Let me start by making this clear: I want to like President Obama. I want to revere him as one of our nation’s greatest presidents. I want to believe that our imperfect but self-correcting democracy somehow got it right and elected one of its best people to lead it for eight years.
In 2018, it’s harder than ever to be independent in the world of movies. With Thanos and T. rexes and computer-animated superfamilies descending upon our multiplexes, the do-it-yourself spirit of film history is being crowded out, one IP blockbuster at a time.
The Great Analytics War ended at 48 minutes after midnight on November 3, 2016. The terms were unconditional surrender. The losing generals were not able to offer their surrender in person; most of them had long since departed the front for the unemployment line.
What’s on your mind? Right now, as I’m writing this, The New York Times is breaking the news that Facebook, after a year of staggering revelations concerning everything from misuse of private data to enabling Russian election interference to knowingly providing inflated metrics publishers used t
Let’s talk about hunger. As wonderful as Black Panther is—and it’s as good as we’d hoped, maybe even better—nothing in it is a match for the carefree, infectious joy displayed last week by a group of middle school students from Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy. Maybe you’ve seen them.
My son and I were discussing the Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly, who had just spent three hours terrorizing the New Orleans Saints during a typically disjointed Thursday-night game. Everyone loves Kuechly because he doesn’t just play middle linebacker.
At Stanford University’s business school, above the stage where Elizabeth Holmes once regurgitated the myths of Silicon Valley, there now hangs a whistle splattered in blood.
He was the manager at Blockbuster and looked forward to coming to work. He loved his job, in all of its obsolescence. The silver name tag fastened to the breast of his long-sleeve dress shirt, the blue-and-yellow sign in the shape of a giant movie ticket towering above the road.
Once upon a time, it was as stylish to hate voicemail as it is to hate Facebook. In the eyes of digital-savvy critics, spoken audio messages were an inconvenient ’80s relic with embarrassing conventions that dated baby boomers and repulsed millennials.
The players smelled it. In the locker room at halftime, the stench of impending failure hung as heavily as the humid Caribbean air. Try as he might, U.S. men’s national team head coach Bruce Arena could not keep the desperation from creeping into his voice.
It’s always the perfect temperature inside the Amazon Spheres. More than 40,000 plants sourced from tropical forests in 30 countries populate the four-story glass edifice, which doubles as a workspace and lounge for company employees.
Update, June 7: Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations and general manager Bryan Colangelo has resigned from the team.
The most hilarious, exhausting movie of the 21st century was, ironically, conceived as a cool-down. In the mid-2000s, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell were drained.
In the published screenplay for The Big Lebowski, a character named “The Dude” is introduced in the stage directions as “a man in whom casualness runs deep.” Of all the Coens’ movies, The Big Lebowski is, at least on the surface, the most ambling and aimless.
It’s one thing to build an expensive stadium with taxpayer money. It’s another thing to build a stadium that no one likes.
A decade after launching in its home country of Sweden, Spotify is ready for Wall Street.
Is Bruce Willis the biggest American movie star of his generation without an Oscar nomination? He’s definitely a movie star: To date, his films have grossed a shade over $3 billion, an amount that puts him squarely on the all-time top earners list without the benefit of participation in a long-run
On Sunday afternoon, I was watching my daughter play soccer in Parts Unknown, California, right as Sergio Garcia was stealing the Masters from Justin Rose. The Masters app kept freezing on me, so I settled on clandestinely following the last few holes on Twitter.
The strangest thing about Joe Buck and Troy Aikman calling an NFL game for Fox is how normal it feels. Twenty-five years ago this month, Fox took over pro football. It didn’t feel normal. It felt like an unnatural cultural event.
When Brian Koppelman was an 8-year-old playing in his first five-card draw game, his sleepaway camp bunkmates cleaned him out. That day, he parted ways with his entire canteen stash: a cool $30. The experience was formative.
Almost exactly four years ago, an interview with Mike Myers was published. It was conducted by GQ’s Chris Heath to promote Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, the sweet and compelling documentary about the wise guru to the stars that Myers directed as an homage to his longtime manager.
The Bills-Colts game is how football is meant to be played. Thanks to the lake-effect snow in Buffalo, this is what the game looks like on the CBS broadcast.
