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Showing posts from April, 2023

Consumed With Hate: The President Is Missing

🏛️ Like the Deserts Missed the Rain... The Crime:  The President is Missing The Guilty Party: Bill Clinton and James Patterson Overview: A quote-unquote "thriller" is mired in contextual cringe and eye-rolling political drivel. Why I Hate It... You can see how this would seem like a good idea on paper. James Patterson writes schlocky potboilers, and pairing up with a living ex-president allows for, ahem , unprecedented insight into what a crisis at the highest levels of government looks like from the inside. The result could have been a compelling hybrid of Vince Flynn-style political thriller and Tom Clancy-esque technothriller, and with presidential pedigree on the marquis to boot! Instead, the result is bad. Just… bad. The story opens with President John Duncan being grilled by senators from the opposing party over some kerfuffle that in no way resembles Benghazi. He pulls himself away in order to don a disguise and meet with some foreign operative absent his secret servi

Consumed With Hate: Inglorious Basterds

🐍 Don't Call Me Little Bastard, Call Me Snake... The Crime: Inglorious Basterds The Guilty Party: Quentin Tarantino Overview: Tarantino's already self-indulgent filmmaking style consumes its own tail... Why I Hate It... There was a time in my life when I would have called Quentin Tarantino one of my favorite directors. Pulp Fiction  is one of the four movies that I bought during the shopping trip to pick up my first DVD player. And while my enthusiasm waned for his subsequent movies, my insistence that they were excellent did not. I had convinced myself that Kill Bill, Vol. 1  was a fantastic movie, just one that I never actually felt like watching. But then there was a moment where I changed my mind. It was like flipping a switch. The scales fell from my eyes and I realized that, oh, I don't actually like Tarantino's schtick all that much. And this was that moment... Starting at about 3:39 in the clip the two characters get into a nonsensical disagreement about whethe

Consumed With Hate: Ready Player Two

🕹️ Players Gonna Play, Play, Play, Play, Play... The Crime:  Ready Player Two The Guilty Party: Ernest Cline Overview: A clumsy retread of Ready Player One  that wants to make damned sure we know its author isn't actually a bigot. Why I Hate It... This book is kind of a fascinating failure. It has some enjoyable moments and it ticks off all the boxes of what you would expect in a sequel--same characters, same setting, similar story and tone, higher stakes, bigger and broader obstacles, that kind of thing--and yet it mostly doesn't work. I loved Ready Player One.  I fully acknowledge that the criticisms around representation are 100% merited, and yet I still had a great time reading it. At the end of that book, the protagonist Wade is basically a god in the world of the Oasis, having ascended to the role that Oasis-creator James Halliday had originally taken for himself. So where does a sequel go from there? I would think there are interesting questions to be asked about what i

Consumed With Hate: Help!

🧑🏾‍⚕️ Not Just Anybody... The Crime:  Help! The Guilty Party: The Beatles and Richard Lester Overview: The movie promoting one of the Beatles' most iconic albums has a plot entirely devoted to making fun of Indian people. Why I Hate It... Let's get this out of the way up front: I'm firmly on Team The-Beatles-Are-The-Greatest-Band-In-History. There is a signed poster of the Fab Four framed on the wall opposite me as I write this. And let's get this out of the way as well: the 1965 album  Help!  is a masterpiece. It's the peak of their early-career work. Here are four artists at the top of their craft delivering top tier radio pop just before they embarked on the journey of sonic experimentation that would define their late-career. There was a stretch when it was my oldest child's favorite album, one that he would regularly request. So as my kids were starting to get to the point where they could sit through entire movies, we thought this G-rated musical caper m