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This Week In Pop Culture (8/04/17)

8/04/2017: ESPN And NBC Are Fulfilling Our Dreams (Minus The Good Parts)

By Daniel Dockery

Despite how great the finale of a TV show may be, we inevitably want more. Deep down, we dream of a new season of Breaking Bad in which Cyborg Bryan Cranston returns to make mecha meth and get even more revenge on those kids that made fun of his son in the clothing store in Season 1. We long to see what happened to the cast of Friends, as they inevitably kicked Phoebe out of the group when her interest in a multilevel marketing scheme became too intense. And another season of Frasier that mostly deals with Kelsey Grammer enduring hilariously timely Tinder mishaps? We yearn for this.

“What’s wrong?” our spouses ask, seeing us awake in bed.

“KELSEY GRAMMER TINDER MISHAPS” we reply.

There is a note on the dresser the next day. They’re gone.

Luckily, NBC and ESPN have heard our cries, and have begun their own deliberation on how to appease us. Their consensus so far? Terribly misguided and/or outdated attempts to feed the nostalgia beast before it consumes us all. There have been talks of reviving The Office, because remember how great that was? Well, before James Spader made shit weird? They might bring it back! Except probably without any of the original cast, and while probably dealing with a different company in a different location. So not so much The Office as An Office.

The deal here is that audiences are supposedly so hungry to relive the glory days of 2009 and so unwilling to be absorbed by modern content that they’ll fight to the death over the scraps of anything that you label The Office. NBC is also mulling over 30 Rock, which also might involve a totally different 30 Rock. Except 30 Rock is not just the name of a show, but also a location. Maybe it’ll take place on different floors of the building? And it’ll most certainly involve a scene wherein Kenneth makes a guest appearance and winks at the camera to remind us that no matter how much we cling to the cliffs of our delightful past, death will always have its hands firmly gripped around our ankles.

Meanwhile, like the dad who wants to remind you that “IS NIIIIICE!!!! MY WAIIIIFFFFFEEEE!” because he just caught Borat on DVD, ESPN is launching a special day of “ESPN8: The Ocho.” Remember The Ocho, from that one joke in a Vince Vaughn comedy that was made 13 years ago? ESPN really hopes you do, and they also hope that you don’t mind that lovably doltish commentator Pepper Brooks, as played by Jason Bateman, isn’t going to make an appearance to take part in festivities that are over a decade too late. So it’s just a lot of weird sports. But it’s The Ocho, which you’ve always wanted, right? You left Dodgeball desiring it, regardless of how little it was related to the film Dodgeball, and you held that desire in your heart all the way to 2017. And now we’re getting it! We’re finally getting it, guys. We can let go.

We can be free.

8/03/2017: How ‘Death Wish’ Could Avoid All Controversy With One Change

By Ian Fortey

The new Death Wish trailer is out, and everyone loves it! Just kidding. The enthusiasm of “Yay Bruce Willis!” has been heavily tempered by “Wait, is this a movie about a guy just shooting whoever he wants in Chicago?” Needless to say, people are wrinkling their noses at the turd that this is. But the turd may have smelled more like roses if Eli Roth and crew had just changed a single element: the costume.

Midway through the trailer, AC/DC’s badass party anthem “Back In Black” starts blasting, as we’re treated to a montage of Willis’ super smooth scalp being lit up by muzzle flare. “You get a bullet, you get a bullet, every damn person in Illinois gets a bullet!” POW! BANG! ZWOK! And then it hits you: Why the hell isn’t he wearing a mask?

If you put a fun costume on Bruce Willis, this immediately goes from unsavory act of racially tinged public terror to kickass superhero movie. Isn’t this essentially The Punisher? Or Batman? Bringing right to the wrongs the police won’t (or legally can’t) address. We eat this shit up with a spoon; it’s justice unfettered by things like the justice system! To demonstrate my point, take the part of the trailer in which Bruce Willis makes a terrible dad joke right before brutally murdering some dude. Now imagine him wearing a cool skull costume, and his name is Deathwish. Now, just before he removes the carjack keeping 1,000 tons of murder steel off this hapless mechanic, the quippy joke “I’m not going to kill you, Jack is” becomes witty banter and not the ravings of a terrifying murderous lunatic! Then with a flip of his cape he could joke, “Too bad you didn’t work at a feather pillow shop,” and we’d lap that crap right up!

The question you’re forced to ask when you realize Bruce Wayne … I mean, Bruce Willis … isn’t a superhero here is “How cool is it to let any random old man start shooting whoever he thinks needs to be shot?” In real life, this is why we don’t tolerate vigilantes. That shit is scary as hell. Imagine Bruce Wayne going away to Ninja Academy and coming home and then, instead of dressing up as a bat, he just has Alfred drive him to the poor part of town where, in a very posh $6,000 suit, he beats the ever-loving shit out of a couple of meth heads. Not a superhero; just a rich man beating up the downtrodden because he feels like there isn’t enough justice in the world.

