Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

May 24 2015 1:05 PM

Sting Joined Jimmy Fallon’s Ragtime Gals for a Barbershop Rendition of “Roxanne”

Sting made the late night rounds last week, and the highlight was his performance with Jimmy Fallon’s barbershop quartet, the Ragtime Gals, who regularly churn out hilarious, old-timey covers of modern classics.

This time around, they gave the a cappella treatment to “Roxanne,” with Sting’s inimitable wail tamped down to a velvet croon.

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May 24 2015 12:24 PM

The Avengers Unleash Their Inner Rednecks in Bad Lip Reading’s Latest Masterpiece

The Avengers movies often deal with the various rifts that can arise between some proud, tightly-costumed superheroes—but what if that discord was rooted in some misplaced beef jerky? Enter Bad Lip Reading’s Avengers: Tulsa Nights, a hilarious dubbing that reimagines Marvel’s super-team as some rednecks “protecting the red, white, and blue, and even some non-Americans too.”

This is worth the watch just for country bumpkin Loki, whose intimidation tactics include demanding Black Widow “run to Piggly Wiggly and get some Skittles, cigarettes, and a big pouch of Big League Chew.”

May 23 2015 4:24 PM

The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” Sounds Pretty Great as a Vintage Jazz Tune

Despite excelling in all genres, it’s become clear that the folks of Postmodern Jukebox are at their best in a sultry jazz mode. As such, the quality of their latest cover is no surprise: They’ve taken the Cardigans’ ’90s classic “Lovefool” and given it a ’40s lounge feel, replete with gentle brass flourishes and a lilting piano counter-melody. Haley Reinhart supplies the smoky vocal and the band cooks as usual.

May 23 2015 1:40 PM

Quentin Tarantino’s Best Visual References, in Three Minutes

To state the obvious: Quentin Tarantino loves movies, and loves referencing them in his own. Usually, that love manifests in general ways, like his use of Western films’ revenge narratives. Sometimes, though, it means Tarantino replicates a beloved shot or scene wholesale, co-opting the compositions of another movie to lend energy and depth to his own.

Jacob T. Swinney has compiled the best examples of this method, showing how Tarantino’s cinephilia goes beyond mere allusion.

May 22 2015 7:05 PM

All the Disney References Hidden Around Tomorrowland    

Brad Bird’s new Disney movie Tomorrowland shares its name and logo with one of the many themed “lands” at the company’s theme parks, but it borrows from much more than just that one section. Those who’ve been to Disney World dozens of times, as I have, will also notice elements of Space Mountain, Cinderella’s castle, Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, and more. Below, we break down what we noticed.

May 22 2015 4:51 PM

Spoiler Special: Tomorrowland

On the Spoiler Special podcast, Slate critics discuss movies, the occasional TV show, and, once in a blue moon, another podcast, in full, spoiler-filled detail. In this episode, Slate’s movie critic, Dana Stevens, and Slate senior editor Forrest Wickman discuss Tomorrowland, writer-director Brad Bird’s new Disney sci-fi adventure film about the future starring George Clooney. Is this Bird’s first artistic failure or one of his best movies yet? Is the movie’s message about the future naive or just refreshingly optimistic? And can we really sort out its mind-bending plot?

Listen to them discuss these and other questions below. You can also check out past Spoiler Specials in our archive, and you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Note: As the title indicates, each installment contains spoilers galore.


May 22 2015 4:04 PM

Finally, Someone Remade Mad Max: Fury Road With Mario Kart Special Effects

There’s only one thing scarier than cruising through the desert while being chased by a biker gang—and that is being chased through the desert and then encountering a row of multicolored boxes with question marks. This video mash-up of Max Max and Mario Kart special effects, called Mario Kart: Fury Road, looks even better than the actual movie. Fury Road, meet Rainbow Road. 

May 22 2015 1:11 PM

The Best Movies to Watch on Netflix This Weekend Before They Expire in June

Every month, Netflix adds dozens of new titles to its growing collection of streaming movies and TV series. At the same time, it rotates out some of its older titles. Below we’ve chosen the best movies to watch before they’re removed from Netflix streaming in June. (All movies expire June 1 except where otherwise noted.)

May 22 2015 11:49 AM

Bill Murray Is Getting His Own Christmas Special on Netflix

Here’s one reason to get excited already for the holiday season: Netflix just announced that Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola are teaming up for a Christmas special. The teaser for A Very Murray Christmas shows a glum Murray waiting around in an empty hotel room, worried that the frightful weather outside will prevent his friends from making guest appearances on his TV show. The special will be star-studded: Amy Poehler, Paul Shaffer, Michael Cera, George Clooney, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, and Miley Cyrus all make appearances. Until then, the sight of Bill Murray wearing reindeer antlers will have to tide us over.

May 22 2015 11:12 AM

All Men Must Sing in Coldplay’s Full Game of Thrones Musical    

Coldplay finally unveiled the full-length version of that (fake, sadly) Westerosi rock opera they’ve been teasing all week for the Red Nose Day charity campaign, and it does not disappoint.

Jon Snow’s rocker about Wildlings is sung to the tune of exactly the right Troggs song. There’s an unsettlingly jaunty ditty about the Red Wedding. Daenerys Targaryen takes a stab at reggae. Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s incest-inspired ballad puts Michael Bolton to shame. But Peter Dinklage’s musical tribute to Tyrion, “A Man for All Seasons (Still Goin’ Strong),” is definitely the one you’ll want on your iPod.