Thursday, November 25, 2010

In The Future, We Will All Be Heroes

THIS IS NOT TODAY's lunch. Today is Thanks-giving, which means lunch will be variable and sporadic. It's also no longer my birthday, for which the Wifey and I went to Mac's Speed Shop, the best local barbeque joint, and I had a rack of ribs, half or which I brought home for precisely this reason.

Chinese dumplings and ribs. It doesn't get a whole hell of alot better than this.

The movie of the day isn't Iron Man 2. We watched this last weekend while the Wifey had Chinese food and I had chicken fried steak with eggs and home fries. Yeah. It made every bit as much coherent, cohesive sense as the movie. Of course, then, if you consider the source material, there's no end of ways this could have gone horribly, horribly wrong, so it's pretty much a mark of honor that they made it through two hours of story telling without the thing going completely off the rails-- which, dear readers, if, in your judgement, it did, I would not dispute you. But we leap-frogged over at least a half dozen glaring logical gaps easily enough to view the thing to completion without much tribulation. The three worst things about it were also the best: the acting, the plotting, and the CGI effects.

The acting: Sam Rockwell and Gary Shandling make for VERY convincing assholes. Excellent acting, guys. Please go the fuck away.

The plotting: Every single bit of the overstuffed plot was, in some way, reasonable. So nothing in this overstuffed bullshit burrito could be arguably cut wihtout damaging the overall plot arc. Translation: we're goddamned lucky it wasn't THREE hours long.

CGI: I have no clue where to start. Suffice it to say that, as a fan of F1 racing, within about two minutes of the Grand Prix sequence, I observed "F1 cars don't spin out their tires like that,*" --producing clouds of smoke like a NASCAR (boring) or IHRA drag racer (boring and nasty) would, for no goddamned good reason at all, and "Yep-- that's definitely Monaco they CGI'd all those cars into." It was so beautifully faked it was disgusting. And then there were thos damned electrical whips on Mickey Rourke's arms, which alternately sliced through steel and were grappled like lariats, both utterly believably. Great stupid effects.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

*And the only car that spun out its tires was Tony Stark's. Weird.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Battle Of Chili-Cheese Hill

SO HOW THE HELL is it this is the only picture I have of chili cheese tots?

You may have already guessed that this is not the lunch of the day. This is the lunch of last January 10th, or so says the info log tag that popped up when I buzzed the image with my cursor. Today's lunch was alot like this, only slightly prettier. (The lunch of the day pics have been suspended temporarily, as my sister-in-law borrowed the camera to take Halloween pics of her kids, and we haven't got the thing back yet.) Today's lunch also included a selection from Saranac's winter variety pack, a vanilla stout. Based solely on that, I can say, wholeheartedly: if you get Sara in your area, do. I followed it with the Sara IPA, which was just ludicrous, but went down well enough anyways.

The not the movie of the day, well, I guess it wasn't a movie to begin with. I did see it the first time around, on HBO, one hour a week. Today, in honor of Veterans' Day, HBO is showing the entire series, back to back, all day long. And while I could-- was going to-- write about why the Band of Brothers series was better--a more compelling narrative structure, more coherent source work, a clearer through line of history-- and while I could-- and was going to-- explain why that was not a fault of the series-- the nature of the war in the Pacific Theater, for soldier and sailor alike, was more chaotic, less episodic, and more obscenely punishing-- and while I could-- and was going to-- write about how I had to start watching other things after about three and a half fairly solid hours of this, it dawned on me the HBO is airing this ten-part, ten-hour-long series, back to back, in its brutal entirety, as a run up to the premier of its new feature Wartorn: 1861-2010.

Which is about battle fatigue and post traumatic stress syndrome. On some level, that's just inappropriate.

And I don't know if it makes it worse or not, but following that: HBO First Look: 127 Hours.

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