Published on: March 7, 2014
I've finally finished watching "House of Cards" - all 13 hours of the second season - and at this point, I'm exhausted.
Not because of all the time I put in, but because the second season of "House of Cards" once again has been a roller coaster of a viewing experience - a little bit of Shakespeare's "Macbeth," a little bit of Robert Caro's multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson, and a little bit of "The West Wing" if it had been written by Quentin Tarantino.
Now, to be honest, there is not much I can tell you about it. The second season, like the first, has plenty of plot twists and turns. And I'm a fanatic about spoilers - I'm religious about not reading anything about any film or TV show that I might watch and that might ruin any surprises for me, and I don't want to ruin anything for anyone else.
Suffice it to say that Kevin Spacey remains omnivorous and charismatic as Frank Underwood, the House Majority Whip turned Vice President with a pure and unrelenting hunger for power; Robin Wright is all cold calculation as Claire Underwood, his wife,who seems to have a black hole where her heart ought to be; and Kate Mara is excellent as the Washington reporter who is investigating Underwood but may have bit off more than she can chew. The rest of the supporting cast is equally strong and highly watchable, the writing is incisive and the direction is mostly by movie directors such as Jodie Foster and James Foley who clearly find the "House of Cards" universe to be a compelling place to spend some time.
I know exactly how they feel.
Remember, to watch "House of Cards" you have to stream it online via Netflix, and all 13 episodes were made available at the same time … so you can watch it in one binge, or you can take your time and make it last as long as you like. The biggest problem is now that I'm done, I have to wait another year for season three.
I mentioned last Friday that I was looking forward to seeing the new Liam Neeson movie, Non-Stop
, which is his latest "middle aged guy kicks the crap out of much younger guys and saves the world" effort.
It ends up that Non-Stop
is one of his best, at least for the first 90 minutes, which are suspenseful and filled with plot twists that are highly satisfying. Neeson plays Bill Marks, an Air Marshall who, on a flight from Ny to London, gets a text message telling him that a passenger on the plane will die every 20 minutes until $150 million is wired into a specific account. Then, he's told by the airline that when they checked the account, it was in his name … and so Neeson finds himself simultaneously trying to defend himself against accusations that he is the murderer and find the culprits actually responsible.
It all falls apart a little bit during the last 20 minutes, when the person and rationale behind the murders is revealed … but before that, it is actually what I'd call a first-rate B movie. Strong performances, good writing … "Non-Stop" is a fun evening at the movies.
A final thought, if I may.
One of my great pleasures is having the opportunity to go around the country - and sometimes, outside it - to talk to various kinds of meetings. Often, I can't really write about where I've been and who I've spoken to, simply because it isn't fair to the companies that invited me.
That said, I want to say "thanks" this morning to a group that brought me in because the vast majority of their folks read MNB each day … and then, when I got there, I found in my hotel room a gift basket largely filled with Pellegrino water and a bottle of red wine, making it abundantly clear that they've been paying attention when reading MNB. These are, after all, the things I love to drink. (I felt for a moment like one of those rock stars who gets a jar of M&M's with all the blue ones taken out … except that I hadn't asked for anything.)
So thanks, Megan and Kelly and the whole gang. You made my week.
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.