Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog

July 27 2015 9:27 PM

The Entire Mission: Impossible Series, Summarized in Six Minutes

Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, the fifth installment in the still-spry Mission: Impossible series, is out on Friday, and early reviews are very, very good. If you’re one or three movies behind, or if you’ve seen literally none of Ethan Hunt’s breathless, ultra-high-stakes adventures, take heart: The folks at IGN have made an excellent video that recaps the entire series in a brisk six minutes. (Though, weirdly, the video’s title claims to do so in five).

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July 27 2015 4:39 PM

The Best Movies to Stream on Netflix Before They Expire This Weekend

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 August.

July 27 2015 3:24 PM

Ferrell Takes the Field Trailer: Will Ferrell Joins the Major Leagues, for America    


One day in March during spring training, Will Ferrell dropped in on 10 different major league baseball teams, and played every position on the field. As we can now see in the full trailer for the HBO special about this historic achievement, Ferrell Takes the Field (premiering Sept. 12), Ferrell was a valuable asset to each team he temporarily joined: He pitched, he bunted, he held signs praising players’ good looks, and he sported the most regal nacho beard mankind has ever seen.


“They say nothing’s more American than grabbing a hot dog, heading to the ballpark, and watching nine guys from the Dominican Republic make magic on the field,” Ferrell says. “But you know what? Today I learned they are wrong. Make that eight Dominicans, and one guy from Irvine, California.” God bless America.

July 27 2015 1:45 PM

Mad Max: Fury Road + the Benny Hill Theme = “Yakety Max”

What do you get when you cross Mad Max: Fury Road with Benny Hill? “Yakety Max,” a mashup from 6S Films that pairs the action film’s chase sequences with a heavy metal cover of the Benny Hill Show theme song, “Yakety Sax.” It may seem an improbable, and ultimately rather silly, combination, but the song that accompanied so many Benny Hill chase sequences actually works pretty well when playing over Mad Max’s own chaotic, roundabout dashes, and it wouldn’t be entirely out of place being played on the flamethrower guitar.

July 27 2015 11:36 AM

Celebrate Stanley Kubrick’s Birthday With This Hypnotic Montage of His Tracking Shots

Legendary film director Stanley Kubrick, who died in 1999, would have turned 87 over the weekend, and to celebrate the auteur’s birthday, CutPrintFilm put together this montage of tracking shots from four of the director’s most famous films: The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Eyes Wide Shut.

July 27 2015 10:48 AM

John Oliver Explains—With Penis Jokes—Why Mandatory Minimum Sentences Have Got to Go

Mandatory minimum sentences can send Americans to prison for decades for even low-level drug offenses—regardless of context—as John Oliver explained on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight. Even the judges who are forced to issue these sentences often think they’re egregiously unfair. As Oliver put it, “Prison sentences are a lot like penises: If they’re used correctly, even a short one can do the trick.”

July 27 2015 8:32 AM

Cookie-Shaped Churros Are Easy to Make (and Easier to Eat)

This post originally appeared on Food52.

I want Mexican hot chocolate in all of the forms. Probably because it was introduced to me in an already-riffed state — as a milkshake, at my college burger joint of dreams — I have always considered the flavor combination something worth playing with. Chocolate is addictive enough, but when its richness is balanced out with a hit of cinnamon and a sleeper kick of chile, good luck ever ordering any other type of milkshake again. Or buying a normal candy bar. Or eating normal tortilla chips. You get it. 

Taking this power trio to churros was only a matter of time. The time was last week; the result was just as trophy-worthy as I’d imagined. Fried dough rolled in sugar (or dipped in chocolate, if you’re doing things the Spanish way) is tough to be improve upon, but that subtle hit of spiciness cranks an already great dessert up to eleven. Is there anything chocolate-cinnamon-cayenne can’t do? 

(I mean it. If you find something, let me know.) 

Note: The most distinguishing feature of a churro is its long, fluted shape, but long, fluted pasties are hard to stuff into small Tupperware containers and hoard in front of “30 Rock.” Small adjustments were made to account for this priority of mine; namely, these are churros in the shape of cookies. You’re welcome world. 

