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Hook Is A Good Movie

The 1991 cinema disaster Hook opened as a critical failure and was considered a box-office flop. Despite making a fifty-million dollar profit, Tristar expressed disappointment in the film’s performance. A quarter of a decade later it sits at a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and if you ask most people they are not shy about telling you that Hook sucks followed a slew of clever roasts. I can even remember in the (also failed) cartoon series Clerks a throw away joke where Steven Spielberg is brought into court and made to apologize for how terrible Hook was.

Now, here’s my take: “Uh, no! This movie is good.”

Granted, I saw this movie when I was a kid so I cannot go back and experience it for the first time as an adult, but all the shade surrounding the film is ridiculous. I cannot imagine what people were expecting from the movie or how it did not live up to the hype. On paper this is a movie about an old Peter Pan who goes back to Neverland to fight an ageless Captain Hook in order to save his children. The idea of taking an IP like Peter Pan and essentially writing fan-fiction on top of it used to be insane (uhm, not anymore but used to be). The fact that it was ever green-lit with the budget it had is strange, even if it was bad. But it’s not.

It looks great. The sets are amazing and we don’t really get to see that a lot, especially now that everything is created digitally (I know this argument is very boring). But hey! I miss Jim Henson, cool puppets and animatronics. What about that big crocodile falling on Captain Hook at the end? Where does he go? These are all very interesting ways to tell a story and should be applauded forever and ever.

The film introduces us to Rufio; a shitty kid who sucks and his hair is terrible. However, in the logic of the film I feel like this is a solid choice. The most brash and terrible bully would lead a group of stupid boys around in the woods. Also, Rufio dies! Captain Hook kills a kid on screen in a kids movie. That was a rough experience for me, in a good way. You really get a sense of how high the stakes are in this magic world because like in life, kids die. You find yourself asking, what else can happen?

I am not saying all the performances are great, but Dustin Hoffman is doing something really fun in that movie. It’s like the most ruthless murderer you’ve ever seen but he’s also…funny? Or, maybe you kind of like him? His outfits are really well designed.

This shouldn’t just be a cult classic. Oh, and while the Rotten Tomatoes score is 30% critically the user score is 76% so there. I’d go check out a film in theaters if it sat at 76%. I think Captain Hook might have a few things to say about those critics.

“The pulling spawn how I despise them.” – Captain Hook

Mom’s Spaghetti: Outkast – ATliens

 

Before Idlewild became a nationwide smash hit, breaking box-office records, and launching André 3000 and Big Boi into international film success, the Atlanta born-and-raised hip hop duo simply made music. Music so smooth and jazzy, you might even say it’s kind of boring. That’s right, I listened to Outkast’s 1996 sophomore record ATliens! Here are some facts:

 

 

  1. This is the follow up to a record many people find ground breaking. The 90s were heated with turf warfare between the East Coast and West Coast hip-hop scenes. However, Outkast stems from the South. This once untapped market proved to be quite the sleeping giant thanks to the release of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik two years prior. So, ATliens had big shoes to fill, or maybe it was a tall order to fill, or I guess you could say their first record was a tough act to follow.
  2. This album marks the beginning of that unique sound and subject matter that we typically think of when we think about Outkast. They were experimenting with many of the same techniques in this record that would end becoming staples of the Atlanta hip-hop scene.
  3. As you can imagine, sales for ATliens were very good. It has been certified “double-platinum” by the RIAA.

 

 

Who among us does not like Outkast? Everyone does, it’s impossible not to. When I first saw André 3000 I was like, you better put an accent over that “E” because this guy looks like he might be from ANOTHER country! Also, Big Boi was and remains to be one of my favorite taste-making music giants in the industry still working today.

 
The issue I have with ATliens is that while I think it’s most likely a brilliant record, it is most definitely a boring record. And not just boring for Outkast, boring in general, pound for pound when you stack it up to other great hip-hop records. It’s legitimately slow on purpose. Words like “spaced-out” and “ethereal” come to mind. There is almost a hypnotic quality to the record that lulls the listener into a meditative state of mind, and it achieves this quality by almost never varying from the minutia of what I consider to be a drone-along tonal theme. You certainly hear the inspiration of jazz throughout ATliens, and like most things inspired by jazz I need a pot of coffee to “get me there”.

