James Dashner's The Maze Runner series has certainly taken our family by storm. Earlier in the year, I bought the books, and I had to literally fight my siblings for a chance to read them myself. My sister Margot, in particular, got completely lost in the fandom, feverishly tweeting @jamesdashner and director @wesball, making an epic fan video, and getting herself invited to an exclusive fan screening in Amsterdam. On Saturday, she fixed us all tickets to the three-screen, Barco/Kinepolis "The Maze Runner Experience".
On Friday night I saw Runner Runner (2013), directed by Brad Furman, whom you might or might not know from The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) with Matthew McConaughey. I remember having seen the trailer at some point, but I guess it hadn't stuck, perhaps because I never saw a review for the crime drama or even had a friend talk it up to me. Now, I'm the first to acknowledge the many skills of Justin Timberlake, and I think he's definitely a solid actor, but he's not leading man material. In Time had a cool concept behind it, but I had a feeling that Runner Runner, too, was just a bunch of empty calories.
I recently read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (2013) by Wine Library TV and VaynerMedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk. When the social media marketing book arrived in the Queromedia Library (joining Small Is The New Big, The Dip, The Conversation Company & Hatching Twitter, among others), I immediately claimed it. Critical acclaim for it was simply too high to be ignored, as marketing guru Seth Godin called the work "condensed, general and helpul" and Darren Rowse from Copyblogger praising the book as well (can't find the link to the article, I'm sorry!).
Last night I finished reading Twelve Years A Slave (1853), the memoir of Solomon Northup, which was turned into a movie by Steve McQueen accoladed for its cast, screenplay, design, score and cinematography. I must admit that I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but I assure you that I'm making work of it. Solomon's slave story is as brutal as they come, and I'm very curious to find out how McQueen brought it to life and depicted the inhumanity of slavery.
The Fappening is still happening, and it's disgusting how little is being done about it. Last week, a second wave of nude photos ("The Fappening 2: The Second Cumming") was released by 4chan hackers, victimizing Jennifer Lawrence (again), Kim Kardashian, Meagan Good, music video model Emily Ratajkowski and Gabrielle Union, among others.
Granted, he has used his groovy skills mostly to craft hit records for others, as demonstrated by a long and glorious producing resume that includes Drop It Like It's Hot, I'm A Slave 4 U, Hot In Herre, and most recently Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.
Two days ago I went to see Boyhood with my lovely lady Sarah and hip hop'd out sister colleagues Anke and Liselotte. There simply was no getting around the IFC Films product, which won Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival in June. Bald Bryan's praise on The Adam Carolla Show, the movie's 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and, of course, all the talk about director Richard Linklater's stunt concept had really warmed me up to it. A movie that was shot over 11 years? Following one boy's life? This I have to see.
After winning just 72 games in his first three seasons with the Washington Wizards, 2010 No. 1 overall pick John Wall exploded in his fourth go-round, starting all 82 games and posting career-highs of 19.3 PPG, 8.8 APG and 1.8. SPG. For the first time since 2007-2008, when DeShawn Stevenson went head-to-head with LeBron James, the Wizards reached the playoffs, even defeating the fourth-seeded Chicago Bulls in the First Round. Sure, they couldn't resist the Indiana Pacers, losing 2-4 in the Conference Semifinals, but for the first time in a long while, the Wiz were relevant again.