Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Begin Again

Some sweet fillips in this film, like the "I dare you not to dance to this" scene.

3 Idiots

Despite hammering its message home as hard as it can, engaging to the last.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

There's no way you can follow the first with something better, but this is an excellent effort.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Star Trek: Voyager: Season 7

A few good episodes mixed in with the mostly middling ones. Best line = "Hey Itchy! Yo, Cueball!"

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Wind Rises

Despite the controversy surrounding this film, it made me wax nostalgic and be distraught that it's Miyazaki's last. (Original title: Kaze Tachinu)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Star Trek: Voyager: Season 6

Way too many silly holodeck episodes (getting to the end, are we?).

The Book Thief

Overly Hollywood-ized, but at least the theme of value of education comes through loud and clear.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

22 Jump Street

They actually could repeat the previous script word for word, and I'd think I was watching a brand-new film.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Homeland: Season 3

Yet another series hitting its stride in later seasons (but where do they go next but downhill?).

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Newsroom: Season 2

Much better than the first season so I wish there was going to be a fourth.


Surprisingly gripping 3-hour movie. (ie, pee before going in the theater- there's no good time to take a break...)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Insipid pablum. A chef who doesn't know Spanish? Plus the zillion other small blunders.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Go Goa Gone

A (more) Indian Harold & Kumar crossed with every zombie film ever made.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Tilda Swinton understood this was a series of high-concept set pieces. No one else in the film did.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doctor Who: Season 23

That's the end of classic Doctor Who for me. That is, until Netflix decides to finally make the remainder available...

Mad Men: Season 7, Part 1

The drama of the series can be truly annoying, but then we get the last 3 minutes of this half-season.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Star Trek: Voyager: Season 4

Although the actor behind 7-of-9 must have been chosen for the young male demographic, it is fascinating that the writers did not abandon her.

The Fault in Our Stars

Better than most in the dying-of-cancer genre, although the plot "twist" is beyond obvious.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lorenzo's Oil

Not sure how I missed this one the first time around. The best thing? The sound design.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted

As they say in the film, "the sequel's never quite as good."

Jodorowsky's Dune

I don't believe Giger wouldn't have been discovered, but I greatly admire this wacky visionary nonetheless.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Parks and Recreation: Season 5

When should I expect to see Pratt lose all the weight I know he lost? (It's like time travel, in a sense.)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Breaking Bad: Season 4

OK, Season 4 was better. I am still of the opinion that this series is overly dramatic and cares too much about its "image."

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Lunchbox

The magic of the dabbawallas almost overwhelms the sweetness of the story. (Original title: Dabba)


Could easily have been a radioplay and done just as well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Maria Full of Grace

How could Marston write an ending like that? Talk about your hurdles to overcome.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014


One of my favorite new directors, who builds mysterious, understated cinema with the best reveals in town.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Breaking Bad: Season 3

Still feel exactly the same way as at the end of season 2: gonna finish this season if it kills me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Continuum: Season 3

I appreciate their attempts to be currently relevant. I'll bet Monsanto doesn't, though.

Lone Survivor

If Navy SEALs can survive all that, I can survive a 5K with some wimpy obstacles.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Mixed messages notwithstanding, I love that boozing it up isn't technically considered a sin.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Short Term 12

After reading the idiotic White Oleander, it's refreshing to see (what seems like) the real deal.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Peaky Blinders: Season 1

Such daring music choices, unsettling cinematography, and stellar actors, but the tale - being at heart a romantic one - did not fire the imagination.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fargo: Season 1

You'd think the falling fish would have clued me in, but I was clueless until the Garden of Eden comment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

True Detective: Season 1

McConaughey can make wildly irritating acting choices (his demeanor as the older Rust). On purpose?

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Vincent Price played Shelby Carpenter? Knock me over with a feather (I didn't know until I started writing this).

Friday, July 4, 2014

Breaking Bad: Season 2

Gonna finish this series if it kills me. (Watched the first season nearly 2 years ago. Same response then.)

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Escape Artist (mini-series)

Keep in mind that the moral is that the justice system is broken, not that the ending is just.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014


My cat has tendencies I stay carefully aware of. So, how or why could I trust a killer whale?

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Interrupters

Packs the most emotional wallop towards the end, as life for certain people gets decidedly better or decidedly worse.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ernest & Celestine

I don't care if the moral(s) might be obvious - this is just super-sweet (not icky-sweet). (Original title: Ernest et Célestine)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kill Your Darlings

Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg were fascinating people. This is just the sensationalist parts of their lives.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This is the End

I appreciate slapstick comedy without any hot chicks with boobs. We've come a long way since Porky's.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Glee: Season 5

If I didn't like the music so much, I'd call that ending cheesy. Instead I'll call it coming full circle.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Modern Family: Season 5

I still think Bowen is on drugs, but I can find no large or small fault with this series.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

12 Years a Slave

I suspect if I were producing the film, I'd add myself as the good guy, too.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1

The main character is not in fact Coulson, but the bloody plane. And it, like all the other characters, delivers its lines mechanically.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014


Stallone should stick to... well, I'm not sure what Stallone should do instead of writing screenplays.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Did Ken Watanabe have to spend 2/3 of the movie with his mouth hanging open in shock?

