Boardwalk Empire: Home

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireHome

Season One: Episode Seven

Directed by:  Allen Coulter

Written by:  Tim Van Patten, Paul Simms and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin: Van Patten & Simms offer a wonderfully self-contained story arc involving Nucky’s relationship to his father in this compelling character driven episode that also closes out another major plot thread while stirring the pot with others.  Relatively tame in the sex & violence department, director Coulter shows that sometimes less is more, and the penultimate scene in a Chicago cafe involving a one-eyed sniper (Jack Huston) enacting revenge on Jimmy’s behalf against that Pearl-slashin’ Conan-lookin’ fella packed a wallop. Continue reading

Advertisements

Eat Explore Gamble

While Cooperstown has become a second home to me, I thought it was about time to explore other areas of Upstate New York.  As a last-minute autumnal getaway, I ventured up to the Adirondacks as far north as Lake George while also stopping in Glens Falls — home to the Hyde Collection — and Saratoga Springs — home to one of the friendliest casinos I have ever been to.  There’s something inherently adventurous when driving up a highway that has signs for Montreal — less than two-hundred miles away — and this civilized wilderness boasts some of the oldest settlements of both Native American and European origin.  The drive up marked the first time I was ever able to leave New Jersey without paying a toll — quick, someone fact check this…is the 287 the only way to get out the Garden State by car for free? — and the Catskills and Adirondacks unfold in gently rolling forms on the horizon as one heads up I-87N.  It’s astounding to think these now weather-worn and inviting mountains were at one time higher than the Himalayas.  Taking in all the gorgeous lakes and interconnecting canals and creeks flowing into the Hudson and eventually down to NYC, it’s no wonder the French, English and Indians all wanted to not only live here, but also control it.  Archaeological sites like Forts William Henry, Ticonderoga and Edward beckon us to stare into our Pre-Revolutionary past and see why this land…this wilderness was the first to be conquered. 

The fresh air is meant to be drunk…the humble expanse breathed in…the fall colors tasted…. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Family Limitation

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireFamily Limitation

Season One: Episode Six

Directed by:  Tim Van Patten

Written by:  Howard Korder and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  Van Patten & Korder upped the sex, violence and general weirdness in this episode which might draw the line in the sand where some of the curious being strummed along now drop off and those hooked stay on for the long haul.  Keeping with the theme of female empowerment, Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) makes a conscious choice to become a “kept woman” only to have Nucky (Steve Buscemi) break her heart yet again, while he bemoans about trying to be good.  Meanwhile, in Chicago…Jimmy (Michael Pitt) wraps up his revenge in a shocking play for control of the Greek line in the name of Torio’s gang. Continue reading

Wait Until Next Year

Another year goes by and still no sign of Malick's TREE.

Sadly cinephiles will have to go through another holiday season without unwrapping Terrence Malick’s ridiculously long-awaited epic Tree of Life.  But just wait until next year!  December of 2011 is shaping up to potentially be one for the ages as we will finally (dear god, please) get to see Malick’s Tree of Life, Marty Scorsese will be unleashing his experimental 3D adaptation of the acclaimed children’s book Hugo Cabret, and Paul Thomas Anderson will hopefully be delivering his thinly veiled critique of Scientology with the already controversial The Master.

Meanwhile in 2010, before taking a look at the months ahead as Hollywood gears up for their Prestige Picture season, let’s round-up some of the Oscar hopefuls already released.  With the field open wide to 10 Best Picture slots, I think we already have at least five shoe-ins: Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Nights in Ballygran

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireNights in Ballygran

Season One: Episode Five

Directed by:  Alan Taylor

Written by:  Lawrence Konner and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  Hell hath no fury like a woman…marginally annoyed by mixed messages?  Margaret (Kelly Macdonald), miffed by Nucky’s (Steve Buscemi) cruel indifference to her St. Patty’s Day soda-bread, reaches out to that creep Agent Van Alden (Michael Shannon) to show she’s not messing around.  It’s a special kind of lady who can pit two of the weirdest looking actors working today against each other in a play for her love disguised as a bootlegging smack down.  Meanwhile, Jimmy (Michael Pitt) gets all mopey and nostalgic caring for his amor in a Chicago cat house.  This Konner-penned, Alan Taylor-directed hour is the classic “a lot happened but it didn’t feel like a lot happened” episode.  The “Nights in Ballygran” montage at the close was a nice touch leading to a “finally!” moment that came much sooner than I had predicted. Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Drinking Game

Margaret Schroeder’s Temperance League be damned! 

