DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.
Jersey Shore Massacre Trailer
BK: Oh Syvo. When you said you had something ‘special’ to lead off the Digest this week, I never could have imagined it would be quite so… Jersey.
But here we are! This is apparently a real thing that is actually happening. The sheer force of JWOWW’s spray-tanned will has created this monster (it has an IMDB page and everything), and you for one couldn’t be happier. I imagine the box-office numbers will be bolstered by masses of muscley-ass bros on break from tanning, drinking “health vodka,” and fist-pumping, as well as the the multiple viewings of the Polizzi family. And no doubt we’ll have extensive coverage for you right here on syvology.com!
On a serious note, I will see this with you.
syvo: It’s as if the creators peered directly into my soul, saw infinite truth and beauty, and decided to share it with the world. May the lord bless the faceless loser that conceived of and executed this project.
Drake – 0-100/The Catch Up
BK: The latest track from Drake continues his pattern of releasing excellent songs immediately prior to dropping a new album. Previously we’ve seen ‘Girls Love Beyonce,’ ‘5am in Toronto’ and even more recently ‘Draft Day’ come out and build anticipation for an upcoming release. The albums have inevitably been great, but since Thank Me Later there has been something almost too polished and calculated about his releases. It’s well known that Drake wants to be a billionaire, but I’m hopeful that he’ll ease off the money pedal and focus on creating great music. This is a good start.
syvo: Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. This is some serious Drake. This is what I’m talking about. My only question is, why are his albums never half as good as the ostensible throwaway tracks that trickle out in promotion, but never make the album? Why can’t a Drake album just sound like this? The only answer I can imagine is that he makes these tracks for us, but the albums are just his. I can appreciate that distinction, but wouldn’t it make more sense the other way around?
Jack White – Lazaretto
BK: I’m a sucker for Jack White. He’s one of the few rockstars left and he owns that title with every album, song, and collaboration. This is the first single off his new album of the same name, and it is another great entry into the Jack White/White Stripes canon. The video reminds me a little of Korn’s Freak on a Leash (I know, once you see it that’s all you can think about), and the song is amazing. He has a strong guitar solo and the video is interesting enough to watch all the way through, which isn’t always the case with rock music videos.
Now if only he and Meg White would get back together… Someday.
Mortal Kombat X trailer
BK: Over the past few years I have been severely disappointed by the video game industry. Aside from FIFA 14 and GTA 5, there are very few games that make me stand (sit, fatly) up and take notice. Mortal Kombat will always be a game that gets my attention, and for good reason. Though the title has been in development for over 20 years, they still manage to create a fun, immersive and violent universe.
Even though we have to wait until 2015 for this game, it should be worth it. Until then, I’ll need to focus on FIFA anyway so I can try and understand the World Cup.
syvo: I’ve all but lost touch with the video game world, mostly because I don’t like first person shooters and that’s all anyone seems to really play anymore. But the one major exception is fighting games. There are few things I enjoy more than fighting games. It is, perhaps, not quite the aesthetic pinnacle of the video game art form; indeed, it may be the lowest form of video game on an intellectual and ethical level. Fighting games are pure de-narrativized violence, utterly lacking in redeeming social, literary, or artistic value.
Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to come up with a clever/pretentious liberal arts theory on why they’re OK for human beings to consume. Instead, I’ll keep it simple: fighting games kick more ass than any other type of video game, and Mortal Kombat is unquestionably the most elite example out there. I can’t wait for this game.
Are You Here trailer
BK: You had me at ‘From Writer and Director Matthew Weiner’. I realize that his first foray into movies could be disastrous, especially given the pressure and expectation that comes after creating a series like Mad Men (the best show of all-time, without a doubt or any room for debate), but I am confident in this film and it’s success.
The cast is great. Amy Poehler is awesome, Owen Wilson is sorely under appreciated (you make one too many terrible movies with Vince Vaughn and there you are), and Zach Galifianakis does his thing. I think this movie will be a sleeper hit, and I can’t wait to see it.
syvo: This is intriguing. While the “heart-warming comedy about friendship and family” vehicle is a peculiar first choice for Weiner as he transitions from more serious and nuanced work in TV to mainstream cinema, I totally agree that his involvement warrants our automatic interest. The cast looks good, but for me Galifianakis is usually a deal-breaker. I’m willing to tolerate his boring, repetitive, one-note mode of comedic acting for this, but it better be good.
DOPE Digest Throwback: Michelle Branch – Everywhere
syvo: This was totally the song I made fun of my middle school friends for liking, while secretly loving every note and lyric. Sorry Sara Bareilles, sorry Vanessa Carlton, you’ll never fill these shoes.
BK: I feel like loving this song goes without saying. When I pass someone in the street and we catch eyes for a moment, and I can usually assume that they are listening to Michelle Branch on loop just like I am (or maybe that person just thinks I am a creep. Whatever).
This song came out a whopping 12 years ago, but it has definitely gotten better with time (and it was GREAT in its prime). As soon as you hear that signature riff and those nasally vocals… well, Happy Friday to me and you both.