Tag: 2008

2008, Movies

Ce qu’il faut pour vivre (2008, Benoit Pilon)

This is an affecting but amusing film about an Inuit man taken to Quebec City for tuberculosis treatment in the 1950s. Though it is a simple film – and arguably a variation on a story that has been told many times – its unique perspective is a needed one, and it’s worth your time.

2008, Movies

C’est pas moi, je le jure! (2008, directed by Philippe Falardeau)

I have never enjoyed stories about little boy hellions. I remember watching Problem Child and its sequel and the Denis the Menace movie as a child and being bothered by them, even while I believe I did laugh at the slapstick. (I have always been a sucker for slapstick.) As an adult, these types of …

2008, Movies

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008, Steven Spielberg)

This movie has become somewhat legendary since its release, so much so that I went from never wanting to see it to thinking I should probably watch it for a laugh. SPOILERS, I guess.

2008, Movies, Music

Cadillac Records (2008, Darnell Martin)

From the opening scenes of this docudrama about history of Chess Records, things feel a little off. The attempt to balance the stories of Leonard Chess and Muddy Waters feels a little wonky and the pacing definitely seems off. A man just walks up to Muddy in a field and says he’s Alan Lomax and …

2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, TV

The Wire (2002)

It’s been about 10 years since The Wire finished and 16 years since it started. In that time, I have managed to watch the first three seasons four times (I think), the fourth season three times and the notorious fifth season twice. (The only other dramatic show I have ever watched more than once is Deadwood.) I …

2008, Movies

Bronson (2008, Nicholas Winding Refn)

There are probably two types of people: people who think Winding Refn is a genius and people who think he is ponderous, boring and way too interested in style over substance. You can count me among the latter. Despite all the praise over Valhalla Rising and Drive, I found both movies to be flawed. I …

2008, Movies

Body of Lies (2008 Ridley Scott)

I have no idea whether or not this film is accurate as to the day to day actions of CIA operatives in the Middle East – I doubt it, but it is a fictional film after all – but, for much of its run, it is an effective political thriller with a strong sense of …

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 …

2008, Movies

Inkheart (2008, Iain Softley)

I can imagine the pitch meeting where someone thought this was a good idea. And though I later learned it came from a book – I have not read it, obviously – it doesn’t make me think that pitch meeting was any more reasonable. Ideas like this always sound good, but it takes a lot …

1710s, 1760s, 1790s, 1803, 2008, Music

Trumpet Concertos (2008) by Alison Balsom, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

This is a collection of Classical and Baroque trumpet concerti, and it’s a good selection of these pieces, giving a good idea of how the music progressed…only the sequencing is, um, kind of backwards.

1935, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1958, 2008, Music

The Definitive Collection (2008) by Billie Holiday

Full disclosure: I do not like vocal jazz (as you know). This is a compilation of 22 tracks over the course of Holiday’s career. I have no idea how definitive it actually is, as I do not know her at all, beyond her reputation as one of the great singers of the century, and “Strange …

2008, Music

Stay Positive (2008) by The Hold Steady

The Springsteen influence is heavily tamped down on this record. It’s still there in in Finn’s songs – he has to be the most Springsteenian songwriter I’ve yet devoted time too – but the musical influences have expanded. The punk edge is definitely greater (though, do not mistake me, I am not calling this “punk”) …

2008, Movies

Adoration (2008, Atom Egoyan)

Oh, Egoyan’s attempts to understand the past through contrivances and meta-narratives! Gotta love’em. Whereas with Ararat, Egoyan tried to get us to understand the Armenian genocide through making a movie about making a movie about it (yeesh), here he tries to get us to understand suicide bombing and terrorism, and the resulting prejudice, by making …

2008, Movies

Adam Resurrected (2008, Paul Schrader)

I struggle with Schrader as a filmmaker – the man has written some of the great American films, but those films are always directed by someone else (Scorsese among others). As a director I always wish that someone else had made his movies – with the exception of Mishima – and this one is no …

1966, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 2008, Music

Complete String Quartets (2008) by Philip Glass, performed by the Smith Quartet

First off, this is no longer ‘complete’ if it ever really was – Glass has apparently written a 6th quartet. (Also, there are other pieces he has written for string quartet that do not appear here, but they are not numbered among his string quartets, apparently.) Glass’ first quartet is a really great piece of …

2003, TV

Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)

Battlestar Galcctica, the reboot, is probably the greatest science fiction TV show of all time. (That obviously depends on what we mean by “science fiction”, as if I included the original Prisoner in that genre, maybe I would be forced to rethink my position. And no, no version of Star Trek has ever particularly impressed …

2008, Music

The Chemistry of Common Life (2008) by Fucked Up

I really have to start coming to these hyped albums when they are first out, certainly before I have had a chance a read / hear how great an album or band is a million times – or perhaps before the record wins the Polaris. On first listen I was extremely underwhelmed – maybe not …

2006, TV

30 Rock (2006)

When Seinfeld ended, I was done with the sit-com. I honestly didn’t see what it could possibly offer me any more. Television was getting smarter – and would get significantly smarter over the next decade – and I just couldn’t handle being told when to laugh or having to suspend my disbelief to laugh at …

2008, Music

History, Mystery (2008) by Bill Frisell

There is a part of me that wants to go a little overboard on the acclaim here, and I think the only thing holding me back is something I always nitpick over: some tracks are performed by the bull band, and some are not. That’s pretty stupid of me, but I can’t help myself. So …

2008, Books, Non-Fiction

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (2008) by Vincent Bugliosi

I have “read” one book by Vincent Bugliosi before (I say “read” because it was an audio book) and in that book Bugliosi impressed me with his rather ruthless rigor of thought about an issue that was clouded by too many books and opinions.

2008, Music

Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius (2008) performed by Halle

I wouldn’t want my poor ears truly tested – blindly for example – but I feel like I am more and more hearing Elgar in Elgar: this piece is just so Elgar. In this case though, it’s not a bad thing. I feel like this is markedly superior to the other oratorios and I think …

2008, Books, Fiction

Snuff (2008) by Chuck Palahniuk

I went through a few stages with this novel. At first I was thinking, ‘I think he wrote this just to piss people off, but it’s hilarious so I don’t care.’ Then I was thinking, ‘maybe this is his attempt at creating a gross version of As I Lay Dying.’ And some other thoughts passed …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Lockout to Lockout

Only one team in the entire 30 team NHL went from the last lockout to this one without a single playoff appearance: the Toronto Maple Leafs. Only four teams missed the playoffs at least 5 times: the Oilers (6 times), the Islanders and the Thrashers. One of these teams has a pretty good excuse: the …

2008, Movies

Until the Light Takes Us (2008, Audrey Ewell, Aaron Aites)

Here is a subject seemingly perfect for a documentary: why the founders of Norwegian black metal were compelled to commit the crimes that they did. And here are interviews with many of the principals which would also seem great fodder for a documentary: they are remarkably candid.

2008, Movies

Standard Operating Procedure (2008, Errol Morris)

As always, Morris takes a unique approach to his subject, this time choosing to focus almost completely on the pictures taken by three cameras. Morris also only interviews people involved with the incidents, supervisors, and one investigator. This is an interesting approach likely designed to get away from the massive amount of press and “expert” …