WEIRDLAND

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Postmodern dystopian bleakness: "Mr Robot" and "High-Rise" (Technology as Ultimate Destroyer)

Almost all the scenes are dark — certainly all the scenes in Elliot’s apartment are — and feel gloomy in that familiar way. The brightest sources of light we can see are computer screens and Malek’s eyes, usually reflected in some kind of screen. It’s that same eerie, sleep-wrecking glow you get from checking your phone or laptop in bed. The most horrifying stuff isn’t what we can see. It almost doesn’t matter who is knocking on Elliot’s door at the end of the episode. The real violence in Mr. Robot isn’t what happens to other people, outside, on-screen. The real violence is internal, personal. It’s hallucinations clashing with reality; competing moralities waging war within. It’s not what’s out there. It’s all in your head. Source: thinkprogress.org


In an interview with Variety, Christian Slater reveals, "After reading episode 9, contemplating my future and wondering what was going to become of Mr. Robot and what his future would be, I felt those feelings of fear and panic - and I realized there was one person I could call to get these answers. And that's Sam Esmail. I asked him what the future of Mr. Robot is. And he shared that Mr. Robot is to Elliot what the Hulk is to Bruce Banner. So whenever Elliot is feeling backed into a corner, overwhelmed, scared, unable to take certain actions, Mr. Robot will step in and pull the trigger."

Slater adds if Mr. Robot knows where Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) is , "I know that Mr. Robot knows and he's going to keep it locked in a vault until he feels Elliot is capable and ready to handle what that answer is." Source: www.mstarz.com

It's based on a cult favorite dystopian novel, directed by a daring indie director, and features one of cinema's most exciting new stars. So it's not surprising that "High-Rise" has become one of the most anticipated titles of this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

"Ballard used to say he wasn't writing about who we are, but about who we might become... his books are like a roadside warning on a highway, as if to say: 'Caution: bends ahead.'" -Tom Hiddleston

Hiddleston plays Dr. Robert Laing, who is looking for anonymity among the thousands of residents in a 40-story apartment complex. Instead, he finds chaos, madness and violence escalating all around him as the building descends into tribal factions. With a cast that also includes Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller and Elisabeth Moss, the film is a disturbing microcosmic allegory that examines the perils of both joining in and shutting oneself off, a savage attack on consumerism, complacency and lifestyle obsession.

Few authors are so distinctive as to become a word all their own, and yet the term "Ballardian" has come to officially define a postmodern dystopian bleakness. After the long wait, Thomas said, "I think J.G. Ballard would be delighted with this adaptation." Source: www.latimes.com

Technology as the Ultimate Destroyer - Amazon Review of "High-Rise" by Jeffrey Leach: "J.G. Ballard's 1975 novel High-Rise contains all of the qualities we have come to expect from this author: alarming psychological insights, a study of the profoundly disturbing connections between technology and the human condition, and an intriguing plot masterfully executed. Ballard, who wrote the tremendously troubling Crash, really knows how to dig deep into our troubling times in order to expose our tentative grasp of modernity. What starts out as a book about living in a technological marvel quickly morphs into a study of how technology can cause human beings to regress back into primitivism. Ballard shows in detail how the residents of the apartments sink back into the morass, passing through a classical Marxist structure of bourgeoisie-proletariat, moving on to a clan/tribal system, to a system of stark individuality. In short, Ballard tries to equate our striving towards individuality through technology with how we started out in our evolution as hunter-gatherers, as individuals seeking individual gains. The promise that technology will liberate the individual is not the highest form of evolution, argues Ballard, but is actually a return to the lowest forms of human expression." Source: www.amazon.com

Friday, September 11, 2015

Paver Patios, Outdoors glamour

The new Columbus Paver Patios are an easy way to update your home or create an outdoor living space. No design is too big or too fancy. Our designers will work with you on a plan to enhance your home’s exterior features within an affordable budget. We can create a plan that will turn your space into a relaxing getaway with plans that include paver patios, outdoor kitchens for entertaining, water features, retaining walls and walkways.

You'll get the best custome service by a landscape design company. We have extensive experience with all aspects of construction and project management. Our scope of work includes residential and commercial projects including irrigation system installation, maintenance, and landscape lighting. Whether it’s a simple front and back-yard update or a total home renovation, we can tackle your project with utter professionalism.

