Things I Love Thursday

Mt Taranaki on Saturday morning …


Anna, because she supports me and understands and is generally totally awesome (also is about to make me cut things out for her classroom).

The beach! I went to the beach twice over the last weekend, and I am looking forward to visiting more beaches soon. This is a good, hot summer and I love to play in the waves and get the smell of sand on me.

Nesting, it’s an ongoing process, working out the best place to put things, finding new systems, cooking, laundry and hanging pictures. It’s really lovely 🙂

Honourable Mentions: Pyjamas, Lewis Road Creamery chocolate milk, singing along in the car, snuggles, delicious food with friends and relaxing.

Things I Love Thursday

Really enjoying the warmth in Auckland still!

Kapcon was last weekend and it was really pretty great! It was Anna’s first one and she helped out with my new experimental LARP (Quiet day in the library, which went really well I think) and she played in her frst big LARP and generally had fun so that’s all good!

I got to play in two tabletop games: Sparks Nevada and Monsterhearts. Both games were a lot of fun and I’d like to play both of them again soon… I am in the process of setting up regular gaming for myself at the moment.

Comics I’ve been reading Nightwing, Gotham Academy and L’il Gotham and I got word from the comic shop that new Lumberjanes has come in for me so I’ll go grab those on the weekend. Yay comics!

Wellington, although it felt very strange to come back as a visitor to Wellington, it was nice to see it again and we had a nice walk on the waterfront. Going back for a night this weekend too for a family birthday party.

Honourable Mentions: Panda slippers, movies, popcorn, burgers, cuddles and kisses, being happy about coming home because it means that I get to see Anna and don’t have to worry about when I’m gonna see her again, pillow pets, chocolate, short shorts, fun t shirts, making tasty dinners, sunshine.

Top Gun (1986)

Top Gun
Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr based on a magazine article by Ehud Yonay
(number 453)

How many times has Michael Bay seen this film do you think? Will looked up Tony Scott and found out he was Ridley Scott’s brother and looking at how many movies he directed in late 80s/early 90s I wonder why his name

I know I’ve seen this movie before. I know that it played a lot when I was growing up, my sister or brother would hire it from the video shop, but it never really kept my attention when I was a kid. I’m sure I watched it in a movie night a few years ago too but watching it again now I’m reminded that actually the movie I watched the most was Hot Shotz, which is by far the funnier movie.

But I’m not reviewing Hot Shotz, I’m reviewing Top Gun, which is the most homo erotic movie about fighter pilots one could imagine without having a single gay kiss. All these muscled, sweaty men with gigantic fighting machines, arguing over who is the top and giving each other smouldering looks, playing beach volleyball, touching each other after communal shower. It’s alllll there. I enjoy this article.

Does it make me love the people? Eh. It’s kind of hard to care… I’m not great at action movies any more and there’s too many fight sequences for me to pay full attention. But sure, they kill off Goose to jerk the tears and make Maverick rethink his attitude and you do root for him.

Bechdel test: There’s Charlie – the love interest for Tom Cruise and Carole, played by Meg Ryan and love interest for Goose…they are in a scene together but they talk about Maverick 😦 To be fair, just about all the conversations in the movie are about Maverick so I guess they were just trying to fit in but still.

Best line:
Air Boss Johnson: DAMN! That’s TWICE! I WANT SOME BUTTS!

Carole: Take me to bed or lose me forever!

State of Mind: Yeah. I think this movie was way more impressive in the 80s. But watching it with Anna and Will we mostly enjoyed it for the gay jokes and silliness. Plus I made some pretty great nachos so I was sorta riding the enjoyment of those during the film. Ref this facebook thread.

Will informs me that this movie revolutionised the way air battles are filmed, so… that’s good. That’s a good thing.

Watched movie count

Excellent theme songs, this movie has. Starting with…

Spiderman 2 (2004)

Spiderman 2
Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Alvin Sargent based on a screen story by Michael Gough, Miles Miller and Michael Chabon based on comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (phew)
(number 414)

Marvel before they really knew what they were doing with movies. Eternally fresh faced Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and a young James Franco as Harry, the character everyone wants to punch. Oh wait, that’s just me wanting to punch James Franco. Fred Mollina as Doc Ock, which is very interesting casting to me. He brings a very good gravitas to the movie which I think is needed up against Tobey’s earnestness.

The main story line deals with Peter trying to do too much and therefore failing at everything. Being hopelessly in love with Mary Jane, who seems to return his feelings despite dating someone else and never actually asks him about it, and of course, Doc Ock’s transformation from serious scientist to insane super villain.

