Home Again

Mar. 12th, 2017 11:21 pm
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I'm home from Dorsai Thing and really, really tired. But the conversation and singing were good. I even got to play a bit of the shard game in Ingress.

And we watched Moana tonight, which is an excellent film and seems to me like it should be on Hugo short lists.

Bed, though. Bed is acutely needed.
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We got up early enough today to get out and get lunch before heading to the movie theater where I went to see Rogue One while Gretchen took Katie and Julie to see Moana. This worked out well for both of us. I enjoyed Rogue One quite a bit and it was a movie that it was nice to see in 3D on the big screen. I'll catch Moana (which Gretchen and the girls enjoyed quite a bit) once it comes out on disc.

One of Katie's school assignments that began over break is to chart the phases of the moon, starting last Thursday. This has been mostly an exercise in futility due to low clouds for the last few days. But there was a moderate amount of blue sky this afternoon, so when we got home from the movie around 4 PM, I told Katie to wait in the driveway and we'd hunt out the moon if it could be found.

Well, let's see. It's about three or four days since the new moon. The sun is there, just behind the house across the street. So I pointed at it, then traced back 90 degrees by cocking my elbow so that I was pointing to where the half moon would be. So today the crescent moon should be just about halfway in between. I swung my hand back toward the sun, stopped, traced down toward the southern horizon...

And there, a bit more than halfway up the sky on the line I was running down, was a thin sliver of crescent moon that you could easily mistake for the cirrus clouds drifting around in the neighborhood -- except, of course, that the clouds were moving a good bit faster.

Obviously, all of the star piloting in Rogue One was rubbing off on me.

Movie Time

Dec. 28th, 2016 11:02 pm
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We headed off to the movies this afternoon with Sam and Bonnie. Sam, Gretchen, and I went to see the very last showing of Fantastic Beasts at this theater. Bonnie, Katie, and Julie went to see Sing.

I think Fantastic Beasts was fun, if a bit uneven. And I would like to see a magical government that isn't run by hacks and crooks at some point. Or maybe that is the point.

The girls report that Sing is wonderful. :)
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We went out to the movies today, with Gretchen taking the girls to see Trolls while I ducked into an adjacent theater to see Doctor Strange. This worked out well overall, as I am now prepared to explain all of the assorted Easter Eggs to Gretchen when we rent the film at some future date.

It is a sign of how much of a geek that I am that -- although Wong had mentioned it earlier in the film -- when Wong went into battle, I took one look at what he was holding and said to myself, "Ah! The Wand of Watoomb!"

I mean, recognizing the cloak of levitation is easy...
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We all went out this morning with Sam and Bonnie and caught an early matinee of The Secret Life of Pets, the new movie from Illumination Entertainment. It was a good couple of hours of mindless entertainment with only one part that caused Katie to bury her head in my shoulder so she didn't have to watch.

Given the state of the world, mindless entertainment looks pretty good.

Civil War

May. 14th, 2016 11:03 pm
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Given the mass cancellation of softball today, Gretchen gave me a pass to go out and see Captain America: Civil War today while she stayed home and watched the girls. As she reminded me, I owe her one. Likely a large one.

Mild spoilers inside the cut tag, but probably nothing that you couldn't glean from the trailers...
Yes, really. Spoilers. Little ones. )
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Via Instapundit, here's a fascinating article on the Hollywood special effects that you're not supposed to notice at all.

Star Wars

Dec. 21st, 2015 11:38 pm
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I snuck out and saw Star Wars after dinner tonight. Now Gretchen will have to see it tomorrow so we can talk about it. :)

Two non-spoilers:

  • John Williams continues to earn his money.
  • Someone is an enormous geek and must have the best agent in Hollywood.
  • billroper: (Default)
    Earlier this week, Gretchen and I pulled up "Singing in the Rain" on the DVR when we were looking for something entertaining to tide us over to the start of the new TV season. At one point or another, I noticed that Debbie Reynolds seemed to have a bit of a southern accent, so I pulled up a browser on my phone and discovered that she was born in El Paso, Texas, which I took as explaining the drawl.

