Sunday, December 07, 2014

Other People's Writing

* Chris Rock has been all over the place with terrific, insightful interviews with a number of different media outlets while promoting his 'Top Five' movie.  In fact, it's gotten to the point where you can probably make a list of your top five Chris Rock interviews from the last two weeks.  Tops on everyone's list, however, would almost have to be this outstanding talk with Vulture's Frank Rich covering every topic under the sun.

* A sprawling, all-over-the-place story by Grantland's Brian Phillips about both modern sumo wrestling and a failed coup attempt in Japan in 1970.  The two topics, Phillips readily admits, have nothing to do with each other yet addressing them at the same time seems almost fitting for a story set amidst the epic convergence of the past and present that is Tokyo.

* It's a simple question: Grantland's Jason Concepcion wonders if Kevin McCallister from 'Home Alone' grew up to be Jigsaw from the 'Saw' movies.  It all checks out.

* More or less the history of 20th/21st century pro wrestling in North America, as chronicled by Dan O'Sullivan of Jacobin.  The definitive novel (or really, you'd need a series of novels) about pro wrestling's history has yet to be written, but consider this an appetizer.

* So, I wrote my review of Gone Girl earlier this week and was pretty pleased with it, yet I'm just a speck on the beach compared to Wesley Morris' fantastic reviews.  Morris kills it week after week at Grantland, including this wonderful breakdown of GG.  Describing Rosamund Pike's performance as "a mix of salt, honey and antifreeze" is awesomely poetic stuff.  You know you're reading good writing when you disagree with the basic premise (I clearly liked Gone Girl a lot more than Morris did) yet I agree with every point he makes.

* More movie-writing, as Grantland's Alex Pappademas looks at Interstellar within the tradition of other milestone space exploration films, ranging from 2001 to Solaris to Star Trek to Contact.  There's even a mention of 'Sunshine' in there, perhaps the greatest "movie undone by its final 30 minutes" of all time.  Two-thirds of the way through Sunshine, I legit thought I was watching an iconic masterpiece but things just really went south.

* Every NBA team's top celebrity fan is broken down by Grantland's Shea Serrano in this colourful series of graphics.  I love the idea of these people actually all sitting in a row, so Danny Trejo is just hating life stuck between Macklemore and Justin Timberlake…what in the world would those three have to talk about?  I have to wonder if Fred Armisen is actually a Trail Blazers fan, but really, any excuse to post this sketch.

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