Tag Archives: Ray Wise

Batman: The Killing Joke – First Look! Animated Series Cast Reunites for Seminal Classic

The 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke is one of the most influential works written in the last thirty years, and it’s brutality is about to be introduced to a whole new generation…

Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics are bringing back some of the most beloved voice actors in history to tell a story long thought to graphic for animation. Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, and Mark Hamill brought life to Batman: The Animated Series back in the 1990s, and now they are returning to those roles again.

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AMC’s Mad Men: Episode 512 “Commisions and Fees”

The other shoe finally dropped. That is the inevitable matter of Lane Pryce’s embezzlement came to the attention of one Donald Draper this week, and though the initial confrontation played out as one might expect, the conclusion was shocking. Bert Cooper, thinking Don was trying to assuage Lane’s constant griping about the bonus, brings the canceled check to his attention which leads Don to bring Lane in for proper questioning. The true tragedy of Lane’s transgression is that if pride didn’t get the better of him, and he simply went to Don to borrow the money that he didn’t even wind up stealing everything would have been fine. Through embezzlement and forgery however he has lost the trust of SCDP’s lead man and Don will have nothing other than his resignation and in fact thinks he is doing Lane a favor by giving him a clean new start, and the opportunity to resign without any black marks on his resume. Unfortunately, as is often the case when you get embedded in a nest  of deceit, Lane can’t come clean with his wife who has made matter even worse by purchasing a new Jaguar as a reward to her husband “who never treats himself”. Here is where the brilliance of Mad Men‘s writing comes in. The Jaguar is the perfect symbol for all of Lane’s problems. It is not only a literal symbol of the firm’s success with the client he failed with despite his best efforts, but is also symbolic of the nouveau riche who can afford an impractical luxury car like Jaguar, and the lie he is representing to his wife. If it wasn’t abundantly clear that AMC would never get Jaguar as one of their advertising clients, last night’s episode sealed the deal. In a moment of true black comedy we find Lane trying to kill himself by using the Jaguar to asphyxiate himself, but the car is such a lemon that he can’t even get it to start up and do the job.

It’s too early in the Mad Men era for a Nixon reference, but if Lane Pryce had an exit speech I think it might be somewhat similar to tricky Dick’s exit; “You won’t have {Lane Pryce} to kick around anymore gentlemen, because this is my last {episode}”. Lane’s suicide is the second Mad Men death when characters face off against Don’s tough love and you’ve got to imagine this is going to weigh heavily on Don’s conscience, and it will be interesting to see what happens when word eventually slips out about the true circumstances of Lane’s “resignation”. I’m not sure if this was the case of Jared Harris getting to big for the show or not, but either way it was an expertly crafted character arc, and despite it all you didn’t want to believe that Lane had killed himself until you literally saw the bloated corpse that Don and company cut down from the ceiling.

The other big developments of the week revolved around Don lighting a fire under his own ass and Sally Draper becoming a woman. Don isn’t happy with the direction that SCDP has taken on and wants bigger fish to fry. As he says, “I don’t want Jaguar I want Chevy!” which leads Roger to set up a meeting with Ken Cosgrove’s father-in-law, the Devil incarnate, aka Ray Wise aka the chairman of Dow Chemical. Ken has long been against SCDP getting involved in his family business, but he concedes on two main factors. That he has been “dragged” on board, and that in no way can Pete Campbell be involved in their business, chalking up Cosgrove as yet another of Pete’s inter-office enemies. We won’t find out until next week whether or not his tactics were sound but Don’s approach to winning Dow Chemical was to literally yell at them and berate them for being happy with 50% market success, and it’s as much of a speech for himself and SCDP as it is for the client.

