• Drunk Napoleon

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Mad Men, Season Five, Episodes Seven to Thirteen
      “I’ve seen the campaign, and it’s something I couldn’t have imagined, yet exactly what I expected.”

      “People buy things because it makes them feel better.” That’s Don’s criticising a play he watches, that criticises advertising by dismissing it. It’s funny because it’s exactly the kind of thing we criticise or celebrate in stories all the time. There’s a similar scene in Stephen King’s IT, where Bill remembers a writing course in college where he brushed up against a teacher and class who kept reading politics into his stories and declared something like “stories don’t need to make political statements”. I agree with that and hated it in the story, because it was disconnected from the story around it and felt like King grinding an axe. Conversely, I never even thought about Mad Men’s statement because it’s exactly the kind of play Don would end up seeing, and that’s exactly how he would react.

      The Sixties are an infinite well of inspiration for the story. I’ve found drama is easier to explain to people – The Shield is about a dirty cop who shoots another cop to cover up his corruption, Breaking Bad is about a high school chemistry teacher who cooks meth. Literature is harder to summarise, or at least harder to sell. “A genius ad man living in New York in the Sixties” isn’t a hell of a hook. That said, as a jumping off point for the writers to keep the story on track and the viewer interested, it’s perfect. Perhaps, when coming up with a pitch for a literary story, one should consider three ideas to draw on. Perhaps those three ideas are character (Don), action (advertising), and setting (New York, circa the Sixties).

      The threat of suicide hangs over the show, but so quietly that I thought I was projecting the first time; it pays off with Lane. His death is literally a tragedy, in that he makes decisions that trap him into a single course of action.

      Mad Men takes the ideas women have been telling me about all my life – rape culture, objectification, casual sexism – and weaves them into the story. It works, in part, because these are real people, and we know the mindset of the men that leads to it, and the effect it has on the mindset of the women. But it also works because I knew about these concepts already, and I projected the women I know onto these women (and vice versa); sort of an emotional feedback loop. I hear all the time that an artist (writers, directors, actors) needs the experience life to make good works; apparently it works the other way too. I watch The Shield and Mad Men, I see ideas, and not all of them make sense. I take them out into the real world and try them out. I come back to the shows later, and I see how much truth is in those stories with greater clarity.

      Pete and Peggy are becoming Don, Don is becoming Roger, and Roger is becoming Bert; that’s the common interpretation of this season, and as you might know by now I disagree with the common interpretation just on principle. Watching the show in one big glob, it’s easier to see how Pete and Peggy are channeling Don – when Pete talks to Beth and Peggy tells off the client, I can hear their words coming out of Don’s mouth. But I see it less as these characters becoming their older character and more having that expectation thrust upon them. Pete and Peggy feel entitled to get the response Don did to the same action, no negative implications implied. Roger strikes me as reluctantly resigned to becoming the wise old man in the background. Don is being dragged into irrelevance kicking and screaming.

      This is the end of Act Two. Don sees where his new lifestyle has driven him, and he can’t stand it. We see what rejecting all his family has done to him, leaving him with no history to draw on in a time of crisis. He literally walks away from the morality he developed in season four, in one of the show’s best punchlines: “Are you alone?”

      • ZoeZ

        That difference in how to summarize literary shows vs. dramatic shows is well-said and also makes me want a dumb party game where you try to accurately summarize a show in the most inaccurate way possible:

        “It’s about the drift of the drug trade back and forth across the US-Mexico border, and about the toll of toxic masculinity in an economic downturn.”

        “It’s about a newly-formed precinct in Los Angeles and the struggle to police it effectively, with different characters trying different approaches. It also exposes corruption.”

        “It’s about this guy who, back in the Korean War, stole the identity of another dead officer and used it to remake his life so he could get out of the shadow of being a prostitute’s son. But years later, his half-brother recognizes him and might end up destroying everything.”

        “It’s about this one loose cannon cop who gives the middle finger to bureaucracy and takes on an untouchable Baltimore drug lord.”

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “It’s all a metaphor for the Iraq War.”

        • “A group of friends struggle to make their Philadelphia business work during the economic downturn and gradual recovery.”

          • Drunk Napoleon

            “A heartwarming tale of friends sticking together through thick and thin!”

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            “One man’s heartbreaking struggle to be honest with himself and come out, after burying his true feelings under food, weightlifting, and alcohol, and the friends who enable him to do so but ultimately support him in the end.”

