Friday, February 15, 2019

Oscar Snubs

Each year, when the Academy hands out its Oscar nominations, it snubs some deserving films. Some of my favorites from 2018 weren't nominated. Let's call these snubs, even if very few (none) of the critics liked these movies as much as I did. In hindsight, I'd only add one, "If Beale Street Could Talk," to the list of eight movies the Academy did nominate. So, I'm not complaining. But before we get all caught up in the Oscar ceremony, let's take a moment to remember these overlooked gems from 2018.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

POTD: "In Every Grain of Sand"

From 2018 06 14 Great Sand Dunes NP
In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.
Source: Rachel Carson.
Today's photo-of-the-day is not on a beach. It's not within 900 miles of any ocean. It's from the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. And there's a great story of the earth there. Go and read it sometime. And play in the sand when you do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Homecoming (TV 2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Homecoming (TV 2018): Julia Roberts as a social worker helping soldiers adapt to civilian life. Or not. The mysterious program messes with her as much as the soldiers. The narrative arc is flat, the resolution unsatisfying. No meaty roles here, except her overbearing boss. C+

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

POTD: Herd on the Street

From 2018 06 12 New Mexico

Today's photo-of-the-day was taken on the street in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Kind of creepy if you ask me, but there's no accounting for taste. I ask: is it any creepier to buy one of these than it is for me to take a photo of all of them?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: The Gulf

The Gulf
From The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea, by Jack E. Davis:
Open quote 

For a people to be permanently settled without the requirement of food crops was rare in North America and across the globe—a luxury, in a way. There was no imperative, either, for the Calusa to migrate from hunting ground to hunting ground stalking food, because it came to them. Big fish, little fish, shrimp, sea turtles, crabs, lobsters, manatees, and even sharks, whales, and West Indian seals—it was all easy gathering with spear, net, or quick hand."

500 years of the story of the Gulf of Mexico: natural history, politics, economics, you name it, it's all here. What it was when the Europeans found it in the 15th century (see the quote above) to what it is today (we'll get to that). And a lot of things that have been done to it along the way.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
The Other Side of the Wind (2018): Orson Welles's last, unfinished film, about the making of a documentary about the making of an aging director's last, unfinished film. An art film, a satire on Hollywood movie-making, but mostly a self-indulgent, bloated mess. D+

And, if this isn't meta enough for you, there's the documentary about Welles making this movie. It's "They'll Love Me When I'm Dead."

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Annihilation (2018)

Rotten Tomatoes
Annihilation (2018): Mysterious DNA mutations happen inside a nature preserve. The danger is growing. Five carefully chosen actresses (er, scientists) are sent in to investigate. Shimmering woo, attacks by CGI monsters, and meetings with Rorschach-like aliens ensue. Bad. C-