The Miami Heat's epic winning streak may have ended, but the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles are the NCAA tournament's Cinderella story and Spring Breakers is a surprise hit. Here are five more reasons why Florida is the nation's current cultural capital.
1. Electronic Dance Music & Trap Rap
The EDM bubble has yet to burst (or um, drop), and while we may look back at this era one day with all the head-shaking fondness now reserved for hair metal, right now is a good time to be an arena rave DJ or electronic musician in Florida. Particularly this month, when the annual Winter Music Conference is held in Miami in tandem with the electrocentric Ultra Music Festival. Diplo, who set out to be a world-famous DJ like Paul Oakenfold as a goof and ended up succeeding, also as a goof (Paul Jokenfold), titled his debut full-length album Florida in homage to the state he spent some years growing up in. Also inescapable: Carol City native Rick Ross's lumbering trap rap, heard blasting in bottle service clubs and out of hulking cars, most recently encouraging you to slip Molly in your date's drink and date-rape her.
Did you think a second G.I. Joe movie was a good idea? It wasn't simply that the first one — taken from action figures and an after-school cartoon series — was nap-inducing (although, at least in my seat, naps were had). G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra starred Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum, cost $175 million to make, and was kind of the Huey Lewis and the News of hit blockbusters. It made more than $302 million globally, and yet it was hard to find anyone happy they stayed for the whole thing.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation was supposed to happen last summer but was pushed back until today. The stated reason was a lot of blah-blah-blah about an unfinished 3-D conversion. But it's likely someone at Paramount noticed that in the three years since The Rise of Cobra, Tatum has turned from a pile of wood into a piece of popular furniture: He's the star equivalent of IKEA's Expedit bookshelf — basic, reliable, almost everywhere, and assembly still required.
It turns out that Chris Ryan and I are slow bingers. One month after the entire first season of House of Cards was dumped onto Netflix's servers like a half-rack of ribs at Freddy's, we finally managed to digest all 13 episodes. If we held back in the watching, though, we certainly didn't in the discussing: We attacked this thing like Frank Underwood sinking his teeth into a side of Freddy's delicious slaw, breaking down everything from the feng shui of free-spirited photographers and the gravity-altering intensity of Robin Wright's neck bones to the confounding mysteries of lady journalists and their backward-buttoning sweaters. All spoilers apply here, and we're not talking about Major Dad knowing how to speak Chinese.
Angelina Jolie is "Surprise! Boring in bed." Whaaaaaa? This alleged information comes from shade thrown by her ex, Billy Bob Thornton, who has said, "sometimes, with the model, the actress, the 'sexiest person in the world,' it may be literally like fucking the couch." FUCK YO COUCH, BILLY BOB!
Justin Bieber Cheated on Selena Gomez a Lot: "HIGH ON DRUGS, TEEN STAR JUSTIN BIEBER CHEATED ON SELENA GOMEZ WITH A SEXY STRANGER." Just before the holidays, Bieb had a "drug-fueled hookup with another girl." The drug was mostly weed, and the girl was voluptuous 22-year-old L.A. nursing student Mimi Jenson. They were introduced by Lil' Twist, and went to a weed store in Hollywood, a McDonald's, and then back to the hotel. There they "did a lot more than eat." I bet they got a hundred-piece McNuggets. They also "smoked pot and used a baby bottle to measure out the ingredients for sizzurp, the street cocktail made famous by Three 6 Mafia and Ke$ha." Mull that sentence, please.
Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll: Kate Winslet married Ned Rocknroll, a.k.a. Richard Branson's nephew with the incredibly dumb (self-chosen) name. "Call her Mrs. Rocknroll!" I will but I won't like it! The couple of a year wed before "a small group of friends and family." Perennial bachelor Leonardo DiCaprio "walked the bride down the aisle" and shattered/stoked the dreams of a trillion Titanic fangirls. Ned is "really attracted to her mind. She's mature, and he feels he can learn so much from her. It's sexy!" Is it just me or does that sound a little bit like shade? Oh, well, wishing all the best to the Rocknrolls.
2012 was a good year for all kinds of people (e.g., Jeremy Lin, Christian Marclay, Lena Dunham, R.A. Dickey, Barack Obama, Trinidad James ...). But in the realm of White Male Actors (Who Wore a Thong In At Least One Movie Scene), two reigned supreme. Their names are Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, and this summer, in Magic Mike, they gave us the most unexpectedly cohesive all-purpose treat of the year.
Magic was just the centerpiece of Matt's and Chan's 2012s, though: Over the last 12 months, both men shed skin and evolved — one into the true-blue leading man we thought he might be; the other into the fine, odd actor we'd long stopped hoping he'd become. So yeah blah blah blah, congratulations. Now on to the important stuff: Which of them had the better 2012? To the head-to-head, chaps-to-breakaway-sweatpants faceoff!