    Having pulled up the article, I kept on reading it. I had been musing that Debbie Reynolds was pretty cute back then. And then I read that she had been just eighteen when the movie was filmed, which was in the pretty frighteningly young category. As in way too young to be musing about the cuteness of. :)

    And then I noticed her birth date. Which was in the early 1930s. Which makes her about the same age as my deceased mother.

    My brain hurts.

    There's a Heinlein novel in there somewhere... :)
    billroper: (Default)
    I got a pass from my lovely bride to go catch a late evening show of Ant-Man. I enjoyed it greatly. It was pretty much everything that an old Ant-Man fan might hope for. I suspect those less well-versed in the history of the MU will enjoy it too.

    High points:

  • Paul Rudd does a fine job as Scott Lang.
  • Michael Douglas does a fine job as an older Hank Pym.
  • Hank Pym does not get crapped on by the writers. (After what has happened in the MU over the years, this was in some doubt.)
  • I happened to catch a 3-D show. For this film, it was worth it. Some of the shots reminded me of the original Tron.
  • Yes, I am old. :)
  • Good script.
  • Good effects.
  • And a Hayley Atwell cameo.

    So what's not to like?
  • Inside Out

    Jun. 20th, 2015 09:05 pm
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    Katie and Julie had been agitating greatly to see Inside Out, so we headed to the theater for a matinee today. We enjoyed it a lot, although Julie found it very scary in parts, while Katie found it somewhat scary. After the movie, I was explaining to Katie that there was no reason to be afraid of clowns.

    "Unless they're carrying knives," I added.

    "Stop helping!" Gretchen replied.

    Later in the afternoon, we headed to the pool, where we swam around in light rain for some time until the lightning detector went off around 7 PM. There are now thunderstorms all around and some spectacular lightning.

    This was a fun day. It didn't get anything accomplished, but it was a fun day. :)
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    Not in that order.

    [livejournal.com profile] samwinolj and Bonnie came out and joined us for lunch at Steak and Shake followed by a trip across the mall to the theater where we watched the new Cinderella movie. This was preceded by the Frozen Fever short, which the girls may have liked better than the movie. :) But it was a nice expansion of the Cinderella story and we enjoyed it.

    Then we went home, cleaned out the van, and Sam, Bonnie, Katie, and I went out to Walmart to look for a new bicycle for Katie, as she's been working on outgrowing the previous bike for a while. After some indecision and discovering that the first bike that Katie liked really needed some serious adjustment of the hand brakes, I found a nice Schwinn model with both hand brakes and coaster brakes that filled the bill nicely. We also got a new helmet for Katie and bike locks for both girls, who seem intent on riding their bikes to school in the near future.

    We'll see how that goes. :)

    Later in the afternoon, I fired up the grill in honor of the arrival of spring and cooked fresh bratwurst and polish sausage. And in a surprise, I found sweet corn at the Jewel that looked decent, so we had that too.

    It was virtually summer...
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    Tonight was Movie Night over at Terrace and the students had voted to see Big Hero 6. Normally, we would have headed right over.

    But Uncle Jeff and Aunt Carol had just flown into town, so they came over for a lovely dinner. When they left to go crash, we watched the Big Hero 6 disk at home. And all was right with the world.

    I have to say that the short preceding the film, Feast, is one of my favorites. But I'm a sucker for dogs. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    Big Hero 6 arrived in the mail today, so we spent the evening watching it.

    It's still a fine film. :)
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    I have a plot for a movie that is free to anyone who would like to adopt it.

    It's a comic farce along the lines of The Producers, except that the protagonists here, rather than being a small struggling outfit, are the executives of a big, big film studio. At some point, in a fit of stupidity, they green lighted a movie with a couple of frequently bankable comic leads that revolved around their bumbling attempts to assassinate the leader of a Third World (or -- as some might suggest -- Fourth World) country.

