Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

Sept. 21 2016 2:44 AM

Which Space Ghost Coast to Coast Episodes Are Right For You?

With the tragic death of C. Martin Croker, the voice actor behind Moltar and Zorak on the Adult Swim’s Space Ghost Coast to Coast and its associated spinoffs, Adult Swim has made the admirable decision to put almost the entire series online to stream for free, as the A.V. Club notes. You can find them right here, no login required. But for a series that isn’t built around a linear story, there are a bewildering number of episodes to choose from, especially for viewers who missed out on Space Ghost the first time around. Never fear, though: Slate has done the painstaking research necessary to determine which episodes are right for you.

Sept. 21 2016 2:19 AM

L.A. Confidential’s Bloody Christmas Scene Shows Curtis Hanson (RIP) at His Zeitgeist-Capturing Best

Screenwriter, director, and producer Curtis Hanson died at home on Tuesday at the age of 71, Variety reports. His career spanned more than forty years, beginning with co-writing the screenplay for the 1970 Lovecraft adaptation The Dunwich Horror. He made a wide variety of films, from female-led dramedy In Her Shoes to Eminem-led drama 8 Mile. But it was his 1997 James Elroy adaptation L.A. Confidential that secured his place in the pantheon, earning him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (shared with Brian Helgeland) and Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture.

L.A. Confidential’s success is the clearest example of one of Hanson’s great talents: in his heyday, he didn’t just make good movies: he knew which movies to make. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, while hardly a masterpiece, hit a genuine nerve with upper class working mothers; Hanson made 8 Mile during the vanishingly small window when America was ready to embrace a rap battle drama starring Eminem. But no Curtis Hanson film was better timed than L.A. Confidential, which hit theaters right between the O.J. Simpson trial and the Rampart scandal, when America’s white citizens were suddenly discovering, yet again, that their police departments weren’t especially beloved by minorities for some reason. L.A. Confidential, with its centerpiece restaging of 1951’s Bloody Christmas, has as much to say about the relationship between the Los Angeles’s government and its citizens as the Christopher Commission—and takes a lot less time to do it.

Sept. 20 2016 5:01 PM

Well Here Is an Amazingly-Timed New Spot for Allied, Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard  

Here’s a brainteaser: What do you do when the star of your action-packed, WWII-set romantic thriller is in the headlines for a high-profile divorce—possibly, so the gossip mill says, because of an on-set affair with the other star of your action-packed WWII-set romantic thriller? Well, if you’re Paramount, you release a new spot for your action-packed WWII-set romantic thriller, filled with plenty of shots of the two canoodling and smooching it up.

Sure enough, Robert Zemeckis’ Allied, which stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, got a new, 60-second promotional spot today, and with lines like, “They’re watching us, now kiss me,” it is either the best coincidence ever or a stroke of marketing genius. Our money’s on the latter.

Allied hits theaters Nov. 23.

Sept. 20 2016 3:33 PM

Neil Young Released a New Protest Song Called “Indian Givers”  

Neil Young’s new song “Indian Givers” is a condemnation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a major oil duct project under construction in Native American territory. Written in solidarity with the anti-pipeline Standing Rock Sioux Association, the song includes forcefully political lyrics like “Behind big money justice always fails” and “Our brothers and sisters have to take a stand,” even as its tune is breezy and folksy.

The music video for “Indian Givers” juxtaposes images of protests against the pipeline’s construction with Young driving around in his car, protesting through song. The sentiment, in other words, is made pretty clear—much as it was when Young released “Who’s Gonna Stand Up” in 2014, another anti-pipeline song focused on the pending decision on Keystone XL.

Sept. 20 2016 2:56 PM

Jimmy Fallon Responded to Criticism of His Trump Interview, Gave a Vivid Metaphor to Describe the Texture of Trump’s Hair

TMZ wasn’t about to let Jimmy Fallon leave Sunday night’s Emmy Awards without slinging at least one question about his infamous Donald Trump conversation. After the ceremony concluded, a reporter for the media outlet lured the Tonight Show host in with friendly questions—“What did Donald Trump’s hair feel like?” “Did it leave your hands sticky or anything?” “Is it orange?”—before asking him to weigh-in on the interview that left even some of his fellow late-night comedians outraged.

Fallon stuttered a bit after being asked if there “was anything” to the criticisms being leveled against him, eventually responding, “Have you seen my show? I’m never too hard on anyone.” It could hardly have felt more in line with Fallon's image: the good-natured party boy energetically committed, above all else, to his agenda of fun. Fallon continued to toe that nonpartisan line—however illusory it might be at this point—when asked to more substantively evaluate the candidates. “Just get out there and vote,” he said, uncomfortably. “Vote, vote, vote.”

