Pop Culture Odds and Ends – FOMO Edition

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This summer is off to a weird start in that I don’t already have a ton of activities and trips planned. Usually at this time of the year, most of my weekends are already booked up and when people ask me when I’ll be free, I give them some dates in November. While I like to keep busy, that pace was kind of exhausting (and expensive) so I decided to cut back a little this year. I’m driving a 14 year old car, so it’s probably time to start putting away some savings for its eventual replacement (though I plan to ride my current car into the freaking ground – and even then still try to drive it). Also, when I broke my ankle, I was unable to go to a lot of things that I’d already bought tickets for, so that money was kind of down the tubes. That made me think perhaps I shouldn’t plan so far in advance. Live more in the moment. Basically go against my entire personality.

Underlying all this thought about fiscal responsibility and not burning myself out was another reason that I tried to cut back this year – fear of missing out or FOMO. One of the problems resulting from planning your summer in March is that when random things come up, you can’t participate. While I was off in NYC or at a concert, I was having a good time but I was also wondering what I was missing at the BBQ that all my friends were at that I was unable to attend. The idea that other people were having more fun than me has always been a concern of mine; one of the reasons that I never took advantage of the opportunity to travel during my college’s January term was because I was afraid that I’d miss out on something cool on campus while I was away. So, as you can see, I’ve been neurotic and crazy for a long time. This summer, I was going to try to leave myself open for the rest of the world that doesn’t plan as far in advance as I do. If a random thing comes up on a Thursday, I wouldn’t have to politely decline because I’d already committed to something that I was much less interested in doing.

This plan makes sense on paper, but so far hasn’t really worked out as I expected. It is quite possible that I am not as popular as I thought I was as the invitations to BBQs and picnics haven’t exactly been rolling in. I’ve been in town more weekends than not the last few months and have subtly advertised this fact, but so far I’ve spent a lot of weekends being bored out of my mind. Maybe people just assume I’m busy or maybe there just aren’t as many events as I thought. All I know is that I’m staring down a three day weekend with nothing to do and it’s giving me untold levels of anxiety. I really should talk to a therapist.

However, the pop culture roundup is here to assuage you of any FOMO you may have about the world of pop culture. I’ve searched high and low to find all the pop culture news that’s fit to print from the last seven days, so that you’ll be able to catch up on anything that you might have missed. So while I decide whether to bite the bullet and make plans for this weekend, you can kick back and relax with the pop culture roundup.

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(Pro tip – you hear someone playing this song, get the hell out of dodge)

 

Time for some trailers….

  • Star Trek Beyond (now with more Rihanna):

 

  • Keeping Up With The Joneses:

 

  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back:

 

  • HBO’s Divorce:

 

  • Mr. Robot:

 

  • Inferno:

 

  • American Pastoral:

 

  • Bridget Jones’s Baby:

 

  • Joshy:

 

  • Ouija:  Origin of Evil:

 

  • Freedumb:

 

  • Dirty Thirty:

 

  • HBO’s Insecure:

 

  • Lights Out:

 

  • Morgan:

 

  • The Get Down:

 

  • The 9th Life of Louis Drax:

 

  • Difficult People:

 

 

 

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29 years ago today. A good choice. #remain

A post shared by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@officialjld) on

 

As always, we end with the supercuts and mashups….

  • This fan edit tells the origin story of Freddy Krueger:

 

  • Game of Bones:

 

  • Tommen Tenenbaum:

 

  • It’s Always Sunny in Europe:

 

  • 44 years of Brain De Palma movies in six minutes:

 

 

  • This J-Pop Cover of the Ghostbusters theme is way better than the Fall Out Boy version:

 

  • Game of Thrones meets Black Sabbath:

 

  • President Obama sings a little Drake:

 

  • A doo wop version of “MMMbop”:

 

  • And finally, How To Train Your Drogon:

 

 

 

Trailer Thursday – Who Ya Gonna Call?

