mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (retro-style holiday lights)
Well, the junk first of all: If you went to movies a lot in the '80s, like we did, this is a stupendously easy quiz. (A 50-question quiz that 11% of people get 100% right can't be too difficult, after all.) (I did have to guess on a couple, but they don't even make guessing terribly hard. I am kinda the queen of the educated guess.)

We went to see Rogue One again (still love it) and ate lasagne and watched the first episode of Stranger Things. That was our Christmas Eve. Honestly, it beats most Christmas Eves cold, at least the ones of recent years. Tomorrow we have to do the family stuff. I've washed my hair and I need to do my nails and I'm sure I'll think of ten other highly-important things I have to do before bedtime. I can't much make myself care, though.

Stranger Things was pretty awesome, although more of you probably know much more about it than I do. (Does that sentence make any sense at all? I'm not sure, but I'm leaving it like that anyway.) We finished Jessica Jones yesterday (also awesome) and I told Rob that we could watch Stranger Things next if he wanted before we go on to Luke Cage. I don't know that Rob knew anything at all about it, but *I* knew that he would love Stranger Things, it's totally right up his alley. (Speaking of '80s.) It's very, um, early Steven Spielberg crossed with Stand By Me. Or something like that.

Col and I played Marvel Heroes for a while. He is playing Luke Cage and is surprised that he likes it. I liked Luke too (not to mention that he's stupendously hot in Jessica Jones, but I hadn't seen that yet when I was playing him) so I'm not too surprised. Oh, having seen Jessica Jones TV now, I realized suddenly what she's wearing in the game, the other day - it's the "Jewel" superhero outfit that Trish is seen in the series trying to get her to wear. She's been standing talking to Ben Urich in Avengers Tower since I've been playing, and I always wondered what the hell that was she was wearing. (I believe you can also play Jessica as a team-up but I haven't tried it; I'm pretty sure she's wearing something else in that incarnation. And Ben Urich in this game is a younger-looking white guy, in contrast to the older black guy who's in the first season of Daredevil. Reconciling all this now that I've watched half - exactly half - of the existing Marvel Netflix stuff is kind of weird.)

Also (still on the Marvel Heroes track) I spent some money on costumes last week and I now have the girl version of Thor and a couple of Christmas costumes (Daredevil and Squirrel Girl). I'm probably going to feel like I wasted my money on Christmas costumes later but I really like the female Thor. There are actually two female Thors; the other one is Jane Foster (who I think becomes Thor for a while in the comics?) but the one I'm using is the Earth X version, which I really know nothing at all about. She says something about Loki having tricked her into the new body (but she also says she kind of likes it.) Either I read somewhere or Col told me (I have no idea which) that this version, or maybe both versions, won't let anybody call her Lady Thor or anything like that; she's just Thor, still. That's about all I know about that, although I'm interested that they bothered to do two different female voices for Thor. He has a buttload of costumes, too (although not as many as Iron Man) - some of the male ones might have "enhanced" (aka different, rerecorded) voices, too, for all I know. I haven't paid much attention. But I tried playing regular Thor with the default costume and I stalled out about level 30-something. So I was hoping that the different take on Thor would propel me along, and it has - well, I'm still not all that far along in story progression but she hit level 60 tonight, so that's definitely an improvement. I'm not sure why it makes that much difference, exactly, but apparently it does.

OK, that's enough for tonight. I need to go do my nails. Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, or other holiday/nonholiday of your choice. Or Christmas Eve Gift, as my grandma used to say. (Family phrase of unknown origin; I think I end up explaining that one pretty much every year.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (buffy quote - death star)
Some movie and movie-related(-ish) stuff, starting with the Rogue One tickets. I'm excited about this and apparently so is Rob - at least, when the trailer came on for it the other day, he looked over at me and said, "Next week?" "Next week, yeah," I said. I didn't buy the tickets a month ahead like I did with The Force Awakens, but we've got them now and I'm excited. This is Christmas, to me. They did de-embargo the reviews today, apparently, because it went from "no reviews" last night on Rotten Tomatoes to 83% today, so yay. If it'd been 30% like Suicide Squad I would probably have gone anyway, but I'm glad it's not.

