Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bedtime Story (1964)

Freddy Benson (Marlon Brando), an American serviceman stationed in the Europe, gets out of the Army early by blackmailing his commanding officer. He plans to run confidence schemes to fleece rich women out of their money. He runs into Lawrence Jameson (David Niven) on the train. Jameson pretends to be a hen pecked husband even though, like Freddy, he's a con artist.

Freddy decides to ply his trade in Jameson's town in the south of France. Jameson uses his connections with the local police to get Freddy placed on a plane back to the United States. On the plane Freddy runs into a woman who saw him talking to Jameson. She was conned into believing he was a prince. Freddy sees the light  and returns to France to confront Jameson.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Star Trek: Enterprise 1.26

Shockwave (Part 1)

A shuttlepod from the Enterprise is on its way to visit Paraagan II. Captain Archer, Commander Tucket, Subcommander T'Pol, Lieutenant Reed, and Lieutenant Sato are aboard the shuttlepod which approaching the surface when an explosion occurs. Everyone aboard the shuttlepod is okay but the mining colony that the shuttlepod was headed for is wiped out.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Americans 1.12

The Oath

There is an aspect of this show that I find very hard to swallow or believe in. Maybe the audience is just supposed to accept that Elizabeth and Philip are perfect masters of deception (and I'm not talking about their disguises) but I don't see how they are able to do as much as they do and keep it all secret from everyone. These thoughts come to me every time I watch an episode and are part of the reason that I'm not that interested in continuing with this show beyond the end of season 1.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Atypical 1.08

The Silencing Properties of Snow

Lots of heartbreak early in the episode. I thought this one was going to end on a complete downer at first but things turn around. Everyone isn't happy at the end but things don't look quite as grim as they did during the first 10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Samurai Jack 3.05

XXXI: Jack and the Scarab

Aku frees an evil trio of beasts, the minions of Set, from an ancient Egyptian prison. In repayment for freeing them he asks them to destroy Jack. Aku knows that Jack is headed their way. He disappears and leaves the minions of Set to their dirty work.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Star Trek: Enterprise 1.25

Two Days and Two Nights

The Enterprise arrives at Risa. Several members of the crew (Captain Archer, Commander Tucker, Lieutenant Reed, Ensign Sato, and Ensign Mayweather) go down to the planet hoping for a little rest and relaxation. Their experiences vary but they all have very different experiences that they expected they would.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Americans 1.11

Covert War

The FBI and CIA join forces and strike back at the Russians. They send one of their agents in Moscow to assassinate General Zhukov. Claudia delivers the news to Elizabeth who immediately wants to strike back at the Americans. Claudia orders her not to but Elizabeth has her own ideas. She targets Richard Patterson, a high level agent of the CIA who is responsible for planning missions. Philip is opposed to the idea but goes along with Elizabeth's plans. Elizabeth seduces and sedates Patterson. He catches on at the last minute and fights back but it is too late.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cowboy Bebop 1.06

Sympathy for the Devil

Spike and Jet go after a bounty who goes by the name of Giraffe or maybe that's his real name. Jet spots another bounty hunter also closing in on Giraffe. He engages Fatty (the other bounty hunter) in conversation while Spike goes after Giraffe who is on a quest of his own. Spike observes Giraffe following and Wen, a young musician, and Zebra, his older, crippled caretaker. He loses them momentarily but catches up to them in an apartment building, just as Giraffe is killed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Creed (2015)

Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed, is adopted by his father's widow. He never knew his father. Apollo died before Adonis was born. Adonis isn't raised to be a boxer but that's what he aspires to be. He fights in bars in Tijuana, Mexico at night and works a desk job during the day. He doesn't feel like the local trainer will give him a fair shake so he leaves Los Angeles.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Atypical 1.07

I Lost My Poor Meatball

Paige and Sam are still getting ready for the dance when she let's slip out that she loves him. He doesn't know how to respond. He isn't sure if he loves Paige. He gets advice from Zahid, which doesn't help much, and then from his parents. Sam uses three pieces advice as his litmus test to determine if he love Paige.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Samurai Jack 3.04

XXX: Jack and the Zombies

Jack wanders into a graveyard and is attacked by an army of zombies. Individually the zombies are easily defeated but there are a ton of them. Aku shows up and steals Jack's magic sword. He chases Jack through the graveyard. Jack manages to hold his own for a while without the sword. Aku changes shapes a number of times. He captures Jack eventually and tries to kill him with his own sword only to discover that the sword may not harm one who is good. Jack grabs the sword and goes on the offensive. Aku runs away in the end after turning into a mouse.

