Watching, looking, listening

Summer in Toronto this year hasn’t been particularly great. It has been cool (as in temp), rainy, and generally over cast. This is bad for BBQ’s (a couple I was invited to had to be cancelled), street festivals, and picnics. On days that were good, like today – blue skys and sunshine, I managed to get in a couple more baseball games – I was in attendance of the longest baseball game in Blue Jays history. It was 19 innings! That was 7 hours! I left with my friend at the top of the 12th inning and had time to grab dinner (sit down and have drinks chat a bit, the whole deal), make a stop at the grocery store, and make it home before the game was done. I also went to a game that was, to me, one of the saddest displays I have ever seen. It was just sloppy playing – and wonder the city – ended up spending way too much money on clothes and shoes – allowing me to thoroughly me to enjoy my day.

When I was forced to be in doors I found myself playing board games, watching movies and tv, reading books, and listening to music. Sadly not not a lot of new music really, a coworker did introduce me to this:

The video is a bit heavy and I haven’t deciphered most of the lyrics yet but the music is…just…haunting…captivating (pun not intended, or is it?)…to the point that I can’t get it out of my head. I have listened to more of their music but that is the one that has stayed with me. But I digress…on to the movies!

Hercules

This movie turned out to be a lot less campy than I expected it to be. Sure there were cheesy lines and ridiculous fight scenes but there was an actual seriousness to it. I found walking into the movie I had a completely different expectation than what was presented. Not sure if that was a good thing as trailers are supposed to give you an indication of the kind of film you are going to see and some fans accept (sometimes better enjoy) something for being unexpected where others would hate it for not being what it is “supposed” to be. But you know what, I liked it for doing something just a little bit different. Sure the outcome is predictable but the leading up to it is was just creative enough.

Hercules is really just a lot of fun in the end. You switch your brain off, watch some fight scenes, hear some one-liners, and leave simply entertained. I recommend seeing this one. No it doesn’t have to be in the theatre and definitely not in 3D but you will enjoy yourself.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel keeps upping their game with the quality of movies that they are putting out. They are properly using their source material, picking out what works on the screen and cutting out what doesn’t, relaying well told stories with complex characters. They have gotten over the idea of the gritty superhero and just staying true the properties that have taken decades to develop.

Even though Guardians of the Galaxy is not a property that I am familiar with, this movie only makes me want to know more. Besides what was presented in the ads for the movie I didn’t know what the story was going to be. It was simply great! The story, the cast, script, everything. One thing I was really afraid of walking into this was that Groot and Rocket would come across really gimmicky/wooden (HA!). They did it so well. Especially Groot. With him saying just that one line the whole time, “I am Groot.” you would think it would come across flat but no, he really was a full character that you enjoyed.

Just go see it. It is good. It is worth seeing on the big screen. And the music in the movie, is just…listen to it.

Right? Puts you in a good mood. The movie will too.

Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

So happy I didn’t pay to see this movie. I got free passes for a preview of it and I was not impressed. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller tried really hard to capture the essence of the first film but failed miserably at it. At first I thought I was remembering Sin City wrong and I just had a fond memory of it being something different that clouded my mind. But no, for research sake, I watched it again and it was good. Bold, strange, sexy, story telling, with that black and white film noir melodrama, proper pacing, and the right level of cheese; it just worked. Where as with this the pacing was slow, it was gratuitous, and the story telling was bland.

It so happened on the weekend The Spirit was on tv and, again for research sake, I watched it and man is that a horrible movie. It suffered in the same ways this one did and I have a feeling that has a lot to do with Frank Miller. He must have had a heavier hand in the production and direction of the finished product. A lot of the dialogue was just stupid, excessive nudity that just became boring by the end of the film, and the action wasn’t quite right. It just failed on so many levels.

I read a review where the said the Joseph Gordon Levitt story line did fit into the movie. And I agree with them because it was good. It had tighter storytelling with better dialogue. There was also a cameo by Christopher Lloyd that was just fantastic. He stole the show with his 5 minutes of screen time.

This is definitely one you can miss.

TV…

True Blood Season 7

I am one of the few people who watched “True Blood” til the end. And I don’t blame people for jumping ship. I do have to question why I didn’t. This was a horrible season. Bad writing, unnecessary new characters, a lot of stupid decisions. It was just bad. It seemed like the writers may have backed themselves into a corner and didn’t know how to get themselves out or they were just rushed; either way it didn’t work.