I know I've talked about this several times, but the movie theater we go to is a bit atypical (or maybe it just seems that way to me). It's Premiere Cinemas, a small chain. They own theaters in Texas and a few other places around the South. They started in this area, I think, because they used to just have a handful of theaters, including the one in my hometown, which I notice is not listed any more (so that probably means they sold it somewhere along the line). They've built some theaters from scratch in places that were "underserved" for movies (including Galveston, which for quite a few years didn't have a movie theater at all) and in our general area they also have the "dollar theater," which is on the freeway right next to the big Cinemark. We go to the dollar one a good bit (I forget, I think the tickets are actually about $2 except on certain weekdays that are cheaper) but mostly for first-run movies, we go to the one that's in the next town over from us. I started to say it's a small-town theater, but that's actually not true - in fact it's in one of those fast-growing suburbs that's coming up on 100,000 residents or so. Still, it's like a small-town theater: it's in a strip center, it's hardly ever terribly crowded like the Cinemark is, and it's cheaper. Even for things like The Force Awakens, we did have to stand and wait for a few minutes for that one, but nothing like the chaos I've experienced at other theaters. So I'm expecting to get into Rogue One without much trouble, too. It's about equidistant for us to go to the Cinemark or to go in the opposite direction to the Premiere, but the only time we go to the Cinemark these days is if we want to see something that's not showing at Premiere. (The Cinemark has 18 screens to this particular Premiere location's six.)

I've been playing Squirrel Girl in Marvel Heroes and I was amused to see a Squirrel Girl reference in today's Questionable Content. I wasn't sure I would like playing SG but I do. For one thing, there are a few heroes that I can't play because the things they say (each character has a limited number of these and so you end up hearing them a lot) annoy me so much I can't stand it. (The #1 example there is Invisible Woman, who's basically a nagging mother, in a really obnoxious way.) But Squirrel Girl's comments still just seem funny to me, where IW's are clearly intended to be funny but are actually funny maybe once, and then not at all after that. Squirrel Girl is also massively overpowered, as befits somebody who's supposed to have beaten both Doctor Doom and Thanos, and that also makes her pretty fun. Plus, y'know, massed squirrel attacks are just sort of inherently funny, and I'm surprised at how much I continue to think so even after a couple of weeks of it.

And then I haven't mentioned that we went to see Dr Strange again last weekend. It was my third time and Rob's second - I think that he liked it better the second time because he knew what to expect. As I think I discussed previously - yup - Marvel Heroes taught me plenty of background on the doctor - and the Wand of Watoomb and the Mindless Ones and other assorted Strange trivia - so that was never an issue for me. I still enjoyed the heck out of it, myself. (Rob is kind of hard to read, even for me, sometimes, have you figured that out?)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (Dr Who - adipose)
A couple of people have written entries about coffee for Holidailies in the last few days. I started to write one yesterday and it only got as far as how my parents both drank their coffee black before veering off to talk about the other things I drank over the years (large quantities of iced tea, Diet Coke, and Shiner Bock, at various stages of my life). So instead I'm still going to start with coffee but I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to write a whole entry about it. I do have a serious Starbucks habit these days, but it's a relatively recent thing and really has nothing to do with my parents and their (really revolting, as far as I'm concerned) black coffee habit. I only drink my coffee with large quantities of milk and artificial sweeteners, and I don't care how bad Equal is for me, so don't try to tell me. (I'm pretty sure that the Starbucks drive-through people at two different locations in two different towns know it's me just from my order.)

When I was trying to write about this yesterday, I also tried to look up "supertaster" because I've been told several times that I probably am one, but what I got from that search is that the only people who claim to know what a supertaster really is are people who are trying to sell you testing kits. It's definitely true that I'm sensitive to bitter foods, especially, and I basically can only tolerate them if they're highly watered-down in some way. But I'm also generally a picky eater in a number of other ways. I'm super-sensitive about texture - which is why I don't eat shellfish, because ugh, rubber - and I'm far too fond of the kind of traditional Texas diet that's heavy on grease and starch and meat. So I don't really know where all that gets you.


Let's see, what else - we're still watching Jessica Jones, and we're now maybe about halfway through the season. (I haven't looked to see how many episodes there actually are. Daredevil had 13 but I don't know if J.Jones is the same.) We did two episodes today and one yesterday, which is about as fast as we ever manage to go with shows like this. We don't have Netflix set up on our TV, for one thing - our regular (U-verse) television feed is still hooked up to my mom's old TV, which is a large and incredibly heavy old CRT. We keep saying we'll get a flat-screen when that one goes out, and it hasn't so far. It's got to be something like 13 or 14 years old because my mom died in early 2007, coming right up on 10 years ago, now, and I know she had it for a good while before that. So when we want to watch Netflix I have to pry myself off the computer so we can watch it there. It's all very out-of-date, I know, but it's worked for us so far.

