Theories And Headcanons That Make Movies 1000x Better
With all the stresses of life. It can be easy to lose perspective on what really matters. But Heineken believes that life is about being with friends and opening yourself to new experiences because when you live spontaneously and embraced the unexpected, it's a chance to create new stories and connections. You just have to be open to it. So enjoy a refreshingly cold full-bodied Heineken lager today with its deep golden color light, fruity aroma, mild bitter, taste, and a crisp clean finish. Cheers. Hey, there folks welcome to another episode of the crash podcast. The podcast all about why being alive is more interesting than people think it is. My name is Alex Smith and I'm head of podcasting here at cracked. I'm also known as Schmidt. The clam also known as Schmidt e the champ. And I am also also here to make Tom hardy movies, even better or or in the case of that venom movie, maybe less bad. I don't know. You have your opinion either way. Our topic today is all about fun. The topic is berries and had canons that make movies a thousand times better. So it's all about ways of watching movies and shows that enhanced the experience just because you decided to enhance it, you have that power. And when I said head cannon, that sort of a tumbler, the blogging service term for something that you just decide is true. Even though you know, maybe it isn't. And one of my favorite head canons that I've seen on tumbler is about Tom hardy. It is that Tom hardy is a dog trapped in a human's body. I know that's probably not true. True. I know it also makes all of his movies, more fun makes it lay of the way the way he's physical, the way he's friendly. Very good time. Also in real life, he loves dogs. We're gonna foot Newt a Vanity. Fair piece. That's a history of his relationship with dogs, which is surprisingly close. Also, that's an extra fun head cannon. If you're watching the movie Dunkirk because then it becomes about a hero dog flying a plane, which is silly and funds suddenly have a whole new movie. And that's kind of the idea today. You can do it with almost any actor to like a common one is taking Arnold Schwarzenegger and imagining that he is a Terminator in everything. So right when he's in other films, he's just researching humanity and also kind of winning us over for future emergencies. We're having a good time. It's going to be a fun episode. Also, the ones I said just now we're very silly. These can also be very, very resonant and very, very meaningful. And our guests today is the world champion of both fun and resonant pop culture stuff. I'm joined by guy. Branam guy is an. Credible comedian, we're gonna link. His stand up special edible Yeltsin may know him as a panelist and writer from Chelsea lately writing elsewhere for the Mindy project and Billy on the street. He's also an actor. He's the host of talk, show the game, show the host of the pop culture. Podcast, pop rocket so much stuff, and maybe most relevant to what we're talking about today, guy has written an incredible book called my life as a goddess, a memoir through unpopular culture, and it's an incredible piece of writing. It's why I thought to bring him on this episode because it is such a meaningful tax on his whole life and being a person. And it does it within a lot of times really silly stuff like the second x. men movie or lots of reality. TV is really incredible. Guy also has a fascinating life story on his own. He grew up in the red state version of California with a fascinating family and an underappreciated sexual orientation, and a mind that wished his pop culture and his world spoke to who he was direct. Tely. I cannot wait for you to hear the way guy uses his agency as an audience member to get the stories that he needs and deserves out of shows movies and more because it's something that we all can do. So let's hear about it. Please sit back or sit, Tom hardy set set set. That's a good time, hardy either way. Here's this episode of the crack podcast with guy Branam I'll be back after we wrap up talk to you that. I love your book among your many, many works and things as fantastic. Thank you. I like my book as well. It is. It was nice to do something that was just like, all me didn't have to satisfy anyone else. Like it's fun writing for TV shows. It's fun doing stand up, but it was also fun to do something that didn't have to like standalone and sixty second chunks, or you know, make network happy. So 's sponge right when you dive very deeply in it in terms of things that happened in the world or your on opinions on things, do feel so conscious about the fact that some people have been like, oh, this was not what I was expecting from this book. It's that gay guy from Chelsea. Lately. I was expecting funny stories where he vomited on himself as a child, or you know, like some people just want like material written down, jokes, jokes jokes, but I figured this book should feel like I had had two drinks and had cornered you at a party and was making you listen to me talk about something. And I, I think that I. Decide that effect. I agree. Could you feel the sweat coming from the book? No. Well, I heard your stand up album and you call out sweat and s. so I think I brought that to it. You know what I mean? Good. I just kind of felt that on my own good. Yeah, should sweat is a part of me being around you is feeling my my cloak of humidity. Then in this way, we are brothers. We had. We're talking today about movies and TV, but especially head cannons and theories and things that make them even better exciting and one whole chapter of the book. It gets into all kinds of things, but it kind of brings together the graduate and the little mermaid and my best friend's wedding in terms of sort of who should be the protagonist who's the main character well, and it's also a little bit my evolution of an identity as a gay person in a world that doesn't tell stories about gay people round, you know. But I think that all of them really are stories that are just tempting you to not give shit about the protagonist, you know, in various ways. And I think of the three of them, my Besson's wedding is the most mature because it is this side character, this sassy, gay friends that has been sort of attempts have been made to copy it in so many rom com sense. And all of them have been pathetic imitations. But the thing is is like Georgia's ten. Tempting jewels away from this normative rom com plot. And in the end, that's what happens is the happily ever after a whole lot more ambiguous and uncertain. And that's a queer story land Georgia's Rupert, Everett's character. And then jails, Julia, Robert? Yes, I forgot. She was named Jolson like they didn't even they were like the character, Julia Roberts? Yes. You can't. You can't look away from it. You know, really is Julia Roberts at the height of her powers, you know, it's hard to right. It's hard to remember. She's only real life twenty-seven at that point in time. Like it's only eight years after she was so young when she made steel magnolias and Pretty Woman. I guess she was like twenty. And this is, you know, only like eight years later, but it really was we like new all of who Julia Roberts was. I mean, I like it when an actor or particularly actress just downshifts into we all know what I do. You know, like Carrie Fisher for the last four decades. Of computer time. When like with your your soapdish, you drop dead, Fred, Wynn, like when Carrie Fisher showed up, it was like, all right. She's going to be in four more scenes going to kill all three. Pretty much just going to be carry. Fish k. Fisher is one of my mom's favorite performance ever and it's because of both Star Wars and the blues brothers where she is a flame thrower and destroys a building. She says, so young and adorable in the blues, brothers, like cocaine, Carrie Fisher was always the best Gary shirt. I mean, but pills Carrie Fisher was also very good kind of how you about my favorite all the romantic comedies people I'll bleed in two thousand eleven America made two films about people having casual sex who fall in love. I was in one of them. Yeah, the the bad