Tag Archives: reviews

Trainwreck, Reviewed

22 Jul

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  • Trainwreck currently has a rating of 85 on Rotten Tomatoes and has gotten favorable reviews from most critics (the great Will Leitch, one of my favorite writers and movie critics, ranked it as the third greatest Judd Apatow movie ever, ahead of films like Superbad and Knocked Up). Amy Schumer is brilliant and funny, as is her co-star, Bill Hader, and Apatow needs no praising from me. Trainwreck is a movie I was expecting to enjoy.
  • The movie goes on for 122 minutes. After about 90 I started yawning and looking at my watch. My fiancé (god, I hate that word), who I saw the movie with, felt the same way.
  • I have many problems with the film. For one, it’s just not that funny. A few bits made me laugh — that most of them involved LeBron James doesn’t speak well for the movie. In fact, James and the exaggerated version of himself he plays — a sappy, cheap, Dowton Abby-watching LeBron James — provides the movie with its best scenes. The only other memorable ones involve Colin Quinn, who plays Schumer’s cranky and racist dad and is also the one responsible for teaching her that “monogamy isn’t realistic.” The scene where this line is delivered, along with an explanation why which involves comparing marriage to playing with just one doll for your entire life, is the film’s strongest.
  • Other than those, though, nothing hits. There are some decent penis and oral sex jokes and Schumer does a walk-of-shame bit that involves her having to take the ferry home from Staten Island one morning, but there’s nothing original about it. I found the one that Jonah Hill wrote for 22 Jump Street much funnier.

  • Oh yeah, Marv Albert is brought in at one point to help dole out relationship advice. Marv Albert once pleaded guilty to assault and battery for an incident where, among other things, he forced a woman to perform oral sex on him and also bit her in the back. This did not seem to bother Schumer and Apatow.
  • So here’s what Trainwreck is: A 122-minute not-quite-comedy about a woman dealing with the scars that a philandering father left her. Will she figure out that all her sleeping around is really just a defense mechanism and eventually give it a shot with Mr. Right? You know the answer is, Yes, but let’s spend two hours taking you on that journey anyway. It’s okay for movies to have predictable endings — Apatow’s best films, like 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up all do — but if you’re going to follow a common trope you better make that journey an interesting one. That means an interesting and complex and, perhaps most important of all, likable protagonist. Trainwreck does not have one.
  • At no point in the film do I find myself rooting for Schumer’s character. At no point did I find myself feeling sorry for her, either. Schumer, who wrote the film, and Apatow, who directed it, also fail to explain why exactly Bill Hader’s Mr. Perfect would fall for this woman. He tells us he loves her but we never see why. She makes him laugh and is different and had sex with him on their first date. That’s all we know. At no point do we see a deeper side to her. Trainwreck does that move where it has Hader and Schumer both apologize to each other and take responsibility for the relationship initially falling apart. But I don’t remember seeing Hader do anything wrong. The last time I felt this way about a popular character in a popular movie was with Kristiin Wiig in Bridesmaids, another film that makes me feel like Mugatu.

  • Maybe I’m kind of a sexist and don’t realize it and just have a problem with female comedy leads. I don’t know. But whether it’s Seth Rogan in Knocked Up or Steve Carrell in 40 Year old Virgin, Apatow’s best movies involve protagonist who I feel empathy for. His worst, like Funny People, usually feature narcissistic wimp who spends most of the film complaining and blaming everyone else. Trainwreck falls into that second category. I was expecting it to be something else.
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House of Cards is Not a Very Good Show

28 Jan

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I think my main problem with House of Cards is that the show is in denial. If, for example, it presented itself as a cartoon rather than a Important Show Trying To Teach Us Important Things, well that would be a show I’d like more. Think of 24, which is insane — and awesome because of it. Jack Bauer is not a three-dimensional character; he’s a superhero. When he (spoiler alert!) takes out 12 machine gun-wielding Russian goons with a single pistol, that’s something I don’t have a problem with, the same way I don’t mind when Batman goes one-on-forty without breaking a sweat. Neither Batman nor Jack Bauer are living in reality. They’re both comic book characters living in comic book worlds. Everyone understands this and is on the same page. That’s why they work.

