Thursday, July 30, 2020

Parents' Night In #42: Hamilton, The Movie!

It's time for Parents' Night LIN!  As in Lin-Manuel Miranda!  As in Hamilton, the Broadway milestone that is now available as a film on Disney Plus!  Kelly and Justin will enjoy some bubbly, do some really bad rapping, and talk about the play, the film, the soundtrack, and how they fell in love with all three, plus how incredible the entire cast is, Justin's man-crush on Daveed Diggs, Kelly's woman-crush on Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Justin and Kelly's idol worship of Lin himself.  Get ready to laugh, cry, and cringe as we discuss Hamilton on this special Parents Night In episode!

Snippet of "My Shot," music/original lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Parody Lyrics:

Parents' Night, episode forty-two
Parents' Night, episode forty-two
Hey yo, we drink lots of bubbly
And spit rhymes that are ugly
Welcome to episode forty-two

It is time for you to click sub-scribe
It is time for you to click sub-scribe
If you experience elation
Hit that notification bell
And make sure you like us and sub-scribe

It's time to click subscribe!

Please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and click the NOTIFICATION BELL to stay updated on all new episodes!

You can also listen to a podcast version of this episode at:

Apple Podcasts:
Google Podcasts:

Subscribe to our channel to stay updated on future episodes, and don't forget to visit, follow us on Twitter (@EnuffaDotCom & @ParentsNight), join us on Facebook (!

We also have official merch available here:

Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Mix, Facebook and YouTube!

Top Ten Things: Christopher Nolan Films

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at!

With the release of his latest film Dunkirk, and this being his tenth feature, I thought I'd take this opportunity to rank Christopher Nolan's filmography!  I've been a Nolan fan since Memento's 2001 theatrical release, and over the past two decades this cerebral English director has already compiled an extraordinary body of work, creating a singular brand of intelligent, crowd-pleasing blockbuster films.  Nolan's affinity for challenging, puzzle-like movies was apparent from the beginning, but he also reinvented the Batman franchise by grounding it in reality and making its protagonist a deeply flawed, real-world hero trying to redeem his broken city.  Nolan's films generally demand repeat viewings, keeping the viewer on their toes and often letting the editing drive the narrative so there's no cinematic fat on the bone.  Every new Christopher Nolan film is truly event viewing for me, guaranteed to present a story in a genre-defying way audiences have never seen before.

Here now are Christopher Nolan's films, ranked....

10. Following

Nolan's feature debut was this neo-noir with a non-linear narrative, about an aspiring writer who looks for inspiration by shadowing people he sees on the street.  He falls in with an experienced burglar and begins to make a habit of breaking into strangers' homes, stealing various items, and selling what he can.  Soon though he becomes romantically involved with one of his "victims," whom he learns is mixed up with a local mobster.  Meanwhile nothing he comes to believe about her or his mentor is what it seems.  Following was made for a paltry $6,000 and is thus quite rough around the edges, but already Christopher Nolan showed his gift for labrynthian storylines and devilish plot twists, two things he'd execute much more assuredly in his second film, Memento.

9. Insomnia

Nolan's remake of the 1997 Swedish thriller of the same title, Insomnia stars Al Pacino as an aging LAPD detective assigned to a murder investigation in Alaska during the "midnight sun" season.  The Pacino character accidentally kills his partner during a shootout, after said partner has revealed he intends to testify against Pacino in an Internal Affairs case.  Complicating the matter is the murderer at large (a superbly creepy Robin Williams), who witnessed the shooting and attempts to blackmail Pacino into pinning the murder on the victim's abusive boyfriend.  What follows is a fascinating moral dilemma, where the flawed protagonist must choose between saving himself or bringing a killer to justice.  Insomnia takes the suspense thriller genre and turns it upside down, throwing curve balls at the audience every step of the way.  Pacino and Williams have splendid chemistry together, and Nolan's direction lends this noirish thriller a modern edge.