The fun began with bad neighbors. It was the mid-1980s and prolific horror novelist Michael McDowell was trying to break into the movie business. In the wake of blockbusters Poltergeist and Ghostbusters, he hoped to write his own supernatural script.
I was down on my knees before the chess set. Not out of deference, though I did feel a bit of that. I knelt because Irving Finkel, a board game expert and a curator at the British Museum, which displayed these chess pieces among its extensive collection, suggested that patrons view it that way.
The best television episode of the 1990s starred a short, blond man and his band. On November 18, 1993, at Sony Music Studios in New York City, Nirvana took on MTV Unplugged. That night, the biggest group of the decade staged one of the most hypnotically intimate rock concerts ever captured on film.
Positional distinctions are disappearing. Rushing yards are losing meaning. And offensive and defensive schemes are shifting from game to game — if not drive to drive.
That’s how a high-ranking ESPN executive hilariously described the company’s approach to commentary guidelines in 2008, well before tweeting mushroomed into ESPN’s third-biggest ongoing adversary (trailing only cord-cutters and common sense).
One afternoon in June, Jemele Hill and Michael Smith were sitting in a small green room at ESPN headquarters. It was an hour before the start of the 6 p.m. SportsCenter.
Jimmy Iovine was supposed to save the music industry. When he arrived at Apple in 2014 as part of the company’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics, he sought to inject humanity back into a world that had become dominated by recommendation algorithms and pirated zip files.
Last week, the top catcher on the free-agent market, Yasmani Grandal, signed with the Brewers for just one year and $18.25 million, barely eclipsing the qualifying offer he rejected from the Dodgers in November.
The Golden State Warriors are what they are today largely because of a decision made by the National Basketball Players Association more than three years ago.
This week, The Ringer explores how the “on demand” model has changed the way we consume TV, film, food, products, and, well, almost everything. Consumers have both adjusted to the streaming era and dictated how businesses operate in its wake.
Shannon and Matt wanted to see a movie. It was date night, and on date nights, they see movies. Shannon turned to her most trusted moviegoing adviser. Matt turned to his. Matt trusts filmmakers and the word around town when he makes his decision.
After months (OK, maybe years) of anticipation, the next installment in the most iconic franchise in film history, The Last Jedi, hit theaters on Thursday. Finn met Rose, Poe met Vice Admiral Holdo, and Rey met Luke Skywalker (and also a shirtless Kylo Ren).
Nineteen-ninety-eight changed the course of technology, which is to say that it changed the course of history. A nearly bankrupt relic of ’80s tech nostalgia released a gumdrop-shaped PC called the iMac.
In June 2015, a new, hyperspecific website named Van Winkle’s went live. It was billed as an online destination for “all aspects of sleep and various nocturnal adventures” by its editorial director, Elizabeth Spiers, formerly an editor at Gawker and the Observer.
Maarten Schenk, cofounder of hoax-debunking site Lead Stories, didn’t set out to be a fact-checker. He wanted to be a trend forecaster. “I wanted, basically, to predict the front page of Reddit,” Schenk, a gregarious blond Belgian, told me over Skype in June.
Michael Jordan or LeBron James? It is one of the essential questions in the modern era of sports fandom, encompassing facts and biases, statistics and anecdotal evidence, and the ever-shifting barometer of cultural relevance.
The Breaking Bad finale aired on September 29, 2013, but the series peaked two weeks earlier. That Sunday evening, AMC broadcast “Ozymandias.
What, you’re still watching the NBA Finals? Right after Steph Curry turned into Curly Neal, I went over to my bookshelf and pulled down a volume that’s quietly enjoying its 25th anniversary. It’s called The Jordan Rules. It was written by Sam Smith in 1991. It was a simpler time.
His first winter in Philadelphia was brutal. The team was terrible. The weather was worse. Sam Hinkie went to high school and college in Oklahoma. He did his postgrad stint at Stanford. He was Daryl Morey’s most trusted lieutenant in Houston.
In the annals of the Great American Sports Songbook, a singular tune has reigned for more than three decades as the undisputed heavyweight champion of outré jock jams.
