The 2010s Lists: Episode II – Attack of the Second Thought

So I promised that the following list of the 2010s would also be one that makes enough sense to drop this early as well as being much more optimistic than the last one about how many movies I don’t like as much as I did anymore (or at all).

And not only do I have those to drop but writing and elaborating on this list has led to a couple of other offshoots that I might post either later tonight or early tomorrow morning around the sort of optimistic positivity.

But first, there is looking forward towards the future which means that I present the below list in alphabetical order of 20 Movies of This Decade That I’m Most Looking Forward to Revisiting in the Future.

Some of these I want to take another fresher look at, some of these I’m certain that I will reappraise, some I just enjoyed so much that I can’t wait to watch them again but I also kind of want to patiently give space in between those rewatches, and then some I have no patience and intend to watch immediately. Let’s do this, hombre.


(2017/dir. Johann Lurf/Austria)

Easiest selection, this movie is constantly having material added and touring all over the world (it is already over 15 minutes longer than the edition I saw in Anthology Film Archives last year) so I’m excited to revisit it whenever it comes near me and see how the cinematic perspective of the starry night sky has expanded over the past year (or 2 years if that opportunity does not return until next year).


24 Frames (2017/dir. Abbas Kiarostami/Iran)

I swear Kiarostami has a pattern to his selection of frames and their respective content. It’s just so obvious in the middle of watching it, I just was to busy sinking into each image to actually try to intellectualize the experience. I purchased the Criterion Blu-Ray as soon as it dropped and so intend to rewatch it one day with a more intensely analytical eye (which might even necessitate a second review).



The Amazing Spider-Man(2012/dir. Marc Webb/USA)

Spider-Man: Far from Home exists. Hell, now that Venom exists, really. The fact that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have not only announced they’re returning to a deal regarding the character but that they’re going to incorporate the knock-off villain spin-offs universe that Sony has tried to peddle forever is only going to further rose-tint this movie whenever I re-approach it.




Blackhat (2015/dir. Michael Mann/USA)

I’ve been maintaining that you all have been wrong about this movie from the second y’all were talking shit and now that we have Michael Mann doing his Michael Mann thing by constantly switching up his cuts, I am ready to take a dive into that director’s cut and get more of that hypermasculine, hilariously technomuscular Mann thriller goodness and none of you get to join because none of you deserve this movie.


Central Intelligence (2016/dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber/USA)

Listen, this is my most-watched movie of 2016 and it’s gonna continue to grow and grow and grow. It’s not that good, but 2016 wasn’t good either (as movie year or like… actual life year) and I need to be afforded my comfort blankets like watching The Rock tower over Kevin Hart with a friendly smile to reflect off of Hart’s look of fear. I will take an overlong 2 hours of that. Leave me alone. I’m putting the Blu-Ray in again and you can’t fucking stop me.


Clouds of Sils Maria (2014/dir. Olivier Assayas/France, Germany, & Switzerland)

Maybe I was wrong about it. I don’t think I am, to be quite frank. I think it is committing all the sorts of sins Birdman’s detractors accuse THAT movie of committing (by the way, in case y’all are wondering how it feels comparing an Assayas movie and an Inarritu movie and saying the latter is better… it feels awful. Thankfully Assayas has made more movies that are better than Birdman than I have fingers on one hand) and it is the disappointing weak link in my admiration for both Assayas and Huppert (Chloë Grace Moretz… man, I can not get her). But, y’know what? Everybody I trust on this matter loves the movie so I will give it another try. I’ll just complain while doing it.

NB: Speaking of movies starring Chloë Grace Moretz that y’all make me feel I’m on the wrong side of history for, but I outright avoid conversations about The Miseducation of Cameron Post because I don’t feel like talking shit about a movie that meant A LOT to the LGBT+ community (and I can get why). I don’t think I’m as inclined to rewatch it as I am with Clouds but it’s not out of the question.


The Croods (2013/dir. Kirk DeMicco & Chris Sanders/USA)

Yes, it’s no less generic character or story-wise than any other non-Panda/Dragon production by DreamWorks Animation but I’ve seriously underestimated the design of the whole thing. It’s… y’know, crude and also wildly different than anything Sanders has made beforehand, but in a way that makes it so much more interesting to look at if I take another look at it. Particularly the way that watching The Boxtrolls opened me up to the possibility of grotesque character designs being a lot of fun, I wonder if I’d be so amiable to The Croods on my second watch. In any case, I’m having a tough time naming a top five for animation of 2013 and The Croods might just have a spot. Maybe I’ll rewatch it when Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal drops.


