The Midnight Gospel

I would give this a perfect score if they re-released it with the stoner philosophy edited out.



Some Like It Hot (1959)

The two most important things to know about movie critics are:


Take a look at any best movie list by professional critics, and the standard cross-dressing scam movies are bound to be there. Drag queen movies don't generally make it because the men have to be cross-dressing due to some situational necessity, not just because they personally like it.

As far as critical-darling cross-dressing movies go, this is the least stupid one, although by Billy Wilder or Jack Lemon standards it's pretty weak.



Undone - Season One

I watch Amazon Prime a fair deal, but all they ever advertize me is the Jonas Brothers reunion. In the last year I have received publicity for pretty much nothing else. I have no idea why their algorithm thinks that's the only thing I would ever want to watch. Judging from the laborious animation technique and cast and hot show creator, Undone must have cost a fortune, but Prime decided that it just wasn't worth advertizing Undone or any other show when I could be watching this 00s boy band thing I've been trying to ignore for what seems like an eternity.

Anyway, this is very good with beautiful visuals, and well-written characters, and excellent performances from everyone. Also it's very sad so don't watch it unless you want to be bummed out.



Iron Man 2 (2010)

The a-story is about Tony's alcoholism and depression and father issues, and the b-story is about some guy who is angry. The a-story's big action sequence (the best of the film) is against his best friend. Then Tony cures all his psychological problems and flies off because he remembers there's still a b-story to wrap up. The b-story action sequence is very long, and poorly filmed, and darkly lit, and with a lot of bad CGI. It is boring and takes forever and, because it is the b-story, you know it's not very important. It deflates what was otherwise a decent movie.

Also notable is that Terrence Howard is replaced by Don Cheadle. Imagine being in a huge superhero franchise only to find out that not only have you been replaced by a Golden Girl, but not even one of the more well-known Golden Girls.



War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy

This has 559 characters. In my edition, that averages out to about one new character every two pages. I feel like this has a lot of characters for the same reason guys who don't need to haul heavy loads buy really big pickup trucks.



The Tombs Of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin

This is one of the greatest things I've ever read in my life.



Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

It's too Star Trek to work as an action movie. It's too much of an action movie to deal with the Star-Trekish premise in any satisfying way.

THAT BEING SAID, I'm currently living in a city with rapid gentrification, and seeing paradise destroyed by a bunch of miserable people with ugly plastic surgery faces does strike a chord with me.



The Alchemist - Ben Jonson

I really want to like a play that starts with 'I fart at thee', but most of the humour doesn't really hit home.

The sort of people that praise this as a masterpiece and a work of genius also become visibly upset when the same type of humour is sold to a modern audience. I had English teachers who would endlessly whine and complain about Adam Sandler and the like, but is this monument of world literature really any different? The world of English majors and literary critics has a lot more to do with posturing than with actual books.



The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

I think the English translator must have been better than the original writer, because most English speakers I have met who have read this walked away with a positive impression. In Portuguese, Coelho often comes across as barely literate.

This is two books which alternate from chapter to chapter. The first book is about a boy looking for treasure. The second is a self-help book for narcissists who worry that they are not self-serving and manipulative enough. In the end (spoilers), the boy finds where the treasure should be buried and starts digging. Pretty soon he gives up and decides the actual treasure was the experiences he had along the way. Then he digs a bit more and finds some gold and gems and decides that the real treasure was actually getting really rich.