July 27 2015 8:02 AM

How Exactly Did Ant-Man Make Michael Douglas Look So Young?

This article originally appeared in New York magazine.

In Ant-Man’s opening scene, Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym strides into S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters to tender his resignation. Well, that’s not 100 percent right—it’s definitely Hank Pym, and it’s definitely S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, but it’s not quite Michael Douglas, at least as we know him in 2015. The scene takes place in 1989, and the Douglas that walks into the room is the spitting image of the actor during his Wall Street and Fatal Attraction days. How did the film undo 25 years of time’s cruel work? We were lucky enough to talk to Trent Claus of Lola VFX, the company that de-aged Douglas for Marvel, to learn the scene’s secrets.

In the world of visual effects, Lola specializes in “visual cosmetics,” which can range from secret touch-ups to complete physical transformations. As Claus puts it, the company can make anyone “older, younger, thinner [or] fatter.” Lola first got into de-aging in their work for X-Men: The Last Stand, but their breakout moment came on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where they handled the aging and de-aging of Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett’s characters. Since then, they’ve had a long relationship with Marvel—Lola created skinny Chris Evans for the first Captain America film—and they were brought on fairly early in the production process to handle the de-aging work in Ant-Man’s prologue.

The heads-up helped. “They asked for advice for what they could do when they were shooting that could aid us, which is very much appreciated,” said Claus. “We put our two cents in, and they did everything we needed right from the start.” Mostly that meant no anti-aging makeup on the 70-year-old Douglas (it messes with the way light works on the face) and a sprightly stand-in to give a reference point for the way young skin looked on the S.H.I.E.L.D. set.

July 26 2015 2:26 PM

Peter Sarsgaard Tests the Limits of Authority in the First Experimenter Trailer

This is turning out to be a banner year for movies about controversial American psychological experiments. The haunting Stanford prison experiment movie hit screens this month, and we now have the first trailer for Experimenter, which details Stanley Milgram’s polarizing efforts in the ‘60s to establish the bounds of human obedience and authority.  

The Milgram experiment was devised in response to the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, which prompted questions about whether Nazi officers were “following orders” or wholly culpable for their crimes. Milgram, a Yale psychologist, explored this issue by testing whether subjects would be willing to follow orders that had them electrocute strangers in the next room. There was no real electrocution taking place, but, astonishingly, a majority of subjects administered what they thought to be fatal shocks after some gentle prodding by Milgram. Peter Sarsgaard plays Milgram, the ever-brilliant Winona Ryder plays his wife Sasha, and Jim Gaffigan, Anton Yelchin, and Taryn Manning round out the cast. Experimenter is out in October.

July 26 2015 12:09 PM

Key & Peele Is Ending After This Season

All good shows must come to an end, and Key & Peele, a very, very good show, is no exception: Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele announced Saturday that the show’s current season, its fifth, will be its last, as the duo has mutually decided to pursue other projects. Here’s Key’s explanation, as told to The Wrap:

This is our final season – and it’s not because of Comedy Central, it’s us. It was just time for us to explore other things, together and apart. I compare it to Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. We might make a movie and then do our own thing for three years and then come back and do another movie.

As that quote makes clear, this isn’t really the end of Key and Peele, comedy duo—just the end of their sketch show, which since 2012 has been subverting stereotypes, lampooning racial tensions, and generally supplying some of the most robust and surreal comedy around. The show became especially popular in recent years: It nabbed a Peabody Award in 2013, eight Emmy nominations this year, and in April one of Key’s best characters, Anger Translator Luther, made an appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner. There are eight episodes left in the current season, all of which have been filmed, so it makes sense for the two to leave voluntarily, with a legacy to be proud of, and with plenty of future collaborations in store. 

Those collaborations don’t sound half-bad, either. The pair has already written and shot Keanu—a movie in which they play friends attempting to rescue a kitten from the drug underworld—and they’re at work on a Police Academy reboot, a horror film Peele wrote, and an entirely new show that may air on Comedy Central.