Mixed media, Sunday 26 November 2017


  • Horns: Fiona really likes this film, and encouraged me to watch it. It’s a bit heavy-handed in places, but I quite enjoyed it. Other than his minor part in Now You See Me 2, this is the first time I’ve seen Daniel Radcliffe in a non-Potter role, and he was fine.
  • Wind River: Slow, moving, bleak, grief-bitten, hard to watch in places, but a very powerful and beautiful film. This is what a Western looks like in 2017.
  • Fantastic Four (2015): This film effectively simulates the feeling of falling asleep part-way through a film, then waking up and not understanding what is going on because you missed a crucial scene that explained why the characters are reacting to each other that way. Over and over again. It just made no sense.
  • The Way Way Back: Sweet coming-of-age comedy with some effective grown-up relation stuff thrown in. Sam Rockwell’s emotionally stunted character neatly avoided coming across as creepy; Steve Carell plays against type as an emotionally abusive almost-stepfather. The film walks a lot of lines very successfully.
  • The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young: Amazing documentary about a ridiculously tough multi-day ultramarathon race through the Tennessee mountains. But it’s not a rah-rah cheerleading story about athletes overcoming all odds. It’s very introverted, focusing on the quiet personal journeys that the runners make. Quirky and inspiring.
  • The Art of Organized Noize: Good documentary about the people behind the rise of Atlanta hip-hop in the 90s. Lots of great background and stories that reinforce a lot of the stereotypes of how ruthlessly exploitative the music business can be.
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Brilliant. More open and honest about being a genuine comedy than Guardians of the Galaxy was.
  • Justice League: It has some good bits. It has some bad bits. (In the climactic battle, the villain actually says, “No! This cannot be!”) When the team is together, they don’t have the same on-screen chemistry as the Avengers. It’s okay, but it doesn’t sizzle.


  • The Expanse season 2: Season one was good, season two is great. Loved this.
  • Mindhunter: Loved this, too. I used to enjoy Criminal Minds, and Mindhunter is like the prequel.
  • Rick and Morty season 3: Excellent
  • The Sinner: Interesting premise — we know exactly who committed the crime, but the story revolves all around the why, which is hidden even from the killer herself until the end. Unfortunately it’s also a very slow show, and it would have been much more effective at half its length. Maybe even cut down to a feature film.
  • The Good Place (seasons 1 & 2 up to mid-season break): Snappy and fun comedy about moral philosophy in the afterlife.
  • House of Cards season 5: Abi and I had watched seasons 1-4 together end enjoyed them. We started season 5, but couldn’t finish it. This was long before the Kevin Spacey allegations broke. With Trump in the White House, the political shenanigans the fictional president was getting up to in the show were no longer entertaining. I can’t see us going back to it.
  • Star Trek: Discovery (season 1 up to mid-season break): I thought the two-episode pilot was awful, but it has got better since then. Still not fantastic, but I’m willing to give it more rope. (Rainn Wilson as Harry Mudd is inspired, though.)
  • Parks and Recreation: I’m almost through season 6 now. Still enjoying it.


  • Universal Paperclips is a clicker game based on the idea of an AI whose mission is to make paperclips as efficiently in as great a volume as possible. Should be familiar if you are familiar with Nick Bostrom’s work, e.g. Superintelligence. I lost a couple of days to this.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Hard to say anything about this that others haven’t already said before me. It’s an amazing game, whose impact on the open-world sandbox genre will be felt for years to come.

Music: Wolf Alice (new album Visions of a Life), Linkin Park (back catalogue), The Ting Tings (back catalogue), The Cool Quest (new single “Running” + back catalogue)