Category Archives: Entertainment

Stunningly restored color footage of Germany in 1945 right after WWII

It’s hard to imagine what the world was like during World War II. Of course, we’ve read it all in history books and and we’ve seen movies and TV shows showing what life was like, but it’s just far enough back in time and just painful and shocking enough that it’s hard to fully understand how life worked back then.

And though we’ll never fully understand how we let the events preceding the war and during it happen, here’s a glimpse of life in 1945 in a way we can maybe understand. Restored in 1080p HD and in color, this is footage showing what daily life in Berlin was like in July of 1945 after the war. The detail is incredible.

Produced by Kronos Media and featuring archival material, here’s what we’re seeing:

Pictures from the destroyed city, the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, Adlon, Führerbunker, Unter den Linden, rubble women working in the streets, the tram is running again.


Hands-on: Apple’s all-new Music app in iOS 8.4

With the release of the first developer beta of iOS 8.4 this evening, Apple gave us the first look at the oft-rumored redesign of the Music app. With the expected announcement of Apple’s streaming music service happening in June, the Music app redesign has been expected for several months now. The newly introduced Music app offers a handful of new features in the first beta of iOS 8.4, as well as a redesigned interface that’s similar to iTunes on the Mac. Let’s take a brief look…

When you first open the new Music app you’ll quickly notice that the standard tabbed interface has been changed dramatically. Along the bottom of the app are now three tabs for “My Music,” “Playlists,” and “Radio.” You can swipe left and right to navigate between the interfaces. The “My Music” interface shows your recently added music along the top, similar to the recently added section in iTunes on the Mac. Unfortunately, however, you only see the three most recent items added. The interface makes it look like you should be able to scroll horizontally to view more, but you can’t as of beta 1. Although, there is a “more” button that allows to view additional recently added content in the upper right corner.

Below the “Recently Added” section is all of your music, whether it is stored locally on your device or in the cloud. By default, the music is broken up by artist, although there is an arrow you can tap to choose to sort by artists, albums, songs, music videos, genres, composers, or complications. If you click the three dots next to a selection, you have the ability to play it next, add it to Up Next, make it available offline, and delete it. Gone is the ability to swipe left to delete a song and gone is the cloud icon that used to allow you to download a song. You now have to click the three dots to perform either of those tasks.

One of my favorite features in the iOS 8.4 Music app is the ability to manage your queue of songs. Apple has offered this in iTunes on the Mac for a while now, but never on iOS. With iOS 8.4, however, you can now choose to play a song next, or add it to your full queue. Spotify and other music apps offer features similar to this, so it’s nice to see Apple finally catching on.

Tapping on an artist from the artists page will bring you to all of the content you own by that specific musician. With a hero image at the top that fades to be the color the top menu bar as you scroll down, it’s a really pleasing interface. It can get a bit overwhelming if you have a lot of content by a single artist, but no more so than the original iOS 8 music player did.

No matter where you go in the new Music app, you’ll always see a playback bar at the bottom the interface with the ability to play or pause a song. Swiping up on the menu bar will pull up the newly designed player user interface.

The player interface itself in iOS 8.4 has been dramatically overhauled. The album artwork takes up roughly half of the interface, while the controls take up the other portion. Along the bottom of the interface are options for shuffling, repeating, viewing your queue, deleting the track, and downloading the track. The bottom portion of the interface is somewhat translucent with the shade adjusting depending on the color of the album to which you’re listening. To get out of the player interface, you can either click the down air in the upper right corner or swipe down on the album artwork.  Overall, I like the new player interface and how spread out it is compared to the original iOS 8 Music app.

Moving to the Playlists interface you’ll see another recently added section at the top for your recently modified or created playlists. Below that is a list of all your playlists with the ability to edit and delete them, as well as create new ones. The Playlists interface is somewhat bland at this point, with there being no options to sort or order them. Although it’s important to keep in mind that this is the first beta of the app, so Apple can and will adjust things as time progresses.

Finally, the Radio tab shows your recently three most recently played stations along the top. Below your recently played stations are the featured stations from Apple, with more featured stations broken down my genre visible below that. As of beta 1, there doesn’t appear to be any way to view your saved iTunes Radio stations. Instead, you rely solely on your recently played stations and search to find content other than what is featured by Apple.

