This Week in the Mercury


Monday, June 16, 2014

Pop Culture Continues to Devour Itself, Angrily, Hungrily, Desperately, Horrifically, Beautifully

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM

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One of the things that's kind of remarkable about writing about pop culture for a living is that I just keep thinking, "Yep, that's about as far as commercial entertainment can go without utterly destroying itself!" Which is more or less the thought I had when I saw the latest preview for Transformers 4 this weekend (while impatiently waiting for 22 Jump Street to start, no less). But whenever I think that, something—usually exactly the thing I'm thinking about—somehow doubles back on itself and proves me wrong. Angry Birds Transformers is a real thing, and I can guarantee there were arguments between people in suits as to whether it would be called Angry Birds Transformers or Transformers Angry Birds or Angry Transformers—in kind of an amazing way, and then Oh, you think, that's how far things can go, that's how places can simultaneously exploit not one but two or maybe even three generations' nostalgia, that's how inescapable this is, and it will never end.

In related news, six of 2014's top 10 movies, so far, are sequels, reboots, or rehashes; one is based on a toy line and will kick off a new film franchise; and one is based on a book and will kick off a new film franchise. (The only two films that aren't based on anything else and don't automatically seem like franchise starters are Neighbors and Ride Along.) Once it comes out later this summer, it is almost a certainty that Transformers: Age of Extinction will become the highest grossing film of 2014.

In conclusion, I really liked 22 Jump Street.

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