Media Update 2/8/18


Mad Men

I let the craze for this show pass me by. I don’t watch a lot of live television and I do not own any DVR device so the shows I watch are limited. In fact, I just cut the cord and I am without cable and feeling fine. Once again, Netflix has my back and delivers a lot of the shows and movies that I missed. (Not sponsored) Jon Hamm is a heck of a charismatic actor, of course, and I had heard so much about how real this show is. Readers of this blog know that I have been enjoying a lot of period shows lately but this is a different animal. This show is about advertising workers on Madison Avenue (hence “Mad” Men) trying to climb the ladder or hold on to the ladder. It is also about the women in the business (mostly in the secretarial pool) who have a much more brutal path to survival. It is the sixties. Everybody drinks and smokes, everybody wears a suit or a dress. Everybody is also hiding something or working a secret angle to get either what they deserve or what they should have never had. So far, there are no heroes. There are no good people to root for as everybody comes across as cynical and sinister but we shall see how that shakes out. I recommend this one but know that it is a pretty dark show.


A Futile and Stupid Gesture

I remember watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation without knowing exactly what “National Lampoon” was. Because I did not know, it was just something my eyes slid over whenever I encountered it after that. When I heard interviews with guys like Conan O’Brien and other Simpsons writers, I had heard of the Harvard Lampoon but never connected the dots. This movie is the story about how two former editors of the Harvard Lampoon (a comedy publication at Harvard) created a national version. It was a mix of clever humor and extremely crass humor and it eventually employed most of the first staff and cast of Saturday Night Live (who had to tone it down a bit for television). Primarily, the movie is about Doug Kenney who seemed to be the driving force and the heart of the magazine. He was a man who thought the world was one big joke and it led him to high highs and low lows. He had a brief life and he created a magazine and two movies (Animal House, Caddyshack) that helped change the face of comedy. The movie includes many of the funniest people of the current era of comedy playing a lot of the funniest people of the seventies. Will Forte plays Doug Kenney and he portrayed why Kenney was both so likable and so frustrating to those around him. I recommend this as it was a funny and sweet movie.


American Made

I have liked pretty much everything I have seen Tom Cruise in. His personal eccentricities aside, he is a highly charismatic actor. He also has seen the writing on the wall and has started to take roles aside from action again because he knows he’s getting older and maybe he got bored of those sorts of roles. This movie is a comedy/ drama about a pilot who gets caught up with the CIA, the Contras, and Pablo Escobar in the middle of the eighties. He is just a regular joe who tries to navigate difficult political waters to make a living for his family while also trying to actually survive. This is a great look at the dumb and dangerous sorts of things that were happening under Reagan. Heck, they could still be happening for all I know. Tom Cruise plays Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who gets bored and jumps at a dangerous new career. Domnhall Gleeson plays his CIA contact and shows that the CIA are not the mysterious, cool guys that are usually depicted in movies. I also really loved Sarah Wright as Seal’s wife who will do whatever it takes to keep her family together through a very tumultuous period. I definitely recommend this one as it was a lot of fun and did not go exactly where I expected.

Music of the Week:
Marilyn Manson – KILL4ME

Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still

2NE1 – I AM THE BEST

Toots & The Maytals – Premature

LCD Soundsystem- Daft Punk Is Playing At My House

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Outrageous Behavior”
– I continued watching Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 1
– I continued watching Gurren Lagann
– I continued watching Little Witch Academia Season 2
– I continued watching Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I continued watching K Season 1
– I am so hyped for Black Panther

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