Movies Watched -- Call Me By Your Name (2018)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

130 minute running time so at least 30 minutes too long. A homosexual love story. I guess the teenage boy had sex with the hot local girl as an experiment, but that doesn't make sense to me if I understand homosexuality correctly. I once had a poker buddy who was gay and I asked him if he ever fantasized about women, and he said, "ewwwww." But sexuality is something of a mystery so who knows. 

Larry Gopnik was the kid's dad, and he told him at the end that he was gay, I guess, though he had a beautiful chain-smoking wife (who says they are "Jews of discretion," which made me laugh). And the older blonde guy (Armand Hammer, yes, an heir, supposed to be 24 here but looks closer to 30) the kid falls in love with tells him later on that he's engaged to be married (to a woman, obviously). 

Anyway, gay love stories ain't gonna fly in Omaha, though the setting (an ancient villa in northern Italy) is really beautiful, and the teenage kid is appealing, since he has the Roman nose and plays piano and is fluent in three languages, at least. They have money and servants and great bones and thick wavy hair and cul-chah and everything is so fabulous and charming ... you want to puke. 

Peter Rainer gets it: "...  it’s rare to see a movie of this sort that is so markedly nonjudgmental, the lack of sharp conflict doesn’t make for a terribly invigorating experience. Although it ends on a powerful, bittersweet chord, the movie is a bit too determinedly soothing for comfort."

Exactly, no one has a hissy fit ... no smashed china, or schnozzes.

I like Kate Taylor's take: "... as the al fresco dining, the refreshing swims, the liberal parents and the forgiving girlfriend pile up, the effect becomes precious and the film shifts from languid to long ... this multilingual, almost-pre-AIDS idyll does not stretch credulity ... but it can try the patience." She forgot to mention the ridiculous gay couple visiting from Paris in their pastel suits.

My favorite critic, Rex, predictably loved it ... "rhapsodic and heartbreaking ... a masterpiece of subtle emotions, intense sensuality and breathtaking beauty." Oh, Rex, you old fag.

 I wanna be bad.... 

I wanna be bad.... 

Sign of the Times

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Inspired after watching the latest season of Bosch, I'm (re-)reading a number of old Harry Bosch novels ... I liked this bit from The Burning Room (2014): 

"[Bosch missed] the old Los Angeles Times. In 1993 it was big and strong, its editions fat with ads and stories produced by a staff of the best and brightest journalists in their field. Now the paper looked like somebody who had been through chemo -- thin, unsteady, and knowing the inevitable could only be held off for so long."

Bosch -- Season Four

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I watched the fourth season of Bosch more or less in a binge. Ten episodes, around an hour a piece. It's good TV, not great TV. It's above average TV. Streaming on Amazon Prime. My screencaps with comments below: 

Delta Towns Wearing Satin Gowns

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Great song by Nanci Griffith ... can't go wrong name-checking Loretta and Merle ... this was recorded on September 11, 1991. That's Mary Chapin Carpenter in polka dots. I love both these women. The Indigo Girls sang their (one?) great song, Hammer and a Nail, at this show too.

When you can't find a friend, you've still got the Spotify. 

Movies Watched -- Wind River (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

106 minutes so just over the sacred hundred minute mark. W.D. By movie, hard to watch. Well crafted and tragic ... a crime / mystery / thriller movie ... I love Elizabeth Olsen, totally blown away by her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene, so a fan for life. Also stars Jeremy the Ugly Jason Bourne Renner.

One ridiculous standoff scene doesn't ruin the whole thing ... this is violent, ultra-violent. Vengeance, not forgiveness (or the Feds). And a tearjerker, won't be a dry eye in the house. It wasn't bad. I can recommend it. The first movie from 2017 that I can recommend, but be emotionally prepared ... it's going to put you through the ringer.

(Rex liked it too.)

 Guess I'm never gonna get to Ojai

Guess I'm never gonna get to Ojai

Painted My Heart

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Ranky Tanky from Charleston, SC ... never would have discovered them without Spotify's Discover Weekly: 

Movies Watched -- Detroit (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

142 minute running time so way way way too long, 40 to 50 minutes too long. Made by Kathryn Bigelow, who is on my permanent shit list for working with the security-industrial complex to make her War Porn pic, "Zero Dark Thirty." Anyway, this is a re-creation / dramatization of some atrocity that happened during the Detroit race riots of 1967.

