'The Fall Guy's Quick Move To VOD Put Hollywood's Theatrical Still Shaky Relationship On Display

When I attended this year’s SXSW, ‘The Fall Guy’ was one of the films that received the most attention and had lines wrapped around the block to get into. Given the cast, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking this would be a surefire hit. You have Ryan Gosling fresh off the massive success of ‘Barbie,’ Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Winston Duke, and Hannah Waddingham as a great ensemble. The premise of a stuntman thrown into this over-the-top action conspiracy while trying to help his ex-girlfr

The Apple Fell Too Far From the Tree

From 1997 to 2002, Apple’s mythos was to “think different.” That slogan accompanied a commercial highlighting some of the 20th-century’s most significant figures, from Pablo Picasso to Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Einstein, Jim Henson, and Frank Lloyd Wright. At that point, the company was on the precipice of redefining the concept of technology in our daily lives. There was the IMac, the early iteration of the Apple Store, Apple’s operating system, the iPod, and the Apple TV and iPhone soon a

Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake Also Dealt With Our Perception of Musical Output and Frequency

J. Cole’s now-taken-back diss track ‘7 Minute Drill’ had a couple of lines that some saw as criticism of Kendrick Lamar’s musical output. “He averagin’ one hard verse like every thirty months or somethin‘ /If he wasn’t dissin’, then we wouldn’t be discussin’ him.” It is the same sentiments that Drake said (in another deleted for different reasons), ‘Taylor Made Freestyle,’ “I guess you need another week to figure out how to improve / What the f*ck is taking so long? We waitin’ on you.” After “Li

Taylor Swift and The Tortured Critics Department

This post was first published at Capitalize the B Newsletter

Given the state of the many choices of social media platforms and their catering to a different piece of your attention, it’s been harder to cultivate communal moments like we used to. Fewer artists seemingly stop the world and invoke curiosity with each project they release. (Again, you can attribute this to how we receive and consume music). But this past Friday was different as Taylor Swift released her 11th full-length album, The

Grimes's Coachella Difficulties Show That Tech Shouldn't Supplant Craft

Coachella is never without news or surprises. However, one particular moment is drawing eyes other than the great No Doubt reunion, Blur’s perplexed reaction to the crowd, and Lauryn Hill’s appearance during her son YG Marley’s set. Nope, the topic of discussion is centered around Grimes and the number of “technical mishaps” surrounding her DJ set. She repeatedly apologized to the packed Sahara tent crowd, rage screamed at points, and apologized after her set. Mistakes happen, and I’ve been to s

J. Cole's Skill Will Live On, But This Was The Time To Cement Legend Status

We all love to see our favorite rappers at the top of their game and enter the lyrical ring if the moment calls for it. The “battle” is the essence of what hip-hop is built upon, and it wasn’t like we were going to see the likes of J. Cole, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar take things beyond the realm of the studio. The investment came to see the top dogs go line-for-line to see who can ultimately call themselves number one. That’s why Cole’s verse on “First Person Shooter” was so exciting to hear. It

'Civil War' and the Cost of the Desensitization To Violence

“I’ve never been scared like that before, and I’ve never felt more alive.” I’ve been meditating on why audiences flock to see a film like Alex Garland’s Civil War—especially when the scales of our democracy feel more lopsided by the day. Perhaps it’s answers or trying to use art as a crystal ball. Garland gave scant answers about what was happening in his film, which turned off some of the audience. If you make a grand political film, you might as well clearly define what you’re trying to say. T

Everybody Suffers When The Greats Can't Make The Art They Want

CinemaCon is an exciting time because it’s where motion picture studios show off the projects they are most excited about to The National Association of Theatre Owners. Since 2020, it’s been more of a reference point for these studios to keep reiterating that they are invested in bringing their stories to the theatrical experience first and foremost. With the weird world of streaming, ticket prices, and the ever-evolving thoughts on theater etiquette, the public might have a different opinion. N

