Archive for the ‘Movie And Tv Reviews’ Category

So this past Sunday night was Mad men’s 7th season mid season finale. And for a show that embraces as much death as it does (i.e Adam Whitman’s suicide, the Mohawk plane crash with Pete Campbell’s father aboard, Lane Pryce’s suicide, & the various national assassinations of the 1960’s), this finale goes in an unexpected direction and it embraces optimism and worldwide euphoria. The episode takes place between July 16th and July 21, 1969, which happens to coincide with the launch and eventual landing of Apollo 11 on the moon.

The show starts out with the awe and inspire moment of the launching of Apollo 11 and is followed by a few tense moments where Jim Cutler tries to attempt a coup by ousting Don Draper. Led by Bert Copper, all the partners say a giant FUCK YOU to Cutler since you never try to get rid of an asset as valuable as Don by writing every partners name to a termination letter without consent. Everyone is very tensed up due to the uncertainty of the moon expedition (“I heard the moon surface is nothing but lunar quicksand”), which is exasperated with a pitch to Burger Chief happening in Indiana on July 21st. Don, as usual, is going to be the closer on the pitch and with good reason as he feels he needs the business to save his career. With his second marriage was finally confirmed that it was over, all he has left is work and his children.

On the night of the moon landing, the show gives a good sense that everyone in the world has stopped what they were doing, put on the tv and watched one of, if not THE, greatest human achievement in history: Neil Armstrong taking a giant leap for mankind by becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

Wright pick

In the moment of pure optimism and pride and sheer elation where you hear people in an Indiana hotel cheering, Don gets an idea. He decides to give Peggy the reigns and have her become the closer, since he realizes his protegee and surrogate daughter has finally eclipsed him talent wise. Her response was one of the best one liners of the show

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She, of course, kills it in the pitch, linking the recent moon landing into the pitch. She noted that not only as a nation, having just come through the 1960’s, we were starved for something as hopeful as this to happen. This can also be said of the of any  Mad Men fan, with nothing but death happening throughout the series and even in this episode.

wright pick

 

Right after the moon Landing, Roger Sterling got a call that Bertram Cooper had died from an heart attack. As morose as this makes Roger, since Bert was a 2nd father to him, he gets himself together, and organizes his own power play for control of the company. He orchestrates the sale of SC&P to a rival agency, makes himself president, and makes every partner millionaires (using math, the junior partner and corporate weasel Pete Campbell stood to make 3+ million). At the end of the episode, as Roger calls to tell everyone of Berts’ passing, and of the impending sale, Don tells Peggy excitingly that he has work to do, since Peggy just revels in the fact that she landed Burger Chief. The episode decided to end on a farewell to Bert Cooper (& actor Robert Morse, whose acting beginnings came from the Musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying back in the 1950’s), Don has a hallucination of Bert doing a song and dance to The Best Things In Life Are Free. This moment will go down as one of the most memorable moments of the entire show.

Hopefully, The rest of Season 7 will be able to top that song and number

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I just came back from seeing the new movie Godzilla with a few friends and although it was intended as a stand alone film; it has the potential for a few sequels. For those with a good eye for film structure, the director, Gareth Edwards, and writer, Max Borenstein, drew inspiration from Steven Spielbergs’ work in Jaws, Jurassic Park and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in that the movie decides to employ the slow reveal, in regards to showing Godzilla for the first time; and they created an eerie sense of terror and inevitable destruction in this buildup. The whole movie played out as slow, tension rising play where the US military tries to contain Godzilla and a male and female Mothra-type creatures. This leads up to the destructive battle between Godzilla and the two creatures in the streets of San Francisco. As a side comparison, 2013’s visual masterpiece Pacific Rim had nonstop action between humans  & Godzilla-type monster that left little time for internal debate.

I do applaud this method that Borenstien presented in the script, because it allowed for people to think if Godzilla was trying to protect the humans or it was just following its natural instinct as the top of its ancient food chain to destroy the Mothra-type creatures. (Background: this movie deviates from other Godzilla movies where it notes that Godzilla is not radiation-enhanced komodo dragon which was blasted by nuclear radiation during the nuclear tests in South Pacific during the 1950’s. In fact, those “tests” were a giant cover up the government created where it tried to kill Godzilla, an ancient creature that laid dormant for millions of years, with nuclear weapons.) Many of the viewers in the theater wanted to see Godzilla kick some ass; a kid behind me even thought that Godzilla was a good monster that would protect humans before the movie started. At the end, with Godzilla standing in triumph, letting out a victorious roar before leaving civilization for the ocean depths, you have to ask yourself: is Godzilla a savior for mankind from other ancient monsters, or an out-of-control monster at the top of his ancient food chain that will turn its attention towards mankind once it finishes destroying his ancient enemies?