Tag: 2011

2011, Movies

Carnage (2011, Roman Polanski)

This is the first time I’ve seen a Roman Polanski film I haven’t seen previously prior to what you might call my “maturity” regarding the crimes Polanski has fled the United States for. I have known about these crimes since I don’t know when – probably since I discovered who he was (so 20-something years …

2011, Movies

Cafe de Flore (2011, Jean-Marc Vallee

This is one of those maddening movies that eschew conventional narratives but lack the visuals, editing or other techniques to make the lack of story compelling. That’s not to say there isn’t a narrative here – there are two – but it’s fractured to bits and the hooks the audience are given are character development …

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 …

2011, Movies

Cowboys and Indians (2011, Jon Favreau)

Many years ago, in my teens, I had a habit of writing down every movie idea I had, as I dreamed I would one day be a filmmaker. One such idea was a western film in which aliens showed up part way through. However, a key part of the idea – perhaps the key part …

2011, Movies

BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011, Uwe Boll)

This is a pretty awful film that seems intent on reviving the Naziploitation films of the 70s that everyone fondly remembers. (Oh, you don’t fondly remember them? You think they’re offensive? That’s weird.) I can’t say whether or not this is a fond tribute to those films, as I’ve only ever seen one of them, …

1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 2011

The Best of RPM and Kent Recordings (2011) by BB King

This disc compiles some of King’s A-sides for both the RPM and Kent labels throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.

2011, Baseball, Books, Fiction, Sports

The Art of Fielding (2011) by Chad Harbach

This is an excellent debut novel, featuring a richly constructed world and (mostly) believable characters. It works as both a baseball novel and a college novel. It has been a long time since I cared about characters this much.

2010, 2011, 2013

Borgen (2010)

Borgen is a remarkable, unique Danish television show that may have established it’s own genre. Every other TV show to focus on politics that I have ever seen has added elements of fantasy; normally these shows and movies are “political thrillers” where someone always dies; occasionally they’re comedies. Either way, there is a balance between …

2011, TV

Frozen Planet (2011)

This is yet another pretty good Attenborough nature documentary. However, there is a strong sense of deja vu. I feel like I’ve seen these scenes before. I probably haven’t but you can always watch so many documentaries. But it’s pretty. My favourite part was the last episode, actually, which was more interesting and unusual for …

1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011

From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 (2011) by Iron Maiden

I accidentally picked this up thinking it was a compilation of their ’80s music. Ah well. I learned a couple of things from this record: First, Iron Maiden has a formula and they stuck to it (at least on the songs considered their “best”). Second, I should never get a live Iron Maiden album. It’s …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Violence of Financial Capitalism (2011) by Christian Marazzi

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book this dense. A long time. Maybe grad school, maybe in the years after grad school when I tried to re-read or finish lots of books that I felt I hadn’t spent enough time with in school. Either way, I don’t think my brain is …

2011, Movies, Politics, Society

Better This World (2011, Kelly Duane, Katie Galloway)

This is an important film that is really, really worth your time. What starts off seemingly as a portrait of some well-intentioned youths that got into some bad shit (and feels, perhaps, like an apology for such behaviour) soon reveals itself to be the story of something so much worse. Though it’s weird to say …

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 ones) that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts of the …

2011, Movies

Bellflower (2011, Evan Glodell)

First of all, it’s really, really hard to like a movie when you don’t like any of the characters. (And I mean any.) And it’s hard to like a movie when you don’t understand why anyone does anything. These people drink all day and spend money. (And do some drugs too.) One of them appears …

2011, Movies

A Better Life (2011, Christopher Weitz)

This is an affecting movie that does a good job of avoiding cliches. Given the immigration status of the father, and the bad crowd the kid is falling in with, there’s a lot that could go wrong here. But the filmmakers wisely take the less predictable (probably more realistic) option of telling a simple story, …

2011, Movies

Bernie (2011, Richard Linklater)

This is one of those films that is played so straight you aren’t sure whether or not it’s a comedy. It’s also rather unique in the sense that, though it is a fictionalized version of a true story, it’s not only partially told as if it was a documentary, but it features interviews with numerous …

2011, Movies

Behold the Lamb (2011, John McIlduff)

This is one of those movies where quirky characters – who don’t like each other – spend a day with each other and learn some kind of profound lessons about life. If this was an American movie it would come complete with a particularly quirky score. I don’t like these people, but though I learn …

2011, Movies

Becoming Chaz (2011, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato)

This is a TV-quality level documentary that feels more like an abbreviated reality TV show than it does a film. The other really serious problem is that Bono is listed as a producer. Want to guess whether or not he had final cut? That aside, this does a reasonably decent job of giving us norms …

2011, Movies

Battle for Brooklyn (2011 Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley)

I have always had problems with the concept of eminent domain, or at least ever since I flirted with anarcism in my early 20s and developed my civil libertarianism. I don’t like the idea that government can decide to take the property of individuals because of some vague concept of “greater good.” But, that being …

1996, 2011, Movies, Theatre

Barrymore (2011, Erik Canuel)

This is the film version of a 1996 one-man show of Christopher Plummer as John Barrymore rehearsing for a revival of Richard III. Unlike some play adaptations, this one makes little pretense of hiding that it was a one-man show. Though film tricks are used to add or slightly change things that must have been …

2011, Movies

The Artist (2011, Michel Hazanavicius)

The hype around this movie was ridiculous and only increased with the Oscar wins (which are meaningless, but anyway…). I just want to address that before I actually tell you what I think of the movie. It’s not novel to take inspiration from silent films. Canada’s own Guy Maddin has been taking inspiration from silent …

2011, Music

Symphonies 3-5 (2011) by H.W. Henze, performed by Rundfunk-Sinfoniorchester Berlin, conducted by Marek Janowski

This is an excellent set of three of Henze’s symphonies, showing him at perhaps his most radical stage. This is the kind of modernist “classical” that I just love; bonkers writing and bonkers arrangements.