Canada Day Movies and Games

July 4th, 2006 by Potato

It was a very quiet Canada Day weekend — yet it seemed very busy nonetheless. I had planned to read a lot, wash & wax my car, and play a few games, but mostly just played frisbee and watched movies.

First up was Mirror Mask, a film with practically no advertising that I’ve seen. It’s very esoteric and visual, probably the same group at Jim Henson that did Dark Crystal. The acting was pretty decent, but I thought the story was a little weak. Unfortunately, I can’t be any more specific with my criticism, since I can’t really think of what was lacking; as Wayfare pointed out, Labyrinth wasn’t much deeper, plot-wise. It was just that certain je ne sais quois that would have tied all the strange and dazzling visuals together more tightly.

Date Movie was playing over at Dan’s, and the less said about that piece of crap, the better.

Then I saw Superman Returns, which needs no link. I liked it, as far as Superman movies can possibly go (Netbug has a longer review on his site, where he makes a good point: Superman is so super, that it’s hard to believably challenge him. Fortunately, I have an astounding ability to suspend disbelief. I really liked the hyper-optimistic, wonderous 70’s feel to it, as well: it’s a nice contrast to the other superhero movies that have been digging for darkness recently. I really didn’t care for the flying scenes: it looked very much like it was CG (a problem I had with Spiderman, as well), and either the makeup or the computer effects made Brandon Routh look creepy, or as Wayfare so sagely put it, “like one of those marionettes from that show with the rockets on strings [Thunderbirds].” I did like the new heat vision effect, though. Finally, I think it could have used a bit more Lex Luthor in it: either a scene showing him learning more about the crystals, or actually making some kind of weapon out of them (he talked about it a lot, but never did).

I had low expectations for Dave Chapelle’s Block Party, but it appears as though they should have been a lot lower. I knew it was mostly candid footage from this impromtu concert/event he threw, and I thought it would be really cool, or maybe even inspiring to see some of that. I also thought he’d be funny. Wrong on both counts, with rare exceptions. The biggest single problem was probably that they spent a ton of time on this weird couple (the “broken angel” people) that had nothing to do with the show. They were weird, scary, and a little funny, but certainly didn’t deserve the amount of screen time they got. The editing seemed to be off, with lots of slow periods following random people, and putting the events of the day in decidedly non-chronological order (and only the first few scenes had subtitles telling us what we were looking at… they seemed to have forgotten to continue with that after the first 20 minutes), then at other times the energy seemed to be building up and things were actually getting entertaining (such as when Dave would be up MCing or telling jokes behind the scenes), and they’d cut away halfway through.

I’ve started watching Grey’s Anatomy, and I think I’m going to like it a lot. Of course, I’m a sucker for the medical shows (Scrubs, of course, ER, MASH, House, and that other one that got the Fox treatment a while back and was cancelled).

Like I said, I played a lot of frisbee this weekend, which served to remind me of two important things: first, that I am woefully out of shape still (which makes me shudder at how very out of shape I was a few months ago, because I feel great now compared to that); second, that I have the most fantastic frisbee in the whole world and must always be careful not to lose it. You will remember, of course, that it was one thing I was really hoping the car thieves didn’t take when they trashed my car’s interior and ran off with anything remotely valuable. It’s a DinoSoar neon pink fabric frisbee that we bought at Wasaga Beach about 15 years ago, and I’ve never seen one like it since. It’s basically a self-inflating rubber tube with fabric around it and stretched through the middle to give it the frisbee shape. But since it’s flexible, it doesn’t hurt when you get beaned in the head, and you can catch it by just grabbing at it and squishing it up in your hand. It floats, too. I have a standing order with my friends: if you ever see one like it, buy it. If you don’t love it, then resell it to me, so I can stop worrying so much about possibly losing the one I have. The only downside to it is that it doesn’t get the same kind of distance that many hard frisbees can give you (and you can’t do the ultimate frisbee “kick-off” over-hand throw).

I had hoped to have some time to game this weekend, too: I had a hankering for some Master of Orion 2, and brought the disc back to my parents’ house, but never ended up installing it. Soon, my precious…

I didn’t end up getting into the Sword of the Stars beta, which probably is what kicked off the MOO2 craving. Reading CTRL-ALT-DEL, I followed the link to Darkstar One, which sounds very interesting. I’m in the process of downloading the demo, but it’s going to take all night. Hopefully I’ll have time after work tomorrow to run through it.

Also talking about games, I’ve got to mention the euchre game this weekend: we started down 7-0, and came raging back to win. What was amazing was the last hand that put us over the top: I went in on my own to take all 5 tricks, and when I called that I was going on my own, my partner groaned in pain: looking after the hand, he also had a hand that would have taken all 5 tricks on his own (with a different suit, naturally).

One Response to “Canada Day Movies and Games”

  1. Ben Says:

    You obviously had way WAY too high expectations for Date Movie. I thought it was OK, I laughed REALLY HARD a few times at least. It was light-years better that Scary Movie 3 anyways. Maybe it was all the talking stuff that distracted you from the clever dialogue, lol.

    On the by-and-by, if anyone asks you to go see “The Devil Wears Prada”, do yourself a favor and politely decline. You’ll thank me later..