Three sentence movie reviews: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The suspicion I developed while catching up with Alden Ehrenreich’s oeuvre prior to the release of this film was confirmed: Erinrich is a little too stiff to properly carry off a young Han Solo. That unfortunate fact aside, I enjoyed the standard adventure plot of this movie. I think the interesting parts of this story–L3-37 and Qi-ra*–were unfortunately overlooked, which made for a movie that wasn’t quite as awesome as it could be.

Cost: $5.35
Where watched: Regal City Center Stadium 12 (after attempting to watch it at McMenamins St. Johns Theater, an attempt that was thwarted by a broken projector. The nice part about living in Portland, the land of the many movie theaters, is that we had our admission refunded and headed for another theater. We even stopped along the way to buy supplies for the yard rehab project.)

*When someone says, “I’ve done terrible things!” more than once, that is the plot I’m interested in. What terrible things has she done? Are they really that bad? Has she really done terrible things, or has she just moved on from this relationship? Does she plan on continuing doing terrible things in the future?  I would be interested in watching the reveal of all of these things.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2018/solo_a_star_wars_story.html

Backyard progress: the end of grading

When we finished the side yard, I had the happy thought that we wouldn’t have to do all the dreadful digging when we renovated the backyard. That wasn’t entirely true. The four inches of dirt we excavated from the side yard ended up in a pile in the backyard, and so we did dig for the back yard project. In this case, it was digging to move dirt around, which is slightly less taxing than excavating.

Here’s what things looked like early on. You can see the dirt mound at the apex of the yard. That had to be smoothed out. In grading the yard, we ended up adding dirt to the part of the yard nearest the house and taking it away from the part farthest from the house. The added dirt came from the mound. Plus, there was the excavating of asparagus roots. That was full-on hard digging.

But look!  We have finished. Matt stands where the mound used to be!

From the other end of the yard. You can see how we had to pile up the dirt near the point of our triangle in order to excavate it to the proper depth. You can also see the piece of plywood that served as our tamper. Plywood and body weight does the trick.

You can also see that the asparagus crowns have taken hold.

Here is our “mothership” stake. That was the stake most likely to not be disturbed, so we measured from it to find our proper grade.

I’m happy to have gotten through this phase of the project.

Three sentence movie reviews: Tully

Hoo-boy can Diablo Cody write mundane normal life in a way that is both interesting and realistic. I loved that this movie easily could have had a villain–checked out husband Mark Duplass–but there wasn’t because he wasn’t the bad guy, there is no bad guy, there’s just life. Charlize Theron is her usual excellent self, and I loved watching the relationship between Theron and Tully (Mackenzie Davis) develop over the course of the movie.

Cost: $6.00
Where watched: Laurelhurst by myself, which was too bad because it’s one to discuss afterward.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2018/tully.html

Three sentence movie reviews: Molly’s Game

Sorkin brings the dialogue, as he is wont to, and Chastain and Elba bring the sizzle, as they are known for. I’m a fan of a steely woman, some bad choices and a conundrum or two, so this movie worked for me. As usual, the “based on a true story” aspect was annoying* though there was Michael Cera as a skeevy actor/poker player, so that was fun.

Cost: $1.50 via Redbox
Where watched: at home with Matt, who tried to resist Sorkin’s dialogue, but was pulled in by the first scene.

*It distracts me because I find myself wondering just how much of it was real.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2017/mollys_game_ver3.html

A Royal Wedding


Rising too early has been a thing this spring. Waking up at 3 or 3:30 happens on most days of the week. Extreme morning lark, that’s me. No need to wait until old age to start that phenomenon.  Massive bummer.  However, it did come in handy in the case of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Up at 3:30 to see the last of the guests arrive and in plenty of time for the 4 am start?  No problem!

Plus, I painted my toenails, which was a good use of my time.

It was a very nice wedding (I watched the coverage on PBS) though around about the time the sermon started I had the realization that I’d gotten up at 3:30 in the morning to attend church.

SKS postcard: diorama part III


Sara wrote this on 5/13/18 which she pointed out is 5+13=18. She often does fun things with dates, which is left over from her time as a classroom teacher.

This is the last of the creepy diorama postcards from New York City and I find this one to be less creepy, possibly due to the character’s face turned away, and the red hue. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to be learning from this diorama though. Photo developing in a pre-digital era?  I’m already familiar with that, having taken photography in ninth grade, but perhaps people younger than me wouldn’t be.

Three sentence movie reviews: Bunheads

Recommended by one-half of the Cube Critics, I started watching because I enjoy the rat-a-tat dialogue of Amy Sherman-Palladino but do not have the time to watch 150+ episodes of the Gilmore Girls. This has some annoying TV things–continuity from episode to episode; sometimes the characters can feel very one note–but every episode has funny lines, an engaging hook and–my favorite–includes a choreographed dance number.*  It’s too bad that this only ran for 18 episodes, but they are a fun and interesting 18 episodes.

Cost: free via Freeform (I got to once again experience the fun TV-watching exercise of muting the commercials. There were five of them and they played repeatedly. )
Where watched: at home

*There are also three generations of characters (teenagers, 30-something, woman of a certain age) and I enjoyed seeing a variety of older actresses rotate through as minor characters.  I suspect many of them regularly turn up in Sherman-Palladino ventures.

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/tv/bunheads_ver2.html

Three sentence movie reviews: Before We Go

Chris Evans’ directing debut* that will be of interest to everyone who likes Before Sunrise-esque movies.  In this case, Evans is in town for a big audition (he plays trumpet) and Eve has just missed the last New York-to-Boston train. While this movie has been done, the performances were engaging, the mechanization keeping the actors together felt real and overall, this was a nice film for a Sunday afternoon.

Cost: free from Netflix
Where watched: at home

*DVD extras have a quote from Evans that says something like: “My first time directing, I figured, why not make it easier and only have two people in it?”

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2015/before_we_go.html