I wasn’t planning on posting anything today, but sometimes the gods smile upon you and drop some pop culture goodness in your lap. Today that arrived in the form of the first trailer for the new Ghostbusters reboot. This was far too exciting to wait until next week’s pop culture roundup….

My only complaint…..not enough Chris Hemsworth, but frankly that’s my complaint about life in general.

Haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, but I think this looks very promising indeed.

Thoughts?

Trailer Thursday – Annie

Hollywood seems to be on something of a reboot kick lately; it seems for every new movie that they release, they also release a rehashed version of a movie that was popular 20 years ago. Perhaps this always happens and we’ve just hit the timing where the movies that I grew up with are now ripe for a fresh take. If so, I think that means that I’m old. Oddly, many of the films that have recently received the reboot treatment are films that I missed the first time around. I have never seen the original Red Dawn, Robocop or Total Recall, so my interest in their updated versions has been tepid at best.

I did see Annie, however, so when I heard that Will Smith had it in his head to remake the film I was a little skeptical. A lot of that concern originated from the alleged original plan of Willow Smith (daughter of Will and his wife Jada) plating the title role; that smacked to me as pure nepotism and I wasn’t convinced that a girl best known for one annoying single (“Whip My Hair”) was the best choice to star in the beloved musical. Whether Willow simply aged out of the project because it took so long to be developed or Will had second thoughts after a less than well received project with his son Jaden (the abysmal After Earth), I was relieved when the role of Annie was filled by Quvenzhané Wallis. Wallis, the youngest person ever nominated for an Academy Award, proved that she had acting chops in Beasts of the Southern Wild; I didn’t particularly dig that movie, but I thought she was quite good in it and that she had a real screen presence. Whether she could actually sing was yet to be determined, but the Annie reboot now seemed like less of a vanity project and more like a legitimate movie. While I don’t like Jamie Foxx personally, I can’t argue that he was kind of perfect for the new version of Daddy Warbucks. I found the casting of Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan a little curious, but my affinity for Carol Burnett meant that whoever was cast in that role was going to be less than ideal in my eyes. With Jay Z on board as a producer, my main emotion related to this reboot was curiosity – how exactly was this all going to come together and what changes were they going to make to update the story for a new generation.

We got out first clues as to what the 2014 Annie will look like with the release of the first trailer for the film.

 

The most obvious change is that the character of Daddy Warbucks has been changed to Benjamin Stacks. Stacks’ interest in Annie is now about furthering his political career. There are clips of some familiar songs in the trailer, so at a minimum it appears that “A Hard Knock Life” will be included in the film (not unspringing, given Mr. Carter’s history with the song). The orphans have nice clothes than in the original film, but Miss Hannigan appears to still be pretty terrible (though I will be interested to see if they tone down her affinity for booze). I’m skeptical that the character of Punjab will be in the film, at least as originally depicted, since that characterization probably wouldn’t fly with today’s audiences and political climate. I’m also not sure how they could include Rooster in this new story line as originally conceptualized; he may still be in the movie, but I’m guessing he’ll no longer be Miss Hannigan’s brother. Changing the racial makeup of the film doesn’t have much impact other than on that particular storyline. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tougher sell to some segments of the population that the brother of Cameron Diaz is also the father of QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis.

My gut reaction after watching the trailer is that this film might not be terrible; I’m not sure that I’ll be running out to see it immediately, but I think it will be a respectable take on the original story. I don’t think that this will be a critical smash, but the 1982 film wasn’t either – it was met with mixed reviews at best. I haven’t seen the 1982 version of Annie since I was a kid and I have no idea how it holds up. My guess is that I wouldn’t think it was all that great and that it is only nostalgia that would gloss over its faults. I’ll be interested to see how a new generation of kids feels about this update; if nothing else, I’m just glad to see Quvenzhané Wallis get more work. The trailer, at the very least, gives me hope that this was a good career choice for her.

Annie will be released Christmas 2014.