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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Monopoly vs Anti-Monopoly and Two Games with the Same Name

November 3rd, 2020 | 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.

The Pinnacle

Ted Lasso (Television, US, Bill Lawrence & Jason Sudeikis, Apple+, 2020) Hired by a team owner (Hannah Waddingham) intent on tanking the club she got in the divorce from her weasel husband, an unremittingly positive US football coach (Jason Sudeikis) adjusts to life among the British and the unrelated sport of the same name. Improbably sourced from jokey interstitial commercials, this sports dramedy scores with smart, generous character portrayals and scene-making, supported by spot-on performances from Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Nick Mohammed, and Phil Dunster.—RDL

Recommended

Daniel Isn’t Real (Film, US, Adam Egypt Mortimer, 2019) Shy college freshman (Miles Robbins) raised by a schizophrenic single mom (Mary Stuart Masterson) releases the sinister imaginary friend of his childhood, now a confident alpha bro (Patrick Schwarzenegger). Discordant score and jagged cutting up the unease as it moves from the psychological to the supernatural.—RDL

Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Antimonopoly (Nonfiction, Matt Stoller, 2019) History of US political economics since 1910 casts antimonopolism as both wise and traditional, focusing on the career of Texas congressman Wright Patman as its lodestone. Very refreshing to read a book that confirms only half of  one’s priors, and bracing to see Bork and Galbraith cast as twin villains. Needs further definition and exploration, and skips too lightly over regulatory capture and Clintonism, but an excellent start at post-Google thinking. –KH

Greyhound (Film, US, Aaron Schneider, 2020) Devout destroyer captain (Tom Hanks) leads the defense of a freight convoy from a pack of U-Boats as it crosses the stretch of Atlantic air support can’t reach. Stoic war thriller uses extensive CGI to depict the harrowing qualities of WWII naval warfare. In his own adaptation of the C. S. Forester novel The Good Shepherd, Hanks rediscovers the power of restraint; comparisons to Fonda and Stewart have never been more apt.—RDL

Good

Craig Ferguson: Just Being Honest (Stand-up, Craig Ferguson, 2015) Ferguson weaves a series of anecdotes and callbacks into an enjoyable hour, as per usual. A looser, more relaxed post-Late-Late-Show affect generally damps out the highs and lows of his usual act; strong making-fun-of-Mick-Jagger energy charges up one segment by contrast. –KH

Okay

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (Film, Poland, Bartosz M. Kowalski, 2020) Five hiking teens from a tech-detox camp in the Polish woods stumble across twin mutants. Poland’s first slasher film simply recaps America’s first 200+ slasher films, with almost nothing of its own to say or contribute. Effectively lit and lensed by Cezary Stolecki, though. –KH

Working Girls (Film, US, Dorothy Arzner, 1931) When midwestern sisters arrive in New York City to find jobs and men, the ladylike one (Dorothy Hall) falls for a callow Harvard lawyer. The first two acts play as a melodrama illuminated by Arzner’s insight into womens’ lives; the sympathies they establish are then tossed away for a lurch into screwball comedy.—RDL

Not Recommended

Anna and the Apocalypse (Film, UK, John McPhail, 2017) Zombies strike Scottish high school on the day of its Christmas pageant. Mediocre zombie film meets sub-par musical, without finding a point of view on either genre.—RDL

One Response to “Ken and Robin Consume Media: Monopoly vs Anti-Monopoly and Two Games with the Same Name”

  1. Justin Mohareb says:

    I really wanted to like Anna & the Apocslypse more.

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