What Hillary Clinton and the All-Female Ghostbusters Remake Have in Common


Right out of the gate, Ghostbusters — the original — seemed like a gambit. While the two leads had household-name charisma, wit and a deep catalogue of comedy and dramatic pedigree, it was still a well-trod group buddy story cliché that’d been done a thousand times over in Hollywood. But this movie, inconceivably, met their ghosts head on, a counter-narrative to what we expect. There, the ghosts were jokes and props for the characters to run to when the conventional pop culture wisdom has been to run away from such things. And they lived to laugh about it.

While much of the original has been imported into the updated remake directed by Paul Feig and led by an all-female ghost-busting crew of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, the new one debuted last weekend amid a mainstream tumult about whether the gender-flipped remake would be any good. Notably cited as the “most hated trailer” on YouTube, the movie boldly runs at that criticism, while also finding itself battling two fronts at the same time: gender and the past. Read more »

Photos: Philly Is Apparently Really, Really Good for Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go, the app that actually forces its users to wander into the world in order to catch ’em all, has beaten Tinder as the No. 1 most-downloaded App on iTunes.

And according to data from SimilarWeb, the augmented-reality smartphone game could soon surpass Twitter in daily active users. That’s saying something.

People all over the world are caught up in a mad Pokémon frenzy, and now they’re wandering throughout the city as if it actually is the safe little world projected on their screen.

Read more »

19 (Mostly Patriotic) Things That Also Happened on the Fourth of July

Photo | G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Photo | G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Did you know that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — the second, third and fifth U.S. presidents — all died on the Fourth of July, the date on which the United States declared its independence from Great Britain? Jefferson and Adams actually died on the same exact date, in 1826, and Monroe in 1831. Did all three hold on, trying to make it to that highly symbolic day just one more time? What was wrong with number four, James Madison (died June 28, 1836), that he couldn’t hang in there for six more days? I once read (but didn’t really understand) an explanation of why it’s not surprising that in any school classroom of 25 or so pupils, two of them will have been born on the same day. This is called the Birthday Paradox, and I suppose there’s a corollary Death Day Paradox. Still, the Fourth of July has been an unusually significant date in U.S. history, thanks to both serendipity and the fact that folks tend to commemorate the occasion in all sorts of ways. Here are a few more events — some fascinating, some shocking, and some completely trivial — to note this weekend while you gather around the grill.  Read more »

PHOTOS: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Market Street Shoot

The cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Yesterday and Wednesday we told you about the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia shooting in Center City Philadelphia. The Gang was on Market Street this morning and Philly Mag’s social photographer HughE Dillon was on The Scene snapping pics. Check his blog, Philly Chit Chat, for more from the set, including the story of Aniya Wolf, the Pennsylvania teen who was not allowed to attend her prom because she wore a tux, was on the set on Thursday.

Photos from the Always Sunny Market Street shoot after the jump »

It’s Always Sunny Is Filming in Center City on Friday

It's Always Sunny flier

Few could have predicted the runaway success of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia when it premiered on FX in August of 2005. The show (now on FXX) recently wrapped up airing its 11th season, and has now been renewed through season 14. The show Rob McElhenney originally developed with Glenn Howerton is now a phenomenon.

While it shoots primarily in Los Angeles, It’s Always Sunny occasionally films some exteriors in Philly. On Friday, it’s filming in Center City around 12th and Locust. Read more »

Op-Ed: Justin Timberlake Isn’t a “Cultural Appropriator”

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

(Editor’s note: This is an opinion column from guest writer Evon Burton.)

During Sunday evening’s BET Awards, actor and Temple alum Jesse Williams accepted the President’s Humanitarian Award and gave one of the most rousing acceptance speeches of all time. One of the many enamored by Williams’ words was triple-threat superstar Justin Timberlake. I, like most of Black Twitter, was a bit caught off guard by his well-intentioned tweet about it, since he has chosen to stay rather silent on issues affecting African Americans, a pattern we have seen quite frequently across America. However, as an aficionado of R&B music, the reactions of Black Twitter were more alarming and concerning to me.

