No Nightmare, no Friday, no Halloween. Not even Scream. I think this comes from seeing Gremlins RIGHT when it came out on video and being too freaked out by those evil freaks to sleep for a week. Also, my parents preferred suspense films to straight out horror. As did my college friends. Well, no, my college friends preferred artsy movies. TALK ABOUT SUSPENSE. (Most "art films" are terrible crap where nothing happens till the last act where something awful happens. Sometimes the timing is reversed, and the awful thing happens in the first act, and then everyone is just laying around traumatized for another hour.)
So last night I watched Re-Animator for the first time. I wasn't surprised at how silly it was, but I was surprised that it was better than I thought it would be. The villain actually had a decent plan, and in fact kinda got away with it. ALSO the security guard didn't die. That was pretty good. We were watching it over streaming video, and it reset right after a um critical headless scene, so we watched that part again. And then people came over, so we rewound that part again.
I'll probably copy the HP Lovecraft story it was based on to my Kindle.
Even after five hours of sleep, I still don't look too terrible, I guess.
(After watching Fight Club, Reg decided to make it a Fincher night and put on Se7en, which I had actually never seen before. And yada yada I got five hours of sleep before the dump trucks came.)
So, yeah, he goes to jail for a year, and has no computer access for 2 years in total. But that's the end of it, once his sentence is over there is nothing else they can do to him. I mean, I know it looks bad that you can actually go to jail for a DDOS attack if you have a shitty lawyer, but this is literally the worst that the Scientologists have been able to come up with. I don't condone death threats, which apparently they got on their 1-800 line, but they couldn't get the five people who did that. And if you were clever enough to run this Ion Cannon program through a proxy (which, honestly, should be a default option, script kiddies), you were gonna get away scot-free. This is a huge deal, that the Scientologists, who have all this money and power, are basically now impotent.
And that's just the start of it. The movie shows how some hackers basically set up old school IRC and modem lines for Egypt when their government shut it down. Basically, it's now impossible for a government to completely close the lines of communication, no matter how hard they try, even if they're machine gunning down people in the streets. It's truly amazing.
Unfortunately the movie ended with the whole "occupy ***" thing, which I'm sure a year ago actually looked real. But with all these other Anonymous "movements" there was an actual goal in sight. I understand the Occupy kids were mad, or unemployed and sick of it, but it seems like the Occupy kids were merely allied with Anonymous, not actually utilizing the power of Anonymous. Which is understandable - people on 4chan either have jobs or at the least have computers in their parents' basement, not really the same exact people in the Occupy movement. So that sort of annoyed me, including that footage of a movement in which nothing actually moved.
And then I went to see The Perks of Being A Wallflower, based on the book of the same name. Well, loosely based, like most books made into movies, but I rather enjoyed it. Although they kept the same music references from 2000, which made the soundtrack basically my college years. I wasn't sure if that was just the writers being lazy at first, but I think it was. I don't actually believe that the youth of today listens to '80s music. I didn't believe it in 10 Things I Hate About You either.
But as a painful reminder of being a teenager that listens more than talks, it accomplished that goal, oh yes it did. Watching the one you want with someone who treats them like crap. All this painful horrible teenage angst, along with the thrill of not knowing what the night will bring, something wonderful, something poignant, the movie brings it all there. It's a nostalgia-fest for anyone who was a teenager in the '90s, and probably before and after. (I mean, I wasn't, so I don't know. I just know that music is powerful as hell for me, and the Smiths put me there.)
Anyway, very emotional, evocative of not just the misery, but also the hope, that being a teenager entails. I mean, I think most of us had rough years, but there was hope too, even if it was mostly after we got out of our house. There's a lot of sympathy for Charlie's pain, but there's also the cautious optimism that things actually are going to be good for him. Despite the fact that he still has THREE MORE YEARS of high school...
