Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Must be a Thursday....

Hello friends, Romans, countrymen, Narnians, rebels, and free peoples of Middle-Earth! (If that didn't cover you, consider yourself included by default.)

Apparently my resolution to post every first Thursday took a month off. So here, a little late but still on a Thursday, is a post of relatively-random miscellany.

First, some Little Prince news: Netflix has taken over the rights to the film and will be releasing it... at some unknown future date. This means - barring a small miracle - we won't get to see it on the big screen. (sigh). If you have any further news on the movie, pleASE TELL ME!!!!!!

Second, I'm seeing Disney's Broadway musical Newsies in Portland tonight and will try to get a review of the play posted by my first Thursday deadline in May. However, I make no promises. You can go on strike if you want, but it won't make anything happen faster.

Third, I recently became aware of a program known as VidAngel which allows you to watch clean versions of PG-13 and R-rated films. The website (www.vidangel.comlets you set your own filters, after registering, so you can choose how much you want to edit out of language, sex, nudity, violence, disturbing images, and Jar Jar Binks (yes, it really does let you edit out Jar Jar Binks; also the new scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy).

Though it might take a couple uses for you to figure out where you should set your preferences to ensure you don't see the bad stuff while also not missing out on key plot points like main characters dying (apparently my graphic violence filters were too high when I watched The Matrix), it's great for film enthusiasts (like me) who don't watch R-rated or even sometimes especially sketchy PG-13 rated films. I finally got to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel and for those of you who like Indie films with an original story, clever script, and high degree of artisanship - plus great actors - the film is a must-see. Also, it's hilarious.

Finally, enjoy some photos from my sister and I's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Party. She'd just finished reading the first three books in the "trilogy" for the first time, and wanted to see the 2005 movie starring Martin Freeman, despite my warning that the film is a vast disappointment (though brilliantly cast).

Our menu included Babel gold-fish, non-alcoholic Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters (if you want the recipe I'll try to remember how I made them), and ... some other snacks that had nothing to do with Hitchhiker's Guide - you'd be surprised how difficult it is to come up with HHGTTG themed snacks (yes, I got tired of writing the whole title out; from this point on you will see a number of different abbreviations, none of which really work). We also carried towels.

On a second viewing, the movie wasn't as bad as I remembered it being, but then again, my expectations were below ground-level. My sister and I agreed that the first third of the movie was great and we were laughing our double-heads off, but around the middle, the film took a dive, to be partly redeemed in the last third of the movie. Whatever else I can criticize about the H2G2 film (and there's a lot), I can say nothing at all against the casting. Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, Zooey Deschanel as Trillian, and, of course, Alan Rickman as Marvin the manically depressed robot are all brilliant moves. Not to mention the actors who play Ford and Zaphod, also perfectly matched up, and Stephen Fry as the voice of the Guide. Seems like a recipe for success. Ah well.

Until tomorrow.

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