8. Dunkirk

Nolan's streamlined, visceral account of this World War II rescue tells the story from three different points of view: the air, the sea, and the land.  The film intercuts between the three locales, expanding time in some instances and showing us some of the same events from multiple points of view.  There's little historical context presented, so the material depicted must speak for itself and create an immersive viewing experience.  For the most part this element works, though I would've liked to see more about who these characters were and what the battle itself meant in the grand scheme of WWII.  Still Nolan and co. deftly handle the genre, presenting a gritty, palpably harrowing war film and adding yet another impressive entry to his resume.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Parents' Night In #41: The Fugitive (1993)

Kelly and Justin love Harrison Ford, and it's summer, so we're watching one of his great summer films, The Fugitive!  Released in 1993 and co-starring Tommy Lee Jones and Julianne Moore, The Fugitive is a taut action thriller about a wrongly convicted doctor on the run from the authorities and trying to clear his name.  We'll talk about the film, Chicago, the Chicago accent (Justin has a lot of fun with this), and our difficulty stringing together coherent sentences at times.  This episode eventually got out of control like the derailed train in The Fugitive!  Check it out...

Please LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and click the NOTIFICATION BELL to stay updated on all new episodes!

You can also listen to a podcast version of this episode at:

Apple Podcasts:

Google Podcasts:


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Top Ten Things: Steven Spielberg Films

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things!  You know how it works.  It's a countdown.  Of ten items.

Today it's the top ten films by one of the all-time great directors, Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg's extraordinary forty-plus-year career has given us multiple iconic films and he's renowned for his uncanny ability to craft intelligent movies we can all relate to.  Whether he's making a summer action movie or a thoughtful historical epic, Spielberg excels at imbuing his movies with substance.  His best work demands multiple viewings over decades, and there probably isn't another director alive who's repeatedly demonstrated such pure storytelling ability across such varied genres.

Here now is the list....

HM: Jurassic Park

In 1993 Spielberg created the definitive dinosaur movie, about a small group of scientists and children sent to a remote island near Costa Rica to be a focus group of sorts for the first-ever dinosaur zoo.  Predictably nothing on the island works properly, and thanks to a rogue IT manager the dinosaurs are able to escape their enclosures and wreak havoc on the park and its human occupants.  Jurassic Park doesn't contain much in the way of lofty concepts; it's simply a quintessential popcorn action-adventure with some of the best creature effects ever put to film.  This was one of the earliest movies to make extensive use of CGI, and for the most part those dinosaurs still hold up today.  As with Jaws, Spielberg was wise enough to let the human characters carry the early parts of the story so we care what happens to them, and built up to the appearance of each species of dinosaur.  The T-Rex sequence is a masterfully assembled piece of action-horror, and the later Velociraptor scenes work on the same monster movie level as some of the sequences in Aliens.  Three decades later Jurassic Park's flaws show through pretty clearly, but it's still a great example of Spielberg's ability to create crowd-pleasing entertainment that actually has a brain.

10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The third and final chapter (Crystal Skull was just a bad dream...) of the Indiana Jones saga reminds me of Return of the Jedi in many ways, insomuch as the bulk of the story elements from the trilogy's first film are reused here.  Indy is up against the Nazis once again, racing to find a religious artifact that will allegedly render its owner invincible.  Indy's pals Sallah and Marcus Brody are back to join in the fun, and in a casting coup, Sean Connery plays Indy's father, who has spent a lifetime searching for the Holy Grail.  The action sequences, as good as they are, don't quite hold up to those of the first two films for me, and this movie's real strength is the interplay between Ford and Connery, who have perfect chemistry together.  Don't get me wrong, Last Crusade is a fantastic piece of summer moviemaking.  But it doesn't have the freshness of Raiders or the unrelenting pace of Temple.  So like Return of the Jedi it's simply a very worthy conclusion to the series (Jeezus, why couldn't they have left well enough alone??) that introduces a new side to the action hero we've all come to love.

9. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The followup to the iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom was, I believe, the first time anyone in Hollywood used the word "prequel."  For some reason Spielberg and Lucas set this movie a year before Raiders (Sort of an odd choice since it removes the suspense of whether Indy survives or not), and this one plays out like a standalone adventure, with Dr. Jones himself the only Raiders character present.  This time Indy has to retrieve a mystical stone which has been stolen from an Indian village by an evil underground cult.  This film pushed the limits of what could be shown in a PG-rated movie and set an exceedingly dark tone; there's human sacrifice, brainwashing, child slavery, people being crushed, people being eaten by alligators, and most infamously a dude having his still-beating heart ripped out of his chest.  In fact we have Temple of Doom and Gremlins to thank for the existence of a PG-13 rating.  Most (including Spielberg himself) consider Temple of Doom the weakest of the Indy trilogy, but I disagree.  I love how unapologetically dark this film is and how different it is from Raiders.  This movie might also have the most fun climax of any Indy film, with our heroes and villains fighting for survival while hanging from the side of a cliff (but only after a long and thrilling mine cart chase).  Temple also has probably the greatest booby trap sequence of all time - that scary room with all the spikes.  As a kid this was one of the earliest sequels I got to experience as it was coming out, and it still holds up for me as a tremendously fun roller coaster ride of a movie.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Top Ten Things: Martin Scorsese Films

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at!  These are ten of my favorite things.  That's how the song goes, right?

Martin Scorsese.  In my estimation there is no greater director in film history than the diminutive, sickly kid from Little Italy in New York who grew up with a passion for telling stories through the medium of film.  Scorsese spent his childhood looking out the window and observing people and events in his neighborhood, and this predilection for people-watching translated into some of the most incredible filmmaking of all time.  His films are often unforgiving looks at profoundly troubled characters, yet Scorsese finds a way for us to empathize with them, at least enough to want to spend a couple hours in their company.  Many Scorsese films deal with hardened street criminals, hearkening back to the seedy lot he observed in his neighborhood.  But while crime dramas are his bread and butter, Scorsese's filmography also includes religious epics, suspense thrillers, biopics, lush period dramas, and even lighthearted children's fare.  Even after forty-plus years Scorsese remains at the top of his game; in fact his post-2000 output ranks among some of his best work.  To this day any new film of his is event viewing, almost guaranteed to be one of my favorites of that year.

The following are my ten favorite Martin Scorsese films....

10. Cape Fear

One of Scorsese's rare remakes is this 1991 suspense thriller based on the 1962 Gregory Peck/Robert Mitchum film of the same name.  Peck's role of besieged attorney Sam Bowden went to Nick Nolte, Mitchum's degenerate character Max Cady was played with gleeful menace by Robert Deniro.  The first thing Scorsese did with his version was to change Bowden from a virtuous family man to a morally ambiguous one who withheld evidence in order to get his client Cady convicted, and whose marriage is coming apart due to an extramarital affair and a strained relationship with his teenage daughter.  This change makes the Nolte character and his family even more vulnerable and fits in with the film noir trope of the flawed protagonist.  Deniro's performance of course steals the show; he is musclebound, ruthless, violent, and endlessly persistent.  This Hitchock-influenced genre exercise may not stack up with Scorsese's greatest work, but it did illustrate his ability to take an existing story and place on it his own distinctive stamp.

9. Casino

Casino plays almost like a sequel to Goodfellas, or at least a spiritual cousin.  Another epic, frenetically-paced gangster film based loosely on a true story, Casino chronicles the rise and fall of a Vegas gambling empire, once again pairing Robert Deniro with Joe Pesci.  Deniro plays Sam Rothstein, a mob associate brought in to run a mafia-controlled casino, while Pesci plays Rothstein's longtime friend, loose cannon enforcer Nicky Santoro.  Told from multiple narrative viewpoints, Casino shows in violent, gruesome detail the inner workings of 1970s mob-controlled Las Vegas.  Aside from Deniro and Pesci's legendary onscreen chemistry, Casino also boasts an Oscar-nominated turn from Sharon Stone, as Rothstein's materialistic, alcoholic wife Ginger.  Casino didn't quite equal the masterpiece that was Goodfellas, but it was a very worthy, provocative return to Scorsese's favorite genre.

