mellicious: Photo of a road framed by trees (spring trees)
We just got back from seeing Shazam! - we didn't go last week because Rob wanted to see Pet Sematary, and I figured there'd be less kids this weekend anyway. It was really quite good - even though I knew the Rotten Tomatoes scores was good and stuff (currently at 90% on RT, I just checked), I was still surprised how much I liked it. Other than Wonder Woman, I can't think of any other DC moves of recent years that I've liked as much. Since we got home I've been watching Easter-Egg-type videos and running periodically into the bedroom to treat Rob to especially good bits of DC trivia.

(Rob likes to spend some time on the laptop before he goes to bed. He watches YouTube stuff about movies, too - mostly not the same movies - and also a bunch of workout stuff, of course.)

Here's the updated list of movies I've seen this year, which I have been chunking into the bottom of my movie posts recently. Here it's getting moved up because I want to talk about it - mostly about why it's not longer.

Movies seen in 2019:
1. Bumblebee
2. Into the Spider-verse (second time at this one)
3. Lego Movie 2
4. Captain Marvel (twice)
5. Shazam!

Actually that's not a terribly slow pace by my recent standards - we're basically 3-1/2 months into 2019 and I've been to a movie at a movie theater six times. I think a couple of movies a month is more or less my normal pace in recent years. Some years less - but further in the past we used to go pretty much every week. In Galveston we lived really close to the movie theater for many years, and I think that made a difference. (Rob used to walk, some of the time. It was maybe a mile and a half, so I don't remember ever actually doing that, but it was a little quick jog down the Seawall in the car, anyway - five minutes, tops. We had it timed where we would leave about the time the schedule said the movie started, and we never missed the beginning of the movie.)

Rob goes to see horror movies without me, because we long ago established that I don't go to those, and sometimes he also goes without me to various other things I don't feel like seeing. I wouldn't go to Hotel Mumbai because it just sounded depressing, and I wouldn't go to Us because I watched the trailer and went, Hell no, that's a horror movie! (I did go see Get Out after being assured that it wasn't *really* a horror movie.). I think I mentioned before that I wouldn't go see Glass because I hadn't seen Split, but actually I don't think I missed anything on that one, anyway.

I used to go to movies alone, too, but I hardly ever do any more. I think partly it's because the window before things come out on video has gotten so short that I don't bother, in general. The only movie I can remember going to alone in recent years is Doctor Strange, and that was mostly because it was on a weekend when Rob was out of town. I mostly care about going to the theater to see superhero movies and other big-spectacle kinds of things - Star Wars, etc - otherwise I just figure I can wait and watch them on TV in a month or two. (On the movies I really like, of course, I do both - I go see them two or three times at the theater and then see them more times at home, as well. I watched Infinity War twice in one night, recently. But then I'm in ramp-up-to-Endgame mode at the moment. Barely more than a week away now! We have our tickets and everything.)


In non-movie news, I was going to do a medical update but really there's not a whole lot new to say, anyway. Quick version: I've had a consult at MDAnderson, and I have another one with the RadOnc doctor in a week or so, so the radiation treatments will get underway before too long, I guess. I can't say I'm feeling a great hurry about that, but I know it needs doing.

Spreaking of which, right now I gotta go do my taxes. Ugh.
mellicious: pink manicure (Default)
Well, the medical update first, which is really that there is no update, since I still haven't started with the radiation. I don't guess there's a tearing hurry about it, really, but I've been bugging various people about it and I'm not going to drop it, don't worry. I'm still healing a bit anyway so actually I wasn't mentally ready to start that yet anyway.

We went to see Captain Marvel and both of us really liked it more than we expected to and we're going to see it again tomorrow since there's really nothing else to see anyway. I don't think I really have anything profound to say about Captain Marvel though. (Except maybe that Brie serving popcorn in uniform was kind of the cutest thing ever.) Now I'm counting down to Endgame on my birthday. (I will be 59, y'all. I'm kinda freaking out about that.)




Movies seen in 2019:
1. Bumblebee
2. Into the Spider-verse
3. Lego Movie 2
4. Captain Marvel
mellicious: (Wonder Woman)
This is part 3 of a series - here is part 1 and part 2.