House of Cards is a whole different story. On the one hand you have this show about the inner working of Washington D.C and how and why decisions get made. The thesis is that everyone is a prick and solely looking out for themselves. Not exactly an original thought — from what I remember from college, the basic premise of the Political Science field is that a politicians’ primary goal is to get elected and that it’s this desire that informs all his or her decisions — but still an important one. And House of Cards does do a good job of showing us how exactly that might look. It’s one thing to say you’re aware of how politicians think. But seeing this thought process put into action — like when one of the congressmen in House of Cards succumbs to blackmail and allows about 5,000 people in his district to lose their jobs — can be jarring. That’s the stuff House of Cards does well.

That’s also not really what the show is about. It’s not like The Wire, which illustrated the problem with institutions and how they affect society. It’s not like The Sopranos, which took us deep into the psyche of a powerful sociopath in a way that no other show had before. It’s not even like Game of Thrones, which isn’t really illustrating anything other than that good things rarely happen to good people. What makes Game of Thrones great, though, is that everyone is on a level playing field. You never know what’s going to happen or who even is winning The Game. The second you think you do the Red Wedding happens and you wind up staring at your TV screen in shock.

There’s very little that shocks in House of Cards (the first murder was easy to see coming; the second one is the outlier here). It takes about four episodes to realize that Kevin Spacey is not only the smartest person in the show, but also the only one in the House of Cards universe with a brain. The President of the United States is a dolt with the personality of a box and the charisma of a brick wall. He makes Mitt Romney look like Kevin Hart. How he got elected is beyond me. He is, by far, the worst fictional president I have ever seen. I’m not sure there’s ever been a less impressive TV character. He’s a moron and the worst.

Thankfully, most of the other characters on the show have a bit more to offer. None of them, however, appear, as they say, to playing with a full deck. Kevin Spacey is allowed to do what he wants, whenever he wants. Not only that, but no one else seems to be aware of what kind of person Frank Underwood (Spacey’s character) is, which would be cool and fine if he wasn’t pulling off the same moves over and over and over and over. At a certain point it gets boring watching him outmaneuver everyone else. And none of this even touches on the ludicrous plot twists, like the thing he does to the person in the subway, and how he apparently knows how to find the subway system’s trap doors and secret passageways. Or that scene that he and his wife have with that guard, which I’m still clueless as to what the point of it was.

Don’t get me wrong — House of Cards is, for the most part, entertaining, and watching Spacey play Frank Underwood is a ton of fun. But lots of entertaining shows and characters have made it on to TV. The difference with House of Cards was that I felt like I was missing out by not watching it; at least that’s how those who watched it made me feel.

Now that I’ve completed the show’s two season, I can’t help but disagree. House of Cards is good but not great, occasionally fun but not memorable. If you have some time to kill there are certainly worse things you can do than start a binge. But there are also at least ten shows I’d recommend before it.

24 Live Blog, Episode 6

12 Jun

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Previously on 24

– Lady Stark, very mean, and not a very good jude of people and what makes them click.

– Russian Minister With Awesome Mustache is on to Chief of Staff Tate Donovan and his forgery.

– MOLE! We found the mole. Et tu, Benjamin Bratt.

– British are dumb are ruin Jack Bauer’s plans.

5 pm-6 pm

5:00

– Red head down. And for some reason the girl running away is just chilling with the neighbor who saw her and not talking to cops.

– Oh, hey, like, you think maybe Neighbor Dude should have told cops what she saw? It’s like no one except Jack knows how to do their job properly. Jack for World Czar!

– That’s some damn good police work right there, Local Cop.

– “He’s with me.” “I don’t give a damn about your protocols!” DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE MESSING WITH?

– Heller’s sweater is very cute. Feel like that should be mentioned, and probably should have done so earlier.

– The numbers that Jack has in his cell phone…

– “You’ll have complete cooperation.” Oh, President Heller, you’re so naive.

