Oct 16, 2017

Ranking Adam Sandler's Serious Movies

Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories
While everyone was busy talking about Mindhunters this weekend, another great moment in Netflix releases happened the same day. Director Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories came out to critical acclaim and featured one big surprise: Adam Sandler. While he's known for silly comedies with diminishing returns, this film marked his latest chance at finding a dramatic core to his goofball persona. You can read my review over here. But this is far from the first time that he's attempted to find tragedy in comedy. The following is a ranking of those films where he attempted to stretch his acting muscles. From Punch Drunk Love to The Meyerowitz Stories, how has Sandler done at being more than a man with lowbrow tastes? Read on to find out.

TV Retrospective: "Halt and Catch Fire"

Scene from Halt and Catch Fire
Back in 2014, the AMC network was in a bit of a transition. Their most acclaimed series, Breaking Bad, had its finale the week before and its flagship series Mad Men wasn't far behind. Their choice to focus on genre shows lead to an identity crisis period with poorly rated series like Low Winter Sun. From the ashes of this awkward period came Halt and Catch Fire: a series that was sold as Mad Men 2.0, focusing on the computer industry during the 1980's. To drive home comparisons, it even had an opening title card explaining the show's name. It became the underdog show that many predicted wouldn't last. Yet after four seasons, it managed to defy the odds by working out its first season kinks to create a powerful drama that brought to life an era when technology was different. The series became better as it understood what it should've been, and its finale confirmed how assured their thinking was. It may never be AMC's most remembered show, but hopefully it will be in time one of its best cult shows.

Oct 13, 2017

Trailing Off: "The New Mutants" (2018)

Welcome to the sporadic column Trailing Off in which I take a look at a trailer from the past week and analyze its potential. This will be done using an obnoxious amount of analyzing and personal thoughts on the cast and crew as well as expectations. I will attempt to highlight films ranging from new blockbusters to lesser known indies and give them their due. Partially to spread awareness, I do believe that there is an art to the sell and will do my best to highlight why these trailers matter or don't with approval (trove) or disapproval (trash). So please stop by, recommend some trailers, and I will see you next time.

Austin Rogers, "Jeopardy!," and the Cult of Personality

Austin Rogers
When announcer Johnny Gilbert first announced the name Austin Rogers on Jeopardy!, it wasn't a moment anyone expected to evoke change. He was just some lowly New York City bartender who bought his entire wardrobe from thrift shops. If one was to even assess his potential lasting appeal by the second commercial break, he wouldn't be more than the quirky guy who accidentally cursed during a Daily Double segment. He was unfiltered but most of all he was smart. After a 12 day winning streak that racked up $411,000, the world said goodbye to him (at least until Tournament of Champions). So what did he do to enter the hearts of America, even appearing as a guest on The Tonight Show? He did what makes Jeopardy! in general the greatest game show ever: he was himself.

Oct 11, 2017

Podcast Portal: "Inside The Exorcist"

Welcome to Podcast Portal: a spontaneous column that will highlight podcasts of all genres that are lesser known or new shows that are worth giving a listen. With the medium continuing to grow, it is hard to acknowledge all of them. However, I am going to try and find as many noteworthy titles as possible to share and hopefully expand your mind to the greatest growing medium out there. If you have any podcast that you feel is worth adding to the Podcast Portal, please make sure to inform me whether through the comments or through an e-mail (information in sidebar).