Friday, June 20, 2014

Week 2: Time travel, liquid metal murder and dinosaurs

I don't imagine anything's going to be topping Star Wars for a while, not for me or for you guys - Roomie says the first Star Wars post has like 1/5th of all the reads on the blog. That's an unreasonable standard to set, though, and this week I got to see a lot of movies that set different standards for action, wonder, great music and in at least one instance just plain no. Also, I'm boldly going where no me has gone before: Star Trek! Let's talk about the week.

This was kind of a stressful week for me, so I'd just like to start off by sharing some good news: I'm going to walk again. Yes, that was actually not a sure thing earlier in the week and it was hanging over my head for quite a while. Folks, I can't even describe the relief. There's going to be surgery, more painkillers and even more time in casts, but I'll be able, eventually, to put one foot in front of the other again.

I'm liking Star Trek. I didn't think I would; there are so many things that just make me twitch and want to make rude comments. I've been holding back, and you know what? It's a personable show. That might not be the right word, but it's the one I want to use. I like the characters. They make me smile. Part of that is definitely the codeine. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with what I've seen so far and I'm looking forward to slotting in more episodes as I have time.

The movies this week have been consistently good - Terminator 2 was just an action-packed great time and a lot more of a movie than I expected from the first one. Back to the Future was hilarious, Jurassic Park... Jurassic Park was amazing. Jurassic Park was fantastic. Jurassic Park blew my mind and it was just this huge tremendous experience. Conan was good fun with excellent music and Usual Suspects no just goddamn no.

I wake up in the mornings and I've got a smile on my face. There are people whose comments I look forward to seeing. It feels like I have a job, or at least something I'm a part of again. I love it. You guys are giving that to me and it's just the greatest thing, it really is exactly what I need right now. I feel like my writing has been going downhill between the grungy sort of mood I've been in and the codeine, which I'd really like to be done with but what can you do. If anyone agrees, I'm right there with you and all I can say is things should go up from here. This has been such a turnaround that I just feel like I need to give back. Roomie and Lacy are having a lot of fun, and I've seen a lot of positive comments on the blog (I'm sure Lacy's hiding like twice as many bad comments from me). So thank you, all of you, whether you're leaving comments to let me know that you're here enjoying yourself or just stopping by to glance at some words typed out by an opiate-filled lump of broken, I'm glad you're here.

Let's talk about something fun: there's a war on between Roomie and Lacy. It's about a movie I know a lot of you are talking about. See, I check the media library every so often for titles that people are looking for, just to make sure we've got the coverage. It's a set of large shelves that Roomie has ordered by... I think it's genre, but there are no labels. Anyway, there's shelves for the DVDs and shelves for the CDs and shelves for the games and the board games and the D&D stuff - it's pretty huge. Guess what's not there?


Turns out, Roomie doesn't own it for a reason. He hates that movie. He doesn't want me to watch that movie. Too bad so sad, right? Nope! Lacy owns that movie, loves that movie and reeeeeally wants me to watch that movie. So they're having an argument over whether or not I watch Alien. I'm going to side with the tiny one (seriously she is really tiny folks) because I've figured out that she usually gets her way. So yeah, it's going to happen at some point (and apparently it's really controversial so now I'm even more excited!) but not until Roomie gives in. Or Lacy and I sneak it one night when he's out. Either one.

I've been reading some old classics on Kobo while I wait for a book pick from Roomie. Dracula was an interesting read; kind of hard to get into, but I'm liking it. Frankenstein was good. I'm onto Dickens now, books I've been hearing of from this one or that one for years. Maybe dumb of me to not have picked them up before now, but better late than never, right?

Anyway, this has been Some Wonderful Kind of Life. Thanks for being here, folks. It really does make the time better to be sharing it with people.