        • “In an infertile future, some women are blessed enough to act as surrogate mothers.”

        • Miller

          “Desperate people are punished by animated demons for hubris and failure to understand probability.”

        • He’s a profiler for the FBI, with dogs. He kills people and eats them. Together. . .they’re in love.”

          Wait no, that one’s accurate.

          • ZoeZ

            The one thing you can say for sure is that that show was always itself.

        • The Ploughman

          “An inexplicably anthropromorphized moose and squirrel are our only defense against invading Russians.”

        • The Ploughman

          I’ve told this before, but I’m vain and proud of my quick wit in this instant, so it’s going to come up when relevant. A friend of mine was explaining why he didn’t like Argo, saying its climax was just a bunch of people standing in line at the airport. While I think there’s plenty of reasonable critiques of Argo, that particular complaint missed a whole lotta context. My response was it’s like describing The Shawshank Redemption as a movie about guys who go to bed at 8:00 every night.

        • Babalugats

          “Two coworkers reunite after nearly two decades apart and reflect on their former friendship.”

          “A young scientist tampers with the laws of physics and reality, while pursuing the object of his deranged obsession. A veteran cop tries to stop him.”

        • clytie

          The first year that Trio (RIP) did “Brilliant but Cancelled” they showed a doc where they talked about why great shows got cancelled. Someone said that often the best shows are the most difficult to sell. They used the example of Cheers, which is, “a bunch of people hanging out in a bar.”

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            “People hanging out in a bar? Do they leave and go do stuff?”
            “Sometimes but its almost entirely *in* the bar.”
            “…why would we want this?”

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          “A guy who really likes coffee visits a sleepy small town and has adventures in the nearby woods.”

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          I’m also reminded of the great joke from Happy Endings, when Dave tries to explain Treme:

          “No, it’s not confusing. You see, Wendell Pierce is a struggling musician. Let me back up: Most people don’t realize that New Orleans is the main character. Let me back up again: You see, jazz is derived from Negro spirituals…”

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          “It’s about a billionaire whose money can’t buy him the companionship he needs, and who forms a surrogate family out of the employees of his radio station.”

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          “An elderly-law practitioner cares for his mentally ill brother. An old man sits around waiting a lot.”

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          “One man’s trials and tribulations in attempting to find love and career fulfillment. His dream job and his engagement both end badly. His closest friend is a sarcastic, disaffected comedian unable to provide him the emotional support he needs.”

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        If someone wanted me to sum up all of Mad Men’s ideas on desire and happiness I’d maybe use the “You Only Live Twice” sequence in the finale (it’s also a favorite song of mine). Jon Hamm’s little drunken, cynical head turn to the girl in syncopation with the music is absolutely brutal, like watching an ex-con go back to burglary.

        On that real life note I watched the show ten years ago at 15 but having had sex and dated more, now at 25 I think I understand Don a little better (I also have some issues with commitment and the idea of having a family is a little repellent to me sometimes) even if I’m more morally horrified by his behavior. Your morality and life experience informs your reactions and enriches the series – now I can’t imagine being a teen watching this. Now that I’ve had sex and dated more than a few women, yes, I can understand what Don means when he quotes Bobbie, that “he likes being bad and going home and being good.” And his inability to really choose a single person to be with, as if enraptured by them all – I can nod and smile at myself.

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “And his inability to really choose a single person to be with, as if enraptured by them all – I can nod and smile at myself.”

          For all Don’s more monstrous actions, for all his dickishness and standoffishness and introversion, he really does genuinely like people, doesn’t he?

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I think Weiner’s little insertions of moments when Don truly doubts the meaning of advertising (like his dad telling him “You sell bullshit”) build up into that final scene, where he finally realizes his ultimate “artistic ambitions” and creates a commercial proclaiming a universal love and humanism. It’s genius.

        • Man, there are so many great musical moments in this season. “Zou Bisou Bisou,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “You Really Got Me”… it goes on and on.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            To be honest I don’t quite get the Tomorrow Never Knows thing only because I don’t buy that Megan would play that for Don thinking it could be used in an ad.

          • I don’t think she does think it’ll be useful as an ad. She wants to bring him crashing into the future.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Huh, maybe I need to watch the scene again but I thought distinctly that she thought he could use it for a commercial because all the kids were into it.

