Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Long Weekend Excursions

So sorry there's no podcast this week.  It's the long weekend!  I'm trying to take the long weekend off.  And as such, I'm doing as little as possible.  Except for, of course, the odd excursion into the city.  I mean, it's the long weekend.  I've got to get out and do something, right?

But of course, before hitting the road, had to make sure the car was road-worthy.  I seem to have developed a slow leak in my front tires, as they always seem to be running low.  That's not as frustrating as filling up the tires.  I don't know why, but every gas stations seems to have put it's air hose in the prime "I'm just running into the store for 5 minutes" parking spot.  I go to the gas station around the corner from my apartment, I see there's no one in front of the air hose, but as soon as I turn on my signal light to turn into the gas station, another guy comes along, zips in front of me, and parks in front of the air hose "to just pop into the store for 5 minutes."  Oh, well.  I needed to gas up the car anyway, so luckily the guy had got whatever he needed and moved on by the time I finished gassing up.

As I've blogged before, I tend not to feel guilty about spending too much money in the city if I buy something I actually need.  And guess what?  I was in need of new underwear.  Once the garments were procured, I also picked up a bathroom scale.  See, I got this app to help you lose weight, and before I could start using it, I had to put in my starting weight, and I couldn't start using until I knew how much I weight.  Yeah, I'm going to attempt to lose weight.  Not trying to make a big deal about it, so that way there'll be no one to mock me if I give up.  But then by taking the time to mention it in this blog, I'm already making a bit of a deal about it.  So, yeah.  Be nice.

And from there, to West Edmonton Mall!  First stop, to HMV, because there were some Blu-Rays I wanted to buy because I think I have a problem and I just can't stop buying Blu-Rays.  For a while now, I've had my eye on picking up the Tom Hanks classic That Thing You Do!.  As I explained to some friends, in the entertainment industry, you eventually reach a point where you're famous enough that you're given a blank cheque to do whatever you want.  When Hanks got his first blank cheque in the mid-1990s, he used it a fun, bouncy comedy about the rise and fall of a band and their one-hit wonder in the summer of 1964.  It's not groundbreaking by any means, but it's just a fun film.  Not to mention, one heck of a great soundtrack.

As I was about to move on, I skimmed the discount bin and also saw Sleepy Hollow.  When I first started on my DVD library many years ago, I said I would get every Tim Burton film, mainly because he was one of the first directors I discovered when I started learning about how movies are made.  He's been one of my favourites ever since.  The only ones I still need were Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks!, and Dark Shadows.  So I decided to cross Sleepy Hollow off the list.  One of Tim Burton's more forgotten films, it was a gritty re-imagining of the classic tale.  This time out, Ichabod Crane is an NYPD detective in 1799, mocked by his peers for the new scientific methods he uses in his investigations.  In order to get rid of him, his superiors send him upstate to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of mysterious decapitations.  The locals say they were carried out by a "Headless Horseman," and Crane soon learns there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophies.

Again, it's just a fun little film.  A nice fantasy/thriller/mystery.  And it had a little extra cred among Star Wars fans when it was released in the fall of 1999, because the Headless Horseman was played by Ray "Darth Maul" Park.  Darth Maul, Headless Horseman, Snake Eyes in the G.I. Joe movies...I wonder if Park ever feels typecast as the silent badass?

Purchases in hand, it was time for lunch.  Lunch at West Edmonton Mall has become problematic these days.   I have my usual haunts, and in the food courts, those usual haunts seem to be closed for renovations right now.  So I have to get adventurous.  I blogged a long time ago that, when I was a kid, going to the food court in a mall was one of the most adventurous experiences, as my mother would give me $10 and say, "Get whatever you want."  But I'm not adventurous anymore, because I have my routine.  but now, I have to get adventurous again because the routine has been disrupted.  What can I say?  If I can't order a ready-made combo, I'm lost.  But I managed to survive and get

A smiling 1980s Lego astronaut, with the tagline "Spaceyness:  The Lego Movie."

With movies of the past safely procured, off to the theatre to see a movie of the present!  I was off to see The Lego Movie.  Much like Frozen, I originally had no desire to see The Lego Movie, until overwhelmingly positive reviews convinced me otherwise.  I mean, I was no Legomaniac when I was a kid.  I had Lego.  I played with Lego.  But my creations always looked so inferior to my brother's, so I would quickly tire of building bigger blocks and then move on to something else.  But a bit of nostalgia and a ton of good reviews convinced me to see it.

Taking place in a Legoland, our hero is Emmet.  He's a regular construction worker, obsessed with following the rules and fitting in, so much so that he fails to stand out.  Typically average in every way.  But before long he's joined with the mystical "Piece of Resistance," a magical Lego piece, and he's drawn into a secret war where he's declared to be the "Special," and will lead the forces of good against the evil President Business before President Business can unleash the ultimate weapon and destroy the world.  Joining Emmet is the warrior woman WyldStyle (no, she's not a DJ), her boyfriend Batman, and the wise man Vitruvius

God, this movie is funny.  It's just a constant stream of jokes.  The plot is cliched.  It follows your standard "hero's journey," but it's aware enough of that to poke fun at it.

And Batman.  Batman is hilarious.  Especially the theme song he wrote for himself.

It's kind of funny, the way the movie is about Lego people who want to be able to throw away the instructions and build whatever they want...it's almost like the filmmakers are taking a dig at Lego and how all Lego sets these days seem to be licensed properties and they don't make just basic sets anymore.

And it's great that 1980s space Lego gets such a prominent place, as that was my favourite back in the day.

It is just so great, you guys.  I give it a solid 3.5 out of 4 nibs.

I was hoping to have my complete review up, but my website is down for some reason tonight.  Keep a watch for it.

Not much more after that.  Did a quick breeze through the Mall, saw nothing special.  Did a quick trip through Best Buy, saw nothing worth spending my gift cards on, and came home.  All in all, not a bad long weekend.  And two more days of just lounging around.  Long weekends, like everything, is awesome.

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