Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Recap

Did you notice this exists?
February is nearly at an end now.  In my family that means a flurry of birthdays.  My niece turned 2 on Sunday.  Today is my older brother's birthday.  And then Friday is my mom's birthday.  Since they all live over 100 miles away, we celebrated all three last weekend.  Or at least I did.  If my grandma on my mom's side were still alive her birthday would have been Monday too.  And she would have been 101 or 102 or something like that.

Anyway, what happened on this blog in February?

Um, basically the second Scarlet Knight story landed with a dull thud.  Hooray!  My bitter announcement that I was cutting the price actually came in at #2 this month, behind the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that the paperback of the first book was coming out.  So I guess maybe instead of actual posts I should just make random announcements because that seems to get people's attention.  If I could I'd rent one of those big gorilla balloons too.

And here's a smattering of stuff I watched in February:

  • A Good Day to Die Hard:  Before my niece's birthday party I had a couple hours to kill and decided to go watch Die Hard 5.  It was OK.  It was one of those really cost-efficient productions where they only cast one recognizable actor (Bruce Willis), shoot in a cheap foreign location (Hungary), keep the length fairly short (97 minutes) and don't go as nuts on the stunts as in the previous one.  There's still a lot of gunplay and an epic car chase that probably destroyed half the cars in Hungary.  Anyway, I was getting worried near the end that this wasn't going to be a true Die Hard movie as every Die Hard plot (except maybe the 2nd one which I haven't watched in like 20 years) involves supposed terrorists who are actually thieves, but then (spoiler!) there was the plot twist near the end.  Whew!  Anyway, it was pretty meh.  A decent Redbox rental, but I wished I hadn't paid $7 for it.  But then what else was I going to watch?  Identity Thief?  Snitch?  Escape From Planet Earth?  Argh.
  • As an aside here, one of the previews appropriately was for this "Olympus is Down" movie that's basically "Air Force One" in the White House.  Well except the president is actually one of the hostages and some former Secret Service detail guy has to save him, which is closer to "Sudden Death" with Jean-Claude Van Damme.  Anyway, they cast Aaron Eckhart as the president (which is impossible because he's Australian) and it got me thinking that we have a black president on his second term now and yet supposedly liberal Hollywood with very few exceptions always casts white guys as the president.  Come on, get with the program, Tinseltown!  It's the second decade of the 21st Century now, really.
  • Reaper:  I finally got around to watching this on Netflix.  I had in my queue for 2 years or so and just never got around to it.  Then of course I do and by the time I get up to episode 14 Netflix decides they'll pull it.  So now I have to finish watching it on DVDs borrowed from my sisters.  Anyway, it was an OK show, not great.  The first half-dozen episodes really reminded me of the first season of "Smallville."  Basically the kid fights a monster, fails once, and then wins the second go-around.  All while pining for the mannish Katie Holmes clone.  But the devil is pretty awesome, even if he looks like a  Mitt Romney impersonator.  Or maybe Mitt got style tips from the devil...hurm.  Anyway, of course I got right up to where things were getting more interesting as Sam the slacker version of "Ghost Rider" starts to conspire with a couple of gay demons to overthrow the devil or something.
  • The Bourne Legacy:  My funny Tweet no one I'm sure noticed that summarizes this was they should have called it The Bored Legacy.  Because it was boring.  It gets more interesting once Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz meet up, but that takes over an hour!  The first hour is all an elaborate setup trying to connect this supersoldier program to the Bourne movies.  Zzzzzzz.   The supersoldier program is more like the Jem H'Dar in Deep Space 9 than Captain America, as Jeremy Renner has to keep taking these pills or else he'll turn back into Forrest Gump or something.  So he decides to take Rachel Weisz to Indonesia so she can inject him with a virus that will make him a supersoldier forever.  Wait why aren't they giving these shots to everyone?  I don't care if it almost kills me if it means I'll be super smart and can take down legions of bad guys.  Anyway, the payoff was a little weak.  It involves a motorcycle chase that seemed to go on for a half-hour, to the point that I fast-forwarded it.  But now that all the setup is done I might be interested in watching a second one, unless they kill Rachel Weisz off in the first five minutes like they did in the second Bourne movie, which turned me off that franchise.
  • Taken 2:  I enjoyed the first Taken, as I will pretty much enjoy most anything Liam Neeson is involved in...not so much the Phantom Menace.  Anyway, this clocks in at about 85 minutes, which really illustrates the problem that everything was too simple and straightforward.  He goes to Istanbul, gets captured, escapes with the help of his daughter chucking grenades around the city (seriously), and then kills like half the population of Albania.  Which is fine with me.  I had these awful Albanian neighbors years ago; the woman screeched all the time like George's mom on "Seinfeld" only in Albanian.  Where's Liam Neeson when you need him to chop her in the throat?
  • Lawless:  This was OK, maybe slightly better than I thought it'd be.  Except I don't know why they bothered hiring Gary Oldman to play the one gangster because he pretty much does nothing.  There's one scene where he just gets out of a car and mows some random people down with a Tommy Gun and that's pretty much his only contribution to the movie.  But on the bright side Jessica Chastain goes topless, so there's that.
  • Savages:  If you're a fan of "Breaking Bad" then this covers some familiar ground.  Basically the two slacker pot makers are kind of like Walt and Jesse, in that they're small time operators who have a really awesome product, only pot and not meth.  Except then a bigger cartel starts to muscle in, this one run by Selma Hayek in a bad Cleopatra wig.  Then you get into one of those moral quandaries where the pot dealers decide that to rescue their bimbo girlfriend they'll kill like 30 Mexicans.  Considering they live in Laguna Beach where blond bimbos are a dime for two-dozen they probably could have just saved 2 hours and found another girl.  Anyway, their ultimate solution is the same one I use in the 7th Scarlet Knight story, so suck it Oliver Stone.  Though Stone wastes 10 minutes of our lives with a fake ending to the final showdown, though sadly it was not the Scooby Doo ending.
And here's something fairly obscure you might enjoy:
Cold Comfort FarmThis was the conclusion of my watching most of the 50 Greatest Something Something list someone linked to on Facebook a long time ago.  I forget what the title was.  It was pretty much 50 underrated movies I hadn't seen.  Only I had seen a few.  I didn't watch all the rest because some were documentaries and some were in Swedish or Danish or Finnish or something and while that's not always a dealbreaker, I just didn't feel like watching a half-dozen of those.  But over six months or so I did watch most via Netflix, Blockbuster, etc.