 
The hit tracks off of the album are Jazzy Belle and Elevators (Me & You), which I would agree are definitely high points of the record but my favorite song is probably the title track. It’s kind of a goofy tongue in cheek Bowie-esque take on popular hip-hop of the time. I feel like Outkast is asking us to raise the roof after we just did a whole mess of NyQuil.

 
I would recommend this record for DIE HARD Outkast fans, and for everyone else I would say you can probably start with Aquemini or dare I say Stankonia. It’s still a good vibe even if it is one singular vibe throughout, but there is so much content out there and you are so stinkin’ choosy I would just hate for you to feel like, in this fleeting age of headlines and instant gratification, you would endure a single moment of a record that takes even an ounce of patience.

 

 

ATLiens is the second studio album by American hip hop duo OutKast, released on August 27, 1996, by LaFace Records. Wikipedia
Release date: August 27, 1996
Artist: OutKast
Label: LaFace Records
Genres: Hip hop music, Southern hip hop
Nominations: Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year

 

Jeremy Schmidt

Twitter: @Ocarinaofcrime

Instagram: jes0259

Mom’s Spaghetti: Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle

doggystyle

 

This is my very first attempt at writing about a hip-hop album. I am not qualified to do this, and also I don’t really know all of the “words for things”. But I would like to start by saying this about Snoop Dogg’s debut album Doggystyle; it’s definitely called “Doggystyle”, and how FUN is that? Here are some facts:

 

 

  1. This is the first LP from Snoop Dogg. That means before this most of the world had no idea who Snoop Dogg was. That’s weird to think about, right? Snoop Dogg is an American icon and world renown treasure person much like Willie Nelson or Truman Capote. We all know Snoop, we all know his language, and we all know that deep down no matter how we feel about marijuana we would all definitely smoke weed with the Doggfather.
  2. Doggystyle was the first time in history that an artist’s first record reached Billboard 200 charts at #1 and sold 800,000 copies in its first week of release. This means that Snoop Dogg became more famous upon the release of his first album than ANY musical artist will ever be ever again (this is an exaggeration but RT ask Kanye West how hard it is to sell records now).
  3. As it remains today you cannot find a list that does not include Doggystyle as one of the best and most prolific hip-hop records of all time.

 

 

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Doggstyle is the production value. Right out of the gate, the album feels special. Now, check yourself because the record might make you feel a little insecure at first because there is certainly a party happening and you will certainly want to be invited. Just like Snoop Dogg himself, it’s not a hard album to like.

 

Everything from the sound to the subject matter is suspiciously forward thinking for 1993 which adds to why the album holds up today. This is common for many of the albums released from Death Row Records at the time. It feels evergreen thanks to the indelible ear of Dr. Dre.
The album is just fun. Snoop’s voice is one-of-a-kind. It does something I really like in hip-hop records which is a pretty even split between incredibly heavy subject matter to light hearted party jams, and it does so sometimes within the same song. Snoop’s good at having fun even when he’s REALLY upset.

 

Gin And Juice and Who Am I (What’s My Name)? are obviously the crowd favorites, but the highlight of this record for me is the second to the last track Gz And Hustles. I have no way to prove this, but I am 10% cooler for having heard this song. If this song would just play any time I had to walk into party I would never feel nervous again. It’s got that beat, but it’s also got that doubling slap-bass/piano combo!

 

If you have never had the pleasure of listening to this album give it a shot. I highly recommend it for a good time, and speaking of time you’ll have plenty of it because the record is relatively short. As for me and my house, I’ll be spinning this one for years to come.

 

 

P.S. – Snoop Dogg has never listened to this album all the way through. He admitted this in an article 20 years later. Pretty cool.

 

 

Doggystyle is the debut studio album of American West Coast hip hop artist, Snoop Dogg, released by Death Row Records and Interscope Records on November 23, 1993. Wikipedia
Release date: November 23, 1993
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Producer: Dr. Dre
Label: Death Row Records
Genres: Gangsta rap, West Coast hip hop, G-funk

 

Jeremy Schmidt

Twitter: @Ocarinaofcrime

Instagram: jes0259