House Sitting, Day 7

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existential pizzaDay Seven of the House Sitting.

Last day. Doing the laundry one last time, getting things packed away. Spending one last night here, then headed to work tomorrow mourning, all of my things tucked into the NEKRON 7. Headed back to the Haunted Victorian afterwards.

Tonight, though, I plan on watching the newest Preacher on the AMC channel on the Dish Network setup (as opposed to waiting until Monday evening to watch it on the Amazon streaming). Only three more episodes left to this season. I hope they actually get to the point of all this. Judging by last season, though, probably not.

The existential realization of heading back to the reality tomorrow looms just above and behind me, like the realization of my own mortality. It’s more of an intangible black cloud, reminding me that, like life itself, the holiday is fleeting, a mere blip in the grand overall scope of time and space. I exist, and that existence has meaning; and yet, when compared to the vastness that is time, and the fact that time itself is speeding along faster and faster, so that to give the illusion of blinking and seeing much of my life and experience go by, a blip in the history of Everything…makes me want to just order a pizza and chill out a bit.

Mmmmm…taco pizza from Casey’s…make this a reality, when the laundry’s done and I have socks again…

::END TRANSMISSION::

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House Sitting, Day 6

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clutterDay Six of the House Sitting. Saturday. I didn’t go into Omaha for the standard Lunch + Writing. I was planning on doing so, as I had the Lappy and a couple of notebooks packed up in the bag, but decided when I got inside the NEKRON 7 to just go into Blair and pick some things up at the Family Fair, and just do the writing at the homestead.

Discovered that Blair’s Family Fare is the only one I’ve been to that doesn’t carry the A&W Diet Cream Soda in 2 liter bottles. Minor setback. Just picked up a 12-pack instead, as well as a 4-pack of the IBC brand diet root beer. That stuff is more on the wintergreen side of the taste, instead of the creamy side.

Steve the Hamster keeps getting his hamster ball of DOOOOOOOM stuck. Extension cords, between a yarn basket and the wall…it’s almost like he’s now doing this on purpose, just to get the thrill of me unsticking him out of his predicament. I’m on to you, Hamster Steve.

Watching the 1991 sci-fi-ish action flick Firehead. Why do I do this to myself?

House Sitting Day 5

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me and duchessDay Five. Got a bit of the ol’ cabin fever, so I opted to go have a shorter Lunch + Writing session at Sean O’Casey’s. Had the Breakfast Bacon Cheeseburger, with peanut butter. Onion rings with 1000 Island for the dippin’. Not bad, but didn’t set my world ablaze with flavor.

Kicked things old-school with the writing, meaning I didn’t bring any of the two laptops (I’m typing this on the Linux Lappy, in case anyone was morbidly curious), only a couple of notebooks and my pen. Made sure it had plenty of ink this time. Mostly listened to some albums and taking notes for future reviews. One Disciple EP and a couple of Dead Artist Syndrome albums.

Steve the Hamster rolling around in his Death Ball. Duchess off brooding somewhere. Had some fun running around while I watered the flowers. Back to watching the movies on my Windows Lappy by way of the Prim streaming…horrible, horrible movies riffed gleefully by the guys who brought us the original Mystery Science Theater 3000…even then, sometimes that barely helps…

Movie Review: BEFORE I DIE

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before I diParade Deck Films
2016
NR

Dammit.

Dammit dammit dammit dammit.

Look, I’m not going to mince words, here. It’s been a long time since I’ve been angry for having watched a movie. Indifference? Yes. Irritation? Yepper. Insulted? Plenty of times. Been reduced to madness-induced laughter? I call those “Thursdays”. But a movie that was so badly made that, once the end credits ran, all I can think of is to do violent things to the movie for having teased me with promises it never intended to keep. Or, at least write a very terse review of it for my blog.

I believe the last movie to do that was 2000’s Lost Souls. Well, that has been dethroned and replaced with this movie we’re discussing right now: Before I Die.

Before I Die happens to be one of those movies that are free streaming with my Prime account. You better believe I’m gonna get as much mileage out of that as I can. But, sometimes that means being duped into watching a movie like this because the movie poster art and descript blurb made it sound interesting. Here, let me reproduce the descript from Amazon, and tell me if this doesn’t sound the least bit tantalizing:

“Strange spiritual obsessions begin to unearth age-old secrets in a small Northwest town, leading a pastor to suspect that all might not be as idyllic as he first imagined and personal threats await anyone who dares confront them.