Drive (2011/dir. Nicholas Winding Refn/USA)

A movie that should be exactly my jam feels wholly chilly to me. Maybe it’s just because of The Neon Demon and Too Old to Die Young (or even Only God Forgives, terrible movie that it is) showcasing a version of stillness that feels unique to Refn himself but Drive doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels still in the same way every other post-80s crime thriller tries to be, a decent movie but nothing revelatory as I was expecting. Perhaps that’s why it’s Refn’s most popular and accessible movie, give or take Bronson. Maybe I’ll be more satisfied now that I am more fully in the Refn bag again. The Neon Demon was just that good to make me give second chances.


Drive Angry (2011/dir. Patrick Lussier/USA)

No way is this movie any good, I don’t care what the fuck Quentin Tarantino says. But it’s probably a lot more fun than I was willing to credit it for: at the very least, the gonzo imagery of certain situations and William Fichtner’s performance is good trash cinema material so here’s hoping a rewatch gets me digging to find more enjoyable trashiness.


John Carter (2012/dir. Andrew Stanton/USA)

Is it REALLY that bad? Obviously, Stanton’s notorious leap into live-action filmmaking that resulted in the biggest financial bomb in history has its dedicated defenders. I am not really one of them: the first and only time I saw the movie was spent thinking it was basically doing things done way better in Avatar. But that was also an exhausted IMAX midnight screening and while I don’t think I’ll ever prefer to it to Avatar, a more clear-eyed screening may turn me to one of those arguing for the movie’s honor. I do love space opera.


Noah (2014/dir. Darren Aronofsky/USA)

I’m very mean to Darren Aronofsky. I mean, it doesn’t help that he fucking sucks, but it has to be handed to him that he’s ambitious. I think if I could bother to muster any possible urge to rewatch his two most spiritual works with The Fountain and Noah (note I did not say theological because that’d include π and mother! and hahahahah fuck that), I might find them a lot more interesting and nuanced if not necessarily good. Noah especially gets more attractive coming out the same decade as Exodus: Gods and Kings and Ben-Hur. I mean, fucking… if that kind of clangy nu-Gladiator bullshit is being made out of Biblical material, it’s refreshing to have somebody like Aronofsky who could be secular and still passionate about this shit. To be honest, that passion does result in some of the greatest cinematic moments of the decade within Noah however far in between.


The Other Side of the Wind (2018/dir. Orson Welles/USA, Iran, & France)

I’ve seen it three times now, but I just know I’m going to be watching it over and over. Orson Welles’ movies already lend themselves to rewarding rewatch value, but The Other Side of the Wind has the added element of trying to be prophetic and reflexive towards the modern age of cinema (maybe having it be completed decades after it was shot is cheating) and I am quite energized by how it might maintain that reflexivity in 5 years or 10 years or 20 years.


Paterson (2016/dir. Jim Jarmusch/USA, Germany, & France)

There has been by now at least one Jarmusch film from this decade that I was cold at first watch but then came around to love. I’m not as cold towards Paterson since I find it a very lovely and friendly film, but I do think there might be more to it than I care on first glance. I mean, it’s a film based on poetry so I’m expecting more poetics.

And none for The Dead Don’t Die, bye…


Prometheus (2012/dir. Ridley Scott/UK & USA)

I think it’s good, fuck the haters. But my one and only viewing of the movie was done in the context of an Alien marathon and I really want a chance to watch it isolated and as its own object. Because I do think that’s what it could have been if it wasn’t for the fidelity to the Alien franchise (and I’d dare say the moments where it functions as an Alien prequel are its weakest). What’s kept me from doing it all these years is knowing I probably won’t have a chance to see it again in IMAX 3D, which made the Map Room sequence crazy immersive and a very fond experience in the cinema for me. Give me time.


