Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: The Book of Eating, The Idea of You, and Martial Arts Marital Problems

May 21st, 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.

Ken is on assignment.


The Book of Eating: Adventures in Professional Gluttony (Nonfiction, Adam Platt, 2019) Longtime NYC restaurant critic recounts his youthful eating experiences as the son of a diplomat posted to the Far East, his quixotic dieting attempts, and run-ins with aggrieved chefs. Lyrical and amusing memoir most covers the food and media industries in a time of radical, Internet-driven upheaval. Consumed in audiobook format.—RDL

The Idea of You (Film, US, Michael Showalter, 2024) Recently divorced gallery owner (Anne Hathaway) stumbles into a relationship with a searingly famous young pop star (Nicholas Galitzine.) Showalter’s commitment to real human behavior brings emotional context to the star sizzle of its leads in this romantic dramedy.—RDL


Heroes of the East (Film, HK, Chia-Liang Liu, 1978) Newlyweds Tao Ho (Gordon Liu) and Yumiko (Yuka Mizuno) clash over the virtues of their respective Chinese and Japanese fighting styles, leading to a mix-up in which all of Japan’s martial arts masters challenge him in turn. The promise of a kung fu rom com where fights determine the course of love gives way to a series of well-staged duels, with the merits of many different weapons discussed in detail..—RDL

What a Way to Go! (Film, US, J. Lee Thompson, 1964) Good hearted lover of the simple life (Shirley Maclaine) falls for a succession of men (Dick van Dyke, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum and Gene Kelly), inadvertently inspiring them to success that brings about their early demises. Lavishly produced, extravagantly costumed, cartoonish, postmodern anti-capitalist satire will have you looking it up on IMDB to prove to yourself that you didn’t hallucinate it. From the director of Cape Fear, The Guns of Navarone, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and Death Wish 4.—RDL


A Week’s Vacation (Film, France, Bertrand Tavernier, 1980) Disaffected middle school teacher (Nathalie Baye) takes a week of sick leave to reconsider her life. Naturalistic drama exemplifies the way in which accurate portrayals of depression run counter to the demands of traditional narrative.—RDL

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