I vaguely remember this episode but I didn't recall how great it was. Not my all time favorite but it has a lot going for it. There isn't a lot of dialogue. The action is beautifully depicted. This is a visual feast.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Americans 1.10

Only You

The search for the killers of FBI agent Chris Amador is on.Stan tries shaking down Nina for information about Amador's death but she doesn't know anything. She asks him about the death of Vlad. He lies to her and tells her he doesn't know anything about it, even though he's the one who killed him.

The FBI locates the vehicle in which Amador was transported after he was stabbed. They know it's the vehicle because they find his ring in the trunk. It was delivered to a scrapyard. The owner of the scrapyard claims to know nothing until Stan roughs him up. It isn't long before the scrapyard owner finds a familiar face in a book of mug shots. The face he finds belongs to the guy that Beeman and Amador chased in Philadephia but lost in 1.03 (Gregory). They locate the guy shake him down. He acts tough at first but eventually gives up Gregory's name.

Philip and Elizabeth are still separated. There's a little bit of drama surrounding their marital issues but most of their time in this episode is spent trying to convince Gregory to go along with their plan to get him out of the country. The KGB gives him two options: move to Moscow or death. They force his hand by planting evidence in his apartment linking him to the murder of Amador. He wants to move to Los Angeles and hopes he can disappear there. That option isn't on the table.

Philip has orders to kill Gregory if he won't go. Gregory acknowledges his situation but he doesn't want to move to Moscow. He wants to go out on his own terms. Philip is reluctant to let him do so but Elizabeth seems to talk him into it. Gregory gets into a gun fight with the Metropolitan Police Department and is killed.

On the whole I thought this was a decent episode, much better than the previous one. It wasn't good enough to sway my feelings on the show as a whole.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Fargo 2.10


This the final episode of the season and this story. The episode get quieter as it progresses and does not build to a climax the way the finale to the first season did. It is a double episode in a way. The first part of the episode deals with the aftermath of the previous episode. The second part wraps things up and hints at connections to the prior season of the show.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cowboy Bebop 1.05

Ballad of Fallen Angels

Faye walks into a trap set for Spike. It is a bounty for someone that Spike knows, someone who is already dead. Spike acts as if he isn't interested but he does some digging around. He talks to an old friend, Anastasia, who thought he was dead.

Faye's captor, Vicious, makes her call Spike and Jet. Spike answers the call but says it isn't for her sake. He seems to be ready to try and settle some old scores, or at least that's my read of the situation. He goes to the church where Vicious and his gang are holding Faye. Spike takes on the whole gang. He gets shot up pretty good, falls out of a stained glass window from very high up, but he survives.

There are lots of flashback scenes as Spike is slowly falling to the ground. I can't piece it all together other than that Spike and Vicious knew each other before Spike met Jet. There's a woman he knew back then. I think they might have been romantically linked.

Is Vicious dead? It looked like there was a big explosion in the church after Spike fell out of the stained glass window. I'm not sure how Spike could have possibly survived that fall so it probably isn't unreasonable to suppose that Vicious might also have survived.

I like the character moments between Spike and Jet and Faye. They are usually quick but its nice to see how they try to act aloof, especially Jet and Faye, but then show their tender sides.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Atypical 1.06

The D-Train to Bone Town

Paige wants Sam to take her to the dance. She tries enticing him by telling him that her parents will be out of town that weekend. She invites him to come over after the dance. Sam doesn't get it. Zahid has to explain to him what Paige is hinting at.

Elsa has sex with Nick, again. She does some pot with him and inadvertently tells the mother of one of Casey's friends about Clayton Prep, while she is still high.

Casey gets frozen out by her friends on the track team. They know that there's a good chance she will be leaving soon for Clayton Prep.

Doug helps Julia out. She injured her ankle at home. He insists on taking her to the ER. They talk about him not telling his coworker about Sam's autism.

Still don't love this show. It's good but not the home run I would like it to be. I'm wondering when the hammer is going to drop on Elsa. I'm guessing her affair with Nick is going to get revealed but I'm not sure how.

