Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Spooky Archeaology and an Ass-Kicking Broderick Crawford

April 28th, 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.


Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 7 (Television, US, NBC, Dan Goor, 2020) Holt (Andre Braugher) tries to ramp down his commanding presence after being bumped down to uniform duty; Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) decide that it’s time to have a baby. The most consistently funny and well-crafted sitcom on TV doesn’t have to deliver tight payoffs and dovetailed plotting, but the writer’s room takes the extra effort nonetheless.—RDL

The Mob (Film, US, Robert Parrish, 1951) A fatal mistake forces a weary, wisecracking police detective (Broderick Crawford) undercover in search of the mob mastermind running the city’s waterfront. Hardboiled cop thriller offers the beefy Crawford the chance to appealingly play an unlikely action hero.—RDL

Spooky Archaeology (Nonfiction, Jeb J. Card, 2018) Oh boy oh boy: chapter subjects include relic-hunting, occultism, lost continents, spies, witches, and Cthulhu, all through the lens of archaeology and its warped cousins. Card provides that most useful of auctorial voices: the skeptical eliptonist, lovingly describing some Bad Archaeology and then debunking it. A thousand RPG hooks nestle within: dig ‘em up! –KH


Big Planet (Fiction, Jack Vance, 1948) Earthmen on a mission to suppress a rising dictator on a metal-poor world colonized by outcasts centuries ago undertake an arduous trek to safety after their sabotaged ship crash-lands. Marshals many of Vance’s key motifs and themes, including picaresque journeying, cultural devolution, sudden brutality, despicable villains, and elaborate hats, with the deadpan verbal play hinted at but yet to blossom.—RDL

Extraction (Film, US, Sam Hargrave, 2020) Mercenary with a death wish Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) inserts into Dhaka to rescue the kidnapped son of a Mumbai drug lord. The film alternately squanders and trips over its plot, and Hemsworth barely changes demeanor for two hours, but the excellent action and gunfight choreography (which is most of the film, to be fair) justifies its Good rating. Golshifteh Farahani and Randeep Hooda are wasted as Rake’s handler and opposite number, respectively. –KH


Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band (Film, Canada, Daniel Rohr, 2019) Arts profile doc in which Robertson looks back at the brief heyday of the band that defined Americana before anyone used the term. This adaptation of Robertson’s autobiography shows a music legend who has always taken great care over his self-presentation doing exactly that.—RDL

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