If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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STRANGE LIFE OF IVAN OSOKIN Review

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Not a perfect edition of the novel, but I rather like the cover.

This is the first book review I’ve done for this site (technically it’s adapted from a post I did for another page, but no matter). I’d planned on starting a book-review series much sooner, beginning with Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, which I’d finished in April of 2016, but I never got around to it, and didn’t even bother reviewing Shūsaku Endō’s Silence, which I read afterwards in preparation for seeing Scorsese’s adaptation of it.

But this evening, typing up my thoughts on P.D. Ouspensky’s Strange Life of Ivan Osokin (I’m not sure why there’s no definite article, but no edition of the book I’ve seen includes one), I considered that I had enough material to base a proper post on, and decided so to do. And if I am sacrificing some time and mental effort in composing this review, that’s entirely in the spirit of the novel; without sacrifice, nothing can be gained.

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The Films of 2017 in 150 Words or Less: Part II

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Like hell you did. Or if you did, the editing did a great job of hiding it.

Since I published the first batch of 2017 reviews, I’ve only seen an additional 14 films for the year, partially because of the limitations on my time and money, and partially because there have been fewer films I felt I truly had to see. I hope to catch up over the next four months (I will be pushing my film awards back to allow myself more time), but I will likely not come too near the 118 films I saw for last year – still a personal record.

Still, films I have seen, and films I will discuss.

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British Independent Film Award Nominations: 2017

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Really a hell of a poster.

It’s BIFA time again!

I’ve covered the BIFA nominations the last three years, and this year will be only a partial exception; serious limitations on my time prevent me from doing so in as much detail as before, so I’ll switch things up a bit. I’ll post a link to the full list of nominees, and discuss in detail three films which dominated this year’s awards, two of which are among my most anticipated films of the coming months.

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Gotham Award Nominations: 2017

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Multiple nominations for one of the year’s loveliest films. (Source)

The film awards season kicked off Thursday as the Gothams announced their nominees. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Gothams myself – no Supporting or Tech categories, technically not even a Director category – but they’ve become an important milepost for the season…and the Oscar winner for Best Picture won the Gotham for Best Feature the last three years in a row. So keep that in mind.

And the nominees are…

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BLADE RUNNER 2049 Review – ****

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Orange and teal. Human and replicant. Real and unreal.

Coming out of Blade Runner 2049 a second time, I felt assured in saying what I had initially hesitated to claim: that this is a great film, a true epic, a sequel which can hold its own against a formidable forebear, and which stands on its own as a most impressive piece of entertainment, and one of the year’s best films.

As promised, I will echo my response to Mad Max: Fury Road and interweave my present thoughts on the film with my initial impressions. But I think there was a greater leap in my estimation of the film in question with Fury Road than with 2049; there, I hadn’t fully grasped that I was indeed dealing with a masterpiece, while here, I suspected – I wanted badly to believe – that I was, and the second viewing confirmed that.

As before, I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but if you wish to go into the film knowing as little as possible, and I strongly recommend you do, now is the time to leave.

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Ramblin’ Rose Cream Soda Review

A new soda shop (or rather, a new branch of the soda shop I’ve been patronizing since I began writing these articles) just opened up quite near to me, which ideally means I’ll be reviewing sodas on a more regular basis henceforth.

Paying the new shop my first visit over the weekend, I looked around for something I hadn’t tried before (happy as I would’ve been just to drink another Inca Kola), and hit upon this: a rose soda! A rose cream soda, to be exact. The proprietor suggested it tasted somewhat like bubblegum (shades of I.K.), and I settled on it. I drank it immediately after and recorded my impressions as I did so; this review is compiled from them.

From Ramblin’ (a well-established brand, it would seem), Rose Cream Soda!

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THE LIGHTSHIP Review – **

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“In a world of vagaries and inconstancy, Captain, it amuses me to set a course and to stick to it.” (Source)

The following review was originally written in 2011. Aside from some minor re-editing, it is presented in its original form.

The Lightship is another entry in the “foreign filmmaker goes Hollywood” cycle, mitigated somewhat by the fact that director Jerzy Skolimowski had worked in British cinema for about 15 years prior to this, and that the film was shot near the German island of Sylt (it’s meant to take place off Cape Hatteras)…but it nonetheless fits into the mold of such films frequently being pretentious duds. Not that The Lightship is without its flashes of interest, but for the most part it feels like a self-conscious attempt at profundity, made memorable largely by an intriguing central performance from Robert Duvall.

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