Pop Culture Blast

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up: Tom Hanks, Super Mario, and Daniel Bryan

Distract yourself with expedited cinematic journeys, bluegrass, hip-hop, video game memories, and pro wrestling.

By Seth Sommerfeld March 30, 2015

WATCH + LAUGH Last week, James Corden debuted as the new host of CBS's The Late Late Show, and the Brit has already begun to establish his hosting style. Similar to The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon, Corden nurtures a buddy-buddy rapport with his celebrity guests while interjecting comedy sketches clearly designed to become viral videos. The first of these vids came on night one, when Corden and guest Tom Hanks rank through the actor's filmography in under seven minutes via a green screen and quick, lo-fi costumes and props.

Listen When it comes to modern bluegrass, it's hard to find three more talented women than Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, and Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still. The trio has united to release a 7" on May 8 via Sugar Hill Records, and last week the shared the gorgeous harmonies of one of the record's tracks, a cover of John Hiatt's "Crossing Muddy Waters."

Gamer Nostalgia Released in 1996, Super Mario 64 still holds up as one of the greatest video games ever. That said, graphical capabilities have advanced quite a bit since then. Thanks to developer Erik Roystan Ross, we now have an idea what the game might look like if created with today's HD graphics. He partially recreated the game's first level, Bob-Omb Battlefield, using the Unity game engine. It can actually be played in your browser if you download Unity.

Watch + Listen Run the Jewels never pulls any punches. So when the hip-hop duo set out to make a video for the best track off of Run the Jewels 2, the audio assault known as "Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)" (featuring Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha), it delivered imagery as brutal as the lyrics. The video depicting a cop and civilian scrapping, wrestling, and generally being unrelentingly physical is a work of violent art with a message.

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yesterday, WrestleMania 31 took over Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. While the sports entertainment spectacular featured many highlights, none hit closer to home than Aberdeen native Daniel Bryan winning the Intercontinental Title in a ladder match and then celebrating as tens of thousands of fans joined in with his signature "Yes!" chant. (Considering how horribly the 49ers offseason has gone, it might be the last time you see a cheering crowd in Levi's Stadium for the next 12 months.)

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