“It’s ‘Mr. Rock,’ bitch!” Chris Rock breaks himself down

Boy, does Chris Rock look different. He's been my favorite stand-up forever (though now he has competition from John Mulaney).  I've devoured all of his previous specials, and the man had a visual brand - goatee, close-cropped black hair, fly suit. Seeing him take the stage in "Tamborine," his first special since 2008's "Kill the …

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Top 10 Stephen King Kills

A lot of people get killed in some pretty brutal ways in Stephen King's stories.  In honor of several gruesome kills in my upcoming novel The Puppeteer (one of which is an homage to a kill on this list ... you'll have to read to figure out which ...) here are my 10 favorite / worst / …

This new movie song is unbearably manipulative … so why the fuck can’t I stop listening?

"This is Me," the original song written for the film musical The Greatest Showman by Oscar-winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (of La La Land fame) just won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and is probably on track to win Pasek and Paul another Oscar in the same category. Here's the video:   https://youtu.be/xthfyWV2sQk   I don't …

The Nolanator: Comparing “Dunkirk” to “Inception”

At under two hours Dunkirk is short for a Nolan movie.  It plays with time, perception, point of view, and drowning imagery like many of Nolan's past films (Memento, The Prestige, Interstellar, and The Dark Knight trilogy).  Avclub.com had glowing things to say about it ... so why did it leave me feeling cold and unfulfilled?   …

Review: “Black Mirror” Series 4

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker is fascinated by creating Hells. A lot of people focus on Black Mirror's status as a spiritual successor to the Twilight Zone.  Others focus on its effectiveness as a techno-thriller set in very-near futures, focused on the unintended consequences of eerily plausible extensions of current technology. It's the penchant for creating Hells that interests …

Review: Dave Chappelle, “Equanimity” and “The Bird Revelation”

Why Dave Chappelle? I've wondered this for awhile.  I watched a few episodes of the much-lauded Chappelle's Show and I wasn't that impressed.  "I'm Rick James, bitch!"  So what? https://youtu.be/IIiHdXwoGp4   I knew a little about the drama surrounding the cancellation of that show - Chappelle breached his contract and walked away to spend twelve years out …