🎞 Miss Sloane (2016)

Watched Miss Sloane (2016) from Europa Corp.
Miss Sloane movie posterDirected by John Madden. With Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg.

In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.

Stood up reasonably well even on a second viewing, though I think I appreciated it more the first time.

Watched via Amazon Prime on big screen 40″ television streaming using Amazon Fire Stick

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🎞 The Circle (2017)

Watched The Circle (2017) from STX Entertainment
Directed by James Ponsoldt. With Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Ellar Coltrane.
A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity.

Even more interesting to watch this after the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. It was sad to see the simplistic surface level only analysis of ideas in the film though.

Watched via Amazon Prime on big screen television through Amazon Fire Stick.

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🎞 The Wizard of Oz (1939) – ★★★★

Watched The Wizard of Oz (1939) from MGM
Directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy. With Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr.

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Haven’t seen this in years. Much more surreal than I remember, especially in HD on a big screen instead of an old TV set. I don’t think I’ve seen this since college sometime, and before that when CBS ran it annually before Turner bought it.

Watched via Amazon Prime (recently released there) on 40″ large screen television streamed through Amazon Fire Stick

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📺 Malcolm Gladwell Explains Where His Ideas Come From | The New Yorker | YouTube

Watched Malcolm Gladwell Explains Where His Ideas Come From from The New Yorker | YouTube

David Remnick speaks with Malcolm Gladwell about how he arrived at his particular approach to storytelling.

I appreciate how Gladwell makes the attempt to reach out to his readers between books and has thought about how podcasting is a useful way to do that. Some of this is the idea behind the why and how of what a good author platform is and how it should work. Podcasting is just a tool for doing a piece of that better.

There are some interesting references in here that I’ll have to read up on as well as taking a look at Gladwell’s podcast. I’m curious how he translates his storytelling approach in the audio medium compared to how he writes.

h/t Aaron Davis

📺 "Bosch" Book of the Unclaimed Dead | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" Book of the Unclaimed Dead S4 E10 from Amazon
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

Bosch and Sgt. Amy Snyder uncover a key piece of evidence that could compromise the entire Elias investigation. Edgar and Robertson are rocked by personal disappointment. Irving exposes his enemies. Bosch stalks the suspected Elias killer on his own, and comes face to face with his past.

Great episode, but there should have been at least another 30 minutes of after-the-fact wrap up. This just felt so unsatisfying after 9 episodes of great build up.

It was a great season, within the larger canon, but an unsatisfying ending altogether.

📺 "Bosch" Rojo Profundo S4 E9 | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" Rojo Profundo S4 E9 from Amazon
Directed by Neema Barnette. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

The protest looming, Billets strikes a deal with the activists. Irving realizes that old friends are new enemies. Crate and Barrel solve the case of their careers. As the Task Force scrambles to salvage their investigation, Bosch finds himself in the depths of underground Los Angeles.

The noose is tightening, but I feel like there should be at least two episodes after this.

📺 “Bosch” Dark Sky | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" Dark Sky S4 E8 from Amazon
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

Hollywood Station goes on TAC Alert. Irving plots his next moves. With new evidence, the Elias case takes an unexpected turn. Maddie tries to connect with her past. Bosch harbors doubts about his Task Force and interviews a new suspect.
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📺 “Bosch” Missed Connections | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" Missed Connections S4 E7 from Amazon
Directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

Two off-duty patrol officers cause Billets more trouble than she needs while the protests heat up outside Hollywood Station. With a suspect in custody, the Task Force begins to wrap up the case, but Bosch remains unconvinced. Irving learns he's being played and Honey Chandler makes a surprising discovery.

I expected more out of the B plot with the two drunk officers.

