mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
We went to see The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (I believe that's the correct full title). We liked the first one and we also liked Lego Batman, so this was a no-brainer. It has a very interesting plot and I actually can't talk about the part of it I'd like to talk about without spoiling stuff, so I will just tell you that I saw when I got home that it didn't make nearly as much money as it was predicted to - $35 million or so rather than the $55m or so the studio thought it would make.  (Here's the piece I was reading - it got an A- CinemaScore so it's not that audiences didn't like it.)

I notice that this is actually the first movie I've seen that was released this year. I feel like there just wasn't much released up to now that I was very interested in.




Movies seen in 2019:
1. Bumblebee
2. Into the Spider-verse
3. Lego Movie 2

The Big C

Feb. 9th, 2019 04:09 am
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
Well, so the biopsy was positive. I am actually not completely freaking out about it because it's very minor, as cancer goes. It's small and it's away from the chest wall (which apparently is good) and there's no lymph node involvement (I know that's good, it has to do with the way cancer can spread, for one thing) - I just have to have a lumpectomy. And that's really all I know right now. I have an appointment with the surgeon next week so that's when I'll know more.

I didn't tell anybody but Rob and my boss and my sister, so far. I definitely want as few people as possible to know at work because I don't want to have to deal with a million questions about it. Thank goodness for HIPAA, because I can tell you from personal experience that in the old days everybody in the whole hospital knew everything, pretty much immediately. It's a small town, where I work. (Far as I know, nobody I know in real life follows me here, so I'm not worried about you guys.)

I had a bad feeling about it - the first radiologist I talked to acted like it was probably nothing, but then after that I could just tell from the way they were talking that it sounded more worrisome. Then I got a call this morning from a doctor (rather than a nurse) and by the time I woke up he had called several times. So that didn't sound like it was going to be good news. But cancer is not the death sentence it used to be, in general. I've even managed to completely forget about this whole thing for long stretches of the day today.


Um, as far as the rest of life, I'm still playing Covet Fashion with my sister - have I talked about this here? and my god, is she competitive. I'm actually getting pretty good scores though so I may give her more of a run for her money than she expected. Also I finally went to my second movie of 2019 and it was a repeat - Into the Spider-verse. I liked it even better the second time. We will probably go see the Lego thing this weekend but we are waiting til Sunday night so there will hopefully be fewer kids.
mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
I'm trying to remember to post a little bit here & there, but I am totally sleep-deprived again and so I hope this comes out making sense. (I got like four hours of sleep yesterday.) I've already had one try at going to sleep earlier and I sat and read instead (now on Expanse book 3, which is called Abaddon's Gate, I believe? not sure of their spelling of that but I'm fairly sure that's the name. SPOILER (although fairly minor, I guess): there's a giant alien stargate (?) thing - or maybe it's not a gate, just a Ringworld - lurking around so that makes sense for the name at this point in the overarching plot.)

We have a plan for the weekend which does not include a movie for me. Rob is going to see Vice, finally (no new horror movies this week), and I will stay home and we will go out to eat on Sunday. I'm still saying the same thing I was saying a couple of weeks ago, which is that I was not amused by the Bush administration the first time around and I have no desire to re-live it. Rob has been wanting to go see Glass when it comes out next weekend, but the reviews aren't good. On the other hand, it's his birthday weekend so I may end up going anyway. Movie-wise, I'm just marking time til the things I actually want to see (like Captain Marvel) start coming out.

Also I had a mammo last week and I have to have a followup because they saw a shadow of some kind. I got phone messages about it and looked online, and I get the impression that the nurses who were trying to call me were all set to have to calm me down, and I'm like, no problem, been there done that (every few years since I turned 40, basically) and I'm not going to get excited til I'm sure there's actually a problem.
mellicious: Happy New Year! (new year gif)
 1. Bumblebee

I really liked Bumblebee a lot, quite honestly. I'm the wrong age to be nostalgic about Transformers - I was a young adult in the 80s - but they surrounded that with all kinds of other 80s nostalgia, and it's been well-established here that I love me some 80s, so that part made me happy. And it was well-made, so that always helps.

I'm starting to think I might ought to go back and see Aquaman again at some point, and see if I was just being cranky about it. That was right when I started getting really sick, so it's entirely possible. And it was awfully pretty to look at (and I don't just mean Jason Momoa).

But before I can do that I have to go back to work. I don't mind the work itself as much as I mind getting up earlier, darnit.

