My November 2023 Media Diet

I am a huge fan of Jason Kottke and his website, Periodically, Jason posts a summary of what he’s been watching, reading, playing, and doing. I look forward to these posts and thought it would be fun to start doing the same.

I am hoping that writing about the content I consume will allow me to reflect on and remember more of what I enjoy (or don’t enjoy).

So without further ado, here is what I’ve been up to the past month:

🍿 Nosferatu. Somehow I had never seen Nosferatu prior to this. Nitehawk Theater screened a restoration with a live score played by a band on Halloween night. It was the perfect way to see it for the first time. (👍🏼)

📺 Our Flag Means Death. Love this show. Very sweet, very fun. Taika’s comedic timing is unmatched. I’m hoping it gets picked up for a third season but they ended this one in a way that’s fitting even if it does not. (👍🏼)

📺 The Sopranos. I was very late to the game despite loving all things organized crime. What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about Tony Soprano and the rest of the ensemble cast that makes up this show? James Gandolfini embodies Tony Soprano in a way that so many actors wish they could emulate but can never achieve. The show isn’t perfect but it has quickly climbed to one of the top spots in my favorite shows of all time list. (❤️)

📺 Pluto. I have never read or watched any Astro Boy content before this. Pluto was a wonderful take on robots / AI coming to terms with its own humanity. I’d love to watch more content in this vein. Pluto reminded me of a cross between Blade Runner and Neon Genesis Evangelion. (👍🏼)

📖 The War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells. I try to read a few “classics” every year. I did not realize this was written in 1897. I was wondering why it took so long for the military to show up but it must have taken a while for the news to spread back then. I’m planning on listening to the Orson Welles radio broadcast and maybe rewatching the Spielberg movie sometime soon. (👍🏼)

🕹️ Puzzmo. New game service by Zach Gage and Orta Therox that is trying to compete with the likes of The New York Times' games offering. There is a lot to love here. The new game, Flipart, has become my go to game when I wake up in the morning. Give this a shot if you like newspaper games of all kinds. (❤️)

🕹️ Playdate. I received a Playdate as a 2022 Christmas gift but only just received it. I have been addicted to the thing since I opened the box. The hardware is solid and the crank has a great feel. My favorite type of games are short, twitchy, skill based games that I can beat in a few days and this has those types of games by the bucketload. (❤️)

🍿 Mission Impossible: Dead Reconning Part One. The action sequences in this movie were great fun. I think I have enjoyed the Mission Impossible series more than the James Bond franchise in recent years. This does suffer a bit by being a Part 1 of 2 movie, and I’m not sure this was really necessary for this story line. That said, I will be watching the next one, if only to see Tom Cruise do another one of his insane stunts. (👍🏼)

📖 Starter Villain by John Scalzi. Just the book I needed after reading a few slower books. Scalzi is always a great popcorn-type read and I blasted through this in a few days. Just like every other book of his. I’m hoping he can get back to a series of books again sometime soon. (👍🏼)

📺 Scavengers Reign. Wow. Started this show on a whim after seeing a Threads post about it. I devoured it on a lazy weekend while Emily was doing pottery. Creative sci-fi with life forms reminiscent of Adventure Time mixed with a very adult, somber, but heartfelt storyline. More like this please! (❤️)

🍿 Napoleon. I was really looking forward to this and was a bit let down. Joaquin Phoenix is great in the role but there was something missing. Watch this on Apple Plus instead of the theater. (🫤)

📺 Blue Eye Samurai. This anime was a nice surprise. The animation was incredible and it reminded me Avatar: The Last Airbender grown up (with way more violence and none of the magic qualities). Very much looking forward to Season 2. (❤️)

🍿 Elemental. We’ve been putting this movie off and finally, begrudgingly, fired it up on a lazy Saturday night. Has Pixar ever tackled a love story head on quite like this? The animation was fantastic as usual and I had very few gripes. (👍🏼)

🕹️ Bramble: The Mountain King. The story was engaging but the control scheme left something to be desired. Too clunky. I’d still recommend this tho as it was quite short and not that difficult. A fun weekend romp and free on Game Pass. (🫤)

📖 The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I’ll be honest and say that I started this book purely because it was short and I’m making a last ditch effort to complete my reading goal for the year. Recognizing the fact that it was written in 1915 and translated from German, it was… fine. Though, I did particularly like the resulting metamorphosis of the family after the death of Gregor. (🫤)

🏎️ 2023 F1 Season. Fun season, even if it was predetermined that Max would win. (👍🏼)

🍿 Blue Beetle. I expected this to be generic and I wasn’t wrong. I think they infused it with enough charm that I did enjoy watching enough that I didn’t regret it. (🫤)

🍿 Cobweb. This has been on my horror radar for a while now and I was looking forward to it. It let me down a bit. Malignant did it better. (🫤)

🍿 Shin Godzilla. Bought this on sale a long time ago and finally got around to watching. Evolving Godzilla is a great concept. The initial form is so wacky and off the wall that you’re exited for future evolutions. (👍🏼)

Tim Bueno @timbueno