Though its lackluster opening weekend led many to dismiss it as dead on arrival, The Greatest Showman has gone on to become one of the biggest surprise success stories in film history. Hugh Jackman’s gloriously over-the-top circus musical is now one of the highest grossing live-action movie musicals of all time and its soundtrack has been a consistent chart-topper. The film will make a victory lap at this Sunday’s Oscars with what’s sure to be a rousing performance of its nominated song “This Is Me.” So what better way to celebrate The Greatest Showman than by pitting its songs against one another?
Written by Dear Evan Hansen songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, every song on the Greatest Showman soundtrack is a bop in one way or another. In fact, I briefly considered making this list an 11-way tie. But tough choices have to be made, so without further adieu, here’s my ranking of every song of The Greatest Showman soundtrack:
11. “Never Enough (Reprise)”
We really need to have a talk about which reprises should be included on a musical’s soundtrack. Unless it’s got the narrative resonance of the “My Strongest Suit (Reprise)” from Aida, you probably don’t need it. That’s especially true of this reprise of a song I have some pretty significant issues with anyway (see the next entry for more on that).
10. “Never Enough”
This wannabe Leona Lewis ballad is hands down the worst thing about The Greatest Showman, and that’s saying something for a movie that tries to recontextualize P.T. Read the rest
Tasty teamed up with award-winning sci-fi novelist and Black Panther comics writer Nnedi Okorafor (Black Panther: Long Live the King) to imagine what a signature dish from the fictional African nation Wakanda might be like. Of course, M’Baku would have to make a vegetarian version for himself. Read the rest
Here’s some unsolicited advice: Try avoiding unsolicited advice! At least that’s the recommendation of Anna Akana, who realized she would too often respond to her friends’ emotional woes by making suggestions about what they should do. After spotting this pattern, Akana decided to change her conversational style and found that her friendships dramatically improved. Now instead of offering advice, Akana just tries to be a supportive sounding board by saying things like, “How does that make you feel?”, “Wow, that sounds really hard, how are you handling it?”, and “I totally understand why you’re upset. What do you think you’re going to do?” You can watch Akana explain her new friendship philosophy right here:
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Famed weirdo Zach Galifianakis decided to make an Alien-style entrance on his latest Conan appearance.
[via The A.V. Club] Read the rest
When it comes to artists producing smart, genre-hopping comedy, one of my favorite up-and-coming groups is Shipwrecked Comedy. Shipwrecked previously produced the delightful literary comedy series Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, and the group’s latest project is a film noir parody/homage called The Case Of The Gilded Lily. Written by and starring brother/sister duo Sean and Sinead Persaud, the short film follows hardboiled private eye Ford Phillips and fast-talking junior reporter Fig Wineshine as they become embroiled in a case involving a Hollywood starlet. You can watch the full short film right here:
The Case Of The Gilded Lily is a funny, lovingly made treat for film noir fans. Shipwrecked also released a behind-the-scenes video about the film’s development and production:
You can watch more on Shipwrecked’s YouTube channel. Read the rest
As Boing Boing has written about before, there’s something really satisfying about keeping a handwritten journal. And a concept called “bullet journaling” is currently all the rage when it comes to freeform, customizable life organization. Back in 2016, BuzzFeed published a helpful look at what bullet journaling is and how it works. As the article explains:
The main idea behind the bullet journal is that you jot down quick notes instead of writing long sentences. The bullet journal website calls this “rapid logging,” which makes it sound WAY more complicated than it is. It’s simply taking quick notes on any number of things, and then marking those notes with simple symbols to easily categorize and track them.
The BuzzFeed article goes on to add:
I like bullet journaling because it’s a great way to track my day-to-day activities and experiences, as well as my long-term goals. Planners/to-do lists typically only focus on what you're doing in the future, and diaries typically focus on what you did that day. But all of these things give us the complete picture of who we are. Before I started bullet journaling, the idea of keeping my diary and my personal to-do list and my work tasks in the same place seemed absurd. But now I understand both how to organize that, and also why it makes sense to do it that way.
