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The Friday High Five
On Old Wars, New Trailers, and Swedish-Made Penis Pumps
Every Friday I share 5 things I enjoyed this week. Also, high fives are inherently cool, and I think we can all agree Friday is the bestest day. Hence the Friday High Five. 🙏🏻
Quick note: I apologize for sending two(!) posts in as many days, but that Dracula bit needed to get out of my head. I wanted to get it out on Wednesday, but as I didn’t start writing until Thursday night, that proved impossible.
I send this week’s newsletter knowing at least one of you will instantly recognize the completely out-of-context high five shown above. As Bill Simmons used to say at the end of his legendary mailbag articles: These are my readers.
Today’s High Five comes from the 1989 film Tango & Cash. The film stars Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone as a pair of Odd Couple detectives forced to work together on a case. Only problem: They hate each other. To the point that they can’t even high five.
I’m being serious.
But do they really hate each other? I’m not so sure. There’s a ton of homoerotic energy in this movie! Everyone loves to bring up the volleyball scene in Top Gun, but imagine if Maverick and Iceman took a shower together and Iceman dropped the soap.
The clearest indicator of their true feelings comes in the fruition of the long-teased high five, which morphs into hand-holding while staring into each other’s eyes.
I rest my case.
Have a great weekend! High Five!
5 Things I Enjoyed This Week:
Console Wars 📖
Substack Notes 🗣️
New Movie Trailers 😍
Boy Movies 😎
The Mandalorian 🙈
I’ve been reading ‘Console Wars’, which is about the Nintendo vs Sega battle fought during my formative years. We were a Nintendo house, but we ended up getting a Sega Genesis when my brother and I were teenagers and frankly it was the right console for the right time. Anyway, it’s been super interesting reading all the behind-the-scenes stuff, and the hows and whys of things I only vaguely remembered (such as “Sega does what Nintendon’t”, and the Sega! scream that ended all the commercials).
Here’s a juicy number: Sonic the Hedgehog was originally called Mr. Needlemouse. I know! He wore a spiked collar, carried an electric guitar, and had a human girlfriend with enormous breasts named Madonna. I don’t know much about anime, but ‘busty cartoon chicks’ seems to be a whole Japanese genre. Fortunately, Sega of America got involved and walked the company back from the cliff.
The book has all sorts of fun details. I started capturing them in a Notes thread:
Funny insights on your favorite pop culture stuff, delivered to your inbox for free.
Speaking of Notes! This week, Substack rolled out an update introducing a Twitter-like social function to the platform. And it’s actually pretty cool! Though I’ve had problems finding content and writers to engage with. My feed is top-heavy with politics. Which is fine, I guess, but I’m with Austin Powers on this one.
You can find Notes at substack.com/notes, or in the app as shown below. As a subscriber to All the Fanfare, you’ll automatically see my notes! Groovy, huh? You can even leave comments! Isn’t the internet grand?
New Movie Trailers
This is how much I love movie trailers: I’m always a bit disappointed when they end and the movie I paid actual, real-life money to see starts. I guess I just love hype for hype’s sake.
Here are four trailers that dropped recently and instantly got me.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Michael J. Fox was my guy. So I’m very much there for this new movie. I can already tell it’s going to make me laugh and cry in equal measure. It’s gonna be like his Spin City send-off all over again.
A mockumentary / comedy about the Muppets rock band? You had me at Muppets. Hell yeah. 🤘🏻
Technically, this is a Disney+ series, not a movie, but whatever. I’m including it because it looks awesome.
Much as I love Indiana Jones—and I do—I’ve remained a bit skeptical of the new film, for two reasons: 1) Crystal Skull sucked monkey balls; and 2) Harrison Ford is definitely too old for this shit. But if we hold to the maxim that the odd-numbered Indiana Jones movies are great (Raiders, Crusade), and the evens are less-good (Temple of Doom, Crystal Skull), then clearly this fifth outing aught to be magnificent.
Dodgy logic aside, this movie actually looks good! Apart from the silly, CGI-assist where geriatric Ford leaps monkey-like from a motorized rickshaw into another vehicle. Using Sympathy for the Devil in the trailer also feels a bit odd, but I’ll allow it.
Into the Spider-Verse is simply one of the greatest superhero films of all-time. It feels like it’s been 10 years since it came out—I just checked, it was actually 2018—and I’ve been impatiently waiting for the sequel since. Don’t know why it took 5 years to get us here, apart from pandemic shenanigans, but I’m pumped Across the Spider-Verse is (finally) on the way.
In order to address my Notes timeline suckage issues, I went in search of Substack writers also posting about pop culture. My wanderings lead me toand her delightful newsletter. Her post about Training Day and Inside Man bowled me over. Smart, witty, beautifully written… I hate to beat an Austin Powers “Swedish-made penis enlarger pump” joke into the ground, but this sort of thing is absolutely my bag, baby.
Consider the spark in Alonzo’s eye when Jake first holds a gun to him; there is nothing more satisfying to someone like Alonzo, steadfast in his belief that the decay of the soul is not only necessary but inevitable, than watching someone become consumed by the same darkness that has consumed him.
I’m an enthusiastic new subscriber and I think you’d dig her stuff, too.
I’m steering clear of spoilers.
This week’s episode is the best of an admittedly uneven season three. Lucasfilm has been repositioning the show into something far bigger than its initial “a bounty hunter and his adopted kid” jumping off point. And that’s good! We can’t keep telling the same stories all the time. (Which is actually something Lucasfilm should take to heart, but that’s a topic for another time.)
I’m still buzzing from the new episode. Possibly peak Grogu? The Mandalorian storyline gets super interesting. Fun worldbuilding, intrigue, a Shadow Council… this nerd was very happy. One of the most interesting parts is how the episode goes out of its way to screw with the viewer. You know a shoe is gonna fall, but when and where (and to whom) is left unresolved until you can’t take it.
I do wish some of this stuff had been introduced prior to the penultimate episode. As it is, there’s a lot of ground to cover in the finale. I could’ve used an entire episode zooming around the surface of Mandalore. And I still maintain the Dr. Pershing episode was a waste of 30 minutes. That runtime could’ve been used more judiciously, a fact that only becomes clearer this week.at has a really great recap of the episode. If you love the show, you need to read this. Seriously. Insightful and funny. And so well-written! Just really excellent stuff.
What are you into at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know!
If you enjoyed this, please like it and share it with someone. It’s the best way to show your appreciation and it would mean a lot to me. :)