All posts by Jesse

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Fate of the Furious, and of Movie Stars

The Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie in the unkillable Fast and Furious franchise, is in theaters now, while reports about conflict between two of the franchise’s biggest stars, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, are appearing in gossip rags everywhere. The prominence of Johnson and Diesel in this particular mega-franchise got us thinking about the supposed death of the movie star, and whether audiences really have gotten over that star-driven model of moviegoing. So Marisa, Jesse, and Nathaniel got together to talk over both the new Fast and Furious movie and the state of the American movie star in general. It’s your best bet for quality Vin Diesel analysis, and we touch upon other stars, too, including the controversy (?) over Anne Hathaway, the comeback (?!) of Nicole Kidman, and the enduring strength of Denzel Washington. Also, Jesse makes everyone talk about Adam Sandler for a bit, obviously. Something for everyone!

How To Listen

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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The End of Girls

Lena Dunham’s divisive thinkpiece magnet Girls ended its six-season HBO run on Sunday, to a renewed frenzy of media attention. Several of SportsAlcohol.com’s regular podcasters have watched the entire series as it aired, so Marisa, Sara, Nathaniel, and Jesse got together to watch the finale and discuss the show. Our conversation touches upon issues such as:

  • Friendship
  • Every major character, and why it might be reductive to call any of them “the worst”
  • But seriously, why does Jesse like Marnie so much?
  • The series as a whole and how it ended
  • Storylines we didn’t fall in love with
  • What was realistic… and what wasn’t, especially if you know anything about writing workshops
  • What this TV show did that other shows haven’t really done before
  • Something something problematic

Basically, this episode is a must for any Girls fans still mourning the loss of their favorite show — or, for that matter, for any hatewatchers wishing someone could tell you what the fuss was about.

How To Listen

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The Top Ten Best Girls Episodes

The editorial core of SportsAlcohol.com is full of love for Girls, Lena Dunham’s half-hour dramedy series that just last night ended its final season on HBO. We’ll have a podcast up this week discussing the full scope of the show, from its characters to its style to the cultural conversations it inspired, but first I wanted to put together a very personal list of my ten favorite episodes of this show – my favorite show on the air, until last night (because it ceased to be on the air, not because the finale let me down). Let us know what I overlooked in the comments. Actually, I’ll let you know right now that I was sad not to include “Dead Inside” (Season 3), “Goodbye Tour” (Season 6), “Home Birth” (Season 4), “Video Games” (Season 2), and “Vagina Panic” (Season 1), among others.
Continue reading The Top Ten Best Girls Episodes

The SportsAlcohol.com Mini-Podcast: Late Sequel Pitches

At the end of our recent podcast about Trainspotting 2, Nathaniel, Sara, Marisa, and Jesse got to talking again about what other long-gap sequels we’d like to see, and we think we came up with a better batch than last time the subject came up. So enjoy this 20-minute bonus track of sorts, where we go around the room and talk about the bearded/aged/years-later sequels we’d all love to see. Find out what Jesse chose that Nathaniel was able to guess in 30 seconds flat.

How To Listen

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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Trainspotting 2, Late Sequels, and the Films of Danny Boyle

Just over two decades after the original hit U.K. cinemas and also U.S. college dorm rooms like an electric shock, Danny Boyle and company have returned to the world of Irvine Welsh with T2: Trainspotting, which is to say, the much-anticipated (by some) Trainspotting 2. Marisa, Sara, Nathaniel, and Jesse saw the new movie and then got together to talk about it: How it works as a long gap sequel, a follow-up to the beloved original, and an entry in the filmography of Danny Boyle. How have Renton, Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie aged? How have we? Listen in to find out — and to prepare for our bonus mini-episode, coming later this week, going further on long-gap sequels.

How To Listen

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Choosing Social Media in Trainspotting 2

Look, I don’t like to impugn the work of other culture writers. It can be a grind, and the demand for topical content relentless. But I took umbrage at this piece over at Vulture, because it seems determined to misread the scene from the Trainspotting sequel it discusses to place it in part of an uncool trend where movies dareth speak ill of social media. Movies are often pretty unhip and out of touch with what’s going on with internet culture, but on the other hand, people who make their living on the internet are often understandably but sometimes insanely defensive about any perceived slights to the medium that puts food on their table. Anyway, my instinct reading this piece was to go through it with a red pen like a crazy person, and bless the internets, this is something I can do now! So here is my annotated version of this article I kinda hated. Consider this a preview for our upcoming podcast about T2: Trainspotting and the films of Danny Boyle. Click for bigger versions.


The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Logan, Kong, and the Beasts of March

Traditionally, March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but this year it’s been pretty beastly the whole way through, with Hugh Jackman’s feral superhero Wolverine taking a last stand in Logan, a sorta-live-action retelling of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast, and the King himself, Kong, returning for Kong: Skull Island. The SportsAlcohol.com crew saw all three of March’s beast-driven blockbusters and got together for a wide-ranging conversation about these animals and their respective franchises. Nathaniel, Marisa, Jesse, and Rob discuss the X-Men movies, the long history of Kong movies (see also: our Kongtent), and the Disney industrial remake complex, and a whole lot of nerdy more.