You can also learn more on the official bullet journal website as well as in this official intro video:
Since bullet journaling has exploded in popularity, a lot of people now take to YouTube to share the ways in which they organize and utilize their own bullet journals. Read the rest
Maximize flavor, minimize cleaning. Read the rest
“Only one of these nine films will win the coveted title of Best Picture—unless it’s accidentally given to someone else.” Read the rest
The racial justice organization Color of Change has launched the #GiveAChildTheUniverse campaign to make it easier for kids to see Ava DuVernay’s highly anticipated big screen adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time. For every $10 donated, AMC Theatres will provide a ticket to a child or teen who might not otherwise be able to see the film. The premise behind the campaign is that, “Kids of all kinds should see image of themselves throughout the universe.”
Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved 1962 book, A Wrinkle In Time stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, and newcomer Storm Reid as Meg Murry. The movie opens on March 9th. You can make a donation to the #GiveAChildTheUniverse campaign right here or learn more about the campaign on this FAQ. Read the rest
Tasty’s Devon and Jared test out Marilyn Monroe’s prized stuffing recipe and try to figure out what secrets it holds about her love life. Read the rest
In this video, AJ+’s Sana Saeed breaks down the long history of the NRA, from its beginnings as a post-Civil War sports club to its present day pro-gun activism. It turns out the group wasn’t always the aggressive Second Amendment defender it is today; the NRA actually used to support gun control. NPR has a similar video featuring senior political editor and correspondent Ron Elving discussing the history of the NRA too:
As NPR’s accompanying article explains:
The power of the organization is legendary, especially the widely published report cards it issues giving A to F grades to lawmakers. The cards have been credited with the election (or blamed for the defeat) of many a candidate, including incumbents.
Even the nuances of the group’s affection, an A+ over an A grade, for example, can make the difference for candidates, especially in Republican primaries.
That is why the NRA has anchored the opposition in every major gun-related debate since it altered its main aim from marksmanship to hard-edged political activism. That change came 40 years ago and was related to other shifts in political sentiment, including the departure of Southern rural conservatives from the Democratic Party. All these helped elect the first presidential candidate to ever be endorsed by the NRA, Ronald Reagan, in 1980.
Read the full article on NPR’s website. Read the rest
It’s been a year since the infamous Oscars broadcast in which La La Land was briefly crowned Best Picture before it was revealed that Moonlight was actually the real winner. The Hollywood Reporter has put together a really fascinating oral history of the entire night, which includes some great details, like how Warren Beatty literally held the envelopes hostage to ensure he wasn’t incorrectly blamed for the snafu. Here’s an excerpt:
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LISA TABACK, Awards consultant, worked on both La La Land and Moonlight campaigns I went backstage, and I see a security guard with Warren Beatty. Warren is really tall, and he was holding his arm up as high as he could—which must be about seven and a half feet off the ground—because in his hand was the envelopes. He was saying into the phone, I believe to his wife, “I’m not giving it up to anybody!” It was dead quiet.
ANNETTE BENING, Actress, wife of Warren Beatty My impulse was to call him right away. And I did. And he picked up the phone. And I said, “Oh my God. You did a great job, but what happened?!” And he said, “I have the envelopes, and I’m not giving them to anyone!”
MARA BUXBAUM, Publicist, guest of Casey Affleck I was backstage with Casey and there was a logjam by the elevator. I don’t know if it was the [PricewaterhouseCoopers the accounting firm] people, but they were trying to get the envelopes from Warren, and he was like, “No, I need to make sure that everybody knows what this envelope says.” Warren is really smart, and he’s the first to be careful for new narratives to take over, so he would not let go of the envelopes.
Beauty YouTuber Jovita George has a really cool series in which she contrasts two cultures’ makeup styles on the two sides of her face. (She’s previously done French vs. American makeup, British vs. Italian makeup, and Japanese vs. Russian makeup.) In her latest video, George contrasts the Hindu bridal makeup that’s popular in South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh with Muslim bridal makeup that’s popular in the Punjab region as well as Pakistan. As George points out, no one makeup look can represent an entire culture and there are plenty of regional (not to mention personal) differences that determine what someone wants to wear on their wedding day. But this double tutorial is still a fascinating glimpse into two very different bridal styles.
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Vox breaks down the ways in which our smart phones are designed to keep us addicted and offers some simple suggestions for how to feel less pulled towards using them all the time. Read the rest