Category Archives: television

Walter White: Last of the Famous International Playboys

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I’m the one who knocks …out fan tribute videos to practice editing!

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Made this when I got new video software. My tribute to Walter White, and our association of violence and sexy. By the way I have a YouTube channel! Check it out!

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Jessica Lakis

My fan music video tribute honoring the best of the worst exploits of Walter White –  the last of the famous international playboys.

Violence has its own sex appeal.

Hey! Did you know I have a YouTube channel  Go take a look!.

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I Wanna Call Saul

better-call-saul-key-art-560

but I just ran outta nickels

I’m falling for Better Call Saul (AMC, Mon. 10/9 c). Which is weird because my hopes were not high for the show regardless of the opportunity to see Bob Odenkirk reprise his role as Walter (I am the danger!) White’s “criminal” attorney. But Black & White Cinnabon flash-presents aside, this show grabs me in its own right.

We follow, Jimmy McGill,  petty con-man cum attorney-at-law struggle, suffer his way towards his destiny to transform into Saul Goodman. Which is kinda fun. Because the show is an old tragedy we already know the end to. Apparently, seeing the process unfold is glorious. Because I adore it.

Odenkirk, Jimmy, endears himself. His sad, kicked puppy-dog look, his terrible shoes, his hair that’s clearly transitioning from once being “really cool”. This guy is a nice guy. But he sucks at straight life. He’s a con-man with a gift for gab. He’s desperately losing his battle with encountering his destiny.

He has three angels of his nature. Firstly there is Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). Don’t groan! She’s awesome! She’s the anti-Skyler White! I love this chick. Kim strives honestly to move up in the law. But she can’t help but occasionally hooking up with Jimmy to con a mark out of $50 shots of tequila. Really, those two are great. Super chemistry. I don’t want to die when I see her on-screen like her counterpart on Breaking Bad.

Oppositely we get back our favorite dead-mackerel eyed tough guy, Mike Arhmentrout (Johnathan Banks). Dude, Mike is an older, tougher, more beat-up Humphrey Bogart. He’s a retired Philly cop taking work as muscle to support his widowed daughter-in-law and his grand-daughter. In his spare time, Mike maintains an on-going “misunderstanding” with a Mexican drug-cartel.

Then finally, there’s Chuck. Chuck the older brother, senior partner in a big law-firm, has some One Percent allergy to electro-magnetism. Chuck exists to remind Jimmy of what a screw-up he used to be, and may still be. Chuck is what Jimmy will never be: a “respected man”. He’s utterly resistant to Jimmy’s charms.

But I am not! Watching Jimmy McGill is like if, without knowing it, you were staggering your way towards becoming Luke Skywalker. That’s how it feels. Uplifting! I mean, we all are stuttering, stammering fools, but here’s one fool who has the gift we lack. He speaks! It’s his super-power. And his destiny. (Just a Jimmy B.S. sample: a lie involving a client, and videos, and sitting in pies.)

Jimmy isn’t a mad-scientist psychopath like Walter White. He’s just a guy in bad suit, with a degree and a gift for gab. That’s really all he’s got. I want to believe that this schlub who keeps an apartment/office in the back-room of an Asian nail salon can unfurl like the glorious peacock we all know as Saul Goodman. He also doesn’t kill anybody. So, yeah, he’s just relatable.

Anyhow, I watch this show through the Amazon Prime Season Pass where you buy a season, get it the next day, then you have it forever. I usually only do that for The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad before. But I know the first season is on Netflix now. I suggest giving it a shot. Because wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a destiny?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Walking Dead: This Charming Man

I’m just as psyched as anyone to see how Tasha Yar will manage to die in the upcoming fifth season of The Walking Dead. But before we move on to new foes and friends (and their respective deaths), I felt compelled to look back on the smooth-talkingest, rock-star bad guy to grace the show. I refer, of course, to Philip Blake, aka The Governor, aka Brian Heriot, portrayed by David Morrissey. Like Bill Clinton, I’d have voted that guy into office for life. But, if The Walking Dead teaches us anything, it’s that all life is change and suffering. Actually, that’s Buddhism, but you get my point.

 

And, to answer the age-old question of how many talented, British men with great hair named Morrissey does it take to make a Walking Dead tribute video, the answer is two.

Enjoy!