Among the glut of lists on the internet toward the end of last year, Spotify’s Wrapped 2018 broke through, perhaps landing on more social media feeds than any other.
In this life of ours, you sometimes reach a point where you feel so estranged and exhausted by the drip-drip of everyday existence, the ding of your inbox, the noise of the news, that you need to close your eyes and imagine a person for whom life is not like this, a person for whom the normal rules
Mark Calaway spent the summer of 1990 losing wrestling matches. He suffered defeat all across the country during World Championship Wrestling’s Great American Bash tour, falling to Paul Orndorff in Oklahoma City and in Atlanta to Tommy Rich. Lex Luger pinned him in Baltimore.
How should we think about ESPN after the carnage? It’s a tough question. ESPN isn’t “dying.” It’s not even losing money.
Outer space is everywhere: Not only are we physically surrounded by it, but we’re inundated with images of it, both real and fictional. NASA’s long-lived Cassini mission is ending this week, just after its even longer-lived Voyager mission marked its 40th anniversary.
Today’s agenda: a mailbag-picks hybrid that ends almost as many times as that Chiefs-Raiders game Thursday night. As always, these are actual emails from actual readers. All picks are $550 wagers to win $500 (home teams in caps).
I suspect that the Coen brothers would not regard a ranking of their films with much respect. I can picture the blank and yet ambiently displeased expression on their faces upon being told that some schmuck has thought long and hard about slotting The Man Who Wasn’t There ahead of True Grit.
About 90 minutes into Last Action Hero, Arnold Schwarzenegger falls into the La Brea Tar Pits while trying to defuse a bomb. After splashing around for a while, he emerges like the Creature from the Black Lagoon into an exhibit of scale-model dinosaurs.
The Pacific Design Center juts out of the ground at the edge of West Hollywood in Los Angeles.
In 1943, a failed mystery novelist named Isabel Briggs Myers started a career in the new field of personality testing.
Sometimes a player is so good at something—so dependable, so versatile, so influential—he can be punished for it. Tuesday night, with Isaiah Thomas out with a lingering hip injury and Derrick Rose down with an ankle sprain, LeBron James played point guard for the Cavaliers.
In 1977, America needed Darth Vader—a cold killing machine, with the black-leather-glove grip of invisible doom at the tip of his fingers.
Believe it or not, there was a time when the phrase “down to fuck” was not a part of the vernacular. Until Superbad was released in August 2007, it was just a phrase that a few of Jonah Hill’s high school friends said.
The most exciting play in basketball somehow happens five times a game. It’s always Russell Westbrook grabbing a rebound or an outlet pass, then deciding to dribble 70–80 feet for another defiant layup. Does he care how many opponents might be in his way? Not really.
In 1966, San Francisco 49ers star quarterback John Brodie received a contract pitch from the Houston Oilers: “We can set things up so that if you want to, all you’ll ever have to do is play golf and drink beer and gamble,” Oilers general manager Don Klosterman told him, according to the book A
LeBron James found a way on Sunday, just like he always does. By leading Cleveland to an 87-79 win over Boston in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, LeBron punched his ticket to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
This spring, Facebook announced plans to expand beyond its Menlo Park headquarters into neighboring Mountain View, which is also home to Google headquarters. In the fall, Facebook will take over two eight-story buildings in the California suburb.
Welcome to The South Week at The Ringer. We’re celebrating — and reporting on — the richness of the region.
Early on a Friday morning, on his way to hear a panel discussion about optical tracking and esports analytics, Sam Hinkie was stopped a handful of times in the overcrowded hallway at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center by a host of hopeful, clammy-handed college kids clutching résumés.
Back in the 1930s, you could walk into a press box and find not just a social justice warrior but an actual communist. His name was Lester Rodney, and he wrote sports for the party newspaper, The Daily Worker. Rodney’s politics made his life complicated.
The Spurs are the standard in the NBA. In the past 20 years, they’ve never missed the playoffs, made six Finals appearances, won five championships, and never won less than 60 percent of their games in a single season.
Art may largely be a matter of taste, but one conclusion is close to inarguable: 1998 was the best year ever for video games, producing an unparalleled lineup of revolutionary releases that left indelible legacies and spawned series and subcultures that persist today.