"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is the new movie set in the world of Harry Potter. I loved Harry Potter in general, five of the books, five of the movies, and several of the characters in specific. But the world was not fundamentally robust, and was pushed beyond its design limits by the time the series ended. This movie exacerbates that. The characters are decent, and the performances are good, but the plot is weak and the pacing is pretty much awful. And then there is the fact that more large special effects shots were shoe-horned into the film than the plot would support. This is not an awful movie; we enjoyed it. But the Harry Potter franchise became what it was by virtue of froth and charm, both of which declined as the story grew darker. This movie slams into that conflict; it shuffles between a very dark main plot and animal based slapstick, and is kind of a mess.
"The Edge of Seventeen" is being marketed as a top tier teenage coming of age comedy. It isn't. The cast and performances are good, but the script is deeply flawed. Hailee Steinfeld is too pretty for her part as written, and her character is too damaged and hateful to function as the center of a movie of this type. We didn't actually dislike this movie, but we didn't like it all that much, either.
"Moana" is a lot of fun. It could be more. There are echoes of real mythological magic, but they never really materialize. The sailing footage almost breaks through the screen to become authentically exciting, but never quite gets there. All around, there is a heartbreaking lack of attention to detail that makes it clear that, while this movie is very pleasant, it could have been brilliant, but it isn't.
I visited my dad for the first time since his party on the 22nd; little has changed. He is still always himself, but he seems to be just half a tick slower every time I see him.
Thanksgiving dinner, after a double feature, consisted of roasting hot dogs over an open fire. Nothing against turkey, but I liked this meal at least as well, and it was a LOT less work.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving I dropped in on the 6th anniversary party at Lake Geneva Games, played a game of Marvel Comics Munchkin. Good times.
Tuesday was Dementia's birthday; we saw a movie, and then had Chinese food. (We lead such exciting lives.)
Yesterday I finished a VERY short story that I have been hacking at for a while; it is built around a bit of world building, and I finally managed to hang a plot onto it: http://unclehyena.livejournal.com/395228.html
Today, I was psyched to spend some time on the rowing machine, in the hope of logging five km every day in December. The rowing machine didn't cooperate; resistance on this machine is provided by a water tank, which developed a leak while I was rowing. A repair kit is on the way, but that five km goal is going to get difficult...