BLOCK: Pilot First 7 Pages

Meet CK Block: a modern, female Sherlock Holmes

BLOCK: Pilot “THE HUMAN EQUATION”
EXT. HOLLYWOOD BLVD – DAY

Clayton “Clay” FORRESTER wears a modern desert fatigue jacket with a Marine Corps badge, jeans, aviator shades and cowboy boots. His last name is stenciled above his jacket’s front pocket and across its back. He’s built like a cowboy, lean. He takes long strides, but keeps his fists balled up in his pockets. He’s into his thirties, but his hair has already begun to grey at the temples. His face is handsome, changing from stoic, stone-set jaw, to “aw shucks” charm.

If he walked down the street in any American neighborhood, you’d peg him as a survivalist and try to avoid conversation. But here he blends right in with the rest of the freaks: tourists in loud Disney shirts, guys dressed as Superman, women dressed as Marilyn Monroe in the white dress, X-men and Storm-troopers, junkies, hippies, street performers, tour guides, the occasional ‘incognito’ celebrity, and a dozen other wannabees walking down the street full of people past ‘Old Hollywood’ hotels in varying states of decay or gentrification, garish store fronts and souvenir shops.

CLAY (V.O.) People ain’t born in this town. They all just kinda pour outta the sticks and crap towns. Drain here like a giant toilet. Wanderin’. Looking for somethin’, someone, anyone to notice. Stand out from the herd. Show them the way.

INT. CLAY’S RENTED ROOM – EVENING

A toilet FLUSHES. Clay sits down at an old formica-top table in his Spartan, shabby rented room. All his gear is stowed in a sea-bag with his name stenciled on it. The tiny bed is made to military precision, a military-issue handgun by its side. He looks like he could move out in a minute. He pours some cheap brandy into a bottle of chocolate milk, shakes it up and chugs it down.

Before him lies a sketchbook, pencils and a set of Rapidiograph pens. He has sketched out a page of panels, as in graphic novels, depicting himself on the street amid the sea of people and his room as already seen. He inks in a panel of himself sitting alone at his table with this caption:

CLAY (V.O. as he works) There was this poem we learned back in school. ‘I am nobody. Who are you? Are you nobody too?’ Hey, I’m nobody…

Clay’s writing trails off. He leans back in his chair and closes his eyes.

EXT. VENICE BEACH – NEXT DAY

Clay, in his get-up, stands out from the crowd by how much clothing he is wearing. In a place where everyone is showing off their body, their tattoos, piercings, hairstyles, etc. he looks as though he had been dropped into the scene from some other world.

He watches a legless Vet begging from a distance. A VOICE CALLS HIM back to the world.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S) Forrester! Forrester! Yo, Clay!

Clay turns and focuses his eyes on MIGUEL, a young man about Clay’s age wearing cargo shorts and combat boots. Miguel approaches Clay, who still seems lost. Clay submits to a ‘bro-hug’.

MIGUEL Clayton Forrester, what da fuck?

CLAY Aw, hell. Rodriguez? Miguel? Jeez, I thought I was seein’ stuff.

MIGUEL Well there’s no mistaking your dumb, hick ass.

CLAY Yeah, I guess.

MIGUEL So, what landed you in this shit-hole?

CLAY I dunno. I got stuff…things, ya know.

MIGUEL No man, I got no fucking idea what you’re saying, as usual, right? Come on. Let’s get a beer.

CLAY Alright.

INT. BAR – LATER ON

Clay and Miguel sit at a darkened bar having some beers.

MIGUEL You just dropped off the earth, Clay. Med-vacced out. Shipped home. Fucking Keyser Soze-ed, just, poof, disappeared.

CLAY Yeah, I had some…

MIGUEL Stuff?

Clay smiles.

CLAY Yeah…spent some time out ‘Twenty-nine Stumps’.

MIGUEL Just what you needed, more desert.

CLAY Don’t I know it. It was ‘observation’ and all that. Half-way between here n Vegas. Figured I try my luck here.

MIGUEL Your family?

Clay shakes his head.

CLAY Nah…

MIGUEL Sorry dude. I hate to say it, but I had the same idea as you.

CLAY Oh, yeah? What’s that?

MIGUEL Combat engineer, right? Thought I could like be some kind of military adviser or do pyrotechnics for the movies. Turns out you need all kinds of civilian certifications and shit. Besides, well hell, you know what it’s like. The looks, like they think you’re gonna have some kinda Nam flashback any second. ‘But thank you for your service.’ Assholes.

