2018, Books, Non-Fiction

Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out: Goose Island, Anheuser-Busch, and How Craft Beer Became Big Business (2018) by Josh Noel

This is a readable, engaging, informative and, I think, pretty fair book about the AB InBev purchase of Goose Island and the broader beer landscape in North America. I love beer, and I thoroughly enjoyed some of these Goose Island beers, and I definitely prefer independent breweries to macros. So I am clearly Noel’s target …

1987, Movies

Yuki yukite, shingun aka The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987, Kazuo Hara)

This is a bonkers documentary about one man’s quest to expose the truth about what happened to two Japanese soldiers in his regiment in New Guinea at the end of WWII. I can honestly say I’ve seen few films like it. I also think it’s a bit of a landmark as, though this type of …

2022, Basketball, Movies, Sports, TV

Untold: Operation Flagrant Foul (2022, David Terry Fine)

This is an interesting, compelling and entertaining documentary about Tim Donaghy for most of its run, and then it runs into conspiracy territory at the end and becomes rather frustrating.

2018, Books, Fiction, Non-Fiction

The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt (2018) by Ken Krimstein

This is a compelling, somewhat amusing, educational, and occasionally moving brief graphic novel about the life Hannah Arendt. When I was in my 20s, Hannah Arendt was my favourite philosopher. I’ve read The Human Condition three times, many of her other books, and the first of the major biographies written about her. She’s influenced the way I …

2022, Movies

The 2022 Toronto International Film Festival

This was my first time attending TIFF in person in 3 years. It was a little exhausting, given how far out of downtown we now live but, once I got the hang of it, I fell back into the rhythm of it and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It also helped that, after a few movies that …

2022, Movies

Project Wolf Hunting (2022, Hong-Sung Kim)

This is an extremely gory, bloody and bonkers action/horror film about a ship of inmates travelling from the Philippines to Korea. The theme of it is basically overkill – don’t just hit somebody once, do it seven times. Why shoot at someone once when you can use the entire magazine? It’s quite funny and entertaining …

2022, Movies

Chevalier (2022, Stephen Williams)

This film purports to tell the story of the first major black composer. But it’s a fantasy, not a real biography, and it spends much of its runtime obsessing about a made up love triangle and focusing on the friendships of the composer that may be made up. It’s a ridiculous movie. SPOILERS

2022, Movies

The Banshees of Innisherin (2022, Martin McDonagh)

This is an extremely funny dark comedy that takes a turn for the tragic. It was introduced to us as a fable, and I think it has to be viewed that way given the basically inexplicable behaviour of Brendan Gleeson’s character. SPOILERS

2015, Podcasts

Undisclosed (2015)

Undisclosed ended in March. I found out more recently because I’m perpetually behind in my podcast listening. It’s kind of hard to sum up this podcast, because there are so many cases and I cannot remember all of them over the last seven years, but I wanted to mention something about them for the simple …

2022, Movies

Triangle of Sadness (2022, Ruben Östlund)

This is a satire cum gross out comedy about the world’s 1% broken up into 3 parts with a prologue. It won the Palme d’Or so there was more than a little hype going into it. What I can say is that it is very funny and it is breezy 147 minutes. So that’s something.

2018, Books, Non-Fiction

The Kids in the Hall: One Dumb Guy (2018) by Paul Myers

Full disclosure: The Kids in the Hall are among the most formative cultural influences of my life. I was too young when their show premiered, as I was 7 when the pilot aired and 8 when it premiered. However, I was old enough to watch it before it went off the air. (My guess is …

2022, Movies

Holy Spider (2022, Ali Abbasi)

For most of this film’s run-time, it’s a conventional, perhaps a little contrived serial killer film, with a great opening sequence, that is otherwise mostly distinguished by the fact it is set in Mashad, Iran. And then it goes to a place that these films don’t. But that’s a spoiler so SPOILERS

2022, Movies

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022, Laura Poitras)

This film tells the story of the (formerly controversial) photographer Nan Goldin through the lens of her crusade to convince the major art galleries of the world to stop receiving money from the Sacklers (the former owners of Purdue Pharma) and to remove the Sackler name from their institutions.

2022, Movies

Free Money (2022, Lauren DeFilippo, Sam Soko)

This is a brief bur reasonably compelling and entertaining documentary about a UBI experiment in Kenya by the charity GiveDirectly. Full disclosure: I have complete drunk the Universal Basic Income Kool-Aid so I am not going to be the most critical reviewer of anything about UBI. You have been warned.

2022, Movies

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2022, Aitch Alberto)

This is a coming of age drama about two teenage boys in El Paso in the late 1980s. Jenn and I were not warned it was based on a YA novel and so we did not know what we were getting into. (To clarify: we knew it was based on a novel, we just didn’t …

2022, Movies

Emily (2022, Frances O’Connor)

I normally hate when biopics deviate wildly from the historical record but, in this case, it really doesn’t bother me as much. And I think that’s because the director essentially admitted it was all made up in her introduction. I have more time for these historical inaccuracies if only because I know it’s fantasy. Mild …

2017, Books, Non-Fiction

Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (2017) by James Kwak

I agree with a lot of the author says but I’m not sure I like the way he says it. In fact, this feels a little bit like a book I would write, albeit with better sources – a rant about the spread of an idea from someone who is does not have a background …

2018, Movies

They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (2018, Morgan Neville)

This is a super arty, slightly hagiographic documentary about The Other Side of the Wind, a film Orson Welles never released but apparently completed. If I knew, I had forgotten that the film was released with this documentary. (I have not yet watched the movie.)

2022, Movies

Death on the Nile (2022, Kenneth Branagh)

This is a bloated, basically humourless, and simply ridiculous version of Death on the Nile that makes the campy 1978 version look pretty great. I remember, when I saw Hamlet in theatres, an audience member loudly complaining about Branagh’s ego in the intermission. I thought, “But it’s Hamlet. He is the star of the play.” …

2022, Movies

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022, Sam Raimi)

Can you tell my some characters in other universes are played by the same actors and others aren’t? Dr. Strange is the same actor but Spider-Man isn’t. Jenn suggested it was British cast who stayed the same and American cast who change which would be a silly but fun gag. But one of the surprise …

2014, Movies

Viy aka Forbidden Empire aka Forbidden Kingdom (2014, Oleg Stepchenko)

This is a bizarre Russian horror film starring an English actor (and so dubbed into English, at least on streaming services) that was made in 3D, so it looks extra bizarre on your TV. It is bizarrely listed as “Fantasy” on IMDB and, hence, on streaming services, but it’s horror (ish). I actually saw a …

2017, TV

Norm Macdonald: Hitler’s Dog, Gossip and Trickery (2017, Liz Plonka)

This is a pretty amusing but otherwise very standard standup special from someone who has long been one of my favourite standup comedians. (If I can be said to have favourites because I’m definitely a sketch comedy person.)