Shutter Island (2010/dir. Martin Scorsese/USA)

I will admit I don’t know what the fuck Martin Scorsese has been up to in the past 20-something years. I mean, I guess he’s at the point where Spielberg is that the two of them just don’t have to prove shit to anybody but Spielberg is still casually tossing out great movies and Scorsese’s have been… I don’t want to call them lazy because they’re ambitious as hell, but other than Silence, there hasn’t been a single Scorsese release since The Age of Innocence that has felt like a final cut. In any case, they’re almost all net-satisfying except Gangs of New York and this… this movie that almost sits at the bottom of my Scorsese rankings. And I think a bit of my ranklings towards it was based on its failures as a character-based thriller on any level, which is way out of character for me because I think it otherwise exudes a tremendous Gothic aesthetic so I hope to perhaps give it another look and treat it strictly as atmospheric genre work rather than… anything that has to regard what a terrible script and group of performances it has.


Somewhere (2010/dir. Sofia Coppola/USA)

I’m convinced the movie is so much subtler than I gave it credit for. It’s definitely patient for such a short movie and I like to think Coppola intended more than just ennui in those lengthy spaces between that are taken up by stripteases to Foo Fighters and figure skating to Gwen Stefani. I like to imagine now that it’s beginning to fade maybe I’ll be open to take in a lot more thematic details than I was when I first watched and liked the movie. Fuck it, maybe it’s just gonna be time for a Sofia Coppola retrospective since all of her movies are rewatchable.


Things to Come (2016/dir. Mia Hansen-Løve/France & Germany)

Like The Other Side of the Wind, this movie that I already so dearly love just feels like it’s going to reward rewatch. You already have the sense in Isabelle Huppert’s performance that there are layers behind her muted reactions to everything being thrown at her. That there will be signs and omens so slight about the things that blindsided her and us on the first watch. I’m looking forward to trying to catch those and connect the dots: it will kind of play like the sort of mentality I have whenever something terrible happens to me in my life, “where in my path could I have averted this?” Except I expect this will be much more pleasant than my life.


To the Wonder (2012/dir. Terrence Malick/USA)

The one Malick film (outside of Voyage of Time, of which few people have seen and fewer have seen all three cuts) that eludes my enthusiasm – I specifically am not as on-board with the lead performances the same way I am with his other movies – but it’s also clearly the seed of Malick’s interesting late phase of pseudo-essayist structure that I think now that I have seen and loved Knight of Cups and Song to Song in its wake… another chance at To the Wonder might not be such a bad idea. It’s like I have the cheat sheet to the storytelling code he’d been developing with this film.


Whiplash (2014/dir. Damien Chazelle/USA)

A breakout movie that I liked, rather than loved, and honestly expected more out of than the sort of familiar independent character study this was. But it’s not just Chazelle’s subsequent work knocking my fucking socks off that make optimistic about this movie: First Man appeals to me using a method that is overdependent on close-ups that I was unimpressed with in Whiplash and now I wonder if that’s just hypocritical of me. I mean, it could be that Ryan Gosling is a vastly better actor than Miles Teller and much more interesting to look at even at his stillest, but I definitely want to give Teller the benefit of the doubt when it’s his one performance I thought was worth a damn.


White House Down (2013/dir. Roland Emmerich/USA)

A less confident instance of Drive Angry’s situation: the possibility of me missing on the ironic joys of another “so-bad-it’s-good” movie, particularly in how blatant a fake Die Hard sequel it is and my newfound love for Channing Tatum as an actor. I’m just not as confident about this beyond the pleas of folks who have the same movie interests as me. At the very least, I’ll regret the rewatch less than watching ANY of the “… Has Fallen” movies but, y’know, I’m not in any rush. Roland Emmerich’s last few movies have been pretty bad in an not-fun way to earn this apprehension.

So those are the movies I’m most willing to give a second look or second chance at and sometime between now and tomorrow, I will be dropping lists of movies I have successfully given those second chances to already and reconsidered my original opinion towards. See you guys then!

The 2010s Lists: Episode I – The Phantom Feeling

So I’ve carried in my pocket drafts of lists regarding the 2010s decade that is coming to a close. And like any sane person, I’m gonna keep the most superlative of these lists open for edit until early next year. But in the meantime, I figured it was alright to go and drop two of the lists that actually make sense to drop this early.

