Category: 2015

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 Rezort (2015, Steve Barker)

The world has reached a new low when a Zombie Resort is a movie concept. The opening of this film is one of the most cliched and terrible openings of any film I’ve seen recently, featuring so much of that “static TV” shit as to be almost unbearable. (I almost turned it off.) Signs of …

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

Ant-Man (2015, Peyton Reed)

This is a reasonably enjoyable “goofy” Marvel movie, of the kind that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And it has to be, since the whole idea of Ant-Man seems kind of ridiculous. There are some rather massive plot issues that would drive me insane if it wasn’t amusing. It’s not so amusing that I really …

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, Society

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015, Stanley Nelson)

Age is a funny thing. I watched this movie months ago, perhaps more than that, on Netflix and forgot to review it (I think!), forgot to rate it, both things I do religiously. And then I got it from the library this week. When I started watching it (because Olympic golf is on!) I got …

2015, Podcasts

Limetown (2015)

Limetown is an engrossing hard science fiction story that mostly manages to avoid the issues that seem to accompany these fictional podcasts – mostly the audio equivalent of the found footage film problem; in this case, ‘why is everything recorded?’ It’s a reasonably compelling mystery that keeps enough hidden for long enough. There’s still some …

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 right. It’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 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 “a little” as …

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. Scriabin’s fifth sonata is something else – it’s a daring, difficult work. It’s note quite as radical tonally as Schoenberg’s stuff from the same period (to my ears), …

2015, Movies

Climate Change by the Numbers (2015)

This is an interesting TV documentary about mathematical models in climate science. It’s rather cursory in its overall focus – three mathematicians explain to us three numbers from the IPCC’s report – but rather detailed in the individual segments. It’s a good example of good popular science TV, as it’s easy to understand and interesting …

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 …