Runaway

amazon drones

Imagine you’re sitting at home, bored and hungry, and you suddenly get the urge to watch Wet Hot American Summer and eat some Tater Tots. A smile grows on your face in anticipation, but then you remember that not only do you not own this classic comedy on DVD but you’re also fresh out of Tots. (Also you live alone, your car is in the shop, and there are no stores nearby.) What do you do?! If this were the distant future you could probably watch the movie by way of some kind of digital signal stream through your television or wristwatch, but that utopia is not the world we live in my friend. Even if that was possible though, you’d still be Tot-less and hungry. Thankfully, this nightmarish scenario won’t be a reality for too much longer. It seems online retail behemoth Amazon.com wasn’t content with their recent move to rent out the USPS for Sunday deliveries to their Amazon Prime customers, as now they’re looking to get you your merchandise even quicker. Head honcho Jeff Bezos appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes last night and announced that Amazon is testing package deliveries via remote-controlled drones. The goal of the endeavor, currently called Prime Air, is to get purchases to consumers in under thirty minutes. Tiny helicopters, whizzing through the air, racing to and fro with fragile (yet deadly if dropped from a height) packages secured to their belly… what could possibly go wrong? Keep reading for a glimpse into […]

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Culture Warrior

The music video is in terminal condition, if not certainly dead. MTV hasn’t been associated with music for a long time, and nobody invests real money in the format that formerly revolutionized the relationship between audiences and musicians. The music video had a great run, introducing us to visionary directors and creating profound visual iconography whose power was unmatched by album covers and promotional materials, but beyond the occasional breakout video that circulates on YouTube, it’s time to say goodbye to the format that brought us everything from “Billy Jean” to “Frontier Psychiatrist.” In the past few years a new music/video hybrid has become increasingly prevalent. The “visual album” (as coined by Animal Collective) continues to emerge as a means of creative visual expression and (often) as a form of cross-promotion for an album. Unlike music videos, visual albums stage, sometimes with interruptions, the majority of a musician or band’s LP. Even though this format seems designed to exist exclusively through web distribution (visual albums can occasionally be too long, interconnected, and narratively or stylistically cohesive to be parsed out as standalone shorts or individuated music videos, but aren’t long enough to be feature films), the visual album is also a risky declaration in the age of iTunes, proclaiming albums to be cohesive works of musical artistry rather than conveniently divisible bits of audio information.

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Keanu Reeves’ The Day The Earth Stood Still remake got us thinking about other impending re-imaginings of science fiction classics. That in turn got us thinking about “classic” sci-fi films that should never get remade. Which in turn got us thinking about a few that probably should.

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
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