We also install paver driveways, paver walkways, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, pergolas, decks, etc. while we develop a custom landscape design and installation adapting to your personal needs and lifestyle. We always finish our collaborations in a timely manner, and our crews will ask for your opinion at every step of your project, since we are committed to providing our customers the highest quality of work.

It is one thing show off your landscaping during the day, but you can also make your landscape pop at night. All it takes is strategically placed lighting. Builderscape will design and install a professional outdoor lighting system customized to your home. Landscape lighting will illuminate your home, landscape, walkways and outdoor living areas with low-voltage lighting to create an enjoyable and beautiful nighttime atmosphere. Pavers will transform a boring backyard into a well designed outdoor living area. You can compliment your paver patio with architectural features such as fire features or pergolas to take your outdoor living space to the next level.

Our cutting edge landscape designs create tranquil gardens for you to meander and take in nature. Our 3D design center allows you to plan and view your picture perfect landscape. Compaction ensures pavers stay smooth & level. Compaction is the process of apply energy to soil or other materials in order to increase there density and load bearing capacity.

Hollywood Hills home of film noir star Lizabeth Scott sells for well above list price: The farmhouse-style residence was designed by indoor-outdoor-focused architect Robert Byrd. Built in 1940, the 1,787-square-foot house has a timeless beauty much like that of its longtime owner, who starred with Elvis Presley in “Loving You” (1957), Humphrey Bogart in “Dead Reckoning” (1947) and Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (1946). Known for her striking face, Scott died this year at 92.

The ground floor of the home features a living room with a fireplace, a formal dining room, wood floors, a wide galley-style kitchen and a powder room. On the second level, two en suite bedrooms have pitched and beamed ceilings. A paver patio sits off the living room beside the kidney-shaped swimming pool. Source: www.latimes.com

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Holding in the pain: "Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For" (2015)

"Joi Lansing: A Body to Die For" colorfully chronicles personal and intimate details of the last four years of the talented ‘50’s “blonde bombshell” star’s fascinating life. After three decades of successful TV and movie appearances and Vegas singing stardom, Ms. Lansing died far too young at just 43. Though her funeral was attended by luminaries of the day (Frank Sinatra sent a huge floral display), her light went out relatively unceremoniously.

Always just on the verge of “making it big,” Joi packed them in with standing room only in Vegas, but when the curtain came down and the audience was gone, who was she? Sadly, the one relationship where she was loved for the sweet, gentle woman she really was, the friendship that might have given her the strength to finally cross the finish line for that one moment of glory for which she had run since she began in show business as a little girl of 14, was ended at her death from breast Cancer in the arms of her dear friend, “Rachel.”

Author Alexis Hunter (“friend/baby sister”) was the only person who really knew Joi and knew how she struggled with a suicide-obsessed self-image and deadly drug problem after being a child star at MGM where “uppers” were a common way to keep the kids working 20 hour days. Source: www.bearmanormedia.com

Joi’s face was perfect, with no lines or imperfections. Her hair was a gorgeous and full platinum blonde, not the overbleached blonde that looked tacky and fake, but a warm, soft color. Her eyes were a beautiful green, and she was tall and thin. Not too thin, just no excess fat. She wore a peach minidress that was to be her costume throughout the film. It was quite low-cut and exposed her trademark cleavage. She was magnificent!

It wasn’t that busy for a twenty-four-hour coffee shop in the middle of Hollywood. Joi was dressed quite modestly and was not recognizable as the sex goddess she was portrayed to be. We sat in a booth next to a wall, rather than in the middle of the room where our conversation could be overheard by strangers. We talked until the sun shone through the window. There was no shooting going on that day at the studio. Exterior shots were being finished in Griffith Park, and neither of us had to be there. I can’t remember all that we talked about, it was like a dream. I only know that, during those hours of conversation, we connected as if we were soul mates long ago parted. As we spoke, our eyes met and didn’t wander. Each word that was said made us closer. She would reach across the table and touch my hand, and, with each touch, my heart would skip a beat. When it was time to leave, she asked me to go next door to a little shop with her. Since I didn’t have a phone of my own at the Studio Club, she said she’d call, and we’d get together.

