Toward the end of high school, I started making daily visits to the Best Buy in my hometown. With each visit, I’d return home with another DVD or two (or four or six if there was a combo pack on sale). I loved adding copies of new movies I loved to my collection. I loved adding older movies that I had always enjoyed or recently discovered to my collection.
Despite scaling way back (and recycling the cases to 90 percent of my collection), I’m still a proponent of owning the movies you love on physical media.
Yes, it’s super easy to pull up a movie via streaming services or through your own library of digital copies (I have hundreds of those too across Movies Anywhere, Vudu and Apple), but when it comes down to it, you don’t own any of those movies. Even the digital copies that have been presented as your property are just versions that the studios have licensed to you.
Best Buy, the origin story of my movie collecting journey, announced last week that it’s getting out of the physical media game, with a plan to stop selling Blu-rays and DVDs in early 2024, both in stores and online.
“To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago,” a Best Buy spokesperson told Variety. “Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy.”
The idea that Best Buy is making this move to have “more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech” is hilarious. Have you been to a Best Buy lately? If you can call home appliances and Funko Pops “new and innovative tech,” then sure.
Oh yeah, welcome to the Friday edition of Popculturology.
There’s a busy newsletter down below today, but I wanted to quickly mention a few things that we watched since last week’s edition.
It’s October, so we had to watch Hocus Pocus. Just the original. The sequel can’t match the campiness of its predecessor. (This is also the Sarah Jessica Parker role that I enjoy the most.)
We massively shifted gears for a rewatch of The Social Network. I have a small list of perfect films. The Social Network is on that list. (Arrival is too.) It’s still a joke that The King’s Speech beat The Social Network, Inception and Toy Story 3 for Best Picture at the Oscars in 2011.
Once Upon a Studio was a quick watch. The short celebrates 100 years of Walt Disney animation, uniting characters from the studios’ massive library in one place. “Never better, Garfield,” cracked me up.
And finally: Barbie. I held out for this one to be released on 4K Blu-ray, and it was worth the wait. Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. The studio recording of Ryan Gosling singing “Push” is my personality now.
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NEWS, NOTES AND TRAILERS
“They just bought this show 30 more years. We just got these eager young guys who are so excited to attack every episode.”
Rick and Morty returned for its seventh season this Sunday, giving viewers a chance to hear what characters like Rick, Morty and Mr. Poopy Butthole would sound like now that co-creator Justin Roiland was no longer part of the show.
Turns out, the new Rick and Morty sounds a lot like the old Rick and Morty. Especially as you watch the episode and forget there are even different people doing the voices.
So how did the show find the actors who stepped into Roiland’s many vocal shoes? Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon and showrunner Scott Marder chatted with The Hollywood Reporter to reveal the secrets behind the switch.
“We heard thousands. It went on for six months.” In the end, Ian Cardoni was cast as Rick and Harry Belden was cast as Morty. Despite the duo being voiced by one person in the past, Harmon and Marder made the choice to break up the casting. “For sheer quality of life, it’d be easier for the amount of work required for both characters,” Marder told The Hollywood Reporter.
More than an impression: Harmon and Marder knew that they needed people who could go beyond just repeating classic Rick and Morty one-liners. “It’s one thing to match an impression — can you do [George H.W. Bush] as well as Dana Carvey, but can you then do it if you’re not saying, ‘Not gonna do it,’” Harmon said. “It was trying to strike this crazy balance; this character has to be angry, sad, despondent and all those things.”
Rick and Morty were always going to sound like Rick and Morty: When Solar Opposites recast Roiland, they went with a big swing, bringing in British actor Dan Stevens to play Korvo, even adding a few bits to the most recent season premiere about the character sounding different. “We never sincerely went down that road,” Marder said. “It was explored right at the heart of things at the very beginning. I always try to look at it from a fan’s perspective: Imagine Homer Simpson sounding different. I would have been instantly out. As much as I love this show, I felt like it needed to be exactly the same.”
Mr. Poopy Butthole gets a new voice — and a name: Roiland also voiced Mr. Poopy Butthole, the fan favorite who plays a major role in the recent season premiere. He’s now voiced by John Allen. (We also learned that his first name is Wayne.)
Inside the episode: Huh, I expected some info on how Hugh Jackman got roped into this episode.
