Media Consumed

A list of media I’ve consumed, with mini-reviews. There may be spoilers so proceed at your own risk.

Rating Explanation
3 Excellent! Great! I will experience this again eagerly!
2.5 Great! Would re-experience eventually!
2 Great!
1.5 I have many critiques but do not regret engaging with it.
1 Awful, waste of my time, terrible.

Legend of Korra 2
Great just to stay in touch with the world, but the characters don't have the same goofy charm as ATLA. Adults can be goofy too! Why won't they let adults and teenagers be goofy too?

Avatar the Last Airbender 3
Started rewatching it the day after we finished it. Perfect in every way.

Queen's Thief series 3
The only books I read now.

Lincoln in the Bardo 2
Such an unusual structure! So unique! Really compelling and emotionally deep story. Loved it.

The Favourite 2
SO weird I absolutely loved it. Olivia Colman is a TREASURE. Rachel Weisz impressive as always. Emma Stone in top form. So compelling.

Ancillary Justice, Mercy, and Sword, by Ann Leckie 2
MARVELOUS. Really unique character and world. Also unique approach to the plot. Instead of expanding outward with greater and bigger stakes, collapses inward with greater (but differen) stakes.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'engle 2
A classic.

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss 2
A re-read. Fun! Unreliable narrator! Cool world and magic/science!

Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor 1.5
I love magical worlds and discovering them. The slow reveal of this one was delicious. I appreciate the way the author dealt with some tough subject matter but frankly I don't want to read this many graphic descriptios of rape.

Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville 2.5
A re-read. I LOVE this story. The characters are rich and lifelike and complex and evolving without ever feeling trite. The world is incredibly well-described and so unique. The plot is thrilling and so tight.

Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson 1.5
I...did not like this. I appreciated the scope and the science but I did not enjoy the main character and I found the ending deeply unsatisfying.

Acorna, by Ann McCaffrey and 2
An entire book of good guys that's still compelling! A tasteful approach to dealing with really dark subject matter in a way that doesn't victimize anyone! A treasure!

Spiderman into the Spiderverse 2.5
GORGEOUS! Amazingly stunningly beautiful animation. Great characters, fresh take on a story.

Widows 1
Garbage. So boring, so moody. A waste of amazing actresses. A masterclass in underwhelming 'reveals' and supremely boring 'twists'. We could barely finish it.

Russian Doll 3
Phenomenal. I watched it through 4x in a row. Truly marvelous.

Venom 1.5
This movie was so bad! Tom Hardy is great. The best line is when Venom suggests tearing the heads off a bunch of bad guys and stacking the bodies in the corner. Tom says "why would we want to do that?" and Venom matter-of-factly replies "pile of heads pile of bodies". That kind of baffling, zany cultural miscommuncation between humans and aliens is what I live for.

Jack Reacher 2 2
I get what they were trying to do with this movie, and I was right beside them, cheering them on as they failed.

Valkyrie 2
Fascinating story, weird filming/direction, great acting.

Sorry To Bother You 2
One of the weirdest movies I've seen recently!!! So weird!!! So interesting!!!

The Grand Budapest Hotel 2
Lovely! I LOVE the highly choreographed yet weirdly natural style of blocking.

Ant-Man and the Wasp 1.5
At least they fixed Evangeline Lilly's hair? They still haven't figured out how to use Paul Rudd as the comedic lead though. Michael Peña is still the best thing about it but that's not saying much this time.

Black Panther 2.5

Isle of Dogs 1.5
Eh. But it's the first Wes Anderson Matt likes so I'm into it.

The Matrix Revolutions 1.5
Back to the classic formula but honestly nothing compares to the first one.

The Matrix Reloaded 1.5
Watched this for the first time. I now understand why everyone hated this movie!

The Matrix 2
Almost every scene is iconic, even the little throwaway lines. I love this movie! Definitely wish they'd explored the philosophical ramifications more. Too bad they never made any sequels.

Down with Love 1.5
Rewatching this ~12 years later, it's clear that 80% of my enjoyment was just Ewan McGregor. What can I say....