I've seen three movies since the first of November:

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - man, I don't know what to say about this movie. I didn't totally hate it. It's not great but it was interesting, you know? I think a lot of the problem is that they tried to pack way too much plot into one movie. It was really hard to follow. I got a lot of it but some of it I had to just kind of let wash over me - some of that was things that just flat didn't make sense, or that I didn't have enough information to follow - probably some of each. I have to say I would rather somebody else was playing Grindelwald - it's distracting, to me. I would like somebody who I can forget for a minute at a time who the actor is.  - Anyway, I liked the first movie SO much more, so that sucks. I'm not a good enough script doctor to diagnose exactly what went wrong here, but I do think it's possible they could still get the train back on track with this. And anyway, it didn't make that much money in the US but it was doing well overseas, so I don't think they're going to stop now.

Widows - Great cast, really good movie, but a little on the depressing side! I knew that going in, though. What I've been saying about it is, don't go into it expecting a feel-good heist movie like Ocean's 8. They are both female-led heist movies, yes, and I liked both of them, but they have a very VERY different vibe.

Ralph Breaks The Internet - here we're back to my usual "I liked this a lot" kind of review. A week out, I had to stop and think what the plot was, because I'd already forgotten. (Gal Gadot, that's what made me remember.) It's very cute, if not quite as good as the first one. (I was interested to see that Pamela Ribon co-wrote. Apparently she was the one who came up with the Disney Princess idea.)

We didn't have anything we especially wanted to see this weekend - I couldn't talk Rob into The Favorite, and honestly I didn't try super-hard, I wasn't really in the mood. I'm sure we'll see it eventually. Rob went to see a horror movie (The Possession of... somebody) - he said it wasn't completely terrible. Next week I'm sure we'll see the Spiderverse thing. I'm not a huge Spiderman fan but I gather this is a different kind of Spiderman movie than the other fifteen versions that have come out in recent years. And we already have plans to go see Aquaman right before Christmas with my sister and B-I-L.
mellicious: (Wonder Woman)
Well, the last time I talked about movies here was apparently in May. (Did we go see Infinity War three weeks in a row? Good lord.) I've been keeping a list that I think is more or less complete. So here's a sentence or two about everything we've been to see since that. I feel like I haven't been going to that many movies but this is actually a surprisingly long list, so if I get sleepy before I get through this, it may end up having two parts.

(Also take it as read that Rob is going to almost all the horror movies, meanwhile. I always think I should keep track of that, too, but then I forget.)

Solo - huh, actually, I have written down "Solo x2" so I guess that means we saw it twice. I'd completely forgotten that. We didn't hate it, obviously. I didn't totally love it but I did really like parts of it. I certainly didn't think it was as awful as everybody was making it out to be. (Favorite part: Phoebe Waller-Bridge's robot)

Ocean's 8 - liked it a lot, I'm totally ready to see it again. I wasn't sure ahead of time how much I would like it but I really did. For one thing, I'm a total Met Gala junkie so I loved that part. I loved that Cate and Sandra were quietly a couple. I liked Awkwafina, I liked Rihanna, I liked all of it, really.

Incredibles 2 - really liked this, too, but honestly I don't totally remember it too well, months later. Obviously it's time to see this one again, too.

Ant-Man & the Wasp - I liked this, too. It wasn't as good as the first one but it was pretty good. (I did have a definite gripe with the Infinity-War twist in the credits, but it does make sense. It's just depressing.) I liked the woman who played Ghost, whose name I keep forgetting - and I've already looked it up more than once so I'm not going to go look it up again. (It was Hannah! and something with a hyphen! John-Kamen, something like that, I refuse to go look, seriously. I do know that she was also in Ready Player One.)

(Side note: if you're put off by me repeatedly saying, "I liked this... and I liked this too," then you're probably just never going to like what I have to say. Basically, I only go see movies these days if I'm convinced I'm going to like them decently well. If not, I just don't bother.)

Mission Impossible Fallout - we always go see these movies - at least in recent years - and I always enjoy them and then later I can't remember them at all. I don't particularly like Tom Cruise, and when they started making the MI movies with him (years ago now, I guess!) I was profoundly uninterested, and early on we didn't go see them. But somewhere along the line the reviews started getting better - I think it may have been along about #4, but it's hard to be sure since, as I said, the plots are all pretty interchangeable, and I can't tell them apart except as "the one where they're rappelling up & down the building" and things like that.

