The Alienist Ends

Self didn’t get to see the final episode. She’s here in Mendocino, reading tweets.

She didn’t get to watch last week’s episode either, but there were lots of tweets about CATS. Wait, what?

Then, there was almost a Twitter silence. For about five minutes. Which meant, everyone was watching and something was going down.

This evening, the tweet-storm began with something about coulottes. Sara?

  • Oh my GOD! THE CAT! I wanna unsee that so hard rn
  • I have anxiety.
  • I don’t understand why they had you go through with that charade. Laszlo could not have shaken them some other way? So what if they followed? They couldn’t be less conspicuous than Roosevelt and his horsemen.
  • Okay so that’s him.
  • I suspect there’s something about this opera specifically that mirrors the plot of this episode. If only I understood Italian opera . . .
  • Geez, does EVERYBODY carry around a chloroform-laden rag with them?
  • Nothing like going after a brutal serial killer in your opera’s finest.
  • Keep making noise!
  • Joseph!
  • HURRY!
  • This seems like a bad idea.
  • I’m barely breathing.
  • The suspense is killing me.
  • Laszlo, your ego might get you killed.
  • What?!
  • Heart is beating so frickin fast!
  • “It’s not only love that resides in the heart, it’s pain.
  • My nerves tho.
  • I can’t take it!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tomb Raider: Just Okay

This is not a masterpiece. It’s not, even, that much fun. Alicia Vikander’s body is rippling with muscle so that’s certainly an improvement over Angelina Jolie’s (The trouble with Jolie as Lara Croft is that she’s very top-heavy and it gets in the way. Seriously). But Dominic West, poor Dominic West, is so wasted.

Here are a few positives:

  • That ripped body of Vikander’s
  • Walton Goggins having a stellar moment in every action/fantasy movie of the past few years (He was in the final Maze Runner movie, which self would rank higher than this one)
  • There is an Asian man who is kind and also has a ripped bod (Never seen this actor before. Googled. Welcome to the world, Daniel Wu!)
  • Solving puzzles is always fun. Though self did get a little lost when people were tossing all kinds of colored crystals at Lara Croft while balancing on their toes at the edges of a room with a crumbling stone floor.

Was there music? Self can’t remember. Too bad. A score can do so much for a movie.

What was that fox race through London? She doesn’t get the point, but loved that she saw a section of Tottenham Road, which she knows intimately: Hanway Alley (where her favorite London restaurant, Chez Nous, is) is just off Tottenham. Moreover, Vikander does a great job as a biker. She has that look of determination, and looks great in capris and bike helmet.

The guy who plays spoiled brat/murder suspect ‘Silver Smile’ in TNT’s The Alienist has a bit part!

Good Lord, she would never place this on the same level as The Last of the Mohicans, even if just for comparison, which critic Matt Zoller Seitz did in his review for RogerEbert.com. The Last of the Mohicans was a masterpiece! It was directed by Michael Mann, at the height of his powers! It starred Daniel Day-Lewis, at the height of his powers. (No, let’s re-phrase that: with Daniel Day-Lewis, there is no such thing as ‘height of his powers.’ Because he is still bringing it all the time! Just watch Phantom Thread!)! It introduced Wes Studi to the world!

Every time Vikander sailed through the air, self was reminded of the Fassbender move in 300. Which he executed so well that now, every action movie has to show its heroes and heroines doing the exact same move, at least once. It’s getting to be a thing! Vikander does it so many times in Tomb Raider that she even out-Fassbenders Fassbender.

Self found Tomb Raider a by-the-numbers thriller, which is to say it was not a thrill ride.

She was so excited, though, to see a preview of John Boyega’s Star Wars movie.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sentence of the Day: Sian Cain, The Guardian

As an antidote to the extremely respectful commentary The Economist has been according POTUS (which drives self crazy, she just might discontinue her subscription), here is The Guardian which really knows how to do satire:

The nicest thing anyone can say about US Vice President Mike Pence — a man who vigorously opposed marriage inequality and looks like an Action Man assembled from Play-Doh and cold cuts — is that he knows how to name a pet.

— from Vice-President Mike Pence disappears down the rabbit hole, by The Guardian’s Sian Cain, 20 March 2018

THE MANDIBLES: A FAMILY, 2029 – 2047, p. 262

Gosh, self loves this book now. She’s going to have to up her Goodreads rating for it. She initially gave it two stars, then upped it to three. But, on the basis of what she’s read thus far, she’ll up it another star: to four.

