OPVAC RECS is a new weekly feature wherein your devoted OV crew shares the best, most provocative, and most interesting pop culture writing we've read in the past week.
Colin and the Kids via The Ringer
Shea Serrano talks to his 9-year-old biracial kids about race and identity politics in the wake of Colin Kaepernick’s protest. The ability at which he’s able to be provocative, honest, and hilarious is pretty remarkable. - S.G.
The Winners & Losers of the 2016 Summer Movie Season via The Playlist
In the wake of the “Cinema is Dead” movement (something itself I wish would die), the ever-so-reliable Playlist thoroughly examines a spectacularly dismal summer at the movies, wherein the Marvel Cinematic Universe continued to soar while the DC Extended Universe bombed hard, and a myriad of tent-pole studio films entered a box office cage match to emerge as the biggest flop. The Playlist caps this off with the 10 best and 5 worst films they saw this summer, affirming that this year is not the total loss many believe it to be. - JT
Film Crit Hulk Smash: Green Room and the Joys of Active Agency via Birth.Movies.Death.
Green Room isn’t just great little horror/thriller; it’s a sleeper contender for the best film of 2016, and a master class in orchestrating drama through the use of active agency. OPVAC also RECs using the DeHulkifier to make this article legible. - S.C.
'No Man's Sky' Argues for Design via Pop Matters
No Man’s Sky is a game of endless possibilities and crushing loneliness. G. Christopher Williams explores the controversy surrounding the game and the natural inclination to resist the horror of a randomly designed, indifferent universe. - S.C.
The Great Fall of Chyna: How WWE’s Greatest Female Wrestler Disappeared via Bleacher Report
In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Chyna was a household name and highly respected performer in the boys club of the WWE. By mid-decade, she suffered a devastating fall from grace that latest until her death this past Aprul. Jason King does a wonderful job chronicling this ultra-tragedy. -SK
Bastille and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Battle for UK Number One Album via NME
This isn't great writing by any means, but the competition between albums on the charts is still red hot in the UK. And the two albums fighting for pole position are polar opposites of the highest order (Cave’s Skeleton Tree is easily the most devastatingly moving record of the year, if not the decade). And Meatloaf is at #3? Is the UK even on planet Earth? -SK