And now what all the kids have been clamorin’ for since the series premier…

The Schleicher Spin Boardwalk Empire Drinking Game!

Feel free to add your own rules in the comment form as the series progresses, and thank your lucky stars Prohibition is dead – though please drink responsibly.

Take a swig when:

  • Someone anachronistically drops the f-bomb
  • Someone is shot, stabbed, lynched, kicked, slapped or beaten Continue reading

Children of the Corn

…and The Schleicher Spin’s 564th bad horror film you should not watch this Halloween season:

Children of the Corn – and all its misbegotten sequels.  Like seriously, what the hell was Stephen King thinking?  How much corn whiskey was he drinking back then?  Instead, you should watch these films or this film.

 …and here are a few shots from inside a corn maze in Egg Harbor City, NJ taken a few weekends ago:

Disclaimer:  No corn was harmed during the making of these photos.

Photographed by David H. Schleicher

Boardwalk Empire: Anastasia

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireAnastasia

Season One: Episode Four

Directed by:  Jeremy Podeswa

Written by:  Lawrence Konner, Margaret Nagle and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  How empowering it is to see a show where many of the writers also serve as executive producers!  While director Podeswa takes a cue from Scorsese and fills this amazingly layered and poetic episode with wall to wall period music, the writers (most notably, I am to assume, Nagle – who also penned Episode Three) settle into their groove.  Woven into this compelling hour are national politics, women’s rights vs. violence against women, race relations, romances, jealousies, turf wars and a wonderful “time capsule” of a frame story involving Princess Anastasia.  There is so much to admire in this episode, but it clearly belongs to the women from writer/producer Nagle, to stars Kelly MacDonald and Gretchen Mol to Emily Meade as the kind-hearted hooker Pearl.  Last week the focus was on dark humor, which rightfully leads to a quietly aching sadness in tonight’s affairs – as if reality is now staring the audience and the characters in the face.  If the writers keep this up…we’re looking at a show to rival Mad Men. Continue reading

The Social Network

Yeah, this douchebag was totally p-jammin' it to a business meeting.

Dismissing The Social Network as “that Facebook” movie is like calling There Will be Blood “that milkshake” movie.

Choosing not to see The Social Network because it’s about the internet is like not watching The Shining because it’s about hotel management.

Darn – these are sounding more like Tweets than Facebook statuses — stati? — whatever.  Statements like these also over-sell the film’s appeal.  Wait – what am I doing writing in complete sentences?

Really good movie 🙂

Mark Zuckerberg = douchebag.  

Click to Like!

Okay – Quick – Ten Things You Liked About The Social Network In Ten Minutes: Continue reading

Boardwalk Empire: Broadway Limited

Boardwalk Empire: Complete Episode Guide 

Boardwalk EmpireBroadway Limited

Season One: Episode Three

Directed by:  Tim Van Patten 

Written by:  Margaret Nagle and Terence Winter (series creator) from the novel by Nelson Johnson

The Spin:  Between bits of period-piece exploitation (check out that barbaric cure for an STD and that interrogation/torture scene in a dentist chair) there were some greater glimpses into the domestic lives of the main characters.  Only time will tell if the “ensemble” back-and-forth structure of the narrative will continue or if we will soon see Sopranos-esque stand-alone episodes focusing on a single character.  There was also plenty of plot development as Jimmy (Michael Pitt) decided to shuffle off to Chicago after being kicked-when-he’s-down by former mentor Nucky (Steve Buscemi), and in the process leaving his lovely fiance (Aleska Palladino) and young son in AC.  Meanwhile, a local turf war seems primed to break-out between The Pollock Doyle (Paul Sparks) — with the help of his Italian friends — and Nucky’s Chalky White (Michael K. Williams) gang for control of “mixing” and distributing the hooch.  Continue reading