My Recent Media Diet, Spring 2022 Edition

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Well, it’s been a few months, so it’s time for another roundup of what I’ve read, watched, listened to, and experienced recently. In addition to the stuff below, I have a few things in the works: the second season of Russian Doll, Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks, and I’ve just started diving into Rebecca Woolf’s upcoming memoir, All of This. Oh, and I’m listening to Russell Shorto’s The Island at the Center of the World audiobook and the third season of Michael Lewis’ Against the Rules podcast. Still, don’t sweat the letter notes too much.

Everything everywhere all at once. This movie is a bit of a miracle: action, comedy, heartfelt, and a bit of a mess, all in perfect balance. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in ages. (A+)

Canto. The kids and I really liked it. (B+)

The Expanse (season six). I will miss spending time in this world with these people. (A-)

Matrix by Lauren Groff. Was delighted and moved by this work of historical fiction about Marie de France. (A)

Station eleven. I loved the slow burn and resolution of this show. I didn’t think I wanted to watch a TV show about a flu pandemic causing the end of civilization, but this was actually perfect. The two actresses who played Kirsten were fantastic. (A/A+)

The Last Duel. Each director is entitled to his Rashomon I suppose? And I’m not sure Matt Damon was the right choice here… (B)

Pork. I didn’t know what to expect from this one. Even so, Taken + Truffle Hunters + Fight Club + Ratatouille was a surprise. (B+)

Strafford ice cream. This black-owned dairy farm makes the richest, creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I randomly bought a pint of this a few months ago… I’ll never go back to anything else. (A)

Breakup. Fantastic opening credits sequence and while I wasn’t as enamored as many after the first few episodes, the show definitely grew on me. (A-)

My Brilliant Friend (Season Three). I don’t know why there’s no more buzz around this show. Max Richter’s acting, world-building, story and soundtrack are all fantastic. And the fight against fascism! (A)

Golden age. Exactly what I wanted from a period drama from the creator of Downton Abbey and Gosford Park. (B+)

Exhalation. Second time, this time on audiobook. I love these stories – Chiang is a genius. (A)

The Boba Fett Book. It turned into season 2.5 of The Mandalorian and I’m totally okay with that. (B+)

Podcast Other People’s Money. As a snack between seasons for his excellent podcast Against the Rules, Michael Lewis revisits his first book, Liar’s Poker, written about his experience working for Salomon Brothers in the 80s. (UN-)

The king’s man. Not as fun as the first movie but funnier than the second? But they could all be better. (B)

Become red. I loved Domee Shi’s short film, Bao, and this film is just as smart and heartfelt. (A-)

Drive my car. Really enjoyed the cinematography of this one; I wish I could have seen it in the theatre. (A-)

Jennifer Packer at the Whitney. I didn’t know about Packer’s work before seeing this exhibition, but I’m a fan now. (A-)

Licorice pizza. I’m really flabbergasted by the two unnecessary racist scenes in this film. PT Anderson is a better filmmaker than that. It’s a shame because I really liked the rest of the film, the two protagonists are excellent. Can’t recommend it though. (D)

Death on the Nile. These movies are fun. Sometimes all you want to do is watch Kenneth Branagh chew up sets as Hercule Poirot. (B+)

Moon fall. Not as fun or cohesive (I know, lol) as some of Emmerich’s other movies. The acting is… not great. (C+)

Hawk Eye. Fun but I don’t know how many Marvel things I want to follow. (B)

Spider-Man: No Coming Home. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is always fun. (B+)

Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets. Better than the overly complicated sequel and Mikkelsen was a better Grindelwald than Depp. The story ended so well that who knows if there will be a fourth film. (B)

The Tragedy of Macbeth. Brilliant cinematography and set design. (B+)

The Batman. Oh I don’t know. I guess it was a decent enough detective story, but I don’t know why Batman had to be involved. (B)

The Nordic. It would have been much better if it had ended 20 minutes earlier. Not sure we need another movie that ends in ultimately pointless violent male revenge. (B-)

Kimi. Soderbergh does Rear Window + The Conversation. The steering is still tight and Zoë Kravitz is excellent at it. (A-)

The Mysterious Benedict Society. The kids and I enjoyed this solid adaptation of the first book in a popular series. (B+)

Armageddon. The pacing of this film is amazing – it puts you right into the action and never stops for more than 2 hours. Also, the main question when searching for this movie title on Google is “Is the Armageddon movie a true story?” *sigh* (B-)

Past episodes of My Media Diet are available here.

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