I would like to cut the cord and not have regular TV at all, but Rob is a TV addict. One reason our crazy schedule works for us is that he goes to bed a lot earlier than I do (at which point I generally turn the TV off) and then he gets up much earlier than I do, of course, and he spends his mornings (the part when he's not working out, that is) watching old re-runs, which I can't stand. He loves Andy Griffith and Gunsmoke and all that kind of old stuff, which I can tolerate in small doses but generally got sick of years ago. (I got up to pee one morning this week and could hear Edith Bunker's voice from the bathroom - I didn't even know he'd been watching All in the Family.) I have my old Dell computer; I'd like to just buy another monitor like this one (20" Samsung, I see it's less than $100 on Amazon) and hook it up to that for TV-viewing. I don't think Rob would let me cut off the "real" TV, still, though.

Anyway, we both really like Jessica Jones a lot, and I was really happy when we got to this last episode where Luke reappears, which probably means I'll be ready for one of those Luke & Jessica icons by the time we finish. (Is there a cutesy name for Luke/Jessica? Lessica? surely not...)

(I think I'll post this and then go play Marvel Heroes some more. I really need to get Storm through chapter 4.)

Holidailies - blue
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (fangirl squee)
omg, they gave LJ entries a like button? That's just wrong.

Rob was out of town two weeks ago when Doctor Strange started. I hadn't been to a movie by myself in ages but I bestirred myself for this one. As I've mentioned (probably several times), I've been playing Marvel Heroes for... coming up on six months now, I think, so I'm all into that stuff. I'm not a fanatical Benedict Cumberbatch fan but I do like him, and he's definitely a good actor. And I adore Chiwetel Ejiofor (although I had to look up how to spell his name but not how to spell "Cumberbatch" - go figure). I was a bit uneasy about the whitewashing issues but I do like Tilda Swinton a lot, too, and I do pretty much buy the argument that this movie was gonna have some issues related to race no matter how they cast it, just due to the way it was written 50 years or so ago.

So I went, and I pretty much loved it. (Surprise!) Not unreservedly, because when do I ever love anything completely without reservations? I'm pretty good at seeing at least some of the flaws in most things, no matter how much I love them. This movie is pretty much the same old Marvel stuff, as far as the plot is concerned, and those amazing cityscapes certainly do owe a lot to Inception, and, well, I'm sure I could think of more if I worked at it, but you get the idea. It has flaws, plenty of them. But still, it's a good movie. And especially since I had been playing that damn game and I knew a lot of the lingo in advance, the magic stuff was really fascinating. And the effects were gorgeous, even the Inception ones. Especially the Inception ones, really.

It always floors me when people walk out of a Marvel movie before the credits. Actually about 90% of them stayed until the Thor bit, after the main credits (is that what you call them? the ones that would be at the beginning except they're at the end) but after that about 90% of the people who were still there, got up. I had already checked on my phone and I knew there was more at the very end, but it's always a very small group that stays. Of course I was in Pearland, and Pearland is weird, but still. I don't know if they don't know or don't care or just have to get the kids to the restroom, but most everybody left.

Well, anyway, so then during the next week Rob came back. Rob and one of his brothers talked about going to see the movie in Ohio, but Rob had gotten up at something godawful like 3:30am or maybe it was earlier - I've already forgotten - and spent most of the day travelling, and he said he just didn't have the energy to stay up any longer by that time, and you can't blame him for that. And I wasn't really unhappy about that because I really wanted to go again anyway, and since Rob hadn't seen it, that gave me an excuse, and so last weekend we went again. And I really enjoyed it, in a different way from the first time. To tell you the truth I'm not sure how much Rob loved it. He didn't hate it but he didn't have much to say about it - probably partly because I was talking too much and he's too polite to talk over me while I told him about relics and stuff.

I always watch different things the second time I see a movie, but they vary. Sometimes I get really involved in the music on repeat viewings, but I didn't really get as far as paying much attention to that here. I remember that I was watching the way they had Strange's hair turn gray at the temples over the course of the movie. And I was paying extra attention to the names of the relics and the spells and all that stuff. Anyway, it was definitely still fun. I wonder if I can talk Rob into going again in a few weeks?

The theater was still pretty full on the second week, but still, 90% or so of the audience was gone after the Thor sequence in the credits. People are just weird.


