The Twisted History of the Twisted Apple.

We are no strangers to the new flavor fad. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a day where we don’t see some form of new flavored Oreo, ice cream, or coffee creamer. soda companies are the kings of this, with the constant expansion of their flavor lines to see what stays and what goes. Some flavors are good, but some are nothing to write home about, until today.

In 2012, the Pepsi company decided to roll out a new flavor, which was described as “Classic Mtn Dew with green apple attitude.” So proud and excited was the Pepsi company about this new flavor that they decided to create a poll titled “Dub the Dew.” The poll was created with the intent of reaching out to the internet and its consumer base to gather options and have the public vote on the most popular choices to name this upcoming flavor. What the Pepsi company received was not expected.

The promotion was met with a hearty amount of criticism and mockery from various internet communities, such as Reddit; however, some internet groups were proactive in their trolling. The community of 4Chan took it upon itself to attack the poll in force, after only a few days choices such as “Hitler did nothing wrong,” Gushing Grannies” and “Diabeetus” topped the poll, gathering thousands of votes for the shocking choices. To add insult to injury, hackers also attacked the site to add a banner that read “Mtn Dew salutes the Israeli Mossad for demolishing 3 towers on 9/11!” Thus adding to the car wreck of the promotion.

Like all scandals associated with a large company they buried it, so much so that they sat on the flavor itself for ten years until they felt that it was time to roll it out, that time is now. This time, however, there will be no polls, no public opinion, or feedback whatsoever. Instead, they kept quiet about it and rebranded it “Twisted Apple,” but those of us who do remember the train wreck that was “Hitler didn’t do anything wrong” will only smile and shake our heads, allowing some companies to quietly learn from their mistakes. 

Let the BRKN cure your wintertime blues

The winter gets pretty bleak sometimes, especially this year. With all the goings-on it is sometimes hard to appreciate good things in life. If you’re like me you turn to music to find some self-help, that’s where the BRKN comes in. Despite the name, this Denver born band delivers on good vibes and energetic beats to launch them on a sound that has its roots in new wave such as The Cars yet retain Pop-Punk riffs and drum beats that could easily be billed next to bands like Paramore and Panic! At the Disco.

When questioned about the seemingly “hard” band name, “I’ve always been in love with bands that have really happy songs but sad lyrics” replies frontman Jacob Cade.

Jacob Cade

“ I like the idea of melancholy, and feeling kinda sad, and listening to really happy songs with sad lyrics”.

This is reflected in songs such as “Lying All the Time” which depicts a slow demise of a relationship lyrically while Guitarist MJ Younkers and Drummer Mike Bokenkamp deliver solid upbeat Indi-Rock riffs.

The 2021 Self Released album “Come Outside” displays the range of the band’s musical tastes from the established Pop-Punk of its first track “Calm Down,” to the “sexy” blues-rock-inspired track “Fake Love”. The latest song and accompanying video is a return to what the band does best. Producing feeling.

“Coffee”, the band’s first release of 2022, is an upbeat composition with infectious hooks that will bury themselves in your head for the rest of the afternoon, and a rock tune that is the gold standard for what a summer song should be. Along with an entertaining music video shot completely on iPhone by guitarist MJ. “ I actually got my degree in filmmaking” MJ admits,

Jacob Cade(vocals) with MJ Younkers(Guitar)

“We just kinda wanted to go for a completely different vibe for Coffee”. “We filmed 

the whole thing in one day, just went to the thirst shop, found a coffee maker and some random accouterment and had fun with it. It was awesome!”

In response to my burning question, about the fate of the KIA Soul whose fate was memorialized in the credits of “Coffee”, Drummer Mike Bokenkamp sheepishly replies,

Mike Bokenkamp (Drums)

“ My engine failed due to an engine recall thing, and it happened on the day that we filmed the video for “Coffee”. So I was late to the video, and on my way home my car completely died, I was out of a car for three months”.

COVID has not slowed down the BRKN with the band kicking off their tour with The Dangerous Summer in the UK, Europe, and the U.S. in 2022.“I’m incredibly thankful to TDS for having us out on tour again. This run is the biggest thing we’ve ever done collectively and as individuals. It’s gonna be an experience and I cannot wait to get out there,” says frontman Cade.

The latest song & video “Not The Same”

The BRKN’s 2021 EP “Come Outside”

For More information on tour dates and where to follow the BRKN

Hollywood’s Return to Noir

Light and shadow, good and evil. Two polar opposites by nature, destined to be apart. But in the world of noir, they are one and the same. 

Currently, The Batman is playing in theaters and thousands are rushing to see the Dark Knight deliver justice to Gotham’s seedy underworld of organized crime. Leaning forward, as Batman emerges from the inky blackness of shadow into the deep glow of the fluorescent lights, with only the rain to accompany the slow footsteps of vengeance. Films about the dark knight have always varied in color and style. From the emergence of Tim Burton’s dark interpretation to Joel Schumacher’s neon-inspired jokey reimaging, only to beget Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We have seen many different types of Batman, but we have never truly gotten to see him as the world’s greatest detective. A crime fighter that will track his prey through the shadows evaluating every clue, every thread that makes up a tapestry of mystery.

Writer/Director Matt Reeves introduces Batman to his greatest ally and tool. Noir Cinema.  

 The style of film noir started in Germany where the iconic low-key, black-and-white filming was being used in European cinema. It was the French critic Nino Frank who first coined the phrase “Film Noir,” which translates to “black” or “dark film” although initially dubbed “melodramas,” this style of film was embraced by Hollywood during the Great Depression and on into post-World War II. 

