MSCHF is at it again, with KEY4ALL

MSCHF/Key4All.com:

We have rebuilt the entirety of ZipCar with a fleet of one single vehicle, but rather than a study in shared resource management, Key4All has been engineered to be Grand Theft Auto: Tragedy Of The Commons.

Key4All exists somewhere between the delight of communal ownership and the teeth-grinding capitalist competition of Hands on a Hard Body.

The car is transient and un-ownable, a journey and temporary blessing. It is a contest without the security of victory. If you find the car, it is yours. But if you want to enjoy the fruits of your victory and drive, then you must accept the risk of taking the car out in the world–that another driver-errant may snatch the vehicle out from under you.

Bless the ridiculous art-weirdos at MSCHF — they who previously gave us such things as Lil Nas X’s Satan Shoes, the AllTheStreams Illegal Streaming Service, and Dead Startup Toys, among other delights — this might be one of their most clever works yet.

For those wanting an easy breakdown of how this works…

  1. You go to Key4All.com, and spend $19 for a key fob.
  2. That key fob, along with all the others sold at Key4All.com unlock the same single individual car.
  3. If your key fob is near the car, it will glow green, and you can click the key fob to unlock and drive it.
  4. There’s a hotline you can call to find out where the car may be.
  5. Anyone else with the key fob can just unlock and use the car at any time — in turn, if you arrive somewhere in the car, you may not leave with it.

In short, as it says on the site: “Thousands of Keys — One Shared Car.”

I love it.

We Need To Talk About How None Of You Are Talking About CONFESS, FLETCH

David Fear for Rolling Stone:

Hahahaha, we’re totally kidding. Of course you have not heard there’s a new Fletch movie out. You have not been inundated with billboards, surrounded by full-page ads, beset by TV spots and trailers galore. You did not know that not only has this been out in theaters — possibly one or two near you! — since September 16th, but can also be rented digitally and/or online as well. Maybe you caught Jon Hamm doing his patented Jon Hamm thing on a late-night talk show, or more likely, saw clips on YouTube of Jon Hamm showing up on a late-night talk show, but weren’t exactly sure about the 411 of what he was promoting. What is this? When is it out? What’s he confessing to, or about? Is this a religious movie?

There is a poster, and a trailer, and the movie did get a Los Angeles premiere that allowed Hamm, director Greg Mottola and several other cast members to walk a red carpet — we know this only because we’ve seen photographic evidence, although we’re not quite convinced this isn’t a false-flag gala event. Some reviews trickled in; the majority of them were extremely positive. But in terms of an actually getting the word out that the movie exists in the first place? A movie like this should not automatically fall through the cracks. That said: how do you sell something like Confess, Fletch in the Year of Our Lord 2022, i.e. a comedy not featuring Will Ferrell or Ryan Reynolds, in which no Marvel heroes or Jedis or people named Harry Styles show up, and involving a film franchise that dropped its last entry prior to the first Iraq War?

A great piece which absolutely skewers how dire the state of moviemaking is when something as downright delightful as a new Fletch movie starring the absolutely goddamned star-worthy performance of Jon Hamm can’t even get a taste of oxygen.

I watched the movie over the weekend. You can too. It’s on VOD. And it’s a great laugh. But sadly, there just isn’t room for much more of these movies these days.

As Fear writes…

What is a tragedy is that a worthy movie like Confess, Fletch, which not only touches upon a gaggle of past genres (the ’80s raunch-com, the ’30s screwball, the murder-mystery farce, the launchpads for established marquee names to level up) but hits each mark so delightfully, no longer have a chance to find an audience at all, much less one that would respond to it. Frankly, it’s a minor miracle this exists at all. A complete willingness to creatively bring this market and get it in front of people dooms not only this movie but every one just like it. Unless you want nothing but franchises aimed at 11-year-olds, you’ll soon be out of luck. It’s. A. Huge. Fucking. Loss. And not just for those of those who live, breathe, eat, sleep and love movies.

Watch this damn movie. And tell your friends about it.

Mondo Purchased From Alamo Drafthouse by Funko

Well, this is a hell of a thing to dig into first thing Monday morning.

Enough that I had to dust off the blog.

Let’s get into the key snippets…

Variety:

Funko is popping cult-fave pop-culture brand Mondo into its merch mix.

Under a deal with indie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse, Funko acquired Mondo, which creates and sells vinyl records and soundtracks, posters, toys, apparel, books, games and other collectibles. About 30 Mondo employees are joining Funko.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but it’s obviously not massive. Funko says it does not expect the Mondo acquisition to have a material impact on its financial performance in 2022.

Alamo Drafthouse:

Driven by passion, Mondo’s core team of creatives transformed that small ticket booth into something none of us could have ever imagined. Nineteen years into the journey, I look back at the amazing body of work that Mondo has created in posters, soundtracks, and collectibles and am truly in awe. I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing team that has over and over again set a staggeringly high bar for imagination, quality, and beauty.

That said, the past two years have been brutal and harrowing at Alamo and Mondo. We filed bankruptcy and thankfully emerged from COVID in fighting shape, ready to continue our mission of being the best damn cinema that has ever or will ever exist. While we were closed, however, Mondo was our saving grace, the only facet of our business that kept the lights on.

Now, with the dark days behind us and each weekend bringing box office successes, Alamo is seizing opportunities to grow our cinema footprint with seven new locations across the country that have been announced recently and more to come. As the company resources are focused on this growth, we realized that perhaps a bold and exciting new chapter is about to begin for Mondo.

