TENET on a Wide Screen

If any movie was going to lure self back to the cine-plex, it was Tenet. The buzz about it was ridiculous. She went to first screening today.

Tenet is a gorgeous-looking movie. That opening sequence was pretty audacious. Think anarchy at a classical music concert. People stomping on violins etc. GULP. Trills of recognition: similar scenes on the TV news every night. Not as dramatic as stomping on violins, but the same feeling of dread.

Our first sight of John David Washington is after a character says “Wake the Americans” (LOL) John David Washington cracks open his eyes. Is there anyone in the world at this moment who gives more intense side-eye than John David Washington? Don’t think so. All thanks to Denzel, not only for his amazing ouevre, but for his amazing genes. As for who smolders better, Denzel or his son, after Tenet self has to say, definitely JDW. Denzel can do other things better (like Shakespeare), but his son has super-sexy smouldering eyes!

Do not ask self about the plot. Do not even go there. A Christopher Nolan movie has to be experienced, not analyzed. Also, how great do these men look in suits? Self likes the fey affect of Pattinson: great foil to JDW. She wonders how he will do Batman. He has a good jaw, which means he’ll look great in the Bat-mask. But, self digresses.

MILD SPOILERS

Self did object to the tired damsel-in-distress-as-a-way-of-cracking-villain-inside-circle thing (and btw, if you’re going to use that trope, why not commit, why not have the woman fall madly in love with JDW, why the reticence?) Second, Kenneth Branagh doing the older husband/villain: he seriously has to do that role again?

But the action sequences — especially the opening scene, and a pincer move in the end: one set of soldiers moving forward, the other moving backwards — don’t ask self to explain, seeing it on wide-screen was WILD!

There were empty rows ahead and behind her, maybe 10 people tops in the audience. No one talking, much less coughing or sneezing. She felt safe. More social distancing than at her local grocery, for sure.

Just to feel normal for one afternoon: so worth it.

She enjoyed the previews (there were about 10, which might seem a tad excessive, but just to show you how long it’s been, self did not mind one bit. In fact, they could have showed 15 previews, all self would have said was: Thank you). The trailer for Dune was whew! Scorching! It had Jason Momoa and Dave Bautista!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Wakanda Forever

RIP, CHADWICK BOSEMAN

Damn. Damn. Damn.

He was just 43.

What is life.

Just For Fun, 10 Latest Bookmarks

“The Outpost”: Reviewed by Brian Tallerico

Self just saw the review on a site she checks pretty regularly: http://www.rogerebert.com

She normally doesn’t like watching ‘military’ movies. She feels like the high point was Platoon and The Hurt Locker and she hasn’t seen any good ones, not any straightforward (not Quentin Tarantino tongue-in-cheek) good ones, in a long time.

the-outpost-movie-review-2020.jpg

But darn, The Outpost sounds like a good movie! Brian Tallerico (who she hasn’t quoted before, she doesn’t think) begins his review with:

  • Director Rod Lurie’s first film in almost a decade is also one of his best, and the first movie since our national nightmare began in 2020 that I really regretted not being able to see in a theater.

That’s you and self, Brian!

If only they would open the Stanford Theater on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto so that she could watch classic black-and-whites like Roman Holiday and enjoy with the $1 small bucket of popcorn.

Anyhoo, this is one of those VOD ones. The only other film she’s rented during the pandemic has been Ronald Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C. and that’s because she wanted to see how Captain Jim Holden of The Expanse looked when he was 21 and clad only in animal skins.

Read Brian Tallerico’s review here.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Her Protector’s Pleasure: p. 6, Still in the Male Brothel, Regency England

This book is so exciting! Self hasn’t read a Regency Romp in ages! That’s because lately she’s been reading The Expanse, and watching the series (in, like, 15-minute increments on Amazon Prime, while watering). Steven Strait is FIIIINEEEE! She might check out his tween prep-school/witch movie The Covenant (4% on the Tomato Meter), a movie she never heard of (it might have appeared while she was deep in her Hunger Games phase), not until she started watching The Expanse series.

Back to Her Protector’s Pleasure. Self hasn’t moved very much further, just three pages in. The book started with the MC preparing to enter a male brothel in Regency England (first she’s heard of such) and now, three pages later, the MC is sitting in the parlor. And there’s a very fine description of the setting, such as “sheer ivory panels” and “jewel-toned reclining cushions.”

Very exciting. Hell, yeah. Go to the max, author Grace Callaway!

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Photo Montage: 2020 So Far

“What Is Going On?”

