Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

July 31 2015 7:58 PM

“Uptown Funk” as Sung by the Movies Is a Masterpiece. (Don’t Believe Me, Just Watch.)

If you’re wondering why this video is only coming out now, months after the song hit No. 1, you obviously haven’t watched it yet. Mashup master dondrapersayswhat took three months to make this video, and it shows. Each of the more than 280 clips used is carefully selected, from the “too hot” (Spaceballs) to the “hot damn” (Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder) to the ones used for the dance interludes (Napoleon Dynamite, Morris Day in Purple Rain, and even the truly incredible dance-off from Mac & Me).

Supercutters have been putting together these “as sung by the movies” videos for more than three years now, but they’ve rarely been this good. Turn on closed captioning to see each title listed at the bottom of the screen, but the movies are iconic enough that you probably won’t need it.

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July 31 2015 6:24 PM

This Cover of Taylor Swift’s “Style” on the Harp Is Surprisingly Beautiful

Emilie & Ogden are not your typical musical duo: Emilie is singer-songwriter Emilie Kahn. Ogden is a harp. Together, though, they do what all good musical duos do—they make music, in this case an ethereal cover of Taylor Swift’s “Style.”

July 31 2015 6:03 PM

Only Simba Can Avenge the Death of Cecil the Lion

Already weary of the Cecil the Lion outrage, I was more than a little skeptical about this reimagining of the news story as a mashup with one of my favorite childhood movies,The Lion King. Yet “The Lion King: The Retribution of Cecil,” by comedy news channel So That Happened, is actually quite funny, delivering some clever, morbid barbs about the whole situation through voice-over narration and dubbed line reading. (Mufasa—er, Cecil’s—instructions to Simba for avenging his death are particularly harsh.)

The lesson learned from this: The circle of life is a lot darker than how Disney imagined it.

July 31 2015 5:13 PM

Carly Rae Jepsen’s New Single Is More Restrained Than “I Really Like You,” Just as Catchy

“Warm Blood,” the new single from Carly Rae Jepsen’s third studio album, E•MO•TION, seems designed to get your pulse racing along with it. While “I Really Like You” was the bubblegum-pop spiritual successor to “Call Me Maybe,” Jepsen’s latest single is a breathier, more slow-burning synth track co-written by Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend. It’s still every bit as catchy.

July 31 2015 4:43 PM

LeBron James Steals the Show All Over Again in the Outtakes From Trainwreck

We already know LeBron James was the best part of Trainwreck. Even in these improvised outtakes, posted Friday by Universal Pictures, James continues to steal the show. Amy Schumer, of course, has a few zingers of her own (especially when it comes to penis jokes) but nothing is at once more charming and downright laughable than James asking if Schumer’s budding love for Bill Hader makes her want to take up sculpture. “Do you want to get a rescue dog together?” he demands skeptically. And don’t even get him started on good places to vacation in the Midwest.

 

July 31 2015 1:02 PM

Key & Peele Shows What Happens if You Dare to Admit You Don’t Like the Dark Knight Movies

 

It’s hard not to get chills the first time you watch Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, or the first time you figure out what Tom Hardy is saying as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. But could Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy possibly be a little overrated?

That’s what Keegan-Michael Key’s character dares to imply in this new sketch from Key & Peele—and it doesn’t end well. Key should know better than to challenge an avid fanboy, but what can we say? Some men just want to watch the world burn.

 

July 31 2015 11:29 AM

The Daily Show Finally Calls Out Jon Stewart for Being a “Corporate Monkey” for Arby’s

Jon Stewart might make millions laugh on The Daily Show, but make no mistake: He’s no everyman. “You sit there in your fancy chair and your fancy suit and you pretend to be a man of the people!” pro wrestler Seth Rollins raved on Thursday’s episode. “The truth is you will do anything to appease the corporate overlords.”

The rant was, of course, a setup for another tongue-in-cheek tribute—this time honoring all the times Stewart has “plugged” corporations. Stewart has had wonderful things to say about Lowe’s, GoPro, and Aquafresh, but it’s Arby’s that Stewart has raved about the most. “Arby’s: Proof Jon Stewart cannot destroy a brand by telling people what’s in it.”


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July 31 2015 11:15 AM

Watch Lauryn Hill’s Tour-de-Force Tribute to Nina Simone on The Tonight Show

Jazz legend Nina Simone has been back in the spotlight lately, thanks to the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? and the accompanying tribute album Nina Revisited. Covering Simone would seem to be a fool’s errand—what tribute could possibly hold a flame to the original? But just as she has done throughout her tour over the past few weeks, Ms. Lauryn Hill proved again on Thursday's Tonight Show that she is up to the task, breathing new life into “Feeling Good.”

July 31 2015 8:32 AM

How Netflix’s Original Programming Is Poised to Outpace the Top Cable Networks, in One Chart

This article originally appeared in New York magazine.

Just before the February 2013 debut of House of Cards, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed his game plan for the streaming service. “The goal,” he told GQ, “is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” More than a few TV-industry insiders dismissed Sarandos’s statement as bluster, tough talk from a Silicon Valley outsider playing to investors and the tech media. But by at least one major metric—the size of its original programming roster—it turns out Sarandos wasn’t bluffing. Barely three years after it started churning out its own programming, Netflix already has more original series in various stages of production than HBO, the longtime leader of premium cable content and a network that has been in business for over 40 years. What’s more, as the chart below illustrates, Netflix next year is poised to expand its lineup to more than two dozen series, blowing past both HBO and TV’s most prolific basic-cable programmer, FX/FXX. A service until recently known mostly for repurposing other people’s movies and TV shows will thus achieve a major milestone: It will boast the biggest collection of first-run scripted content of any other subscription-based network in America, cable or streaming. 

To be clear, having so many shows in production does not by itself stand as some sort of “game over” moment for Netflix or its rivals. HBO still maintains a massive lead in Emmy nominations, this month pulling in 126 nods versus 34 for Netflix. HBO this year also did what Sarandos predicted it would back in 2013: It “became” Netflix by launching HBO Now, the direct-to-consumer, no-cable-subscription-required clone of the mothership. And then there’s the yardstick that matters most to Netflix shareholders: profitability. While Netflix last year had more subscribers and revenue than HBO, the cable veteran still outpaced Netflix in terms of overall profitability (by a margin of nearly 10 to 1, by one analysis).

And yet the rapid rise of Netflix as a source of original programming is breathtaking—and without recent historical precedent. FX and HBO, for example, had been in business for one and two decades, respectively, before they began seriously expanding their scripted offerings—and then did so at a much more measured pace than Netflix. (It should be noted that both FX and HBO stepped up the pace of development in recent years—a reaction to the disruptive force that is Netflix as well as the slew of other new entrants into the scripted game.) On the broadcast side, the (relatively) short-lived WB and UPN took about five years to build up to their peak programming rosters in the late 1990s, and then rarely produced more than 16–18 titles each season. Fox followed a similar flight path as it built up its slate in the early 1990s. The closest precedent to Netflix’s scale-up can probably be found back in the earliest days of linear television, in the late 1940s and early ’50s, when CBS, DuMont, and NBC invented the notion of TV networks in America and flooded the airwaves with programming (even then, many shows were unscripted or only 15 minutes in length).

July 31 2015 8:02 AM

The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Netflix in August

Every month, a number of movies and TV series leave Netflix streaming, sometimes only temporarily, usually because licensing deals have expired. Several new titles arrive in their place. So what’s coming this month, and which of these new arrivals should you watch? Below, we’ve chosen the best new movies and TV shows coming to Netflix Instant streaming in August 2015. Plan your weekend marathons accordingly.

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