          • I mean, that’s what she says, but, like you say, there’s no way in hell anyone was going to put that in a commercial. Given that one of Megan’s big arcs with Don is the way that she reveals Don’s essential nostalgia through her relentless futurism, it seems very much like she’s suggesting the song to say, “You think you’re in-touch with the culture? Well, listen to this, motherfucker.”

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I guess I think that just feels too aggressive for Megan to do – she’s a futurist sure, but she’s rarely directly confrontational with Don about his views and ideas. They argue about other stuff sure but they rarely confront each other about their differences.

          • This isn’t directly confrontational, though. She’s “helping” him with his ad.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I’ll watch the scene again to check but I just never read it that way – I always took it as her trying to help but the show really really wanted that fuckin’ song damn it Weiner can finally do this.

          • I mean, you might be right. It’s subtext, so it’s hard to say definitively that this is what’s going on. It’s just what I got from the scene.

          • The Ploughman

            I’m remembering similar to Cornelius. It’s when you try to get someone to listen to or watch something and secretly have high expectations for their reaction later.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            I was so disappointed when I got to it, because it was hyped up as Don sitting and listening to the song, and turning it off halfway through, and I had this brilliant image in my head of the show just sitting with him, alone, as he listens to the music and his expression falling. It would have brilliant, but what we got was a good but otherwise conventional montage with a joke of Don interrupting it, with no indication of what he was thinking.

    • Fresno Bob

      Twin Peaks Season 2 Episode 1: https://media.giphy.com/media/HW2aeQpxn0jK0/giphy.gif

      Also, 30 Rock! “1-900-OKFACE”

    • The Lady from Shanghai – I had no idea what was going on, and who was lying to who, but the final shootout in the hall of mirrors was so awesome and worth sitting through the rest of the movie.

      • Fresno Bob

        I just wish Welles didn’t mask his awesome voice with that goddamn accent.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        It’s a pretty confusing movie – Krystina Longworth’s You Must Remember This episode suggests the film is an allegory for Hayworth and Welles’ relationship which made it feel more personal to me.

        • Fresno Bob

          Also, nobody directed it! It sprung forth from the aether by magic.

    • Baby Driver – All style, no substance. And that was really fun. It’s the The Fifth Element of car movies. Afterwards, I listened to Reverend Horton Heat’s Smoke Em If You Got Em which would fit right in with the soundtrack and may have been more interesting than the movie’s one flaw: Radar Love. Because of its awesomeness, Radar Love is an overplayed radio hit that has been used in a litany of commercials, giving it way more play compared to every other track on the soundtrack.

      I also spontaneously hit up geek trivia and got 4th out of 7th on my own. It’s funny because I was beating teams of people, including an 8th team that left after they came in last after the first three rounds. Lame-Os.

      • Also, the Cinerama with Dolby Atmos was a great experience for this film. However, I think there was technical difficulties at the beginning because the showtime was 4:45, and the trailers didn’t start until 5:02. It’s a single screen theater. Did they just forget about us? I wish they had said something…

        • And, finally, The Dark Tower looks really lame you guys. Akiva Goldsman being a credited screenwriter doesn’t inspire much faith. But, that movie is like the epitome of “trying too hard.”

          • Fresno Bob

            God Help Me, I will go see it.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Please let this movie be secretly awesome, my heart, she will break.

          • ZoeZ

            The Dark Tower has been, for years, the work of SFF I would be most likely to have my joyous Galaxy Quest “it’s all real”/”I knew it!” moment about, so even though this looks clumsy, I’m totally there. And then if it’s bad I will erase it from my memory via Lacuna.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            I’m hoping that it casting Idris Elba as the hero of a story in which the race of the hero is unspecified will stop lazy fancasters casting Elba in literally everything.

          • ZoeZ

            I love Idris Elba but I do not love that he’s somehow treated as The Only Notable Black Actor. (Jamie Foxx would have made a good Roland, actually.)

          • The Ploughman

            I think a lot of it comes from his not cashing his Wire role into a big, household name part, especially after people got jazzed about him playing Bond.

          • Miller

            Hmm, Foxx has too much slyness and energy to be Roland I think. But he’s make a great Man in Black.

          • Damon Lindelof’s piece on “story gravity” is essentially an explanation about how all blockbusters now have to Try Too Hard. (grumble grumble)

          • I have a long-standing theory that Damon Lindelof and Akiva Goldsman are the same person.

