Netflix's Woes and The Death of a Thousand Shows

Have you sat down, opened up your Netflix app, and had some content overload? Well, I bet you are not alone. Every week, there’s an endless stream of shows and movies at your disposal. For every Bridgerton and Stranger Things, it’s doubled by the amount of true-crime documentaries and dating shows. While the mega-streaming platform has had some financial woes lately, which led to the shuttering of its editorial vertical, Tudum, and many talented journalists losing jobs, there are many issues. Th

What Up With the Recent Pixar Movie Shifts To Disney+?

The last theatrical release by Pixar Animation Studios was 2020’s elf road trip film, Onward. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. The COVID-19 pandemic ramped up and closed theaters all over the world. Chains like AMC reduced capacity before shutting down completely, thus hurting the box-office gross for Onward. Up to that point, the lowest-grossing Pixar film was 2015’s The Good Dinosaur at $333 M worldwide. Given the dire circumstances, Onward made $133 M with a digital release on March 20t

How Pablo Larrain Depicts Sorrow Through the Eyes of Famous Women in ‘Jackie’ and ‘Spencer’

Grief hits all of us in a distinct, unique way. Losing someone or something wraps around you like thorns on a flower’s stem. The sharp, protruding apparatuses are present to encase the beauty that’s displayed like a do not touch sign on an art gallery. While many of us can retreat to the arms and hands of those who love us with a semblance of privacy, this is very different for those who bear the sheering light in the public eye. It’s as if they are wearing two globes of burden on their backs, t

The Matrix Franchise Prepares To Enter A World Where Everything Is Up For Questioning

At the beginning of 1999’s The Matrix, Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) stands before his boss, Mr.Rhineheart (David Aston), who scolds him for being late. “You have a problem, Mr. Anderson,” he says. “You believe you are special, and somehow the rules do not apply to you…every single employee understands they are part of a whole; thus, if an employee has a problem, the company has a problem.” Afterward, at his desk, Thomas gets a package that contains a cell phone. Answering a phone call would se

The 40th Anniversary of MTV Felt Anything But the Grandiose Celebration It Deserves

For many young music lovers, an after-school wind down meant TRL. A place where Carson Daly would preside over a studio audience to count down the top ten songs of that day. It was a mishmash of genres, ranging from the pop stylings of Britney Spears and NSYNC to the nu-metal of Korn and Limp Bizkit, and hip-hop anthems from the likes of Diddy, 50 Cent, and Eminem. (Oh, who can forget Tom Green’s ‘The Bum Bum Song?) Young millennials would clash and vote each day to get their videos in the numbe

In A Pandemic World, We Have To Think Outside A Pre-Pandemic Box Office

In 2019, Avengers: Endgame had an all-time opening weekend of $357.1 M and the biggest worldwide gross in history, with $2.97 B worldwide. With a summer season that had the likes of a Lion King remake ($1.3 B worldwide), John Wick: Chapter 3 ($320 M worldwide), Spiderman: Far From Home ($1.1 B worldwide), and two small horror hits like Annabelle Comes Home ($219 M worldwide) and Midsommar ($34 M worldwide), sales still took a 5% hit. Streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, and Amazon have

Bad Bunny and the Perils of Wrestling Gatekeeping

The intersection of pop culture and wrestling isn’t something new. It has been an integral relationship to both business models. Remember WrestleMania 10 when Burt Reynolds, Donnie Wahlberg, Jennie Garth, and Ronda Sheer were the celebrity guests? Little Richard sang the National Anthem that year. Mr. T and Muhammad Ali were at the very first Wrestlemania. Athletes such as Lawrence Taylor, the late Kevin Greene, and Dennis Rodman were in actual matches. Arnold Schwarzenegger close-lined Triple H

EDITORIAL: Long Live The Robots

When I was younger, I was sitting in my grandmother’s living room watching middle-of-the-day MTV on a weekend. It was then when I first saw Daft Punk‘s video for ‘Around the World’ directed by Michel Gondry. The video has mummies, synchronized swimmers, people in skeleton outfits, and tall gray men all-dancing as different instrumentation to parts of the song. I will never forget the first time I heard that infectious baseline and those three words. I was hooked! In trying to find that song, may

Op-Ed: 2020, What 'Soul' Teaches Us About Deconstructing Purpose and Being Present

There are spoilers ahead for Soul if you haven’t seen the movie yet! Near the end of Soul, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) gets the gig he’s been seeking for most of his life. He literally fights the afterlife to get back to playing piano for Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). After the show, he feels empty – wondering if that’s it. Joe had finally achieved that one thing, and it didn’t fill him with the euphoria that he hoped. Dorothea tells him a story about two young fish, young and old. “I heard

Op-Ed: Christopher Nolan, HBO Max, and the Fight For the Movie Viewing Experience

On December 28, 1895, The Le Salon Indien du Grand Café would hold the first-ever public screening. Located in a room of the basement in the Grand Café, the Lumière brothers would show 10 short films. Flash forward to 2019, the overall box office total was $42.5 billion. Movie theaters have been a staple of our experience for as long as we can remember. You buy your ticket, get your snacks, and prepare to escape into a world for two hours (depending on previews). Oh, the intermission jingle. The

In Case You Missed It: 'The Last of Us Part II'

‘In Case You Missed It’ is an end-of-the-year column where we look back at some of the best movies, TV, and culture moments of 2020. Maybe there was a show that was great, but flew under the radar. Perhaps there was a movie that came out and may have gotten missed because of the craziness of the pandemic. Throughout December, we will look back at what 2020 offered us. Much like the heaviness that reverberate within the Spanish guitar chords of Gustavo Santaolalla‘s ‘Unbroken,’ the heaviness of

Is the Wonder Woman 84 Hybrid Release Model Here To Stay?

