Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Other People's Writing

* You might recall reading about the McDonald's Monopoly scandal years ago, and The Daily Beast's Jeff Maysh recently refreshed everyone's memory with a retelling of the story.  Now, rumour has it that the Daily Beast was more or less paid for this story as a way of bringing it back into the public arena, since Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been attached to the movie rights.  How ironic that the story about a rigged game has some elements of a "rigged" re-introduction into popular culture itself.  Anyway, the whole scandal is pretty interesting stuff and it's easy to see how it could be turned into an entertaining dark comedy.  I'd be more stoked if it was Steven Soderbergh or the Coens attached to direct rather than Affleck himself, but whatever, Argo was a good movie.

* This somehow isn't the only Affleck-related content with this OP'sW entry, as he features prominently in this look back at the DVD commentary tracks on the Criterion Collection release of "Armageddon," written by The Ringer's Andrew Gruttadaro.  The tracks would probably be noteworthy from an unintentional comedy standpoint anyway due to Michael Bay's pomposity, but the highlight is Affleck basically turning his commentary track into Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and just ripping on the movie.  Example: "Bruce Willis is the best deep-core driller? I didn’t know they rated deep-core drillers. You know what I mean? Like, if you went around and asked somebody, ‘Who’s the best deep-core driller?’ How do you know? Who keeps track of these things?"  Is it weird that I've never actually seen Armageddon?  Should I seek out this DVD specifically to watch it alongside the vocal stylings of Affleck & Bay?

* Another Ringer piece, this one from Andrew Helms and Matt Pentz, about the laundry list of problems that led to the United States failing to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.  At the top of that list?  BEN AFFLECK  Jurgen Klinsmann, basically, who never seemed to have an ounce of respect for anything in American soccer, yet didn't seem to have a clear direction about how exactly to change things.  I can see both sides in this argument, since while the U.S. men's national team clearly had to take a step forward, Klinsmann didn't make any progress by more or less disavowing everything the program had done before he walked in the door.  That said, I still find it mind-boggling that the U.S. team didn't make the World Cup, which has to be chalked up to the hiring of retread Bruce Arena as Klinsmann's replacement.  The story is well worth a full read, especially for us Canadians who never see this kind of situation with our team.  Oh, sure, there's plenty of drama behind the scenes --- I just meant that we never see a team that is ever expected to make the World Cup.

* The Ringer's Claire McNear examines the brutal side of....Quidditch?  I kid you not, this led me down the rabbit hole of watching some Quidditch games, and my god, I can see how people can easily get hurt doing this.  Imagine a co-ed combination of rugby and dodgeball, except nobody seems to exactly know the rules, and most of the time they're running around carrying brooms between their legs, which opens the door for all manner of horrific groin injuries.  It's also interesting that, if you had never heard of Harry Potter, you could watch a Quidditch game and totally just think it's a real sport.  (Though, to be fair, what makes a "real" sport real?  Did I just blow your mind?!)  Ben Affleck's next-next movie totally needs to be about a college Quidditch league that goes awry.

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