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📺 “Bosch” The Wine of Youth | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" The Wine of Youth S4 E6 from Amazon
Directed by Zetna Fuentes. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

The search for Sheehan intensifies, as pressure mounts to solve the Elias murder. The Task Force waits for ballistics to confirm their suspicions. Edgar and Bosch pursue an unofficial 'side project' in the San Gabriel Valley. Billets and Dets. Crate and Barrel respond to a suspicious hit and run in Hollywood.

Crate and Barrel didn’t get enough story line out of the KTK after they’d built that character up over the span of several seasons. I would have preferred a bit more development and fanfare on this part of the plotline throughout this season.

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📺 “Bosch” The Coping | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" The Coping S4 E5 from Amazon
Directed by Alex Zakrzewski. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Madison Lintz.

Bosch struggles to manage all the things he's lost and to keep the darkness at bay, from himself, and from Maddie. The Task Force bears down on two suspects. Acting Captain Grace Billets gets tangled in station politics and petty opposition, no longer everyone's best friend.

The underwater imagery was a bit wonky, but eventually tied in with Maddie’s description and her scenes near water later on.

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📺 “Bosch” Past Lives | Amazon

Watched "Bosch" Past Lives S4, E4 from Amazon
Directed by Tim Hunter. With Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Sarah Clarke.

Det. Francis Sheehan comes clean to Bosch, Robertson suspects a leak in the investigation, and Edgar joins the Task Force. Social unrest surrounding the Elias murder grows and Irving is pressured to intervene. Eleanor asks Bosch for parenting advice and confesses the truth about her marriage to Reggie Woo.

Nice gut punch here.

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🎞 Silk (2007)

Watched Silk (2007) from Picturehouse
Directed by François Girard. With Michael Pitt, Keira Knightley, Kôji Yakusho, Sei Ashina.

The story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town's supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron.

It’s taken me 4 tries over nearly 8 months, but I’ve finally finished this. I worried about its almost painfully slow pace, but the gut punch in the final act was amazing.

Watched on widescreen television via DirecTV and cable.

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🎞 Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)

Watched Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) from Universal Pictures
Directed by Hal Needham. With Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Dom DeLuise.

The Bandit goes on another cross-country run, transporting an elephant from Florida to Texas. And, once again, Sheriff Buford T. Justice is on his tail.

Not as good as the first, but stupidly entertaining all the way through. An interesting viewpoint into popular culture of the time certainly.

I’ve taken about 3 sittings to manage to get through this. Watched on DirecTV via cable.

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📺 “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Thank You and Good Night | Amazon Prime

Watched "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Thank You and Good Night (Season 1, Episode 8) from Amazon Prime
Directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino. With Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle.
In the Season One finale, Midge and Susie deal with the repercussions of Midge's off-script takedown of a famous comedian. With tensions still high at the Weissman household, Rose makes some bold changes. Midge and Joel reunite for Ethan's birthday party.

Moments after pledging his undying love Joel gets the worst gut-punch. There’s something redeeming enough in this last episode that I may be won over to watch into an ensuing season. I may be able to overlook the blurring of the characters by Ms. Palladino and their single-voiced witty repartee which makes them nearly indistinguishable in broad swaths of the series (or even from Gilmore Girls in an entirely different setting decades hence).

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📺 “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Put That on Your Plate! | Amazon Prime

Watched "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Put That on Your Plate! (Season 1, Episode 7) from Amazon Prime
Directed by Daniel Palladino. With Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, Marin Hinkle.
With Susie's help, Midge hones her act at the Gaslight. Abe surprises the women with a dinner guest, sending Rose into an emotional spiral. Working towards a promotion, Joel conjures up a new plan. Midge stirs up controversy after meeting a big-time comedian.

Not sure that I buy Midge totally blowing her chance to get an opening gig unless she completely didn’t know what the stakes were. She’s too smart and really not nearly edgy enough to blow the shot the way she did. Too much of this feels like plot for plot’s sake and deus-ex-machina instead of real characters unfolding.

Palladino’s characters just never feel true to themselves but bend too far to the will of the writer who makes them all the same.

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