The log line for Babes on a Bus, Fox's new reality dating show pilot: "At each stop, the women will be introduced to the town's finest bachelors, who will be on hand to impress them with romantic scenery and delicious local food. They even will introduce the ladies to their family and friends. At the end of each week, the women choose whether to board the bus headed for the next town — or stay." So it's a television show that positions single women as sexual vikings, via Norway, no less. I have no problem with this, and neither should you.
Early this morning, in a solemn ceremony during which tragically obsoleted sexy-person Bradley Cooper was relieved of his crown, smeared with hot tar, handed a garbage bag full of grocery-store-quality hair product, and left for dead in the Nevada desert, Channing Tatum was named People's newest Sexiest Man Alive. Considering a breakout year capped by his panty-atomizing stripper shenanigans in Magic Mike, Tatum's coronation was an easy — and dare we say uninspired — choice for the magazine's blue-ribbon panel of hunk-evaluators; one imagines the usually combative Selexxxion Sunday debate began with "Let's watch the 'My Pony' scene again" and ended with an intern ladling smelling salts from a bucket.
It all seems so easy, in fact, that we just couldn't let it go. There's another solution to the Sexiest Man Alive riddle, one far more challenging, but no less deserving, of the supermarket checkout rack's highest honor. And so we picked up the phone to get the reaction of this year's most upsetting snubee: Michael Fassbender's penis. Our conversation follows.
Is there anything Channing Tatum can't do? Dumb question! Of course there isn't. First he dances like a goddamn magical ballerina and launches the ever-perfect Step Up franchise; then he makes the world's first arthouse-stripper-epic smash hit in Magic Mike; and then he grows this weird goatee. In the meantime, he goes into producing, churning out such goods as the aforementioned stripper epic, as well as this week's high school reunion comedy 10 Years (a.k.a. the weird-goatee movie). Up next? Definitely a restaurant, and maybe the director's chair.
Katie Holmes, Newly Strict Mom: Suri and Katie hit a pet store "to play with a 9-week-old Morkie (a mix of Maltese and Yorkie)." Despite Suri's "best pleading eyes and sad pout," they escaped without a new pet. Suri "was really upset. She will have to get used to not always getting her way." With an unlimited budget for clothes and toys, Suri "had become very demanding and bratty. "Katie saw that Suri was growing into a monster." Now she aims "to be more than just her daughter's best friend. She wants to really become a parent and start teaching her strong discipline." GOOD LUCK WITH ALL THAT. "Tom bought Suri whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it." As a Scientologist, Suri was allowed to have "ice cream for dinner and choose her own business." Wait, that sounds rad. "Tom just used to let her stay up all night watching Scientology kids videos!" Okay, that's less rad. Suri doesn't love the new parenting style. She may enjoy going to prep school, since it will allow her to genuinely socialize for the first time. "Suri's best friend is Katie. She's not used to sharing or playing with other kids." It's going fine. "It will be a process. Katie knows it will take time to undo the damage, but she sees this as a way to start over."
Baron: When last we heard from you, The Artist had just triumphed in one of the most self-congratulatory and uninspiring Oscar races ever ... and you had finally finished getting the last bits of black and white inked into your Undying Magic of Old Hollywood Cinema full back tattoo.
Harris: As you know, it's been a long and painful process trying to have that back tattoo removed. But the producers of the direct-to-DVD Magic Mike 2 have informed me that if I am to take over Matthew McConaughey's role, it has to go.
And as Mark Harris jokes, so it shall be! Channing Tatum has confirmed, via the eternally glorious forum of a Glamour U.K. Twitter interview, that "Yes, yes, and yes!," a Magic Mike sequel really is in the works — "We're working on the concept now. We want to flip the script and make it bigger."
Evel Knievel lives! And he does so through Channing Tatum. Fresh off his Magic Mike buzz, Tatum has signed on to star in and produce a movie about the fearless stuntman for Columbia Pictures. Reid Carolin, who wrote Magic Mike (and is currently working on the stage adaptation), will write the screenplay, and Mike DeLuca and Dana Brunetti, who are pulling together Fifty Shades of Grey, will produce. One must assume that, unlike in the chaptastic, shirt-shredding Magic Mike, Tatum will keep his clothes — in this case, his star-spangled-banner jumpsuit — on during the majority of this film. Still, sounds like great news!
Like the rest of the true patriots, the studios took this week off and declined to make any big releases available via VOD this weekend. However, your cable company has responded to your pressing need for more Channing Tatum with a dump of his old movies, the best of which is (obviously) Step Up. Watch Tatum dance! Mostly clothed, but still! Enjoy Baltimore looking slightly less gritty than on The Wire! And see Tatum fall in love with his co-star/future wife Jenna Dewan right before your very eyes!