I think we're going to see Fantastic Beasts thingamajig tomorrow. Rob always liked the Harry Potter movies so I didn't have to talk him into that. I'm kind of excited for that one, too, really.


Oh, and Holidailies registration is open, yay. (No worrying about whether it's happening this year, they'd already updated the site by the time I got around to checking. So expect a lot of the usual babble in December.
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
I forgot I hadn't talked about Suicide Squad. I had started writing a longer entry, but the paragraph below is as far as I got and it'll do for a quick review.

I went into Suicide Squad with really low expectations. The reviews are bad; they talk about a noisy, plotless, messy, violent movie. But Rob wanted to see it anyway, and so did I, really. I was interested in it and I was curious to see if it was really as bad as they said it was. And honestly, for me, it was not that bad. It's certainly not a great movie, but it's not the absolutely terrible one that the reviews led me to expect. Your mileage may vary of course. It was messy, violent and noisy, yes, but it did have a plot. It was an extremely simple plot but it was there. (Note that Rob liked the movie pretty well, overall, but he thought the beginning was boring - they go through the main baddies character-by-character. I was not bored by that part, for whatever reason. Added: I read somewhere that the structure of the beginning was a last-minute change done after early screenings.)

(Note: if you haven't seen Civil War and you still intend to, there are some fairly vague spoilers below. You have been warned.)

So that was a week ago. This weekend, Captain America: Civil War finally showed up at the cheap theater (it's coming out on dvd in september, I read) so we went to see that again. We had seen it back when it first came out in early May, and I knew I didn't remember the plot terribly well. I was especially aware of that because I've been playing Marvel Heroes all summer (I started at the end of May) and it reminded me of the things I didn't remember very well all the time. It may be a much better movie overall than Suicide Squad, but it's still a 21st-century comic-book action movie, and it has things in common with it - it's noisy and violent, too, if not quite so messy and certainly not plotless. If anything it had a little too much plot, which is why I was having so much trouble remembering it all. And its heroes may not be anti-heroes, exactly, but they are mostly very fallible, just the same - Tony, the former arms magnate, set against Bucky, who did many, many bad things over the years but was never the one in control of what he was doing - and between them is Cap, who's normally the infallible one. (To me the really devastating part of Civil War is Bucky saying, "I remember everything.")

MCU canon may be that Bucky remembers everything, but the Marvel Heroes game can pick and choose between years and years of comic-book canon and various retcons, and Bucky (who's officially called Winter Soldier in the game) says specifically that he doesn't remember everything, there. But he apparently has Hydra out of his head and is operating on his own terms. I've played a lot but not all of the Avengers - I have both Cap and Iron Man, but they aren't really that much fun to play. (Cap is a great team-up for all the ranged characters, though, so I use him a lot for that.) The Avenger I've played the most is Hawkeye, actually - not because I love Jeremy Renner so much but just because an unlock dropped for him early on and I found I liked playing him. I've played WS a lot and also Scarlet Witch, and lately I've been playing Black Widow, too. (The various heroes - there are 58 of them currently, something like that - have little remarks they say when certain other heroes walk by. Bucky said something to Natasha that sounded like they'd once been an item, and sure enough, I looked it up and yes, they were.)

There's just so much canon - what, 75 years or so of it now? I have to look pretty much everything up that's not in the movies, too, because I never read the comic books. I did read comic books some when I was a kid (I was big on Wonder Woman) but I didn't keep up with it once I was a teenager. My game-playing partner Columbine is constantly surprised about how little I know. Wonder Woman is DC, of course, so I never read Marvel superhero comics AT ALL. I didn't know that Bucky was originally a teenage sidekick (I just learned that one from Wikipedia last night, in fact) or that Magik was Colossus' sister (and I only knew who Colossus was because of Deadpool) and... well, I could go on but you get the idea. I really know virtually nothing that isn't in the movies. So this has been a crash-course in the Marvel (Comics) Universe for me - I've been piling up all these little factoids. The first time I saw Civil War, I didn't know that the prison out in the ocean was called The Raft or that Black Panther's guards are called Doras, and now I can pull all these bits and pieces of info out of my head. But there's still a ton I don't know and I'm certainly not going to go back and read 75 years of Marvel comics. You could look at it that I'm a middle-aged lady and nobody really expects middle-aged ladies to know anything about comic books, but on the other hand I'm not the usual middle-aged lady, either. It bothers me more than it really should, this massive ignorance. I guess I'm used to having a lot more geek cred than I have here.

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