Imagine, a century ago my trip to China would have been arduous by today’s standards. I would have had to cross the entire United States by train (made possible by Chinese laborers), to San Francisco.
Then I would have boarded a boat to China – the economical “slow boat to China” no doubt. I would have been wracked by seasickness and malnourishment.
Instead, thanks to the modern marvel of flying, I boarded an Etihat jet, where runway-model stewardesses plied us with great food, and where each person could watch all kinds of movies and TV shows. What Etihat has done to “upfit” the 777 is amazing. What a classy airline.
Forget napping, I can sleep when I’m dead. It’s better to get jacked on caffeine and watch stuff I somehow missed. I hoovered almost 24 hours of media, and among my recommendations:
The Knick is a Cinemax show directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen. The writing, visuals and even music are all excellent. The show catapults you back more than 100 years ago to the New York Knickerbocker Hospital. It’s not for the squeamish… One would not want to time travel into the past without one’s shots.
Fury is a hyper-realistic war movie about a tank crew in the last days of World War II. I’ve always been into these kinds of movies, having I went on a series of battlefield visits across France, Belgium and Germany when I was a kid. The movie works well on many levels, and Brad Pitt did a spectacular job, anchoring the story and providing depth to the character of Don “Wardaddy” Collier.
The Judge is directed by David Dobkin, and it stars Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and of course Robert Downey, Jr., who impressively plays the central character. The movie is about a trial in Indiana, where Billy Bob Thornton is great as the opposing attorney. Above all the movie is about a father-son relationship, and it packs an emotional punch.
Lucy is a science-fiction film starring the captivating Scarlett Johansson, and Morgan Freeman is excellent as the scientist. As with many movies, there are people behind the scenes dropping clues. This film is pregnant with messages about how this world really works, the vast and limitless potential of humanity (presently locked in our DNA, and repressed across a full spectrum of economic, political and cultural structures). Science fiction my ass – there is nothing in this movie that is not true.