OK, I'll pick up with BlackKKlansman (I don't know if I've got the capitalization quite right on that) tomorrow.

mellicious: Photo of a road framed by trees (spring trees)
I always have good intentions about posting during the "off-season" (meaning, in this case, the rest of the year other than in December) but I don't have a good habit of coming here to read all the time, and so I forget. But here's a movie catch-up post, at least!

I think this is all the movies I've seen in a theater since I last posted:
  1. Black Panther
  2. A Wrinkle in Time
  3. Ready Player One (twice)
  4. Infinity War (3 times)
(mostly unspoilery movie chat below)

I loved Black Panther and I am glad it's out on video because I'm more than ready to see it again. (I really wanted to see it again before Infinity War but somehow we didn't get around to it.)

A Wrinkle in Time was... interesting, I'm tempted to say, and if that isn't damning with faint praise I don't know what is. No, I enjoyed it, but I didn't really love it. I don't think it quite captured whatever magic that is that made me enjoy the book so much. (I've never been sure what made me enjoy the book so much, really, either. When I first read it - as a teenager, I think - the religious aspect went whoosh! right over my head. If you must make your story about a battle between the forces of good and evil, calling it the dark against the light seems to be the way that bothers me least.) But it was well-made and really incredibly beautiful, and the girl who played Meg was awesome and it certainly wasn't a waste of time. Oh, and Rob wanted to go see it - I didn't have to drag him in - but he hadn't read the book and didn't know what to expect and I think was a bit baffled... no, that's the wrong word but I can't really think of a better one. It's not that he didn't understand it. It's more that, well, I'm not sure what he was expecting but what he got wasn't it.

As far as Ready Player One - well, first of all, when we saw the trailer, Rob loved that it was set in Columbus. (Ohio doesn't turn up a lot in movies.) Neither one of us knew anything about the book and I wasn't sure I wanted to see it until the reviews started coming out and since they seemed good overall we decided to go. And both of us really liked it a lot. (You may have guessed that from the fact that we saw it twice.) I went and grabbed the book and read it in between the first time and the second time. I gather not everybody loved the book, but I actually liked it a lot. And it's one of those movies where there's a ton of stuff to look at and those are the ones I'm most keen to see over and over, a lot of the time.

And that leads us into Infinity War, which is equally that way, and it's imperfect and of course there's all that stuff that I won't spoil because I feel like it's been talked to death anyway, but I still loved it. Somewhat to my surprise. We went Sunday for the third time (mostly because there was nothing else Rob wanted to see) and I really wanted to go again, but now I feel like I don't need to see it again for a while. (I'm sure I'll watch both of the above Marvel movies on video over and over, because that's what I always do. I watched Dr Strange in the early hours of this morning, as a matter of fact.)


Oh! and we got our first HD-TV last week (I almost said HGTV), and there was a lot of drama about it (which I did talk about on Twitter but don't have the energy to repeat right now) but we did get it working after several trips to Walmart, etc, for cables, and I love it. We only got a 40" one because we're in an apartment and don't need anything bigger, but boy is the picture beautiful. We've been using my mom's old (decidedly non-HD) TV all this time and it just kept working until finally dying last week. I had suspected it was coming soon and I was ready for that change, more or less. So now we can watch Netflix on the TV and everything (instead of on the computer like we've been doing) and I feel like we have finally entered the 21st century on that score.
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
I think I intended to talk about baseball tonight. Or about television - I think that was because I talked about movies last night and television seemed like the next progression or something. My brain is kind of pinging all over tonight, though, so I don't know what you're gonna get.

If you read the entry from yesterday, but didn't read the comment that was added late in the day, MissMeliss reminded me that the actual title of the book that I was talking about at the end of that entry (although it's not the original title) is normally And Then There Were None, not Ten Little Indians as I was thinking. I think I just had the name for that poem - as I think I must have learned it - stuck in my head. And I read the Wikipedia entry and she is also correct that there's no Poirot, but I won't say any more than that about the plot. It's summarized at that link if you want to know. I can't believe I forgot, actually, now that I have been reminded, but in my defense I think it was somewhere in the range of 30-40 years ago that I last read it.