The iTunes Radio interface almost feels cramped with the iOS 8.4 Music app. The album artwork for stations is so large and pushed together that it’s somewhat cluttered. Also, Apple needs to add back the ability to save iTunes Radio stations. It’s a pain to have to search every time you want to find a station to listen to. Also gone is the “info” screen that allowed you to tune stations and choose between clean and explicit versions of tracks. Again, this is a beta so things can and will change.

Overall, the Music interface Apple has previewed with the first developer beta of iOS 8.4 is promising. Its similarity to iTunes on the Mac will make it familiar to many users. There are still some areas in which Apple needs to improve it, however, and that’s to be expected with a beta. Some of the buttons are awkwardly small, while the iTunes Radio interface is cluttered and unintuitive. Nevertheless, I’m a fan of the overall design direction Apple has taken the Music app and I think, especially when coupled with a streaming music service, it will be unmatched by its rivals. More images below:

We made bank running an indie BDSM dungeon

Elizabeth Sanchez

In the latest installment of Hopes&Fears anonymous interview series, we spoke with a couple who ran a homegrown S&M operation out of their apartment. For anonymity purposes, the girlfriend will simply be known as Dominatrix and the boyfriend as Master P.

DOMINATRIX: I come from a very Catholic background. My cousin once put up photos of herself wearing a mini skirt in London and my mom assumed she was an escort. It’s like, are you serious? This is how people dress. It’s ridiculous. She’s very conservative. I still feel like in many ways I’m trapped in her past.

The squat
I got into the S&M scene before Master P. I got into it ten years ago, pretty much paying my way through college. I’d been living on my own since I was 17, and I couldn’t really hold a minimum wage job and still afford to live.

A friend and I were in Long Island City at the time, living in an illegal apartment. The landlord was absent. It was an unofficial squat but we still needed money to live. We had power and water, somehow we were on the grid, yet things weren’t official. My theory is that the people who lived there before us hooked it all up. Apparently, it was a family of vagabond gypsies. When they found out they were getting evicted, they got super spiteful and plugged up all the drains with doll heads.

One day, the place flooded really bad and we were buried in three feet of water. We realized these conditions were just too fucked up but decided to make the most of it because we couldn’t afford anything better. We decided to throw crazy parties and trash the place and to then have a slave come in and pay us to clean up after us. Then, you know, pay us for other stuff as well.

We wondered if this was possible. It turned out to be completely possible. One post on Craigslist and we were flooded with a million responses from a million guys named Mark Smith. They all used pseudonyms. Everything fell into place.

When we first started off, we didn’t have any of the equipment. We had a few corsets but we decided to make the most of what little we had. We would have them strip down completely naked and wear women’s underwear. We would have them get down on the floor and clean the entire place in a thong and take out the garbage. The neighbors eventually began watching this from their fire escape.

We made money from the parties, but not nearly as much as we were making from the dom sessions. We would charge $200 an hour. We would eventually bring it up to $300 and ask them to buy us stuff.
We quickly established rules. They weren’t allowed to make eye contact with us. They constantly had to keep their eyes to the floor. If they even looked up they would have to go to the backyard, take a twig and we would punish them.
We made bank running an indie BDSM dungeon. Изображение №2.

A dungeon versus
your apartment
After the whole squat thing, I worked at a dungeon. That was wonderful because even though you are working for someone else, you have protection. You have more at your disposal. You have all the little fantasy rooms to work with. You have a lot more control. The clientele was completely up to us and our comfort level. It’s not sketchy at all. I think it’s actually a very sterile scene to be honest. If you’re doing this in dungeons, it’s very controlled. You’re not allowed to draw blood. Full on nudity is not allowed because that would enter the realms of prostitution. When you’re doing it at home on your own, it does get crazier. I had guys who came to me with knives and wanted to get stabbed. Or they would ask me to stab them with a fucking skewer. That one was actually a professor at the college I went to. I just avoided that department from then on. I never went by the geology department or rock class after that.

MASTER P: In those situations, I would actually hang around in our bedroom and she would use the kitchen.

DOMINATRIX: And the other way around, if Master P had clients that were only into being dominated by a dude. I would just sit in the bedroom with a weapon, just in case I needed to run out. We would never be in the house alone.
Bringing in Master P
MASTER P: When we first started dating, Dominatrix had told me the stories, but it wasn’t a confessional. It was just hilarious and private. Growing up in New York City, half of my friends had worked at dungeons and related places over the years. All of the places were in Midtown. I had a friend who by the end of high school was already working at Nutcracker. She would be at my doorstep at 7 in the morning and my parents would make her coffee. She would have thousands of dollars on her and usually some Ketamine. Now she’s married with kids.

