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Sunday, June 17th, 2018
1:04 am - Coyote Cinema: Impulse
Impulse is the new 'teenager with super powers' show on YouTube Originals (previously YouTube Red). There are ten episodes, and while there is one slow moving episode in the middle, there is very little fat. It's good TV, and while there is one 'girl gets assaulted' scene, the way it and lots of things around it get handled makes me feel hope about changing sexist tropes in television.

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Wednesday, June 6th, 2018
10:24 pm - What I'm Watching
I'm kind of all over the map right now, books, tv, computer games, but I have recommendations on stuff I'm watching that's a cut above.

The Good Place.
If you're not already watching this, why the Hell not? It's Kirsten Bell and Ted Danson, and an amazingly funny D'Arcy Carden. A woman finds herself in heaven after a life that definitely should not lead her there, and tries to avoid getting found out. There's a lot of philosophy, which just makes it better. The second season has taken the first, given it half a twist, and made it even better.

Santa Clarita Diet.
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant are doing something very good with zombies and Southern California. Dark and funny, and it's good to see Nathan Fillion again. Liv Hewson as the surprisingly good teenage daughter. The gore factor is not insubstantial, so maybe not if you're squeamish.

3%
A Brazilian television show that starts out kind of Hunger Gamey Maze Runnerish and then kicks it up a notch. Bianca Comparato gives an excellent performance. Most everybody lives in a crapsack world. Everybody gets to apply for The Process when they turn twenty, and 3% of those who pass the test get to go live Offshore. And everybody's got secrets. First season, really really good. I'm not yet as in love with the second season, the tone changes a bit, but it's still good.

There. That should hold you for a while.

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Saturday, May 19th, 2018
1:32 am - Coyote Cinema: Disobedience
Discussion this afternoon:
"Want to go see a movie about Jewish Orthodox lesbians in love?"
"Where do I sign up?"

Movie pretty much does what it says on the tin, but as I ad libbed to a fellow moviegoer, much like Torah, this movie isn't about discovering new things, it's about examining what we already think we know. I have a certain weakness for requited but unfulfilled love, and for Rachel Weisz, and this movie brings the feels. There is no shortage. It also has a surprisingly (to me) mature resolution rather than the forced pat ending that more traditional movie makers might feel compelled to produce.

Four wags, and a bissel popcorn wouldn't hurt.

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Friday, March 9th, 2018
11:03 pm - Coyote Cinema: Wrinkle in Time (spoilers)
I went into this movie wanting to like it. And I put in some effort, but at first it felt like it wasn't willing to meet me halfway. The first part of the movie, after some nice work technically setting up Meg's character, consisted of a lot of the rough equivalent of minding a four year old child at Nieman-Marcus. Tug tug tug. "LOOK AT THIS!" Tug tug tug. "LOOK AT THIS!" And each of these shots was visually spectacular, but if you stack up sixteen or eighteen spectacular shots in a row with no real sense of meaning to them, they still all tend to blur together. The introduction of the Trinity and of Calvin showed the same sort of rushed good will. We were told we should like them, but not why.

And then we got to Camazotz. The scene with the instant forest was harrowing and I was actually concerned. There started being actual emotional stakes. They seemed kind of hand-wavey about Charles Wallace's conversion, but I give the actor props--he had a lot of weight to carry, especially as a child actor, and he toted that barge. And at the end, when you can't find Dad or Calvin, relax. They already tessered home or something. Which reminds me. For a place you theoretically can't tesser to, Camazotz really ought to set up a Tesseract Station for new arrivals. I had to Google the Miranda quote, but it amused me.

Four wags, with an opening night ticket.

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Friday, February 2nd, 2018
4:07 pm - More talking about depression.
I was talking with a friend about my behavior, and realized in retrospect that I was having a significant depressive episode over Thanksgiving. Which also hit me with how hard it is for me to recognize when it's happening, in the moment. I usually have to rely on exterior benchmarks, like how long ago did I last have a shower, when did I last see another human being, what's the state of my bedroom, or have I left the house in the past couple of days.

