Monday, April 1, 2019
I'll be honest - after watching the Netflix doc The Inventor, I'm still stuck on the saga of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes.
At Maxwell's recommendation, I turned to a multi-part podcast called The Dropout to see what wasn't in the Netflix doc, which seemed to just raise questions without ever really providing answers. Produced by ABC news, The Dropout covers much of the same territory and the same figures, gets more on-the-record interviews, details more of what occurred, giving specific stories, certainly revealing points that I'm surprised the Netflix doc left out, and generally does a good job of building a solid case for what - at least transactionally - happened at Theranos.
But... I'm still baffled by how this even got started in the first place.
Saturday, March 30, 2019
They tell me Batman is now 80 years old. Happy Anniversary/ Birthday, Bruce.
This week, DC Comics released Detective Comics #1000, a big event book as it well should be. I'll pick up my copy at my local comics shoppe (I asked for the Steve Rude cover - we'll see what I wind up with, because I genuinely don't care All the covers were terrific, imho). What happens in #1000 matters less than the stunning achievement of 80 years of Batman, a character dreamed up in the wake of Superman's overnight success, and whose most outstanding achievement is the ability to fit into any tone or version of the character you want and still remain, fundamentally, Batman.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
It's been decades since I last watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). I'm glad I took the break, because it was genuinely fun watching the movie again. Honestly, the movie was something both myself and every nerd around me had managed to kind of ruin at some point after high school.
The version on Netflix looks amazing - literally the best I'd ever seen it - and while I still knew every joke, it was fun to see them again and see Monty Python at the height of their powers.
And, yeah, it was weird to realize how many things I say by reflex these days that came from quoting the movie once upon a time, so often, it seems, I'd forgotten this was where it came from. (example: I'd forgotten the origins of "and there was much rejoicing", which I do drop from time to time.)
Anyhoo... you've all seen this numerous times. I assume you either love it or hate it at this point, and I hope nerds didn't ruin it for you in the long, long ago. But if they did, give it a go again - it's still remarkably great.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Viewing: Unknown. Probably 3rd of 4th.
It's Spring Break, and SimonUK is looking for something breezy and light. Ryan hasn't seen this movie in 30 years. We talk 1980's sci-fi comedies, director Joe Dante's ideas, and what actually works pretty well in this not-much-discussed artifact of the 1980's.
SimonUK Cinema Series:
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Format: HBO Go
A few years back I recall reading about Theranos, the "disruptive" tech company getting into the ultra-sexy field of phlebotomy. The articles were fawning, talking about a young genius inventor out in Silicon Valley who had dropped out of school to start a tech company that was going to change... something. The article was a little vague on how smaller blood draws were the biggest thing since sliced bread, but it insisted - no, really, this is it, and we all need to get excited about the company, Theranos, and - really - the head of the company, Elizabeth Holmes - a prodigy who apes the fashion sense of Steve Jobs and who dropped out of Stanford as an undergrad to pursue her vision.
I wanted to check my biases on age and gender, shrug a bit at someone cosplaying Steve Jobs, and admit I don't really know much about phlebotoy other than watching a whole lotta blood draws when Jamie has been in the hospital. Which is: a lot.
At the same time...
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
If you're looking for a fun, kinda-noirish movie with a great sense of humor and a bit of sexiness, action and character, you can do a lot worse than His Kind of Woman (1951).
Starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell and a terrifically camp-tastic Vincent Price - the movie also features a few other notables. Charles McGraw, Raymond Burr, Jim Backus and Marjorie Reynolds also show up as various antagonists.
Mitchum plays a small-time hood who is given a wad of cash and sent to a really nice Mexican resort where he's supposed to just wait for further instruction, no matter how long it takes. En route he meets Jane Russell, a society gal-turned-chanteuse, who - as would happen - draws Mitchum's eye. Russell is there to meet up with her actor boyfriend, Price. For a bit there's a tad of Casablanca as Mitchum wanders around trying to figure out who is who and what's going on and a few colorful characters drift in and out of the scenes.
I don't want to spoil the plot, but it is.... goofy. But it's fun. And Russell is... well, there's a reason we're still pondering Russell seventy years after the fact.
Weirdly, I didn't really remember the ending of the movie which is insane. Muller's story about the making of the film explained a ton (Howard Hughes, y'all), but it does make for a crazy series of events that doesn't really match the first half, tonally, but does match up narratively.
Give it a shot! It's a hoot and Vincent Price is hysterical.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
Viewing: at least fourth
I've surely written this movie up before, but it's a great heist flick. Maybe not Ashpalt Jungle good, but one for the pantheon. And, it was a breakout movie for Bogart, hot on the heels of Petrified Forest. And, of course, it broke Ida Lupino, which is a boon to us all.
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Format: Alamo South Lamar
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 spaceflight, during which Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins reached the moon and during which Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to ever walk the surface of our satellite.
This evening, JuanD, Jamie and I hit the local cinema to take in the spectacle that is Apollo 11 (2019), and if you can tear yourself away from whatever new shows got dumped on Hulu and Netflix on Friday, I'm going to go ahead and recommend you give this movie a go.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
You know how sometimes you hear about the premise of a movie and you write the whole thing in your head in about 5 seconds? I mean, I'm often wrong, and I find that really nice, but other times the movie wraps and you say "that is exactly what I thought it was going to be" And even that isn't all bad. But that's more or less why I never bothered seeing this film, and, here we are, and I am reporting out that D.O.A. (1949) was more or less exactly what I expected it was going to be.
A fun ride, yes, and... no - I didn't guess every twist and turn (who could?), but "sounds like a dude running around trying to figure stuff out as he tries to beat the clock" - done in one, mi amigos. What I wasn't anticipating was the weird tone of the film which, alone, kind of makes it worth a peek.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
PODCAST! "Captain Marvel" (2019) - Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan and a Not Quite Chronological Countdown
Format: Alamo Slaughter Lane
Jamie's brother and sister-in-law were in town, and we all saw the screen debut of Marvel's cosmic-type Avenger. Join Jamie, The Dug, K and Ryan as we share our "first reaction" takes on what happens the 90's collide with aliens, space faring adventure, Annette Benning, and Marvel's first female lead (it's about time, y'all).
Captain Marvel Theme - Pinar Toprak, Captain Marvel OST
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Avengers Chronological Countdown