Tag Archives: movies in bed
Post by Mark T. Locker
Okay, first thing I need to make abundantly clear: this is not the 1997 Nicolas Cage/John Travolta movie Face/Off. That little slash makes all the difference here.
No, what I’d like to discuss today is the Syfy Channel’s reality competition series, whose fifth season just launched. No, I am not normally one to go for the reality show format, with confessional cameras and everyone living in a big house together. But I love this show. The premise is this: a bunch of amateur special-effects geeks come to California to show off their makeup and prosthetics and latex caking prowess. Each week they are given a theme, such as alien werewolf or demon king of a particular geographic region. They have three days to go from concept to execution. The final day includes models who will wear these crazy rubber getups. They are then judged, fairly but sometimes harshly, by a panel of judges who take themselves WAY too seriously, especially given they are analyzing alien werewolves (I’m looking at you, Glenn Hetrick!). As you can guess, contestants are eliminated one at a time until a big theatrical finale.
Now here’s what I like about the show: these people are, by and large, really nice. There is no manipulation, no back-stabbing. They’ll even rush over and help each other out when they are struggling! It’s just so sweet. The first four seasons are available here and there online; we actually bought season 4 because it was a bargain. I recommend you watch it tonight and dream of mutant giants.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Greek mythology. It’s always so much fun to read. About the only time I did my homework in middle school was when I was assigned Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I was supposed to read all the bits about the Odyssey, but I went ahead and read the whole thing. It has been much to my delight that my son loves the myths of olde as well. Argus, the watcher with a bunch of eyes? Not creepy to him in the least! He is fascinated by Medusa. How could you not be? I really hope he decides to name his first dog Cerberus.
I don’t think he is ready yet for The Clash of the Titans, though I really can’t wait until he is. As a really mediocre compromise, I pulled up Disney’s Hercules on Netflix. My wife had beaten me to the classic
He wasn’t crazy about it. Frankly, I think the conflict was a bit stressful for him though after the fact he would assert that it was really boring. At least they got Danny DeVito to play Philoctetes, the short fat faun. Other than that, it’s not that memorable. I don’t think 1997 was a great year for Disney productions.
BUT, if your child is a fan of mythology, or you want him to become one, this is a nice and easy stepping-stone into the world of folklore and mythology.
Post by Mark Locker.
We recently accidentally subscribed to another streaming movie and TV site. Although it was unintentional, and planned to cancel it, I have discovered a wealth of TV shows that my other subscription doesn’t offer. I am now quite happy to have it, as it rounds out my fake cable quite nicely. One of the shows I now have access to is Good Eats by the Food Network darling Alton Brown. I have enjoyed the quirky cooking show since its early days. (Yes, I “knew him when”.)
My little one enjoys some of the same shows that I do. He likes America’s Test Kitchen only slightly less than I do, which makes me very proud. As Good Eats is a little sillier, weirder, and more childish than ATK, I harbored hopes that he might like it too. And he really does. I don’t know if he’s being manipulative because he knows I’ll say yes, but he actually requests watching it instead of cartoons sometimes!
If you haven’t watched it, Alton Brown likes to add weird dramatic flairs to this unconventional cooking show. People dressed as fish. Fun oven cams. Surprise visits from such culinary heroes as the inventor of the graham cracker. It’s silly and it’s fun. Unless you don’t care for silly. We have several seasons of Good Eats to get through, but I doubt we’ll have too much trouble unless my son continues to force us to watch the Halloween one over and over and over.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I am not generally a fan of action, explosions, running and car chases in crowded foreign cities. My main exception to this has been USA Network’s “Burn Notice”. This show I classify as laundry-folding entertainment. But what do you do when faced with piles of laundry to fold and you’ve burned through all your Burn Notice? The answer: compromise.
I never saw the first two (ed. note: apparently there were three before this) Mission Impossible movies, nor did I ever feel very compelled to do so. Not surprisingly, there is no need for knowledge of the back story to understand what is happening in Ghost Protocol. Here’s what is happening in Ghost Protocol: explosions, running, and car chases in crowded foreign cities. It even comes with the requisite driving through some Arab vendor’s tent! Also: Simon Pegg as the witty element (which mostly falls flat) and physically impossible feats like not having your shoulder dislocate when falling from a considerable height and catching yourself at the last moment.
In short, this is perfect laundry-folding entertainment. So long as you are not too hung up on plausible plot points or well-crafted dialog, it’s worth the free price on some of the streaming channels.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Today is Friday! All the visiting family have dissipated and the missus is going out so it’s going to be a nice, quiet father-son evening in the Locker household tonight. I’m looking forward to lounging on a large pile of couch cushions on the floor, maybe enjoying some homemade pizza, and watching Ponyo with the kiddo. Technically, this is a Disney film, but only technically. Ponyo is another offering from the only anime creator I love, Hayao Miyazaki, also known for Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and may others. Like all his movies, it’s a little bit magical, a little bit weird. Like many, it deals with the collision of the spiritual/natural world and that of humans.
Ponyo is a little fish girl who lives with her father and siblings deep in the ocean. Driven by a desire to explore, she finds herself trapped in a bottle by the shore. A little boy named Sōsuke discovers her and names her Ponyo. Little does he know this little fish is a magical girl. When her dad has Ponyo returned, she refuses to stay and goes back to Sōsuke, only in human form. There is so much more that happens and my meager summary would not do it justice. Just go watch it. Try not to get pizza crumbs on the couch cushions.