DOMINATRIX: We quickly established rules. They weren’t allowed to make eye contact with us. They constantly had to keep their eyes to the floor. If they even looked up they would have to go to the backyard, take a twig and we would punish them.

MASTER P: The most fun thing about that whole job was finding weird creative ways to hurt people. It’s a lot more fun if you improvise.

DOMINATRIX: We acted very quaint. I felt that was part of our charm, sort of like the aunt next door that abuses you.

It was easy to weed sketchy guys out through email. At first, it was the guys that sent the dick pics that immediatly raised red flags. But eventually, you learn to pick up things just from the tone of their email. The truly submissive, those who are truly into the S&M thing, will approach you with a sense of respect. And there would never be a paper trail.

MASTER P: This one guy would write me a check for $400, but he’d write the check out to “Cash.”

DOMINATRIX: I would have them all pay up front. We wouldn’t call it a payment though, we would call it a donation to the goddesses or a tribute.

DOMINATRIX: A lot of these guys are just really lonely and this was sort of a way of making a connection. We wouldn’t hear from some of them for months after a session but would later get a message asking, “Maybe we can meet up for coffee or sometime?” It’s clearly coming out of loneliness.

MASTER P: We never had a woman.

DOMINATRIX: We almost did once, but I don’t think she was willing to pay. There were a lot of hasidic men.

MASTER P: Nearly half of our clients were hasidic. Contractors.


MASTER P: We would advertise for ATM slaves which would mean literally their job was to go with us to an ATM and take all your money out. Those people exist. It’s like, if you find that unicorn, you ride that unicorn. We found people that had a lot of money. They literally got us through school.

DOMINATRIX: Master P was especially good at getting people to buy us stuff.

MASTER P: I decided I wanted some nice electronics. He was a middle aged social worker. The subject matter was heavy for him, so the S&M was a way to get out of it. I’ve never been really about tech but I told him to get me a Blackberry, an iPod touch, and a Macbook. The guy showed up two days later at my door with all three. The only thing this guy wanted to do was massage my feet and talk about literature. It wasn’t bad at all. I would smoke a joint and maybe listen to NPR.

Eventually, we actually had to cut him off because I felt like he was falling in love with me. I think a lot of people have their own sort of Pretty Woman fantasy.
We made bank running an indie BDSM dungeon. Изображение №4.
DOMINATRIX: I had this one guy who pretty much paid me to break his leg. I couldn’t do it. It’s really difficult to shatter a leg with a mallet. He was a high end lawyer so I went to his condo with a mallet in my bag. His whole thing was to get put in a cast. That was what he got off on. I never ended up shattering his leg. I was going into a frenzy trying to shatter a fucking bone. After an hour, it just ended up being super bruised and swollen, but he casted himself up anyway because that was kind of the whole point.

DOMINATRIX: We did have this one dude that wanted to take it to this crazy psychological realm where he wanted us to dress all in black, like nuns.

MASTER P: He also wanted one of us in a military hat.

DOMINATRIX: A lot of them would tell me stories about their fucked up childhoods. This one dude was into being kidnapped. So he would come over as a delivery boy with lunch or whatever. We would take the lunch from him, trip him, kidnap him, tie him up. It got weird once they decided to share their lives with us, why he thinks he’s into this. This guy said friends would kidnap him as a child and dress him in women’s clothing and parade him around the neighborhood.

MASTER P: We’d hear a lot of fucked up stuff.

DOMINATRIX: In their personal or professional lives, a lot of these men are very dominant because a lot of them happen to be very wealthy. Since they are in positions of power, the S&M may be a balancing act for them. They need to exercise both sides, that’s important especially when you have the money.

There are a lot of people that are into the controlling parent situation, especially that one guy who was really into the whole military uniform thing. He was into one of us tormenting him while the other comforted him and told him that everything’s okay. It gets into this weird sort of very classic Eastern European childhood scenario. One parent torments you while the other one tells you you’re not allowed to go anywhere because everything will be fine. There’s an afterlife, there’s no need to flee.

These sessions would usually last from 45 minutes to a couple of hours. The guy who was into getting kidnapped, I would tie him up and leave him in the bathroom for hours. You know, go outside, come back, live my life, do my homework.

