Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Furiosa, Lovecraft’s Iraq, and a Genre-Blending Romance

May 28th, 2024 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (Film, Australia, George Miller, 2024) Kidnapped from the Green Place as a child (Alyla Browne) by the warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) seeks revenge and return. A Western epic pivoting on a coming-of-age car-chase-battle as good as anything Miller has ever shot easily hits the Recommended level despite the inevitable prequel handicaps. Hemsworth is a delight as a cartoon villain whose arc mirrors that of the hateful world where Furiosa is trapped.—KH

History is Made at Night (Film, US, Frank Borzage, 1937) Renowned restaurateur (Charles Boyer) steps in to protect the independence-seeking wife (Jean Arthur) of a psychotic shipping magnate (Colin Clive.) The director’s subtle mastery of feeling and atmosphere fuses the seams of a genre-blending romantic thriller.—RDL

Is This Anything? (Nonfiction, Jerry Seinfeld, 2020) Compilation of virtually all of Seinfeld’s stand-up material from the 1970s to 2020 shows both the steady honing of his writing and the vital importance of delivery on stage.—KH

White Elephant (Film, Argentina, Pablo Trapero, 2012) Terminally ill priest (Ricardo Darin) takes in a traumatized colleague (Jérémie Renier) in the unspoken hope that he will succeed him in his violence-plagued shantytown parish. Star-driven social drama establishes obvious expectations and then veers away from them.—RDL


Category III: The Untold Story of Hong Kong Exploitation Cinema (Film, UK, Calum Waddell, 2018) Survey of the Hong Kong film industry’s adult-rated output, which ranges from the sordid to classics of extreme and arthouse cinema alike, told through talking heads and scuffed-up trailer excerpts. Most remarkable among the interviews is an unnervingly revealing appearance from actor Anthony Wong.—RDL

Lovecraft’s Iraq (Fiction, David Rose, 2022) When a USMC patrol outside Fallujah finds pages from the Necronomicon in a cultist safe house, things get increasingly weird for the survivors. More military horror-fantasy than pure Lovecraftian tale, worth reading for Delta Green GMs.—KH

Master of the World (Film, US, WIlliam Witney, 1961) In 1868, investigating mysterious phenomena from a Pennsylvania mesa, Interior Department agent Strock (Charles Bronson) becomes the captive of Captain Robur (Vincent Price) on his aeronef Albatross. Competent, if florid, Richard Matheson adaptation of two Verne novels struggles against an AIP budget. For whatever reason, Bronson and Price never truly face off in what would have been quite the actors’ duel.—KH

Themroc (Film, France, Claude Faraldo, 1973) After an incident at work, a brutish prole (Michel Piccoli) destroys his flat, inspiring his neighbors to join in and provoking a violent response from the riot squad. Dadaist satire of devolution and authority with only unintelligible gibberish is the missing link between Buñuel and current practitioners of the French arthouse weird such as Leos Carax and Gaspar Noé. Like many experimental films it could stand a tighter edit.—RDL


The Delinquents (Film, Argentina, Rodrigo Moreno, 2023) Unassuming bank clerk (Daniel Elias) absconds with a gym bag full of cash, roping in a glum colleague (Esteban Bigliardi) as an accomplice after the fact. Genre elements compete uneasily with the hyper-elongated pacing of slow cinema.—RDL

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