"Moonrise Kingdom" is a Wes Anderson film, in the same sense that a Tim Burton film is that first and foremost, and whatever else it may be later. I spent a lot of time thinking about that comparison as I watched this film; both directors have distinctive palettes, and both fill their shots with unnecessary detail, and both fill their plots with improbably eccentric characters. But Burton is generally trying to find the soul in the dreary, and is genuinely fond of his characters, while Anderson is looking for the decay in the heartwarming, and seems to be constantly sneering. In this case, the central tale is rather delightful, and the (fictitious) setting is wonderful-- I want to go there-- but the Anderson touch still manages to make the whole thing kind of unpleasant.
"Brave" suffers from overly aggressive marketing. It IS a very solid animated fantasy adventure, but the trailers actually led me to hope it would be GREAT, and of course it is not. The material was there, but they put ALL of the really good stuff into the first act, and then THREW IT AWAY. I know that it isn't fair to chastise film makers for not making the movie *I* wanted, but... ::sigh::
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is a fun, dumb, monster movie. I was sort of hoping for more, but it wasn't a very committed hope. Still, the movie delivers exactly what it promises.
"Safety Not Guaranteed" is an incredibly quirky story about a would-be time traveler and a magazine reporter who gets sucked into the madness. It is charming and weird and delightful and no one will ever see it. It belongs on the shelf right next to "They Might Be Giants" (the movie from which the band drew its name), and that is high praise.
"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is, of necessity, bittersweet. It is hard not to be when you know that EVERYONE is going to die before the film is a minute old. Still, the story and the performances are wonderful, and the film is surprisingly hopeful for all of its melancholy.
So... Boating. Rowed two miles on Lake Andrea on Thursday, then four and a half miles on Sterling Lake on Sunday. Played Russian Roulette with the sunscreen both days, and lost big time on Sunday. I barbequed the inner surface of both shins, and even picked up a tiny second degree burn on my left ankle; I have never done THAT particular trick before. As a result, I have been somnambulating around the office lost in a haze of pain, pain-killers, and endorphins. Stupid, stupid stupid.
Finally, a really impressive bit of customer service: I have been patronizing Five Guys a lot lately, both in Gurnee and Libertyville, and since they share staff, they are getting to know me a bit. On Saturday, we stopped in Libertyville en route to the theater, very tight for time. They put cheese on my burger; Dementia said I should complain; I said there wasn't time, and that it really wasn't a problem. One of the employees heard the conversation. A few minutes later, the manager (who recognized me as something of a regular) came by the table, apologized for the error, and asked for our receipt. We game it to him, finished our meal, and were on our way out the door when rushed out to us and gave me another burger--prepared correctly, this time-- AND cash for the price of the burger. For a complaint we hadn't actually made. Now, that wonderful new burger ended up sitting on the floor of the van for about five hours, but was still pretty good when I finally got a chance to nuke it and eat it. Still... Wow.