Does anybody else think 2019 just sounds more futuristic somehow? (I also pointed out to Rob that it's only one year now until we know what to call our decades again!)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
 Alright, this is the best list I can reconstruct of what we actually saw in a movie theater this year.
  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (this was the second time we'd seen it)
  2. The Post
  3. Dunkirk (third time we'd seen it)
  4. Darkest Hour
  5. Black Panther
  6. A Wrinkle in Time
  7. Ready Player One (twice)
  8. Avengers: Infinity War (three times)
  9. Solo (twice)
  10. Ocean's 8
  11. Incredibles 2
  12. Ant-Man & the Wasp
  13. Mission Impossible Fallout
  14. BlackKKlansman
  15. Princess Mononoke (dubbed version)
  16. Crazy Rich Asians
  17. Venom
  18. The House with a Clock in its Walls
  19. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  20. Widows
  21. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  22. Spiderman: into the Spiderverse
  23. Aquaman

I think that may be the most movies I've seen in years. Back... oh god, remember some years ago when there was a writer's strike that lasted for months? It was more than ten years ago, because we still lived in Galveston. Oh, (*looking it up*) 2001, that makes sense because it was tied into the rise of reality shows, I remember that bit of it. Well, before the writer's strike, we used to go to the movies a lot, like practically every week, but after the writer's strike there was a long period where the movies just sucked, because the only thing they could put into production was stuff that they had already sitting around. (Come to think of it, this may fit into why 2001 - or rather 2002, mostly - was also the year I went to see Fellowship of the Ring like 15 times. Literally, I am totally not kidding. I think if anything I'm understating it a little, it might have been more like 18!) After that I quit going to the movies as much, and then we moved to the mainland and we don't live as close to a theater as we did, so it takes a little more effort to go. I looked back at how many movies I saw the last couple of years and it was considerably fewer - 19 and 15, to be exact. So I'm basically back now to averaging a movie every other week, if you add in the repeated ones.

I usually try to come up with a favorite. Let's try a shortlist, like I mentioned I've been doing with nail polish. I'm declaring the two that I had already seen in 2017 ineligible... So, Black Panther, Darkest Hour, Ready Player One, Infinity War, BlackKKlansman, Into the Spiderverse. That's kind of a long shortlist (typical for me). I have trouble with the high/low divide, which is why I totally understood what the Oscars were trying to do (albeit badly) with the now-abandoned Popular Movies category. Let's go with the one that straddles both, Black Panther

(My favorite movies are nearly always on the low side of the high/low thing. People don't think this way as much as they used to - it sounds now like it's just snobbery, and well, it was always just snobbery, really, but it used to be culturally-sanctioned snobbery, you know? I always liked genre movies more than anything, even when that was highly looked down upon. For a long time I used to say that my favorite movie was The Terminator, and Aliens was right behind it. Hell, I'm not real sure that's not still true.)


Added: I scrolled back and back, and it looks like I saw 20 movies in 2011, but I also found a couple of years in there where it was just 12.

Happy 2019!

Jan. 1st, 2019 12:39 am
mellicious: Happy New Year! (new year gif)
Shit, how did it get to be 2019 already? I've mostly been home sick the last few days, although I'm better. I think the only time I've been anywhere since the last time I posted is that we went to Chili's kind of late last night, because somebody gave us a gift-card. I tried being true to my low-fat-low-carb thing (because it's doctor-mandated, mind) and ordered a chicken salad and I didn't really like it. But that was Chili's. I didn't like their vinaigrette and I didn't really like the chicken that much either but I think I would be okay with a salad with chicken at other places. Anyway, it was good to get out. Today I'm still sucking on cough drops and noticing that my nose is horribly chapped, but I'm definitely in recovery mode.

(If I go to Chili's in the future - because Rob gets the urge to go there occasionally - hang the diet, I'm ordering country-fried steak.)

We had a horrible thought. Remember how I said the waitress at the breakfast place we went to might have been the one that infected us? Well, I was thinking that that kind of seemed like a short time window anyway, and then Rob said that he actually thought he got the virus from our co-worker, which sets the whole time-frame for him back about three days, so then I probably got it from him before that, because I was feeling a little better yesterday when my sister said they were both feeling horrible. And then Rob (or I) probably infected them too. That fits the overall timeline who got sick and well in what order a lot more neatly than the IHOP theory. But I decided not to tell my sister about that theory unless she brings it up. Really it's useless wondering about where you got a cold most of the time. (But my brain bounces between subjects all the time - I imagine it going ping! ping! ping! sort of like a pinball - and so I'm always contemplating all sorts of useless things.)