You need that cartoony element. You need a dude in spandex dancing to “Back In Black,” or the Batmobile, or Bruce Willis giggling like your bloodthirsty uncle to his therapist about how he’s getting out and meeting new people, because the reality of letting hyped-up old dudes with god complexes shoot whoever the hell they want is objectively terrible.

8/02/2017: When JAY-Z And Beyonce Play Fantasy Sports, It’s For Real

By Luis Prada

If the rumors are true, Beyonce wants to buy the Houston Rockets basketball team, which makes sense for a couple of reasons. One, she’s from Houston, and two, buying NBA teams is a cheat code rich people use to get richer — something she already knows, since her husband, JAY-Z, already did exactly that when he bought a stake in his hometown team, the Brooklyn Nets. They were then (and still are) the worst team in the NBA, but he later sold them for the second-highest price of any team sale in the history of the sport after a conflict of interest arose with his ownership of a sports talent agency.

This sets up a fascinating opportunity for Beyonce and JAY-Z. Where some best friends or couples can play NBA 2K17 to build and manage a team, create players, and generally have a ball pretending they have any kind of sway over the fate of an entire professional sports franchise and its league at large, these two are so rich that they can do it in real life. Like, that’s an option that’s not only open to them, but also something they’re actively looking into doing.

This can only mean one thing: With their vast financial resources and cultural influence, Beyonce and JAY-Z will soon launch an NBA eugenics lab so they can make a real-life version of the “Create A Player” feature in the NBA2k series. By defying God and all that is sacred, Beyonce and JAY-Z will grow an army of visually horrifying freaks made to look like pro wrestlers, the Monstars from Space Jam, and themselves, with stats that no womb-incubated human will ever match.

May God have mercy on basketball.

8/01/2017: Suicide Squad Or Jungle Cruise? How About Just Giving Up?

By Lydia Bugg

Suicide Squad has lost what was reportedly its top choice for director, Jaume Collet-Serra. Yes, that Jaume Collet-Serra, the auteur who brought us such cinematic classics as Orphan and The Shallows. This must have been such a difficult decision for him.

On one hand, Suicide Squad was widely hated, but on the other hand, the concept of Disney movies based on a ride has produced such classics as The Haunted Mansion and The Country Bears. How is an in-demand director to choose? Flipping a coin made out of pure asbestos? Did someone have his family locked away, refusing to return them unless he picked between directing Suicide Squad 2 or a Jungle Cruise movie? Was he given two glasses of wine, one full of poison, the other also full of poison but paired with the opportunity to work with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who is expected to star in Jungle Cruise)?

If I were Jaume Collet-Serra, I would look at the writers who are currently working on the scripts for each film. I may be biased, but I think writers are important. Suicide Squad 2 is being penned by the genius who wrote Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Jungle Cruise “went through several drafts by several writers,” which is always a good sign.

Suicide Squad 2 will be pulling from some solid source material in the first film, which people called “bad.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Squad 2 is currently a void in need of filling; it has characters, but no direction or plot.” I know how alarmingly existential “a void in need of filling” may sound, but hey, maybe they’ll fill it with Jared Leto being wacky.

The Jungle Cruise ride itself is filled with conflict. For those of you who’ve never been to Disney World to experience this whirlwind, SPOILER ALERT, the plot of the ride is that you’re on a boat cruising through the jungle. Will you see exotic animals or won’t you? That’s the main conflict. Of course, you always do see the animals, because if you didn’t, it wouldn’t be much of a ride. It would be more like a nautical version of waiting in line for a ride. The movie will surely bring all that tension to the table PLUS The Rock in form-fitting khaki shorts.

I know it may seem like I’m ragging on Jaume Collet-Serra, but honestly, I feel a little bit sorry for him. How depressing do you think that coin toss was for him? It’s sad that this is what Hollywood has come to. Welcome to 2017, where the choice isn’t between making a small indie script critic’s love or a big-budget summer blockbuster that audiences adore; it’s Suicide Squad 2 or Jungle Cruise. Turd soup or turd salad, it doesn’t matter what you choose — you’re leaving with a turd in your belly.

7/31/2017: Niantic Sucks Butt

By Ian Fortey

Hey kids, have you played Pokemon Go? Chances are you have because, according to statistics, Pokemon Go has 65 million active monthly users, which is insane and somehow probably half as many as the number of people who can’t play it properly because Niantic, the company behind the game, is committed on every conceivable level, to buttfucking this game mercilessly.

Niantic is being sued for putting on a failed Pokemon Go Jamboree in Chicago that people flew in from as far away as Japan to attend. Turns out if no one can actually access the game thanks to failed networks, or get the in-game swag they were promised, or do anything other than stand around with a Pokefinger in their Pokeass, it’s not a huge load of fun for most. Imagine travelling to Disneyworld and when you get there, a dude in a Mickey suit stands in an empty lot explaining that all the attractions had to be sent out for repairs.

Niantic tried to blame Verizon for the connectivity issues, but not a lot of people are buying it thanks to Niantic’s proud, year-long tradition of stumbling ass backward through the management of this game. Despite making a literal billion dollars off of Pokemon Go, everything that could go wrong with it has gone wrong and continues to go wrong because it’s entirely possible Niantic developed this game thanks to making a wish on a cursed monkey’s paw and the ensuing clusterfuck is their ironic punishment.