CLAY Yeah…

MIGUEL So at least I figured I got the Bill, right? I never cashed out my benies. So now I’m going to college.

CLAY That so? Good for you.

MIGUEL So, how you doing?

CLAY I can’t afford where I’m stayin’. Seems like you can’t find no place to stay here that’s decent that don’t cost a million dollars.

MIGUEL Huh. That’s funny.

CLAY What?

MIGUEL Nothing, I just heard someone I know on campus say just the opposite.

CLAY Oh, yeah? What’s that?

MIGUEL That she found a decent place cheap, put down the security and all, but can’t find someone to split the rent with her.

CLAY I could.

Miguel turns quiet.

MIGUEL I don’t know, Clay.

CLAY Why not? There something wrong with her?

MIGUEL Not really. She takes a lot of non-requireds. Out of the way stuff. Nerdy, I guess. Sticks to herself.

CLAY To tell the truth, quiet and nerdy seem about right to me just now.

MIGUEL Yeah, well, you don’t know CK Block.

CLAY Why? She some crazy chick? Guys? Drama? All that stuff?

Miguel laughs.

MIGUEL CK? No way, man. She’s just kinda…weird n’ …

CLAY Stuff? Well, I guess I’m ‘weird n’ stuff’ myself. Set up a meet.

MIGUEL Alright, I’ll text her. But whatever happens is on you, got it?

CLAY I got it. Always were a jumpy sonofabitch, ya know that?

EXT. CAMPUS TEA & COFFEE SHOP – SAME DAY

Clay sits waiting on a bench. Miguel shows up.

MIGUEL Glad you found it OK.

CLAY Got here faster’n you.

They walk towards the entrance to the shop. Miguel stops and turns to Clay.

MIGUEL Man, I gotta just tell ya. She beat a dead pig with a baseball bat.

CLAY What?

MIGUEL In the Criminal Science lab.

CLAY Well maybe it was like school stuff…homework. Just quit making excuses n take me to see her. Can you do that?

MIGUEL Right on. But I warned ya…

CLAY I know, wash your hands an’ all that…may we?

MIGUEL Fine.

INT. TEA & COFFEE SHOP – CONTINUOUS

The bright, smartly decorated shop is full of students talking, studying, playing on tablets. Clay takes off his shades. Miguel points to a high, long bar-table against the far wall.

MIGUEL There she is.

Clay moves through the crowd with Miguel following. CATHERINE KINCAID BLOCK has her back to him. She has several cups of tea lined up in front of her on the bar. She studies them intently. Miguel steps up behind her and taps her on her shoulder.

MIGUEL Hey, CK. This is Clayton Forrester? The guy I texted you about?

A pale but animated face turns towards them. CK Block is diminutive with short hair, dressed in vintage/thrift store cast-offs. She has sharp features and an ageless, pixie look. Her eyes are intense and beaming.

CK I have found it! Here. Take a sip.

She pushes one of the cups of tea into Clay’s hands. Clay gives his ‘aw shucks’ smile, shrugs and drinks some.

CK That’s enough. What do you taste?

CLAY Tea? Some kinda orangey flavor?

CK That’s bergamot. Anything else?

CLAY Honey?

CK Thank you! I have to send a quick text.

CK whips out her phone and dashes off a text. As she finishes, Clay mindlessly raises the cup to his mouth again. CK’s hand darts out and grabs the cup from him.

CK I wouldn’t do that.

CLAY Why not?

CK Nothing. Not to worry. Unless you’ve been drinking.

She takes a sip of the tea, smiles, and sits it down on the table.

CK I’m sorry. It’s just impossible for the average individual to poison another anymore. Homeland Security and all that…and the lily of the valley. But you…I’m sorry, who are you?

MIGUEL This is the guy I texted you about the apartment.

CK hops from her stool, wipes her hand on her shirt, and extends it to Clay. He towers over her.

CK Catherine Kincaid Block. I think people call me CK.

Clay takes her hand.

CLAY Pleased to meet you. You can call me Clay…

CK quickly withdraws her hand from the embrace.

CK (interrupting) Lance Corporal Clayton Forrester. US Marine Corps, Combat engineer, specializing in Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Battlefield Clearance. Three tours in Iraq. Diagnosed PTSD. Divorced. (in response to Clay’s questioning look) You should change your social media passwords. ‘Monkey’ is one of the most common, and a fair bet if you use one as your profile pic.

