Lambpardy Podcast

I was on the most recent episode of the Lambcast, where I got to participate in a game of Lambpardy! Spoiler alert: I didn’t do too well but I had a lot of fun on the show. I’m just not as quick with the facts, or my buzzer it seems.

Check out the show here.


Avengers: Endgame Movie Review

I saw Avengers: Endgame a month ago and have some thoughts on it. Check out my review below, and, if you want some more in depth analysis, check out the podcast I was on here.


Netflix Movie Review: Fyre

I remember when all of the drama around the Fyre Festival was happening, and I remember thinking how unrealistic the whole event sounded. I didn’t follow the story too closely, and I didn’t know all of the facts but I wasn’t at all surprised by the things this documentary revealed.

Fyre was a startup that aimed at pairing artists and creative acts with vendors and event planners. As a marketing initiative, the creators of the platform decided to throw this festival that was sold as a luxury event. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and everything quickly spiraled out of control.

The documentary follows the lead up to the event, and the final disastrous launch. I guess what did surprise me was how much video content was available from the people involved with the event. I don’t know how Netflix got the rights to things, or why the people involved let them have the rights but it helped to craft a very compelling story. Perhaps the people involved sold the rights to Netflix to pay for some of their legal bills.

I’m not surprised at how things spiraled out of control because I feel like it was pretty representative of how the Tech industry works. The big difference was that there were more immediate high stakes to fill but the approach to the festival was very similar to how startups work. There’s an idea, people get excited about said idea, they start pitching it to investors before having anything to show for progress, and then they try to figure out how to deliver once they have the money. Usually there is a longer timeframe between getting funding and delivering a product but with the festival it was crunch time the entire time.

The documentary was pretty basic in its approach to storytelling, and like I said, the most surprising, and compelling aspect of it was how much of the content was from the main people involved. While it is a little hard to drum up sympathy for people who have the ability to shell out thousands of dollars for a weekend festival, they were still cheated, and what the promoters of the festival did is fraud in my mind. The documentary made a good case for this and shined a light on some of the dangers of this current startup investment culture.

Movie Review: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

I recently watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights for a podcast I was going to be on. I hadn’t ever really had any interest in it, partly because I wasn’t a big fan of the original, and partly because it didn’t look very good.

I did watch the original Dirty Dancing right before watching this one, and I have to say, my original impression of it was changed. I really liked it the second time around, and had a lot of fun while watching it. Then I rented Havana Nights on Amazon to do my homework for the podcast.

This is an interesting addition to the franchise because it is actually a prequel, and it is apparently based on true events. Set during the Cuban revolution, it follows an American girl who moves to Havana with her family and gets swept away with Cuban music and a young man who helps teach her the ways of Cuban dance.

Overall I thought the film was perfectly fine. The chemistry between the two leads wasn’t strong, and the dancing didn’t seem that “dirty” to me but it was still a fairly light-hearted flick (despite the assassination attempt at the end).

If you want some more detailed thoughts and analysis, check out the podcast I was on here.

Movie Review: BlacKkKlansman

I was trying to catch up on all of the Best Picture nominees I hadn’t seen yet, and with Roma out of the way, it was time to see if I could find BlacKkKlansman somewhere. Thankfully Amazon came through, though $6 seemed a bit high for a streaming rental. Still, I was able to watch it and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

I had heard a lot of good things about the movie but in a way that made me a bit nervous. I was worried this was just going to be another critical darling that people were puffing up but ended up not being that great a film (The Favourite, I’m looking at you). Thankfully this wasn’t the case. It was a pretty well made film about an interesting story, with excellent performances.

I don’t know anything about the actual facts of the story the film is based on, other than that there was an African American detective that successfully integrated the Ku Klux Klan. I have heard that the depiction of events is fairly close to the truth. Considering that, the story itself is really impressive, and Spike Lee demonstrates his talent as a director in telling it in a straightforward, no-nonsense way. I do think some things are a bit heavy handed at times but generally I found the flow of the film smooth.

The film looks great, and as I mentioned the performances are wonderful. Obviously Adam Driver has gotten some awards attention, and it is well deserved. He has a couple of moving moments, especially the one where his character briefly discusses his Jewish heritage with his partner, and how this assignment has made him think about it differently. However, it is John David Washington as Ron Stallworth that I was most impressed by. He plays the detective as a cool, level-headed guy who kind of stumbles into this ridiculous series of events. I thought he had a strong presence on screen, and I appreciated that his performance wasn’t overstated.

I also thought there were some interesting parallels drawn between the student activist group and the Klan, thought whether or not they were intended is unclear. There just seemed to be some similar rhetoric about tolerance, or lack thereof. This is especially strong when Stallworth’s girlfriend flat out refuses to accept that as a police officer they can have a relationship moving forward. Her prejudice against the police can’t even be subdued by her boyfriend, or his views on the world. Intolerance can come in many forms, and Stallworth stands in the middle of all these groups trying to find a balance between frustration, anger, and progress.

In the end, BlackKkKlansman was a really satisfying viewing experience. I liked the film a lot, and thought it was well made. The performances were outstanding, the pacing was good, and the music was fitting. More than this, the film was an interesting commentary on race, tolerance, and prejudice.