Spiderman Far From Home

I just saw it. It’s the best superhero movie I’ve seen in years, probably since Wonder Woman. The third act was only okay, but even so, it was significantly better than Avengers Endgame or Infinity War, Thor Ragnarok, or Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The mid credit scene detracted from this movie, at least for me, although my companion thought it was an enhancement.

Back to the Future Day

Today is November 12. Sixty-seven years ago, at 10:04 pm, Saturday November 12, 1955, lightning struck the Hill Valley town clock tower. Bad for the tower, but good for Marty McFly, who used the 1.21 gigawatt burst to power him back to the 1980s.

Shatner’s “The Captains”

I watched William Shatner‘s documentary The Captains the other night. The concept is simple: Shatner, the actor who played the captain in the original Star Trek series, goes around interviewing the actors who played captains in the later series. Here’s the trailer:

There’s not a whole lot to the movie, but I thought two things were interesting. First, each of the captains agrees that the star of a television series is overworked. Well-compensated, yes, but also subject to 40 weeks of endless 14, 16, or 18-hour days. I did not know that. It was for each of them a source of great difficulty in their family relationships, and several said it was a major contributor to a divorce.

Second, I was interested to see Shatner asking the other captains about life after death. Of course, he is in his 80s now, and he knows he will eventually follow Scotty, Bones, and the Great Bird of the Galaxy to wherever it is people go when they aren’t here any more.

Follow Me, Boys!

Tonight’s movie was Follow Me, Boys! from Disney. Being a Disney movie of a certain age, it therefore stars Fred MacMurray and, not so much, Kurt Russell. I was amazed to see it also featured Lillian Gish. She was only 22 when she appeared in Birth of a Nation, so it’s not like she was ancient in 1966, when this movie appeared, but, still … Lilian Gish!!

The movie itself was like watching It’s a Wonderful Life, only not nearly so hard on the protagonist. Like Jimmy Stewart, he never got to do what he always wanted, but unlike him, he learned better all along the way instead of all at the end. And he had plenty of rewards at the end, too. The plot didn’t have an arc so much as a train with lots of individual box cars, to the point when you began to wonder if there would ever be a caboose.

My favorite line: “Oh, the Troop Committee? They’ll gum everything up!”

Inception

I had a chance to see an actual in-the-theater movie today, so I went to see Inception. I thought it was pretty good, in a the-dream-is-reality Matrix-y kind of way.

I was kind of shocked to see that movie tickets here cost $12.50. That’s the 4:00 pm showing. If they charge more after 6 pm, I don’t want to know how much it is.

I didn’t buy anything from the concession stand, so the theater didn’t make anything off me there, but they did rent my eyeballs to some commercial-packaging service for the last 20 minutes before showtime. I saw ads for some summer replacement program on TNT and various foods and drugs. Then showtime came, and I got another 10-15 minutes of ads for coming attractions.

I don’t care how bad the economy has gotten, it can’t be a depression. Because in the depression, people could still afford to go to the movies.

I guess part of the reason so much money changed hands was because the movie used a 4K digital projection system. Most of the time, that was fine, but for some shots it looked like it needed to be a 6K or 8K system. The theater was showing a 3D movie in the other room. I don’t know if that’s something you can do with a 4K projector or if they needed separate systems for each. But all that fancy equipment has to get paid for somehow.

Three Things I Like

The first thing is a song called “Turkish Delight,” by the David Crowder Band. It’s a disco song straight out of the 1970s, and you can find it on the record Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia. But you can’t find it on Amazon. It seems to be available only on the iTunes Store.

The second thing is the movie Shakespeare in Love. Joseph Fiennes stars as Shakespeare, and Gwyneth Paltrow won an Academy Award as the love he was in. (Ahem.) There was enough skin and bawdy talk to merit its R rating, I suppose, but only just barely. I’ve never been a great fan of the Bard, but this movie made me wish I was.

The third thing is the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. I liked it so much, I actually posted my first-ever review of a book on Amazon.com:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Miller’s story about “editing his life.” His sense of humor makes the book delightful to read. (His suggestion to a friend about how to answer the question “What’s a movie with a car chase?” was hysterical.) But the larger point – how to have a life that is a story worth reading – is what makes this book so good. As you read his story, you realize you have the same challenge as he had. I’ve given my copy to a friend, and since I only had one copy, I’ll simply recommend it to everyone else.