From its very launch, Pokemon Go has been a shit show. Slow or completely stalled downloads, failed logins, server overload, the total inability to even download the game and, in some case, a lack of Pokemon. How the fuck do you make a Pokemon game and not include the Pokemon? You know what Pokemon Go without Pokemon is? It’s walking through town with your head down, running into shit for no reason.

Every patch and every update Niantic has rolled out has continued to drill the cruel fist of bumblefuckery deep into Pikachu’s bowels. Server problems are par for the course when it’s not just crashing your phone or sucking your battery dry like it was a milkshake on a balmy day. Four out of five players have stopped playing Pokemon Go yet it’s still a gigantic success.

Imagine what this game would be like with a competent company at the helm. If the Pokemon company had the wherewithal to let someone else take over who could provide support and bug fixes that work, a company that could roll out one thing, just any damn thing, without it failing miserably after even a tiny bit of planning to make sure it worked right the first time. It’d be a license to print money. People want to play this game – they love the idea of it and it’s clearly proven itself to be brilliant. Like a bar offering $1 shots served from glasses that had a hobo tap each one with the tip of his penis, Niantic has a great product wrapped in terrible service and no clue why it’s not working out.

Niantic needs to Pokemon Go fuck themselves and the powers that be can either outsource game management or straight up sell the product to someone with the skills and ability to make the game work. This is already the biggest game ever, why not see what could happen if you knew what the hell you were doing with it?

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/this-week-in-pop-culture-80417/

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4 Modern Movies That Were So Good … Until These Scenes

The world is garbage right now, but at least movies are still great. Right? It Comes At Night was heartbreaking and dark, and Power Rangers was cheerful and juvenile. There’s something for everyone! There’s something for both types of people.

Even me, the proverbial third type of person: a guy who likes to ruin things by pointing out how stupid they are. Which is what I’m going to do right now: Ruin a thing you probably enjoyed recently. I’m sorry to do this to you but I have to. It’s the only way I know how to be.

4

Beauty and the Beast’s Stupid Faces

I hadn’t watched the original Beauty And The Beast since I was a small child but I watched it again recently and, hey, it’s pretty great. I know this isn’t a surprise to our nostalgia-fetishizing culture where everything that we considered good as children is not only great but worth fist-fighting about. But I actually never cared about this particular Disney movie as a kid. I’m not even sure I had ever seen it until I watched it a couple months ago at whatever-age-I-am. But no, seriously, I really enjoyed it: tight script, funny jokes, and great character design. And I’m not referring to how badly I want to fuck that feather duster, I mean the characters are iconic and memorable. I know exactly who Lumiere is just by the way he cocks his eyebrow.

Walt Disney Pictures

In the cartoon, that is. In the live-action remake all those amazing and whimsical characters look more like this:

Walt Disney Pictures

Soulless eyes. Twitching, insectoid mouthparts. Tiny Ewan McGregor face. A photo-realistic talking candelabra is, it turns out, just a bad idea, and not just because of the ensuing nightmares: They just functionally didn’t work. Most of the time I couldn’t tell what expressions they were making, or what they were feeling, or what I was supposed to be feeling about it. At one point, Mrs. Potts gets thrown right up in the screen and winks and I haven’t been able to get the image out of my head for five months. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, convinced Mrs. Potts is hiding somewhere in my apartment, silently twitching her horrific eye at me in the dark, and I can’t sleep until I search my entire home top to bottom. That’s not true, I made it up for dramatic purposes, but I hope it communicates my issue with this character’s horrible face.

Alright. Fine. I admit that this might just be the ravages of old age catching up with me. Maybe when Snow White was released in 1627, grumpy hipsters in their late 20s/early 30s were complaining that animation was a stupid medium that no one would ever enjoy. Maybe the next generation will be fine with these horrifying, uncanny valley-dwelling abortions. Maybe I’ll hate the next generation as much as every generation has ever hated every subsequent generation.

3

Kurt Russell Did Not Need To Recite The Lyrics Of “Brandy”

After the double-dose of mediocrity that was Dr. Strange and Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming single-handedly restored my faith in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, two things can single-handedly do something. That’s a fine thing for me to say because language is always evolving and nothing means anything.

But the scene where Kurt Russell recites the lyrics to “Brandy” on screen was garbage.

The role the scene plays in the movie is pretty straight forward. Russell plays Ego, a living planet and “god with a lower-case ‘g'” that is also Peter Quill’s father, okay, maybe it’s not super straightforward. He’s explaining that he thinks of Quill’s mother as being like the Brandy in the song. This is foreshadowing that he (spoiler!) is an evil character, because “Brandy” is a sad story about a bartender who gets neglected by a sailor who leaves her a gift but never returns. If Ego sees Quill’s mother as Brandy, then he must be the sailor, and therefore he’s kind of a jerk without realizing it. That’s a neat bit of foreshadowing… until Ego just says the lyrics of the song to the camera. In case anyone missed it.