This is due to the attitudes and existentialist mindset of America in the wake of two major world-altering events, the emergence of McCarthyism and the growing threat of atomic warfare. This led Hollywood to embrace the idea of the Anti-Hero. With cynical protagonists filled with disillusionment and pessimism, launched into environments filled with fear, violence, and a sense of claustrophobia of the hard world. Combined with the use of awkward angles and using shadows to hide actors, the film style was immediately made an American cinematic legacy.

Noir started as crime and gangster films, then spread into erotic, science fiction, end even horror, not being bound by genre, but by its own style of storytelling. Classic images of noir included rain-soaked streets in the early morning hours; street lamps with shimmering halos; flashing neon signs on seedy taverns, diners, and apartment buildings; and endless streams of cigarette smoke wafting in and out of shadows. Such images would lose their indelibility with realistic lighting or color cinematography. 

The inherent subjectivity of Expressionism is also evident in film noir’s use of narration and flashbacks. An omniscient, metaphor-spouting narrator (often the central character, a world-weary private eye) frequently clarifies a characteristically labyrinthine noir plot or offers a subjective, jaded point of view. 

In other films—such as Wells’s Citizen Kane and Wilder’s Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard, the denouement (often the death or downfall of the central character) is revealed in the opening scenes; flashbacks then tell of the circumstances that led to the tragic conclusion. Tension and suspense are increased by the use of all-knowing narrators and flashbacks, in that the audience is always aware of impending doom.

 The heroes of noir generally share certain qualities, such as moral ambiguity, a fatalistic outlook, and alienation from society. They also exhibit an existential acceptance of random, arbitrary occurrences as being the determining factors in life. Although the “hard-boiled detective” is the stereotypical noir hero, the central male characters in film noir range from drifters to college professors. The ethics that these characters espouse are often born more of personal code than true concern for their fellow man.

 For example, Humphrey Bogart (the actor perhaps most associated with the genre) as private eye Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon is emotionally indifferent to the murder of his partner and avenges his death primarily because “when one of your organization gets killed, it’s bad business to let the killer get away with it.”

 Such compassionless pragmatism is found in the noblest, as well as the most tarnished, of noir heroes. The weakest of such characters exhibit an abundance of tragic flaws, often including an uncontrollable lust for duplicitous women. 

Noir women are often characterized as “femme Fatales,” or “spider women;” in the words of one critic, they are “comfortable in the world of cheap dives, shadowy doorways, and mysterious settings.” Well aware of their sexual attractiveness, they cunningly and ruthlessly manipulate their male counterparts to gain power or wealth.

The success of this film style is not resistant to the development of technology and time. Many movies have adopted and improved the style through time. Movies such as Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” made waves as a noir set in color, breaking the literal color bar but telling an in-depth story of corruption and brutality. 

LOS ANGELES – JUNE 20: The movie “Chinatown”, directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Towne. Seen here, Jack Nicholson as J.J. ‘Jake’ Gittes and Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Cross Mulwray. Initial theatrical release June 20, 1974. Screen capture. Paramount Pictures. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Later in 1982, Ridley Scott’s science-fiction drama Blade Runner (1982) revisited the use of set design to enhance the mood, an idea that can be traced back to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

 Richard Tuggle’s Tightrope (1984) features film noir’s theme of disillusionment in a police officer who discovers he is as much an outsider as the criminal he is pursuing. 

Perhaps the best contemporary examples of the genre are Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (1997), a bleak story of corrupt cops, and Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), a similarly dark story inspired by the crime novels of James M. Cain. Both films are presented in classic film noir style, the latter in black-and-white. Later examples include Sin City (2005) and Scorsese’s Shutter Island (2010) and even Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

Even today, we can see the use of this classic form with the writer/director Guillermo del Toro being nominated for an Oscar for his classic noir styled film Nightmare Alley, and the newly released The Batman, a movie written and filmed to emphasize the Dark Knight as the world’s best detective, in a dark bleak Gotham City. With only the sultry and lethal Catwoman to understand him.

 Despite the setting, no matter what the time, film noir is an American art form, and just like America, it draws all to its shores.  

Greetings from your new Editor in Chief

My story starts in Marysville California where I was raised until my graduation. In a quick decision that only took 2 weeks. I was wicked off to live with my grandparents in Durango Colorado. It was in Durango that I did what every lost 20 year old does… I screwed around. Being a homeschooled child of a very religious family, I went out and enjoyed life, fell in and out of love, got into trouble, had some adventures.

This was when I found what was to become my calling in life, Video production. I found out that the local cable access television station (DCAT), was providing basic production skills to the public for a small membership fee. While at DCAT I took simple classes that outlined the bare-bones essentials of filmmaking. It started with a few live concerts, then moved on to weddings and then shorts. I was hooked. I started getting better, soon the station started to become my clubhouse. The actually paid workers started to involve me in station projects which I willingly volunteered for like the addict I was becoming. However, this was short-lived due to me being a late bloomer in life and still having some stuff to work out. Like a lot of dreams it got buried and shuffled around but I never quite forgot the thrill and fulfillment of creating.

In 2012 I decided to jump on an opportunity to move to the Denver area for a fresh start. With excitement, I jumped at what Denver has to offer, with this new burst of energy I revisited old passions, one of which was video production. I started slow and had a few missteps and false starts, however, my persistence led to my first solo project in the form of a music video, this then led to me earning a position on the Denver Comic Con Media team which I am currently a veteran cameraman of 7 years for. With a growing portfolio. This however has always taken a backseat to some kitchen job that I’m good at but ultimately hate. I have repeated patterns for far too long and wish to have a destiny that I know that I can achieve. So at forty years old, I have chosen to act out. Not by getting a motorcycle, or trying to be younger than I actually am. But To finally realize my dream… To uncover that masked vigilante Spider-Man!!!