Saturday, October 23, 2021

Sequel Theory


From @DKThompson / Derek Thompson of The Atlantic:

Between the 1970s and 1990s, the share of sequels in Hollywood didn't change.

Since 1999, it's basically been more sequels, remakes, and adaptations every year.


1. Probably the smartest version of the "in the long run, everything is downstream of technology" argument

2. The rise of prestige TV

The 1990s happened to be when cable TV neared its financial apex, drew in big-time showrunners whose hits had a flywheel effect that, over time, sucked original stories to the smaller screen

3. The Anita Elberse Blockbuster theory

As marketing costs for films grew, it pushed studios toward safer projects with more built-in "pre-awareness." Late 90s was an inflection point in studios choosing Fewer-Bigger-Familiar over More-Small-Original

4. The Phantom Menace Theory!

I have some fondness for the idea that the Phantom Menace had a kind of Roger Bannister Effect on Hollywood, showing that you can break land-speed records for shitty familiarity and audiences will still show up in droves.


Directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad, Venom)
Starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg 

NYT on Seattle Food and Beer Scene


New York Times - "Beef Has Issues. This Seattle Steakhouse Agrees."
By Brett Anderson

"Mr. Thornhill, 37, and his colleagues — notably the restaurant’s original butcher, Tom Coss — have made it a mission to make steaks out of cuts long considered too tough, small or unsightly for the assignment. This accounts for the long list of steaks that most diners will never have seen on a steakhouse menu, if at all.

They include, depending on the night, obscure cuts (like gracilis and coulotte) and others presumed to be palatable only if slow-cooked or ground into hamburger (ball tip, brisket deckle).

Through trial and error, Mr. Thornhill and Mr. Coss developed methods for butchering and aging tougher, leaner cuts that deepen the flavor and help tenderize the meat, at least to a point. (Mr. Coss was laid off, along with the rest of the staff, at the start of the pandemic; he now is head butcher at the Shambles, a Seattle bar and butcher. Mr. Johnson joined Bateau after it resumed regular service in April.)

For diners, part of the Bateau experience is learning that meat from free-roaming, grass-fed cows will always require a sharp knife. “As consumers, we’ve been told that the best-quality meat is tender meat, fork tender,” Mr. Thornhill said. “Our metric for quality is flavor.”

All of the steaks, including the traditional steakhouse varieties, are cooked the same: seared in cast-iron pans and basted with brown butter. The meat is priced by weight, with some cuts available in four- or five-ounce portions. This reduces waste and encourages diners to sample."

New York Times - "Exploring Seattle’s Booming Beer Scene"
By Christopher Solomon

"Seattle is home to nearly 70 breweries — a staggering number, greater than several states can boast. Summer is one of the best times to backstroke through this ocean of cool beer as the pandemic loosens its grip. There’s always something new to try and someplace new to go as breweries continue to take root in this thirsty city, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. Ersatz biergartens have sprung up in parking lots as the pandemic forces breweries to become creative about how to gather people safely.

Exhibit A lies about three miles north of downtown Seattle’s high-rises, where a patch of gray industrial land has become a popular brewery district in only a few years. Eleven breweries with taphouses occupy the roughly six-block square of what’s now called the Ballard Brewery District ...

But even this list doesn’t fully capture the sudsy momentum. Cast your eyes a few more blocks in any direction, and the number of breweries-with-taprooms swells. Cloudburst Brewing has added a satellite taproom to its nearby brewery about one mile west of here. A bit farther to the south sits Holy Mountain Brewing, one of the best microbrewers in the nation. A beer lover could wander for days. Best of all, almost everything is so close that the thirsty and curious can explore on foot, or on one of Seattle’s ubiquitous shared scooters or city bicycles."

NFL Families: Trevon Diggs


The Ringer - "Is Trevon Diggs Really This Good, or Just Lucky? Yes."

NFL Families: Arch Manning


ESPN - "Arch Manning and life as the nation's top quarterback recruit in a family of quarterback royalty"

NBA 75 Team


 - "NBA 75th Anniversary Team announced"

USA Today - "The 10 biggest snubs who were left off the NBA's 75 greatest players list"

The new names (from the NBA's 50th anniversary team):
  1. Ray Allen
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  3. Carmelo Anthony
  4. Kobe Bryant
  5. Stephen Curry
  6. Anthony Davis
  7. Tim Duncan
  8. Kevin Durant
  9. Kevin Garnett
  10. James Harden
  11. Allen Iverson
  12. LeBron James
  13. Jason Kidd
  14. Kawhi Leonard
  15. Damian Lillard
  16. Bob McAdoo
  17. Steve Nash
  18. Dirk Nowitzki
  19. Chris Paul
  20. Gary Payton
  21. Paul Pierce
  22. Dennis Rodman
  23. Dwyane Wade
  24. Russell Westbrook
  25. Dominique Wilkins

Highest Basketball Court in the World


(via @FOS.)

To celebrate the start of a new NBA season, Hennessy brought basketball to two symbolic places:

Basketball An iconic art venue in London
Basketball The top of a skyscraper in Shanghai

The court in Shanghai is the highest basketball court in the world.