2015: My year in film, Part 2

Earlier this week I started to give out some fake awards to films I saw this year, and the list got so long that I decided to split it into two posts. I started to remember all the films I saw this year, so here are the rest of my fake awards, which I’m writing up as I watch a Person of Interest marathon on FX Australia. It’s ridiculously hot outside, and I’m looking after some dogs this New Year’s Eve, which is a pretty great gig.

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Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Nine”

This is going to be another short one, because my sister gave me video games for Christmas. My current obsession is Banished. Anyway, back to Jane. This week Rogelio finds himself in financial difficulties, Jane and Rafael go on a date, and Jane gets drunk at her grad school Christmas party, because it’s the first time that she’s had any alcohol since she stopped nursing. This episode picks up almost exactly where the previous one left off, or at least the next day, which is Black Friday – this episode was sponsored by Target. My analogy for Black Friday is Boxing Day sales, but on a much larger scale. I also refuse to go on the first day of Boxing Day sales, because you can go two days later and still pretty much get everything you need without the claustrophobia or getting injured.

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Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Eight”

I’m writing this after having seen the next episode, so this is going to be a short review – I’m mainly trying to keep the two separate in my mind – which is a shame, because this was a very good episode. It wasn’t up there with Mateo’s baptism, but it was an episode about family, which is what Jane the Virgin does best. Perhaps my mistake was to wait two weeks before watching this episode, but Christmas is a really busy time of year. It was really brave of the writers to tell six months’ worth of story in one episode, but it got the show’s timeline up to date with our calendar (at least in Australia’s delayed telecast), and it does that without losing any of what makes this show great.

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2015: My year in film, Part 1

I don’t have New Year’s Resolutions, but I did make a list of goals at the beginning of the year: read some nonfiction (I got to three books), write every day, and see more film. I read a lot when I was growing up, so my film credentials aren’t great. Then I started listening to the /Filmcast, and I made an effort to go and see some of the films they talked about. I managed to see every Best Picture nominee for the Oscars, but not every film that was nominnated, because this is not my full-time job, and I got sick of biopics after seeing Selma, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything in the space of two weeks. This is going to be a reflection of films I saw this year, some of which were released this year – some of those are 2014 films elsewhere in the world – some were not. So I’m making up awards for some of these films because I can.

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Movie Review: Joy

This is going to be a very short review, because I don’t really have much to say about Joy, David O. Russell’s latest feature to star Jennifer Lawrence. I haven’t read any reviews of the film yet – the film finished less than an hour ago – aside from the fact that I’d heard that Joy wasn’t great. Russell’s previous two feature films, both of which starred Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were critical darlings – Silver Linings Playbook won Lawrence her first Oscar, and Lawrence, Cooper, Christian Bale and Amy Adams were all nominated for their work in American Hustle – and Joy is just… there. This is a shame, not only because of the people who were involved in making the film, but because Joy Mangano’s story is a great one to adapt to film.

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Top 10 television shows for 2015

Mad Men 2015

It’s December, and the thing the internet loves the most at this time of year is the end-of-year Best Of list, so they can disagree with them. This is my first time writing such a list, and it’s difficult. I thought about writing a separate list for Australian shows, but I don’t want to ghettoise them, so they’re in here too. There are things that aren’t on here because I don’t watch them (The Walking Dead, Hannibal) or haven’t had time to catch up (Transparent, The Leftovers, Parks and Recreation), so just know I haven’t forgotten them. I didn’t forget anything, there’s a reason I left it off. Fargo isn’t on here because while I thought it was very good, I didn’t love it – although Kirsten Dunst did give one of the best performances of the year. My favourite show of the year has the top spot, everything else is in alphabetical order. Hopefully the shows I’ve collected here are a good range of the different things I’m enjoying right now. Writing a Top 10 list is hard, and while I’m only super passionate about half to two-thirds of the shows on this list, they’re all here for a reason. I’ve written about all of these shows previously, so there’s just going to be a paragraph about why each one is there, with some links to some things I’ve written. My only warning is that if you watch the “Best episodes” of the show, you will be spoiled for some plot developments.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I’m house sitting for the evening and the wifi doesn’t want to behave tonight, so this is just a short greeting on my phone. I really should have spent the time I had from 1-2 pm finishing my top 10 list instead of dancing to the Meg Mac Live at the Wireless set on triple j. Actually that was pretty great and it’s Christmas, so I’m not going to fight the signs that I should relax. Or just listen to more Meg Mac, which is definitely a valid option.

Book Review: Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith

The discovery that Robert Galbraith was actually a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling was a great day. I can’t quite remember how the news was released, but I didn’t care. It was a new J.K. Rowling book! Way back in 2008 (or possibly 2009), I listened to PotterCast, my favourite Harry Potter podcast (I stopped listening when Sue left), featuring John and Hank Green. Melissa Anelli and Hank Green both discussed how good J.K. Rowling was at mysteries, and that she was very Agatha Christie-esque. I spent most of my first year of uni reading Agatha Christie novels, and I saw the similarities. This is all to say that branching into crime was the perfect move for J.K. Rowling. I guess there are spoilers for character stuff, but not the end of the book.

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Movie Review: The Force Awakens [SPOILERS]

I just got out of seeing the new Star Wars film, and I missed my train home, so I’m starting my review while I wait for Lord of the Fries. I was always planning on seeing The Force Awakens, but I wasn’t sure when it would happen. Then I saw discussion on the internet saying that Rey was a Mary Sue, and I had to see this film. As of this sentence, I’m writing from home (the phone’s battery was nearly dead), and this isn’t really going to be a review so much as a series of sentences that are grouped vaguely into paragraphs because I’m still processing exactly what happened. Anyone who has seen the film knows what I’m talking about, and there are spoilers in this post, so I’m just going to hit Enter a bunch of times before I actually get to the review.

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Things I loved in 2015: Cooking shows

I just went out for a work dinner, and I planned to watch Jane the Virgin when I got back, but my family was watching Sliding Doors on DVD. Last night it was When Harry Met Sally, the first half of which is great. I pretend that it ends when they play Pictionary, and it’s a much better film. So, in my lack of planning that’s consistent with this time of year (although I finished my Christmas shopping a week ago), I thought about what I didn’t include on my Top 10 list for the year. It’s my first time writing a Top 10 list, and it was a strange exercise. I’ve had a draft post for about three weeks now, with a number of shows on it. I was going to cheat and do 15, but in the end there wasn’t anything I felt really bad about leaving off, except that I really do enjoy cooking shows, and I left both MasterChef and The Great Australian Bake Off off of my list.

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