What Should Mr. Robot Pay Homage to in Season Two?

The critically-acclaimed, award-winning cable series Mr. Robot is notable for a number of reasons, with a big twist: in the final two episodes, you realize you’ve been watching a ten hour unlicensed Fight Club reboot. One could say that the twist is “Elliot was Mr. Robot all along!” just like the twist in Fight Club is “Edward Norton was Brad Pitt all along!” but to me the twist was simply that Mr. Robot was Fight Club all along.

Where is Mr. Robot’s mind?

Some people saw the “twist” coming, but I didn’t know I was watching a Fight Club reboot until the final few episodes, when a character is revealed to be imagined, the protagonist fights himself,  and a piano cover of “Where is My Mind” plays in the background. (Probably worth noting it was the same song used in The Leftovers, which I saw first and still think used it better.) Continue reading “What Should Mr. Robot Pay Homage to in Season Two?”


The Kanye with a Thousand Faces: Exploring the Inevitable Kanye West Musical, Part One

Some things are inevitable: death, taxes, reboots, and musical adaptations. This blog has thoroughly discussed the “dark and gritty reboot,” but what about the inevitable musical adaptation?

Every person, place, or thing ends up on the stage, accompanied by tunes. This includes films, myths, classic novels (Les Miserables; The Phantom of the Opera) and contemporary novels (American Psycho; Wicked). Then, of course, there is the ever-present “jukebox musical,”including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and A Night with Janis Joplin and Motown: The Musical and the Tupac musical Holler if Ya Hear Me and so on.

Some, like The Lion King, make sense. Others, like Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Rocky the Musical, do not.


The question is not whether a wildly popular Kanye West musical will happen, but what it will be. I assume it will begin on Broadway and then go national, touring ceaselessly. Everyone will discuss it. Everyone will see it. It will saturate the media and pop culture, like Rent and Hamilton and Book of Mormon before it. Continue reading “The Kanye with a Thousand Faces: Exploring the Inevitable Kanye West Musical, Part One”

Six Months of Reading Books in 2015

For some time, I’ve considered tracking what I read on this blog, but have not yet gotten around to it.  The following is a list of the books I have read since the beginning of this year.  Books I’ve abandoned or stalled-out-on are not included.  Perhaps those abandoned books will warrant their own blog post, similar to the post I made about quitting television shows, itself inspired by a GQ article urging people to quit things that deserve it.

The best “this is what I’ve been reading” recap that I’ve ever seen read is the Nick Hornby “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column, which is what first suggested to me that there might be a way to make regularly reading summaries interesting.  I don’t claim that this will be on his level.  This is just a half year of reading, and my thoughts on it, just in time for you to perhaps choose one of the following as your next summer read.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander

Great cover.
Great cover.

This, like several of the books on this list, was the book of the month for my Men’s Book Club.  Unlike the rest of the Book Club books on this list, I chose it.  I chose it after seeing Birdman with a friend and his girlfriend.  The connection between Birdman and this collection of short stories is the works of Raymond Carver, specifically “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” which inspired, heavily, the title story of Englander’s book, as well as the play-within-a-movie within Birdman.  My friend’s girlfriend is the one who recommended, after the movie ended, that our BC (Book Club) read What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, as she had recently read it for her own book club. Continue reading “Six Months of Reading Books in 2015”

Why Bale Should Reboot Jurassic Park

The rumors continue to mill regarding a new Jurassic Park movie.  Stephen Spielberg has officially announced that it’s happening, and the release of the trilogy on Blu-Ray has gotten people talking about it again, but there seems to be virtually no information available beyond that there will be another movie with “Jurassic Park” in the title, and that it will probably also have a “IV” in the title.  The other rumors include that Keira Knightley will be in it, that Sam Neil and/or Jeff Goldblum will be back, and that there might be some nonsense regarding genetically-created human-dinosaur-super-monster-soldiers, or that there will be a dinosaur-caused global epidemic or something.

Let’s be honest here: a fourth Jurassic Park movie is a terrible idea.  When was the last time you saw a fourth movie in a series that really worked. Before a fourth movie comes out, you have a trilogy.  Once a fourth film is tacked onto an original trilogy, you either have a new trilogy (as in the case of The Phantom Menace) or, far more often, you have the beginning of a franchise landslide.

Look at this guy. He clearly has better things to do than be in Jurassic Park IV.

Consider, for a moment, some of the fourth installments out there.  First of all, most of the times that a franchise reaches a fourth installment, it doesn’t stop.  It becomes a disaster, careening off the rails.  Usually, this fate is reserved for trashy horror franchises such as Halloween 4 (which was the fourth of eight), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (followed by seven sequels), Saw 4 (which is 4 of 7 and apparently a midquel?), and Nightmare on Elm Street (I didn’t bother looking up how many there were.)

Continue reading “Why Bale Should Reboot Jurassic Park”

Les Mis: The Reason Bale Needs to Make Musicals Again

In an interview from November 2010, Esquire asked Christian Bale: “You were this singing, dancing, happy kid. What happened to you?”

Bale responded with: “I’m still singing and dancing and happy. I just don’t like musicals, that’s all.”

They were referring, of course, to this.

But it’s time for that dancing, singing, happy Christian Bale to return, because there is a film on the horizon that he needs to be in: Les Miserables.

It was announced several weeks ago that Russell Crowe is joining the cast of the 2012 film adaptation of the musical adaptation of the novel Les Miserables, meaning that we now have Hugh Jackman portraying Jean Valjean and Crowe as Javert.

The rest of the cast  includes Bland Hathaway, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham-Singer. This is an unfortunate supporting cast, but the silver lining is that Bland is portraying a character who basically sings one song and then dies right away.

Now, I’m not going to drag this out.  It’s obvious what’s missing, and it’s obvious what a good fit Bale is for this film.  He has already been in stunning films with both Jackman and Crowe, playing rivals to them in The Prestige and 3:10 to Yuma, respectively.  But Jackman and Crowe are squaring off against one another in Les Mis as the altruistic criminal-turned-mayor-turned-adoptive-father and the obsessed, I-only-believe-in-absolutes detective, and there appears to be no room in sight for Bale.  While Bale could have played either of these characters, he won’t.  Leaving him out of it.  Unless…

Continue reading “Les Mis: The Reason Bale Needs to Make Musicals Again”

Why Bret Easton Ellis Should Write Bale’s Twitter Account

There is another route that Bale could go with a Twitter account, were he to have one. He can take the same approach that American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has taken, who I believe is the only celebrity to operate his own fictional Twitter account.

Many people are offended by Ellis’s tweets on a regular basis, as he has used Twitter as a vehicle for celebrating the death of JD Salinger,  responding to the Dan Savage “It Gets Better” campaign by saying it actually gets worse, praising Weiner’s sexting behavior as “post-Empire,” praising Charlie Sheen, and saying some pretty shocking, tabloid-ready things about Glee.

Continue reading “Why Bret Easton Ellis Should Write Bale’s Twitter Account”