This drives me crazy because cleverly hidden foreshadowing is one of my favorite things movies do. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg are the masters of this stuff because you can watch Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, not pick up on a single case of the foreshadowing, and still really enjoy the movie. It’s extra. It’s subtle. Having RJ MaCready deadpan the thesis of the scene isn’t either of those things.

Is it dumb of me to expect subtlety from a movie with a talking raccoon and sentient kill-tree? Maybe, but fuck you, I like my dumb things smart. Guardians is perfect in every other way and this would’ve been a fantastic easter egg instead of the hardest I’ve cringed in a movie theater all year. Even my mom didn’t like the scene, and my mom likes everything. My mom thinks I’m a snob for not wanting to watch Lost In Space (I am a snob, but not because of my Lost In Space opinions).

2

John Wick: Chapter 2 Makes John Wick Pretty Dumb

Oh my, what to say about the John Wick series? It’s one of the rare action movies that remembers to show us the action. It’s one of the rare movies with an outrageous premise that is still confident enough to not wink at the audience about how silly it is. And it’s the only movie where, like, I keep submitting it to Cracked editorial as my monthly column, and in response John Cheese is just like “No, Sarge, this is not a column, this is just a pirated MP4 of John Wick 2. Stop doing that. Please just write your column and also if you love this movie so much buy it for real.” And then I say “I did buy it for real, 15 times, but I can’t email you my Blu-ray” and he says “Well why not buy it on iTunes or something and send me that” and then I say “Because you wouldn’t be able to watch it because of DRM” and then he says “How do you always manage to suck me into these conversations?” I like these movies a lot.

Aside from that part in John Wick: Chapter 2 where we reveal that Wick has been a huge dumbass this entire time. I can’t find it on YouTube anywhere so I’ll just transcribe the scene:

Winston: What are you doing, Jonathan?

Wick (dumbly): He burned my house down.

Winston: You rejected his marker. You’re lucky he stopped there. What the hell were you thinking, giving a marker to a man like Santino D’Antonio?

Wick (incredulously): It’s the only way I could get out.

Winston: Oh, you call this out? What did you think would happen? What did you expect? Did you really think this day would never come? What does he want you to do?

Wick (stupidly): I didn’t ask. I just said “no.”

Winston (shaking head): Two rules that cannot be broken, Jonathan. No blood can be spilled at the Continental, and every marker must be honored.

Wick (confused): I have no choice?

That’s mostly secret-assassin gibberish but it still should be pretty clear what’s going on here: There are only two rules in this society, and John Wick broke one. The idea that there are only two rules in this society (along with the fact that apparently everything costs exactly one gold coin) stretches my disbelief, but I can accept it. I can even accept that professional assassin work comes to you in an app like Uber (another plot point). But the idea that these two rules are too much for Wick to remember? The guy who’s an expert in every gun, every form of hand-to-hand combat, who can speak Italian and Russian and remembers the favorite drink of an old colleague (Common, we learn, drinks gin) can’t remember that you have to honor blood contracts?

Summit Entertainment
“Which one of these drinks is mine again?”

In fact, he seems to be struggling with basic cognitive function the entire movie. Like 90 percent of his lines are incredulous questions asking more articulate characters to explain the situation he’s found himself in. I’ve actually come up with a fan theory that John Wick is just a really really stupid man who scrapes through life purely based on his ability to murder. But that makes the movie less interesting so I don’t think about it very often.

1

Wonder Woman Has The Worst Sailing Scene Of Any Movie

Apparently DC movies can be good, which was absolutely shocking to me even though it happened as recently as 2008 (I have a very short memory). And though much ado has been made about the fact that it’s the first female-led superhero movie, it was also just a good adventure movie where a woman kills people with her whip. I haven’t seen someone get killed with a whip since, oh, before you were born.

Which is a shame because that sailing scene, man — it was pretty bad.

I’m quickly developing a reputation for being the Cracked Sailing guy, which is fine because it’s good for my career to have a brand. So go ahead and call me that. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk about sailing because most movies don’t include any sailing and when they do there’s not that much to say. “The boat would be moving more than that,” I might mutter to my date, but only if I want to make sure I don’t get another date. “That’s not really how the water would look from the shore of a Caribbean island” are some words that have actually come out of my mouth. I can be picky about anything, but listen: Wonder Woman got things exceptionally wrong. The scene where Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman sail from Themyscira to London is, bar none, the worst sailing I’ve ever seen in a movie. They literally don’t get a single detail right.

First, there’s no indication of how the sails are trimmed. They’re just hanging there, like Chris Pine and Gal Gadot’s hair, indicating that there is no wind. Sailboats need wind to move, and you adjust the sail depending on what direction the wind is coming from. The wind’s pressure on the sail, as well as the daggerboard, centerboard or keel’s pressure against the water, guides the boat in the direction it needs to go. If the sail is limp, the boat can’t be moving.

Let’s pretend this is forgivable (even though it’s fucking not). I get that most people won’t notice, and if we had simulated rough seas and high winds they probably wouldn’t have been able to improvise the funniest scene in the movie. Maybe Amazonian boats are made out of bullshit fucking magic or whatever. I wouldn’t have even mentioned this if things hadn’t gotten ten times crazier the next second when both characters go to sleep.

