Things I Love Thursday

Kapcon was really good this year! I played lots of fun rounds, my game went well and I had a brilliant time at the flagship LARP. I love catching up with my friends for creative collaborative story telling and I got a surprise present from Brooklynne which was nice ❤

Anna, who is cute and funny and special and the best ever.

Star Wars, especially BB-8, Poe Dameron and Finn and Rey and basically The Force Awakens is a great movie and I love it.

Spacious Lounge, right before I went back to work we rearranged our lounge and it’s so big and spacious and it’s great. Dance Central!

Honourable Mentions: Most Haunted on netflix, watching 500 movies and ticking them off the list, excellent books (bird box and Room), updating read books on GoodReads, new Face Off episodes, getting money for my old DVDs, Hallmark Itty Bitties dolls, lovely friends and Fiasco Rat Patrol.

The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator
Directed by James Cameron
Written by Gale Anne Hurd, James Cameron and additional dialogue by William Wisher Jr.
(number 319)

Now, this is one of those movies which I know I must have seen, and I know most of the story from the later movies, but… I don’t know if I’ve ever just sat down and watched it start to finish. This list has been good for getting me to watch that kind of film.

It’s a bit of a pity I watched Robocop before I watched this, because it seems like it owes a lot to this film. I kept watching it and thinking ‘this is like Robocop’ but of course it’s the other way around. I found this a tighter movie all round though. Maybe it’s because the premise is a bit harder, a bit tougher but also because it involves time travel it seems like… easier to buy into. Maybe it’s just that the special effects are better.

I really enjoyed this actually, and I kept on thinking that this is structured exactly like a standard horror film. I found I liked it more once I made that connection, like I knew the expected story beats so I could relax some. It’s a brilliantly realised film, very well written with natural dialogue and I always felt like Sarah’s actions, decisions and reactions made sense.

We did get some laughs out of the incredibly intrusive 80s music and the awesomely on point eighties hair and fashions. Just.. such giant hair.

Does it make me love the people? Absolutely it does. I love Sarah most of all, and I did start to feel things for Kyle Reese as well. I was pretty upset when Ginger died and although he was a bit of an asshole, Matt too. I also appreciated the ‘seen it all before’ cop dude as well.

Bechdel test: I believe so. Sarah talks to a woman at her work, although I had to check the cast list to see if that woman was named. She’s possibly Nancy, in which case the film passes very early by having them talk about ice cream and the murders on the news report. It also passes later when Sarah talks to Ginger about where her lizard is and if she’s checked the phone messages, also what should Sarah do when her date stands her up. Nice work Terminator! Having a main woman character certainly helps.

Best line:

Ginger Ventura: That bum. So what if he has a Porsche? He can’t treat you like this. It’s Friday night, for Christ’s sake.
Sarah Connor: [slumping] I’ll live.
Ginger Ventura: I’ll break his kneecaps.

Terminator: I’ll be back

Reese: Come with me if you want to live.

State of Mind: I enjoyed this way more than I expected to. Bring on T2!

Watched movie count

Things I Love Thursday

This week I am thankful for…

Kapcon is this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it! Lots of gaming, trying out my new game, seeing so very many friends and playing what looks like a very fun LARP. Woo!

Field Notes and in particular the gorgeous ‘snow blind’ editions that are white but turn pale blue in direct sunlight. Just beautiful design and lovely notebooks to use.

Postcards: I really love writing, sending and receiving postcards! It’s just really appealing to me. I need a couple more penpals to do this with…

Rainbow's End

Rainbow’s End

Rainbow’s End may not be the fanciest or flashest theme park, but it is also the only one we can drive to. It’s also really fun! A group of us went on Saturday and had a lot of fun shouting FLUUUME! going on the Pirate Ship, the roller coaster, the gold rush and of course, the log flume. So much fun.

Netflix allowing us to watch Most Haunted, and Anna to watch How to Train Your Dragon serieses and me to watch Jessica Jones. Very convenient way to access TV, unless you’re not sure what you want to watch and then it’s a wealth of endless nothingness. But it also has a new season of New Girl so the endless nothingness is at bay.

Healing, I have been pathetically pathetic about getting surgery last week but there are some good things about it: Anna looking after me, painkillers, waterproof bandage tape stuff and sleep. Sleep has been very important to me in this last week.

Honourable Mentions: hot summer sunshine, tiny shorts, taking off the bra on the return home, people asking me for advice, watching 500 movies again, home made pizza, fresh baby carrots, growing things and sleeping.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai
Directed by David Lean
Written by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson based on the novel by Pierre Boulle
(number 169)

The movie starts in the sweltering jungle of a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Thailand where valiant English soldiers are digging graves for their fallen comrades. The iconic tune is introduced pretty much right after with the new prisoners marching in and whistling it. Oh man, I was sick of it by the end of that scene.