The funniest scene had to be the conversation that Sam and another teen had about baseball and sex. A close second would be the the condom buying scene.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Samurai Jack 3.03

XXIX: Couple on a Train

Jack is pursued on to a train by Ezerkiel Clench and his wife Josephine. They are bounty hunters looking to strike it rich by turning in Jack. Most of the episode takes place on a train.

I didn't recall much in the way of details about this episode but I do recall Ezekiel and Josephine. I think in my mind I got this episode conflated with 2.11 (Jack Is Naked) which also had a lengthy scene that takes place on a train.

This is what I think of as a lesser episode of this show. The visuals are great but there's a little too much in the way of clunky dialogue for my taste.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Black Panther (2018)

I listened to and read a few reviews that were very light on spoilers but I avoided spoilers and podcasts that went in to spoilers about this movie as much as I could before seeing it tonight.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fargo 2.09

The Castle

The episode opens with narration over a visual of a book: The History of Crime in the Mid-West. The narrator returns several times during the episode to point certain things out. I didn't recognize the voice. It sounded familiar but I couldn't pinpoint who it was until a good half-hour after I finished watching the episode. The primary job of the narrator seems to have been to try and explain things about Hanzee. This is supposed to be a true story. Not much is known about Hanzee or his motivations. He served the Gerhardts faithfully for a couple decades but then, starting last episode, he starts to turn on them.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cowboy Bebop 1.04

Gateway Shuffle

Spike and Jet are closing in on a fugitive whom they hope to capture and turn in to the authorities. The bounty is killed before their eyes by Maria "Twinkle" Murdock and her gang of ecological terrorists. Spike and Jet grab her but her organization has enough power to get the bounty on her head rescinded.

Faye crosses paths with Spike and Jet again. This time she is drifting in space when they find her. She is out of fuel. They want to turn her in for the bounty on her head but for some reason they don't.

Twinkle reminds me of Mom from Futurama. It is mostly in the way she looks and treats her followers.

I'm starting to think that I wouldn't like this show half as much as I do if it weren't for the music. When I look back at these episodes they aren't as cohesive or complete as I remember them being. I'm enjoying watching the show again, it just isn't exactly what I remember it being, so far.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Master of None 2.10

Buona Notte

Dev and Francesca discuss his feelings for her and her feelings in general. They dance. Dev tries kissing Francesca. She isn't ready for that and still isn't sure what she wants.

Dev's new show with Chef Jeff is getting ready to debut. Dev starts to hear stories about Chef Jeff, stories that he sexually harasses women who work for him. He first hears about it second hand but then he hears a story first hand from Lisa, who used to do make up on Clash of the Cupcakes.

Dev and Jeff go on Raven Live to promote their show. While they are on the show a story starts trending on the internet about several women who have come out accusing Chef Jeff of sexual harassment. Dev tries to distance himself from Jeff. Jeff and Dev get into an argument about the claims when Dev balks at backing up Jeff.

Dev and Francesca talk again, in person. He still doesn't understand why she isn't in love with him. He questions her spending so much time with him and not liking him enough to leave Pino. She tries to explain but she is still conflicted about her feelings. Dev says some things that hurt and she leaves.

Dev runs into Rachel on the street. She is with a bunch of friends. Dev and Rachel share a moment but it isn't a very long moment.

I am a bit puzzled about the very ending. It looks like Francesca leaves Pino or is that just a dream? I'm disappointed by this ending. It leaves me unclear as to what happened. It seems very open ended. I do not approve. I think Dev needs to get over Francesca. His expectations were unrealistic. He needs to grow up.

Not a bad episode but not a favorite either.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Atypical 1.05

That's My Sweatshirt

Paige starts to get on Sam's nerves. She comes over and goes through his room, touching all his stuff. He manages to cope with it okay until she takes his sweatshirt, without asking. Casey intimidates Paige, she breaks up with Sam but by the end of the episode they patch things up.

Julia, Sam's therapist, experiences some relationship problems of her own. She thinks that her boyfriend of 5 years is cheating on her. Her friend tries to talk her out of thinking crazy thoughts with some success.

Casey goes for an interview at Clayton Prep. It doesn't seem to go so well at first but by the end of the interview she has a pretty good feeling about it. Her hopes seem to get dashed at the end of the episode when Clayton Prep admissions finds out about the incident in 1.01 (Antarctica) when Casey punched another girl.

Elsa gets an invite from Nick, to his birthday party. She calls him to tell him no she won't be there. He seems amused by her attitude. She has a change of heart by the end of the episode.

