dill & fennel

May

Another month of quarantine means a few movies and books. I also dove into a freshly delivered pile of Monocle and played way too much CoD: Warzone.

I think I also watched something like 5 seasons of Survivor.

Books

Network Effect — Martha Wells

It’s nice to really stretch my legs in the Murderbot world. I hope Wells writes more novels in this fun universe, and we get to see Murderbot grow further past its general emotional discomfort.

Finna — Nino Cipri

A fun romp through an IKEA multiverse with a queer couple and a missing grandma. I had fun with this, and the short length meant I blazed through it almost too fast. I hope there’s more from Cipri soon.

Zero History — William Gibson

I read this slowly to really savor it. The last book in the Blue Ant trilogy is the most oddball and fun, but always comes with the knowledge that I won’t get to adventure with Millgrim and Hollis again until I reread the series yet again in the future. It’s fascinating how thoroughly Gibson identified the coming brand drops, denim obsession, and obsession with quadrocopters. As a sage of the near future, he feels unparalleled.

Spook Country — William Gibson

A delightful reread of a really fun Gibson near-future/near-past adventure. There are so many moments in this book that make me super jealous I didn’t conceive of them. The Blue Ant trilogy owns bones.

Movies

Nightmare on Elm Street

Did you know Depp was in this? I certainly didn’t! This is the second movie I’ve watched because of the podcast The Scaredy Cats wherein one host of Reply All tries to help the other host inure himself to horror films. With all of the cultural cachet this movie had, it was interesting to see how quickly they showed Freddy himself. Freddy also seemed shorter than I imagined. I also always find it funny when all the “high school” actors are in their twenties. Why not just set it in college?

Upgrade

An interesting take on the post-human world. It’s a schlocky, funny, gory AF film, and not very into its own violence. Also it was rad to see Betty Gabriel from Get Out again.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Weird how much more low-key enjoyable this was than the last movie I watched. From the delightfully bad puns, to Jim Carrey having way too much fun, to Ben Schwartz just being himself, this was a nice Saturday afternoon romp. I went in expecting basically nothing, and was pleasantly surprised.

The Dead Don’t Die

This movie so badly wanted to be clever, it is the film equivalent to wearing a “funny shirt” from Hot Topic and explaining the joke to everyone before they can even laugh.

The Lodge

One of the better horror films I’ve seen in a while, with a very scary house, and an excellent secluded location.

Saturday Night

A fun documentary with rather overwrought camera-work that shows what preparing for and shooting SNL is like. It’s kinda wild to see the sheer number of writers and staff that make it come alive.

The Exorcist

Pretty creepy, with great special effects considering the time. I always root for the demons in any one of these, and definitely wondered while watching this how many more kids priests hurt than these imagined evil spirits. The devil, it turns out, was the church all along.

Vivarium

Started creepy, got way creepier. I appreciate the unwillingness to tell the viewer what the fuck is happening. This plays out like a great Ursula K Le Guin novel.