The Simpson housekeeper who tried to send the police away after O. J. just delivered a beating to his wife brings to mind the sister in The Invisible Man, the one who insists, while the MC (played by a terrific Elizabeth Moss) is obviously shaken and upset and they are sitting in a car in the middle of a deep, dark, narrow road in the middle of a deep, dark night: “What is going on? What is going on? What is going on?”

Ugh. Self wanted to kick her! Dear Sister: Do you think you could hang on to your curiosity just a little bit longer. Perhaps until you get to a safe place? JUST DRIVE.

SHEESH.

But then, this is a horror movie. In a horror movie, there must always be An Obtuse Character You Want to Kick. This might be a blonde cheerleader. Or an Asian male. Or Samuel L. Jackson standing with his back to a shark tank.

Stay tuned.

The New Emma

Mr. Knightley is the best. He has always been the best.

Standing in line at the concession stand on a Thursday night for the first Palo Alto screening of the new Emma, self got into spirited discussion with two young women about thoughts of different Emma iterations. “Oh! The Winona Ryder version, so under-rated!”

Self had to think a moment before saying “Christian Bale, right?” Ooh, that was good casting!

“The most under-rated Mr. Knightley is still Paul Rudd,” said a young woman.

That’s right! How could self forget! Clueless! Paul Rudd, what a dreamboat!

“I want Paul Rudd’s skin-care routine,” said another young woman.

“Me, too!” self put in, enthusiastic. “Mr. Knightley’s supposed to have a nude scene in this one.”

“The problem is when they make him too old,” said the young woman.

“Well, remember Johnny Lee Miller? He was GREAT. And THIS one’s a rock singer, too.”

“BBC, right?”

“Right! Romola Garai as Emma!”

That is the most fun self has had in a movie concession stand, EVER.

As to the movie itself. The reason self was madly rushing to the movie, despite her front lawn looking like this:

20200228_120104

was Sheila O’Malley’s review.

After seeing the movie, self doesn’t think Johnny Flynn unseats Johnny Lee Miller. Or Paul Rudd.

Since this is the first time she’s ever seen Johnny Flynn, she can’t tell if he always speaks in that languid drawl, or if he just speaks that way because he’s playing Mr. Knightley. But his eyes speak volumes!

Nevertheless, self was vastly put off by those great, bushy sideburns. And decided forthwith that sideburns are just — a mood-killer.

And the starched cravats slicing into Flynn’s cheekbones, what!

And she was completely shocked that there was no build-up to the nude scene. But was happy to see the actor was slender — i.e., not buff. Which would have been a real slap in the face to Mr. Knightley if he were, in self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned.

 

London in I Capture the Castle

Some forward progress, at least! Today self managed to see Bad Boys for Life, and liked it quite a bit, except for the action scenes, which were just your run-of-the-mill, generic action scenes. It was really nice seeing Joe Pantoliano again: he still has that trademark Joe Pantoliano way of delivering lines! And Will Smith is still cool.

She has made it to p. 77 of I Capture the Castle, which self is finding very, very beguiling (even though it couldn’t be more different from her last book: The Goblin Emperor):

It was three years since we had been in London. We never knew it well, of course; yesterday was the first time I ever walked through the City. It was fascinating, especially the stationers’ shops — I could look at stationers’ shops forever and ever. Rose says they are the dullest shops in the world, except, perhaps, butchers’ (I don’t see how you can call butchers’ shops dull; they are too full of horror). We kept getting lost and having to ask policemen, who were all rather playful and fatherly. One of them kindly held up the traffic for us, and a taxi-driver made kissing noises at Rose.

I had hoped the lawyers’ office would be old and dark, with a Dickensy old lawyer; but it was just an ordinary office and we only saw a clerk, who was young, with very sleek hair. He asked if we could find our way to Chelsea by ‘bus.

“No,” said Rose, quickly.

He said, “O.K. Take a taxi.”

I said we were a little short of change. Rose flushed scarlet. He gave her a quick look, then said, “Wait a sec.” — and left us.

He came back with four pounds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sunday Reading: The Haunting of the Mexican Border, p. 22

  • Later I will see Wenders’s film, Paris, Texas, written by Sam Shepard. Watching … in a dark movie theatre, I will experience in advance what I will later come to see on a desert trail — that we are all the myth of America. The playwright’s American dream of abundance is a fragile thing lined with longing, alienation, and rage, things that … we in the country know, and foreigners who adopt our country come to know.

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