Elsa finds out that Doug never told Chuck, his coworker, that Sam is autistic. Chuck finds out at the same time that Elsa finds out that he didn't know. Doug and Chuck have worked together for 5 years. That seems like a long time to be working together for the subject never to have come up.

This episode was not as funny as the last one. There were a few laughs but for the most part it was more serious.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Samurai Jack 3.02

XVIII: Jack and the Rave

Jack fights an evil DJ who serves Aku and has hypnotized the children of a small town with his music.

Love this one. Not in my top 5 but lots of fun. I really dig the wordless scenes both at and away from the rave. I adore Jack's disguise that he uses to to get into the rave, especially the pacifier. I like the dancing, especially when all the teens imitate Jack's dance moves.

One thing that struck me as weird is that there is only one adult in this story, other than Jack and the DJ. Where are the rest of the parents? If all the kids are from this town how come only one parent is shown?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Americans 1.09

Safe House

Philip and Elizabeth separate. Paige and Henry don't take it well. Philip moves out. He continues to romance Martha. He learns from her that the FBI is planning a retaliatory strike on a KGB agent. What Martha doesn't know is that Amador has been keeping an eye on her. He spots Philip leaving Martha's apartment building and confronts him. They get into a fight and Amador winds up with his own knife sticking out of his stomach.

The FBI continue to plan their hit on the head FBI agent, Arkady. They also start to look for Amador. Stan presses Nina for information but she knows nothing about Amador's disappearance. Amador is being hidden by Philip and Elizabeth. They do what they can to deal with his wound and then press him for information. He isn't very cooperative. Before they can get him to talk, Vlad, Arkady's assistant, is picked up by the FBI. They were hoping to grab Arkady but he didn't go jogging like he usually does because he burned his hand.

Amador dies from his wounds before giving up any information. Philip dumps his body in a parking lot. Stan isn't having it. He tried interrogating Vlad before they found Amador's body. He told him some weird story about hunting. Vlad got scared. Stan gets impatient. The episode ends with Stan shooting Vlad in the back of the head, execution style.

The separation part of the story failed to impress me. It felt as though the actors were going through the motions but not hitting the right notes. I didn't buy what they were selling. I also had problem with Stan throughout the episode. I just wasn't impressed by the act he was putting on. I wasn't expecting Amador to die. That surprised me but it wasn't enough to make up for all the other stuff that did not impress me about his episode.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Fargo 2.08


This episode fills in the holes from the last episode and carries the story a little further down the road. It opens with and for the most part follows Ed and Peggy. Peggy has already tied up Dodd. She has a vision while she is sitting on the steps leading down to the basement. She is looking at Dodd but seeing someone else. She has a conversation with the man she sees and comes to a realization that she needs to stop thinking and start being. Ed gets home. He has just escaped from the police, Lou and Hank. He knows who Dodd is. They load Dodd and and themselves in Dodd's car and take off. Dodd is in the trunk.

Lou and Hank arrive minutes after Ed and Peggy leave. They look around the place. They find two bodies in the house. Both are the henchmen who were killed in 2.06 (Rhinoceros). Hank has to sit down. He isn't feeling so good, probably due to the blow to the forehead that he received from Hanzee. Lou calls an ambulance. Hank is taken away, presumably to a hospital and Lou also leaves the Blumquist home. Hanzee steps out of the shadows behind the house as the sirens fade in the distance.

Peggy and Ed head to his uncle's cabin, near Vermillion, SD. Dodd gets belligerent on more than one occasion. The first time Peggy zaps him with the cattle prod. The second time she stabs him with a knife, in the chest. She doesn't stick it all the way in, just enough to hurt. He's a little more cooperative after that. Ed goes to a convenience store near the cabin to try calling the Gerhardt compound but as was shown in the last episode Bear didn't want to talk to him.

Hanzee digs through the Blumquist house and finds a letter about Peggy's upcoming trip to Sioux Falls for the Life Spring seminar. He takes it with them and heads there. He tries asking for information once he gets there in a bar. The bartender and some of the patrons give him a hard time, because he's an Indian and so he shoots them. The cops pull up and he shoots them too. All this was mentioned in the last episode.

