"Lee Daniels The Butler" is a very cool story that nearly drowns in its own pretense. That is, the movie pretty much screams in every shot that, "This is an IMPORTANT movie." The cast and the performances are great, though, and it pretty much transcends the foolishness, at least until you look up the details and realize that the story is almost entirely whole cloth.
"The Grandmaster" is a semi-fictional biography of Ip Man, the Wing Chung master who was Bruce Lee's first Kung Fu instructor. It's a good story, though the production is at least as concerned with beautiful and lyrical cinematography as it is with telling the story.
"Riddick" is yet another chapter in the improbable life of Vin Diesel's favorite alter-ego. It is incredibly violent, kind of dumb, and a lot of fun. We enjoyed it a great deal.
"Austenland" is a romantic comedy with a bizarre and interesting premise that almost, but not quite, loses its way going for cheap laughs. It all comes out in the end, and we enjoyed it, but there were a few spots along the way that I wish I could unsee.
"The Family" is a very funny, VERY dark comedy about professional criminals failing to adapt to being in witness protection. We liked it a great deal, but it is NOT for the faint of heart.
On September 15, we attended a live theater performance for the second Sunday in a row, bringing the number of such things we have seen since 2001 to... two. Not quite sure what forces are at work. This was "No Sex, Please, We're British" presented by Antioch's Palette, Masque, and Lyre theater company. It was a solid production of a weak but historically popular play. The theater itself was a great deal of fun, and we are going to try to get back there for a performance of "The Rocky Horror Show" in October.
On Tuesday, September 17, I went up to Kenosha and spent three and a half hours at the Tilted Kilt, getting better acquainted with server Randi, whom I first met back in May (and who distinguished herself by knowing that May 1 was Beltane) The restaurant was dead, and she spent most of the time I was there are my table, listening to lies and telling a few of her own. Good times.
Also on Tuesday, the nearly always quiescent chainsaw scar on my right thumb began to throb. I tried to think of anything that might have brought this on, but could think of nothing in my diet, the weather, or the environment that might have triggered it. Eventually I looked up the original injury, and learned that it had been eleven years TO THE DAY. Not sure what I think of that...