MASTER P: If they are doing your laundry, it’s gonna be three hours. They would do the dishes, clean our tiles with a toothbrush. A lot of things would get cleaned with toothbrushes. But here’s the thing; a lot of these guys would do a shitty job cleaning because they want to be punished. So you really need to make sure they actually clean things properly, otherwise you have to clean after them. So you would get people who would literally leave a glass dirty while they’re doing dishes so you punish them. If I was going to be doing something for three hours, for an hour I’d put them on their hands and knees and use them as a footstool. If I needed to ash my cigarette, I’d have them put out their hand for me.

DOMINATRIX: We used to have poker nights where we would have a few slaves come over and serve us as foot stools, or pour us glasses of wine.

MASTER P: We would play violin music. You either have really powerful gay men or a lot of sad sacks. I think you had more high power people.

DOMINATRIX: No, I definitely had a nice sampling of both.

MASTER P: When you work for tips, you’re smiling at people you can’t stand. So I feel like in these kinds of situations when you’re playing a part that this person’s paying you for, they are definitely attracted to you if you’re doing a good job. You’re giving them something that no one else is, so you become very special. I found that once people start pathologizing themselves to you, they’ll never turn back. The second they try to explain themselves to you, that says that they’ve gotten to a point where they actually see you as a person who they need to justify themselves to, and the whole power dynamic is gone.

DOMINATRIX: Or they take a break for a year or two and then text you out of the blue at 2 in the morning.

MASTER P: I got a Facebook friend request from one guy a year ago. He must have searched my phone number or something. I don’t even remember him as a client.
We would advertise for ATM slaves which would mean literally their job was to go with us to an ATM and take all your money out. Those people exist. It’s like, if you find that unicorn, you ride that unicorn.

We made bank running an indie BDSM dungeon. Изображение №5.

The Hungarian
MASTER P: I had one guy who bruised his hip in our shower. He had a weird Hungarian accent. He was 70 years old, a bachelor, and every night he was into some kind of weird sex thing. When he came to our place, neither of us liked him. The next day, he sent me an email saying how he bruised his hip in our shower.

DOMINATRIX: I just didn’t know what to make of it. Are you trying to file a lawsuit or something?

MASTER P: I responded that it’s not our responsibility. He’s like, “You know the reason I’m writing is that when I went to the doctor to get it looked at, he told me it turns out that I have high cholesterol, so thank you very much.”

MASTER P: What was this man doing in my shower? I was peeing on him. It’s the easiest thing in the world, especially if you have a caffeinated existence. You don’t need to buy any equipment. You just need to shower, which most of us have. You don’t do it outside of the shower. That was a huge part of my repertoire.

DOMINATRIX: And you were really one of the few people to do it. That’s a line that a lot of people won’t cross.

London banker
MASTER P: I had this guy. He was British, a proper London banker type. He was really into shoes. He sends me an email he’s like, “First thing, listen, I know we will be able to work together if you open the door and immediately kick me in the balls.” Like, if before I’m even in your apartment, you kick me in the balls as hard as you can. And I’m like “okay.” So he gets there, opens the door, and I swiftly kick him in the balls. He says “thank you,” and comes inside and immediately assumes a force stance. I kick him in the balls for a good 30 minutes and I take him to the bathroom, tell him to strip and lie down in the shower, and I direct the cold water directly onto the balls where I had been kicking him. Then he says, “Please sir, please sir, where are your shoes?” So I take off one of my shoes and put it on his mouth and leave. When I come back five minutes later he hasn’t even moved. He asks, “Can you kick me some more?” So I kicked him for another five minutes and then I went, “I’m bored, pay me.” So he gets his wallet, pays me, assumes the position, I kick him again and he goes back to London. He took a lot of abuse in a very short amount of time. I mean, I could’ve caused him permanent damage, you know? That was towards the end, that was when I got good at that stuff. I knew what I was doing, and that kind of freaked me out, that level of sadism. I used to be a hippie, I’m not trying to be that sadistic. The cold water, I mean, I pretty much sat and smoked a cigarette.
You’re giving them something that no one else is, so you become very special. I found that once people start pathologizing themselves to you, they’ll never turn back.

Velvet Cigars
MASTER P: You know Velvet Cigars on Christopher Street? The proprietor of that place was legendary to everyone who went high school in the city. You would go there and whip your dick out and get two packs of cigarettes. We had a friend who was kind of like his casting agent, and he would just go around and be like, “Hey, if you need cigarettes, money, come to Velvet Cigars.” Also, he would give you $300 for a hug, it was pretty great. It was a gyrating hug.