A year is already a lot of time to think and look back on films in a way that makes you re-examine and re-evaluate them. And sometimes you find those feelings are not positive anymore, so here is my list of 20 MOVIES FROM THE 2010s THAT HAVE NOT HELD UP FOR ME.

Some of these movies, I still like but like less that I once did. Some of these, I already disliked and it went down to hatred. Some have taken that heel turn from “movie I was positive on” to “movie I am now negative towards” in various levels of severity. Listed below in alphabetical order are the 20 movies that took that turn for me, with enough hot takes to ensure that some of y’all probably won’t want to stick around for the next installment of these lists. Let’s go!


Blackfish (2013/dir. Gabriella Cowperthwaite/USA)

Left my mind so completely that when I was showing my friend Josh (Yes, THAT Josh) a Key and Peele sketch, he had to identify a Blackfish reference for me. Josh… had to identify a movie reference… for me. I’m very proud of him. In any case, there’s advocacy docs that use the form and there’s advocacy docs that just talk to you and Blackfish on review is sadly the latter. And what makes it worse is how tough it is to parse what its thesis is: I think it has three but they’re all giving their sympathies to polar opposites.


Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013/dir. Abdellatif Kechiche/France)

I won’t dismiss any queer folk who were moved by the movie (of whom I know a few), but it took not nearly as long for me to look back and find it pretty gaze-y and exploitative. The exploitation worked, since the whole power of the movie is in the honesty of the two performances and that stands just as well for the sex scenes, but they’re so long and the camera lingers very much on their bodies. And frankly, Kechiche himself has said and done nothing to help his case as a Tunisian version of Larry Clark. And I already hate American Larry Clark.


Borgman (2013/dir. Alex van Warmerdam/Netherlands)

Ah, now we get a movie I still love with pretty much all of my heart. It remains a gleefully weird (yet mean-spirited) allegory that I would probably recommend more than any other movie on this list. I was expecting it on my Top 10 movies of 2014 list. And then… something crazy happened and I kept realizing I liked so-and-so movie more than Borgman and such and such film and by the end of it, Borgman wasn’t even on my honorable mentions despite not dropping a bit in retrospective quality in my opinion. This spot on this list is more in respect of its memory. Pour one out.


The Dark Knight Rises (2012/dir. Christopher Nolan/USA & UK) 

I’m gonna have to make an impish confession here: 3 out of the 4 Christopher Nolan movies that released in this decade are on here, though I expect this entry is probably the easiest to swallow as the red-headed stepchild of the Dark Knight trilogy. What I walked away from thinking it was a perfectly fine and ambitious if flawed movie started losing all excuse of it as “ambitious” once Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice had the same sloppy writing but… in a more thrilling way.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011/dir. David Fincher/USA, Sweden, & UK)

A case of “it’s better than the mediocre original (and possibly even the book) so that must mean it’s good” in my mind, despite the fact that it’s the coldest work by a director I’m already pretty cold with. And I do stand by the fact that this is better than the Swedish version in almost all aspects (the sole exception being Salander, but Rooney Mara is still excellent despite being no Noomi Rapace), but we got a film no less music video-y than any of Fincher’s other movies except with extra nihilism.

NBThe Social Network almost ended up on this list (and would have certainly been the best movie named) but I don’t want to be murdered for these takes, especially regarding a movie I still love.


Goodnight Mommy (2014/dir. Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala/Austria)

It’s simple: I walked out of the movie feel cold as shit and told myself “it’s definitely a miserably austere genre film” and “I had a good time” and then realized those two thoughts cannot be the same with me and this film. Austrian cinema, y’all. I just can’t with it most of the time.

Hop (2011/dir. Tim Hill/USA)

No, I never thought that this was anything more than one of the worst movies of the year. It has come around now to looking like one of the worst movies of the decade and it just depreciates more and more.


Inception (2010/dir. Christopher Nolan/USA & UK)

I still like it a lot. The heist central to the film is a Russian nesting doll of action setpieces bursting with imagination. But I’ve come to recognize something that niggles my teeth regarding Christopher Nolan: whenever we has to create his own internal logic, he’s dedicated to it in an exhausting way – many of his films function with extended exposition in place of dialogue – and it doesn’t hold much water. I only need movies to set their rules up initially and allow me to meet them halfway, but Nolan’s scripts continuously bring attention back to those rules and I think he doesn’t do it enough to outweigh all the great visuals and momentum the movies have… but he does do it more than I realize every time I rewatch his stuff.


Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015/dir. Leigh Whannell/USA, Canada, & UK)

A clear instance of pleasant surprise in two instances: Leigh Whannell is a much better director than writer (a fact furthered by his second film Upgrade) and this movie is a miles better than Chapter 2. It still is. And it’s still perfectly fine but it evaporates from my mind more and more each day besides Lin Shaye’s presence (which admittedly is something Chapter 3 keyed me in towards more than any Insidious movie prior). I mean, it’s one of the few Whannell scripts that doesn’t piss me off when I think about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good script.


Interstellar (2014/dir. Christopher Nolan/USA)

I swear this is the last Christopher Nolan movie on this list and I feel everything I have to say about this entry was said with Inception so I don’t have much to add besides acknowledging how lengthy the first act felt up until the movie really got into the awesome space adventure of it all. And on the very bright side, I love the infamous tesseract climax and think it’s one of Nolan’s all-time best moments.


Isle of Dogs (2018/dir. Wes Anderson/USA & Germany)

I love dogs and I love Japanese cinema and I love animation (especially stop-motion animation). And I particularly feel like ⅔ of these things have a great affect in Isle of Dogs (the Japanese cinema element… less so). And yet the movie feels so less natural in its assemblage of these things that Anderson loves than anything else. It results in a movie that is occasionally chilly and distant in an inadvertent way, something I don’t find welcoming of Anderson’s aesthetic (The Darjeeling Limited feels more gracious to both Indian cinema and Indian culture).


It (2017/dir. Andy Muschietti/USA)

A movie that has at once appreciated and depreciated in years between its release and the infinitely worse It: Chapter Two. The stuff about the kids being kids in a 1980s summer is phenomenal and I only enjoyed more on rewatch. What brings on this list is dysfunctional it is as a horror film: there is one type of scare Muschietti knows – get chased by something ugly – and he hammers it over and over and over until we’re just too numb to even care how hard Bill Skarsgard is trying to bring creepy atmosphere to the proceedings. Probably a worthwhile revisit on a lazy summer afternoon, not something I’m going to reach for on a still October night. And its failings as a horror movie are still digestible compared to the head-spinning endurance test of boredom and anti-humor that is its sequel. I’m convinced Muschietti and his collaborators knew less about making a horror movie than than they knew about King’s flagship novel itself and I weep for the alternate universe where Cary Joji Fukunaga had made it instead.


It Follows (2014/dir. David Robert Mitchell/USA)

Still a movie I’m fully in love with, just not as much as I was since Cannes. Every time I watch it, the less I’m interested in the central metaphors (of which there are more than people talk about, not necessarily that deep though). I am instead fully devoted to it as doomed atmosphere for very very young people, something helped by both the framing and the soundtrack (as a reversal to this entry, I’ve actually come to admire the score a lot more with each viewing). I’m just not interested in talking about what “It” represents anymore.


Lawless (2012/dir. John Hillcoat/USA)

I don’t know, I just don’t recall having the same power with it the way that Hillcoat and Nick Cave’s The Proposition had and while I’m aware that that is a ridiculously unfair comparison, it’s also a ridiculously unearned comparison that my brain made at the first watch. So maybe this entry is all my fault and nothing else’s (but no, it is the children that are wrong).


Maleficent (2014/dir. Robert Stromberg/USA)

Sleeping Beauty means a lot to me and Maleficent in particular is one of my all-time favorite movie characters so I had walked in fearing disaster – like on the level of Alice in Wonderland – and was pleased that the movie was at least salvageable on the back of Angelina Jolie (which was the only sure-win element of this movie). She is the only element that held up on rewatch and the story decisions are not nearly as intelligent as I first thought they were. It’s still not a disaster but it’s not a good movie either. 