photocopy of Rupert Everett and that one. But there was another one with me like Cuny's where Woody Harrelson hit played the bad photocopy of Rupert Everett, which is a mistake. But the most important thing about that is that Neil lacuna says an opening monologue that she delivers while walking to a african-amer. Friend who then shows up and no other part of the move. We had come to a point by two thousand eleven that everyone knew the tropes of romantic comedy enough that it's like you put a woman of color next to her, and we understand that that is probably her roommates, and she talks to that person and then that person goes away and there is nothing else from her in the entire movie, and it is just so reflective of like how objectify and operationalizing that of non white and beautiful best friends broadcom's well, they're they like the engine of a car or something at this point, right? Like what ten things go in exam together and then it goes. But I feel like that's why people fell out of love with romantic comedies. And I like that net flicks is trying to breathe some life back into them, but I think it will also take some ingenuity and some surprises. All of those Katherine Heigl movies with the same the over and over again. And as far as that romantic comedy, element of there is a gay character is is Rupert Everett. In my best friends wedding, kind of the first trend setter there is as far as big American ones putting someone in like that. Yeah. I mean in the book I kind of talk about the way that in movies, gay people between nineteen eighty three and nineteen Ninety-seven our representation really shifts like before nine hundred eighty three. We were nefarious characters or weird broken characters, and then come nineteen Eighty-three of the specter of HIV and gay people exist to be sad. And you kind of have a George Carlin in the prince of tides, which is in Aram com. He is sort of like occupying that role and you sort of are feeling it. And then like George really comes out as this non tragic sophisticated figure who is like helping informing and trying to encourage our heroine to grow. And then you start seeing more sassy, gay friends showing up just as comic relief, and it is really interesting because. I remember an English grad student explain this to me when I was like twenty and like horrified me with the realization that like comedy ends with heterosexual couple getting together and the specter of a baby and gay comedy, like classical Aristoteles comedy. Like in the, I mean, if you look at any Shakespeare comedy, it ends with couples getting together and marriages and maybe a baby in the spectrum of a baby. And the thing is because gay people can't give you the specter of baby. You don't know what permanence is at you. Like, why is this happy ending an ending, you know, ways the last step. How do we even do it right? And I think that for that reason and also just like sort of like our lack of willingness to see gay people as people who have like their own interests, gay men, particularly in rom coms end up coming an accessory. That's our woman wears a twenty eighth dress. If you will. It's like a periodic table of Katherine Heigl. The elephants are out there. We just see defined decency with which like just how recent is recently a word just recently into it was still like a twelve pounds overweight white woman or Judy Greer who was serving the role of person who stands next to our heroine is really shocking even like sassy. Woman of color is something we've only really gotten for, you know, since Bush gore. As far as also this, this broader thing of essentially which gay characters to identify with. It seems like there's also just been a process for a long time of just people trying to find someone to identify with who is not explicitly gamma taxed, but what else do you do? Right. Like kind of like areas identification is what gay people used to. And there are ways that like when we are shown stuff about gay people, we can like pull away kind of talk about it in the book. Like there is a discomfort that comes along with that, and it's not that it's easier. We're just more used to the work of having to watch Betty Davis or lady Gaga or whoever and identifying through a woman or a not explicitly gay. You know, gyms joing has a great bit about like sheriff of Nottingham do Jaffar and all of these Disney villains who are coated as gay to show that they are a trying to subvert the responsible heterosexuality of our heroes that being play an aspect of their. Various evil. They're feminists or in this case masculinity, I actually had a course in college. It was just like reading, pop culture kind. Of course, I did a whole thing where I said, did you know that Ratcliff the villain and polka haunt us is like a coded gay character. And the professor was like they pretty much all the villains out. Catch up. You know, that's the I don't remember from Pocahontas except for Pocahontas and grandmother. Willow right Ratcliffe is like he's it's sort of a pun on Radcliffe like that kind of colonial name, but he's this colonial British person who has an assistant who is it sort of Dom sub sort of thing. The power relationship, and he's a very flouncy and very, like guest on the FU accept less mask a, yeah, yeah. And and there's just it's I, I feel like I'm just listing stereotypes but, but it's a lot of the things that Hollywood has used to go that. Have you seen waking sleeping beauty? Is that what it's called now that is a documentary about Disney going from the mid eighties to the mid nineties, but it's basically sort of like things tanking with the black cauldron and then the way that Katzenberg and Alan Menken sort of like brought things back. And the interesting thing about. Aladdin little mermaid and beauty, and the beast is that you have Alan Menken writing these stories. And I think he he had his hands in the little mermaid and beauty and the beast way way more than anything else. But both of those things are stories about, like, you know, even from areas perspective, the little mermaid is very interesting, queer story from like having to give up where you're from to go sort of like experience a mature life. That doesn't make sense to the people where you're from, and. Oh, yeah. I never thought of that element of it. Well, yeah, yeah. Bell just being sort of like not fitting into the gender norms of of what was expected of women in this small provincial life, the town where she tells everyone is there to provincial in a very loud song. I testify like I really enjoy that ballads not my favorite Disney Princess because she is fundamentally boring. I am an aerial man through and through now I love her when I'm thinking of like, oh, what's fascinating theory that makes a piece of fiction work better. For me a lot of times it's just like fixing flaws in the basic plotting. You know, like there's one that they pulled out in a video called after hours that crack does where it's the overall idea that the Djeddai are very bad at their jobs in Star Wars. And so the prequels are the story of the jet. I realizing they have been kidnapping children in a bad way all of this time and they need to fix it. One of the things that was very hard for us about the prequels was that they were more mature than we give them credit for may may. Maybe not, but I think setting up these things that looked very shining impressive and saying, they don't work. You know that it is fundamentally about saying like the force was out of balance is interesting. When I first saw those movies, I thought that they were the most terrible, yes. But I recently we watched them and they are medium terrible. But with like cooling d. is in like they were at a transition point in our relationship to moral ambiguity in sci-fi fantasy like it was before game of thrones. The game of thrones is the thing that really got us to a point where we could like, except like by splitting up perspective, it means you can't have a clear sense of good Nevil. There aren't right side, bats. I people need to every situation you're having to understand people are just doing what's right for them and like something like dune, which also really floors that when the movie came out in eighty four, whatever people were like, what the fuck is that? Because we were just used to very low. Lord of the rings, Star Wars, good and evil. But that scene where anikin slices off Mace Windu arm after his full seduction by the emperor is like so grace. I wish it were more mature movie. You know, I wish it had been able to play with like bigger ideas when the emperor was sort of like getting into Anna cans head, but there's this way that lake. I think George Lucas always just thinks that he's making movies for six year olds. Yeah, it was hard to accept the prequels as interesting because the acting was directed in such a strange way. Everyone was very sort of buttoned-down and flat a lot of time. And so that leads me to think like, oh, well, if the acting is kind of flat, it's because the material is nothing. So that's what will. Yeah. I mean, it was them saying a lot of pointless things in front of green screens, and it is I feel sorry for Natalie Portman. 