Tag Archives: house of cards

Misc. Updates

Her — 5
The Counselor — 4
House of Cards (season 2) — 5
Californication (seasons 1-5) — 5
Shameless (season 1) — 5
Metallica: Through the Never — 4

I ended up liking The Counselor a lot more than I thought I would after seeing a pretty staggering amount of negative criticism; the dialogue is definitely strange / stands out as being very ‘literary’, but what’s not to love about that? A lot of critics are accusing it of being ‘pretentious’ which is always a strange thing to say about movies that are at least trying to reach into a deeper / stranger ecosystem than the average Hollywood flick. The aesthetics were gorgeous.

‘Her’ was also beyond gorgeous, offering a very crisp approach to visuals and setting in regards to a futuristic Los Angeles that leans much more heavily toward what I guess we could label  ‘speculative fiction’ than ‘science’.  Manages with Jonze’s deft touch to remain  lonely and minimalistic despite the overwhelming technological foliage that’s the entire point really of the film. Reminded me of ‘Lost in Translation’, that way.

House of Cards season 2 was as addicting and perfect as season 1; it’s a show that never lets the tension go slack even for a moment, something that’s incredibly hard to do well. On the subject of criticism I don’t understand, it’s been getting a solid amount of flack from admirably wonkish political types for being ‘unrealistic’. Well, it’s fiction, of course it is. People enjoy it as a politically-framed drama, and most folks don’t want to binge on 12 hours of CSPAN for a reason.

Book-related updates will be a bit slow for me, I’m working my way through Donna Tartt’s new novel ‘The Goldfinch’, which is fantastic so far but is both lengthy and a dense-ish read, so it’ll be a bit before I finish it. I’ve also been trying to set more time aside to work on both poems and the straggling beginnings of a novel I cranked out a couple years ago. There are a couple of poetry chapbook contests ending this month that I’d like to give a respectable try at, so I’m trying to read a little less each day in general, as whatever I’m reading can (for better or worse) influence how and what I’m writing. 

Tomorrow it’s going to be 60 degrees here in Indiana, the land that winter won’t leave the fuck alone. One can almost believe we’re all going to live to see beaches and campfires again before we die.

Misc. Reviews

Breaking Bad (season 5) — 5

House of Cards (season 1) — 5

Louie (season 4) — 5

Good Dick — 5

Star Trek: Into Darkness — 4

Jiro Dreams of Sushi — 5

Scent of a Woman — 5

Elysium — 3

Man of Steel — 3.5

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug — 2

 

Considering my immense admiration for curmudgeons, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to seeing Scent of a Woman, which probably has one of the best assholes to ever grace the silver screen. Elysium and Man of Steel were both decent but also disappointing, solid movies that could have been incredible with some genuine creativity.

The second installation of the Hobbit trilogy was okayish but just as disappointing as the first movie. It feels like Peter Jackson is going full George Lucas. The first trilogy always managed to feel immense and epic, peppered with levity and love and was always compelling despite very long run times. The Hobbit movies have largely failed in these respects, feeling rushed and anxious with themselves, running far too long with unneeded creative license pulling in phantom characters and spending too much time on scenes and minor side plots that either needed more attention or being cut altogether. One review called Desolation of Smaug “bloated and spastic” which feels perfectly accurate to me. When it tries to be serious the acting feels labored and thin, when it tries to be funny it feels awkward and too goofy (a la Jar Jar). Not a terrible movie but I wouldn’t want to sit through it again.

House of Cards is audacious and probably Netflix’s biggest experiment (and success) as it moves more into producing original content that seems very capable of outmatching anything on ‘real’ TV.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is easily the best food documentary I’ve ever seen, intriguing and perfectly produced, its titular character a testament to dedication to a labor of love.