CLAY Hold up now, you hacked…?

CK’s face doesn’t register having committed a violation.

CK When Miguel texted me, I thought it prudent to learn who I’d be living with. Let’s see, you’ll want to know about me: I use an e-cigarette,spend a lot of time on my work. If you find me lying on the sofa not speaking, don’t worry, it’ll pass. I like music. The place has two bedrooms and two baths. I already moved in, but we can swap rooms if you’d like. All you need is half month’s rent, and you can move in tomorrow. Sound good?

CLAY Half month’s rent. Sounds good.

CK Then it’s settled. Give me your number, and I’ll text you the address.

They exchange numbers.

CK Until tomorrow then. Oh, love the Travis Bickle look.

CK turns back to her ‘tea’ before Clay can respond. Clay and Miguel turn towards the exit.

CLAY She just poisoned me.

MIGUEL I’m sorry, man. I’ll make up some excuse for you.

CLAY Why? I’m taking the apartment.

MIGUEL You’re kidding, right?

CLAY She’s the first stranger in this town who’s even looked at me twice. Besides, it’s half-rent.

Clay puts his shades back on as they exit into the sun.

 

Block: The Human Equation, TV Pilot WGA registration: I267101

Jessica Lakis, 2015


Walter White: Last of the Famous International Playboys

My video tribute honoring the best of the worst exploits of Walter White –  the last of the famous international playboys.

Violence has its own sex appeal.

Hey! Did you know I have a YouTube channel  Go take a look!.


Lord of the Things

Lord of the Things


Happy UnDead-pendence Day

The Walking Dead

One thing ya can’t hide/ when yer a zombie inside.

*The following is rated P, for puns*

AMC is running a Walking Dead marathon (Dead, White & Blue) this weekend in honor of…Independence Day? That’s cool, I guess, keep folks interested between seasons. And if rain cancels your plans to: go to the beach, have a cookout, have a picnic, watch fireworks, rent kayaks, go camping, go fishing, or any other outdoor activity, I suppose that’s a way to spend three days. Just stockpile some Doritos, fresh water and Valium, and nail the doors and windows shut.

Anyhow, zombie cliches aside, I thought I’d take the time to chew over my thoughts on the show; what keeps me hungry for more and what makes me wonder if the writers need some brains!

#1 Awesome, practical creature effects. I adore the Peter Jackson/splatter-film zombie effects on this show. Greg Nicotero and his team do great work bringing the dead to horrifying life on this series. My only nit-pick, do zombies floss? Because those guys can lose half their body, but their gums and teeth would make my angry dentist smile.

#2 Daryl. You are the most slovenly, sweaty, bad-hair day having hick to be ever be so frickin’ kick-ass and sexy: the Legolas of the zombie-apocalypse. Maybe it’s the fact that the writers are not beholden to a story-line in the books that allows this character to be the most developed and nuanced on the entire show.

Which brings me to #3

Rick. Oh, Rick…I wanna love ya buddy. I really do. And, while I know you’re busy with, uh, stuff n’ things, could you maybe change your shirt once in a while? Maybe you could even have a pro-active storyline in which you, say, think ahead, plan, and aren’t haunted by the death of your whore-wife? Those baby-blues and tight jeans can only get you so far, cowboy.

#4 Chain-link fences. Carole tells Rick that she learned how to re-locate a shoulder on the ‘innernet’. That’s nice. While you were on said ‘innernet’, did you ever watch a YouTube video of what a bunch of soccer hooligans can do to a chain-link fence? Even a chain-link fence propped up with two-by-fours?

#5 Pungee sticks. They are sticks that are sharp on one end, just one tech-step below fire in human invention. Stick them in a trench. Tie them together into a hedgehog. Heck, just poke with them! The Viet-Cong foiled American troops in Vietnam with them. The Romans held off hordes of angry Gauls with real swords and arrows with these things. Alexander took over the known world by deciding to make his bigger and longer than anyone else’s (no real surprise there). Neanderthals killed mammoths with them. Check ’em out guys.

#6 Better doctors. This series needs better medical professionals. Dr. Jenner must have held his PhD in custodial science if he couldn’t tell the difference between a virus, a bacteria and a fungus. And, Dr. S., why did you send those people to a college a hundred miles away to get antibiotics for a flu? Herschel knew what to do: drink some tea, get some rest, stab the dead ones in the brain. Just like grandma always said.

