Social Media for D-Bags
March 27th, 2015

I love–lovethis piece in Fortune by Andres Traslavina slugged “How social media can actually help you get hired.” This is the career advice equivalent of arguing that getting struck by lightning can actually give you super speed.

Sample d-baggery:

You can back up the experiences on your resume by pointing to specific examples of work stored on your social channels. . . .

During the interview, point to a project you have uploaded to LinkedIn, a video on YouTube, or a series of tweets demonstrating your knowledge of the company. When you can show authentic social interactions to back your resumeyou will definitely be one step ahead of the competition.

Just out of curiosity: What do you think the ratio is of people who have gotten jobs because of a series of tweets, to the number of people who have lost jobs because of a series of tweets?  Ten-thousand to one? More?

But the best comes in the next graph where the guy dishing out the career advice tells readers:

You may be good at many things, but your typically only great at a few. [sic]

I suspect that mastering basic grammar might impress people more than loading projects onto LinkedIn, but who knows.

More Action Movie Science (feat. JCost)
March 26th, 2015

Jay Cost has jumped in and taken Santino one better, by digging up the Rotten Tomatoes scores and recalibrating the Action Franchise Rankings By Science. Jay put his data set here, and included some fancy advanced statistics like mean, median, and standard deviation.

The result has Indiana Jones up top, followed by the Connery Bond movies, with Mission: Impossible firmly in the middle.

This is a really helpful reminder of how bad data can lead to bad science. Look, I’m as open to the subjectivity of art as the next guy. But Rotten Tomatoes is just garbage and I become automatically suspicious whenever I see an article try to justify a statement by appealing to RT numbers.

For instance, maybe you don’t love the original Mission: Impossible like I do. I can understand that. That’s a Subjective Response to Art.

But RT scores Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull Nuking the Fridge substantially better than it does Mission: Impossible. And that’s just wrong. Nobody really thinks that. Indy 4 is a punchline and M:I is, at worst, a cult classic. Hell–RT says that Moonraker is better than the original M:I. Have you seen Moonraker? It’s schlock.

But if you don’t cotton to M:I, look at the RT scores for the Bourne movies. I love the first two Bournes. Great flicks. But the third is terrible, easily the worst of the series. Yet RT scores Bourne 3 far above either of the first two Bourne movies. As I said, this is just wrong. As the Marxists used to say, objectively so.

All of that said, JCost is awesome for doing this.


Best Action Movie Franchise Ever? Science!
March 25th, 2015

Because my Mission: Impossible post is a like a splinter in your brain, Santino has decided to use The Science to figure out which action movie franchise is really the best of all time. There are charts and numbers and deltas.

Go. Right now. It’s awesome.

And let this be a lesson to all about the limits of Science to reveal deep truths: Santino’s rankings say that the Bourne movies are the best action franchise ever, and that the Rambo movies rank above Indiana Jones and the Alien series.


About ‘Mission: Impossible’
March 24th, 2015

Got a couple slightly skeptical emails about this Mission: Impossible post, so I thought it might be worth unpacking my claim a little bit.

When we talk about action-movie franchises, what’s even in the running? Here’s a short, and incomplete, list:

Die Hard


Lethal Weapon

James Bond







Non-Nolan Batman


Indiana Jones

Fast and Furious

There’s lots of gray zone here. I wouldn’t include the Nolan Batman movies as an “action franchise” because I view them as a self-contained trilogy, telling a single, distinct story. (In the same way I wouldn’t count Lord of the Rings, or Hunger Games, as a “franchise.”) I would, however, count the non-Nolan Batman flicks. To me, a franchise is a series where they make movies not to fit a contained narrative arc, but to fit the demands of the marketplace. Make sense? And it needs to have at least three entries.

And when we talk about action-movie franchises, I’m not entirely certain if it’s fair to commingle science-fiction with straight action. Can we look put the Lethal Weapon movies and the Terminator movies under the same category header? I can see it both ways. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s say yes.

This list–and again, I’m sure you have entries I’ve left out (does “Marvel” count as its own franchise? How about just “X-Men”?)–is made up of mostly superior franchises. Just about every franchise listed has at least one classic movie in it. After all, that’s typically how a franchise starts: The studio strikes gold with a great movie and then milks it for as long as the good will lasts with audiences while the product quality diminishes.

I’d argue, for instance, that Raiders and Die Hard are both seriously great and seriously important and influential films, both better than any of the Mission: Impossible movies. If you’re making a list of the 50 greatest movies of the last 40 years, it would be very hard leave either of them off of it. But the rest of those franchises were not so great. Terrible, even. Because the cool kids all obsess about Shia and nuking the fridge, they’ve forgotten about Short Round. We must never forget Short Round.

For my money, what makes the M:I movies so great is the following:

* The original M:I is an amazing piece of work; one of the best grown-up action movies ever made.

* The series has the highest consistent level of quality of any of the franchises.

* Yet it achieves this quality control under very different regimes. The Brad Bird M:I is a very different animal from the De Palma M:I which is very different from the Abrams M:I. It’s a sign of how variegated they are that there’s not “M:I thing” that audiences enter the theaters looking for. There’s no trope–a Bond girl, or a Rocky come back–that audiences expect from an M:I movie. (Except, maybe, that they damn well better see Tom Cruise running.)

* The delta between the series high and the series low in M:I is relatively small. On our list, the smallest deltas would be for Lethal Weapon (because the series low, 4, wasn’t all that terrible) and for Transformers (because the series high, the original, wasn’t great to begin with). M:I 2 is a dud, but not offensively so. It’s not Die Hard 2. It’s not Live and Let Die.

So, resolved: Pound-for-pound, Mission: Impossible is the best action-movie franchise of all time.

First Look at ‘The Dadly Virtues’
March 23rd, 2015

So here it is:


Trailer City
March 23rd, 2015

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pound-for-pound, the Mission: Impossible series is the best action franchise ever. One absolutely great, total classic. One really great, instant classic. One pretty heavy thriller. And only one dud. I’ll put it up against anything from the last 30 years, even the Jack Ryan movies.

In other words, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation? I’m in.

Who is that hot ad girl?
March 23rd, 2015

Here’s the elevator pitch: “It’s like But for the hot girls in commercials!”

Why yes. Yes it is.

Incredibly problematic, of course. That should go without saying.

But also, kind of awesome.

(And a cautionary tale about how terrifyingly Darwinian the entertainment industry is for women in their early twenties.)

And then we were all like . . .
March 19th, 2015

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That’s just for Galley Friend B.F. I’m heading to Instagram next.

(And you people still haven’t thanked me for Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling. I’m waiting.)