We were all sitting around reading Tim Carroll’s memoirs and we were making money that way. I remember there was still one guy in the Village who walked up to me and a friend of mine—we were 14—and offered us $100 each to spit in his mouth. It just happens, you know?

I used to know a lot of crusty kids who were always selling themselves to somebody in some way. There’s a cool kind of industry. Our friend used to mail his socks to this one guy in Indiana. My friend was into the train hopping thing, and wherever he was in the country he would just mail the socks he had been wearing for a couple months to this guy and would request a couple hundred bucks.

DOMINATRIX: I stopped after a guy wanted to be comforted after the beatings. I was not willing to hug him. Hugs are for certain types of people. It wasn’t even the fact that he wanted a hug, but, it was when he tried to reason with us. When we first said “no,” his reaction was like, “Maybe we can all sit down and talk about this, maybe we can talk about why we’re uncomfortable in the first place, I feel like that’s a very interesting path for us to go down.” And I was like “Yeah, I don’t think so, this is just to make money not for, like, delving into our souls.”

MASTER P: It can be fun but sometimes it’s just pathetic. You’re dealing with all these really sad people. Eventually, I found another job that just seemed like less trouble.

We made bank running an indie BDSM dungeon. Изображение №6.

The Payoff
It paid for a great vacation to Jamaica. We also developed a really bad cocaine habit because of how much money we were making, but eventually that got sorted out.

Most of the people who work in the professional realm have PhDs and stuff. I met a woman who works as a dominatrix who has her PhD in Women’s Studies. She has no problem saying, “I’m a dominatrix.”

You can either sell drugs and risk your livelihood or you could do this. There’s only a few things you could do for that much money while you’re still in school. It basically enabled me to do internships that I would never have been able to do otherwise. No one was giving me any subsidies. But with S&M, I got to do awesome internships with amazing organizations.

DOMINATRIX: It allowed me to paint and put together a few art shows. Imagine working an eight to nine hour day at a diner making $50 a day six days a week and not having time for anything for anything else.

Art is in many ways a luxury, especially the practice of it. You can’t do it if you’re starving. I don’t believe in starving artists. Part of being an artist is finding a way to feed yourself to survive, so that you’re not constantly seeking the basics.

DOMINATRIX: It was fun, and I just love that we got to go to Jamaica for two weeks and fuck around, smoking weed and renting jet skis.

MASTER P: What we did was very successful. What made me stop was that it was almost kind of getting too successful. Everybody knew my name. Strangers were calling me.

DOMINATRIX: I’ve suppressed a lot of these memories but not even out of shame or anything, just to move on with life. It can be a huge distraction like, “Why don’t I just keep doing this,” but yeah, it definitely helped me through my apprenticeship. Sometimes, I think about doing it occasionally or something, you know Airbnb-ing our apartment and renting a hotel for a couple of days. Or renting a cabin in the adirondacks and making it its own dungeon.
I couldn’t do it. It’s really difficult to shatter a leg with a mallet.

Impossible Rube Goldberg machine cleverly breaks the concept of reality


Impossible Rube Goldberg machine cleverly breaks the concept of reality

When you live in the carefully edited Vine world of magic and wizardry and spells and sorcery, you can make anything happen. Zach King is the master of flipping the construct of reality on its head and transforming things into something entirely different. Take this Rube Goldberg machine that starts out normally and then gets weird right before your eyes.

Easter eggs become hopping toy chicks, Red Bull becomes connect four pieces, Rubik’s cubes can break down into individual pieces and more. If you blink anytime during the video of King’s fanciful Rube Goldberg machine below, you’ll miss all the fun.

This Man is a Vine Wizard

This Vine compilation video of magic tricks and sorcery is so much fun

Zach King, the magic wizard of Vine. He’ll snatch cats out of computer screens, turn Rubik’s Cubes into candy, fly through beds and doors, jump out of his clothes, magically change colors of any object and more. It’s the most entertaining use of the 6 second medium because it’s just short enough to make me feel like magic can be real.

The time limitation is perfect because King quickly sets up and executes a simple trick on you and then moves onto a completely different one before you can question what just happened. It’s mindless fun.

