• 2023

  • Poor Things is an absurdist masterpiece

  • Steph Green at Inverse writes:

    In Victorian London (but not as we know it), the physically deformed scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) has lovingly — if irresponsibly — saved the life of a young woman who jumped off a bridge by transplanting the brain of her unborn baby into her own head and re-animating her (yep). He christens her Bella (Emma Stone) and sets to work accelerating her mental development to match her body with the help of Max McCandles (Ramy Youssef), a budding surgeon who comes to love this gleefully unfettered woman-child. Finding herself to be “a flawed, experimenting person” who is into masturbating in a big way, Bella decides that before she is married off to a life of relative imprisonment with Max and her father, she must see and explore the world, setting off for a sexual odyssey with debauched lawyer Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo, never more hysterically funny than this).

    Holy shit. Sign me up. Full disclosure, I absolutely hated The Lobster. But, I will always give Lanthimos the benefit of the doubt. His films are hard to love for obvious reasons, most notably, his cold and cruel worlds are full of stoicism and absurdity that is just relentless. However, Poor Things appears to have some levity and stylistic frivolity unseen in his previous works (I mean Dogtooth was just so unbelievably bleak). So, I’m a little excited for this one.

  • The Boy and the Heron – Official Trailer

  • The trailer’s description on YouTube reads:

    A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning. A semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death, and creation, in tribute to friendship, from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki.

    Seemingly ominous! It seems to have all the trappings and flow of a classic Miyazaki films. I’m excited for this one to drop. This couldn’t come any sooner. Looks like the US will see a theatrical release in December 8th.

  • Introducing NASA’s On-Demand Streaming Service, NASA+

  • From NASA’s beta website:

    Coming soon: our new ad-free, no cost, family-friendly streaming service unlocks our Emmy award-winning live coverage, embeds you into our missions through new original video series and puts the universe at your fingertips.

    Sign me up! 🚀

  • Danny Elfman Breaks Down His Most Iconic Tim Burton Scores

  • Danny Elfman is a musical genius. The man really needs no introduction. But, for those who are unaware, a small sampling of his talents includes: The Simpsons, Nightmare Before Christmas, several Tim Burton films, Mission Impossible, Spider-Man, MIB, hundreds of collaborators, and that’s just abridged resumé. Batman (1989) was a groundbreaking movie at the time, and the score is iconic to say the least.

    I saved an excerpt from his interview with GQ on the Batman score below because it’s simply amazing. Warner Bros. Studios wanted Elfman to collaborate with Prince to make a score for Batman. I don’t hate it, but it would have changed the movie in unimaginable ways I can’t even fathom:

    I’ve never done anything harder than Batman because first off, I had to prove myself. You know, it’s like, okay, he’s the quirky comedy guy, and here I am doing like this Batman movie. Understandably, I think they were like, “uh, we need somebody who knows how to do this kind of music.” But, nobody knew what kind of music it was. There really was no superhero music. There was just Superman. And, we said we know we don’t want it to be Superman — John Williams.

    And, then there was an element with the producer in the studio of wanting it to be a pop score. There was definitely this moment of like, “Danny, we want you to collaborate with Prince and co-write the score.” And I go, I can’t do that. People go, “you really said that?” I love Prince, but not for that score. I already knew what the score was, and I knew that if I collaborated, he’d be writing tunes, and I’d be orchestrating his tunes, and I would be essentially a glorified arranger rather than a composer, you know. Because he was world famous, and I was still nothing.

    I had to walk away. I was so depressed. I felt like I just blew up my own career. And then a month later I got the call saying, Danny, you’re back on. It’s like this gamble paid off. But, it was a miserable period of time. On the other hand, I already heard the music in my head. I knew what it was, and I was determined that that was gonna be the score. The producer was so hard on me, John Peters, and then [they’re finally] he’s in — I think it’s the third presentation. And, I didn’t know how to do presentations.

    I was playing this weird music stuff that was all like inspired, you know, crazy. And then Tim says, play the March, “play the March, play the march!”
    [That’s] what he called the titles. I go, “oh yeah, I got this piece here.” And of course, now I know, you lead with your headline, obviously. I didn’t really know, or understand that back then. And I put this piece of music on, and John starts conducting in his chair. And then at a certain point he stands up,
    and he’s going like this. [Danny waving his arms like a conductor] Tim looks at me and he’s like [Danny laughing], “yeah, we got it.”

  • The World’s Smelliest Fruit? Sohla and Ham Try Cooking With Durian

  • Another fantastic episode from NYT Cooking’s Mystery Menu with Sohla and Ham. I was pleasantly surprised that processing durian and cooking it, neutralizes the aromatics, but elevates savory flavors in dishes! Also surprised to see acid and durian making a great pairing. Also, Sohla has explored some variations on the kolar pitha before, but this durian kolar pitha looks so good!

  • Google might bring games to YouTube, but they’re doomed to fail

  • Jacob Siegal for BGR writes:

    Unless YouTube has a killer app, I cannot see the reasoning behind even testing games, much less launching them to the public. Netflix has a selection of great mobile games that anyone with a subscription can download for free, and yet hardly anyone does.

    If Netflix is having a hard time with their mobile game adoption, I think the writing is on the wall for this one. YouTube is going to have a difficult time competing with basically the entire web and App Store’s gigantic selection of free games.

    I wonder if YouTube will make certain titles available to Premium subscribers only. Perhaps the maximum saturation of premium subscribers has been met, and product is thinking up new features for YouTube Premium.