          • Babalugats

            ”It sounds sort of hacky and defensive to say” – Well, there’s one thing we agree on, Damon.

          • As a creator, he’s getting better, with The Leftovers recognizing a lot of the flaws of Lost and fixing them, while working on the same themes. As a hack, he’s the best around right now. World War Z most definitely sucked and Prometheus may have (depends on who you ask) but both of those films were, unquestionably, released in theaters rather than ending up as a tax-write off, and that’s down to Lindelof.

          • You know what other movies were released in theaters?

            – The Book of Henry
            – Transformers 1-5
            – Catwoman
            – Cowboys & Aliens
            – Multiple Uwe Boll movies
            – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

          • Hence my agreement on “hack.” (You know, when World War Z was in trouble, the producers called me up and said “hey wallflower, we know you like the book and respect it and could you take a shot at writing an ending, we’d appreciate it, thanks” and I said “this entire project sucks and you should abandon it and just take the $200 million loss and start over, I’ll get going on a treatment.” Never heard back from them. Strange.)

          • Miller

            Best case scenario: Goldsman is a credited writer so he can later be hit by a van.

          • I agree. It wants so badly to be cool like Inception was cool, and unfortunately, that’s something only Inception has been able to pull off.

          • All I saw was the glowing guns and I was like, “was that in the book?”

          • I’ve only read the first book. In fairness, there were guns, but they were not the focus at all.

          • Were they glowing?

          • I have no memory of that. But maybe someone with a better knowledge of the series can give a more definitive answer.

          • Miller

            They do not glow. But later, there is a giant bear with a radar dish on his head.

          • Oh that’s where that reference comes from!

      • Miller

        I thought Radar Love was used well, in a way that commented on its ubiquity (and awesomeness) — Baby needs SOMETHING to allow him to indulge in his increasingly unsustainable fantasy and Radar Love is exactly what would be available via radio on short notice.

        • I think I still have a knee-jerk “this song AGAIN?! Is the soundtrack person that lazy?!” meta-reaction that completely undermines its intended use.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      Prince of Darkness – Physics students and their professor team up with Donald Pleasance (the priest) to deal with an imprisoned substance that may be the Devil himself. Really loved this one and it’s a perfect example of how Carpenter had such a good record as a horror director because he knew how to escalate a film’s story and ramp up the plot until you felt the same tension and terror as the character. Some really original, weird combinations of quantum mechanics and religion as well, and the dream sequences are incredibly eerie and unusual for the time period.

      Always Sunny, “Frank’s Intervention”. “Well what it sounds like is you both…crawl around like worms in the dark.” “…This does not concern you.” Gail the Snail is on the same level as the MacPoyles as someone who makes the gang a little better by being so disgusting and awful.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        PoD is my least favourite Carpenter because a) it’s really slow and impenetrable and b) the horror sequences are the most balls-out terrifying he’s ever done; those two ideas together make it a hard watch.

        The “salt the snail” sequence is one of the funniest scenes the show ever did – the salting would be funny enough if it weren’t for the gang’s typical denial coming in afterwards. “That was really degrading, for me!”

        • Drunk Napoleon

          Whoops, I meant second-least favourite, because Elvis is just a bad movie.

          • Fresno Bob

            Some nicely directed moments, but Elvis is boring as dirt.

          • Drunk Napoleon

            It really suffered from not having, you know, a point.

          • Fresno Bob

            The point is Kurt Russell wearing fake eyelashes.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Wait, you’ve sold me on the movie.

          • Fresno Bob

            He’s very pretty in it, I’ll give it that much.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Ah interesting! I haven’t gotten into his worst material but I was actually surprised by how much I liked it. Its kind of slow but all the crackpot theories and ideas just make the movie creepier to me.

          I regularly say “That was a terrible experience for me by the way!” but no one seems to get the joke.

      • Miller

        Just referenced salting the Snail! Intervention remains my number one episode. “You’re just mashing it.”

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          “We just chugged energy drinks and dry humped, it was awful!”

          • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

            “I’m sexually active now, mom, deal with it!”
            “You’re 33 years old! You’re supposed to be sexually active! You’re not supposed to be fondling your uncle under a table!”