Which is why The Long Goodbye is much more appealing. Marlowe himself has more at stake than actually solving the mystery - I've always preferred that sort of detective story. I mean, I usually am not interested in detective stories, but if I'm going to read something without homoerotic subtext, the detective himself ought to be in danger. Ok, sure, he's sort of in danger in the first book, but it just is too abstract. Whereas he pretty much starts out pissing off cops and ending up in jail in this one. And he rants a lot more, in a very cynical way that I find appealing.
And yeah, before watching the movie of the book The Hunger Games, I bought Mockingjay. It's not as appealing as the first two books - I felt it was really limited this time by being only Katniss' viewpoint, because the whole revolution thing is kind of bloody awesome as hell, but we barely get to see or hear any of it. I was especially interested in the treatment of other former winners, the way they are more or less turned into slaves for the Capitol. So, lots of interesting ideas that are limited by the first-person narrator. I think a Haymitch 1st-person book would be completely great.
The movie impressed me a lot. I mean, obviously they couldn't go 100% book, but having just reread the story last week, I think they did an amazingly faithful adaptation. That's not always a good thing, I mean, I feel keeping the spirit faithful is more important than the words/situations, but it was pretty impressive the way they brought things to life. Reg had pulled out Battle Royale after getting this movie, for a good reason. Obviously it's similar, but less... ridiculous. The soundtrack/score is rather subdued, and things don't feel larger-than-life (except at the Capitol, where they're supposed to). It's more like The Handmaid's Tale. The violence is glossed over a lot, since it's PG-13, and I feel that could have been addressed more, but oh well.
And I really really liked the Gamemaker POVs. They're like software designers, not evil, just really proud of their work. Having read the books, I thought President Snow was a little too expository, but I guess for the movie audience that didn't, that's ok. I'm not sure if I liked him being so Santa-Claus looking, I wanted him to look more like Hugo Weaving I guess, but oh well.
I then read three Sherlock Holmes books (Reg lambasted me for reading them on my phone instead of the omnibus he has, but I have weak wrists), and we watched the recent Sherlock Holmes movie. He actually is canonically good at boxing and fencing, ok. And Watson was in combat in Afghanistan. Knowing that makes the movie more enjoyable. Well, also, watching it as a movie about a gay couple breaking up. It's better than I remembered it for these reasons, I guess.
Saturday we went to hang out with Jack and Keely (and Jack's old roommate Tyler); we ate burritos and watched Clue while playing Clue, then watched Orgazmo. I told the story about how Holger once invented an Orgazmo villain, the Butt Lord, who lived in a Butt Mansion and drove a Butt Car - and had a butler. That joke is funnier at 3am.
At home I watched Traffic, the new American miniseries, not the movie or the British miniseries. It still has intersecting character plots, but a lot moreso. And there's an actual plot in the end, which made it a helluva lot more captivating. (I'd watched the British miniseries the week before; except for a young Juliet Binoche it had little to offer.)
And now Reg is cawing so I gotta run.
We mostly sat around for a while, since the weather wasn't so awesome, and made fun of people hiking in jeans and clearly-never-used packs. When we finally did go on the trail, a bunch of lousy college students were ahead of us with Tallboys and flannels. We gave them the evil eye, as did other hikers coming up, and walked off the trail for a bit. Found a bunch of clay pigeons, and some old apple trees, and the kids turned around. So we went back on the trail and walked some more. It was raining on and off, so we didn't go far. We did see a few tents - right on the riverbank, ugh. And a Corgi tied up by the tents, ugh ugh, while the campers were nowhere within earshot. A bit past that, we stopped at a fallen tree to sit and eat an orange. We then heard a crying baby further up the trail, so we decided we ought to go back. Also, Reg was worried that the college kids were up to no good, as he had been in college, and would break into our car. They did not.