What I was going to say about television, really, is that I don't seem to be any good at binge-watching. I can watch maybe two or three episodes of something and that's usually where I'm ready to stop. And then I don't come back to them for weeks or months or sometimes more. (I'm still on season two of Agents of SHIELD, for example.) I'm trying to finish Iron Fist, even though it's not all that good, just to be completist, I guess, so I can eventually watch The Defenders. But I also haven't finished season two of Daredevil so if I'm really being completist I need to go finish that also. (I was watching Daredevil with Rob, but I think he's lost interest and I should give up on that part.)

I had watched one episode of Victoria and one episode of The Crown, and I liked them both a lot, but I had never gotten back to watching either of those. But last month when Rob went to Ohio to see his brother, I went to see my aunt for the weekend - she's always telling me to come visit more and I hardly ever do - and she and I bonded over The Crown. She is apparently a big watcher of Masterpiece Theater, and so she had seen Victoria (season 1, I mean) but she somehow had not heard about The Crown even though she has Netflix and when we looked it popped up on her recommendations. So we watched the first episode - I'd already seen it but I figured I could use reminding anyway - and then went on and watched a couple more. And I did watch some more of Victoria since then and I need to go ahead and watch some more of both of those because they're really good.

I really don't watch much series TV, when it comes down to it. The Netflix Marvel shows are probably the most of anything I've watched in ages. (Rob & I both watched one season of Daredevil and then Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and part of season 2 of Daredevil before we played out on that.) We watch a lot of MSNBC and a lot of baseball for six months a year - or seven, this year. (I'll probably come back to that subject another day. It's all I can do not to start typing about it in all caps, shall we say. If you read my Twitter you've undoubtedly already seen that once or twice.) ...And so those two between them take up a lot of TV time. We both work the evening shift and when we get home we typically watch Rachel Maddow and then Rob goes for a walk and I usually start watching baseball, if it's that time of year. (Sometimes I watch the whole game and sometimes I don't. Since I generally know already whether they won or lost that plays into how much I watch, quite often - if it was a blowout and they lost, for example, I sometimes don't bother at all! But this year that didn't happen much.)

Anyway, Rob watches stuff that I don't - I stay up much later than he does, and he gets up much earlier and watches a lot of TV then, I think. (Our bedroom walls are thick so we don't hear each other doing this unless the TV is turned up very very loud.) Rob also watches The Walking Dead (and now Fear the Walking Dead also) on Sundays but I gave up on that after season 2 - it wasn't really the violence per se, it was the worrying about who was gonna die next - and so now I go in the bedroom and let him watch and come out for Talking Dead afterwards. I can deal with Talking Dead just fine, a nice nerdy show that I know what to do with.
mellicious: Photo of a road framed by trees (spring trees)
I have some screenshots of one game (Portal Knights) and I'm also still playing Marvel Heroes a bit. In Marvel Heroes (I almost said Marvel Knights - I think that's a comic, right? but it's not the name of either game) June is "birthday" month in MH and is marked with lots of giveaways, so that's always fun, and because of that I've gone back to playing more. I've already used some of those goodies to unlock some of the heroes that still were locked - Doctor Doom, Emma Frost, Cable - and then by coincidence, I got a "enhanced" costume which turns Spider-Man into Spider-Gwen (one of the two female versions), so to use that, I have to finally unlock Spider-Man, which I've avoided doing all this time. You unlock characters using Eternity Splinters, which are falling like rain (more or less) right now, so it won't take me long. Spider-Man has never interested me all that much and he's one of a handful of characters that are more expensive than the rest, which is why I haven't bothered before. (There are something like 62 heroes total right now, and I have over 50 unlocked. In fact the Spider-Gwen costume was not part of the birthday stuff, but rather was a reward for having leveled 50 heroes to maximum. I have a couple unlocked but still not leveled, which means I only have maybe 8 left to unlock after Spider-Man. But with several still to level that's not going to be a priority for a while.)

Switching over to the other game, Portal Knights has been in beta for a while and just came out very recently, and Col has been playing it but I was involved in Marvel Heroes and wasn't paying too much attention. Then it went on sale and Col bought it for me as a gift because he thought I would like it, which was really nice of him! It's sort of like Trove in that it's got the Minecraft-style building component and it's also got some questing/PvE to it - a little more actual story than Trove had, as I recall.

