"I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave"

   And the movies from the previous post are:
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (68)
  • District 9 (09)
  • Hidden Figures (16)
  • Love & Friendship (16)
  • Rear Window (54)

   Watching 2001: A Space Odyssey was an experience. We had an installment of Movie and Cocktail Club that featured this movie, and three out of the four of us had never seen it before. What a ride. This movie is a) very long, b) has a large proportion of dialogue-less time, and c) was really enjoyable. When it ended I immediately started looking up criticism and commentary to read. Turns out, some people are VERY SURE about What It All Means. Also, Dave is bizarrely good looking. What does THAT mean. 

   Josh and I watched District 9 on January 20th, and let me tell you, that was a weird cognitive moment. Earlier in the day, 45 had been inaugurated, and then I was watching a movie about violence and misunderstanding towards refugees, forced relocation, building a wall to keep Others out, resistance only borne out of an experience of sharing in the suffering of a marginalized group, a lack of transparency in government, and a group of oppressors who believed that what they were doing was right. Does that, perhaps, remind you of something? I'm going to go ahead and say that, along with Children of Men and other dystopian movies, District 9  is only becoming more relevant and poignant. 

   Hidden Figures is required viewing. Go to a theatre, buy a ticket, spend money to watch this movie (as far as you are able; if cost is prohibitive, by all means, obtain it in another way. Please just watch it). This movie is not only required viewing, but also made me laugh out loud, made me tear up, made me confront internalized biases, was super interesting and entertaining, and only very slightly pulled its punches. Seriously. Hidden Figures. Go see it. This is not a drill. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Plus it's about NASA during the Space Race so, uh, SPACE. 

   Will Love & Friendship enter the my ranks of comfort watches? Trick question: it already has. 

   Rear Window is one of Hitchcock's triumphs, in my opinion. A high-stakes bottle episode! Grace Kelly's clothes (the real star)! Suspense! It's got it all. 


1-5, 2017

Another year, another movie count. Can you guess them all??????


movies of 2016

   This blog became mostly a movie blog rather than a book blog this year, due to: my brain. I started grad school. My reading and writing energy has been aimed elsewhere. And guess what? It was a good year for movies. This list may or may not include all the movies I watched this year, because I'm not always good at updating the list in my notes app. This list also doesn't include the tv I watched, just because I don't feel like including it. There was quite a bit, because I love tv. If you want to know my favorites they were the new X-Files episodes, Stranger Things, and Brooklyn-99. I have some THOUGHTS about Stranger Things which I may or may not share at some point in the future.

   Here's a legend for the list: an * marks a re-watch, bold means I watched it in theatres, underlined means I cried during a commercial for the Olympics that played before the movie started, italics means it was one of my faves this year, and a + means it's a documentary. If you want to read more about the movies, click on the "Movies" label and voila: there are all the movie posts, even though I didn't talk about the last few movies I watched.

  • *Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (80)
  • *Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi (83)
  • *Tombstone (93) I love this movie so much. Can't stop won't stop.
  • *Star Wars: The Force Awakens (15) a second theatre viewing, lovin' that stars war. 
  • *Mad Max: Fury Road (15) WE ARE NOT THINGS.
  • Stranger Than Fiction (06)
  • *Cowboys and Aliens (11) 
  • Mad Max (79)
  • Mad Max: Road Warrior (81)
  • Mockingjay, Part One (14)
  • *Princess Bride (87) I'm not marking this as a favorite for the year because it is a favorite for the AGES. 
  • Zoolander (01)
  • Room (15) This movie is beautiful and heart breaking and uplifting.
  • Matchstick Men (03)
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (85) I feel like people drag this movie, but I really liked it. Two men enter, one man leaves, am I right? Gotta get me a chain mail dress. 
  • Brooklyn (15) 
  • *Cat Ballou (65) Another favorite for the ages.
  • *Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (09)
  • Zootopia (16)
  • +People of a Feather (11)
  • Mockingjay, Part Two (15) I watched this while delirious as a result of driving for twenty hours in two days.
  • *Flight of the Navigator (86) I watched this while eating waffles with my boyfriend.
  • Huntsman: Winter's War (16) I don't care what ANYONE says, these movies are CINEMA GOLD. 
  • +Somm (12) 
  • +Somm: Into the Bottle (15) Can recommend watching two wine documentaries back to back while drinking cheap wine with your parents.
  • Love & Friendship  (16) SO GOOD that I saw it twice in theatres. I paid ACTUAL MONEY, TWO TIMES. 
  • True Lies (94) <3 Arnold <3
  • The Secret Life of Pets (16) Do not recommend. 
  • *Galaxy Quest (99) This is a comedy classic, clearly.
  • *Emperor's New Groove (00)
  • Star Trek: Beyond (16) The Sabotage scene? Hilarious. "Classical music" is such a good gag. 
  • Matilda (97)
  • Bring It On (00) Somehow hadn't seen this movie until now.
  • Groundhog Day (93) I had a lot of thoughts about this one. Gonna watch it again soon, I think. 
  • *Sahara () This is one of my all-time favorite movies, here I stand I can do no other. 
  • +A Year in Champagne (14) This somehow became the year of Mad Max and wine documentaries. 
  • *Northanger Abbey (07)
  • Annie (14) Finally watched the newest version of Annie and you know what? It might be my favorite Annie.
  • Doctor Strange (16) 
  • Captain America: Civil War (16) I was weirdly disappointed in this one. I'm not sure if I saw it in theatres or not. 
  • Arrival (16) IT AMAZED ME, please go see it. 
  • *The Big Lebowski (98)
  • Rouge One (16) An installment of Star Wars that is all about the cost of war? Yes please. 
  • Spectral (16) Hilariously bad.
  • *Red 2 (13)
  • *Master & Commander (03) Boats boats boats!
  • La La Land (16) Not perfect but you know what? I loved it. 