    • ZoeZ

      Lots of TV, lately: a spotty, hopping from favorite-to-favorite rewatch of The Middle, a massively underrated sitcom, and the first few episodes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which is a good, heartfelt, and sometimes tragic update to the magical girl genre. It pulls off the trick of being a little bit revisionist while still being fundamentally about its own story and characters and not about how much it’s not something. It’s like the Unforgiven of magical girl anime.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        I really liked that Madoka, and knew I would right from that first surreal nightmare sequence that ended up pasting a disturbing pall over the cutesy early stuff.

        • ZoeZ

          The art design of the labyrinths/witches is really stunning in an intensely unnerving way–it feels like something out of Sandman and makes the magic feel very satisfyingly alien.

    • Miller

      Always Sunny, “The Gang Tries Desperately To Win An Award” — in honor of yet another snubbing. Olson’s terrible timing is amazing and her casual vulgarity is cranked up even more, this could be an awards showcase except people don’t like funny women. The spitting is the best group vileness since salting the Snail, so nasty and yet so deserved.

      The Simpsons, “Dancin’ Homer” — is this the first episode where Homer gets a new job? A perfect short story, wonderful details (the difference in tone and professionalism of the two baseball announcers, Burns’ name-dropping of Pie Traynor, etc.) and an unsparing look at failure. Homer will later drop a clsssic line — “You tried your best, and you failed miserably! The lesson is, never try” — and this episode plays that nearly straight. But he gets a good story out of it.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        “Black bars don’t win awards. I don’t know why. They just don’t.”

    • Okja–Enjoyed this a lot, and even if it lacks quite the level of madcap insanity of Snowpiercer, it has a much stronger emotional foundation. The fusion of E.T.-esque sentimentality with gonzo capitalist satire doesn’t even quite cohere, and I’d like to have seen the girl developed just a bit more within her home in the mountains of South Korea. But overall, this is pretty effective.

      Da Sweet Blood of Jesus–How can a movie so aesthetically and thematically ambitious be so boring? I’m disappointed, Spike.

      Orange is the New Black, Season 3–There are significant issues with this season: I do not fucking care about Alex and Piper, Ruby Rose’s character is the worst character to ever show up in this series, and overall, the year has the same problem that every year of OITNB has had in that it feels like a dozen storylines in search of a season. But there’s also some very, very good stuff in this one, too–Black Cindy’s quest to become Jewish and especially Caputo’s struggle against the prison corporation (the Caputo-centric episode is one of the best, most thematically cohesive eps the show has ever done) stand out. And the season has the grace of being tied off in a really beautiful bow with the final ten-ish minutes of the finale, which is probably the most emotionally potent sequence the show has ever presented.

    • clytie

      Zoo It’s really fun so far. Last season it got too serious, but this season it’s like everyone involved realized that they’re making a goofy summer show and embraced it.

      Also, Unsolved Mysteries. When they do the ghost story segments on the late night episodes, I change the channel because they scare me.

    • lgauge

      I’ve been up for nearly 24 hours due to traveling, so I’ll have to keep this short, but here’s my in-flight art house double feature…

      Personal Shopper: Great. Assayas writes and directs with a wonderful touch, both firm and gentle as the situation requires it. Most apparent is the great sense of empathy, the surprisingly feminine perspective and the way he marries emotional realism with fantastical mysticism. The film also has yet another amazing performance by Kristen Stewart who plays a character as raw, stilted and jittery in her neurosis as I’ve seen for quite some time. Among the many standout performances of hers in the last few years, this one might just be my favorite. Though only appearing in one scene, Anders Danielsen Lie is a strong presence and reminds us why we lament that he doesn’t act more.

      I Am Not Madame Bovary: Obviously intriguing for its circular 1:1 aspect ratio, but this is anything but a throwaway gimmick. The film is impeccably composed for this frame (and the others that appear later), using frames within frames, blocking and color in many wonderful ways. It also has a strong lead performance in Fan Bingbing and nicely plotted structure and balance of different tones. The film doesn’t quite end up in as interesting a place as it could have and does resort to the occasionally too obvious indictment of the badly run Chinese bureaucracy it’s criticizing, but overall manages to elicit both laughter and genuine sentiment. A very interesting film.

    • Belated Comebacker

      So last night was apparently ‘Bad Movie Night’ for me.