  1. What do you mean with 'No, just no'?
    You don't like gangster movies? Movies that pull the rug from under you? Movies that force you to concentrate (more than during a commercial)? Other?
    This could affect the Big List.
    Also, you should watch Alien but preferably without possible mood breaking remarks from h8ters. Tie up the Roomie. It's just for one night.
    GP (who posts as Anonymous because he has no time for this Google)

  2. The war over Alien explains much. Roomie is obviously a man of taste and distinction to have such a collection, but Lacy must not be denied. I don't think I like Alien that much, myself (just because its entire genre doesn't click well with me), but it's one of those must-watches to understand modern cinema in general. Maybe if Roomie lets it happen you'll become his ally in despising it! Who knows?

    I said this on, but let me reiterate: Just reading your blog has given John Williams back to me when I had been completely burnt out on his sound. I've been wandering around with some of his themes stuck in my head these past couple weeks. Some from movies you haven't even viewed yet. That, alone, is like gold to me. Not to mention the usual vicarious enjoyment, new eyes, etc. that we're all getting out of this.

    I'm really glad to hear the good news about your road to recovery. Though kind of startled --I knew you were hurt, but I hadn't realized it was so severe! Your postings have maintained a spectacularly upbeat attitude through all this, and that's really impressive. Feel betterer, fasterer!

    1. I'm glad that you've been able to share some of my real appreciation for the music in these movies. They really are just these awesome, epic scores. I gave back to someone and it's great to hear that. :D

      How hurt am I? Oh I'm pretty fiercely banged up. I'll have some hell of a mess of scars when I'm out the other end of this. I'll have to post about it at some point, even though I'm not allowed to talk about what specifically happened.

  3. Oh you have to watch Alien. I can't even comprehend people not loving Alien. Sure, it's horror more than sci-fi, but the franchise as a whole is more sci-fi than horror. Plus, Giger (the artist responsible for the visuals in the movie). You must see, though I fear you will be seriously STRESSED and NOPING at various points.

    But after Alien, you can then be rewarded with ALIENS, which is more actiony aka Terminator 2, and also a movie with a TON of great lines I'm sure your friends have used around you that you don't know the origin of.

  4. I personally like Alien better than Star Wars, Jurassic Park or Terminator 2. But even if I'd be insane enough to hate it, I'd consider it essential viewing for someone looking to catch up on pop and geek culture.

  5. Yeah, Alien is my favorite movie ever. It's perfect in every way, in every detail.

  6. With regards to Aliens - watch the extended cut/director's cut - whatever it's called.
    The story becomes much more cohesive whit those scenes in it.

    1. I actually disagree. The director's cut is interesting to watch once you're familiar with the movie, but most of the scenes don't add anything and some of them actually take away from the experience. Sometimes the editor gets it right the first time...

    2. I second the Aliens director's cut. I don't know what it is with James Cameron movies, but they always cut the character development in the theatrical release. It will be a richer world.

  7. Good luck with your recovery. I'm glad to hear that your injury isn't permanent.

    I have to say that experiencing these movies and shows again vicariously through you has been great. Half the time I don't even need to stop and guess where you are in the movie by your comments and that is fantastic.

    A couple of recommendations for you though that I don't see on the list. They are essentially Sci-fi Horror, but good movies though there is some eye stuff (horror loves that trope because it is effective).

    Event Horizon

    Also, if you want some straight horor.
    The Evil Dead 1 & 2

    Then the goofy comedy sequel.
    Army of Darkness

    Looking forward to your next stuff.

  8. I, too, didn't think your injury could be that severe. You're apparently an even more awesome kid than I imagined, considering the state you must've been in with that sort of uncertainty. Keep up the good work, you're good at this blogging thing.


    PS: You probably should change your first impression posts a bit, likely by adding descriptions of what exactly you're reacting to after you're done watching. Unless one has the movie burned into their brain scene by scene, it's pretty hard to impossible following you along.

    1. I agree it would be helpful. For things like Star Trek, Ghostbusters, or Back to the Future which we've all seen a million times, it's easy enough to follow, but I was lost during Terminator 1.

    2. Maybe you could add timestamps?

  9. Glad news indeed!

    For the record, screw what Roomie thinks, you gotta watch Alien this week.

