When I decided to take today off work (I have a lot of extra work hours built up from my business trip last week) I knew I wanted to go see a movie. So after I got home from Disneyland this afternoon I immediately drove to the theater (got there just in time for the previews to start), bought a ticket for “Ant-Man,” and really enjoyed it! However, my first movie choice was “Terminator Genisys,” but it’s not playing at anywhere nearby. It’s probably for the best. This latest installment in the Terminator franchise got terrible reviews, which is disappointing because I love Terminator movies. But I might have regretted paying the ridiculous ticket price to see “Terminator Genisys.” Luckily “Ant-Man” was great. It’s no secret that I have a deep seated love for Marvel movies, and this one only reaffirmed my feelings. And it set up “Captain America: Civil War” (which I’ve read is going to be more like Avengers 2.5) in the post credits scene so I loved that. I’ll just have to wait until next summer to see it! For now I’ll have to be satisfied with “Fantastic Four” which comes out this week. It’s a great summer for superhero movies!
And now for something a little lighter! Do you remember the awful “Daredevil” movie that was released back in 2003? The one starring Ben Affleck? When I was in grad school my ex-husband (boyfriend at the time) and I went to see it on Valentine’s Day, the day it premiered. I honestly don’t remember much about the movie, but it definitely wasn’t good. Not the best way to spend Valentine’s Day, that’s for sure! But looking back, I realize that the movie might have been a little ahead of its time. Superhero movies are box office juggernauts these days, as evidence by the hugely popular string of Marvel blockbusters over the last few years. (DC Comics wishes they could compete!) I seem to remember that the first Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” movie was very successful back in 2002 (followed by two slightly less popular sequels), but I think it was the exception at the time. It seems like it wasn’t until the first “Iron Man” movie was released in 2008 that the superhero craze really penetrated the theatrical mainstream. If the Daredevil movie had waited a few years it might have been more warmly received. (Well, maybe. I should watch the movie again and see if it holds up at all.) Marvel isn’t one to give up a franchise under any circumstances, though. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found out that Netflix is launching a new “Daredevil” series on April 10th! I’m really looking forward to it. Not that I need any new programs to watch, but good television (even web-based) is hard to find. As far as superhero shows go, I watch “Agents of SHIELD” and “Agent Carter,” and I’ve been watching the first couple of seasons of “Arrow” on Netflix. If “Daredevil” turns out to be a good show I’ll gladly find time for it in my already packed viewing schedule. All of this undermines my “less screen time” New Year’s resolution #2, but who cares?
I started this blog post about a month ago, and at the time I thought I was doing a terrible job of familiarizing myself with this year’s the Academy Award nominated movies. But as of the beginning of the ceremony this evening I realize that I’m actually not that poorly versed. I’ve seen five of the eight Best Picture nominees, as well as some of the movies that just have actors or actresses nominated. I even watched one of the foregin language films thanks to Netflix Instant. Strangely enough, I haven’t seen a single one of the animated picture nominees. That might be a first. I still want to see “American Sniper,” “Whiplash,” and “Selma” at some point, but I think I’m fairly prepared to watch the Oscars tonight. It should be fun!
“The Hobbit” (seen on 12/25)
“Into the Woods” (seen on 12/27)
“Boyhood” (seen on 1/25)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” (seen on 1/26)
“Ida” (seen on 1/28)
“The Lego Movie” (seen on 1/30)
“The Imitation Game” (seen on 2/14)
“Gone Girl” (seen on 2/16)
“The Theory of Everything” (seen on 2/18)
“St. Vincent” (seen on 2/19)
“The Judge” (seen on 2/20)
“Birdman” (seen on 2/21)
“I am a big fan of Disney Broadway musicals so I picked up a copy of the new Tarzan soundtrack at Target the other day. At first I was disappointed because, unlike other Disney shows, it didn’t seem to have a particular song that caught my attention. The Lion King has ‘Endless Night’ and Beauty and the Beast has ‘If I Can’t Love Her,’ both fantastic songs that I listen to over and over again. Then today as I was listening to ‘For the First Time’ I got goosebumps and realized I had found the song I was looking for.”
