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updated: 8/3/2014 10:18 PM

Down the YouTube rabbit hole

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  • Watch Jared Leto's acceptance speech on YouTube's Oscar channel.

    Watch Jared Leto's acceptance speech on YouTube's Oscar channel.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Video: 8-Bit Cinema: Iron Man

  • Video: Jurassic Park Meets Metal


You come home from work, you boot up the computer, you grab a cold drink and, next thing you know, it's 6 a.m. and you've watched 74 YouTube videos.

Or maybe this just happens to me.

We can't always devote our time to critically acclaimed TV series like FX's "Fargo" (it lives up to the hype) or catching up with last year's Blu-rays ("Nebraska" is way better than I thought it would be). Sometimes we just want to watch dog videos.

But if you prefer structure with your YouTube surfing, here are some channels you should check out:

331Erock -- This channel from guitarist Eric Calderone features the friendly shredder covering film and pop music in his signature heavy-metal style. If you want to hear note-perfect arrangements of John Williams' iconic movie themes with solos straight out of an Iron Maiden record, give Eric a look; his "Jurassic Park Meets Metal" gives me chills. Calderone's videos cover a wide variety of artists, from Carly Rae Jepsen to PSY to even Ricky Martin. My current favorite? "Let It Go Meets Metal," of course. Maybe Elsa can go goth in the "Frozen" sequel ...

MouseSteps/JWL Media -- Speaking of Disney, you can get your Walt Disney World fix on this channel run by a Florida couple who explore every inch of the resort, from theme parks to hotels to charity events to surrounding attractions. For devoted fans like me, their "MouseSteps Weekly" videos are essential, providing 20-plus minutes every seven days.

Cinefix -- A collection of shorts, interviews and commentaries on film, CineFix popped up on my radar a couple of weeks ago for its two-minute re-creations of classic movies using the graphical styles of old video games. Check out their "8-Bit Cinema" playlist and see what happens when, for example, "Iron Man" meets the classic NES game "Mega Man." My personal favorite: "The Fifth Element -- 8-Bit Cinema."

Oscars -- The Academy Awards' official YouTube channel is a treasure trove for movie buffs, showcasing classic clips from the show's long, storied history. You'll find recent highlights like Jared Leto's touching speech upon winning the supporting-actor prize for "Dallas Buyers Club" and Ben Affleck accepting the best-picture Oscar for "Argo" in 2013. You'll also find playlists devoted to an entire year's worth of clips; you can get a peek at old Hollywood with practically the entire 1948 ceremony, for instance.

Sean Stangland is a Daily Herald copy editor and a tireless consumer of pop culture. You can follow him on Twitter at @SeanStanglandDH.

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