Monday, November 27, 2023

Monday, Monday

 After enjoying THE HOLDOVERS so much, I went back and watched a few of Payne's earlier movies. I had seen them before but watching how he puts together a film was fun. 

I think I have seen SIDEWAYS quite a few times but it was probably only my second watching of THE DESCENDANTS, which was just terrific and both films had lots of similarities to the THE HOLDOVERS. I am not sure why Clooney put his film career aside but he brought a lot to this film. 

Watching THE NIGHT MANAGER from a few years back on PRIME. Also OBITUARY (Hulu) which is very amusing, still enjoying FOR ALL MANKIND (Apple), JULIA (MAX) and THE CROWN (NETFLIX), which is pretty heartbreaking and better than Season Five. Funny to see Elizabeth Debicki in THE NIGHT MANAGER and THE CROWN. At 6'3 that has to be the first thing anyone will ever think of about her.  FARGO (HULU) started well.

Reading short stories from BARK by Lorrie Moore and THE FIRE-KEEPERS"S DAUGHTER for my book group. 

Had a nice Thanksgiving. Hope yours was too. Looks like we're going to get a bit of snow today.

GO University of Michigan. Getting worried about the Lions.

What about you?


Todd Mason said...

Still sleeping a lot...saw the first two episodes of the fifth season of FARGO, and mentioning that it has a political parody component apparently was enough to get me suspended from Dorothy-L, at least as a poster. The season premiere wasn't as good as the second episode for me, but I'll be back. Catching the finales of MARRIAGE and LITTLE BIRD back to back also memorable in the last week's video...the two series converged a bit. Like Payne's work as well.

Reading the balance of my SSW METRONOME issue from 1961 reminded me of how much of the narrative and musical art of that era was what was most influential on me as a kid.

Todd Mason said...

And hope everyone's holiday was at least pleasant.

Margot Kinberg said...

I keep hearing good things about The Holdovers. I should probably try to see it.

Jerry House said...

Glad you had a good Thnaksgiving. I'm impressed with all that you have been watching, although it mkes me realize that much of my viewing is in the lowet common denominator/bread and circus area. This week, for example, I saw two DC Universe flicks: THE BLUE BEETLE and SHAZAAM: FURY OF THE GODS. Neither were intellectually stimulating, nor had they plots that could stand up to inspection; if it were not for CGI, each flick would have been about five minutes long. I let my mind go blank and enjoyed them both, knowing all the while how poorly they were made. Should I be ashamed of myself?

Monday was house-sitting day over at Jessie's. She had a huge jungel of bamboo in her yard, stretching down one side of her porperty and reaching 40 to 50 feet and higher. A crew came in with chainsaws, a wood chipper, and a backhoe to clear the entire thing, roots and all. It took all day and I watched it all from Jessie's kitchen window, fascinated by what was going on, like a little kid. That meant spending eight hours on my feet, something I would not recommend for someone my age. They did a fantastic job, bamboo is all gone, and Isoent the next day and a half lying down. Next step, when Jessie gets enough money to do it, is to fence in the yard so Amy's dog, Chicken Nugget, will have an area to play.

Actually, now it's Amy's DOGS. The problem with working at the animal shelter is that you encounter a lot of animals that you want to take home, but Amy is made of strong stuff and she has resisted the call since she began working there. Last week, however, she met pone dog that called to her and the two instantly bonded. So as of yesterday, there is a new member of the household, a three-year old stray of indeterminate origin named Macaroni. Both Amy and Macaroni are over the hill.

Went to Jessie's for Thanksging with her, Amy, and Erin -- a much smaller crowd than usual. Amy was last week's years old when she realizexed that it was not a law that one had to have turkey for Thanksgiving, so we had chicken instead. Also, mashed potatos, two types of stuffing, squash, mac and cheese, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts, and pie, ice cream, and eggnog. Since the rule is at lest one pie per person, we overdid it with 7 pies: apple, pumpkin, blueberry, pecan, key lime, buttermilk, and cinnamon whiskey walnut. Seven pies seemed about the right number, especially since Erin does not do pie. (since I found that out, I became convinced that Erin is an alien and a Communist!) Erin had six yummy cupcakes instead.

Meanwhile, Christina, Walt, Mark, and Jack were celebrating Thanksgiving in the Everglades. They had many encounters with venomous reptiles (making Mark very happy) and alligators and crocdiles (making Mark and Jack very happy), and much of the other tropical wildlife (making all four very happy). They did not see any pythons, though, which brought a bit of sadness to Walt, Mark, and Jack. Mark got to view a nest of baby alligators up close until the mama alligator took offense. Jack managed to get an alligator to try to stalk them until they rn from it. NMark got to play with three copperheads until the park rangers yelled at him. Everyboidy made it home, saafe and sound and bug-bitten.

