dill & fennel

November

Well, I’m 36 now! This year was absolutely bizarre, but I’ve watched a ton of movies at least. I didn’t get much reading done this month though. I spent the first chunk of the month reading one book, but also played a lot of video games. It was PS5 month, so that meant giving a few things a go.

Books

Afterland — Lauren Beukes

The most post-apocalyptic prostate-free fun since Y the Last Man. I read through this in one sitting, as it had a great pace and a solid plot.

Movies

Centigrade

After a very cold night camping, I decided to watch this movie about slowly freezing to death in your car in Norway. I’m super glad I get to watch this with some wine and a wool blanket. Being super cold sucks! For a movie completely set inside a car, this is pretty well-shot and compelling. It was based on true events, I guess, but the whole baby thing was a hat on a hat.

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2

I watched this because of Til Death Do Us Blart after listening to the cursed podcast for a few years now. Somehow it was both different and worse than I had imagined based on the podcast. Long live the shadow man.

#alive

Ah, a simple zombie film updated for a world with social media. This was fun.

Objectified

It’s interesting watching this again 11 years after it came out. I’m once again using A MacBook Air, and I understand the Muji designer way better. I wonder how many CAD designers are still using 24” square displays?

Night Moves

The movie where Zuck gets really into direct action. “Killing all the salmon so you can run your fucking iPod whenever you want”. It’s really a shame he went back to running his nightmarish company after this. There’s a delightful Griffin Newman role near the end too.

All About Lily Chou-Chou

This is one of my all-time favorite films, but I hadn’t watched it in probably 10 years. Fortunately, it more than holds up as a sad and beautiful tale of shitty teen life. It’s a brutal film because kids can be cruel.

Johnny Mnemonic

Ah, a 90s cyber classic. Somehow I’d never seen this before today! Ice T with upside-down paintball goggles! Beat Takeshi! Udo Kier’s trans body guard! A military internet dolphin!! I would love to see this screenplay get remade.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Ostensibly a horror film, but mostly about a man’s alcoholism and what it’s done to his family and his life. Interesting take on the genre.

Mortal Engines

A fun YA-turned film. I don’t usually like Hugo Weaving but his big character acting worked for this. I didn’t expect much, so I had a good time.

Tokyo-Ga

It’s wild to see how little Tōkyō has changed since the 80s—or rather the bits of Shōwa that still peek through. This was a gorgeous look at both the Tōkyō that once was, and the echo of 50s and 60s Americana that lived in the youths of the time. I also learned quite a bit about Ozu, and how he filmed. Loved it.

Columbus

Gorgeous and sad. Two people meeting while their lives are paused for their parents and sharing a love of architecture without building a romance. The pace was pretty slow, but I like this kind of slice of life film.

The New Mutants

As a fan of the comic series and a few of these characters, I like that they tried to give them a horror story beginning, but ultimately it felt constrained. I’m disappointed that this won’t be part of the MCU or integrated with the X-Men. The comics are having a heyday, but for some reason the movies are still just not there.

アキラ

子供の時に私はアキラが一番好きので、十回の見た。特に今はそのちょっと変な映画、でも大好きの。昭和の有名映画と最高アニメと思う I watched this a bunch as a kid. It’s super weird but it really holds up. A true classic.

The Wolf of Wall Street

After the painfully sad movie about the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives in tsunamis, I dove deep into this three hour epic of utterly nightmarish depravity. DiCaprio plays what a friend calls Catch Me If You Can 2 very well:

The Impossible

The real lesson of this movie is that in 2004 kids were satisfied with only getting a red ball for Christmas. This is also a Spider-Man origin story. Brutal movie generally though.

Possessor

For context, I’ve loved the concept of assassins since I was a little girl, as odd as that might sound. A movie wherein an assassin mind-syncs with a random person to do their business is thusly fascinating. The horror of that connection and the challenge of doing your job basically in a coma with all of the gore and wildness that entails was thrilling. I love the obvious skill growth since Antiviral as well.

Election

Not sure how I hadn’t seen this yet. A delight. I love the successful lesbian sideplot, and how Broderick’s character fully self-destructs out of hate of a precocious child. Fantastic.

Proxima

It’s hard to be a divorced mom while you’re an astronaut. Luckily, Eva Green is still super cool. At this point I’m curious if it’s a contractual thing to show her breasts once every 20 minutes? Instead of a movie about space, this was more of a movie about space-prep.

The Dark Knight

Ah, Heath Ledger. When this was made no one thought the joker was a hero, and yet, he became a bummer symbol for folks years later. It’s still weird to me that they switched actresses suddenly, but Queen Latifah is hard to resist, so I get it.

Enola Holmes

A fun movie to watch while waiting for these damnable election results. Millie Bobby Brown plays a great younger Holmes, while Cavill is an oddly fit Sherlock. The action moved briskly, and the little asides and jokes were charming. I’m here for a low-stakes adventure anytime.

Batman Begins

This is probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve seen this movie and it’s still such a blast. I wish it were easier to hear anything Batman says, but otherwise a delight.

She Dies Tomorrow

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this is a very art film vibe with a slow horror built-in. It definitely didn’t fit my mood tonight, but I’m not sure if that’s the film’s fault. Perhaps I should’ve stuck with schlock.

Earthquake Bird

The vibe of 80s Japan is a whole thing. So much hip Japanese literature I’ve read is firmly grounded in Showa-era Japan, so this felt a bit like watching a multi-cultural Murakami story. It’s rare to see a movie or show in both Japanese and English (Giri/Haji) comes to mind. I wish they’d worked with Vikander a bit more on her Japanese though.

Last Holiday

Heard about this from an Election Profit Makers bonus episode and honestly, I loved it. Sometimes you need something funny, kind, and hopeful. Thanks, last holiday, for soothing my nerves.

Zodiac

This was my 3rd of 4th rewatch. I’m a sucker for a slow burn Fincher film. I was still low-key mad that the other movie I watched today wasn’t a crime film, so I had to dive into one. Everything about this movie is so wild and well-executed.

Sinister

Fellow-Austin native Ethan Hawk slowly loses his mind while trying to write true-crime. If only he’d known you could just do a podcast instead! The worst ever character from the Wire is also in this. Overall, not very spooky but it leans a lot on goofy jump scares. Nice use of Boards of Canada though.