9/29/06 webpage post
The first of this year’s Academy Awards nominees I saw was “Into the Woods.” (Technically it was “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on Christmas Day, but that doesn’t really count since it was only nominated for sound editing. How the mighty have fallen.) My parents and I went to see “Into the Woods” on December 27th. Being a huge fan of musicals in general I thought I was going to love it. I was wrong. Maybe I didn’t enjoy it because I’ve never seen the play before (how is that possible?) and I’m not familiar with the score, but something about the movie just didn’t hold my interest. None of the characters were particularly likeable, and none of the songs gave me goosebumps like I wanted them to. When I saw “Les Miserables” on Broadway in 1996 something magical happened. The first time I heard “On My Own” I was entranced. I couldn’t stop thinking about that song. I bought the soundtrack as soon as I got home from New York and I listened to it constantly for a while. It was fantastic. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything like that in “Into the Woods.” On the other hand, last week I popped the “Newsies” soundtrack into my car’s CD player and it reminded me why I love that movie so much. (Not just because it has Christian Bale and Bill Pullman either!) The songs just make me so happy that I can’t help but smile. I can listen to the soundtrack over and over and sing every song at the top of my lungs. That’s what musicals should do. They should stir up your emotions until you can’t help but sing along. It’s just a shame that “Into the Woods” didn’t have that quality.
Tonight I celebrated Valentine’s Day in a somewhat unorthodox manner by going to see “The Imitation Game.” Strangely, it’s actually the first of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees that I’ve seen in the theater. I realize I’m way behind where I was this time last year, but I’ve got plans to see a few more of the Oscar nominated movies before next weekend. But anyway, I figured “The Imitation Game” was one of the most anti-Valentine’s Day film offerings, and therefore perfect for the evening’s entertainment. And it was amazing. It excited my mind. I’m going to say something a little crass, but for an engineer like me “The Imitation Game” was like porn. It lit up parts of my brain that are dormant a majority of the time. Those neural pathways usually only kick in to gear when major problems present themselves at work. I have a little bit of experience tackling crazy problems, sometimes even under very restrictive time constraints. Nothing like the elaborate encryptions that Alan Turing’s team was struggling with, but I think I have some idea of their work process. And I’m in awe of it. Based on my admittedly short career in the aerospace industry, I know what it’s like to work with a limited set of tools to try and solve a complex puzzle. It’s like trying to perform surgery with a spoon. You learn to be creative in ways your college courses didn’t even begin to teach you. You invent new paradigms when you have to. Learning on the job becomes trial by fire sometimes. It’s a humbling experience and it makes me realize just how amazing an achievement it was to break the WWII codes. While watching the movie I started thinking about how I might start attacking something like Enigma. My brain doesn’t work on anywhere near the level of the folks depicted in “The Imitation Game,” but I probably could come up with a rough framework for where to start. I’m no mathematician, but that didn’t keep me from comprehending the remarkable work of Alan Turing and his colleagues. I just hope my scientific brain helped me appreciate it a little more than the average viewer.
P.S. While I really enjoyed “Mockingjay, Part 1,” if you’re wondering to whether you should stay through the credits and see the scene at the end (which I verified via aftercredits.com before sitting through them myself), don’t bother. It’s not worth it. There’s no worthwhile content at all and I was really disappointed!
Last night I decided to go for a run. Since I was still feeling fairly sick I didn’t know if it was a good idea or not, but I was unwilling to miss more than one training run with the half marathon right around the corner. (And I missed out on watching the “Doctor Who” series 8 premiere live, but I figured the run was worth it.) As I got started I told myself that I could stop and walk at any point if I didn’t feel right. The last thing I wanted to do was exacerbate my illness. I was a little worried when I got started because my throat felt tight, but otherwise I felt great! Better than I’d felt running in a long time. What a relief! It was one of those rare times when I felt like I could run forever. I finished 4 miles without stopping, which is unusual for me, and I didn’t really want to stop! If I feel anywhere near that good next Sunday (one week from now – eek!) then I’ll be in good shape.
Besides my last few training runs, I’ve got a few other Disneyland Half Marathon preparations in progress. This afternoon I started cleaning my apartment in anticipation of my parent’s arrival on Wednesday. My bathroom is now spotless. I’ll finish cleaning everything else over the next two evenings, along with washing a load of towels at the laundromat. Really exciting stuff, huh? But I didn’t spend my entire day doing chores. This morning I finally went to see “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and then I came home and watched the “Doctor Who” premiere. The movie was a lot of fun (but not as good as the last few Marvel movies I’ve seen), and I really enjoyed Doctor Who. It was a great introduction to Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, and I can’t wait for the rest of the season. But now it’s time for me to start getting ready for bed. It’s going to be another crazy week at work, but at least my cold is improving. Only one more week until the half marathon!