Media diet - November 2023

As December rolls in, I’ve been spending some time reflecting. There’s a lot on my mind, but for now, here’s the media I’ve been experiencing over November.


Killers of the Flower Moon

A screen grab from the movie killers of a flower moon. Tight two shot cropping just the heads. In the foreground, a native american woman, played by Lily Gladstone, looking worried off to the right. Behind her, a white man in a cowboy hat and tie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, looks off blankly

What an incredible artistic achievement. Gets to the heart of America’s original sins in the same way that There Will Be Blood does. You don’t feel the runtime.

20 Million Miles to Earth

Movie poster of 20 million miles to earth. Shows a claymation lizard alien fighting a claymation elephant, along with the lizard alien brandishing a lamppost in another frame. It reads, "Out-of-space creature invades the earth!" along with the title.

Science fiction creature feature, where of course Ray Harryhousen’s stop motion monster effects take center stage. The plot is pretty basic, late 50s B-movie stuff, but it looks great.

The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!

Movie poster for "The rats are coming! The werewolves are here!". Hand drawn, with red eyed rats mouths dripping blood, surrounded by various white characters in portrait. It reads, "Sadistic suspense! Spine-chilling!" and "in blood-dripping color" along with the title.

Amazing title, very weird movie. The first film I’ve seen by Andy Milligan, seemingly a character himself, the movie is this grunge-y, threadbare, almost documentary feeling chamber piece about a haunted family. Only for the heads.

No Hard Feelings

Movie poster for No Hard Feelings. It shows Jennifer Lawrence on the left, and Andrew Barth Feldman on the right in profile. Both actors stare into the lense. Jennifer looks coy, Andrew looks scared. Jennifer is scrunching Andrew's cheeks. Above Jennifer it reads "Pretty." Above Andrew it reads "Awkward"

It’s a paint-by-numbers plotted rom com, but it’s so fun. There’s genuinely funny moments, and Jennifer Lawrence is effortlessly charismatic. I miss the days when this would be in competition with several other romantic comedies this year, but I’ll take it!

Death Race 2000

Movie posrer for Death Race 2000. Hand drawn. Shows a collage of David Carradine in a black, retro futuristic helment, a sexy blond white woman in a white body suit, and various retro future cars with guns on them driving around

A deliciously unhinged movie. Want to see a cartoonish satire where racers get points for driving over people, and also the 70s? Your wish is granted. Peak Roger Coreman.

Wet Hot American Summer

Movie poster for Wet Hot American Summer. Hand drawn. Parodies 80s sex comedy posters. The cast of characters is cartoonishly crammed into a car, as it speeds towards our viewpoint through the woods. Everyone is cheering. A NASA spacecraft decends in flames in the background

Re-watched this with some folks who had never seen it. Still perfection.

Next Goal Wins

Movie poster for Next Goal Wins. A group of American Soman soccor players look down into the camera, smiling. The exception is the white coach, who looks stern.

This one is alright. I loved the setting, and getting a bit of a peak into the culture of American Soma, but the plot is very formulaic and safe, and the expected character turns didn’t feel earned. That being said, there were plenty of fun moments, and despite the predicability, I found myself tearing up. Its fine!

Friday the 13th

Movie poster for Friday the 13th. Hand drawn. The poster is black, with the outline of a killer holding a bloody knife, head obscured by the title. Inside the kiler's outline, we see a pine forest at night, moon shining through ominous clouds, a group of teenagers small in the frame.

I had planned to see this before Halloween, but only got around to it at the end of November. I had never seen a single Friday the 13th movie, and despite their reputation as Halloween rip offs, I felt it a cultural deficit growing up in New Jersey.

So, I saw it! And, it was a movie. It really is a Halloween rip off, but without any of the tension or attention to detail or music or scares. So many movies have copied or parodied the “horny teenagers get murdered” trope, that its kind of quaint to go back to when this was only the second film to do so (I know I know, I’m sure there were others, don’t at me).

It’s not a great movie, but I guess I’ll keep watching them, see how the series goes.


Poster for the complete series of The Critic. It is a cartoon. The main character, a balding white man with a big belly, sits in a director's chair. He raises his index finger, smiling. His speech bubble reads "It Stinks!"

I don’t watch too many TV shows, but did catch a few episodes of The Critic my friend Jon showed me. I had never seen it, and not everything ages well, but damn, so much funny.


This has been a slow month for reading for me. Hope to pick up the pace in December.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Book cover for The Haunting of Hill House. It depicts the stylized shadow of a house, with a large human eye staring terrified from within it. Crows circle.

So tense, so mean, so weird, so good.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book cover for Mexican Gothic. Hand drawn image of a dark skinned mexican woman in a luxurious red dress, holding wilting flowers. Her eyes are cut off by the top of the frame.

Kind of apiece with The Haunting of Hill House, but very much its own thing. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it’s been riveting, with so much life to the characters, and effortless stylistic changes between the grounded real and the psychedelic terror.

I’m planning on making these media diet posts monthly, so I’ll write about this one again next month when I finish it.


Australia Stops by C.O.F.F.I.N

Album cover for Australia Stops. Photograph of a ferry with the name Freshwater. Long haired white men are jumping off into the water.

I was pretty much been listening to this one non-stop in November, after hearing them perform live on The Best Show. Raucous hard rock with a ton of energy. With the Australian accent and growl-shout delivery, I understand maybe one in ten words. It’s incredible.

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Album cover of Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Photgraph of a dirt country road at twilight, leading to a warmly lit little house.

I’ve heard of Lucinda Williams for a long time, but never consciously listened to her before. After hearing this album discussed on The Best Show, I decided to give it a spin. It’s a really beautiful record, and I’ll need to spend more time with it to really let it sink in.

It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back by Public Enemy

Album cover of It takes a nation of millions to hold us back. Shows Chuck D and Flav-a-flav, two black men, behind bars, looking tough and confident

Listened to this again, and yeah, still amazing.

Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo by Aimee Mann

Album cover of Bachelor No 2. A 18th centry style drawing of a dodo on a green field, along with the title.

Went back to this album and boy does it hit on every level for me. The raw emotional power is only matched by the timeless songwriting, and a performance for the books. This is a perfect record.

Dopesmoker by Sleep

Album cover of Dopesmoker. Painting of a deser with two moons hanging in the bright, cloudless sky. A caravan of camels and people complely covered by retro future robes and breathing machines carrying laser rifles walk towards out perspective.

Finally listened to this early 90s doom metal classic all the way through. Strange, hypnotic, heavy. It’s a trip, man.