Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

My friend Kevin Ann and I decided we would spend our Thanksgiving Day together at the movies. We couldn't exactly agree on what to see (I was aiming for Coco but Kevin Ann didn't want to) so we settled on Thor: Ragnarok. I had already seen it, but Kevin Ann had not. We went to the Movie Tavern so we could also order food and make that our Thanksgiving meal. I love Kevin Ann and was so glad to spend the afternoon with her.

I let the hamburger and popcorn settle for a couple hours before heading to hang with my friend Robby at his friend's home. Tracy, Robby's friend, had family and friends in her home; Robby joins her almost every year for Thanksgiving. I loved being in a home full of fun and laughter! We sat out in the backyard and ate pie and enjoyed the perfect weather before coming in to play Sequence.

I haven't been with family for Thanksgiving in five years. I love that Thanksgiving has turned into a time to spend with  friends. I truly have much to be thankful for and the amazing friends I have here in Denton (and elsewhere) are proof of that.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lady Bird

Last Saturday I drove out to the Angelika in Plano to catch an early-morning viewing of Lady Bird. This film has been getting rave reviews, and I love Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn is one of my favorite films from a couple years ago). Also, Laurie Metcalf is in it and she's basically always fantastic. 

The film is a coming-of-age story of high school senior Lady Bird (real name Christine). The film open with a great scene of Lady Bird and her mom in a car, returning from a road trip to check out colleges. They instantly go from  enjoying an audiobook together to fighting with each other. Lady Bird, annoyed in the way only teenagers can be, escapes the conversation by opening her car door and rolling out (while the car is in motion). Lady Bird is a teenager, a time of life when everything is either the worst thing ever or the best thing ever. Everything is dramatic and over the top. 

I didn't love the film quite like I thought I would. I by no means disliked it, but maybe I'm just getting old because I found Lady Bird's antics to be tiring. Yes, it's a sure sign of getting older when one relates more to the parents than to the teenaged lead! Lady Bird's dad was marvelous. There is a small scene when the priest-teacher-school-play-director is talking to a nurse (therapist??) that hit my so hard I cried.

I would recommend the movie, though! So if it's near you go check it out. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

The last Thor solo film came out four years ago, but it feels like a decade ago. After enjoying the first one, I didn't much care for the sequel, Thor: The Dark World, but generally enjoyed Thor in the ensemble films. However, I still wasn't planning on seeing Thor: Ragnarok because I'm just superhero'd out.

But I like going to the movies and I like going on opening weekend. When I randomly checked Saturday morning the available seats for the first showing, there was one available. It seemed like fate so I went ahead and bought the ticket.

I came out pleasantly surprised. Granted, there is still a lot going on in the MCU and I really struggled to remember what had happened in previous movies to account for the state Thor (and others) were in in this film. First off, the film jettisons Jane and her entire crew for a somewhat-standalone story involving Thor, is heretofore unknown sister, and a quest to save Asgard from that sister (also known as the Goddess of Death).

Thor gets reunited with Hulk, as the two are meant to face each other in a gladiator-style fight for the Grandmaster (a very funny Jeff Goldblum). This is easily the best part of the film. It gives us the haircut, for one. But also, the fantastic character Korg, an extremely funny rock "person" who oversees the fighters. He is voiced by the director, Taika Waititi, and he is by far my favorite character of the film.

My other favorite is Heimdall (Idris Elba) because he just seems really cool.

Everyone is having a lot of fun in this movie, and I was surprised at how much I laughed (Lord of Thunder). I credit Waititi for taking Thor in a direction we didn't know we wanted or needed. Thor has always been a bit of a funny character with his fish-out-of-water-like tendencies and arrogance as a god, but released from the confines of the normal Jane/Loki/Tesseract he shines as a truly humorous character. I also enjoyed Waititi's New Zealand touches and that he didn't shoehorn in an obvious love story.

The film isn't perfect, and I imagine some fans will feel like a couple characters are portrayed much differently (yes, I'm talking about Hulk/Banner). I'm not a die-hard fan so I was fine with it. It's a fun film, reminiscent of the first Guardians of the Galaxy, but not as weighty as Captain America: Winter Soldier. Still a solid hit, though.


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