Consumables #69

Holy smokes, so many Consumables to talk about! Let’s DO THIS.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Documentary about an 85-year-old master sushi chef. Even if you are not into sushi specifically, this film essentially functions as a portrait of a great artist. If you are into sushi, it’ll make you want to lick the screen.

The special effects are pretty dang cool in this one. The characters were a bit too much of a rehash for me- I mean I know it’s Alien-related, but something new? Anything? The entire scene where poor-man’s Sigourney Weaver takes an alien out of her belly was just dumb. Also, there’s too much set up. The whole thing is setting up, which I guess will feel better when the sequel comes out but as a stand alone movie, not so much.

Deep Blue Sea
The other night, Nordic Boy and I were in a mood to snuggle up and see something romantical. The description of this movie made us think: doomed love in post World War II times, with pretty Rachel Weisz and pretty Tom Hiddleston. Sign us up! Only, oops, nope, do NOT sign us up. The following phrases were used while we were watching this movie. “Wow, that’s messed up.” Also, “dude, these people have got PROBLEMS.” Then “someone PLEASE separate these suckers, for the love of god!” As the credits rolled, Nordic Boy just summed it up by saying: “well, shit.” Precisely, my good fellow. Well, shit.

The Avengers
Can it be true that I haven’t mentioned the Avengers until now? I saw it in the theater ages ago. This is everything you expect it to be: cheesy, fun, explosion-y, bubbly goodness. Some random thoughts: will we ever see Robert Downey Jr in a non-sardonic role ever again? Because he can do that too, remember? And why wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow allowed to wear shoes in this movie? I want Pepper Potts to be in a suit and acting smartly buttoned up, not a Daisy Duke wearing hippy dip. Lastly, I think it’s probably an uncool choice but the Hulk is sort of my favorite.

Margin Call
I think that the thing I enjoyed most about this movie was the convergence of pop culture that happens in it. Dan Humphrey plus neo-Spock plus the Mentalist guy plus leathery old Jeremy Irons plus Demi Moore plus Aasif Mandvi and of course, Stanely Tucci. I say of course because isn’t the Tooch in everything? Also, this movie made me think about suspenders. In order to wear suspenders, you have to either be a Wall Street business dude or a lumberjack. There isn’t a lot of middle ground on suspenders.

Winter’s Bone
If this movie was in a heartbreaking contest with Wendy and Lucy, which would win? Probably this one, but it would be close. All I really need to say is that I love John Hawkes, ever since he played Sol Star in Deadwood, so that was good enough for me.

I am just now catching up with this, and is it weird that the ingenue person that we’re supposed to root for (Katherine McPhee) is the one I do not like? I wish that the show had a bit more of a wink to it. I think it suffers because it takes itself too seriously. Come on! You are singing show tunes and having soapy plot twists and you have Anjelica Houston making out with that One Life To Live Irish guy! Own your ridiculousness!

These are the most clean, stylish, shiny-haired, lip-glossed apocalypse survivors I have ever seen. And doesn’t the guy that plays Miles have a distinctly Herb-from-WKRP vibe going on?

Oh my god, I’m so tired.

Blindness, by Jose Saramago
Trippy story about a plague that sweeps through an unnamed city that causes some people to lose their sight. The fear of the plague causes the government to quarantine these people in an abandoned asylum, and the book describes the social breakdown that occurs within as well as outside of its walls. The characters in the story all remain nameless throughout, and the baseness and despair that occur are awful. The poetic language is the draw here, but there are seriously no rainbows anywhere to be found.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson
A big mammer jammer of a nonfiction book that tells the story of the migrations that occurred in droves (1920s through 1960s or so) of African American people who fled the Jim Crow south. I loved how it had an engaging, readable narrative that focused on representative individuals, but it doesn’t rely too heavily on anecdotes.

The Sparrow, by Mary Dora Russell
A Jesuit priest leads a team on a space mission to discover an alien civilization on another planet. Think Contact mixed with The Mission and you’ve got it.

Habibi, by Craig Thompson
There are some gorgeous drawings in this graphic novel, but the stuff that didn’t work for me outweighed that. There was some serious race, gender, and sexuality trouble of the kind that was so glaring that I couldn’t see past it. And the gratuitous naked ladies with the idealized bodies in every single scene, alRIGHT already. I will forever think that this book should have been called Haboobie.

Castle Waiting series, by Linda Medley
Graphic novel re-tellings of fairy tales that are fun and soothing. I think this is a great series for kids in upper elementary because it has a tongue-in-cheek sort of humor that they will get an especial kick out of.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts, by Susan Cain
These kind of anecdotal sciencey books are always a bit of a frustration for me. On the one hand, it’s interesting, but on the other hand, I just end up having so many questions about the meanings of the various studies and conclusions that are discussed that it ends up being not so convincing to me. Also, the author’s definition of introversion seemed hazy at best. I understand that this term is not one that has definitive boundaries, but in this case there were times when things got so broad as to seem kind of meaningless.

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts, by Simon Garfield
A fun, informative book that talks about font history and theory in an entertaining way. It was fontastic! (Come on, I had to).



  1. LG,Thanks for this…the discovery of "Other Suns" alone was worth your exhaustion (to me, I mean). That's right up my 20th-century history alley. Also, check out the Tooch in Joe Gould's Secret, a movie that was assailed for being boring by people who I suspect are boring. He plays my favorite author, and he directed. You seem to have a high threshold for subtlety, so you might enjoy it.

  2. Re Smash, I agree I didn't like many (or was it any) of the characters and I nearly gave it up but something happened, I don't know what, whilst I was 'giving it a chance' and I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the series.

  3. Oh! Blindness is one of my all-time favourite books! I seriously think it is one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read. If you enjoyed it and are perhaps looking for something less sad, have you read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides? I'm not quite sure why I lump these two together, perhaps I read them about the same time and loved both.

  4. Matt- Joe Gould's Secret is on my list!SheilaMac- I will keep with it for a while longer.Kate- Blindness was gorgeous indeed, and Middlesex is awesome too (I love the Michigan stuff in there).

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