Category: 2007

2007, Movies

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007, Yves Simoneau)

My country was founded in genocide, as was our neighbour to the south. This is a fact that we still haven’t dealt with as evidenced by how many Canadians and Americans would find my initial statement controversial – even offensive – despite its truth. I was born in the last fifth of the 20th century …

1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014

Augusta Read Thomas: Selected Works for Orchestra (2014) by Various Artists

This is a compilation of performances of some of Thomas’ writing for orchestra. I got this from the library by accident but decided to listen to it anyway.

2007, Books, Fiction

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) by Khaled Hosseini

This is, for the most part, a compelling, affecting and, at times, devastating novel of what it was like to live as a woman in Afghanistan for the last quarter century or so of the 20th century. It is particularly effective of giving insight into men who hate women – into a whole society that …

2007, Movies

Body of War (2007, Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro)

This is a clunky, made-for-TV quality “documentary” (more of an advocate film for reform of the Veterans Affairs administration, among other things) with some good ideas and powerful moments, but which doesn’t work super well as a feature film.

2007, Movies

Bliss aka Mutluluk (2007, Abdullah Oguz)

This is an affecting film that unfortunately follows a few too many film conventions, including some Hollywood ones that don’t make a whole lot of sense given a) the size of Turkey and b) that they’re on a yacht… But I understand the appeal of a film like this, which tells probably a relatively rare …

1956, 1979, 2007

Khachaturian: Spartacus (1979, 2007) by The Bolshoi National Orchestra

As far as I can tell, this is the orchestral music from a 1979 performance of Khachaturian’s Spartacus. It is the complete four suites, I believe (or, rather, all the music). I definitely prefer listening to it all at once, instead of hearing one suite or something like that.

2007, Books, Non-Fiction

Younger Next Year (2007) by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge

This is a book about exercise, nutrition and mental health, geared towards retired American men. I did not actually finish the book; I read it until it was due back at the library. I made it most of the way through, though, and I don’t fee like I missed much.

2007, Movies

Big Man Japan (2007, Hitoshi Matsumoto)

This mockumentary has an ingenious conceit – the everyday life of a superhero. It combines a satire of Japanese monster movies with a satire of reality TV/slice of life documentaries. This is a ridiculously silly movie – which gets sillier at the end, something I’ve always admired – but its points are still worth taking, …

1902, 1983, 2007

Jenůfa (1983, 2007) by Leoš Janáček, performed by Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras featuring Elisabeth Söderström, Wiesław Ochman, Peter Dvorsky, Eva Randová, Lucia Popp

This is an opera where it’s probably for the best I can’t understand the words, given that it’s about infanticide. The music is high Romantic, but infused with Janacek’s usual folk inspirations, including some idiosyncratic vocalizations and relative realism (realism is always relative in operas) – ‘realism’ such as the knocking on the door and …

2007, Books, Fiction

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (2007) by Christopher Brookmyre

This is not only  a well-done mystery but it is also a fine indictment of a certain kind of chicanery, one that drives me particularly crazy. SPOILERS

2007, Movies

Beowulf (2007, Robert Zemeckis)

Of the two films I’ve seen about Beowulf, this is definitely the better one. I haven’t read the legend myself (beyond a version for children, many years ago) but this definitely feels like it is more true to the original story – the story is definitely less blatantly revisionist than the other version I saw. …

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, TV

Mad Men (2007)

I watched Mad Men over an even longer period than most of you, so my memory of the individual episodes is not perfect. I know there were some weaker ones in there, and there even parts of seasons (perhaps even whole ones) that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts of the …


The Furniture Moves Underneath (2007) by Inhabitants

This is some solid 21st century jazz rock/fusion (whichever it is). It’s clear these guys like traditional jazz but don’t feel like they have to conform to the rules of the tradition, which is refreshing. The music gets edgy at times, too, which is also appealing. Don’t have much else to say: I like it …

1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 2007, Music

Epitaph by Charles Mingus, conducted by Gunther Schuller, Live at Walt Disney Concert Hall, May 16, 2007

What the hell do we do with Epitaph? Epitaph is a “jazz symphony” Mingus assembled in the late ’50s and attempted (and failed) to perform in 1962. I say ‘assembled’ because it contains multiple other Mingus compositions that he recorded individually multiple times (and performed numerous times) and because it contains music inspired by and …

