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I forgot my password for this blog. And I forgot about having an image. So now I have just enough time to just key everything in. I thought about doing reviews but there’s so much I’ll be more interested to see if there’s anything here anyone even cares to talk about.
Biggest takeaway? I watch A LOT of TV now. Partly because we’re home more with the baby and also just – so – many – shows.

MOVIES
Interesting to note the year began and ended with Star Wars. I am not apologizing or unhappy for that.

1 – Star Wars – The Force Awakens
2 – The Wolfpack
3 – Attack the Block
4 – Boyhood
5 – Bolshoi Babylon
6 – Rocky – I’d never seen it before
7 – Hail Caesar!
8 – Up
9 – Spy
10 – Maze Runner – Scorch Trials
11 – Becoming Mike Nichols
12 – Big Eyes
13 – Imitation Game
14 – The Avengers 2 – Age of Ultron
15 – 10 Cloverfield Lane
16 – Deadpool
17 – The Lobster – I really liked it
18 – OJ Made in America
19 – Dig
20 – Die Hard
21 – Stanford Prison Experiment
22 – Lucy – didn’t get it
23 – Room
24 – The Big Short
25 – The Insider
26 – Spotlight
27 – Eddie the Eagle
28 – Jiro Dreams of Sushi
29 – The Girl on the Train
30 – Green Room
31 – Highlander
32 – Captain America – Winter Soldier
33 – Joy
34 – Me, Earl and the Dying Girl
35 – St. Vincent
36 – The Witch – sooo creepy and good
37 – Hitchcock/Truffaut
38 – Doctor Strange
39 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – I really admire JK Rowling
40 – Arrival – a beautiful story about accepting your fate
41 – Keanu – saw it night before George Michael died
42 – 20 Feet from Stardom
43 – LaLaLand – eh
44 – Hateful Eight
45 – Rogue One – I liked it
46 – The Departed

TV
This is new but necessary I think to see where I’m spending my entertainment time. I just listed everything in no particular order.

1 – Fargo
2 – Making of a Murderer
3 – Jeopardy
4 – Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
5 – Sherlock
6 – Downton Abbey
7 – Man in the High Castle
8 – Family Tree
9 – Angie Tribeca – delightfully stupid
10 – Catastrophe
11 – War and Peace
12 – With Bob and David
13 – iZombie
14 – The Grinder – RIP, truly sad it’s not renewed
15 – Fresh Off the Boat
16 – Elementary
17 – X-Files
18 – blackish
19 – Better Call Saul
20 – The Walking Dead – brutal, I don’t know if I can handle watching psychotic bullies now that we have one as President-elect
21 – Last Week with John Oliver
22 – Chicago Tonight
23 – Mr. Robot
24 – The Americans
25 – Love
26 – People v OJ Simpson
27 – Grantchester
28 – Call the Midwife
29 – The Night Manager
30 – Silicon Valley
31 – Orange is the New Black
32 – Game of Thrones
33 – The Mindy Project – so much better on Hulu
34 – Veep
35 – Late Show with Stephen Colbert
36 – Late Late Show with James Corden
37 – Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
38 – Brain Dead
39 – Dancing on the Edge
40 – The Good Place
41 – Night of
42 – Westworld
43 – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
44 – Poldark
45 – 60 MInutes
46 – BSG – we started rewatching. On S2.
47 – Drunk History
48 – The Crown
49 – Fleabag
50 – Gotham
51 – Search Party
52 – Black Mirror

Shows I started and stopped watching. Why do they all begin with “M”?
Mercy Street
Mozart in the Jungle
The Muppets

BOOKS
I read more than last year but still not up to my pre-baby numbers.