Doc Ock is actually pretty terrifying in this. I watched it with Anna who had never seen these movies before and she found it highly disturbing, especially the scene where the arms kill all the surgeons trying to separate them from Otto. It’s very graphic.

On the up side, Jeff Winger has a cameo as the guy who refuses to loan money to Aunt May at the bank. So there’s that. Yay Community! #SixSeasonsandaMovie

Ah, anyway. The script is a bit simplistic for me, I remember loving this movie when it first came out but I guess there just wasn’t the same level of quality in superhero films at the time. Now it feels very plasticky and false, every point hammered home in about ten different ways to make sure you really got it. Lots of redundant lines to ensure the message is received by an audience who the script writer assumes can’t pick up any nuances?

Does it make me love the people? I guess so. The characters are kinda simplistic but they are loveable.

The best scene is when he catches a lift with a random guy and he over shares about his costume. It’s like he was nervously trying to pick up random guy but then shared too much about his jock itch and blew it.

Mary Jane is mostly a damsel in distress but she has a good moment at the end when she calls him on his bullshit and says she should be able to make up her own mind about whether they should be together. Then she says some creepy shit about how she’s always been standing in his doorway and Anna said ‘creepy’ and then we laughed over the rest of the touching scene, imagining stalker MJ.

I can’t love James Franco’s character. I just want to punch him in the face too much.

Bechdel test: Uhm, well, Aunt May asks Mary Jane to help her out in the kitchen and she responds, I think. Louise and Mary Jane speak in the play ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ and also talk to each other before the play although it’s sort of kind of about Peter. After the play there is an interchange ‘sure you don’t want to come tonight?’ ‘yeah, I’m sure’ although the dialogue is mastered down some, it is there. So I think it scrapes through, but it feels like it barely does.

Best line:
J. Jonah Jameson: I WANT SPIDER-MAN!
(This movie just straight up needs more gay)

State of Mind: I liked this movie a lot more in 2004. Now it’s a good, shiny plastic to put on and do craft to while paying half attention.

Watched movie count

Things I Love Thursday

Whoops, been a while since I managed one of these, life has been very hectic what with the whole moving cities thing. However today I have remembered that it is Thursday and I am gonna do this again, I hope you didn’t miss me too much.

I like lots of things about Auckland: It’s warm all the time and I can wear short shorts and tank tops and washing dries on the line within a couple of hours.

I like lots of things about being on holiday: sleeping, watching TV and movies, spending all my time with my girl, doing silly fun things like shopping, visiting Rainbow’s End, visiting people, going to comic shops, reading comics, taking naps. I can’t remember the last time I had more than two weeks off together and it’s so freaking good. Also our three day road trip up the country was awesome fun.

I love lots of things about living with Anna: snuggles, I get to see her all the time, cooking for her and having her cook for me, sharing movies with her and watching movies she likes, just getting used to being with her constantly and it’s awesome.

Rainbow’s End! I found the T Rex!


Honourable Mentions: sorting books into alphabetical order, eating candy and ice creams, fresh line dried sheets, chocolate milk, Nightwing comics, making awesome burger patties from scratch, Big Hero 6 and instax photos

Ratatouille (2007)

Directed by Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava
Written by Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco and three other ‘additional story’ writers
(number 387)

Food porn, food preparation and huge amounts of detail about how a profession kitchen operates tied into a comedic cartoon about a misfit rat with a dream. Food and rats don’t combine well, it’s a hard sell to start with. I love me some professional food prep though, like, hard core love that stuff. But the rats…..

The opening sequence is somewhat depressing and upsetting, showing how little Remy fits in with the other rats of his community, how misunderstood he is and how he dreams of something he can’t have. The very familiar ‘follow your dream, you misfit’ storyline is tempered with the reality that Remy has to be very lonely by doing so, he continually distances himself from his family and community of rats to be among humans who for the most part would kill him. He deals with this by creating an imaginary friend in the chef Gusteau who talks to him. I like that they show it’s not actually easy.

I like the bit where the other rats have come to help out in the kitchen and Remy puts them all through the dishwasher – they all come out fluffy and clean. Adorable.

