What if, every Monday morning, whether you were spending the weekend living it up or partying down, you could have all of your pop culture news in one place? What if there was more to your weekend than bright nights and hazy mornings? What if you could be caught up on your television, film, and music news all at once, with a little Northwestern thrown in for good measure? This is the Monday Morning Hangover.
On Saturday night, I went with some other college students to a high school theater performance of Legally Blonde. We were there to support some kids we knew in the show, but it turned into one of the most uncomfortable audience experiences of my life. The whole show was raunchy and edgy, and one of the dance numbers involved a bunch of minors in sports bras and spankies doing a jumprope routine. When the lights went up at the end, no one really knew what to say. Then, an old-timer in front of us rose shakily to his feet, turned around and sighed, “Well, the world just keeps on changing.”
That is right, old man. Things are different than they used to be. We live in a world where major studios phone in comic book movies, where racists can somehow own NBA teams for more than 30 years, and the White House hosts a night of dinner and comedy once a year. No one is safe, not even high schoolers. We have a massive Hangover ahead of us. Let's talk about the weekend.
We can start with the home turf. The ‘Cats were busy this weekend, with the 83rd Waa-Mu Show premiering on May 2 to a red carpet and a packed house. With Double Feature at Hollywood and Vine, the production went bigger than ever, extending their reach far beyond the confines of Cahn Auditorium with Greek Day, Family Day and even a custom concrete down at Andy’s. Per usual, there was nothing but good things to say about one of the largest student theater productions in the country – they went big, and they crushed it.
Mayfest and SEED also partnered to bring us Philfest, a bluegrass festival headed by The Deadly Gentlemen. NBNer Jessica Peng did a full write-up here!
We had The Amazing Spider-Man 2 launch this weekend, and with its overfull cast and thick coating of special effects, two things were made more apparent than ever: 1) We really did not need this reboot so soon after the Raimi flicks, and 2) This is a point in comic book movies where Hollywood is pretty much just slapping a masked hero onscreen and holding out their hands to catch all the money thrown at them.
Check this out: by the end of 2014, Marvel will have released fourteen comic book movies since 2010. For perspective, they released only twenty-six films from 1944 to 2009 – that dates all the way back to the original Captain America propaganda movie! It means that more than one-third of all Marvel movies – all Marvel movies ever made – have been released in the last five years. Is the cash cow out of milk yet? This is insane!
Wesley Morris nailed it in his Spider-Man piece for Grantland this week: Comic book movies just do not have life anymore. I am holding out hope for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (I still think the First Class reboot is one of the most underappreciated comic flicks in the last decade), but that is the crappy situation we are in: We hold out hope and we keep showing up, and our heroes keep letting us down. It sucks.
I really want Trailer of the Week to go to James Franco’s new flick Palo Alto (shout-out to Rose Amer’s Tribeca coverage for bringing this to my attention), but since that one is a little old, we have to hand it to the King of Monsters again. Godzilla’s international spot is freaking awesome, and to all those complaining about me beating a dead horse, have your boring old Lullaby trailer. I make these picks for a reason here.
Two songs you should know from the weekend: the first is Coldplay’s new single “Magic.” Relax, despite the band’s never-ending tendency to find the corniest song titles ever, this tune stands as much more tolerant than the groan-inducing “Midnight.” It will probably not serve to make any converts, but fans should enjoy it.
The other tune is Kendrick Lamar’s live performance of Tupac’s “California Love” at the iHeart Radio Awards. I am not sure he does anything especially cool with the song, but it reaffirms how great he is with crowds. You can check out the live performance here.
I want to talk about the White House Correspondent’s Dinner for a second: first of all, I actually dig the idea. I think we need to see our president in a loose setting once in a while, and any time we can actually see Joe Biden being Joe Biden (read: total frat star) is an absolute treat. VP Joey B. is probably the most regular Vice President of all time, mostly because you have the complete sense that he knows exactly how much of a placeholder his job really is. This video from the Correspondent’s Dinner says it all. Here, I have a free afternoon, let me drive around with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Wildcat alert!) and stir up some shenanigans for a few hours. Say what you want about the politics – that is great self-awareness.
Obama, of course, had his schtick too (following the oddly-selected Joel McHale), and pulled some decent jabs and zings from his speech. I want to know who writes Obama’s jokes for this dinner. What crack team of comedy writers can the White House assemble? This would be a great meeting to sit in on. If I were the prez, I would call Louis C.K. (for the age jokes), Aziz Ansari (for the millenials and the wardrobe) and probably Bo Burnham just so I could screw with people. Jerry Seinfeld and Eddie Murphy would be chief consultants.
I usually tell you guys to stay classy, but that seems a little tough this week seeing as I spent a solid hour Saturday night averting my eyes from over-exposed, underage teenagers. No matter what kind of hijinks you found yourself in these past couple of days, take heart in knowing that there are thousands of other ‘Cats reeling from the same things. Hang tough. See you soon.