'Late Night With The Devil' and its AI Usage Issue Hints At Needed Debates To Follow

At last year’s South By Southwest, I saw a 70s retro-styled horror film called Late Night With The Devil, and I enjoyed it. The late-night talk show premise provided a fresh take on the often-used possession theme, and David Dastmalchian finally got his just due to show he could be in a leading role. As with many of these festivals, a long time may pass until these films are distributed to a broad audience. Thus, I was singing it’s praises to people who had no idea what I was talking about. Seei

More WNBA-NBA integration will be an asset to both leagues

Sabrina Ionescu’s 3-point battle vs. Steph Curry makes us wonder what the future could hold.

Almost a week has passed, and we still haven’t quite nailed down how to cure the lethargy around the NBA All-Star weekend. But that’s not to say that there hasn’t been a wide variety of assessments about why we got here.

If you ask Stephen A. Smith, he lays the blame for the fall of the slam dunk contest squarely at the feet of Lebron James. It would have been great for one of the greatest players to c

Jay-Z's Speech and the Conundrum of Needing The Grammy Award Accolade

Jay-Z’s acceptance speech for the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award included a part in which he highlighted two previous Grammy boycotts he and Will Smith did — while still acknowledging they watched the show anyway. That is a perfect summary of the relationship we have with the Grammys at large now. It’s billed as “The Super Bowl of music,” where the industry’s best comes together with the spirit that the best works from the prior year will be awarded. Again, that’s at least the spirit of what the Gr

'Cry Me A River' Is A Song Justin Timberlake Can't Seem To Shake

On November 25, 2002, Justin Timberlake premiered the video for a song (you may have heard it) named ‘Cry Me A River’ from his debut solo album, Justified. There was a time when he was silent about where the inspiration for that song came from. No doubt it was about a prior relationship that crumbled to the ground, but Timberlake stated it wasn’t specifically about anyone in October of 2002. Cut to the premiere of that video directed by Francis Lawrence, and the resemblance of the faceless blond

Sports Illustrated's downfall is a symbol of sports journalism's ongoing erosion

When I was a teenager, there was this mall my friends and I used to go to. The space outside school and our houses was where we could just be high schoolers. We would stop by the food court and peruse the many stores inside. If one of us had money, we could buy clothes or a video game. Most importantly, there was a place where we could just be ourselves outside the watchful eyes of the adults in our lives. As I got older, that mall started to disintegrate piece by piece. First, the big retail st

The Essentialness of Music Journalism Must Be Recognized

Music is magical. It’s one of the few mediums where you can relive the feeling of hearing something for the first time in repetition. It will always repay you if you allow yourself to be overtaken by melodies, rhythm, and the shared stories of instrumentals and lyricism. For me, it was my late grandmother’s love for the piano and Gospel music. Then, it grew from my uncle’s vast CD collection full of R&B and classic hip-hop. Soon, I would make my own discoveries by watching MTV, where Nirvana’s “

The Bear's Fan Fiction Invades Ayo Edebiri's Golden Globes Win

This past summer, I had the pleasure of reviewing the fantastic second season of The Bear, and one of the prevailing wants of some people who watched was a supposed love story between Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri). Of course, art is open to interpretation, but I saw a friendship and mutual respect forged by the life and death of a restaurant. Once Carmy’s focus was pulled into the direction of his budding relationship with Claire (Molly Gordon), Sydney felt that. It’s no di

Life, Art, and the Uncomfortable Middle of 'May December'

Films and stories of all kinds in some way, either large or small, infuse some truth into them. This may be a real-world scenario, a person, or perhaps a fear the collective audience shares. It’s remarkable how the tool of the story can invoke such a reaction where the viewer can attach its meaning or voice to something outside the screen. Netflix’s May December has done that job and then some. People have notably taken to the comedic and soap opera feel of the “we’re out of hot dogs” scene in t

'The Iron Claw' brings the real-life challenges of the wrestling world to life

The Von Erich family circles together in The Iron Claw.

