"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Suicide Squad cleared the low bar I had set for it. I liked it better than Batman V Superman. But that doesn't mean it was a bad film and a terrible waste of time. What I do for my readers! I watch the films that you don't so that you don't have to ever.

The major problem is that you don't know any of these characters at all. Maybe you've seen them, but you don't know them. And you won't care either. Sort of like one of the squad members introduced in the middle of the film only to be used as cannon fodder.

The best was the flame guy, but he's not gonna make it to the sequel. If there is one. God help us.

2 of 5 stars.

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I was a victim of a bad mom. She took me to see Bad Moms. Not that it was a bad movie. It just wasn't good.

First, who can believe that Mila Kunis can have 2 grade school aged children? That is unreal right there.

Second, she wasn't bad at all. Just her attitude was bad. I've seen movies where the mother has left behind the kids to fend for themselves and eventually die. Mila Kunis did not leave her kids alone. She just got drunk and partied hard. Plus, she fought the PTA. Everyone fights the PTA!

Third, even the PTA was sympathetic. They were all high strung, but just a little bit of partying would help them. And it did.

Last, this was a better movie when LL was in it -- Mean Girls.

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, August 12, 2016
Being a Japanophile, finding out that Our Little Sister was playing at The Charles, I wasn't going to miss out on it. I read about it probably late this past winter. If it was about an imouto, then I am there. It is and it isn't. It is very Japanese. I wanted to be enchanted by it, but it was fine.

Our Little Sister is about 3 sisters who upon attending their estranged father's funeral invite their younger half-sister to live with them in their maternal grandmother's home. Their offer is generous and heart warming as it comes off the cuff as they boarded a train. The younger sister accepts. She doesn't have a father anymore and she doesn't want to impede on her father's third wife. No family ties, so she wants to make them with her older sisters.

The film goes flitting about stories and moments for the sisters in the house. It is a true slice-of-life movie as there isn't much of a plot or much of drama to propel the story. There is no one story arc, but that of showing the sisters being a family. The mother comes back to bring some drama, but she is too flighty of a person to stir up the home.

It may be titled (in the English) for the little sister, but the main protagonist was the eldest. She was an Ozu female - burdened with being true to the family and to liking the matriarch position. The second was the wild one always drinking. I would love to drink with her. The third, the original imouto, was pleasingly young, an imouto if there isn't one.

I dug the film because it reminds me of Ozu. His explorations of the family dynamics, tradition keeping, and old versus young in Japan fascinates me to no end.

A side note: I've seen one movie from the director, Hirokazu Koreeda, already: Nobody Knows. That one was a harrowing tale of a mother abandoning her children and letting the eldest, 13 year old, attempt to keep his siblings alive. It had a Grave of the Fireflies kind of thing as the ending made you sad...

3 of 5 stars.

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I tell my co-workers about who should be their best buddies. That term, the way I use it in this context, isn't for people, but items - tools or techniques - that they should make themselves highly familiar with and which will make their daily chores better. Then there are the enemies, or rather, just one at the moment. Enemies again are tools that they need to battle with on a daily basis, a necessary evil.

I say my second buddy is my current Configuration Management tool. He will get you out of sticky situations. Don't like the code you just wrote? Revert. Who broke the build? Blame. Need to explore alternatives? Branch. Need to deliver? Tag and release. A good CM tool is just the best.

My one and only enemy is Jenkins. It's a Continuous Integration server. It is opaque to me. It's got buttons that run jobs. But what they do? I don't know. Then there are the happy weather, the sad weather, and the stormy skies. Stormy is bad. It always seems to be that.

Jenkins: The Definitive Guide is a book which I hope will make me understand Jenkins. And use it correctly. Eventually, the enemy will be an ally.

Git In Practice is a book to make my second good buddy a good buddy again. Lately, he's been punching me in the face. I need to know why.

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Friday, August 05, 2016
Hollywood is bereft of ideas. Jason Bourne, a sequel that no one asked for, is a prime example of the death of creativity in movie land.

It's a movie that is unnecessary. Bourne's story was done. He should've stayed hid. Yet, like Al Pacino in Godfather III, they kept pulling him back in.

It starts with Julia Stiles showing back up. She's been gone from Hollywood movies so it was a surprise to see her back. She too should've stayed hid because any girl linked with Bourne ends up in a sniper's sights. She pulls Bourne in with the most hoary of cliches - it was Bourne's father who started Treadstone and that Bourne was recruited because the government had to lock him as the country's most steely assassin-spy.

And that was it. A back story which was dumb. He was a better character because of the mystery.

This will be a terrible summer for movies.

1 of 5 stars.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Star Trek Beyond is the best movie I've seen this summer. Thoroughly enjoyable. Currently, I think that it is the best film of the summer. I'll admit, though, that this summer has been pretty bleak in terms of movies. They have all been mediocre at best.

Anyhow, Star Trek Beyond wants to bring the franchise to the status quo as a television series. It is ready now to boldly go where no one has gone before now that all movie baddies have been defeated.

4 of 5 stars.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016
I read a review of Lights Out that said the movies sub-text became actual text. Horror films seem to deal with things we can't really handle in an imaginary way. For this one, the fright was all about depression. That's all that needs to be said because you can imagine what that the ghost/haunting was about depression. Depression made all too real and literal.

But the word part, the movie did not scare me. I went home, went to bed, closed out the lights in my house. I wanted to be scared of the dark. I wasn't. I put the lights out on this one.

2 of 5 stars.

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Damn, I should've written this Ghostbusters review soon after I had seen it a couple weeks ago. Right now I can't remember anything to say about it.

Okay, now I know. Escalation of stakes was missing from this one. In the original, as the movie progressed the stakes were raised. And the stages could be felt. For this one, not so much. I guess they couldn't mimic the original too much lest they are accused of cheap imitation. It could've used some escalation.

The actresses were fine though. They actually were the funnest parts of the movie. And to be honest, the first scare had me hiding my eyes behind my fingers.

I will enjoy this when they run the Ghostbusters double feature on Comedy Central.

3 of 5 stars.

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Saturday, July 30, 2016
I forgot that I am doing this series. Whelp, it isn't the first time I don't post anything until later. Just look at how long it takes me to write up a movie post...

Now why did I get another book? I haven't even gotten through the myriad of ones purchased already for this series. All books are languishing on the nightstand not being read. Do I really need another one?

The book I had gotten was William Finnegan's Barbarian Days, autobiography of a journalist/surfer. I've read some of the book before. I may even have already a copy! Who knows?

Also bought was Monocle magazine's annual city ranking issue. Now that makes me want to go visit Japan...

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