Monday, September 30, 2013

Analog This: Breaking Bad- Goodbye, Mr. Blue

This is a recap of episode 16 of season 5 of "Breaking Bad." The episode is "Felina." IT'S THE FINALE. 


Well, well, well then. That's all I can think of saying at first. There's a lot to say. 

First of all, this definitely isn't the ending you expected. Nearly every prediction made by the Internet was wrong, proving that Reddit can't write a TV show. Or at least not one as good as this. 

Continued After the Jump

Monday, September 23, 2013

Analog This: Breaking Bad- Granite State of Mind

Let's play a game: "Mad Men" or "Breaking Bad"?
This is a recap of episode 15 of season 5 of "Breaking Bad." The episode is "Granite State."

The more Walter White loses, the easier it is to see what is really underneath all of that rage and greed. Without his money, family, or meth empire, Walt is a lot of anger, and a lot of misguided pride. As per usual, Walt's emotions are ruining his life.

"Granite State" is the first episode of this season to receive such a mixed reaction. But come on people, everyone should have been prepared for something nowhere near as good as "Ozymandias." Even Vince Gilligan thinks that last week's episode was the best one they ever did. "Granite State" is not the best episode of "Breaking Bad." It has some odd pacing problems, and it definitely isn't the one of a kind, gut-wrenching experience I've come to expect based on the past few episodes of "Breaking Bad." This may have been a bridge episode, but it was a very important one. 

Continued After the Jump

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Movie Review: Touchy Feely

If you were to watch "Touchy Feely" for any one reason, it should be for Josh Pais' performance as Paul, a dentist who's basically dead inside, or "wan," as his sister Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) keeps describing him.

"Touchy Feely" is the latest film from Lynn Shelton, who is a secret weapon in the independent film world. Her loose and mainly unscripted films are refreshing in a world dominated by formula and safety. With "Touchy Feely," Shelton feels like she is trying to move towards something more structured all while holding on to the characteristics that have defined her work as a filmmaker. Yet, there is a difficulty in balancing the two, and it is not achieved here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Breaking Bad: Analog This- The Wizard of Ozymandias

This is a recap of episode 14 of season 5 of "Breaking Bad." The episode is "Ozymandias."


That would have been an apt title for tonight's episode. And just as poetic. It was one of the last things that Hank ever said ("My name is ASAC Schrader. And you can go fuck yourself.") and also the one thing I couldn't stop saying over and over again throughout "Ozymandias." I think I needed this little mantra. It reminded me of how cathartic cursing can be.

I know that I am always talking about how amazing "Breaking Bad" is every week but I feel like up to this point, I was being a tad hyperbolic. "Ozymandias" may be the show's finest hour. If it is not the absolute best, then it was the show's most horrifying and emotionally devastating. Appropriately, many critics are already comparing this episode to a horror movie. This episode was a horror western directed by Rian Johnson, who's proved himself to be excellent at mixing and matching genres through the likes of "Brick" and "Looper."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Can't We All Just Get Along: Texting in Theaters

Nobody knows how to act out emotions like a stock photo model.
Can't We All Just Get Along is a new segment in which I take a hot button issue in the entertainment world and try my best to see both sides through, and then try even harder to pick a side. 

Let's face it: the traditional film viewing experience is in trouble. Who wants to pay $15 to be quiet in a dark room with strangers for two plus hours when you could be sitting at home in your underwear sending SnapChats of Instagrams of your cats reenacting the opening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?

Ever since cell phones became readily available for the masses, it has been difficult to power them down. This has been an especially big problem for movie theaters, an environment that requires absolute silence (besides laughs or screams) and attention. Yet, people take no issue sending out that text or finishing that level of Candy Crush that just can't wait. People have no problem turning off their phones on an airplane, but I guess the threat of crashing is scarier than the threat of not being able to hear what Brad Pitt just said.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Analog This: Breaking Bad- Dumb & Dumber

This is a recap of episode 13 of season 5 of "Breaking Bad." The episode is "To'hajiilee."

Walt has spent the past five years (real time, not "Breaking Bad" time) outsmarting everyone he knows. It turns out though that Walt's ego, the same thing that's always helped him get out of trouble, could also cloud his judgement. Finally, the joke's on him. 