'cause like she's given us so much in so many situations. And I feel like that just gave her no opportunities in poor Hayden christianson. Oh man. It's a also a set of films where I feel like I'm just exploring them purely from a. I need to change this because the story frustrated me so much. Yeah, but I am also I'm a white, heterosexual male. And so I have a very easy time just finding people to identify within it and don't even worry about that with that kind of story. Miss other stuff. Interesting. Those things that are bad, but capturing you enough that you want to play around with what's going on there. That brings us very neatly to a television show called entourage over and and you talk about it and your book along with the comeback, as far as them both being very interesting views about lay. Yeah, like entourage is a great example of something that is a comedy on the in the Aristoteles in sense of in the end, things are better, you know, rather than like king Lear's daughter dies, and we're all said, yeah. Unlike there's something interesting about realizing the nihilism of playing with the cheat codes on because laic entourage. I mean, things are always better like, Aw, Vinnie chase, like, you know, having to check in with Vinnie chase it at forty, seven and realize what's gone wrong. But the thing is an entourage story would still be an then he got to do a bigger action movie. Yeah, and I don't know what he wants and I don't know if he knows what happiness is. Well, because things only go well in the show, if people haven't seen that, there will be some very, very brief tension maybe every year on, and then it will resolve itself often with just like a cell phone call. Yeah, he's boys were loyal to him and he was loyal to his boys. So they were all happy where, however goofy the comeback is like it's character is someone we know here in Los Angeles, and she somebody who's like struggling to get up to a bigger better place in Hollywood and failing to recognize the beautiful home, beautiful life that she has because she's always focused on something a little bit better. And I think that's the loveliest kind of comedy because it keeps showing you somebody fell down but into a safe well-padded space where everything's gonna be fine. And I think that that's so much what l. a.'s but end for people who don't know the comeback, just in case like it's starring Lisa Kudrow from from friends. Also, and that's sort of a fictionalized version of her. Yeah, making a comeback within a show where she is making a comeback in real life to kind of put at the same time is this magnificent criticism of the way that we make television comedy? Yeah, like eight is shitting so hard on the type of comedy that made Lisa Kudo and shooting so hard on the type of comedy that we have all into in sort of reality shows, housewife shows that kind of thing. And then the second season of it doing such a good job of shitting on the not funny, dark, half hours of the sort of like Atlanta or a master of none model right. Right? Maybe it's more artistic than funny right often, and I just love the show is just so unrepentant about criticizing the TV that we love. And I think that that's beautiful. When you write about entourage and your buck, you talk about how so many artists have tried to Documenta lay and they always find some sort of realistic or gritty element to it and then onto arrages just this like perfect myth. Yeah, everything works all the time and put the thing is, is that like no one would be obsessed with LA if it weren't for that idea and it's why have to respect entourage because it did sort of lake make this leg. Essentially elixir of what people think is great about Los Angeles. And I think that there's something a little bit boring about trying to do that. Yeah, but the said, homeless people on victory boulevard and like it's true, but they are drier in happier than this ad homeless people in Minneapolis, you know. You know. It is. Don't you think weird to live in a place that people had this weird division of when they were six or seven and the way fucks with their head. I remember when I told my niece who is now seventeen, but when she was like five or six, she was telling me that she wanted to win a contest she would get to ride in a whim. Oh, and she would get to go see suite life of Zack and Cody in Hollywood. And then I was like, Well, I I know people. I could just take you to taping of sweet lake of Zack and Cody, and it was like, I live in interest. You leaving Hollywood her. It was like a concept. It was Valhalla. It was a Lizzie m people love to romance the way that it is fucked up that these people are trying to live in a dream. That's yeah, they're China live in a dream. It's pretty cool. I'm like the better thing about Valerie trashes. She lives in the valley, the functional version of the jury. Right? Where there are certain freeways that can bring you to it from time to time. Exactly. But you're always gonna get parking. You know, you're never going to have to fight with some like twenty two year old with a guitar for a parking spot. It's interesting when people come here on in like a vacation away, like, what are you planning on? Are you gonna watch a sitcom, be taped? What are you going to do? Which is why I love Lisa Vandross pumps restaurants because Lisa Andrew pumps restaurants, and the reality shows around them, create the equivalent of a Disney character breakfast for mid western Homs like you go and you pay too much for a bad meal, but also Jack's. Maybe they're starting may be there and for people who don't know, Lisa Vander pumps like reality show lineage. I think she has her own show and she came from another show. Yes, she was a real housewives of Beverly Hills. Okay. She got the show Vander pump rules, which is about the drama of the people who are at her. Restaurant, sir. I believe you can just go to this restaurant in life. Yeah, exactly. It's just sitting there but, but it creates a point of sort of like penetration. One of the things that people have really hungered for like the world of fan fiction of had cannon, and all of that was like, how do you integrate yourself into this thing? That means so much to you but you are distanced from and I, there is something really great about the way that we have created more penetrable media for a while. There was a reality show where if you want it, you would then get to go beyond glee and I think that's why we got Alex Newell from, but like you know, the fact that we have created these contests, which victory means becoming a famous or heart of the firmament is so like classical, you know, like even like the basic one of Kelly, Clarkson won the first American idol and now judges the voice, right? She progressed up. Doing the thing she had done, kind of. They just did the same thing with project runway. Christians here Yano is going to take over for Tim Gunn and he's a designer from previous? Yes, from a premium season. Okay. Yeah, and it is an interesting process or like I deeply love the way that like the minute someone gets kicked off repulse drag race. They are a beloved member of the firmament of drag queens and