7 items from 2014
Roald Dahl originally had 15 children getting the golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's super-secret chocolate factory before settling on the now familiar five in his children's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This means that, in earlier drafts, there were a lot more rooms and a lot more temptation: As you'll remember, each room was a test of a child's self-control, and each time, some hapless child would succumb to their candy-obsessed (or squirrel-obsessed) selves and get lost. In this previously unseen chapter published by the Guardian, the factory tour, now down to eight kids, makes a stop at the Vanilla Fudge Room. The Guardian says the text was "deemed too wild, subversive and insufficiently moral for the tender minds of British children almost 50 years ago." The room sounds magical though: In the centre of the room there was an actual mountain, a colossal jagged mountain as high as a five-storey building, »
- E. Alex Jung
Mad Men’s season premiere on Sunday night, titled “Time Zones,” picked up less than a year after the events in last season’s finale in which Don Draper (Jon Hamm) was put on a sabbatical after a cringe-worthy pitch to Hershey executives.
Mad Men Recap
The episode opens with Freddy Rumsen (Joel Murray) testing out a pitch for Accutron for Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) In her Sterling Cooper & Partner’s office. She’s impressed with the direction he’s going in, and cleans it up with the simple catchphrase – “Accutron, it’s time for a conversation.” After her meeting with Rumsen, who’s freelancing for the ad firm, Peggy heads to a status meeting with Lou Avery, who’s serving as Don’s replacement for the time being.
Not at the office is Roger Sterling (John Slattery). He’s busy in bed with a naked women in an apartment littered »
I don't think there's enough sunshine in all of California to brighten up the dark state of affairs everyone is in as Mad Men begins the first half of its last lap. Where does one begin in this cold January of 1969? Peggy crumpled on the floor in sobs of her great-big-investment Upper West Side apartment? Roger passed out naked on the floor of his filthy, garbage-littered hotel-room-cum-counterculture-commune? Ken – still sporting an eye patch from his little shotgun mishap with the Chevy execs – completely overwhelmed and overworked? A happy, suntanned Pete – seriously, »
"Mad Men" is back for the start of its seventh season — which is or isn't the final season depending on whether you value contractual language (which says it is) over scheduling (which will give us seven episodes this spring and seven more next year) — and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I'm seated next to a man in a hairpiece eating a banana... "Why are you making it so hard? Open the door and walk in." -Lou Avery We return to the world of "Mad Men" a scant two months after our last glimpse, late in January of 1969. It's by far the shortest time gap between seasons, but almost as much has changed in those two months than in the 11 months between the heist of Sterling Cooper and our first look at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It seems only appropriate given the period. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Reviewing a “Mad Men” season premiere often feels like the parable about blind men describing an elephant. Based on exposure to just a small part of the beast, it’s easy to draw an incomplete and inaccurate picture. That said, the start to the bifurcated final season feels more indifferently paced than most – and thanks to the gradual push further into the 1960s, perhaps too groovy and scattered for its own good. Series creator Matthew Weiner never rushes his storytelling, but resetting the table ought to be more tantalizing in terms of what lies ahead.
Spoiler considerations prevent divulging too much about the plot, other than the well-telegraphed elements that the signature ad agency has set up a branch in Los Angeles, which figures prominently in this thread; and that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is still digging through the emotional baggage from the heavy drinking and extramarital affair that dominated last season. »
- Brian Lowry
Whether you’re new to Tap, or have seen them in concert (like me), it’s hard to argue with free, and the Yeah! App from AMC Networks is offering This is Spinal Tap – The Special Features Version for free through April 11th.
Far more than just a ‘Pop Up Video’ version of films, the Yeah! App gives you a completely unique experience, and none of the films is packed with more awesome than This is Spinal Tap, which not only pulls in hundreds of cool notes, but gives you some incredible insights from a variety of legendary rockers… and Jack Black.
Check out the full details below, and make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy this truly special viewing experience.
- Marc Eastman
Seconds Before Landing: The Great Deception (Sbl)
First, let me say that, setting aside a quibble or two, this is almost certainly my favorite album of 2013. And that has less to do with any specific personnel, "song," or individual aspect of the album than it does with the fact that the old adage "they just don't write 'em like that anymore" does not apply here. This is a "progressive" album in every sense of that term, and is somehow able to both evoke the heyday of a particular genre of progressive rock (i.e., have a certain "timeless" quality to it) and to be both timely and relevant in the present.
The primary writer here is John Crispino, about whom little seems to be known except that he is a "composer and musician." (He plays drums, keyboards, and percussion, and provides most of the vocals.) He is joined by a distinguished group of musicians, »
- Ian Alterman
7 items from 2014
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