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WEEKLY DISCUSSION: Recommend one book/film/TV show

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by Henry, May 9, 2016.

  1. Henry

    Moderator Moderator

    If you could choose a single one from each medium, what would it be and why?

    Try to limit it to a single film/book, if possible. Like, Godfather pt. 1, not the entire series.
  2. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    This is tough, what's the end goal? Favorites wouldn't make this an interesting conversation, but if you're attempting to introduce someone to the medium or pick a work of art that is a "defining" or most important work, that'd be interesting to discuss.

    If the latter is the case, might I suggest doing Film one week, TV next and Books after? (Or whatever order you'd choose, I just feel like all three might dilute the conversation rather than being focused on the merits of each medium)
  3. Henry

    Moderator Moderator

    It warrants more diversity in the posts. I can see us having 80 posts that all say The Wire.
  4. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    I agree; however, if the conversation simply becomes your favorites of the 3 mediums or simply a movie/book/show you think other people should check out, I feel like the convo could be less engaging compared to asking for a single, defining work from each of the medium that you would put up for the rest of the world to engage with.

    Lol idk I'm bored at work
  5. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter


    TV Show: Party Down. Maybe my favorite comedy, and even though it was canceled after only two seasons, the finale is pretty beautiful and the show as it is has a really great U.K. Office style brevity built around a fun will-they-or-won't-they relationship that doesn't feel as ham-fisted or required as the kinds of stuff in Friends, Scrubs, HIMYM, whatever else (though I really enjoyed those shows), and since it's just two seasons it never grates or gets stale or feels like it's going through the motions. Plus Ken Marino is absolutely delightful, Martin Starr is Martin Starr, Adam Scott gives one of the definitive performances of his career, Lizzy Caplan is incredible and should have blown up out of this show and be doing way better roles than love interests in Seth Rogen movies. Plus Megan Mullalley knocks out every scene she has. The Steve Guttenberg episode is one of my favorite episodes of a sitcom ever.
    Honorable mentions: Friday Night Lights, the Wire, Six Feet Under, the Simpsons, Adventure Time

    Book: The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. Everything Morrison does is brilliant, and she only gets better as a writer, but I love the rawness of her debut. Reading it changed the way I look at writing and changed the way I read. The layers to the scene where Pecola goes to the candy shop blew me away, I read it multiple times before moving on the first time I read it. It's a heavy book, but one I think should be absolutely required.
    Honorable mentions: Invisible Man by Ellison, Infinite Jest by DFW, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston, the Time Traveler's Wife by Niffenegger, Hairstyles of the Damned by Meno

    I'll have to think harder on a film. Not that any of these were easy, but way too many options come to mind when I try to pick just one, so I'll have to ponder on what I'd really want to pick.
  6. OwainGlyndwr

    I am the Aleutian allusion illusion Supporter

    This is a really tough question, and I'm trying to walk the line between "favorite" and "good recommendation." I might end up changing my choices throughout this conversation, but here's what I'm starting with.

    The Dog of the South by Charles Portis. This is my second favorite book of all time, and I try to read it at least once a year. It's simply a masterpiece of . . . well, I'm not sure of what, really. Small-town dreams? Americana? Interpersonal relationships? People who think they're smarter than they are? Travel? Quirks? None of those things really do it justice, though they're big parts of the writing.

    Here's the blurb from Amazon:

    Ray Midge is waiting for his credit card bill to arrive.

    His wife, Norma, has run off with her ex-husband, taking Ray's cards, shotgun, and car. But from the receipts, Ray can track where they've gone. He takes off after them, as does an irritatingly tenacious bail bondsman, both following the romantic couple's spending as far as Mexico. There Ray meets Dr. Reo Symes, the seemingly down-on-his-luck and rather eccentric owner of a beaten-up and broken-down bus, who needs a ride to Belize. The further they drive, in a car held together by coat-hangers and excesses of oil, the wilder their journey gets. But they're not going to give up easily.