ru honors them completely. Like before that point rule is telling them what they should be doing wrong and pushing them. And then after that, it's like no pork chop you are will always be honored amongst us. Chop is the first queens be thrown off. It was a dictator, but that's yeah. Yeah, yeah, it's almost it's almost mythological, right? It's almost like a myth where, oh, they got in this fight with Zeus and then they were thrown into the stars up there. Very interesting. And it's interesting watching the way that YouTube has integrated itself into that, whether is this democracy and it doesn't take fancy person coming in plucking you, it can just be millions of regular people deciding that your description of your sadness today is a good description of sadness. Like there's so much media. We have access to now that I feel like oftentimes we will watch something for awhile before we realize it's not quite for us or it's just not quite a thing. Well, it's interesting that there is so much media, but they're still so Hugh sort of like like spheres or worlds that like truly captivate imaginations and allow for sort of like common ground imaginations. Harry Potter. Everybody knows that world. Essentially, even if you haven't read the books, just the idea of creating something like Potter more that would like officially sort you so that it wasn't just a speculation of your own, but it was I was stunned to discover where Potter more sorted me. Would you like to speculate? Did you did you land Griffin door? Not lined Griffin door. Oh, okay. Three more guesses. Did did you Lance leather? I landed slither it. All right. We're upset about it. I was surprised because I had always assumed that would be a raven claw. But then my niece who was then like thirteen to fourteen was like, no, your results oriented like you are, you're about getting the job because I'm constantly lecturing her about like, do the thing that is required to have the right grade, like not cheat and stuff, but like understand the task that you are trying to to take care of just get that done purposeful. Yes. Are you a raven claw? I am or even cloud, but with strong hustle puff I took, I think like it was some off site type tasks like Potter Moore's and it showed you percentages. I was real close. Well, I mean until it's an official Potter more. My niece is a very proud hustle puff. I love that so much about her. That's nice. Yeah. As far as like inserting ourselves into stuff. I do. I want to talk about one entourage theory. I know. I know we're sort of past that show thought I ended up seeing a lot of entourage because it can. It contains some nudity that was very excited about it at the time. But then I realized I'd watched a lot of show that didn't make any sense to like what I wanted. Otherwise it was and ended up with a theory that entourage is basically an elaborate Truman show type prank on the four actual actors who are Vinnie on the crew, not Ari because he, he comes out of it. Great. Vakara is not the actor. So like not Asia ingrained gay, but Vinnie chase. But now it's a prank on Adrian Grenier. Okay. And the other actors in like we all pretended like this was a good show that deserved Emmys and stuff, and they know there's a lot of layers, but it's basically the first layer is we just had the actual show and then beneath that there is the show is teaching us how Hollywood works. Because like for me. It was the first time I learned what an agent is is. Yeah. And then there's a layer of the show so poorly done, it's it seems like it's kind of kidding as in general dramatically, you know. And so then beneath that, you realize that Mark Wahlberg just found guys to temporarily prop up as a prank. Yeah, that's really, really fun. It would be very dark, but yeah, like he picked on those guys and everybody else's succeeding in profiting. Can I tell you a similar theory of mind that was formed in the past two weeks? Oh, please? Yeah. Okay. What has Ashton Kutcher been doing over the course of the past five or six years? I think he, I think like apps and stuff. Right well, and also the ranch on Netflix with ranch on Netflix, which may or may not exist. The minute. That Bank, he went through half of a shredder. Okay. The auction somebody who used to be a writer on punked. It was a terrible year of my life. I was like, what? If they could use just Bank see? Like what? If what? If he crazy like a FOX and understanding that like just going to Silicon Valley and waiting for those boys to give him stock options and things was he'd made enough money off of that. What if he just decided to go and become the greatest guerrilla artist of all time? Because what banks is doing is just punked for with art history degrees. Right with like bake stencils. Yeah. Oh, I love that. Yes. Also, I have a friend who banks he painted something on the door of one of his dad's buildings in New Jersey, and now they just have that door and can sell it whenever they want to for like huge amounts of money. And like, why is this more valuable than bitcoin? You know? Like why is a stencil of a little girl with a heart balloon, any more valuable than bitcoin. We've just all collectively like agreed upon it. Yeah, there's a, there's a Kurt mine and get novel about a painter, but there's one part in that where he just butts and as the author and says that, like all fine, art is basically an agreement among rich people on you to get rich. Yeah. End, like tell the poor, they don't know how to communicate or if it's just a very mean theory on the part of the rich, but but I don't know maybe if it's banks. So where do you get this theory that entourage? I just couldn't figure out why else they made it other than to just make money. 'cause I just kept bumping on no somehow this is gonna turn dramatic or dark or something. I was basically going to blockbuster video and grabbing either DVD's from seasons of very interesting dramas because I wanted to watch a lot of that or entourage because maybe it had nudity and then and then I was so frustrated with like all these gripping things. And then this show that refused to be fundamentally. Yeah, and so it was like, okay, maybe it's just this big old prank that would make sense for a period of time. I lived with these guys who would like obsessively watch entourage and just thought it was the coolest thing ever laugh at. It was like it was funny, and they're the idea of creating a show that is just unchanging lifestyle porn exclusively so that you could place products that you have a business interest in does seem compelling to me to just be like. Convince them to buy shoes that you make, you know. Thinking of that Vander pump restaurant people can go to. I remember being relatively new to LA and going past dash like, gosh, and I knew that existed. And yet I didn't believe it was real somehow. Even though the show kind of sells the store and getting to have the little taste of magic like you might be in the world of those people whose lives seem so great. Bad really happened to you in dash, you know, like, aren't you protected by some of the same source forces that protect khloe. Can I tell you about one of the most jarring experiences of my Los Angeles life. Sounds great. Yeah. Okay. So I was watching an episode of the hills and it was taking place a cafe where there was an open Mike and I have been to before, and one of I think Spencer's sister went up and she ordered a boat that was like, I didn't know that Bopha. So the next time I was there, I went up and I was like, can I get a Bogo? And they were like, we don't have Boba and I was like, but the girl ordered it on the hills and they were like, yeah, like four people have done that this week. Oh, no, it was just this really interesting thing of like becoming aware of what the fictionalization of a reality show is like, I was sure that they encourage them to save particular things, but the notion that like an art guy went and got Boba somewhere else and brought it to that cafe so do that just so she could be ordering something that seemed cooler than the stuff that was offered there. Was like a truly magnificent moments where I became an Angelino. You know, like