What a difference a year makes. In December 2019, the box office was gearing up for Oscar hopefuls such as 1917, Little Women, Bombshell, and Richard Jewell. While also welcoming big sequels like Jumanji: The Next Level and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (Even Cats, for some). In a year of changes because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday box office season has all but been abandoned. That can be said for most of 2020 – big films such as F9: The Last Saga and A Quiet Place: Part II

Slipknot's 'We Are Not Your Kind': One Year Later

2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter found Slipknot at a crossroads. The album itself served as a monument for late bassist/friend Paul Grey and a testing ground to see if the band could continue forward. With losing Gray, the departure of drummer/founding member Joey Jordison, and the inclusion of two new members, (drummer Jay Weinberg and bassist Alessandro Venturella) you would think that the band would lose the rebellious spark it once had. Songs such as ‘Goodbye’ and the funeral pyre-like opener, ‘X

Billie Eilish's 'My Future' and the Comfort of Growing Alone

Humans are intrinsically creatures of habit. We continue to use our favorite mugs that have the ever-growing crack in it for morning coffee. We take the same routes to work, our taco dinner nights, and weekend meet-ups with friends after a seemingly long week. Habit is our safety net. It’s our way of saying to life that we are in control. If there is anything recent times have shown us, it’s that life will laugh at us when present our plans. Our patterns have been disrupted in recent months. Th

'It's Happening, Penny Lane': Ten Years of Drake's 'Thank Me Later'

“Here’s the thing with Drake. The verdict is really still out. They’re sharing the torch with your now. They’re not passing it. Kanye [West], Jay [Z], and [Lil] Wayne are by no means passing it. What are you going to do with it?” – Sway – ‘Better Than Good Enough (2010) 170 million records sold. Four Grammy awards. Tied with Madonna for the most top ten hits on the Billboard 100. Since the 2010 release of his debut album, Thank Me Later, Drake has become one of the biggest artists of all time.

And The Band Plays On: Ten Years of Deftones' 'Diamond Eyes'

On February 23rd, 2010, Deftones released their single, ‘Rocket Skates’ for free on their website. Fans flocked to it and the site promptly crashed thereafter. The start of the song leads with an aggressive and crunchy guitar riff from guitarist Stephen Carpenter and bridges into the fury of drummer Abe Carpenter’s cymbals. I must have played the beginning part of the song over a hundred times. ‘Rocket Skates’ had the youthful exuberance and hunger of the band’s 1995 album, Adrenaline. They had

EDITORIAL: 'Leave It Alone', Mortality, and The Certainty of Love and Loss

I like to take random drives. Sometimes, it’s to wrangle a little bit of stress out of the washcloth of the day. Other times, it’s to flesh out some ideas or listen to new music. Traveling miles on an open road can be a different antidote from person to person. There’s almost a therapeutic hypnotism to it. On that drive, ‘Leave It Alone,’ the second single that Hayley Williams released from her Petals For Armor project came on shuffle. Have you ever listened to a song where the lyrics snap you

Walk On Water: Eminem's Relationship with Doubt

In the backdrop of Eminem's latest single, "Walk On Water," there's the sound that writers are all too familiar with. Sounds of ripped up paper that cuts like a knife through confidence. Divorcing itself from a notebook of thoughts that are deemed not good enough. There are the pressures of giving your thoughts into another person's hand and not having control of the outcome. As writers, we all go through periods of inner-conflict where the sentences just aren't right. The words just don't marry

American Gangster - The Return of Marcy's Hero

Everybody has dreams of leaving on their own terms. It's the touchdown that wins the game right before you ride off into the sunset. Hip-hop is a fluid, ever changing art form. With that, consistency is a virtue and prized possession. Even in modern times, the tide of change is an inevitability. An artist can release a record that takes to the masses and it not translate in album form. In order to stay in the minds of the masses, you have to elevate to raise the bar with every release. 003's Th

Kanye's Victory Lap: Celebrating 10 years of 'Graduation'

Flashback to September 11th, 2007. On that date any year after 2001 there is a need for remembrance, but in the annals of hip-hop history that particular day in 2007 was one that arguably changed the future of urban music. Two of the genre’s biggest names, Kanye West and 50 Cent, were set to release their albums on the same day. For some, this might be any other sales week as it’s not uncommon for two big names to share a release date, but that was not the case here. Kanye and 50 Cent wanted to
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