Blade Runner 2049

The one thing a Blade Runner sequel absolutely had to be was visually beautiful: architecture, wardrobe, cinematography, atmosphere. That mission is handily accomplished by 2049. It’s a gorgeous film. Despite the odds of living in squalor or in a dangerously polluted or radioactive part of…

Dreams, fantasies, and middle fingers

I am home. I’m REALLY glad to be home. I watched four movies on my four flights. One was Don’t Think Twice (not to be confused with Don’t Look Now). It’s the movie where Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs are in an improv troupe in…

James Bond themes, ranked

Recently I found myself lamenting the sorry state of James Bond theme songs in the 2010s, and how overhyped I find “Skyfall” in particular, but after some discussion of the matter I realized I owed it to this most vital and urgent of topics to…

Doctor Who: “The Doctor Falls”

“This is a strong contender for the saddest ending for a companion we’ve had since the new series began. But an equally strong contender for the happiest.”

Doctor Who: “World Enough and Time”

Let’s cut to the chase: this is the best episode of Doctor Who since at least “Dark Water,” whose plot it resembles in numerous ways best left as an exercise for the reader. I’m not complaining in the least. To grapple with all the terrific…

Doctor Who: series 10 penultimate rankings

Per tradition, it’s the end-of-series rankings, minus the finale. 10. The Pyramid at the End of the World I’m sympathetic: this episode had to clarify the nature of the Monks, provide a credible way for them to hold the Earth to ransom, and maneuver Bill…

Doctor Who: “Empress of Mars”

“They even look fantastic after a 5000-year nap, which is one of the pros of being a reptile, I guess. Ice Warriors are big on naps; of their six stories to date, this is the third instigated by humans thawing them out and waking them up from hibernation.”

Doctor Who: “The Lie of the Land”

“At this point it really does feel as though the Monks have always been here, so I’m looking forward to something new next week, even if it’s the Mark Gatiss episode. Fortunately, I’m one of probably few people who felt they went out on a relatively high note.”

Doctor Who: “The Pyramid at the End of the World”

“The question on my mind about the Peter Harness episode of Series 10 was: would this be more like ‘Kill the Moon’ or ‘The Zygon Invasion/Inversion’? The answer is that it’s a very special blend of both: swaggering geopolitical melodrama combined with a ridiculous plot requiring every character to be a heedless idiot.”