    That's closer, maybe, but doesn't quite capture the feel of the novel. I guess a pair of excerpts will have to suffice:

    “In South Texas I saw three interesting things. The first was a tiny girl, maybe ten years old, driving in a 1965 Cadillac. She wasn't going very fast, because I passed her, but still she was cruising right along, with her head tilted back and her mouth open and her little hands gripping the wheel.
    Then I saw an old man walking up the median strip pulling a wooden cross behind him. It was mounted on something like a golf cart with two spoked wheels. I slowed down to read the hand-lettered sign on his chest.
    I had never been to Jacksonville but I knew it was the home of the Gator Bowl and I had heard it was a boom town, taking in an entire county or some such thing. It seemed an odd destination for a religious pilgrim. Penance maybe for some terrible sin, or some bargain he had worked out with God, or maybe just a crazed hiker. I waved and called out to him, wishing him luck, but he was intent on his marching and had no time for idle greetings. His step was brisk and I was convinced he wouldn't bust.
    The third interesting thing was a convoy of stake-bed trucks all piled high with loose watermelons and cantaloupes. I was amazed. I couldn't believe that the bottom ones weren't crushed under all that weight, exploding and spraying hazardous melon juice onto the highway. One of nature's tricks with curved surfaces. Topology! I had never made it that far in mathematics and engineering studies, and I knew now that I never would, just as I knew that I would never be a navy pilot or a Treasury agent. I made a B in Statics but I was failing in Dynamics when I withdrew from the field. The course I liked best was one called Strength of Materials. Everybody else hated it because of all the tables we had to memorize but I loved it, the sheared beam. I had once tried to explain to Dupree how things fell apart from being pulled and compressed and twisted and bent and sheared but he wouldn't listen. Whenever that kind of thing came up, he would always say—boast, the way those people do—that he had no head for figures and couldn't do things with his hands, slyly suggesting the presence of finer qualities.”


    “As for his height, I would put it at no more than five feet nine inches—he being fully erect, out of his monkey crouch—and yet he brazenly put down five feet eleven on all forms and applications . . . He wore glasses, the lenses thick and greasy, which distorted the things of the world into unnatural shapes. I myself have never needed glasses. I can read roadsigns a half-mile away and I can see individual stars and planets to the seventh magnitude with no optical aids whatever."

    Sorry for the length; I just really love The Dog of the South and would recommend it to anyone—though not everyone will like it.
  7. OwainGlyndwr

    I am the Aleutian allusion illusion Supporter

    And my choice for film would be The Way Way Back. Fabulous and underrated. One of my top-ten movies with some fantastic performances. A perfect summer vacation movie, and Sam Rockwell absolutely kills it.
    fluxyjoe likes this.
  8. Liz

    Ew, David

    TV show: Orphan Black purely for the talent that is Tatiana Maslany. I don't even care about the story line.

    Book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I first read it last February and there has not been a single day since then that I have not thought about that book. I couldn't even tell you why; there's just some mysterious quality to it that captivated me

    Movie: The Princess Bride. Seriously, if you've never seen it, you're missing out entirely. It's completely ridiculous in the best way
    SEANoftheDEAD and teebs41 like this.
  9. I'm going to go with some lesser known titles. These aren't like my favorites of all time or anything, just some random picks.

    Movie: Beautiful Girls. One of those mid-90's films about a group of young people revolving around relationships. There were dozens of movies like this but this one was special. See:

    TV Show: Rectify. Still, in my opinion, the best show on TV that no one is talking about. This phrase gets assigned to a handful of shows but I think it's the most accurate with Rectify. What a terrific, heartbreaking show. Final season starts this summer. See:

    Book: The Chris Farley Show. I miss that guy so much. I think that if he were still alive today, he would have won an Oscar by now.
    riotspray likes this.
  10. Film: Mr. Nobody. It's on Netflix and is one of the most thoughtful sci-fi movies in recent memory (for me). I'd rewatch it after not having seen it for almost a year, but it's still with me that it doesn't need the rewatch. (But now the itch is there for it.)