Doctor Who episodes keep taping so I've been watching a lot of those. Let's see, besides the ones I know I already mentioned, I watched "A Christmas Carol" and "Blink" and "Let's Kill Hitler" for chrissake (I don't think I'd seen that one since it first came out) and the most recent one, the Battle of Some Random Name. Tonight I've been watching a bunch of year-end news shows, which mostly were not quite as depressing as you might think. Tomorrow we're going to have another try at "Bumblebee" (and we've already got the tickets so that ups the odds we're actually going this time). And it's at 6:00 so we're going to miss the Doctor Who thing, which is at 7 our time. I already checked and it's set to tape, though, and god knows BBC-A will probably rerun it about a zillion times even if it didn't.

Oh, I almost forgot - we watched "Room" earlier. We had never seen it.  I expected it to be good, and it was. I was really afraid the second half was going to veer off and become a courtroom drama, and I am so glad it didn't!

This ends Holidailies, unless I get my shit together and write another entry before midnight tomorrow - er, tonight, officially. I did maybe 15 journal entries, which is not completely terrible. I think I played out on Music Advent somewhere around Day 15 also. I have consistently written nail journal entries. I have been working on my year-end thing where I decide what my favorite polish of the year is. These will start going up tomorrow - it starts with just the list of everything I've worn, as best I can tell, and I narrow it down from there. The plan is to get my favorite up on Friday. I got down to a tentative top three last night so I think I'll get there.

(Hmm, maybe I'll do a Best Movies post! If I get another post done it'll probably be that.)
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
 

*sneeze* *cough*

Yeah, I'm still sick. I didn't go to bed until like 9am (again) - I woke up and it was getting dark (I'm nearly always confused when that happens because I think for a minute it's dawn, not dusk). Then I went back to sleep for another hour. Rob let me sleep until 6 and we were going to see the 6:45 Bumblebee, but by the time I threw some clothes on & got out the door I was pretty sure we weren't going to make it - it takes pretty much a solid 30 minutes to get to the theater and get Rob his Diet Coke, etc.. At that moment I wasn't sure I cared, either. (I know it has good reviews and everything, but it's a Transformers movie. I suspect I'll like it in the end but it's hard to work up much enthusiasm.) Rob was going, "We can make it," and we got down the road to where our favorite Chinese restaurant is and I said "Are you sure you don't just want to eat?" and we got even further down the road before I talked him out of the movie and into Chinese. It was already time for the movie to start by then and we were still 10 minutes away, and I hate missing the beginning of movies. Plus, I was hungry.

So we had Chinese for dinner, and I ordered what I always order (sweet & sour chicken) before it occurred to me that I talked to the doctor's office first thing yesterday morning (or last thing before bed, for me) - and my A1C was kind of high and so I'm supposed to be eating low-carb, low sugar for the next few months. But oh well, I ate my damn chicken anyway. I was expecting the low-sugar part but the carb thing took me by surprise. I honestly don't know what to eat - lots of chicken salads? I think cutting down on bread will be harder than cutting out sugar, for me. (In case anybody's wondering if they missed something on the diagnosis front, I have not officially been diagnosed with diabetes so far - or at least the nurse I talked to never mentioned it. But obviously I'm right on the borderline.)

And meanwhile I'm sneezing my way through dinner. Luckily they had seated us in a corner. Rob seems better today but I'm worse. I hope that means I'll be better by tomorrow. I looked and "Vice" is showing at the Cinemark, so I'm thinking that I should send Rob off to see that because he wanted to see it and I don't, and that will give me another recovery day. I watched plenty of news all through the Bush administration, I feel like I've seen that movie already.

Oh, and I have been watching Doctor Who for the last few hours - I watched almost all of the last several Capaldi episodes, which for some reason I missed at the time. I think I've watched everything now except the one that comes between "World Enough and Time" and "Twice Upon a Time". (And I still haven't watched the last new episode, either - the Battle of something, I think? - so I guess I should do that before the New Year's Day one! I think that one recorded, but for some reason the 12th doctor one didn't, even though all the others did. What's up with that?)

Aquaman

Dec. 26th, 2018 10:24 pm
mellicious: (Wonder Woman)
We went to see Aquaman tonight, and I didn't love it. I didn't hate it, but I was kind of bored, off & on. It seemed kind of like a kids' movie. And there were a lot of kids there - it was packed, in fact - and there was applause at the end, so somebody liked it much better than I did. It was... hmm, maybe better than Batman vs. Superman, because I was bored with that one some, too. Not quite as good as Justice League, as best I can remember Justice League at all. And of course, not remotely in the same league as Wonder Woman.