– Britain and US leaders about to go at it…Get. It. On!

– WOW! Heller striking first.

– USA! USA! USA!

–  Just hug it out.

– “I personally give you my word that he will have everything he needs.” Yeah, that’s not happening.

– Lady Stark is MEAN.

5:15

– Oh shit, new CTU London character, and he’s fishy looking. Mole stuff is in play. Can’t wait for Benjamin Bratt to suddenly start seeming more suspicious, and doing suspicious things, around the office now.

– SHITTTTT. It’s Edward Snowden/Julian Asange dude. Should have seen this coming, such a 24 move. The left wing whistle blower figure isn’t some idealistic individual trying to make the world a better place—he’s just in it for the money. Show is in full swing now, by the way.

– This local cop not surviving, right?

– Another classic 24 back-and-forth. “Dr, I need to speak to her as quickly as possible.” “That’s not possible.” Yes it is, I’m Jack Bauer, BITCH.”

– No one adds please to the end of a harsh demand quite like Jack Bauer.

– Is now really the best time for a soda, Lady Jack? Don’t you pay attention to your mentor? Do you ever see him drinking soda?

– Ah, not for her. And what the fuck is ginger beer?

– This girl has it pretty put together considering she just saw her mom get stabbed to death like 12 minutes ago.

– Girl’s got great hearing, too. She heard all the stuff her aunt and mom were talking about?

– This guy’s sneaky—or maybe next time Lady Jack shouldn’t have this super classified and urgent convo OUT LOUD IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAITING AREA.

– “Find out exactly where she is, we’ll take care of everything from here.” I’m no drone expert, but if you’re using one to blow up a hospital does it really matter that you find out exactly where she is in the building? Wouldn’t a shot towards the center do the trick?

(No clock after coming back for commercial for some reason, so guessing it’s about 5:27)

– Benjy Bratt setting this dude up, huh?

– “It’s important this stays between us.” Yeah, not suspicious at all.

– Bratt gonna develop a conscience?

– Chief of Staff Tate Donovan gonna pull something here, right?

-Damn, Jack going guerrilla style. Not really sure what the point of knocking her out was.

– “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done that, I just hate these people.” Is it possible that Jack’s gotten even darker.

– Dammit! Drink.

– Hahah, these bad guys exchange non-coded text messages.

5;40

– Dammit Drink.

– Nice call of the bluff, Jack.

– So the hospital staff are evacuating people and no one thinks to check on the young girl there by herself? London’s got awesome nurses I see.

– Hahah of course Jack and Lady Jack happen to cross paths while coming out.

– Well this is a new one for Jack and 24—trying to outrun a drone in a car.

– Wow, gruesome injuries they’re showing.

– Dammit! And another Dammit! Drink, drink.

– Hahahah I guess going Mike Tyson on that dude was necessary.

– You see, you can just pull a gun and yell, “Get out of the car.” No need to knock people out.

– Why you threatening poor homeless people, Jack?

– Boom! Faked the shit out of you, Lady Stark. And her son’s of excited for just killing his sister, no?

5:52 

– Yep, this meeting location isn’t sketchy at all. If this guy survives, he’s gonna make a terrible field agent.

– He’s not dead, of course, so now we got the plot to play out.

– Russian Minister With Awesome Facial Hair. I love this guy. He’s also VERY perceptive. And we’re about to get some awesome blackmail. Chief of Staff Tate Donovan is in trouble.

– This is where Russians disappear and then reappear again at really inopportune time. Pretty sure this happened with Chinese once. 24 is so good at recycling old plots with new players.

– Heller getting emotional. Weird. He gonna hand himself in? Is that even possible for the president to do?

– Sweater is coming off. Heller means business.

– hahaha that picture they got Lady Stark looking at with her daughter—the girl doesn’t look ANYTHING like Simone looks today.

– “Can I trust you to keep your word?” Yeah, because if she says yes I’d totally believe her and anything else she has to say. No reason to think otherwise.

– Yeah, this is dumb, and awesome obviously, but not fully doing it for me. Anyway, see ya’ll next week.