    Book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Might come off as a cliché recommendation what with the James Franco miniseries being released this year, but the book is fantastic and easily one of King's best (definitely up there with The Stand, but in a much more personal way). I did not expect myself to care for a romance in a sci-fi book about JFK's assassination, but it ended up being the best part.

    TV show: Mad Men. Sometimes great for binging; other times great for digesting after an episode; always amazing.
  11. farva2


    Film-Gallipoli. A WW1 Coming of age flick following 2 runners (with a young Mel Gibson giving one of his best performances) as they travel the outback to ultimately join the war effort. There's so many great themes at play here, from youthful optimism to blind patriotism but the real heart of this film is in the friendship between the two leads. Without their chemistry, the climax wouldn't be as nailbiting and gut wrenching as it is. I had to stare at the screen, speechless, for a good 10 minutes after vieiwing this the first time.

    Book-ghoul by Brian Keene. Keene used to be my favorite writer through high school. As of late he's been on a slump but in his hay day , he wrote some of the most fun and well connected horror around. I'm Going with ghoul here because it has a bit of everything. It revolves 3 pre teenage kids in the 80s who discover a monster is eating some of the locals down at the local cemetery. On the surface , it's a creature feature but as the book explores the young characters and their lives, he captures the nostalgiai of it what it was was like to ride bikes around town all day with your buddies and get into trouble. On a darker note, the title really becomes more of a metaphor for the real monsters or "ghouls" that we have to deal with in life when the book explores some all too real and relatable domestic issues. Quite a few moments here just knocked me on my ass and the epilogue will stay with you for a while.
    Liz likes this.
  12. colorlesscliche

    Trusted Prestigious

    For TV show I'm torn between Lost and Breaking Bad. Lost was special, because watching it live and looking at Lostipedia, blogs, etc. was so engrossing, stressful, etc. that it will forever been burned into memory, but I'm not sure it'll have that same effect for someone that watches it today.
    Oskarr and OwainGlyndwr like this.
  13. Vivatoto

    Royal Court of Princess Donut Prestigious

    "When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle's brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals. The shoot's locations take him to the cult's first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven't broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken – and what is its interest in him?"
  14. angrycandy May 15, 2016
    (Last edited: May 15, 2016)

    I’m drama in these khaki towns Supporter

    TV: Fargo. Such a great show. Can't wait to watch the second season.

    Books: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. One of our greatest living writers. Everything I have read by him has absolutely blown me away. Can't recommend him enough

    Film: Dogtooth. One of the most jarring films I have ever seen. I love it
  15. Garrett

    i tore a hole in the fabric of time Moderator

    TV Show: New Girl

    It starts out decently, and pretty trope-filled, but the more the characters grow, the more they become like family. The last two seasons have been some of the funniest, heart-filled television that I've ever watched. Very few tv shows have moved me to tears, but New Girl's latest season finale was flawless and emotionally pitch-perfect.

    Movie: Warrior

    I don't like MMA. It's not appealing to me in the slightest. But this is the best sports movie I've ever seen. The story-telling is top notch, the music is outstanding, and the acting is downright perfect. The emotional stakes, physical stakes, and tensions in the plot are flawless.

    Book: Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind

    Simply put, the best book published in my lifetime, bar none. I am absolutely baffled that it's not been made into a movie yet, despite being one of the best selling books worldwide. I read recently that it's the only book to sell that many copies not to be adapted. (I've linked to a review I wrote.)
    fluxyjoe likes this.
  16. Henry

    Moderator Moderator

    This is basically my exact feelings about Happy Endings. The show grabbed me right away, but once the characters found their own footing, it became the perfect comedy in every way.
  17. Garrett

    i tore a hole in the fabric of time Moderator

    I'll have to add that one to my list.
  18. Henry

    Moderator Moderator

    It's got Elisha Cuthbert and Damon Wayans Jr (Coach on New Girl). The cast is amazing.
    Garrett L. likes this.
  19. riotspray

    Trusted Prestigious

    If I could force people to watch one film, it'd probably be The Greasy Strangler. Although most people probably won't like it.