Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: The Beekeeper, Poker Face, and a Poe/Batman Crossover

April 30th, 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.


The Beekeeper (Film, US, David Ayer, 2024) Cyber-scammers provoke the righteous wrath of a retired super-assassin (Jason Statham.) Grounded secondary characters and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility provide the variations in this cleverly assembled addition to the Statham filmography.—RDL

Forbidden Science 4: The Spring Hill Chronicles (Nonfiction, Jacques Vallee, 2019) The 1990s journals of computer scientist and maverick UFOlogist Vallee cover his years as an unlikely venture capitalist, as he grows disaffected with the impact of alien abduction theorizers and black bag operatives on the aerial phenomena scene. A must-have resource for anyone running DELTA GREEN in its original time period.—RDL

Poker Face Season 1 (Television, US, Peacock; Rian Johnson, Nora Zuckerman. & Lilla Zuckerman, 2023) On the run from a vengeful casino owner, resourceful drifter Charlie Cale (Natasha Lyonne) encounters a series of murders that call on her quirky ability to see through lies. Aided by a stellar selection of guest stars, this set of how-will-they-get-caught mysteries pays beguiling homage to Columbo and the nigh-forgotten art of episodic TV scripting. As Ken already said, it also obligingly answers any questions you might have about the use of GUMSHOE’s Bullshit Detector ability.—RDL

The Price of Everything (Film, US, Nathaniel Kahn, 2018) Incisively edited documentary probes the relationship between meaning and mega-commerce in the contemporary art world. By observing his articulate interview subjects in their native habitats, Kahn finds not only abstract exposition of his thesis but also some surprisingly moving human moments.—RDL


Batman Nevermore (Comics, DC, Len Wein & Guy Davis, 2003) In 1831, when the mysterious Raven begins killing members of Baltimore’s Gotham Club, cub reporter Edgar Poe investigates, with help from a mysterious Bat-Man. Wein does his best to write in something like Poe’s style, while jamming as many of Poe’s stories into the narrative as he can—it’s pretty much what the premise invites. The real draw is Guy Davis’ art, always a wonderfully oblique fit with superheroes, here playing to his intricate-line strengths. Five Bernie Wrightson covers seal the deal at Good.—KH

Not Recommended

The Sign of the Ram (Film, US, John Sturges, 1948) A newspaper poet (Suzan Peters) who lost the use of her legs rescuing her now-adult stepchildren from the turbulent coastal waters of Cornwall obsessively manipulates their lives. Sturges is not the director to go to for the camp sensibility this modern gothic melodrama cries out for, so what remains is a catalog of tropes to appall advocates of disability representation. Conceived as a vehicle to bring back Columbia contract star Peters after a hunting accident severed her spinal cord.—RDL

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