NTWON: Love Season 2

This month on Nothing To Watch on Netflix we spotlight the newly released second season of Love. 

For the uninitiated, Love is one of the many, many pies that Judd Apatow has a finger in. After a moderately successful first season, Love's second season dropped at the beginning of March.

In spite of its title, Love is a complicated look at modern romance from a realistic, if not overly cynical perspective. While the first season focused on the boy-meets-girl dynamic between Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), the second season centers on their developing relationship.

The thing about this show that separates it from other rom-coms is that the main characters are total, nearly irredeemable pieces of shit. Gus is a passive-aggressive "nice guy" with a savior complex while Mickey is a psycho-sexual trainwreck struggling with alcoholism and sex addiction. If that doesn't make things bad enough, this season also focuses on the strains that distance can have on an already dysfunctional relationship.

One thing that is particularly unique to Love is that the viewer actively roots against Mickey and Gus at every turn. It's clear that, due to their individual shortcomings, their relationship is not meant to last. However, the two characters are too lonely and co-dependent to see this for themselves.

While the burgeoning romance between Mickey and Gus may not be the main appeal for most viewers, the secondary cast of characters will probably keep the audience interested. Bobby Lee's character is particularly entertaining as he steals nearly every scene he is in. Bertie, Mickey's roommate (played by Claudia O'Doherty), deals with relationship issues of her own that are on the whole more entertaining to watch because she's not a total piece of human garbage. 

Love is without a doubt an entertaining watch, but it is by no means feel-good. If you are a fan of fuzzy pink romance stories, this is not the show for you. However, if you are interested in a realistic portrayal of love between two deeply flawed individuals then this is the show for you.

Serenity - Benjamin Casiano

As springtime comes, it's only fitting that Benjamin Casiano brings a splash of color to ALSO THAT. Benjamin is a Connecticut resident whose work is reminiscent of Picasso as he stylizes the human form with bold lines and bright colors. He has displayed his work in galleries all over the United States. 

 
I went from artist to designer and back again. Each year I would paint once every so often but when I fell victim to the great recession, my artistry was truly resurrected in the process. 
 
At first, it was a distraction while seeking employment as a designer. I began reminiscing on why I became an artist in the first place. I was able to tap into the deepest part of the subconscious without therapy, prayer or meditation. Each brushstroke became another part to a zen-like serenity. The studio became my sanctuary. 

Eventually, I accumulated a body of work and was accepted into a few galleries near home. Today my work has been viewed in several major cities including New York, Philadelphia, Delaware and Providence. 

I paint every day just to add a bit to our culture & society, one painting at a time. One exhibition at a time.
-BC

Click here to visit Benjamin's website.

Click here to visit the Acrylic Painting Facebook group run by Benjamin.

Click here to follow Benjamin on Twitter.

Don't Watch This Shit Episode 5: Gods of Egypt

In this edition of Don't Watch This Shit, Mick, Jesse, Baby Brother Taylor, and Perpetual New Guy Sam sat down and watched the summer blockbuster Gods Of Egypt starring Jamie Lannister, Off-Brand Orlando Bloom, and Gerard Butler.

# of Times Off-Brand Orlando Bloom should have died: 6

Tits:

0

Jews:

0

Jesse

  1. Mostly white people

  2. Vague British accent: NO EGYPTIAN

  3. Gauntlet of enemies

  4. Storm/Infiltrate the Castle Scene

  5. Set has some artifact as source of power

  6. Tertiary God in 11th hour

  7. Hero ascends to Godhood

  8. Hero training sequence

  9. Villian monologue

  10. God learns about mortals

Mick

  1. Surprisingly accurate mythology

  2. Gratuitous CGI

  3. Would probably make a better video game.

  4. Jesus-like sacrifice ending by Jamie L.

  5. Inception-like soundtrack

  6. Nobody tries hard acting in this movie.

  7. Dumb romantic subplot forced in.

  8. Probably going to see a mummy

  9. Dying without blood

  10. Reach: Someone will part the Red Sea.

Taylor

  1. Ra is going to be a sexy woman.

  2. Scene where they weigh souls with Anubis

  3. The sphinx being build still with nose

  4. Jamie Lannister is immortal

  5. Gerard Butler will have no actual motivation besides evil.

  6. The human will weaken the villain to make him killable in the last fight

  7. The heroes gained super amazeballs weapons that will be stripped away in the last fight.

  8. Jamie Lannister has sex at least twice, one time he's real sad

  9. Someone will be fed grapes like Hedonism bot

  10. Vikings or another force will be the stinger at the end.  

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Sam

  1. Goal is the "Eye of Horus"

  2. Girl is actually a god and doesn't reveal it until the end.

  3. No mention of the Jews

  4. Hero does it for the poon

  5. Horus loses twice

  6. "Mortals" gags

  7. Some sort of very incorrect Egyptian imagery

  8. Huge CGI sets ala Star Wars or LOTR

  9. Struggle accents or no attempt at accents

  10. Main character makes heroic sacrifice

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, and Aubrey Plaza star in this stick of comedy dynamite about two idiot brothers who need wedding dates.

This comedy follows the trail that movies like Wedding Crashers and The Wedding Singer have blazed. That is, it's a comedy about all of the antics that can occur when two people are tying the knot. Mike and Dave takes a new slant on this premise because instead of focusing on just the two moron brothers, viewers are also treated to the antics of the eponymous wedding dates Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick, who are also horrible people.

In addition to the fresh take on a comedy staple, the script is strong as hell and the delivery of the lines are solid gold. This shouldn't be a surprise when the four lead actors are all comedy veterans with appearances in massively successful projects on their own. Supplementing this all-star lineup is a slew of great cameos. Pretty much every scene has a famous comedian in a cameo, including Marc Maron, Kumail Nanjiani, and Jake Johnson. 

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates has high re-watchability as many of the jokes come not from the surprise of the punch but in the over the top way that they are delivered. Everyone chews on the scenery the entire time, moving effortlessly from falsetto and shouting and back again. It has all the makings of a classic. 

Still I Rise- Maya Angelou

To celebrate the close of Black History Month and the beginning of Women's History Month, Mick read a poem by one of the greatest poets to ever walk this earth, the late great Dr. Maya Angelou.

Listen to it below:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

NTWON: Sausage Party

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Another month, another edition of Nothing to Watch on Netflix. This month, we've got the comedy hurricane Sausage Party for you just as it hits Netflix.

Released in 2016, Sausage Party is a Pixar-spoof about the secret life of food. If the R-rating hasn't made it clear enough, this movie is not for children. Starring Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig alongside a slew of cameos, this movie is a hilarious and depraved clusterfuck.

The beauty of this movie is that it borrows the typical format that most animated features follow: some category of inanimate object is anthropomorphized, a ragtag group of misfits get lost, and they learn valuable life lessons on the way back home. Except, in Sausage Party, the objects are food and the valuable life lesson they learn is that they will be savagely devoured by humans.

The humor doesn't stop at the fact that adorable animated food products are using swear words, either. The writers work in some thinly-veiled social and political commentary, like the pairing of Sammy Bagel Jr. and Kareem Abdul Lavash to poke fun at the Israel/Palestine conflict. (It should be noted that 10/10 people surveyed had no idea what the hell a lavash was)

On the whole, Sausage Party is simply hilarious. Considering the all-star cast, the rock-solid script, and the producers' track record, this shouldn't come as a surprise at all. Give this one a whirl the next chance you get. 

Unlocked Ability- Marianne Schmidt

Marianne Schmidt is a talented artist with a remarkable story and one of the kindest people you can meet. Her work is vibrant and full of life with bright colors and natural subjects.   

 

My ability and vision for art come from a brain injury which unlocked ability I never had before. This happened about 2 years ago. Since then my passion has grown as well as my skill. I have been blessed to do many portraits of people's pets with a focus on horses.I have become know as an Equine artist after winning the International Equus Film Festival Art contest in 2016. However, horses are just one of the things I love to paint. I enjoy capturing special moments in people's lives through paint. I think what I enjoy the most is where reality meets whimsy.  The mediums I choose to work in are acrylic, oil, and pastels. I look forward to discovering more about the creative process through collaboration with other artists and trying new things on 2017. My new studio TRUTH COLORS at 305 Knowlton in Bridgeport is the perfect place to continue on this path of discovery.
-MS

Don't Watch This Shit Episode 4: Sniper Special Ops

Mick, Jesse, and sweet baby brother Taylor got together for another episode of Don't Watch This Shit. We watched Steven Segal's Sniper Special Ops. It was not good.