      Given all the chatter about the completely ludicrous Book of Henry, I had to see it for myself (and don’t worry. I only spent $5 for the thing, seeing it at a small, second-run theater).

      SPOILER: This movie is baaaaaaaaad. (Which naturally means the friend who joined me thought it was ‘a good drama.’) I have weird friends, guys. I think the part where I lost it the most in the theater was when they had Michael Giacchino’s schmaltzy score playing while Naomi Watts is target-shooting with a big ol’ sniper rifle, in one of the movie’s biggest moments of tonal dissonance. Oh, and the cross-cutting between a cute kids talent show and Naomi Watts targeting the police commissioner is so-bad-it’s-good for me. In short: Glad I saw this train wreck.

      I also caught My Cousin Rachel, which had a better consistency in tone (which makes sense, since it was an adaptation of a du Maurier novel). It was fine, and Rachel Weisz might’ve been the biggest star in it, although they certainly telegraph things faaaaar too much, and draw things out when you’re already thinking ahead of the movie’s story (never a good sign).

      • The Ploughman

        Rachel Weisz is essential to that movie. If it were anyone less charming, I’d have trouble believing the protagonist would reverse his entire month-long revenge plan based on a five-minute conversation with her. Also (spoiler) assassination by cliff is a new wrinkle for me.

        • Belated Comebacker

          Haven’t seen many Gothic Romances (other than the classic of “Rebecca,” and the contemporary “Crimson Peak,”) but yeah. That was surprising. The poison, however, was not (although it did raise the question of whether or not Rachel really was poisoning him, or if it was just in his head).

          • The Ploughman

            That seemed like the strongest evidence, although most of his evidence was based on the idea that a woman who put her own wishes and position ahead of a man’s must be up to something nefarious.

          • Belated Comebacker

            By “that,” are you referring to the note that his brother had written? Because I wasn’t really able to track the whole thing (which, after further analysis with my friend, either suggested that I was missing a beat here for ambiguity, or the reveal that there was nothing insidious about Rachel from the note she had written to her gay friend retroactively made me question how plausible the whole movie was.

          • The Ploughman

            I was referring to the (maybe) poisoning, since it resulted in the strongest feeling that she was up to no good late in the film (exacerbated by the brother’s letter). The note to her friend made for a little interesting discussion between me and the Ploughwoman. I took it as hard evidence that she was on the up-and-up. My wife thought it plausible that she’d mocked up the letter for them to find as another layer of deception. I would never try to pull one over on my wife.

          • Belated Comebacker

            Ah see, that’s interesting, and obviously a push for leaving viewers wondering how ‘villainous’ Rachel really was…though I can’t say I was able to follow the whole bit, and the maybe poisoning isn’t really working as well as they might’ve liked.

            What separates this film’s attempt at ambiguity from others is that it left me confused, as opposed to curious on what might happen. As David Cronenberg says: “Ambiguity is good in a movie, Confusion is not.”

          • The Ploughman

            That’s a great quote. Personally, I thought my wife’s theory was a bit of a stretch, and found it more interesting for the “solution” to be a case of a modern-thinking woman in a past society.

      • I could never take a friend like that to The Book of Henry. I would so be ruining their good time by laughing.

        Did you like the confetti trunk? That was where I totally lost it the most. Because, why was everybody clapping?

        Peter: I’m going to raise my brother from the dead!
        *uncomfortable shock*
        Peter: *throws confetti*
        *wild applause*

        Seriously, Rip Taylor would have been proud

        • Belated Comebacker

          That was pretty great, yeah. I love what SIIIIIIIIIIMS was thinking during that scene from their “Blank Check” episode, where he was suspecting they were just happy he didn’t pull a corpse out of the trunk. God, I love this piece of trash

    • The Narrator

      Ocean’s Eleven: Still so much goddamn fun on every conceivable level.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      The Thick of It, Season 3, episodes 5-8. I better write this down before I forget to talk about it. I will come back later to talk about it.

  • Wow, this Spring Breakers: Ten Years Later flick looks great!

    • thesplitsaber

      ATTN Hollywood if you remake this with Hudgens Benson and Gomez i will see it

  • Defense Against The Dark Arts

    Guess who the guy is?

    Frank Stallone?

  • Drunk Napoleon

    So I just found out Shawn Ryan has a new show coming out in November.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xD8nf1EhtA
    There are parts of this I like, and parts I don’t like but I’m willing to give a shot because I remember another show that started a little on-the-nose and earnest.

