Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Well, it's over.  Here's what I learned:

1.  I had no idea that Katniss waking up in a hospital bed was the beginning of every movie.  Also, it's the beginning of each act in this movie.  I'm not saying it's inauthentic.  She is in a lot of dangerous situations and she gets hurt quite a bit.  I just hadn't realized how often she collapses and when she wakes up it's a whole new environment/scene/act/district/movie.

2. I have never given Haymich enough credit.   It wasn't until he was faced with a complex and terrible choice and he simply said "I'm with the Mockingjay" that I realized he has always had her back.  He looked out for Peeta, too, but it is Katniss who makes everything harder and Katniss who needed his help the most.

3. Short or long, I hate President Coin's hair.  

4. Mutts are REALLY scary.

5. Interesting that happily ever after for Katniss is two children.  They were really cute children (that baby was so FAT!) but interesting that a sunset-washed field of weeds with two children and a husband who needs a haircut is the end of the story.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Hi!   Here's the list:

1 flying ambulance

1 flying red car

4 parachuting cars

2 camels (because without camels, the middle east just looks like Phoenix, AZ.)

3 tiny women wearing hijab for Michelle Rodriguez to beat up

1 woman who beats up Michelle Rodriguez (I liked her!)

1 silver crucifix

6 flashbacks

57 dead or injured soldiers

1 emotional phone call to a spouse

This thing

1 deliberate refusal to view the enemy and his motivations as being remarkably similar to the hero's

1 mail bomb

1 female computer genius who was perceived as intelligent until she went to the beach and people saw her in a bikini.  Then she couldn't do anything right ever again.

1 surprised face when someone pulled a gun

2 sledgehammers brandished (never actually used)

1 funeral

1 pregnant wife/sister

2 product placement ads for Corona Light beer

1 cheerful and surprisingly competent Kirt Russell who makes you feel good about America

1 plaster cast removed by flexing overlarge arm muscles (I laughed!)

1 irresponsible decision to stage a terrorist war in the middle of Los Angeles

A weird amount of black Chevy SUVs (do they favor Chevrolet in the Middle East?)

2 deliberate head-on car crashes

1 really scary drone equipped with missiles, machine guns, and a green swivel eye

4 bald dudes

Three with beards

4 combinations of bald dudes fighting each other

1 Tony Jaa

Please note Underarmour product placement
1 drag race

1 family scene by the beach

Infinite amounts of female objectification

"Help!  I don't have a head!"

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I really like musicals.   There's something about exuberant noisemaking which always cheers me up.  I don't care if it's a beautiful film full of poignant moments or a garish movie jammed with thoughtless cliches.  I will (and have) watched them all and been delighted every time.

I was digging through the Netflix pile of tacky Bollywood musicals to watch when SOUND OF NOISE swished by.  I clicked on it because there was a metronome, a pack of folks in balaclavas, and the title had two music-ish words in it.

I am delighed to report that SOUND OF NOISE is an excellent film, which is beautifully shot and has many poignant moments. It also has a LOT of music.  It's about rogue percussionists and a police dective who is in charge of stopping these musical "terrorists."  The sound in this movie is fantastic.   The ambient noise which makes up a large part of the soundtrack (much to my delight!  Ambient sound is the best!) in places is scored over with lush orchestration or catchy tropical beats.   I found this completely facinating because I noticed the movie score and it's emotional affect because it isn't part of the ambient world the characters lived in.

But, I'll stop geeking out about the noise.  It's also important that you know this movie is funny.   Because how else can a group of drummers determine who gets the first solo than a 4-hr drum-off?

"I am so mad that you won that I kicked my drum set over!"

And I am here to tell you that the empty void you call your life will be made whole once you've seen an enraged man in a Christmas sweater beat a bagpipe to death.

"Just. Be. SILENT!!"
It's on Netflix (so that means it's free, right?) so just watch it already.  It's the best musical ever made about a man who hates music.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Hey everybody!  The Wachowski's are back! Which means there's a new movie about a dude who can't talk good and a pretty dark-haired girl. (See: every Wachowski movie ever.)  But, it also means there's a movie about the way corporations profit by exploiting and destroying humans (See: anything Matrix-y.)  Also, watching people spin fast through a confusing three-dimentional world is fun (See: Speed Racer,) and gaping plot holes are no reason not to enjoy yourself (See: Utter dissapointment.)

It's the niece's birthday week, and she likes the Tater Channing, so we went to see this film.  Here's what I found interesting:

Original Story:

I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a sci-fi movie that wasn't a sequel, based on a book, or owned by Marvel.   JUPITER ASCENDING isn't brilliant but it is interesting and a new-ish sort of world.  Genetic splices, a decent-ish explanation for dinosaur extinction, and crazy machines are all fun to see.  I don't know if I'm necessarily a huge fan of Grav Boots but I suppose skimming through the air like a floating hockey player isn't a bad look.

Sean Bean:

He doesn't die!  I KNOW!  Shocking, right?  I kept expecting him to get shot or be sacrificed or something but he made it to the end of the film!  Very nice change of pace.

Really REALLY Old Villains...

...can't take a punch.  You would think that after being alive for millenia they would know how to at least defend themselves but underweight Mila Kunis lays them flat with one blow.  I know no one wants to argue with a girl swinging a tire iron but this pack of bad guys, in a fight, sure act their age.


For the first time ever, when someone makes a wrong decision, his friends don't get super dramatic about it.  They just want to know why. When the reason is discovered, all that is said is "I would make the same choice.  Any other problems I should know about? No?  Cool.  Let's roll."

It's refreshing, really.  It's what friends actually do.  Also, watching folks get twisted because of honor or betrayal or whatever is boring.  I'm glad JUPITER ASCENDING skips all that.


I actually giggled when I saw this shot.  If Liberache and Joan Rivers moved in together and really got into Art Nouveau, this is what their spaceship would look like.  Because OF COURSE the docking bay needs chandeliers!

That said, the costuming was pretty good.  It looked very "I'm a sparkle elf and this is a sci-fi movie" but the lines and colors were consistant.

And with stuff like this, they know EXACTLY who their fan base is.

Romantic Pursuits:

Interesting that, for the whole movie, Mila was the one making the moves on Tater. Sure, it's the only logical course of action when you've finally met someone who shares your love of dark eye makeup, but he's surprisingly reticent.   He spends the whole movie saving her from one thing or another and then stepping back.   She takes the rest of the time trying to move back in.  Even the climatic kiss before battle involves her telling him it's going to happen.  .

Since Twilight, the "girl wants it but the boy doesn't" pattern has become common.  And, as always, there's some reason why the boy holds back and it usually involves uncontrollable gory sudden death for the girl.  This is weird, and interesting.  I don't quite know what to do with it, but it's interesting.

JUPITER ASCENDING is a pretty movie which not many people liked. If you are a fan of the Wachowski's, you should make time to see this movie because it's probably one of the last big-buget films the kids get to make.   No matter how interesting their vision, a bomb is a bomb and everyone gets eaten up in the pursuit of profit - even the Wachowskis.