Tits: 0

Explosions: 4

One Liners: 1

Mick

  1. Gratuitous Patriotism
  2. Racist soldier on squad
  3. Seagal goes back to save someone
  4. One of the team members is a traitor
  5. Nobody has done any research on guns/combat
  6. Seagal gets the girl
  7. Gratuitous puns
  8. Someone is going to do that terrorist scream
  9. Wilhelm Scream
  10. Latent homoeroticism

Final Thoughts: Giant waste of time

Jesse

  1. Steven Seagal is effectively immortal
  2. Only one American is hurt
  3. Girl is won by Steven Seagal in the end
  4. Steven Seagal never removes sunglasses
  5. Steven Seagal martial arts someone to death
  6. Horrible gunplay
  7. Steven Seagal speaks Arabic
  8. Towelhead & Other Offensive slurs
  9. At least one America! or USA!
  10. Vic and Jake bromance. One of them brings up bet in the end.

Final Thoughts: I feel guilty for giving Steven Seagal Money for this

Taylor

  1. There is no spotter at any point
  2. Seagal is loose cannon cop, served for multiple tours
  3. Little brother death scene
  4. Flashback to little blonde girl running in yard
  5. Reloading only twice
  6. Seagal powers through leg wound at the end
  7. Black hawks save the day like in LOTR.
  8. RPG used on humans
  9. Wilhelm scream from grenade throw
  10. Comes from army family, his father, his father before him

Final Thoughts: ZzzzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzZzzzzz...

Keith Roland: Glitch City

Keith Roland makes his triumphant return to ALSO THAT to share some photos of an urban exploring expedition in Bridgeport, CT that he took with Mick Theebs. Check out his photos below! 

Taylor Reviews: John Wick Chapter 2

The original John Wick is one of the only movies I’ve come across where every context it’s brought up in it is cast in a favorable - if not blindingly glowing - light. You either love it, haven’t seen it yet, or appreciate what it’s doing from afar (and also you hate fun). Unfortunately, it’s hard from the outside to see just why the movie was so revered. Words like “revenge flick” and “non-stop action” are inevitably brought up and the sequel doesn’t betray those roots in the slightest. Like the first film, there’s very little in terms of “message” or character development - the bad guys start bad and stay bad for the remainder of the film. Keanu is the chaotic force of almost-good that we witness navigate the depths of a society of high-class assassins, rooting for him but fearing him all the same. John Wick: Chapter 2 picks up literal days after the events of the first film but does the film improve on the first or merely fall flat?

For those uninitiated few, John Wick is such an interesting character because he isn’t one. John doesn’t spout one-liners or banter playfully with those he fights. He doesn’t wax poetic about why he’s justified in his killing to his peers and rivals. He doesn’t feel like the macho Schwarzenegger-esque stars of the 80’s action flicks who keep their fighting fair and above the belt. John is a truly reluctant hero who doesn’t want to be doing the things that he does, but he is freakishly good at killing. The character side-steps the normal arc of “realizing the emptiness of revenge” in that he exacts his vengeance already knowing that he will not derive pleasure or bring back what is torn from him. It’s not clear how Keanu Reeve’s character got into this world of peddling death, but the actor really brings across a feeling that he would do anything to keep from being submerged into it again.

What truly separates John Wick and its sequel from any other bland direct-to-Netflix action film are the real stars of the show: the cinematography and choreography. Where any other filmmaker would shoot an establishing shot, Stahelski treats us to vistas worth staring at. No shot feels accidental and every cut happens at the right rhythm. The film jumps locales from daytime roman architecture shots to Manhattan rooftops to unnaturally stark white New York subway stations. There are mesmerizing reflection shots that bend the mind as you try to comprehend a hallway of mirrors reminiscent of a carnival’s funhouse. There are gritty catacomb stills that paint John dwarfed by the massive stone walls, where the eye is continuously drawn to the beams of flashlights pointing from soon to be expired men.

