AKABAS | What is the Nolan-iest Christopher Nolan Film?

Across three Batman movies, five movies with cool-sounding one-word titles, and one movie you’ve probably never heard of, director Christopher Nolan has developed a distinctive style. So, with his latest film, Dunkirk, hitting theaters today, we’re going to answer a very important question. Instead of tackling the unanswerable question of which Nolan film is the best, we’re going to determine which Nolan film is the most typical of Nolan’s style. And we’re going to do it by running each of his movies through the following formula:

Overall Quality – 10 points: Nolan films are high in quality, so the higher quality a movie is, the more Nolany it is. Information Withheld – 20 points: One of the many reasons that Nolan’s films are so engaging is that he forces us to play detective along with the characters, putting us in their shoes.

AKABAS | 10 NBA Offseason Questions, Asked and Answered

For how many more finals do you anticipate the two teams will be the Warriors and Cavs (i.e. the next 3,4,5 years?)
– Kyrollos B.

Basically the Warriors’ entire roster is entering free-agency this offseason. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are going to do what it takes to both re-sign, but what about the other guys? Andre Iguodala seems to be seriously considering offers from other teams. In the 2015 Finals, his insertion into the starting lineup swung a series in which the Cavaliers were underratedly close to going up 3-0. In this year’s Finals, the Warriors were +60 with Iguodala on the court and, drumroll please… -26 with him on the bench!!! It’s surprising, but not unexplainable.

AKABAS | 10 NBA Finals Questions, Asked and Answered

When the NBA season came to a close on Monday night, I had too many thoughts to sort out, so I decided to let my friends do it for me by sending me questions. Below are my answers to 10 questions about the 2017 NBA Finals, ranging from most simple to most complex. Very Simple Questions

Is ball even life? – Brian R.

Yes. Ball is still life.

AKABAS | 6 Things the NBA Could Do with the Rookie of the Year Trophy

This NBA season, not a single rookie who played more than half of his team’s games averaged at least nine points per game while shooting at least 46%. For context, those were the 2016-17 statistics of 35-year-old defensive-specialist Tony Allen. For further context, two years ago the Warriors came back from down 2-1 to defeat the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals by literally ignoring Tony Allen’s offensive presence.  

The Rookie of the Year trophy is typically given to the best rookie from a particular season (which seems obvious, but since the Academy almost never awards Best Picture to the best picture, you never know). This season, however, begs the question: is giving a trophy to a player less offensively adept than Tony Allen really the best use for it, or are there better options?

AKABAS | Bracketology: Who/What Is Winning 2017?

There are many things that literally everyone on Earth hates, such as airplane seats without flaps to rest your head, Hayden Christensen’s performance in the Star Wars prequels and those stairs leading to the footbridge at Cornell that are the worst possible length – it’s uncomfortable to go one step per stair and it’s even more uncomfortable to go two steps per stair. There aren’t many things that literally everyone on Earth loves, but one of those things is March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament. A single-elimination bracket – the concept that you need to win every single game to stay in it – is ingenious. Since March Madness ended earlier this week, let’s start a new bracket to determine who or what has had the best 2017 so far. The competitors were determined subjectively by me, and the seeds, listed below, were determined primarily by number of Twitter followers (credit to former Grantland-writer Rembert Browne for this idea).

KYLIE’S ROOM | Proleptic Decay and Decrepitude: Why Listen to the S-Town Podcast

If you’re looking for something to binge on, listen to the new podcast S-Town. S-Town, narrated by reporter Brian Reed, is a collaboration between the creators of Serial and This American Life. Much like how Netflix releases new seasons of their original series, S-Town was released in its entirety on March 28th and, as a result, I have subsequently spent the last 24 hours engrossed in the lives of Woodstock, Alabama’s residents. The podcast originates purely from rumor. Reporter Brian Reed is drawn into the world of Woodstock by an email from a man named John B. McLemore who wants Reed to investigate a potential police cover up that involves the son of a wealthy family.

OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM | Should We Really Be Watching The Lion King?

When I was a kid, millions of other children and I watched the movie The Lion King, but I did not think really about what the movie meant. I can recall being engrossed in the characters and, to this day, I can repeat the choruses to Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Be Prepared,” even though I probably haven’t heard those songs in twelve years. Of course, as we know, that does not mean the movie didn’t have a message. Filmmakers, writers and editors bake political and cultural messages into their works, even if they do not attempt to or specifically state they don’t. These messages filter into the minds of their audiences, shaping their worldview and perspective on reality.


It’s Oscar time and once again actors are using the awards show to make points about American culture. From the wage gap to racial issues, the Oscars were packed with political and social commentary this year. But with these impassioned speeches, there always comes backlash. It always begs the question, should these people who are not politicians or by any means experts in their issues of choice, be talking about these issues at all? Many discredit them because they’re actors.

AKABAS | 24 Moonlit Memes

Last night, after discovering that his film had, in fact, not won the Oscar for Best Picture, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took the mic, reverse-Kanye’d, and immediately overtook Denzel Washington crying and Nicole Kidman clapping as the meme of the evening. In honor of Moonlight’s win for studio A24, and to thank the movie gods that Moonlight won after La La Land was announced and not the other way around, I created 24 memes to celebrate the occasion.  

There you have it: 24 memes. Let’s take a moment, though, to ruminate on Moonlight’s win. The storyline here isn’t The Academy finally choosing the best picture of the year to win Best Picture; I loved both La La Land and Moonlight, and I believe the former to be a near-perfect film, memorable and thought-provoking in its own right. The storyline isn’t The Academy choosing a movie about and made by African-Americans – 12 Years A Slave won just three years ago. 

The storyline is that The Academy selected a Best Picture that will actually have the most cultural significance and lasting impact decades from now.

WHITE KNUCKLES | The Young Pope, Liquid Modernity and Indignation

This year, Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino impacted my break and my liberal college student intersectional-feminist-relativistic-somewhat nihilistic philosophy more deeply than I like to admit. His miniseries The Young Pope had me glued to the television in my colorful (green and red-walled) living room in Italy, caught up in a story that I never saw coming. The show opens with a balding yet ever-attractive Jude Law interpreting a newly elected, 47-year-old Pope giving his first address in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome. His speech is groundbreaking: it celebrates homosexuality and free love, different religions, abortions and premarital sex. The next scene reveals that it was all a dream; the attractive Pope will actually be unforgiving, conservative, homophobic and cruelly unwavering in his dogmatic beliefs.