Movie Review: Steve Jobs (2015) *Fassbender & Boyle Deliver One of the Best Biopics Ever*

Steve Jobs

Biopics are a tough nut to crack.  How can you, in 2-3 hours give an accurate portrayal of the life of a person and events through which they lived?  When that person is as maddeningly complex as former Apple CEO and tech visionary Steve Jobs and you’re adapting Walter Isaacson’s 800 page biography, the task proves even more daunting.  Director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting) and LORD OF THE SCREENWRITERS Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network, 84 Other Awesome Things) pick a brilliant framing device for their examination of Jobs and what results is not only one of the best pictures of a 2015 that is shaping up to be a fantastic movie year, but one of the best biopics I’ve ever seen. Continue reading Movie Review: Steve Jobs (2015) *Fassbender & Boyle Deliver One of the Best Biopics Ever*

Top 5: TV Shows With Good Taste in Music

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In the modern age of the TV drama (or dramadey in the case of one entry) it’s become common practice to punctuate dramatic moments with songs.  The song takes over and there’s very little dialogue because the song is saying all there needs to be said.  This technique gets overused, but, when used properly, the music, the acting and the moment create something magical.

Scrubs

No show has, in my opinion, ever done this better than the medical comedy, Scrubs.  Most of the powerful moments in the show were punctuated by music. The same could be said of Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s almost become it’s own radio network.  There are usually no less that six songs per episode, and it’s rarely intrusive and works with the show, which I honestly still watch at this point to find new bands. You’d never expect a biker drama to make this list, but Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy used it’s personal band, White Buffalo, and the vocal talents of the cast to create some heartbreaking finales including SPOILER WARNING, the very last bit of the show.  Aaron Sorkin employs songs more sparingly in his shows, but when he does…man, do they pack a punch. I can’t listen to Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” without picturing Bartlett walking through the rain toward that press conference.  Then from it’s “gangstagrass” theme song to poignant  ballads like “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”, the just finished Justified knew how to sparingly pack a punch with a tune.

Timothy Olyphant, Justified

I’m going to include some of my favorite musical moments from each show and just let them stand on their own.  What shows did I leave off?  Can you remember a moment where a song met a show and the two forever connected in your memory? Continue reading Top 5: TV Shows With Good Taste in Music

Trailer Time: Star Wars Battlefront (Xbox, Playstation – 2015)

After the largest beta test in video game history, Star Wars: Battlefront will be hitting Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC on November 17th.  The Battlefront games from last generation were probably the best Star Wars games I’ve ever played (aside from Knights of the Old Republic).  Just playing two levels over and over on the beta was a ton of fun and, since I can see that nearly my entire friends list played the beta as well, I expect some co-op action as we all try to pretend like we’re not creating paper chains at this point to count the days til Episode VII.  That last one may be just me, but no one’s ever accused me of coping normally.
Star Wars Battlefront

My Favorite Scene: Skyfall (2012) “Silva’s Rat Monologue”

By the time of Daniel Craig’s third go-round as Bond, he had already owned the role, but he hadn’t been given a legendary villain. Sam Mendes fixed that when he cast Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as Silva, and gave us-arguably-the best Bond film of them all.  Skyfall tells more about Bond’s boyhood and maturation than the previous 22 films combined without actually giving him an origin story. I know they’re going deeper down the rabbit hole in SPECTRE, but I always felt Wolverine lost a lot as a character when his whole origin was neatly laid out, and I think Bond would, as well.

Javier Bardem, Silva, Skyfall

This really is as much Judi Dench’s picture as it is Daniel Craig’s and after six films as M, she certainly earned a co-starring role as she and Bond hunt and are hunted by Silva. Bardem is certainly flashy and over-the-top in the Bond villain tradition, but unlike most, he’s every bit as good as James, and spends most of the film beating him quite handily. There’s so much good and done right in this film that it’s hard to nail a scene as my favorite, but I love a good entrance. When you get your villain making monologues from the get-go, you know you’ve got a good one.  I’m going to cheat and also stick in Silva’s reunion scene with M, because I can’t decide between the two. Bardem should have at least gotten an Oscar nomination for this film. Just brilliant.

Trailer Time: Jessica Jones Trailer #2 (Netflix-2015) *MCU’s Darkest Journey Yet*

The next installment in the MCU takes us back to the gritty streets of Hell’s Kitchen for Netflix’s second series in conjunction with Marvel: Jessica Jones. The 13-episode first season staring Breaking Bad’s Krysten Ritter will debut for binge watching on November 20th on the network. Jones is the darkest and most mature Marvel title to be adapted yet and will also feature Mike Colter as Luke Cage, who will be the star of Netflix’s 3rd series.  If the quality is anything like Daredevil, which I still think is the best thing in entertainment this year, we’ll have something awesome to tide us over until we pick up with the films in May.

Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones