Original Run: March 21st, 2021 – April 4th, 2021
Created by: Adam McKay, Todd Schulman, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Cullen Hoback, Alina Solodnikova, Tina Nguyen
Directed by: Cullen Hoback
HBO Documentary Films, Hyperobject Industries, Hyrax Films, 6 Episodes, 57-60 Minutes (per episode)
I have HBO Max but I didn’t even know this was out there until Joe Rogan was talking to Zuby about it on his podcast. Granted, I also didn’t know what the hell Q was until a few months before the 2020 presidential election when you couldn’t escape mention of it on Twitter, a platform I still use because apparently I’m into torture and pig vomit limited to 280 characters.
Because of all the hoopla regarding Q, especially over the last twelve months, I figured I should watch this to learn more about what it is, why it is, how it is and the people that are connected to it. It’s become this strange, cultish, conspiratorial phenomenon and whether you agree with any of it or not, it’s still pretty fucking fascinating.
Being that this was put out by HBO, I was skeptical about it, as I wasn’t sure how objective and unbiased it would be. And frankly, that’s a real issue that I have with most documentaries these days that deal with political and/or social issues.
I ended up seeing this as pretty objective, though. It let all sides of the story that participated, clearly give their points of view on QAnon and everything surrounding 8Chan and its effect on the world of social media, American politics and the minds of those caught within its orbit.
That being said, this did feel more like a documentary about 8Chan than Q and QAnon. Sure, this does try to solve the mystery about who Q is and even though it does try to point to someone in the documentary, the viewer is still allowed to take the evidence presented and draw their own ideas and theories. But, at the same time, does it even really matter who it is?
All in all, I thought this was well-made, well-edited, well-paced after the first two episodes and it was hard to turn off and not watch in a single sitting. In a lot of ways, I guess this became my Tiger King for this year.
In the end, I don’t think this came close to solving this mystery but it was an entertaining journey and pretty damn informative, overall.
Also known as: Smart Alec (working title), Trouble Border (Japan – English title)
Release Date: August 22nd, 1997
Directed by: Roger Christian
Written by: Floyd Byars, Alex Siskin, Chris Black
Music by: Anthony Marinelli
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Vincent Kartheiser, Brenda Fricker, Brad Whitford, Matt Craven, Annabelle Gurwitch
Pacific Motion Pictures, Dunlevy Pictures, Columbia Pictures, 106 Minutes
“Enjoy the show, Maloney.” – Ozzie
Man, oh, man… this movie started out really bad. However, I was really enjoying it by the third act and as goofy and stupid as it was, some of the performances were entertaining as hell, even if they were extremely over the top.
You really have to suspend disbelief with this movie, as thinking too hardly about plot details makes the whole thing fall apart.
Granted, it’s hard to dismiss some of the stuff that’s so blatantly stupid like a private school getting a multi-million dollar, high tech security package just to stop one troublemaking, prankster, hacker teen.
And don’t get me started on the actual hacking in the movie because like Hackers and Weird Science, the filmmakers, here, think that online security resembles some sort of adventure video game. But hey, I get it, we need exciting visuals and real hacking isn’t exciting to look at for the regular Joe.
The plot is basically “Die Hard in a private school” or more correctly, a ripoff of 1991’s Toy Soldiers but with only one teenage hero fighting terrorists. And I guess they’re not terrorists, as much as they are just Patrick Stewart and a gang of militarized thugs trying to extort the school’s president for money by holding the kids hostage.
As the plot rolls on, the kid fights back, using secret passageways and tricks to outwit the dimwitted militarized force. Eventually, he has his showdown with Patrick Stewart and we’re treated to an armored golf cart race through the catacombs under the school and nearby city.
Overall, the finale was pretty decent, even if the golf carts moved too slowly and the whole thing dragged on for too long.
Masterminds is a forgettable film, mainly because it recycled a formula that people had seen a few dozen times before it came out. But Stewart is enjoyable, as always, and it was weird seeing Pete Campbell from Mad Men play a skateboarding, douchey, hacker teen from the edgy boi ’90s.
Pairs well with: Toy Soldiers and other Die Hard clones.