by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Orange Is the New Black is back and it’s better than I imagined. The Netflix
series centered on a women’s prison premiered its second season Friday and,
despite my earnest intentions to pace myself, I couldn’t help but get through
12 of the 13 episodes (Thanks a lot, autoplay). One of the
striking differences this season is the fact that this is no longer The Piper
Show. Yes, our blonde convict is still a major player, the thread throughout
the series. But as Piper becomes more acclimated to prison life, she begins to
share much more in common with her fellow prisoners, and we get a look into
those women’s backstories — in such a fulfilling way. If you weren’t already
invested in Red, Poussey, Morello and the other inmates, you will be after
learning the very different and often surprising reasons they ended up in
Litchfield. As for Piper, she’s hardened (perfectly if not cheesily represented
by her selection of a 40 over a bottle of champagne on a night out during her
furlough)— but not to the point where last season’s character is
unrecognizable. If anything, the shift makes her more likable. For now, I’m
holding off on the finale. I don’t want it to end!
Photographer Jeff Friesen has shot series of fun images using LEGOs for what’s
culminated in an upcoming book, The
United States of LEGO, available this September. In the series, each state
is depicted in a scene full of colorful bricks and plastic yellow people (See Ohio here). Another, titled “Bricksy,” uses the popular toy to recreate various Banksy
Poet and thespian of our
generation James Franco basically recounted Lindsay Lohan’s pursuit of him for Vice’s Fiction Issue. This “work of
creative writing” that I’m just going to assume is completely
true claims LiLo shamelessly came after Franco while they were both staying at
Beverly Hills’ Chateau Marmont. In the end, she settled for a bedtime story
reading of A Perfect Day for a Bananafish.
I’m not sure which part
crushes my childhood memories the most: The fact that the Parent Trap ginge has
fully blossomed into a desperate trash monster; or that Daniel Desario is
actually a pseudo-intellectual douche/tattletale; or that I now have to burn my
entire Salinger collection.
Nicolas Cage may have done
his share of shitastic films in recent years, but you have to hand it to him:
dude has a sense of humor about himself. This fact was illustrated recently in
a photo of Cage, at a Guns N’ Roses concert with Andrew Dice Clay, dressed to
the nines in a T-shirt with his meme-face on it.
Anyone remember Clone High?
The MTV toon depicted a
high school for clones of historical figures throughout time, was weirdly
hilarious and, thus, was cancelled after one season in 2003. The creators, Phil
Lord and Chris Miller, have since put out a successful string of productions: 21 Jump Street (and its sequel, 22 Jump Street, in theaters tomorrow), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie. They talked recently of
revisiting Clone High as either a
show or movie — read more here.
Lil' Kim welcomed a baby
girl this week, Lil' Lil' Kim. Sorry. But seriously, Blue Ivy, North West,
Jermajesty, all y’all epic-named babies watch out. Royal Reign is in the house.
In things that are making me feel feelings this week: the Dumb and Dumber To trailer.
Disney bastardizes a classic
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage tap into the legacy of one of the most celebrated animated films of all time ('Fantasia') and end up bastardizing it with a live-action reconfiguration set in this vice-free version of New York City, which is missing its living warts and wonders. Grade: C-.
Excellent pulp adaptation turns teenage Everyman into superhero
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 13, 2010
When Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) asks why no one has ever tried to be a real-life superhero, the question initially sounds like the fantasies of a comic-book geek a few years away from accepting the realities of life as we all know it. Director Matthew Vaughn and his actors seamlessly stitch together the disparate fabrics of pulp and an almost John Hughes-like weave of teenage drama. The real standout is Nicolas Cage. Grade: A.
Nicolas Cage deliriously over the top as drug-addled homicide detective
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 2, 2010
German wild-man Werner Herzog blissfully resurrects old-school Nicolas Cage in this hilarious, noir-infested tale about a drug-addled homicide detective whose disintegration (both moral and physical) coincides with that of his hurricane-ravaged hometown. Cage hasn't been this deliriously over the top since 'Wild at Heart.' Grade: A-.
Anime kids classic translates poorly to screen
0 Comments · Friday, October 23, 2009
Sometime in the future, the lucky humans of Metro City live in a floating paradise above the post-apocalyptic surface of the Earth, slaved over by armies of sentient, emotional robots who present happily subservient faces while grumbling to themselves about how they "hate" their jobs. I'm not familiar with the 1960s Japanese cartoon that's the basis for this American retread, but I'm guessing it wasn’t this icky. Grade: D.
Jerry Bruckheimer-produced 3-D adventure is an uninspired dud
0 Comments · Friday, July 24, 2009
'G-Force' strains the Jerry Bruckheimer brand model past the breaking point by creating a kid's film with no real kids, using the animals as stand-ins, I suppose, but there's nothing particularly kid-friendly about them. Nor, to be brutally honest, is there anything engaging about them on a pop-cultural level for adults. Grade: D.
Nic Cage emotes admirably in reasonably effective sci-fi thriller
0 Comments · Friday, March 20, 2009
John Koestler (Nicolas Cage) is an astrophysicist still reeling from the accidental death of his wife a year earlier; he's left to care for his young son. The plot shifts into gear when John eyes a paper marked with a series of numbers that, when encoded, predicts the dates and death tolls of every major disaster of the last 50 years. Grade: B-.