But inside? It's utter frog soup. The shift is incremental enough that I can't count on being able to detect it. Today was a little worse than yesterday, which was pretty much like the day before, &cet. And that's not acceptable, but I'm not sure what the solution is, except maybe start a graph, rating my days 0 to 10. Or asking myself at the end of the day "Is my soul a hollow fragile shell, barren and sterile, where nothing can grow? I mean, more than usual." It's a bit trickier because the past few years have been pretty low on average already, so there's not a lot of breathing room.

Theoretically the third act of the essay is where I wrap it all up, with a joke or some song lyrics or something that sounds sage and wise, but I guess I'm not to that stage yet in my life, so I'll just have to come back and fill this bit in later.

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Saturday, January 27th, 2018
11:59 pm
My head is a toxic waste dump. Nothing I do seems to change it.

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Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
4:34 pm - Penitent Coyote
I have once again fallen down on the task of keeping friends informed.
The biopsy says the tissue is haemmorhaghic, which I guess means at some point I fell down and skinned my lung. But it's benign, and that's the important thing. They want to do it again in six months 'just to be sure' but the last round of 'just being sure' cost me nearly $500, so I may politely nope out of that.

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Monday, December 25th, 2017
12:07 am - Coyote Cinema: The Shape of Water
The story starts out in the usual manner--a princess surrenders her voice for the chance to go somewhere new and find love. The fact that the movie takes place in 1961 Baltimore only assures you that Del Toro is telling the story. I enjoyed the movie, barring a couple of unfortunate plot holes or simply transforming them into a metaphor for something else in fairy tale style, but I was disappointed because I went in with high expectations. I was looking for something darker and more magical, more traditionally Del Toro. But this is one of the best Romance Cold War Espionage Fairy Tale Monster Movies I've ever seen. Four wags.

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Monday, December 18th, 2017
12:52 am - Coyote Cinema: Radius
I went into this blind--I'd read the description, and the concept was intriguing. There's this guy and he finds out that people who get within fifty feet of him die. That's a problem. Also apparently works on pigeons and goats, but not plants. Production values aren't great, and I think I could have out acted anybody on the bill, but they do some smart things and really only one super WTF moment toward the end. Speaking of endings, kudos to them on the only possible end.
Three wags, and a sense of satisfaction.

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Saturday, November 11th, 2017
1:54 am - Medical hijinx
I will talk it all out here, in one place, because I have not been good at keeping friends in the loop.

Cut for nattering about medical stuff, like old people seem inclined to do.Collapse )

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Sunday, October 22nd, 2017
10:29 pm - Unpopular Opinions
I am still not entirely comfortable with "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" in sexual harassment situations.

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Monday, October 16th, 2017
8:08 pm - Coyote Cinema: Bladerunner 2049
This is, no argument, a beautifully shot movie. It's dustier/hazier than the original, but of course they spend a lot of time heading out to the desert. There were lots of reflections from the original, but I couldn't tell if they had any thematic consequence or if they were just easter eggs. ("Nice dog. Is it real?" "Why don't you ask him?") And at the end of the film, nothing seems to really have changed. The viewer has caught up on the secret, but aside from the people (and AIs) who died, everybody seems pretty much in the same place they started from.

I expect to get some push back on this view, and am looking forward to it. I'd love for this movie to be more than bioluminescent sea foam frothily floating across the screen for three hours.

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Saturday, October 14th, 2017
1:53 am - Today's Troubles
And every time trump takes a sledgehammer swing to the ACA, bravely defending us from not dying and maybe Obama getting a scrap of credit from it, my stomach knots a little tighter and anxiety ratchets up another notch. And I think what the hell is going to happen to me next year? Especially if he manages to take out Medicare on his way through. But wondering about it, worrying about it, won't change anything. Do you know who your representatives are? Better yet, do they know who you are?

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Friday, September 1st, 2017
5:39 pm - Coyote Cinema: The Hitman's Bodyguard
(For Larry) It's like Midnight Run if they'd both had romantic subplots and Charles Grodin had been played by Samuel L Jackson. Also oddly like Nice Guys without the mystery. I'm not sure why two Americans are this deeply embedded in a film that takes place in Europe. It was amusing and entertaining, but not so much as to be taxing. Three wags.

