Author: Josh Rosenfield

Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z”

Recap Elliot opens the episode attempting to use lucid dreaming techniques to swap places with Mr. Robot. He wants to invisibly watch Mr. Robot and figure out what he’s been hiding. Meanwhile, Joanna gets the news about her husband’s location. Dom sits on a hospital bed undergoing evaluation after surviving yet another shootout. Her boss tells her that the Chinese government has loaned E Corp $2 trillion, severely complicating their investigation into the Dark Army. He tells Dom to go home and get some rest. At home, Dom reflects on her lack of any human connection and wonders whether...

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Sully Is An Engaging Examination of An American Crisis

Overview: After his bravura emergency landing of an airplane on the Hudson River, Captain Sully Sullenberger is forced to consider if he made the right call. Warner Bros. Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 96 Minutes. The Outlaw: I used to think of Clint Eastwood as a sort of director-out-of-time. His sensibilities bend towards an unfussy formalism that feels – while certainly not outdated – distinctly classical. In the case of his last film, American Sniper, this led to accusations of jingoism and glorification on Eastwood’s part. Many critics had a hard time picking up on that film’s deconstructive elements, and...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx”

Recap Terry Colby visits Price with a copy of his new memoir, titled The Last Honest Man. He’s still pulling favors for Price and E Corp. He inquires about Price’s ultimate ambitions, and he answers that he wants to always be the most powerful man in the room, and leave a legacy to rival God’s. Joanna takes Elliot to her apartment and insists that he help her find Tyrell. Mr. Robot is spooked, since this will inevitably lead to her discovering that Tyrell is dead by their hand. Elliot is forced to assist in tracking the mysterious phone calls...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.7_init_5.fve”

Recap Another flashback opening! This time it’s a quick recap of Elliot’s imprisonment. Turns out he was put away for hacking his therapist’s boyfriend last season (and stealing his dog). He pleads guilty as a way of keeping Mr. Robot at bay. Back in the present, Elliot is given an early release. Apparently, the Five/Nine Hack has lead to such a dramatic increase in crime that prisons are being forced to let non-violent offenders go. Meanwhile, Angela uses the data-stealing USB from fsociety to get information about the Washington Township leak off of her boss’ computer. Darlene picks up...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.6_succ3ss0r.p12”

Recap As with almost every episode this season, we begin in a flashback, this time to Mobley and Trenton’s first meeting. What appears to be a chance encounter in a coffee shop turns out to be their initial fsociety recruitment by Darlene. In the present, the three of them along with Cisco discover that the FBI will soon hold a conference call regarding their ongoing investigations. They tap in and record evidence of widespread privacy violations, before releasing their findings in a video. Despite this seeming victory, Mobley is paranoid over a part of the call where they referenced...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.5_h4ndshake.sme”

Recap Joanna remembers Tyrell taking her to a corporate party, which happens to be where she met current boyfriend Derek. In the present, a woman in the street throws red paint at her and calls her a “capitalist pig.” Later, Derek demands that Joanna accompany him to a party, or else he’ll break up with her. Elliot, still in Ray’s basement, demands the truth about Tyrell from Mr. Robot. Mr. Robot admits that they murdered Tyrell with the gun Darlene hid in the popcorn. Dom shows up at Angela’s desk midway through the FBI hack. She saw Angela on...

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Steven Universe Gets Darker and Denser in Season 3

After premiering the first five episodes of its third season during a month-long event back in May, Steven Universe dropped the rest of them like a hydrogen bomb this summer. For four weeks, there was a new episode of the show every weeknight (sometimes two!), a level of saturation that’s more or less unprecedented for a non-Netflix program. Yet it’s hard to imagine a better scheduling structure for this show. It operates perfectly in the middle-ground between all-at-once streaming releases and traditional weekly premieres. At only eleven minutes each, Steven Universe is supremely bingeable, but it’s easier for smaller,...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes”

Recap Elliot is trapped in a 90s sitcom. The aspect ratio is 4:3, the picture quality is fuzzy, there’s a laugh track, ALF is there, etc. In the sitcom world, the Aldersons are on a family road trip. Tyrell is tied up in the trunk. They meet Angela working at a convenience store, but Mr. Robot and Elliot’s mother rob the place. We go to commercial. These include old-school E Corp ads, a real 90s Bud Light spot, and a USA Network promotion for a Friday night movie, The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoise. After they get a flat...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc”

