Slacktory

Reviews

  1. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sucks

    Album review: The Beatles, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”

    Reprinted with permission from Aaron Nevins on Tumblr.

    As a culture, we’ve all been inundated with buzz about The Beatles. They’re probably one of the most hyped bands since The Head and the Heart, and more power to ‘em. Clearly the dude handling their web presence is doing a bang-up job. I like to consider myself immune to these taste-making music blogs, but I finally gave in and gave the so-called “best fuckin band ever” (— Shitcakes2433, YouTube.com) a listen, and I was appalled at what I heard.

    The Beatles are a band that shamelessly rips off everyone from Arcade Fire to Animal Collective to Sufjan Stevens to Vampire Weekend, and anyone in between who received higher than a 7.4 rating on Pitchfork. And believe me, the result is less than the sum of its parts.

    Read a track-by-track takedown of these ripoff artists. »

  2. Home Alone torture porn - Harry and Marv see Kevin

    The “Home Alone” novelizations are horrifying torture porn

    Below are real quotes from the Home Alone novelizations. We’re not kidding, you can fact-check. — Ed.

    So we’re all on the same page here, right? We’ve all been in this situation? You’re on a stroll, you see a moldy box of books on the side of the road, and you have yourself a rummage, yeah? Usually the box is full of pre-highlighted textbooks about torts and those supermarket paperbacks where the cover artwork sinisterly depicts, like, a single stiletto heel, dangling over a silver platter serving up a wedding ring with a side of recently-shot handgun. But sometimes one can find a real piece of literature in this urine-soaked excuse for a Barnes and Noble.

    Sometimes maybe two.

    And, in my case, sometimes even 2: Lost in New York.

    That’s right, my latest side-of-the-road finds were the junior novelizations of both Home Alone and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

    I was eager to see how the authors handled reinterpreting such weighty source material. I soon found that the written-out descriptions of everyone’s favorite booby-trap scenes, rendered so cartoonish and light hearted in the family holiday films, feature more harrowing grisly violence and pitch black malevolence than an uncatered prison race riot.

    The following, in no particular order, are direct excerpts from both of these books. Please read them as though they’re from the first draft of a continuation of the Saw franchise, or from the point of view of someone live-tweeting a snuff film.

    Read the explicit torture porn of the Home Alone books. »

  3. Wreck-It Ralph review - Screw it

    Better Book Covers and I Love Charts review “Wreck-It Ralph”

    Occasionally, Dan Wilbur and Jason Oberholtzer need some time off from writing genre-redefining books based on blogs. They usually watch movies. Then email about them. Spoilers below.

    Jason Oberholtzer: So I saw this movie, Wreck-It Ralph. It wasn’t ground-breaking but it looked really pretty, made me think about graphics and how kids these days are super visually spoiled* and then left me with heart-warming messages of friendship. Maybe it’s because I’m in the midst of one of those intellectual cycles where you return to simple foundational messages or because I watched the movie with an audience of families together for Thanksgiving but I enjoyed the movie and am not ashamed to say it got a little misty in there.

    * Remember how lifeless this sort of animation used to be? Computer-rendered movies were hit or miss (with some massive misses) when I was a kid. Same thing with 3D. Something, something, damn kids … my lawn …

    See Jason and Dan debate the merits of ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, with spoilers. »

  4. Wheatus Teenage Dirtbag sucks

    Why Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” is the worst song ever made

    My first exposure to Wheatus was in 2007, on the old community-run website flashflashrevolution, a Dance Dance Revolution ripoff that involved tapping the keyboard instead of dancing on a pad.

    When the site was still being run as a for-profit venture, it partnered with bands and gave them little widgets to put on their MySpace pages so people could play DDR files (or “stepfiles”) for said band’s song. We had some slightly big names — 5 Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Reel Big Fish. I would play these widgets for quick fun. One day, I came across a widget for a band that seemed familiar. It was Wheatus.

    And I regret that day. Read why Wheatus deserve utter ridicule. »

  5. Grand Theft Auto V trailer review

    New GTA V trailer: Video games are art, that argument is done now

    People seem to be skipping straight to the pure art, and yet nobody’s made the Caddyshack in games yet, right? So I’m like, woah woah woah, let’s put on the brakes – let’s make Caddyshack, and then we can make Anna Karenina or whatever.

