Rocky Hill

Keith, Mick, and Taylor explored the ruins of an old quarry and took photos.




NTWON: The Package

After a brief hiatus, Nothing to Watch on Netflix is back and The Package is a doozy. A bunch of teenagers go on a camping trip and, because it's a movie, everything goes wrong. However, unlike every other movie about teenagers in the woods, there's only one casualty. Check the trailer below:

While it may seem like they give away the entire movie in the trailer, there is a lot going on beneath the surface of this movie about a guy who accidentally cut his dick off. Naturally, considering the subject matter, The Package is pretty irreverent and gross. If you're not okay with seeing a bunch of close up shots of a fake dick then you probably shouldn't watch it. 

It seems that the Workaholics crew is making moves into producing movies after wrapping up their wildly successful television and marginally less successful Netflix movie Game Over, Man. This time around, the boys team up with Ben Stiller's Red Hour Productions for their first foray into film where our three favorite slackers aren't the main leads, though Blake Anderson does have a small part. 

The Package is a dark comedy and probably not for the faint of heart. Considering the plot revolves around a group of friends trying to reattached their friend's severed dick, it's pretty goddamn gross. But the writers manage to find a lot of laughs in that dark place. What's better is that the cast is a made up of a slew of new and diverse faces. The typical comedy format of a bunch of idiot white dudes is shaken up with the addition of women and people of color, who, as it turns out, are pretty good at playing the part of teenage comedy idiots.

While it may seem like the trailer gives away the entire movie, there is a lot of other stuff that happens that comes out of fucking left field. When watching The Package, there will be lots of laughs coupled with some mild disgust and potentially a newfound fear of having your dick chopped off. But for the most part, you'll have a great time. 

Check it out! 

Return to Ross and Roberts

Keith, Mick, and Taylor grabbed their cameras and made their triumphant return to Ross and Roberts Manufacturing to take more photos. Check out what they snapped this time around below and take a look at the first set here.




Ansonia Brass

Taylor, Keith, and Mick had another urban exploration adventure at an old brass factory. Check out the photos they took below. 




This is a Photograph of Me

Mick reads the poem This is a Photograph of Me by Margaret Atwood.

It was taken some time ago. 
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake, 
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough, 
you will be able to see me.)

Fairfield Hills

Keith, Taylor, and Mick went to Fairfield Hills Hospital and snapped some photos.




NTWON: Take Your Pills

For May's edition of Nothing to Watch on Netflix, Mick watched a documentary called Take Your Pills.

Take Your Pills shines a spotlight on an often unnoticed and forgotten epidemic sweeping America: the widespread use and abuse of prescription ADD/ADHD medications, with a specific focus on Adderall.

This documentary is chilling because it brings to light the fact that a massive swath of the population is using amphetamine, the chemical branded as Adderall. A large, diverse cast of individuals using Adderall are the focus of this documentary in order to show just how far this epidemic reaches. Of course, there are a slew of college/high school students in addition to a software engineer, a talent agent, and a stock broker. 

To balance out this portrait of everyday people who use this drug, there are also a variety of doctors, experts, and talking heads that throw in their two cents on the Adderall epidemic as well, while also going into detail about what amphetamine is and how it affects our bodies. Spoiler alert: it's not good.

In addition to all of the extremely valuable and interesting information that is overflowing from this film, it is also beautifully shot and the director, Alison Klayman, injects a healthy dose of surrealism to communicate the anxiety and discomfort that being on an ridiculous amount of amphetamine can cause. 

The thing that's particularly complicated is that this film shows viewers that there are two types of Adderall users: the ones who legitimately need it and the ones who use it to get an edge in our hyper competitive civilization. In all, it's a deeply thoughtful meditation on the utility and cost of this medication. 

Check it out! 

The Old Man's War

Recently, Mick had the pleasure of reading the 2005 sci-fi novel The Old Man's War.

Like all good science fiction, the premise of The Old Man's War is simple. Humanity has started colonizing space and the Colonial Defence Force is tasked with protecting the human colonies from all manner of hostile alien life. The twist on this tried and true formula is that CDF soldiers are not allowed to enlist until they are 75 years old. The plot centers on a new recruit named John Perry as he adjusts to CDF life and experiences life off Earth.

The thing that makes The Old Man's War such an instant classic is that it not only follows in the tradition of science fiction giants like Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and Orson Scott Card but it reads like it's an active part of that tradition, except without all of the misogynistic baggage that usually comes along with it. Rather, The Old Man's War is about one man's jaunt through space blasting intelligent alien life forms before they devour entire human colonies and his ethical struggle with the horror and inhumanity of war. Another wrinkle in this plot (without spoiling too much) deals with the very nature of what it means to be human as CDF soldiers experience genetic modification in order to assist them in combat across the stars. 

Being that it's a sci-fi novel, the writing isn't particularly splendid. It's certainly not a garbled unreadable nightmare, but you won't be reading Nabokov either. The language is stripped down and simple due in part to the fact that John is the first person narrator and he's not a particularly verbose guy. And let's be honest, nobody reads sci-fi for mind-blowing prose anyways.  

In short, this is a quick and easy book to tear through on a rainy weekend or a cross-country flight. It's fun and translates fantastically to the screen (Netflix is looking to adapt it). The Old Man's War is a must read for anyone who is a fan of the sci-fi genre.