2022, Movies

The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022, Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman)

Like every 22-minute TV show turned into a movie, this one struggles with enough laughs for its runtime. But it’s still pretty enjoyable and has most of the stuff you’d want in a Bob’s Burgers episode.

2013, Movies

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013, Peter Jackson)

This second film in the hilariously long adaptation of a 310-page novel is mercifully a little bit shorter than the first. (Though not much.) This one I’d actually mostly scene prior to actually sitting down to watch it, as I think it’s been on a lot over the years on channels available in hotels I’ve …

2012, Movies

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012, Peter Jackson)

This nearly 3 hour film is the first part of a preposterous adaptation of a 310-page novel. I have no idea why anyone thought a novel this short needed to be adapted into three films, none of which are less than 2 hours and twenty minutes in length. It’s one thing to make an epic-length …

1983, Movies

Space Raiders (1983, Howard R. Cohen)

When this movie came out, somebody noticed some of the spaceship fighting scenes were the same as Battle Beyond the Stars. And somebody noticed the score was the same too. Remarkably, despite those hilarious facts, this is not among the worst movies ever made. SPOILERS?

2022, Music

Séances (2022) by Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant avec Folie à Quatre

I absolutely loved Sister Phantom Owl Fish when I first heard it when it came out, both because it was one of my first encounters with jazz that had metal influences (it might have been my first) and it was my first encounter with Mary Halvorson, and her extremely unique style of guitar playing. It …

2019, Music

Nothing Belongs Here (2019) by the Joe Policastro Trio

This is the first JPTrio record with originals. And I think I just like it less than their earlier records. That’s far less of a comment on their originals than it is on how easy it is to like the earlier records, when their material is pretty well known.

2017, Music

Screen Sounds (2017) by The Joe Policastro Trio

The third album by the Joe Policastro trio focuses on movie and TV themes (with one exception) and is, in some ways, even more fun than their second record. Certainly, it’s even more diverse. This time the material is just as varied, if not even more so. I’m particularly delighted by the presence of the …

2010, Books, Non-Fiction

Merchants of Doubt (2010) by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway

This is a thorough and damning account of the so-called “Tobacco Strategy” and the “improvements” upon it, in which larger corporations fund think tanks and pay real scientists to discredit the work of other scientists which threatens their products.

2022, Music

The Joe Policastro Trio Live at The Rex October 26, 2022

A few weeks ago, I was browsing Cover Me’s Best Cover Songs of September and I came across a fun jazz guitar cover of “Take on Me.” I liked it. Jenn liked it. So I followed the group on the socials and saw that they would be in Toronto in a few weeks.

1974, Movies, TV

Edvard Munch (1974, Peter Watkins)

This film was actually a Norwegian TV series that was slightly abridged for a theatrical release in the rest of the world. (Unfortunately I watched the abridged version.) It’s a typical Peter Watkins approach to a documentary about a historical subject – filmed as if the film crew had travelled into the past.

1981, Movies

Home Sweet Home aka Slasher in the House (1981, Nettie Pena)

We were looking for a Thanksgiving horror film and so we found our way to this god-awful mess, featuring some of the worst lighting you will ever see in a movie. The director has a single credit after this film, and I suspect it’s because nobody believes they can light a film.

2006, TV

When the Levees Broke (2006)

This is a detail and devastating miniseries about Hurricane Katrina and what happened in New Orleans that I have been meaning to watch for a decade and a half. It is essential viewing, even all these years later. (I might say especially all these years later given how many more serious hurricanes have hit the …

2022, Music

The Mars Volta Live at Massey Hall, Wednesday October 5, 2022

The Mars Volta have reunited, much like At the Drive In did five years ago. However, unlike that reunion, this is a very different version of the band, if there new album is anything to go by. So I was slightly worried about this show. But that proved to be unfounded.

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 …