It has been a bumpy 24 hours for me.
Yesterday, during the big game, I got notice that a high school friend had passed away. I hadn't been in regular touch with him, but the news of his passing hit me really hard. This wasn't an aging family member or an acquaintance. This was a guy I hung out with and, on a few occasions, had a drink with.
He was a solid guy and I'm sorry to see that he's gone.
Maudlin over. Let's see what I've gotten into this week.
- high concept sci-fi is often hard to pull off. Audiences want answers and, very often, explosions. Both of those are in short supply in this 2018 movie. A strong female cast anchored by Natalie Portman must explore an area of alien incursion known as "The Shimmer" and try to determine what, if anything it wants. Saying any more would be telling, so I won't say any more. I will, however, give Annihilation
my highest recommendation. Its a strong sci-fi with a soul. That's a rarity.
GHOST IN THE SHELL
- And then there's this. Let me preface this with I've not read the manga and have no preconceived notions of the characters or their ethnicity. That all being said, the movie is kinda dull. It wants to be a story about humanity and souls, but it just kinda falls flat. Scarlett Johansson is fine as Major, but she just seems to be flailing around in Blade Runner
outtakes. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it.
PIMPS, DEMONS, MIDGETS WITH CHAINSAWS
- subtitlted "the Grindhouse Chronicles Collection," this compilation of Derek Slaton's pulp tales featuring characters such as Smoothen Silky and TNT (the aforementioned pimp and midget with chainsaw) is a hoot. Aspiring to the rough and rugged grindhouse films of the 70s and 80s, Slaton gets very close very often. The stories are violent and gratuitous in all the best ways. You won't have to think much while reading these, but when a band of secret agents takes on a were-cougar or a luchador comes back from the dead for revenge, well, thought doesn't have much to do with it.