Apparently three black men were executed in cold blood by some Detroit policemen, but who knows the real story? Digging this up is just going to add fuel to the whole Black Lives Matter fire, while simultaneously cashing in on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm as appalled by racism and police brutality (murder) as the next guy, but I also appreciate a more nuanced take on historical events. 

Red rating given the length, yellow rating if you're interested in one particular take on history.

 Beaver Cleaver asks one more time: Where is the starter pistol?!?

Beaver Cleaver asks one more time: Where is the starter pistol?!?

Movies Watched -- Get Out (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

104 minutes so close to the sacred 100 minute mark, but I still watched it at 1.5-2x ... weird one, not badly made, I can almost recommend except for the fact that I was unable to watch it at normal speed for some reason. Combination thriller / comedy / horror movie. Stars Daniel Kaluuya (a Ugandan name); Marnie from Girls, you know, the pretty girl whom everyone hated. Marnie's brother is terribly cast, some kid with greasy hair and a white-trash mustache channeling Johnny Depp. Sort of a Richard Dreyfuss guy plays Dad, with Jobs-ian black turtleneck, and Catherine Keener is Mom. 

Check it out if you get the chance, it comes closest to getting a green rating of anything I've watched from 2017 so far.

 You are feeling sleeeepy

You are feeling sleeeepy

Movies Watched -- American Made

Added on by C. Maoxian.

115 minute run time but it had really long end credits ... still could have been tightened up 10 to 15 minutes. Tom Cruise as Tom Cruise, always charming and he doesn't seem to age ... playing a pilot who funneled US government money and guns to the contras in Nicaragua, and Colombian cocaine back to America ... "mock documentary" bouncy cam drives me nuts.

Didn't realize that they brought contras to Mena, Arkansas to train. Makes light of the whole fiasco, how ridiculous it all was, but there's real tragedy here, and of course Barry Seal was murdered in the end (as was his brother in law). Not badly made, but it only earns a yellow rating. Manohla Dargis said it best: "'American Made' goes down easily, especially if you don’t let the historical record with its real-world stakes bother you."

 White Pendy

White Pendy

Movies Watched -- The Red Turtle (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

80 minutes so within the sacred 100 minute mark ... watched at normal speed even though there was no dialogue. Animated with some neat lighting effects. A fable or a parable, I don't really know the difference. You have to figure out what it's trying to say on your own, you can impose your own meanings. I didn't hate it but I wouldn't recommend it either. Yellow rating.

 Survivor

Survivor

Movies Watched -- Baby Driver (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

112 minutes so at least 12 to 22 minutes too long. A W.D. By movie, somebody's baby (pun intended). This movie had a lot going for it since it was quirky (the orphan with tinnitus angle) and had an attractive young leading couple, but ultimately I wasn't thrilled with it. It's trying to tap into the Fast & Furious franchise, I guess. Target demographic: boys who are into cars, chases, crashes, drifting, parkour, crime, violence, being the "wheelman," etc.

I'm not a prude, but there was too much swearing and violence for me, it was unnecessary. Cut out 15 minutes, reduce the swearing and violence by half and it would have been a better movie.

SPOILERS: token gangster black guy (Jamie Foxx, whom I liked in "Collateral"), don't worry, he's killed. Token Asian guy, don't worry, he's killed. Token Latina, don't worry, she's killed. Unshaven Don Draper, toting guns, do worry, he's killed, though very late in the movie. Creepy homosexual, Kevin Spacey, playing the same mastermind bad guy role he always does, this time sporting dyed hair and Gene "The Conversation" Hackman glasses.

Lots of great music that will appeal to late Boomers, all of Gen-X, and early Gen-Y. Odd to see a city movie that's Atlanta-based, nobody sounds like they're from Georgia. Product placements up the wazoo. Paid homage to "Heat," which was nice to see. Green rating for teenage boys, yellow for the general adult audience.

(Ann Hornaday didn't like it; Adam Graham didn't like it; Tony Lane didn't like it.)

 Oddball Crew

Oddball Crew

Movies Watched -- A Monster Calls (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

100 minutes even, but I still watched it at 1.5-2x not because it was badly made, but because the subject matter is so depressing -- how a bullied 12-year-old boy copes (fantasies, escapism) while his mother dies of cancer -- that I couldn't possibly sit through it at normal speed, and have no idea why anyone would torture themselves this way -- no child should ever see this! 