  • The Cast of “Asteroid City” talk about working with Wes Anderson

  • Nearly 300 episodes later, Hot Ones still gets it

  • From The New York Times:

    “‘Hot Ones’ was just the dumbest idea of all time,” Schonberger said, only half-joking. “How is it, philosophically, that the dumbest idea is the best?”

    “It’s like, well, we can’t just have people get drunk or high,” he went on, “but I think we can get people to eat spicy food, which might just be hilarious.”

    It’s true. The best ideas, are almost exclusively the dumbest ones. Hot Ones came about at the perfect time too. Right around the same time Hot Ones was taking off, the Hot Pepper Challenges were making the rounds on YouTube and the web. Sean Evens and the show came onto the scene at the perfect time. I hope their spicy wings burn bright and strong forever 🔥

  • 2022

  • Men In Black is the most incredible homage to New York City of all time

  • I am coming up on my seventh year living in New York City. During my tenure living here, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I feel like I’ve hardened myself, forged a worthwhile career here and sharpened all of my senses. It’s a vast nexus of creativity, food, technology and people. All walks of life live here, and it’s chaotic as fuck, but it all somehow works.

    Thanks to LL 30, New York City’s language access law provides access to City services for all New Yorkers in 12 languages. Arabic, Bangla, Chinese (simplified Cantonese), French, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Urdu, Yiddish and English. That alone is incredible. You’d be hard-pressed to find any government notices in more than two languages anywhere in the continental United States. There’s no place like New York City anywhere on Earth. Sure, lot’s of cities are like NYC, but there’s something that sets thistephen.news apart from other large metropolitan cities.

    NYC is absolutely, full of wonderful weirdos. Weird stuff happens when you put 8.5 million people together in one spot. Enter Patrick Willems video essays. First off Willems breaks it down for us like this — it’s a masterpiece film that we’ll probably never see the likes of every again (Hollywood in a post-MCU world would likely never permit another MIB to happen). It’s an action buddy-cop movie about aliens in NYC sure, but it’s really an ode to New York City. That goes double for folks who have lived in NYC, and finally move out of the city. The feels are real.

  • Ironworkers Local 433 members discuss The Picture

  • Perhaps you’ve seen the Wilshire Grand Tower and its iconic spire. Maybe you’ve seen The Picture and wondered how they took the photo in the first place. Look no further! Watch below.

    One small note about this video: one of the ironworkers makes a reference to “[that] empire state building photo.” He is actually referencing the iconic, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper photograph of ironworkers constructing Rockefeller Center. That photo was taken 90 years ago today, on September 20, 1932.

  • John Plant’s Primitive Technology channel inches closer to the Iron Age in latest video

  • If you haven’t been following Primitive Technology on YouTube, you will now. The channel, created by John Plant features an impressive stream of videos that dissect how-to-survival techniques. Each video is roughly 10 minutes in length, features no VO (voice-over) or backstory. Each video stands alone and covers a singular topic in survival. Methodically-cut shots, and well-written subtitles to explain in further detail John’s movements and decisions.

    The end result is often a high-quality video. He has set the bar for survivalists YouTube. While there are many imitator channels, he remains atop the throne of high-quality uploads in this category.

    His latest upload, is another chapter in inching closer to Iron Age content. Take one look at the comments in any of his uploads and you can see his audience clamoring for more iron smelting, casting and blacksmithing:

    Oh man, that’s what I wanted to see. You building up to the iron age. You released a video years ago with some iron in it and was looking forward to the next one. Here we are

    The long arc from Neolithic-content to Iron Age-content on Primitive Technology is remarkable. In his earliest days, Plant was creating huts, firestarters, basic stone tools, clay bricks, kilns and even pottery. Using the very same tools in later videos, he’s laying the groundwork for a mythology in his channel. A speedrun of human prehistory. It’s fascinating to watch:

  • Rockstar Games hacked, leaked footage of upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 game

  • It was a big weekend with this game leak. GTA 6 peaks and leaks are hyped up so much, they’re about on par with the level of hype Half-Life 3 confirmed memes. It just isn’t going to happen and everyone doubts the claims when users post them on Reddit.

    Until it does. The leaks over the weekend were genuine and bold. High-quality footage of the in-development game were stolen from Rockstar. According to The Verge, over 3GBs of videos were obtained by a hacker.

    On Sunday morning, the hacker posted a 3GB file containing 90 videos of early GTA VI gameplay footage, which aligns with previous reports that indicate the game could feature a female protagonist for the first time.

    Which of course elicited a response from Rockstar:

    You know you have the Real McCoy when two things happen:

    1. There’s an official Twitter response
    2. Reddit posts start disappearing

    For example, this megathread on r/GTA6 was taken offline sometime last night. But, not before the page was archived.

    Wayback Machine screenshot of the fabled megathread on r/GTA6

    While the gameplay is still in early development, the footage and content looks absolutely fantastic. Game leaks can be a kiss of death from the public. However, support for GTA 6 has been overwhelmingly positive following the leaks. Probably due to the size and variety of what was shared. In previous leaks, such as the Nvidia PC Leak of 2021, not much qualitative data was obtained. This was a gargantuan leak, and according to the hacker, more is yet to come.

    The videos (which have been taken down in most of the links on Twitter and Reddit) were very convincing and very Rockstar-esque. But, I found these two still photos from the deleted megathread to be the most convincing evidence:

    It’s bittersweet that these details were leaked. But, not much can be gleaned from the story from these videos and photos. There’s evidence of a male and female lead (which was previously leaked but these photos suggest a confirmation on the Bonnie and Clyde story mode) — but apart from that, not much else is known.

    What is known, is the hacker that stole the footage and data from Rockstar (which included source code mind you), is in some very hot water.