With everything else, it was a slow reading week: John Scalzi's STARTER VILLAIN, Stephen King's HOLLY, and Richard Osman's THE LAST DEVIL TO DIE -- all outstanding reads. Not as outstanding was DESIGN FOR GREAT-DAY by Alan Dean Foster and Eric Frank Russell, an expansion of a 1953 Russell story by Foster (and my FFB this week). Foster added nothing of value to the story ecept padding (which has no value at all). The original story was fantastic but this remake was, at best, readable, making me wonder why bother?

One thing that is not a bother is wishing you the very best for the coming week, Patti. Stay safe and stay warm!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jerry-Your family needs its own TV show. Seven pies. We had one apple-caramel but bought from a cider mill. I have never been a fan of pies either. Cake with lots of icing.
Sometimes I think I never got beyond music and art of circa 1960. My first three albums were GIGI, MY FAIR LADY and SOUTH PACIFIC. I don't know what MARRIAGE is. Do we all have different PBSs now?
Any movie that entertains and doesn't offend is good.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We liked THE NIGHT MANAGER a lot when it was first on, almost thought of watching it again. Terrific cast and good script.

Hey, we watched a movie! It was an Amazon original, but still - A MILLION MILES AWAY, a biographical film about Jose Hernandez, the first Mexican-American astronaut, based on his autobiography. Michael Pena played Hernandez. We enjoyed it quite a bit.

Of course, we've mostly been watching streaming shows - JULIA, C> B. STRIKE (watched the first three series so far), 30 COINS (HBO, series two, Spain), LUNA + SOPHIE (German), TANDEM, CANDICE RENOIR, DEADLY TROPICS, BALTHAZAR (all French), WALKING ON SUNSHINE (Austria), HIDDEN ASSETS (Ireland & Belgium), RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service - PBS, Australia), and the British PAYBACK, MUM, SUSPECTS, and on Saturdays JONATHAN CREEK, DINNERLADIES, THE GOOD LIFE and MI5 (SPOOKS).

Had a quiet Thanksgiving/birthday celebration. We have a concert at Town Hall on Saturday, and since the last express bus leaves before the concert is over, we are staing over at a nearby Marriott. But then we got a second concert, also at Town Hall, on the Sunday, so decided to stay another night. The first concert is Graham Nash, the 43rd Annual John Lennon Tribute Benefit Concert for Theater Within, with guests - Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Marc Cohn. That was is sold out. The Sunday concert is Steve Earle's annual benefit concert for The Keswell School, where his non-verbal autistic son goes. We've seen several of these, with special guests including Graham Nash, Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, Warren Haynes & Derek Trucks, Josh Ritter. The Bruce Springsteen one was sold out immediately, but it had to be canceled and we did see the rescheduled show this May, with David Byrne as the replacement guest. This Sunday's guest is John Mellencamp.

And since we'll be in the city on Sunday (dodging protesters, I hope), Jackie decided we should see a matinee, so I was able to get tickets from TDF for PURLIE VICTORIOUS, which we wanted to see anyway.

Amazingly, the Giants have won two games in a row. Have a good week.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Jerry, sounds like a great meal, but I LOVE turkey so wouldn't have forgone it. The pies do sound excellent.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff -you stuck today. Yay!
What a weekend. You can't put a price tag on that lineup. And PURLIE looks great. Have to get my nerve up and get there someday.

TracyK said...

We watch movies on Thanksgiving (plus Friday). This year it was THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA (directed by Larry Blamire), THE ROCKETEER, and a Rifftrax version of ICEBREAKER with Bruce Campbell (my choice).

Watching our usual shows: CSI (in season 7), STAR TREK: VOYAGER, SHAKESPEARE & HATHAWAY. Watching LEVERAGE, and we are in the season with Jeri Ryan, who is also in VOYAGER. It is interesting to see her in both. We have continued watching MALLORCA FILES, since we have not been successful at watching NCIS: SYDNEY past episode 1 on Paramount+ via Amazon Prime.

I finished reading DRACULA by Bram Stoker. A very good book and very suspenseful. I was on the edge of my seat reading the ending. I had seen the Gary Oldman film adaptation but did not remember how it ended or how faithful it was to the story. My only complaints were that there were too many coincidences and it was heavy on the description in some sections. But some of the description was gorgeous. It was not at all what I expected.

After reading DRACULA, which was challenging and took longer than usual, I needed a light and fun book, and Glen suggested one of the Stanley Hastings books by Parnell Hall. So now I am reading FAVOR, the third book in the series.

Glen is reading PREQUEL: AN AMERICAN FIGHT AGAIN FASCISM by Rachel Maddow, and liking it a lot. Unfortunately it reminds him of what is going on now. It focuses on events in the 1930s and 40s.

Jerry House said...

Tracy, I've always wondered why THE LOSY SKELETON OF CADAVRA was never nominated for an Oscar. Strangely, no one else in the entire world has wondered the same thing...

Did you know that Stoker based the character of Dracula on Walt Whitman? Strange but true. As far as Dracule movies go, I don't think you can beat the 1931 Tod Browning movie with Bela Lugosi. Browning's use of absolute silence in some scenes is nothing short of brilliant (even more effective than the use of shadows in Coppola's 1992 version with Oldman, IMHO). Plus, the 1931 version had Dwight Frye as Renfield!

