1985, Movies

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985, Héctor Olivera, Alan Holleb)

This is a terrible fantasy film with slight more of a budget than you might expect and some credible costuming for a terrible film. It’s basically a fully ’80s fantasy film, with way less of a budget, and where a ton of the cast are dubbed because I guess they were speaking Spanish?

1991, Music

We Can’t Be Stopped (1991) by Get Boys

So, for reasons I will never understand, YouTube Music – where I do most of my listening to new music – only has the “screwed” version of this album. I didn’t know that meant something and so I listened to it. And I was extremely confused as you might imagine. I knew I had at …

1991, Music

Trisha Yearwood (1991)

I have no investment in country music, so whether or not a particular album indicates “a star is born” is irrelevant to me. Perhaps if there was something truly distinct, I might notice but I don’t know that Yearwood’s from Georgia and, having heard numerous singers from many different genres, I’m not sure why Yearwood’s …

2019, Movies

El guardián de la memoria [The Guardian of Memory] (2019, Marcela Arteaga)

This is a gorgeous film – seriously it’s beautiful – about an awful subject, Mexicans fleeing Mexico due to persecution from cartels. It’s a little like Taming the Garden in terms of how pretty it is, though the shots are not as impressive as that documentary.

1991, Music

Into the Great Wide Open (1991) by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Jeff Lynne infestation of Petty’s Full Moon Fever has been allowed to fester and now infects the entire band. I understand this was a big hit, and I grew up with the two biggest songs here too, but this is a particularly polished version of the Heartbreakers, that is relatively unrecognizable to the band …

1991, Music

A Future Without a Past…(1991) by Leaders of the New School

I must admit that I was kind of charmed on the first listen to this album. That charm wore off a bit with repeated listens – why that happened is probably a long story – but that initial positive vibe is pretty rare for me with hip hop, especially hip hop that is this obsessed …

1991, Music

Woodface (1991) by Crowded House

I can’t figure it out, but I know “Chocolate Cake,” “Fall At Your Feet” and “Weather With You.” I’m confused because I was 9 when this album came out and only “Chocolate Cake” reached the Canadian Top 10. Somebody must have had this album, or a greatest hits record or something, right? Anyway, it’s created …

1986, Music

Especially for You (1986) by The Smithereens

Like many people, I’m probably listening to this – and taking it seriously – in part because of Kurt Cobain. I did not enjoy Green Thoughts but it’s been long enough that I forgot about that, so I was able to approach this with fresh ears and be more charitable to it than I would …

1981, Music

Dreamtime (1981) by Tom Verlaine

Marquee Moon is one of my favourite albums of the ’70s so this should be right in my wheelhouse. And it mostly is. Verlaine is a better songwriter than a lot of his contemporaries (with the notable exception of David Byrne), though he’s hardly an all time great. He has a good sense of melody, …

1981, Music

Beauty and the Beat (1981) by Go-Go’s

This is undoubtedly an important record. It is possibly the most successful debut album by an all-female band, at least to this point and history and it might have also been the first all-female band album to hit US#1 (though I’m not 100% sure where I read that and can’t find it now). It’s trailblazing …

1971, Music

The Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971) by Kris Kristofferson

There are people who will tell you that Kris Kristofferson is the Greatest Songwriter of All Time. (Don’t believe me? Watch Country Music.) This is a preposterous claim on its face for at least two reasons. The first is that there may not be a GOAT songwriter in English or in any language. And second, …

2015, Movies

High-Rise (2015, Ben Wheatley)

I have read only one J.G. Ballard novel though I have seen a couple of films adapted from his books. I thought I had seen more than one of Ben Wheatley’s movies, but it turns out I’ve just seen one. On paper, I think I can probably see the Ballard-Wheatley pairing as a match made …

2019, Movies

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019, David Leitch)

This spinoff is reputed by many to be the worst of the interminable Fast & Furious movies. I must admit I still haven’t seen all of them – though I have seen most by this point – but I’m not sure why exactly. Most of the problems with this movie are typical of the problems …

2012, Movies

Magic Mike (2012, Steven Soderbergh)

This is an entertaining and engaging comedy drama about male strippers during the financial crisis. It’s sort of an oblique comment on the consequences of the financial crisis and it’s fascinating that Channing Tatum wanting to star in a movie about his life as a stripper before he got famous turned into this film.

1959, 1961, Movies

The Human Condition (1959, 1961, Masaki Kobayashi)

This is an epic film, released as a series, that adapts an epic novel. Taken as a whole film, it is one of the longest narrative films ever – by my count the 8th or 9th longest ever, and probably the longest ever made at the time of its release. But it was released as …

2001, Music

Rooty (2001) by Basement Jaxx

When Basement Jazz were at their heyday, I knew basically nothing about European dance music. I’m pretty sure I thought Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk and (I’m sorry to admit) Massive Attack were all the same thing. I did not care an iota about this stuff (and stuff that didn’t sound like it, apparently!), but …

2001, Music

The Tyranny of Distance (2001) by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

I fell like I had some vague idea of this band’s existence. The name certainly rings some kind of bell. But I certainly didn’t know that they were born as a bedroom project and the bound was founded after they were named. (Which is really more common than you would think.) Anyway, I didn’t know …

2001, Music

Document #8 (2001) by pageninetynine

Screamo surprised the hell out of me when it happened. I wasn’t as into post hardcore then as I am now, and I didn’t realize how long this type of music had been bubbling under the surface. I found it incredible that music that, in some ways, was so off-putting, could be so commercially viable. …

2001, Music

Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001) by Blink-182

Science this band is terrible. It’s a testament to the fact that we love the music we do due to the music we’re exposed to in our teens and early twenties that there are so many positive reviews of this album. There are plenty of totally okay, mediocre albums that get panned on Rate Your …

2001, Music

Poses (2001) by Rufus Wainwright

Someone called Wainwtright’s voice a “rich kid voice” and I laughed when I read it. Even though I’m Canadian and have been exposed to Wainwright more than most Americans or Brits, I still have a hard time dealing with his affect. As I wrote in my review of his first album, it’s hard to imagine …

2001, Music

Room for Squares (2001) by John Mayer

When I first heard “No Such Thing” it made no impression on me. I forgot about it. In fact, I didn’t realize it was John Mayer until this month. When I first heard “Your Body is a Wonderland,” my 20-year-old male self dismissed it as female fan pandering, but I was at least aware of …

2001, Music

Bodily Functions (2001) by Herbert

The 21st century really is the post genre century. The more and more I listen to music from this century, the more I find it hard to categorize, often individual songs but far more often with entire albums, that throw together things which do not make sense. Case in point, this record, which manages to …

1996, Music

Reasonable Doubt (1996) by Jay-Z

I have listened to hip hop for basically only six years, with somewhat increasing frequency. I feel like I am starting to get a grasp on the flow and technique of rap, and I’ve long felt like I know what I like when it comes to the production side. But I still find myself flummoxed …