Sigourney Weaver as grandma with fake British accent. Video game-like storytelling sequences mixed with watercolors, and a fiery ent with a nightly parable to hit you over the head with....

Full red, avoid. 

 Lotta tears

Lotta tears

Movies Watched -- The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

90 minutes long, but this movie was so frantic that I didn't even make it ten minutes in... the booming music, the jokes, the million things going on in the background, the general frenzy -- it drove me nuts. My thirteen-year-old son enjoyed it though. Red for old guys, green for all thirteen-year-olds.

 BTITUDE ... one of a million gags you probably missed

BTITUDE ... one of a million gags you probably missed

Movies Watched -- A Ghost Story (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

87 minutes so well within the sacred 100 minute mark, but I still watched it at 1.5x - 3x given the lack of dialogue and the dead pacing. A W.D. By movie, clearly someone's precious baby, "self-consciously arty" ... feels like something a trust fund kid obsessed with Terrence Malick would come up with in between bong rips. The story of a shitty haunted house and its various inhabitants.

Stars Rooney Mara, Mara Rooney, whatever, and her cheekbones ... she's skinny in a way that most modern American women aren't ... huge eyes, great bones. Her boyfriend? is Casey Affleck, any relation to Ben the poker player? Beefcake who makes shitty electronic music.

It's a weird one, not terrible, but I can't recommend it. "An unforgettable meditation on love and grief, loss and legacy" ... oh spare me. 

 Mouth twist learned in acting school

Mouth twist learned in acting school

Movies Watched -- Hidden Figures (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

127 minutes long so at least 27 minutes too long -- I watched it at 1.5x - 2x. Enjoyed this one. Well made, funny, "uplifting." I cried and cried, you know it's a tear-jerker for old softies like me ... the story of several black women who worked in the space program, starting in the early 1960s ... not sure how accurate it was, how instrumental these women were, but it doesn't matter, the racism of that era was just appalling. Kirsten Dunst plays a pretty good cracker and Remy Danton makes an appearance. I can't give it a green rating because it's overly long, but it's definitely a yellow. 

 Better if she were in white shirtsleeves

Better if she were in white shirtsleeves

Movies Watched -- A Quiet Passion (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

126 minute running time so at least 26 to 36 minutes too long. A W.D. By movie ... Terence Davies is gay, of course. The life and death of Emily Dickinson. Watched it at 2x because it's a period piece and talk talk talk. If you're interested in Dickinson, or poetry, or the lives of isolated, intelligent, upper class women in mid-19th C. New England (the "anguished artist"), then you might like it. Cynthia Nixon is well cast as the homely Dickinson, as is her attractive sister, Jennifer Ehle, who looks great for her age (my age).

 Certainly not Jane Eyre

Certainly not Jane Eyre

Notes for Chat with Traders, Episode 70

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Episode 70 ... Jeff Davis (76:31)

