MUSIC

"Look Mom I Can Fly" Is a Win for Travis Scott Fans—and No One Else

The 28-year-old rapper's new Netflix documentary is a rare and personal (albeit sloppily executed) glimpse into the life of a superstar.

Love him or hate him, we can all agree on one thing: Nobody knows how to hype up a crowd quite like Travis Scott.

That's why it's far from surprising to see that his Netflix documentary, Look Mom I Can Fly, has garnered a great deal of attention. The 85-minute film only reinforces Scott's reputation as a world-class performer. In addition to numerous heartfelt clips of impassioned fans discussing what Scott's music means to them (many of whom say that his music helped usher them through dark times and, in some cases, that it saved their lives), the movie is comprised of awe-inspiring moments in which Travis Scott is able to command enormous crowds to go wild at his concerts while still connecting with them on a deeply personal level. This is a rare ability that few artists ever manage to cultivate to the same effect—even less frequently does this happen at such a relatively early phase in a musician's career. There is clearly something special about Travis Scott, who is not quite as crazy about being in the public eye as some of his peers, which makes such an in-depth documentary about him a welcome glimpse into the rapper's personal, creative, and professional life.

The film includes decades of footage. From home movies of Scott's childhood to scattered clips of his astronomical rise to fame over the last few years, Look Mom I Can Fly is essentially a collage of personal and professional milestones. We are brought into the doctor's office with Scott and Kylie Jenner to see an ultrasound of the couple's baby, Stormi. We follow Scott around on tour, get to see plenty of never-before-seen live footage and behind-the-scenes moments in which his meticulous approach to live shows is displayed with candor. We are invited into the studio with Scott and his crew during the recording sessions of his breakout album, Astroworld. And we follow him through a tumultuous night of three Grammy upsets in 2018. This unflinching and candid approach makes Look Mom I Can Fly a refreshingly authentic and honest portrayal of a celebrity—something that is exceedingly uncommon in today's hyper-mediated social media landscape.

The one downside of the film's fragmented nature, however, is that it often feels a bit disjointed and disconnected. There is no readily discernible narrative through line. Sure, there is the story of Scott's rise to superstardom and his various achievements and obstacles along the way, the birth of his daughter is briefly touched upon, and the entire movie is thematically centered around Scott's lifelong love of amusement parks and music in light of Astroworld; but, the jigsawed nature of how all of these elements are presented leaves much to be desired in the way of cohesion. After a while, it begins to feel less like a behind-the-scenes look at one of rap's biggest names and more like an hour-and-a-half long Instagram story.

Its not quite clear what viewers are supposed to take away from the movie—especially if you aren't already a big Travis Scott fan. Large portions of it feel somewhat self-indulgent and redundant. Instead of elaborating on some of the personal threads introduced throughout—perhaps via interview or some kind of off-the-cuff conversation—the movie merely presents events, rapidly moving onto something unrelated from one frame to the next.

Look Mom I Can Fly is truly a gift for the hundreds of thousands of Travis Scott fans around the world, but it's something of a disappointment as far as documentary film-making is concerned. When you are making a film in a genre dominated by the likes of Martin Scorsese (and more recently lit aflame by the critically acclaimed Beyonce music doc, Homecoming), the bar is set extremely high. Look Mom I Can Fly may not go down in history as one of the greatest music documentaries, but it is an interesting watch nonetheless—and it's required viewing for anyone who likes Travis Scott's music.

Culture News

Is Carole Baskin Inheriting a Haunted "Indian" Burial Ground with Tiger King Zoo?

Current owner Jeff Lowe claims there are bodies, including "a young American Indian boy," buried on the property

It was recently reported that Carole Baskin had been awarded the property of the Tiger King Zoo—formerly the G.W. Zoo—in Wynnewood, Oklahoma after a judgment found in her favor.

As fans of the Netflix docuseries Tiger King will know, her long-standing legal feud with Joe Exotic (AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage, né Shreibvogel) over his violation of the Big Cat Rescue trademark resulted in a million dollar settlement in her favor. But for the most part Exotic managed to dodge paying Baskin through a series of illegal property transfers that temporarily protected his animal park from seizure.

Now that Exotic is in prison for attempting to have Baskin murdered—along with illegal animal trafficking and several violations of the Endangered Species Act—a judge has finally ruled that the park is hers, and she will be taking over ownership of the 16-acre property later this year. But Jeff Lowe—the park's current owner and the personification of a mid-life crisis—insists that there are no hard feelings, saying, "She deserves this property."

Keep Reading Show less
FILM

11 Classic Movies That Have Not Aged Well

Time to leave the past in the past.

20th Century Fox

When making a movie, writers, directors, and producers always need to consider longevity: Will this movie remain relevant to audiences in five years? Ten? Twenty?

Of course, some movies are made to capitalize on current trends, make a quick buck, and then slip away into the annals of zeitgeists past. You've Got Mail was dated even before AOL went out of style. But for every hacky "hey old people, check out this modern technology!" movie, there's a whole slew of movies that try to capture something honest and sincere in an attempt to appeal to audiences far beyond their era of creation.