    1. Seconded, on both counts! Because if he doesn't watch Alien, then he can't watch Aliens! And then he can't watch Alien 3--

      ...I should've quit when I was ahead.

      ...Confession: I actually enjoyed Alien 3.

  10. Hey, Montegris from here. You really, really should watch Alien. I can see you having ALL THE STRESS throughout about half of the movie, but it's well worth a watch. So is its sequel, Aliens, btw, even if its tone is somewhat different.

  11. I hadn't realized your injury was so severe as well, just expecting a broken leg, which is bad enough. Good to know you are expected to fully recover.

    As for Alien I have mixed feeling for it as well. It is an excellent example of a genre I don't particular care. I can appreciate it's quality, but I don't really want to engage with it. As an example of pop culture it is impossible to ignore though, so you should probably see it and sooner rather than later.

    1. Oh no. Both of my legs are, how can I put this... "wrecked."

  12. Yeah, "personable" is a good word for Star Trek. I think that's part of why it's lasted so long despite being clunky and dated (and it gets quite a bit better as the first season goes on). There's a real camaraderie among the cast and a sense that you'd want to hang out with these people.

    I suspect the thing about ALIEN is that it's really, really, REALLY tense and horrifying. In fact it's in serious contention for "scariest movie ever made". So if your reaction to things like The Terminator is crazy levels of stress, ALIEN might actually kill you. It's possible your friends are trying to protect you from that...

  13. Alien... Well, I can understand why someone wouldn't like it. It is pretty freaking intense in a way some people don't enjoy that in their entertainment. I love Alien but it certainly isn't a movie I'll pull out and watch casually. It has some super important things in it, though and I'd highly recommend it. (I'd talk more in depth but I don't want to spoil it.) The second one is much more straight up action but still.... some great stuff in there.

    Also, I wanted to say thank you for doing this. Star Wars and John Williams (both) were a huge, huge part of my life when I was younger and seeing them through these blog posts has knocked some of the tarnish off of them and helped me remember why I love them.

    Which reminds me... I'll have to see if ET is on the list....

  14. Be careful with Alien. It is the single most terrifying movie I have ever seen. Watch it with friends. With the lights on. Bring a teddy bear or some other squishy security object you can clutch and mangle. Because you will need it. Also chocolate.
    Also, I hope your recovery goes well! Feel better, heal quickly.

  15. I love reading your posts! It's like getting to meet old friends for the first time.

    I'm sorry to hear your injuries are so extensive. You're obviously surrounded by people who love and care for you, and that's wonderful. Even better--you're sharing joy with others. I too have lived through some heinous medical downtime. It sounds like you're making the most of what you have. Believe it or not, that's enough. Thanks for sharing your recovery, your adventures, and your enthusiasm.

    Also: watch Alien. Do be prepared, though. Maybe keep something light-hearted on hand for immediately afterward?

    1. "Old friends for the first time" is one of the best things someone's said to me about this whole experience. :D

  16. I'll chime in here too and say I'm loving your blog :)

    Your first impressions are always hilarious and you have a great bag of running jokes now which are always well used. It's so refreshing reading first impressions of stuff that's otherwise just engrained in me.

    And then when you come back with your second thoughts you bring a really literate and insightful viewpoint to bear. You always get right to the heart of what these movies are all about.

    Thumbs up and I can't wait to see what you watch next. (Fellowship of the Ring! Fellowship of the Ring!

  17. Hi! Glad to hear that you are on the way to recovery and that you are enjoying your dip into movie/tv geekdom. It's pretty awesome watching someone find out about these cool things and enjoy them.

    If you want book recommendations, I can give 'em, because I have been reading sf/fantasy for a long long long time (srsly) -- as in over 55 years. Just tell me what your personal constraints are on what you like/can't stand, and I'll think up a list.

    (And I can't watch "The Usual Suspects" either, but my issue is violence. I don't do violent movies unless they are clearly sf/fantasy and clearly not likely to happen in any semblance of real life.)