She said she’d love to have dinner or go to a movie and asked if I would like that. We spent the evening talking as if we’d known each other for a hundred years. The more we spoke, the closer we sat to one another. She would reach out and touch my arm or gently brush her hand against my face. Her life had been filled with many men and brief affairs, and she expressed how sad and alone she had felt for too many years. Joi had been involved with Sid Caesar for a while, and, before him, it was Frank Sinatra. She had really liked Frank, but said he was quite troubled. The time they spent together was interrupted by his sadness at the loss of one of his friends. He would cry, and his depression destroyed any intimacy they had. That was the end of their affair.

She told me about the creeps and the scum in Hollywood — the producers and directors who demanded favors for work in a film. Talking about her experiences made her start to cry. She had been holding in the pain for too many years. I held her close, and she sobbed for hours. Time passed, and she was finally comforted. She felt safe, and, at this moment, she knew she was loved. "JOI LANSING: A BODY TO DIE FOR - A LOVE STORY" (2015) by Alexis Hunter

Struggling with depression: Mr Robot (Rami Malek) and Demolition (Jake Gyllenhaal)

When Mr. Robot debuted back in June, the show was pitched as a ripped-from-the-headlines techno-thriller, with the return of Christian Slater to TV as its main attraction. Now, two months and 10 episodes later, the USA network has an unlikely hit on its hands: a visually striking, subversive, and often surprising drama about the dehumanizing effects of our corporate-controlled, internet-addicted modern world.

And a lot of the credit for the show's out-of-left-field success belongs to the man who plays the series' troubled hacker hero — the 34-year-old character actor Rami Malek.

Getting the lead in an unexpectedly popular cable series is a long way from where the Egyptian-American actor was a decade ago, when he was staying up all night in his family's cramped apartment to stuff resumés and head-shots into envelopes. "I heard 'no' a lot back then," Malek laughs. "But like my dad would always say, 'This kid's tenacious.'" "It raises some pretty dark questions about the world we live in," Malek says of the show's wobbly-reality tone and plot twists. More importantly, he's excited to be working on "one of the finest shows on television... it feels like it's bleeding out of the screen," which may explain why it’s captured the attention of people who don't ordinarily tune in to USA. It doesn't look or feel like anything else on TV — and with his sunken eyes, sharp jaw, and deep, halting voice, neither does its star. Source: www.rollingstone.com

Variety: -What’s in store for next season?

Rami Malek: Sam and (girlfriend) Emmy (Rossum) just got engaged. I saw him the other night and congratulated him. I told him, “I couldn’t imagine what you were going to put Elliot through if she said no.” The truth of the matter is I have loved the weight of the emotional roller coaster that he threw me on.

I didn’t want Elliot to be this guy who wears his heart on his sleeve all this time. He’s very guarded. I had to pick and choose when I was going to fall to my knees, when that was going to happen. In the Times Square scene, I remember feeling like the most restrained performance was the strongest. And that was the hardest to do that day. Source: variety.com


Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for its Jake Gyllenhaal-Naomi Watts drama “Demolition” two days before its world premiere as the opening night film at the Toronto Film Festival. The trailer is launching months before the film’s April 8, 2016, release.

Gyllenhaal portrays a successful investment banker who struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. He continues to unravel despite pressure from his father-in-law, portrayed by Chris Cooper. His character then forms an unlikely connection with a customer service rep and single mother, played by Watts, after writing a complaint letter to a vending machine company.

The trailer starts with Gyllenhaal unable to extract a pack of Peanut M&Ms and subsequently explaining that this was a problem because his wife had died 10 minutes earlier. The trailer ends with a bulldozer knocking down his house. “You can buy almost anything on e-Bay,” he jokes about the bulldozer. Source: variety.com

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Martian, Antiheroes & Hackers, Mr Robot (Reality of the naive)

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring The Martian home. His crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return.


The Martian is based on the novel by author Andy Weir. It landed at number 12 on the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcore fiction when it debuted in March, 2014. Some believe The Martian will be the next Gravity. But with Matt Damon playing a foul-mouthed comic book loving astro-botanist, this thriller definitely has a personality all its own. Source: www.movieweb.com

Matt Damon takes the prize by bringing angst and that crucial piece of everyman believability to Max as we share his pain and POV. Exactly how he morphs from a mere factory floor monkey and into the person trying to burn down the rich people is as engrossing as it is hard to watch. At the least, he’s a strange anti-hero and an unlikely proponent of the “Down with Elysium!” movement. “Elysium” runs on a motor powered by transhumanism. In the former, it was about understanding xeno culture by literally mutating into the alien; this time, it’s about machine augmentation of the human form. Source: www.gmanetwork.com

Hollywood Reporter: -The word "antihero" is thrown around a lot in TV. What do you think of it and how it applies to Mr. Robot?