8. Hugo

In 2011 Martin Scorsese's filmography took an unexpected 90-degree turn with this family-friendly, light-hearted tribute to the early days of cinema.  Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Scorsese's film follows the exploits of a young boy who lives in a Paris railway station.  Hugo's deceased father, an inventor, taught him how to repair clocks and instilled in him a love for film.  He befriends a young girl, Isabelle, whose stern uncle is revealed to be early film pioneer Georges Melies, director of the first science-fiction film, A Trip to the Moon.  After his career declined sharply in the 1920s, Melies became a disillusioned, bitter man who distanced himself from his prior calling.  Hugo and Isabelle work tirelessly to uncover the story of the forgotten auteur so the world can once again embrace his artistic contribution to the medium of cinema.  Scorsese's film is a delightful and colorful romp, made all the more whimsical by the use of 3-D cinematography, used here in a way that enhances the story and intensifies the experience.  Hugo is a rare film that can be enjoyed by any age group; it doesn't talk down to young audiences and it contains complex character arcs that older viewers will be drawn to.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

WWE Extreme Rules 2020 Preview: It's a Horror Show, Alright

The.....Horror Extreme Rules.  Huh?  Did Vince McMahon take up psychedelic drugs?  What kinda happy horseshit is this?

This Sunday is an Extreme Rules PPV that apparently doesn't have any Extreme Rules matches but has a Swamp Fight and an Eye for an Eye match, which can only be won when one guy pulls another guy's eye from its socket.  Somewhere Vince Russo is taking a victory lap.  WWE's solution to putting on wrestling shows without a crowd really is, I guess, to just get rid of the wrestling and make "movies."  Also why is the color scheme for this "horror show" neon green and purple?  Shouldn't it be red and black?  Ya know, HORROR-type colors?  This lineup feels so WCW 2000.

Ugh, let's get this over with.

US Championship: Apollo Crews vs. MVP

One of the worst things about Paul Heyman being replaced by Bruce Prichard as RAW's creative head is Prichard's inexplicable need to push guys who peaked 12-13 years ago, hence the 46-year-old MVP getting a title match, on a PPV, in 2020.  This guy hasn't been relevant since 2008, and he's not the only irrelevant title challenger on this card.  And why the fuck is Randy Orton feuding with Big Show?  In 2020?  Christ, it's not like WWE was lighting up the ratings in 2008.  The way forward is, well, FORWARD.  Anyway, I would hope WWE has the sense to keep the belt on Crews here.

Pick: Apollo retains

Smackdown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross

Bayley and Sasha are obviously on a collision course (only four years after both were called up), so this is a filler match to keep Bayley busy till SummerSlam.  Nikki is a solid worker and a fun character but she's obviously not winning the belt here. 

Pick: Bayley retains

RAW Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks

This is the one match on the show I have any interest in.  Asuka is amazing, Sasha is great (God I hope she jumps to AEW next year), so there's no reason this shouldn't steal the show (especially with this lineup).  It's possible they have Sasha win this title so she and Bayley can be the Two-Woman Power Trip and fight each other for both belts later, but I dunno if they'll do that so soon after Asuka won it.  I'll go with Asuka to retain, possibly due to botched interference from Bayley.

Pick: Asuka retains

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

AEW Fight for the Fallen 2020 Preview & Predictions

AEW is back with another special Dynamite episode, this time it's Fight for the Fallen!

The two-night Fyter Fest is in the books and both shows were quite enjoyable.  I liked Night 1 better, with its stacked lineup of mostly championship matches (the Omega/Page-Best Friends main event was probably the best match on either show and I also loved the MJF/Wardlow-Jurassic Express opener) but Night 2 had some memorable bouts as well (the spectacular 8-man match and the Jericho-Cassidy main event).  But since Jon Moxley-Brian Cage had to be postponed due to Moxley's wife Renee Young contracting COVID, here we are with another special show.  Five matches have been announced, two of which are title bouts.  So let's get into it.

Nightmare Sisters vs. TBA

Evidently we'll see Brandi Rhodes and Allie in action against an unnamed team.  I assume this will be like Nyla Rose's match last week, where "TBA" just means "jobbers" instead of the usual "mystery team that ends up winning."  I'm guessing this will be a short showcase match.

Pick: Nightmare Sisters

The Elite vs. Jurassic Express

This should be tons of fun, as Kenny and the Bucks face all three Jurassic members.  Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus are coming off a win over MJF and Wardlow, but I imagine Marko Stunt takes the pin here.  This'll be a crazy match.

Pick: Elite

Monday, July 13, 2020

Top Ten Things: Christian Bale Roles

Welcome to another Top Ten Things, here at, where I rattle off ten things I like (Duh...).