Who’s making sure they stay on course? What if they get run down by some steam ship? They don’t even have running lights, for Christ’s sake. Not even a candle stuck in the spreaders. Normally, on overnight passages, you want at least one person awake at all times “on watch.” And since this is a one-night journey, there’s zero reason for both characters to be asleep at the same time. I can’t stress enough how little sense this makes. It’s more implausible than anything else in the movie, including the lasso of truth or the idea that anyone could find David Thewlis intimidating.

To me, anyway. I totally understand why nobody else cares.

JF Sargent is a Senior Editor and columnist for Cracked and needlessly iconoclastic about all kinds of stuff. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-infuriatingly-bad-scenes-in-recent-great-movies/

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8 Hilariously WTF Times People Did Cosplay In The Real World

Cosplay — we’re used to seeing it on Halloween, at comic conventions, and of course in the filthiest recesses of the internet. But while most cosplayers are content to just chill at conventions as Stormtrooper #8, some eccentric pioneers are trying to discover new ways to play their cos’es. They’re no heroes — they just dress like them.

8

Lottery Winners In China Accept Their Checks In Costume

In China, lottery winners have to appear in public to accept their giant novelty check. Many are uncomfortable doing so, as most people like to avoid letting every criminal and deadbeat cousin know they’re rich as fuck now. This results in some people who show up looking like a poltergeist in an L.L. Bean catalog:

via EgoTV
If you’ve ever wondered how Cobra Command makes their money.

But others decide to go a little crazier. After all, money’s about to become a non-issue for them. Case in point, one guy showed up as Baymax, the inflatable robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. Either that or he’s cosplaying the Michelin Man after losing some weight.

via The Daily Dot
“I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion. Please don’t rob me.”

Another lucky winner showed up as Mickey Mouse to collect his cheddar:

And two guys came dressed as those two Transformers trying to start up a Daft Punk cover band.

One person showed up in this baffling bear costume, which looks more like the love child of Pikachu and that blowjob-ghost from The Shining.

Though we must admit, our lives do feel richer knowing that, once upon a time, Winnie The Pooh’s meth-head cousin held a press conference to claim his gambling money.

And they say millionaires never do anything for the little people.

7

Batman And Robin Battled Spider-Man In An MMA Fight

It took longer than expected, but someone finally tried to put an end to the age-old playground debates of which superhero could kick which other superhero’s ass. Recently, a superhero-themed MMA fight from the U.K was unearthed, showing a kickboxing match between a ’60s-style Batman and a molten action figure-style Spider-Man, and the result is less of an epic war between gods than a lackluster Halloween-themed Fight Club.

In the right corner, Batman — who, being a gentleman, doesn’t dip into his utility belt, but, less gentlemanly, did bring along his youthful ward to gang up on the web-slinger.

In the left, an alternate-dimension Peter Parker who kept on wrestling after Ben’s murder and is all in on kicking some serious billionaire ass —

— destroying the Dynamic Duo almost as badly as Joel Schumacher did.

Of course, it’s a pretty sad sight to see our beloved childhood heroes brawling like common pee-wee hockey parents — so it’s important to remember that all of this isn’t real, a fact that is abundantly clear by the time a half-dressed Riddler shows up to save Batman’s bacon.

6

A British Man Had A Costume-Filled Funeral

You know what’s really depressing at funerals? Everyone’s wearing black. In 2013, a Newcastle man overturned that depressing dress code by posthumously requesting that everyone come to the funeral in costume. Meaning Batman, Super Mario, and even some Imperial goons showed up to pay their respects.

Not to mention Fred Flinstone, a strip of bacon —

— and this guy …

… who is apparently a U.K. cereal mascot called the Honey Monster and definitely not a PCP hallucination willed into existence.

All of which led to a distinctly unique and memorable funeral — and presumably a waking nightmare for any intellectual property lawyers coming to pay their respects.

5

A Shop Owner Forced Teen Thieves To Dress Like The Flintstones

With the exception of forcing sports mascots to gyrate under a scorching sun for the audience’s apathy, costumes are usually not used as punishment. That wasn’t the case for the owner of World’s Best Comics And Toys, who dealt with a gang of shoplifters so hard it knocked them back to the Stone Age.

It all started when a group of teens stole a replica of Fred Flintstone’s car from the shop — either because they were big cartoon fans or they were so wasted they thought they’d just boosted a brand new Tesla. The culprits got remarkably far, seeing as their getaway car was powered by their feet, but were eventually thwarted by police. But in lieu of criminal charges, the teens accepted the store owner’s unorthodox alternative punishment, a long and humiliating ordeal that started with him uttering “Oh, so you like The Flintstones, do ya?”

Yup, to teach these kids a lesson, they were forced to dress up as Flintstones characters and stand out front of the store trying to lure customers for Free Comic Book Day — menial work the real Flintstones would have entrusted to some poor, abused-yet-sassy animal.