Veep: Season 2

Selina is no longer a victim. I am unsure if that's making it a better show or not, though.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Season 6

The reason this is a more likeable series than TNG is because these characters have 'you and me' type problems.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club

Well, in the end it's a feel-good movie. Maybe it's a new genre: The Feel-Horrible Feel-Good Movie.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mad Men: Season 6

In keeping with the ambivalent endings... (Plus, Hollywood, quit splitting last seasons into two! Argh!)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

In a World...

The "moral of the story" could easily pass for a double entendre, which makes this adorably quirky little film that much quirkier.

Monday, April 21, 2014


For an indie flick, really great. In the big picture, maybe a little too straightforward.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Pain & Gain

I'm fairly certain this has no business being a comedy.


Hands-down, the only reason to watch this or the previous film is John Malkovich.


That damn dog was the best part of the film. (Ms. Sackhoff, what were you thinking?)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Wolverine

Not a bad way to learn about different aspects of Japan. (Piss-poor ending, though.)

Monday, April 7, 2014


Poor Mr. Cruise is so busted up on the inside, but I still appreciate his acting.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Game of Thrones: Season 3

I get why people who had read the book filmed their loved ones watching the Red Wedding.

The Forgotten Space

A disappointment after an entire festival of fantastic documentaries, this was just another political issue film.


At first you think "walls?" By the end you think "of course, walls!"

Coast of Death

The dangerous, difficult and/or Sisyphean work and activity of the denizens of beauteous Galicia, Spain. (Original title: Costa da Morte)

The Absent Stone

The structure of the film parallels the mysterious circumstances surrounding both the origin and the move of this ancient stone idol. (Original title: La Piedra Ausente)

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Although specific to LA and its moviemaking industry, the ruin, beauty and lost past are no different from other old cities, like, Detroit.

The Decline of Western Civilization Part III

Not so much a follow-up film on punk rock as a heartrending expose of the life of homeless kids.

The Decline of Western Civilization

Do you like punk rock? Doesn't matter - you'll go 250 beats per minute anyway.

From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

A stream-of-conscious rendering of the 3rd-world equivalent of shipping containers.


Hypnotic, gorgeous, transcendent - much like what I assume Nepal is like itself.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pickup on South Street

How the heck is this not as famous as, say, The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Top of the Lake (mini-series)

The natural beauty is stupendous. I can't say the same about the storytelling.

Upstream Color

For hours after watching this, your life feels like a series of moments captured in snapshots.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Great Gatsby

That's a heady mix of flamboyant, sparkling Luhrmann and eloquent, symbolic Fitzgerald.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Compelling storytelling- about sheepherding- but with an odd final focus for this observational doc.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Veronica Mars

Were the wait and the hoopla worth it? I'll give it a 72% success rate.

Bigger Stronger Faster*

Prime example of the power of a personally motivated tale (and natural directing and editing talent).

Monday, March 10, 2014

Last Train Home

Can't say it better than Ebert: "The rulers of China may someday regret that they distributed the works of Marx so generously." (Original title: Gui tu lie che)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Man of Steel

You thought the Avengers destroyed NYC (Metropolis, NYC, tomato, tomahto).

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Downton Abbey: Season 4

They've handled the Mary heartbreak very well. Not sure I can say the same about the remainder of the characters.


A strange 24 hour juxtaposition: finish proofing the Turing book and then go see a movie about AI.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

House of Cards: Season 2

Fortunately, those with an "if I just ran the world..." mentality aren't also psychotic.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Captain Phillips

Greengrass = a man who can accurately and calmly provide a thriller. He also really gets what shock is all about.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dogtown and Z-Boys

Great soundtrack, avant-garde choices (burned filmstock!), helter-skelter content, can't lose.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cutie and the Boxer

This was nominated because it's the only documentary not about war. (Well, war of the heart, I suppose.)

The Armstrong Lie

A not-surprising spotlight on the consistent denials, without the needed discussion of delusional tactics.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay solely on the strength of the car conversations, I believe.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blue Jasmine

Blanchett succeeds in making us feel for her poor little rich girl act.

The Hunt

The difference between Mads Mikkelsen in this year's Danish Oscar entry and last year's is about 40 trillion kilometers. (Original title: Jagten)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Being Human (UK series): Season 5

I suppose I should be grateful for 5 seasons of this eloquent show. (I'm also quite keen on that absolute last shot.)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

More geek cool here ("no soy soy latte?") but it doesn't quite reach the level of the first endeavor.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sherlock: Season 3

Proving that Steven Moffat still knows how to write. Pick better other writers, though.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Hedgehog

A French film about death, not about love and longing. What's up with that? (Original title: Le Hérisson)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

20 Feet from Stardom

Didn't delve into the actual work of being a backup singer much, but the glorious music made up for that.

Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Excellent title and some decent acting, but trite. Just boringly trite.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Catch a Fire

It's just 8 years too late - with too much water under the bridge - to watch this for the first time.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Thankfully, far better than the first. Plus, the dragon (and his "cave") are very well realized.

2 Guns

"Man, we got all the balls in the..." Wait, nobody got that joke the first time.

Sunday, January 5, 2014