Movie Log: May-June 2017

May 13, 2017

Jan-Feb

March-April

  1. 2017/05/01: LOGAN (2017): Heckuva final Wolverine movie for Hugh Jackman. Excellent performances by all the cast. GOOD STUFF.
  2. 2017/05/12: RED (2010): Based on a pretty excellent comicbook by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, this Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich movie should have been better. Wasn’t awful, but wasn’t really that great either.
  3. 207/05/12: FRANK MILLER’S: THE SPIRIT (2008): Frank Miller’s directorial debut gets a lot of grief, but I for one really enjoy it. The art direction is amazing, the stylization (that usually would annoy me) seems just right here.  It’s an odd movie, for sure, but it is definitely Frank’s movie, as >inspired< by Will Eisner, but I’m not sure it’s a film Eisner would made.
  4. 2017/05/13: BEGINNERS (2010): I love this movie. Saw it twice in the theater. Have rewatched it a few times. A heartbreaking romance, but a lot more than just that. Man, I dig it.
  5. 2017/05/14: ALEXANDER (2004): If you’re looking for a dramatic, bloody, 3.5-hour epic movie about the life and death of Alexander the Great, here you are. Impressive production, so-so movie. But dang, the story of Alexander, having conquered most of the known world, and dead by 32, sure makes my “achievements” at age 43 seem less than impressive.
  6. 2017/05/16: SLEIGHT (2017): Advertised as an “urban superhero” sorta flick, upon watching this, I think the film actually has more in common with classic film noir movies. There’s a protagonist, who’s basically a good person, who is forced to make less than legal decisions, and consequences flow from that. A good movie, and not a bad sophomore feature effort from the director. (Also, it’s pretty neat because the lead was born in Milwaukee!)
  7. 2017/06/07: THE BREAKUP (2006): A kinda romantic comedy about a couple breaking up. Starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, this was a re-watch for me, and confirmed, that yeah, not too bad, and not a typical “happily ever after” flick.
  8. 2017/06/12: MINDHORN (2016): A fun com-drama wherein a police department calls in a washed-up actor to revisit his role as a TV detective, since that’s the only person a possible serial-killer will talk to. A better-than-average script with some good twists, and fun character-acting. Def worth a watch if you dig British films (it’s all set on the Isle of Man).
  9. 2017/06/28: xXx (2002): I felt like watching a trashy action film and that is exactly what I got. Entertaining, and the European settings nice to see , was SO EXTREME (sarcasm intended).
  10. 2017/July: WONDER WOMAN (2017): about time that we get a >good< female-led superhero movie. Really enjoyed it!
  11. 2017/July: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017): another fun space-adventure from Marvel, and for me, more enjoyable than the first film.
  12. 2017/07/20: DATE NIGHT (2010): I’ve watched this flick at least three times now, which is a lot for me. It’s sweet, fun, improbable, and silly, and Tina Fey and Steve Carrell do a whole lotta good here.
  13. 2017/07/23: BAD SANTA 2 (2016): As trashy, and maybe a lil trashier than the first film, but still fun if you don’t mind a Christmas film full of vulgarity, drunkeness, thievery, double-crosses, and some public sex. For me, Billy Bob Thornton is almost always fun to watch, and Christina Hendricks is a beauty (though her role is of little use to the film plot…).

day 3460

July 26, 2017
day 3460
out in the driveway,
in a highchair, the baby
getting a haircut

day 3459

July 25, 2017

day 3459
the drains, both blocked up,
rainwater spilling over,
finding a new path


Troy’s Book Club: The Great and Secret Show

July 25, 2017

Clive Barker has a special place in my reading-lovin’ heart. He created the worlds of Hellraiser and Nightbreed, which have inspired horror film fans for years; he wrote Weaveworld, another novel I’ve been wanting to re-read for quite some time; and when I was an intern at Marvel Comics, the office I worked for oversaw the “Barkerverse“, a family of comics all based on concepts from Clive (from that time, I have a framed photo-stat of a drawing by Clive, of my favorite of those characters – “Ecto-kid“!).

2017-07-25 09.36.49

To me, Barker has that ability in his writing to bring a lot of different variables into play in his horror/fantasy writing. Sometimes there’s just shadows that creep you out, sometimes it’s body-horror, sometimes it’s sex/sexuality-based, sometimes it’s straight-up monsters-who-would-even-think-of-that horror. With “The Great and Secret Show”, Barker created a sprawling epic of good vs. evil, that managed to feel ever large, and also intimate. I suppose that is a common attempt by writers – to make the personal feel all-affecting, like when personal heartbreak “ruins the world” for a person. Too, this book deals a lot with the theme of destiny vs self-determination, nature vs nurture.

With a novel as “game-board”, this particular game has many pieces, and Barker does a swell job of moving them from board-space to board-space – whether that means a back room in a rural post office, an isolated ruin, other dimensions, time-travel, underground caverns, trashy motels, dusty Mexican towns, or decaying Californian suburbs. I was impressed a lot by this novel because it sets up a LOT and it seems that it would be near-impossible for a writer to tie up all those threads by the book’s end. Barker manages to do that though, AND leave room for the story to keep moving on. Really enjoyed it and maybe have to go re-read Ecto-Kid now, and moved Weaveworld up on my To Read list…

2017-07-25 06.54.00

 


day 3458

July 7, 2017
day 3458
focused on the road,
but kept on glancing westward
to see the huge cloud

day 3456/day 3457

July 4, 2017
day 3456
early for our meet,
I sat in the car, writing
emails and haiku
++++++
day 3457
do the fireflies know
how much wonder they inspire
in all who see them?

day 3455

June 22, 2017
day 3455
look at the inbox,
and want to ignore it, but
that wouldn’t help things.

day 3454

June 13, 2017
day 3454
I could hardly sleep,
laid there, tired, unwilling
to visit Dreamland