Timberlake broke the internet when he retweeted and responded to local journalist, colleague and friend Ernest Owens’ critique of his “cultural appropriation” and the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident. While I agree that Timberlake could have been much more vocal on behalf of Janet Jackson, when it comes to music, he isn’t a “cultural appropriator.” Not in the least bit. He’s just one of the many “privileged” Caucasian artists who have benefitted from a white-run media landscape while truly honoring his musical influences that are primarily African-American. Big difference.

Read more »

Muhammad Ali Is Dead; His Biggest Fight Continues

Muhammad Ali speaks at an anti-war rally at the University of Chicago on May 11, 1967.

Muhammad Ali speaks at an anti-war rally at the University of Chicago on May 11, 1967.

On June 7th, four days after Muhammad Ali passed, I was on Facebook when I saw it: a meme posing as a promotional ad for a fictional fight in heaven (“Holy Fighting Championship”) between recently deceased MMA fighter Kimbo Slice and American icon Muhammad Ali atop a set of heavenly clouds. Billed as “Rumble at the Pearly Gates,” it was your typical (knee-)jerk internet hot-take for a laugh; the two prized fighters preparing to duke it out in the type of “What if?” motif usually reserved for dead hours on sports talk radio and Marvel Comics.

Both men were framed in a heavenly glow: Ali with his gloved fists raised and at the ready, and Slice with his long, languid limbs hanging like loose wires at his side; heaven’s pearly gates cast open wide behind them.  Read more »

How a Philly Man’s Tweet Inspired That New Musical About Bill Murray, Wu-Tang Clan and Martin Shkreli

A musical based on a Philadelphia man's tweet involves Bill Murray, The Wu Tang Clan and Martin Shkreli

Bill Murray by Georges Biard, via CC BY-SA 3.0; RZA by MikaV via CC BY-SA 3.0, Tweet courtesy Rob Wesley.

The best Twitter account in Philadelphia is @eastwes. His account is so good, one of his tweets is becoming a musical.

This requires some ridiculous backstory, so strap in. About two years ago, hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan announced it would sell just one copy of its new album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. The double-CD album was sold at auction late last year to a secret bidder with explicit rules: It could be streamed or released for free, but couldn’t be commercially exploited until 2103.

A few months later, Bloomberg broke the bidder’s name: Martin Shkreli. Though he’d attracted controversy before, Shkreli was mostly unknown until he came to wide public attention months earlier when the New York Times reported his pharmaceutical company had purchased an old drug named Daraprim and raised the price from $13.50 a tablet to $750. “It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this,” he told the Times.

Though it was a much less important situation, people may have been even angrier when they found out Shkreli bought the Wu-Tang album for a reported $2 million — especially after he threatened to destroy it. The news bounced around the Internet. And Rob Wesley (aka @eastwes) tweeted a joke. Read more »

Lemonade Stand: What Beyoncé Will Be Bringing to the Linc


When Beyoncé lands at Lincoln Financial Field tomorrow night, she’ll bring with her hits, legions of fans — and about a dozen reasons for them to give each other the side-eye.

For the last three years Beyoncé has mastered the side eye — that sidelong look that says “oh, really?” Her last album, the amazing self-titled Beyoncé, was the most sexually alive album from an artist you increasingly got the notion worked so hard at her presence and her music that she may not even be familiar with a bed. With it, though, came the notion that despite a nigh-undisputed attractiveness, she was still viewed as virtually asexual. Not even giving birth to Blue Ivy could dislodge the idea that Beyoncé was not a sexual being; to the most deranged detractors (and some fans) Ivy seemed more likely an immaculate conception — or at least a surrogate pregnancy — likely part of the reason why “Beyoncé fake pregnancy” is such a popular Google search. Even after birthing Ivy, her music (largely) hasn’t wavered, and both Beyoncé and Lemonade have felt like organic, important entries into her impressive catalogue. It has been business as usual for Queen B.  Read more »

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