Category: 2015

2015, Movies

Danny Says (2015, Brendan Toller)

This is a fascinating documentary about a journalist/publicist/manager/etc. from New York who was tangentially involved in the careers of a number of major bands, from the Beatles to the Ramones. If you’re interested in the history of popular music, particularly punk, or if you’re interested in New York in the late 1960s and the 1970s, …

1967, 2015, Movies

Censored Voices (2015, Mor Loushy)

This is a compelling and moving documentary with a relatively novel format, which may not initially seem compelling but which is well worth your time. The film tells the story of Israeli soldiers’ experiences during the Six Day War through audio recordings made just after the war, which were suppressed by the Israeli government for …

2015, Movies

Rak ti Khon Kaen aka Cemetery of Splendour (2015, Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

There are certain types of films which require patience. I am almost always better able to appreciate films which require patience in the theatre where I don’t have distractions. At home, I’m liable to find my way to my laptop pretty quickly if a movie is deliberately paced. It’s less bad with English language films …

2015, Movies

Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)

This is an extraordinarily tense and well-directed thriller about the escalation and increased militarization of the Ward on Drugs. For the most part, I really, really liked Sicario, but I struggled with something and I’m not sure whether or not it could have ended better. SPOILERS

2015, Movies

The Night Before (2015, Jonathan Levine)

This is one of those seemingly innumerable movies where celebrity cameos are viewed as a substitute for a good story and laughs. This is one of those “spot the cameo” movies, with a host of famous people popping up at different points. I suppose Scrooged is like that too, but at least it’s working off of A …

2015, TV

John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015, Rhys Thomas)

iThough I have heard his name, I have never seen John Mulaney perform before. And since this came to Netflix, I’ve learned probably a little too much about him, given the AV Club’s coverage of him back in 2015 or 2016, whenever he had his show. As usual, hype can be dangerous, as I found …

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 …

2015, Movies

The Invitation (2015, Karyn Kusama)

I am usually a man who can watch and appreciate a movie despite my mood at the time. But every so often a movie doesn’t meet my mood. And so I find myself reviewing this film without, perhaps, giving it its due, because I should have been watching something more frivolous. SPOILERS

2015, Books, Non-Fiction

The 15-Minute Mathematician (2015) by Anne Rooney

I took math through university, being so silly as to think I could minor in it. (I couldn’t…not quite.) But since I graduated I have forgotten so much of the more advanced math that I did understand, and everything I partially understood has utterly vanished – over a decade later, it’s as if I didn’t …

1937, 1942, 1992, 2015, Music

Khachaturian: Gayane; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 (1992, 2015) by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati

This disc collects a suite from Khachaturian’s Gayane with Shostakovich’s 5th symphony.

2015, Movies

The Big Short (2015, Adam McKay)

Let’s get this out of the way: this is not a perfect movie. It has what you might call ‘formal’ flaws; inconsistencies in style, in tone and in perspective. It is meta in a way that you might find obnoxious. But I think it might be the single most important film made about the 2008 …

2015, Movies

The Scorch Trials (2015, Wes Ball)

I did not like the first film at all. But that movie had a “high concept” that I could at least respect on some level – though it struck me as something I would have dreamed up as a teenager – even if the execution was pretty awful. But this movie is worse. Yes, that’s …

2015, Movies

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015, Francis Lawrence)

I think, on some level, this is a superior film to the previous entry. I mean, for one thing, all that previous film did was set things up. This (sort of) knocks them down. I will say that, as far as these things go, this series is a little less politically naive – I stress …

2015, Movies

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015, JJ Abrams)

I must say that, when I learned that the new trilogy would not follow the Grand Admiral Thrawn arc, a little part of my teenage self died. The only Star Wars books, I ever read, I enjoyed them at the time. But, upon, reflection, it’s probably for the best, as this guy was one of those …

2015, 2016, Basketball, Sports

Your 2015-2016 Toronto Raptors

Putting aside any disappointments we may feel about those last two games, it must be acknowledged that, by nearly any standard, this was the Greatest Team in Franchise History; the most regular season wins, the most home wins, the most road wins, the most playoff wins… I may have had my expectations raised too high …

1901, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1911, 1914, 2015, Music

Sonatas and Poems (2015) by Stephen Hough

This collection features two of Scriabin’s piano sonatas, and two of his “poems,” plus Janacek’s only piano sonata and the first book of On an Overgrown Path.

2015, Movies

London Spy (2015)

The problem with the vast majority of conspiracy movies and TV shows is the reveal. It seems to be a pretty easy and common thing to create mystery, especially mystery involving secret plots. It’s another thing altogether, apparently, to create a satisfactory resolution to a mystery, especially a mystery where “the powers the be” are …

1968, 2015, Movies

Best of Enemies (2015, Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville)

When I was younger, I used to long for the days when US news shows were just the news, and when talk shows had actual intellectuals on, on occasion, to debate. I remember once seeing a clip many years ago where Gore Vidal – whom I have a love/hate relationship with – and Norman Mailer …

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 …

2015, Music, RIP

RIP David Bowie

Much like when Lou Reed, another of my favourite songwriters, died, I find myself in complete shock. Shock that someone I have spent over half my life listening to, discussing/debating and feeling like I had some kind of connection with, has died…could die. Shock that death comes for us all, no matter how great.

2015, TV

Making a Murderer (2015, Moira Demos, Laura Ricciardi)

This is a documentary in the grand tradition of The Thin Blue Line, Paradise Lost and Brother’s Keeper, but with the time-span of something like Hoop Dreams or American Promise. And, as a 10-episode TV show, it adds nearly unprecedented depth to its subject, comparable only to a Ken Burns documentary series, or Shoah. SPOILER …