Roger, for his part, is happy to see the feisty old Don Draper as his LSD induced free thinking has begun to fade. We also get to experience another typical Don and Megan squabble when Don forgets to inform her that Betty is dropping Sally off at the apartment:

  • Don: (Demeaning comment)
  • Megan: (Bitchy response)
  • Don: (Some serious shit happened)
  • Megan: (Let’s kiss and make up)

That’s pretty much how Don and Megan interaction go these days as she feels defensive and marginalized, and he feels defensive and overly stressed. It’s always hard to tell what’s going to happen in the Mad Men teasers, but it seems like there might be some new wedge between Don and Megan coming and you wonder if the loss of Lane might push Don back into his self-destructive ways.

Meanwhile we get a fun little aside with Sally and her weirdzo boyfriend Glen this week as when she realizes she will have the apartment to herself Sally convinces Glen to come to the big city for a visit on the sly. These two characters both have been subject to creepy sexual undertones over seasons past so it was a relief that when Glen arrives at Sally’s apartment his greatest desire is to go to the Museum of Natural History.

There we are treated to the awkwardly sweet interactions of Glen’s dry jokes about the exhibits, and the exploration of what their relationship actually is. All of this is interrupted when Sally, feeling ill, makes a startling discovery in the bathroom and then freaks out and takes a cab back to the suburbs and her mom, leaving Glen in the lurch. This whole sequence is yet another fine example of the quality of writing in this show as the awkwardness of youth is naturally captured. Having Glen be as concerned over completing his book report as he is about finding Sally just feels so natural to their ages. Sally freaking out and providing her mother with another bitch chip to play against Megan also feels very natural as despite young Sally’s mistrust of Betty when important things happen it’s still her mother’s arms in which she seeks comfort.

Next week, regrettably is the season finale of Mad Men, and it should be a good one. In the past two weeks of what is normally a pretty even keeled show as far as dramatic changes are concerned they have had Peggy Olson leave SCDP and Lane Pryce kill himself. What kind of bombshell did they leave for the last week?

AMC’s Med Men – Episode 507 “At the Codfish Ball”

Something happened last night. As I was watching Mad Men a wave of familiarity washed over me. The whole episode felt like it was compiled from deleted scenes out of The Godfather – the tone, the ascetic, the way it was shot – all seemed reminiscent of the Coppola classic to me. An underlying darkness and the anticipation of something terrible about to happen all resulted in showing just how unhappy everyone really is. Anyhow, enough about the feel of the episode, and on to the substance. Remember that letter Don wrote after Lucky Strike left? The one that Roger said would kill business? Well Don is receiving an award for writing it, and we’re all invited to the Codfish Ball…

This great honor has prompted Megan’s parents to visit from Montreal, and we quickly discover that Megan’s father, the scholar, is a communist. So he obviously has no affection towards Don’s profession and is concerned that his daughter will be ruined by the lavish lifestyle that they are living. This opinion is only amplified by his own failures and feelings of inadequacies. Something he takes out on those around him, namely the wife he believes doesn’t respect him – cause she doesn’t. She displays this in her competitiveness with her daughter, and her flirting with Don. Megan’s mother seems irresponsible and argumentative, and it’s clear that Megan is more fond of the father who hates her husband then of the mother who likes him.


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Movie Trailer Roundup: MiB III, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Expendables 2 and MORE!

Men in Black III

 The MIB duo of Agent Jay and Agent Kay are back in action. When the world is threatened by an evil alien, Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with the younger Agent Kay to stop an evil villain named Boris from destroying the world in the future. 

Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Emma Thompson, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve, Jemaine Clement

Release Date: May 25th, 2012

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Gone Too Soon: Reaper

2007-20092 Seasons of hilarity, action, brohood, romance and the Devil…

We are here today to remember some of our favorite television shows that were taken from us long before they were ready to go. At least, long before I was ready to let them go.

And unfortunately, that seems to be the case with most of our favorite TV shows these days. It’s rare to be given a second season, let alone continue on an epic run. So this new segment is here to remember some of the shows that may be forgotten. We might even remember some movies, video games, comics… anything that was Gone Too Soon…

Today I am going to talk about Reaper, a show that aired on the CW from 09/25/07 to 05/26/09. It was created by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, and was known for having its pilot episode directed by filmmaker Kevin Smith.

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