The final episode was particularly disappointing. (In an attempt to reduce spoilers I will be changing the colour of some text. Just highlight it if you dare) Sure Jessica and Hoyt got hitched, so glad they brought him back for the final few episodes, but even though it was sweet and obviously rushed, seemed out of place and took up way too much time. And speaking of taking too much time...Bill’s death. That scene just went on forever. I know the whole series was leading up to this point but nothing was revealed and it was expected. And it was so stupid of Sookie to get in the coffin with him. Of course it was going to be messy. It would have been less so if she just knelt beside it. I really wish we got to see Lafayette in this final. It was like he was forgotten. He played a major part in the overall series and a glimpse of him at the table in the epilogue was not enough. On the other hand, that whole Pam and Eric New Blood thing was great.

One of my biggest problems with this ending is that it turns out that this show was actually about Vampire Bill (as Andy prefers to call him) and less about Sookie. The show began and ended with him. They did not rid the world of vampires, werewolves, were-panthers, witches, crazy people, and Sookie is still a fairy. So isn’t there a chance that things may still get crazy. As Bill had mentioned, there will still be vampires that can smell her out? So Sookie was Bill’s focus but not the focus of the story.

The whole season wasn’t bad. 90’s Pam and Eric were awesome but we didn’t need another season to find that out. Although this season allowed for this, this, and this. Ginger finally got what she wanted in the most bizarre way (not embedding this one as it would be a spoiler maybe). Hoyt came back. And Lafayette found love.

Wilfred

I don`t think I mentioned this before but I really like this show. It is very strange, thought provoking, and hilarious! I really laugh more at this show than I should but they put in these small tidbits that just give it that extra level of hilarity, especially if you are a pet owner. When I started watching this season I didn’t know it was going to be the last. I am sad to see it go but it picked the right moment to end. Still in the midst of loving the show but it really didn’t have anywhere else to go. The ending was sweet and surprisingly touching. Who knew a show where a main character is a guy in a dog suit could make you feel.

I definitely recommend watching “Wilfred”. This is not for kids in any way, shape or form. I don’t even recommend them being in the house when you think of watching this show. There is just a mastered use of curse words and perverse chatter it may hurt their brains. It is also twisted. These are all things that make me love this show.

On to written entertainment.

Seconds by Brian Lee O’Malley

If you don’t know Bryan Lee O’Malley is the creator of “Scott Pilgrim” which was turned into “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”, which I loved. This book is done in the same visual style of his previous books except with full colour. It is really beautiful. It is a more existential story about changing your own history and the consequences of your actions. I like the fact that this was released as a complete story and not in parts. There was no waiting around for what’s next, just a funny, sad, interesting story with relatable characters.

I liked this book a lot.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

After being introduce to Rainbow Rowell by reading “Eleanor and Park” my friend insisted that I read “Fangirl”. When I first started reading the book I was not impressed. I found her main character whiny and found very few redeeming qualities of the secondary character which made me wonder why I was reading it. But based on the high recommendation from my friend and the quality of her other book I persevered and managed to finish it. I am glad I stuck with it because it turned out to be a fun sweet tale.

As the book continued she managed to better flush out her characters making them more endearing making you care about the overall story more. I guess as an “adult” (HA!) I can see why the pettiness of a young person can at first seem frivolous – the book is about a college freshman – and uninteresting but once you get to know that character, like any other person, you better understand their neuroses. Again this book is considered YA but it is well written and generally sweet. I give it a thumbs up.

Wonder Woman – Blood

So, this consists of the first 6 issues of Wonder Woman as part of the “New 52” series. I read somewhere that it was supposed to be surprisingly good so I thought I would give it a shot. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t particularly good either. In this they managed to change her origin story without really giving her an origin story and sort of make her very blinded as to what is going on around her, this makes her kind of weak. Wonder Woman is a strong, cunning, powerful person who weighs options and is very aware. In this she was strong, yes, powerful, yes, but her actions seemed haphazard and ill-advised. The story as well wasn’t very compelling. I found it boring.

This may be worth a glance but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt it down.

The Legend Of Luther Strode

Well I finally got around to reading the continuation to “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode” and I enjoyed it. Just as the previous book it is very bloody right from the first page (or should I say cover) but there is a bit more humour in it with a bigger roll being played by the strong-headed witty Petra. She is kind of his sidekick but she might hurt me for saying that. This is a fun quick read. I do recommend this if you read the first installment. If not you will be very confused as to what is going on.

Well that is about it. Hopefully, I will soon have something new for you to read.

Tra

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Tra

1 Comment

Allister

Why can’t I get a Hercules movie which is just a Hercules movie? The Legend of Hercules was one disappointment and Hercules was another.
If A Dame to Kill For is somehow worse than The Spirit then this would have been one of the worst summers for movies in a long time.
At least Guardians of the Galaxy was great.

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