8 Awesome Things you Miss by shit-talking Season 5 of “The West Wing”

Season 5 of The West Wing is the red-headed stepchild of the venerated series, which still holds up despite the dated political discourse thanks to excellent writing and acting. Creator and head writer Aaron Sorkin had left the show between Seasons 4 and 5. The ensuing season is generally considered a low point of the series, as …

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Review: Hannah Gadsby, “Nanette,” possibly the most remarkable stand-up special ever

I was just in Stockholm and it popped into my head -- "Could I nominate Hannah Gadsby for the Nobel Peace Prize while I'm here??? That seems like the kind of thing you could do in Stockholm." Turns out ... no. You actually have to be somebody important to nominate a Nobel candidate to the …

Sick Fuck pt. II – “Hereditary” Film Review

It has been fascinating to watch opinions evolve around Ari Aster's horror film Hereditary.  It had incredible advance hype, with critics gushing about how it was the scariest, most traumatizing movie in decades. https://youtu.be/V6wWKNij_1M Meanwhile, audience response has been much more tepid.  Maybe a letdown was inevitable. Although the film did well at the box office (with that much …

Book Review: “There’s Someone Inside Your House” by Stephanie Perkins

I have a feeling Stephanie Perkins' new Young Adult horror novel had a different working title.  There's Someone Inside Your House sounds like the kind of slasher product that can be shelved alongside Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  The novel definitely has those elements, but in many ways the title belies the underlying story. First …

“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 …

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 …