Year 50 Day 296

Me in my home office, with shelves full of books and trinkets behinnd me.

Day 296: Good news — improvements are being made! While not at 100%, I’m definitely feeling better, and actually got dressed today instead of spending another day in pajamas. (Though, really, sweats and a t-shirt aren’t that different from pajamas, but still!)

Bad news — it looks suspiciously like now it’s my wife’s turn to go through this. Which is not great, but better to go in series so that we can take turns taking care of each other, instead of both of us being sick at the same time and nobody having the energy to do anything for the other.

It Was All My Fault

I was one of the first of my friends group to really get into “home theater” — at least, as much as I could in the mid-’90s on a financially questionable 20-something’s budget. Our apartment had a big-screen rear-projection TV (bought used, of course), later replaced with a (ridiculously huge) three-beam projector sourced from a bar that was closing down, an early surround sound system, and I started collecting widescreen movies with the special edition of The Abyss on widescreen VHS. I had a pretty decent widescreen VHS collection before finally upgrading to DVD.

At one point, Chad and I were sitting around, bored, and looking for something to watch. “I’ve got The Crow,” says Chad. Sounded good to me, so he went to grab it. And pulled out his copy — a home VHS tape, with the movie taped off of TV, over something else, in broadcast pan-and-scan, and probably in mono. He popped it in, and we started watching.

About ten minutes in, suddenly he turns to me and spouts off with a hearty and apparently random, “Fuck you!”

“What the hell?” I said.

“Until I lived with you, I didn’t care about widescreen, or surround sound, or any of that. I’d just watch the movie. You’ve ruined me!” And as I laughed, he turned off the movie in amused disgust. And it wasn’t too long before the widescreen DVD found its way into the collection.

(Originally posted to Mastodon, and prompted by the announcement of The Crow on 4K Blu-ray.)

Year 50 Day 295

Me with an annoyed expression.

Day 295: More of the same. I did rally enough to go to work (from home) today, and will for the rest of the week. I am extremely fortunate in that I have a job where I can easily take sick days when I need, and am also able to work from home on days when I’m not sick enough to take a sick day but still sick enough to not want to risk bringing this into the office. Too many people don’t have those options.

Year 50 Day 294

Me looking bored on our living room couch.

Day 294: Day four of this head cold, and very over it…but it’s obviously not over me just yet. Watching two Marvel movies in one day maybe was a bit much inanity, but it was also right about the level of braining I could manage. Apparently other people at work have been hit with this bug, and it’s nothing more than a doozy of a cold, possibly exacerbated because it’s the first cold I’ve had in around four or five years at this point.

🎥 The Marvels

The Marvels (2023): ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mostly suffers from the same problem that just about all of Marvel’s recent efforts are suffering from: too much required backstory. There’s simply no way to really understand everything if you haven’t already devoted hours upon hours to watching all the various series and movies that lay the groundwork for whatever is happening here (or even if you have, but don’t have an encyclopedic memory for it all and perfect recall).

The movie is at its best when it’s just the three primary women interacting with each other, whether the strained relationship between Danvers and Rambeau, or Khan fangirling over meeting Captain Marvel, or the three of them experimenting with their entangled powers. Iman Vellani in particular continues to be a delight as Kamala Khan. And the space station evacuation scene was an unexpected bit of hilarity.

But the action scenes are overly frenetic and difficult to follow, there’s yet another generic and barely fleshed out villain, and a whole lot of flashy effects that are pretty, but not much more than that.

On the whole, not as bad as some have said, but not as good as either the Ms. Marvel series or the Captain Marvel film.

Year 50 Day 293

Me standing in front of a bookcase full of science fiction books.

Day 293: Still sick; another day of doing as little as possible. Read a bunch of my current book (Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars), finished season four of For All Mankind (very good), and watched The Last Voyage of the Demeter (not very good). At this point, unless a miracle occurs overnight, I think tomorrow’s going to be a sick day instead of heading back to work.

🎥 The Last Voyage of the Demeter

The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023): ⭐️⭐️

A clever concept that’s poorly executed. Not creepy, not scary, no real suspense because we know the end result, really needed about half an hour edited out (it dragged rather than being suspenseful), and then a ridiculous ending that seems like they’re trying to set up a sequel, which makes no sense. Very glad we didn’t spring for this one in the theater.