Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Seen in September 

Watching movies is still a great escape, just as it was in Branagh's Belfast.

Autumn brings The Toronto International Film Festival and with it, all the "serious" films contending for awards season, yet here at home, we watch what our heart tells us and not the critics. Sometimes, the heart is wrong.

Prey, sort of, but not really, a prequel.


A continuation of the Predator series (about a species of aliens with advanced technology are compelled to hunt) but this time the sci-fi horror thrill ride is set in the 18th century American Great Plains. Our hunting alien is on the trail of European trappers and a small band of Comanche hunter-warriors, one of whom is a young woman determined to be recognized as more of a hunter than a gatherer. It's a novel twist on a series that had at once created its own genre, yet fell prey to its own clichés.

Sure, there's love, and even thunder, but aside from a few gags, little else.

Thor: Love & Thunder

How strange. Taika Waititi took the Thor storyline from taking itself too seriously to making it a self-parodying joke. Too bad. Everything is trivialized for the sake of a gag. In the plot, Thor combats a once faithful follower who has discovered a way to kill all the gods. I thought "progress" killed the gods? We also find Thor re-united with his great mortal love, Jane Foster, who now has terminal cancer but is worthy enough to be able to wield Thor's broken hammer, Mjölnir to become as heroic as any other hammer-based super-hero. In the end, it's like Shakespeare wrote when MacBeth said after hearing of Lady MacBeth's death,
"…(it) is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

There are murders in the building, but it's such a nice building.

Only Murders in the Building S02

Season one ended with one of the main characters holding the bloodied body of a neighbour, which is the beginning of season two. This murder mystery comedy starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez moves at a great pace (even if sometimes the pace is chasing a red herring) which makes it highly "bingeable" and entertaining.

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Saturday, October 01, 2022

The Prince of Poulett 

Drake-level decadence.

In the act of evening ablutions, I realized just how much I enjoy rinsing my teeth with warm water from my Waterpik. Then I thought how absurdly luxurious my life is. My home has no built-in gym, nor subterranean theatre, nor even a parking space for a car I don’t own. Yet, with electric light, indoor plumbing, refrigeration and heating and cooling I live a life far more comfortable than any French king who had to poop in a chamber pot, even if he did have servants to deal with it. It’s been said if you have electricity, a refrigerator and indoor plumbing, you are more affluent than 75% of the world’s population that live without these utilities. Living in the top 25% isn’t so bad, though clearly many people in Canada have these things and still live in poverty.

I recall my brother Mike and I commenting on one occasion on how strange it was that we owned so many specific shoes: for running, for winter, for biking or hiking or simply walking. My father interjected that when he was a boy he had only a single pair of shoes, which was sort of our point - how did it come to be that we had so many shoes? I’m guessing my father forgot that when his sons were children we only had two pairs of shoes. We had the sneakers we wore everyday, and the “good” shoes we could only wear for an hour on Sunday. We also had a pair of winter boots. The closet by the back door contained some odd number of rubber boots that were generally considered communal. As an adult, I now have more shoes than I need or want and still wonder how it came to be so.

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