Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A bit of wish-fulfillment fluff from my youth

I offer no defense for listening to this bit of pop fluff when I was young, nor for thinking of it for no good reason the other day.  I just did.

We all have to live with that.

Monday, November 23, 2015


After watching the credits roll on this film, I and several others in our group agreed to strongly disagree with the critics on it.  The Rottentomatoes critics' ranking for this movie is a dismal 27% as of this writing, and though 57% of the audience viewers did like it, overall these numbers suggest it's a loser.

As I said, several of us disagreed with these numbers.  We felt that this film was good, better than good.  I very much enjoyed watching it and was never bored.  I grant its critics that the plot is predictable, but sometimes, that just doesn't matter much.  The story of the brilliant and erratic loner burning out and then seeking redemption is a timeless one.

The leads turned in strong performances.  Bradley Cooper was both as likable and at times as distasteful as you'd expect from the trailer.  Daniel Bruhl portrayed his partner (and source of funding) beautifully and with an understated grace.  Sienna Miller turned a fairly standard character into an interesting person.  Matthew Rhys, who is very good on the TV show, The Americans, started out as a one-dimensional rival and became much more.

The food porn wasn't overwhelming, but enough was present for foodies to enjoy it.

Burnt won't be in theaters much longer.  Catch it while you can, or pick it up on DVD/Blu-Ray when it appears.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I haven't bought advance-sale tickets to a movie

in more time than I can recall, but I'm considering doing it now.  The reason?  This trailer, which for me is just that good.

I was modestly interested in the new Star Wars movie before.  Now, I can't wait to see it!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mockingjay meh

As I wrote earlier, I very much wanted to see The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.  I've watched and mostly enjoyed the previous three films in the series.  I entered the theater with great hopes for this one.

I left decidedly put off by it, my attitude ranging from annoyance to indifference.

I'm quite puzzled as to why I feel this way.  I knew the setup and the poorly constructed world and the nonsensical pseudo-science that informed it, and I happily accepted those in the past movies.  The cast, including and especially lead Jennifer Lawrence, did all they could to make me care about the characters.  The multiple endings certainly didn't help my attitude, but I've been fine with those in other films.  The completely silly plot couldn't have been the cause, because I've been fine with similarly dumb plots; ref. Spectre, which I enjoyed.

For reasons I cannot articulate, even now, hours after the movie ended, I find it off-putting.

No one else in my group had a similar reaction, and several quite liked it.

I thus find myself in an awkward position, unable to recommend it wholeheartedly but suspicious of my own reaction.  So, the best I can say is this:  if you enjoyed the previous films in the series (which I did), then you're likely (based on the reactions of others in my group) to enjoy this one--even though I came away put off by it.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I am a mad, hairy beast

It's 4:45 in the morning.  I've been working since about eleven, and I have still more work to do.  On a bathroom break I noticed again what a hairy beast I have become.

I figured you'd want to see.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Why, you might ask, have I let myself become this hairy?

See if you can guess the reason(s).

I am this hairy because
  1. I've heard the ladies like the hairy man.
  2. I'm auditioning for the role of James "Bucky" Yeti in the local production of It's an Abominable Life.
  3. I've been crazy busy at work.
  4. I've learned that you can stave off hunger for hours by plucking and chewing beard hairs.
  5. I haven't felt like shaving or trimming my beard.
  6. All of the above.
  7. None of the above.
Hint:  This is not an easy quiz.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Choices, choices

Friends have criticized me for wanting to see all the movies, and that criticism is more fair than not.  I really do want to see most films.  Despite that desire, some weekends bring few movies that can lure me to the theater.  This weekend is not one of those.  This weekend is chock full of openings I want to see.

Counting only the movies opening at theaters within half an hour of my house, I am tempted by all of the following (in alphabetical order):

  • The 33
  • The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay - Part 2
  • Love the Coopers
  • The Night Before
  • Secret In Their Eyes
  • Spotlight (I'm not sure this one is opening, but it's new to me)
I know some of you will mock me for wanting to see the weaklings in this group, but I do.

Which one will I view Saturday night?

Most likely Hunger Games, because it's the big loud hit, and I'm in the mood for just that, but I've yet to commit to any of them.

I hope to report back on whatever I watch.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I thought I really hated perfume ads in magazines

until I received a recent issue of Bon Appetit that contained such ads.  Now, I realize that my previous hatred of these agents of Satan was nothing compared to how much I loathe them after merely opening this magazine.

Whether you're scanning a how-to article, wondering if you'll really ever make that recipe, or simply drooling over the food porn, the last thing you need is the smell of Calvin Klein's euphoria flying off the page and into your nostrils.

Yes, that's a real example from this issue.

I strongly oppose scented pages, but if you must put them in a periodical, at least make them relevant to the content around them.  I wouldn't mind, for example, if an article on bread sat next to a flour ad that delivered the smell of a freshly baked baguette.

Perfume ads, though, need to vanish from food magazines.


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