A look back at The Rock's career: Gridiron Gang
American football is a big part of The Rock story, because it anchors the star to some sort of reality. Where pro wrestling and The Rock are theatrical and overblown, American football is a homely tradition. If you wanted to be corny (and let’s make it clear, this film is corny so we’ll be okay), you could say it’s the most patriotic sport going. There’s a reason the rest of the world couldn’t give it a name without the “American” prefix: it’s an irreplaceable piece of the national fabric.
I didn’t know this was up! I started writing about The Rock’s slow evolution into Dwayne Johnson again for Den of Geek. Gridiron Gang gets reprimanded artistically, but it’s interesting as an acknowledgement of Johnson’s failed football past and of directors unsure what to do with his sheer size. Or: “When Johnson sits at a desk to carry out admin it seems a little ridiculous, like Goliath in business casual.”
Also, I get to shit on the Wrestlemania 29 main event because, yeah, fuck that shit.
5:04 pm • 30 September 2014 • 11 notes
The Weird, Weird Games of the Nintendo 64 | VICE United Kingdom
To this day, Nintendo has a cagey relationship with third-party developers. Its late president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, was notorious for charging outside companies license fees to create no more than five games a year. His business plan was meant to improve Nintendo’s quality of stock and give them the edge over their rivals. During the Sega-era console wars, this strategy allowed Nintendo to keep a stranglehold on third-party developers, but also gave Yamauchi a dictatorial reputation. Speaking to Games Informer earlier this year, the author Blake J. Harris shared what these third-parties recalled: “Nintendo had you by the balls, and they knew it.”.
I wrote for VICE’s ‘VS Video Games’ series about the weird and innovative failures of the N64. RIYL train simulations, Tetris played with your heart, talking to Pikachu and PR disasters in an era of post-Columbine media witch-hunts. Or, y’know, vidja gaymz. (Ignore the header image of someone using a Dreamcast controller as a bong.)
11:44 am • 23 September 2014
Comme des Garçons' Ten Dystinctly Dystopian Films to Watch
Rei Kawakubo’s visionary approach to retail has in the past brought us outlets inspired by traditional kimono shops and furniture exhibitions; shops with no mirrors or visible merchandise; and an all-red chill-out room containing remote-controlled seats. Dover Street Market is of course another unique creation, spread out over an old six-floor office building, developed with theatre and film designers and containing product from almost seventy designers.
I got to combine two of my favourite things in the whole wide world into a list for Complex UK: Comme des Garçons and movies! Read me ramble about the potential connections between Rei Kawakubo, Dover Street Market, Philip K Dick, science-fiction blockbusters, anime and The Dark Knight Rises aka “Dickens with superheroes”.
12:20 pm • 18 September 2014 • 8 notes
In the Frame: 35 Shots of Rum [Vérité August 2014]
Claire Denis is not someone that you would immediately consider a sentimentalist, but her twelve feature films distinctly keep a loving gaze on the messy humans inhabiting them. She places an emphasis on movement, or a lack of movement – in her films, shifts in body language tell us more than a monologue ever could.
I slacked off and didn’t link this at the time, but yeah, I closed out last month’s Vérité with a short piece about the final frame of Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum. RIYL: O. Henry, ricemakers, subtle sentiment.
10:55 am • 18 September 2014
You & the Night [Vérité September 2014]
Yann Gonzalez’ feature-length debut You & the Night announces itself with plenty of surface bawdiness and hipster raunch: an orgy setting, a score from French electro-indie heavyweights M83 (leader Anthony is Gonzalez’ brother), a wink-wink cameo from paragon of Gallic erotica Béatrice Dalle, ex-footballer Eric Cantona unveiling an already-infamous prosthetic penis. Gonzalez has gained comparisons to Almodovar off the back of his film’s sexual content, but fails to grasp neither the Spanish auteur’s grace or his lust.
On p67 of this month’s Vérité, I have thoughts on Yann Gonzalez’s You & the Night. It’s not very good!
10:49 am • 18 September 2014
Sia - Free The Animal (off 1000 Forms of Fear, 2014, RCA)
4:17 pm • 5 September 2014 • 278 notes