Anyway, I thought this would be a boring drama, but it was actually pretty funny.  Basically in the 30s a very young Kate Beckinsale dreams of being a writer and so goes to her aunt's rundown farm in the country for life experience.  The place is run by a crazy old lady who demands everyone in her family stay put because she saw something nasty in the woodshed when she was a little girl.  The family includes Ian MacKellan as a wanna-be fire-and-brimstone preacher and the guy who was the next year in "Dark City" with a young Jennifer Connolly (lucky dog!) as a wanna-be actor.  Gradually the plucky and unflappable Kate Beckinsale manages to help all her relatives escape the old lady's tyranny.  As I said it was really funny even to a dim-witted American like me.  If you like "Downton Abbey" and all that Masterpiece Theater and Jane Austen stuff then you might like that.  I'm not sure if it's still on Netflix.

There's your February Recap.  Brace yourselves in March for another month of fantastic content you probably don't give a crap about.  (And the biggest announcement EVER) will be on March 9th.

That is all.


  1. I love the humor in this post. I skipped out on most of the movies you mentioned. I am curious to see the new Die Hard movie if only because a fellow blogger (Ted Cross) is an extra in the movie. I just want to see his 15 minutes of fame. Other than that, nothing has really interested me enough to go to the movies at all in February. I guess that's all just as well since for the most part, I haven't been feeling well this month.

    I'm sorry your second Scarlet Knight book fell flat. That sucks.:( My sales have been lackluster but then again...they're always lackluster. At least it seems that way to me LOL. I just kinda plod along. I hope to get to beta reading that Scarlet Knight book you sent me soon. I've got to finish and review Cindy's book, beta-read E.J.'s book that he sent me, then beta-read/offer editing advice to Matthew MacNish's book that he sent me, and then I'll get to yours. So much stuff to read, so little time.

  2. Loved the recap. I saw your tweet about the Bourne movie but forgot I'd already seen the movie. I didn't like it much either.

  3. I haven't seen any of that stuff, yet. Some of it's on my list. I figured I'd save Die Hard for a rental.

  4. You need to e-mail me this big March 9th announcement since I'll be in the air on my way to India that day. Don't make me wonder about it halfway around the world.

  5. No really good movies out hunh? I'll wait for DVD to watch "Die Hard 5"

  6. You never blogged about "Project Mayhem." And didn't mention it here, either! Bad Bulldog!



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