Todd Mason said...

Just waking up to note that one sure does get the opportunity to chew one's self out in one's dreams.

RIFFTRAX has been the busiest of the MST3K spinoffs, hasn't it?

MARRIAGE is a 4-part BBC series from 2022, starring Nicola Walker and Sean Bean, and Chatelle Alle plays their adopted daughter. Pairs well with LITTLE BIRD, even to the extent of being more comedic in spots (when LB doesn't have much opportunity for that, though the bowling is fun). WHYY was running it locally...PBS remains a network that encourages mix and match.

I have a sneaking fondness for the BBC DRACULA with Louis Jourdan as an inappropriately handsome but suitably still Off Count.

TracyK said...

Jerry, I am amazed that I still find the silliness in LOST SKELETON so funny. I will have to try the Dracula movie with Bela Lugosi. I probably saw it many, many years ago but I have no memory of it.

Todd, I am not as fond of RiffTrax shows as my husband and son (especially not the shorts), but I do enjoy ICEBREAKER partly because of Bruce Campbell but also the snowy weather. I watch it at least once a year. There is a fairly recent MST3K, AVALANCHE with Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow, that l like just as much.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So many movies I have never heard of. We all inhabit the same world in some ways but different ones in others. I am sure I must have read DRACULA at some point and I know I have seen several screen versions but maybe not.
Snow here last night and today and freezing cold. I am not ready for this weather. I think it warms up later this week.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed, the bitter-cold front is moving on...and LOST SKELETON is a cult item by design, while RIFFTRAX and other offshoots of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 specialize in running-commentary parody of Terrible film failures, with some exceptions...

Todd Mason said...

Also interesting is the Spanish-language version of DRACULA filmed on the same sets as the Browning/Lugosi version (Anglo version during days, Spanish overnights), which many find a better film than the Browning-directed one. Also, no Transylvanian armadillos in the Spanish-language one...

TracyK said...

Glen told me later today that we do have that Browning/Lugosi version of Dracula, and have had it for years. So I am sure I saw it when we got it and we will watch it again soon. And we have the Spanish-language version as well.

CLM said...

Nicola Walker is so talented - I will have to look for Marriage. I loved her in The Unforgotten and have enjoyed Annika, although not as much.

I have not seen The Holdovers yet but I gather a lot of it was filmed in Massachusetts, including Boston City Hall (I work for the city but in a different building) and an Italian restaurant I have been to in Waltham, so I am curious.

Todd Mason said...

And I'm cheered, after another four-hour nap, that Michelle Wolf will be the host of THE DAILY SHOW this week, having just seen the first episode.

Todd Mason said...

Tracy and Constance, I hope you enjoy what you see!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Jackie loves Sean Bean, so we were looking forward to MARRIAGE, but neither of us liked it and we quit after one episode, so YMMV.

We did just watch a 25 years younger Nicola Walker in a JONATHAN CREEK episode from 1998. And we're watching all the episodes of MI-5 (aka SPOOKS), where she joined the cast in series 2.

Todd Mason said...

MARRIAGE is Not easy/feel-good drama, but it gets more engaging as it goes along.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I did see it. Sorry, forgot.

Gerard Saylor said...

Busy week for us.
Drove to Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon to get Boy #1. Round trip was about 9 hours.
5k on Thanksgiving morning and they ran out of coffee. I was NOT pleased.
Plumbing clog from kitchen sink plugged a line that handles the a bathroom sink and shower. After our Thanksgiving meal I was able to clear the clog by opening up the cleanout. When the clogged finally cleared - by banging on the PVC - I was doused with gallons of kitchen sink and dishwasher water that flooded out the clean out port.
I had chest pains after all that. Since my cholesterol has always been nuts I ended up with an ER visit. No indicators of heart attach and I need to follow up with my primary.
The entire family went to Madison on Saturday. Part of time was spent at a record store where Boy #2 bought some albums. I took a long nap.
Sunday was a 10-hour round trip to Minneapolis and back. Returned at midnight.
Monday was a "Staff out sick so I gotta work tonight" day.

I enjoyed listening to DUNE. A well done recording with multiple narrators and sound effects and music. I recall the character Duncan Idaho being more of a hero when I read the book as a 13-year-old.
Now listening to Lou Berney's LONG AND FARAWAY GONE and enjoying it quite a bit.
Also been watching Tom Cruise's MUMMY film from a few years ago. A fun flick with Cruise playing a cad.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeez, Gerard. Maybe you need a plumber. Loved LONG AND FARAWAY GONE.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed, Gerard, your T-day was a bit like my All Hallows (we even have a nagging plumbing problem, and a regular plumber who's been ill). Glad the a/v has been good at least. Up at this hour in part from sleeping most of the day...the third episode of FARGO's fifth season mostly devoted to laying pipe for the following episodes, again, but not altogether, and less clumsily than the first. But, damn, watched it without lagging and it was doused/drowned in commercials, so will record or lag in the future...