If it’s any consolation, the henchmen are all dispatched in the most visceral fighting and gunplay of any movie in the past decade. The choreography is straight up masterful. Reeves moves like a scalpel amongst a sea of sledgehammers for long (20+ second) shots - dancing around nameless goons, dispatching them in a slew of headshots and overhead throws. That’s not to say that John is impervious. He also gets visibly and believably tired, allowing the film and audience a chance to breathe as our lead chases or gets chased by the ever-growing list of enemies.

In terms of story, one of the strongest points of the John Wick Cinematic Universe ™ is that there is no “As You Know”/”Tell Me Again” talk: in other words, the audience feels truly thrown into the middle of a teeming universe of murder for money. Characters know each other and have complex pasts but often don’t explain where or why – because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Whether this approach to the story is purposeful or just easier on a writer who didn’t want to bother with explanations (that could let the viewer down) remains to be seen.

In terms of missteps, there is only one portion of the movie that betrays the grim mood, and that is a section where two assassins are locked in a very slow paced walk parallel to one another -whilst shooting silenced pistols, the bystanders failing to notice anything is occurring. It comes across as comedic, and you feel bad for laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation that’s bookended with gruesome headshots and stabbings.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a slight displeasure with the ending. The sequence leaves absolutely no question that there will be a chapter 3 to the detriment of being able to stand up on its own. If this is the only concession John Wick: Chapter 2 makes to contemporary film-making, I can’t complain.

For a movie that has characters point out every ten minutes how Keanu Reeves’ John Wick is back from retirement, I can’t help but feel grateful that he is. To be graced with an action movie that just wants to look cool and be fun without worrying about what is popular, or toning down its violence for a PG-13 rating is refreshing. While a cliffhanger ending is unfortunate, I can’t deny I’m already eagerly awaiting the (as of writing this confirmed) sequel. There’s no sophomoric slump here – just an increase in the trail of bodies one man is forced to leave.


FINAL RATING: 9/10, WATCH THIS GODDAMNED FILM


TAYLOR RAJ OPERATES A TV STUDIO AND CAN'T ENJOY MOVIES SINCE HE LEARNED CINEMATOGRAPHY. HE'S SCARED ONE DAY HIS SKELETON WILL ESCAPE. YOU CAN FIND HIS INANE RAMBLING AT @TAYLORR37

The Nice Guys

Recently, Mick had the pleasure of watching The Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. 

Taking place in the 1970's, The Nice Guys focuses on a hired muscle (Crowe) and an alcoholic single father/ private eye (Gosling) trying to track down a missing woman. This movie is a fun and frantic ride through the noir genre and is complete with all kind of twists and turns. At its core, it's a comedy about a growing friendship between two completely different men.

Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a borderline sociopath with a heart of gold. Sure, he beats people up for money and doesn't seem to care about who he beats up so long as he gets paid, but when he's off the clock he is a kind and optimistic man with a soft spot for children. 

Holland March (Gosling), on the other hand, is your typical booze-soaked private eye. He loves his daughter and wants to protect her from all of the harsh realities of the world, but is also comically incompetent as a detective who spends most of his time drinking on the job.

Fate brings these two together to try to unravel a complicated and dangerous mystery involving porn stars, a broken arm, hitmen, and Holland March's inexplicable ability to survive any fall. The titular Nice Guys also get help from Holland's sassy/spunky daughter who's smarter than the two of them put together.

The script is tight and everything flows together seamlessly over the course of the movie's 2-hour runtime even as the mystery grows more complicated and confusing. The dialogue is natural and organic, due in no small part to the chemistry between Crowe and Gosling (they agreed to do this movie solely for the chance to work together).

Not only is there action and intrigue, but The Nice Guys is funny as hell as well. One scene in particular that stands out involves Gosling attempting to negotiate with a foul-mouthed boy on a bicycle for some information.

As of right now, you can watch The Nice Guys on HBO Now/GO or pay for it on Amazon and Youtube. Definitely give this movie a shot if you're looking for something relatively fun with a plot that sucks you in.