after that moment things changed what a particular lie. Yeah, what a particular lie. And I do think that this is a town that has like as much as any of the scifi we have discussed is built on particular lies like that idea. It's that dry. It's that just last night. What vampire facial was was explained to me, which is they draw your blood and then they remove the plasma from it, and then they reinject the plasma into your face and it's supposed to help. And like, does it do anything, yes or no. I don't know. It's just that we've decided to make this magical fiction the force or an Aloha Morris, spell or whatever. And we get to feel like we live in a world that has governed by different rules Ray because it's driven by enough industry that I guess there's some like fun can fall off the back of the truck. Kind of thing, but there's room for that. And also just like there is in the same way that lake religion has had practical value in just the way that it is like seen or merited by other people around you where like maybe your life isn't better because God is blessing you for being pious, but the people around you are like, oh, he's really got it together. Here I am a lady who gets vampire facials means something to other people, even if it's not doing anything, our world runs on stories and this time particularly runs on stories and the stores. Power. The euro home wifi system brings you a fast reliable connection in every room of the house because life is too short for bad wifi. 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A good clear, easy WI fi connection, especially because I don't know about you, but you might live in a place with walls and walls really make traditional wifi difficult. If you're between one of those and the router and Eero lets you sort of network your entire space in a very easy, very intuitive way, and I've enjoyed doing it in my own and I'm dialing up things faster. Isn't that nice? Isn't that great. So get one hundred dollars off the Eero base unit and two beacons package and a year of Eero plus by visiting Eero dot com. Slash cracked and entering code cracked at checkout, Alex. How's that spelled? That's e e r o dot com. Slash cracked and code cracked at checkout. There's cracked article called four secret messages that turn bad movies into genius wins by j m McNab and he picks out at theory about the movie Jurassic world. Okay. It's not the latest Jurassic Park, but it's the new almost reboot, and the theory is basically like that movie is not about the text of it. It's about the process of people trying to keep blockbuster's going long after they happened long after the original magic. Is it like the movie even has Jake Johnson's character is in the control room of the of the park, and he's wearing a Jurassic Park shirt and saying, the first park was legit is a direct verbatim quote from it. And then it builds to dinosaurs from the original movie fighting dinosaur from the new movie. The read it as it's just a story about trying to like just endlessly, suck the life out of Jurassic Park as a Jurassic Park. Suck the life out movie Obama's. Very interesting. Yeah, very interesting. What are the other? What are the other way theories that make bad movies? Good. Do you know the movie barb wire? Yes. This one. It's a little bit off premise just because it's the actual things that are interesting at was a comic book movie based on a female hero long before we were getting. And it's also Casablanca. Oh, that's interesting. Like she's Humphrey Bogart Pamela Anderson and is going through the movie just trying to do everything he does. Well. Dealing with that Harare journey and is also every time the viewer kind of Lear's adder. She'd been kills like points a gun. That is interesting. Can I tell you my sort of like favorite? It's like a collective theory to shift perspective on movies. I already love that some people are, but some people are very dismissive of romantic comedies are all horror films that could happen to you like they're all deeply terrifying prospects that are narrowly averted under the same terms of horror film. So like sleepless in Seattle, what if you had a fiance, and then you heard a voice on the radio, and you were certain that you loved that person more than the person you were getting ready to settle down with. Like what? If you had a best friend in your life who was like there to support you in took care of you. And then when you were thirty two, you accidentally had sex with him and then you guys could not be friends. Again there that second. Which movie, oh, one hand. It's out Amazon. Okay. It was just years ago. I was working at a little cable network and I was writing around calm and all of my friends are writing zombie movies, and I was like two one of my other friends. It was like there's something wrong with me. Why? Why are they writing zombie movies? And I am not. He was like, 'cause the scariest thing that they can imagine is an arm coming through the wall. And the scariest thing that you can imagine is never really being understood. And that's what rom coms are. So frequently is watching somebody in the clutches of a boring life trying desperately to escape. That's amazing. Yeah. Especially with that sleepless in Seattle example, like I have a friend who says that in basically every rom com. The previous partner who's not good enough is just a normal partner. Yeah, there a realist person. And then the events of the movie are like a fantastical person comes into their. I mean romantic comedies of buying large Tatas to romanticize people with borderline personality disorder. Yeah. Do you remember the movie? The Baxter, I know of it. I haven't seen it was guys from the state and it was about the life of the boring boyfriend who got left, and I didn't really like it as much as I should have. Always wanted to write a movie about just basically sassy, ethnic friend from romantic comedies like her, figuring out how to make the story about her instead of it always being about the beautiful white woman who's next to her. Well, sorta like Rupert Everett and my best friend's wedding, yes gets to take over the movie, but fully looking at a in your book. It's beautiful chapter, but I how. How comfortable are you talking about the man who shot liberty Valance go for it because it's I have seen westerns and a lot of them often. And usually the only like Madda text I've ever been presented with is westerns or about democracy and Justice. Yeah, that's and it's, it's a story about guys figuring it out. We just boiled it down to two guys in hats. And so. Easier? Well, there is something really neat about the fact that I always hated westerns and then sort of realizing they are largely about jurisprudence, but they are so frequently about a romance is Asian of violence as the way of solving a judicial question. You know, it's about the absence of the rule of law in sort of masculinity having to govern that. And that's why women rarely show up in westerns and when they do their things to be protected or fought like their their property. Have you seen the cave in this is Miller. I know I haven't seen that McCabe and MRs Miller is so good. Robert Altman like Warren Beatty. Julie, Christie. Yes. Yeah. And so it is pushing the physical boundaries of what a western can be. It's in Washington, it's pushing the lake chronological downs of what western could be. It's like nineteen, and it's about them putting together a brothel to service the man who are in this leg logging town, and there's something so. Wonderful about the fact that it isn't pushing towards what's right. I think when it comes to western as story of democracy, like high noon is always that thing is sort of like the the pinnacle, the apex of our conversation about that for those of you who have not read my book when I was like at the beginning of the process of writing my book, I was trying to figure out how to write about my dad who had died like a year beforehand. And so I realized because I wanted to be a book and it was also about pop culture. I would watch his favorite movie, which is a thing I had never seen, and it's a western from nineteen sixty to call the man who shot