Today I'll be talking about probably my favorite film actor in the world today, the eminently gifted Christian Bale.  I first became aware of Bale in 2000 (I'd seen him in a couple films prior to that but had no idea who he was), and from that point I was fascinated by this charismatic, chameleonic actor.  For a few years it seemed he'd simply be a cult hero, but starting in 2005 he became a household name playing one of the most iconic characters of all time.  Since then his filmography has been a mesmerizing blend of crowd-pleasing blockbusters and smaller, more challenging roles, but the constant throughout has been Bale's complete dedication to the characters he portrays.  Known for wildly changing his appearance and accent for each role, Bale often becomes unrecognizable from film to film, and for me it makes each new performance an event.

Here are my ten favorite Christian Bale performances.....

10. Dan Evans (3:10 to Yuma)

This 2007 remake starred Russell Crowe as adventurous, charming outlaw Ben Wade, and Bale in the somewhat thankless role of rancher Dan Evans, deputized to bring him to justice.  But even as the taciturn protagonist Bale still imbued his character with considerable pathos and we root for him to succeed over the much more outgoing villain.  A lesser actor might've played Evans as a morose bore, but Bale's natural onscreen magnetism makes his character an honorable, reluctant hero and an excellent foil for the bankrobbing assassin.

9. Alfred Borden/Fallon (The Prestige)

Bale's character in Christopher Nolan's period piece makes an unexpected transition from shifty tortured artist to sympathetic protagonist.  The Prestige centers around Alfred Borden's professional-turned-personal rivalry with fellow magician Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman), and at the outset Bale's character seems the clear antagonist, seemingly so consumed with his profession that he cannot relate to other people.  But as the film progresses we sympathize more with Borden and his ingenieur Fallon, as Angier's obsession with destroying Borden consumes him.  Bale adeptly handles this character transition (as well as the surprise double role), manipulating our sympathies with prodigious skill.  Incidentally Borden is the only character on this list whom Bale played with anything close to his real Welsh accent.

8. Michael Burry (The Big Short)

Contributing to Bale's reputation as a chameleon was his Oscar-nominated turn as eccentric investor Michael Burry, the antisocial drumming enthusiast with a glass eye from The Big Short.  Much of his screen time in this film was spent behind his desk and on the phone with various colleagues and bankers, but Bale made the character both memorable and amusing, as Burry comes off as the smartest (and weirdest) dude in the room.  As the film wears on, Burry goes from a cocksure know-it-all to quietly increasing desperation; the housing bubble he's predicted will burst shows no signs of doing so until after he's lost himself and his colleagues millions.  As usual Bale conveys this character arc with a proficient dedication to the character.

Friday, July 10, 2020

NJPW Dominion 2020 Preview & Predictions

Well this is gonna be a short one today since NJPW Dominion's full card still hasn't been announced.  Only three matches as of this moment, which is sad considering Dominion is normally the second-biggest show of the year for them. 

Well it's great to finally have NJPW back after a four-month COVID absence.  I've been enjoying the delayed New Japan Cup and it's actually refreshing to only have two-hour shows to keep track of, with two to four tournament matches per show, plus one to three filler tag bouts.  If nothing else it's been pretty easy to keep on top of.  The matches themselves have been mostly very good, with a few great ones.  The tourney stealer for me has been Hiromu Takahashi, who despite being the Jr. champ made it deep into the tournament, defeating Honma, Yano and Ishii (in a fantastic match) before falling to the mighty Okada (in the best match of the tourney so far).  I was actually hoping to see the Timebomb win the whole thing and face Naito on Sunday, thus delivering the planned Anniversary Show match.  But alas.  Anyway let's pick the winners for the four big matches this weekend (I'm including the New Japan Cup final).