Only on "Breaking Bad" could a cathartic moment suddenly be turned into one of fear and pain. When Walt finally got handcuffed, it felt like a moment that was long time coming, which is probably why this episode alluded to the pilot so much. Of course all the hurt happens under the direction of Michelle MacLaren, who's directed some of the show's most twisted episodes. And hopefully once "Breaking Bad" ends, she'll become a fine movie director, hopefully funded by Megan Ellison

Friday, September 6, 2013

Analog This: Trapped, Trapped, Trapped in Orange is the New Black


Is TV as we know it dead?????!!!!! Is Netflix the only place we can get good shows now????!!!!!!

No. TV is alive and well and Netflix holds promise as a lead distributor for the future. But I'm not in the future predicting game; I'm in the "Orange is the New Black" fan club. We are few and we are annoying, but we know great television when we see it.

"Orange is the New Black" is based on the true story of Piper Kerman, a waspy shiksa* who ends up in prison for a crime she committed years earlier. The show takes a lot of liberties from there. It starts through the eyes of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) and then expands far and wide, populating the prison with an array of colorful characters. These are the kind of characters who normally aren't portrayed on television, and they're often the kind of people you never meet when you're a sheltered white boy from Connecticut. That's what good stories are all about: expanding your world and introducing you to the kind of things that your own life might be too short-sighted to ever see.

While watching "Orange is the New Black," I was reminded of an unlikely companion show: "Lost." Like that sci-fi drama, "Orange" uses the medium to its fullest extent by leaving its setting through flashbacks. This allows the characters to be more than just their present selves; in prison, you're not the same person you were on the outside world. In order to understand the new person, it is necessary to also see the old one. Also, if "Orange is the New Black" is "Lost," does this mean they're going to start having flash forwards later on? And does that mean Jason Biggs is the smoke monster?

But I digress. "Orange" is the second show created by Jenji Kohan, the first being "Weeds." If the last few seasons of "Weeds" left a bad taste in your mouth, then consider "Orange" as Kohan's way of pressing the reset button. This is a brand new world with an episode structure that literally allows endless possibilities.

"Orange is the New Black" is not just that female prison drama. This is a show about people who happen to be prisoners. Emphasis on the people part. That's why it expands to the characters' lives outside of prison, so there's a taste of life outside the prison walls. "Orange" is as much about life in prison as it is about people trying to maintain normality in a very abnormal place.

I wish I did a run through of each episode individually, and tried to cover the little moments that can get lost during binge watching. That will be for another time. So for now, I will try and recap all the best little tidbits of this awesome first season:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Top 5: Jack Nicholson Movies

Hold on, getting a poster of this in my room right now.
According to some recent reports, Jack Nicholson has retired from acting. Then, according to some other reports, Jack Nicholson hasn't retired from acting. I'm not sure which is true, but I really want to write this article.

It has been nearly three years since Nicholson has been credited in a movie and it doesn't look like has any projects planned for the future. And at the Oscars this year he seemed, well, old (apparently, his retirement is due to memory loss). I'd love some more Nicholson but if he decided to call it quits now, he'd be leaving behind an amazing legacy. Besides maybe Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Newman, few actors have had such consistent records. And most importantly, "The Bucket List" isn't the last credit listed on his IMDB page.

So I don't know if this is the end of his career or not but either way, it's never a bad time to celebrate Jack Nicholson. Also, this is a really fun way to put off my homework. 

Read On After the Jump: (Movies are sorted in order of the year that they came out).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Analog This: Breaking Bad- Every Dog Has His Day

This is a recap of episode 12 of season 5 of "Breaking Bad." The episode is "Rabid Dog."

Tonight's "Breaking Bad" episode requires a little history lesson on the "Breaking Bad" universe. So for just a brief moment, let's go back to season two. Remember that pink teddy bear that fell from an airplane that signified that Walt's selfishness could lead to an airplane crash? Well once again, Walt can't do anything without ruining the lives of others. In "Rabid Dog," Walt showed that if he was going down, his whole family would be going with him.