Ant-Man 2
Weirdly, Paul Rudd was not my favourite part of this movie. Also they somehow managed to make Evangeline Lilly unattractive. Michael Peña wins everything. Every scene with him is golden, but especially the last one.

Steel Magnolias 2
I'm a sucker for movies based on plays and rich wonderful female relationships.

BlacKKKlansman 2
Who was this movie for?

Jurassic Park 1.5
How is this so iconic? Hard to judge objectively, but I did find the poor storytelling and thinly-defined characters very interesting.

Mission Impossible 6 2
Honestly? The trailer was better! Just watch it and let your mind fill in the details, and it will be better than this movie.

Black Hawk Down 2
Such a cast! Ewan McGregor, Ian McEwan, Orlando Bloom, etc.

Speed 2
This is honestly a classic.

Mission Impossible 5 Rogue Nation 2
Fun! I'm pretty much on board for these now. Has the best "how do I solve this puzzle?" scene in any action movie ever.

Mission Impossible 4 Ghost Protocol 2
Wow! So good!

Mission Impossible 3 2
I now understand why they made more! This one is GREAT. Ving Rhames finally had an actual role. J.J. Abrams is excellent at rebooting franchises.

Mamma Mia 1.5
I started this and kept expecting to turn it off. "Just a few more minutes...just a few more..." Best choreography in flippers I've seen since Jesus Christ Superstar.

Mission Impossible 2 1.5
Laughably bad! SO many slow motion scenes of Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton gazing soulfully at each other! Basically soft porn and/or exposition the rest of the time! We muted it and watched it in fast motion (which just emphasized the poor camera work and awkward editing). Even in fast motion, some of the scenes still felt slow! Kind of a masterpiece of awfulness, really, and therein lies its charm if you can stomach it. Makes Solo look like a gem.

Solo 1.5
This movie was made by someone who has zero understanding of the fundamental appeal of Han Solo, which is someone who BELIEVES he can talk his way out of everything but who actually is terrible at doing that. This film made us realize the true spiritual successor to Ford's Han Solo is Chris Pratt's Starlord. Goofy, sweet, lucky, and just the right amount of bad-ass. The droid is the BEST character with the only couple of lines that made me laugh out loud.

Mission Impossible (1996) 2
Baby Tom Cruise! Not sure what else to say, it's a classic. Now I get the jokes about masks in the later ones! And why Ving Rhames was there! Why is one of main communication mediums British Airline flight attendants? How does their training look? "Sometimes you will need to insist that a customer watch a certain film, but do it VERY CRYPTICALLY".

Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle 2
The female characters like and support one another while being honest. Also watching a teenage girls' mannerisms play out through Jack Black is surprisingly wonderful. I liked seeing what worked and didn't work with his/her techniques. That plot point was also never played for laughs, even when he was giving mouth to mouth, which I appreciate.

The Game 2
Not sure I totally understand the mechanism through which Michael Douglas was redeemed, but this movie is a fun twist puzzle.

Incredibles 2 2
GORGEOUS animation. Weird message of boring misogynistic man-baby unable to feel happy for his wife's success, and of the two strong female friends one of them - surprise - turns out to be the bad guy. This took 14 years? Maybe they should've spent an extra 2 on the story...

Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2 1.5
Snooze-fest. I love Rachel McAdams but even I can see she's wrong for the role of Irene Adler. Why can't Robert Downey Jr do a British accent? We didn't even finish film 2. Super lame lady characters.

The Incredibles 2
I love all Pixar. Animation quality hasn't held up over 14 years. I'm excited to see the new one and compare.

Ocean's 8 2
Mindy Kaling is a treasure. Anne Hathaway was great. Rihanna stole her scenes. First 10 mins were phenomenal, then the momentum hit a brick wall and never recovered speed (crucial for comedy), so it really dragged.

Deadpool 2 2
Surely we can do better than the same stereotypical jokes about Indian dudes? LOVE Zazie Beatz as Domino. Most interesting scenes involve her getting "lucky."

Avengers Infinity War 2
Fun. Good. Devastating. LOVE Holland as Spiderman. As Tim says, "the film offers no emotions of its own but the one the viewer comes in with."

