Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

Oct. 26 2016 3:18 PM

Witness! The Black-and-White Edition of Mad Max: Fury Road Is Now Available for Streaming

There’s a new way to watch one of 2015’s best movies: A black-and-white (or “black and chrome”) version of Mad Max: Fury Road is now available to stream, and it’s mesmerizing. The new, monochromatic edition, which is actually director George Miller’s preferred version of the movie, quietly appeared on Amazon earlier this week. (It’ll be available on DVD in the U.S. on Dec. 6.) You can view a snippet of Miller’s introduction to Mad Max: Fury Road—Black & Chrome, in which he explains how the origins of this version date back to Road Warrior, in the clip below, via Yahoo Movies.

Oct. 26 2016 2:25 PM

Amazon Just Bought an Eight-Episode Anthology From Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner for $70 Million


After an intense bidding war between six outlets, Amazon and the Weinstein Company have jointly acquired an eight-episode anthology from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. The potential series—to be written and at least partially directed by Weiner—attracted massive offers, according to Deadline (who first broke the news), with the final co-financing commitment from Amazon and Weinstein amounting to a staggering $70 million.



Over the past year, Weiner has directed the penultimate episode of Orange Is the New Black’s fourth season and penned a novel set to be published by Little, Brown, and Company in late 2017. This, however, will mark his first major TV gig since Mad Men concluded in 2015. “In a time when there are so many options for entertainment, it’s been tremendous to see how Roy Price and Amazon have taken center stage by distinguishing themselves through bold choices,” Weiner said in a statement. “I am truly excited to have this opportunity to work with risk takers like them and Harvey and The Weinstein Company who have a proven, longstanding commitment to creative voices and innovation.”


Oct. 26 2016 10:52 AM

How Hot Topic Stays in Business, as Sung by the Nightmare Before Christmas Honest Trailer

Halloween is approaching, which means it’s time to raise the annual question: Is Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie? In their latest Honest Trailer, Screen Junkies ponder that and other important mysteries about the stop-motion classic, such as why are there no Jewish holidays in the magic forest? Does it really take the residents of Halloween Town all year to plan their party? And why is Tim Burton’s name slapped on the title when he neither directed nor wrote the movie? (To be fair, that last one has an answer: The movie is based on a poem he wrote, and he did serve as producer.)

Oct. 26 2016 10:17 AM

Lady Gaga Helped James Corden With the “Bad Romance” Lyrics and Almost Caused an Accident on Carpool Karaoke

Lady Gaga teaching James Corden exactly how to sing and dance to “Bad Romance” was just one highlight during The Late Late Show’s latest installment of Carpool Karaoke. Indeed, the two covered a lot of ground on Tuesday night, beginning with the perfect song for a traffic jam—Ludacris’ “Move Bitch”—before intermixing classic Gaga with some country-girl Joanne Gaga (both songs and outfits). She also got behind the wheel for a bit, which, well, didn’t go so well.

Oct. 26 2016 9:17 AM

Westworld’s Man in Black Is a Classic Bad Gamer

This article originally appeared in Vulture.

The video-game elements of Westworld are pervasive. They’re embedded in the character-creation stage as guests enter the new world, the repeating cut-scene–like set pieces, the hosts’ death and resurrection, and the larger narrative form. That last feature impacts some of the most interesting and innovative pieces of Westworld more generally: In a role-playing game–style video game, the illusion of player autonomy creates a sense of realism. Your ability to make whatever choice you want, follow whatever story line looks most fun, be as good or as bad as you choose, or to set aside the game missions entirely and run around the world collecting random items instead, is central to some games’ sandbox-y, full-immersion identity.

The same is true of Westworld, to an extent. The guests—especially the black hats—thrill to the possibility of true in-game freedom. They are released from the bonds of real-world morality, which perversely allows the game to feel “real.” In the most recent episode, William asks Logan why he becomes a horrible person as soon as he leaves the real world. We know the answer, of course—this is Logan’s real self.

