Things I Enjoyed: Dec 2022

Mission Impossible series

I watched a promo video for some stunt they’re doing in the next Mission Impossible movie and it reminded me that I don’t think I’ve seen a single MI movie more than once and that I don’t remember anything whatsoever about any of them. I had time, so: I rewatched all of them.

Only one of them is bad (2), and even that I think that’s a factor of it aging very, very badly and vaguely recall it landing ok enough when it came out. The rest are, at minimum, entertaining with high-end action.

The first, in my opinion, was the best. It’s the least Cruise-y of the series, but I liked it the most.

I’d rank them 1, 5, 6, 4, 3, 2 and I won’t lie and claim I’m not looking forward to 7.

The ‘G’ Word

The ‘G’ word in question here is “Government” – this is an Adam (Adam Ruins Everything) Conover, Barak Obama funded semi-adaptation of Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk, which I rate very highly.

Where Lewis’ book is about the vital, literally life-saving services the US federal government provides and how dangerous it is to hand the agencies that provide these services to Trump-appointees who are at best unqualified to supervise them and at worst actively working to undermine them… Conover takes a somewhat different tack. Instead of centering things around a no-longer administration, he themes each episode around a service, discusses why it’s important and what good the federal government provides, and then talks about where how it falls short on that service.

It was an easy, entertaining watch that I’d recommend especially since The Fifth Risk is a little less timely.

House of Styx

I’ve really enjoyed all of Derek Künsken’s books, and this one was no exception. I wish he could develop the post-heist a bit more, but the world building he does is so interesting, and the heisting is always fun. They’re squarely in the Alastair Reynolds space where the science might as well be space magic but he’s convincing enough to make it feel hard sci-fi if you’ve got a BA in English.