We consume an insane amount of media content every week. Sometimes I have time to write about all of it, sometimes not. Here’s the run down, Cliff’s Notes style.
Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut set in her home town of Sacramento. Loved it. Contender for best of the year.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri: In Bruges director Michael McDonaugh’s third feature, starring a cast of heavy hitters. Currently trending 95% on RottenTomatoes. Mike Ryan loved it. I think it’s terrible. To each their own.
Roman J. Israel Esq: Denzel Washington plays an autistic lawyer (okay not officially autistic but employing virtually every tropey signifier of autism, I hate when they do this) in a film from Dan Gilroy, director of Nightcrawler (which I loved). I was really hoping for a courtoom version of The Accountant. This was not that.
(on Netflix) Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992: John Ridley directs a documentary exploring the origins of the LA riots. I thought this was a pretty cool doc, and I can always watch LA riot stuff. Pretty interesting, though I wish they would’ve explained the stories behind some of the people who died, as well as the survivors.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond: Doc about Jim Carrey going deep method to play Andy Kaufman. I haven’t watched this one yet, but it’s on the list. Jim Carrey is a crazy person. Amy Nicholson wrote about it.
The season finale of Nathan For You. God, I love this show so much. In Nathan Fielder’s feature-length season finale, he helps a former guest (a Bill Gates impersonator) track down a lost love. It’s variously: hilarious, tragic, painful, touching. What other show would even attempt something like this? This show is insane. It’s online for free now.
Alias Grace. I still haven’t watched The Handmaid’s Tale because I don’t have Hulu, but this feels like Netflix’s attempt to do something similar (Margaret Atwood is a producer).
The Butterfly Effect. Jon Ronson’s fascinating exploration of the effect of free porn. I wrote about it. It’s great.
Dirty John. From the LA Times, the story of one psychopathic stalker terrorizing a family. Both a fascinating true crime potboiler and a disturbing slice of Orange County life. We talked about it on my podcast.
Reply All. This week on Gimlet’s podcast about the internet, I learned a lot about the origin of the “Antifa Super Soldier” meme, which is both educational and sad.
I Can’t Breathe. Matt Taibbi’s new book about the Eric Garner case — or more accurately, the origins of the Eric Garner case (much like Let It Fall). Between this and The Divide, no one is writing inequality as expressed in law enforcement like Taibbi right now. Sort of crucial for understanding all those police brutality stories (I’d also recommend Ghettoside, by Jill Leovy, for more great writing on similar subject matter).
Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Yes, I read Gordon S. Wood’s new founding father book. It’s okay. I should probably pick up a novel. Also, I can’t read Gordon S. Wood without hearing Charlie Day shouting “I bet ya reading a lawt a that Gawdin S. Wood” in It’s Always Sunny. He was, uh… quoting Good Will Hunting. Who was talking about Gordon S. Wood. Who, just so we’re clear, has a new book out. This seems like media over-consumption in a nutshell.