#7 The Governor. I love this sick, evil bastard. I love how he strides through hordes of the undead like a rock-star through screaming fan-girls. ‘Yeah, I know y’all want me, but I got someone to torture, baby.’ I love his long, black, collar-flipped coat. I love his fish-tanks. And I love that he killed Andrea.

#8 Carl! You are so not-annoying! You’re cute, awkward, tough yet smart. You are the one kid I’d want by my side apocalypse or no. But you’d have to wear the hat all the time.

#9 Bear McCreary’s score. The subtle hints of Scotch-Irish influenced Appalachian gorgeous over the washed-out landscapes and quiet moments in this series reminds me where this show is set and filmed: in a land that was ravaged by a war with an unstoppable foe bent on bringing it to its knees and making it howl.

#10 Resurrection. I honestly thought zombies were dead, culturally. But every few years someone manages to give new life to the undead. The Walking Dead does that. And while it’s difficult not to compare it to other recent phenom shows like Lost or Breaking Bad, while it may tend to shamble and fall, it always gets back up, and keeps coming, and coming…and I keep coming back.

Now I gotta go lock the door.

 


Cosmos and Prophets of Doom

Carl Sagan Cosmos

Carl Sagan in Cosmos: A Personal Journey

I cried during the finale of Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey last night. The use of Carl Sagan’s older, sicker, yet still passionately intoned ode to “The Pale Blue Dot” along with Neil de Grasse Tyson’s energetic and encouraging description of “The Five Rules” of skeptical thought made the perfect bookend to the series’ awesome case for science that “belongs to everyone.”

Then, when I chose a podcast to listen to this morning as I went about some errands, I guess a my inner Monty Python opted for something completely different. I chose one of Dan Carlin’s older Hardcore History episodes entitled Prophets of Doom.

Mr. Carlin told the story of the Munster Anabaptists, when for a year in the 1520’s the city was overtaken by characters we’d recognize as charismatic cult leaders preaching armed rebellion by God’s Chosen People against an evil world and the End of Days. And while it was a gripping tale, told with Carlin’s usual intensity, in the epilogue of the show, he admitting to feeling disappointed with the result because he could seem to draw no real lesson from the chaos.

He mentioned Waco and the Branch Davidians, which was an apt modern parallel. But he seemed torn over the idea of whether 16th century Europeans “could handle the Truth” of vernacular Bibles and the free-thought they inspired and likened it to a Galactic Bible brought to us by enlightened extra-terrestrials, but doled out to us as the Roman Catholic Church had done previous to the Protestant Reformation because we couldn’t handle its “Truth.” It occurred to me that I had watched the answer to his dilemma the night before.

I am NOT going to make the usual claim that the source of the madness of the Anabaptists of Munster, the Counter-Reformation, the Branch Davidians or “Militant Islam” are all symptoms of the inherit madness of religion. As Dan Carlin pointed out, secular regimes based on nationalism or other political, economic or whatever name-that-dogma can produce the same level of collective insanity.

The issue, as Dr. Tyson pointed out last night, is, as he described it, “Rule number one: Question everything, even me.” Above all, he warned, don’t trust anyone who says they have all the answers. The problem with the people of Munster or Waco or who welcomed Hitler is NOT that they were stupid or crazy, but that they were lazy. Intellectually lazy. Uncomfortable with the change and troubles of the world around them, they sought comfort in men who promised all the answers.

I cannot completely condemn the anyone for desiring the comfort of such unquestionable truths. The very notion of “Freedom of Thought” carries with it the burden of accepting the uncomfortable realities along with the exhilaration of discovery, of analyzing whether you think something is true because you want it to be or because it fits our ever-changing understanding of the facts. Facing this on-going challenge requires courage and vigilance. Carl Sagan’s famous “Baloney Detection Kit” might help as well.

So, in answer to Mr. Carlin’s hypothetical dilemma, enlightened space-faring race or not, if the Vulcans knock on my door bringing the “good news” of their Galactic Bible that  promises to solve all of my and the world’s problems, the first thing I’d have to say to them is “prove it to me.” And, if they were Vulcans, that would be only logical.

 

 


The Godfather BC

Take the cannoli

Too soon?


Say My Name

Say my name.

Jessica Lack-is.

Raises gun.

Jessica Lahk-is.

Cocks gun.

Jessica Lake-is?

Lowers gun.

You’re goddamn right.

 


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