Abraham Lincoln

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Time Travel, Zora Neale Hurston and the Russian Mob

April 24th, 2018 | 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.


Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story (Comics, Peter Bagge, 2017) Straight-up biography in (well-endnoted) comics form of anthropologist, novelist, folklorist Hurston, the most glorious maverick of the Harlem Renaissance. Bagge doesn’t try to find a through-line except in Hurston’s mercurial personality, which is probably for the best as her prose can’t be condensed to comics and her politics shouldn’t be. –KH

Source Code (Film, US/France, Duncan Jones, 2011) U.S. Army helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) awakens on a commuter train headed for Chicago, sitting across from a stranger (Michelle Monaghan) who seems to know him. And then he does it again. A tasty blend of thriller, science fiction, and Groundhog Day that just plain works — everybody does a great job filming a script that moves more than fast enough to deliver the Dickian mindscrew at its core. –KH

Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia (Nonfiction, Mark Galeotti, 2018) Traces the evolution of organized crime in Russia from pre-WWI horse thieves to Stalin’s bandit pals, and on to gulag-hardened recalcitrants, the regime-favored trusties who violently broke them, the trigger-happy turf-grabbers of the wild 90s and the finally the hybrid businessman-gangsters of today. Punchy subtitle notwithstanding, this admirably focused, engagingly written survey looks at its subject matter through a demythologizing lens.—RDL (Full Disclosure: In his time off from interviewing Chechen hit men, the author is One of Us, and a KARTAS Patreon backer.)

Wild Wild Country (Television, Netflix, Chapman Way & Maclain Way, 2018) Docuseries recounts the rise and fall of the free-loving, gun-toting, salmonella-weaponizing Rajneeshpuram religious community in rural Oregon. A rippling score by Brocker Way adds tension to the archival footage/modern interview format, as the artifacting of deteriorated video footage underline a chaos of conflicting perspectives.—RDL


Cash on Demand (Film, UK, Quentin Lawrence, 1961) Persnickety, dare I say Scrooge-like, bank manager Fordyce (Peter Cushing) learns what’s really important when a roguish bank robber (Andre Morell) uses him in a clockwork heist. Real-time tension counterpoints Cushing’s superb portrayal of a man disintegrating under pressure. I would not disagree if other viewers’ temperament upgrades it to Recommended. –KH

White God (Film, Hungary, Kornél Mundruczó, 2014) Tossed out on the side of a highway road by his adoring owner’s loser dad, Hagen the mixed-breed suffers mistreatment, including a stint as a fighting dog, before leading a city-wide canine kill spree against his oppressors. Allegorical drama with arthouse style and an exploitation heart.—RDL


The Deadly Companions (Film, US, Sam Peckinpah, 1961) After accidentally shooting her child in a gunfight with outlaws, a tortured Union veteran (Brian Keith) delays his mission of vengeance to make himself an unwelcome bodyguard to a dance hall performer (Maureen O’Hara.) In his first directorial outing, Peckinpah introduces a bracing moral grottiness unusual for a studio western of the period, but shows little affinity for the script’s central hostility-to-affection romantic arc.—RDL

Kodachrome (Film, US, Mark Raso, 2018) Struggling A&R guy (Jason Sudeikis) reluctantly agrees to a road trip with his estranged, dying famous photographer dad (Ed Harris) and his nurse (Elizabeth Olsen.) RIYL strong performances and obvious story developments.—RDL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
Flying Clock
Film Cannister