Recap Elliot hacks the FBI to destroy any evidence against him, Angela, and fsociety, but is forced to stall for time since he is still working on Ray’s computer. He lies and says that he needs the old sysadmin to unlock an encrypted database to complete his work. Darlene breaks into Angela’s apartment and asks her for help in the FBI hack. She wants Angela to drop a bug in the FBI office which shares a building with Evil Corp. Angela refuses, even though she knows she will be implicated as she assisted in the preliminary AllSafe hack. Joanna...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.2_init1.asec”

Recap The episode opens with another flashback, this time to several months before the series began. Darlene shows up at Elliot’s apartment to hang out on Halloween, wearing what will soon become known as the fsociety mask. They watch a low-budget slasher movie from the 80s called The Careful Massacre of the Bourgeoisie, which apparently originated the mask. This turns out to be the night that Elliot shared with Darlene his (or Mr. Robot’s) idea for the E Corp hack. Back in the present, Darlene visits Elliot and asks for his help with fsociety. She’s paranoid that the Dark...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.1_k3rnel-pan1c.ksd”

Recap The episode opens with a flashback to Romero and Mobley scouting out the abandoned arcade that would soon become fsociety’s headquarters. Later, Mobley goes to visit Romero at his mother’s house, and finds him murdered. Spooked, he and Darlene visit Trenton, the last remaining original fsociety member. Trenton explains that she left because she became disinterested in fsociety’s move towards juvenile pranks. Mobley worries that the Dark Army is after them, attempting to cover their tracks after assisting fsociety in their big hack last season, but Darlene is unconvinced. Elliot continues his phone call with Tyrell from the...

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Mr. Robot Recap: “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc” and “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc”

Recap A month has passed since the season one finale. Fsociety’s grand attack is now referred to as the “Nine/Five Hack,” and most of the original members have gone to ground. Elliot (Rami Malek) is staying with his mother and sticking to a strict routine in order to keep Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) at bay. He does little besides eating meals with his new Seinfeld-obsessed friend Leon (Joey Bada$$). He’s even seeing his psychiatrist Krista (Gloria Reuben) again, although she is reticent to do so given what Elliot did to her last season. Visions of Mr. Robot still intrude,...

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Six Great Movie Speeches As Delivered By Donald Trump

Over the past year, people all over the world have become intimately familiar with the verbal stylings of presidential candidate and bloated corpse that washed up on a beach, Donald Trump. For many (if not most) of us, this was not by choice. Barely a day has gone by since he announced his candidacy that the media hasn’t subjected us to some new soundbite or stump speech. His unique brand of communication is inescapable, to the point that I’ve unwillingly internalized it. Trump’s voice lives inside me now, like a coronary that only lets white blood cells flow past it. So,...

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Independence Day: Resurgence Is Comfortingly Terrible

Overview: Twenty years after humanity beat back an alien attack, humanity is forced to do the same thing again, except bigger. 20th Century Fox; 2016; Rated PG-13; 120 Minutes. Bigger Than The Last One: Twenty years after Independence Day redefined the summer blockbuster, Independence Day: Resurgence is here to un-redefine it. Well, maybe “redefine” is a strong word. It’s not as though explosion-laden and effects-driven films were invented in 1996. I’m sticking by “un-redefine,” though. Resurgence is decidedly not a 2010s blockbuster. Since 2008, verbal spectacle, not visual, has been the defining trait of this kind of movie, whether we’re talking...

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A 15-Year Car: Looking Back At The Fast and the Furious

Long-running film franchises don’t become long-running through constancy. Well, on a superficial level they do – a James Bond movie is always going to star James Bond – but a series that runs past its sixth, seventh, eighth entry tends to become characterized more by change than by whatever initially defined it. Bond actors change out regularly, and the action of, say, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is far removed from that of Spectre. The Fast/Furious franchise (which I have to call it, to avoid confusion with either its first or fourth entries) is seven films deep, with an...

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