Sam Esmail: -It's weird because all of a sudden antiheroes are flawed characters. Aren't all people flawed? I find it odd. The weird thing is that everyone gets so impressed. When you don't have a main character that's flawed, I don't know how you relate to that person. Maybe it's a testament to what shows used to be and this preconceived notion that you had to have a likable guy who appealed to everybody. There's a sense of phoniness about that. It's almost as if you're an observer and you can't empathize with a person. We obviously take a lot of risks with Elliot, but the important part is to make him compelling. Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Up close, the first thing you notice about him is his mouth. It would be easy to say his eyes, which are wide-set and intense—part of what makes his vigilante hacker so compulsively watchable. But it’s his mouth, with permanently pursed lips and a slanted grin, that gives his face its personality. And as for those eyes, where Elliot’s show disconnect and paranoia, Rami’s are kind and engaging. He’s also almost hypnotic with his eye contact. He’s small (5-foot-7), but there’s a wiry manliness about him; he has a large presence, but few pretensions. Even when I ask the Los Angeles native to stand in the middle of Crosby Street with “New York City” sprawled across his chest in cashmere. He is, after all, the city's newest antihero. And he's embracing it. Source: bloomberg.com

"What I wouldn't give to be normal. To live in that bubble. Reality of the naive." He said. His eyes locked into mine. I could name every shade and hue of green and blue in his eyes if someone asked me to, know every line and feature on his face even in the dark, but the depth of the emotions he sometimes displays never ceases to surprise me.  "If you were like everybody else, then you wouldn't be Elliot, we never would've met, and I wouldn't be standing right here in front of you." He smiled, he doesn't smile very often, but when he does, his eyes turn the brightest shade of green. I touched his hand, half expecting him to flinch, or pull away, but he doesn't, and I continue to lace our fingers together. His palm was warm, his skin burning against my own, and there is a new kind of fire igniting within his gaze. "You're right." He doesn't say anymore, and bites his bottom lip. I wonder if he feels the tension too, this indescribable heat between us that just keeps building and building, until we have to separate or else it will consume us. "I always am..." I smiled at him, and I catch a glimpse of him looking down at my lips, our eyes meet again, and I feel him pulling me towards him, until there is no space between us. His scent is intoxicating, like soap and cigarette smoke, with just a hint of mint.

His black hoodie feels worn and lovely beneath my touch as I find myself clinging to him, his lips suddenly pressed against my own. I kiss him back, this feels right, so right that I start to think I might turn into a saint, if this keeps up. I moan into his mouth and his grip on my waist tightens, there would be bruises, I can tell, but I don't mind, as long as it's him. He takes this chance to deepen the kiss, pressing his tongue into mine, and I could taste him, the nicotine and mint driving me into a high. He lifted me up, his arm around my waist and the other gripping my ass, my thighs pressed against his hips. He carried me to his bed, not once breaking our kiss, even when he lowered me onto the mattress. He thrust his hips, creating sweet friction between us, we are so close now. I never knew I could feel so exposed and naked, while fully clothed, until he looked at me, his eyes slowly undressing, his lips lightly caressing. And it was then that I realized how deliciously dangerous he is, how wonderfully wicked.

Elliot wasn't around when I woke up earlier this morning. The rain pelted the streets like bullets; painting everything a gloomy shade of gray. I heard the sloshing of footsteps, I looked up and was met with vibrant Green eyes. Elliot. He looked at me oddly, a half smile played at his lips. "Hey, you're back!" I said, the surprise evident in my voice. He nodded, and glanced down at the bag I held close to my chest. He looked at me, his brows drawn together. The air around us is heavy, but not uncomfortable. Electric even. "Wait, where are you going?" I turn back to him, smiling softly. His voice pulling me back. "I-I bought lunch." He held up a bag of Chinese take out. He looked as if this is his first time asking someone to have lunch with him, buying and sharing a meal with someone. I stared up at him, his eyes reflecting my own. "Are you asking me to join you?" He shrugged his shoulders, I took it as a yes and nodded. The more I look at him, the more I see how guarded he really is. But I also see the cracks on his perfect wall, the loneliness quietly seeping through; unnoticeable if one doesn't look close enough. I know the feeling all too well.