Deadpool 3 won’t make its May 2024 release date
With the studios still unwilling to agree to a fair deal with SAG-AFTRA, the actors strike continues on. While the WGA strike’s conclusion has gotten parts of the entertainment industry going again, it’s kind of hard to make movies and TV shows without, you know, actors.
Deadline reported on Thursday that the third Deadpool movie won’t hit its May 3, 2024, release date for that very reason. “Even if the strike ends in the next few weeks, a 2024 re-start on the half-finished Deadpool 3 will not get the Ryan Reynolds-Hugh Jackman threequel to a May opening date,” Deadline writes. “There’s just too much to do in regards to re-assembling crew, etc.”
🎞️ “The world is on fire. If we wanna save millions of lives, we can use some help.”
Godzilla rising from the desert? Absolutely. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters understands how you treat the King of Monsters.
Gargoyles will rise again as a live-action Disney+ show
I wasn’t a religious Gargoyles viewer back when it was on during the age of the Disney Afternoon, but I was always impressed and interested in the mythology the show invested itself in.
Despite a ton of other Disney animated shows getting new lives over the past few years (DuckTales, Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers, a bit of Darkwing Duck and TaleSpin), a Gargoyles revival has eluded fans. That may be about to change.
Gargoyles will return to life a live-action Disney+ show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While creator Greg Weisman doesn’t appear to be in the mix for the new series, Disney is handing the franchise to Gary Dauberman and James Wan. Dauberman is a prolific horror screenwriter, with credits for Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, The Nun, Annabelle Comes Home (which he also directed), It: Chapter Two and The Nun II. And then there are few bigger behind-the-scenes names in the business right now besides Wan. His résumé includes directing the original Saw, the two Aquaman movies and several films in the Insidious and Conjuring universes.
I’m curious to see how Gargoyles will translate as a “live-action” show. The budget for this kind of thing can’t be cheap. I hope this isn’t the case of Disney giving the show a season only to cancel it (and wipe it from streaming existence).
🎞️ “I follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Caesar”
The new trailer for Napoleon is how you make a trailer. Wild that we’re getting new movies from Ridley Scott and Martin Scorsese this year — and they’re both coming from Apple Original Films.
🍿 Taylor Swift’s movie falls short of Joker’s record
When the Sunday box office estimates came in, it looked like Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour was going to dethrone Joker as the biggest opening weekend for October. Turns out that $97 million estimate was a bit high, with Taylor Swift’s concert movie actually debuting with $92.8 million — not enough to topple Joker’s $96.2 million first weekend.
- Why did The Eras Tour fail to break $100 million? Tracking for the movie had The Eras Tour easily opening with $100 million. The Hollywood Reporter looked at several factors that caused the film to come up short. (A $92.8 million opening weekend is still fantastic. It’s just not a $100 million opening weekend …)
“There’s a world where I still get offered the show”
Roy Wood Jr. may have left The Daily Show but don’t count him out of the running when it comes to replacing Trevor Noah as its host.
“There’s a world where I still get offered the show, and there’s a world where I get offered something else,” Wood told Rolling Stone. “But I just know that to figure out what I want to do next, just as a contingency and cover my own ass, I can’t do that while I’m doing my job as correspondent. It would disrespect the job of correspondent.”
“When I saw the Hasan [Minhaj] stuff out, I think it was pretty clear that Hasan was the frontrunner,” Wood said. “I haven’t heard that it’s for sure Hasan. All I’ve heard is that they’re still deciding.”
🎞️ Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell pretend to be a couple
Taking bets now on how Anyone But You ends. They wind up falling in love for real, right?
🍿 The Marvels tracking behind Captain Marvel
When Captain Marvel hit big screens in 2019, the film debuted with a whopping $153.4 million opening weekend in North America. When Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel is joined by Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan next month, it doesn’t look like it’ll be higher, faster or further at the box office.
According to new tracing for The Marvels, the upcoming film is on pace for a $75 million to $80 million three-day opening weekend.
Deadline points out that release an MCU tentpole movie while the actors are on strike and unable to promote their work is a large factor for this drop-off.
🚫 You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay at The Afterparty
I enjoyed the first season of The Afterparty but haven’t had the chance to watch the second season yet. Turns out I’ll never have the chance to watch a third season of The Afterparty … since Apple TV+ has canceled the show.
SNL! MORE SNL! EVEN MORE SNL!