The thieves didn’t even seem to mind their punishment too much, gladly seeing their prank resolved without getting a criminal record. For a story of grand larceny and technical grand theft auto, this light-hearted caper harkens back to a simpler time. A daba doo time. A gay old time.

4

A Guy Jogs Through Death Valley While Dressed As Darth Vader … Every Year

Surely, if there’s one thing you can take away from the original Star Wars trilogy, it’s that Darth Vader never runs — he menacingly walks towards you with the calm perseverance of a freight train. Runner Jonathan Rice didn’t come away from the movies with the same impression, as he became the founder of the Darth Valley Challenge, in which he runs a mile in Death Valley at the hottest possible time of year, dressed in full Darth Vader get-up.

While Rice (AKA Vader) has described the run as “pointless,” it has set the Guinness record for the “hottest verified run.” Though, to be fair, once you’ve had several limbs burnt off by the fiery molten lake of Mustafar, a light jog through a dry heat must be like a walk in the park.

The decision to cosplay as Vader was less a calculated decision to harness the powers of darkness to boost his athleticism than it was the only Halloween costume in his house. So let’s be grateful it is the Sith apprentice running a hot mile in Death Valley, and not Rice dressed like a sexy nurse.

3

Canadian Teens Dress As The Justice League To Catch Internet Predators

It’s not totally surprising that a group of people would dress as superheroes and take the law into their own hands — but a group of Canadian men did so in a surprisingly non-violent fashion. The group, who dubbed themselves The Justice Trolls, dressed up as The Justice League, but rather than dumping a ton of money into Batman-like gadgets, or throwing up their internal organs trying to run like The Flash, these guys just bust out their laptops and bait sexual predators.

In fact, they don’t just wear superhero costumes, they improve them. We bet stupid old Barry Allen never even considered slapping a fake handlebar mustache on his Flash outfit. Or holding a press conference at a McDonald’s.

The group would pose as underage girls online to lure potential child sex offenders to a rendezvous — so instead of a minor they could take advantage of, these guys instead found themselves face-to-face with Batman — or at least a guy in a Batman rental costume with sewn-on abs. Either way, you have to imagine it’d be pretty jarring.

They would film the encounter, then post the video online. Like true comic book vigilantes, they caught the attention of the police and were told to back off. Then, again like in the comic books, the cops still took credit for arresting a bad guy who they found through the super-group. At least these cops have a good explanation for why they suck — it’s all part of a narrative that will spur on our heroes to do even more good.

2

A Juror Wore A Starfleet Uniform To The Whitewater Trial

Our older readers may remember the Whitewater scandal, a real estate fraud investigation with ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Not really a scandal a lot of people know about, because it didn’t involve emails.

But back in 1996, the Whitewater trial was a big event, so it’s only natural that some members of the media took note of alternate juror Barbara Adams, probably because she was the one dressed in a Starfleet uniform from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If you saw the documentary Trekkies then you remember Adams’ story; she wasn’t wearing the uniform for kicks, she wore it “just as any other officer in the military would wear theirs.” Pretty intense for a Trekkie, but before the internet, these guys were like the Crips of the nerd world.

Adams ended up being kicked off the jury — but interestingly enough, it wasn’t for her get-up, which everyone involved with the trial actually seemed pretty okay with. No, what landed Adams in hot water was violating a gag order by talking to the media — though you have to imagine the judge knew he was going to get annoyed by her making the “whoosh” sound every time the courtroom doors opened.

1

Quite A Few Rock Bands Shred While Cosplaying

Ever since KISS accidentally wandered into a child’s birthday and had their faces painted by a black-and-white French clown, elaborate costumes have been a staple in certain subsets of rock. But these costumes can go too far, especially when bands starts dressing up in ways that prevent them from doing sex, drugs, and even rock and roll.

Canada’s Cybertronic Spree is what you might call a Transformers tribute band, covering the soundtrack of the original Transformers movie while dressing up like said Transformers. Which is way better than just getting one Transformer to turn into a crappy boombox.

And keep in mind, this is back when the Transformers soundtrack consisted of jaunty Stan Bush and Weird Al Yankovic riffs, not the Linkin Park and trace amounts of Michael Bay’s hostility psychically burnt into the audio nowadays. And this is just the tip of the cosplay band iceberg; there’s a Klingon band that plays death metal:

And of course, there are a crap-ton of Harry Potter wizard rock bands, like The Blibbering Humdingers, The Moaning Myrtles and our favorite, As I Lay Dobby.

But winners of “Best Dressed” must be the metal band made up of Ned Flanderses. They’re pretty-diddly-iddly hardcore.

Not to mention how many Korean cosplay bands exist, but there really isn’t a part of Korean culture that hasn’t completely been taken over by geekdom, so these might just be regular bands.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24688_8-hilariously-insane-acts-cosplay-in-real-world.html

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How Potentially Great Movies Got Derailed By Offscreen BS

Hollywood has proved that it’s willing to turn literally anything into a movie, from children’s toys, to Reddit posts, to E.L. James novels. So, if you ever notice a film-worthy property that has remained conspicuously un-adapted, you can bet your ass that it’s not for lack of trying. In fact, some of the stories behind these non-adaptations would make pretty good movies of their own (mostly comedies, with some hints of psychological horror).