The walk back up to his apartment was silent, the only sound that can be heard was the shuffling of our shoes against the scratched floorboards. He reached for his keys, and I noticed the slight tremor of his hands. I wanted to reach out and steady his hand, but I didn't. Instead, I pretended not to notice. He held the door open for me. I know it shouldn't have made me smile, something so simple and mundane, shouldn't have made my heart rate go up like a bullet train, shouldn't have made the blood come rushing to my cheeks. But it did. Lunch was a quiet affair, much like any time spent with Elliot. I don't know why, but somehow I feel sad for this strange boy. Maybe it's the lack of photos and picture frames hanging on his walls, or the lonely air of solitude that surrounds him, no matter what he does. I could feel him looking at me, but I try not react, keeping my attention on the soapy sponge in my hands. "You said you ran away from home, why?" His question caught me off guard, I didn't have time to compose myself. I smiled bitterly to myself, it's funny how he doesn't speak very often, but when he does talk, it always hits a home run. I turned to him, leaning against the sink. "I can't really tell you all the details right now. Let's just say, one day I realized how sickening my life was and I needed an escape, so I ran away." He didn't say anything else, but his expression made me feel like he knows something. He smiled, and I felt my heart flutter for a brief moment.

I try not to ponder over these feelings I get when I look into his eyes, I don't want to read into all of this too much. An attachment is the last thing I want right now. I went to grab my things when suddenly the lights went out. I walked back to the living area, bumping into everything, when I collided with Elliot, He groaned in pain as we fell on the hardwood floor. I had him pinned to the ground, our limbs tangled together. Somehow the dark made it feel as though we needed to speak in hushed voices. "I'm fine." His voice was low, and I could feel his breath on my cheek, brushing over my lips. We are so close I could almost taste him, he felt warm against the coldness of the dark. I swallowed the lump in my throat and my mouth felt so dry. I winced in pain as my hair got caught in the zipper of his hoodie. "What's wrong?" He asked. "My hair is caught." I sighed. I gave up and slumped back onto Elliot, I felt his body tense up against me before slowly relaxing. I buried my face in the crook of his neck, I don't know what possessed me to do it, but he just felt so... So human.

Warm, breathing, unlike the cold, robotic man I thought him to be when I first saw him just the previous night. I felt him wrap an arm around me, and I sank deeper into his warmth. He maneuvered us carefully in the dark until we were sitting on the floor, I sat between his legs, still nestled against him. Isn't this strange; We barely even know each other, yet here we are pressed together in the dark, on the cold floor of his lonely apartment. If this isn't fate, then I don't know what is. "Hold still, I'm going to pry your hair out of the zip. Lean in a bit so I don't accidentally pull at your hair." I leaned into him, my face pressed against his collar bone as his nimble fingers worked the zip. Soon my hair was free and the lights suddenly turned back on. Our eyes locked together, his were wide and alive with color and light. Each layer and hue etching itself into my mind, burning itself into memory. "You can crash here tonight, if you want, Lilah." He whispered. I didn't realize how tightly I was clutching at his sleeve, I was paralyzed. The look on his face, knocking the breath right out of my lungs. And the way he said my name stirred something in me. Source: www.fanfiction.net

Friday, September 04, 2015

Fear and Suspense: "Ride the Pink Horse" (classic noir) and Mr. Robot (cyberpunk) Finale

A long early shot shows protagonist Lucky Gagin (Montgomery) arriving in the fictional New Mexican town of San Pablo with revenge on his mind. He puts a check in an envelope and deposits it in the bus station locker. When he buys a stick of gum from a vending machine and starts chewing, you know what’s going to happen next. He attaches the gum to the key and conceals it on the back of wall map.


