Tag Archives: Jesse Plemons

A random movie review from me: “Game Night” was hilarious and utterly ridiculous. Barack Obama’s beautiful speech to the 2020 graduating class. And Snoop Dogg chilling in his car to a “Frozen” song is an awesome minute.

So every Saturday night during quarantine, my wife and I have started a routine. There are so many movies we both love, but we feel like we can always view those. We agreed that during this shelter-in-place bizarre-ness, we should expose the other person to movies we love, that the other person hasn’t seen.

So thanks to her, for the first time I’ve watched “Dead Again” (pretty good, although it kinda falls apart the last 15 minutes), “The Holiday” (wildly exceeded my expectations, and I love Kate Winslet. It was terrific.) and most recently, “Rent,” which was good but of course I’m sure the play was better.

For her part, my bride was finally exposed to amazing movies I love like “Hoosiers,” “Ordinary People” (God that is such a great film) and “Spotlight.”

It’s been very cool seeing the other’s reactions and sharing in the appreciation of movies that your spouse loves (this weekend I am super-pumped to finally, finally get her to watch “Goodfellas.”)

But this past Saturday, we tried something different: A flick neither one of us had seen, but when it came out in 2018 we both said “oooh, that sounds good, we should watch it some day!”

Which led us to the delightful, hilarious and completely ridiculous “Game Night,” starring Jason Bateman, who is beloved by 99 percent of the female population, and Rachel McAdams, beloved by 99 percent of people everywhere.

It was a wildly entertaining film with so many crazy plot holes that you just don’t care anymore, you’re having so much fun.

The premise of the movie (directed by “Freaks and Geeks” alum John Francis Daley) is simple: Annie (McAdams) and Max (Bateman) are a board game-obsessed married couple who host weekly game nights with their friends. One week Max’s rich, successful, handsome brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler, having WAY more fun in this role than he got to as Coach Taylor) shows up, and tells the usual gang that he’s in town for a while, and he will be hosting game night next week.

And so Brooks tells all Max and Annie’s buddies the following week that he’s planned a “murder-mystery” game they’ll all be a part of, and the winner gets his new sports car.

From that, hijinks and insanity ensue. I really don’t want to give away much more than that, because the sheer fun of watching this movie is realizing how insane the plot is, but not caring because the acting, and the script are so great.

There are gunfights, escapes, a miraculous recovery or two, and great supporting performances from Jesse Plemons (Landry back with Coach Taylor!) and everyone else in the cast.

In the nutso last 20 minutes, McAdams and Bateman get to do one crazy thing after another as the plot twists more than a pretzel at Auntie Anne’s.

But truly, if you’re looking for an escapist, fun movie that will totally take your mind off the current state of the world, I highly recommend “Game Night.” Here’s the trailer.

Just please, don’t be like us and spend 30 minutes after the film trying to reconcile the huge plot holes. It’ll just give you a headache.

**Next up today, the last “real” President we had here in America gave a virtual commencement speech to the high school graduating class of 2020 on Saturday night, and it was boffo.

Speaking on all the major networks, Barack Obama used humor, humility and intelligence to give advice, and to offer sympathy, to his group of high school seniors who are living a wildly different world than they were when 12th grade started.

The speech Obama gave was fantastic, and got attention Sunday for the bashing of Trump and his administration without naming any names (that starts at the 5-minute mark of the video above), but I loved this advice he gave:

“So be alive to one another’s struggles. Stand up for one another’s rights. Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us – sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed – and set the world on a different path.”

Man, I miss that guy.

**And finally today, this video made me smile and laugh big-time over the last few days.

I don’t want to say anything about it except to say, watch it: Snoop Dogg, in his car, listening to the famous song from “Frozen.”

Just amazing. And I would be remiss if I didn’t alert you to “Frozen” star Idina Menzel’s response video, which is equally fabulous (shout out to my fantastic friend Valerie for pointing me to it.)


“El Camino,” the “Breaking Bad” movie, was fantastic. A truly satisfying end for Jesse Pinkman. Simone Biles continues to be amazing; we should continue to watch. And the J-E-T-S finally win a game! Super Bowl here we come!

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

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The “Fargo” season finale tonight has me super-excited. An eye-opening experiment involving the Quran and the Bible shows prejudice. And the Jets cruise while the NFC East doesn’t stink for once

FARGO -- Pictured: (l-r) Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blumquist, Jesse Plemons as Ed Blumquist. CR: Chris Large/FX

Tonight is the season finale of the most shockingly great show on TV right now.

