is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
In spite of how good television has become, I still find it’s rare to find a show where every episode is a truly worthwhile chunk of time spent. If one season is ten or twenty episodes, at least three to five hours of it will be duds, in my experience. With those odds, and given I’m now past the age where time seems unlimited, I’d rather take my chances with movies instead. There are so many to watch. Beyond even all the great films that I haven’t seen yet—and all the great ones I’d like to re-watch—there are countless movies that I’m just curious about, that I’d like to discover for myself.
So I made a New Year’s resolution to cut out my television viewing and spend that time watching movies instead. So far, I’ve done pretty well. I went a little nuts in the beginning of January, but overall, when I look back on how I spent my time, I feel like I gained so much from watching these movies, much more than I would have had I binge-watched “The Walking Dead.” Here is a rundown.
- “Sicario” Rewatched at home after seeing it in theaters last year.
- “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Really had a hard time finishing this one. Completely inessential.
- “The Double” I was skeptical at first because it seemed very arch, but it’s full of inventive stuff.
- “Diabolique” Superbly creepy.
- “Star Wars” My daughter can’t get enough; I’m over it.
- “The Grifters” Much sunnier and less gritty than I recall from seeing it twenty-some years ago, but still quite good.
- “Creed” So great in nearly every way.
- “L’Immortelle” Strange but bewitching artifact from the French New Wave.
- “Blue Ruin” Finally got to see this. Brutal.
- “Adua and Her Friends” Pulls off a neat trick at the end when you expect it to lose its nerve, but somehow it doesn’t.
- “The Empire Strikes Back” Holds up.
- “Mary Poppins” First time I’ve watched it since I was a kid.
- “The Law” Gina Lollobrigida, folks.
- “Avengers: Age of Ultron” It’s not as bad as some people say, at least until the interminable fight sequence at the end.
- “Frozen” Like, my twentieth time, and not by choice.
- “They Made Me a Fugitive” Tidy little British noir from 1947.
- “Two-Lane Blacktop” Lost, glamorous American youth on the road.
- “Bridge of Spies” Felt like something my high school history teacher would have assigned. Also, post-processed extensively to remarkably ugly effect.
- “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Terrific.
- “Murder by Decree” Sherlock Holmes with all the interesting parts taken out.
- “Slow West” A bit too twee, but solid.
- “Hunger” Amazing.
- “13 Tzameti” Insane.
- “The Keep” Finally got to watch this rare early Michael Mann movie, transferred from a terrible print, via Amazon. Pretty flimsy, but still has some vintage Mann elements.
- “Fruitvale Station” Excellent.
- “Lady Snowblood” Over the top Japanese revenge tale.
- “Chronicle” I was surprised by how smart this was.
- “The Unbelievable Truth” I’ve tried many times but Hal Hartley just doesn’t register with me.
- “Le Notti Bianche” Wonderful neo-realist fairy tale.
- “The Racket” Robert Mitchum in a pokey morality noir.
- “Deadpool” Beyond criticism.
- “The Wolf of Wall Street” A high water mark for Scorcese and DiCaprio.
- “Cars” Not the best Pixar outing, but nothing to be ashamed of either.
- “Ant-Man” Still might be my favorite of all Marvel’s films.
I’ve been tracking all my viewings on Letterboxd, in case you want to follow along.+