5

Gore Verbinski’s R-Rated BioShock Movie Is Dead Due To Watchmen

Video game adaptations tend to be utter garbage for one simple reason: It’s hard to turn a plot like “portly Italian steps on hundreds of turtles” into a coherent screenplay. If there’s one game that could break the curse, though, it’s BioShock. Why? Because it already has a more cogent story than most movies.

2K Games
Not to mention, way more diving suit-wearing mutants with giant drills on one hand.

The game’s critically acclaimed storyline (centered on a utopic underwater city created by a combination of Walt Disney and Ayn Rand) is ripe for the taking — and there’s one director willing to do it. Gore Verbinski of Pirates Of The Caribbean fame is a big fan of BioShock‘s “cinematic potential” and “strong narrative,” and we’ve already talked about why he would actually be perfect for this adaptation (assuming he doesn’t succumb to the Burton Syndrome and casts Johnny Depp for every part).

Verbinski was all set to shoot a BioShock movie in 2009, and fittingly for someone named “Gore,” he wasn’t planning to shy away from the game’s violence and general fucked-up-ness. In his own words, he “just really, really wanted to make it a movie where, four days later, you’re still shivering and going, ‘Jesus Christ!'” The movie’s concept art confirms that, at the very least, this thing would have been visually amazing:

2K Games

2K Games

But then, only eight weeks before shooting started, Universal Studios pulled the plug. What happened? Apparently, Watchmen did.

Verbinski wanted between $160 and $200 million to properly recreate the underwater city of Rapture, but after Zack Snyder’s dour superhero slo-mo-fest underperformed, Universal got nervous about financing such an expensive R-rated film. Verbinski wouldn’t budge on the rating or the budget, so that was it. The studio tried to keep going with another director, but the same problems came up again. Eventually, BioShock‘s creators decided they didn’t need a stinking movie anyways.

We’d love to end this entry telling you that the recent string of R-rated genre hits proved those cowardly producers wrong, but it’s not that simple: Deadpool cost only $58 million, Logan reportedly $97 million, and Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t exactly make it rain (by Hollywood standards). Shooting an underwater city probably won’t be affordable until we’re actually living in one, so cross your fingers for more climate change, gaming fans!

4

We’ll Never See Guillermo Del Toro’s At The Mountains Of Madness Because Of Freaking Prometheus

Like his creation Cthulhu, horror author H.P. Lovecraft has managed to indirectly wedge his face-tentacles into everything you love. He’s inspired such disparate works as Dungeons And Dragons, Evil Dead, and even Conan The Barbarian — and yet, very few of his works have been directly adapted into movies. For instance, there’s never been a film adaptation of his classic novella At The Mountains Of Madness, the lovely story of a bunch of scientists who stumble upon forgotten horrors during an Antarctic expedition, and end up getting slaughtered or losing their minds.

Guillermo Del Toro, no stranger to giant monsters from other dimensions, has been trying to adapt Mountains for decades, but the project has been cursed by the unthinkable evils that rule the universe: Hollywood executives. Del Toro had a script ready as early as 1998, and at various points the project managed to attract serious interest from Warner Bros., Universal, and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Pictures. In 2010, Del Toro even convinced James Cameron to join as producer and had Tom Cruise in advanced talks to star (yes, we might have finally found out what Cruise looks like as an insane person).

The studios always ended up wussing out over the budget and dark tone, but Del Toro kept plugging away, convinced that this was something audiences had never seen before. That is, until he heard about a little movie called Prometheus. You know, the one about a bunch of scientists who stumble upon forgotten horrors during a galactic expedition, and end up getting slaughtered or crushed by slow-moving space donuts.

The similarities don’t end there: Both Prometheus and Mountains involve the scientists discovering an ancient alien race responsible for creating humanity, as well some ugly-ass monsters hell-bent on destroying said humanity. Del Toro didn’t want to cover the same ground as that film, so he announced that his project was on hold or dead. In 2013, he said he would give it one more try … and that’s the last anyone’s heard of it. Oh, well, at least there’s always the new HellboWhoops.

3

Hamilton Won’t Be A Movie For Decades Because The Creator Just Said So

Chances are that you’ve never seen Hamilton yourself (tickets go from $175 to $2000 and are still constantly sold out), but you sure as hell have heard about it. It’s a freaking cultural phenomenon. The Founding Father-themed hip-hop musical won 11 of its record-breaking 16 Tony Awards nominations, largely for its ability to achieve the impossible: making people pay “could have bought fairly high-quality cocaine” money to see something pertaining to Alexander “National Debt Ain’t Nothing But A Thing” Hamilton.

Since Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is all about making American history more accessible to the masses, a movie adaptation would make perfect sense, right? So thinks everyone, except Lin-Manuel Miranda. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Miranda stated that if a film adaptation happens, it probably wouldn’t be for at least 20 years. Partially, he wants to make sure people come see it in theaters now (even though 99 percent of us will never have the chance) … but he also claims that the only good play-to-film adaptations are “all 20 years after the fact,” giving examples like Cabaret or Chicago.

