Unbreakable (2000)

The whole thing is a set up for sequels. It was way ahead of its time, as it predicted our current modern flood of failed/boring franchises planned out long before the first movie starts filming.



The Fix (2018)

Americans and Canadians can't do comedy panel shows. Even if they are extremely funny comedians, they are always awful on a panel compared to Brits and Aussies and Irish. Even the South Africans and Kiwis that occasionally pop up on Have You Been Paying Attention are better on panel shows than Katherine Ryan has ever been. I don't know why. I don't know what deep cultural differences cause North Americans to be totally non-functional on one specific type of TV show.


Once in a while they try to make an American panel show. sometimes they'll try to sweeten the pot by shoving some successful panel show regulars from British TV on, but it never works. The Fix wasn't as big a train wreck as this, but it wasn't consistently good and I wouldn't recommend it.



Evangeline - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers.
Black were her eyes as the berry that grows on the thorn by the wayside,
Black, yet how softly they gleamed beneath the brown shade of her tresses!
Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the meadows.


This is the funniest thing I have ever read in my entire life. I kept trying to read on after this line, but my head was filled with the image of people putting their heads into cows' mouths, taking a deep huff, and screaming "Ahhhhhh!" with pleasure. Or images of a man and a woman in a bar giving each other flirtatious glances. The man walks up to the woman and says, "You have cow's breath."


Anyway, this is the worst poem I have ever seen in my life, but I am giving it 2/5 because of the hilarious and evocative imagery.



Review Of Joe Rogan's Career





Captain Fantastic (2016)

I don't expect movies to be realistic, but this was just too implausible. Surviving off hunting and gathering is highly-skilled, full-time work. Giving a group of kids a world-class education is highly-skilled, full-time work. I'm supposed to get angry at the characters who don't support him, but if an athletic handsome genius white male polymath with well-sculpted muscles, an encyclopedic knowledge survival skills, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the liberal arts came up with an impeccable, perfect pedagogical method in real life, I doubt it would be such an uphill battle for him.



Doom (1993)

It was revolutionary when it came out, but a million better (and less monochrome) shooters have come out in the meantime, making this feel drab and boring.



Cambridge History Of Ancient China

The Cambridge histories set a pretty high standard, and the volume on the Han Dynasty (also co-edited by Michael Loewe) has been one of my favourite books for many years. Aside from that, pre-Imperial China is an extremely interesting topic, so my expectations for this were high and I was extremely disappointed.

Many of the writers are competent. Some have an axe to grind or a personal pet theory to promote, which is poison to a book like this. The absolute low point is the chapter by David Nivison, and I have no idea why the editors didn't reject it. It's full of polemical claims about dating and composition for which he almost never provides evidence (aside from phrases like "most scholars consider", which doesn't even fly on Wikipedia). When he does hint at what evidence he's using, his reasoning is generally circular (we know text A was written in century B because it has idea C. We know idea C comes from century B because it is recorded in text A). He's also sassy and arrogant, which wouldn't have annoyed me if he had actually done the work.

The two best chapters are the are those on the Spring and Autumn period by Cho-yun Hsu and early imperial China's relationship to pre-imperial China by Michael Loewe. Aside from that, there are better ways of familiarizing yourself with most of these topics.



The Wolverine (2018)

Wolverine goes to Japan and works his way down a checklist of Japan things, like seeing an a-bomb explode and runing through a pachinko parlour.



The Celebration (1998)

It's meant to be shocking and serious and definitely not entertaining. It's meant to provoke discussion but what discussion? There's not many people on the other side of these issues, and this movie isn't going to change any minds about anything.

It seems a little disingenuous when filmmakers do this, because film just isn't the right medium for these kinds of discussions. Film is the right medium for dinosaurs and explosions and spaceships. Do you honestly thing fewer kids are going to get raped because a few aficionados undertook the chore of sitting through an uncomfortable art film for an hour and a half?