Man of Steel (2013/dir. Zack Snyder/UK & USA)

Another very weird case of ups and downs: it started with every subsequent viewing making me less and less interested and then suddenly getting more and more and more interested and now it’s been petering away again. I’m very hot and cold on this one: reminiscent of an AI-like film where instead of Spielberg pretending to be Kubrick, it’s Snyder pretending to be Nolan and sometimes that gets me kind of interested in the places it goes and sometimes I realize “yeah, people were right to call this kind of miserable”. In any case, Hans Zimmer’s incredible score does not falter and it might very well be the case that this movie loses its spot by the end of the year.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe (2010-2019/prod. Kevin Feige/USA)

I mean, I’m sure the surprise is less that this is on here and more that it was ever high enough in my esteem to make it here. And I’m not necessarily talking about crap like Thor: The Dark World or Captain Marvel, but pretty much the consensus favorites like Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies that try to break free from the stylistic and narrative uniformity of them all successfully enough for me not to regret my time spent in the theater as I walk out (miraculous because these movies are all much longer than they deserve on top of their other problems). And then I look back and I see all my other issues with the series: the soul-dead attempts at impersonable humor, the deteriorating ability to provide even a remotely satisfying action setpiece, the various mix of demanding “required reading” as previous movies while acting as trailer to the next movie, the lack of depth to any imagery for even the best shot among these films (again… Black Panther and the Guardians movies) so the (occasionally vibrant) color has to pop enough to distract from that. Ever since Thor: Ragnarok turned out to feel tortuously long on second watch, I’ve never found it in me to as enthusiastic about any MCU movie and I don’t think I ever will. There was a time when Captain America: The First Avenger would have me standing on tables defending it and now I have no energy.


Sabotage (2014/dir. David Ayer/USA)

Similar situation to Hop, just to a lesser degree. I first watched it thinking it was a toxic vomit of genres that any filmmaker worth a damn would be able to make work together except Ayer is one of the worst filmmakers working today. Came back to it only to find no, it’s even more toxic and even less coherent about the type of cop thriller it wants to be. It’s a combination of all the biggest failings of Ayer as filmmaker and storyteller and would be his worst movie if Bright didn’t disabuse it of that title, so instead I’ll just stare at what a low-rent Walmart Redbox type of movie this was.


The Star Wars films (2015-2018/prod. Kathleen Kennedy/USA)

I’m not going to pretend that EVERYTHING I said about the MCU applies here (The Last Jedi and Rogue One are remarkably good looking movies for the most part), but it’s kind of the same core: the Star Wars movies put out since the Disney purchase have been lacking in personality and feel like the products they are. And the sad thing is that when I say “least held up”, I often mean it in the least span of time possible: it took a year to see The Force Awakens was less than the sum of its parts, it took one rewatch away to see The Last Jedi is not as good as I tried to convince myself, and it took a night’s sleep to realize that giving Solo a letterboxd rating above The Last Jedi is a fucking joke (maybe the most grievous offense of these films: forcing Bradford Young to underlight the fuck out of Solo. I don’t know if it’s Lord/Miller, Kennedy, or Howard responsible for it but I’m really pissed off about it). The only movie I’ve been able to muster a net positive attitude for is Rogue One and even that’s pretty clearly a fan-pandering object that underused its cast (one of the few triumphs of these movies: the ensemble assembled for them) and didn’t need to exist. Honestly, when I want to go see a Star Wars movie, I want to be satisfied by the visual effects and the music and anything else can take a hike. The music is at an all-time low for the franchise (Giacchino’s Rogue One score being my least favorite work in the catalogue of either Giacchino or Star Wars) and while the effects mostly maintain themselves, there are some deeply bad betrayals happening on the CG in the most infamous sequences. And those are the foundations in which I can’t keep staying positive about the direction Star Wars is going.


Suicide Squad (2016/dir. David Ayer/USA)

If there was a single movie this decade that I was more devoted to convincing myself it was good when I first saw it, I can’t remember it. And certainly I had a good time and believe that not a single member of the cast – almost uniformly actors I despise – has anything to be embarrassed about, it is the biggest and loudest trashfire from the burning building that was the early DC Extended Universe and if it’s not my least favorite of the franchise, it’s solely because it is relatively bouncy compared to the miserable Justice League. But a good cast does not salvage what a structural disaster and logical ruin it is.

Anyway, those are the 20 movies in which my attitude depreciated over the past decade. If I still have any shred of credibility for you all, the next list in this series (possibly posted by the end of this coming weekend) will be much more positive, I promise.