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Saturday, August 5th, 2017
7:05 pm - Atomic Blonde
Hey, Larry! I found a copy of the Atomic Blonde soundtrack on YouTube. It's ninety minutes long, so it's probably not the commercial release. It's not precisely "120 Minutes Greatest Hits" but I think you know where it's coming from. You already own most of it, but I think you'd dig it. Covers do not fare well here. There's Marilyn Manson cover of "Stigmata" where he's screaming his heart out doing his best Uncle Alien impression. It's.... certainly not good by any stretch of the imagination, but it was fun to have heard once. Somebody I've never heard of covered "Blue Monday" and... at least it wasn't Orgy. The score bits they included were nice, but nothing really to write home about. They censored "Fight the Power" so I went on a profanity laden rant as your proxy. I think they were chastened. The really confusing bit is that Blondie's "Atomic" isn't on here. I wonder if it's in the film.

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Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
12:33 am - Coyote Cinema: The Girl with All the Gifts
It's a zombie movie, and it contains many of the familiar tropes (and one or two yelling at the screen bonehead moves), but it comes with a chewy twist involving children. The film starts out tense and ratchets up from there, with plenty of quiet spoops to sink into. This movie is hard choice after hard choice, spiraling in to a death of a thousand cuts until we slam head first into the bonfire of the climax. The ending was unexpected and perfect at the same time. Representation check: three of our main roles are women, and two are persons of color. It's entirely possible that some of them were gay. And the Bechdel test was cleared in the first scene.

Four wags, with a box of lemon Oreos.

People who have seen the movie or perhaps read the book: Why does Melanie eat grub worms? She doesn't seem surprised to find them in her bowl. Do all the second gens eat bugs? Do they like bugs, or is this to keep them from getting accustomed to meat, or something else entirely?

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Thursday, July 27th, 2017
7:58 pm - Coyote Cinema: Valerian
Quick and dirty: pretty, but not pretty enough to make up for its failings. This is not a bad movie, but despite the wealth of action scenes it still feels listless. Our leads have no romantic chemistry, and the story does not feel compelling. For me, Luc Besson has been trading on the credit from La Femme Nikita, Transporter, and of course Leon, for a long time. But the aliens were nice and alien-y, the Great Market was pretty great, and honestly the dance sequence on Paradise Alley made up for about half the price of the ticket.

Two wags, but definitely for in the cinema or at home on your 124" screen.

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Sunday, July 16th, 2017
9:54 pm - Coyote Cinema: Baby Driver
I went in knowing the director did Scott Pilgrim and that it was an 'untraditional heist film'. It met my expectations. This is one of those 'good man driven to bad situations' plots that I love, complete with brief glimpses of what could be if only he could escape his bonds. For pretty much the entire second half of the film, Baby is in peril, and the directing keeps that afloat. I got caught up in the characters, and I properly hated the bad guy. Props, btw, to Kevin Spacey for showing up to work in this project. I was really worried they were going to fuck up the ending, but I was very satisfied with what I got.

I found it very hard to keep my car under the speed limit as I drove home. IT DID NOT HELP that THIS is what came up on the iPod when I started it up.

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7:35 am - Symbolism in Life
Take this as you will, in your personal theory of the metaphysical relating to the physical or avatars or ritual or totems or whatever your personal theories involve, but since I got my new tattoo I've been a lot more interested in sex.

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Monday, July 10th, 2017
12:11 am - On the Road
O'Hare takes on a completely different character on Sunday evening. Nobody's turbo race-walking through the terminal. There's room to go around people. There was room at the urinal corral when I stopped in to pee. I had time to chat with the folks at the lunch stand where I bought a Coke, and they gave me a free glass of ice since the Coke wasn't very cold. (They were fake-complimenting my nail enamel in Spanish, but I pretended they were serious and thanked them and told them how much I liked this color with my skin. Mia, it's the bottle you gave me.)

It's remarkably nice to get off the bus and know you're a block away from someplace you're welcomed and feel like you belong, and there's a key waiting so you can go in and decompress and cool down from the muggy warm trip. Dexter volunteered to be my surrogate Ichabod, and offered to sprawl on the floor so I could pet him and give him skritches. We had a group phone call with Rose's mum, which just accented that it's nice to be here.

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