The Light Brigade — Kameron Hurley
Definite Catch-22 vibes throughout this book, with a hearty helping of Starship Troopers. If you like time-travel and space military, this is a solid read.
The Psychology of Time Travel — Kate Mascarenhas
Ah, time-travel and lesbians: two of my favorite things. This book was an interesting take on time-travel, and inevitable meeting of your future and past selves. I really enjoyed the small strange moments between characters.
From the Fatherland with Love — Ryu Murakami
One of the more bonkers books that Ryu Murakami has written, it combines both his fascination with violence with a scathing satire on bureaucracy. I couldn’t put this down and found myself alternatively horrified and laughing.
The Book of Joan — Lydia Yuknavitch
This was a very strange, disjointed tale of a post-apocalyptic redemption narrative. I can’t say that I know a lot about Joan of Arc, but I trust that Yuknavitch drew from her history to write this. I can’t decide quite how I feel about this, but I will say that I found the author’s obsession with genitals and gender rather much. Does the author dislike trans people? Was she attempting to suggest that they are leading us to a dark, genderless place? This was unclear. There was a blurb that claimed this author is at the forefront of writing about gender fluidity, and I would say instead, she is mired deep in the past.
Magic for Liars — Sarah Gailey
Ah! I loved this book. What a brilliant marriage of noir and magic school. I devoured it in two sittings with a big grin on my face. Gailey is a delight, and after seeing them read the first chapter in person, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I hope they write more novels soon.
River of Teeth — Sarah Gailey
What an absurd romp. This would’ve worked better for me if I enjoyed cowboys or the romance of men, but still it was fun enough. I don’t think I’ll read the next few books in this series, but I’m certain my friend in book club will devour them. Well-written and imagined, just not for me.
Battle Angel Alita
I read this comic when I was younger, and it’s kind of neat to see it made into a live action film. I still can’t get over the uncanny valley eyes that Rose Salazar’s character has though. Overall, this was ￼￼a fun action film.
I’ve seen folks watching this on a bunch of planes in the past year or so, and as a long-time fan of the Predator, I entered into it grudgingly. The first two films were tight thrillers, but at this point, I can’t tell what the series wants to be. If you can watch this for free, I guess it’s ok?
Bad Times at the El Royale
This was fun enough, with a pretty good ensemble cast. Nothing really stuck out as excellent, and in a few ways it felt like a less-ambitious Tarantino film.
A good reminder that disaster movies don’t need to have the glitz and glam of a big budget Hollywood film. This sequel to The Wave was rather slowly-paced, but exciting as it picked up steam.
Killing of a Sacred Deer
Wow, this was an eerie film. At this point I’ve enough of Yorgos Lanthimos’ films that I enter into them thinking “what’s the strange twist?” This film delivered on that quite well. I love the strange, flat performance Lanthimos actors provide—they lure you into this world with everything just /a bit/ off. Also the young man in the film was /haunting/.
I went into this movie thinking “it's about religion and maybe climate change”. That covers it to a degree, but beyond that is so much truth and sadness. This was a grim, beautiful film that struck me right at the core—both as an ex-religious person, and someone who often mourns for the end of life for so many folks effected by climate change. The movie, at it's core, asks if there's any forgiveness for our destruction of the planet, for our destruction of humanity. I don't have an answer to that question. This film however, was excellent.
I can now say that I have indeed considered the Lobster. After seeing The Favourite earlier this year, I decided to go back to watch Yorgos Lanthimos‘ other films. I’m glad I did. This was fantastic.
The Ceremony (儀式)
A bizarre 70s Japanese film about family, duty, and incest. Reading about this film, it seems like much of it was meant to be an indictment of the older generation, as well as the younger generation’s unwillingness to speak out against tradition. As a film, it’s truly strange, but also brutal in its methodical breakdown of the protagonist.
Hobbs & Shaw
A very silly buddy comedy. They talk about balls a bit too often for a movie with two 50 year old protagonists, but it was fun at times. There’s very little connection between this and Fast & Furious, but if you like Stratham & The Rock, you’ll have fun.