Ed tries calling the Gerhardts one more time before the end of the day, without any luck. This time no one picks up the phone. He returns to the cabin. Before he gets back Peggy calls Constance, her friend from the hair salon. Hanzee has already gotten to her. Constance does her best to get Peggy to reveal where she is. Peggy is reluctant but she drops enough information to give Hanzee a good idea where to look next. It is unclear what happens to Constance after Hanzee is done at the hotel in Sioux Falls.

The next day Ed drives back to the convenience store and tries calling the Gerhardts again. Once again no one will help him. Ed notices a newspaper article about the gang war in and around Fargo. It mentions the name of the hotel where the head of the Kansas City crew, Mike Milligan, is staying. Ed tries calling the hotel and is put through to Mike. Once again, we see the conversation that ended the previous episode. He comes to an agreement with Mike. Ed will hand over Dodd to Mike. He just wants the Gerhardts off his back. They make an arrangement to meet near a hotel in Sioux Falls.

Ed leaves the convenience store and heads out. A few minutes later Hanzee pulls up to the convenience store. He interrogates the owner who isn't very helpful at first. Hanzee's demeanor seems to intimidate the owner and he tells him what he knows about where to find Ed. Once Hanzee leaves the owner sees the front page of the newspaper, recognizes Hanzee, and calls the police.

Peggy watches a move, Operation Eagle's Nest, on the little black and white TV in the cabin, while she waits for Ed to return. She really gets into it. When she looks up Dodd has freed himself from the ropes. Ed comes in and sees the same thing. Before he can do anything Dodd gets a rope around his neck and suspends him from the rafters. Dodd gets a little too confident and Peggy stabs him in the foot with a knife and then whacks him over the head with a fireplace poker. She gets Ed down before he is strangled to death by the rope around his neck.

The Blumquists start to truss up Dodd. Before they get him all tied up Hanzee shows up. Dodd angers Hanzee, calls him a half-breed and a mongrel. Hanzee shoots Dodd in the forehead. He asks Peggy if she can cut his hair. The request seemed a bit weird at first but I guess he knew there was a picture of him out there with long hair and wanted to change his appearance. Ed looks off to the side and notices two people heading toward the cabin. Hanzee follows Ed's gaze and sees Lou and Hank coming through the trees. He fires off four shots with his pistol.

Ed stands up. Hanzee points the gun at Ed and pulls the trigger but he is out of bullets. Peggy stabs at Hanzee with the scissors she was about to use to cut his hair. They bounce off his shoulder and he retreats from the cabin. Lou and Hank enter the cabin from the opposite side that Hanzee left with their guns drawn. The Blumquists put up their hands and the episode ends.

One interesting thing to note is that both this and the previous episode were directed by the same person, Keith Gordon. That isn't too surprising considering how they are are both structured and how they work together to tell the part of the story that unfolds over the course of these two episodes. Usually directors direct back to back episodes of this show but this is the first time I can recall being so aware of how one episode fills in what was only hinted at in the previous one.

This episode has all the tension that was missing from the last episode. There was also some humor, dark humor, mostly surrounding the way the Blumquists were treating Dodd and his behavior towards them. I didn't mind at all that some of the facts were already known. There were plenty of unknowns and plenty of curiosity on my part. It wasn't a done deal. I wanted to see how it would all play out. It wasn't done when the episode ended. I was so into it. I shouted. I was stunned when they cut it off. I wanted to see more but that will have to wait for next week.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Master of None 2.09

Amarsi Un Po

Francesca returns to New York, with Pino, her fiance. Pino is busy doing business in NYC and elsewhere. Francesca and Dev end up hanging together quite a bit. Dev still has a thing for Francesca. She seems to be having doubts about getting married to Pino. She and Dev dance around the issue. Eventually Dev comes out and says he's falling for her but it takes a while to get to that point. Francesca isn't sure how to respond.

This is a long episode, the longest of the series to date. It is 57 minutes. Second place in the running time competition is 36 minutes. That's a huge difference. I wasn't sure when I started watching it. It grew on me as the episode unfolded. I think what I liked is that the episode doesn't take the easy way out. It doesn't opt for a trite ending.

I thought it was quite impressive the way the story was drawn out. It was painful to watch. It hurt me to see what Dev was going through. I can't see myself watching it again but that's not because it isn't a good episode. It isn't my favorite episode but it is a very well assembled piece of art.

It would be nice if there was more to Francesca. She is caught between Dev and Pino but there doesn't seem to be much to her life on screen other than her relationships with them.