July 29th, 2013


Two Sequels and Two Terrible Movies

While I was in San Diego, I took an afternoon when there was nothing interesting going on at my conference to go see a movie over at the mall. It was mostly a matter of "what's semi-interesting, starting soon, and doesn't have 3-D/IMAX tax on it", so I saw Monsters University. It was... enh, y'know. I mean, it was fine. I was entertained by it, and I didn't feel like I wasted my time or my money. But despite having a relatively novel message about actually, maybe you can't accomplish anything if you just believe in yourself, it felt very by-the-numbers. I didn't find that it was actually full-on predictable, but there weren't really any bits of the story that I was surprised by when they happened.

By contrast, a week ago Saturday, after a trip to Ikea to look at couches, Monkey and I saw Despicable Me 2, which I enjoyed quite a bit more. It's also very much a sequel, to the point that I think it might be a little confusing if you hadn't seen the first one, but aside from the highest-level arcs (of course the bad guy will be defeated, etc.) I found it not at all predictable. Maybe because it's much more of an overt comedy, but there were plenty-plenty of things in it that I just did not see coming. (And the things that are a little telegraphed are usually in service of a brick joke.) It was also a lot more willing to go for slapstick physical comedy (and it's animated, so why would you not?) and did a good job of it. Jerry was a little distracted by the bits that were aimed at 3D showings, but I hardly noticed them.

On the terrible movie front, a week ago Sunday, David Verdun came over and showed us The Swarm, which is a '70s disaster movie about KILLER BEES! I'm no expert in the genre, but I think the way it unfolds is pretty standard for a disaster flick. The funny thing is that, well, really, it's just bees. They can't sting that many people to death directly. So the movie has to start piling up these absurd convolutions to boost its death toll, and the fun is in seeing how it manages to use the bees as an excuse to kill people off with vehicle crashes and explosions and so on. Also, there are giant hallucinatory bees. So that was fun. (Cautionary note: Jerry & David played the drinking game where you drink whenever somebody dies, and their livers were quite sad afterwards.)

And then, what, two weeks ago? Douglas came over and we inflicted The Apple upon him. And he was suitably appalled and amused and is now trying to get other people to watch it, too. Yes! A fellow convert! (I... may have downloaded the soundtrack in the aftermath. I'm kind of distressed by how catchy I find a lot of the songs.) It's just so... what the hell IS this?!? Anyway, he enjoyed watching it, and we enjoyed him watching it, and we all had a lovely and delightful time.