X-Men: Days of Future Past, Reviewed

27 May

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Got to see X-Men: Days of Future Past over the weekend and figured I’d share some thoughts. After all, who doesn’t love pretending that they’re Roger Ebert?

  • The movie is really good. Not quite excellent but really good, if that distinction makes sense. Let’s start with that. It combines the fun of X-Men: First Class with the darkness and battle scenes of the original X-Men films, specifically X2: X-Men United, which was just an awesome movie. In this one you’ve got interesting themes (idea of fighting for a race) and humor and suspense. Well, sometimes there’s suspense. That might be one of the only problems I had with the movie. There are times when you find yourself at the edge of your seat—metaphorically speaking; I usually watch my movies from a super leaned-back position—only to quickly realize that, in just a few minutes, everything is going to be OK and our heroes will have saved the world. After all, there are sequel$ to make.
  • Actually, part of that is not totally true. There were some other problems I had with the movie, mostly from a continuity (please don’t make me pronounce that word) standpoint. The last time we saw Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, he had just been blown to smithereens by Jean Gray. Well, that is unless you waited for X-Men: The Last Stand‘s credits to end—which I’m not really sure why you would have because that movie blew—and saw Professor X seemingly coming back to life. Either way, him being back in charge in the latest installment is the sort of thing that deserves some sort of explanation. As does the fact that Magneto appears to have gotten his powers back, even though he was stabbed with one of those un-mutify-people shots in X3. In fact, if you want the whole list of continuity problems with the latest X-Men movie, click here (spoilers in there). I get that anytime you have un-planned sequels and reboots and different directors there are going to be problems, and that most people aren’t dorky enough to actually care about this stuff, but, in this viewer’s humble opinion, a better effort could have been put forth in this department. Just a few extra lines of explainers or something.
  • That’s it for the complaints. And honestly, I’m not sure why I led with the negatives (classic Today’s Society, always focusing on bad and not good, amiright?). Again, I really enjoyed the movie. Most of all, I enjoyed Michael Fassbender. Ian McKellen is a great actor, one of the best to ever do it, but what Fassbender has done with the Magneto character has just been awesome. Fassbender’s Magneto is a total badass, the kind of person who is terrifying and brilliant and captivating and sympathetic. He’s crazy, yet you get where he’s coming from and why he does what he does. He’s a “bad guy” who you’re not actually sure is bad. Or wrong. He’s also just really cool. Super heroes are supposed to be really cool. I like this.
  • Hugh Jackman might have the most fitting last name, like, ever. I mean what else is even in the discussion? There was (maybe still is) a pitcher named Josh Outman which was pretty good, but I think Jackman is still much better. Just check out this video, which is also awesome because it’s pretty clear that Scott Pelley pitched this story just because he wanted to be able to put on tight clothes and show the world how ripped he was. Well played, Scott, well played.
  • Jennifer Lawrence>>>Rebecca Romeijn. Yeah, not even close, though, as much as I love Lawrence, as we all are apparently required to do—until the eventual backlash comes which then will be followed by a magazine cover story in which we all learn how hard it’s all been on her and triggers J-Law Love Affair 2.0—I’m not so sure she does brooding well. Which is weird because she went pretty dark in Silver Lining’s Playbook, and that was great. In X-Men, not so much and dammit, I’m now complaining again.
  • Professor X has a drug problem. Very cool. Love that these movies have made Youngin Prof. X seem like a cool guy. Not that drug habits are cool, but James Mcavoy’s Professor X is certainly not a dork, which is what he’s seemed like in the past. This is a positive. Gives him more depth.
  • Ok, letter grade time, because, well, what fun is it to write about a movie if you don’t give it a grade. I’m going B+. Tons of fun; cool scenes ( I think the cinema folk refer to that stuff as cinematography), which I probably would have enjoyed more if I didn’t refuse to ever see movies in 3D; a bit of drama, though not enough; intriguing characters. That, actually, is where I think X-Men: Days of Future Past succeeds the most. The merging of the young and old X-Men has created a stable of awesomely deep and interesting and complicated people that we now get to watch on screen semi-regularly. That doesn’t happen very often (isn’t that a major reason behind Iron Man‘s success?) To this I say, Job well done.