The novel follows each member of the Mandibles family as they deal with being broke and unattractive (Being broke is a far different condition than being poor: being poor is a situation you can’t always help; being broke is absolutely the result of mis-calculation or hubris or something, and there’s a lot of blame involved) in a not-so-distant future (2029, it says so right in the title)

HOW AVERY DEALS, p. 262:

For the better part of the last year, Avery had taken refuge in toil: scrubbing, dishwashing, mending, chopping and laundry . . .  Swallowing her umbrage, she coached Goog on his Spanish. She only panicked when she ran out of tasks. Drudgery was therapeutic. Were she ever to start another practice, she’d have all her patients mop the floor.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Also Reading: THE MANDIBLES, A FAMILY, 2029 – 2047

On March 11, five days ago, self (suffering from post-AWP Tampa exhaustion) decided not to finish reading The Mandibles: A Family. It follows the various members of a (mostly) affluent East Coast family named the Mandibles (What kind of name is that? How can she relate to any character whose last name is Mandible?)

Nevertheless, having already devoted three nights in Tampa to getting through this book, she decided to plough on. After all, it’s about how to deal when all your money is gone. There may be life lessons here, self thought.

She was correct!

Now, five days later, she’s halfway.  One member of the family is beginning to stand out, and he’s just a kid. His name is Willing, and he’s very smart. The more she reads about Willing, the more she sees parallels with the Parkland kids, David Hogg et. al., who have become thorns in the side of Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Mitch McConnell, the NRA, and Fox news pundits like Sean Hannity.

In a section on p. 203, a hapless Mandible named Lowell reflects on what he finds so irritating about his nephew, Willing:

But this Willing kid had slathered on an extra level of crapola, and unless his performance the previous evening was a one-off display to impress visiting relatives, Lowell could be throttling the little bastard within the week. The boy glowed with divine inspiration, as if he had a personal psychic hotline to the late editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal.

lol  lol  lol

Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: THE ROMANOVS, 1613 – 1918, p. 467

He may have been a primordial throwback, but now (Emperor) Alexander had to operate in the world of public opinion, stock markets and newspapers in which he found some of his most unlikely advisers, none more so than Prince Vladimir Meshchersky, known by enemies at the court as “Prince of Sodom” and among the intelligentsia as “Prince Full-Stop” after he demanded all reform must come to that punctuation mark.


Dear blog readers, self can’t even.

Stay tuned.

Question of the Day: WSJ, A4, Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 3 – 4, 2018

WHAT IS THIS MEMO?

It was compiled by the Republican staff of the House Intelligence Committee and based on highly classified law-enforcement documents.

— article reported by Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus

This is the memo commonly referred to on Twitter as ‘Yo Memo.’

Go straight to #YoMemoJokes.

Do not pass Go.

Stay tuned.

Maze Runner: Death Cure

So excellent. Self can’t even. The best wrap-up to a YA series ever.

Three out of four stars.

Self knows of what she speaks: she’s a big fan of YA.

Just to show you this movie went beyond, self cried at the end. You’d think she was watching The Time-Traveler’s Wife, not Maze Runner.

There were a lot of high-powered actors in the cast: Patricia Clarkson, Aiden Gillen, Barry Pepper, Walton Goggins (sporting truly disgusting facial make-up: five stars!), Thomas Brodie-Sangster. Half the time self kept wondering when Woody Harrelson was going to show up. Self loves it when a YA action movie is way better than anyone has a reasonable right to expect.

The only thing that bothered self about the movie (Almost 2 1/2 hours long, and the time just flew by!) was that every time Aiden Gillen was on-screen, she kept thinking: Littlefinger! There is one scene in which Gillen stares creepily at Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) and it reminded her so much of all the times on Game of Thrones when Littlefinger is perv-ing on Sansa.

Movie’s best moment? In her humble opinion, when Min Ho gets up in Teresa’s face and yells: TRAITOR! So cathartic.

P.S. There was a preview for Jurassic World. Bryce Dallas Howard is truly growing into a Jessica Chastain-level beauty. In fact, for a moment that’s who self thought she was watching

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The A.V. Club Explains Why Americans Might Experience SOTU Feelings of Dread

SOTU Tonight, 9 p.m., ABC

You could just do like self and not watch it. Self plans to wend her way north, to Fort Bragg, to watch Maze Runner: Death Cure. Which she’s 100% sure will prove more beneficial to her mental health. Or, you could just read The AV Club article, which begins thus:

  • At this point, we expect to see an official declaration of war on this or that country by the flaxen-haired pox on humanity who’s currently in the White House, so what’s Trump saving for his first State of the Union Address — or, as he’s already referred to it, “The State of MY Union Show”?

To 45’s credit, he has set the bar very low. So low that if he ends up NOT actually making an official declaration of war, Americans will fall all over themselves to praise his decorum and tact.

(Insert laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying emoji here)

Stay tuned.

#amreading: Tana French, THE TRESPASSER, p. 425

SPOILER ALERT

Detective Breslin to Detective Conway: I spent twenty minutes sitting in the Top House before the penny dropped. Fair play to you, Conway: you make a very convincing South Dublin airhead.

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