I have some more-specific thoughts, which I'll put under a cut assuming I can remember how to do one.

SPOILERS!! )


I took a long nap when we came home from Galveston last night, and then, of course, I stayed up all night. I mean, til WAY after dawn. It might be that I was a little cranky about Aquaman because I was still sleepy, I don't know. And I feel a little like I might be coming down with something - which happens after Christmas a lot. We weren't even around any kids this year to be disease vectors. Well, I've had a flu shot and so has Rob, so if we're actually coming down with anything it will hopefully be over fast, at least.
mellicious: (Wonder Woman)
Variety posted this article about movies coming out in the next year, and I seem to have Opinions on several of these, so I sat there at work - it was a slow night - and wrote down what I thought. (Some of these I had to look up, but the majority of them were things I already knew about.)

POSSIBLE 
SPOILER WARNING: there's at least two general spoilers here (if you haven't seen GlassSplit and Infinity War) but mostly this is pretty vague. If you're concerned, though, step carefully here. 

ALSO: if you can't read the text below, highlight it. Apparently when I copied it over, something got screwed up. (I changed the text to gray instead of white, now, so I think most everybody should be able to at least see it, unless you have a background that color!)



 

  • Glass – I might be interested but I haven’t seen Split, would have to catch up first (I would want to watch Unbreakable again too, but I think we actually have a DVD of that around somewhere!)
  • Lego Movie 2 – I liked the first one, so sure
  • How to Train Your Dragon, part whatever – I liked the first one, never got around to the second one, so… maybe?
  • Captain Marvel – yes, please, preferably sooner (I just read somewhere that this is the TWENTY-FIRST Marvel movie – seriously, it took you guys 20 movies to get a freaking female lead??)
  • Us – I guess this is the Jordan Peele movie? I liked Get Out a lot, and the cast looks good, so I’m interested. But I’m horror-averse, so somebody will have to vet it for me first. (Normally I don’t go see horror movies at all.)
  • Dumbo – if the reviews are good, I’ll go, but I’m doubtful. I loved it the old one when I was a kid, though.
  • Pet Sematary – horror, so no. (I like King’s non-horror stuff fine.) ADDED: I seem to have dropped "It 2" out of the list somehow, but the same applies there.
  • Shazam – I never saw the old one (there IS an old one, right?) so not anticipating, no. But if the reviews are good on this one I could be persuaded.
  • Hellboy – I liked the old ones, and the trailer looks good, so I’m sure we’ll go unless the reviews really suck or something. (My movie viewing is heavily review-dependent, have you figured that out already?)
  • Avengers Endgame – hell yeah. Gotta find out how they revive half the universe, right?
  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu – I know what Pikachu looks like but other than that I don’t know anything about Pokeman. So highly doubtful.
  • Aladdin – we’ll see. We saw the Beauty & the Beast remake and it was alright. Probably just depends on whether something about it intrigues us enough to bother!
  • Godzilla – again, we’ll see. I like the old ones and I even liked that Matthew Broderick one in the 90s, so we might go.
  • Rocketman – oh, it’s an Elton bio. Maybe?
  • Dark Phoenix – maybe. Do I have to watch the last one to catch up? (If it seems decent, we’ll probably see it. We’ve seen most of the others.)
  • Men in Black International – hell yeah, but not because it’s MiB. Because it’s Tessa and Chris.
  • Toy Story 4 and Tom Holland Spiderman 2 both have the same answer – we’ve seen the previous ones and we’ll undoubtedly go see these too
  • The Lion King – I have to admit to being kind of “meh” on this one. The animated one was never my favorite. But if it looks good we’ll go, I’m sure.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – I’m also meh on Tarantino, generally, and I’m not a DiCaprio fan either. But Manson stuff has always interested me so I’m guessing we’ll see it.
  • Joker (the Joachin Phoenix/Todd Philips thing) – I’m undecided. MIGHT be interesting, but we’ll see.
  • You Are My Friend – huh, Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers, really? Maybe…
  • Frozen 2 – undecided. Rob has never seen Frozen 1 but I have. I’ve been threatening to make him watch it, we’ll see if that happens first.
  • Star Wars IX – of course I’m going. Is it going to be as good as Force Awakens or as divisive as Last Jedi, that’s the question.
mellicious: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
I've got books and movies to discuss, and I suspect TV is going to wander in here too if I get very far, so "entertainments" it is.