    Well, the time came to screen the movie and it was horrid. It made Ishtar look like an Oscar winner.

    The studio was going to lose a ton of money and a great deal of face. They could just choose not to release the film, but then they'd end up taking a total loss on it. They'd bought insurance that would pay out if the movie wasn't completed or if it couldn't be screened due to some outside force not under the studio's control, of course, but insurance wasn't going to pay out just because the film was a giant turkey that was scheduled to arrive a bit too late for Thanksgiving, but just in time for Christmas.

    And then someone got a brilliant idea. They could hire some mid-level hacker with just enough skill to obscure the true situation and let him release a huge chunk of files that he'd gotten from "hacking" into the movie studio's computer systems. There'd have to be some actually embarrassing info embedded in there, but nothing too terrible.

    "So which would you rather do? Spend some time apologizing for mildly off-color humor or lose millions of dollars?"

    "I'm thinking. I'm thinking."

    Then the fake hacker could threaten to bomb theaters showing the film -- just following orders, of course. Naturally, theater chains wouldn't want the liability risk, so they'd drop the film en masse. And the studio could regretfully pull the film from distribution.

    So there they are, sitting in the executive offices, drinking champagne as they're congratulating themselves for having pulled this off and gotten the insurance money.

    When everything falls apart -- because, of course, it has to.

    The fake hacker sees a YouTube video of the fans of the usually bankable comedy stars in tears over the fact that the film will never be released. And this touches him, so he drops all of the information about the hoax into the lap of the local U.S. attorney, the release timed for just after he has successfully fled with his share of the loot to a non-extradition country.

    And the studio execs are left holding the bag.

    So what do you think? Would some studio be interested in this? :)
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    [livejournal.com profile] harperjen, Phil, Maddie, and Katie are safely home and being greatly missed by little girls on this end of the Interstate. :)

    Tonight, we watched the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz, because that's one of the sets of music that Katie and Julie are dancing to in dance camp. It's been a while since I saw the movie, but it's still a lovely bit of work.
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    We went to see Muppets: Most Wanted with Katie, Julie, Sam, Bonnie, and Jerry today. The plot's a bit thin, but that's not unusual for a Muppet film. And everyone enjoyed it, so that's what counts. :)
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    The Frozen disc arrived via UPS while [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise was picking up Katie and Julie from school. I heard the doorbell ring, went down, picked up and opened the package, and took the contents upstairs.

    When Gretchen got home with the girls, they were quite disappointed not to see the disc in the mail. Katie came upstairs to let me know that it hadn't arrived. I handed her the disc.

    And there was much rejoicing.

    The disc is now playing... :)
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    We took Katie and Julie to movie night over at their school this evening. The feature, which the first grade had voted to see, was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. We'd seen the original film and I was rather skeptical about the space left for a sequel.

    Oh, I was so right. Understand that the dialog was a bit hard to follow in the auditorium, but this film was severely brain damaged, to the point where I leaned over to [livejournal.com profile] daisy_knotwise and told her, "I feel brain cells dying."

    It was your basic idiot plot, complete with a villain who is being villainous for no apparent reason. There were a few pretty Jurassic Park moments, but overall, this movie was a must-miss.


    The other choice that was voted down was Monsters University. Win some, lose some.
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    One of the things that my new cellphone does is pop up alerts for things it thinks I might be interested in based on things I've searched for. Many of these are useless, but I would not have known about the special showings of a sing-along version of Frozen if it hadn't dropped the notification on the Google Now page.

    So I took Katie and Julie there today. They had a wonderful time and sang along to everything. :)

    Sadly, it appears that I fed Katie a bit too much popcorn, as her tummy is really unhappy this evening, as the toilet in the girls' bathroom will attest to. *sigh*


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