Some succeed, earning the status of "classics" as viewers pass them down from generation to generation. But society changes with time, and our greater social ethos changes along with it. As a result, even some "classic" movies fall short when viewed with fresh eyes––and for some of them, perhaps it's time for their "classic" status to be revoked.

Dumbo (1941) and The Jungle Book (1967)

dumbo jim crow Disney

Both Dumbo and The Jungle Book were early, animal-oriented Disney films that imbued a surprising degree of racism into their otherwise still-relevant narratives. Dumbo featured a singing crow who was actually named Jim Crow after the segregation laws of the era. His character design, voice, and mannerisms all mimicked black caricatures of the time period.

The Jungle Book, which came out over 20 years later (but only two years after the end of Jim Crow laws), continued a similar stereotype with King Louie, a villainous orangutan coded as a black man who sings to Mowgli about wanting to act more human. To Disney's credit, the Jim Crow character has been removed from Dumbo entirely, both in the live action remake and the upcoming Disney+ streaming service release of the original.

One important point to note is that unlike many of the other entries on this list that should probably be retired completely, Dumbo and The Jungle Book both hold historical relevance. Their racist scenes are largely reflective of the larger, segregation-era and post-segregation-era sentiments in America during the 40s and 60s respectively. They continue to hold importance within the larger canon of Western animation but should be viewed with the caveat of being products of their time. The same cannot be said for many of the rest of the movies on this list.

Porky's and Animal House

animal house Universal Pictures

Consider this entry a catch-all for basically every "teen boys sexing it up" comedy of the late '70s and early '80s. All of these types of movies follow a group of raucous guys who engage in shenanigans revolving around sex with women. This would be fine if not for the fact that "sex with women" really means objectifying women, lying to women, peeping on women, and getting women very drunk and doing things to them without their consent. Female characters in these movies never seem like real people, existing entirely to fulfill the wishes of male viewers. It's no wonder that many of the men who grew up watching these movies still hold ridiculously toxic views about women.

Revenge of the Nerds

revenge of the nerds 20th Century Fox

Revenge of the Nerds is a lot like all the movies from the previous entry, except it goes a step farther by including an outright rape scene and passing it off as comedy. Here's the set-up: One of the nerds, Lewis, has a crush on Betty, the girlfriend of a jock named Stan. At a costume party, Betty waits in a bedroom to have sex with Stan. Lewis steals Stan's costume and has sex with her instead. Betty thinks she is having sex with Stan because she consented to have sex with Stan. She did not consent to have sex with Lewis. Therefore, Lewis raped her using deception. HAHAHA, right?

Of course, Betty is a non-character written by sexists, so she responds by falling in love with him. This has lead many other sexists to decide that this is not rape. They are incorrect. Rape by deception is rape. The act portrayed in this movie is rape. Anyone who disagrees is objectively a rape defender and a sexist. Feel free to out yourselves in the comments.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

ace ventura Warner Bros.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is just another wacky Jim Carrey romp where a big, loony goofball catches a murderer by...publicly removing her clothes to reveal that she's actually a pre-op transgender person? Wait. That's pretty messed up. Everyone gags and apparently this is supposed to be very funny? Looking back on it, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective basically boils down to a big "transgender people are gross!" joke. Lame.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

breakfast at tiffanys Paramount Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany's features Mickey Rooney in yellowface performing what might be the worst hate crime against Japanese people ever committed to film. Why did they do this? Just...why?

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

indiana jones monkey brains Paramount Pictures

As an action film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom still holds up surprisingly well. The action continues to feel original and creative, even after being copycatted for decades. The portrayal of Indian and Hindu culture, on the other hand, is absurdly offensive. Essentially bastardizing foreign cultures for shock value, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom popularized long-lasting, incorrect myths such as the "Indians eat monkey brains" trope. Not cool.

Chasing Amy

chasing amy View Askew Productions

Imagine a movie coming out today in which a straight man romantically pursues an out lesbian in an attempt to "change her back" and then actually succeeds. Such a film would be unfathomable. But back in the late '90s when LGBTQ+ communities weren't nearly as visible in the public eye, Chasing Amy seemed not only plausible, but cutting edge. Unlike a lot of the other films here, Chasing Amy doesn't intend to turn marginalized people into jokes––it just fails to understand them.

Crash

crash movie Lionsgate Films

Crash was never a good movie. Crash never deserved its Best Picture Academy Award. Crash was a white director's shoddy attempt to boil down racism, race relations, and racial tensions into a simplified, melodramatic package meant for consumption by white people. Insane scenes delight in racially charged nonsense, like when a Persian shopkeeper, driven mad by racist slights, attempts to murder a Latino locksmith for no reason. Or when a racist white cop "redeems" himself by rescuing a black woman from a car crash after basically molesting her earlier in the movie. Crash was never and will never be anything better than stinky, stinky garbage. Please, throw Crash out.

Big

big movie 20th Century Fox

Big may be a fun Tom Hanks romp full of whimsy and keyboard dancing, but it's also a movie where a little kid uses magic and lies to seduce and sleep with a grown woman named Susan. Ultimately, Susan discovers the truth and watches Tom Hanks turn back into a child, after which she presumably kills herself. Seriously, this poor woman needs to live with the knowledge that her emotional maturity is on par with a twelve-year-old and that she slept with a literal child. Where does a person go from there?