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Some Quick Pop Culture Notes: Amy Schumer, “Crimson Peak,” Etc.

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  • Amy Schumer got off to a weak start this year with a huge huge huge squandered opportunity. I’ve always wanted to conduct a thought experiment here at LGM by asking our commentariat to imagine a “World’s Most Interesting Man” commercial with the genders reversed. Well, you don’t have to imagine it anymore because “Inside Amy Schumer” did it for you with decidedly mixed results.  The only way for this sketch to work would have been to have the satire parallel the original commercial almost entirely. That is, to show Amy–looking cool and cute and awesome– doing all this amazing stuff in her youth (which they did) and then to show her–still looking awesome in a Helen Mirren kind of way–surrounded by handsome men half her age. The joke would come in there–in that they would immediately leave…not give her the time of day. That’s the joke: we don’t find older women sexy. And we sure as hell don’t find women interesting outside their ability to inspire boners. But the show instead stopped the parallel in her old age–making Amy look tacky and weird…and then went off on some weird tangent about retirement homes. It was a sketch that started with such promise and a chance to really skewer a double standard but it kind of just petered out in a way that completely obscured any kind of keen observation about that double standard. The show has since redeemed itself, and the third episode of the season is one of the strongest shows to date, with hilarious riffs on men who have sex with their nannies, the lack of meaty roles for Oscar-caliber actresses, and flipping the script on fantasy football (where men find out that football players are tracking their moves, judging their every action, from returning an item to a store to asking people to join LinkedIn.) If the show keeps heading this direction, this is going to be an amazing season.
  • I recently got a chance to watch “Crimson Peak.” It’s a movie I’d love to recommend because it’s directed by acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and it’s gorgeous to look at. But unless you’re me, that’s not going to be enough to hold you. It was easy for me to sit there for an hour and half glorying in the film’s stunning sets and costumes, but I don’t think a movie can skate on that alone and still be considered a quality one. If you go into “Crimson Peak” expecting horror you’ll be sorely disappointed. I’m the biggest chicken on the planet and I was yawning at its attempts to scare me. And insofar as its a thriller as well as a horror film, it telegraphs its big reveals so vividly that there is absolutely no suspense. Trust me, you will figure out what’s going on 20 minutes into the film. The script is not particularly good. The acting is fine. That being said, I think it’s one of the most luscious eye candy films I’ve ever seen, so if you’re into that sort of thing, give it a watch. The show’s sets (it mostly takes place in a dilapidated mansion…beautiful in its decrepitude…you know what I’m talking about) are sumptuous I may actually watch it again some day. But that’s me. I don’t expect it will be you.
  • Rob Zombie doesn’t have much use for babymen who disparage Baby Metal.
  • My latest–“Panic at the Coronation”– is up here.
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