Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Funeral, Party, John, Paris, Percy, Valentine, Wolf, Shutter, and Stuff

Big news first: We waked my mother for six hours on Sunday, and buried her on Monday, followed by the traditional post-burial dinner. Wakes are often pretty good parties if you can manage to ignore the corpse; this one certainly was. My parents have acquired MANY friends over the years, and they showed up in droves. I had a chance to visit with people from every interval of our family history, all the way back to my parents marriage in 1951. It was wonderful, except... Yeah. The funeral was as expected; I was amused by the fact that, of the ten people who addressed the gathering, the FOUR professional clergy were the least gifted public speakers. The post-burial dinner was mostly more family stories; my dad re-told the story of how he faked eloping with my mother, once upon a time (a trick for which my mom's step-mother never forgave him).

On Saturday evening, I went to Nikki's annual house party; Dementia begged off, on the premise that she really couldn't handle a party and a wake in the same 24 hours. In the course of the usual conversational meanders, I was involved is discussions of the fact that the ancient Greeks had no concept of color, and the Great English Vowel Shift. Good times.

On to movies (There were lots; movies are really good places to hide from the noises in your head.):

"Dear John" is the least depressing movie ever based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. That isn't saying much. The characters were engaging, though, and my minimal expectations were exceeded by a bit.

"From Paris with Love" is an unhinged caper movie in the style of Guy Ritchey. I enjoyed it a great deal.

"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" is effects heavy contemporary fantasy. It isn't brilliant, but is it a lot of fun. I saw it twice.

"Valentine's Day" is an ensemble romantic comedy, very much in the style of "Love, Actually". "Love, Actually" is a better movie, but "Valentine's Day" is in the theater at the moment, and is pretty damned good.

"The Wolfman" is Victorian horror, sort of a remake of the 1941 Lon Chaney,Jr., piece. It is kind of flat, which is a shame; we had been looking forward to it.

"Shutter Island" is a misdirection thriller. I suspect that I enjoyed it a great deal more than it deserved due to my frame of mind. I will say that I liked it better than "The Departed", but then, I LOATHED "The Departed."

I also finally made the effort to see "Avatar" in 3D, and can say with some authority that the 2D version is a better movie. The 3D glasses damage the brightness and color of the film, and for every scene where the 3D effects add something, there are at least two where they just generate visual noise. I'll say it again: 3D was a silly gimmick in 1954, and it remains so.

Finally, a bit of foolishness: I found myself in possession of a list of every movie that our "home" theater, Tinseltown in Kenosha, showed in 2009. There are 149 films on it; I missed FIVE: "Nine" (the musical), "Bride Wars", "My Sister's Keeper", "X-Games", and "Not Easily Broken". "Nine" and "X-Games" were missed by luck of the draw (there was always something else I wanted to see more), but I wouldn't have watched the other three unless I were paid VERY well to do so.

Uncle Hyena
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