This Vine compilation video of magic tricks and sorcery is so much fun

This Vine compilation video of magic tricks and sorcery is so much fun

Pacapong: An Insane Game Mashup

Do you love retro video games, but find them too easy to play after all these years? Maybe if you played them all at the same time, it would be more challenging. That’s what Pacapong does: it combines Pac-Man, Pong, and Space Invaders into one game that will put your concentration and dexterity to the test.

To increase your score-bar in Pacapong you simply collect as many pills as possible within the time limit.  Once fired your Pacman can be controlled to a small degree, but will always be inclined to heading towards your opponents side.  To make things a little trickier (and more awesome) you also have to contend with ghosts, hit them and you’ll lose a chunk of your score bar (unless you pick up a power pill).  To make things yet even more trickier (and indeed more awesome), you also have to contend with Space Invaders who descend your side of the screen whenever your opponent collects them – with some careful manoeuvring you can even shoot them with the pills you collect with Pacman.

It seems insanely complicated to me, but I still find those old games challenging individually. You can see a video of gameplay at YouTube. Pacapong is a free download. -via Unreality

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

Charlie Jane Anders

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

We constantly get our hopes up for upcoming movies… and then they let us down. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype cycle, as people talk up their projects — but sometimes, you can tell just from the way people talk about a film that it’s probably not going to work. Here are eight key phrases that usually indicate danger.

Note: We’re being very careful to use the word “usually” here, because any of these things could apply to a handful of great movies as well. But these are things that, when I hear them, usually set my Spidey-sense tingling. For more early warning signs, check out our list of ways to tell from a movie trailer that it’s going to be awful.

So when we’re in a junket, or obsessively combing through every interview about a movie for scraps to put into Morning Spoilers, here are the things that we hear that make us worry:

1) “We realized that nobody had ever told the origin of ____”

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

This is a huge one. People say this a lot about prequels — or origin stories of longstanding characters who have appeared in multiple forms over the years, but never had their origin story told. For example, they said this a lot about Oz The Great and Powerful: Why does L. Frank Baum never go into detail about the origins of the Wizard of Oz in his books? The Wizard’s origin is discussed in a paragraph or two, here and there, but never really gone into. Ditto for how Kirk and Spock first met, in Star Trek. And a ton of others — I feel like every few weeks, there’s another project where the producer or screenwriter is saying the origin story is the great unexplored territory. Often, they say this about projects that never get off the ground, maybe because they eventually realize the origin story isn’t as interesting as they thought. And the fact is, usually the origin story was left unexplored for a reason — some characters just don’t need origin stories.

2) “It’s our Star Wars” (For things that are nothing like Star Wars)

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

Let’s get this out of the way right up front — Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also said this about his movie, which did actually rule. But when people say “this is my Star Wars,” they usually aren’t comparing any of the actual elements of Star Wars to anything in their movie. They’re meaning “this will be a huge expansive saga with cuteness and danger,” or else, “This was something where I obsessed about the crunchy edges of the mythos for way too long.” For example, Last Airbender writer/director M. Night Shyamalan made a big point of comparing his movie to Star Wars in every interview, but the resulting film did a disservice to both the original cartoon and Star Wars. Also, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem writer/directors the Strause Brothers invoked the Star Wars comparison a lot. The point is not that people shouldn’t invoke Star Wars — it’s just a bad sign when you invoke it for stuff that’s really nothing like Star Wars.

3) “It’s not a remake. We’re putting our own spin on the concept of ____”

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

See Total Recall, RoboCop, Death Race, a few other things. (Plus the upcoming Terminator Genisys, sad to say.) When people who are taking on a beloved old property and refurbishing it for the 21st century keep insisting that they’re not simply doing a new version of the original, sometimes they mean it. And Death Race is a perfect example — it contains almost nothing of the Roger Corman film, except for cars and the Frankenstein mask. (And I kind of liked Death Race for what it was, but it’s not really in the same league as Death Race 2000. Ditto forRoboCop.) I guess when people seem like they’re trying to have it both ways — invoking a classic thing, while also saying they’re not doing that thing — then that’s usually a big flashy light of warning.

4) Any phrase that includes “service” as verb.

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

I freely admit that this is just one of my pet peeves, like the word “franchise.” People in the movie business use the word “service” as a verb quite a bit, and it brings to mind the image of grease-covered truck-stop-bathroom shenanigans. They talk about “servicing the mythos” or “servicing the characters,” or “servicing the story” — and basically this means “giving screen time to.” But in a way that implies that what’s being serviced is one element of a big box of toys, along with the VFX and the explosions and whatnot — and it also often means that something is being given screentime, rather than actual development.

