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Hello Cranker Darlings,

I recently had the misfortune of seeing Spectre, the new James Bond ditty. Mind you, Daniel Craig is one of the best Bonds in history. He’s got the complexity, hunkiness and brooding that many of his predecessors lack. Despite all that, Spectre is a damn mess.

And I ain’t the only one who thinks so (Anghus Houvouras over at FlickeringMyth called it “Lazy,” which is spot-on). In fact, this concept was so ill-conceived that—despite having earned $178 million in just shy of a month—it could end up hurting the franchise. From FlickeringMyth:

I would call Spectre the worst Bond movie because it lacks joy. There’s no fun to be had here. Not from the dead-eyed Daniel Craig who seems unconnected to the character and the material. Not from an uninspired, lifeless screenplay full of dialogue so obtuse it often feels like a series of non-sequiturs assembled by a scriptwriting algorithm.

Shot gauzily with sweeping long-shots and lush cinematography, let’s just look at Spectre’s completely bizarre soundtrack. “Am I watching Bond, or Fried Green Tomatoes?” is what I kept asking myself. With good reason: Thomas Newman scored both of those films. With a lackluster plot and writing (see above), the score—which interfered with character dialogue as much as it made me want to punch someone—was the true Bond villain. Strangely maudlin, oddly off-putting, and downright wrong for the film.

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Adele has been screaming up the charts with her new record “25.” Fuck the reviews, bad or good: people had missed the Divine Miss A and she doesn’t disappoint.

In the midst of a promotional blitz—think Miley Cyrus, but wanted—Adele paid a visit to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and broke down “Hello” with school instruments. They transformed a self-mutilation-inducing song to a happy-clappy, toe-tapping ditty.

If you haven’t seen the official video for “Hello“—directed by Xavier Dolan—you simply must. It’s an astonishing piece of filmmaking. Last Adele tidbit: her über hunky bodyguard is winning the Internet daily with shots of him looking over her shoulder.

One recent tunes tidbit: somewhere Frankie Grande is way jelly of big sis Ari. She can do a mean Xtina.

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Photo credit: Pieter van den Hoogenband, via Practical Boat Owner
Photo credit: Pieter van den Hoogenband, via Practical Boat Owner

Rio’s 2016 Olympic waterways are so polluted that it’s sending sailors to the hospital with MRSA … A recent White House fence-jumper got sentenced to a serious scolding from his mum … The Verge reports that former Apple designers say the company has lost its way (true), and I still refuse to upgrade to El Capitan.

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Gladys & The Thrusters: “Love the Way You Love Me” (Skidmore College, 1989)

 


 

Will Pollock is a cranky New York City refugee living in Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist and author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below! And don’t forget to comment below. Cranky always needs company.

See you Crankers next week.

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