Film Review: Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Ghoulardi Film Company, IAC Films, Warner Bros., R, 148 min) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, Martin Short, and Michael Kenneth Williams. Searching for God Knows What What makes a good detective story? For some, the answer is a desire for mystery. The whodunit aspect becomes the key. Each chapter or scene adds weight to the impending sense of cracking the case. The mystery genre, however, provides many offshoots. In particular, the noir genre of detective story creates a brooding sense of drama surrounding the standard case solving formula. The detectives in charge of the case become the main point, transforming the story… Read More →

Television Show Review: Silicon Valley: Season 2

Silicon Valley Season 2

Silicon Valley: Season 2 created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky (HBO, 3 Arts Entertainment, Judgemental Films Inc.) Starring Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods, and Matt Ross. *Spoilers for previous seasons… You’ve been warned!* 30 Minutes of Funny When we collectively think comedy, the 30-minute sitcom immediately emerges from the simmering sea of consciousness. Thumb through the channels on any given night and you’ll find comedy, whether new programming or syndication. No matter the show, the average viewer can board and depart the comedy train at any point. The average episode of comedy blends three plots—1 major and 2 supporting—into something funny and enjoyable. Certain narrative structures exist from… Read More →

Television Show Review: Game of Thrones: Season 5

Game of Thrones Season 5

Game of Thrones: Season 5 created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO, Television 360, Grok!) Starring Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Alfie Allen, Aidan Gillen, Conleth Hill, Jerome Flynn, Gwendoline Christie, Ian McElhinney, Stephen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten, and Iwan Rheon. *Spoilers… You’ve been warned!* The Moment of Twitter broke during episode 9 of Game of Thrones: Season 3. The carefully divided audience between book readers and non-book readers encountered “The Red Wedding.” This event involved the full-scale slaughter of the good guys. OUT OF NOWHERE. Book readers had been anticipating the event for years, awaiting the vivid scenes that were so surprising in… Read More →

Television Show Review: Bloodline: Season 1

Bloodline Season 1

Bloodline: Season 1 created by Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, and Daniel Zelman (Netflix, KZK Productions, Sony Pictures Television) Starring Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbet Leo Butz, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepard. A New Kind of Show If you haven’t logged on to Netflix lately, you’ll be surprised at the amount of Netflix-specific programming. The manner in which content releases creates new viewing experiences. The first hint at this new frontier occurred with House of Cards as the whole season released at once caused binge watchers to… well… binge. The release-the-season-all-at-once strategy allows the writers and producers to reconsider how to approach a show. While Bloodline isn’t the binge-watching cocaine addiction of its Netflix brethren, the medium provides… Read More →

Film Review: The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game written by Graham Moore and directed by Morten Tyldum (The Weinstein Company, Black Bear Pictures, Bristol Automotive, PG-13, 114 min) Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Charles Dance. The Weight of Story In my line of work, we like to remind clients that a logo cannot bear the full weight of a brand. If you try to inject every little part of the business into your visual expression, it will break under such immensity. The same principle applies to many forms of art. If you try and do too much, it’s going to be a mess. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song, a story, or a sculpture, throw too much into the mix and… Read More →

Book Review: The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen

The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet: A Novel by Reif Larsen (New York: Penguin Books, 2009. 400 pp) Reif Larsen studied at Brown University and has taught at Columbia University, where he earned an M.F.A. in fiction. His debut novel, The Selected Work of T.S. Spivet was a 2010 Montana Honor Book, an IndieBound Award Finalist, and on the shortlist for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Mr. Larsen is also a filmmaker specializing in documentaries. You Gonna Diagram That? Presentations represent a core deliverable at my work. In these decks, illustrations are key. More often than not, I draft the deck in full sentences and then consider ways in which to illustrate the point. Our minds are visual. We… Read More →

Book Review: The Ball and the Cross

The Ball and the Cross by G. K. Chesterton

The Ball and The Cross by G. K. Chesterton (New York: Dover Publications, 1995; originally published in 1910. 178 pp) G. K. Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, and Christian apologist. He is best known for his non-fiction such as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. The Good News? “Have you spread the Gospel?” This question operates as a foundational principle for the majority of Evangelicals. The core purpose—maybe even the only purpose—surrounds converting souls. Family must be Christian. When a child is born, the mission of the parents exists only to bring the child to Christ. Unbelievers throughout the family need the cross. I would venture most awkward holiday conversations emerge from this evangelical mandate. Work does not exist for… Read More →