Sept. 20 2016 12:49 PM

Lin-Manuel Miranda Sings the Dulcet Tweets of Donald Trump for His Next Big Musical

Donald Trump’s tweeting has been a source of endless fascination this election cycle, but believe it or not, it has also gotten him into hot water once or twice. (Just kidding! This has happened lots of times!) Still, if anyone could humanize Trump’s cartoonish internet persona, it might just be Lin-Manuel Miranda, who knows a thing or two about making audiences care about a divisive American politician: In a new video from GQ, Miranda sings the tweets of Donald Trump, exactly as the Republican nominee wrote them.

So should we expect to see the real Trump: the Musical anytime soon? Probably not, since Miranda is a little busy at the moment, what with filming the Mary Poppins sequel and composing music for Moana. But at least we’ll always have Miranda screeching, “I love Hispanics” to the sky for years to come.

Sept. 20 2016 12:30 PM

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence Are Lonely But Very Marketable Space Travelers In the Trailer for Passengers

It’s the movie you’ll see whether you want to or not: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as two lonely but exceptionally marketable space travelers who fall in love in the first trailer for Passengers. These passengers are among many others who have signed up for a 120-year stint in hibernation as they voyage to a new planet for a new start in life. Something goes wrong, though, and the two most bankable movie stars on board wake up early, are irresistibly attracted to each other, save the ship from … something … and uncover a terrible secret.

The trailer doesn’t hold much back, because—and we really can’t emphasize this enough—the plot is not the reason you’re going to see this movie. Part rom-com, part sci-fi adventure, the film looks like a cross between Guardians of the Galaxy, Silver Linings Playbook, and every sci-fi movie or television show ever that features cryogenic sleep. Passengers also stars Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia, and Michael Sheen as a robot bartender, because hey, Sheen’s gotta pay the bills too.

Passengers hits theaters Dec. 21.

Sept. 20 2016 11:51 AM

Sam Bee Has a Few Choice Words for Jimmy Fallon About His Infamous Trump Interview

Experiencing serious Trump fatigue, Samantha Bee posed an important question on Monday night’s episode of Full Frontal: “Why do so many Americans think playing footsie with fringe hate groups is a disqualifier from polite society, much less the presidency?” Her conclusion: largely NBC, who from The Apprentice to Saturday Night Live to, as of last week, popular late-night shows like The Tonight Show, has “gladly nurtured Trump’s celebrity.”

Jimmy Fallon’s recent softball interview of Donald Trump sparked outrage from various media outlets, but it was especially gratifying to see a late-night peer really rip into the whole stunt. Bee called the interview a tacit endorsement of a “race-baiting demagogue,” and after showing a clip-reel of Fallon straining to present Trump in an empathetic light, she had a stern message for the Tonight Show host: “Aw, Trump can be a sweetheart with someone who has no reason to be terrified of him.”

Sept. 20 2016 10:19 AM

This Genius Dulce de Leche Recipe Lets You Be the Boss (Plus: No Exploding Cans!)

This post originally appeared in Genius Recipes from Food52.

First, let’s get this out of the way: Why make your own dulce de leche? Doesn’t it cook for an awfully long time? Are we sure it’s worth it?

Yes. Firstly and most pragmatically of all, because dulce de leche isn’t always in your supermarket when you need it. When I set out to make April Bloomfield’s Banoffee Pie, for example, all I could find was a squeeze bottle in the ice cream section. It had 12 ingredients and the consistency of acrylic paint. Why would I bother making a nice pie with an Achilles’ heel like that?

But even if you can buy finer quality dulce de leche, or its goat-milky sister cajeta, making your own can be hands-off, less expensive, and seriously easy, with as little as one ingredient and a dish or two to wash—and, maybe best of all, you get to take back control.

Sept. 20 2016 1:11 AM

Watch Disco Demolition Night Turn Into a Disaster in Real Time With This Amazing Footage

As useful as round-ups, retrospectives, and anniversary pieces can be for making sense of historical events, there’s no substitute for going back to primary documents. And an exceptional primary document quietly appeared on YouTube Sunday: the WSNS Channel 44 Chicago broadcast of the July 12, 1979 double-header between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Those baseball games, only one of which was ultimately played, lived on in infamy under a different name: Disco Demolition Night.

Everyone knows the basic outline: Local radio DJ (and tasteless John Wayne Gacy parody songwriter) Steve Dahl loathed disco for personal reasons, having lost his job at WDAI when it changed to a disco format. After an escalating series of anti-disco stunts at his new home, rock station WLUP, Dahl hit the big time with a White Sox promotional night which rock fans could attend for 98 cents and a disco record. Between the doubleheader’s games, all the donated records would be blown up in center field. The turnout was beyond anything the ballpark had prepared for, and the resulting riot was, depending on who you asked, a racist, homophobic “hate-fest,” the end of a golden age, a “declaration of independence from the tyranny of sophistication,” or even a prelude to Gamergate.