Fort Finch house (Portal Knights)
This house was already here in the game, although it required some repairs. It's considerably more elaborate than anything I would have built on my own. There was a lake between the spawn point and the house, so I built a bridge. The lake was originally higher than this, but I think I accidentally drained a lot of the water out! (Then I planted crops all over the former lake bottom.) - If you know what to look for, there's also some creatures at the back of that water area. The orange things are slime creatures and there's probably some turtles and a sort of mobile plant thing. I think they were originally spawning up at the top behind where they are now, and they migrated. (I built a doohickey which I can't remember the proper name of - and you can't see it because it's around on the back side of the house - which keeps anything from spawning near it. I put it up because tired of having angry turtles in my virtual front yard! It covers a pretty big area, so I think those guys are probably spawning right at the edge of its range. They don't come near enough to bother me where they are now.)

Here's a shot inside the house that's really not too interesting. I didn't make much in the way of changes to this floor - I just added some chests and stuff for storage.
Fort Finch house - 1st floor

That thing on the wall is a trophy - that's the head of one of the mobile plants that I was talking about. This is not a big room, you're seeing most of it. There are stairs which originally just went up, and a fireplace, and there were originally some chairs which I moved.

(I was going to add more pictures to this, but I hit enter by accident (again!) and so I'll do the rest in a separate post later.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
(Sorry, hopefully this is not completely incoherent - certainly it's totally parenthesis-riddled - but I already posted it by accident so I'm going with it as is!!)

The beginning credits of GotG2 are the best thing in the movie. Maybe my favorite movie credits ever, actually. (I'd have to think about that some more, though.)

And apparently there's a reason for that. I read somewhere - one of the umpteen things about this I've read, and I tried to find it again and had no luck with that - that James Gunn has been working on that credits sequence since the original GotG movie came out - three years ago. Maybe he should have worked that hard on the rest of the movie.

Not that it's bad, it's not. But that opening credits really captures the - whatever it is, magic, I guess! - that made the first movie so extraordinary. And the rest of the movie is brilliant off & on but not consistently, and there was a long stretch when they're on Ego's planet (which I guess is just Ego, but that sounds weird) where I was flat-out bored for a while. Anyway, I did like it (and it's been a couple of weeks ago now so I'm a bit fuzzy on the details) and I definitely want to see it again. (Rob doesn't seem to be quite as enthusiastic but he never wants to rewatch stuff as much as I do, that's pretty normal for us.)


We actually have not been to see anything together since then. I couldn't work up any enthusiasm for Alien Covenant so Rob finally went by himself. (He came back laughing, he seemed to think it was pretty ludicrous.) Certainly no Baywatch for us. I was going to mention the Joss Whedon news bit that I just saw - not only is he apparently directing a Batgirl movie but he is doing the reshoots for Justice League since Snyder is not available. (I was watching that Kevin Smith YouTube thing, here. But if you want to know what happened with Zack Snyder, google it, because they didn't talk about it and and it's depressing as hell so I'm not going to either.)

I'm sure we will go to Wonder Woman next week, since (even though actually reviews are still embargoed) the general consensus seems to be positive. I adored Wonder Woman as a kid - I'm talking about 60s comics, not the 70s TV series, although I watched that too. (It comes on METV or someplace and I've seen a couple of those recently - for 70s TV it doesn't hold up all that badly. Although it's still pretty ludicrious.)
mellicious: pink manicure (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: Yoda: "Post every day you will" (nablopomo)
Actually, I've been watching stuff on YouTube about Rogue One off and on all night, but the last thing I watched was about The Force Awakens, and it's awfully good.
https://youtu.be/nVZGUV77aRg
It's not a series I was aware of before, I may be watching the Fury Road one next.

I started this one last night and finished it tonight (and Rob watched a good bit of it with me, too) but I still can't believe I sat through the whole thing: an HOUR AND A HALF of Kevin Smith and some guy I've never seen before rhapsodizing about Rogue One (and in case you're not otherwise paying attention, this is WAY SPOILERIFIC).
https://youtu.be/uLljgEUPmRQ
(Obviously I've never seen that series before, either, or I would already know who this other dude is.)

I watched some other stuff: nail polish, more nail polish, music videos (which I won't link to til I get to the next Music Advent post, probably tomorrow), somebody obsessively breaking down the GotG vol.2 trailer, more Rogue One stuff. Way too much YouTube, clearly. Oh well, I'll get over it in a few days, I imagine.


