“Money Monster” (2016) is Amateur Hour

 

“Money Monster” (2016) is in trouble from the very beginning. It opens with George Clooney sitting on a bathroom stall while Julia Roberts talks to him from the other side of the door. When, only a short time later, Clooney abandons whatever dignity he had left by dancing with cheerleaders while dressing in a magician costume, it becomes pretty clear that the film is never going to achieve even respectability despite all the big names associated with the project.

“Everest” (2015) is Quite Thrilling

 

The film is strong throughout, in writing, acting, directing and cinematography. I do, though, have a complaint about the 3D, which I’ve always felt is an ineffective way of viewing film. 3D may be good at providing a dimension that pops out of the screen, but it’s terrible at providing depth. That’s why 3D is at its worst in close-ups that are meant to illustrate how far something is or in scenes that show something is approaching from afar.

No, I’m Not Voting for Trump, but I Get the Message

 
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series United States Presidential Election of 2016

But if you are dismissing the entire Donald Trump phenomenon as merely a movement by racist, xenophobic, sexist white Americans, you are part of what has created the problem.

If you take issues with this, consider: how would you describe a person who goes to church every week, is not troubled by prayer in public schools, owns a gun, believes abortion should not be readily available and gives credence to intelligent design?

Reflections on My Time at Shearman & Sterling

 

After seven and a half years at the firm, this is my last week at Shearman & Sterling. It’s been an amazing run.

When I look back on my time at the firm, I realize how tremendously blessed I’ve been.

In the headline making deals that my friends and family recognized, I’ve been blessed with a sense of accomplishment.

In the nearly sixty matters I’ve worked on spanning Capital Markets, M&A, Asset Management and even Litigation, I’ve been blessed with the experience I’ve gained.

In the access to the firm’s global knowledge and vast resources, I’ve been blessed with the support system that made my job incalculably easier.

In the two luxury watches I never dreamed I’d be able to afford, I’ve been blessed financially.

But above all, I’ve been blessed with the people I’ve worked with.

A New Beginning

 

This Friday will be my last day at Shearman & Sterling. After seven and a half years, the time is right for me to move on.

When I reflect on my time at Shearman & Sterling, I realize how tremendously fortunate I have been.

I once heard that the average length of a career at a major law firm like Shearman is two and a half years. That may be a little too short, but if the actual length of service is anywhere near that, I’ve managed to beat the average by a couple years.

That’s all you need to know how happy I’ve been with the firm.

The Lackluster “Spectre” (2015) Lacks a Punch

 

The lesson to be learned from “Spectre” (2015), the first James Bond movie since the stellar “Skyfall” (2012), is that just bringing back the star (Daniel Craig), the director (Sam Mendes) and the screenwriters (John Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade) from a critically-acclaimed, commercially-successful predecessor is no guarantee that the magic can strike again.

The Bond franchise tried something similar once before with “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) and the dud “Moonraker” (1979). In fairness, “Spectre” is no “Moonraker,” but it certainly fails to meet the high standards filmmakers set for it when they chose to revise the classic villainous organization from the 1960s and name the film after it.

2015, a Busy Year with Moments of Reflection and Fun

 
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Christmas Letter

As I look back on the past year, which flew by even faster than usual, the biggest news for me was the retirement of The Honorable Peter E. Doyne, the Assignment Judge of the Bergen Vicinage of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Judge Doyne was my first boss and mentor. I became his law clerk right out of law school, when I had little knowledge about the law and knew even less about working to earn a living. I learned how a model lawyer ought to look and behave in the year I was with him simply by observing. I owe much of who I am today to the judge.

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