24 Live Blog, Episode 4

22 May

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Well, we’re back (you’re welcome, Roni). Apologies for missing an episode there, NBA playoffs make it difficult to keep up on TV shows. Hopefully from now on I’ll be good to go with these, and able to do so in a timely fashion, but enough with the intro, let’s get to it.

Previously on 24

– These British MPs have amazing accents, even when angry.

– Lolz that 24 feels the need to tell us who Jack Bauer is. Guys, if we’re watching the reboot, I think we’re good in that area.

– Lady Stark is creepy. Watching her daughter bang on a secret camera? Also, me being the 24 veteran that I am, I’m guessing that the daughter’s hubby has got some larger role to play later on.

– “They’re shooting at us!” All time great Jack move.

Event occur in real time

2 pm-3 pm

– Oh, well, we’re right back into it. God, this show is great.

– “How?” Chloe asks. “I created a diversion,”Jack says. Sort of an understatement.

– Yes, the sleeper move is back!

– This Edward Snowden/Julian Asange guy is really not catching on to how things in 24 World work.

– Chloe’s friend is confusing me. Are we supposed to know his backstory? What’s his connection with Jack?

– CIA people don’t have to show badges or anything when walking into the embassy and talking to the head of security there? No wonder 24 World has so many leaks.

– Don’t answer that phone. Unless you want to end up in a sleeper hold.

– Or knocked out from behind.

– “Son, right now I believe you.” Yep, that should be all this arrested dude needs. After all, nothing has happened to him today to make him think that trusting random people might not be a great idea.

– HAHAHAHA, the guard watching him has the flight key on him?!

2:07

– Why do these super-important-and-secure building always have like some random way out through the basement?

– Ooo, maybe this one actually doesn’t.

– “I don’t think you understand, it’s over, they’re going to put you in prison.” Sweet joke, Chloe. I would have thought you’d be more familiar with how this goes by now.

2:13

– Not really feeling these villains. Hope our Level 2 bad guys are more fun to watch.

– HAHAHA, this guys thinks he’s leaving. Bet he has some Super Awesome Plan that he thinks will work, too.

– Yep, he has keys and a car parked down the road. What could go wrong?

– “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I’m betting that happens, thought not in the way he thinks it will.

– There’s gonna be some stupid plot twist where she sells him out later, isn’t there?

– Director Benjamin Bratt is not very smart.

–  Hasn’t Jack been living, like, in a hut for the past few years? And didn’t he spend years before that in a Chinese prison? How does he know how to do this computer stuff? And what the hell is a T-window, or whatever Chloe called it?

– “Give me your word.” Boom! Drink.

– This guy’s up to something, isn’t he?

– “Son of a bitch!” “How long is this going to take?” Yes, yes, yes. Give me more!

– Oh, we got one of these Jack-takes-hostages-for-a-greater-good scenes coming up. Another 24 staple.

2:23

– Uch, I’m sick of Lady Stark and her family. Someone Red Wedding her (spoiler alert).

– HAHA, she’s pretending she’s got like that super mother instinct. Sneaky.

– Chief of Staff Tate Donovan is impressed.

– Benjamin Bratt’s job status is in trouble.

2:28

– This guy doesn’t realize that if Jack wanted them dead, they’d be dead. HE HIT YOU IN THE BODY VEST, BRAH.

– Oh, shit, all the cards are out on the table now. Blondy will believe Jack, Chris Partlow won’t.

– Lolz, classic.

– President Heller, still got it.

– This is gonna be an awkward convo. Um, yeah, remember that Jack guy? So he’s in London now.

– BOOM!

– Gotta give Chief of Staff Tate credit for being upfront here at least.

–  Shit. Just. Got. real.

2:37

– Oh, this guy’s in trouble. Just kill him already, please.

– Not sure these people know what “love” is.

– This guy picked a horrible time to develop a conscience.

– She’s gonna shoot her daughter or something, isn’t she?

