Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Coco, Goats, Scrooge, Fourth, Box, Party, Duck

It was a busy week. I went to a very good party (Juli M's Annual Harvest Party (TM)), dealt with this year's ton of leaves, got a new boat, and saw five movies...

Movies first:

"Coco Before Chanel" is a solid biopic that suffers a bit from the dreary pacing that is common in European dramas. Still, the subject matter was fascinating, and the characters (and the cast) were good. One of the key events was foreshadowed to death, which made us giggle a bit. (When you go into a biopic with no idea of the history, and can predict a major event due to foreshadowing, it's WAY too heavy handed.)

"Men Who Stare at Goats" is wonderful, funny and mildly surreal without being incoherent. OF COURSE the US government has spent a fair amount of shadow budget money on developing psychic weapons, and no one will ever get a straight answer as to the efficacy of the program. Given that, the actual plot of the movie is an amusing game of "might have been."

"A Christmas Carol" is sometimes VERY good, and sometimes really lame (influenced, once again, by the need to justify 3D technology). I don't regret seeing it, but you would do just as well to watch one of the live action versions.

"The Fourth Kind" is a pretty routine alien abduction story, with some moderately clever fraudulent "evidence" included in the hope of convincing the audience that this actually happened. The technique of overlaying "archival" footage with "dramatic" footage is often obnoxious but interesting none the less. Like "Cloverfield", this movie tries to make a thin story more than it is through technique, and I think it succeeds.

"The Box" tells two parallel stories. One is the tale of a couple who are placed in a bizarre and sinister situation, and their efforts to find a path through it; the other is the story behind the bizarre and sinister situation. The first story works moderately well, the suffers from excessive stretching. This would have been a pretty good "Twilight Zone" episode; it would have worked well in 40-odd minutes. At 116 minutes, it is more than a little dreary.

On Monday, I got up (relatively) early and built a platform out of two by fours that would extend the RAV's 24 by 30 inch car top carrier to be able to carry a four foot by eight foot boat. Once it was done, I drove down to Chicago to pick up Puddle Duck Racer #326; the builder had used it for one year, and was giving it away to make room for his next project. Since I have wanted a Puddle Duck for five years, and have pretty much despaired of building one myself, this was a great opportunity. Loading and carrying the boat was no big deal; the fifteen foot mast made me a bit nervous. Puddle Duck adventures next year! Rah!

Oh, the party: Since we generally only get invited to one party a year, it is good that it is one that we actually look forward to attending, and has yet to disappoint. I had opportunities to sample a couple of varieties of home brewed mead, and one of home brewed (hard) cider, but I turned them down. ("I've been drinking warm Coca-cola. I have a palette that is as sensitive as shoe leather. I would love to try some, but honestly, save it for someone who can appreciate it.") Sigh.

Uncle Hyena
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