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An Anton Ali Pop-Ed: Macaulay Culkin -- Lost in New York?


I have to give AMC credit for really knowing how to give people what they want. The Breaking Bad, Walking Dead and Mad Men fans think they already know what I'm talking about, but I'm talking about something much bigger here. Over the last week or so, the channel has been seemingly playing the Home Alone movies non-stop.

The first one appears to be more prevalent, but the second has been seen in rotation as well. AMC also recognizes that the third movie in the series was one of the worst movies ever made. It's very possible that AMC bought all three movies as a package deal yet they refuse to show the third one. Watching both movies over the last week or so made me ask myself what Macaulay Culkin was up to today. It turns out to be good timing, as I was able to witness the debut of his weird band, The Pizza Underground.

Most of what we remember from Culkin was from when he was a kid. I first saw him in Uncle Buck, where he played Miles. The movie was OK, and Culkin didn't really stand out. It wasn't a soft transition to stardom for Culkin, however. First there was Home Alone. Soon after came My Girl, which once educated me on the importance of bee safety. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York came next. By then, Culkin was banking close to $5 million per movie. In his dark turn as Henry in The Good Son, Culkin played Elijah Wood's psychotic cousin. He dies in the end of the movie. Sorry  — I figured if you haven't seen the movie by now, you're not going to. The movie literally builds to the point where both kids are at the edge of a cliff and Henry's own mother must choose who to save. She chooses Wood's character and Henry falls on a lot of rocks.

Soon after The Good Son, Culkin was paid a total of $15 million for Richie Rich and Getting Even with Dad. At this point in time, Culkin had more than enough money to last the rest of his life. Seems like it was well timed, as Culkin just disappeared. Oh ...  he was also friends with Michael Jackson as a boy. I'm pretty sure he was in the music video for Jackson' "Black or White." Also worth mentioning is that Culkin dated Mila Kunis for almost nine years. Yes, go ahead and start questioning all the accomplishments in your life now.

With his semi-retirement from acting and the end of his relationship with Kunis, Culkin had a slight mishap with his illegal drug bust in 2004. It was widely reported last year that Culkin was close to death due to his use with heroin. It's very possible that everything the Internet says isn't true and we shouldn't believe everything we read. However, the picture below wasn't strong evidence against the possibility that something wasn't wrong:



It might not have been heroin that caused him to look this way, but this is the picture of someone that, at the time, was only 31 years old. One his reps denied that drug use was to blame and said Culkin was perfectly healthy. Don't ever tell your kids that this is what perfectly healthy looks like.

When Robot Chicken went to Comic-Con this year, Culkin showed up looking healthier than he appeared in that picture from about a year ago. If there was any truth to those heroin rumors, Culkin really turned things around in a year.

This brings us to present day, when we most recently became acquainted with this:



I don't know what to make of this.

It's very difficult to tell if Culkin's even interested in being up there on stage. People waited in line to see this. I'll be the first to admit that there are some bands that are on a level beyond my understanding, but would people have been waiting around the corner to see The Pizza Underground if it wasn't Culkin on stage? There's been a fairly strong positive reception for the band and perhaps it's due to nostalgia for some to see Culkin again. Songs about pizza though? It's been said that you get free pizza if you show up to one of these shows, so I guess you get dinner out of it. OK, so they're trying to be funny. The people in the audience seem to be into it.

Maybe this is the quasi-comeback Culkin's been looking for, but I can guarantee it's not going to be Pizza Underground that we remember him for the most. It won't even be his troubled past. It'll be everything he accomplished as a kid that most of us won't accomplish in an entire lifetime.

And that he dated Mila Kunis.
An Anton Ali Pop-Ed: Macaulay Culkin -- Lost in New York? Reviewed by Anton Ali on 12/18/2013 Rating: 5

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