costumes for The Hunger Games.
And in bittersweet news, the decades-long tradition of a mysterious stranger drinking a silent toast to Edgar Allan Poe on the writer’s birthday seems to have come to an end, with three consecutive no-shows.
Inaugurate your own traditions, Overthinkers! What fallen heroes of pop culture will you celebrate this year, and how? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.
Speaking of celebrating fallen heroes, I encountered, through friends of friends on Facebook, a group of folks in Alabama who have decided that celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. is “racist towards white people”. Instead, they celebrated the birthday (Jan 19) of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The ensuing arguments would have been hilarious if they weren’t so disheartening.
I’m a high school debate coach and I stumbled on this link a few months ago while doing topic research. You’re surely not sick of overthinking other things that happen to start with “over” so I think it’d be entertaining to hear you overthink “overlearning the game”. The blog post highlights some examples from politics, law, and a bit of academia, but surely the OTI gang can go far deeper (too deep!). At the very least, you’ll never play board games quite the same way again.
‘Red Tails’ comes out this weekend as well and is about the Tuskegee Airmen during WW2. I’m actually excited about it because Lucas talked about how he worked with the actual airmen during the writing of the script and how it’s a passion project for him (no studio would touch it so he paid for all of the marketing and promos himself).
He also said that there were two more scripts (a “prequal” that shows the training and then one where it shows their return to the US after the war) and if the movie got good box office returns then there’d be hope for the scripts to actually get produced. I plan on seeing it during the weekend and hope that a lot of others do the same as well.
I saw it Friday, and the theater was pretty crowded at 4pm. I enjoyed it, but I think it was weighted down by a lot of predictable plotting and canned dialogue. But it was definitely nice to see some actors from The Wire getting work, and most of the aerial combat stuff is pretty cool.
I don’t completely agree with this review from The AVClub, but I totally understand where they’re coming from.
I actually saw it today (Sat) and loved it. Yes some of the dialouge was a bit on the cheesy side but at the same time it wasn’t like the “standard” war movie. It actually delt with the racism that they had to deal with during the war and how they had to fight for everything they did/wanted to do. It showed the war through their eyes and how they fought just as bravely as the “white” troops.
And I know that the site covered that when ‘Captain America’ came out but most WW2 movies don’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. As an educator I plan on showing the movie (after it comes out on DVD) to my students because it’s honestly a shame that it’s not covered in the curriculum.
(Since it was a Lucas film I did have a brief ‘Star Wars’ nerd moment during the final battle where I called it the Death Star trench run)
You’re right – it’s very rare to see a WW2 movie in which Americans are portrayed as anything but whitewashed heroes dipped in gold. And I think it’s important to get those stories out there. But I still would prefer more complex writing and plotting.
I’ve heard a lot about this film in the discussions of Red Tails. Maybe try this instead? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114745/
Cat, I’ve seen the one you linked and think it’s excellent- and, in fact, was all I could think about every time I heard about Red Tails. That one, at least, didn’t have trite, cheesy dialogue, at least as far as I remember. It was a long time ago I saw it, though.
I haven’t seen it yet, but I imagine that if anything caused what led to the criticisms, it could have been the fact that it was a pet project. Lucas and his ego are known to ruin things… And actually, it sounds like it could have been sort of like Avatar– I think what happened there was Cameron got blinded by his “vision” for the movie, and that led to weak characterization and storytelling. I’d like to hope you’re right in thinking it was wonderful, though, and that the story being told did a good enough job of making up for the dialogue.
This reminded me of the discussion about Papyrus with regards to Avatar. Imagine if they had to infiltrate an IKEA and steal the secret meatball sauce recipe or something…
This has now introduced the word “inapt” into my vocabulary. It seems ripe for overuse.
Hah, I thought the exact same thing the first time I read it, too.
Just stumbled across this site and happened upon some articles about the Ghostbusters franchise. Since the comments for many of those threads seem to be disabled, I hope you won’t mind me posting something here.
First off, despite the serious time people devoted to discussing the existential threat presented by proton packs, I don’t think anyone mentioned the “crossing of the streams” scene in Ghostbusters also serves as a toilet humor gag at the end of the film. Just sayin.
Also, several years ago, a friend in college and I were discussing the much maligned Ghostbusters 2. Since this was the film that started my childhood obsession with the franchise (I was 3 in ’89), it was still my favorite, and we were debating the merits of the first film vs. the second. After a bit, he chuckled and said that the whole second film was a lightly disguised commentary on the triumph of Americanism over Communism. Think about it. Pinko slime infecting the denizens of New York. An existential threat embodied in the image of an Eastern European, introduced into the city by artsy liberal intellectuals. The eventual elimination of the threat of the ideological threat with infectious pop-culture music and a powerful symbol of “American Freedom.”
Firstly, welcome to the site! You have impeccable timing, as it’s just undergone a major redesign. The open threads exist for we happy few to discuss any number of things in the popular culture, whether in the modern milieu or otherwise, so this seems to be the right place!
As for Ghostbusters 2, I hate to be/sound like a shill (as this website has leagues of incredible free content), but the OTI team has put together a series of alternative commentaries overthinking and unpacking a number of… let’s say “classic” movies. Their track for Ghostbusters 2 can be found here: http://www.overthinkingit.com/2011/06/01/overview-ghostbusters-2/ and features acclaimed composer Bear McCreary. Just in case you’re interested!
The idea that it is “artsy liberal intellectuals” who have invited this threat into our society is an interesting one, communism or not. There could be a legitimate question as to whether ooze, as a substance and as a metaphor, better depicts trends towards Communism or towards Fascism within popular culture? But that might be pushing it (praise Lord Smooze, regardless).
I’m sure it’ll be on the next Open Thread as a legitimate topic of discussion, but Oscar noms went out. Ahem.