Mean Girls (2004)

Today Lindsay Lohan is perhaps the poster girl for the teen idol whose career and life crashes and burns hard but there was indeed a time when she was Hollywood’s it-girl and Mean Girls is probably her best and most memorable role. I didn’t watch it back in the day and always hesitated about putting it on the watch list because it’s isn’t exactly acknowledged as a great film. I eventually caved in when some Broken Forum members named it as one of the best comedies of the new millennium. Plus we’ve watched so many films over the past couple of years that we’ve really been running down the list.

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The Fifth Season

Once again, I had no idea that this was another first book of a trilogy instead of a standalone. In retrospect I guess the titles were an obvious clue. The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for 2016 and the second book The Obelisk Gate won the same award for 2017. Then again, author N.K. Jemisin is hardly a stranger to the awards circuit. This however is the first book I’ve read by her as I’ve been out of the loop for a while.

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Horse Money (2014)

This film made the lists of some critics’ most notable films a couple of years ago but I had a very difficult time tracking it down. I think this is at least partially because while it was certainly notable, it wasn’t particularly successful. It’s a Portuguese film by Pedro Costa and one of the main reasons it was notable that it is almost completely indecipherable, being close to an experimental film with hardly any plot.

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Moana (2016)

I remember watching the trailer for this in the cinemas and coming away with the impression that this was fairly generic Disney fare transposed on top of Polynesian mythology. It didn’t help that Dwayne Johnson appeared to be playing a character identical to his real-life persona and I find him annoying. But then months after its release, I noticed a stream of posts on Broken Forum praising it. As it turned out, Johnson does indeed sort of play himself, but the film is smart enough to mock his persona, which makes all the difference.

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Black Closet

I’ve tried visual novels before. Needless to say I’m not a big fan of them. I do dig how they sometimes incorporate substantial game mechanics, as in Long Live the Queen, but they mainly seem like a poor man’s adventure game to me, especially since almost all of them are about developing a romantic relationship. This one intrigued me because it has a detective game element build around the visual novel and as far as I know detective games are rather rare.

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Network (1976)

If you’re anything like me, this film’s title is a subject of some confusion. After all, today when we think of the word ‘network’, we think in terms of computer and communications networks. The last thing that would come to mind is a television network. Yet this is indeed what it’s about and it turns out to be an impressively prescient film by Sidney Lumet who once again blows me away with his acute sense of insightful social commentary.

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The unexamined life is a life not worth living