Friday, May 04, 2012

Pop Culture Roundup

Still slowly but surely reading Dark Night of the Soul. In case you were concerned or curious. This just hasn't been much of a reading year for me so far.

We went to see The Raven this past week, starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Poe is portrayed as passionate and brilliant, but also arrogant, horrible with money, and, well, a bit of a prick. Anyway, the police begin looking into a double murder which the chief investigator recognizes as being right out of one of Poe's stories. This trend continues, eventually including the kidnapping of Poe's fiancee, which gives him much more of a vested interest in helping. The story is unique in the sense that it's historical fiction, although the overall plot of someone basing their crimes on some device (the Seven Deadly Sins, Zodiac signs, another famous killer's MO) isn't. It was interesting to Coffeewife and I because it was Poe, whom we both enjoy. The film was, predictably, a bit gruesome: you actually see the murder based on The Pit and the Pendulum happen, which...guh. Between the two of us, Coffeewife and I could identify every reference save maybe one or two, which gave us great pride.

Coffeeson and I watched The Princess and the Frog this week. Disney chose to set the story in 1920s New Orleans, which I thought was a cool choice. The music, featuring styles such as jazz, blues, and zydeco, is one of the best features of the movie. Since it's Disney, we also get talking animals such as a crocodile who wants to play trumpet in a band and a Creole lightning bug. The one beef I had was that the prince who is turned into a frog doesn't seem to learn a whole lot. The movie just trusts us to eventually like him, even though he basically remains a smarmy jerk. Well, eventually he just changes personalities. But I don't recall a lot of growth on his part. The rest was pretty good, though.

Last I mentioned Mad Men on here, I was halfway through the first season and unsure whether I'd stick with it. Well, I'm now over halfway through the second season and itching to keep watching even as I type this. The half dozen or so regular office guys are differentiating themselves more and Don Draper, while he has plenty of faults, has become more sympathetic the more I learn about his past. The storylines for the women are not being developed as evenly so far, but it's getting better. In many ways, this is satisfying the Sopranos-shaped hole in my heart, no offense meant to Boardwalk Empire.

One of the many new artists I've been enjoying lately has been Erin Bode. Here's her "Sweater Song:"

The trailer for The Dark Night Rises came out this week. I'm so stoked: