For the penultimate episode discussing Mad Men season 6 (and the final episode discussing three hours of the series), AJ, Kenn, and Joe get serious about Sunkist. Well, among other things. The episodes under discussion are “A Tale of Two Cities,” in which Don takes a dive; “Favors,” wherein Sally discovers model UN is just the worst; and “The Quality of Mercy,” in which Ken Cosgrove becomes an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Plus, don’t miss another exciting installment of Hamm Watch!
Comics! They’re good for you! But wait, no! They’re also bad! This is an accurate description of the emotional roller-coaster Paul and AJ strap themselves into this week. First up, there’s X-Men: Battle of the Atom, an event the boys are surprised to enjoy chiefly because it’s one of the Big Two’s dreaded “events”; then there’s The Superior Spider-Man, about which there is much rage and sadness and talk of poop. There’s a lot of poop talk. Plus, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are both going back to the well, and the boys pimp themselves and friends. They’re just a coupla classy guys.
Next: yet more Gobbledy-wonderment.
Rising from the sea to do battle with Paul and AJ, the monstrous Greg Sahadachny realizes he can never win and instead decides to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s new film Pacific Rim. The trio talk about the ins and outs of del Toro’s robots vs. monsters epic, particularly its lack of humanity, emphasis on big action, and exactly how successful that combination is. Plus, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is on its way and Paul somehow liked Spring Breakers.
Next: Sir Eric of Sippleonia returns to chat about the 2011 film Detention, which he has been bugging the boys to watch FOREVER.
“I met Bat-Turkey/He said, ‘What up, Tofurkey?'”
Pretend that never happened. Anyways, what are the boys talking about this week? EVERYTHING, THAT’S WHAT! More concisely: they’re at each other’s throats over the new Kanye album, they laugh their asses off at This Is the End, Paul shares his thoughts on Before Midnight and World War Z, and AJ’s wedding quest as Man of Honor finally comes to a close. It’s all very exciting and rambly, par for the course for these excitable ramblers. There is no rapping.
Next week: Much Ado About Nothing talk, if the world is a kind and just place.
“What you’re fixin’ to see is a true story.” So says the title card at the very start of Richard Linklater’s Bernie, and it tells you everything you need to know about the movie. A lot of unbelievable things happen, but they closely follow events that actually took place in Carthage, Texas, in 1996, and Linklater tells the tale with genial down-home charm. Making a black comedy out of a real-life murder is tricky business, but Linklater pulls it off.
16 years ago, Bernie Tiede (Jack Black) shot Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine) in the back four times, killing her. Bernie was known around town as an eccentric but lovable guy; a funeral director who also directed and starred in musicals at the local theater, who wore Hawaiian shirts on his days off and gave generously to various charities. Marjorie, on the other hand, was regarded as the meanest, nastiest, and wealthiest piece of work in all Carthage. We see her whack a gardener with a broom and fire a black employee for stealing her car because he took it in for repairs. Nobody in town wanted to be in the same room with Marjorie, which is why it’s so interesting that Bernie essentially became her live-in servant.
Though I wouldn’t have predicted this in a thousand years, and I’ve been skeptical of others who have claimed this before me, I’m here now to tell you 21 Jump Street…is actually good.
Obviously an “homage” (read: send up, parody, reimagining, whatever) of the late-80s teen police procedural of the same name that ran on the infant Fox Network, which dealt with young cops masquerading as high school students to investigate crimes. The 2012 film version focuses less on the teen drama and more on the comedy potential inherent in such a preposterous concept. And though there’s a surprisingly effective heart and maturity to some of the story (Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill share a real brotherly chemistry I wasn’t expecting), it’s the comedy that ultimately sells this. Special comedic thanks to Dave Franco, who along with Eliza Coupe was the only reason to watch the ninth and final season of Scrubs. He’s dopey and dim, with just a hint of dangerous, and is easily 50% of why you should see this movie.
Directed by the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who previously brought us the criminally under appreciated animated film Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs (which, btw, watch it right now!), there are some sequences that play like a live action cartoon, in the best possible way. The screenplay is credited to Michael Bacall, co-writer of the 2010 masterpiece Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which itself played heavily with live action cartoonishness. A couple of Pilgrim actors turn up in this film, most obviously Brie Larson who played Scott Pilgrim’s ex Envy, and here plays romantic lead Molly. Less immediately obvious (but much funnier) is Johnny Simmons (Young Neil), with a brief but pivotal cameo.
There are countless shout outs and Easter eggs for the 80s TV fans, and though this adaptation goes more for laughs than the original series perhaps intended, I think old school (pun intended) fans will find a lot to like here.