The thing is, Cabaret was only made eight years after the play. West Side Story, The Sound Of Music, Oliver!, The Music Man, My Fair Lady, Guys And Dolls, Hairspray — all had acclaimed movies within five to eight years of the musical. The Grease movie was released only seven years later, and people love that retroactively creepy crap. Does Miranda think it was actually made in the ’50s because of the wardrobes?

At most, those suffering from Hamilust will have to settle for watching a filmed performance of the play, but there are two problems with that: 1) Miranda says he hasn’t decided what to do with the only recording of the original cast, joking (we think?) that he’d throw it in a vault, and 2) no one in the history of humanity has enjoyed a fixed-camera movie of a play. You might as well sneak into one of the inevitable rip-off productions that high school drama clubs will be putting on for years to come.

2

Steve Carell’s Real-Life Comedy About North Korea, Pyongyang, Was Shelved Because Of The Interview

North Korea has been responsible for a lot of terrible things over the years, but there was one time when they actually tried to save us from a lurking danger we ourselves didn’t fully understand: Seth Rogen’s The Interview. In what we naively thought would be the most bonkers international incident of this decade, Kim Jong-un’s regime took offense at something in the movie (presumably the part about Rogen and James Franco assassinating him, but maybe they’re just tired of stoner jokes) and allegedly hacked Sony Pictures in retaliation.

As a result, most screenings of the movie were cancelled and the film was banished to the wasteland of home video.

However, this Chinese food-fart of a movie wasn’t the most tragic casualty of the Sony hack clusterfuck: that would be Steve Carell’s Pyongyang, which was a story that actually deserved to be told.

Based on a 2004 autobiographical comic book, Pyongyang details author Guy Delisle’s experiences in the North Korean capital, where he worked as the liaison between a French animation company and a local studio. That studio’s signature creation, by the way, is an adorable propaganda series starring a squirrel and a hedgehog, imaginatively titled Squirrel And Hedgehog.

Because of his particular role, Delisle was given unprecedented access to parts of the country usually hidden from outsiders. His book is a retelling of all the bizarre things he saw and experienced in that crazy-ass regime — a concept that apparently made Gore Verbinski’s ears perk up when he heard about it. In 2013, New Regency announced Verbinski would direct a “dark comedy” based on the Delisle’s experiences, and eventually added Steve Carell as the lead. It would have been an intriguing combination of awkward situations …

… and the obligatory “creative liberties” Hollywood would have taken to make the story more like a spy thriller. Either way, expect a lot of Carell screaming in panic.

Unfortunately, thanks to Rogen shoving his dick jokes into the nuclear hornet’s nest, the movie was dead before it could really take off. New Regency didn’t think they could risk a controversial movie of their own, while Verbinski welcomed the possibility of World War III, stating, “I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.” To which the studio probably responded: “Yeah, but nukes and shit. Right?”

1

The Catcher In The Rye Will Never Get A Movie Because Of A Terrible Version Of Another J.D. Salinger Story

J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye has long been considered by hipsters (and assassins) to be the greatest book against phonies ever written. Holden Caulfield’s story of self-discovery mirrors that of many a pissed-off, surly, uniquely rebellious teenager — so, all of them, basically. That probably explains why entire generations of actors, from Marlon Brando to Leonardo DiCaprio, have tried to get the movie done with themselves in the lead.

The problem is that, like his boy Caulfield, Salinger was on a bit of a crusade against the phonies of the world — and to him, no one was phonier than Hollywood (not sure how he got that impression).

Salinger didn’t always feel that way. Early in his career, he sold the rights to his short story Uncle Wiggily In Connecticut, a commentary on materialism in the post-WWII era. According to his assistant, Salinger “thought they would make a good movie,” which wasn’t an unreasonable assumption considering that the script would be written by the screenwriters of Casablanca, Julius and Philip Epstein.

So what did the Epsteins do? They changed the name to My Foolish Heart, ditched all the social commentary, and turned the story into a sappy romantic tale.

Even though the film was a commercial hit, Salinger hated it so much that he refused to allow any more adaptations of his work. Including Catcher In The Rye. Of course, there might be another reason why he turned down all those offers from famous actors: According to his one-time girlfriend, Salinger thought only he himself could play Caulfield. It’s probably a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B.

Anyway, if you excitedly thought that Salinger’s death might finally bring about a Catcher adaptation, then you’re 1) a shitty person, and 2) wrong. The people who manage his trust were fully aware of his aversion to licensing out any of his works, and will continue his crusade for generations to come. On the upside, think of all the murders from illiterate would-be killers we’re avoiding this way.

Jordan Breeding is a part-time writer, a full-time lover, and an all the time guitarist. Check out his band at Skywardband.com or on Spotify here.

Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers aliens: Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman: So simple, but so bad. Are there good versions of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that saw the light of day? Jack O’Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O’Brien, and Katie Willert of After Hours on our next live podcast to find an answer, as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakes. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased here!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_24575_5-great-movie-adaptations-that-will-never-get-made.html