'Black Mass' indicative of cultural epidemic: Lousy gangster films

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 6:15pm

NOSELL

Warner Bros.

 

You know, there’s a medical phenomenon associated with puberty that no one ever talks about. There comes a time in every young Caucasian male’s life, around the time when he starts to develop sexually, where imitating a cool gangster like the ones in the movies sounds like the best shit ever. This is a common disease called SIDS (“Scorsese Is Dope” Syndrome). This is a condition most prevalent in white, suburban males, ages 13-19.  Common symptoms include smoking cigarettes, making “Reservoir Dogs”-inspired short films, stealing candy from local convenience stores and excessive masturbation. It’s 
Black Mass
D+
Warner Bros.
Rave and Quality 16

harrowing, to be sure, but it’s entirely treatable and often goes away with age. 

 
However, several months ago, some sort of a transferrable strain of this terrible disease hit southern California. A particular group of white males has begun suffering from an intense, late-onset bout of this illness: specifically, Johnny Depp (“Alice in Wonderland”), Joel Edgerton (“The Gift”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Jesse Plemons (“Breaking Bad”), Kevin Bacon (“Cop Car”), Corey Stoll (“Ant-Man”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Blue Jasmine”), David Harbour (“A Walk Among the Tombstones”), Rory Cochrane (“Oculus”) and Adam Scott (“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”). These poor white men, limited to scowling, play-fighting, smoking, drinking and speaking in indiscernible accents, were quarantined to a psychological ward in Boston where they’re receiving the best treatment money can buy. 
 
Last week, the Center for Disease Control released a harrowing medical documentary chronicling these patients’ road to recovery. Entitled “Black Mass,” this hard-hitting film brings light to some of the most disturbing symptoms of the disease, such as terrible facial makeup and prosthetic use; unoriginal, boring cinematography; random, pointless editing choices; and horribly miscasting female onscreen companions like Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”). 
 
The Michigan Daily received this statement from the CDC’s director, Thomas Friedman:
 
“Well, sure, kid, of course we’re worried! With content like “Black Mass” and Netflix’s “Narcos,” entering the pop culture eye, we’re on the verge of a wannabe gangster epidemic. As a survivor of this disease myself, I can give you my word that every effort is being made to keep this thing under control. That much chain-smoking and masturbation can KILL you. I won’t let anyone watch 'Scarface’ as many times as I did when I was a white teen. It’s just not safe.” 
 
Unfortunately, it seems that viewing “Black Mass” itself may be instrumental in spreading the disease. The FBI has warned that consumption of this documentary by film students may induce new symptoms such as wanting to make another gangster film that adds nothing to the genre and doesn’t do anything “The Departed” did more meaningfully. 
 
This is a developing story. The Michigan Daily would like to remind you to stay safe, and to NOT see “Black Mass” in theaters. Preliminary reports suggest watching it on Netflix in a few months is more advisable, but still may not be risk-free.