liberty Valance. Yeah, it is very much something that is about constructions of law and governance. I watched this movie and was like, didn't have an idea of what I would talk about. This ended up being an astoundingly relevant exploration of the different ways that my dad and I saw the world. It's essentially like a young lawyer played by Jimmy Stewart and sort of. Like a guy from the west who understands how things get done played by John Wayne and the two of them sort of like with these competing world views. And in the end, basically Jimmy, Stewart tries to play the game of masculine violence, and it sort of gets propped up by by John Wayne because you also and you're right. So racially about this in your book, but also in general about your hometown, Yuba city and northern California. North of Sacramento? Yes, relatively rural and blue collar. And your dad was maybe more of a piece of that you felt like you were not fitting inasmuch, right? Yeah. And there is an interesting way that like being from a place in California that is not one of the places in California. That matters is a special kind of lawlessness that maybe other people don't understand because you're like when you're from a little town in Montana. Oh, man. Montana has to do is take care a little towns, you know? Right, right. Like in California, it's like no one is paying attention to lake today are trying to solve what's going on in southern California, maybe paying attention to San Francisco, but like nobody's getting to worrying about like Yuba city. But yeah, my my dad was just sort of like he just wanted to be a regular guy and fit in and be normal. And I was trying to sort of like I was very much internalizing the lessons of the big wider world in law and how it's supposed to be. And then watching that movie it like really hit home, but also annoyed me because it is this very nineteen sixty two will at the end of the day, you do have to pick up a gun kind of move. Right? Because I had seen it and I think high noon, probably the same like week and they to me as high noon's the most screened at the White House because presidents love it. Yeah, Justice. And that was the only reading I had been given on manage liberty Valance is. Lee, Marvin is awesome. It being evil and then John Wayne as the the frontier forceful element. And then Jimmy Stewart is the law, but learns in the end, you need forceful to raise. And that makes me mad because there's no space for women and Jews in a world like. Oh, no. Seeing a lake nineteenth century set urban western in some way would be interesting to see something that like takes the tools of western but applies them to something going on in Boston would be very interesting. Are you familiar with the movie state in Maine? I've I saw it a long time ago. Yeah, I think that that movie is the closest we come to that in that it is Hollywood people going into a little New Hampshire town to shoot some stuff. And then a bunch of stuff goes wrong and the movie ends with essentially a bag of money that was gotten from a product integration being handed from one Los Angeles Jew to a like New Hampshire, regular person. And that's all thing. The problem and I come from very nontraditional Jewish background, but I thought that it was a beautiful tribute to the power of Judaism of like a worldview and Lank. Let's get this done. Let's make sure everybody's happy. Let's just keep. Moving along, and it is sort of like a different kind of embracing the limitations of the law. You know, it's a different kind of power play. Like there's I mean, why? Why is shooting somebody more noble than handing them eight hundred thousand dollars. That's such a richer Rita that movie. Yeah, I like them a lot. It's yeah, it's like Judaism, main things and like how America works. You know, like we can all agree on this product placement, right, and do it. Yeah. Link. I think we as Americans can forget what a for sale country. We're in. Like just what a commercialized leg money, rules, everything kind of country that weren't like you've been to San Francisco. I have, yeah, briefly, it is cool to go to other cities that were founded around the same time like Sydney because you go to Sydney and Sydney was built by an empire to do a thing and San Francisco was built by shopkeepers to do a thing and Langley. Yeah, it means that the fortresses are less impressive, but also there's a way that like shopkeepers know what they need a town to do where like Sydney really feels like the British empire was like, okay, make sure the Dutch can't steal this, and that was all they were worried about, you know, right? If the Germans float through fire right there was, yeah. What else. I don't know where San Francisco is like, all right. We need to sell shovels. Yeah, I, I heard a, we'll we'll link. There's a podcast called ninety nine percent invisible, sort of all about design and that in history. But they have a whole episode about how San Francisco was built, partly on like filling in water to make more land. Yeah, they just need more room and they would often use ships that they had basically a ship would come from the east coast of the US a long way around to bring people to at. And then they would just plant the ship into the ground to make more land for the city. Yeah, yeah. I mean, it is very strange in as a Californian because like all of California was built in nineteen sixty four. Like essentially nothing happened here between the gold rush and the first McDonald's Hollywood kind of, but nothing else matters and you have this one city that is not just from the nineteenth century, but also had money rain on it for the entire nineteenth century. Is this like weird experience as a child's? Yeah, like Mark Twain had a hotel room and essentially a high rise. Meanwhile LA was just a dusty street. Yeah, it's crazy going back a bit to Yuba city in the bookie talking about how it's an amazing sort of place. Demographically and reasons is that there's a very large Punjabi population. Yes. And that leads you into some great stuff about bend it like Beckham and also football movies? Yes. My little hometown in northern California has had a very significant Punjabi Sikh population since the nineteen hundreds ninety. Eighteen teens. It was, I guess, started out as railroad workers who then realize that it was a really good agricultural place that reminded them of home, and then people started coming over before the Asian exclusion laws really limited the degree to which people from Asia could come to the United States. And there's a lot of things like people don't realize the first Indian American member of congress was this guy named Dolly sing in like Fresno in the nineteen fifties. Oh my God, really? Yeah. And they are also not the South Asian immigrants that you think of from like the nineteen eighties who were like highly educated doctors and engineers, and and that kind of thing like they are farmers like they are old school. I described them in the book as like the rednecks of South Asia, but it's like this weird and interesting dynamic because my hometown is always conceiving of itself as just sort of like an old school working class pretty white town because we don't have a large black population, but like a many of the. People who are defining. This is very white town are themselves Punjabi or Latino. Because it's California and that's what you've got. And it was really funny because growing up there was like a cable access channel that would just play the cheapest Bollywood movies that they could get because like there were a lot of grandma's who just wanted to watch something that was in pungent v. And so that was playing all of at the time. That's amazing. And it sort of was this lake rich and wonderful world that I didn't see reflected in media in any way except for and we never got the good Bollywood movies. I cannot emphasize that enough. It was like it was crap from nineteen sixty four. It did mean that when I did finally got movies that had like monsoon wedding or bend it like Beckham that had like real punch AVI weddings in them with the number of marigolds and the amount of dancing that 'cause like my my parents house