5) We had no idea what we were reacting to on these green-screens

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

Channing Tatum’s interviews about G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, from before the movie came out, are pretty hilarious to read now. Tatum talks a lot about how he had to get over his fear of overacting, and stop taking the movie so seriously, at the insistence of Dennis Quaid and director Stephen Sommers. But most tellingly, Tatum talked a lot about how he had no idea what he was doing in any given scene, and none of it made sense to him in the moment. He told Blastr:

I’m sitting there looking at a green screen like, “RIPCOOOORD! NOOOO!” Stuff like that, and you’re just like, “What am I doing?” Or you’re like, “You get the rockets, I’ll get the nanomites. Wait a minute, what are nanomites?” I don’t know what’s going on, but you’re just having fun with it.

To be fair, lots of actors talk about having to act against greenscreen and imagine that they’re looking at a dragon or a robot or whatever — but when that crosses over into “I don’t know what’s going on,” that’s frequently a bad sign. I feel like Jake Gyllenhaal said similar stuff in his interviews for Prince of Persia, and the actors in the Star Wars prequels were also somewhat befuddled. Update: Commenter Grok points out Ian McKellen actually cried on the set of The Hobbit due to excessive, bewildering greenscreen.

6) We do reference that in the film.

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

People say this in interviews if their movie is based on a thing that they’re actually not really including — the big example that comes to mind is Battleship. Director Peter Berg was forced to spend every interview discussing how they were really going to work in references to the board game in the movie, even though the movie was largely nothing to do with the board game. To a lesser extent, this came up with Watchmen as well — Zack Snyder tied himself in knots explaining how “the squid” from the comic was still in his movie. (Because the anagram S.Q.U.I.D. was used for something.) Your mileage may vary — a lot of people felt Watchmenworked better without the squid, but I actually felt the ending was flat without something that over-the-top. But in general, when people are forced to explain in interviews how they nod to something that was a core element of what they’re adapting, that’s often a bad, bad sign. (And I feel like I hear this a lot, beyond these two examples.)

7) We had to go back and fix the tone.

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

OK I have to confess — I got sucked into spending a couple hours last night reading all the interviews that people did about the Jonah Hex movie, which are the purest distillation of “we already know this movie is a disaster, but we still have to sit here promoting it” that I’ve ever seen. And one of the things that comes up a lot in the Hex interviews is the question of the reshoots that happened, with Francis Lawrence reportedly stepping in to direct some new material. Everyone involved points out — correctly — that reshoots don’t necessarily mean a movie is in trouble. (They really don’t. Every Marvel movie has had reshoots.) But then they explain that the tone of the movie was wrong, and it needed to be made less comedic. And THAT actually is a huge warning sign. Michael Bay similarly said that last year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles needed huge reshoots because the tone was wrong, although he said this after the fact:

I’m texting Drew. Then he goes to the bathroom. I go to the bathroom. He’s at the urinal and [I say], “We are in so much f—ing trouble!” I write Paramount, “Guys, we have a serious problem. We need funny writers right now. Because the pipeline has to keep going.” We really had to get that tone right. It was dicey.

8) My character was changed a lot after I took the role

8 Things People Say In Interviews That Usually Mean A Movie Will Suck

The other thing I got from the Jonah Hex interviews was that Megan Fox kept saying that she did not sign on to play a “hooker with a heart of gold.” And whenever an actor admits that the role they ended up playing was really not the one they thought they were playing… that’s also a huge danger sign.

Timeline reveals how Mario games are connected.

Have you ever wondered if the events of Mario Party are connected to theSuper Mario Bros. game? Thought about how Yoshi’s Island may have led toWario Land? This video is for you. YouTube user Scorpigator Films has a new video (via Kotaku) which breaks down in mind-boggling detail exactly how every single game in the Mario universe is connected. It’s a must-watch for Nintendo fans, and it’ll definitely give you something to think about next time you pop in a Mario-themed game.

//","url":"","width":854,"height":480,"providerName":"YouTube","thumbnailUrl":"","resolvedBy":"youtube"}” data-block-type=”32″>

A blog about Technology, Video Games, Cars, Trends, that I almost forgot to tweet about

%d bloggers like this: