MOVIE LOG – 2017

January 1, 2017
  1. 17/01/01: 10 THINGS  HATE ABOUT YOU (1999): Enjoyed it, …right up till the last 15 sec., but really loved the “band-on-the-rooftop” shot – that was dang nice.
  2. 17/01/01: OTHER PEOPLE (2016): nice com-drama about a family dealing with the mother’s cancer, among other family-issues. Good stuff from all cast.
  3. 17/01/01: LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (2014): There’s something to be said for documentaries about failed movie-productions, like this remake of Island of Dr. Moreau. Very interesting stuff.
  4. 17/10/02: ARQ (2016): sci-fi time-loop thriller. 85% satisfied. A brave, new world we’re entering where films are getting made by content providers like Netflix, rather than the standard studio system.
  5. 17/01/03: BLACK SNAKE MOAN (2006): what I thought was gonna be a strange, saucy, trashy flick became a strange, saucy, satisfying mutual-redemption tale.
  6. 17/01/04: HARD CANDY (2005): man, that’s a stressful cat-mouse movie about a young Ellen Page going “to catch a predator” on a  photographer who may or may not be a pedophile.
  7. 17/01/07: THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS (2016): fun animated film about what our pets do when we’re not around. A cute film with an entertaining ensemble of characters. It’s obvious that the character designers had fun with this one!
  8. 17/01/08: SERENITY (2005)(re-watch): I am a total late-bloomer when it comes to appreciating Joss Whedon’s work – whether it was Buffy, of the basis of this movie- the show, “Firefly.” And I’ll admit, I go back and forth on my enjoyment of sci-fi in general. I like good characters though, and Whedon is real good at making characters you feel invested in. This movie is dang good and made a compelling space-opera.
  9. 17/01/09: THE HUSTLER (1961): Was expecting an early Paul Newman romp, and got something a lot more serious and tragic. Definitely good and classic, and Jackie Gleason was pretty amazing.
  10. 17/01/09: DRAGONHEART 3: THE SORCERER’S CURSE (2015): Not awful, not great, something to have on while I played around on my laptop. Pretty straightforward dragon-fantasy fare.
  11. 17/01/13: RAINBOW TIME (2016): whoa, talk about an incredible writing/directing/acting performance. This comedy/drama about a two brothers trying to deal with each other amidst other issues has a good mix of realized characters, emotional investment, and a conclusion I’m willing to accept.
  12. 17/01/14: RUN LOLA RUN (1998) and CRANK (2006) (each a re-watch): I have a big affection for time-based suspense/action movies, and these two made for a fun double-feature night. In RUN, Lola tries to save her boyfriend – three different times to three different outcomes. In Crank, “Chex Chelios” races to get revenge on his enemies before a poison kills him. Both movies are energetic, stylishly edited, and big-time fun in my opinion. I actually rewatched these so that I could write a column about them for ActionAGoGo!
  13. 17/01/15: PRACTICAL MAGIC (1998), BLUE JAY (2016), and GROSSE POINTE BLANK (1997)(re-watch): PM -Came across this one when I fell down a Sandy Bullock-rabbit hole. Not bad, sorta interesting, told a strangely compelling story of family, love, relationships, bad decisions, curses, and what we wish for. BJ – geesh, that was great. Mark Duplass is quickly becoming one of my fave film-people. If he’s attached, I’ll watch it. A lovely story about running into your not-seen-in-2o-years first love. GBP – geesh, I love this movie. John Cusack is so dang smooth, Minnie Driver is a DOLL, and Dan Akroyd and Joan Cusack are hilarious.
  14. 17/01/17: SING STREET (2016): This movie brought me JOY, such a sweet film about a boy, in Dublin, in the 80s, trying to win a girl by playing in a band.
  15. 17/01/21: UNDER THE SHADOW (2016): A horror film set in Tehran, Iran about a mom and daughter and some real spooky happening in their apartment building. A good, scary film set amidst a significant historical framework. THE GUEST (2014): Well, I didn’t think it would be great, and I wasn’t disappointed. A thriller with an intriguing first act that steadily disappointed expectations to the end.
  16. 17/01/22: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (2016): Heard it was good, but didn’t have high expectations, and really, really enjoyed it. Here’s what I want from future Star Wars movies: MORE women, MORE accents, and MORE KUNG-FU.
  17. 17/01/28: PUMPING IRON (1977): What a neat, classic documentary! Was fun to see a very young Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno train and compete for the title of Mr. Olympia.
  18. 17/01/28: SURVIVOR (2015): Well, a pretty standard action thriller. Nicely produced, but sorta meh. Could have been a great series-launch for Mila Jovanich as an action-star, and >that< would have been neat.
  19. 17/01/29: SING (2016): a great, animated romp about a little koala-bear trying to keep his theatre open by hosting a singing contest. Excellent character design, well-set-up-and-resolved character dramas, and the soundtrack was so fun!
  20. 17/02/05: Pee Wee’s Big Holiday (2016): This movie has all the charm of past Pee Wee movies and just makes me so happy to watch it. Pee Wee finds a reason to leave Fairville – to go to a birthday in New York City. it’s odd, absurd, cute, and totally amusing. 🙂 GOOOOOOOOO Pee-Wee!
  21.  17/02/14: Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts: These were a pretty good mix. All but the final (and longest one) were pretty interesting. My fave though, was the first one, about a guilt-ridden cowboy. Amazing how much story you can pack into six minutes.
  22. 17/02/12: RAVENOUS (1999): huh, well, that was a let-down. Was hoping for a period-piece/odd/horror film and instead got…uh, I really don’t know what. Moving on…
  23. 12/02/18: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016): When I saw this in the theater last year, I enjoyed it, but I had quibbles. This night’s re-watching though? I dug the heck out of it in the best way a Marvel zombie from childhood should!
  24. 17/02/19: DAVID BRENT: LIFE ON THE ROAD (2016): I really am impressed by a lot of the original content Netflix is coming up with. This faux documentary, following up on David Brent, main character from the late 90’s British sitcom, “The Office” was spot on and a fun revisiting of an awkward, cringe-inducing (but sincere) schlep of a guy trying to be a rockstar.
  25. 17/02/19: SUPERMAN RETURNS (2006): Never been a big fan of Supes, but this flick did get a lot right. Plus, I really liked that it tried to break some new ground, starting with that base premise of “what would happen if a Supes went away for a few years?”
  26. 17/02/21: DARK STAR: H.R. GIGER’S WORLD (2014): a very interesting documentary about an enormously influential artist of the 20th century. It was pretty thought-provoking to see him as an older man, while work that he made years ago is still influencing people today.
  27. 17/02/22: Teacher of the Year (2014): an example of a movie that was sold as a comedy-fake documentary, but actually was a sometimes funny, but actually pretty well-done drama about life as a teacher. Surprisingly good.

day 3415

February 22, 2017
day 3415
I’ve gotten jaded
but the right music can change
my mood just like that

day 3413/day 3414

February 21, 2017
day 3414
I had my earbuds,
but could hear that guy talking;
need to keep focused
day 3413
at the laundromat,
a few three arcade games flicker,
trying to entice

day 3412

February 15, 2017
day 3412
all bad news lately
but then I held my nephew,
and hope was renewed

day 3410/day 3411

February 9, 2017
day 3410
for ninety minutes,
I turned off the outside world,
enjoyed the movie
day 3411
weather wasn’t bad
until we turned the corner
and caught the cold wind

Troy’s Book Club: Maya Angelou and Stan Lee

January 27, 2017

Two books to briefly write up: Maya Angelou’s “Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now” and the compendium of “Just Imagine: Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe”. Both were interesting reads as they were each authors that I was well-acquainted with as personalities, but hadn’t read much of their books before.

Maya Angelou, was a modern Renaissance woman – spending her 50+ year career writing (poetry, memoirs, and scripts for plays, movies, and TV), dancing, and being an activist. While her name is usually associated with “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, her first of seven memoirs, “Wouldn’t Take…” was written later in her years. It’s an easy read, filled with 2-4 page short essays on various thoughts and ideas she’s come up with over the years – relating her “wisdom of the ages.” It was a fun way to be introduced to her and to get a sense of who she was. What an amazing woman!

Stan Lee, is one of the biggest personalities associated with Modern American comicbooks. He shares credit for creating many of most famous Marvel comicbook characters in the late 1950s/1960s – Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and many others. It has been quite awhile since he was a regular writer on any book, and “Just Imagine…” was an interesting project that threw him back into the role of comicbook writer. Stan has >always< been associated with Marvel Comics, but for this project, he was writing DC Comics’ characters! Marvel and DC are consider “The Big Two” of comics, so to see Stan re-create iconic DC characters was pretty fun. What made it particularly interesting is that Stan was paired up, mostly, with modern artists, but his writing style still had his classic 1960s flavor. Made for some very interesting comicbook stories. For instance, Batman, we all know, is Bruce Wayne, a millionaire whose parents were murdered when he was a child. Stan’s Batman is a black man framed for a murder he didn’t commit, who serves his time, becomes an all-star wrestler, and eventually a night-time vigilante! So, I won’t say the writing was “great”, but it was pretty fun, and it was really neat to see what Stan’s scripting is like and how various artists interpreted his ideas. Good stuff!

If you’d like to read these books, too, check them out from the Milwaukee Public Library, or find them at Boswell Books – Maya, Stan!

Oh yeah, and over a year ago, I read a neat book by Nick Hornby, where he talked about a really great biography of Charles Dickens. I’ve gotten that book now, too, and added it to my read-pile! It’s a ways down the list, but I WILL get to it! 🙂

day 3409

January 25, 2017
day 3409
I approached the turn,
arms swinging faster, breathing
more and more quickly

day 3408

January 22, 2017
day 3408
I’m so used to this,
sometimes I forget my life
isn’t what most have