Perhaps the combination of my new found love of fantasy football and my fondness of sports documentaries in general make me a less than unbiased voice, but I can’t recommend writer/director Rory Karpf‘s documentary The Book of Manning enough. The made for TV doc premiered on ESPN this past week and it blew me away from a perspective that had nothing to do with sports or athletic achievement and everything to do with its noteworthy focus on parenting, family, and legacy. This may not seem like a huge achievement on paper, but when your film’s protagonists are some of the most highly decorated football players in the history of the sport, it’s a testament to the patriarch, Archie Manning, that the biggest takeaway I have from The Book of Manning isn’t how many records he set at Ole Miss or how many of those records his son Eli broke decades later, it’s that our families and kids are the most important responsibilities we can have and the way that we treat both is ultimately what defines us as people.
Now that I’ve hit you over the head with an “After School Special” message right out of the gate, this week’s Top 5 features Rush interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth and more, our resident scientist Dave Trumbore fact-checking the science behind Breaking Bad, Fox landing a new television series based on Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Don Jon interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more, and a new Cinemath installment focusing on adjusting for box office inflation and the inherent dangers of comparing Gone with the Wind to The Avengers. As is often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. RUSH Interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth and More
Although the world of Formula 1 racing is a complete mystery to me, I’ve been quietly encouraged by the trailers and previews for Ron Howard’s F1-centric drama, Rush (Matt’s review here). It looks to have more than enough style, tension, and unbelievably true story elements to make me forget that I know nothing of F1 racing while just enjoying the ride. This in mind, with the film finally getting a full U.S. release this weekend, we’ve got a slew of video interviews to check out with Chris Hemsworth, Ron Howard, Olivia Wilde, and Daniel Brühl.
2. Fact-Checking the Science of BREAKING BAD
It’s rare that we post a story as unique as this one. You’ve probably noticed that AMC’s Breaking Bad is one of pop culture’s crown jewels at the moment. The stellar acting, amazing character arcs, nearly inescapable tension, these are all attributes that have helped make the series an instant classic. Another characteristic of the show that sets it apart? The science. That in mind, our Dave Trumbore graced the site this past week with this fact-checking article that seeks to compare the show’s science to what Dave calls “real world fundamentals”. Break out your pencils on this one, folks. You may have to utilize those Stoichiometry skills you unwillingly picked up in high school.
3. Fox Bringing Commissioner Gordon Series GOTHAM to TV
Years ago, some friends of mine introduced me to Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark’s fantastic comic series Gotham Central. The title focused on the everyday employees of the Gotham Central Police Department, their struggle to defend Gotham from crazies like Mr. Freeze and The Joker, and featured very few appearances by the Bat. We always talked about how it was a cool premise for a television police procedural and, while this isn’t an official adaptation of their work, the series Gotham that Fox just picked up which reportedly focuses on Commissioner Gordon’s days as a detective in the GCPD before he ever meets Batman sounds like it’s taken a few cues from Brubaker, Rucka, and Lark’s excellent Gotham Central.
4. DON JON Interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and More
Like I imagine many twenty-something guys are, I’m a tad envious of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s talent. To have the acting chops he has and then to be able to transition to writing and directing with what appears to be a stellar debut with Don Jon (Matt’s review here) is a little like God put all of his eggs in one basket – JGL’s. Nevertheless, my respect for the actor outweighs my mild jealousy and I can’t wait to check out Don Jon. If you have similar expectations for the film and want a little more insight before heading into the theater then I encourage you to check out our video interview with JGL and Scarlet Johansson and text interview with co-star Jeremy Luke.
5. Cinemath: Adjusting Box Office for Inflation
Another week, another installment of Cinemath just as promised. This time around, Brendan takes a look at adjusting box office for inflation, the problem with comparing the box office takes of huge movies separated by generations such as Gone with the Wind and The Avengers, his beef with box office being more a measure of profitability than popularity, and he even throws in a reference to a movie theater in Mt. Vernon, IL that’s less than 45 minutes away from me because he’s a considerate guy like that. If you’ve still got your pencils out from science class with Breaking Bad earlier, you’ll happily put them to use again here.