2007, Music

Traineater (2007) by Book of Knots

I think most people who come to this record because of the musicians involved will invariably have really high expectations, which is a problem. But a concept album about the decline of US industry made by some of the best experimental rock musicians with so many notable guests – Tom Waits!!! Trey Spruance!!! Mike Watt!!! …

2007, Music

Skullgrid (2007) by Behold…the Arctopus

This is some utterly bonkers playing. These guys are clearly incredible musicians. Just incredible. But it’s half an hour of (almost) exclusively bonkers riffs and nothing else. There are a few moments (such as on “Canada”) when they move out of their (admittedly extremely difficult) comfort zone, but for the most part, these guys just …

2007, Movies

Beaufort (2007, Joseph Cedar)

This is a lower budget Israeli war film that falls firmly in the “noble grunt” sub-genre but manages to avoid many of the cliches of that sub-genre. I say lower budget because the digital video quality feels like it belongs to 2001 not 2007. Anyway, the focuses on an outpost in Lebanon that Israel held …

2007, Movies

Battle in Seattle (2007, Stuart Townsend)

This is an attempt to produce an alternative version of the infamous Seattle WTO protests than the one produced by the mainstream media at the time, a version that was decidedly anti-protester and pro-WTO, pro-State of Washington, pro-Seattle. There’s an all-star cast (I mean, seriously, look at that cast) and the film mixes actual footage …

2007, Movies

Balls of Fury (2007, Robert Ben Garant)

This is a pretty unfunny comedy that seems to exist solely because the writers thought that Christopher Walken not even attempting to play a Chinese man would be funny. I generally enjoy Reno 911 (though not as much as some people) but I feel like it’s borderline impossible to tell this was made by the …

2007, Movies

The Band’s Visit (2007, Eran Kolirin)

This is a moderately amusing and moderately affecting film. It’s a simple story of a band getting the wrong directions and ending up in the wrong place. The movie plays off familiar lines – Arabic vs. Israeli, etc. – with have been mined many times before. It’s certainly much less obnoxious than many of these …

2007, Movies

Atonement (2007, Joe Wright)

This is an ambitious adaptation of a novel that I have not read, so how it works as an adaptation, I can only guess. The film it itself is, as I have said, extremely ambitious. It jumps around in time (as, I assume, the novel does), it let’s us know fairly early on that maybe …

2007, Movies

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, Andrew Dominik)

This is a fascinating film, one that attempts to take a novel that tells a tale as if it was written at the time and translate that to the screen. The cast is incredible and the movie is well shot. But the pacing is not great even though the film appears to take up well …

2007, TV

Bigfoot’s Reflection (2007, Evan Beloff)

This is a weird, brief film about Sasquatch that tries both to convince us that Sasquatch exists but, at the same time, attempts to be the objective about it, by including interviews with (a couple) skeptics. The film utterly fails to address the biggest problems with the Sasquat theory: no fossil record and no corpses. …

2007, Movies

Angel (2007, Francois Ozon)

This is a well-executed period melodrama that doubles both as a morality tale that money, indeed, cannot buy happiness nor can superficial fame, and as a parody of oh so many British period melodramas. It’s such a subtle parody that one can easily forget it’s a parody (and, judging by the reviews, a lot of …

2007, Movies

American Gangster (2007, Ridley Scott)

This review is of the extended version, not the theatrical version. This movies tries to balance a number of competing crime genre tropes: the true crime story, the drug dealer biography, the police procedural; it often feels like a couple separate films put together. It’s ambitious but I’m not sure it’s entirely successful. However, how …

2007, Movies

Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (2007, Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner, Parris Patton)

This is a fawning, awkward fluff piece of one of the greatest bands to come out of the British Invasion. I love the Who – there was probably a time in my life when they were my favourite band – but this film feels like the Official Version, something vetted by Daltrey and Townshend so …

2007, Music

The Alchemy Index: Volume III and Volume IV – Air and Earth (2007) by Thrice

Unfortunately Volume III takes the brief moments of Volume II that alluded to a sort of Post Grunge / “Modern” rock style and takes them to the logical conclusion. I guess some people would consider these songs “stronger” – they’re certainly catchier – by why neuter what your band does well? At least the rhythm …