I mean, sure, it’s kind of a generic sounding horror premise, one that has been done since Hawthorne and Poe’s time, but at least it wasn’t another “teenagers trapped in a haunted asylum” or what have you movie these low-budget straight-to-video movie makers seem to favor.

What I got instead, was something that was ineptly made on all levels. The movie starts at a potluck gathering in a Congregational style church basement, and for 110 minutes of the movie’s nearly 2-hour run time, it maintains that level of excitement throughout. The movie just drags on and on and on, with a story that has less to do with horror, and more to do with a PBS drama, with some lame attempts at “oooh, spooky shenanigans afoot!” thrown in to remind us that we are, in fact, watching a horror movie. The acting is amateurish at best, and is so wooden you’ll be picking splinters out of your brain for days after. The effects are…well, there are no effects, really. The plot is so meandering and at times confusing that the big “twist” reveal seems more of an afterthought tacked on.

Watching Before I Die did the impossible: it made m want to watch the television show 7th Heaven for some excitement. To say that I was disappointed with this movie is a gross understatement. Avoid this movie like the festering blob of undigested guacamole dip that it is.

House Sitting, Day 4

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abandoned spooky houseDay Four of watching the Rinas household while my sister’s family visit our father down in Nevada. I have finally acclimated to sleeping on the couch, as last night I was able to sleep through, instead of tossing and turning most of the time.

Went into Freakmont to pick up a bit more grocieries; the trip reminded me why I don’t go into Fremont too often anymore. I couldn’t get back to the homestead and away from interacting with society fast enough.

Continuing on with the steady stream of writing, napping, and watching really bad movies on the Amazon Stream; as I metioned to my nephew earlier today, the 80s was a magical time for bad movies, as we watched the over-the-top fight scene in Deadly Prey…someone gets his arm chopped off and is beaten up with his own arm. That’s going to factor in somewhere in my dreams.

Up in the air with going into Omaha tomorrow for the standard Holiday Lunch + Writing at Sean O’Casey’s. The dog seems to get along fine with being alone for a few hours; Annie wasn’t kidding that she seems to be a bit clingy, though. She is eating, though, which is one of the things to keep an eye out for. Steve the Hamster rushes around inside his Death Star.

Mesa Of Lost Women plays as I pound out my brain droppings. The cheese level is very high on this one.

::END TRANSMISSION::

 

Movie Review: LADY BIRD

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lady birdA24
2017
R

“I hate California, I want to go to the east coast. I want to go where culture is like, New York, or Connecticut, or New Hampshire.”

When it comes to pop culture, I’ve always said it’s okay to have a preference. It doesn’t mean that you can’t branch out and try new things; it just means that, in the whole scheme of things, you know what you like, and you’re comfortable with that. For instance, it’s no big secret that I’m a fan of horror movies. But, I do have close friends that like normal movies. Or, as some of them like to put it, “good movies”. That’s debatable. The point is, if the buzz is good surrounding a movie that normally wouldn’t be within my particular demographic, let’s just say, I’m not averse to check it out to see what the noise is all about.

Such was the situation with the movie Lady Bird. This was a movie that you couldn’t get away from the buzz it was making. It was praised left and right, being touted as thee movie to see in 2017. I don’t know if it won any kind of award, as I don’t keep abreast with those thing. But, the praise for Lady Bird was strong enough that, despite it being described as a kind of coming-of-age movie, I decided to check out the moment it became available for free streaming with my Prime membership. Hey, I was interested, but I still didn’t want to pay much for something I’m probably going to watch once, bang out a review of, and then probably forget about later in the week. Or month. Or, whatever.