Oh, and I forgot to say that we watched two more episodes of Jessica Jones, before all of this. (Hey, it wasn't on YouTube, at least!) I think we have three or four more hours of that left, I've lost track.
mellicious: pink manicure (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: pink manicure (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: pink manicure (Black Widow)
I had a new icon yesterday and I have another one today. I saved a few more so you may see some more new ones, eventually. I go poking around in my icons every December, because I have so many I don't even know what all I have. They're kind of a record of my years at Livejournal, really - baseball, Buffy (TONS of Buffy), Harry Potter, m15m, WoW. Kingdom of Loathing - that last one goes back a while, especially. I've deleted a few over the years - usually the ones that I most rarely used, anyway - but there are still lots of old ones there. (I saw "NaBloPoMo 2007" for one, and I doubt that that's the oldest one still here, either.) The first one I remember having as my default was one of the m15m Harry Potter ones - I think it was Snape saying "sit down and shut up." Actually if you look at my userpics page, they seem to have the current default first and after that they appear to be chronological, so if I'm correct about that, the Snape one IS actually the oldest, or the oldest that's still there, at least.

Anyway, I don't see anything Marvel in my existing icons. I suppose it's been so long since I was really a regular poster here that it was mostly before Marvel became a big thing. But I have been doing movie posts all year and if you paid attention to that you might have noticed that the bulk of the movies I've seen this year were superhero movies - a few DC but even more Marvel. There's a post somewhere in there that talks about what I read as a kid (Wonder Woman) and didn't read (anything Marvel, really). (Here's that entry.) I got gradually more into the Marvel movies as they came out, and then - as I mentioned in that entry - I started playing the Marvel Heroes 2016 game this year and that really got me even more into it because I'm gradually figuring out big chunks of backstory. Anyway, I figured it was time I had a Marvel icon and so I went and poked around again and Natasha here was the first one I found that I really liked. (I can't make a habit of spending time looking for icons, though, I have enough time-sucking hobbies already without adding more.)

If I'd found a good Daredevil or Jessica Jones one first, though, you might be seeing that instead. (I did eventually find a couple of them but half of them were Luke/Jessica and I'm not into it far enough yet to be invested in those two as a couple.) We just re-started Netflix a month or so ago after a LONG hiatus - like, a couple of years - and the main reason we re-started it was for the Marvel stuff (and Stranger Things for Rob, but we haven't gotten around to that yet). We finally got through season 1 of Daredevil last night and we watched enough of Jessica Jones after that to determine that we did in fact want to watch it. I was pretty sure I would, but I wasn't sure about Rob - then once we got really rolling I realized that this is right the heck up Rob's alley. It's practically a horror movie, or at least it's creepy-as-hell suspense. Anyway, we're only two episodes in and we haven't even really seen David Tennant's face yet, but we're pretty into it. We're both off tomorrow so hopefully we can get at least one ot two more in.

(Have I ever mentioned that my mom thought when we first started dating that Rob was some kind of serial killer or something? Because he liked horror movies and stuff about Charles Manson. Heck, practically every guy my age likes that stuff. My mom had some weird ideas sometimes.)

I hear Daredevil season 2 is not as good as season 1, which is disappointing because I really, really loved season 1. We may watch season 2 eventually but I figured it'd be nice to see if we could catch up with at least Jessica Jones & maybe Luke Cage too before any more Defenders stuff comes out.


Holidailies - blue
mellicious: pink manicure (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.
mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - action figures)
So, non-spoilery: it's really, really good. If you're at all interested in things Marvel you should definitely go see it.

Note that once again I have gone a whole month without seeing a movie - there was just nothing interesting out there. (I skipped Batman v. Superman - did I already say this? - because it sounded dull & depressing and I'm not much of a Superman fan anyway. I might see it eventually.)

Possible spoilers under the jump, though.
Read more... )
mellicious: pink manicure (baseball - Kissimmee)
I really wasn't sure about Deadpool going in, but as it turned out, I liked it a lot. Just bear in mind that It's R-rated and it's a hard R - it has nudity and sex and a ton of violence, and it's massively, childishly, hilariously profane. Badly handled, these things might bother me, but in this case, obviously it didn't. Note that it's okay if (like me) you know nothing about Deadpool, this is mostly an origin story, if a really twisted one. And that's really all I want to say about it right now.

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