December 27, 2018

  • Review

    3.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Ready Player One (2018, Steven Spielberg)

    I kind of liked the book while I was reading it, but I’ve grown less and less fond of it as time’s gone by. The book is problematic in many ways and I was willing to overlook that for the hit of nostalgia. The movie tries to address some of this but ultimately is just as empty a shell as the book. Eye candy yes, but I’m not that interested in eye candy right now.

December 25, 2018

  • Review

    5.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Roma (2018, Alfonso Cuarón)

    Absolutely stunning. One of my top pics of the year. I’m a huge fan of Cuarón and he did not disappoint.

December 24, 2018

  • Review

    4.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, Frank Capra)

    I’ve probably seen this over 25 times now. And I don’t tire of it.

December 22, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Bird Box (2018, Susan Bier)

    People seem to be divided on this one. I enjoy “light horror” like this. It’s not really that scary and deals more with people’s ability to triumph over adversity. The ending is a bit hokey but hey, I’m okay with that. And I really like Sandra Bullock and I’m thankful when she’s in something that isn’t mindless schlock.

December 21, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    White Christmas (1954, Michael Curtiz)

    It is a long-standing tradition that I watch this lovely holiday music with the girls Christmas Eve. This year we did an early Christmas Eve as my youngest was off to Florida for the holidays, but it was still wonderful.

December 20, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Ghost Stories (2017, Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman)

    An entertaining British indie flick. It’s been on my list for about a year and I finally managed to get to it. Not exactly a traditional Christmas tale though. 🙂

December 9, 2018

  • Review

    3.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    My Cousin Rachel (2017, Roger Michell)

    Gothic romance/thriller with Rachel Weisz sounded like a good idea, but it didn’t really grab me as I’d hoped. Maybe too faithful to the original?

December 8, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Happy As Lazzaro (2018, Alice Rohrwacher)

    This made me very happy. Other than the fact it was artsy, I didn’t know anything about this when I watched it, and that made it even better because I had no idea where it was going to go at any given moment.

November 21, 2018

  • Review

    3.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935, Roy Del Ruth, W.S. Van Dyke)

    I get nostalgic for times long before I was born.

November 18, 2018

  • Review

    2.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    2010 (1984, Peter Hyams)

    Man, this really didn’t age well. Almost everything predictive about it is dramatically wrong.

November 17, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017, Martin McDonagh)

    The acting, directing, cinematography – most everything about this movie was ace. But I wasn’t really happy with the horrible racist people being redeemed. It felt like the wrong year for that.

  • Review

    4.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)

    This was loads of fun. Anthologies are generally hit and miss, but I liked every one of these old-timey western stories. And Tom Waits as the old prospector was an absolute stunner.

    I keep wanting to call it The Ballad of Lester Scruggs though, because Foggy Mountain Boys.

November 13, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Logan Lucky (2017, Steven Soderbergh)

    Dumb people heist movies are a nice antidote to super-genius heist movies. Soderbergh does both well. This started out amazing but lost it’s way toward the end.

November 11, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Gaslight (1944, George Cukor)

    First time watching this classic for me. I’d been talking to the girls about the origins of the modern term “gaslighting” and realized I hadn’t seen the movie myself.

October 28, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    You Were Never Really Here (2017, Lynne Ramsay)

    Intense doesn’t begin to describe it. I thought less of it immediately after watching than I did as time went on. As with most challenging films, it takes a bit of analysis and maybe reading a few reviews to get a sense of what you actually saw. Recommended for the adventurous.

October 13, 2018

  • Review

    3.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Black Panther (2018, Ryan Coogler)

    One of the better superhero films of late, but I’m not a fan of the genre. In any case, I love the afro-futurism and it was wonderful seeing so many strong black actors playing positive characters that are far less frequent in Hollywood than they should be.

October 5, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    808 (2015, Alex Dunn)

    This documentary about a drum machine was a major rush for me. The classic 808 sounds unpin so much of the music I listened to in the eighties and beyond. It’s rather bizarre – particularly since most of those sounds came from people using the device in ways its inventors never anticipated – much like AutoTune.

  • Review

    2.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Endless (2017, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson)

    They were going for something here. I’m not sure they made it. Or I didn’t get it.

September 14, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    New York 2140 (Kim Stanley Robinson, 2017)

    The drowned world of New York in, well, 2140, shows us humanity’s resilience and inability to deal with sunk (literally) cost bias. The book lost me a few times with it’s many, many descriptions of the SuperVenice waterways and I didn’t quite buy any of the financial chicaneries which make up more of the book than I had expected, but overall it was a fun read.

September 11, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017)

    This was wonderful. I knew it was heartbreaking but didn’t realize it was also so funny. The kids are so natural, the adults so incredibly broken.

September 5, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Deadpool 2 (David Leitch, 2018)

    This was very funny. More like Naked Gun or the Scary Movie series than a “real” superhero movie.

September 3, 2018

  • Review

    4.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)

    Probably my third or fourth time watching this. I forget how many times I’ve seen it. 🙂

    Glad to see the special effects are still holding up well.

August 31, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Price You Pay (Aidan Truhen (pseudonym), 2018)

    Whoa. This is one in-your-face crime novel. Not for the faint-of-heart. That said, it can be fun to get inside the head of a charming sociopath every now-and-then. As long as you can get out again.

    I saw someone guessing this is a Nick Harkaway novel and I’m pretty sure it is.

    I am a fucking asymmetric criminal startup. I got limited expertise in criminal strategic warfare. I hotdesk and I outsource and I franchise, but what I mostly have is a core concept, forward momentum.

     

August 26, 2018

  • Review

    4.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Ball Lightning (Liu Cixin, Joel Martinsen (Translator), 2005/2018)

    Liu Cixin really is a worthy successor to A.C. Clarke – the first author I became obsessed while a mere wee tike). This is a new English translation of an older novel that doesn’t quite have the expansiveness of Three-Body Problem, but was still a joy to read.

August 22, 2018

  • Review

    2.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Beyond (Hasraf Dulull, 2017)

    None of this makes any sense at all!

August 21, 2018

  • Review

    3.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Commuter (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2018)

    Dumb. Fun.

August 18, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi, 2017)

    Not a fan – at all – of superhero movies, but this was fun. As with Deadpool, if they go for humor I can get behind it easier.

August 17, 2018

  • Review

    1.0 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Mike Newell, 2018)

    An old-timey romance that features beautiful shots of the Guernsey island landscape but otherwise is weak and problematic. We’re still making movies about women falling for their Nazis captors in 2018?

August 11, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    The Incendiaries (R.O. Kwon, 2018)

    A great debut novel by R.O. Kwon. Cults and terrorism examined from a new angle. Maybe it’s “cult adjacent” more than about cults.

August 1, 2018

  • Review

    3.5 rating based on 1,234 ratings

    My Year of Rest and Relaxation (Ottessa Moshfegh, 2018)

    Moshfegh writes wonderful stories about damaged women doing terrible things. This fantastical story of a woman going to extreme lengths to avoid the consequences of her life didn’t please me as much as her earlier novel Eileen, but it was satisfying nonetheless.