A Quiet Place 2.5
I do not like horror movies but this was fun, weird, and creative. Wish I'd seen it in a theatre since the live experience sounds thrilling.

Annihilation 2.5
So weird, so pretty, very fun.

Game Night 2
It's not great but.... Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams (one of the prettiest women alive) play characters who are in over their heads. I love how the couple seems to actually like and support each other. Great cameo by the excellent Chelsea Peretti.

Black Panther 3
Excellent. Best avenger's movie so far probably.

The Post 2
Surprisingly dull for a film with Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Spielberg! It was fine. Streep is phenomenal.

The Greatest Showman 1
Ugh. I love musicals *and* the circus but I hated this. Boring, poppy songs (except the excellent power anthem by the Bearded Lady), thin characters, and not anything fun to make up for it.

I, Tonya 2.5
Really good. This event featured surprisingly large in my childhood (maybe the first "viral" news story I remember? That and Jon-Benet Ramsey's murder), so it was an interesting experience in nostalgia to see it on-screen. Cool and weird framing. Margot Robbie is excellent and Allison Janney is in top form (one of my all-time faves).

Disaster Artist 2.5
The Room was a weird experience when I first saw it while living w 6 roommates (two of whom are now famous comedians!) in section 8 housing in a not-great neighborhood in SF at the height of the 2008 recession. This movie is very well-done. James Franco deserves an Oscar.

Coco 2.5
Lovely, wonderful, culturally sensitive. I saw this AT Pixar before it was released, and they had a large exhibit about all the research they had done, and it was really beautifully done.

Thor Ragnarok 2.5
Fun! Jeff Goldblum is bizarre and I cannot look away when he's on-screen. Cate Blanchett does a great job with not much to work with. Waititi as the rock-monster was excellent. "It's not like a regular circle, it's a freaky circle." My fave avengers film to rewatch.

Lucky Logan 2.5
Fun! Great weird characters. Has the double-reveal that I loved about Ocean's 11.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 2
Worth watching on a plane if you're incredibly bored and just want to look at weird pretty stuff. Blisteringly misogynistic. Fashion/food scene with the large hat/plate was my favourite part. Oh also the weird dual-dimension shopping mall was awesome.

Dunkirk 2
Really enjoyed this even though it's slow and boring. Beautiful cinematography. Amazing score. Unclear why Christopher Nolan is hell-bent on obscuring Tom Ford's face but the trend continues.

Baby Driver 1
Boring. Formulaic. Cliched.

The Shape of Water 1
Worst movie of the last 10 years easily. So boring. So cliched. So stupid. I cannot BELIEVE this won Best Picture.

The Big Sick 2
Can't really say "fun" but I enjoyed it! The trailer oversold it as a comedy. It's better going in thinking it's kind of dark.

Wonder Woman 2
Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman! Wonder! Woman! Won. Der. Wo. Man.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 2
So fun. Little Groot! A little less playful than the first but still fun and very funny.

Ghost in the Shell 2
We watched the original Japanese version and remain baffled as to the appeal of this story. Very pretty at least.

Rogue One A Star Wars Story 2.5
This was so great! Alan Tudyk as K-2SO was excellent. Diego Luna's heavily accented non-villain was marvelous. Very fun.

Hidden Figures 2
Such an important story! So glad this was made. I did NOT like the white savior scene where the white male boss smashed the bathroom sign...

La La Land 2.5
Think about who I am, and what I've done, and decide for yourself that it was never any question that I was going to really like this movie. And then there's this excellent SNL sketch.

Sully 2
We saw this movie in a theatre filled with old white men who seemed extremely gratified to watch Tom Hanks play an old white man who triumphs over technology and bureaucracy to save the day. I'll watch Hanks in anything.

X-Men Apocalypse 2
Everyone hated this except for me. I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence as the reluctant hero, and she's great here as the emotional center of the film.

Sing Street 3
MARVELOUS! Great songs, amazing makeup, charming and lovely characters who are nice to each other, grow, and don't put up with terrible bullshit in the name of ~*~love~*~.

Zootopia 2.5
Really good! Touching, great message, and very funny. I agree with all Tim's critiques in the linked review, though.