“Fargo” the movie was an all-time classic, and firmly in my Top 10. Then last season they brought “Fargo” back as a TV show, and it was fabulous. Billy Bob Thornton was one of the greatest villains I’ve ever seen, the writing was great, the acting superb, and it was fantastically violent.

My hopes for “Season 2” weren’t great, given that it was a new story, but with a stellar cast like Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, Jean Smart and Ted Danson, I thought maybe it’d be decent.

And I’ve been blown away. I wrote about how good the early episodes of this season were a few weeks ago, The first nine episodes of this season have laid an amazing groundwork, telling the story of a 1979 feud between two Midwestern mob families thrown into a bloody war, and an (at-first) innocent Minnesota couple, Ed and Peggy Blumquist.

I don’t want to give anything away in case you haven’t seen it, so (SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THIS SEASON AND PLAN TO).

Last week’s episode was amazing. The bloody shootout at the motel, Hanzee’s betrayal of the Gerhardts, and Peggy’s immortal line “It’s just a flying saucer hon, let’s go,” has me primed for tonight’s finale.

So many great performances in this series, and the most shocking one to me has been Dunst, who I never thought was much of a thespian. What do I want from tonight? I hope Hank lives. I kinda want Ed and Peggy to somehow survive. And I really, really want at least one more scene from Karl Weathers (played greatly by Nick Offerman)

Seriously, “Fargo” has been sensational. The writing, the directing, all of it. Can’t wait to see how creator Noah Hawley finishes off this masterpiece of a season.

**Next up, this is one of the best experiments I’ve seen in a long time. I know it’s been done before, but this was done really well. With all the anti-Muslim rhetoric shooting around the U.S. and Europe these days, a Dutch group called Dit is Normaal decided to disguise a Bible as a Quran, and read verses to people on the street and asked them their thoughts.

Of course, most people reacted with disgust and making derogatory comments about Muslims. One highlight, at 2:09 of the video: “It bothers me that some people see these old writings as the absolute truth. (Paging Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz!)

Then the experimenters told them the truth. And the reactions were priceless.

No translation needed for the woman’s Dutch remark at 2:25, huh?

Just shows how that to some Christians, it’s always “other people’s” religious texts that are wrong and bigoted and intolerant.


**Finally today, it’s rare that I get to watch a stress-free New York Jets game from start to finish. But Sunday, my boys actually played a laugher. Sure, it was against the terrible Tennessee Titans, but hey, it still could’ve been dangerous for a Jets team that I’m still not convinced is all that good.

But Gang Green dominated from start to finish, leading 27-0 in the first half. Being that I was only paying half-attention to the game at times (I was at my fabulous step-dad’s 80th birthday bash), it seemed like every time I looked up the Jets were scoring again.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the Jets’ best QB since Chad Pennington, Brandon Marshall may be having the best season of any Jets wideout ever (sorry, Keyshawn of 1998), and the defense is ferocious.

Jets are 8-5, Kansas City is 8-5, Steelers are 8-5. Only 2 of those 3 are getting in the playoffs. Last three weeks should be fun. This Jets team looks mighty dangerous at the moment.

Some other quick-hit NFL Week 14 thoughts:

— Holy cow, the NFC East went 2-1 Sunday, that’s a veritable onslaught of positivity! Nice to see the Iggles knock Buffalo out of playoff contention, and the ‘Skins escaped, too.

— One day they’re going to do an autopsy on Rob Gronkowski and prove definitively that he’s not human. Guy is just freaking indestructible.

— Andy Dalton’s injury is huge for the Bengals. They ain’t winning anything with A.J. McCarron at QB.

— The Panthers are going 16-0. And there isn’t a soul in America who placed that wager in Vegas back in September.

— Johnny Football lives! It’s just like the Browns to screw up their clear shot at the No. 1 pick by winning some games here in December like they did Sunday.

New season of “Fargo” as good as the first. Missouri nearly illegallys executes a mentally disabled man. And a writer who saw many, many bad Royals teams writes about their win


**Three stories for your Wednesday written on Election Day 2015, exactly one year from Election Day 2016, when Hillary Rodham Clinton will become the first female President of the United States… As certain as I could be about something like that a year out, that’s how certain I am about that. I’m still hoping and praying America will #FeeltheBern, but my hopes are dimming (this Matt Taibbi piece in Rolling Stone is fantastic, though, explaining how the media marginalizes Bernie.)