The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Dorothy B. Hughes, a journalist who lived much of her life in Santa Fe and reported for the Albuquerque Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Herald-Tribune and others. Hughes died in 1993 and penned another hard-boiled classic, “In a Lonely Place,” that was also turned into a noir classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

The mysterious Pilar (Wanda Hendrix) and Tio Vivo operator Pancho (Thomas Gomez) hide the wounded Gagin from the bad guys in the merry-go-round after Pancho and Gagin bond over a night of tequila drinking.

Folks who have lived in Taos much longer than I have off and on over the years say locals flocked to theaters when the movie was released to see their beloved Tio Vivo on the silver screen.

Author/journalist Hughes drew upon her New Mexico experiences to imbue her writing with a non-Anglo perspective, critics say. Hughes’ talents have not been forgotten. The reissue of Hughes’ 1963 novel “The Expendable Man” has “given readers the opportunity to rediscover the extraordinary Dorothy B. Hughes,” Christine Smallwood wrote in a 2012 article for The New Yorker. Her books were “widely praised for their atmosphere of fear and suspense,” the article says. Source: www.abqjournal.com

Paranoia feeds the suspense in Mr. Robot: Paranoia is a tricky device to deploy well. If your hero thinks everyone is out to get them, they can quickly lose credibility. But, when the plot feels earned and suspense is carefully maintained, paranoia can be a powerful tool. Because we aren’t sure who’s after Elliot, or even if the people he sees coming for him actually exist, paranoia works incredibly well in Mr. Robot.

In Elliot’s calmer moments, we get the sense that he is lost deep in his own mind. The pace of the editing slows down; the shots get wider; the soundtrack takes over, washing onto the shores of the dialogue. The editing doesn’t just enforce Eliott’s point of view, it brings us deep inside his mind. Source: www.vh1.com

But despite memorable moments for Michael Cristofer, Stephanie Corneliussen, all the members of fsociety, and even the actor playing the suicidal Evil Corp exec, this episode, like the season, belonged to Rami Malek. You just can't get away with building an hour around a character demanding many answers and only getting a few without an actor this compelling, and this sympathetic even playing a guy who willfully (sort of) plunged the world into such a big mess (even if it's one that's beneficial to the people who just got their debts erased). Watching Elliot rage at the absent Mr. Robot, and then suffer the physical consequences of letting Robot take the driver's seat in his body, was just riveting. Elliot lashes out because he's broken, but also because he feels the world is broken. Source: www.hitfix.com

-While I haven't been able to work it all out in my head, there have been times where I've questioned if Tyrell is real or another manifestation of Elliot's. Do you think at some point you have to establish ground rules about what the audience can believe in since Elliot is clearly an unreliable narrator?

Esmail: -Ultimately, anything that we discover with Elliot, we can always bank on. We can always say, "This is the firm ground." And when Elliot's not on firm ground, we can comfortably say, "We're not on firm ground here," because he never lies to us. He's always honest as much as he can be with us, [even as] he admits he's our unreliable narrator. Honestly, if it wasn't for Rami and his great performance and holding onto that authentic truth about how he's feeling, we would've lost the audience already. But because we really buy that this guy really doesn't know what's going on, that this guy is blurring the lines of reality, we're with him, and that's the thing that's tethering us to this world. Source: www.seattlepi.com

Malek makes the show, the perfection of Malek is the key. I wouldn’t want to imagine it, but you could probably put someone other than Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad or Jon Hamm in Mad Men and have either series work, at least for a little while: a superb but ill-fitting actor in place of Cranston or Hamm gets you maybe four episodes before the evidence suggests that something is off. Something is missing. But there was so much else going on in those shows — specifically the writing — to carry them well beyond what the main star brought to the table.

Malek’s wide-eyed shyness but determined, expressionless stare – no distracting ticks and head shakes – makes that happen. But Esmail is also asking him to be a combination of addicted, addled and empty – an unreliable narrator (there’s that voiceover again) who can and will lead us astray. The entire show demands that viewers just go with it – that they follow Elliot’s dubious mental transgressions and life decisions as the story careens ever more wildly from episode to episode. With the wrong actor, nobody gets out of here alive. Nobody watches a second episode, much less an entire season. Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com


Mr Robot (It's the End of the World) video, featuring pictures of Rami Malek and co-stars, mostly from "Mr. Robot". Soundtrack: "It's a Crazy Mixed Up World" by John Lee Hooker and "It's the End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine" by REM.