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by Anthony Merino

29 Jul 2015


I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet. You’re not sure where he’s coming from. Okay? You’re a bad man. You’re a bad man, Mikey. You’re a bad man, bad man.
—Vince Vaughn as Trent, Swingers, 1996

It took until the sixth episode, but True Detective’s writer and creator, Nic Pizzolatto finally got around to giving his audience the single thing that engaged his viewers in season one; strong chemistry between two of the lead characters. The thing that drove season one was the complex relationship between Matthew McConaughey’s detective Rust Cohle and Woody Harrelson’s detective Marty Hart. With the exception of Colin Farrell’s Ray Velcoro and Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon, this lack of chemistry is, in part, due to none of the characters knowing each other prior to the beginning of the series. Additionally, Pizzolatto concentration on the character’s backstories has limited the amount of time for them to bond. While there were a few moments that popped, the exchange between Velcoro and Rachel McAdam’s Detective Ani Bezzerides at the start of the episode finally indicated that these three had a little bit of chemistry, but there were just as many moments that did not ring true. In episode four, Velcoro gives an existential angst-filled pep-talk to Taylor Kitsch’s Officer Paul Woodrugh, in which he comes off sounding like a self-important stepdad trying to cheer up his stepson after a little league loss.

by Margaret Finnegan

27 Jul 2015


The Emmy-nominated comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt opens with the liberation of four women from an underground Indiana bunker where an apocalyptic preacher has kept them captive and convinced them that the world has been destroyed by a nuclear holocaust. With an armed SWAT officer opening the bunker door, the women rise blinking into a sunny, verdant meadow and are quickly nicknamed “the Indiana mole women” by the surrounding media.

by Anthony Merino

24 Jul 2015


“It’s been 66 days since the alleged murderers of Vinci City Manager Ben Caspere engaged police in one of the deadliest shootouts in state history. The so called Vinci massacre was determined closed by Attorney General Geldof, who used the conference to announce his candidacy for governor.”

In audio from a local news story spoken over the opening of the fifth episode of HBO’s True Detective, new director John Crowley borrows a trick from Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, 1941. He uses the press report to provide some of the important details of the story. This helps because writer Nic Pizzolatto seems heavily influenced by director Roman Polanski and writer Robert Towne’s 1974 classic Chinatown. He has layered and cross pollinated corruption, blackmail, lust, incest and environmental terrorism.

by Sean Fennell

24 Jul 2015


“People make the best exploits,” says Elliot in his head, presumably to us, just as he and the F Society team approach the Steel Mountain facility they have been planning on infiltrating for weeks. This is it, the time has finally come for F Society to stop talking about their epic plan and start doing something about it.

It’s the Steel Mountain heist that concerns much of episode six, entitled “3xploits.wmv”, and just as the title promises, much of their plan rests on exploiting the faults in the human mind rather than in the facility’s security system. Finding human faults is not a new notion in Mr. Robot. Ever since episode one, Elliot has continuously flexed his hacking muscles, usually finding his way in by picking apart the person rather than the system.

by Anthony Merino

23 Jul 2015


Sometimes your worst self is your best self.
—Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn)

One of the most disconcerting plot twists in a recent film was in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2006 movie Babel. One plotline revolved around the character Amelia, played by Adriana Barraza. She was to have the day off for her son’s wedding in Mexico, but her employers had to extend their vacation leaving her in charge of the two children. She could not find anyone to watch them for her, so she decides to take them with her to Mexico. The first three-quarters of the story is a quite endearing story of the children being exposed to a different culture. Unfortunately, she then decides to engage in consensual sex with one of the wedding guests. This transgression against the great puritanical code of American movies cannot go unpunished. The story line ends with her penniless—abandoned in the desert in a torn and dirty dress. What seemed so strange was the entire movie was cast like an essay on the innate humanity of all cultures. This kind of misogyny is very incongruous with the theme of the movie. As True Detective continues to unfold, the same puritanical subtext emerges under the layers of lacquered cynicism.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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