Recent media (and other diversions)

Inspired, of course, by Kottkeโ€™s media diet posts.

Ratings have two components: a momentary assessment, either of quality (expressed with 1โ€“4 โ˜…) or of subjective enjoyment (expressed as 1โ€“4 ๐Ÿ…™); and my level of confidence that Iโ€™ll feel the same way in the future (expressed as a percentage). Arenโ€™t I cute.

November 2021

๐Ÿ•น The Touryst. A very tightly-crafted gaming artifact. Parts of this were more dexterity/action challenge than puzzle challenge, which isnโ€™t really my jam. Some good moods in there. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟ / 90%)

๐ŸŽฌ The French Dispatch. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™ / 90%)

๐Ÿ“บ ACTION BUTTON REVIEWS Cyberpunk 2077. Iโ€™ve been a fan of Tim Rogers and his obsessive, dense, overbearingly baroque style since seeing his 2018 review of Dragon Quest XI. Since going independent last year, he has blossomed into a caricature of a caricature of himself (see his 3-hour review of Pac Man) and now he has gifted us this eight-part ten hours long review as his season finale. Nice to watch for weeks in small chunks. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟ / 90%)

October 2021

๐Ÿ•น A Short Hike (on Nintendo Switch). Played this with my young children. 1โ€“2 hours long and very enjoyable. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 80%)

๐Ÿ“บ Schmigadoon. If youโ€™ve watched musicals, youโ€™ll enjoy. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟ / 90%)

๐ŸŽฌ Free Guy. Saw this in the theatre. Comes off as Truman Show by way of Lego Movie. Everything that happens in the filmโ€™s โ€œreal worldโ€ (dialogue, romance, villainy, employment situations, motives, character development, choices) is 100% less believable than the things that take place inside the video game. But we laughed a lot. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟ / 20%)

๐ŸŽฌ LOL Surprise: The Movie. I lost a dispute with my daughter and this ended up being our family movie night movie. I like a lot of kids movies. With this one, I couldnโ€™t really tell you what happened. (0 / 100%)

September 2021

๐ŸŽฌ The Green Knight Every frame is a painting. Dev Patelโ€™s Gawain is a newborn boy fueled by shame. A whole wild mood. I feel like there were a lot of visual details that went over my head. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™ / 80%)

August 2021

๐ŸŽฌ The Dig. My favorite thing about this film was the cast; Carrey Mulligan, Johnny Flynn, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James. Good and moody; kind of gets you in the end. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟ / 80%)

๐Ÿ“บ Mare of Easttown. This was incredibly well-doneโ€ฆbut itโ€™s also another entry in the genre of โ€œincredibly damaged detective, living in a close-knit community full of traumatized people living in helpless desperation, self-destructs while trying to solve multiple horrifying, dark crimes.โ€ (See also: Broadchurch, Wallander, True Detective, etc.) I would not have watched if my wife hadnโ€™t been interested. We did enjoy discussing it. So for me this was like a rainy hike; the experience improves once itโ€™s over with. If I watch TV shows at all, my preference is for pleasant dissociation, not dread and catharsis. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 80%; ๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟโ’ฟ / 55%)

๐Ÿ“• The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I read this cover to cover in two calendar days. I canโ€™t remember the last time I did that with a work of fiction. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 80%)

๐Ÿ•น Divinity: Original Sin II (Switch). I have only finished the first act so far. There was definitely a learning curve on this one, but once I wrapped my brain around it I found it extremely enjoyable: a many-threaded story with a patient pace and extremely high detail.

๐ŸŽฌ Emma (2020) (rewatch). Hereโ€™s a theory: Austen movies are underrated as world-building fantasy endeavors. A good Austen movie drops you into a complicated social web and a beautiful, alien landscape. This one is boosted by having one of my favorite musicians as one of its leads. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 100%)

July 2021

๐ŸŽฌ 3 Idiots (rewatch). The title is no preparation for what a fun, campy, great-feeling movie this is. Some great callbacks. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™ / 100%)

๐ŸŽฌ Shrek. Watched with the kids. I had never seen it before now, so I donโ€™t have any nostalgia associated with it. More fun than I expected. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟ / 50%)

๐ŸŽฒ Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile by Leder Games. Beautiful art, board and pieces. Easily the most interesting board game Iโ€™ve played, and I love how it evolves every time you play. Iโ€™m just not sure how often Iโ€™ll realistically coordinate with 2โ€“4 other people to play a 2โ€“4 hour game. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟ / 80%)

๐ŸŽฌ Wild Mountain Thyme. This one was quite a surprise. Seems like a low-budget cable movie that somehow scored an A-list cast? The writing is uneven. Great train-wreck of a payoff, and I somehow mean that in a good way. Walken is great. Just ignore the accents. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™ / 80%)

June 2021

๐ŸŽฌ Luca. More fun than I expected. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟ / 50%)

๐ŸŽฒ Fort by Leder Games. Jess and I played our fourth game recently and weโ€™re enjoying it a lot. Probably best for four players (havenโ€™t had a chance to try that yet), but still great for two. Games last 30โ€“45 minutes, fun mechanics, great artwork. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 80%)

๐Ÿ“• The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. I listened to the audiobook. Itโ€™s not properly approached or appreciated as entertaining fiction, but itโ€™s not quite โ€œspeculative documentaryโ€ either. I feel duty-bound to BS the enjoyment component of my rating and not to give any more details. Just read it. (โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… / 70%)

๐ŸŽฌ โ€˜INSIDEโ€™ Netflix special by Bo Burnham. Brilliant multidisciplinary execution. Also very funny and dark. (๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™๐Ÿ…™ / 40%)

๐ŸŽง How Not to Drown by Chvrches. Since their first release, Iโ€™ve gone to Chvrches for synthy sound and dream-logic poetry, and more and more theyโ€™re giving up those distinctives for a more acoustic sound and fairly literal lyrics about relationships (what Iโ€™m calling their CCM phase). (๐Ÿ…™โ’ฟโ’ฟโ’ฟ / 80%)