First of all, I finished Queen of Air and Darkness, and it had a satisfying ending, although it continued to be almost unbearably talky right up til the end. Another (more minor) gripe is that I think it's misnamed, because the Queen of Air and Darkness was supposed to be the character Annabel (rather than the Seelie Queen, which was what I expected), who hardly ever showed up. (The Seelie Queen was there about as much as Annabel, for what that's worth.) I kept waiting for something to happen to justify that title. Maybe the idea was that Annabel's actions in the last book (in killing a character who I won't name in case that's a spoiler for somebody!) drove this book all the way through, because a lot of this book was about the process of grieving. Anyway, I'm glad I read it, because it's closure for the series, but at this point I'm even more glad to be done with it. - I don't usually think in terms of how many stars I give things, but on a 1-5 basis I'd probably give this a 3.

Yesterday we went to see what I keep calling the "Spider-verse thing" because its name is too unwieldy to bother with, as far as I'm concerned. It was really good. Easily the best Spiderman movie I've seen, although I told Rob that that's a pretty low bar. I saw at least a couple of the Raimi ones back in the day, they were decent but not really anything special. I never saw any of the Andrew Garfield ones. I would say that the best of the ones I'd previously seen is the one from last year - Homecoming, I think? It was still messy in that way that Spider-man movies seem to be prone to, but pretty good.

In the animated one, we get an origin story for teenager Miles Morales, who eventually runs across an irradiated spider - of course - and then into a confrontation between Kingpin & Spiderman (the usual sort of Spiderman, Peter Parker a few years after his origin story, now in his 20s). Kingpin is trying to bring his wife & son back from a parallel universe, which is how the whole multiverse thing gets started. From there we eventually end up with a whole gang of Spideys - male, female, and in one case, non-human. I won't spoil you past that. It's all a lot of fun, and the animation is wonderful. (Who knew Sony had this in them?)

Before I started on the Shadowhunters re-read, what I read was the first book in the Expanse series, which is also a TV series - it's been on SyFy for several years. We used to watch SyFy a whole lot but in recent years we've drifted away from it, for no particular reason. So I didn't know anything about the series except that it existed. And lately I'd started hearing that the series was pretty good, I guess that's what got me started with this. The TV series turned up on Amazon Prime in the past few months, and I knew it was something that came from a book or book series, and my rule is usually if there's a book and a TV/movie adaptation, I'd rather read (or see) the original one first. So I went and found the book - the first one is called Leviathan Wakes. And man, it was good. So I started wanting to watch the series before I'd even finished the book. Once I got past the first big section of the book (where they're on the Canterbury) I figured that was bound to be as far as the first episode went, and so Rob and I watched the first episode and it was also really good. Anyway, if you're not familiar with this, it's, like, straight-out sci-fi, a space opera set in a not-too-terribly-distant future in which Mars is in the process of being terraformed, and the asteroid belt is being mined and some of the moons of Jupiter & Saturn are starting to be colonized. I'm not going to try to really summarize the plot, which is pretty convoluted, but it has action and a mystery, and I love it. (I love the book somewhat more than the series, but they're both good. I'm only about five episodes into the series, but it's well-done, also. At some point soon I'll probably go hunt down the second book.)

(There's another series or two I've been reading lately, but I'll come back to those later.)
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)
When did BlackKKlansman come out, late summer? I think this is everything I saw in sort of late August to October. BlackKKlansman was really excellent. It's an amazing story, and apparently hews fairly close to what actually happened. Here's the book it was based on. Short version: back in the 70s, a black policeman in Colorado infiltrated the local Klan. He started out talking to people on the phone, and then when it came to actually meeting them in person, a white cop went in his place. The black cop is played by Denzel Washington's son (I didn't even know Denzel had a son who was an actor, but he was really good), and the white cop is played by Adam Driver. Topher Grace, bizarrely, plays David Duke. It's directed by Spike Lee and Jordan Peele was a producer, no less. I don't think a lot of people saw this in theaters, but it's totally worth tracking down.

I had seen it once before - ages ago - but Princess Mononoke made the rounds on the Ghiblifest circuit that they do every year, and we went to that. It's not my favorite Miyazaki movie but it's entertaining, and the artwork is really beautiful, as in all his movies.

