1962, Movies

Otoshiana aka おとし穴 (1962, Hiroshi Teshigahara)

This Japanese film opens with some of the most extreme scoring I think I’ve ever heard in a film. In the opening shots, as the man flees, there is only this piercing, low music, almost seemingly intended to sound like a dog’s bark. And then it drops away for the title card which features aggressively …

1934, Movies

Top Hat (1934, Mark Sandrich)

This is my first Astaire-Rogers film and I must say that, for such a famous, iconic Hollywood duo, I am a little mystified. I understand things change, and what was entertaining 90 years ago is not necessarily entertaining now. But I have watched a lot of films from the 1930s for someone my age (and …

2019, TV

Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (2019)

I do not know Wu-Tang like many people (especially men) my age do. I have listened to exactly one album by the collective, and maybe three or four of the solo albums, all for my podcast. I am more familiar with the RZA from his soundtrack and occasional acting work. But I still knew very …

2023, Movies

Kelce (2023, Don Argott)

Full disclosure: I did not really know who Jason Kelce was. I knew he was the brother of Travis, something I found out only recently when I learned, through Jenn, about their podcast. (I only found out about Travis because of you know who.) I have long ago stopped paying attention to football and especially …

2015, Movies

Focus (2015, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa)

So I watched the first 20 or so minutes of this in a hotel in Brazil about 4 and a half months ago. I didn’t realize it was on my list. (It was a really big list.) I can’t say I was super into it and Jenn wasn’t in to it enough that she didn’t …

2019, Movies

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019, Stanley Nelson)

This is a completely fine documentary about Miles Davis’ career. I didn’t realize it was a PBS documentary but it makes sense as it’s a totally fine TV documentary.

2024, Movies

Is Streaming Better for Watching Great/Classic/Cult Movies?

I have a list of of 5,532 feature movies, TV shows and short films to watch. I have been adding to this list of movies for something like two decades. The list might seem like an impossible number of films and shows to watch, but I’ve already watched approximately 5,000 TV shows and films in …

1959, Books, Non-Fiction

The Longest Day (1959) by Cornelius Ryan

I grew up with the movie. There’s this recent term for movies that you can watch over and over again because they make you feel good, “poppy fields movies.” Because of the kinds of films I grew up watching, WWII movies are among those for me and The Longest Day was one of those for …

2019, Basketball, Sports

The Deconstruction of Your 2019 Toronto Raptors

Updated with the latest Raptors’ trades. It’s now been nearly five years since The Toronto Raptors – the purple dinosaur team – won the NBA Championship. Within a few hours of 2023 free agency opening, the Raptors’ starting (and only NBA-quality) Point Guard, Fred VanVleet signed with another team, the Houston Rockets for three years, …

2008, Music

“Dark End of the Street” (2008) by Cat Power

I’m a sucker for (some of) Cat Power’s covers and this EP is no exception. I know two thirds of the songs here which probably helps. I will say I have never heard Jukebox and so maybe I’d like this less if I had heard that record. (This is a collection of outtakes from that …

1971, Books

Love in the Ruins (1971) by Walker Percy

 When I read The Moviegoer in my mid-to-late ’20s, I absolutely loved it. A few years later, I read Lost in the Cosmos and found it entertaining and thought-provoking and generally a really fun way to think about existence. (So fun I leant it to someone who I thought would enjoy it, and now I don’t have my copy.) …

1986, Movies

America 3000 (1986, David Engelbach)

I just spent 15 minutes looking for a Canada 3000 ad with the appropriate jingle to led off this review. I couldn’t find it. Just know that, through the entirety of this bad ’80s post apocalyptic comedy, I was singing “Merica 3000” in my mind to the tune of that jingle.

2009, TV

Charley Boorman: Sydney to Tokyo by Any Means (2009)

This is the ostensible sequel/second season to Charley Boorman: Ireland to Sydney by Any Means. It’s not exactly a sequel for a couple of reasons, but it is roughly the same idea: Charley Boorman travels from Sydney to Tokyo trying to use multiple different kinds of transportation.

1999, Movies

200 Cigarettes (1999, Risa Bramon Garcia)

This is a mildly amusing and very ’90s vignette film about a New Year’s Eve party in 1981. It features a number of famous and ’90s famous actors (and a couple of musicians). It’s one of those talky ’90s films that almost feels stagey except that it is (partially) location-shot.

2000, TV

The Corner (2000)

20 years after first encountering The Wire I finally watched the second of its spiritual prequels. The first was Homicide. (RIP Andre Braugher.) You might call Homicide and The Corner The Wire’s parents, one is about cops in Baltimore, based on a David Simon book, and the other is about drug addicts in Baltimore, based on a different David Simon book. It’s …

2006, Movies

Black Christmas (2006, Glen Morgan)

Black Christmas is probably one of the most important horror films of the ’70s, given how influential it was on slasher films. But, despite my endless search for new Christmas horror films, it’s probably also the best serious Christmas horror movie. (Gremlins is a comedy.) I suspected both remakes were bad but I’m not sure …

2008, TV

Charley Boorman: Ireland to Sydney by Any Means (2008)

Without his Long Way Round/Long Way Down partner Ewan McGregor (who does have a cameo), Charley Boorman does his own thing, travelling from Ireland to Australia while trying to avoid commercial flights. It’s a smaller crew but, in many ways, just as ambitious.

1993, Music

Five Days in July (1993) by Blue Rodeo

I didn’t hear this album until I saw Blue Rodeo play it live on their tour of its 30th anniversary. I understand that’s a very weird way to encounter an album, but prior to last night I had only ever heard “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” (and I couldn’t have named the song, only knew it …

2023, Music

Blue Rodeo Live at Massey Hall Wednesday December 13, 2023

Despite their status as a Canadian institution, I don’t know Blue Rodeo well. I know a few of their (Canadian) hit songs to know it’s them, but I couldn’t tell you their names. (I knew a total of 4 songs from this show, I think.) I have listened to Casino and I listened to Diamond …

2023, Music

One of Us is the Killer (2023) by Seven)Suns

I am a sucker for chamber music adaptations of metal, so it’s no surprise I love this. (What I long for is the day somebody adapts metal into chamber music that features few or not string instruments. That would be wild!) I will try to temper my enthusiasm because this whole genre is a bit …