When a TV series has an incredible debut season like “Fargo” had last year, you really have nowhere to go but down, or at the very least, stay at the same level.

Based on the fantastic, epic movie of the same name, last year’s eight-episode mini-series “Fargo” was truly sensational television. Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, and the rest of the cast blew me away.

This year, there’s a whole new cast, a mostly new story (one holdover character, Lou Solverson, is shown as a younger man, decades before Season 1 took place) and the quality is just about as good.

Seriously, it’s an embarrassment of riches in terms of acting talent in this show: Ted Danson (who ever thought Sam Malone would still be doing great work so long after “Cheers?”), Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, and the superb Jesse Plemons, who I loved as Landry on “Friday Night Lights” and as psychopath exterminator Todd on “Breaking Bad.”

We’re four episodes in to a story about a Midwest turf war set in 1979 between the Gerhart family and the Kansas City mafia, which involves a hit and run accident, a triple murder, and a whole lot of awesome ’70s clothes and mannerisms.

I won’t be giving away any spoilers because I haven’t seen Monday night’s episode, but Dunst has been particularly fabulous, and the scene last week with Wilson’s police officer character squaring off with the Gerharts on their ranch for the first time was so tense I felt myself completely unclench when it was finally over.

“Fargo” is on Mondays at 10 on FX, and you can catch up on Demand. If you’re already watching, my friend Rachel Cericola has been doing fabulous and funny recaps on channelguideblog.com

**Next up today, one more disgusting abuse of the immoral death penalty was set to occur on Tuesday, and this one is as loathsome as it gets.

Ernest Johnson is a mentally disabled man who’s been on Missouri’s death row since 1995. He has an IQ of 67. He was sentenced to death after being convicted of murdering three employees of a convenience store in 1994. But by every single measure you can think of, he is mentally disabled, and the Supreme Court has ruled that you cannot execute an intellectually disabled person.

And yet the state of Missouri, which along with Texas is responsible for 75 percent of the executions in America in 2015 (what a proud record to have, y’all should print that out on state stationery and hand it out to tourists at The Arch!), was set to break the laws of this nation and execute Johnson Tuesday night at 6 p.m. local time (The state has argued that the science is muddy regarding Johnson’s mental competency).

Thank God the Supreme Court issued an emergency stay just hours before Johnson was to be killed.
I cannot believe we still murder people with the state’s blessing in America. Generations from now, people will look back on this practice and wonder what in the hell were we thinking.


**Finally today, a couple leftover World Series thoughts I wanted to share (that’s the amazing front page of the Kansas City Star for Wednesday, from the Royals’ victory parade. Look at all those people!).

First, Joe Posnanski, who readers of this blog know is my sportswriting hero, probably watched more bad Kansas City Royals baseball than any media member alive, since he was a columnist for the Kansas City Star during the 1990s and part of the 2000s, when the Royals were by far the worst team in baseball.

Joe has written dozens of columns about how hapless the Royals were, both while they were happening (the team once refused to have its annual Negro Leagues tribute night at the ballpark because it didn’t want to spring for special jerseys for the players) and then in retrospect. (This little clip below kinda sums up how bad they were)

So he’s as shocked as anyone at what the last two years have wrought. With K.C. the new champs, he wrote this fabulous column about how far they’ve come.

Couple other quick comments on the Royals’ surprisingly short five-game triumph over the Mets:

— Hearing a lot of Mets fans here in N.Y. trashing Terry Collins over leaving Harvey in in the 9th inning, and trashing Terry in general. Are you people kidding me? Guy did a phenomenal job this year, and the last few years, keeping a team with limited talent competitive. This year they had zero offense for three months and he still had them sniffing first place. He deserves a whole lot of kudos, not criticisms.

— Baseball has a ton of problems, but one area it has made major improvements in? Anyone can win the World Series. The last 15 years or so, you’ve seen franchises like the Royals, the Marlins, the Angels and the Giants, teams with no tradition to speak of, win it all, and the Rays and Rockies make the championship round. It never used to be that way, so in one sense, baseball’s competitive balance has improved a lot. And that’s a good thing.

— Who do you think is more bummed by the World Series: Mets fans, or Daniel Murphy’s agent. Oof.