Movies and Shows
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Hard to believe this movie came out in 2002. And that I’ve managed to not see it in those 19 years!
Based on the “autobiography” of game show creator and host Chuck Barris, it details both his efforts to make it in the TV biz and his – likely – fictional life as a CIA hitman. Reading things written about the movie upon its release, there were real questions about how much of the movie was true. I guess later Barris said he never actually worked for the CIA. But that’s exactly what someone who was a government hit man would say, right?!?!
The delight of the movie was Barris’ The Gong Show days. I freaking loved The Gong Show when I was a kid. Oh, and Sam Rockwell was amazing.
Robert Redford and Brad Pitt in a spy thriller that takes place both in the heart of the Cold War and the years immediately afterward? Sure, I’m in.
Jumanji: The Next Level
L and I watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle last summer. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. As for the sequel, it didn’t quite live up to the first but it was still a good enough way to spend 90 minutes with my daughter.
Community, season one
Rolling Stone dropped a 100 Best Sitcoms of All Time list in early May. It reminded me of the brilliance of Community, one of my all time favs. I had forgotten how it started with a clear sense of purpose, exceptionally strong characters, and some brilliant writing. Season one had some understandable unevenness, but by the end of the year, it was firing on all cylinders.
Spring Baking Championship
Still working through this. I have two episodes left.
L found this new Disney+ series about girls high school basketball. John Stamos plays a legendary men’s college hoops coach who left Wisconsin in disgrace after throwing a chair and hitting a ref. He attempts to reboot his career at an exclusive, all-girls school in La Jolla and is forced to navigate a world very different than where he came from.
It has some nice moments but reaches a little too far at times. L and I laugh because the team’s super star player, while athletic, has the worst looking jumper you’ve ever seen. Always hard to cast shows where actors have to be players.
Stamos’ character also seems to be very much modeled on Rick Pitino. Or maybe it’s just because Stamos looks a little like Pitino that make his mannerisms seem Pitino-esque. We started watching four weeks into the series so were able to binge to get caught up but are now waiting for the weekly drops of new episodes.
For All Mankind, season one
I heard mixed things about this show when it first dropped on AppleTV+. Recently, though, a couple people I follow expressed praise for it, so I decided to knock it out before my free year of the service ran out.
It is a retelling of the space race as if the Russians reached the moon first, and the US was left scrambling to catch up. The alternative history stuff is kind of cool. The political elements are played up just enough to be interesting without overwhelming the main space story. The space stuff is pretty well done, although there are a couple things that occur in the finale that I’m not sure could actually happen.
In the end, the show is pretty compelling and entertaining, anchored by a handful of excellent acting performances. I’m going to keep watching into season two.
Apple vs The Paradox of Choice!
If you make something cool, Apple just might come and crush you.
Shadows in the Sky
Stunning time lapse videos of clouds and storms.
Colette: The French resistance fighter confronting fascism
This amazing and somewhat overwhelming piece won the Oscar for best short documentary this year. It details the trip of Colette, a 90-year-old French woman whose entire family was part of the resistance during World War II, traveling to the concentration camp where her brother died in the closing weeks of the war.
How Long Should Your Naps Be?
I think they miss the correct answer, which always seems to be 15–20 minutes longer or shorter than you actually sleep.
Leslie Odom, Jr. teaches Philly Slang