Sunday, December 31, 2023

End of Year Fourteen

Well, once again I slowed down at the end of the year thanks to real life situations, something I have talked about probably too much in a few reviews.

I’d love to say that 2024 will be a different story, but it’s definitely the case that I’ll be doing traveling several times in the next few months—North Carolina, St. Louis, and Austin, Texas are all on the docket through April, and more is naturally possible.

That said, I did manage to finish my Oscar list of 2022 films, so that’s a good thing. Since I’m generally a year or more behind, I’m happy to take recommendations for films from 2023, since that list of “to see” movies only gets longer. That’s going to be a big focus of the next 12 months…I hope.

See ya soon.

Friday, December 29, 2023


Film: Aftersun
Format: Streaming video from Hoopla on Fire!

I typically barely finish the Oscar movies by the end of the year. I was a little concerned when it came to Aftersun because I couldn’t find it streaming anywhere. And suddenly it appeared on the Hoopla service, sparing me the necessity of signing up for a free week on something like Max. This is a film that I don’t think I will find easy to write up for a number of reasons. It’s the sort of film that brings up emotions that are difficult to put into words. It’s a film that is wrapped in a sense of melancholy and of realization, a realization of the sort that someone you knew was going through something terrible years ago and you only now became aware of that truth.

This is also a very strange nomination in a lot of respects. Oscar does this now and then—nominating a film or performance kind of out of nowhere. In fact, at the last Oscars, there was a great deal of stink about the nomination for Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie because it was such an obscure film. Paul Mescal’s nomination feels very much the same way, although with less controversy surrounding it. It feels like an example of Oscar telling itself that it’s still hip and cool, edgy enough to nominate something like this, even though it has no chance of winning.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas Crackers

What I used to call The Tome of Knowledge hasn’t been updated for a couple of years now. It’s a tradition for me to suggest 10 new entries every Christmas, but because the last update on the 1001 Movies list (to my knowledge—correct me if I’m wrong!) contained movies from 2020, I’m going to focus a lot more heavily on the last few years—movies that legitimately could be added if The List ever resumes. With that said, here’s 10 that should show up if there’s any justice in the world. Also, since The List always includes Oscar’s Best Picture winner, I will not be including those movies—if the series starts up again, those are shoo-ins.

Friday, December 15, 2023


Film: TÁR
Format: Streaming video from Amazon Prime on Fire!

As seems to be happening lately, my life has spiraled out of control over the last two weeks. Primarily, these are health-related concerns of family members that have been taking up a lot of my time, combined with the holidays and increased duties at work. I’ve watched, and this is completely serious, a single movie in the last two weeks, and that movie was TÁR, one of the last two Oscar movies from last year left on my list. A few months ago, I was in great shape on Oscar movies, and suddenly it’s the end of the year and I’m not finished. Well, at least I got the long one out of the way.

TÁR is the story of Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. World renowned on the classical music scene and wildly influential. As the film begins, she is being interviewed about an upcoming performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. Conducting this will give her all nine of Mahler’s symphonies with the Berlin Philharmonic, a true feat in the classical music world. As with any great tragic tale, we start with our hero at the pinnacle of her world and talent, poised for the fall that will take us to the end of the story.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

What I've Caught Up With, November 2023

I've spent more time watching television lately, catching up on things that I've missed. This has gotten me about halfway through season 8 of The Blacklist, most of the way through season 5 of 30 Rock, and through most of Lovecraft Country. A few of the reviews I posted this month--Evil Dead Rise, Asteroid City, The Blackening, and Talk to Me are from the big list along with the ones below. Of these, Stargate and Super Size Me were rewatches, but films I hadn't seen in a bit.