Silicon Valley: Hooli vs. Pied Piper

Hello everybody! Today we have a new HBO series about technology called Silicon Valley.

SILICON VALLEY

CREATED BY: Mike Judge, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky

STARRING: Thomas Middleditch, T. J. Miller, Josh Brener, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Zach Woods

GENRE: Sitcom

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United States

Richard Hendriks (Thomas Middleditch) is a shy, reclusive programmer working at a large Internet company called Hooli, while developing a music app called Pied Piper in a live-in startup business incubator run by entrepreneur Erlich Bachman (T. J. Miller). After a rocky post-TED elevator pitch of Pied Piper to venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), Hendriks also shows his work to a pair of brogrammers at Hooli who mock him. Within hours however, Hooli executive Donald “Jared” Dunn (Zach Woods) and Gregory’s assistant Monica (Amanda Crew) are discovering that the app contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Hooli CEO Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) proposes a $10 million buyout of Pied Piper, while Peter Gregory offers a $200,000 investment for 5% ownership in the company. With encouragement from Monica and the support of Bachman, Hendriks chooses Gregory’s offer. He hires the residents of the incubator to become the Pied Piper team, along with Dunn who defects from Hooli, but loses his friend Bighead (Josh Brener) to the Internet giant.

All season long, the central narrative has surrounded Richard (an increasingly winning Thomas Middleditch), the founder of Pied Piper, who rejects a multi-million dollar offer from tech titan and Hooli founder Gavin Belson (Matt Ross), to throw his hat in with oddball investor Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch), who just wants a stake in the company, not entire ownership. The move is a risky one, and fuels the wrath of Gavin, who decides to reverse engineer Richard’s valuable compression algorithm, to not only beat him to market, but also make it more attractive by coupling it with his company’s Google-esque suite of services. So, it’s a premise ripe with potential but its often left spinning its wheels.

Certainly, what Judge gets right is the unique and often surreal culture of the tech world, filled by young, extraordinarily smart men who are just as socially awkward as they are intelligent. And so even in Gavin, we see someone whose quirks are exacerbated by success, such as turning to his omni-present personal guru for advice (in a running gag that’s thankfully ditched pretty fast). Or taken to further extremes by Peter, who spends a good chunk of the third episode, “Articles Of Incorporation,” obsessively studying Burger King hamburger buns (leading to an unlikely breakthrough revelation).

But all this is not to say that “Silicon Valley” has missed the mark. Comedies often need a season to work out their tone and find their groove, and there is plenty of promise here to suggest that with the right tweaks, the best is yet to come from this show. Key to the success thus far has been the cast themselves, with Middleditch finding that sweet spot of someone who’s both ambitious and way over their head. Miller gets some good mileage out of the aggressively self-centered Erlich, who has more than few tricks up his sleeve, and while Starr has played this kind character multiple times before, there’s few who do it better. And when the writing zeroes in on the tech industry, “Silicon Valley” delivers some very big laughs. In fact, the extended, epic inspiration handjob joke in “Optimal Tip-To-Tip Efficiency” might be the best gag “Silicon Valley” has done to date: gutbusting, crude but also whipsmart. It’s a great piece of writing with the cast nailing the moment.

PROS:

  •  Main cast performances.
  • Surreal culture of Silicon Valley.
  • Technology at its finest.

CONS:

  •  Premise is left without clear direction.
  • Annoying re-occurring gags.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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Adventureland – Summer Jobs and Summer Love!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my review of Adventureland!

Adventureland!

Director – Greg Mottola

Starring – Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, Margarita Levieva, Kristen Wig

Genre – Comedy-Drama 

Year – 2009

Country – United States

James Brennan (Eisenberg) a recent graduate from Oberlin College, looks forward to a trip to Europe over the summer, but his parents ruin his summer when they announce they will not be able to help him pay for the trip or his schooling at Columbia University, and that Brennan must get a Summer Job! After applying to numerous jobs, James finally gets a job at Adventureland, a local Amusement Park in his city. James than meets Joel (Starr) who trains him in the gaming area and introduces him to everyone including Mike Connell (Reynolds), the park technician! A life treating incident over a Giant Stuffed Panda, introduces Brennan to Em (Stewart) as she saves James from being stabbed. Em and James begin to get feelings for each other, but Em is also messing around with Connell who is also married. A phone call from Connell’s mom gives James and him a chance to talk, after Connell buys some weed off of James. On the drive to Connell’s mothers house Brennan confesses that he is in love with Em, Connell goes on to tell Em this witch leads to Em telling James that they need to take things slow. James than find himself on a date with the park hottie! Lisa P (Levieva) witch almost leads to him getting laid, but once James got home he read a note on his bed stating that Em called. After Em and James talked it out the two seemed to be back together, but after James finds out about Em and Connell’s relationship, he quickly ends it with Em. Brennan than went on another date with Lisa P, where he told Lisa about Em and Connell’s relationship witch than led to Lisa telling everyone else, witch led to Em quitting. Here is where life began to really fall apart for James as he got so drunk one night he crashed his father’s car into a tree. Now James has to pay for the damage done to his father’s car witch will use up all his Carney saving and prevents him from going to New York, witch doesn’t matter anyway because his New York roommate bailed on him. James still ended up going to New York, where he met back up with Em, who went back to New York after Summer ended, and the two made up and James finally lost his virginity and found the love of his life!

So let’s begin with the pros! I actually really enjoyed this movie, and I’m actually surprised because of all the bad things I hear about Kristen Stewart! Now I’m not saying she wasn’t bad, but I will get to that later. Jesse Eisenberg has always impressed me with great showing in films such as Zombieland and The Social Network, and now after watching this I would definitely say Adventureland is one of Eisenberg’s best! Eisenberg is not alone here as Ryan Reynolds is very impressive in his character portrayal of Mike Connell! I really wanted to hate Connell, just because I felt like he was the bad guy, but he was always there to give Brennan advice especially when it came to Em! Another thing I enjoyed about the film is the setting of it. I don’t know if its just me, but I love the whole Carney/Amusement Park feel to this movie! The relationship between Em and James was very entertaining, as it relates to the average dating scene of the new generation!

Now for the cons, and the first one I will address is Kristen Stewart! Now I know I said she wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t great either! I have heard a lot about the way she acts, but this is actually the first time I have ever seen her act, and now I understand what everyone says. She is very wooden and practically always has the same facial expression, but I didn’t find her performance to really hinder the movie, but to be 100 percent honest with you guys, there really wasn’t any major things wrong with this movie, and the things that I find our little things.

All in all, I was very impressed with this movie. Stewart may have not have been the best, and there are little things I could nitpick at but there really is no point to in my mind. Both Eisenberg and Reynolds did a great job portraying their characters. Honestly everybody, including Stewart really played there characters well!

Pros:

  • Eisenberg’s Performance
  • Reynolds Performance
  • Great Characters
  • Excellent Set

Cons:

  • Stewart’s Performance

Score – 6.9/10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.

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