    • On the Prince of the City to Hawaii Five-O scale, this looks about 20% away from the latter, even with the presence of Kenneth Johnson. That it’s on CBS is the most disheartening aspect–they have a near-unbroken record of broad, bland awfulness. (The Good Wife is the last good show I can think of that came from them.)

      • Miller

        And The Good Wife was about a bland, awful broad! Eh? Eh? Aw come on, not the tomatoes again.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Family Guy summed up JAG (and a lot of CBS shows) pretty handily. “Okay I give up, is anyone even watching this show anymore?’ “Just senior citizens. Hey, hey old people…remember the forties?”

        • I dread the day when we are old enough that pop culture begins to pander to our idealized notions of the past. It’s either going to be the most insulting thing ever or I’ll be self-deluded enough to buy into it, neither outcome I’m especially looking forward to.

          Although given some recent pop culture stuff, I’m worried my nostalgia is already being pandered to. Get outta here, Stranger Things.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            Honestly I’m already kind of annoyed by nineties nostalgia and Harry Potter fandom (though I’m trying not to be a dick about it). Yep, that thing happened when we were children, it’s over now, I liked it then, no need to pretend I’m nine anymore.

          • Yeah. The internet (I think that’s what I’m gonna blame this on) has created this environment that allows our generation to not forget the ephemera of our childhood in the way that previous generations have, and it’s causing this weird pop-culture arrested development where people just won’t let go of, like, Bill Nye and shit (I loved the show, but come on, dude, just leave). I do love Harry Potter, though, so I can’t complain too much, although I’d like to think that I don’t have the need to funnel everything about everything through a Harry-Potter-shaped interpretive lens.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            That’s the thing I completely understand this need to focus on this detritus and I like Harry Potter, I just think there’s something to say for things being finished and left in a certain point in life. I just think the new Fantastic Beasts movies are mining something that needs to be buried. “Sometimes…dead is better.”

          • I liked Fantastic Beasts, so I may just be part of the problem, ha. It felt like Rowling finding new thematic wrinkles within her world, which was cool. It’s definitely better than all the Pottermore stuff.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            If you’re not with me you’re my enemy!!!

            They don’t sound terrible but the inherent cynicism of the project irks me I think (yet here I am praising Alien Covenant). It doesn’t help that I didn’t really like being a child for various reasons so going back to that mind-set is uncomfortable sometimes.

          • Alien: Covenant is the bomb.com, though. I liked it way more than Fantastic Beasts. I don’t know if I’d call Rowling’s move here cynical, exactly… she just has the same problem that a lot of authors have, which is that she loves her creation too much to ever let it go.

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            I wouldn’t say she’s cynical as much as the studio is! I can’t wait for Alien Covenant to develop a devoted cult.

          • Harry Potter should’ve remained the 7 books, plus the two novellas for charity. If there was anything I wanted past that, it wasn’t more movies, or the theme park, or the god-awful Cursed Child. It would’ve been a single massive doorstopper tome of the founding of Hogwarts. Like KOTOR, it would’ve been in the same universe as the original series, but distant enough that it isn’t obligated by that storyline and can be its own thing.

          • clytie

            My favorite were all the, “I’m sad that for a generation Emma Watson” will be remembered as Belle and not Hermione. Because apparently being in another popular movie made every copy of the Harry Potter films disappear?

          • Personally, I’m sad that a generation will remember Emma Watson as Hermione and not Nicki Moore in The Bling Ring.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            I personally will remember her for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

          • She’s much better in Perks than Bling Ring, although both movies suffer from her loose grasp of American dialect.

          • thesplitsaber

            She was great in that and for my taste very little since.

      • Son of Griff

        I’d love to see Ryan develop CBS’ navy seal drama along SHIELD lines, where teams shake down, and offer protection, to Afghan drug lords.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          I’d watch a show about the *actual* Iraq surge where soldiers slowly bribed Iraqi tribe leaders into peace.

        • thesplitsaber

          ‘where teams shake down, and offer protection, to Afghan drug lords.’

          I believe thats called ‘security contracting’.

      • Belated Comebacker

        (ahem): Ah, you missed “Person of Interest,” an amazingly elaborate sci-fi show that only got better as it evolved from a purely pulp procedural.