    — Erik Wolpaw, Portal series writer, on video games as art or as comedy

    Grand Theft Auto V is, until I find a better comparison, the Beverly Hills Cop of video games.

    Compare the two trailers. »

  6. james-bond-skyfall-no-gadets-title

    Why I’m glad Skyfall isn’t all about the gadgets

    The new James Bond film, Skyfall, hits theaters tonight! It’s got a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes right now, which should be enough to pique your interest.

    I caught a sneak preview a couple nights ago, and let me tell you right now: This is a good James Bond movie. That’s largely because it’s not like old James Bond movies. None of that old James Bond shit would work today.

    We just can’t be wowed with shoe phones anymore. Sean Connery basically used to get gadgets from the Sharper Image 10 years before they existed. What could Daniel Craig possibly receive from Q that would excite the audience? An iPhone 7?

    And let’s not forget the usual product placement and bland sex… »

  7. Battleship sucks

    Reviewing board games after a week without internet

    Here’s a weird but totally factual statement: Because of the weather, I didn’t have a job last week. As someone who A) relies entirely on the internet for income and b) was among those who lost electricity because of Tropical Post-Rock Hurricane Sandy, I had a whole lot of time to be alone with my thoughts — a pastime everyone pretty much hates.

    In the interest of beating back any nagging memories of embarrassment and wrongdoing, I resorted to the only form of entertainment that works when everything fun is broken: board games. This is how they’ve held up since my childhood.

    Battleship

    Pros: It’s a war game that doesn’t require almost any tactical strategy whatsoever.

    Cons: I lost a bunch of the pieces (see: tried melting them, then threw them out) since the last time I wanted to play Battleship, putting me at a disadvantage that simulated actual warfare. Chalk it up to variant defense spending between sovereign nations.

    Grade: C

    See reviews of Monopoly, Checkers, and more things that aren’t Assassin’s Creed 3 goddamn it. »

  8. Takis and Lemonade Brisk on Hot Cheetos and Takis

    The Five-Flavor Takis Taste Test

    Hot Cheetos and Takis. That’s my favorite snack.

    — Y.N. Rich Kids

    Over 2.5 million viewers have watched “Hot Cheetos and Takis” over the past month and many have looked up at the sky and asked the god of all snacks, “Lord of snacks, what is a Taki?”

    Takis are a corn chip snack from Mexican company Barcel, a division of the food conglomerate Grupo Bimbo, the same company known in the USA for selling Entenmann’s brand desserts. Takis come in five flavors: Guacamole, Salsa Brava, Crunchy Fajita, Fuego, and Nitro. The name Takis is derived from Taquitos, small rolled up tortillas with a meat or cheese filling that are fried and from which Takis derive their shape. While Takis are easy to find in the Southwest United States, in the North they are normally only found in Mexican specialty stores or bodegas that carry other imported snacks from Latin America.

    I asked some neighbors who had never tried Takis to taste test each flavor. Do Takis live up to the hype?

    Read the results of our Takis taste test. »

  9. eyes peer up at tiny umbrella

    It Never Rained in the Bronx

    You know that crazy uncle who tells weird, rambling tales and says, “I’ve got so many stories from those days I could fill a book”? What if he went ahead and made it happen?

    While watching the LA Kings playoff game I discovered one of those jarring, incoherent, often local ads with zero production value that you see during big sporting events. It was an ad for a book called It Never Rained in the Bronx by Steven Chanzes. I was mystified by the ad, because unless you’re a Grisham or a Baldacci, books aren’t advertised on TV, especially not during playoff games.

    I went to the site and OMG it’s just the most wonderful thing. It’s this old Jewish guy living in Florida runs a blog (inexplicably archived in a series of individual PDFs) where he writes about everything from how his stomach flu ruined his cruise vacation to his quest to find a publisher. He signs all his “Blogs” with “Happy Writing.” It’s all there to promote his book.

    Watch the ad and read the rest of the story. »

  10. ralph

    “Wreck-It Ralph” looks GREAT

    Wreck-It Ralph looks so good. It looks like it’s the first good mainstream video-game-referencing thing ever created. When I first heard about it, I was optimistic based on early art but skeptical based on every “movie about video games” ever made. But man. This one looks GREAT. There’s so many great things in this trailer, I’m going to have to go through it shot by shot.

    Watch the trailer and see my breakdown. »

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