Category: 2012

2012, Books, Non-Fiction

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012) by David Quammen

Like so many other people, once the events of March 2020 happened I decided I had to read this book. Somehow, it took me three and a half years to get there.

2012, Music

Failure Epics (2012)

This is knotty, relatively diverse 21st century prog. Like much 21st century prog it’s filtered through at least some musical innovations that occurred after the first wave of prog rock, though that depends on the song. “Soothsayer,” for example, feels more traditional to me, a little more like the neo prog of the ’90s.

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 …

1964, 1970, 1977, 1984, 1991, 1998, 2005, 2012, 2019, Movies, TV

The Up Documentaries (1964, 1970, 1977, 1984, 1991, 1998, 2005, 2012, 2019)

When I first was trying to figure out how I would sum this up, I said “probably the most ambitious documentary project ever.” I should have said “in English” as this idea was actually not invented by this series. Rather, the Germans beat the British to it by a few years. Due to typical Anglo …

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

Parks and Recreation (2009)

This is a good-hearted but often hysterical situation comedy that it took me entirely too long to watch. I’m not sure exactly why but I guess I was at least slightly aware that it was a little bit wholesome and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t into wholesome in, like, 2011. Anyway…

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.

2012, Movies

Coast Modern (2012, Mike Bernard, Gavin Froome)

This is a pretty but quite brief documentary about modernist domestic architecture on the West Coast of North America. If you like The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes or similar shows, you may like this. This is a lot more philosophical, as you might expect, but there are similar amounts of house porn.

1980, 2012, Books, Non-Fiction

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So kids Will Talk (1980, 2012)

Full disclosure: I have no children, I am not a teacher and I spent virtually no time around children. So I am not the book’s audience. Why did I read it? Because my father recommended it me for as a good tool for communicating better.

2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Movies

Riley’s Best Films of the 2010s

I am an avid movie watcher. I have seen something like 5,000 movies in my life as well as countless hours of movie-quality TV. But my pace has slowed somewhat in the last decade, as life has gotten in the way. Moreover, because I see so few movies in theatres outside of my annual TIFF …

2012, Movies

Call Me Kuchu (2012, Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall)

This is an absolutely devastating documentary about the situation for LGBTQ people in Uganda and the fight to make homosexuality legal again (as it wasn’t illegal until 1984 for men and 2000 for women). SPOILERS (though that’s obviously a relatively silly thing to say for a documentary about something you can just google)

2012, Movies

Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan)

This is a fascinating revisionist vampire film that takes a different approach to an over-done genre in more than one way. It’s not a great movie, necessarily, but it’s a neat twist on a tired genre and it’s worth watching if you are interested in vampire films that don’t follow the tired old movie formulas …

2012, Books, Non-Fiction, TV

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Forever [Updated] (2012) by Alan Sepinwall

Sometime while I was making my way through The Wire and Deadwood for the first time, I had an idea for a book. It would be about how a bunch of HBO shows, and a few other select shows, altered the nature of fictional TV series (drama but also comedy) forever, finally bringing TV to …

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, Music

The Bob’s Burgers Music Album (2017)

Much like The Simpsons (at least back when I watched it) music plays a very significant role in Bob’s Burgers. In fact, it plays an even more significant role, given the singing propensities of multiple characters in the Belcher family. This album collects the featured songs from the show, as well as a few covers …

2012, Movies

Brooklyn Castle (2012, Katie Dellamaggiore)

Brooklyn Castle is a film about a year in the of a particularly successful junior high school chess team. The film follows a few of these students of different ages as they compete in chess tournaments. At first glance, it feels like one of the innumerable “kids competing” documentaries that spread up in the wake …

1907, 2012, 2016

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder live at the Princess of Wales Theatre June 15, 2016

Unbeknownst to me, this is based on the same novel as one of my favourite comedies of all time, Kind Hearts and Coronets. I have not seen that movie in sometime, though the plot (and the gimmick) was still quite familiar.

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 seasons – that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts …

1917, 1922, 1927, 2012, Music

Hindemith: Kammermusik (2012) by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, et al.

This set collects Hindemith’s Kammermusik compositions – two are actual chamber music pieces, seven are concertos – and for reasons I may not ever understand, pairs them with a violin sonata and an incomplete work.

2012, Music

Niagara Falling: Tales for the Stage III (2012) by Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi

This is an EP rounding out Kihlstedt’s and Bossi’s “stage” music. It’s sparse and different from their usual stuff, but there’s not a lot here (and some of the running time is taken up by the creators of the performance piece) and it really isn’t essential. Only of interest to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Kihlstedt …

1935, 1957, 2012, Music

Simplicius Simplicissimus (2012) by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, performed by Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Choir, Juliane Banse, Petermarsch, Will Hartmann conducted by Markus Stenz

From the very opening bars it’s clear that this is no ordinary opera. And though that’s true of the most path-breaking and challenging operas of the early 20th century – I am thinking chiefly of Berg’s work – this one is perhaps more shocking given the (seemingly) more traditional stance of the composer.

2012, Movies

The Act of Killing (2012, Joshua Openheimer, Anonymous, Christine, Cynne)

Western religion, philosophy and even early psychology tells us that the world is made up of good and bad people, and their goodness and badness is based on some a priori concept of good and bad. Of course, this flies in the face of our daily experiences: people we label “bad” do good things (which …