The Joup 2014 Year-End Blow-Out Spectacular: Tommy’s Picks

So we’ve reached the end of another year, and we’re all a little older, a little wiser, and starting to go a little gray…at least I am. Looking back, it seems like a whole lot of terrible shit went down this year, and it most certainly did. Ebola is wreaking havoc in Africa and rearing its ugly mug stateside, we keep losing airplanes, there are naked pictures of everyone everywhere, the Cold War is beginning anew, and race relations seem to be in the same state that they were 50 years ago. It’s all a mess. And it’s enough to make you want to turn in and just escape the world. And to a degree, that’s what we do, and that’s what we’re all about. So, horrible introductions aside, I still consumed a lot of pop culture this year, and as to whether it served as some sort of escape or not doesn’t really matter. I still listened to it. I still watched it. I still read it. These are the things I liked the most…

Your Fucked Up Childhood #3: The Snowman

tumblr_inline_nfzu25X0UK1qzwijzLooking forward to it snowing this year? No?! Can you pinpoint the exact moment at which your sense of wonder blackened, crumbled and blew away on the breeze? Maybe it was the day you saw Channel 4’s 1982 animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ ‘The Snowman’. Every time the subject of snow comes up at this time of year I inevitably end up gnawing on the knuckles of my clenched fist as a means of both plugging my mouth and preventing me from raining a flurry of punches upon those balking at the fact that this astonishing annual phenomenon might prevent them from, wait for it, getting to work.

Thee Comic Column #111: The Real John Constantine

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.30.20 AMHoly cow. Now this my friends, this is John Constantine. I mean, if you can hold in your mind’s eye the *eck* movie version from 2005, add to it the current NBC version and then watch this short made with a super small budget and barely any effects at all, well, I think you’ll agree that this isn’t just John Constantine done right, this is John Constantine done probably as close to perfect as we’re ever going to get in our lifetime by a video production company.

Joup Confessions…

xanaduFact: I have never actually sat down to watch the roller skating musical fiasco that is 1980’s Xanadu.  I have seen bits and pieces and scenes from it, often with my older sister, years and years ago, but I have no real recollection of anything other than light and colors flowing behind roller skating muses.  I understand that the film is supposed to be an abysmal mess, but I like to remember it as a soft-focussed, neon-tinted piece of 80’s kitsch.

Goodbye Mailbox: A Short List of my Favorite Sketches from The State

state1Over the last year, I have written a number of articles about the music I’ve spent my life listening to, poking and prodding and digging around to see how it all affected me, how it made me grow as a person, how it helped me, defined me, or influenced my life and personality. There was a lot to sift through, but it was a joy to revisit and re-experience it all again. And now that musical nostalgia highway has got me thinking about other aspects of me that the pop culture I grew up with molded like so much clay. Like my sense of humor. Where did that come from?

Thank God for VOD! – ABC’s of Death 2

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

abcsofdeathABC’s of Death 2

A hairy and half-naked man running down the street, eyes aglaze, mouth frothing, attacking innocent bystanders! A new castaway coming between two men stranded on an island! A group of ungrateful family members pining away for their inheritance from their defiant benefactor! Granddad on grandson violence! Monsters! Jilted lovers! Deranged babysitters! Guns! Robots! Badgers! There are 26 new ways to die in the latest installment of the horror anthology series The ABC’s of Death, and they’re delightful. Part two finds a brand new group of directors from all over the world being assigned a letter from the alphabet, and then just going nuts from there. The first film was a lot of fun, though sometimes cringe-worthy, and the sequel keeps up the pace, at times even upping the ante.

Thank God for VOD! – They Came Together

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

theycametogetherThey Came Together

And just when you thought I was all horror flicks, thrillers, blood and guts, and social commentary, here I come at you with a romantic comedy. A romcom. Or, in this instance, all of the tropes and beats of a romantic comedy completely ripped to pieces and then reassembled with a knowing smile and a wink by a killer ensemble cast and the comedic genius of a bunch of former members of The State*. They Came Together is a romantic comedy, but it’s a hyper-self-aware romantic comedy that bleeds absurdity and goes so far with its poking as to surpass satire. It’s an odd and hilarious film.

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