Crazy Rich Asians wouldn't have been a movie Rob went to see on his own, of course, but he seemed to enjoy it pretty well, and so did I. I hadn't read the book - I knew it existed but it's really kind of an offputting title, you know? But everybody seemed to like the movie and so we went, after it had already been out for a couple of weeks, and it was good. I kind of think there's something wrong with the concept of marrying somebody who you don't know well enough to know if they're insanely rich, but once you get past that part, it really works. I liked it enough that I'll probably read the book when I get around to it.

And then another one we didn't go see until it had been around a while was Venom. I knew who Venom was from playing Marvel Heroes - otherwise we probably wouldn't have gone at all. The reviews were kind of so-so, I think, but it kept making money and making money and so I figured it can't be that bad or people wouldn't still be going to see it, right? And we both liked it. It's not exactly a piece of art and it's awfully testosterone laced, but it was entertaining.

And then we went to see The House With A Clock In Its Walls. It's a kids' movie, but the trailer looked good, and really it was pretty cute. (And I'll watch pretty much anything with Cate Blanchett in it.) It's set in the 50s and it's about a kid who goes to live with his uncle, who turns out to be a magician - a real magician. (How much you want to bet that somebody somewhere pitched it as the next Harry Potter?) It's based on a whole series of books that I'd never heard of that were written starting in the 70s, I think.

And then we're coming up on the things that have come out more recently, so I think I'll save that for a part 3 on another day.


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: Narnia witch in a carriage pulled by polar bears, captioned "OMGWTFPOLARBEAR!" (m15m - polarbear)
 We went to see Darkest Hour two weeks ago - during the Super Bowl - and I got involved in something-or-other else and forgot to ever talk about it. (I think I tweeted about how empty the theater was but never even said what I went to see.) I actually liked it a lot - more than I expected to. Some reviews talk about how awesome Gary Oldman is but don't seem to think much of the rest of the movie. But I really liked the whole thing. I keep talking about Dunkirk (the movie) and I did really love that movie a lot. In a lot of ways I think the two movies together tell one story: Dunkirk the view from on-the-spot, never showing the politics of the thing at all, and Darkest Hour filling in the political side. (It also has very funny moments.)
mellicious: (Wonder Woman)
As far as I can determine, these are the movies I went to see in a movie theater in 2017:
  1. Rogue One (a third time, I'd already seen it twice)
  2. Hidden Figures
  3. Lego Batman
  4. Get Out
  5. Logan
  6. Beauty & the Beast
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
  8. Wonder Woman (twice)
  9. Spider Man Homecoming
  10. Dunkirk (twice)
  11. Valerian & the City of 1000 Planets
  12. Logan Lucky
  13. Blade Runner 2049
  14. Spirited Away (first time I'd seen it on a big screen)
  15. Thor Ragnarok (twice)
  16. Murder on the Orient Express
  17. Coco
  18. The Last Jedi
  19. Jumanji
I've seen two repeats this January, too, for the record, The Last Jedi and Dunkirk. I said this on Twitter but I'll say it here, too: I highly recommend seeing Dunkirk on a big screen if you're interested in seeing it at all. (IMAX would probably be even better.) Since it's Oscar-nominated it's making the rounds again so we decided to go one more time.
mellicious: Cartoon of Kirk and Spock, captioned "Slash? I think you'll find we invented it" (star trek - slash)
 I usually do a wrap-up movie post around January 1st and try to list all the movies I've seen. I didn't get around to doing that before Holidailies ended. And then I looked back and it turns out I didn't do one for 2016 either. But then I was looking in my planner from last year and I found the 2016 list written in there, and a partial 2017 list, too. So I used my back entries to finish that list off and that's probably about as complete as it's going to get. I always feel like I'm probably forgetting things. If my numbers are correct I went more movies this past year. In 2016 I had a larger-than-usual number of favorites that I saw more than once. (And yes, I did see Suicide Squad twice. Hush.)

(I typed out the 2017 list and DW ate it, so that'll be in a separate post!)

2016
  1. The Martian (released in 2015)
  2. Bridge of Spies (released in 2015)
  3. Hail Caesar!
  4. Deadpool (twice)
  5. The Force Awakens (released in 2015, and I believe this was the third time I'd seen it)
  6. Captain America: Civil War (twice)
  7. Batman vs. Superman
  8. Star Trek Beyond
  9. Finding Dory
  10. Suicide Squad (twice)
  11. Kubo & the Two Strings
  12. Dr Strange (three times)
  13. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them (twice)
  14. Rogue One  (twice)
  15. Moana

Happy 2018!

