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: (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.)

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