If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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Vimto Review

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During my time abroad, I haven’t made the effort I might have to seek out worthy British or Norwegian sodas, but while poking through a shop in Kirkwall, Shetland Islands, a bottle of this popular British drink caught my eye, and I duly obtained it. I didn’t drink it right away; I waited until what I felt was the proper moment (which might not have been, but that’s another matter entirely). Originating from Manchester, England, courtesy of Nichols plc, it’s Vimto!

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2018: The Books I’ve Read – Q2

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Hugh Bonneville as Charles Pooter in the 2007 BBC adaptation of The Diary of a Nobody.

In the second quarter of the year, I managed to boost my rate of consumption by 66%, even as I took longer with at least one book than I had with any of the other seven I’ve read so far this year. That all of the books I’ve read have been fairly short helps (the longest is still, if I recall correctly, under 250 pages), but I do think my capacity for consuming literature, too long allowed to atrophy, is regaining its old strength.

Eight books in the first half of the year alone; that is so far beyond what I ever did, at least since I was in high school (at the very latest), that I genuinely fear that I won’t be able to keep it up. Not that I should really worry about that; the main goal is to be edified by what I read, and my batting average has been good and is getting better. But I do wonder, if the circumstances of my life change in any significant way, whether or not I’ll have, or make, or use so much time to read.

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My Six-Month Film Awards: 2018

 

2018 Six Month Top 10

I decided to publish this article a week early; I’ll be going out of town and not seeing any new films for a while (sorry, Gotti, you’ll have to wait), and since most of it was written up already, I saw no particular reason to wait. Without further ado, the best films, performances, screenplays, and so forth of the first half of 2018:

Picture:

  1. First Reformed
  2. You Were Never Really Here
  3. Black Panther
  4. Annihilation
  5. Incredibles 2
  6. Isle of Dogs
  7. The Rider
  8. Hereditary
  9. The Death of Stalin
  10. Lean on Pete

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FIRST REFORMED Review – ****

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The special brilliance of First Reformed is that, for as much as it confronts us with the ugliness of life, both in an eternal sense and in a sense of the issues we face at this very moment, it repeatedly counters its own arguments by reminding us of the persistence of life, of its simple joys and pleasures. It’s a film which brings us to the brink of despair time and again, and each time, in its own way, pulls us back. It’s a measure of its greatness as a film that its doing so never feels like a cop-out, but like the essential truth.

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My Top 20 Films of the Decade: v. 0.0

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Talking to a friend of mine the other day, we found ourselves musing over what the best films of the decade were. He had his own ideas, and I had at least three which immediately came to mind, which led me to say, off-handedly, that I should compile a list of the decade’s best at some future point. But the idea stuck with me, as ideas do, and I soon began drawing up a longlist from which a more definitive list could be derived.

Of course, I say “more definitive” and not “definitive.” There are still films I haven’t seen, films I need to see again, films I may have ranked too low – or too high – for reasons that had nothing to do with them and everything to do with me, or films which I dropped from the longlist, itself an imperfect document, for questionable reasons.

Hence I call this list the “Version 0.0” of this list – there may well be, in a year’s time, an “0.1” or “0.5” before, sometime in 2020, I make a serious attempt at a definitive list. But I hope that this embryonic effort is not wholly off-base; I hope that, even if you don’t consider these the very best films of the decade, you can understand why I am putting them forth as some combination of the decade’s best and most definitive films.

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Old Jamaica Ginger Beer Review

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I’m finishing off my recent string of World Market purchases with this Jamaican ginger beer (produced in the UK, but the ginger itself is Jamaican, so…), a beer which, unlike any soda I can recall reviewing, offers me the chance to win prizes! More on the prizes in a bit, but first, courtesy of Cott Beverages Ltd., it’s Old Jamaica!

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May flowers

One of my more fervent pastimes—which I’ve rarely featured on here—is making memes. Or, if you want to get technical, I make macros. Only by sharing does a macro become a meme.

Only by spreading does manure become fertilizer.

I want to apologize for the lack of updates; owing to constraints of time and energy I’ve found myself tabling some of my intended posts, namely the second installment of my Most Wanted Films Found series and a second list of Most Wanted Films. I’m aiming to get those out by the end of June at the latest, although I can’t promise anything.

I also hope to get another soda review or two up within the next week, and just maybe I’ll throw together some thoughts on the films of 2018 that I’ve seen but haven’t reviewed as yet. (There haven’t been all that many, so it wouldn’t be a huge undertaking.)

I mean to do a post in response to the winners at this year’s Cannes Film Festival as well; I wanted to do a rundown of the Palme d’Or and Un Certain Regard contenders, but never got around to it.

And, if absolutely nothing else, the Six-Month Film Awards will go up at the start of July. I may not have seen that many films this year, but I have done my diligence on ranking them and their illustrious components.

Till then.