American Graffiti and Animal House

These two movies have a lot in common. Both are set in 1962, though one feels more like 1957 and the other like 1972. Both are coming-of-age stories featuring teenagers on the cusp of the college experience, rapidly losing their innocence but not their cheerfulness….

Checking in

So yeah. It’s been a while. I’ve been watching loads of things, but not much that’s inspired me to take the time to write a full entry. Here are a few I remember offhand. Accatone: Eh. Even in Italian I can tell the acting can’t…

Star Trek: two episodes in

I’ve started watching the original Star Trek. You might be shocked that I’ve never really seen it before, but I’ve always been a dilettante when it comes to nerdy stuff. I probably spent almost as much time with horror and mystery when I was a…

Creature (1985)

Obviously, the world’s most blatant ripoff / blend of Alien and The Thing (both the John Carpenter version and the original “space carrot” film). I’ve wanted to see this movie since I was probably 12 years old, but I can’t remember why. I think I…

The X-Files in 2016: Episode 1

I’d heard the new X-Files was bad, but I didn’t expect the first episode to be borderline incompetent. The script is terrible, overflowing with unmotivated exposition vomit; the direction is at least as bad, tone-deaf and plodding. There’s the kernel of a decent idea there…

Crooklyn

Just finished Crooklyn on the train and I was SO confused by the aspect ratio switch for the visit to the suburbs. I have to say, though, it makes a good case for how overrated the idea that a film is only worthwhile if every…

The Moffat > Chibnall regeneration

There’s a civilized discussion happening at Eruditorum Press about the showrunner change coming two years from now. Here’s what I wrote there: Not only has Chibnall never written an outstanding Who episode, but I have a hard time picturing him doing a charismatic, daring, innovative…

Doctor Who: “The Husbands of River Song”

This is the first time since “The Five Doctors” back in 1983 that my first viewing of a Doctor Who episode took place in a movie theater, surrounded by other fans. I watched “Day of the Doctor” and “Deep Breath” that way, but both were…

Doctor Who: “Hell Bent”

Even though “Hell Bent” is as unrepentantly sci-fi and literal as “Heaven Sent” is allegorical and rich with subtext, even though it’s as chaotic and messy and all over the place as its part 1 is focused and precise, I loved it. I don’t know…

Doctor Who: series 9 penultimate rankings

By tradition, before the finale, I rank the year’s episodes and discuss how my opinions of them have changed with hindsight. I’ll list them from my least to most favorite this time. 11. Sleep No More Mark Gatiss seems like a fun guy I’d probably…