Over the past few months, we searched exhaustively to find a perfect partner who saw what was unique and special about Mondo and was in a position to meaningfully invest in Mondo, nurture the team, and further its reach and vision. Funko is exactly that unicorn.

The team that made Mondo amazing is staying together, making the transition to Funko, and will continue their same work with the same creative vision. I am super excited about the future plans I know about, and I’m sure I will soon marvel at the work that is not yet even a lightbulb spark.

Mondo:

For 20 years, we have poured our heart and souls into this weird little thing that Rob Jones and Tim League started in a closet in the corner of an Alamo Drafthouse lobby… then out of a closet underneath the seats of a Drafthouse auditorium (seriously). Eventually, we opened our own gallery space, and even started our own convention.

We have always loved following our passions and doing things our own way, and we’ll be forever thankful to the Alamo Drafthouse for supporting those passions and helping us grow into what we are today. But we needed a bigger boat… and that’s where Funko comes in. They understand what Mondo is today and are eager to help us become the company we want to be.

From the outside, Mondo might seem like it is changing… but on the inside much is staying the same. We remain the same team, and our goals remain unchanged. We are still the same bunch of weirdos who share an undying obsession with popular (and maybe less popular) culture, and a craving to make cool stuff with the best artists in the world.

Lord knows I’ve spent enough of the past 14 years on this site worshiping the creations of the team at Mondo, so I had to dig in.

At its core, this isn’t a horrible pairing. Mondo lives and dies by their ability to get licenses, Funko has all the licenses.

The bigger concern is one of quality control. Funko is a very mass produced product. Mondo is not. Mondo is an artisan celebration of pop culture, with each artist selected and chosen specifically as a pairing.

Will this be able to remain the status quo with this purchase? My cynical side says no, but I’m very willing (if not wanting) to be wrong.

Let’s see how this plays out.

Media Diet: February 2022

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

Shamelessly stolen from Kottke.org, here’s my media diet for February 2022

…only 11 days later than I intended for it to be.


Movies

  • Tick Tick Boom: A tour-de-force performance from Andrew Garfield here, but I have to admit, there’s not a ton of substance to the story of the musical itself. Beautifully shot and choreographed, sure, but I wonder if the film would be a tenth as effective without Garfield at the center? (B)
  • Licorice Pizza: I am an absolute sucker for coming-of-age movies, and this one might be one of the best. A glorious, dream-like homage to the awkwardness of growing up, and a love letter to 70’s California. Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman were INCREDIBLE. (A)
  • The King’s Man: A top tip here — you cannot be both a serious World War II drama AND an irreverent skewering of one. An atonal mess, even with how awesome Ralph Finnes is here. (C-)
  • The Matrix Resurrections: Normally, I’d roll my eyes at constant fourth wall breaking, but the concept of revisiting The Matrix after 20 years, and being aware of the weight of it all really worked for me. The action was very much lacking, however, sadly. (C)

TV

  • I’ve been revisiting Brooklyn Nine Nine from the beginning, and it’s been an absolute joy.

Comics

  • Nightwing, Vol. 1: Leaping into the Light by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo: Easily the best DC Comics release I’ve read since Mister Miracle. Brilliant writing, blue-sky artwork, a complete joy. (A+)
  • Beta Ray Bill: Argent Star by Daniel Warren Johnson: Beta Ray Bill German suplexes someone. COMIC OF THE YEAR. (A-)
  • Moon Knight, Vol. 1: The Midnight Mission by Jed McKay and Alessandro Cappuccio: A nice, story resetting run just in time for the Disney+ series. McKay is quietly becoming one of Marvel’s best writers. (B+)
  • Hedra by Jesse Lonergan: A simple, wordless, absolutely awesome 48-page one-shot story about a journey into space. Very much my shit. (B+)

Books

  • Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by Kyle Buchanan: It turns out the story behind one of the best movies of the 21st century is as enthralling and exciting as the film itself. Proves simply that the creation of all great things is a tenuous process. (A+)

Music

  • And So I Watch You From Afar – Jettison: The latest by the incredible Irish four-piece post rock group is a lush concept album. Meant to be seen as a live performance with visual compliment and a live orchestra, the album can only capture the audio, but what a great album it is. (B+)

Other

  • We upgraded our Internet! I recommend it. And also getting all your equipment in person instead of waiting for your ISP to send it to you.

See you next month!

STRANGER THINGS Season 4 Split in Half, Series to End with Season 5, And More Revealed

Stranger Things on Twitter:

With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one. Everyone involved is incredibly proud of the results, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Given the unprecedented length, and to get it to you as soon as possible, Season 4 will be released in two volumes. Volume One will release on May 27th; Volume Two will release five weeks later on July 1st.

So that’s the good news. It’s coming soon. And it’s bigger than ever.

It’s also the beginning of the end.

Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things. At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four, but — as you’ll soon see for yourselves – we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season will be the penultimate season; season 5 will be the last.

The Duffer Brothers taking to Twitter today to announce the long-awaited return of Stranger Things, but also confirming that the series will reach a conclusion.

They go on to note that the 5-season-arc is the end for Eleven and the gang, but there may be more from the Stranger Things universe, but that makes sense — I long felt after Season 1 that the series should’ve been more anthology based, but the redemption of the series in Season 3 has me interested to see what 4 and 5 hold.

Could the reach exceed the grasp? We find out this May.