Jan. 1st, 2018 11:57 pm
mellicious: Happy New Year! (new year gif)
 I'll quote what I just said about Last Jedi in my own comments:

 I think I enjoyed it more the second time, without all those pesky "what's going to happen?" thoughts running through my head. If nothing else, it's really pretty to look at. And I didn't think the middle was especially saggy the second time, either.
 
There were still a good many people in the theater, but nothing like the crowd that was at Jumanji last week. Probably most of the kids have to go back to school tomorrow, come to think of it.
 

(I was trying to hurry so I could make the Holidailies cutoff at midnight, but then I realized they're unlikely to have the cutoff be Central time, anyway, unless they have a rolling cutoff that uses each person's own time zones. I'm just not going to worry about it.)

We saw the aftermath of a horrific-looking wreck on the way to the movie theater (a car basically underneath a pickup) and when we came back through three hours later they were still clearing it up. It looked like they basically had cut the car that was on the bottom apart. I'm trying not to speculate about what happened there.

I stayed up until well after daylight the last few days. I have to go back to work on Wednesday so I need to shift my bedtime at least a little earlier than that! I have no sense of time, that's basically my problem. Sitting here in the living room facing away from the windows I don't even necessarily notice that it's getting light until I get up to go to the bathroom or something.

Which reminds me, I don't really make resolutions, but I want to stop feeling guilty, somehow, for being a night person. People get so judgy about it, and I'm sick of that shit. I like to sleep in the daytime, so what. (I'm not really talking to you guys, of course.) Oh, did I mention that my sister is now on the exact same schedule? She sleeps til the middle of the afternoon just like I do. Apparently at her previous job - which she has now quit - she was mostly working evenings, too. We used to seem so different when we were younger but now we are exactly alike in a myriad of ways, so much so that it's slightly alarming. (What, is my entire personality just genetics?)

mellicious: pink manicure (nails)
 I've spent the last couple of hours trying to come up with a favorite nail polish of 2017. I think I figured it out but I still need to take some pictures for it. (Or maybe I don't, really, but I have to look at what I already have, at least.) The result will be up on the nail blog, but probably not until Tuesday. Today I have a list of every polish that I could come up with that I wore for the first time this year, which is the list that I used to pick my favorites from. Tomorrow I have a top 10. I'm saving the big reveal for Tuesday, when I figure more people will be back at work and wanting to read frivolous blog posts.

I talk about it every time I have to come up with a favorite movie or even a favorite color. I just don't seem to think of things that way. With movies and with books, I have more of a shortlist of things I love. (Music is even worse, I have long list of things instead.) With color, I used to say it was red, years ago, and then I started quilting and I realized I basically love all colors. Red is great and it's the one I look really good in, but I don't wear it on my nails much at all. (It's especially prone to chipping, for some reason, and I hate polishes that chip. And red lipstick smears - there seems to be something about red pigment.) I managed to come up with a favorite polish by process of elimination - get it down to a smallish list (15 or 20) then narrow it down again and again. When I got down to three I went and pulled the bottles out and looked at them, and I could see which one was the winner in my eyes almost immediately. But if I try to pick from too many it's overwhelming.

In other news, we've been watching Mindhunter, and even though we're still on episodes I've already seen before (because I watched them at my sister's house two weeks ago) I am still thoroughly creeped out. Actually I think it was even creepier the second time through.

We went to see Jumanji a couple of days ago, and I really liked it. I was a bit surprised. I know I saw the old one once, years ago (I think on TV or video, probably, not in a theater) but all I remembered was that the game came alive or something and that there were a lot of stampeding animals. I think I liked this new one more because a lot of the plot takes off from videogames. I think mostly the games sounded more like the ones I never played (like Tomb Raider, etc.), but still, I get it. I sat there the whole time calculating how many lives people had left. Anyway, tomorrow we may go see The Last Jedi again. There's some more things we would like to see but they would all require going to the Cinemark and both of us tend to avoid that (it's always so crowded!) unless there's something we really want to see. We'll have to see if anything manages to get us there in the next few weeks.


Well, 2017 is basically over (there's another hour, here) - I can hear fireworks popping outside. We're supposed to have a hard freeze tomorrow night, which is cold by our standards, and I feel for  you guys where it's way worse. (I saw on Twitter something about the daytime temperature in Canada being lower than on Mars - that's pretty trippy. Really I can't even imagine.)
mellicious: Yoda: "Post every day you will" (nablopomo)
NOTE: this is all very hastily written and stream-of-consciousness, and I'm not going to apologize for that, really. But let me just repeat that it is also totally FULL OF SPOILERS. I put it in the title but if you read it in my journal style the title is not very noticeable.