books of 2016

   It feels a bit weird to blog as normal in the present political climate, but I think it's important to maintain some semblance of enjoyment of smaller things in life - reading books, watching movies - even while things continue to get worse and worse. Maybe this sounds apocalyptic, but we're living in apocalyptic times. I've neglected this blog for awhile for various reasons, but I think it's a practice that I need to take up again, for my own mental health. My reading patterns are tending more towards social justice lately, surprise surprise, which might not be totally evident here because I'm more likely to write about the fiction I read. What I'm trying to say is that I'm doing my best to take care of myself and to write about what I'm reading and watching, even though this blog will probably be periodically neglected.

   Here's the list of books I read in 2016 in the order I read them, I think. It was a smaller reading year, but a good one. I'll link to individual posts I wrote about each of these, if I wrote them.

  • World War Z / Max Brooks - since finishing this book early last January, I've re-read favourite bits and listened through the audiobook version several times. It is VERY GOOD. 
  • Bleak House / Charles Dickens - friggen FINALLY finished this beast, and I loved it. 
  • Saga, vol. 5 / Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples - I missed out on meeting Fiona Staples by MERE HOURS when I went to Chapters on a whim and bought this book. MERE HOURS. I'm still upset. 
  • Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant / Tony Cliff - there's hijinks and a flying boat. Recommend. 
  • Treasure Island!!! / Sara Levine - I loved this weird book with its awful protagonist. 
  • Rat Queens, vol. 2 / Kurtis J Wiebe, Roc Upchurch - I still maintain that "Roc Upchurch" MUST be a made up name. Rat Queens is great. 
  • Giant Days / John Allison - I'm not sure how much of this I read, because I was reading collected volumes as well as single issues on my libraries digital collection, and I lost track of my place in the story. Thoroughly delightful. 
  • Y : The Last Man, vol. 4-5 / Brian K Vaughan - less starkly offensive than I thought it was going to be on a re-read. I've been enjoying it.
  • Burn for Burn / Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian - only okay. 
  • My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag / Jolie Kerr - I've never been so entirely entertained while reading about cleaning. I've been giving this to people as a wedding gift. 
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society / Mary Ann Schaffer - a book that does "aren't book people great" and doesn't make it panderingly annoying! A true feat. Learned about some WWII history as a bonus. 
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette? / Maria Semple - AMAZING. ANTARCTICA. LOVE IT.  
  • The Accident Season / Moira Fowley-Doyle - no thanks.
  • Yes Please / Amy Poehler - friends, this audiobook is pure gold. 
  • The Woods, vol. 1-4 / James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas - scary alien planet, mystery, SPACE, high school politics, integrating into a strange society, spookiness, this book has it all. 
  • Year of Yes / Shonda Rhimes - Shonda Rhimes reads the audiobook, and let me tell you, it is such a good experience to listen to this. Highly highly highly recommend. 
  • Something New / Lucy Knisley - possibly my fave Knisley.
  • Maisie Dobbs / Jacqueline Winspear - Maisie Dobbs is in the same club as Phryne Fisher in my heart. I love Lady Detectives. 
  • The Selection / Kiera Class - this book is pretty dumb but you know what? I couldn't put it down. 
  • Wolf Winter / Cecilia Ekback - this book is SO EXCELLENT that I took the time to tweet at Cecilia Ekback and say something like "this book was so excellent".
  • The Illumination / Kevin Brockmeier - read this on the recommendation of a friend and guess what? Gonna read more books she recommends. 
  • Room / Emma Donoghue - it is weird that a book dealing with this dark of subject matter is so uplifting and kind, but Room manages it beautifully. 
  • Everland / Rebecca Hunt - I've been telling all kinds of people to read this. Then and now storytelling set in Antarctica with characters developing grudging respect? YES FRIGGEN PLEASE. I read this in the summer and it made me forget what season it was.  
  • Petty Theft / Pascal Girard - this was fine!
  • Girls of Riyadh / Rajaa Alsanea - read this because of the Get Booked podcast where they called it "Gossip Girl but in the Middle East" and immediately read it. It was very very good. 
  • If You Feel Too Much / Jamie Tworkowski - I think this is written in the exact way that I find just slightly annoying enough as to not get as much out of my reading as I otherwise could. I liked it less than I thought I would. 
  • The Witches / Stacy Schiff - SO LONG and kinda boring but I learned a TON. 
  • The Peach Keeper / Sarah Addison Allen - this was fun and good. 
  • Witch Child / Celia Reeves - read/watched a lot of stuff about witches this year. 
  • Why Not Me? / Mindy Kaling - another great audiobook. Enjoyed this more than Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but that is no slight on the earlier book. Both are good!
  • Seraphina / Rachel Hartman - half dragons half humans, all intrigue
  • Stiletto / Daniel O'Malley - yesssssssssssssss, give me more urban fantasy complete with paper pushing.
  • Sum / David Eagleman - 40 very small stories, all about what the afterlife might be like. Read this because of a blogging buddy. 
  • The Great Divorce / C. S. Lewis - more about the afterlife? This one was also good. 
   And that's the book list. I'll post about movies later. 


36-40, 2016

   I was about to type, "round two! fight!" but we are so far beyond round two at this point. If you've been following along with this journey for awhile there may be a movie here which you will look at and say, "how many times are you going to watch that?" The answer is: so many times.

   Time to GUESS.