1 – A Swiftly Tilting Planet/Madeleine L’Engle
2 – Home Fires/Julie Simmons
3 – Sketchnote/Mike Rohde (for work)
4 – Call the Midwife/Jennifer Worth
5 – Allegiant/Veronica Roth – I had it and struggled to just finish it
6 – Rose Under Fire/Elizabeth Wein
7 – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child/JK Rowling
8 – The Girl on the Train/Paul Hawkins
9 – Mapping Inner Space/Nancy Margulies (also work)
10 – Grand Canyon – Fodors, Frommers, National Geographic
11 – Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon – Fodors, Frommers, National Geographic
I read enough that they count.
12 – Life Hacks – Dan Marshall
13 – Life of Pi/Yann Martel
14 – Eleanor and Park/Rainbow Rowell
15 – Who Moved My Cheese?/Spencer Johnson
16 – Black Dove, White Raven/Elizabeth Wein

 

todas-sus-guerras-dvdThe title mirrors Mexican film great María Félix’s autobiography, Todas mis guerras, so I thought the documentary would bear semblance to the book, which was really a doozy, packed with sex, scandal, international name-dropping, outlandish diva behavior, and insight into the mind of a star so egotistical she bordered on sociopathic.

Instead, you get a chronological review of her films (almost all of which are presented with dreadful sound quality), littered Read the rest of this entry »

A forerunner to both Murder, She Wrote and The Golden Girls, the 1971 TV-movie Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate stars Helen Hayes, Sylvia Sidney, Mildred Natwick, and Myrna Loy as ladies who not only lunch, but occupy their idle hours by pranking people, in the case of this film, by inventing a fictitious woman to enter into a computer dating service in order to find some voyeuristic fun in exposing and manipulating strange men’s emotions and desire.

Their geriatric, proto-catfishing makes me feel hopeful that my own twilight years may be filled with crafting mayhem and engaging in semi-malicious larks alongside likeminded seniors. I have always cultivated friendships with such promise; only now do I understand the end game.

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True to ladies in their seventies during the decade of the seventies, the group never slacks off in fashion. In fact, there are never slacks at all. All four make a point of putting themselves together; it’s Sylvia Sidney, however, who repeatedly cuts the most stunning figure, here in this smart emerald green dress, accentuated by the brooch, black belt, and matching black hat. She always wears a hat.

Their dating scam draws the initial interest and eventual ire of a psychopath, whose internal monologues we are treated to at astounding length via urgent voiceover whispers as the actor fumbles about his apartment, marches angrily down city streets, broods inside phone booths, and takes languorous bubble baths. Read the rest of this entry »

Do Not Disturb posterA lesser entry in the swath of Doris Day sex comedies from the sixties, Do Not Disturb never escapes the disjointed, episodic confines of the script by Richard L. Breen and Milt Rosen. The film tries out several angles for Day – the Read the rest of this entry »

mr allison lobby cardThis 1957 WWII film sounds like sexploitation in synopsis:

A rugged marine and a prim nun find themselves stranded on an island and confront sexual temptation amidst mortal danger and unrelenting tropical heat.

Yet as realized by director/co-writer John Huston, however, the sexual tension never ventures into tawdriness, though the two leads, Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr, Read the rest of this entry »

malenka posterSometimes I watch a film that is so terribly written and sloppily realized that my mind drifts from what I am actually witnessing on the screen to what I imagine the creators – the writer, the director, the set designers, the costumers, the performers – discussed and observed while they prepared for and wheeled into reality their cinematic travesty.

What inkling of the disaster might be revealed in the words and minds of the very people who brought it forth?

I was besotted by such musings during Fangs of the Living Dead, otherwise known as Malenka, a supremely schlocky European horror film from the twilight of the sixties directed by Spanish director Amando de Ossorio and starring Swedish sex siren Anita Ekberg. It’s a wreck from beginning to end, especially the end, though I confess abandoning it never truly Read the rest of this entry »

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I googled “pop culture” and this came up. Actually this came up because I googled “entertainment”.

Entertainment

I quite like both and I think I’ll be going with the “I’m feeling lucky” approach to images for the rest of the year because searching and formatting is such a huge time suck.