I'm not going to even try to write anything spoiler-free about The Last Jedi. I... liked it pretty well, that's all I can think of to say that's spoiler-free. But it also had some problems, and a hella lot of surprises, and all that is obviously spoilers, so I'm just rolling with that. Oh, also, lemme say that I don't even know the names of a lot of these characters, and I'm sure I'll figure all that out later (because I've watched The Force Awakens about 17 times and Rogue One maybe 10 times, so I think we can assume I'm going to see this in the theater at least one more time) - and probably I'll look at IMDb and figure some of this stuff out, sometime soon. But right now I'm not worrying about all that. 

I love the surprise of it - it just went off in directions you weren't expecting. (There, a whole basically spoiler-free sentence. Although I suppose you could say that that in itself is a spoiler.) Like Luke at the end - and Luke at the beginning, for that matter, with the lightsaber and the crazy. Also the question of which way Kylo will jump, light or dark? And then they give you a false answer on that for a minute, too, and then switch again. Although I do think the answer they ultimately came up with is the one that feels right to me. I don't much buy that he's savable. (I do buy that he would want Rey as his queen or whatever, but it'd never last 'cause she's too mouthy and he'd want to shut her up eventually. He's that kinda guy.)

Can I just say, OH THANK GOD, NO MIDICHLORIANS. I know, it wasn't in the last movie either, but this was the first (and by far the best) explanation of the Force that I've heard since the very first movie. But I hated the whole idea of the damn midichlorians.

And I kind of love the idea that Luke burns (or well, Yoda does) the whole Jedi library, and Rey hasn't read it and doesn't appear to have any training about it either, and she has no clear notions at all about the old Jedi traditions, so from that standpoint Luke is actually the last Jedi. I really got the idea more from playing a Jedi in The Old Republic game than anywhere else, that the Jedi traditions kinda suck. So there will be Force-users from here on out but no old-school Jedi. (ADDED: I saw a video that said Rey secretly saved the library, so all of this may be technically untrue, in the end. But clearly the idea that the Jedi are changing is correct.)

Questions:
-- I kept waiting for them to say that Benecio Del Toro's character was actually the guy they went to find, but no. They don't actually say one way or the other, but as far as we know he's not, really. We see some other guy who's wearing the flower or whatever it was, for like two seconds. My theory was maybe the other guy had stolen his pin and Benecio was the real guy, but who knows?

-- I've watched a couple of YouTube videos and I agree that the whole casino thing slowed the movie down. (I also told Rob that rich people are the new bad guys, because, you know, who else is left, I guess?*) I liked Rose, and I liked Rose and Finn as a team, but that plot was just ill-conceived, I thought. That whole thing seemed like they didn't think they had enough plot so they came up with this whole big red herring about needing codes. (Also, were they implying Rose/Finn there at the very end? Oh, and then you get Oscar being all, "Hey there, I'm Poe," to Rey, and I'm going, wouldn't these characters have met before? That was mainly why I noticed Finn hovering at Rose's bedside in that scene.)

-- Here's another thing: Did Gwendoline Christie just not want to put a lot of time in on these movies, or something? Because I have a Phasma bobble-head, and I feel like she's ultimately such a minor figure that I wouldn't have bothered if I'd known. (I wanted to collect female Star Wars characters, for a while, and I got up to three - Rey, Leia, and Phasma - and then I just kind of gave up on that. I eventually added Obi-Wan and some random robot, and decided to stop there, because Funkos, much as I love them, kind of take up a lot of room that we really don't have.) I thought she would have a big scene in the first movie and then when she didn't, I was expecting it in this movie, and instead you get about 10 seconds of fight and she's dead. (Another late addition: I'm kidding myself to say I "collected" the Phasma bobblehead in particular - I got it in a Funko box and I think it was limited edition, but I didn't actually pick it out. I think it was more that I got the idea from having the Phasma, and then I went and ordered the LE Rey from Hot Topic to go with it.)


*When I was growing up the bad guys were communists. Then later the bad guys were Iranians or Al-Qaeda or something. I'm kind of glad to see them getting away from the whole ethnicity aspect of it, but while I'm complaining about tax cuts for the rich as much as anybody else, I also think that's kind of an easy target, what with Trump and everything. I don't guess "bad guys" as a concept is going away any time soon, so it'll be interesting to see if rich people or Russian oligarchs or something sticks - we could go back to the Russian accents for that one - or if somebody will come up with something else.)

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