The beautiful scenery seems oppressive. It could be the colour palette or the awfulness of the characters’ situation. Being forced to build a bridge for the enemy does seem like a pretty bad situation, and ‘the oven’ is freaking terrifying.

But I can’t help but feel that this movie is cheerful and downright pleasant compared to The Deer Hunter. Like, it’s long and not super action packed, there’s a lot of men who look similar wearing the same clothes and they talk a lot. But it’s pleasant enough.

1957, it was a simpler time. By simpler I mean a lot more racist. But then, you know. What are you going to do? Sigh, it makes it hard to watch this kind of movie. The racism is so hard to look past.

There’s a pretty high body count, as warned by the opening shots of the men digging graves. But over all I just found it pretty… slow… not super exciting. For a movie with so many deaths the action isn’t super compelling. The swimming in the river and blowing up the bridge sequence is pretty good.

Does it make me love the people? I… nah, not so much.

Bechdel test: hahahahahaha no. There’s the one woman who makes out with Chapman as soon as meeting him, so that’s pretty telling I guess.

Best line:
Shears: Nicholsen was a hero, they were about to shoot him and he didn’t bat an eye.
Major Warden: I suppose if you’re about to be shot there isn’t much else you can do.

State of Mind: That was very long and I am pretty happy that it’s over.

Watched movie count

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Four Weddings and a Funeral
Directed by Mike Newell
Written by Richard Curtis
(number 383)

Weird experience: I watched this second to most recently with Anna who had never seen it before and also hated it. It was a genuinely odd experience for me. I have never spoken with anyone who didn’t enjoy this movie… But then most people I know have somehow grown up with it. People my age and older saw it at the movies and listened to the hit cover of ‘love is all around’ and cried when the poem is read at the funeral.

But Anna saw the film without the clouding of nostalgia and emotional attachment and she saw it as a series of truly awful things happening to a hapless guy for no apparent reason. Which begs the question, if this film came out today – would I like it? In all honesty I probably wouldn’t even see it because I hate cringe comedy. I hate feeling empathy for characters who get shat on. But for some reason, such as, first seeing this when I was 14, I don’t at all feel that way about this film. Instead I adore it.

I have this massive nostalgic attachment to it, like I remember how my sister found the words to ‘Funeral blues’ by W.H. Auden and made a poster and hung it on the wall in our shared bedroom. I remember the culture of the film from when it was current, and I haven’t been able to separate myself from that when I watch it again. Watching this movie is time travel for me, back to that specific time. The hideous meringue wedding dresses, the weird Laura Ashley floral frocks of the wedding guests, the world wide infatuation with a stuttering, bumbling Hugh Grant (which of course is linked to the memory to his very public arrest), high school. This film makes me remember the good bits of being in fourth form and laughing with Regan. For me, this movie is a flashpoint which is inextricably linked to 1994.

With all that in mind it becomes rather a hard film to review objectively. So I shan’t try, I’ll just gush about it some more as I watch it again.

Here’s what I love about having seen this back as an impressionable 14 year old: it showed a happy, healthy romantic relationship between two men. It’s still a story in which the gay dies, but that is after showing so much love and support and humour between them. If it had been legal at the time I’m sure one of the weddings would have been theirs.

One of my favourite moments is right in the start, when Charles retrieves two rings from his women friends – a garish colourful heart ring and a winged skull. Now, given what we know of Scarlet is that she loves bright colours, bold fashion choices and doesn’t give a shit how it looks, so we can assume the heart is hers, which means that the colour-avoiding, incredibly posh and reserved Fiona must have been wearing the winged skull. As a 14 year old I always excused this moment as they must have got more rings, but both Scarlet and Fi are shown handing over their own rings so…

Does it make me love the people? It does, I’ve always loved Charles and had a sort of love/repulsion thing with Scarlet (a character who comes up again and again in Curtis films – the manic pixie wreck of a girl). Watching it again, yes it is a Curtis trope of a character but she’s adorable and she has some excellent moments.

Matthew and Gareth are obviously wonderful and although I have always found Fiona pretty cold, I do like her as I’ve grown up. Gareth’s funeral and Matthew’s poetry recital make me cry every time.

I find Carrie’s motivations rather hard to understand, but I still find Andie McDowell’s performance charming and ham fisted as it may be the raining reunion bit at the end is pretty lovely to me, and does form some of my basis for what romance looks like.

Bechdel test: Yes, Scarlet says as Lydia comes down the aisle “oh, doesn’t she look lovely!” and Fiona replies “Scarlet, you’re blind, she looks like a big meringue.” There’s a lot of named women characters and they do talk a lot but it’s often through the filter of Hugh Grant’s Charles or actually talking about him. It passes at least once more with this gorgeous interchange:

Mrs. Beaumont: Are you married?
Fiona: No.
Mrs. Beaumont: Are you a lesbian?
Fiona: Good lord! What makes you ask that?
Mrs. Beaumont: Well, it is one of the possibilities for unmarried girls nowadays, and it’s rather more interesting than saying, “Oh dear, never met the right chap,” eh?
Fiona: Quite right. Why be dull?