How To Listen

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The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: Los Campesinos! Then and Now

You may have gathered from our obsessive list-making that we here at SportsAlcohol.com are in love with Los Campesinos! Naturally, our obsession didn’t end with listmaking. Rob, Jesse, Marisa, and Sara went out to see the band play in Brooklyn, then sat down for a conversation about the gig, new album Sick Scenes, the evolution of the band’s sound, and how indie rock itself was faring back in 2008 when the first Los Campesinos! record came out. You’ll also find out: How do we process rumors and our own fan-fiction about band members? What was in contention for Rob’s best-ever Valentine’s Day? Which LC! albums does Marisa find underrated? What did LC! newbie Sara think of all this? And what band does Rob reveal he hates (not the Eagles) (well, the Eagles, but also another one)?

How To Listen

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The 20 Best Los Campesinos! Songs (So Far): Our Post in Lists

You must know by now that we here at SportsAlcohol.com love a good list. And while some of our recent comprehensive career-spanning list projects have addressed legends or beloved modern masters, we also have plenty of indie rock cult favorites who we love and obsess over just as much. So when Los Campesinos! emerged from their longest band hiatus ever to put out their new record Sick Scenes and do a proper U.S. tour, the first thing we knew… well, OK, the first thing we knew was that Rob, Jesse, and Marisa were going to listen to Sick Scenes at least a thousand times collectively over the next year, and the second thing we knew was that we were going to get in the ol’ soft mosh pit for their New York City tourdate. But the third thing we knew was that we were going to enlist some fellow fans of this seven-piece English indie-punk-tweemocore band and put together a list of their best tunes. Because they have so many, and because we perpetually wish more people would pay attention to them. Then again, I won’t deny that it sometimes feels good to flat-out worship some obscure-by-top-40-standards indie rock outfit and glory in their continuing existence. As one of the write-ups mentions below: People who don’t dislike or ignore this band tend to love the ever-loving fuck out of this band. This, I think, is how indie rock stays alive – not by selling out Radio City Music Hall.

Though they’ve only been around for about a decade, Los Campesinos! have released six studio albums as well as at least an album’s worth of B-sides, rarities, EP tracks, and Christmas songs. And honestly, even if they weren’t closing in on 100 to choose from, many of their songs have such an explosion of wordflow, energy, vocal byplay, and shout-along hooks that a mere 10 or 15 would seem too few. So we decided to make this list a muscular 20 songs long. Happily, the results reflect our LC! fandom at their every stage, from the youthful brio of 2008’s Hold On Now, Youngster… to the dire break-up stories of Hello Sadness to their more reflective, but still exuberant, 2017 incarnation. So get to reading and get to listening and maybe get to weeping angrily, if that’s your thing. We also have a podcast about our experiences with this band in general and at their recent live show in particular, as well as some discussion of other indie rock that popped out back in 2008. But first, our day in lists.
Continue reading The 20 Best Los Campesinos! Songs (So Far): Our Post in Lists

Jesse Reviews the Films of Anna Kendrick

Seriously, though, if you don’t believe my Table 19 review, I am invested in Anna Kendrick’s career. Journey back in time with me, won’t you?

“Kendrick and Plaza are particularly charming in their freedom to act like dummies and subvert the usual ‘nice girl’ of a wedding-centric romantic comedy.”
Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

“But Kendrick still throws the movie off, mostly by giving it her best: She’s so likable, and plays the stock concerned-girlfriend part with so much sweetness and honesty, that the quirky family dramedy material plays even more false in her presence.”
The Hollars

“…a nice fit for a screenplay written by 30 Rock’s Kay Cannon, especially in a runner about her inability to formulate any nasty rejoinders to the beautiful, taunting leader of the Germans.”
Pitch Perfect 2

“When Christian and Dana engage in some cute math-flirting, it’s charming enough to pass for funny on purpose, especially when director Gavin O’Connor places a particularly hulking-looking Affleck next to the diminutive, chirpy Kendrick.”
The Accountant

“The success of future Marshall musicals is assured, as long as he keeps working from Sondheim and re-hires Streep, Blunt, Kendrick, and Pine.”
Into the Woods

“Kendrick sings her heart out and also proves a great reactor, managing to steal a couple of scenes from Jordan even when he’s the one singing.”
The Last Five Years

“The effect could be maddening, a feature-length avoidance of the elephant in the room. But Wilde, Johnson, and Kendrick make that avoidance appealing.”
Drinking Buddies

“Anna Kendrick, delightful as always, [plays] Taylor’s sweet girlfriend Janet.”
End of Watch