Author Archives: Matthew Pittman

About Matthew Pittman

A Media Studies PhD student at the University of Oregon


Interstellar! Man, Nolan never disappoints. I’ve been thinking about this film for the past week after watching it…. and from what I gather in talking to others, it has that effect on lots of people. Reel Spirituality took a wonderful approach in writing a review of it—they did 3. One centered on the concepts of time, gravity, and love. The first one is here. A movie this epic needs to be accessed on different planes, and I’m still mulling over what it has to say about the power of love (especially between daddy and daughter)!




Man, I love indie science fiction. I think it might be my favorite film genre. Of course, Snowpiercer (based on a graphic novel) was only seemed “independent” because of its limited release due to a controversy that arose when the Weinstein Company wanted the movie dumbed down for Americans, but still. Awesome story. Inventive, dark, thought-provoking, compelling, but not heavy-handed or condescending in its portrayal of class, ecology, sacrifice, and leadership, among others.

Clever exposition throughout, the film takes its time acquainting you to the dystopia in which it is set. I can’t remember the last time my jaw literally dropped during a monologue. Much less by Jake from Not Another Teen Movie!

Fargo (the film)

fargo marge


A friend recommended starting the Fargo television show, so we took it as an excuse to finally watching the Coen brothers’ original 1996 “hit” film.

Those accents!

I can’t tell if we are supposed to admire or pity (probably  a bit of both) the poor, middle-of-nowhere residents who keep going about their mundane lives despite craziness inserting itself into their midst. The favorite part might be Marge talking to the escorts whose jobs and relevant information are delightfully offset by their sing-songy intonation and constant “Ya?!”s that end every sentence. That, or the repeated description of Steve Buscemi as “funny looking” in a nondescript sort of way. The Coen brothers have a talent for creating characters like this: boring yet memorable, mundane yet noticeable. Someone even made a chart about it!

Worth every penny

this wine producers takes its name from skateboarding!

This lovely little red blend from Trader Joe’s might be the best bang for your buck ever. Good for simultaneously sautéing and sipping, La Granja 360 has all kinds of blended wines. This Grenache and Syrah blend is really fruity and smooth. Truly, I could ask nothing more from a wine that cost $4.99! It’s even won some awards.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

A buddy of mine recently splurged on some nicer bourbon (than we poor grad students are accustomed to drinking) and it is just delightful. The only downside is the alcohol provides a bit more burn than I would like, but man, the nose on this thing is incredible. It smells like someone melted some vanilla/clove butterscotches in a glass. The taste has a bit more wood and brown sugar and CARAMEL. Of course, I can’t pick out as many elements as these guys, but I still enjoyed it.  8/10, but factor in the price, and its 7.5/10.




Neighbors is totally worth seeing

Neighbors was way better than it needed to be.


A truly funny movie finds truths in your own life that you never thought to articulate, then does so perfectly. Neighbors did this with its relationships in a pretty genuine way, and the “pranks” were entertaining as plot catalysts.

Captain America The Winter Soldier

Saw ‘ol Cap in action last night. Not sure if it deserves the almost 90% it has on Rotten Tomatoes, but I definitely got my money’s worth. Very fun movie. Robert Redford is great as a baddie, ScarJo’s mostly platonic chemistry with Evans is pretty engaging, and the military industrial complex is, once again, momentarily critiqued…. sort of.



Well, Game of Thrones fans we rewarded tonight. Social media “ruined the surprise” for me a few hours beforehand, so it was interesting to watch the episode culminate with Joffrey’s death. They gave us glimpses of his humanity throughout the episode (scraps to the poor, graciously receiving Tyrion’s book, etc.), so I thought maybe the show was setting us up to feel conflicted about Joffrey’s death, or that it would somehow not be satisfying.


2012 Territorial Pinot Noir & 2013 Rose of Pinot Noir

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Territorial, a local vineyard/tasting room, had some food trucks and live music last night, so we went with some friends and got a bottle of this. It was decent, a lower, darker, heavier pinot noir, a little cherry and almost tobacco, but not quite as good as the 2008 Meriwether Pinot Noir we had 2 days ago. Maybe too subtle for me at that time. I enjoyed the accompanying crepes almost as much as the pinot..

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For kicks and giggle we had a bottle of this next, and it was very light. My buddy joked that it was watered down pinot noir, but I guess that’s what a noir rose tastes like? Pleasant and summery, but any body or substance was too evanescent to be tangible. The best part was the label.