So, after watching it, I have to come out and say it: Lady Bird is vastly overrated. Keep in mind, I went into this kinda wanting to like it. I have no problem with coming of age movies, and this one seemed interesting, with its premise of a Catholic high school girl’s senior year and all the stuff that goes with these kind of things in movies. We come in with the titular character and her mother driving back from a college visit, then beginning her senior year, where, in the course of the entire school year, she worries about trying to get into a college that’s not in California — preferably a romanticized New York college that her favorite authors went to — while her family struggles to make ends meet; she joins a school musical production, falls in love with her first boyfriend who turns out to be gay and kind of using her as a coverup, she hooks up with another boy who is in a band and ditches her best friend for one of the rich girls as her totes BFF, loses her virginity and breaks up with the current BF in one fell swoop, makes up with her original BFF and talks about cheese and other stuff with her instead of going to prom, discovers that she has, indeed, been accepted into one of the New York colleges against her mother’s wishes, then flies out to said college, only to promptly get alcohol poisoning at a party, then calling and leaving a message on her parents’ answering machine that she loves her mom. Then the movie ends abruptly. Throughout this movie, it’s interspersed with her arguing and fighting with her mother over various things, and shopping at thrift stores. Oh, and she starts going by her real name at the end. Because that signifies maturity, I guess.

Lady Bird, for me at least, was kind of the movie watching equivalent to driving west-bound on I-80 through Nebraska; there are some interesting things to look at, and once in a while you find yourself enjoying a bit or two, but when it comes down to it, the beats are recognizable and over half-way through you begin wondering how much longer until you finally reach the end destination. With, of course, the occasional pause to hit a rest stop on the way.

There was a lot to like about this movie, though: the acting was great, especially the dynamic between Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf as her mother. And yes, because of Laurie Metcalf, I began to pretend that this was a spin-off of the original run of Rosanne, which made things a bit more fun.

But anyway, no, I concede that Lady Bird isn’t a bad movie. It is rather good, yes…but it’s not my cup of black-as-my-heart coffee. I’m really more of a Wes Anderson type when it comes to “normal” movies. And that is really all I have to say about that.

Movie Review: The SWORD AND THE SORCERER

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sword and the sorcererGroup 1
1982
R

“I will allow you to live as long as you serve me. Betray me, and I will joyfully send you back to rot in hell.”

Ah, the big fantasy genre ‘splosion of the early 80s. There seemed to be so many of these kind of movie back then. Conan The Barbarian, Beastmaster…um, other ones, I guess. Look, even as a young lad, I wasn’t really into the whole fantasy dragons and swords thing. The Dungeons & Dragons cartoon was about as far as I got with any interest in this. Even now, if there’s no other choice to go with, maybe I’ll take in a fantasy tale or whatnot. So you can probably imagine what was going on when I picked The Sword And The Sorcerer to watch.

So, back in the days of yore, a malevolent jerk who wants to be king summons a demonic Richard Moll and proceeded to kill the current king and queen, leaving the son of the king — named Talon — to flee as an orphan with a spring-loaded tri-bladed sword. I wish I was making that up, but no, you read that right. Years pass, and Talon has grown into a mighty rogue warrior with pecks of melons and knees of fringe, adventuring with his horde of equally rogue-like warriors, womanizing and drinking and eating and getting into the odd skirmish and all. He happens to run across the princess — who is betrothed to the guy who killed his royal parents — as she and her brother have been organizing a rebellion against the despot, but haven’t worked on keeping things on the down-low, as it seems everyone and their squire knew about it. So, her brother is imprisoned, and she’s on the run from being captured by the king’s men. After some…negotiating, Talon agrees to lend his tri-bladed Sword of Overcompensation in taking down the king. Things go smashingly…until Talon and his crew are captured and imprisoned in the castle dungeon. It’s then that we learn the king’s eeee-vil plot: Marry the princess, crucify Talon on a giant “X”, and assassinate all of the royalty attending the event, all in one swoop. But then, Talon’s Scoobie Gang are set free by the royal concubines, Talon himself gets himself off of the giant “X”, and there’s a massive swashbuckling battle, wherein the princess battles a giant amorous anaconda (don’t want none) and the king is slain. Talon decides he doesn’t want to claim his rightful place as king, and rides off to more adventure in a sequel that was promised but never happened. Thank goodness for that.

While I’m not exactly the demographic for these type of genre movies, there are certain ones that came out in the 1980s that you have to watch just to experience the magic of Bad Movie Watching. Movies like this one have a special something to them that you can only get from this particular era.

The Sword And The Sorcerer has it all: cheesy acting, low-budget effects, plot beats that will never go over in this day and age, and a story that will bury your WTF Meter in the red more times than you can keep count. Meaning, The Sword And The Sorcerer is prime Bad Movie Nite watching material.

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