“This idiot doesn’t know how to read …”
Bad Bunny is both the host and musical guest for this weekend’s Saturday Night Live. Nothing will ever beat the confusion over people realizing that Donald Glover and Childish Gambino were the same person when he/they were SNL’s host and musical guest a few years ago.
Nate Bargatze to host SNL
SNL announced this week that comedian Nate Bargatze will host the show’s Oct. 28 episode with the Foo Fighters as musical guest.
Look, no offense to Bargatze, but we’re in for some very interesting SNL host picks as long as the actors strike is still going. Singers, athletes, comedians — it might get weird.
How Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce snuck into last week’s show
If you’re as famous as Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce currently are, you can apparently just show up to SNL and ask to be a part of the show. Variety published a piece earlier this week detailing how the duo made their stealth SNL appearances.
“No one knew they were coming, and they contacted a few minutes before arrival at air time,” a source told Variety.
While Swift only introduced Ice Spice, Kelce had a quick cameo in a sketch.
“The second [Kelce] walked in, they mentioned the sketch and he said he was happy to join,” the insider said. (That last-minute add probably explains why Kelce didn’t actually say anything in his cameo — there was likely no time to script anything out.) “They were happy to jump into some parts of the show when asked.”
“I’m not sure if was meant to be that abrupt or if a line or a camera cue was flubbed,” I wrote in this week’s edition of Deep SNL Thoughts. I guess there was an explanation for why Kelce’s cameo came off as scattershot as it did. “I don’t even remember what I said, I blacked out,” Kelce mentioned on his podcast (via Vulture). “As soon as they [cued] to me, the entire place erupted, which was very overwhelming.”
“YOU HAVE SOME NERVE COMING HERE WITH YOUR TVA BULLSHIT”
We’re now two episodes into the second season of Loki (well, three by the time you’re reading this), and things seem uneven. The pacing of “Breaking Brad” was weird. I actually had to make sure I didn’t miss something as the episode got going with Loki and Mobius tracking down Hunter X-5 in their search for Sylvie.
The episode also failed to land the weight of countless timelines and the people living on them being pruned by Dox’s rogue team. (Can we also get some clarification on the difference between timelines and universes, Kevin Feige?)
- If Timothy Olyphant and Nathan Fillion had a baby … I wasn’t familiar with Rafael Casel before Loki (sorry, Blindspotting fans), but the actor who plays Hunter X-5/Brad Wolfe is somehow the perfect hybrid of Timothy Olyphant and Nathan Fillion.
- Torture, um, works? If the second episode of this season taught us anything, it’s that torture is an effective way to get info from a prisoner. Make sure you taunt them with a line like, “If none of this is real, I guess you aren’t either.”
- Sylvie’s earrings: Pretty sure this isn’t anything beyond a fun Easter egg winking at Moon Knight, but Sylvie was wearing ankh earrings in this episode.
- The Strange but True Story of the Pioneer Woman’s Link to Killers of the Flower Moon (Eve Batey, Vanity Fair)
- The Mandoverse Needs a Writers Room (Ben Lindbergh, The Ringer)
- The Economy (Taylor’s Version) (Abha Bhattarai, Rachel Lerman and Emily Sabens, The Washington Post)
- Bearing Witness with My Daughter at the Church of Taylor Swift (Jessica Winter, The New Yorker)
- Behold the mystery of Lewis, Target’s talking pumpkin ghoul (Sophia Solano, The Washington Post)
- How Lunchables ended up on school lunch trays (Lenny Bernstein, Lauren Weber and Dan Keating, The Washington Post)
- Self-Checkout Is a Failed Experiment (Amanda Mull, The Atlantic)
AND FINALLY …
“Well, I think that it’s very speculative”
During the final days of the writers strike, a report made the rounds claiming that NBC was on the verge of announcing a revival of The Office. (Not a reboot. The previous Office would still be canon.) Greg Daniels, creator of the American version of The Office, tempered that news a bit during a recent chat with Collider.
“Well, I think that it’s very speculative,” he told Collider. “The fact that it kind of blew up based on one line in a Puck piece was kind of cool, I guess, in the sense that the fans still care a lot. But the thing I would say is, when there’s something to announce, I will definitely announce it.”
I mean, it’s pretty certain that an Office relaunch (not a reboot) is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when NBC and Daniels are ready to announce it.
That’s the end of this issue of Popculturology. Thanks for reading. If you don’t already subscribe, please hit the “Subscribe now” button. Tapping the ♥️ at the bottom of each post also helps the newsletter.