–  Oh, that’s fucked up.

– OH SHIT!!!! WTF?!?!?!

– That will definitely come back to bite Momma Red-Head-Bad-Lady in the ass later on.

– Yep, Agent Benjamin Bratt, still not very smart.

– What a call out!! He wants blondy—didn’t see that coming. Also, that was a weird back and forth.

– “I barely grazed them.” Fantastic.

– Heller Surprise Face. That’s some fineee acting right there.

– Something has to go wrong here. Can’t be “and everyone starts working together from here on out” now. That wouldn’t be 24.

– Ooo, these guys have some bad blood. And damn straight you earned that right, Jack. You da ma!

– Did Heller and Jacko have a bad breakup? I don’t remember.

– Tate vs. Audrey. Here we go.

– “All I’ve ever seen is that damage he leaves in his wake.” That’s good stuff.

2:51

– Sick speech, Head Soldier Man. Though seems like he’s a little too angry and trigger happy.

– Yep, that young soldier is not gonna pull the trigger. Jack’s gonna go all low voice on him or something and look into his eyes,

– It’s funny when you remember that these two CIA people have only been working together for like four hours.

– What’s with all the cuts to the hostages?

– Jack never surrenders and lets his work go for nothing.

– Lets’ get it on!

– Sneaking up on Jack is never a good idea, lady. C’mon. Gotta be smarter if going to be Jack’s heir.

– Say “I give you my word” and he’ll trust you.

– Damnnnn, this woman’s tough. Shoving soldiers out of the way and stuff.

– Can’t believe he’s stuck here doing the drone piloting. He had a plan and keys and a car parked down the street. Shocked, I tell ya, shocked.

That was fun, see you next week. 

24 Is Back

6 May

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24 came back tonight, and man was it awesome. There were “dammits,” incompetent government agents and everything else that a 24 fan could want. Anyway, towards the end of the premier I decided to do a sort of live blog for the second episode and, hopefully, future ones as well. You can find that below. First, though, a recap/retroactive diary of Episode 1.

– We’re starting at 11:06. That’s a new twist.

– Jack’s first appearance: maybe one minute into the show. Jack’s first words: about twenty minutes later. This show is the best.

– Hey, it’s Chris Partlow from The Wire playing a CTU agent. Or CIA London—though I’ll still be calling it CTU—agent.

– First Dammit goes to Benjamin Bratt, I feel betrayed.

–  Is it weird that I can recognize the thing that Jack shoots into Chloe’s chest as an adrenaline shot? #24Veteran.

– Glad to see the CIA’s security guards, who for some reason dress like mall cops, are just as inept and pathetic as CTU’s were.

– So our President has alzheimer’s. That seems like it could be a bit of a problem going forward. Also, fantastic plot piece. Can’t wait to see what happens with this one. Feel like Tate Donovan is going to use that to his advantage at some point.

12 pm-1 pm

–  Carnage at CTU! Or CIA-London-Building-Acting-As-Standin-For-CTU. See what happens when you don’t listen to Blond Field Agent Who Has A Hunch, Director Benjamin Bratt. Hope you’ve learned your lesson.

– Apparently Female Jack Bauer is working with Kenny Powers reincarnated as a British cop.

– “This is the very last time,” he says. Lol.

– Benjamin Bratt is losing control of his people. Classic 24 move. Though pairing Chris Partlow with a woman is a smart move. Everyone knows he works well with a female. RIP, Snoop.

– Chloe’s gone goth apparently.

12:02

– Sick scarf, English Julian Asange.

– Something about the way British people say organization. Or-gan-I-za-shon.

– Now I’m confused. Who the hell is Jack working for? Also, he wasn’t kidding about not having friends. Ah, Chloe, when will you learn?

12:06

– Wow, Chloe is a horrendous actress. Was she always this bad? And why does everyone in this Or-gan-I-za-shon appear to be 19 years old.

– There is zero chance this bad guy doing the drone stuff is allowed to live by Super Bad Woman.

12:15

– Oh, this soldier is in trouble. And he got into a fight with the Major earlier. He’s got no chance.