  • Grew up in farm country two hours north of New York
  • [Sounds like a two pack a day smoker]
  • Didn't go to college
  • Worked for US postal service, in processing center, night shift
  • Voracious reader of magazines and newspapers at work
  • 30 years old then [late 1990s?], married, had baby and mortgage
  • Wanted to be his own boss, attracted to day trading
  • $25,000 minimum to join an LLC trading firm
  • 1999, Harbor Securities, firm blown up by one trader [not him]
  • Didn't matter since he'd pretty much lost all his money anyway
  • Saved more money, went to Bright Trading next
  • Passed series 7, sat on a desk in the city, surrounded by traders
  • Worked night shift at USPS, day traded during day, slept on train [wow]
  • Was breakeven at Bright
  • March 2000 he went full time [how about that timing?]
  • Learned how not to lose while at Bright
  • Learned how to short
  • At Bright, you picked one stock and specialized in it
  • Trade with the specialist, not against him
  • Most of his problems were mainly him
  • Made money in the morning, gave it back in the afternoon
  • Sep. 11, 2001 last day of trading at office at Bright (next to Towers)
  • Afterwards traded from home, lonely and hard but also good
  • Guys who focused made money, people who didn't adapt were gone
  • Got Lyme Disease, got sick, couldn't trade ... inspired him to automate
  • You can't fiddle along with trading, bad things happen in life so you have to seize opportunities
  • Exchanged his mentoring with a programmer who coded up a "tape reading tool"
  • In 2005, Russell re-balance provided a lot of opportunities, he saw this
  • His brother also a computer programmer, wrote a program to take advantage of index rebalancing
  • Found programmers who also traded, they understood what he wanted
  • Should have learned Fortran and Cobol in high school but didn't
  • In his early 50s now, wouldn't even think about learning how to program now
  • If you're in your 20s, definitely learn how to program, or find someone who can program for you
  • Avoid the rabbit holes
  • If you're searching for edge, you're definitely going to go down some rabbit holes (curve fitting, etc.)
  • Nobody has ever run a bad backtest
  • Trend following hard to do when you have a 30-40% win rate, people give up
  • Nothing out of the can is going to work for everybody [or anybody]
  • You have to work hardest on you .. your psychology
  • Your strategy has to fit your personality
  • He has now achieved "mature simplicity" ... it's not what you add, it's what you take away, less is more
  • Find something where you can get size on, where you're confident
  • You're in a risk business, you don't want to make a salaryman's wage
  • His algorithm is now trading the S&P futures
  • Mean reversion strategy -- most days are range days
  • Range prediction algorithm -- knows probability of daily range, will fade spikes
  • Yesterday's high or low is hit 88% of the time
  • VWAP is the target on most of his trades
  • When price gets away from VWAP, that's where he gets interested
  • Range is a well-kept secret (Cooper, Crabel, Raschke have done lots of work on it)
  • Be aware of "market regime" even though you're day trading
  • Everything he does is based on Average True Range
  • For example, a 22 handle move will revert at least 5 handles 70% of the time
  • People can't stick with their systems
  • Automated systems with tight stops don't work -- then you fiddle with the stops
  • Old traders just do the same thing in the same way every day
  • When you're trading right, it's boring, it's just execution
  • Throw away what the crowd is doing
  • So much trading wisdom from the past ("the trend is your friend") not relevant for day traders
  • Don't be a hamster on a wheel
  • You have to stick with your system, only possible if it fits your personality
  • "Averaging is groping for the top or bottom"
  • He doesn't scale, he just goes all in [scales out in two pieces however]
  • He never chases
  • If nothing sets up, don't push the button
  • Picture a pool filled with sharks, that's what you're jumping into to make money
  • Overtrading is the downfall of most failing traders
  • Many are operating on tilt, jumping from strategy from strategy
  • Always knows what he's risking, structured identically, dollar loss pre-determined
  • No slippage on his stops in SP futures
  • Traders always rode in last train car in case of derailment [always thinking about risk]
  • Good traders are not jacks of all trades, they specialize
  • Your strategy has to be about getting size on, otherwise there's no point
  • "Single digit midgets"
  • You get confidence from specializing
  • Two regimes: expansion and contraction
  • Tracks range of one minute SP to make sure his stop is "outside of the noise"
  • He went from having tight stops to having wide stops -- to protect him from himself
  • He knows the percentage of the time his wide stop will get hit -- he never fiddles with it
  • With tight stops, he'd be liable to fiddle with them
  • You need to be able to trade your system without feeling the urge to fiddle with it
  • Once comfortable with strategy, with your stops, your dollar losses, then you can build up your size
  • Exits in two pieces: first piece getting him 2.5 points on average, gets instant gratification, lets second piece take its time (averaging 7 points) 
  • Two to one win rate on his mean reversion trades [1R losers, 4.75R winners]
  • He's out there to help people, esp. persistent guys who don't lose money but don't make big money
  • Day trading is not a hobby, not an action junkie thing, it's a business, take it seriously
  • Says some kind things to Aaron in parting
  • Twitter: @Shaq48_Trading

Movies Watched -- Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) (2017)

Added on by C. Maoxian.

106 minutes so close to the sacred 100 minute mark, but I still watched it at 1.5x because I've generally had bad luck with anime -- it creeps me out ("Spirited Away" disturbed me so much that I nearly vomited) ... this one was a little better in the sense that it didn't *completely* give me the heebie-jeebies ... but still, it's strange and sort of awful when you really think about it.

The animation is amazing, it's incredibly dense and complex -- and the main story is kind of interesting (the kids switching places in time-space), but there's something about animation from Japan ("anime") that just seems off ... the mysticism, the dreaminess, the hyper-reality ... I just have a nagging feeling that there are some real sickos behind it.

You'll love it if you love anime ... could give it a shot if you've never seen one before ... but it's a red for the general audience.

 Getting in touch with his feminine side

Getting in touch with his feminine side