        • I did. Point cheerfully conceded. POI seems like the best recent example of a procedural that’s used for examining deeper issues. Also, Private Witt (or, if you must, Jesus) kicks everyone’s ass.

    • Drunk Napoleon

      I fully intend to watch this in the hopes it gets really good, so from the sounds of it you’ll all have to make sure this doesn’t become my Two Broke Girls.

      • The warning sign is that you keep discussing the show’s “potential” as it keeps doing the same awful things. We’ll be here, don’t worry.

      • The Ploughman

        Looks back at The Americans and our six children with hollow eyes. “Nah, man, just commit to it. It’s… it’s the greatest feeling.”

      • thesplitsaber

        *adds Shawn Ryan produced show with Kat Dennings to dream show list

  • clytie

    Question of the day: The talk about Eight Men Out yesterday made me wonder: What’s your favorite sports movie?

    Mine is Bend in Like Beckham.

    • I like Rudy. The Friday Night Lights movie is pretty good, too. Probably the “best” sports movie I’ve seen in terms of craft and such is Moneyball. I don’t watch sports movies very much.

    • Conor Malcolm Crockford

      I tend to like boxing movies more than any other sports movie as I don’t watch many (I just don’t really like most sports), so Raging Bull, Rocky, Creed.

      • OH SHIT. I forgot about boxing movies. Rocky, for sure, is my favorite. I remember also liking Cinderella Man quite a bit, but I haven’t seen it in a while.

      • Have you seen Warrior? It’s MMA, not boxing, but it has Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte (who was OScar-nominated for it, no less!).

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          I haven’t and have heard its really good.

          • Son of Griff

            It’s terrific; the quintessential male weepie.

        • thesplitsaber

          That movie did a great job of basically taking two hacky sports movie stories and cutting out the fat by combining them in one movie.

      • Delmars Whiskers

        Boxing movies kind of exist as a genre of their own, because there are so many of them and a surprisingly large number of them are great: The Set-Up, Body And Soul, The Harder They Fall, The Great White Hope. And Fat City, which I think is one of the absolute best films of the 70s.

    • Bull Durham, easily. “We’re dealing with a lot of shit.”

    • Delmars Whiskers

      Kind of a safe choice, but I’ll go with Hoosiers, mostly because it gets the details of small-town Midwestern life right.

    • The Ploughman

      Best doc: Ken Burns’ Baseball

      Best simulation of that adrenaline rush a game can give you, logical or not: Remember the Titans

      Flat-out best: Bull Durham

    • Rollerball, probably.

      For sports documentaries: Smashing Machine, When We Were Kings, Bigger Faster Stronger.

    • Baseketball is the best sports movie because it combines basketball and baseball into one great sport!

      No, but really, the best sports movie is Any Given Sunday. It’s nicely cynical about NFL’s corporatist model while still presenting the sport as a thrilling piece of violent gameplay.

    • pico79

      Breaking Away, by a length. Oscar-winning screenplay, a never-better Paul Dooley, also manages to pull a great performance from Daniel Stern, and that final race is exhilarating.

    • silverwheel

      A tie between Rocky and A League Of Their Own.

    • Rosy Fingers

      Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India – an epic Bollywood movie wherein Indians oppose British colonial rule through cricket. It’s almost 4 hours long and yet it’s a delight the entire time.

      • clytie

        That sounds great.

    • Son of Griff

      THE BAD NEWS BEARS

  • The Narrator

    I suppose we should talk about Quentin Tarantino’s Charles Manson/Sharon Tate movie here. So, uh, do that.

    • I’m interested to see how purposefully ahistorical it ends up being.

      • The Ploughman

        (Charles Manson is blown up in a theater while watching Chinatown)

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          (Charles Manson scores record contract, becomes moderately successful if never critically respected west coast pop-rock act, never murders anybody)

          • Conor Malcolm Crockford

            He really does sound like Jackson C. Frank on “Look At Your Game Girl”.

      • The Narrator

        There is at least a 50% chance Sharon Tate survives and kills all the Family herself.

    • The Narrator

      Also, I am putting my foot down and saying that no one besides Goggins should play Manson in this.

    • and

      ROMAN POLANSKI

      as himself

      • The Narrator

        See, I really want Tarantino to be Polanski in this. He’d have do the whole performance on his knees and wear a child’s suit, and it would be great.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          Tiptoes 2: Shit Gets Real.