New Japan Cup Final: Kazuchika Okada vs. Evil

It's no surprise that Okada made the finals, being the biggest star in the company and the best in the goddamn world.  That said, I think it's too soon for a Naito-Okada rematch, particularly since they can't sell out any buildings right now.  Furthermore we're effectively still in March thanks to all the event cancellations.  Don't forget, the New Japan Cup winner was supposed to face Naito on March 31 at Sakura Genesis.  So clearly Okada wasn't slated to win the tournament then; it would've been a case of them blowing their wad way too early.  Thus, Evil takes the tournament.  Evil's push has been kinda sudden, but he's shown that old killer instinct in this tournament, cheating to beat even his best friend Sanada in the semis (I found it intriguing that LIJ took three of the four slots).  I think we'll see him do more of that against his mentor on Sunday as well, which should make for an interesting dynamic.

Pick: Evil takes the Cup

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Parents' Night In #40: The Lost Boys (1987), Kelly's Live Reaction

It's summertime and that means walks on the beach, fun in the sun, amusement park rides, and of course, vampires.  Hang out with us and listen to Justin introduce Kelly to The Lost Boys, that popcorn movie disguised as a vampire film.  Directed by Joel Schumacher (RIP) and starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Dianne Weist, and of course Kiefer Sutherland, The Lost Boys has been one of Justin's favorite horror-comedy romps since its 1987 release.  This delightfully 80s favorite is full of exhilarating horror set pieces, vampire humor, and big hair.  We'll talk about not only this film but Joel's other works, our favorite vampire films, and lots more. Grab a beer and sink your teeth into this episode!

LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and click the NOTIFICATION bell to be alerted of all new episodes!

You can also listen to a podcast version of our show at Spotify ( and Apple Podcasts (

We also have official merch available here:

Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Mix, Facebook and YouTube!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Late to the Party: Hamilton

Welcome to a new feature called Late to the Party, where I discuss a movie, an album, a recording artist, a book, what-have-you, that for me was an acquired taste of the tardiest kind.  Something everyone else seemed to get right away, but for which I was slow on the uptake.  Case in point, Lin-Manuel Miranda's epic Broadway musical Hamilton....

As with so many artistic ventures that seem to come out of nowhere and take the world by storm, I was initially quite resistant to Hamilton when I first became aware of it.  Not really being a musical theater enthusiast (I like some musicals, but it's a pretty select few) and most certainly not being a hip-hop guy (Aside from Outkast there's very little in this genre that interests me), the idea of a rap musical centered around one of the less celebrated founding fathers didn't exactly pique my interest.  Couple that with the almost hysterical devotion this show has generated since its January 2015 debut, not to mention the astronomical prices being charged for tickets, and my first reaction was something along the lines of "Get the fuck outta here with this...."

Fast-forward two years, and my wife finally gave the Cast Recording a listen after much prodding from a close friend who was already obsessed with the show (We'll call her Shamilton).  By the third or fourth go-round my wife was all, "Justin, you HAVE to listen to this."  "Yeah yeah yeah, whatever," I replied.  Then one weekend we had a drive up to the beach, roughly 80 minutes each way, and she chose that as the time to make me a captive audience.  I'd been expecting an hour-long soundtrack album, not realizing Hamilton had no dialogue outside of the songs, and said, "Jeezus, how long is this thing??"  So I listened to it front-to-back and found it mildly interesting.  I'd be lying if I said it blew me away the first time.  The music was so densely composed and covered so much ground, and I wasn't sure who was singing what to whom, that a lot of it was in one ear and out the other.

But like so much of the best art, the Hamilton album isn't about instant gratification.  It slowly burrows its way in, and only after you've become familiar with the story being told and fully absorbed the music does it yield its true rewards.

About a week later, after hearing the album again in the background at a pool party (I will say this stuff doesn't make for the best passive listening experience), I decided to give Hamilton a really honest try on my own iPhone, with no distractions.  And goddammit, everyone else was right.  I was wrong.

As a double album, Hamilton is a grandly concieved, meticulously detailed, obstinately ingenious concept record about the rise and fall of this underappreciated co-architect of the American experiment.  The 47 tracks cover the ambitious Hamilton's journey from orphaned immigrant (born in the West Indies and grew up in the Caribbean) to Revolutionary War officer to the first Secretary of the Treasury, and depict his numerous sweeping contributions to America's inception, as well as his various political and personal battles while helping shape the ungainly, chaotic system of government known as democracy.  Indeed, Hamilton makes no effort to lionize the founding fathers; they, like all human beings, are flawed, ego-driven, and prone to mistakes.