– “Missiles don’t arm themselves.” And they know about the weekend pass!

– If I was this guy, I’d play the race card.

– Holy shit this Prime Minister is huge.

– Ah, Tate Donovan, you are so naive. And transparent. And something tells me, veteran 24 watcher that I am, that there’s more to this Jack Bauer hunt than Audrey Raines.

– Serbian friend. Was just wondering who he was? Didn’t Season 1 stuff have to do with Serbians?

– “There’s no going back for me.” Jack, you sad man. And love when 24 works in a nice political debate.

– Jack Bauer and Julian Asange working together, So nice.

– Jack+Chloe forever.

12:28

– “They’re going to respond to honesty.” President Heller, you sweet, naive old man.

– Tate Donovan doesn’t really seem to have much faith in his boss.

– “This was you, yes?” drone dude’s lady friend asks him. Yep, you guys are both dead.

– Willing to be this plot doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

12:33

– “I wanna test our com-units.” Attention to detail. That’s what makes this show.

12:39

– President Heller, still got it, baby. Take that, Tate.

–  Oh shit, three men. Not good.

– Nevermind. He doesn’t still have it. This is awkward.

–  “You think I’m at a disadvantage; I promise you I’m not” might be an all-time great Jack line.

– Dude, why are you leaving that USB thing in your computer? Rookie mistake.

– You fool, bullets don’t hurt Jack. They only make him stronger.

– SHOOTOUT!!!!

12:52

– “You were right Jack” No shit!

– “Son of a bitch.” !!!

– “Son of a bitch.” Again. Two in 30 seconds.

– And a Dammit! I think I just had an orgasm.

– This girl is about to kill him, isn’t she? Shouldn’t have mentioned new buyer.

–  Yep he’s dead.

– Yeah, there it is. For a brilliant computer guy, he wasn’t very smart.

Well that was fun. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue this going forward. So happy to have Jack and the Gang back in my life. 

You Should Be Watching Silicon Valley

29 Apr

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Im kind of angry at TV right now. I try to be productive, to write more, and read more, and even exercise more. Except now we’ve got the greatest first round in the history of the NBA playoffs taking place and every night there are incredibly awesome basketball games on TV. And Mad Men is back and in full swing. And Game of Thrones is as captivating, and confusing (does anyone know what happened to this guy?!) as ever. There are about ten unwatched episodes of the under-appreciated The Americans, a show which had a first season that I found both incredibly entertaining and fascinating, sitting on my TiVo (yes, I still have TiVo). I’m also behind on the new season of VEEP, HBO’s excellent comedy which I have written about before. So yeah, I’ve got a lot on my plate these days.

And now here comes HBO with a new show, Silicon Valley, which, well, through four episodes, has been fantastic. It’s funny, interesting, smart—and you can’t really ask for more from a TV show. Silicon Valley actually reminds me of what Entourage was like, and how much I enjoyed it, when it first came out, that is before it evolved into an unfunny repetitive caricature of itself that made you hate yourself for feeling the need to watch it every Sunday night.

For those who haven’t heard of Silicon Valley, it’s pretty much a typical HBO bromance, like Entourage and How to Make it In America, except instead of trying to “make it” by being a shallow narcissistic movie star or designing a sweet pair of jeans, these characters are all looking to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t think it’s an accident that Zuckerbeug is who you think of when watching Silicon Valley’s lead, Thomas Middleditch, meander around Silicon Valley as Richard Hendricks, the in-over-his-head code writer who accidentally created what we’re told is the Greatest Algorithm Ever. Why is it so special? Well, I’m not really sure; my understanding of computers and technology pretty much consists of being able to turn things on and send e-mails.

What I do understand is the sum of the plot, and in this case, thanks to the show’s writing, that’s really all that matters. I get the conflict, and the humor—such as jokes at the expense of Steve Jobs and Google—are still funny to me. That’s thanks to Mike Judge, the creator of the show and brilliant mind behind Office Space. 

Anyway, if you’re not already, give it a shot. What’s another 30 minutes of TV in your week?