The storyline with Linguini being Gusteau’s son is kind of boring to me though, it’s all mostly lacking in actual conflict and things come stupidly easy to Linguini. I find Anton Ego’s arc a lot more interesting. Ego is a man who is used to his word being law. He dismisses a restaurant, then it is no longer considered worth going to. He is always depicted as colourless, a frowning hunched Scrooge type character, which makes the moment when he eats the Ratatouille so magical, because you get to see him smile, and his eyes light up.

I also find Colette and Linguini’s relationship problematic though, not the least because he’s hiding Remy/lying to her for a large part of it, but the moment where Remy makes them kiss (when Linguini is trying to tell her the truth) she literally has a can of mace in her hand, ready to spray him for being a crazy person. She goes from about to mace him to melting into the kiss and that is pretty upsetting really. Like, oh… I guess I don’t have to be worried about his raving because he kisses really well.. um. Yeah, no thanks. I have too much awareness of rape culture to be okay with this scene.

Plus the whole point that she’s the only woman in the kitchen, that’s pretty legit for the culture of professional kitchens as I understand them, but why is there no other named woman character in the entire movie? All the rats even, are male.

Does it make me love the people? Yeah, they’ve animated Remy in a very cute way, very big eyes and adorable whiskers, his father is not nearly as cute looking. I find Linguini pretty boring too, and it bugs me that Colette is won over by kissing… but I like Ego and I guess I want them to succeed, but this is really Remy’s movie.

Bechdel test: Nope. There is only one named female character in this movie, Colette :/

Best line:
“If you focus on what you’ve left behind, you’ll never be able to see what lies ahead”

State of Mind: Sure, this movie is pretty cute and all, but I don’t think it’s the best Pixar has to offer and I think there are some huge missteps.

Watched movie count

Point Break (1991)

Point Break
Directed by Katherine Bigelow
Screenplay written by W. Peter Iliff based on story by Rick King and W. Peter Iliff
(number 205)

I did not realise that Katherine Bigelow directed this movie. I absolutely associated her with Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty only. Why do people not talk about Katherine Bigelow more? Her work is amazing. She’s masterful with getting expressions and landscapes, as well as switching to handheld for maximum tension in action sequences.

Keanu Reeves stars as the dude with the coolest name in 90s action movies: Johnny Utah. He’s fresh out of Quantico and put into an existing case with Gary Busey’s slightly over the hill kook who has a theory which no one believes. Their mission: to stop the ex-presidents from robbing more banks.

Patrick Swayze co-stars as Bodhi, a spiritual surfer dude who lives to surf and to get his adrenaline going.

I was kind of surprised to see this movie on the 500 list on account of it being a pretty standard 90s action film – but at the same time I’m pleased because I do sort of love this film. It’s one of those buddy movies where I really wish they’d just kiss and get over it but still. They have a token girl character so there’s the love interest which makes it less gay – but you gotta agree that the chemistry between Johnny and Bodhi is off the charts.

The movie uses physicality as a story telling device, showing us long montages of surfing to establish characters and Johnny playing football with Bodhi and his crew – proving himself to them with his sports skills and earning Bodhi’s respect.

Then there’s the gorgeously filmed skydiving sequence which is both beautiful and uplifting and fraught with tension because it’s the first time he’s seen Bodhi since the chase. You feel sure that he knows Johnny is on the other side of the law and you’re just not sure what they’re going to do. It’s so incredibly beautifully shot though, it’s breathtaking.

I love John C McGinley in this film – playing the utterly predictable angry boss who just wants results, calling the lead characters into the office just to scream at them about how useless they’re being. It’s a great performance of an utterly familiar role from police movies.

One cameo I didn’t expect was Anthony Keidis, lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He plays Tone, a loose cannon surfer who hangs out with some nasty guys. It’s a pretty great part for him, gets to show off his muscled body and his tattoos.

Does it make me love the people? Absolutely. Johnny is so easy to feel for, and Bodhi is the classic spiritual bad boy – doing bad things because he wants to enjoy his life to the fullest – live his dreams. Isn’t that an intoxicating idea?

Bechdel test: No, Tyler is pretty much our only named female character and she exists to show Johnny isn’t gay and to be a damsel in distress – an insurance policy as Bodhi puts it, to ensure that Johnny will play along with him.

Best line:

“It’s not a tragedy to die doing what you love”

State of Mind: Hells yeah this movie. Only, if I was in charge of the remake that Hollywood is hard at work on right now, I would absolutely bring the gay. Have Bodhi and Johnny make out at the party at the start, hook up a few times and have some long emotional rain kiss right before Bodhi wades into the sea. That’s what this movie needs.

Watched movie count