This film is considered one of the greatest Indian movies of all time and a foundational film in Bollywood history. You can bet I didn’t enjoy it. SPOILERS I guess
Jennifer’s Body (2009, Karyn Kusama)
This is a fun horror comedy that plays around with the teen sex danger angle. Sure, it’s not the first to do this, but it feels like a pretty fresh spin on it.
I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen – 33 1/3 (2020) by Ray Padgett
I had actually never listened to I’m Your Fan before. And I’m not a huge fun So why did I read this? I enjoyed Ray’s first book a lot, and was interested in the next one. And, full disclosure: I write for his website, Cover Me. In order to read the book, I did manage to listen to the …
Catwoman (2004, Pitof)
This has a reputation as being one of the worst films of all time. It is the 40th Worst Movie according to IMBD. But, like so many Hollywood films that are considered among the worst of all time, it’s only one of the worst movies of all time if you’ never seen truly terrible films.
I Had a Pretty Shitty (2nd Half of) 2022
I had a pretty shitty second half (and a bit) of 2022. And there was some other more minor stuff. (Two colds in 5 weeks! While I was recovering from my broken finger. Shit like that. ) This morning, I thought I lost my new prescription sunglasses, which I had to purchase due to one …
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022, Rian Johnson)
It’s likely you have high expectations for this film, if you enjoyed the first one as much as I did. And that’s a dangerous thing. But I’m happy to report that this is both not the same movie as the first one and manages to still hit some similar topical notes. I think it mostly …
X-Mass Death Jazz (2018) by Panzerballet
I grew up loving Christmas Carols, they were one of my favourite parts of Christmas outside of the gifts. I loved decorating our tree while listening to carols, it really put me in the holiday spirt.
I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen (1991) by Various Artists
So I listened to this because I have Ray Padgett’s book and, though this is one of the more famous tribute albums, I’d yet to hear it.
The Lions of Al-Rassan (1996) by Guy Gavriel Kay
I read this book because Kay is my girlfriend’s favourite fantasy writer (and she really doesn’t like fantasy). I had really never heard of him before and didn’t fully realize he was Canadian. (Also, I knew nothing of his association with Tolkien.) I liked this book more than I thought I might, and more than …
The Redeem Team (2022, Jon Weinbach)
This is a pretty rote documentary about the 2008 USA Olympic basketball team, which won gold in 2008 after the previous team had won only bronze for the first time in decades.
Harakiri [aka Seppuku] (1962, Masaki Kobayashi)
I was not familiar with jidaigeki but I’ve seen a few of them without knowing it. It’s possible that what I’m going to say about this film only makes sense in western genres and not in jidaigeki but, given that I’ve only a few of these films, I have no idea.
Jazz Sabbath, Vol. 2 (2022)
The second volume from Jazz Sabbath is considerably more ambitious musically than the first and, to my ears, considerably more campy. The first volume is tagged/categorized as, among other things, musical parody. But, aside from the “liner” notes, I honestly didn’t hear any parody. I heard a genuinely earnest and serious attempt to play Sabbath …
The Great Dictator (1940, Charles Chaplin)
As the only American film (before their entry into World War II) to deal with the Nazis, I think we have to give it, and Chaplin, a lot of credit. It might seem crazy now, but some people didn’t think this movie should be made, or at least should be toned down. And this is …
Jazz Sabbath (2020)
Once, many years ago, when I was describing Paranoid to a friend who was skeptical of Black Sabbath, I used the term “jazzy” (or, perhaps, “relatively jazzy”). He scoffed. (He was probably thinking of the title track and thought I was crazy). I was referring, specifically, to Butler and Ward, who I felt played their early metal …
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.
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 …
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 …
Rainbows End (2006) by Vernor Vinge
I don’t read a lot of sci-fi or fantasy. And so quality of the dialogue is always a surprise to me when I do. For the first few chapters, I was kind of dying. I really thought about giving up. Vinge’s is dialogue is not great, at times reminding me too much of just about …
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?
Idi i smotri [Come and See] (1985, Elem Klimov)
This is a vivid, gorgeously shot Soviet war film that often feels like a horror film. It’s certainly a unique experience and its third act is pretty hard to watch.
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017, Chad Stahelski)
I didn’t like John Wick as much as most people did, though I found it entertaining, and so you’ll no doubt be surprised that I didn’t like Chapter 2 as much as most people did, or as much as I enjoyed the first one.
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 …
Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard (2022, James Erskine)
This is a wild story, of how a seemingly legitimate German company (in some ways the German Paypal, but more than that) committed massive fraud. It’s a story I somehow missed while it was happening.
Sounds Unheard (2022) by the Joe Policastro Trio
Rarities compilations can be a bit of a mixed bag more often than not. It’s the music the artist didn’t think was good enough to release in the moment, obviously. But sometimes, they’re great. And this is a pretty great one.
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.
Du Rififi Chez Le Hommes (1955, Jules Dassin)
This is a pretty classic French heist film with a pretty great set piece at the centre and more plot than you might expect.
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 …
Pops! (2016) by the Joe Policastro Trio
So I saw these guys live before I ever listened to a record, and that has really predisposed me to like them. I had only heard one cover they did and was not prepared for how much fun they were live. I have no idea what I would have made of this record if I …
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.
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.