If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!

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BLACK PANTHER Review – ****


Five weeks into its release, with over $600 million in the till in North America alone and reviews good enough to spur talk of Oscar glory, is there much left to be said about Black Panther? Is there much I can add to the chorus of acclaim, especially since, as my rating gives away, I am in tune with it? Perhaps not. What I can talk about is how my appreciation for the film grew from my first viewing to my second, and how the film, sitting as it now does atop a mountain of praise, earned its position.

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Paulaner Spezi Review

Been a while since my last soda review, but as we’re moving into spring and the weather is growing warmer, it’s going to be prime soda-drinking time for a while.

Today’s soda is one I almost had before. It’s a German soda (produced in Munich), about which I know only that World Market carries it, that it boasts a fairly nifty looking can, and that, going by the on-can description of it as “Orangelimonade mit Cola”, it’s something like a citrus cola. Beyond that, I’m going in blind. Without further ado, from the Paulaner company, it’s Spezi!

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A WRINKLE IN TIME Review – ***


A Wrinkle in Time is the kind of movie that breaks my heart a bit. As an example of representation and empowerment, both in front of and behind the camera, it earns top marks. As a fantasy adventure and spectacle, it has some really delightful moments which show just what a skilled director can do with the resources of a major studio. And as an emotional journey, it is, in its strongest moments, a poignant reflection on self-image and the lengths to which we’ll go for our families.

But as a piece of storytelling, as a narrative film, it’s wildly uneven, and frankly often confounding, especially for those who’ve never read the source novel. And as skillfully as it embodies its themes when it opts to show and not tell, it far too often falls back on ham-fisted dialogue and vague symbolism, making for an experience that’s ultimately rather frustrating.

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ANNIHILATION Review – ****


I know it’s coming to Netflix in about a week, but seriously, see it on the big screen if you possibly can.

Is the distortion/mutation/alteration of what we consider the natural order necessarily malevolent? Is the Shimmer, with what it does to our accepted form of organic reality, a force of evil, or good, or something else entirely? The title initially suggests an act of malice, but might it not also refer to an eradication of accepted reality, of one’s assumptions about the nature of the world, or simply of an impartial act of destruction, recreation, and/or violent change?

These are the primary questions Annihilation raises, but they’re hardly the only ones, as the film’s story, themes, and very style are thought-provoking from the very beginning.

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Reviewing the 90th Academy Awards


Just gonna start by saying – I’m really happy with how this year turned out. Even though there were few outright surprises (only a couple, honestly), it still felt good to see things play out the way they did. And that all starts with…

Best Picture: The Shape of Water

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My 7th Annual Film Awards, in the Style of the Golden Globes


No nominations in my regular awards, but here? It gets some love.

You may recall I’d done my 2014 awards in this fashion. I’d drawn this up for fun, but after posting my official awards, I figured I’d post this as well. Because this year was so dominated by Dramas, the Comedy awards give some under-appreciated films the respect they deserve.

Picture – Drama:

  1. Dunkirk
  2. The Shape of Water
  3. Blade Runner 2049
  4. Phantom Thread
  5. The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Picture – Musical/Comedy:

  1. Get Out
  2. I, Tonya
  3. The Big Sick
  4. Lady Bird
  5. Coco

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Predicting the 90th Academy Awards


What a time to be alive, when such a film could not only get into the Oscar race, but do so with a vengeance.

I’m going to start by saying that I won’t get as in-depth, nuts-and-boltsy with this post as I did with my predicting-what-will-be-nominated post. Some of that may be due to personal fatigue. But a lot of it is due to what this season has become – a melange of yawn-inducing locks, conflicting precedents, and confounding dead heats. At this point, I could write a whole article arguing with myself over what will win Best Picture. And there are several categories which could end up being swing categories, changing the course of the big night when it’s far too late for me to cover my analytical ass.

This is the kind of year where you could call most of the categories with a reasonable degree of confidence. That’s if you had an abiding trust in the stats and the Academy’s capacity to behave themselves. I don’t, and this year I’m going to try not to take too much for granted. It may be for naught, but isn’t everything, if you take a broad enough view?

We’ll start with the big ‘un.

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