Thursday, June 22, 2017
Below is a list of my top five (5) favorite episodes from Season Four (2010) of "MAD MEN". Created by Matthew Weiner, the series stars Jon Hamm:
TOP FIVE FAVORITE "MAD MEN" SEASON FOUR (2010) EPISODES
1. (4.07) "The Suitcase" - In this acclaimed episode, an impending deadline regarding the Samsonite ad leads Don Draper to force Peggy Olson to stay late to work and miss a birthday dinner with her boyfriend. He receives a call from Anna' Draper's niece, which confirms his fears about her health.
2. (4.09) "Beautiful Girls" - Peggy is forced to face some unpleasant facts about a client's discriminatory business practices. Don and girlfriend Faye Miller's burgeoning relationship is tested when his daughter Sally runs away from home and turns up at the office. Roger Sterling tries to rekindle his affair with former mistress Joan Harris.
3. (4.12) "Blowing Smoke" - Don encounters his former mistress Midge Daniels and discovers she is married and has become a heroin addict. This leads him to run an ad declaring that SCDP will no longer represent tobacco firms. Sally is upset to learn that her mother and stepfather - Betty and Henry Francis - plan to move.
4. (4.06) "Waldorf Stories" - A drunken Don receives a Clio Award for an ad; Peggy is forced to work with new art director Stan Rizzo at a hotel room; Accounts man Pete Campbell is upset over the arrival of former rival Ken Cosgrove; and Roger recalls his first meeting with Don and the early days of his affair with Joan.
5. (4.05) "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" - Sally's erratic behavior leads Betty and Henry to seek counseling for her, over Don's objections. Pete enters SCDP into a competition to win the Honda account, to the displeasure of Roger, who tries to undermine the firm's efforts, due to his anti-Japanese sentiments from World War II.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Released in movie theaters nearly ten years ago was "NATIONAL TREASURE 2: THE BOOK OF SECRETS", the 2007 sequel to the 2004 Disney hit film,"NATIONAL TREASURE". Directed by Jon Turteltaub, the movie starred Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha and Jon Voight.
"NATIONAL TREASURE 2: THE BOOK OF SECRETS" opens with the Gates family - Benjamin and Patrick (Nicholas Cage and Jon Voight) - learning from a black market dealer named Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) that their Civil War ancestor Thomas Gates (Joel Gretsch) may have been the mastermind behind Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Wilkinson's so-called proof came from assassin John Wilkes Booth's diary. To prove their ancestor's innocence and family honor, Ben and Patrick recruit the aid of family friend Riley Poole (Justin Bartha), Ben's estranged girlfriend Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger), Patrick's ex-wife Emily Appleton (Helen Mirren), FBI Agent Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) and even the President of the United States (Bruce Greenwood) to help them find the treasure of gold that would vindicate Thomas Gates and the family's name.
In a nutshell, this sequel turned out to be just as fun and exciting as the first movie. Ben Gates and company follow clues that lead them from Paris to London to Washington D.C. and finally Mount Rushmore in the Dakota Black Hills. The cast were their usual competent selves and Ed Harris turned out to be just as effective as a villain as Sean Bean had been in the first film. My favorite sequences included Ben, Abigail and Riley's attempt to gain access to one of the rooms at Buckingham Palace, Ben and Abigail's minor adventures at the White House and Ben's kidnapping of the President at Mount Vernon.
I did have a few problems with the movie. My biggest gripe turned out to be the treasure itself. I realize that the Templar treasure found in the first film could not be topped. But I must admit that the City of Gold found beneath Mount Rushmore had failed to impress me at all. And why end the movie at Mount Rushmore? Granted there was a war between American settlers and the Dakota Sioux in 1862, but what did that have to do with the Civil War? I would have been happier if the movie's setting had remained on the East Coast.
Aside from these minor gripes, "NATIONAL TREASURE 2: THE BOOK OF SECRETS" turned out to be as entertaining as the first film. I would highly recommend it.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Below are images from "GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2", the sequel to Marvel's 2014 hit film. Written and directed by James Gunn, the movie stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana:
"GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2" (2017) Photo Gallery