Things I Love Thursday

I had a really truly wonderful holiday in the Gold Coast with Anna. We went to so many theme parks, and it was so hot and we ate awesome food. It’s always good to be travelling with someone who’s bravery in the face of extreme roller coasters is of a similar level to your own, too 🙂

jennitalula hall of justice

Superhero!

Rides are one thing but stories are quite another, while I was away in the States I read The Shining and really enjoyed it and now I’m reading Dr Sleep which is the sequel and holy crow but I am loving it. Like, LOVING. I can’t wait to find out what happens, so I want to get this blog post finished…

Call me a glutton for freak outs but I do enjoy the No sleep reddit for creeptastic stories which *may* be true, as well.

Honourable Mentions: Lovely friends, funny stories from roleplaying games past, delicious dinners at Hummingbird, amazing cocktails at Hummingbird, snuggles, souvenir photos, soaks in hot spas after a long day of walking, laughing, crashing out and lovely wonderful friends.

Look at this amazing spinning chocolate cake !

I adore the angry resistance of the cat in this cat vs harness video

And for tunes, Hazard, a lovely 90s flashback for you from Richard Marx

and because Halloween is coming..

The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile
Directed by Frank Darabont
Written by Frank Darabont and Stephen King
(number 337)

I can’t remember when I first saw this movie, but I loved it straight off. There are two scenes I don’t particularly like to watch, sometimes when I watch it I skip those scenes… but otherwise I enjoy it. There are loveable characters with terrible things happening to them, the film is Darabont green and gold palette, and so beautifully shot.

Tom Hanks harnesses his extreme likeable nature and charisma to portray the head of a prison where condemned men are sent to be killed. He is a man going a terrible job but trying to do it best he can, honestly and kindly while struggling with what it means when the man who actually wants to die doesn’t deserve it.

Stephen King’s story of course, has an element of the supernatural and it’s handled slowly and elegantly. In fact it’s not even hinted at until 40 ish minutes in, when John Coffey does his first miracle. What would it look like if Jesus came back to Earth? The story hints at but never specifically claims this, of course. But coming back as a black man in thirties Southern America isn’t a good way to survive I guess.

I’m not a religious person, but I do love stories that play with religious ideas or put them into other settings. One of the excellent books on my shelf deals with the question ‘what if God was a lazy teenage boy?’

So I find this story fascinating. It’s about the miracles and healings and what if there’s someone with a bigger plan and the way that power uses people for his own means is kind of shit, and what does that mean for the ordinary people who encounter those who are ‘blessed’?

Does it make me love the people? Oh yes. With the exception of the few genuinely evil characters that Stephen King always puts in there. Percy. Percy is the worst kind of bully, one full of self righteous privilege, a mean streak and in a position of power over other people.

Bechdel test: No. Another one of these movies which is just about men and men talking to men. The women are just wives, and even then there’re only two of them. Even the mouse is a Mister.

Best lines:

Arlen Bitterbuck: Do you believe that if a man repents enough for what he done wrong, than he’ll get to go back to the time that was happiest for him and live there forever? Could that be what heaven’s like?

Melinda Moores: I dreamed of you. I dreamed you were wandering in the dark, and so was I. We found each other. We found each other in the dark.

John Coffey: People hurt the ones they love. That’s how it is all around the world.

State of Mind: Ouch. I love this film, but ouch. Heartbreaking

Stand By Me (1986)

Stand by Me
Directed by Rob Reiner
(number 75)

I remember my sister watching this film when I was a kid and how I saw two scenes that freaked me out. One was the story about Lard Ass and all the vomiting of blueberry pie and one was the scene with the swamp full of leeches. I was looking forward to watching this again – although didn’t expect t be watching it quite this soon.

Anna, Ellen, Blair and I went to the drive in movies to see 10 Things I hate About You but sadly there were technical difficulties. In the end they had a ‘honk off’ for the audience to choose between Grease and Stand By Me and Stand By Me won.

We had some issues with our radio not picking up the sound, but they were playing it loud enough outside that it was all good. I think I missed a couple lines, but not too many. I have to say I really enjoyed this. The barfing scene wasn’t nearly as gross as I’d thought it was as a kid and the leech bit gave me a weird feeling but it was over quickly. I was also surprised by the end, because I thought one of the kids got killed and they didn’t – except for in the epilogue.

What most impressed me about this movie was the performance of tiny babies Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix and Corey Feldman and OH HOLY FUCK JERRY O’CONNELL! Holy crap I didn’t realise it was him. HOLY CRAP.

I remembered reading on TV tropes about the enforced method acting things Rob Reiner did to the kids to get great performances, but I don’t know how much of that is true, really but it was in my head when I saw the scenes with the boys crying, and the tension between the main boys and the older, mean gang of kids led by Kiefer Sutherland.

I enjoyed the silly conversations, the landscape, and the small(ish) nature of the crises. It idealises the age of 12 where you’re not yet responsible for anything much, but you’re aware of the world and the people around you. The cruelty of your friends as well as the unwavering dedication. That said, it’s a totally male film. Around this age, girls (in my experience) tend to get insecure and catty about each other, with best friends changing around week to week. It’s hard to think of a similar kind of film to this with female characters, but then again I guess there aren’t really any other films like this one. Or maybe I’m just forgetting them.

It made me want to play Grace again. To explore that feeling. I suspect I’ll be watching this film again.

Does it make me love the people? If there’s a thing Rob Reiner can do, it’s make you love the characters.

Bechdel test: Nah, the only speaking women in the movie are moms and only called that. This is a movie about boys being boys and other boys being nasty boys and grown up men mostly being nasty as well. Is it because it’s set in the late fifties, or is it just a male story?

Best line:

Gordie: Do you think I’m weird?
Chris: Definitely.
Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird?
Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody’s weird.

and for the lulz:
Vern: There’s one thing I didn’t understand. Did Lardass have to pay to get in the contest?

State of Mind: A bit sad, a bit introspective and a lot entertained.