Last year – well it was last year. There was a huge dip in my consumption for a lot of different reasons we don’t need to get into here. In the spirit of the starting anew and clearing out the old I’m going to just list the movies and books of 2015. No reviews – otherwise this wouldn’t be happening at all. What I am going to do for 2016 is add the TV shows I’m watching/streaming because I am definitely watching a lot.

MOVIES
January

1 – Wedding Crashers
2 – The Odd Couple

March
3 – Singin’ in the Rain

April
4 – It Follows
5 – Woman in Gold

May
6 – Edge of Tomorrow
7 – Finding Vivian Maier
8 – Atari – Game Over
9 – Mad Max: Fury Road

June
10 – Best in Show
11 – Non-Stop
12 – Spy
13 – X-Files – Fight the Future

July
14 – John Wick
15 – Minions
16 – Inside Out
17 – Inside Llewyn Davis
18 – Stanley Kubrick – A Life in Pictures
19 – The Winning Season

August
20 – The Babadook
21 – Inside Man
22 – Drag Me to Hell
23 – The Giver
24 – Trainwreck
25 – Joan Rivers – A Piece of Work
26 – Man from U.N.C.L.E.

September
27 – Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation
28 – The Source Family
29 – Muscle Shoals

October
30 – Who Killed the Electric Car?
31 – Black Mass

November
32 – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
33 – American Sniper
34 – The Martian

December
35 – Spectre

BOOKS

May – really, I didn’t read anything until MAY, the dates are when I finished
1 – Simon vs the Homo Sapiens/Becky Albertalli
2 – Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnance
3 – What to Expect When You’re Expecting
4 – The Messenger/Lois Lowry
5 – Wonder/RJ Palacio
6 – Son/Lois Lowry
7 – Diaper Free/Ingrid Bauer
8 – Stories I Only Tell My Friends/Rob Lowe
9 – A Wrinkle in Time/Madeleine L’Engle
10 – Love Life/Rob Lowe
11 – Ready for a Brand New Beat/Mark Kurlansky
12 – A Wind int eh Door/Madeleine L’Engle
13 – Modern Romance/Aziz Ansari

Out of this whole list the only entry I didn’t remember is Non-Stop. Liam Neeson is an air marshall trapped on a plane with a forgettable story line. There you have it. One big thing I check off my to do list. Happy New Year!

advise consent posterExtremely talky political melodrama at its most middling. I rather enjoyed some of the machinations exposed in this story (based on a Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Allan Drury, who was inspired by the suicide of Lester Hunt during the McCarthy era) of the Senate approval of a Secretary of State nominee during the Cold War, but Machiavellian power-dealing only took the movie so far before it slid into a gay blackmail story rather typical for the era, at least in terms of gay stories that explicitly appeared in mainstream film in the early sixties.

This one ends, quite predictably, in a suicide, a rather grisly one at that, signaling a finish to a movie that had already run its course. The gay twist did Read the rest of this entry »

along came polly poster“I thought Polly was the ferret!” cried out my friend in disappointment as this extremely slight romantic comedy unfolded. Ben Stiller is a funny physical comedian, but at this point in his career, he needed to vary his routine – the string of highly mannered neurotics had grown tired. Jennifer Aniston is characteristically bland in just a supporting role. In a classic romantic comedy, her character would have matched or balanced Stiller. Writer/director John Hamburg makes a halfhearted attempt at that here, but doesn’t give her the screen time or development needed; as a result, her flightiness, a weak counter to Stiller’s neuroticism, is Read the rest of this entry »

Ugh. This cutesy account of the fantastic, fame-mad Jacqueline Susann is a squandered opportunity for mixing tragedy, blind ambition, sex, and celebrity into an overheated yet still moving masterpiece about a polarizing figure from American literary pop culture.

How do I know the potential of this story? Because Michele Lee (the grounded and long-suffering Karen from Knots Landing) brought it to fruition with her 1998 TV-movie version about Susann, which delved far deeper into Read the rest of this entry »