is like three houses down from a gurdwaras so like which is like seek counsel. Oh com. Weddings and soccer games and field hockey games were like always audible from my house. Like if it was a Saturday or Sunday, you would just hear sometimes prayers. And sometimes just like the cheering of soccer and stuff. Like in my book I talk about I hate soccer as much as any American should. I think it makes for a better movie than American football, just because sports in movies really needs to be like just musical montages, beautiful musical montages and football stops too much like American football stops too much. If you go back and watch a league of their own, like most of the baseball in that movie is just like music playing over women throwing in hitting. Soccer is it is the beautiful game like you are able. It's almost like a musical having these moments of like physical activity and excitements that isn't having to add up to some sort of like narrative story where I feel like American football always has like a clear story for every down what all we must get seven yards all know. They have pushed us back, right it like sets up a story and then you fulfill that story or don't fulfill that story. And it's pretty boring. Would you like to know what football movie actually did surprise me with its goodness in the book? You mentioned Johnny. Be good. No. Okay. I don't. I didn't talk about it in the book, but a couple of years ago, the like those the weekend, that Robin Williams died. I was driving home and I drove past the new Beverly cinema, which in turn Tino owns now and they were showing to Robin William movies, Moscow on the Hudson and the best of times. And I did not think of either of those as being particularly great Robin Williams is. And so I was like, I will watch and they watch. They are both very good, Robin Williams movies must on the Hudson is from like nineteen Eighty-three during his first big film, boom, and there's a, I watches a small child, and it was not funny like Robin Williams movie. And so I didn't think it was good and then I watched it and it is a very bleak and wonderful comedy about how in America you at least get to make your own decisions. It is beautiful and bleak. Like the end of that movie is the smallest amount of happiness. You can give somebody and still call something a comedy, and it's really wonderful, and he's very good in it. Then the best of times is about a Tim and Kurt Russell and Robin Williams personally lost the big game when they were in high school. And so for their twenty year high school reunion, he is trying to get everybody back together to play the Taft verses Bakersfield game over again. It's a movie about masculinity and like wanting to lake have felt that feeling of of being on the right side of masculinity, which all football movies are like that. I do talk about it in the book about the way that like Rudy and Johnny, be good, are all about these romanticism nations of proper masculinity and some guy dreaming that he can like be masculine in the right way. But back to the best of times just the the choreography and it is good, and it manages to tell a good story, a football by starting out with clean football and changing it too dirty football. And as the game. Kind of falls apart. Yes. Well, it rains. It rains in that rain makes all the difference because suddenly they're sliding and movement that is without purpose and you feel the chaos a little bit more. And I think that that gets towards the dance that like soccer is just doing on its own. You know, soccer moves and flows and the muddiness of what happens in the best of times because also that gets at the chaotic fun of football, which is not always there. Football is to organize to have chaotic fun. And then once you have rain on a football field, then you are more towards being boys fucking around. Yeah, and that is nice. Bend it like Beckham is always in this flow of constant movement, and it's it's never able to be as agenda or simple as sort of football. American football is with radio in particular. I grew up around Chicago, mostly raised Catholic, yes. And Notre Dame is very, very important to people in that area because it's right near Indiana there, and it has tons of fans who never went there and it's a whole thing. And so I saw Rudy on a class bus trip to Springfield. The state capital was on those little TV's and and I fell asleep for parts of it, and I didn't hear parts of it, but I remember getting to the end of it and thinking, I must have missed like, what? What makes us happy this? This is a very, very difficult movie for me, but everybody else was like, that's one of the kind, you know, best stories ever and I love your reading of it because it's such a tragedy. People love it so much still worst movie with the worst message to votes the entirety of his life to something he is bad at never gets good at an all he wants is to just get to be participatory and looked upon as sort of like an equal by these guys who are his physical betters and he can add no point in time. Does he ever state that who he is and what he is good at? Might matter. Right know he never gains a skill does he gains like, statistically, he tackled somebody and so he played, he's he's nobility, is his capacity to be respected by the guys who are good at masculinity because he spent the entire movie abasing himself to chew to honor them, and it's gross and it because I feel like one of the reasons Iraq to it so much is because like growing up as like a gigantic gay guy, there was always this way of like, why aren't you trying harder to do this thing? Why don't you love this thing that you are supposed to love? Why not commit yourself to giving everything else that you're good at up and just trying to this thing? And like I hate that Rudy isn't even big on strong. Like there's there's nothing he doesn't grow. He's just survives. He just serve survives and is willing to put up with all of. Indignities and hope that at the end. I mean, it's like rock candy mountain in an animal farm is just sort of like. Eighties this sort of like masculine opium of the people. This lake vision of you are honored by the football players because you honored them so hard. Wow. And it never questions that there might be a world outside of that, and it never questions that there might be women who are human beings, why female characters in the movie. Barely. Okay. I don't remember. John Favreau has a girlfriend who he goes off with, and I think that there is a girlfriend who ends up liking Rudy, but if that movie is able to pass the Bechtel test, I would be shocked, you know? Yeah. I watched stand by me recently and realized just how few women talk in that movie and my friend, probably, yeah, my friend, Rebecca who shoo, who cares too much about film was just like it is a movie about masculinity and she was like, excusing it for for that reason. But there is a way that in telling coming of age movies and we only coming of age movies about masculinity and it's why I love the bend it like Beckham sort of leg blends together, sexuality and sort of like being able to own govern your own sexuality, like questions of race and integrating yourself into a colonial power. But also the fear of the ways that that colonial power will be able to accept you. Like people forget that. Like the fundamental thing holding just back is the fact that her dad was a really good cricket player who was never treated as equal. By the white guys and who is saying to her essentially, like these people will never see you is one of them don't try this like take the conservative road just you well on your exams and don't love this thing, and I love that it wraps the gender and the race, but also just so deeply loving soccer into the whole thing. And the of like the movie starts out with her. Imagining what if I were back and that question of whose is you feel capable of looking out of is such an interesting thing because we have been taught that white had our sexual men's is the ones that we are all capable of looking through. And it r- really eight starts out from that place and then makes us look through the eyes of a South Asian woman. It's