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MinnPost Picks: on quiet movie dialogue, the genius of Kenny G and why robocalls are never going away

Our weekly roundup of great stories from around the web, as recommended by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from "The Dark Knight Rises."
Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from "The Dark Knight Rises."
Warner Bros. Pictures

Here’s Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It), Slashfilm

I used to tease my significant other about watching TV shows with closed captioning on. But in many instances, streaming services have made it a necessity to understand the dialogue between explosions, music and muffled whispering, especially in action movies. Ben Pearson interviewed sound designers and mixers to reveal multiple problems, including a lack of respect for the sound techs on sets, theater chains messing with the mix, and how some TVs turn a surround sound mix into a stereo mix. Yes, director Christopher Nolan and actor Tom Hardy are discussed as well.
—Corey Anderson, creative director

Does Kenny G make good music? and “Listening to Kenny G” is an ironic masterpiece, The New Yorker

Solomon GustavoKenny Gorelick — the sax instrumentalist known as Kenny G — and his successful music career are the subject of a new HBO Max documentary. “Music Box: Listening to Kenny G,” a film by Penny Lane, includes multiple talking heads voicing their disgust with Kenny G’s music and their critical view of “smooth jazz” — a term coined to describe Kenny G’s stylings — to be a bastardization of jazz and the corporatization of the largely Black art form. This sent two New Yorker writers into a tizzy considering the bona fides of Kenny G and the notion of taste in general.
—Solomon Gustavo, local government reporter

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Robocallers Try New Tactics to Evade Crackdowns, Stateline

Robocallers, it seems, are like coronaviruses – they will mutate and evolve to evade all natural defenses and interventions. This piece from Stateline looks at how attempts by governments and telecoms are being thwarted by the purveyors of phone spam.
—Peter Callaghan, state government reporter

Lab-grown meat is supposed to be inevitable. The science tells a different story, The Counter

It’s a familiar story these days: tech disruptors swooping into a hidebound industry, delivering us from all its social and environmental ills (and scooping up billions of venture capital investment in the process). But when it comes to growing meat in a lab, the obstacles are already pretty well known — the pharmaceutical industry has been doing it for decades — and mostly seem to be ignored by the would-be tech saviors (that’s not stopping them from accepting funding, of course). The griftiness of it is annoying, but a deeper problem may be that in assuming technology can solve the problem of supplying meat to the world, we might be ignoring the changes we need to make now to make current practices more sustainable.
—Tom Nehil, news editor