There's a hanging bridge at the beginning of the trail, and on our way back I grabbed it to steady myself, and got some nasty splinters in my right middle finger. Spent about twenty minutes working on it with a needle and got one mostly out, but it hurt me so much I just didn't want to play anymore. So I just read till we were ready to drive back. I was driving this time. We were under a quarter tank, but the gas in Ellensburg was like $3.10/g so we decided to stop at the Safeway in Cle Elum. Unfortunately, that was even more expensive, so we only got 6 gallons. Plenty good enough to get back. The weather was still awful over the pass, snowing most of the way, but when we descended it wasn't even rain, and the clouds were gorgeous. Reg changed Dead Meadow (which had been playing the whole time) to The Gaslight Anthem. I was sort of sleepy so this was a welcome change. I turned it up and sang along and did not fall asleep, and then we got home, and showered.
Sunday we had a nice walk around Ballard then a little BBQ of spicey hot dogs. We were going to watch the Banksy movie, but the version Reg downloaded was not a real one. So I put on In The Loop, a fantastically hilarious British satire of the pre-Iraq War leadup. Reg found it too painful, but I loved the angry cursing guy.
I bought Reg stereolabrat's book, Happy Birthday or Whatever, and devoured it a couple days ago. It's not as fantastic as her LJ was in '05 or whatever, but that schtick, although it took a while, got old. This book is pretty much about her Korean family, so there's a lot more warmth and a lot less talk about dicks. Which is fine by me. Still a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, with a warm chewy center to it all. I once tried to write a funny story about my dad, but parodying him made him too inhuman. This book nails it.
I watched Gervais' The Invention of Lying the other night. It was funny enough, a delightful diversion, but I can't say I'd ever want to watch it again. The only man in the world who can lie, ends up inventing religion. Yeah ok, if I were the only man in the world who could lie, I sure as hell wouldn't go for Jennifer Garner and her square jaw. Yeah, that's right, you heard me.
I personally am sick of war movies where the guys are noble or patriotic - and also the flip side, which is WAR IS HELL AND VERY BAD, the theme that was covered perfectly in Catch-22, so anyone else saying this, like Oliver Stone, makes me kind of yawn. (Although in his defense, his story was about a patriot turning into that kinda guy, but I'm still never going to watch Platoon again.) And that covers almost every war movie ever made. I disagree with Reg that this isn't a war movie, although I see why he said that - there are absolutely no battles at all, just a few dealing-with-insurgents. A bit like Jarhead but um, actually good? Granted, the best war movie I've seen isn't a movie but the series Generation Kill.
I guess I'm more fascinated with the slight sociopaths that enjoy killing for killing's sake, or even almost dying. (I use the modifier 'slight' here because these guys do actually have morals and even a conscience.) After the movie ended I said brightly, "He's just like Marv. He'd be at home swinging an axe on a battlefield. They'd have tossed him girls like Nancy."
I read Little Brother on Reg's recommendation. It wasn't bad, a bit heavy on the Telling but as Reg said, it was a 1st-person 17-yo boy narrator. I was kind of annoyed at the ending, epilogue rather, just a bit too cynical for my tastes. Parable ok, realistic no. I guess I just still have SOME faith in people's capacity to be outraged.
On Saturday, I decided we needed crepes, so we went to Anita's, on the way to Fremont. It's a very charming and lovely and delicious and not super pricey place. My ham-n-cheese crepe was like heaven, and they added potatoes and other grilled veggies on top just for the hell of it. Reg got a basic breakfast - 2 eggs, 2 bacons, and a raspberry crepe. And French press coffee for the table. Well, that's not free-refill coffee, I guess, but I honestly can't drink more than 2 cups anyway, so whatever. The only better breakfast place is the Rusty Pelican, but it loses on ambience. Also, the crepes aren't as good there.
Yesterday I had the urge to watch Ghost World, then American Beauty. I own the former but we had to go to Blockbuster for the latter. While there Reg picked up Angels and Demons. He's read both the Dan Brown books, I haven't, and he said this would be fun. And it was. I had to laugh at the faux-tension, "WE HAVE TO GET SOMEWHERE EVERY HOUR!" And if you think at all about the plot twist at the end, it doesn't really make any sense. Anyway, yeah, fun, but stupid.