Today in Pop Modern: October 14th, 2013

October 14th, 2013Allen: The launch trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty came out recently, and I think I’m officially sold on it now. What originally attracted me to it was the question of what is real and what is just the fabricated series of stories that Ben Stiller’s character invents. However, I have a feeling that most of the genuinely cool/exotic scenes are all real. Similar to one of my favorite films, Almost Famous, this movie seems like it’s going to be a really heartfelt story with some good acting and really personal direction, especially since it’s actually directed by Stiller himself. I just hope it doesn’t get all sappy at the end, with Walter cradling Kristen Wiig’s body in his arms after a hiking accident or something. Oscar bait season has begun, everyone!


James: Every once in a while, I find that it is important to rewatch old movies. This weekend, the movie that I chose to rewatch was Spy Kids 2. For those who didn’t see it the first time around, Spy Kids was the movie in 2000. The titular kids were spies, complete with the typical gadgets of children spies: an assortment of insanely advanced lasers and electrical contraptions. The second movie capitalized on the success of the first movie, with a star studded cast including Antonio Banderas, Ricardo Monteban, and Steve Buscemi. Unfortunately, the movie did not hold up nearly as well as I remembered, and there were more plot holes than there was plot. The movie still came across as a children’s movie in the worst possible way. But in a somewhat sadistic way, I enjoyed how terrible the movie was. Perhaps it was Schadenfreude, but seeing the pained expression on everyone’s face as we watched the movie, made me enjoy the experience. And in retrospect, I’m sorry for dragging you to the movie, Mom and Dad.


Magellan: Just over a month ago I discovered the musical gift that is Chance the Rapper’s mixtape, Acid Rap. For anyone who hasn’t come across it yet since it’s late-April release, listen to it immediately. Chance the Rapper serves up an eclectic, fresh mix of genres, creating a mixtape with a distinct sound and groove. (Plus, the first song, “Good-Ass Intro,” is exactly as advertised.) That isn’t what I wanted to highlight today, though. Instead, I’m highlighting the new mixtape from another Chicago-based rapper, close friends with Chance and former member of the now-defunct Kids These Days: Vic Mensa. I was a huge fan of Mensa’s work with Kids These Days, and I was devastated to hear about their breakup back in May. However, I just caught wind of INNANETAPE, Mensa’s new mixtape. I’ve only given it one listen so far, so I can’t give a solid review just yet. Still, there’s a reason I mentioned Acid Rap, and that’s that INNANETAPE seems reminiscent of that mixtape, though with different window dressing. This new mixtape may not excite me as much as Acid Rap or KTD’s Traphouse Rock, but it is comforting to know that Vic Mensa is still an active part of this burgeoning, genre-bending, Chicago music scene.



Frames of Preference: Midnight in Paris

Midnight In ParisIf there’s anything that can be said about the films of Woody Allen, it’s that they sell a world better than most fantasy films. With Midnight in Paris, Allen decided to take what could have been a benign romantic comedy somewhere very special to him; the dramatized 1920s. Here, Owen Wilson’s character meets America’s greatest writers and thinkers, and he uses these late night trips to paradise as a jumping-off point for the rest of his life. Like a wishful child, he sees only the best in these characters, and his realization that the real world isn’t as idyllic is a sobering, beautiful affair.