Best line:
Matthew: I remember the first time I saw Gareth on the dance floor, I feared lives would be lost.

Charles: Tom, are you the richest man in England?
Tom: Oh, no. We’re… like, seventh.

State of Mind: I really enjoy this movie, and I’m not sure if it’s just because of the nostalgia factor or because it’s just genuinely a lovely sweet movie. I can basically recite it, so I really can’t separate the movie from my feelings from it. We had the soundtrack on CD even. I’ll keep the DVD on my shelf and keep it for sick days and when Anna is away.

Watched movie count

Things I Love Thursday

Trying to get back into the habit of posting these… and there’s no time like when you’re feeling really pathetic, as I am right now. I had three moles removed last night as preventative measure to stop them maybe becoming melanomas. I have never had surgery before, outside of dental procedures so I was very nervous, and I was unprepared for the effect it would have on my body. Perhaps if only one or two had been taken I wouldn’t be feeling so wretched but… I had three removed and I feel wretched.

Anna who does wonderful things like hold my hand while I get shots or showing me Maru videos when I feel too pathetic for words. She’s amazing, she’s cute, she is awesome.

My friends who came through with encouraging and comforting words on facebook, you all rule!

Circumstances… I mean, it’s a pretty good problem to have – to be able to afford to get mole maps and pay to have the dodgy looking ones removed. I’m thankful. I’m also very thankful for understanding workmates who would rather I go home and sleep than pass out at my desk (which I dunno, felt like it might have been imminent).

Editing: I mean, on the one hand I’m sick of it, but on the other I feel like I’ve seriously upskilled and I’m onto the last 70 or so pages of my YA novel edit and that feels pretty damn great.

Honourable Mentions: Circus Circus food, paying money to have stuff delivered from America quite quickly, takeaway roast shops, Candyman in Mt Eden, excellent books, fun card games, running a good session of Monster of the Week, looking forward to Kapcon, growing sunflowers and watching movies.

Polaroid ~ Imagine Dragons

Star Trek (2009)

Directed by J.J. Abrams
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman based on the original Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry
(number 231)

In 2009 J.J. Abrams used this movie to reinvent and revitalise the Star Trek movie franchise with the things that it had to this point been sorely lacking: Baby Thor, Cinderella’s prince, Shaun of the Dead and most importantly, Lens Flares.

I really like J.J. Abrams most of the time but he really went overboard on the lens flares in this one. They turn up in shots which have no reason to lens flare and… yeah okay. It’s a style, and it does look cool sometimes but when you have seven countable lens flares in the space of ten seconds. Come on!

I like the energy that the cast have, they are all clearly having a lot of fun on this movie and that makes it really fun to watch. The opening sequences are really well done too, hits you right in the feels and shows you the baby Spock being bullied for being different in a few different ways. It’s feelsy and to the point.

I find it hard to relate to Jim, because cocky womaniser is such a very overdone trope at this point. I understand that the original Kirk had these elements to him, but I haven’t watched any of the early stuff and certainly not the original movies so I can’t really compare it. But I just find it a bit dull.

Does it make me love the people? It makes me love Bones. Bones and Chekhov and Sulu and Uhura. Spock mostly because of Zachary Quinto and his awesomely understated performance. You can see how much emotion he is concealing, which is super interesting when you think of how long the actor probably had to stay in the closet in real life.

Bechdel test: Yes. Green sexy alien Gaila and Uhura do have a few lines of interchange before they talk about Kirk hiding under the bed. It’s about school work or.. the invasion or something, but it does count! The other named women are the main men’s mothers and both are tragic figures who are just shown in relation to their husbands or sons, so… it’s really only Uhura who’s the awesome character, she has lots of great lines and moments. Just imagine how great it would be if there was another awesome woman on the crew who she could work with. I know they couldn’t replace the main people (I mean, they could absolutely but they never would) but there are lots of side characters available.

Best line:

Lt. Nyota Uhura: What?
Kirk: …and was the ship walullaa?
Lt. Nyota Uhura: And was the ship… WHAT?
Kirk: [to McCoy] Whass happening to my mouth?
Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy: You got numb-tongue?
Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy: I can fix that!
[hurries off to find another hypospray]
Lt. Nyota Uhura: Was the ship what?
Kirk: Womulan!
Lt. Nyota Uhura: What? I…
Lt. Nyota Uhura: Romulan?
Kirk: Yeah!
Lt. Nyota Uhura: Yes!
Kirk: Yes?
[Bones injects him with another hypospray]
Kirk: ACK! ACK!
[trying to say ‘stop it’]

State of Mind: Yeah, it’s good fun but I do think the action sequences are a bit too long. I got bored in them again. I liked this a lot more at the movies where you can get lost in the spectacle. Even though we have a relatively large HD TV it’s easy to get distracted and stop paying attention in these bits.

Watched movie count