Oct. 26 2016 8:32 AM

There’s Another German Grocery Store Coming to the U.S., and It May Just Produce the Greatest Rivalry in Supermarket History

Apparently, Americans can’t get enough of the discount German grocery store experience. The popularity of Aldi, the German monolith whose no-frills displays and rock-bottom pricing have had Americans begeistert since 1976, has not gone unnoticed by the head office at Lidl, otherwise known as Aldi’s chief Fatherland competitor, its arch-nemesis, the perpetual Dorn in its side. And now the younger, feistier fighter in Germany’s biggest little war (Kleinkrieg, or “feud”) is yearning to breathe free on our shores. By 2018, Lidl plans to attack the Eastern Seaboard with 150 new harshly lit emporia of off-brand Tostitos.

Who will win? Impossible to know. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the two stores apart. Aldi’s got a weird four-letter name? Lidl’s got a weird four-letter name. Aldi’s got 10,000 stores in Europe? Lidl’s got 10,000 stores in Europe. Aldi’s got cardboard pallets full of deeply discounted private label goods? Lidl’s got—you get the drift.

Oct. 26 2016 5:40 AM

Tom Hanks’ Latest Press Tour Shows Why America Needs Him to Make Comedies Again

The promotional cycle for a new Tom Hanks movie is a kind of low-key national holiday. No matter how serious—or, in the case of Inferno, absurd and unnecessary—the film he’s promoting, Hanks fires up his megawatt charm and works the hustings like an old pro. It may not always get audiences into theaters; the Hanks-starring A Hologram for the King was released in April to the worst grosses of Hanks’ entire career. But he’s still a welcome, endlessly ingratiating presence on our screens.

Oct. 25 2016 5:38 PM

The Sellout Author Paul Beatty Is the First American Ever to Win the Man Booker Prize

Paul Beatty has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for his acclaimed novel The Sellout, becoming the first American writer to do so. The award is determined by a five-person jury, and in this case, the decision was unanimous.

Beatty’s sharp social satire tackles racial stereotypes with equal parts outrageousness and profundity, exploring the legacy of slavery and racial equality in the U.S. “The truth is rarely pretty, and this is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon,” Amanda Foreman, the head of the Booker judging panel, said of The Sellout. “It plunges into the heart of contemporary American society.” The novel previously won the National Book Award for fiction in 2015.


Beatty recently participated in Slate’s survey of the funniest books by living writers, recommending three titles including Tibor Fischer’s Under the Frog, while Beatty's books were recommended by Sam Lipsyte and Junot Díaz. Beatty also discussed The Sellout at length as part of Panoply’s podcast Live at Politics and Prose.

Oct. 25 2016 4:09 PM

Donald Trump Once Did a Surprisingly Introspective Interview With Errol Morris About Citizen Kane

Over a decade ago, documentarian Errol Morris interviewed Donald Trump for an aborted project called The Movie Movie. The conceit was to get various high-profile figures to put themselves in the context of their favorite films—and for Trump, it was Citizen Kane. It’s not hard to understand why: As the copy on Morris’ website currently reads, “Isn't it possible that in an alternative universe Donald Trump actually starred in Citizen Kane?”

Oct. 25 2016 3:07 PM

Tom Hanks Reunites With Zoltar From Big, Asks to Be 30 Again

Tom Hanks may be having yet another banner year, between his acclaimed performance as Sully and as new Halloween icon David S. Pumpkins, but the fact remains that he’s getting older. And on Monday night, he stopped by The Late Show to try and do something about that: reunite with Zoltar, the fortune-teller machine from the movie Big, and get aged back down to 30.

Since Hanks went from 13 to 30 in Big, he’s now asking Zoltar—now played by a finely-bearded Stephen Colbert—to age him backward in time.* Zoltar, unfortunately, isn’t buying it. He can barely remember Hanks, finding him indistinguishable from Tim Allen—“We worked on that movie together—The Santa Clause?”—and seems skeptical of his motivations. But after asking Hanks what lesson he took away from Big, trying to trap him into changing his mind, the Oscar-winning actor makes a pretty convincing case for himself: “I learned that being older isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.” Need he say more?


*Correction, Oct. 25, 2016: This post originally misstated the age of Tom Hanks’ character in the film Big.