Star Wars - The Force Awakens 2
Harrison Ford brings back the goofy affable Han Solo I know and love (fave character from the first movie). Rey is wonderful. Finn is wonderful, and Oscar Isaac is also super great. Classic Star Wars while still feeling fresh. BB-8!!! Oh, also, having a "dark side" character tempted by the light is actually FASCINATING. P.S. if you want to see what it looks like when a character pauses too long because the director is expecting applause, watch the scene where we first see Han Solo.

Hunger Game quadrogy 2.5
So good. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful and this is my favorite of her characters - the reluctant hero whose deep sense of morality doesn't make her innocent or naive.

Spotlight 2
Difficult subject matter. Fascinating portrayal of how "journalism" actually gets done. I was a little annoyed about how much emotional labor the only female reporter (Rachel McAdams) did, and how little initiative she seemed to have. Schreiber was unrecognizable and phenomenal.

Inside Out 2
What if feelings had feelings?

Interstellar 2
Meh. Can't BELIEVE they put not one, but THREE black outs in a motion picture.

Magic Mike 2
Fun! Really changed my view of both Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey. Firmly part of the McConaussaince.

Invictus 1
Only good because it let Tina Fey make a joke about Matt Damon in 30 Rock. "Who was the white guy in that movie?"

Kingsman - The Secret Service 1
I can enjoy James Bond movies. I cannot enjoy these Kingsman movies.

Mad Max Fury Road 3
OMG SO GOOD. One of the weirdest movies I've ever seen. Just embrace the madness. I didn't understand it until we first see the flaming guitar, but then, oh - oh I got it.

Les Miserables 2.5
Having been a fan most of my life I was very worried about this one. But it's gorgeous. Hugh Jackman really blew me away. Best priest's house scene I've ever seen. Yes I loved Colm's cameo.

Kubo and the Two Strings 2.5
For some reason, the monkey's monologue before they enter the whale made me laugh harder than I've laughed in the last twenty years, at least. I can't explain it. This film is gorgeous and wonderful. This movie taught me that the only thing you need to do to make two characters seem to like each other is have them smile at each other. They can still have sassy banter! They can disagree! But occasional smiles is all it takes to escape the horrible "sitcom nastiness" so endemic to writing these days.

The Lovely Bones 1
This movie introduced me to the narrative technique of "anti-tension", where something that is objectively tense and high stakes is transformed into the most boring possible scene.

Lars and the Real Girl 2
So weird. I'll never watch this again but I did enjoy it.

Looper 2
I enjoyed it! I found Joseph Gordon-Levitt's makeup very distracting but I enjoyed it. Very sexist against men (implies that they NEED saving by some Special Soothing Female and otherwise would be monstrous and beastial is....offensive to say the least).

Maleficent 1.5
I enjoyed this. Angelina Jolie is captivating, but the story doesn't make sense. Nothing else memorable.

Logan 2.5
The thought of what happens to a mutant with mind-control powers as he ages is fascinating. Meeting a mini, rage-filled female Wolverine is WAY more fun than you might expect. Not only was the character wonderful, but it deepened Wolverine's character as well.

The Last Unicorn 2
Childhood favorite! I will never not love this movie. Just lovely.

Downsizing 1.5
I only watched half of this, and it was only interesting insofar as it's obviously liberal propaganda to explain to privileged white dudes who feel like victims today that they have no fucking idea what they're talking about.

Beauty and the Beast (live action) 1
This is literally a shot-for-shot remake of the animated classic, but done in slow motion so none of the comedy works.

Get Out 2.5
Iconic. I enjoy asking people what they think the scariest scene is.

Dr. Strange 2.5
Fun! Great! Tilda Swinton is an absolute treasure!

The Nice Guys 2.5
Absolutely blew me away. Unexpectedly wonderful. Truly a gem.

Joy 1.5
Absolutely bizarre. This film chose a really weird framing and style but didn't really make it clear that's what it was doing until about 45 minutes in. Kinda meanders around and then just slams to a halt. I like weird movies, but what I like is the skill and craftsmanship in explaining the new universe and rules to the audience.

Captain Phillips 2
This entire movie exists for the last 10 minutes of Tom Hanks' excellence and it is so so worth it.

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