My first memory of professional wrestling is when my uncle ordered (then) WWF SummerSlam ’91 on pay-per-view. It was billed as “A Match Made In Heaven and a Match Made In Hell,” a little intense for a small kid on both fronts, but you go with it. On the same show, you had a wedding between the late Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth, a match where somebody had to spend the night in a New York prison, and a team of Hulk Hogan and The

Sony’s Spider-Verse is building up projects with no Parker to ponder (yet)

Outside of Tom Holland’s MCU iteration of Peter Parker, the world continues to grow – even if it has no current Peter Parker to call its own. If you lost count, the Sony Spider-Verse has two Venom films (and a third on the way), a Morbius film (with a villain returning from the MCU at the conclusion), an upcoming film about long-time spider villain Kraven the Hunter, and now Madame Web due on Feb. 14th, 2024. The first trailer plays almost like a Final Destination-esque vibe as it relies on show

The Skrulls continue to get the rawest deal in the MCU

Spoilers for Secret Invasion and The Marvels are ahead. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Can someone please think of the Skrulls? Some of us either have or are about to see The Marvels and justifiably will like the chemistry between Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau despite some shortcomings. I did enjoy it, but something irked me a bit. There have been a few MCU projects now where the Skrulls have been left hanging and used by some of Earth’s mightiest heroes. Given the immensity of w

‘Coyote vs. Acme’ is the latest victim to Hollywood’s tax write-off problem

Sit back and imagine working on something for months, maybe even years. You put your heart and soul into a creative endeavor that you believe in with a recognizable movie star and classic cartoon characters like Wile E. Coyote and his forever nemesis, Roadrunner, and get to the finish line. You await a release date because principal photography has been done for a year. Then, the news is not only will it not be released, but it will be shelved forever because the studio chose to go the $30 milli

The 2024 major Grammy categories belong to women and (finally) not lip service

To say that the look of the top Grammy nominations from this year is an overall rebuke of former Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s comments that female artists had to “step it up” to get recognized in 2018 would be an understatement. That’s with a year when albums such as Lorde’s Melodrama, SZA’s Ctrl, Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom, and Lady Gaga’s Joanne, amongst many great pieces of work, were released.

Low and behold – the 67th installment of the Grammys got it right, and seven of the ei

Rage Against The Machine’s legacy was always bigger than the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Timelessness is a concept I have been more aware of as I listen to music lately. Some of the best bodies of work not only strike specific feelings inside of me the moment I listen to them, but keep their same purpose while applying to the current times I live in. I remember the first time I listened to Rage Against The Machine’s 1992 self-title album, 1996’s Evil Empire, and 2000’s The Battle for Los Angeles, and remarkably, they haven’t aged the bit. Not just from a musical standpoint.

The fou

DraftKings Network weighs in on their favorite Sylvester Stallone films

From Rocky, Rambo, The Expendables, and even The Suicide Squad, the long career of Sylvester Stallone has been with audiences for decades. Some of the DraftKings Network staff weigh in on their favorite Sly Stallone film and explain why that is.

With the pantheon of Sly Stallone performances, there’s a lot you can choose from – the first Rocky, Rambo: First Blood, and maybe even reaching back further to The Lords of Flatbush. I’m going to pull a wild card and say 2006’s Rocky Balboa. These Rock

‘Elvis’ and ‘Priscilla’ view the King from distinct points of hero admiration and needed critique. It’s complicated.

I find the legend of Elvis Presley fascinating because, like many artists, people tend to keep him locked into different periods of their lives. Suppose you go to YouTube and look at the comments section of “Heartbreak Hotel” or even his intro medley to his concert in Hawaii in 1973. In that case, there are stories of generations of people pointing out particular things that Elvis either did or perhaps tweaked. It’s mythological, and there’s a difference between what we get to experience as fans
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