Category: Pop Culture (page 1 of 4)

The Burden of Being Aquaman

A Dish Best Served Cold

“On Poseidon’s Trident, I swear I will have your revenge my brothers!”

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Anthropomorphic Identity Crisis

Lightning the Queen

Child malapropisms.

They’re one of the few true joys of parenthood.  Lest you think it’s insensitive to laugh at the nascent vocabulary of our young charges, may I remind you that as parents you’re grasping for something, literally anything, to help us get through the day without a mandated visit from Child Protective Services.  You need a little chuckle now and again to distract you from the fact that the top floor of your house smells like the men’s rest room at Citizen’s Bank Park, and most likely will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Like most of the children born between 1995-present, my boys enjoy the cinematic stylings of Pixar Animation Studios.  The first movie my oldest son saw in an actual theater was the weakest link in Pixar’s canon, Cars.  If you’re not privy to the plots of recent animated fare, Cars is Pixar’s creepy talking vehicle opus to finding work/life balance.  Of course, this celluloid exposure lead to countless viewings, a merchandise acquisition spree, and the unfortunate welding of Rascal Flatts’ re-imagining of Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” to one of my six available remaining neural pathways.

Cars stayed with my family for so long, that my second son began to show an interest in the movie and toys as well.    He took a particular shine to the protagonist of the Cars universe, Lightning McQueen.

Only he didn’t call him that.

He insisted his correct name was Lightning the Queen.

I like to imagine a fully formed world inhabited by talking cars where Lightning the Queen leaves Radiator Springs and the warm embrace of Sally and moves to South Beach.  Soon, he’s setting up house with a little Fiat voiced by Nathan Lane.  Three’s Company style mis-understandings and hi-jinks ensue.

Now that’s a Cars sequel I would pay cash-money to see.

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Right Downturn Clyde

When we face the darkest of economic times, it takes a special breed of entertainer to lift our spirits as a nation.

Entertainers who can set aside their own personal fears to help the masses forget theirs.

Entertainers who can break down long-standing taboos thereby changing the direction of an entire industry.

Entertainers who can empathize with the double-edged sword of having opposable thumbs.

That’s right.  Much like when an ailing nation, still reeling from an energy crisis and mired in a recession, turned to an orangutan named Clyde and a chimp named Bear, it’s once again time to welcome simian-based humor into our lives.

Let the healing nature of monkeys on film begin.

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Halloween Week on Ranzino.com

It’s Halloween season here on Ranzino.com and we’ll be celebrating this manufactured non-holiday by posting some extra-spooky content here every day this week.

Yes that’s right, you heard it here first. Daily content. Prepare for the reckoning.

What better way to kick things off than having some random French guy sing in a capella 64 different parts (including sound effects) of Michael Jackson’s pop-culture classic Thriller.

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Life Got You Down?

In these uncertain times of financial and political turmoil, it may be time for Americans to finally heed the call of sacrifice and once again give back to this nation that has given us so much. Much like our grandparents did during the days of the last great rift in economic and international relations, it’s time for ordinary citizens to rise up and do extraordinary things to ensure our most basic freedoms for future generations.

Or you could just say to heck with it and spend the next 2 minutes and 42 seconds watching a man play Europe’s “The Final Countdown” on a homemade ukelele/piano/kazoo.

Really, it’s your call.

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Lost in Translation


Lost in Translation, originally uploaded by ranzino.

“No, I have no idea what he’s talking about. He keeps babbling on about something called ‘The Claw.’ Copy that, I’ll just throw him in the Jawa burn pile”

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Fedora Lost

If 10 years ago, you would have suggested to me a movie directed by the fat guy from Swingers starring Robert Downey Jr. posing as a second-tier Marvel Comics character would beat the pants off a Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford collaboration, I probably would have called you a damn dirty liar.

If you also would have told me that the movie in question would also be an Indiana Jones movie, I probably would have stopped talking to you. Not right then and there of course, but little by little we would hang out less and less until you realized that I found your presence in my life as unnecessary as the token men sitting in an Oprah studio audience.

Passive aggressive, that’s the way I roll.

This is how far we’ve come. Two men (I’m giving Harrison a pass here) I trusted implicitly with my entertainment dollar two decades ago, now cannot produce something that is in the league to sniff the sweaty Ultimate Fighting Championship t-shirt of a director whose major film helming credits include a Will Ferrell movie and a sequel to Jumanji.

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SOYLENT PINK IS PEOPLE!


SOYLENT PINK IS PEOPLE!, originally uploaded by ranzino.

I’m willing to accept many things about the anthropomorphic animal residents of Richard Scarry’s Busytown at face value. For instance, I can overlook the fact that the only townsperson to wear a shoe is also the only one to not have any feet on to which he could insert said footwear (One Lowly the worm).

However, I cannot accept that in an idyllic village where cats, dogs, rabbits, mice and the occasional immoral gorilla can live together in harmony, the community would allow out and out cannibalism in the form of a pig becoming a hot dog vendor.

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SpongeBob, Behind the Green Door… at the Krusty Krab

The following is the best dinner-time discussion my son and I have had in weeks.

Me: So what did you do at Gramma’s house yesterday?

Son: Pop Pop and I watched SpongeBob SquirtPants.

Me: (Choking back some grilled tilapia) I think you mean SpongeBob SquarePants.

Son: (In complete righteous indignation mode) NO! The song says SpongeBob SQUIRTPANTS!

Me: I think I’m pretty sure I saw that particular title in the restricted section of the local video store. Nickelodeon’s probably not adding it to their lineup until their demo really really shifts.

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A Musical Interlude

A quick example of a song that goes from about a 2 star rating all the way up to a 5 when the volume is adjusted to the correct amplitude:

Boston’s clap-a-long fest – More Than a Feeling.

Next up on iTunes, a song that pretty much sucks no matter what volume it’s played at: Paula Abdul’s ode to feline zoophiliaOpposites Attract.

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