almost like that movie is just trying to make up for five or six different under served things all at once. Culture like they're trying to pack it all into ninety minutes and they kind of do it, but it never feels strained because it's got a story to tell because it just starts out from a place of this Indian girl loves soccer. That brings things into it. There are gonna be questions about whether she gay for nightly, because you know when you place women into a sports context, that is a question that comes up. How does she fit into Britain like that's gonna come up? And I feel like when you try to pack too many things in for the sake of packing them in, you get movies that are bad or clunky. But when you just start out from question, people haven't thought about much before you're going to raise a number of issues. I must feel like there's a takeaway for anybody listening. He's trying to like, right or make a thing that if you like, you say with bend it like Beckham, they just start from a story they think is worth telling and it ends up covering all these different things. Naturally, I, I do think there is a way that Hollywood can be scared of. Protagonists who are two interesting. That always gets me when you're telling a story and somebody points to something and says, that's too interesting. And what they usually mean by that is it raises questions in too many directions. And to me that just seems like the starting point for a richer story. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And the book I'll see you talk about about as you were served discovering stand up as a medium altogether. You just fell in love with delirious that Adeniran special, which is counterintuitive, but it seems like it came from you embrace the good things about it because that was what you had. Well, I mean the the reason that you say it seems counterintuitive is because Eddie Murphy does start out with sort of like five minutes of some of the most vehemently homophobic material you've ever heard. But also like I didn't know I was gay when I was eight. You know, I was just like, this is good. Like, you know, I saw all of the good things and in a world where everything he was saying was pretty normal, not. Knocking on delirious. I'm knocking on nineteen Eighty-three. The thing is is like, I don't have good clear articulations of all of the ways that nineteen Eighty-three was coming at me and telling me that being gay was gross, but delirious is just so crystallized. But one of the reasons so crystallizes because I loved it so much book because it was so Representative of the kind of standup I loved and you know, and also inspired so many people, I love. It's like Chris rock and Margaret cho- aren't possible without eighty Murphy. You know, like there's a reason. I mean, I don't know of Chris rock ever world leather suit, and especially in like I bought you Margaret show like wearing a leather suits to explain like I m in the tradition of Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy. Yeah. Yeah, you know, is really important. I think that that's such a beautiful like the work of showing ownership over something that maybe. Would have excluded you and saying, this is my story too. I mean, bend it like Beckham is doing that. It is saying this this sport that was invented at a British boy school belongs to me because you fucking came to my country and brought me. So this is my country too, and this is my sport to, you know, yeah, Landa. And then as people are at home, just watching things, what what's the easiest way to kind of get in the mindset of? I'm going to make this mind if it's not quite working for them. That's interesting because I think that that is the core of of game out culture is like finding stuff that's not for you and making it for you. Are you at all familiar with movies, Mildred Pierce, or mommy? Dearest basic plot? Yeah, Mildred. Pierce pierces the story of a long suffering mother who selflessly bakes pies to buy nice things for her daughter, and then her daughter fucks her husband, her boyfriend and mommy. Dearest has the story. Of a long suffering Joan Crawford who south Assane mix women's weepy films to buy nice things for her daughter who then writes a mean book about her. You've two stories that are nearly identical in structure. But when game at at a gay bar watch Mildred Pierce, they keep over identifying with the daughter because they're not supposed to. And when they watched mommy dearest over identify with the mom because they're not supposed to, I think the best way of showing ownership of something is looking at a villain and saying, what's their story? How like what are they doing? Like? How do we look at this story and say that there may be the smartest most right person here, you know, like the the best is like Hansel and gretel Chiltern eat that which is house. They eat that, which is how, why shouldn't she try to cook them? Right? And there's a housing crisis. Well, and also it's the, it's the kind of pro villain take. I would expect from a sliver. So. That's the episode for this week. My fakes to guy brand for being a fun of pop culture, information comedy, and just everything else what a pleasure. And now that you've enjoyed the show, why don't you enjoy the food notes where we have a wealth of things that guy and I referenced in this episode and in particular, we have his memoir again, it is called my life as a goddess, a memoir, thrown popular culture. It blew me away. If you read one chapter of it to start out, there's a really incredible part about his relationship with his father and the movie, the man who shot liberty Valance and, and I'm super grateful. He was willing to touch on it today because it is very, very emotionally significant for him and the essay on it has so much to it. And I hope you'll check it out and also just side tip. See the movie, the man who shot liberty Valance, it's directed by John Ford. It stars, John Wayne, and Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin. You know, from that roster might be the best western ever made. And I, I know I'm gonna get hate from the world's high. Noon fan boys, and Clint Eastwood stands, but I stand by it. I feel it. Here's something else I stand by the excellent song. Chicago falcon by the Budo spanned. It is our theme. Music are episode was engineered by Devon Bryant at edited by Chris Sousa. If you love this episode, that's great. If you hate it, let me know about it on social media. That's right. Social media, a place where I'm about to get flooded with messages about the searchers, probably and Shane and Butch Cassidy, and you know what do what you're gonna do. I'm gonna go see McCabe and MRs Miller. Like I said, I would want to talk to guy. Okay. How about that? Also? I do do other things on social media. Like, you know, keep talking about when I was on jeopardy. How about that? My Twitter account is at Alex Schmidt. He my Instagram is at Alex Schmitz degrom and among the wider internet at my website, Alex Schmidt dot com. It's got my show dates on my newsletter and more, and I'm happy to say we will be back next week with more crack podcasts Saha about that. Talk to them. This has been in your production executive produced by Scotsman, Chris, Bannon, and Colin Anderson for more information content, visit ear will dot com. Folks is national coming out month, but you stretch it out to the whole. What he's saying. So you should know about our podcast. I'm Dave Holmes. I'm mcconnachie. We host feel your will comedy party where we grill queer celebrities on what the loving and who they're loving. We have Indem I opening end hilarious conversations about everything from our guest pop culture obsessions to their personal experiences with dating and sex and love. You get to know a deeper more personal side. Your favorite people like John love from hotair America. Joe butcher. John Early John Early was here Trixie. Mattel, I mean, we've had cool. We're all guests on our show. I know Dan savage was a guest on our Shand frigging savage. Do you ever Brian? Wayland told us. I mean, I'm not even gonna get into the story right now. 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